A Very Funny and Quick Guide to London Slang

Credit: Shutterstock/FenlioQ
Credit: Shutterstock/FenlioQ

Tourist, or not native to London? Wondering what all these new words mean? Don’t worry, we’ve put together this really quick and simple guide to London slang. Follow these essential bits of vocabulary that every traveller (probably) needs to know.

By the way, did you know Culture Trip now has a selection of incredible small-group trips around the world where you can learn more local phrases from an expert guide? Our local insiders will show you sights that few tourists get to see and will give you a few language pointers too!

The essential A’s…

Ah nam – tell on, rat on, tattle on.

Alie – I agree.

Allow/allow it – stop/stop it.

The essential B’s…

Bait – obvious or simple. As in, ‘you’re so bait.’

Bangin‘ – good.

Bare – a lot of something.

Beast – really cool. As in, ‘that outfit is beast.’

Beef – a hostility between two people that usually results in violence.

Blud/Blad – brother, friend.

Bovvered – verb describing a lack of interest. As in, ‘I ain’t bovvered.’

Brap! – representing oneself, bigging yourself up.

Butters — ugly.

The essential C’s…

Chief – an unintelligent person.

Chung – extremely good looking.

Chirpsing – flirting.

The essential D’s…

Dapper – someone who looks fancy or smart.

Dizzy – crazy.

Dred – dreadful, terrible, cruel,

Dry – dull, boring.

The essential E’s…

Ends – area or neighbourhood a person hails from.

The essential F’s…

Fam – family and friends.

Fresh – nice, looks good. As in, ‘Sam is looking fresh today.’

Feds – police.

The essential G’s…

Garms – clothing.

Gyaldem – girl grew.

The essential H’s…

Heads – people (‘bare heads’ means ‘lots of people’).

Hype – too much, excessive, over the top.

Hench – muscular.

Hectic – good, fantastic, amazing.

The essential I’s…

Init – short for ‘isn’t it’, often put at the end of sentences for extra effect or added drama.

Is-it (sometimes pronounced iiiiissss iiiiitttt?) – means: really?

Inner – describes someone who is too nosey.

The essential J’s…

Jack – to take or steal. As in, ‘Katy jacked my food.’

Jakes – police.

Jam – relax, chill out.

Jokes – funny. As in, ‘that party was jokes’ or ‘Charlie is so jokes.’

The essential K’s…

Kotch – sit and chill.

Kretin – idiot.

The essential L’s…

Link – to hook up with someone.

Lips – to kiss passionately.

Long – when something involves far too much effort.

Lush – good-looking.

The essential M’s…

Manz – refers to oneself in a ‘big up’ manner.

Marvin – hungry.

The essential N’s…

Next man – someone who joins in a conversation when they are not involved.

The essential O’s…

On top – when a situation goes absolutely crazy.

Owned – to be made a fool of.

The essential P’s…

Peng – good-looking.

The essential R’s…

Rinsed – overused, used up, all gone.

Roll with – hang out with.

The essential S’s…

Safe – cool, good, sweet.

Shook – nervous, freaking out.

Sick – interesting, cool. As in, ‘Harry is sick.’

Standard – of course.

Switch – to turn on someone instantly with maximum shade.

The essential T’s…

Taxed – stealing.

Tight – cheap. As in, ‘stop being so tight and lend me £5.’

Tonk – muscular person.

Treck – something far away.

Tune (sometimes pronounced tuuuuunnnnneeeee) – music you love.

The essential and only V you need to know…

Vex/vexed – an extremely annoyed person.

The essential W’s…

Wag-One (wah’gwan or wah’ta’gwan fam) – short for ‘what’s goin on.’

Watch – be careful, don’t mess with me.

Wicked – cool, amazing.

Wifey – girlfriend, bestie.

And finally, the essential Y’s…

Yard – your house.

Younger – a sibling, someone younger than you. As in, ‘come here, younger.’

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