Have you ever walked the streets of London, Manchester or Edinburgh and wondered what in the world people were saying? It's more than the accent; there are some common UK expressions that are uniquely British. These slang terms can be a bit confusing at first. Usually, if you hear them once, you'll remember them the next time. Here are some British phrases to get you through your early days in the UK. The rest you'll pick up as you go.
Let's get this sorted (worked out) and dive right into the fun. The next time someone tells you to "budge up," you'll know what to do.
Don't bite my arm off. (Don't be overly excited to get something.)
Did she bottle it? (Did she lose her nerve?)
Budge up. (Move over and make some room.)
Bugger off. (Go away.)
These are nothing more than Chinese whispers. (These are nothing more than rumors.)
What a cock up. (What a big mistake.)
What a load of codswallop. (What a load of mistruths.)
That must've cost a bomb. (That must've cost a lot.)
She's such a curtain twitcher. (She's a nosy neighbor.)
You made a dog's dinner out of that. (You made a mess out of that.)
Don't fanny around. (Don't procrastinate.)
She's just full of beans. (She has a lot of energy.)
Looks like we have the full monty. (Looks like we have everything we need.)
What are you going on about? (What are you talking about?)
It's half past four. (It's 4:30.)
Leg it! (Run for it.)
That's not my cup of tea. (That's not to my liking.)
Are you off your trolley? (Are you crazy?)
I guess he finally popped his clogs. (I guess he finally died.)
You really know how to pull a blinder. (You achieved something difficult.)
She's a few sandwiches short of a picnic. (She's not very smart.)
Sod off! (Get lost.)
I have to spend a penny. (I have to go to the bathroom.)
That really takes the biscuit. (That really surprised me.)
Now that you've enjoyed these fun UK expressions, build your vocabulary even more with some British Slang Definitions.
Don't stop now! You'll be a true Brit once you learn some Common British Sayings that convey more than the surface meaning of their words, and the story behind them. As you prepare for a semester abroad or a family vacation, a quick scan through these expressions and sayings will help you keep up with every ounce of chatter.