Phrases That Confuse Anyone Who Isn’t British; The Guide To Understanding Our Gibberish

I have seen the expressions on people’s faces when I say “bit nippy outside this arvie, better grab my brolly” (translation at the end); I have read the comments on Facebook asking what on earth people from this country are talking about, and so I give you: Understanding British Colloquialisms.

– “Bee’s knees”. Awesome!!!

– “Bob’s your uncle”. This just means ‘there you go, that was easy’. Gosh, these are actually quite hard to translate. It has become a phrase of its own over the years.

– “Blimey”. Golly. Gosh. Wow.

– “Chav”. I can only explain this with stereotypes, so I shall copy Google’s definition; ‘a young lower-class person typified by brash and loutish behaviour and the wearing of (real or imitation) designer clothes’. Very often the crotch of their trousers in more in the knee-area than anywhere else.

– “Chin-wag”. A favourite of mine. It means a chat. Do you say chat? It means a friendly talk.

– “Dodgy”. A bit out of place, or sometimes suspicious.

– “Donkeys years”. A vair vair long time. I am only now realising how often I use these words.

– “Fit”. There is no other way to say this; hot. As in, looks-wise.

– “Gobsmacked”. Absolutely shocked.

– “Gutted”. If you watched the apprentice at all, you will know this word’s meaning. If not, it means devastated.

– “Lurgy”. A bit under the weather. Which means a bit poorly. Which means a bit ill.

– “Minted”. Absolutely rolling in it. Which means extremely well off or rich.

– “Nicked”. Stolen.

– “Plastered”. Absolutely off your head. Drunk.

– “Quid”. A pound (money-wise. £).

– “Shirty”. “Ooh, he’s a bit shirty, must have had a fight with the missus,” to be used in context. It means a little bit cross or aggravated.

– “Starkers”. Completely in the nuddy-pants. To be wearing no clothes.

– “Sweet Fanny Adams.” This is used instead of a rude word which I shall not write, but I’m sure you’ll work it out. It means absolutely nothing at all.

– “Tickety-boo”. Everything’s great!

– “Tosh”. Utter rubbish.

So, to translate the first sentence I wrote; “It is quite cold outside this afternoon, I had better get my umbrella.” And also, another thing I have to clarify is this;

Pants: NOT trousers. It means knickers. I believe Americans call them ‘panties’ or ‘underwear’.

Chips: NOT crisps (as in, crunchy potato snacks). It means ‘fries’.

And I shall leave with something amusing I saw on the internet;


What it usually means: Optional hot drink.

What it means in England: Mandatory life fuel.


The British Flag. Not the English flag, as the internet would have me believe. Oh, internet.

I hope this clears things up!


4 thoughts on “Phrases That Confuse Anyone Who Isn’t British; The Guide To Understanding Our Gibberish

  1. says:

    hahahahaaaaaa… most of them i know but this takes me by suprise: “Sweet Fanny Adams.- what is that like saying? the “f” word???

    Liked by 1 person

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