How Many UK Slang Words Do You Know?

By: Deborah Beckwin
Estimated Completion Time
5 min
In America, a geezer means an old man. But in the UK, what does "geezer" mean?
Excited
A man
"Geezer" in the UK is used the same way Americans use the word "dude." It's a general term for a man (e.g., a bloke).
Drunk
Feeling ill

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If someone is "chuffed" about something, how are they usually feeling?
Happy and pleased
The word "chuff" has had multiple meanings over the centuries, including as a euphemism for a stronger curse word and to fart. But if someone is pleased or very happy, they're usually "chuffed to bits" or "chuffed to ribbons."
Irritated
Sad
Sickened

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Someone asks you to bring that "doofer" over there. What are you going to give them?
Not really sure
Whatever they're pointing to
Anything
All these answers are correct.
American English has words that mean the inscrutable--thingamajig, thingamabob, doohickey ... and then, for the UK, there's doofer. This seems to be derived from the words "do for" as in "that'll do for the job." So it really could be anything, you could be not sure or you need to see what the person is actually pointing at to be sure--it's just some thing.

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This may be more of an old fashioned term, but when something is a "corker," it usually means what?
A tight squeeze
Finished quickly
Best of the best, excellent
"Corker" typically means a really great thing or person. But sometimes, it can also means a comment that shuts down a conversation (puts a cork in it), i.e., there's an argument about who has the most goals in a football (soccer) match. Someone else finds the exact stats, and the argument is over.
About to burst with anger

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You're invited to a "knees up"--where are you going?
An elementary school
A doctor's appointment
A football match
A party
In the UK, a "knees-up" is a party, usually an informal get-together. It's also usually a lively party where there will be singing, dancing and drinking.

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Someone who is annoyed or irritable would be called what?
Touchy
Pissed
Chuffed
Narky
We all can't be happy all the time. Sometimes we're not in the best moods, and "narky" would be one UK way to describe being in a bad mood.

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If you hear the word "muppet," you may be thinking of puppets made by Jim Henson. But to a person from the UK, muppet means what?
A foolish or ignorant person
We have plenty of words for someone who believe is stupid or highly ignorant. "Muppet" is an insulting, derogatory word, similar to calling someone a moron or idiot.
A crybaby
A kind person
A drunk person

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If you have the "collywobbles" what DON'T you have?
Burning feelings of anger
Collywobbles could be a portmanteau of the words colic and wobbles. All the same, these are gut feelings of intestinal discomfort or feeling nervous (e.g., having butterflies in your stomach).
Diarrhea
Nervous feelings
Stomach or abdominal pain

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This is the name of a popular movie and musical--what does "the full monty" mean?
The whole thing
The movie and the musical have made "the full monty" be related to complete nakedness, especially from a man. But it really means going all the way or the whole thing.
To be completely drunk
To be broke or without any money
To be incognito, in disguise

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What does it mean if someone is serving at "Her Majesty's Pleasure"?
A euphemism for being married to a woman
They've been knighted.
They're in prison.
Her Majesty's Pleasure is a euphemism and a play on the acronym HMP, which means Her Majesty's Prisons. The acronym is in front of all UK prisons.
They work at a strip club.

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Something that is "tosh" means what in the UK?
Valuable
Nonsense
You probably know "rubbish" and "bollocks" from the UK, but tosh is another way that something is not only trash but that it's utter nonsense, too. Primarily now, it means balderdash and baloney.
Fun
Boring

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You get in a fight with someone and your British friend comes up to you and says, "Allow it." What does your friend want you to do?
Let yourself get punched.
Start hitting the other person.
Fight fairly.
Let it go.
"Allow it" (pronounced more like 'llow it) is slang for saying that whatever the problem or conflict is, it's just not worth it. Just let it go, walk away and move on.

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If you're just "faffing" around, then what are you doing?
Joking
Laughing loudly
Wasting your time
"Faffing" as a verb means to waste your time doing some useless activity. It's similar to "goofing off" in American vernacular.
Looking for your car in the parking lot

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You're sitting in a church pew at a wedding and your British friend walks up to you and says, "Budge up." What are they saying?
Scoot over.
Budging in American English is usually about not moving on something (e.g., I'm not going to budge on this rule). But in UK slang, it means you should move and make room, especially if you're sitting.
Get up.
Come with me.
Screw you.

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You're at a pub with your British friend, and looking at a woman talking a man, they remark, "Well, she's on the pull, innit?" What did your friend say?
She's very bored with the conversation.
She's looking to attract this guy.
When you're "on the pull," you're going out--whether to a bar or a club or a party--in the hopes of attracting someone. It may mean that you want to have sex with them. It's similar to being "on the prowl".
She's embarrassing herself.
She's too drunk.

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What is a rude way in the UK to tell someone to be quiet?
Shush!
Belt up!
The British are known for their impeccable manners and decorum, but that doesn't mean they can't tell someone to shut up. "Belt up" is their way of doing that.
Quiet, please!
Silence, s'il vous plait.

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You're waiting to see your favorite musical artist at a concert, but they never arrive. Your British friend says to you, "Well, this is a bit of a damp squib." What does "damp squib" mean?
A disappointment
If you were really looking forward to something, and then it turns out less excitingly than you had hope, you'd say it was a damp squib. A squib is type of firework, so if it's damp, then it can't be lit -- thus, no excitement. It's another way of saying that something is anticlimactic.
A great time
An interesting turn of events
A confusing situation

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If someone says that they're "legless," what is going on with them?
Too drunk to walk
As we all know, there are different stages of being drunk or inebriated. The "legless" stage means the person feels so drunk they can't even walk.
Their legs fell asleep.
They're afraid.
They have a car.

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"I just got paid! I feel minted!" How does this person feel?
Content
Wealthy
"Minted" is a slang term that you can probably understand the meaning of from the word mint, which is a place that creates money. Minted is slang for rich or wealthy.
Surprised
Legit

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You tell your British colleague about your new business idea, and they remark, "Wow, that's bloody brill!" What does your colleague think of your idea?
OK but not great
Stupid
Uncreative
Cool
"Brill" is slang for the word brilliant. In the UK, brilliant usually means wonderful, amazing, great, etc. It can also be used sarcastically in response to something such as an unwanted or undesired outcome.

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So here's the Cockney rhyming slang section of this quiz. What does "apples" mean?
Stairs
The full rhyme here is "apples and pears." And the missing word would be stairs. Used in a sentence: "After work, I ran up the apples and went straight to bed."
Maps
Street
Car

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"It's time to get on my plates and get moving." What does "plates" mean here?
Shoes
Feet
Do you know the rhyming phrase here? It's "plates of meat," which would make the only possible answer be "feet".
Hat
Jacket

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You ask your UK friend if they want to go out to dinner, and they reply, "Sorry, can't go out. I'm skint." Do you know what "skint" means?
Sick
Tired
Broke
Now this word from a Cockney rhyming phrase is very much from the 19th century because part of the phrase is "boracic (pronounced brassic) lint." Boracic lint is a special type of medical dressing used to treat leg ulcers. So the phrase is "boracic lint--skint"--and "brassic" would be another way to say "skint" or "broke."
Busy

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You walk up to a group of your friends and ask what they were talking about. Your British friend says, "Oh, we were just having a bubble." What were your friends up to?
Having some beers
Joking around
So this rhyming phrase is "bubble bath--laugh." And you may think, bath and laugh don't really rhyme, but there's this linguistic phenomenon in some dialects of British English (including Cockney) called th-fronting, where th's turn into v's or f's. So bubble bath is pronounced "bubble baf."
Telling stories
Arguing

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"I couldn't believe my mincers--there he was! I thought he was still overseas." What does "mincers" mean here?
Luck
Eyes
So here is the rhyming phrase for this slang word: mince pies--eyes. But you wouldn't say mince as the slang word from the phrase--you'd say mincers.
Mother
Heart

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Your British friend tells you, "Hey, pick up the dog." What do you need to pick up?
Takeout food
Phone
So here's the complete rhyming slang phrase--dog and bone: telephone. So the slang word here is dog, which won't make much sense outside the rhyming slang phrase.
Clothing
Mouth (Smile)

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What's the word that would go with "Hank Marvin"?
Carving
Marveling
Starving
So here's the whole rhyming phrase: hank marvin--starvin'. But this has a bit of a spin--it doesn't seem like you'd say just hank or some derivative of that. You'd say "Hank Marvin."
Starring

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If you've been "trollied," then what happened to you?
You got drunk.
In the UK, a trolley is a shopping cart. So if you're "trollied," then you're so intoxicated, you'd need to be moved around in a trolley.
Your car was towed.
You lost your job.
You got beaten in a fight or in a game.

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You ask your friend to go out for drinks on a Tuesday night, and they reply, "Oh, that's cheeky, but let's do it anyway!" What do they mean by "cheeky"?
Perfect
Evil
Intriguing
Naughty or mischievious
So one slang term that's come up in the is "Cheeky Nandos," which usually happens when you've been out late, probably drinking. Nandos is a chicken restaurant chain, and it'd be "cheeky" to go to get food late---spicy (because of the chicken), great--and maybe a little wrong but funny. It's become a phrase all on its own.

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You're out at a bar with your friends and you're about to go to another bar, but you've only had half of your drink. "You need to neck that drink," your British friend says. What do you need to do?
Leave it.
Pour it out.
Drink it quickly.
When you need to "neck" a drink, you need to drink it. It most likely has to do with, essentially, pouring a drink down your neck.
Give it to your friend to finish.

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You call your partner who is British and they say, "Love, it's been a long week, so I'm going out on the lash. I'll talk to you later." What are they doing?
They're using the bathroom.
They're stuck in a meeting.
They're out for a run.
They're out drinking.
In the U.S., one phrase we have for intentionally getting drunk is "tying one on." But for folks in the UK -- specifically younger folks -- going out on the lash is the slang phrase used.

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This is also an Australian slang word--what's "sherbet"?
Ice cream
Beer
"Sherbet" as beer is not an obvious slang word for those outside the UK or Australia. It's actually a fizzy powdered candy that you'd dip a finger or lollipop in. So the fizzy part is a connection to beer also being effervescent or bubbly.
Bubble gum
A pretty woman

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Your younger British colleague talks to you after your presentation at work and says that you "smashed" it. So how did they think you did?
Terribly
Very well
This is more of a younger person's term. It's similar to the American phrases, "nailed it!" or "killed it!" If you smash something, you did it with excellence (and usually with enthusiasm).
You were reckless.
Bravely

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This is a slang word from youth culture. What does "bants" mean?
Joking with friends
"Bants" is short for "banter" and it's mainly joking around with friends. If you had "mad bants" then you had a lot of fun joking with your friends.
Performing stunts
Getting sick from drinking
Crazy

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Your British friend smiles and says to you, "You're absolute ledge." What does your friend mean?
You're really uncool.
You're a bit crazy and you're scaring me.
You're on edge, calm down.
You're great.
"Ledge" is short for legend or legendary. So if someone says that you're a ledge or that you're ledge--it's a high compliment. And we think that you're absolute ledge for taking this quiz!

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