LEARN BRITISH SLANG
To really master British English, you also need to learn British slang. Young Brits use it all the time and the British culture is full of slang expressions. Here are some of the most popular slang terms in the United Kingdom presented by our British teachers at Break Into English (http://englishclassviaskype.com).
Contraction of “total bullshit”. Figuratively, “bullshit” means a load of rubbish or nonsense. Thus, people use “tosh” when they don’t believe what someone is saying or when they think it has very little value.
Example: “Politicians are charming people who talk tosh all day long.”
2. Bugger off!
Technically, “to bugger” is to sodomize, but that meaning has been somewhat forgotten, to the point that “bugger” today is considered a acceptable version of “fuck”. Thus, “bugger off!” and “fuck off!” have the same meaning: they are used to tell someone to go away or to get lost. Quite an offensive term, by the way, so don’t go shouting it left and right.
Example: “Bugger off, will you?”
A “maggot” is an insect-larva found in decaying matter. In other words, it’s something very small attracted to filthy and disgusting things. It is itself usually considered to be very disgusting to look at. The slang meaning of “maggot” is an insignificant, possibly slightly repulsive, and annoying person.
Example: “Get out of the way, you maggot!”
4. To go on a bender
“To go on a bender” is to go out at night with the sole goal of getting as drunk as possible. Many people “go on benders” because they only have fun when they’re completely wasted. When you “go on a bender”, you generally indulge in binge drinking, which is the practice of drinking as much as you can over the shortest period of time.
Example: “During bank holiday, many Brits go on a three-day bender.”
5. To be knackered
“To be knackered” means to feel extremely tired. It comes from “knacker”, which was used to describe an old horse or a person who made a living of buying up old horses for slaughter. Charming!
Example: “I’m too knackered for pub-crawling tonight.”
6. Piss artist
Quite a flowery expression that speaks to all men. A “piss artist” is a drunkard, or in other words a person who gets so drunk that he tries to make drawings or spell names while pissing (generally in the street).
Example: “Look at that piss-artist writing his name in the snow.”
A “cock” can describe either a penis or a firing lever on a gun. Such a lever should always be cocked correctly or your gun will fail to fire. Thus, to make a “cock-up” of something is to make a mess of something, to screw it up, to do it badly.
Example: “We’ve made a total cock-up of it.”
8. To take the piss out of someone
“To take the piss out of someone” is to mock or make fun of him/her. I’m not quite sure how you can take the piss out of somebody and how that would make him ridiculous, but there you go, the English language sometimes works in mysterious ways.
Example: “Man, he really took the piss out of you last night.”
That’s all for now! If you want to learn more British slang or improve your general level of English, don’t hesitate to try out our English classes via Skype. You can sign up for a free thirty-minute trial lesson here: http://englishclassviaskype.com/trial-lesson.
Right. Now bugger off, you maggots!