20 Awesome British Slang Words You Need To Know

If you’re heading to the UK any time soon, then the chances are that you more or less know what you’re in for. However, whilst queuing, drinking tea and saying sorry are all stalwart parts of the British identity, there are a whole load of things out there which aren’t in the guidebooks and unless you know a British person, will probably never have heard.

Whilst the British people do indeed speak a little language known as “English”, it is a bit different to most versions spoken across the world. There are a whole list of British slang words and sayings that only seem to circulate around the United Kingdom and if you’re an outsider, it can be a little hard to grasp. Take note, then, of these 20 British slang words you need to now in order to function successfully in the UK. And yes, they are all real.

Gordon Bennett

James Gordon Bennett was a Scottish journalist who emigrated to America to found the New York Herald in 1835. “Gordon Bennett” is also a polite way in which the British people exclaim at something, replacing less genteel alternatives. Used interchangeably with “Cor blimey”, “Gordon Bennett” should be enforced when you are shocked at something but want to remain polite.


There’s no end of disastrous scenarios in the UK and many of them seem to revolve around the refined art of tea drinking. If you hear someone exclaim “crumbs” rather loudly, it’s normally because something has just gone wrong. Another polite way in which to voice shock and irritation.


“Git” is a wonderful British slang words as it can be used in pretty much any situation. A “git” is an unpleasant or contemptible (usually male) person; you don’t like them and they probably don’t like you. An “old git”, whilst also dreary, can be used to describe an older male who is a just a little difficult.


If someone proclaims loudly to have been hit in their “goolies”, get them to a doctor. The word is used to describe testicles and if you hear it being said loudly, it’s probably because something has gone wrong. Remove yourself from the situation.