When you hear the word hard used in British slang, it is referring to a person who is considered to be tough and able to look after themselves in a fight. Slang can also be used to create a sense of belonging to a profession or a social class. When using the word legend to describe a person, it means that this person is very famous or successful at what they do. Stephen Lux/Getty. However, the adjective that comes from this word has nothing to do with shopping carts: in fact, it means being drunk. Nowhere is this more true than in Britain, where slang makes up a large part of the vocabulary and can vary massively according to where you are in the country. Here is a list of some popular British slang words, with definitions and examples of their use. In this instance you might hear someone say ‘He thinks he’s a hard man.’ or ‘he thinks he’s well hard.’, We are not talking about something that is a similar shape to the piece of fruit. The word “baloney” can also be used in the same context. Learning a language in the classroom is all very well and good but you don’t really begin to experience the language until you know the slang. Here’s a list of some odd British slang words and their history. Why do we need slang? They tend to come about from conversation, and people naturally use words that have a meaning for them, then over time, these words alter and become slang. knackered -- tired and exhausted. balls-up -- a messed up situation. When you hear somebody say that they are ‘knackered’ they are usually referring to the fact that they are extremely exhausted or tired. Bloody brilliant: wonderful. Sometimes, it is used as a secret language, so that nobody, except for a certain group of people, understands it; this is why thieves and beggars have their own slang. Cuppa is a term used to refer to a cup of tea, or sometimes coffee. In a single year, the Oxford Online Dictionaries adds approximately 1,000 words to our cultural lexicon, many of which stem from popular slang.New slang is always being created, some even originated out of the coronavirus pandemic.. Usually, this word is very friendly and casual. Many phrases that have been used in a daily speech some thirty years ago are completely forgotten today. This is one more word that has different definitions in standard English and in British slang. For example, you can introduce your best friend to a new company, saying that he’s your best mate. When you’re feeling chuffed, you’re pleased, happy, or proud of something. If you’re familiar with American slang, you probably know this word to be an insulting term to use towards someone who’s gay. Words with specific British English meanings that have different meanings in American and/or additional meanings common to both languages (e.g. You've come to the right place. The …, One of the slang terms used on the internet today, “darty” …, The slang term “goyim” is not a term that everyone …. Learn more. British slang is a niche of its own, evolving and transforming and adapting from city to city and from year to year, just as the English language itself has done. Arguably, the most popular slang in London is rhyming slang. In Britain, bloody doesn’t necessarily refer to something covered in blood; it can also mean “damned” and show frustration or anger. Have you met Bob’s girlfriend? Would love your thoughts, please comment. This is a very commonly used word in the UK and you will likely hear it very often. Eating the last biscuit without asking if anyone else wants it might be considered cheeky. For instance, you might feel gutted if you don’t pass an important exam you’ve spent weeks studying for. Having trouble understanding somebody from across the pond? In some cases, when slang words are written down, they’ve already become part of the standard language. When you say that something is tosh, you mean that this is a bunch of nonsense. For example, you might head someone say ‘I absolutely love Elton John, what a ledge!’. British Slang is a fountain of beautiful words that we don’t normally use in America. It may also be used to talk about somebody who thinks they are tough, but are not really. ‘I wouldn’t get on the wrong side of Bill, he’s hard.’. No other language in the world has been as bastardised as this one! Log in or register to post comments; 40239x . gobby -- being a loud mouth and/or offensive. With some exceptions (e.g. collywobbles -- a feeling of acute nervousness. 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