101 Course Into British Slang

Image credits: imgur.com

What is it about Brits that makes them so exquisitely posh? Certainly, all their fancying around with those little cups of tea and tweed look plays its part, but there is more to it. And we like to blame it on the way they speak. Leaving the sexy Hugh Grant accent aside, it’s the day-to-day specific phrases that make them sound so polite (yet so subtly judgemental at the same time).

Let’s take a look at a few delicious British idioms which every English speaking person should introduce into their vocabulary. Boost your coolness level with these:

As the actress said to the bishop

Those familiar with the ‘that’s what she said’ type of jokes will have no problem fitting this phrase into their current speech, as this is its exact equivalent. It is used for turning simple, innocent comments into kinky jokes.

A: How do you like your tea?
B: I like it black, strong and sweet.
A: As the actress said to the bishop!

Bob’s your uncle

This one is used for describing a successful outcome of one’s actions. It’s similar to the French ‘voilà’, if you may. We’re not sure of its origin, but it’s bloody brilliant!

A: How can I install this on my computer?
B: You just click on the ‘download’ button and Bob’s your uncle!

Image credits: hilobrow.com
Image credits: hilobrow.com

Are you having a laugh?

‘You have got to be kidding me’ – this is not how Brits say it! Oh, yes it is! So pretentious and condescending, that’s adorable!

A: Honey, my mum is coming over and will stay for our romantic dinner!
B: Are you having a laugh?

Cock up

When you say this, you are referring to messing something up really bad. Simply put, in more colloquial terms, to ‘screw up’.

Man, she really cocked up at her last job when she slept with her boss!

Dull as dishwater

This one is very suggestive, but sprinkle any conversation with it and, all of the sudden, you’re the funny one in your group! Use it when you plan to explain something extremely boring. And you can roll your eyes too for an extra Brit effect!

My grandma’s family reunion was dull as dishwater.

Image credits: www.ecenglish.com
Image credits: www.ecenglish.com

That went down a treat!

You would most certainly want a Brit to compliment you with this ‘treat’. It’s like getting the highest distinction from them. It means that something went really well and was particularly enjoyed.

A: How was your graduation speech?
B: Oh, it went down a treat, everybody complimented me!

Bugger off!

If you hear these words, you must have done something terribly wrong. We just hope you didn’t turn down an invitation to a nice and hot cup of tea, did you? Regardless of the reason, know that these words are a substitute for ‘f**k off’. And you should also know that, when you manage to drag a Brit out of his politeness, you’re in trouble, buddy.

A: Hey, babe, wanna come to my house and fool around?
B: Bugger off, freak!

Pavement Pizza

This one is tricky and has nothing to do with pizza unless you just ate one. Because this is what it means: vomiting.

It must have been a wild party here last night, there are pavement pizzas every corner!

Image credits: heenarathorep.com
Image credits: heenarathorep.com


You don’t want to be snookered. Snookered is the last thing you want to be, actually. It means being in a bad situation (effed up). But the word is so sexy that it almost makes you wish you were there, doesn’t it?

Man, you know you owe me money. If you don’t give it back by tomorrow, you’re snookered!

To spend a penny

Because nothing in life is free, not even taking a decent dump – and Brits are not naive people, you know. That is why they call going to the loo ‘spending a penny’. What can we say, money well spent!

A: Why are you walking funny?
B: I’ve been meaning to spend a penny for the last 3 hours and could night find a restroom!
Obviously, there are a lot more idioms which colour up so nicely any Englishman’s speech, but you will just have to find them out yourselves.

What’s your favourite one? Leave a comment below!