What's your favorite British slang word or phrase?

What's your favorite British slang word or phrase? Let's start a fun thread of all the great British words and phrases.

My vote is for: Knackered.

It means tired. But really tired. I loved using this word when I'm tired because I feel like it emphasizes the point perfectly.

I'm also a fan of the phrase 'cream crackered' which is a variation on the phrase which means that you are VERY tired indeed.



  • A Knacker was a dealer in dead animals, especially horses ... when horses were a major mode of transport (up to the mid 20th Century) it was not uncommon for them to be found dead in the streets, and for reasons of hygiene and decorum the corpses were removed by an Official known as the Public Knacker ...

    Hence "Knackered" as an adjective implies fit for the Knacker to collect, ie. useless, exhausted or (nearly) dead ...

    "Cream Crackered" is rhyming slang fot "Knackered" ...

    I should point out that "Knackers" also had a vulgar meaning of the male genitalia, especially the testicles ... as in the phrase "so I kicked 'im in the knackers and got away ..." ie. I kicked hin in the groin and escaped ... this sense is now archaic and possibly obsolete ...

    Time for a Pew with Rosie Lee ... ☕️

  • Thanks for the history!

    But you didn't give your favorite?!?!

  • edited September 21

    Awright I'll 'av a Butcher's at that ... 😎

  • Just had a gander at your ten slang words list and you don't quite close the circle on Hank Marvin. He is, of course, lead guitarist of The Shadows but his name became rhyming slang - Hank Marvin = Starvin'.

    Not sure if that had much currency before Matterson's built an ad campaign round Hank for their Fridge Raiders range?

  • Living with a husband & dil who are both Brits, I get to hear all kinds of new words and phrases - I swear the Brits make them up as they go and we Yanks are never the wiser!😂 My favorite, though, is “RUBBISH!” I hear that one all the time 😄

  • My daughter, Canadian of a British mother, loves Gordon Bennett

  • I like my grandparents/parents northern expression of surprise/incredulity “Well, I’ll go to the foot of our stairs!”. (Usually ‘the’ is glottal-stopped down to ‘t”, as in, ‘t’foot’ and the ‘to the’ sounds as a ‘tut’. Learn yersel’Tyke!

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