Can You Pass This UK Slang Quiz?

By: Allison Lips

Can You Pass This UK Slang Quiz?
Image: Viktorcvetkovic / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

American English and British English have a lot in common. There are also many words that they do not share. An American puts their groceries in the trunk of a car, while the British call the rear compartment the boot. Americans go on vacation, while the British prefer to go on holiday. At a fair, Americans eat cotton candy, but the British call it candy floss. 

Those are common words, but they are not slang per se because they are used as the proper terms for those items. Slang is informal. An example of slang would be a British person describing someone they are attracted to as "fit."

Some British slang comes from cockney rhyming slang, such as "butcher's hook," which means "take a look" and can be abbreviated to "butcher's." However, "Bob's your uncle," which currently means "there you have it" is not a case of rhyming slang. It may come from the time Robert 'Bob" Cecil unpopularity appointed his nephew as Chief Secretary of Ireland.

Are you a native British English speaker? Or are you an Anglophile with an affinity for British English? Do you think you're an expert on British slang? How many of the following words do you recognize? Take this quiz to find out how much you know about British slang! We promise you won't find it naff or rubbish! Maybe you'll even think it's brill! 

If you're out with your "mates," who are you with?
Family
Friends
"Mate" is also used to address strangers in informal situations. The American English equivalent is "pal."
Strangers
Students

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Why would you be "chuffed" about receiving a good grade?
It means you're happy.
"Chuffed" is often used in the phrase "chuffed to bits." The word originates from a 1950s dialect where chuff meant "plump or pleased."
It's means you're not surprised.
It means you're angry.
It means you could have done better.

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Why would someone be concerned if you've "lost the plot?"
You're running late.
You're getting angry.
You're not acting normally.
To "lose the plot" is to act in a disorganized or irrational manner. It can also mean to no longer understand a situation.
You're unable to finish a book.

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What does it mean to "kip" on a friend's sofa?
Lay
Stand
Sit
Sleep
A "kip" usually takes place in somewhere that is not your own bed. It often refers to a nap.

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Why would you be wary about something that is "wonky?"
It is not trustworthy.
"Wonky" can also refer to something that is not level. Another definition is something that is unsatisfactory.
It is explosive.
It is bad.
It is unnecessary.

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If something is "dodgy," why would you not want it?
It's useless.
It's broken.
It's questionable.
"Dodgy" entered English in the 1860s with the meaning of evasive or tricky. It also means anything that is not sound or reliable.
It's ugly.

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How does a "nutter" behave?
Foolishly
While Americans would say someone is a "nut," a British English speaker would say they are a "nutter." A "nutter" is someone who behaves strangely. It can also be used to describe someone who is insane, but that usage is offensive.
Altruistically
Kindly
Impartially

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What does it mean to "nick" an item?
Steal
If you "nick" something, you may get "nicked." "Nick" is used to mean both "to steal" and "to be arrested."
Play with
Use
Borrow

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If someone asks you for "quid," what are they referring to?
Clothing
Food
The American dollar
The British pound
The origin of "quid" is not known for certain. However, the prevailing theory is that it comes form the Latin phrase "quid pro quo," which means "one thing for another."

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What is someone feeling if they have the "collywobbles?"
Happy
Queasy
"Collywobbles" is used to describe stomach pain. It can also be used in cases of extreme anxiety or nervousness.
Hungry
Restless

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Why would you not want to be involved with a "dog's dinner?"
It's a complete mess.
A "dog's dinner" means the same thing as a "dog's breakfast." The phrase can also be used in "dressed like a dog's dinner," which means dressed inappropriately for an occasion.
It's a dangerous situation.
It's an unwise decision.
It's bad advice.

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If someone says their child is attending "uni," where is their kid?
School
Music lessons
Playing sports
University
"Uni" is a shortened form of university. It entered English in the late 19th century from Australia.

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What are "bits and bobs?"
A random assortment of things
"Bits and bobs" can also refer to many different types of little jobs. Synonyms include hodgepodge and mishmash.
The important pieces of information
Bad news
Things you shouldn't worry about

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Why would you dismiss something that is "rubbish?"
It's good news.
It's interesting.
It's nonsense.
"Rubbish" means worthless or untrue. It can also refer to trash as in "rubbish bin," which in American English would be called a trashcan.
It's bad news.

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When two friends have a "chinwag," what are they doing?
Having a chat
A chinwag can be about everyday life, such as gossip. It is a pleasant conversation.
Having an argument
Discussing important matters
Drinking together

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If someone is "cheesed off" about something, how are they feeling?
Excited
Happy
Meh
Annoyed
"Cheesed off" can also mean disappointed with something. The origin is unknown, but it was first recorded in the mid-1900s.

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If someone is talking a load of "codswallop," what are they saying?
Important information
A long speech
Nonsense
Codswallop was first recorded in the 1960s. Synonyms include balderdash, claptrap, and baloney.
Directions

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Why would someone consider "dosh" to be desirable?
It's money.
In the 1950s, "dosh" began to be used. Synonyms for "dosh" include "moolah" and "cheddar."
It's good news.
It's an attractive woman.
It's an attractive man.

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What kind of media is a "gogglebox?"
Computer
Television
The slang "gogglebox" dates to the mid-1900s. The word is also the name of a British reality show where people watch television and their reactions are filmed.
A newspaper
Radio

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Why might you lay down if you're "knackered?"
You're sick.
You're depressed.
You're tired.
Not only does "knackered" mean very tired, it can also mean broken or two old to use. The word is also used in Australia.
You're dizzy.

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What does it mean for something to go "pear-shaped?"
It went horribly wrong.
The term "pear-shaped" likely originates as Royal Air Force slang. The phrase is mainly used in the United Kingdom, but can occasionally be heard in Ireland, Australia, and South Africa.
It went extremely well.
It literally resembles a fruit.
It is mildly uninteresting.

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Why does a "skint" person have little of?
Knowledge
Luck
Common sense
Money
"Skint" means penniless. It was first record in the 1920s.

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Why wouldn't teenagers want their parents to catch them "snogging?"
They're kissing.
A "snog" is a long period of kissing and cuddling. The word was first documented in the 1940s.
They're stealing.
They're fighting.
They're cheating.

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What does someone who is "naff" lack?
A car
Money
Common sense
Style
"Naff" was first used in the 1950s. It can be used to be a lack of taste or in the phrase "naff off" to tell someone to go away.

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Why would you be disappointed if your host served you "plonk" at a party?
It's cheap wine.
"Plonk" is inferior wine. It was first used in 1930s Australia.
It's greasy food.
It's terrible food.
It's overcooked meat.

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Why would you visit the "off-licence" for a party?
It's a fancy bakery.
It's a party store.
It's a supermarket.
It's a liquor store.
An off-licence sells alcoholic beverages that are consumed elsewhere. The word also refers to the licence that permits alcohol sales.

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Why would someone describe another person as "all mouth and no trousers?"
That person boasts, but cannot back up their claims.
"All mouth and no trousers" is sometimes said as "all mouth and trouser." An American may say all bark and no bite.
That person is not very bright.
That person has no backbone.
That person is an embarrassment.

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If two people are having an "argy-bargy," what are they doing?
Chatting
Arguing
In the early-1800s, argy-bargy was first used. It is a reduplication that comes from Scots and English dialect "argy," which means argue.
Having a fist fight
Drinking together

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Why would you be impressed by a "corker?"
They are outstanding.
"Corker" can be used to describe a person or thing. It can also refer to a remark that cannot be argued with, so it ends a discussion.
They are intelligent.
They are charming.
They insert corks into wine bottles.

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What does it mean to "earwig?"
Eavesdrop
Earwigs are small insects with what look like pincers. They were once thought to crawl into human ears. This is where the slang comes from.
Disrupt
Party
Laugh

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Why would someone be impressed if you "know your onions?"
You're knowledgeable.
"Know one's onions" means to be knowledgeable or skilled in a subject. Synonyms are to be a master or qualified in some subject.
You're talented.
You're a showoff.
You're interesting.

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Why would you get frustrated with a "numpty?"
They're ignorant.
They're stupid.
A "numpty" is a stupid or ineffectual person. The word is of Scottish origin and was first used in the 1980s.
They're slow.
They're always angry.

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What does it mean to "skive" off school?
Avoid without permission
The meaning "to avoid school or work without permission" was first recorded in the late 1800s. It may be derived from the French word "esquiver," which means "to dodge or evade."
Stay home sick
Dislike
Cheat on a test

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What are other people doing to you if you are "taking the mickey?"
Giving you presents
Complimenting you
Yelling at you
Teasing you
"Taking the Mickey" comes from Cockney rhyming slang for "taking the piss." If you are teasing someone, then you would be "taking the Mickey out of" them. Sometimes people will substitute "Mick" or "Michael" for "Mickey."

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What does it mean to "wag off" school?
Leave early
"Wag off" means to be truant. It can also mean to waste time.
Sleep
Stay late
Joke around during class

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