Knowing British slang is indispensable to be able to speak like a native speaker, these typical English slangs will allow us to have a richer knowledge of the language and therefore communicate better. English is loaded with informal words, a very useful resource for knowing which word to use is the Cambridge dictionary. This will allow us to know synonyms of the word we want.
British slang – What is it?
British slang is a niche of its own, evolving, transforming and adapting from city to city and from year to year, just like the English language itself.
While the American slang has become almost universal with the influx of television shows, movies and other media filling the screens of a significant majority of the world’s media watching population, there is much more available once you dig beneath the surface of British slang terms and some real gems can be discovered beneath the surface.
Whether you keep up with all the drama surrounding the royal family or you’ve been watching series like Fleabag and Peaky Blinders, you’ve undoubtedly come across the strange and wacky words that make up British slang. While in the U.S. “bae” and “lit” exist, in the United Kingdom “bloke” and “legless” are used. In fact, the slang words of the two countries can be so divergent that it has been said that England and the United States are two nations separated by a common language.
Examples of English slang and slangs
The most commonly used examples of slang in English are divided into three, greetings, social and food related. All of them are extremely useful for communication and are used throughout the United Kingdom.
The most commonly used jargons when greeting are:
- Alright: means “Hello, how are you?
- Hiya: means hello
- What about ye?
- Howay: popular in the northeast of Ireland, it means let’s go.
- Ta: is another way of saying thank you.
- Cheers: is used to toast.
- Hey up: used to say hello.
- Long time no see: used to emphasize that you have not seen someone for a long time.
- Sup? is an abbreviation of what ‘s up?
- What’s cracking? is a variant of what’s happening?
The most commonly used jargons in a social context are:
- Do, bash, or get-together: used to designate a party or group meeting.
- Knees up: an old-fashioned term for a party.
- BYOB: is used to warn you to bring your own bottle.
- It’s your round! is used for small groups of colleagues who are paying for things in rounds.
- Chat up: for when you are flirting with someone.
- Snog: used when kissing with passion.
- Chin-wag: to tell gossip.
- Fancy a chin-wag? is a very juicy gossip, which you will love.
The typical English slangs most commonly used in the food industry are:
- Barm cake, cob, bap, or batch: it is a bun.
- Cuppa’ or brew: a cup of tea.
- The Fry-up or full English: is a fried breakfast, usually with eggs, bacon, sausage, baked beans, grilled tomatoes and toast.
- Brekkie: it’s breakfast.
- Supper: for some people, it means the evening meal.
- Gastropub: a pub specializing in food and drink.
- Chippy: is a fish and chip store.
How can I improve my English?
Knowing the typical English slangs is essential to be able to communicate naturally and fluently. Jargons allow us to modernize speech (or writing) as this is an indicator of knowledge of the language. Although anyone who studies English can access this type of knowledge, the best way to do so is through living and direct contact. That is, living in the UK can be a very positive factor when it comes to learning the jargon of the English language, as well as having native teachers.
Nacel offers various English courses very useful for learning the language, whether you want to study English online or in person with native teachers. Or even move to London to study and live the whole experience.
If you want to improve your English, there is nothing better than practicing with real conversations. When you talk to someone, you have to remember English vocabulary, use grammatical concepts but also do things like read the other person’s body language. All of this requires practice, which you get over time, but by being immersed 24/7 in an English context, the process will be much faster and you will learn more easily. Come to London to study real English with Nacel English School London!