Breaking Down Some British Slang

By: Jake Sockett Twitter: @SockettJake Instagram: @jake.sockett

A good portion of my family lives in England.

I’ve got family in Hackney and Primrose Hill (which are two lovely neighborhoods of London) and my grandmother lives in Cambridge. When I was a little kid I spent a lot of time with these family members and as a result I got to know the city of London well. As I got older, I started to notice the smaller differences between Boston (or any American city for that matter) and London.

I noticed the big differences early on; the accents, the size of the city, the vastly different restaurants and the food options. But it was only over the last couple of years that I figured out my favorite thing about London (and really the United Kingdom in general)

I love British slang.

The slang that they use is:

1) way more fun to say 2) generally unrelated to what you’re really talking about so using them in the US is like speaking in code and 3) sometimes it’s downright hysterical-


I’m going to teach you some UK slang so you and all your friends can talk like your favorite grime rappers (mine happens to be Dave, check out his album Psychodrama).

The Clapped to Rocket Scale:

This was introduced to me as slang used to talk about women, but fuck that noise. Talk about whoever you want with this scale. Stop gendering shit unnecessarily. Anyhow. If someone is clapped it means they’re pretty ugly. You really do hate to see it (you hate to be it even more). Try not to be clapped. Following clapped is a bird. If you’re a bird, it means you’re either an average looking person or you’re cute, user discretion is advised and it usually depends on context. After bird comes a fit bird, which is a very hot person. Finally comes rocket, which is the hottest person in the room and probably a top ten hottest person in your life. Use sparingly.

Going Quay for a Maccies Ting:

Going to Maccies (McDonalds) to get some food, but McDonald’s is quite aways away.

Getting Proper Sozzled*:

Taking oneself a sizeable distance from sobriety.


Very tired.

Going Full Grubblepuntz:

Going absolutely wild, usually with your mates.

Me Old China Plate:

Used to refer to an old friend. Comes from Cockney rhyming slang, which is entirely its own beast.


Anything you want it to be.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief delve into the wonderful slang terms our friends across the pond like to use. I encourage you to do your own exploration of these words and phrases and even more so to use them amongst your friends.


Editor’s note:

*-Might have to move to Britain just so I can start casually throwing this around.

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