Most Common TOP 100 British Phrases And Expressions
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Most Common TOP 100 British Phrases And Expressions
Cheers, mate! – Thank you, friend.
E.g. “Cheers for helping me the other day, mate. I appreciate it!”
Done and dusted – Completely finished, completed or ready.
E.g. “Did you get your car MOT checked on time?” “Yeah. It’s done and dusted.”
Mind you… – Consider or pay attention to a particular piece of information.
E.g. “I think we should go on holiday to Barbados! But, mind you, they had a hurricane a few weeks ago. So maybe somewhere else!”
Dodgy – (Adjective) A dishonest or unreliable person. Something that is low quality, bad.
E.g. “I bought this watch two days ago from some dodgy sales man on the street and now it’s broken!” “This food smells a bit dodgy, I think it’s gone off.”
Innit’ – (Slang/question tag)” Isn’t it” – Spoken at the end of a sentence to ask the listener to agree with the speaker.
E.g. “That’s that girl from the party the other night, innit?”
All right – Used to say hello to someone. Usually unenthusiastically and not requiring a response! Used instead of saying, ‘Okay, I will do that’.
E.g. “Hi James, good morning!” “All right.”
“Can you take out the rubbish please?” “All right”
Bagsy that! – Used to claim something, anything, as your own.
E.g. “Bagsy the front seat in the car!”
A bloke – (Slang) A man.
E.g. “Do you know that bloke over there? He looks familiar.”
Chock-a-block – Very busy or full.
E.g. “The club was chock-a-block last night! I couldn’t move!”
Chuffed to bits – (Adjective) Thrilled, delighted, very happy.
E.g. “I’m so chuffed to bits for my sister, she just got engaged!”
Easy peasy – (Informal) Very easy
E.g. “I completed level 4 on this game. It was easy peasy.”
A fag – (Informal) A cigarette
E.g. “Have you got a spare fag please mate? Ah cheers mate!”
Full of beans – To have a lot of energy
E.g. “My kid is full of beans today, he won’t sit still!”
Gobsmacked – To be very shocked and surprised
E.g. “I’m gobsmacked that team won the final. They’ve played so badly all year!”
Give us a bell – (Informal) Used to ask someone to phone you later
E.g. “Can you give me a bell later please? I’m a bit busy right now sorry.”
Jammy – (Adjective) Used to describe a person who constantly has good fortune or luck.
E.g. “You’re so jammy! I can’t believe you always win on the horses every time.”
Knackered/shattered – Very tired
E.g. “I’ll clean up later, I’m absolutely knackered after work.” “Yeah, you do look shattered.”
A Merc – A nickname for the car brand Mercedes.
E.g. “I’d love a Merc but I can’t afford it just yet.”
A Beemer – A nickname for the car brand BMW
E.g. “Look at that Beemer over there! I bet you that cost a bomb!”
Cost a bomb – To be very expensive
E.g. “My new car cost a bomb. It was £20,000 upfront!”
To be in a mood – To be quietly grumpy and unhappy because of something or someone
E.g. “Are you in a mood with me? You’ve been quiet all day…”
To be made up – To be very happy and sometimes proud of something
E.g. “I’m made up I passed my driving test. I was worrying I would fail it.”
It’s not my cup of tea – Use to say you don’t like something, anything that much
E.g. “Do you want to go to Disney Land for the holidays?” “Nah, sorry. Disney’s not my cup of tea.”
On your bike! – An impolite, direct way to tell someone to go away.
E.g. “I told you a million times to leave me alone. Go on, on your bike!”
To take the piss – (Swear word) to do something unreasonable that annoys people
E.g. “Are you late for dinner again? That’s the 4th time this week, you’re taking the piss!” (You are being unreasonable)
To take the piss out of someone – (Swear word) to make a joke out of someone. It can be friendly or nasty.
E.g. “Don’t take me so seriously. I was only taking the piss. It was just a joke!” “I don’t care! Stop taking the piss out of me!”
A Geezer – (Southern English) A typical British man. (See 8. Bloke)
E.g. “John is a right geezer. He’s always in the pub with a pint watching the footy.”
Safe – (Adjective, Southern English) Used instead of okay or to say something is good or socially approved of
E.g. “Your mate John is really safe, I like him. He did a favour for me. Nice bloke. Top geezer.”
Bollocks! – (Swear word) Said when angry about something, if there is a problem or when a mistake has been made.
E.g. “Oh bollocks! I just spilt my tea all over me!”
To have tea – An evening meal. Used instead of dinner.
E.g. “Mum, what’s for tea? I’m starving!”
To be pissed off – (Swear word/adjective) To be angry at someone or something
E.g. “My boss has really pissed me off. I feel so pissed off.”
Piss off! – (Swear word) To tell someone in an impolite way to go away.
E.g. “Will you piss off and leave me alone?! I don’t want to talk to you!”
To be pissed – (Swear word/adjective) To be very drunk.
E.g. “I drank 10 pints last night I still feel pissed.”
To get pissed – To get very drunk
E.g. “I feel like getting pissed. Let’s go to the pub.”
A wanker – (Swear word, originates from the verb ‘to wank’) A negative name for a bad, terrible person.
E.g. “Our president is a wanker. He helps no one but himself.”
Daft – (Adjective) A silly, stupid person. Not very offensive.
E.g. “My dad is so daft, he tells the stupidest, unfunny jokes!”
Faffing around – (Verb phrase) To take unnecessary time over something that should be straightforward.
E.g. “I hate when people faff around on the plane. Just sit down!”
To flog – (Informal) To sell something
E.g. ” My mate is flogging his old phone”
A fluke – Something happens purely by chance. It’s a lucky occurrence that doesn’t often happen.
E.g. “I can’t believe I won the jackpot. I can’t even play Blackjack. What a fluke!”
To haggle – To bargain for something, usually at a market. To ask for a cheaper price.
E.g. “Let’s haggle for it. I think the seller will lower the price.”
Gormless – (Adjective) A person who has little clue or idea about what is going on around them.
E.g. “You look so gormless right now! Close your mouth and focus. How many times do I need to explain the instructions?”
To be gutted – (Adjective) Very disappointed
E.g. “I’m gutted that my holiday was cancelled. I saved money for ages.”
To hit the books – To study academically.
E.g. “Are you coming out tonight?” “Nah, I need to hit the books. I have a test tomorrow.”
Hit the sack – Go to bed.
E.g. “I’m going to hit the sack early tonight. I’m exhausted.”
To lose your touch – To lose a talent or ability you used to have.
E.g. “I used to be amazing at basketball, but now I’m only okay. I feel like I’m loosing my touch.”
To go cold turkey – To quit or give something up. You stop completely and all at once when you go cold turkey.
E.g. “Are you going to gradually quit smoking?” “No, I’m going cold turkey. This is my last one they that’s it. No more.”
It rings a bell – Used when you can remember something a little bit but not fully. Something causes familiarity.
E.g. “I can’t remember his face, but his name rings a bell.”
Sit tight – To wait patiently
E.g. “We haven’t heard any good news from the doctor yet. We just need to sit tight until we do.”
Up in the air – Things are unsure or uncertain at the moment and yet to be decided.
E.g. “Have you decided on a date for the wedding?” “No, things are still up in the air right now. We have a lot to plan first before we do.”
To be on the ball – To react very quickly to understand certain things, very prepared for something or react quickly (and correctly) to a situation.
E.g. “You’re on the ball tonight! You got every answer in the quiz correct!”
To get over something – To recover from an illness. Or to stop thinking and caring about a problem.
E.g. “I can’t stop thinking about him. I wish I could get over him and stop caring.
“I got over my cold finally! I can work again now.”
Split the bill – To pay equal parts of a bill with others, usually in a bar or restaurant.
E.g. “Shall we split the bill in half or do you want to pay for what you had?”
To be loaded – To be rich, to have a lot of money.
E.g. “He’s always got wads of cash on him, he’s loaded!”
Keep your chin up – Said to support someone going through bad times. To tell them to be positive.
E.g. “I know things are bad for you now but keep your chin up. It will improve soon.”
A couch potato – Someone who does not like to exercise and prefers to sit on a sofa and watch TV, to be lazy.
E.g. “I don’t like being a couch potato, it’s boring and not healthy for you to never move or go outside.”
Once in a blue moon – To only do something now and then, not often.
E.g. “I only eat sugar once in a blue moon. Maybe at birthday parties.”
To go with the flow – To relax and go along with, agree with whatever’s happening. Used mostly when making plans.
To nip it in the bud – To stop a bad situation from becoming worse by taking action at an early stage of its development.
E.g. “When a child starts misbehaving, you should nip the behaviour in the bud.”
To bark up the wrong tree – Doing something that won’t give you the results you want
E.g. “There’s no point in asking her for help. You’re barking up the wrong tree asking her, she never helps anyone.”
At the end of the day – Used before giving an informal opinion. Used instead of ‘considering everything’.
E.g. “At the end of the day, she shouldn’t be travelling alone if she feels unsafe and doesn’t know the place well.”
Chop chop! – Go faster, hurry. Be quicker.
E.g. ‘We’re going to miss the train! Walk faster, chop chop!”
To be sick and tired of – Means “I hate” (also “can’t stand”)
E.g. “I’m sick and tired of doing nothing but work. Let’s go out tonight and have fun.”
To bend over backwards – try very hard (maybe too much!) to do something or for someone (maybe too much!)
E.g. “He bent over backwards to please his new boss, but the boss never seemed satisfied.”
Cut it out! – means to stop doing something bad.
E.g. “That noise is really annoying. Cut it out!”
To give someone a hand – means to help someone
E.g. “I want to move this desk to the next room. Can you give me a hand?”
In ages – means “for a very long time”
E.g. “Have you seen the cat recently? I haven’t seen him in ages.”
In the nick of time – Not too late, but very close!
E.g. “I got to the station just in the nick of time. It’s a good thing, because I nearly missed my train!
Once in a while – Sometimes, not very often
E.g. “Have you been to the new movie theater? No, I only see movies once in a while. I usually stay home and watch TV.”
Sharp – Exactly at a that time
E.g. “I’ll meet you at 9 o’clock sharp. If you’re late, we’ll be in trouble!”
Sleep on it – Think about something overnight before making a decision
E.g. “That sounds like a good deal, but I’d like to sleep on it before I give you my final decision.”
After all – Considering that something happened, something is usually assumed
E.g. “You don’t need to phone him. After all, he never phones you.”
As if! – (Slang) Said in a sarcastic way. Meaning that’s not true, or that will never happen.
E.g. “You think we’ll win the lottery this week?! As if!”
What’s up? – What is the matter, what’s wrong or what is the problem? (Sometimes means Hello informally in American English.)
E.g. “What’s up? You’ve looked sad all day. Do you want to talk?”
For sure – Without doubt, certainly, surely.
E.g. “I will go to the movie with you for sure next week.”
Go on – To tell someone to continue speaking
E.g. “Go on, tell me what you wanted to talk about earlier. Don’t be shy.
Budge up – Move over (so I can sit or stand here)
E.g. “Budge up mate so I can sit down, the bus is really full.”
Fit – (Slang) An attractive person
E.g. “Wow, she’s fit”
Kip – (Slang) A nap or to sleep.
E.g. “I’m so tired, I need a kip.”
Ledge -‘Ledged’ An adjective used to call someone a hero. Used out of respect for someone.
E.g. “David Attenborough is a ledge. He’s made such a difference in the world and his documentaries are amazing.”
To be legless – Very drunk to the point where you probably can’t walk
E.g. “He was legless last night. Had ten beers and couldn’t stand up.”
A quid – Nickname for a £1 coin
E.g. “Do you have a quid for the trolly?”
A Fiver – A £5 note
E.g. “I think I lost a fiver, I’m sure I had one in my back pocket.”
A tenner – A £10 note
E.g. ” Can I borrow a tenner and I’ll give you it back tomorrow?”
To skive – To not attend somewhere you really should be
E.g. “I skived off work on Monday because I was hungover.”
A hangover – To feel bad the day after drinking alcohol.
E.g. “I feel rough after last night at the party. So hungover.”
A Sesh – To go out drinking, usually for a long time
E.g. “Shall we have a sesh tonight?”
Uni (pronounced /YOU NEE/) – Short for university
E.g. “I loved Uni, it was a right laugh!”
Bants – Short for ‘to have banter’ to joke about with friends
E.g. “I’m going to Nando’s for some bants with the lads.”
To be cheeky – When someone is cheeky, it means that they are being a little rude or disrespectful, but usually in a way that is funny and endearing (cute).
E.g. “That is a cheeky smile…are you up to something? Did you just take the last biscuit? That was a bit cheeky!”
Narky – Narky is another word for moody or bad-tempered.
E.g. “She won’t speak to me. She’s been narky with me all day.”
Can’t be arsed – (Swear word) can’t be bothered, don’t want to
E.g. “I can’t be arsed going to work I hate it and I’m tired.”
Bloody – (Swear word) Used as an intensifier. To mean really, very, extremely. Can be used in a positive or negative way.
E.g. “That dinner was bloody lovely! It was delicious!” “I think it was bloody awful! It was disgusting!”
To put something off – To delay something until a later date. Sometimes because of procrastination.
E.g. “I need to stop putting off my assignment it needs to be finished by tomorrow.”
To bad mouth someone – To speak badly about someone to others, usually without the person knowing
E.g. “She always bad mouths the boss. She’s going to get caught and get fired one day.”
To go behind someone’s back – To cheat, deceive, lie or so something bad to someone without them knowing.
E.g. “I went behind my girlfriends back and went to the casino. I hope she doesn’t find out I went.”
To get fired/sacked – To lose your job because you did something wrong
E.g. “If he continues not listening to me, I’m going to have to fire him.”
To get out of the wrong side of the bed – To be in a bad mood all day and not know why
E.g. “Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed? You’ve been grumpy all day.”
A good egg – A good, trustworthy person
E.g. “He’s a good egg. You can always count on him when you need him. He helped me yesterday.”
Aggro – Short for aggravation. To get complained at by someone.
E.g. “My mum was giving me aggro again last night about not having a job.”
Arse over tit – (Swear word) To fall over dramatically
E.g. “I fell arse over tit last night! My back is killing me.”
To clock off – To finish work for the day
E.g. “Do you want to clock off early? It’s dead (quiet, not busy) in the restaurant.”
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