17 British Slang words that confuse non-native English speakers
There are many British English slang words that are used by UK English speakers that are confusing for non-native English speakers to understand. Learning slang is an important part of mastering the English. Native English speakers use slang language in daily conversations and this could lead to confusion.
In this post we are discussing some commonly used slang phrases used in the UK. See how many you are familiar with and start using them in your practice sessions.
The slang word bonkers can mean silly, mad or crazy.
Textbook English this is crazy!
English slang this is bonkers!
This slang word refers to someone who makes errors, gets things wrong or makes a mess of something.
Textbook English he messed up his written exam
English slang he screwed up his written exam.
This relates to someone who is irritated, upset or angry at a situation.
Textbook English he was angry and irritated his friend.
English slang he was angry and pissed off his friend.
This slang words relates to an item being bought for too much money so the buyer has been overcharged.
Textbook English in the market he was overcharged for the rug
English slang in the market he was ripped off when he bought the rug
Fags are the slang word for cigarettes.
Textbook English the schoolboys were caught smoking cigarettes in the changing room
English slang the schoolboys were caught smoking fags in the changing room
If someone is chuffed about something, it means that he or she is very pleased or delighted about what is happening or happened.
Textbook English they were delighted to be invited to the wedding
English slang they were chuffed to be invited to the wedding.
This means that there is a party or celebration taking place.
Textbook English we are having a party on Saturday.
English slang we are having a knees up on Saturday.
Raining cats and dogs
This is slang for raining very heavily
Textbook English it rained very heavily during our journey.
English Slang it rained cats and dogs during our journey.
Knackered is the slang word for feeling extremely tired/fatigued/exhausted.
Textbook English I was exhausted after my 20-mile walk.
English Slang I was knackered after my 20-mile walk.
Gutted means one is devastated or disappointed about an event or situation.
Textbook English I was devastated over the accident.
English Slang I was gutted over the accident.
Lost the plot
Lost the plot refers to when someone was angry or behaved irritationally over something that happened.
Textbook English I was very angry about the line call at the tennis match yesterday.
English Slang I lost the plot about the line call at the tennis match yesterday.
Taking the piss
Taking the piss is slang for mocking, teasing or making fun of a person or an event.
Textbook English he teased his sister because she could not play cricket
English Slang he took the piss of his sister because she could not play cricket
This is slang for the weather being so cold that it could freeze a monkey made of brass.
Textbook English the temperature at the top of the mountain was -20 degrees – it was freezing cold
English Slang the temperature at the top of the mountain was -20 degrees – it was brass monkeys!
Dodgy can have two meanings – unreliable/dishonest or a dangerous situation
Textbook English he could not be trusted, as we all knew he was dishonest
English Slang he could not be trusted, as we all knew he was dodgy
Textbook English it was very dangerous to go to that part of the world
English Slang it was dodgy to go to that part of the world.
Kerfuffle means that an argument is happening caused by a difference of opinion.
Textbook English there was an argument because we had a difference of opinion.
English Slang there was a kerfuffle because we had a difference of opinion
The textbook means of rubbish refers to any waste material that we throw away whether empty cans, bottles or food. The slang word rubbish relates to something that is ridiculous or of poor quality.
Textbook English we put the empty cans and bottles in the rubbish bin.
English Slang the whole situation was rubbish.
Collywobbles can mean stressful, nervous, anxious or unwell.
Textbook English he was nervous before he went on stage to perform.
English Slang he had the collywobbles before he went on stage to perform.
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