The (unserious) Book of British Slang

Client: Mount Royal University: Document Production
Concept: 
Gaging the slang of England overlooks the stereotypes and unveils the multifaceted and multicultural characteristics of the nation.

As part of a document production class within MRU’s information design program, students were asked to create a coffee table book of their choosing. The Small Book of English Slang documents slang words, terms, and phrases from around the county in alphabetical order. Though it may seem exhaustive, the list is but a glimpse to the everchanging language in Britain.

Isometric-Square-Hardcover-Book-MockupEnglish speakers living in Britain have a vast vocabulary, but those neither born nor living in the UK consistently toss around stereotypical words, phrases, and ideas regarding “British life.” Gaging the slang of England overlooks the stereotypes and unveils the multifaceted and multicultural characteristics of the nation.

2The book reads through A to Z and features a list of slang terms beginning with the alphabetical letter to the left. The terms are situated in blue along with a phonetic transcription in red, and below it reads a phrase in which the slang would be correctly said/written—see below. Many phrases include strong language to emphasize the context in which the words would be correctly used. Discretion is advised. gif2Allow [uh-lou]

To leave something alone. Often used by youth in West London.

“Allow it blud! Let it be.”

Bell [bel]

A call.

“I’ll give you a bell tomorrow.”

Croggy [crog-eh]

To give someone a ride on the back of a bicycle

“You wanna get a croggy down to the corner shops?”

Do one [do-won]

To tell someone to leave.

“Get out my gaf and do one, mate.”

AEeh by gum [ee-bi-gum]

Yorkshire slang for “oh my god.”.

“She’s gone a slept with the butchers; son! Eeh by gum!”

Faff [faf]

To waste time.

“We’re already late cuz you’re faffin’ about!”

Gaf [gaf]

Your house, home, or where you live.

“Wanna come round my gaf?”

Hump [hump]

To be annoyed with someone.

“My mums got the hump with me because I stayed out too late.”

Innit [in-it]

Isn’t it. Used as an extra and unneeded word at the end of sentences.

“This is a banger, init?”

Jacket [ja-ket]

A baked potato.

“Jacket and beans are on for lunch today.”

Kip [kip]

Sleep.

“I need some more kip tonight.”

Lurgy [ler-gee]

Equivalent to the American term, cooties.

“Ew, don’t touch me! You got the lurgys on ya!”

Melt [melt]

A complete idiot.

“Donald Trump is a right melt boy.”

Nowt [nowut]

Nothing.

“I’ve got nowt money on me.”

Old bill [owld-bil]

Police.

“Old bill are always round these parts.”

Porkies [por-keys]

To tell lies.

“The politicians are always telling us porkies.”

Que [kyu]

A lineup.

“British people love to que-up at the supermarket.”

Road [rode]

To describe a stereotypically crime-ridden area or person living on an estate.

“That boys from Islington. He’s no roadman.”

Scouser [skow-zuh]

Someone from or living in Liverpool.

“Them scouser talk odd up North.”

Tarra [tuh-rah]

To say goodbye.

“Tarra for now, duck!”

Us [uz]

To refer to yourself as I or me.

“Can you get us a cuppa, please?”

Veeras [vir-uz]

Cigarette or joint papers.

“Roll up a veera.”

Wah-gwan [wog-won]

To ask, “what’s going on”?

“Oi bruv, wah-gwan?”

Yem [yem]

Referring to home. Typically used by Geordies.

“Ah’s gannin’ yem.”

Radge [raj]

Someone who is not all there.

“You’re a fuckin’ radgy when you drink.”