As if driving on the other side of the road wasn’t already making things difficult enough when visiting the UK, the Brits had to go and use a bunch of slang to make getting around the country even more difficult.
While we still haven’t perfected our English accent we have done a pretty good job compiling a short directory to British slang. Read on and keep it handy if you get caught in a jam.
Arse – Pretty self explanatory, this is the equivalent of saying “ass” in America. But what’s worth noting is that arse is apparently much more crude. Cool!
Au fait – Yes, this is French, and yet the Brits have adopted it as their own. It means to be familiar with something, so after reading this article you’ll be au fait with British slang.
Baccy – Loose-leaf tobacco used to hand roll cigarettes.
Barmy – The same as going bonkers or crazy. Have too many pints at the pub and the locals will start saying you’ve gone barmy.
Biggie – Very important, this one. A biggie is one of two things, either poop or an erection. Children typically call their business biggie while self-impressed Brits call their ready member a biggie.
Cheesed off – A nice way of saying you’re upset.
Crusty dragon – Way better than any American slang, a crusty dragon is what the English call boogers.
Doddle – If something is easily accomplished than it’s a doddle. For example, it’s a doddle to find fish and chips in London.
Faff – Basically the equivalent of messing around and not getting anything done. Lots of British kids like to faff off when they have homework due.
Goolies – Since we taught you what a biggie is it only makes sense that you know what Goolies are, since they’re the two other members that comprise an erection.
Honking – This is the equivalent of throwing up or vomiting.
Nick – This is to steal, and can be used in the past tense, nicked, if something has already been stolen. But don’t go nicking things around London, the police might look funny but they’re deadly serious.
Pants – Perhaps the best example of British ridiculousness, pants is what people say when something isn’t good. For example, if you had a lousy waiter at a restaurant you might say the service was “total pants.”
Pissed – For travelers who like to imbibe this is an important one, getting pissed means to get drunk. So don’t react with horror if a local invites you out to get pissed.
Shag – If you’ve seen Austin Powers then you probably already know what this means, just be careful. It’s practically a dirty word in the UK and can be construed rudely.
For a much more comprehensive list head here, for explanations written by an actual Britisher.