21 British Slang Terms We Wish Would Take Off in the States


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Remember in Mean Girls when Gretchen Wieners (her dad invented Toaster Strudel) tries to get the British word “fetch” to happen? To Gretchen’s dismay it doesn't, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to work these 21 excellent British terms into your vocabulary. On you go, mate.

Meaning: amazed or in awe of something, astounded, flabbergasted
As in: Never not gobsmacked by everything Beyoncé does.

Meaning: being completely clueless, very stupid or foolish
As in: I just felt so gormless reading the latest Jonathan Franzen book.  

Meaning: being a loudmouth
As in: Donald Trump’s a bit gobby, don’t you think?

Meaning: offended
As in: Not going to lie, I was a little miffed when she didn’t like my Instagram photo when she clearly saw it.

Pavement Pizza
Meaning: a euphemism for vomit
As in: Sunday mornings mean dark sunglasses, large coffees and the occasional sighting of pavement pizza.

Off One’s Trolley
Meaning: someone who has gone mad
As in: Ramona was off her trolley on last night’s Real Housewives.

Meaning: an idiot
As in: Don’t be a wazzock and cut your own bangs.

Meaning: a poser
As in: She’s such a ponce. It’s like, just because you went to Coachella one time…

Meaning: feeling nervous or having an upset stomach
As in: I got a serious case of the collywobbles before this morning’s presentation. All good now!

Meaning: something that is brilliant or excellent
As in: James Corden is ace at karaoke. Who knew?

Meaning: Something that’s delicious or mouthwateringly good
As in: I can’t stop eating this $15 avocado toast. It’s so damn scrummy.

Meaning: a chat or short conversation
As in: The last thing I want to do on my morning commute is have a pointless chin-wag on the train.

The Dog’s Bollocks
Meaning: the best
As in: Do you follow Reese Witherspoon on Snapchat? She’s the dog’s bollocks.

Meaning: to be in a bad situation
As in: I was completely snookered when both of my exes walked into Starbucks while I was waiting for my cappuccino.

Meaning: when everything is going great or favorably
As in: Everything is pretty tickety-boo. I just got a promotion and my dog just reached 10,000 followers on Instagram.

Meaning: worn out
As in: By Friday night I’m totally buggered and in serious need of a hardcore Netflix binge.

Crease Up
Meaning: to laugh heartily
As in: That Amy Schumer makes me crease up every time.

Meaning: a mistake
As in: Oh God, I’ve made a huge clanger.

Meaning: unfashionable
As in: According to Vogue skinny jeans are naff, but I’m going to keep wearing mine, thank you very much.

Meaning: horrible, cheap wine
As in: The stuff’s complete plonk, but it gets the job done, you know?

Sod It
Meaning: I give up
As in: I am so tired. Sod it, I’m not working out tonight.

sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...