British Slang to Know Before Visiting the UK

80 British Words To Know Before Visiting the UK

If you're a tourist, especially an American visiting Britain, you may want to brush up on some local slang ahead of time so you don’t get too confused. Here are some commonly used words, phrases, and expressions to know before you go!

A&E - accident and emergency hospital

All right? - hi / how are you

 

Aubergine - eggplant 

 

Bang-up - good

 

Bangers and Mash - sausages & mashed potatoes 

 

Barrister - lawyer

 

Bin - trash can

 

Bits and Bobs - things to do or buy 

  

Bobby - police officer

 

Bog - toilet

 

Bog roll - toilet paper

 

Bollocks - nonsense

  

Bonnet - hood of a car

 

Boot - trunk of a car 

 

Brilliant - well done

 

Buggy - stroller

 

Car Park - parking lot

   

Cheers - thanks

 

Chips - french fries

 

Chiropodist - podiatrist 

 

Coach - long distance bus

 

Coriander - cilantro

 

Courgette - zucchini

 

Crisps - potato chips

 

Cuppa - a cup of tea

 

Daft - foolish

 

Drink Driving - drunk driving

 

Electric Fire - space heater

 

Fag - cigarette

 

Fair Enough - alright

 

Fairy Lights - string lights 

 

Fancy - to like / love something or someone

 

Fiz - champagne 

 

Fizzy - a carbonated beverage

 

Flannel - washcloth 

 

Flat - apartment 

 

Fringe - bangs

 

Footpath - sidewalk

 

Full Stop - grammatical period

 

Gherkin - pickle 

 

Git - moron

 

Glow Up - to better yourself 

 

Grit Bin - roadside box full of salt / grit to spread on icy roads 

 

Gobsmacked - shocked

 

Gutted - devastated

 

Hamper - picnic / gift basket 

 

Hen Night - bachelorette party

  

Hire - to rent something

 

Hob - stovetop

 

Hoover - to vacuum

 

Jab - vaccination

  

Jacket - baked potato with skin

 

Jumper - sweater 

 

Kitchen Roll - paper towels

 

Knock Up - to wake someone up 

 

Larder - storage pantry in a kitchen 

 

Let - to rent / lease

 

Lift - elevator 

 

Loo - toilet

 

Loo Roll - toilet paper

  

Lorry - a large motortruck

 

Lurgy - a cold / flu

 

Mange Tout - snow or snap peas

 

Mash - mashed potatoes or other root vegetables

 

Mate - friend

 

Meant to - Supposed to

 

Mobile - cell phone

 

Mod - well-dressed person

 

Moggy - cat

 

Mushy Peas - mashed peas

 

Nappies - diapers 

 

Offer - sale 

 

Pants - underwear

 

Paracetamol - acetaminophen 

 

Peckish - hungry 

 

Petrol - gasoline

 

Petrol Station - gas station 

 

Pissed - drunk

 

Plaster - bandaid

 

Post - mail

 

Pram - stroller

 

Pud - dessert

 

Pull - to attract a date 

 

Queue - a line or a wait 

 

Quid - one pound of currency 

 

Rashers - bacon

 

Ring - to call someone on the phone

 

Rocket - arugula 

 

Rubbish - garbage

 

Rucksack - backpack

  

Sack - a bag to carry groceries

 

Sat Nav - satellite navigation / GPS

 

Singleton - a single person 

 

Skip - dumpster

 

Slip Road - entrance / exit ramp on or off a road

 

Snog - to make out  

 

Solicitor - lawyer

 

Sorted - to plan / organize

 

Spotted Dick - a pudding

 

Stag Do - bachelor party 

 

Stile  -a fence / stair combo people climb over but animals cannot

 

Surgery - doctor's office

  

Swede - rutabaga

 

Swimming Costume - bathing suit

 

Taking the Piss - joking around

 

Tea Towel - dishtowel

 

Torch - flashlight 

 

Trainers - sneakers

 

Trolly - shopping cart

 

Trousers - pants

 

Veg - vegetables

 

Voucher - coupon 

 

Washing up liquid - dish soap

 

Wellies - Wellington rain boots 

 

Whilst - while

 

Zebra crossing - crosswalk

 

Zed - the letter z