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A glossary of classic English slang  -  English Language study resources

These slang expressions are regularly used in contemporary English, specially in Britain. Some of them are well established, but most are recent or new words or phrases.
  With some exceptions (i.e. for contrast), this list does not include a lot of very well-established slang words that appear in all good dictionaries. It does not include SMS or "text" language. It does not include dialectal or regional slang, unless these are understood well beyond their region; it does not include swear words or "bad language"; and it does not include words that are simply phonic transcriptions of other words or expressions, and are not used in written language (example: gonna for going to, shouda for should have).
  Words marked "impolite" should be avoided in most situations.

A Word of Warning:

Learning slang is not particularly useful for the learners of English, except those who actually live in an English-speaking country. Most slang words are either short-lived, or else regional (dialect). Among teenagers, slang changes at a remarkable speed in the age of social media. More generally, London slang from the 1980's would for instance be largely incomprehensible to a New Yorker in the 2020's ! Slang is only required (or cool) in contexts where people expect slang to be used.... which means essentially among native speakers... and even then only among the groups that commonly use slang, and only the right kind of slang. Using slang in other situations may be entirely inappropriate. Using the wrong slang will always be inappropriate, and often incomprehensible. The essential value of this glossary is therefore to allow students to understand slang used by others, rather than to encourage its use.

ace: really good, exceptional.

anorak: very boring person, person who has no character.

ballistic: furious, extremely angry (as in "He'll go ballistic when he hears that")

bash, have a bash: (1) try to do something, (2) have a party.

bird: woman, female.

blab: talk, give away secrets

blag: talk in persuasive language (blag in, blag out). (Do not confuse with brag, to boast)

blown away by: very impressed by.

box, on the box: television, on TV.

brass: money.

brill: really good, brilliant.

broke (adjective): without any money.

bucks: dollars.

bum around: go round doing nothing.

chav: aggressive cultureless teenager or young person, with no social aspirations, and probably jobless.

chick : girl

chill out: stop being excited, become calm. (c.f. cool it.)

Chinese, go for a Chinese: have a take-away Chinese meal.

chippie: fish and chip shop

cool it: don't get excited, be more calm, calm down.

cool: good, fashionable.

crack up: (1) disintegrate under pressure, (2) laugh uncontrollably.

crap (impolite): excrement, shit, something with no value.

crash (out): go to bed, go to sleep

cut it out: shut up, stop talking.

cut up (adjective): distressed, sad.

do over: burgle, steal from

dope: drugs.

doss: sleep

dough: money

dude: person, man This glossary is Copyright

easy, I'm easy; I don't mind, I have no preference one way or the other.

fazed: worried, disconcerted (and unfazed: cool, calm.)

fag (noun): (GB) cigarette: (USA) homosexual, gay.

fire: really cool

flak, take the flak: criticism, blame, take the blame

flake out : collapse, be completely exhausted

funny farm: hospital for mentally retarded people, asylum.

grand: thousand (pounds or dollars)

grass (noun): 1. cannabis. 2. An informer. (also supergrass).

grass (verb): to give information about someone (to the police or the authorities).

grub: food.

gutted: very annoyed, very angry with oneself

guy: man, boy, person

hair, keep your hair on: stay calm, don't get alarmed

half a mo' :  wait a minute, hold it !

halls: university student residences.

hand, lend a: help.

hang on: wait

hell of a (adjectival expression): enormous, giant, big.

high, he's on a high: elated, in a very good mood.

high: he's high: he's under the influence of drugs.

hold it !  : stop, pause

hold on! : hold it, wait,

hole in the wall: cash distributor, cash machine, ATM

hump, he's got the hump.... : he's (very) angry with ...

iffy: dubious, of dubious quality

item : as in they're an item - a couple, people living together

kip: sleep

knackered: tired, exhausted

knock someone up: (GB) wake someone up: (USA - impolite) get a girl pregnant .

knot, tie the knot: get married.

lad: brash young man who tries to be popular with other lads, see lager lout. (Traditionally, a lad is just a Scottish word meaning a boy or young man)

ladette: female version of lad

lager-lout: hooligan, young male who drinks too much cheap beer.

lass: girl, young lady (Traditional Scottish word)

mate: friend

mental: mad, stupid, idiotic.

miffed: disconcerted, taken aback

naf, naff: of poor quality, rubbish

neat: really good, appreciated.

nerd: person who is passionately interested in computers.

nick (noun): prison

nick (verb): take, steal

pad: the place you live in.

PIN number: personal identification number used at a hole in the wall.

piss off: go away, stop it

  piss off, as in  You piss me off: You bore or annoy me.

pissed off: angry, fed up

pissed: drunk.

plastic: plastic bank card, Visa card etc.

Pond: the Atlantic Ocean

pop pills: take drugs

psyched up: tense, anxious

puke: vomit, be sick

quid: pound (sterling)

rat, to rat on someone: to give information about someone.

sack, hit the: go to bed.

sad: pathetic, poor, opposite of cool.

sarnie: sandwich.

score with... : have sex with...

screenager :  person who spends their time looking at their computer, iPad, mobile phone or TV - neologism based on the words screen and teenager, though applicable to all ages.

screw, have a screw loose: be mentally retarded.

screw: (a) extort money from a person, overcharge for something. (b) (impolite) have sex with a person.

screw it up: do something very badly, fail at something (e.g. an exam)

screwball: idiot.

shack up with: live with.

shattered: very tired, distressed

shit: excrement, haschich, something bad, bad, or just an expletive.

shoot down to: go quickly to...(e.g. shoot down to the station).

shoot up: inject a drug (such as heroin).

sickie, take a: be absent from work because you are (or are pretending to be) sick.

skint : as in I'm skint : I don't have any money

skive: avoid work, avoid going to work.

slag someone off: to say unpleasant things about someone to other people.

slag: a woman who sleeps around with different men.

sleep around: have sex with lots of different people.

sleep over: spend the night at someone else's house.

slog, a hard s.: something very difficult.

snog: kiss, embrace.

stoned: under the influence of cannabis.

strapped: short of money.

suss out: work out, find the solution

a swift one: a quick drink.

switch, hit the: turn on or turn off (TV, etc.)

takeaway: restaurant seeling take-away food.

tick : a very short period of time, as in "Wait a tick!"

throw up: vomit, be sick (puke).

twisted, he's twisted: he is a bit strange.

twit: idiot, stupid person.

unfazed: cool, calm

wank: masturbate

wanker: (impolite) stupid person, un-cool person

wheelie, do a: cycle with the front wheel in the air.

wheels: car, vehicle.

wicked: fantastic, really good.

wind up: to tease or try to deliberately aggravate someone

Yucky, yug, yuggy: disgusting, unpleasant 

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