Check out our updated Community
Learning Article : 5 Useful Phrases That Will Make You Sound More British

Discuss the Article : 5 Useful Phrases That Will Make You Sound More British

5 Useful Phrases That Will Make You Sound More British

If you're keen to visit the UK, you might find these five slang expressions come in handy. Load them into your arsenal to impress your teacher, friends, and local Brits.

Feb 26, 2018 12:00 AM
Comments · 17

Not bad, Charlie, but "eager-beaver" is also used in American English, so it's not distinctly British. What about:

1. not by half

2. dead chuffed

3. it's more than me job's worth

4. mustn't grumble / muddle through

5. a cuppa

6. choccy bicci

7. knackered

8. mingen /minger

9. snog

...and my all-time favorite and one of the first words I learned in England as a student....skive off. 

None of these words/terms are used in the States, although some might be understood. 

"Gutted" was new to me though, thanks! 

February 27, 2018
This post is bollocks
April 4, 2018

I am not a teacher, more of a guider, but if I were a "professional" teacher. I would guide and steer my students away from using the first expression. It is very dated now anyway, and requires the "second language student" to have spent some time knowing when and how to correctly use it. More appropriately in which company to appropriately know how to use it.

Two words in the English language that are considered to be extremely offensive are.

1. ------- --- - -- -------- 

2.- ------ ------ ------- -- -------- 

Either of these words will cause a learner serious problems except in what many people would maybe refer to as "low life company".

Your first saying unfortunately does contain one of these two words, that if dropped at the wrong time and on the  wrong occasion, would cause the learner to experience severe social problems. And potentially exclusion from their place of study, and even the police getting involved should it escalate into a drunken brawl. 

The first word on the list that in slang means ----- ----- ----------- is in some circles, only amongst a close group of friends and workmates, sometimes means something positive. In keeping with the British slang tradition of "reversing meanings". Even amongst these friends I have witnessed misunderstandings the first time the word is uttered. 

November 17, 2018

Thanks for the article. It's good to keep the flag flying for British slang.

1 is too rude to use in everyday conversation but the others are OK.

I would put the word "dodgy" in the top 10 of must-use British slang words. It means "suspicious, untrustworthy" and can be applied to things as well as people.

"My motor's a bit dodgy. I'll need to get it looked at by the garage,"

"That bloke with the funny moustache looks a bit dodgy."


April 17, 2018

The article doesn`t distinguish between simple colloquialisms and slang. I say use colloquialisms to sound more natural, but unless you already master the language, avoid slang altogether. It can backfire on you, or embarrass you if used incorrectly. Slang is very regional and nuanced, and it changes all the time. And you don`t need it anyway. Colloquialisms are more stable and widespread in a population and are just informal speech. 

Muddle though is used in the US all the time. And, I think dodgy is gaining a lot of popularity as a British import. I use dodgy myself, to say „that place looks a little dodgy“ or a person looks a little „dodgy.“ 

January 2, 2019
Show More
Language Skills
English, Norwegian, Swedish
Learning Language