We may speak the same language, have the same woman on our currency, and both include ‘u’ in our spellings of colour, flavour and neighbour. But when it comes to slang and idioms, Canadians and Brits might as well be speaking foreign languages.
Before my trip to London, my understanding of British slang was quite minimal. It consisted of “bloody hell”, “bollocks”, and “wanker”, all the classiest of terms for this girl. I even started to use the phrase “havin a laff aint’cha?” after watching Ricky Gervais’ short-lived but highly entertaining television series ‘Extras’. But I was curious to learn more (and maybe ones that would make my mother proud) so one afternoon I was hanging out with my friends Alison, Mitch, and Hayley who schooled me in the art of British slang and idioms.
Muppet – you’ve done something silly or stupid. Can also be used as a term of endearment.
Numpty – like a muppet, but worse
That’s pants – that’s shit
Wanker – a self pleasurer, someone who masturbates, used in a derogatory way; “what a wanker!”
Throwing your toys out of a pram – having a hissy fit
Faffing – messing around
Fill your boots – make the most of it
Crack on – keep going, push on, get on with it
Taking the piss – taking liberties
Doing your head in – someone’s really annoying
‘avin a laff aint’cha? – are you serious/fucking with me?
Brill – it’s brilliant, awesome
You alright? – what’s up? How are you?
Pop round – come over, pop down to the shops
Hey ho – oh well
Ball ache – pain in the ass, annoying
The dog’s bollocks – something is good, they’re the shit (a positive)
A bollocking – getting lectured, criticized, or reprimanded
It’s going a bit pear-shaped – it’s not good, it’s going downhill
Tits up – it’s screwed up
A do – a party
If you liked this post, then check out some of Australia’s best slang.
Know any more British slang or idioms? Add them in the comments below!