10 British Slang Words You Should Know

In order to really master a new language, you need to learn to speak like the locals. Each country has its own collection of slang words, words that mean something unique in that country.

As you can imagine, there are a huge number of British slang words in use around the UK (and sometimes beyond). We’ve compiled ten of the most common slang words that you might hear during a trip or an English course in the United Kingdom.

You can also check out our useful Australian slang, Canadian slang, and New Zealand slang posts.

British slang - a brew
A freshly made brew

Here’s a list of 10 British slang words for you to use:

A brew – a cup of tea

“Let me make you a brew.”

Barmy – crazy or mad (England’s cricket supporters are known as the Barmy Army)

“The weather today is a bit barmy.”

Cheers  - a popular way of saying thanks (you can also use it when you’re having drinks with friends and make a toast)

“Cheers for the drink, Tom.”

Cracking/Smashing – really good

“I saw a cracking film last night.” “Yeah, it really was smashing.”

Gobsmacked - to be really shocked or amazed about something (gob is slang for mouth)

“I was gobsmacked at his new haircut.”

Gutted - really upset or disappointed

“I’m gutted that Arsenal lost at the weekend.”

Knackered - very tired, exhausted

“I am knackered after going for a run earlier.”

Mate – an informal way of saying friend

“Cheers, mate,” is one of the most common phrases you will hear in the UK.

Shambles – disorganized, a mess

“That meeting was a complete shambles.”

Taking the mickey– making fun of something

“Are you taking the mickey out of my new hat?”

The best way to learn British slang is to pop over to the UK and take an English course!

If you know any more useful British slang or we’ve missed any of your favorites, let us know in the comments.

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