Slang is very informal language that tends to be used in speaking rather than writing. A recent survey of SGI students found that a staggering 91% of respondents have been confused or unsure of what an English person was saying because they were using slang.
This is not surprising since slang is not usually addressed in text books and it does vary greatly from place to place.
Ready to learn some British Slang? Here are some words you are very likely to come across in London:
- Blinding (= adj.excellent, amazing)
Did you see the match last night?
Of course – what a blinding goal!
- Cheers (= exclamation.thanks)
Excuse me please, where’s the tube station?
It’s just around the corner there.
- Chuffed (= adj.really pleased)
Hey Sam, I heard you passed your driving test.
Yeah, first time. I’m so chuffed.
- Dodgy (= adj. used for people, places, things you should avoid)
That guy looks a bit dodgy… he’s been hanging around outside for ages. (= untrustworthy, suspicious)
You shouldn’t go to that part of town late at night – it’s a bit dodgy round there. (= unsafe)
Urgh! That soup smells really dodgy! (= bad, gone off)
I know, should have been thrown out weeks ago.
- Do your nut(= idiom.get really angry)
I did my nut when I saw the gas bill… it was more than twice as much as usual.
- Fancy (= v. want / be attracted to)
Do you fancy a coffee?
Guess what? Helen told me she fancies John.
Well, he is very cute.
- Gutted (= adj. extremely disappointed/upset)
Sergio didn’t get into King’s College.
Oh no… after all that hard work! He must be gutted.
- Kerfuffle (= n.fight)
There was a bit of a kerfuffle on the train this morning.
A guy was determined to get on even though there was no space and he ended up pushing someone over.
- Meh ( =interjection. used to show indifference / lack of enthusiasm)
Was the film any good?
How are you feeling?
Meh. Still awful.
- Miffed (= adj. annoyed at someone’s behaviour)
She’s a bit miffed because her boss didn’t give her the promotion she was expecting.
- Mug (= n. a gullible, naïve person)
Look, they’re selling Chanel perfumes for 5 pounds a bottle. Let’s have a look!
Well, they’re obviously fake or stolen.
Don’t be a mug Terry.
- Nicked (= v.stolen)
I left my bag here for five minutes and someone’s nicked my purse!
- Numpty (= n. a fool)
My mind went completely blank in the interview – I mean, I couldn’t even remember my address! I looked like a right numpty.
- The Old Bill(= idiom.police)
I had to call the Old Bill last night.
Why? What happened?
A woman crashed into the lamp-post outside my flat and then just drove off.
- Puke (= v.vomit)
Dave puked on the train home.
I keep telling him not to mix his drinks.
- Quid (= n.pound)
How much does it cost to get in?
Three quid for adults and it’s free for kids.
- Skive off (= v.pretend to be sick to get time off work/school)
Guess what? I got tickets to the Avengers premiere!
Nope. Friday at 6. Wear something elegant.
But I’ve got a meeting at work…
Just skive off! It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
- Skint (= adj.without money)
Want to have dinner out tonight?
No, I can’t I’m afraid… I’m skint until payday.
- Sound (= adj.good / awesome)
What do you think of your new boss?
- Ta (= exclamation.Thanks)
Here’s your change.
- Tosh (= n.rubbish, nonsense)
Did you hear his speech?
Yes, what a load of tosh!
Have you heard any of these before? Listen out for them next time you’re in London.