History of the English Language

 

 

 

British Slang (Part 2): Words M - Z

Slang words are used everyday in normal conversation. In the table below there are lots of very common British slang words for you to learn from and then an explanation with a natural sounding example. You can be very good at speaking a language, but if you don't know any slang, then you can get really lost in a conversation with native speakers. Learning slang can be cool anyway because it can be amusing to find out what a word or phrase means and where it comes from. With British slang, my students usually find it very funny to hear these strange expressions.

Play the audio to hear how to pronounce these slang words  

British Slang

M to Z (find Slang words A - L in British Slang: Part 1)

mental
crazy: "I can't remember how to do anything today. It's like I'm going mental or something"
moobs
man boobs - when a man has a chest that is fat, so it looks a little bit like he has small breasts: "I couldn't go out with him coz he's got moobs!"
mate
friend: "My mate works for Google, Let's ask him"
nasty piece of work
a horrible person: "I've never trusted him. He's a nasty piece of work"
newbie
somebody who is new in a job: "Give that photocopying to the newbie and you get on with some more important work"
no probs/no worries
No problem: "Thanks for helping me out earlier - No probs, anytime"
on the piss / on the razz / on the lash
Getting drunk: "I can't come out tonight coz I was out on the piss last night I've got a killer hangover"
O.T.T.
Over the top: "She was dressed a bit OTT just for going to the cinema"
pants
not good, useless, bad: "The first 10 minutes of the film was absolute pants, but then it got quite interesting"
party pooper
Someone who spoils fun for other people by being negative: "Come on, come to the birthday party, you can get to know people. Don't be such a party-pooper"
peckish
feeling hungry: "I'm a bit peckish. I'm just nipping out to get a bag of crisps. Do you want anything?"
piece of cake
sth that is easy to do: "That test was a piece of cake. I thought it was going to be super difficult!"
punter
customer: "This new promotion should get more punters through the door"
quid
pound: "Have you got a quid for the parking meter?"
quids-in
a profit: "If you put all your stuff on E-bay, you'll be quids-in"
rip-off
a scam, a con, or something that is overpriced: " Don't buy the new iPhone, it's a rip-off. It'll be 100 quid cheaper in a few months."
round the bend
something that is irritating/frustrating: "Can you help me with this spreadsheet. It's driving me round the bend!"
sad
an insult for someone who is pathetic: "It's so sad having your tongue pierced"
safe as houses
something that is very secure, sth with a definite outcome: "I've got a bet on that Barcelona are gonna win the Champions League...Safe as houses."
schoolboy error
A stupid mistake that is only expected from a child: "I bought a microphone for my laptop without checking if it was compatible first - Schoolboy error"
shoot off
to go: "Do you want another drink? - No thanks, I've gotta shoot off after I finish this one"
short-arse
insult for someone who is not tall: "How can she go out with him when he's such a short-arse? She towers over him!"
six-pack
a muscular stomach: "My perfect man would have blue eyes and a six-pack, of course!"
smart-arse
someone who shows off their intelligence: "You don't have to tell everyone about your success. Remember, nobody likes a smart-arse"
snog
to kiss heavily: "There was this couple on the bus this morning snogging like crazy. I was like, Get a room, why don't you?"
tear-jerker
a film or book, that is very emotional and makes you cry: "You've got to read this book. It's a real tear-jerker. I read it on holiday and was crying my eyes out. It's great.
tight-arse
someone who doesn't like to spend money on anything: "John's a good laugh in the pub, but he never pays for a round of drinks. He's such a tight-arse."
tree-hugger
an environmentalist, a hippy, a pejorative term for someone concerned with green or liberal issues: "You can't talk about money or capitalism in front of Davina. She's such a bloomin tree-hugger. She goes mental."
ugly as sin
someone who is the exact opposite of very beautiful: "Have you seen Debbie's new boyfriend? He's as ugly as sin!"
up for it
to say that you are willing to do sth: "I'm going to order a pizza for lunch. Anyone else up for it?"
veggie
short way of saying 'vegetarian' (sb who doesn't eat meat): "You can't cook chicken for the dinner party. Dave's girlfriend is a veggie"
veg-out
to chill-out, to relax by doing absolutely nothing, including not moving, usually done in fron of the TV: "I'm so knackered. I just wanna go home and veg-out"
verbal diarrhoea
to describe sb who never stops talking: "I can only take about 5 minutes of Anna before she drives me round the bend. She's got verbal diarrhoea"
waffle
to talk on and on and usually nonsense: "You don't even know what you're talking about. What a load of waffle"
wannabe
sb who wants to be famous, usually with no talent or skill: "I can't stand all the people who go on Big Brother. They're all such wannabees!"
what's his face / what's her face
Expression used when you ca't remember someone's name: "Can you give what's-his-face a call to come and fix the printer?"
whachamacallit
expression used for something that you can't remember the name of: "Can you pass me the whachamacallit? - What this? - Yep, chuck it over here. Ta.
yonks
a very long time: "Alright John. I haven't seen you in yonks! How's it going?"
yummy-mummy
a mother who is very attractive: "I saw a yummy-mummy driving a Range-Rover this morning. Absolutely gorgeous she was!"

  If you can think of any better example sentences for uses of these slang words, please feel free to write them in the comments section below :)

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