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In Britain, “sherbet” is a word for a fizzy sweet or sweet powder. However, inviting someone to go to the pub for a few sherbets is not an invitation to eat sweets, but an invitation to drink a few beers. It is possible that this comes from the fizzy, frothy top on beers.

“Do you fancy a few sherbets after work tonight?”

Asking someone if they “fancy” something is a way of asking if they would like it.

This is a shortening of the word “legend.” A legend is someone who is well-known, often for doing something great or incredible. The slang word “ledge” is often an exaggeration, or used to make things and people sound more important than they really are. It can be used not only to describe a famous person, but also a friend or family member who is not famous. It is often used when the friend or family member has done something particularly good or impressive.

“That final goal was amazing, mate. You’re a ledge!”

“Thanks for the tickets, mum. What a ledge!”

While in standard English a mate is a life partner, it is commonly used in Britain to mean a friend. It is also often used to address strangers in informal situations, such as in bars or on public transport. It is particularly used between men (but not always). A similar word is “pal” (which is also used in American English).

“What are you doing this weekend?”
“Hanging out with some of my mates.”

“Excuse me, mate, is anyone sitting here?”

“Hey pal, could I get a whisky and a beer please?”

You may already know that this word is the informal word for “bottom.” It also has another meaning. It is used when somebody uses or gets something from someone else without paying.

“Can I bum a fag?”

“How did you get here?”
“I bummed a lift with Tony.”

Here, “lift” means “ride.”

Cuppa comes from the phrase “cup of.” The implied (suggested) meaning is a cup of tea (because we love tea…sometimes stereotypes exist for a reason). The word “tea” is not actually needed. You only need to make it clear if it is a “cuppa” coffee or a “cuppa” something other than tea.

“Would you like a cuppa?”
“I’d love one. I’ll get the kettle on.”

In American English, “fag” is a derogatory (insulting or mean) term for someone who is gay. In British slang, however, it just means a cigarette.

“I’m going outside for a fag.”

When someone is cheeky, it means that they are being a little rude or disrespectful, but usually in a way that is funny and endearing (cute).

“That is a cheeky smile…are you up to something?”

“Did you just take the last biscuit? That was a bit cheeky!”

It can also be used if you are eating, drinking or doing something that you maybe should not or that is not good for you.

“I’m just going to have a cheeky burger on the way home.”

“Are you coming to the pub tonight?”
“On a Tuesday?! Well OK, just a few cheeky drinks.”

“Bants” is an abbreviation (shortened version) of “banter.” “Banter” means to joke or to exchange witty (quick and fun) remarks with others.

“I’m going to Nando’s for some bants with the lads.”

Knackered (or sometimes “ready for the knackers yard”) means that someone is extremely tired. This comes from “knacker,” which is an older word. It refers to a person who slaughters old worn-out horses who can no longer work.

“I’ve been up half of the night with the baby. I’m totally knackered.”

When someone is chuffed, they are very pleased or happy about something.

“I’m absolutely chuffed with my birthday present. Thanks!”