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English FlagEnglish to American English
English Language Translations
(or some London phrases you might come across!)

In theory, coming to the UK means that an American doesn't have to worry about a language barrier... yeah, right!

A bit of Social History...

The London language...

Consider this...

So here are our cosher translations to help you feel at 'ome with the natives down the local in town - 'ave a gander an' hopefully you'll find it useful wiv no agro, alwright? We 'ope it help your stay be well cushty, and you won't feel like a dipstick, cause we ain't takin' the mick, alwright geezer?

Also, if you clock any blinding or pukka phrases, that ain't on our list, please email us @ office(at)londonairconnections.com and we'll be happy to bung it on this list....

118: as in "try 118 mate!" (118-118 is a telephone directory & enquiry number).
999: as in "Call 999!" (999 is UK Emergency Number, like 911 in USA).
AGRO': aggravation. ("Don't give me any agro.")
AIN'T: Isn't it (Is not that it?")
ALL GREEK TO ME: Don't understand a word.
ALWIGHT: Hello or Okay (London particularly use this phrase but has spread UK wide now)
ANORAK: Geek or nerd (Someone who train spots in a waterproof coat!)
ARSE: Your backside (USA uses Ass!)
ARSE OVER TIT: Falling over.
AUSSIE: Australian (also used for a New Zealander but this is obviously incorrect!)
BANGERS AND MASH: sausages and mashed potatoes. A common, filling and often tasty staple at most pubs.
BANG: Loud noise or The act of sexual intercourse.
BAP: bun/roll for sandwiches.
BAPS: (RUDE) Ladies Breasts (Very rude, normally male to male speaking)
BATHROOM: Where you have a bath - not the lavatory
BELL: Telephoning (as in 'I'll give you a bell')
BENDER: A homosexual (RUDE)
BENDER: Drinking heavily (as in 'going on a bender!')
BENT: Stolen, or not Straight. Not 'Kosher' (see Kosher)
BENT: Homosexual. (as in "He's as bent as a nine bob note!") (There is no 'genuine' nine bob note!)
BIRD: A woman. (or a flying feathered animal).
BIN: garbage can.
BLAG: Stole or Talk (as in 'he blagged his way into the club'.)
BLAGGER: A thief.
BLIMEY: exclamation!
BLINDING: Amazing.
BLITZ: Bombing of London in 1940-41 during WW2 (& other UK Cities)
BLITZ SPIRIT: Community Joviality During Times of Stress or Duress - particular to London!
BLOKE: a guy, a man.
BLOODY: (RUDE) a swear word, similar to the American 'damn' but a bit stronger. o
BLOWER: Teleph
one.
BOB: An old word for 5p (pence) (a shilling in old UK currency!) (or a man in the sea who can't swim)
BOG: Toilet - WC
BOG ROLL: Toilet Paper.
BOOKIES: Betting Shop - (Book Makers is a place where you can bet on Horse racing and Football etc.)
BOOT: Car trunk or Heavy shoes/boots.
BOOZE: Alcohol. (the Aussie phrase 'GROG' is also starting to be used in London).
BOOZER: Pub
BOLLOCKS: (CAN BE RUDE) similar to the American 'damn or sh*t but can also mean 'you lie', or 'you are talking "Rubbish" '. (WARNING: Can be very rude - don't use with American accent! Americans should not use this word as the meaning depends on the expression of the word and the American accent can make it very insulting. (American Actors often get this wrong on US TV, much to English amusement!)
BONNET: Hood (Car/Truck etc)
BOTTLE: Courage. (ie. 'he bottled it' means he didn't have the courage).
(the) BOX: Television.
BREAD: Money.
BUFF: Good looking. (as in she's Buff) ("In the Buff" means naked, so be careful with this one!)
BUGGER: (CAN BE RUDE!) similar to the American 'damn!' Can also be used towards someone who's not too bright - as in 'Silly Bugger!' (Can be rude - don't use with American accent!).
BUGGER ALL: Nothing or none.
BUM: rear end, bottom.
BUM BAG: Fanny pack (You really should not use Fanny Pack in the UK - see FANNY below!!!)
BUN IN THE OVEN: Pregnant.
BUNG: The throw or chuck something.
(A) BUNG: A bribe
BUTCHERS: to take a Look.. (as in butchers hook).
CANTEEN: cafeteria.
CAR PARK: parking lot.
CARRIAGEWAY: Street (Carriage is where both the US & UK get the word 'Car' from)
CHAR: Tea. (Indian influenced).
CHAT UP: flirt with, come on to.
CHEERS: Drinking greeting, as in 'hello.' Can also be used in lieu of 'thanks'.
CHINKY: Chinese (normally food)
CHIP: Leave. (as in 'I've got to chip').
CHIPPY: shop that sells fish & chips.
CHIPS: French fries.
CHUCK: To throw something. (Also to break up a relationship, "I chucked 'im!")
CLOCK: Look (or a time piece on the wall!)
COACH: bus.
CODSWALLOP: Talking 'Rubbish' or nonsense.
COLD TEA: Hot tea that's gone cold! (Yuk!)
CONDOM: A Rubber!
COPPER: Policeman.
COSHER: Perfect or see 'PUKKA'. Authentic. (Jewish influence).
COWBOY: Someone who isn't an expert at their job. (eg. Cowboy builder)
CRIKEY: 'Blimey' - exclamation!
CRISPS: potato chips.
CUPPA: As in "a cup of tea". (See Tea)
CUSHY: Easy. Indian influence.
CUSHTY: Perfect (as in 'everything is cushty'). Indian influence.
DAMAGE: How much. (ie. 'What's the damage?')
DIAMOND: Solid, good. (ie. 'Diamond Geezer!')
DIPSTICK: Fool (or the measure stick in your car cooling system!)
DODGY: A risk involved.
DOSH: cash/money.
DORIS: Woman - not normally a nice phrase.(ie. 'She was a right Doris!')
DOSH: Money.
DOUGHNUT: Someone with not much in the middle!(ie. brainless!) See 'Plonker'
DRUM: Home, or can be a type of tobacco.
DUMMY: Babies Comforter (or a silly bugger!)
DUVET: Bed covering.
EGGY BREAD: French Toast.
ESTATE: Housing project.
ESTATE AGENT: Realtor.
ESTATE CAR: Station Wagon.
EXCUSE MY FRENCH: Sorry for swearing.
FAG: cigarette. (Not really a UK way to describe a homosexual, this would be considered very rude)
FAG SHOP: (See Newsagent)
FANNY: (RUDE) in the UK 'fanny' refers to female genitalia, not your BUM (see above)
FANNY: (NOT RUDE) A ladies name.
FIVER: five-pound note.
FLAT: apartment or condo.
FLIPPING: Polite way to say F#CKING!
FLOG: to sell.
FLYOVER: Overpass.
FOOTBALL: soccer. US Football is called 'American football.'
FOOTIE: see football above.
FORTNIGHT: two weeks.
FULL MONTY: Everything.('He ain' t the full monty' means he is not all there!)
FULL STOP: a period (punctuation).
GAFF: Home (as in 'My gaff')
GANDER: Look (to take a Gander)
GAP: (as in "MIND THE GAP"): The gap between the platform and the train (London Underground)
GARBAGE: Scottish Rock Band from 1990's.
GARDEN: yard.
GAS: Natural Gas (Fuel), To Talk Too Much (GASSING). or Flatulence. (Break Gas)
GEEZER: (also Geyser/Geiser) See "BLOKE" above - London Term.
GOB: Mouth.
GOBSMACKED: Left me unable to talk.
GRAND: either 'terrific' or a thousand pounds.
GRASS: An informer (or the green stuff in the park!)
GRUB: Food.
GUV: Governor or Boss.
HAMMERED: Drunk.
HIRE: to rent.
HOOTER: a car horn!
HOOVER: the action of vacuuming.
ICE TEA: Tea that's gone cold. (Yuk!)
INIT: Isn't it? or Is not that it?
IZZIT: Literally "is it?" means "really?"
JACK: Alone. (as in "on his Jacks").
JACKED: Stolen.
JAM: Jelly (for toast). (see Jelly)
JAM JAR: Car (Cockney Slang).
(A) JAR: A pint.
JELLY: Jello.
JEWELLERY: Jewelry.
(A) JOHNNY: A rubber! Condom.
JOHN THOMAS: Man's Penis. (Origin unknown).
JUMPER: sweater.
KASI (Also spelt KHAZI): Toilet - Bathroom (Pronounced 'KARZI' from the Indian language)
KIP: Sleep.

KNACKERED: tired, worn out. (The 'knackers' yard was where they turned old horses into dog food!)
KNICKERS: women's underwear.
KNOCKERS: women's breasts.
KOSHER: Legitimate
LEG-UP: to give a helping hand.
LEG-OVER:(RUDE) To score - "get your leg-over!" (Use your imagination!)
LOCAL: Pub (as in 'Meet me at the local').
LOLLY: Money.
LORRY: Truck/Semi or 18 wheeler.
LUSH: Good looking. (from Delicious)
LUV: Love - loose term of endearment. (as in 'Alwright Luv?').
LUVVY: Camp or slightly feminine - used particularly towards theatre actors.
MA: Mom (or can be "Mine" in colloquial speak.
MANDEM: Boys/Men. (Made famous recently by London born singer, Jessie. J.).
MANOR: Either 'Turf' or 'house'. (as in... "Ma Manor")
MARVIN: Hungry (As in Starving Marvin!)
MATE: friend, pal. Can also be said as 'Matey'.
MINT: New (As in Mint Condition) (Also can mean "cool" in youth speak!)
MOD: (from modernist) a subculture, originated in London in the late 1950s, early 1960s and a revival in late 1970s.
MONKEY: £500 pounds (Indian Influence) (or an ape like character in London Zoo!)
MOTOR: Car.
MOTORWAY: highway.
MUM: Mom.
MUPPET: Stupid (as in 'You Muppet!') or Character from Sesame Street.
MUCKER: Mate (see above - as in 'My old Mucker!')
NAFF: Rubbish - no good.
NAG: Horse (or the wife (as in the nagging))
NANG: Good. (Asian/Black Inner City Slang)
NAPPY: Diaper/Terry.
NAP: Short sleep.
NEWSAGENT: Convenience Store, Sweet Shop, Tobacconist (Often Grocery Store too!).
NICKED: Something that is Stolen, or to be arrested by the police. (Example: "You're nicked son!")
NICKER: Money, usually referring to a £1 coin.
NOT BOTHERED/CAN'T BE BOTHERED: don't care. Ex. "I can't be bothered to go out tonight."
NOUNCE: Literally Child abuser, but more recently its become a term of abuse for anyone.
NUTTER: crazy person. Ex. "He's acting like a nutter!"
NUMPTY: a silly or stupid person. (Believed to be originally a Scottish phrase)
OFF HIS HEAD: He is either a nutter or is drunk.
OFF LICENSE: shop that sells alcohol to go. (Also can be an 'Offy').
Oi! : Hey, (To attract someone's attention - normally when they've done something wrong!)
OLD MAN: Various meanings, including... Wife talking about husband, child talking about father, Man talking about his 'John Thomas'. (Has to be heard in context to understand meaning).
P's & Q's: means 'Please' and 'Thank Qs'. So "mind your P's & Q's," means you forgot to say 'please' or ''Thank you'!
PANTS: in the UK, 'pants' refer to underwear. So be wary of using 'pants' to describe your 'trousers'.
PARKY: Cold. (Also someone in charge of a park or garden)
PEANUT: Small male sexual organ (or type of nut eaten in pubs, sometimes salted sometimes roasted!)
PETE TONG: Gone wrong! ('It's all gone Pete Tong', after famous DJ/Musician!).
PETROL: gasoline.
PERIOD: (RUDE) Ladies time of the month (NOT a full stop!!!)
PISSED: Someone who is Drunk. (Not 'annoyed' as in USA - see 'P'd off' below for that...)
PI**ED OFF: (RUDE) Upset (He's P~~~ed Off)(Actually means very upset!)
PISS UP: A party - where people drink Alcohol (Alcohol is not unusual or taboo in Europe!)!
PLONKER: idiot (a London phrase - means Wally, but literally means WILLY).
PONY: £25 pounds (Indian influence) (or a small horse-like creature!)
PORK PIE: A lie.
PORK PIE: A particular type of hat worn by Jamaican's and MOD's.
POUND: UK currency (also old weight measurement)
PRICK: (RUDE) see WILLY, but very rude. o
PUB: Bar - but not always a drinking den, in the UK we use pubs as meeting places before going out.
PUKKA: Perfect or 'Kosher'. (Authentic). Indian Influence.
PULL: 'To go on the Pull', search for a sexual partner. (or the action of opening a door!)
PUNTER: Customer.
QUEUE: a line. (for a bus or a queue of traffic).
QUID: a POUND (£) in currency.
RASCAL: Someone who is trouble but in a nice way.
(A) RING: Call you. (The British don't "give you a call" they "ring you up" or 'give you a ring').
ROAD: Street.
ROGER: Act of sexual intercourse (Also a name & a radio term for 'understood')
ROUNDABOUT: A Traffic Island to drive around. (Used instead of Traffic Lights at a road junction).
RUBBER: pencil eraser. (or Car tyre) (Not a CONDOM)
RUBBISH: Trash or Garbage.
RUBY: Curry (Rhyming slang 'Ruby Murray' = 'Curry")
RUG: Hairpiece (or a mat in your house).
SAFE: A quick way of saying Okay. (or a metal box to keep thieves out!)
SALOON CAR: Sedan Car
SCARPER: To disappear rather quickly - particularly if in trouble.
SCONE: Breakfast Biscuit. (We would eat these during the day in a 'Cream tea' rather than for breakfast, with Butter or Whipped cream, 'Jam' and a cup of tea).
SCORE: To 'PULL' a 'BIRD' (or a goal in sport!)
(A) SCORE: Twenty 'QUID'
SHAG: Act of sexual intercourse. (Ed note: We have loads of phrases for sex in London!!!)
SHUT-IT!: Close your mouth ("before you say something you may regret!")
SHUT YOUR GOB - see above.
SICK: Disgusting or crazy. (but in youth speak it means cool. As in "That's sick man!).
SKINT: Having no money.
SLASH: to go to the 'BOG' &/or have a 'WEE'. (Also American Guitarist!)
SMART: fashionable/chic.
SNOG: to kiss.
SOD OFF:(RUDE) get lost.
SOLICITOR: a lawyer.
SORRY?: pardon me? Excuse me?
SORRY!: Apologies. (This is used a lot in London, especially when walking in a crowd bumping into people)
SORT IT OUT: figure it out.
SUBWAY: Pedestrian crossing under a street or building. NOT THE UNDERGROUND/TUBE SYSTEM!
STRAIGHT: Either... not homosexual, or telling the truth.
SWEET: (Sweets) Candy.
SWEET!: Good (as in 'Nice!').
SWEET SHOP: (See Newsagent)
TA: thank you.
TAP: Faucet
TAKE THE MICK teasing/taunting.
TAKE THE PISS: teasing/taunting. o
TAKEAWAY: take out food.
TAXED: Stolen.
TEA: Hot tea (Made with milk, and often sugar)
TEA: dinner. "Going to tea" often refers to going out for dinner.
TELLY: television.
TIN: Can (As in Baked beans etc)
TOILET - WC/Bathroom
TON: one hundred (normally £100 POUNDS)
TOSSER: see 'wanker'.
TOWN: London. (Pronounced 'Taawnn')
TRAINERS: sneakers/tennis shoes/athletic shoes.
TRASHED: Very drunk or Destroyed (as in 'The flat was trashed after the party!'). NOT GARBAGE'd'!
The TROUBLE: Wife (as in 'Trouble and strife'= 'wife')
TUBE: The London Underground Railway (Tunneled part only)(Oldest Underground System in the world)
TYRE: tire. As in the rubber wheel of a car.
UNDEGROUND (The): London Subway System.
UNI: university.
UP THE DUFF: Pregnant.
WAG: A person who may (or not) have a sense of humour
WANKER: jerk. Quite rude! o
WASHING UP: doing the dishes.
WALLAD: (Black/Asian, meaning fool)
WALLY: to be a Wally is to be a bit stupid, or silly.
WAZZ: (also WASS) Urinate.
WC : Water Closet (Toilet - lavatory)
WEE: 'small' in Scotland (only), 'pee' in rest of UK.
WHITE VAN MAN: Workman who drives a white truck (not a Semi) and reads the Sun newspaper. Often a local delivery driver, painter/decorator, repairman or window cleaner who hogs the fast lane on the motorway!
WICKED: Excellent - as in "Well wicked man!" (Also a great stage play in London)
WILLY: slang for penis. o
WONGER: money.(London phrase - also 'Wonga').
YOB: Not nice person - (Young 'Orrible Boy!)
Z's or ZEEDS: Sleep. (Note: We say... X,Y Zed, not Zee!)

You shouldn't use those marked "o" or (RUDE) with people you don't know!

Please note that this list is not extensive and does not include much 'Cockney Rhyming slang'. We know some of these phrases are used in some parts of America, and not in others, so we have added them if we have been asked the meaning by guests from the USA...

And remember...

...so watch your gob and try not to look like a pissed nutter mate!

"There is a saying which goes…'the Americans and English are basically the same - it's just the language that makes us different!' - I hope this little language guide helps shorten that difference just a little. "
Sir Keife Iceni - C.E.O. KGC Group

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Updated September 2011