A Guide to British Slang, Because Banter

The Luxe Nomad is all about immersing in the local culture. And in the United Kingdom — despite the English language — we’re sometimes a little lost in translation — especially when conversing with the young’uns. So, we’ve come up with a list of British slang to help you get by, blend in and banter like a true Londoner while travelling.

Read also: Why It’s Okay to be a Tourist and Not a Traveller

St. Paul's Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral

#1 A Cheeky Nandos

Definition: More than a national delicacy (albeit its South African / Portuguese origins) Nandos is a culinary experience that deserves its own adjective; cheeky.

Used in a sentence: “Know where we can grab a cheeky Nandos around here?”

#2 Arsey

Definition: Describing someone’s or one’s own sulky mood.

Used in a sentence: “He was being arsey last night when his team lost the match.”

#3 Banging

Definition: Something utterly fantastic.

Used in a sentence: “The party last night was banging, too bad you were jet-lagged, mate.”

#4 Bollocks 

Definition: Used to describe speech of complete nonsense, or definitely untrue.

Used in a sentence: “You’ve been everywhere in Asia, have you? What bollocks you on about?”

#5 Fit

Definition: Someone of physical attractiveness, as opposed to general health and muscle tone.

Used in a sentence: “I’m not from around here but I think you’re well fit — care to grab a pint with me?”

Big Ben

#6 Gutted 

Definition: To be disappointed or devastated about a situation.

Used in a sentence: “She was absolutely gutted when the museum was closed — again.”

#7 Innit / Dunnit

Definition: A butchery of “isn’t it” and “doesn’t it”, used at the end of a sentence for rhetorical confirmation or approval.

Used in a sentence: “That Christmas market looks good, dunnit?”

#8 Knackered 

Definition: Pure exhaustion.

Used in a sentence: “I just landed, innit, I’m knackered!”

#9 Pissed 

Definition: Definitely drunk, not to be mistaken for anger.

Used in a sentence: “Let’s get pissed.”

#10 Take the Piss 

Definition: When you’re joking around, or making fun of something or someone.

Used in a sentence: “No need to get arsey, mate, I was only taking the piss.”

Street stalls in Shoreditch
Street stalls in Shoreditch

#11 Chuffed

Definition: The opposite of gutted — that is to say, extremely pleased, happy, excited, or all of the above.

Used in a sentence: “I’m absolutely chuffed about this hotel room — it looks smashing!”

#12 Bants

Definition: An abbreviation of “banter”, which means to exchange witty and enjoyable conversation with someone.

Used in a sentence: “She was fit, but the bants was lacking.”

 #13 Bum

Definition: To seek permission to take something from someone without the intention of necessarily paying them back for it.

Used in a sentence: “Mind if I bum a fag off you?”

#14 Arsed

Definition: Not to be confused with arsey, to be arsed is to not be bothered.

Used in a sentence: “Do we have to get up that early for brunch? I can’t be arsed.”

#15 Ledge

Definition: The abbreviation of “legend”, which is an exaggeration used to describe someone that’s done something great, or is just a well-liked person.

Used in a sentence:  “Everyone knows James, he’s an absolute ledge in London!”

Ace (amazing)getaways

Photo credits: Main, 1, 2, 3 and 4

Diandra Soliano

Our resident Wander Woman with a passion for languages, big cities and bronzer. When she's not listening to The Smiths a little too loudly at the office (after hours!), she can be found singing along to the soundtrack of Les Miserables with her two cats for an audience.

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