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English Sayings You'll Only Hear in the UK

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English Sayings You'll Only Hear in the UK

We often hear someone say: ​"I’m gutted."
Do you know what it means?

As someone learning English as a second language, you will usually only be taught to speak the language 'correctly'. But what exactly is the correct use of a language? Surely, as someone who is intent on learning a new language and culture to integrate into British society, you actually want to know how to communicate with the people in your community on a casual level too?

Bearing in mind that people don't just want to learn English to succeed in professional environments, we’ve gathered some English phrases that you will probably only ever hear during a conversation between two Brits!

English: the Number One Language in Business

Before we get stuck into some of the common slang phrases used in English, let's take a moment to remind ourselves why English is such an important language to the world. British nationals are often by nature very patriotic about their country and their language, but even from one end of the country to the other, there are some variations in the way they speak.

However, British English is commonly known as the number one language in business worldwide, because of how frequently it is used across the globe. If you are one of those people who learned the basics of English by working in a British company or alongside English-speaking colleagues, then the chances are that you might have already heard some of these fascinating sayings.

The Best English Sayings

As a nation that has a reputation for being very polite and unchallenging, the first of our British phrases seems very fitting. If you hear people saying "I'm not being funny, but...", then take from it that they are trying to complain about something in a very British way, without coming across as rude or confrontational. The term 'funny' here means 'peculiar', as opposed to the 'humorous' definition of the word.

Following on with the same theme, if an Englishman is still feeling upset by something, he might say "I've got the hump". This interesting saying is yet another way of concealing our true feelings. While there's no concrete evidence behind the origins of this phrase, one can assume that the mentioned ‘hump’ is connected with the hump of a camel, perhaps as a result of the annoyed individual slumping over in anger? Many people think that this saying is actually "got the ump", because some regional accents in the UK will ignore the 'h' sound completely!

On the other hand, British people can also express their sentiments in a positive way. "I'm chuffed to bits" is a term used to describe how happy a person is with the way something has turned out.

I want to learn more to confiding social chat with mate 

Finally, to end on a cheery note, let's consider the very British phrase that talks of "having a good knees-up" (or "a good ol' knees-up" as some might say!). It is thought that the term derives from partygoers dancing and lifting their knees up, which conjures up a very convivial image indeed.

Click here for more British phrases examples.

Do you know the meanings of any of these other examples?

  • I’m gutted.
  • It’s all gone pear-shaped.
  • He’s lost the plot.
  • That’s pants.
  • Don’t be such a wind-up merchant.
  • That’s the bee’s knees.
  • That’s mint.
  • Ta.
  • Everything is hunky-dory.
  • I’m knackered.
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