Very British Slang to Know Before Visiting England

By Rachael Funk

Ever traveled to an English-speaking country, had a chin wag with the locals, then gotten into an argy-bargy over an honest misunderstanding because you had no idea what anyone was saying? Fear not, dear traveler! This handy dandy guide to very British slang will help keep you from dropping a clanger next time you’re touring the Land of Hope and Glory!

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Translation: to be shocked or surprised in a big way

We were gobsmacked when we found a nature documentary that wasn’t narrated by David Attenborough.


Translation: nonsense

The acceptance speeches were tosh, but dinner was good!


Translation: to be proud of yourself

He was proper chuffed he convinced the Bobby to let him off with a warning.


Translation: something that is proceeding well and/or efficiently

The new system is running tickety-boo.


Translation: an argument or heated debate

We both wanted the armrest but pretended we didn’t to avoid an argy-bargy.

Chin wag

Translation: a chat

Sorry I’m late - was having a chin wag with your neighbor.


Translation: a nap

Steve got sacked for having a kip at his desk.

Drop a clanger

Translation: to make an embarrassing mistake

Mary dropped a clanger when she forgot to buy a biscuit selection for the tradesmen.


Translation: an incompetent person

They thought he was a bit of a numpty until he did the maths in his head.


Translation: excellent

The new season of Doctor Who is blinding.


Translation: exhausted

Even after a kip, I was still totally knackered.

Warts and all

Translation: accepting the bad with the good, similar to saying “as is.”

I don’t care if he’s a numpty! I love him warts and all.


Translation: an exclamation of surprise, a corruption of the oath “God blind me”

You skipped tea? Blimey!

Budge up

Translation: scoot over

Me arse is falling off the bench, man. Budge up!


Translation: to get ripped off, to be conned

Blimey, Jeff. She diddled you out of your pub money again, didn’t she?


Translation: an enthusiastic affirmative

"I’m on a health food kick."
"Want a chocolate anyway?"

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