Vocabulary/Slang: British school bans slang
Slang words are used everyday. In the table below you can see lots of very common slang words from British English and then the standard English version. Please vote on the discussion question too. It only takes one click.
Pupils have been banned from using slang words in a secondary school in Sheffield. Words like Hiya, ta & cheers should not be used so that the children get used to speaking in a way that will improve their chances of getting a job in the future when they leave school.
The Springs Academy in Sheffield is located in one of the poorest and rundown areas of the city. The charity that runs the school has introduced the policy so that pupils learn to recognise the language that is OK to use with friends in social situations but not appropriate for more formal situations, like in job interviews.
Now, the policy is, ‘The street stops at the gate’. Therefore, Hiya, ta & cheers must be replaced with Good morning & Thank you.
The head of the charitable organisation that introduced this new rule, Kathy August said that “If you get top grades in your exams, but then you can’t shake hands properly, look someone in the eye and speak in the proper manner, you are not going to get a job or a place at university”
Kathy August was previously a headmaster in Manchester, where in 2008 she banned pupils from using, ‘innit’ (a slang question tag) when they spoke to teachers. In that school, as well as controls on language use, she introduced compulsory uniform and strict discipline. The results of the pupils improved dramatically. Numbers of pupils getting five good GCSEs (the exams you do in the UK when you are 16) went up from 10% to 33%. Also, the number of students who left the school without a job or going into further education went down from 26% to only 6%.
A to L (For M to Z click here)
- aggravation: sth annoying, sth violent
- toilet. Also ‘Bog roll’ = toilet paper
- sausage: as in ‘bangers and mash’ = sausages and potatoes
- a person of low education, probably unemployed and with no sense of style or understanding of normal acceptable social behaviour (see video below)
- thank you. This is also what the British say when they have an alcoholic drink together and touch glasses
- pleasantly pleased with yourself: “When I got my exam results I was chuffed
- because: “I can’t come tonight coz I’ve gotta stay late at the office. Soz. (Sorry)
- stupid: “You really think you’re gonna win the lottery. Don’t be daft!”
- Donkey’s years
- a very long time: “I just saw a girl that I used to go to school with. I haven’t seen her in donkey’s years”
- to desire someone: “I really fancy that new guy in the office. He’s gorgeous”
- would like to have: “Do you fancy going to pub for a quick pint?”
- an unpleasant man: Jane – “Did you hear that he just left his wife after 19 years of marriage coz (because) he’s having an affair with a 20-year-old? What a git!”
- Or can be used in a positive way: John – Did you hear that he’s shagging (having sex) a 20-year-old? Lucky git!
- going to: I think I’m gonna have a pizza for lunch instead of a sarnie (sandwich)
- vacuum cleaner. Can also be a verb: “You’re gonna have to move while I do the hoover”
- Isn’t it? Is it? You know? Oh, really?: “Check dis shit bra! My new moby is to’ally shizzle, innit?” Translation into standard English – Would you care to look at this my good friend? My new mobile phone handset is extremely nice, don’t you agree?
- very good / very difficult: That was a killer meal / That exam was a killer!
- toilet: “I’m just going to the karzi. Watch my drink, will you?”
- toilet: “Excuse me, could you tell me where the loo is, please?
- goodbye: “OK, I’ll see you tomorrow. Have a good night. Laters!”
I iz a chav, innit?
Here’s a man with a London accent talking at natural speed and he finishes his very quick story with a great bit of Brtish slang