The British English Slang

Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj


Slang - Carl Sandburg

Are you fagged, zonked, dicky, and had pavement Pizza after being on the piss? Or are you knackered after being bloody lucky on the pull, bonking a dishy, blinding, dear slapper in Blighty? A word of caution. Don’t become a tosser using cobblers pretending to be a toff and cock up. Above all, don’t be fruity and ask a British lady how her father is and get slapped and blow off.

The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar (1994) describes slang as:

“Words, phrases, and uses that are regarded as informal and are often restricted to special contexts or are peculiar to a specific profession, classes etc.”

The Meriam-Webster Dictionary describes slang as:

“Words that are not considered part of the standard vocabulary of a language and that are used very informally in speech especially by a particular group of people

Collins English Dictionary (3rd edition) describes slang as:

“Vocabulary, idiom, etc. that is not appropriate to the standard form of a language or to formal contexts, may be restricted as to social status or distribution, and is characteristically more metaphorical and transitory than standard language”.

In his 1999 book, “The Cassell Dictionary of Slang”, Jonathan Green defines English slang as:

“A counter language, the language of the rebel, the outlaw, the despised and the marginal.”

Recognising that there are many definitions, he adds:

“Among the many descriptions of slang, one thing is common, it is a long way from mainstream English”.

So, slang is the use of informal words and expressions that are not standard in the speaker’s dialect or language. With slang one can often identify the user’s peers. It is often found in areas of the lexicon that refer to things considered taboo and are euphemism.

In general, a euphemism is a bland word or expression used instead of one deemed offensive or suggest something unpleasant. People with refined vocabularies use euphemisms. Some euphemisms are intended to amuse, for example “How is Your Father?” is a euphemism for sexual intercourse or other sexual activity.

Most euphemisms use bland, inoffensive, and often misleading terms for things the user wishes to downplay. They are used to dissimulate taboo topics such as disability, sex, excretion, and death in a polite way, and to mask profanity. The opposite of euphemism roughly equates to dysphemism.

British slang is English language slang used in the United Kingdom. It is also used to a limited extent by the British expatriates in Anglophone countries.

So, roll a wacky backy and rest your wazzock peepers on the following list of British English slang words and phrases which I have compiled. Some of these words and phrases are common, and a few are redundant.

The British English Slang: A to C

The British English Slang: D to J

The British English Slang: K to P

The British English Slang: Q to Z

Bob’s your uncle! Pip pip!




6 thoughts on “The British English Slang”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.