January 21, 2020

British slang in everyday conversation

0 minute read

When you’re speaking English, the best way to come across more naturally is to let yourself loosen up and have fun – and introducing a little slang into your conversation is the perfect way to do this! Here we take a closer look at some great pieces of British slang – see how you can incorporate some of them into your daily conversation!

1. Bob’s your uncle

A commonly used piece of slang across the UK which can be hard to understand at first – this doesn’t have anything to do with your actual relatives! It’s actually used to express when you are dealing with a problem, and it is resolved or easily sorted out.

Eg. “You can’t get your phone to work? Just switch it off, move the battery around and turn it back on – and - Bob’s your uncle!”

2. Really chuffed

This piece of English slang is used to describe being really happy or pleased at something, particularly an achievement, or something you’re proud of.

Eg. “My mum was really chuffed that I had the highest score in my entire college!”

3. Not my cup of tea

You can use this understated piece of English slang to express when something is not to your preference or liking.

Eg. “I don’t want to see an action movie – they’re really not my cup of tea.”

4. The local

A really common phrase you’ll hear all over the UK is “going down to the local”. This refers to a favourite pub or club in your area.

Eg. “After work, we’re all planning to go down to the local for a few celebratory pints.”

5. The dog’s bollocks

The British use of the word ‘bollocks’ can often be confusing, so for our last three pieces of slang, we’ll take a closer look. This first phrase is often used to describe something exceptionally good or brilliant.

Eg. “The new computer program works so well – it really is the dog’s bollocks.”

6.  Bollocks!

By contrast to the above, when you use the word ‘bollocks’ on its own, it often means the total opposite! It’s usually used as an exclamation for when something goes wrong.

Eg. “Bollocks! The car’s broken down again.”

7. Give (or get) a bollocking

Last but not least – you can even use the word ‘bollock’ as a verb. Giving someone a bollocking, or receiving a bollocking, means getting told off or being chastised in a very extreme and embarrassing way.

Eg. “It was awful – the boss came down and gave her a huge bollocking right in front of everyone else.”