Fun Friday – British Slang

The British and the North Americans: two people, as it’s said, separated by a common language. Particularly when it comes to slang. Here, the difference is considerable.

Just for fun today (it’s a new, warmer month, after all!) here’s a few slang terms from the United Kingdom – many of them in use in Ireland, Australia, and other English places.

Chuffed – British slang for “very pleased.”Chuffed may come from an old word, chuff, meaning “puffed up with fat,” heard as slang as early as the 1860s to mean a sense of satisfaction. Readers of Victorian literature, beware: In the 1800s, chuffed also meant the exact opposite: “displeased.”

Bants – Wherever your best friends, are, ‘bants’ is a shortened form of ‘banter’. Bants is good-humored, friendly teasing between friends, and it can be loads of fun.

Dodgy – meaning ‘a bit risky’, this informal expression is found in the 19th-century, from dodge, or “evade,” as in someone dodging an answer with a less-than-honest answer. And so, dodgy takes on senses of “dishonest,” “dangerous,” or “low-quality” in British slang.  One memorable example comes from the 2003 film Love Actually, when the character Natalie says she lives in “the dodgy end” of Wandsworth, or the less desirable part of that London borough.

Cheeky Nando’s – having a cheeky Nando’s means popping in for a bite at the popular London chicken restaurant, Nando’s, perhaps with your mates after you’ve had a couple of pints and are having a good time. The ‘cheeky’ part is slang for “indulgent” or “impulsive,” especially with food and drink, coming from the late 1980’s.

Laldy and yaldi – the UK isn’t just British, it’s also Scottish, and the Scots have countless, wonderful expressions all their own. Like the term laldy, literally “a beating, a thrashing.” In Scottish slang, to give it laldy is to “do something with lots of energy and gusto.” It’s particularly associated with singing your heart out—perhaps after you’ve downed some cheeky pints. According to a 2015 article in The Scotsman, the newer slang word yaldi, which is used to express excitement, possibly comes from a mispronunciation of laldyYaldi!

That was fun! I think we’ll have to find some more UK slang – got any? Right now, all I want is Nando’s…

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