UK Slang Words

The purpose of the lists below are to provide an alternative to the usual Thinking Day or International activities of learning a craft, game, song etc.  A fun way of using the following expressions might be to make up sentences using the phrases, and then for people to guess what they mean. This idea could easily become an ice-breaker for an adult event as well as a game for girls.

Note: This is not intended to be a complete list of slang words in use in the UK. This is a Girl Scout / Girl Guide web site, and only slang expressions considered appropriate for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts have been included.

Liz Watts
Member of The GuideZone Team

Rhyming Cockney Slang

As someone who grew using cockney in every-day language without realizing it, and then had to un-learn it to communicate with the rest of the world, this just HAD to be included! I grew up in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England. Although that doesn't make me a Cockney, Southend was the traditional holiday resort for Cockneys, and many of them have now retired to the area. Therefore there is a large Cockney influence.

The true definition of a Cockney is someone who was born within hearing distance of Bow Bells, London.

Adam & Eve = Believe (as in would you Adam & Eve it?!?) Duke of York = Fork 
Alan Whickers = Knickers Jam Jar = Car
Apples & Pears = Stairs Pen & Ink = Stink (as in it pen & inks in here!)
Boat race = Face (as in ugly boat) Plates of Meat = Feet
Butchers Hook = Look (as in take a butcher's at that!) Pork Pie = Lie - to tell a lie (as in are you telling porkies?)
Cane & Abel = Table Tilbury Docks = Socks
Dog & Bone = Telephone 2 & 8 = State (as in getting into a right 2 & 8)

Everyday Slang Words

Argy-bargy = Heated Argument Dodgy = Suspect (as in "that looks a bit dodgy") Rabbit (verb) = To Chat On and On
Agro = Hassle Lad = Boy Sleeping Policeman = Speed Bump
Back of Beyond = Middle of Nowhere Lass = Girl Strop = Bad Mood
Banger = Sausage, Firecracker, or Old Car Naff = Worthless or Useless Stroppy = Argumentative
Busker = Street Performer Over the Moon = Delighted, Elated Tad = Little
Butty = Sandwich (as in a "bacon butty") Over the Top (O.T.T.) = Carried Away Wonky = Unstable (as in "that looks wonky")
Chuffed = Pleased Peckish = Hungry Yonks = Ages (as in "that went on for yonks")
Cuppa = Cup of Tea Put paid to ... = Put an end to ...
Doddle = Easy Task (as in "that was a doddle") Quid = One pound sterling

Everyday Slang Expressions

All the world and his wife = a large number of people - we went shopping and seemed to meet the world and his wife
Bob's your uncle = There you go - that's all there is to it
Daft as a brush = Stupid
Full of beans = Very lively and energetic - she's full of beans today
Hollow legs = Refers to someone who could seemingly eat all day, and never fill up - you have hollow legs
Keep your pecker up = Try to remain cheerful even if times are difficult
Pipped at the post = Beaten at the last minute
Spend a penny = Go to the toilet - I need to spend a penny
Swings and roundabouts = Refers to a situation where positive and negative balances out - it's swings and roundabouts
Take the micky (mick/Michael) = to laugh at someone - are you taking the micky?
Thick as two short planks = Stupid
Thin on the ground = Scarce
Throw a wobbly = Get very angry
Works like a Trojan = Works very hard

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This page last updated May 6th, 1999