British Slang For Idiot (10 Examples)

Sometimes, we cross paths with a person who is downright an idiot, but we don’t want to insult them. If you’re looking for a word that would replace ‘idiot’ so it won’t be too obvious, you’ve come to the perfect place!  We gathered some of the most common British slang for it.

British Slang For Idiot (In Alphabetical Order)


  • Meaning:
  • (Noun) The word ‘cottonhead’ is slang to replace ‘idiot’ in the UK. Cotton heads are light and airy, and seem to have no weight at all; thus comparing a person to a cottonhead is like saying he’s an idiot.
  • Example: Are you a cottonhead for not understanding my instructions clearly?



  • Meaning:
  • (Noun) The term ‘charlie’ is both used in the UK and Australia that means ‘a silly person’ or fool. It is common British slang for ‘idiot’.
  • Example: I can’t believe I fell hard for a charlie.



  • Meaning:
  • (Noun) ‘Muppet’ came from the popular television program called ‘The Muppet Show’. Today, ‘muppet’ is used as British slang for a foolish person.
  • Example: You must be a muppet for letting him trick you into giving all your money away.



  • Meaning:
  • (Noun) ‘Noddy’ is used to describe a person who grins from ear to ear while nodding his head. This person looks foolish when doing so, especially while engaging in serious conversations. Therefore, ‘noddy’ became a British slang for ‘stupid person.
  • Example: Stop doing that! You act like you’re a noddy!


Not playing with a full deck

  • Meaning:
  • (Idiom) ‘Not playing with a full deck’ meant someone who has mental or psychological problems. Today, the idiom is used as British slang for ‘idiot’.
  • Example: She’s not playing with a full deck that’s why most people don’t understand her.



  • Meaning:
  • (Noun) ‘Plank’ is another term used for calling an idiot and comparing this person to the aptitude of a wooden plank. Most people get confused with this slang, but British people use this term often.
  • Example: Don’t be a plank and start apologizing to your brother.



  • Meaning:
  • (Noun) ‘Pillock’ originated in 16th century Scandinavia. The word came from the Old English pillicock which means ‘penis’. Today, ‘pillock’ is another term for an annoying or stupid person and is a common British slang to replace ‘idiot’ in the UK.
  • Example: He’s such a pillock for trusting someone with a shady background.


Soft in the head

  • Meaning:
  • (Noun) ‘Soft in the head’ is a term used for someone stupid or sometimes a bit crazy. The British use this term to call out an idiot, and is one of the more popular slangs they use. 
  • Example: She’s a lovely girl but can sometimes be soft in the head.



  • Meaning:
  • (Noun) ‘Tard’ is a short version of the word ‘retard’ which means someone with mental retadation. ‘Retard’ is now known to be an offensive word, and is frowned upon all over the world. Therefore, the British use the shortened version ‘tard’ to describe an idiot or stupid person.
  • Example: His undesirable behavior makes him look like a ‘tard.



  • Meaning:
  • (Noun) The word ‘thicko’ is used to describe someone who is slow-witted. It is a common British slang in the UK that’s used to describe someone stupid or an idiot.
  • Example: That thicko doesn’t get what I’m trying to explain. He’s so annoying!


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