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Do you speak 'British' English? Ten words you need to know!

Average: 4 (730 votes)

I’m sure you know there are many types of English. Each English speaking country has its own unique vocabulary, grammar structure and pronunciation.

Today we take a look at ten words which are used in natural British English, but are not really used in American English. All of these words are very common and are used in casual spoken-English. 


(noun) synonym: man.

We use bloke to describe a man whose name is either not known or not important. It implies that the man is ordinary:

‘I heard a bloke on the train say that tomorrow's trains will be delayed.’


(noun) synonym: cigarette.

In British English a cigarette is known as a fag, but in American English fag is a slang word for a 'homosexual'! So be careful where you use it!

‘Tom went outside for a fag. I think he smokes too much!’


(verb) to want to do or have something/ to be sexually attracted to someone.

To want to do something: ‘Do you fancy going to the cinema on Friday?’

To be sexually attracted to someone: ‘I fancy the new guy in my office. I think he’s hot!’


(verb/noun) synonym: to vacuum/vacuum cleaner.

Hoover is a company that makes vacuum cleaners. The company is so well known that the brand name is often used instead of vacuum cleaner.

‘I need to buy a new hoover. Mine is broken.’

‘The carpet is dirty. When was the last time you hoovered?’


(noun) synonym: friend

Widely used in British and Australian English. It simply means ‘friend’:

‘We’ve been mates since we met in high school.’


(noun) synonym: beer

A pint is 568ml using the Imperial system. In British bars and pubs pints of beer (or half-pints) are served. We use  pint to mean a beer in a pub.

‘Do you want to go for a pint after work?’


(noun) synonym: pound (£).

Just as Americans use the slang word 'buck' for a dollar ($), British people use quid to mean a British pound (£).

 ‘Forty quid for a ticket to the game? That’s too much!’


(verb) synonym: to think, to suppose.

Reckon is very widely used in British English. It has the same meaning as ‘to think’. 

‘I reckon it will rain tomorrow.’


(noun/verb) synonym: Noun= garbage, trash,waste/ low quality,untrue. Verb= criticise

Rubbish can be used in a few ways. It can be used to describe garbage/trash:

‘Throw the empty coke can into the rubbish.’

‘After the festival was over the field was covered with people’s rubbish.’

It can be used to describe something you think is not good:

‘I don’t like Green Day. I think their music is rubbish.’

It can be used to say that something is not true or a lie.

‘Did you read that article in the newspaper? What a load of rubbish! I don’t believe it.’

It can be used as a verb meaning ‘to criticise’:

‘I don’t want to rubbish your plan, but I don’t think it will work.’


(adjective) synonym: cool, great, excellent.

A young persons word meaning 'great' or 'cool'. Wicked also has the formal (old-fashioned) meaning of 'bad' or 'evil'. These days it has a positive meaning. Remember, it’s very casual and mostly used by young people:

 ‘Look at that jacket. It’s wicked! I’m going to buy it.’

Now choose the correct words to complete the sentences:

Personality Adjectives

  • Could you lend me a couple of ____? I want to buy a magazine.

  • If you ___ her, you should ask her out on a date.

  • I watched Batman again last night. It's ___ ! Best film ever!

  • I don't remember how many ___ I drank last night.

  • Take your shoes off. I just ___.

  • I ___ my boss will give me the day off if I offer to work late tonight.

  • I can't believe he put his ___ out on the carpet! It made a hole.

  • You would rather go out with your ___ than stay at home with me!

  • I've never seen that ___ before. Do you know him?

  • Don't go to that new Italian restaurant. I heard the food is ___.



Gives an enthusiastic feeling to learn British English. Enjoyed it!

tnx bro


Verry British

does it also mean that we can't use this expressions in business english?

british english

i am desperate to learn and be perfect in english its a great hurdle in life
i like your way of teaching i need more emphasis in grammar and vocublary and writing skills zufiya fareen

Strange words

I heard These words before In some movies british.
okey my mate thanks for these wicked words.

I love this Language. Anas Legend

The real Birtish English.


I loved British English.

AKEETA \(^O^)/

very good lesson

100% Applause Applause

Lot of fun!

This is the first time for me to learn British English like in this way. I enjoyed it very much. Thanks for this lesson!John Huh


Always trying to learn british english...

(No subject)

Rolling On The Floor Sleepy Wave

I Liked it


very wicked

This lesson is very useful. I love it.

This lesson was wicked!

This lesson was wicked!


wow it's very easy my English teacher is Britsh .
He will surpraised when he know that I know some Britsh slang.
Thanks a lot.

thanks a lot.....

a great lesson indeed......i reckon!!!!

The lesson is wicked!

My mates heard bloke in the street had said that new fags were rubbish. Do you fancy buying a new hoover. I reckon two quid for a pint is wicked.

Good to learn new words

It great to learn new words.

British English

I am a Chemical Engineer and must be fluent in English.
Excellent ! I have enjoyed it.


100% very easy indeed! Smile

I reckon this lesson is wicked.

Cool Smug Applause Cowboy So do not waste your time in rubbish places! Smug Nerd

oy yea it's

oy yea it's wicked...!!!!!!!!!

oy yea it's very wicked

Party oy yea it's very wicked Batting Eyelashes ..........!!!!!!!!!11

Wicked topic

I feel as if I'm the British. Smile I'll use this array of words!!! And nobody guesses that I'm the Ukrainian. Smile

I am improving my English

I am improving my English thru all these excersises.. :-)

Go Esther!

Great, then keep up the good work!



Wicked !!

I love this lesson.. great !


First ta

GGGGGGGGGGGreat I mean Wickeeeeeeeeeeeed.

Please put more British words.(slang,colloquial)



FYI - the vulgar word "fag" is not merely "slang" in American English. You should change your quaint description. This is a vulgar ugly pejorative for gay men. Use it at the risk of getting your teeth knocked down your throat. Cheers.