Common British Slang – Part 2

Welcome to the second part of my Common British Slang blog post. If you haven’t already, check out the first part of this two-part blog inspired by Intrepid English student, @tess, who asked us to teach her some common slang terms.

Today I’m going to take you through another 10 words and phrases which commonly crop up in casual and informal conversation in the UK.

So, here’s part 2 of our quick introduction to British slang.

1. Gander (noun)

A Gander is a look at something.

That’s their new house, let’s have a gander through the window while no-one’s home.

This is my new book, have a gander when you have a moment.

2. Gutted (adjective)

Gutted means to be extremely disappointed or upset.

I was gutted when I lost my brand new iPhone.

He was gutted when they broke up.

3. Kerfuffle (noun)

Kerfuffle is a disturbance or fight which occurs due to a disagreement.

There was a kerfuffle last night at the pub, I’m not sure why it started.

The gig was so much fun, but I almost got caught in a kerfuffle over a spilt drink with two guys standing next to me.

4. Knackered (adjective)

Knackered means that you are really tired.

What a day! I was up at 5am and I didn’t have a break until 3pm. I’m knackered.

Look at her face, she’s knackered.

5. Loo (noun) 

Loo means toilet, otherwise known as washroom, bathroom or restroom. It’s a very common word in British English.

I need to go to the loo.

Excuse me, where’s the loo?

6. Pissed (adjective)

This British slang word has two meanings; firstly to describe being annoyed at someone. Secondly to mean that someone is very drunk.

The first meaning of pissed has been adopted by our friends in the USA, but they rarely use it to mean someone who has had too much to drink.

He was really pissed that she was so late to meet his family.

Drinking on an empty stomach was a bad idea, he was bound to end up pissed.

7. Quid (noun)

Quid is a slang word which means ‘one British pound’. You can use it to talk about small or large amounts of money.

Could you lend us a couple of quid?

Do you have any change? I need a couple of quid for parking.

8. Skint (adjective)

Some British slang terms have been around for decades. Skint is one of them. The word Skint means you don’t have any money. It’s generally used to show that the situation is temporary.

I can’t come out tonight, I’m completely skint.

Poor things, they’re skint until he finds a new job.

9. Tosh (noun)

Tosh means something is nonsense.

He talks such tosh most of the time.

What a lot of tosh!

10. YOLO (acronym) 

This slang phrase has emerged in the last few years. YOLO literally means “you only live once,” it is meant to encourage people to seize the day and do what they want now.

While you may not hear many people say this one, you will definitely see it written on the internet or social media.

My life motto is YOLO.

Of course you should go on holiday – YOLO!  

Practise: Post a comment in our Community using one of the above phrases!

This blog was written by Intrepid English teacher, Jen.

Thanks for reading! Please visit my Intrepid English Teacher profile page to find out more about me and add me as a friend! 

If you enjoyed this blog, you’d love our ‘All Things Grammar’ Community. Come along and join in!  We love to help English learners, no matter where in the world they live, so please feel free to spread the love on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.


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