"You're a Right Tosspot": A Guide To The Best Britishisms

WARNING: Features swears.
Publish date:
April 4, 2013
learning, swearing, British stuff, words mean things

As you'll know if you watched the video Mandy took of me when i visited the xo offices, I am British. More specifically, I am English. Even more specifically than that, I am Southern. I live right at the bottom of the map so pretty much as Southern as you'll get.

We Brits are a funny sort. We have so many different accents and dialects from mile to mile that someone 50 miles away will have a completely different way of communicating than their cousins down the road. (Or, t'road, if you're from Yorkshire.)

I've noticed in the comments that you love a good British colloquialism, so here, for your reading pleasure, I have put together a guide to the very best we have to offer. WARNING: Swears.

The Two Most Important Ones:

Right: Really. As in "I am right tired" would mean "I am really tired."

Well: Very. "He's well clever!"

My Favourites:

Battered: Very drunk. "Jesus. I was battered last night."

Bell-end/bell: Someone who is an idiot. Refers to the foreskin. "God that bloke is the biggest bell."

Bits and bobs: A selection of things. For example, my desk is covered in bits and bobs.

Bollocks to it: This means "I probably won't bother with that anymore"

Bugger: This one is excellent and has many uses. It can be used to say you're tired -- "God, I'm buggered", as a general swear -- "Oh, bugger!" or if something is broken -- "It's fucked to buggery!" It's a good multipurpose swear.

Bender: A large scale drinking marathon. "I went on a right bender this weekend."

Clunge: A horrible word for your fanny.

Cunt: OK so we use this in various guises. It's generally affectionate, but can also be very offensive. One to use with care. "Cunty" is when someone getting narky with you. "Cunted" means steaming drunk. "I was well cunted!"

Cuppa: A cup of tea. "Can you pop the kettle on? I'm making a cuppa."

Daft: Silly. As in "Ahh, don't be daft, of course I like you!" to someone being needy.

Dicky tummy: A stomach bug. "I can't come out tonight, I've got a dicky tummy."

Divvy: An idiot. See an example from a tweet I saw last night: "Oh pipe the fuck down North Korea you gang of divvies."

Fag: A cigarette. "Can I have a fag?" means simply, "Could you spare me one of your cigarettes, good friend?"

Fit: Someone who is very attractive. "Cor, she's well fit!"

Faff: To faff is to dither. I hate faffing. Gets right on my tits. "Eugh, he is SUCH a faffer!"

Fanny: Your vagina. This is why we always find it hilarious that you call bumbags "fanny packs."

Getting off with: Making out with. "Yeah I got off with him on the night-bus, no biggie."

Gimme a bell: Call me.

Kip: A power-nap. "Just popping home for a kip before we go on our massive bender."

Knackered: Extremely tired. "I'm well knackered!"

Mug: If you're a mug, it means you're gullible. Can be used as such: "I feel like a right mug!" and also "Don't mug me off!"

Naff: Something that's not very good. Can also be used to tell someone to piss off; "Oh naff off!"

Narky: Moody. Or can be used like so: "I've got the right nark-on with Dave down the road." Mardy is another good word for moody.

Nicked: Something stolen, or something that has "fallen off the back of a lorry". Ie; "I like those sunglasses on that market stall but I think they might be nicked."

Nob: Penis/Someone who you take a dislike to. "He's such a nob!"

Out on the piss: Out to get drunk.

Piss poor: A very poor attempt at something. "Man, that was piss poor!"

Pissed: Drunk. "I am SO PISSED!" would mean that you're really really drunk and on the verge of vomiting.

Ponce: Someone who is a bit of a Nob, and a poser. Can be found in tacky nightclubs sending girls bottles of cheap champagne.

Scouser: Someone from Liverpool.

Skive off: Skip school/work and lay on the sofa even though you aren't really ill.

Sod off: Piss off.

Stitched me up like a kipper: Someone has taken advantage of your good nature and done wrong by you. "I feel like a right mug! Dave's stitched me up like a kipper!"

Sweeties: Candy. GOD, I LOVE SWEETIES.

Ta: Thank you. Also: cheers.

Tad: A little bit. See also: smidgen. "A smidgen of sugar in my tea, please."

Todger: Your penis.

Tosser/Tosspot: Used in the same way as "Nob." Usually only refers to males.

Wang: An idiot. "She is such a bloody wang, that girl!" Can also be a word for a penis.

Wanging on: Not shutting up. "God, I wish my boss would stop wanging on about me being late."

Wanker: Another word for an idiot, derived from someone who would wank a lot; ie; masturbate.

Whoopsie Daisy!: Means oops. Can be used effectively if you trip over -- when regaining your balance you say "whoopsie daisy!"

That should give you a decent overview of a few of my favourite Britishisms that I would LOVE for you to drop into conversation today. I would love for you to fall over in the office and exclaim "Whoopsie daisy!" and then refer to your colleague as "a massive wang" when they laugh at you, and maybe scream "STOP MUGGING ME OFF YOU CUNT!" -- it's all good, trust me.

What are your favourite Britishisms (if you have any)? Have I missed any particularly good ones off? Ever tried to use one and it went horribly wrong? What's your favourite slang from your own country? GO GO GO!

Wanging on over on Twitter: @Natalie_KateM