Oh The British Talk Funny

Due to the enormous success of my post Oh The British, I felt compelled to write a follow-up post. And by enormous success, I mean that all of my six regular readers found the post semi-entertaining. So to you devoted readers, I dedicate this post.

One major advantage of moving to the UK from the USA is that you don’t have to learn a new language. Or so you would think. Though English is spoken in both countries, British and American English can be quite different. So for anyone new to the UK or planning a visit, here is a helpful (but far from comprehensive) guide. This would also be helpful to a Brit visiting the USA.


American and British English

American English: Hello! Hi!

British English: Hiya! Helloooo!


AE: Wassup? What’s the haps?

BE: All right? How are you?


AE: When will it stop raining?

BE: What a lovely day, it has only rained for three hours.


AE: Where is a McDonald’s?

BE: Look at all those Americans going to the MaccyDs (pronounced MackyDees).


AE: I’m amazed at all the sexy men hanging out in the Fish & Chips restaurant.

BE: I’m gobsmacked at all the fit blokes in the chippy.


AE: I’m going to bed now. I’m drunk after drinking those beers at the old bar.

BE: I’m off to Bedfordshire. I’m pissed after downing those pints at the pub.


AE: Goodbye. Peace out.

BE: Ta. Ta ta. Tara. Cheerio.


Here are some of my favourite British words/phrases:

Easy peasy Lemon squeezy = Easy
Ace = great
Chin wag = chat
Taking the piss = making fun of someone/something
Wonky = crooked or unbalanced (as in a wonky haircut)
Kip = nap
Well = very (used as an adverb). Ex: That bloke is well dodgy = That man is very sketchy (not to be trusted)
Wanker = someone who jacks himself off, and is therefore a bit of an a**hole.
To have a butchers = to have a look
Gutted = bummed or upset
Knackered/Cream Crackered = tired, but I think knackered is more adult
Mates = friends/homies



Here are some commonly used terms that are handy to know:

Loo/Toilet = restroom/bathroom
Brolly = Umbrella
Quid = £ (pound = currency)
Rubbish = garbage/trash
Fringe = bangs
Pants/knickers = underpants/underwear
Trousers = pants
Arse/Bum/Bottom = butt
Fanny = vagina
Lift = elevator
Pavement = sidewalk
Ta/Cheers = thank you


I hope this helps! Cheerio homies!


Seychelles Mama
Photo credit: phasinphoto, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

19 thoughts on “Oh The British Talk Funny

  1. i was learning english american at school which completely confused me when i had to speak with british

  2. Pahahaha! LOVE IT 🙂 I was holding out for fanny too and there it was! I guess another useful thing for our visiting american’s to know – not speech related though – is the peace sign MUST be done with your palm facing forward. Get the wrong way around and you could be on the wrong end of a Glaswegian kiss (or headbutt as it’s more commonly known) 😉 xx

  3. Tee hee great post! We had friends over from Alaska recently and they kept telling us how cute our accents were and how muh they loved our little catch phrases 🙂

  4. I love posts like this, such fun! Having travelled and lived as an expat all my life I’ve come across so many variations of English, it’s great!

  5. Hehe Brilliant! I love local words and phrases, how they differ between cities as well as countries xx

  6. So funny. I didn’t know that Californians say What’s the haps though. I’ve learned something new 🙂 I always confuse my kids when I say sidewalk and pants and bangs. Ha ha so funny.

  7. Oh my god I love this!!! Having lived in both places I totally get how different the languages really are, in fact how different the people are as well!!!
    Love how you said knackered is like tired but more adult….I remember being little and getting told off for saying it haha, I’m really not sure it counts as a swear but it definitely seems more grown up!
    My husband says that I have “americanisms” that come out every now and then that I didn’t even realise wasn’t the “British” way!
    Thanks for linking up for #myexpatfamily 🙂 x

  8. Ha ha ha – loved it… It works for me in reverse to as I’m a Brit that’s moved over to the USA – further complicated by the fact that I’m a Scots moved over to Texas! We figured with both countries being English speaking we should manage easily with communication, but no… not so much as we thought!

    Louise (@mumtomomme)

  9. I was laughing out loud at this! I used to watch a lot of american teen movies when I was younger and didn’t have a clue what ‘bangs’ were! x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *