Can You Translate These Slang Words From the United Kingdom?
By: Teresa McGlothlin
Your friend tells you that he's chuffed about your gift. How is he feeling?
It might sound a little too close to chaffed for comfort, but hearing that someone from the U.K. is feeling chuffed is a good thing. Being chuffed means that you are feeling pleased or happy with an outcome.
Stephen couldn't go out this weekend because he was skint. What does skint mean?
Even though Stephen wanted to go out with his friends, he was a hardworking guy who decided to pay all his bills instead. He may be skint, broke, and low on funds, but at least he's responsible.
If you have a pocket full of dosh, what do you have in your pocket?
You wouldn't want to head out to your local pub without having a pocket full of dosh. The currency of the United Kingdom is pounds, and if you have a pocket full of pounds, you would have a pocket full of dosh, or cash or quid.
You have just seen a dishy-looking celebrity on the street. What does dishy mean?
If you were strolling down a crowded London street and you saw a dishy-looking celebrity, you would be pleased. - or as they say, chuffed. Dishy is another way of saying that someone is attractive.
How are you feeling when you're feeling knackered?
Instead of telling your family that you are tired, try telling them that you are knackered. Knackered is a way of expressing exhaustion. A case of jet lag or a really long day at work can really make you feel knackered.
Your best friend calls and tells you that they are absolutely legless. What is going on?
When you receive a late night call from your best friend telling you that they are legless, you can assume that they have been down at the pub having a few. In Britain, being legless means that you are drunk.
Emma was not one to skive, but she needed a mental health day. Can you define "skive?"
No matter how much Emma loved her job, she needed a day to herself so she decided to skive for the day. Skive is the U.K. slang way of saying that you are shirking your responsibilities.
If your sweetie asked for a snog, what do they want?
It might not be the most romantic or affectionate word meaning kiss, but it's the popular word to use for it. If your sweetheart wanted to go to another base, they would use the word shag. Snog is also used to describe what your parents called "petting" or "canoodling."
Maria wasn't sure she had the right dress for such a posh affair. What does posh mean?
Maria had a great sense of fashion, but attending such a posh and fancy affair made her question her wardrobe. Nevertheless, she knew she would have a great time hanging out with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
After the match was over, James felt gutted about the score. Can you translate "gutted?"
It sounds a little morbid, but being gutted in the United Kingdom does not mean having your insides removed. It means that you are feeling the emotion of devastation and defeat. James was not taking the team's loss well.
If someone gives you a bespoke gift, what sort of gift have you been given?
Receiving a unique, custom-made gift is always a treat. Instead of referring to items as being handmade or custom, folks in the United Kingdom use the lovely sounding word "bespoke."
Nothing tastes as good as bangers and mash. What would you call bangers anywhere else?
Bangers might sound like an explosive type of firework, but they are simply sausage links in the United Kingdom. Bangers are usually served with a side of mashed potatoes and maybe some beans on toast.
Some people think Bob is a real nutter. How would you describe Bob?
It might sound like Bob is a peanut farmer; however, "nutter" is the word used to describe a crazy person. If you are a nutter across the pond, you are on the opposite side of the spectrum from brilliant.
Sarah had to leave work because she felt like she might chunder. Can you translate "chunder?"
While we will not go into the specifics of what happens when you chunder, you can rest assured that you would want to leave work to go home and vomit. Chunder is usually associated with the drinking too much, but it can also be used to describe feeling under the weather.
How are you feeling when you get news that leaves you gobsmacked?
One of the ways to refer to your mouth in the United Kingdom is to use the word gob. Consequently, when something leaves you feeling gobsmacked, you are left feeling amazed, speechless and simply astonished.
Thomas was always lairy when he watched footie. What does lairy mean?
In the United Kingdom, it's not unusual to get a bit lairy when you're watching the big game. Lairy is a way of saying loud or brash. In Thomas' case, yelling at his team and being lairy toward the television helped to win the game!
Everyone has a coworker who will not stop yakking. What does yakking mean?
Sharing a workspace with others often means having to tolerate things that make you crazy. No matter where you work, everyone has a coworker who likes to tell you everything. A yakking coworker is a talkative coworker who probably shares far too much information.
You like your teammate, but they can be a real numpty sometimes. Can you translate "numpty"?
We're not judging. Your teammate could be thinking you are a numpty sometimes, too. Being a numpty means that you are being less than your usual smart self. When you are in numpty mode, you are having a few idiotic moments.
If your day has been tickety-boo, how has your day been?
Tickety-boo is believed to have been derived from the Hindi meaning that there are no problems and that everything is going OK. With such a huge Hindi influence in the UK, "tickety-boo" has become a part of everyday slang.
After a hard day's work, it's nice to sit down with a jar and relax. What is a jar?
It's an age-old tradition in the United Kingdom to head down to the local pub after a hard day's work. If you wanted to order a beer, you might ask for a pint or a jar. Both are acceptable ways to order from your barkeep.
Some people are born jammy, and some are not. What are jammy people like?
Being born jammy means that you were born lucky. From scratch-off tickets to horse racing, the United Kingdom is full of ways to put your jammy-ness to the test. How jammy were you born?
Everyone in the office gets a little shirty around lunch time. Do you know what shirty means?
Even in the United Kingdom, the hunger that comes before lunch can cause someone to get shirty and to need a Snickers. Shirty is another way of saying that someone is behaving in an ill-tempered way.
Antonia assembled the new bed, but she thought it looked a little wonky. Which word also means wonky?
Wonky is a slang popular word used to describe something that is unstable or shaky. In Antonia's case, the bed looks unstable. However, wonky can also be used to describe someone's behavior - Antonia was acting wonky after she put the bed together.
You do not need to be minted to be happy, but it helps! How are you when you're minted?
It's true that money cannot buy happiness, but it can fix immediate problems and alleviate your stress! A minted person in the UK is someone who might be called rich, wealthy, or moneybags anywhere else in the world.
If you have having a plonk, what are you having?
There are many places to taste fine wines in the United Kingdom, but you'll probably get a plonk from your local pub. The word plonk that refers to a glass of wine that might not be the most expensive or flavorful.
After a night on the town, Bernie got a little gobby. Which word means the same as gobby?
If Bernie were gobsmacked, he would be left speechless after his night out. Instead, Bernie is gobby, opinionated and loud. People in the UK frequently use the word gob in place of the word mouth. After a few jars, Bernie was a little mouthy.
Which word would you use to say goodbye in the United Kingdom?
In the northern part of England, they use the words "ta" or "laters" to say goodbye. However, saying cheerio is used throughout the nation, but any way you choose to part would be appropriate.
A friend tells you that your shoes are ace. What do they mean?
Whether it's ace or aces, it's another way of saying that something in awesome. If someone tells you that your shoes are ace, it means that they think you have great taste in footwear.
It's in poor taste when losers whinge. Can match whinge to its synonym?
In keeping with the United Kingdom's tradition of having a stiff upper lip, it's considered inappropriate to whinge or to whine when you lose. You might want to refrain from cursing, crying or screaming, too.
If a friend asks to use your loo, what do they need to use?
There are as many slang words for bathroom as there are anywhere else in the world. From hitting the head to using the bog, asking for the loo is only one of the clever ways to ask to use the facilities.
You should always keep a torch in your car. In the United Kingdom, what is a torch?
Owning a car in the United Kingdom comes with the same responsibilities as owning a car in the rest of the world. No matter where you live, it's a good idea to keep a torch or a flashlight in your car's emergency kit.
Where are you hanging out if you are in a garden?
There's a lot of pride in gardens found all over the United Kingdom. In the United States, gardens are usually thought of as places to grow vegetables. Across the pond, it's another word to use for a backyard.
Paul was upset because the party was in shambles. How was the party?
Despite all of Paul's careful planning, the party was in shambles. The caterer didn't arrive, the drinks were warm and the music was from the '70s. Paul was in shock at the way things fell apart.
Brooke thought the restaurant's food was dodgy. What do you think dodgy means?
You wouldn't want to put any sort of dodgy looking food into your mouth. Throughout the United Kingdom, dodgy is a word used to describe anything that could be suspicious. It can be used to describe anything from food to someone's character.
If you fancy someone, how do you feel about them?
If you don't want to tell your crush that you like them, take a note from the United Kingdom and tell them that you fancy them instead. Fancying someone means that you would be interested in getting to know them better on a more intimate front.
You're going to have to remember all those BBC-produced shows you've binge-watched to make it through this quiz! Put on your thinking hat, Watson. We want to know how many of these slang words from the United Kingdom you can get right? It's not a mystery fit for Sherlock Holmes, but it will challenge you to pull out your best vocabularies!
Before you travel to the United Kingdom, you should know that there are small differences in language that could get you in big trouble. For instance, you might not want to walk up to a stranger and tell him that you like his pants. In the United Kingdom, pants is the word used for underwear. You can save yourself a lot of embarrassment by telling him that you like his trousers instead.
Despite being an English-speaking nation, the United Kingdom has many words that differ from those used in other English-speaking countries. During this quiz, we want to test your knowledge to see how many of the slang words you can translate. If you think you know your lurgy from your chunders, we invite you to prove it. Make sure to keep a stiff upper lip no matter how well you do! Will it be aces or will it be 8s?
About HowStuffWorks Play
How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!