Discover the Essence of British Culture Through its 120 Most Essential Slang Words and Phrases.

British slang is a unique aspect of the English language that has become increasingly popular and important in contemporary culture. In general, slang is a way for people to express themselves more casually and informally, using vocabulary and phrases that are often not considered standard or proper language.
Rodrigo Demetrio
4 minutes

Introduction to British slang: What it is and why it matters

British slang is a unique aspect of the English language that has become increasingly popular and important in contemporary culture. In general, slang is a way for people to express themselves more casually and informally, using vocabulary and phrases that are often not considered standard or proper language.

British slang words, in particular, have gained worldwide recognition and are now used frequently in popular music, television, and films.

These words can be challenging for non-native English speakers, as they often have different meanings than their standard English counterparts.

Here, we will explore the origins of British slang, its evolution over time, and why it matters today.

A brief history of British slang: From Cockney rhyming slang to modern-day lingo

British slang has a long and rich history, with various forms of slang evolving over the centuries. The most famous form of British slang is Cockney rhyming slang, which originated in the 19th century among the working-class residents of East London.

Cockney rhyming slang is a type of code language, where a word or phrase is substituted with a rhyming phrase. For example, the phrase "apples and pears" is used to mean "stairs," and "dog and bone" is used to mean "phone." This type of slang became widely popular among Cockney speakers and has since become an iconic aspect of British culture.

In the early 20th century, British slang evolved by introducing new words and phrases from various sources, including the military and other subcultures. This led to the development of new forms of slang, such as "Polari," a slang language used by gay men and performers in the 20th century.

In the 1960s and 70s, British slang underwent another significant transformation with the emergence of youth culture and the counterculture movement. The introduction of new music genres, such as rock and roll, and the influence of American culture, led to the creation of new slangs.

Today, British slang continues to evolve and adapt to new cultural and social changes. Modern-day lingo includes a wide range of slang terms, from regional dialects to internet slang. Some examples of modern British slang include "peng" (meaning attractive or good-looking), "bare" (meaning a lot of something), and "banter" (meaning playful teasing or joking around).

Essential British slang for everyday conversation: Greetings, expressions, and phrases

British culture is known for its rich history, unique traditions, and distinct language. One aspect of British language that is generally acceptable is its use of slang words and phrases, which are widely used in everyday conversations.

Slang words are colloquial expressions that are not typically found in standard dictionaries, but are instead part of the everyday life language of a particular group or region. In the case of British slang, it is a reflection of the country's diverse history and cultural influences.

British slang words are often used to add humor, sarcasm, or irony to a conversation, for example easy peasy also means saying something is easy but humorously. They can also be used to establish a sense of belonging or identity within a group. It's worth noting that while some British vocabulary may have similar meanings to American slang, they often have different connotations or associations.

For example, the British word "bloke" is a term for a man, while the American slang word "dude" is more casual and this example can refer to both men and women.

20 essential British slang words and phrases for everyday conversation

  1. Cheers - This can be used as a greeting or a way to say thank you.
  2. Mate - A casual term for a friend.
  3. Blimey - An exclamation of surprise or shock.
  4. Dodgy - Suspicious or unreliable.
  5. Nitwit - Being a bit silly.
  6. Daft - A bit stupid.
  7. Tacky - A bit naff.
  8. Bollocks - A swear word for nonsense.
  9. Gobsmacked - Astonished or speechless.
  10. Trolleyed - Drunk or intoxicated.
  11. Skint - Broke or without money.
  12. easy peasy - Easy.
  13. Brolly - An umbrella.
  14. Cheeky - Being mildly silly.
  15. Loo - A bathroom or restroom.
  16. Tosser - An annoying person.
  17. Fiver - A five-pound note.
  18. Chav - A derogatory British slang term for a young, lower-class person who wears flashy clothes and behaves in a rude or aggressive manner.
  19. Naff - A British term for something that is uncool or in bad taste.
  20. Codswallop - Another British word for nonsense.
Source: Your Dictionary

British slang for food and drink: Ordering in a pub, tea time, and more

Source: Cosmopolitan

British culture is often associated with its love of food and drink, as well as the unique language used to order and describe these items. From ordering a pint in a pub to enjoying afternoon tea, the British have developed a rich vocabulary that are unique to their culinary traditions.

True Brit has vocabulary for food and drink originates in regional dialects or historical influences.

For example, the word "scran" is a northern English slang term for food, while "bangers and mash" is a classic British dish of sausages and mashed potatoes. Other slang terms, like "brew" for tea or "pint" for a glass of beer, are more widely used throughout the England just like "muddy mush" and "pork pies".

20 British slang words and phrases for food and drink

  1. Full English - A traditional British breakfast that includes eggs, bacon, sausage, baked beans, mushrooms, and toast.
  2. Bubble and squeak - A dish made from leftover vegetables, typically mashed potatoes and cabbage.
  3. Sarnie - A sandwich.
  4. Crisps - Potato chips.
  5. Pudding - A sweet dessert, such as cake, pie, or custard.
  6. Grub - A slang word for food.
  7. Kipper - A smoked herring that is often eaten for breakfast.
  8. Posh nosh - High-quality or fancy food.
  9. Bap - A soft roll used for sandwiches.
  10. Tattie - A Scottish slang word for potato.
  11. Butty - A sandwich, particularly one made with bacon or sausage.
  12. Plonk - A slang term for cheap or low-quality wine.
  13. Biscuit - A cookie.
  14. Fizzy drink - A carbonated beverage.
  15. Top up - A request to refill a drink.
  16. Lashings of - A phrase used to describe a generous amount of something, such as cream or gravy.
  17. Elevenses - A mid-morning snack, typically accompanied by tea or coffee.
  18. Pint of the usual - A request for a regular order at a pub or bar.
  19. Scoff - A word for eating.
  20. Fish and chips - A classic British dish consisting of battered fish and fried potatoes.

These 20 words and phrases for food and drink offer a glimpse into the unique culinary traditions and vocabulary of England and British people generally. By using these slang terms, you can immerse yourself in British culture and feel more at home in the country.

And with the prevalence of slang in popular British TV shows and movies, like "Peaky Blinders" and "Love Actually," you might find that these phrases are already familiar to you.

Souce: Engdic

British slang for socializing and nightlife: Parties, clubs, and events

Source: JLL

British culture is known for its love of socializing and nightlife. From parties and clubs to events, music (hip hop and other genres) and festivals, the British have a rich vocabulary of slang words and phrases that are unique to their social traditions.

Socializing and nightlife are a very British pleasure, and British people have a wide range of slang words and phrases to describe these activities. For example, the word "shindig" is a fun and lively party, while "sesh" is short for "session" and is often used to describe a night out with friends.

Slang used by British people for socializing and nightlife is often used in casual or informal settings. Using these words, you can show your familiarity with British culture and fit in with the locals.

20 British slang words and phrases for socializing and nightlife

  1. Pissed - A British term for being very drunk.
  2. Bangers - A slang word for good music.
  3. Bladdered - Another term for being drunk.
  4. Cheeky Nando's - Going to the popular British chain restaurant Nando's with friends.
  5. Gaff - A British term for someone's house or apartment.
  6. Gutted - Feeling disappointed or let down.
  7. Fiver - A five-pound note.
  8. Goss - Short for gossip.
  9. Knackered - Tired or exhausted.
  10. Lurgy - A British term for being sick.
  11. Mates - Friends.
  12. Natter - A chat or conversation.
  13. Absolutely Knackered - Super tired.
  14. Peckish - Slightly hungry.
  15. Quids - Slang for the British pound.
  16. Razzle-dazzle - Something that is exciting or impressive.
  17. Skint - Being broke or without money.
  18. Take the mickey - Making fun of someone.
  19. Uni - Short for university or college.
  20. Wanker - A derogatory term for someone who is disliked.

These 20 British slang terms and phrases for socializing and nightlife offer a glimpse into the unique vocabulary and culture of the people of UK. By using these slang terms, you can immerse yourself in British English and feel more at home in the country.

British slang for work and business: Professional vocabulary and jargon

Source: BBC

In the world of work and business, the British have a unique vocabulary and jargon that reflects their culture and traditions. Understanding these terms is essential to communicating effectively in a professional setting in the UK. British English is different from American English, and using the right terms is crucial for clear communication.

Some British words used in the workplace are rarely used in American English, such as "CV" for resume and "fortnight" for a period of two weeks. Similarly, some British terms for job positions may be unfamiliar to those outside of the UK, such as "solicitor" for a lawyer and "barrister" for a trial lawyer.

20 more British slang terms for work and business

  1. Ace - excellent, first-rate
  2. Chuffed - pleased or happy
  3. Dodgy - risky or unreliable
  4. Gobsmacked - astonished or surprised
  5. Knackered - exhausted
  6. Lurgy - an illness or infection
  7. Mate - friend or colleague
  8. Naff - tacky or uncool
  9. Owt - anything
  10. Peckish - slightly hungry
  11. Quid - a pound (British currency)
  12. Reckon - think or believe
  13. Sacked - fired from a job
  14. Telly - television
  15. Up the ante - increase the stakes or level of risk
  16. Veg out - relax or take it easy
  17. Waffle - talk or write at length without saying anything of substance
  18. Xerox - photocopy (British people often use the brand name as a verb)
  19. Yonks - a long time
  20. Zonked - very tired or exhausted

British slang for travel and transportation: Getting around in the UK

Source: We Go Travel

The British culture is widely known for its unique slang words and phrases that have become an essential part of everyday conversation in the UK. This is particularly evident when it comes to travel and transportation, as many British slang terms are commonly used when getting around in the country.

One of the most interesting aspects of British slangs for travel and transportation is the use of old English words, which are still used today to describe various modes of transportation. For example, the word "hansom" is used to describe a horse-drawn carriage, while "hackney" is used to describe a taxi.

In addition to old English words, there are also many British terms that are used specifically for transportation. For instance, the word "tube" is used to describe the London Underground, while "busker" is used to describe someone who plays music or performs in a public place, typically in exchange for money.

When it comes to describing people or things related to transportation, there are also many unique British slang terms. For example, "petrolhead" is used to describe someone who is obsessed with cars, while "banger" is used to describe an old, rundown car.

20 British slang words and phrases related to travel and transportation

  1. Boot – The trunk of a car
  2. Chunnel – The tunnel that runs under the English Channel
  3. Cobbles – The rough, uneven stones used on some roads
  4. Double yellow lines – No parking zones
  5. Gaffer – The driver of a vehicle
  6. Grind to a halt – When something slowly comes to a stop
  7. Hike – A long walk, usually in the countryside
  8. Jaywalk – To cross a road without using a designated crossing
  9. Knock someone down – To hit someone with a vehicle
  10. Pavement – The sidewalk
  11. Reg plate – License plate
  12. Roundabout – Traffic circle
  13. Rubbish truck – Garbage truck
  14. Skip – Dumpster
  15. Speed camera – Traffic camera used to detect speeding drivers
  16. Stick shift – Manual transmission
  17. Tram – Streetcar
  18. Zebra crossing – Pedestrian crossing
  19. Boot sale – A flea market held in a parking lot
  20. Box junction – An intersection marked by yellow lines where vehicles can't stop

British slang for sports and leisure: Watching and playing sports, outdoor activities

Souce: UK Sports

British slang for sports and leisure reflects the passion and excitement that British people have for various outdoor activities and sports. From watching football matches to playing golf, British slang terms are used to express enthusiasm, humor, and identity.

In the UK, sports are a big part of the culture, with football being the most popular. Fans use various slang terms to describe their favorite teams, players, and even referees. Besides football, cricket, rugby, and tennis are also popular sports in the UK.

When it comes to leisure activities, British slang terms are used to describe various outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, and fishing. These terms are often regional and reflect the unique dialects and accents found across the UK.

20 examples of British slang for sports and leisure

  1. Footie - Football
  2. Pitch - Playing field
  3. Good banter - To tease
  4. To skive off - To skip or miss an event
  5. To tee off - To start a round of golf
  6. Bogey - One stroke over par in golf
  7. Ace - A serve in tennis that is not returned
  8. Netball - A game similar to basketball
  9. Tackle - To stop an opponent in football, rugby, or hockey
  10. Derby - A football match between two local teams
  11. Clobber - Equipment or gear
  12. Matchstick Men - Refers to thin and lanky football players
  13. Sweeper - A defensive football player who sweeps up loose balls
  14. The 19th Hole - The bar at a golf course
  15. Clanger - A big mistake made in sports
  16. Hen do - A bachelorette party
  17. Stag do - A bachelor party
  18. Crisps - Potato chips
  19. Scoff - To eat quickly and greedily
  20. Baggers - The first group of golfers to tee off in the morning
  21. Fly-half - A rugby player who is responsible for kicking and passing the ball


In conclusion, British slang is an integral part of the country's culture and heritage. It provides an insight into the unique language and humor that sets the British apart. From food and drink to work and business, sports, and leisure, and everything in between, the 120 most essential slang words and phrases encapsulate the essence of British culture.

Whether you're planning to visit the UK or just curious about its vibrant culture, understanding British slang is an excellent way to gain insight into the heart and soul of the British people. So next time you're in the UK, don't be afraid to use these slang words and phrases to immerse yourself in British culture truly.

Collaborative translation is a powerful tool for your business if you’re looking to expand to new global markets. By coordinating a team of professionals who work together in real-time, you can quickly deliver high quality translations that resonate with local audiences.

But what if you don't know how to synchronize a large team's efforts? Or are you‌ struggling to find the right software for a well-coordinated translation process? Well, look no further! In this guide, you'll learn all the know-how's of collaborative translation to bring your brand to global audiences.


  1. What is collaborative translation?
  2. Why seamless translation collaboration is important
  3. Best practices for collaborative translation and global market success

What is collaborative translation?

Collaborative translation is when multiple people simultaneously work together to translate content. A collaborative translation process often makes use of specialized tools and software to make sure the translation is quick, accurate, and consistent.

  • Example: Let's say you're a B2B SaaS company looking to translate your marketing materials into a new language to connect with potential clients abroad. Use collaborative translation to bring together translators, developers, and other specialists to translate content into many languages at once.

Your team can use a collaborative translation platform like Redokun to work on projects simultaneously. A coordinated workflow will make sure that your translations use the same terminology and style, improving the quality of the translated product for your target audiences.

Collaborative Translation vs. Crowdsourcing

People often confuse collaborative translation with crowdsourcing and think the two are the same. However, these approaches to translation are different.

Crowdsourcing is when a large group of people contributes translations, often through an open call or invitation by a company or author. Brands can turn to crowdsourcing, community translation, or volunteer translation when they are looking to reduce costs and accelerate the process, especially for large multi-language projects.

In crowdsourced translations, the contributors can be volunteer translators, subject matter experts, or just anonymous individuals online. In other words, you may not know who's worked on the translation and what their qualifications are. It makes crowdsourcing distinct from collaborative translation, where the team would be an established group of professionals you've selected

Why seamless translation collaboration is important

As a busy B2B/B2C marketing manager or project manager, you might ask yourself: Isn't the "divide and conquer" a better strategy when working on a translation or localization project? It seems logical that each project team member, including translators, designers, and editors, works on their tasks separately and step by step.

However, collaborative translation can help your team reap many benefits compared to a traditional approach to translation projects:

Reasons why seamless translation collaboration is important
  • Produce high-quality translations consistently. When your whole team works on a translation project simultaneously on one platform, it's easier to stay in context and keep track of the translation accuracy for every target language. On top of that, your team can conduct agile QA throughout the project cycle.
  • Faster turnaround times. By working together, your team can complete projects faster and more efficiently. Centralization saves a lot of time at every stage of translation. And since your team can work on more than one translation at a time, you can publish your translated content in several new markets at once.
  • Reduced costs. You get to improve efficiency while working with a smaller team of translators. The smaller and more coordinated the team, the less the risk of costly translation errors. It means reduced translation costs and better project budget compliance.
  • Increased flexibility. Collaborative translation allows your team to produce translations into many languages at once and easily make changes to any project document. You can conveniently engage in a feedback loop and guarantee a continuous localization process.
  • Better communication. Collaborative translation effectively brings all members of your localization team together on one platform. It helps you make sure that everyone is working toward the same goals ‌and simplifies overall localization management.

Six best practices for collaborative translation and global market success

To be great at collaborative translation, you need to approach it strategically. Even if you've never used this approach before, you can follow the six steps below to build an efficient collaborative translation workflow. And if you're already familiar with this method, these practices will help you improve the way you collaborate on any translation projects.

Six best practices for collaborative translation for your global business success

1. Work out a detailed project plan

Before you start working on translations together, you need a clear-cut project plan. You should first identify the following items.

  • Project timeline: Define crucial deadlines, project milestones, and the overall project duration.
  • Translation volume and key deliverables: Calculate the general word count, and determine the workload for every language pair if you translate into multiple languages.
  • Project budget: Keep in mind possible added and hidden translation costs.
  • Project team: Define what kind of specialists you need: translators, editors, proofreaders, etc. Will you need to find external translators? Consider all your HR needs in advance.
  • Your approach to the translation process: How much do you want to rely on machine translation? At what point will you edit translated strings? Answer all these questions before you go on.
  • Quality assurance protocol: Establish an efficient QA procedure for all the language pairs you're working on.

It may sound like a handful but the more detailed the plan, the more streamlined the translations will be down the road. Besides, you can already use Redokun to boost this stage of the localization process!

Redokun is a translation management system you can use to automate, coordinate, and optimize your translation processes from content creation to publication.

Redokun simplifies your project planning. In particular, you can use the tool to:

  • Monitor your ongoing translations easily. Keep track of all of your translation files and projects across multiple languages in one space, and check their progress at a glance.
Redokun Document Detail Page
  • Meet deadlines with digest emails. Redokun will send you daily or weekly email digests to update you on the progress of translations. From there, you can initiate one-click reminders to your translators who are potentially falling behind schedule.
  • Making budget planning easier. Redokun has a transparent, scalable pricing structure that will cover exactly the volume of work your project needs.
Redokun is an easy-to-use tool that requires no onboarding. Your team can start using all the system’s features right away. During your project planning stage, you won’t need to factor in a lengthy training period to introduce team members to the tool.

2. Divide tasks and assign responsibilities the smart way

Good collaboration is impossible without a well-planned distribution and organization of roles and tasks. Ensure that every team member is on the same page and understands their respective responsibilities.

For example, the project managers should divide ‌translation tasks among translation team members according to their language proficiency, area of expertise, or subject matter knowledge.
  • On Redokun, you can invite translators to work on different language pairs and content types depending on their skills. All you need to do is enter the translator's email. The software will send them an email invitation and let you know once they've started translating the file.
  • You can also invite several translators to work on one document.
How to invite translators to Redokun

To maximize the efficiency of project management and task division, establish a clear structure of your workflow. Make sure all your pages, files, and folders are well organized and team members know where to find necessary resources for their respective tasks. A centralized, cloud-based storage for all your documents is a must.

  • Redokun is a cloud-based software that makes file management easy. You can create folders and customize permission settings for multiple users for better organization. No more need to look for spreadsheets and lost documents scattered around different digital locations.
  • Don't forget to make the most of the Reporting Dashboard. It shows you the status of the translation project and helps you see how users distribute tasks (for example, what methods they use to translate different content segments).
Redokun Dashboard with translation statistics

3. Enhance the collaborative translation process with clear communication

It's important to have open communication channels among all team members in your translation project, including internal and external translators. For a successful collaboration effort, you need a shared communication space to:

  • Conduct regular check-ins.
  • Discuss translation options and other aspects of the working process.
  • Update and adjust requirements and guidelines.
  • Maintain feedback loops.
It's up to you to choose between email, messengers, or tools like Google Drive or Slack to keep your collboarative operations flowing. However, using multiple channels for different aspects of the project can get messy. It's harder to manage your team and make sure all collaborators are up to date on the ongoing translation tasks.

You can avoid these potential problems by centralizing all your communications and project management. With translation software like Redokun, you can manage, translate, communicate, and collaborate — all in one place.

  • Translate content in context. Your translators or editors can use page previews in Web Editor to understand the context of the text while working on it.
  • Work together in real-time. Use Redokun as a full-scale collaborative translation platform. It enables real-time cooperation among your team members, improving efficiency and reducing communication errors.
  • Use comments, mentions, and notifications to exchange feedback quickly. Redokun's Web Editor is a convenient place to stay in touch and discuss your translation progress every step of the way.
Collaboration feature in Redokun
  • Create a hybrid workflow. Work with your in-house teams or external translators to suit different localization project formats and scalability needs.

4. Use machine translation and translation memory tools

Computer-assisted translation tools are a great addition to human translation. Machine translation (MT) helps your collaborators speed up the localization process by automating translation. Of course, it doesn't have the quality of a human professional translation — it’s more like a helping hand that's always there to facilitate the translation of complex phrases or new terms.

  • Redokun is integrated with two Machine Translation tools: Google Translate and DeepL. Translation suggestions by these two tools pop up right below where the translator should key in the translation, as shown here.

To enhance collaboration even further, consider using translation memory tools. They ensure consistency and save translation software users a lot of time.

Translation memory (TM) is a translation technology that stores previously translated sentences or phrases as segments and creates a unique database for your localization projects. You can reuse your translation to increase efficiency and consistency in ongoing and future translations.

With Redokun as your collaborative translation platform, you can leverage TM to:

  • Consistently translate any repeated word, phrase, or sentence across different language pairs and documents. It's especially important for translating technical terms, marketing slogans, CTAs, and other catchphrases. Translation memory helps you stay consistent in your marketing messaging.
  • Pre-translate your entire documents. Combine TM matches from your previous translations with Machine Translation to get a fully pre-translated document even before your team gets to work.
  • Manage your translation memory database. Import and customize your TM database to further improve translation quality and consistency.
”The speed of translation is quite impressive in that it doesn’t take [much time], maybe a couple of minutes when you translate from English to eight markets. I think that’s what I’m most impressed by.”

Read more about how Kenni and the marketing team at Rockfon increased their translation productivity by 70% using translation memories and other Redokun features

5. Use glossaries and style guides

Glossaries and style guides are valuable resources your team can use for reliable reference.

A glossary is a list of terms and their corresponding translations that are specific to a company or industry.

A style guide outlines the preferred tone, voice, and style for a company's marketing materials across markets and languages.

Your collaborators can refer to these resources when they’re not sure about a translation. For example is when they're deciding how to translate a company abbreviation, whether to the Oxford comma, or choosing the right tone to address customers, etc. No more ambiguity about linguistic, stylistic, and cultural aspects of your translations.

  • Use Redokun's glossary feature to create a glossary and style guide that outlines rules for spelling, grammar, punctuation, terminology, and tone specific to your project.
Redokun glossary feature preview

6. Continuously review and revise

A key benefit of a collaborative translation platform is the ability to review and revise translations in an agile and efficient manner. By involving multiple specialists in the process of editing and QA, you can guarantee accuracy and consistency in the translated content at every stage of the project.

To implement effective review and revision procedures in your collaborative translation projects, it is important to:

  • Plan for review and revision in advance. Identify who will be responsible, set the timeline, and use specific tools.
  • Consider involving in-country reviewers who are familiar with the local market and culture to ensure that the translations are accurate and appropriate for the target audience.
  • Perform regular QA checks. They should include consistency in terminology and formatting, and verify that the translations are free from grammatical errors and typos.
Pro-tip: Ever experienced the headache of having to update a translation that’s already 70% done when there is a last-minute change to the source document?

With Redokun’s revision feature, you don’t have to spend hours poring over Excel sheets and comparing files to spot the places where new words have been added or sentences have been changed. Just upload the latest document version and the system will identify new text that needs translating — saving your team’s time and effort while keeping previous translations intact.


Collaborative translation is an excellent approach if you want to improve the consistency of your translations, reduce costs, and establish a strong presence in global markets.

The key to seamless collaboration is a combination of careful planning, role distribution, agile QA, and smart use of translation software.

Make Redokun part of your collaborative translation efforts and enhance the pace of your global business growth‌. Start your 14-day free trial today and benefit from a quicker and more streamlined translation workflow.

Till next time,


Rodrigo Demetrio
Steering the marketing ship at Bureau Works with 17+ years of MarTech under my belt, I transform mere ideas into tangible realities. Passionate about languages and their power to build bridges, let's build a new one?
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