A Dictionary of English Slang & Colloquialisms of the UK | British Slang

Words beginning with:  A . B . C . D . E . F . G . H . I . J . K . L . M . N . O . P . Q . R . S . T . U . V . W . X . Y . Z .  Abbreviations used

abdabs Noun. Terror, the frights, nerves. Often heard as the screaming abdabs. Also very occasionally 'habdabs'. [1940s]
ablute Verb. To wash oneself. E.g."She's in the bathroom abluting." {Informal}
absobloodylutely Adv. Absolutely.
Abysinnia! Exclam. Goodbye! A jocular and intentional mispronunciation of "I'll be seeing you!"
accident Noun. An act of incontinence, especially in children. E.g."Stop the car at the next services, Lucy's had an accident." {Informal}
accidentally-on-purpose Phrs. Seemingly accidental but with veiled malice or harm.
AC/DC Adj. Bisexual.
ace (!) Adj. Excellent, wonderful.
Exclam. Excellent!
acid Noun. The drug LSD. Lysergic acid diethylamide. [Orig. U.S. 1960s]
ackers Noun. Money. From the Egyptian akka.
action man Noun. A man who considered strong, active and brave, who generally participates in macho activities.
Adam and Eve Verb. Believe. Cockney rhyming slang. E.g."I don't Adam and Eve it, it's not true!"
Adam's ale Noun. Water.
adorkable Adj. Socially unfashionable or awkward but likeable and appealing. A combination of the words 'dork' and adorable. Expression perhaps popularized, if not invented, for the titular book by Sarra Manning. [Early 2010's?]
advert Noun. An advertisement. {Informal}
aerated Adj. Over-excited. Becoming obsolete, although still heard used by older generations. Also as aeriated.
afters Noun. 1. Dessert, pudding, cake. {Informal}
2. In sport, frequently football, a confrontation between players after a foul or incident. E.g."I'm not surprised he's gone in for some afters, that foul could have broken his leg." {Informal}
afto Noun. Afternoon. [North-west use]
afty Noun. Afternoon. E.g."Are you going to watch the game this afty?" [North-west use]
aggro Noun. Aggressive troublemaking, violence, aggression. Abb. of aggravation.
aggy Adj. Annoyed, irritated, aggitated. Abb. of aggravated. E.g."My mum's getting a bit aggy because my brother won't tidy his bedroom."
agricultural Adj. Clumsy, unsophisticated, especially in a sporting context. E.g."That was a very agricultural tackle by the defender, but it did the job." {Informal}
agony aunt Noun. A woman who, in response to reader's letters, provides advice on personal and relationship problems via a newspaper or magazine column. Rarely, also agony uncle. {Informal}
air biscuit Noun. An expulsion of air from the anus, a fart. See 'float an air biscuit'.
airhead Noun. A stupid person. [Orig. U.S.]
airlocked Adj. Drunk, intoxicated. [N. Ireland use]
airy-fairy Adj. Lacking in strength, insubstantial. {Informal}
air guitar Noun. An imaginary guitar played by rock music fans whilst listening to their favourite tunes.
aks Verb. To ask. E.g."I aksed him to move his car from the driveway." [dialect]
Alan Whickers Noun. Knickers, underwear. Rhyming slang, often shortened to Alans. Alan Whicker was a popular British journalist and TV presenter from the 1950s through to the turn of the century.
alcopop Noun. Sweet, ready-mixed fruit drinks containing alcohol. Cf. 'tart fuel'. {Informal}
aled (up) Adj. Drunk, intoxicated by alcohol, usually beer (ale).
alkie Noun. An alcoholic. Also as alky.
all fingers and thumbs Phrs. Lacking manual dexterity, clumsy. E.g."Can you help me thread that needle? I'm all fingers and thumbs." {Informal}
all fur coat (and no knickers) Phrs. Of a woman, all superficial appearance and no real substance beneath. Derog.
all mod cons Noun. All the fixtures and fittings necessary and expected - an abb. of all modern conveniences. {Informal}
all mouth and (no) trousers Phrs. Boastful and without just reason. E.g."You shouldn't pay any attention to him, he's all mouth and no trousers."
all-nighter Noun. A club night or event that goes on all night.
all over the place Phrs. Disorganized, chaotic, confused, in disarray. E.g."I was all over the place; I'd had half a dozen a pints and couldnt string a sentence together." {Informal}
all over the shop Phrs. 1. In a mess, out of order, disorganized.
2. Everywhere. E.g."I've been all over the shop this morning and I can't find her anywhere."
allow (it) Verb. Forget it, don't bother. [Orig Black/ London use]
all quiet Noun. The vagina. Abb. of all quiet on the Western front, rhyming slang on 'cunt'.
all time loser Noun. A public house, a bar. Rhyming slang on 'boozer'.
all to cock Phrs. Messed up, useless, in ruin.
all to pot Phrs. Messed up, in disarray. E.g."Our whole holiday went all to pot when Dad got arrested for being drunk."
almond rocks Noun. Socks. Cockney rhyming slang, often shortened to almonds.
alright! Exclam. Hello. A greeting. No answer is expected to what is inherently a question. Northern dialect has created the phonetic corruption alreet which sounds more like awreet.
amazeballs(!) Adj. Amazing, very impressive. Also used as as exclamation.
amber nectar Noun. Lager. [Orig. Aust.]
anchors Noun. Brakes. Also put the anchors on something. E.g."I slammed on the anchors and hit my head on the steering wheel."
(the) Andrew Noun. The Royal Navy.
ane Noun. Abb. of anus.
ankle-biters Noun. Children, particularly crawling babies. [Orig. Aust.]
anorak Noun. An often socially inept person, having an obsessive interest in a hobby or subject. Usually has little or no fashion sense, and errs towards eccentricity. Originates from the 'trainspotter' look, of wearing anoraks; spending so much time at the end of station platforms in all weather necessitates the wearing of such attire. Derog. Cf. 'trainspotter'.
answers on a postcard Phrs. If anyone has any ideas, or a response, to the question/problem that has just been posed, please let me know? From when, during the 1970s and 80s, blank postcards were used by viewers to mail answers to competition questions posed on TV programmes, in the hope of winning a prize. The advent of SMS and phonelines ensured the end of the postcards as a means of entering competitions.
antsy Adj. Nervous, agitated, restless.
antwacky Adj. Old fashioned. Possibly from antique(y) or antiquated. E.g."I'm not wearing those shoes, they're so antwacky and something my gran might wear." [Merseyside/West Lancashire use]
any cop Phrs. Of value, of any worth. E.g."Have you heard their new CD? I heard it was atrocious but do you think it's any cop?" See 'cop' (adj). Cf. 'no cop'.
any road Adv. Anyway. Also spelt anyroad. [Northern use]
apeshit Crazy, beserk, furious. See 'go ape/apeshit'.
apeth Noun. A pet name for a silly person. A shortening of daft apeth. Apeth, derived from haypneeworth (half a penny's worth) but pronounced ha'p'orth.
apple (core) Noun. 20. Cockney rhyming slang on 'score'. [1950s]
apples and pears Noun. Stairs. Possibly the most commonly expressed piece of Cockney rhyming slang that is used as an example of such, or used in jocular mimicry.
April Noun. Bottom, buttocks, 'arse'. Rhyming slang from April in Paris rhyming with 'arris'.
Archer Noun. £2000. From the amount of money given by Jeffrey Archer to a prostitute (Monica Coughlan) to enable her to leave the country, and in order to buy her silence over services rendered. Jeffrey Archer, ex-member of Parliament and best selling author, served a prison sentence for perjury and perverting the course of justice.
are you talking to me or chewing a brick Phrs. Rhetorical, confrontational question to a person who is considered to be talking nonsense of too much.
argue the toss Vrb phrs. To argue or dispute loudly and at length.
argy-bargy Noun. Trouble, noisy quarrelling, arguing. {Informal}.
arris Noun. Buttocks, 'arse'. Convoluted Cockney rhyming slang for 'arse'; Arris, an abbreviation of Aristotle, rhyming with bottle, and thereafter leading to bottle and glass rhyming with 'arse'. Also spelt aris.
arrows Noun. Darts, the equipment and the game itself.
arse Noun. 1. The buttocks. The similar 'ass' isn't used as frequently, remaining more of an Americanism. Arse was s.e. from 1600s until mid 1800s. [1000's]
2. An objectionable person.
3. A mistake, a poor job. E.g."He's made such an arse of that plastering job that I think we'll need to redo it."
Exclam. Expressing anger or frustration. E.g."Arse!"
arse about/around Verb. To mess around, to waste time. E.g."I spent 4 years after college arsing around and enjoying myself."
arse about face Phrs. Back to front.
arse about tit Phrs. Back to front.
arse-ache Noun. 1. A bad mood, bad temper. E.g."I've got the arse-ache with my mate - he owes me £200 and won't pay it."
2. A bother, trouble. E.g."It's an arse-ache having to mow the lawn every week. Why can't be just pave over the garden?"
arse antlers Noun. A wide tattoo located at the base of the back, which typically look a little like antlers. Cf. 'tramp stamp'. [Orig. Aust.]
arse-bandit Noun. A homosexual male. Derog.
arse crack Noun. The cleft between the buttocks.
arsed Adj. Concerned, bothered. Usually heard in the negative sense of can't be arsed. E.g."I can't be arsed with work today, it's too damned hot."
arse-end Noun. Somewhere remote and unappealing. Often used in the phrase the arse-end of nowhere. Also, but less commonly, as ass-end. E.g."We were at the arse end of town and had to walk 5 miles to get home."
arseface Noun. 1. An ugly person.
2. A contemptible person.
arsehat Noun. A contemptible person. Anglicized version of the original U.S. version, 'asshat'.
arsehole * Noun. 1. The anus.
2. An idiot or irritating person, a contemptible person.
* also as arse-hole. Cf. bumhole.
arseholed Adj. Very drunk.
arse-lick Verb. To grovel, to ingratiate oneself. E.g."You can guarantee if there's any arse-licking to be done, Donald will be at the front of the queue."
arse-licker Noun. A sycophant.
arse-licking Adj. Sycophantic behaviour.
Noun. An act of sycophantic behaviour. E.g."If he keeps giving the boss an arse licking at the rate he's currently doing, then he'll be first in line for a promotion."
arse load Noun. In large quantities, a lot of, a great amount. E.g." She's given me arse loads of paperwork to complete before lunch."
arsemonger Noun. 1. A contemptible person. Also arse monger.
2. A homosexual male. Derog.
arse-on Noun. 1. A bad mood. E.g."Keep out of Andy's way, he's got the arse-on."
2. A difficult task. E.g."It was a right arse on to repair it."
arse over kettle Phrs. Fall over. Also arse over tea kettle.
arse over tip Phrs. Fall over, head over heels. E.g."She went arse over tip on the ice outside."
arse over tit Phrs. Meaning the same as 'arse over tip'.
arse-up Noun. A shambles, a mistake, a mess-up.
Verb. To make a mistake, to mess-up'. E.g."You wouldn't have arsed it up if you'd revised for your exam like everyone else."
arsewipe Noun. 1. Toilet paper.
2. A contemptible person.
arsey Adj. Bad-tempered, moody, disagreeable. E.g."He got a little arsey when I told him the truth about his brother's life in crime."
article Noun. An objectionable person. E.g."Come on, go and tidy your bedroom you lazy article."
arty-farty Adj. Overly and pretentiously artistic. {Informal}
arvo Noun. Afternoon. Usually heard as 'this arvo'. [Orig. Aust.]
as fuck Phrs. An intensifier. E.g."It was rusty as fuck, so wasn't worth repairing."
as rare as hen's teeth Phrs. Very rare, non existent. From hens not having teeth.
as rare as rocking horse shit Phrs. Very rare, non existent.
as right as rain Phrs. Satisfactory, comfortable, well.
ass Noun. A variant of 'arse' and more commonly used in North America.
ass bandit Noun. A homosexual male. Derog. Cf. 'arse bandit'.
ass clown Noun. An idiot. [Orig. U.S.]
asshat Noun. A contemptible person. Cf. 'arsehat'. [Orig. U.S.]
asshole Noun. See 'arse-hole'.
ass lick Verb. To ingratiate oneself, to be sycophantic. Less commonly used than 'arse-lick'.
ass-licker Noun. A sycophant, an obsequious person. Cf. 'arse-licker'.
ass-licking Adj. Sycophantic behaviour, grovelling.
Noun. An act of sycophantic behaviour.
asswipe Noun. Meaning the same as 'arsewipe'. [Orig. U.S.]
as the actress said to the bishop Phrs. A jocular catch phrase that draws attention to an otherwise innocent statement by imbuing sexual innuendo. Other variations include "as the mistress said to the gardener".
Auntie Noun. Affectionate and dated pet name for the BBC (The British Broadcasting Corporation).
Aussie kiss Noun. Cunnilingus, from the fact that it's the same a French Kiss, but given down under.
away and shite (!) Vrb phrs. Go away! [North east use]
'ave it Verb. Go for it. See 'have it'
aviation blonde Noun. A female with hair dyed blonde. From blonde hair, black box black box being an aeroplane flight recorder and 'box' also being slang for vagina.
avvy Noun. Afternoon. Abb., usually heard as 'this avvy'.
away with the mixer Phrs. Not quite in touch with reality, in a dreamy state. [Merseyside use]
awesome! Adj. Great! Excellent! [Orig. U.S.]
awlarse Noun. A contemptible person. Also auldarse, allarse. Possibly from old arse. [Merseyside use]
awright (!) Adj./Adv./Exclam. An alternative spelling and pronunciation of alright (all right).
axe Noun. A guitar.
axe wound Noun. Vagina. Cf. 'hairy axe wound'.
Ayrton Noun. Ten pounds (monetary). Rhyming slang for tenner, on Ayrton Senna, the motor racing driver.
ay-up! Exclam. A greeting, hello. [Midlands/North use. Dialect]

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