10 of the Best British Slang Words

10 of the Best British Slang Words


Around the world, Britain is often seen to be a refined and classy place. When we think of British people we often imagine the dialect of the Queen and other ‘well spoken’ English celebrities such as Colin Firth and Keira Knightley.

While the accent can sound posh, it also contains a lot of loveable slang. Here we give you ‘10 of The Best British Slang Words’ and their definitions – why not try some of them out next time you talk to a British person!


1. ‘Cheers’

Cheers can be used in two ways, the first to express good wishing before having a drink, usually accompanied by the clinking of glasses. It is also an informal way of saying thank you (or sometimes to end a conversation), for example you might say it to a bus driver when getting off the bus.


2. ‘Ta’

Ta can also mean thank you, but is also a way of saying goodbye, although for the latter you usually say two ta’s. In texting you may get TTFN, which means ‘ta ta for now’.


3. ‘Gander’

Gander is often used in an ironic sense and is supposed to sound a little funny. ‘Having a gander simply means ‘having a look’.


4. ‘Fit’

Fit in this context is nothing to do with being healthy or in shape. Often when used by Brits it means they find someone one attractive, the British equivalent of calling someone ‘hot’. For example you may say ‘Jennifer Lawrence is well fit!’ (‘Well’ is sometimes used by younger Brits instead of ‘very’).


5. ‘Smashing’

Smashing means something is really good, if someone got a good result on an exam you could tell them ‘that’s smashing’. You may also say that they ’smashed’ the test.


6. ‘Knackered’

Knackered means you are really tired.


7. ‘Dodgy’

Dodgy means that something is a little off, or makes you feel a bit uncomfortable. You might say a person is dodgy, such as ‘that guy on the bus looks a little dodgy’ or you might say an action is dodgy e.g. ‘they are doing a dodgy deal’ (this means it’s probably illegal).


8. ‘Snog’

Snogging is more than a normal kiss, but doesn’t define any other sexual act – it’s like a full on, passionate kiss. In American terms, it’s probably somewhere in between first and second base.


9. ‘Mug’

A mug is someone who is a bit dumb and has been deceived or taken advantage of in some way. For example, if someone is being cheated on and is oblivious to it, you might say they are being ‘taken for a mug’.


10. ‘Naff’

If something is naff then it is tacky and uncool. For example, you might tell someone that their Christmas themed jumper is ‘a bit naff’.

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