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 2020

    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!

  • " Skallywag " has always been a favorite of mine. I was born in Cheltenham in 1944, came to the US in 1946. The only time I have been back was 1970 when I was stationed on the submarine tender, USS Canopus, at Holy Loch, Scotland. I got to meet my grandmother and 3 aunts and their families while I was there.

  • lurgi/lurgy

    The flu. We use it to describe it when your head is full of snot. Used by my friend from Newfoundland, Canada.

    First introduced by the Goons in their episode "Lurgi Strikes Britain".

    lurgy (plural lurgies) (Britain, slang) A fictitious, highly infectious disease; often used in the phrase "the dreaded lurgi", sometimes as a reference to flu -like symptoms (Britain, slang) Any uncategorised disease with symptoms similar to a cold or flu that renders one unable to work.

  • Frost saying, “I think you’re telling me porkies!”

  • Forrader is my favorite term. Means more advanced. What's that when it's at home is my fav phrase. Means to please explain yourself in plain English.

  • Being from the US, when I first heard the term "tosser", I cracked up! I love that term!

  • "Keep you pecker up!" I'm sure this phrase has made many appearances. I'm wondering if it's still said?

  • Brilliant.

  • It's PANTS!

  • I'm a liberal user of 'crikey' and 'blimey', 'they know their onions' (when talking about someone particularly knowledgeable), 'mush' (as a greeting - alright mush?) and 'I'll take a gander'

  • I like "tosser" because it rolls off the tongue so easily and you can say it softly or to add emphasis, harshly.

  • Bloody hell has a nice ring to it!

  • Don't get your knickers in a twist!

  • ”He/she/you’ve lost the plot.”

  • The first time I heard "Something for the weekend," my British husband had a laugh (and had to explain what it meant).

    Still hear "tickety-boo" and "Bob's yer uncle." It now seems about fifty-fifty for "Happy Christmas" instead of "Merry Christmas," and "For s/he's a jolly good fellow" is about a tie with "Happy birthday."

    I know I'm in for a treat when someone says "That biscuit is very moreish!"

  • Crikey!

    I use it a lot since it's quite appropriate for what usually happens in my life~

  • Bloody-hell!

  • Blimey! I used to stay that till my mum told me stop, it means blind me. So I did. Now I just say bloody. I know why it was considered a curse, and that doesn't stop me from using it when I lose my temper and need an expressive 2-syllable word.

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