17 British Slang Words that Confuse non-native English Speakers

2018年4月6日 355点热度 0人点赞 0条评论

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!


Screw up


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.


Pissed off


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.


Rip off


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.




Knees up


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


Brass monkeys


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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