101+ British Slang Insults (Complete List)

British slang is some of the most descriptive, colorful, and diverse slang out there. You’ve likely heard it in movies, read it in books, or even seen it used by some of your favorite characters on TV.

Nowhere does British slang shine quite as brightly as in their brilliant insults. We’ve pulled together a list of British slang insults that will amaze you with their wit.


Table of Contents

British Slang Insults (in Alphabetical Order)

A

A Biscuit Short of a Packet

Meaning:

  • (Expression): A British expression that means someone is either stupid or crazy. It can also indicate someone is behaving strangely/illogically.
  • Example: “My nan is a biscuit short of a packet, but she’s still a sweet lady.”

A Face Like Chewed Up Toffee

Meaning:

  • (Expression): British slang loves to call people ugly. This expression is one particularly vivid way of doing just that.
  • Example: “I could never date her. She has a face like chewed up toffee!”

A Few Sandwiches Short of a Picnic

Meaning:

  • (Expression): If you’re from the US, you’ve probably heard someone described as “a few sandwiches short of a picnic” before. This one is just like saying someone is a biscuit short of a packet and can be used similarly.

Airy Fairy

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Someone who is physically weak.
  • Example: “Don’t expect him to help carry your luggage – he’s an airy fairy.”

Arse/Arsehole

Meaning:

  • (Noun): The British equivalent of “ass” or “asshole.” Can be used to describe an idiot or a jerk.
  • Example: “My ex-boyfriend is a complete arse.”

Arse-licker

Meaning:

  • (Noun): If you live in the US, you’ve probably heard the phrase “brown noser.” Arse-licker has the same meaning: someone who debases themselves for another person in authority for some sort of benefit.
  • Example: “He’s an arse-licker, constantly bending over backwards for the boss.”

Arsemonger

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A person worth looking down upon for various reasons.
  • Example: “He’s an arsemonger. Don’t waste your time looking up to him.”

B

Babe

Meaning:

  • (Noun): You can use this to refer to a person affectionately, but you can also use it sarcastically to turn it into an insult.

Beastly

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): Something that is horrible.
  • Example: “Ugh, you’ve got beastly breath, mate.”  

Bellend

Meaning:

  • (Noun): An idiot. It’s also a common slang term for penis.
  • Example: “Alexander is such a bellend. I have no idea how he made it into Uni.”

Berk

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Another word for idiot.

Billy No-Mates

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Someone who doesn’t have any friends.
  • Example: “Look at Billy No-Mates over there, drinking all by his lonesome.”

Blasted

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): Something that has gone horribly awry.
  • Example: “Her blasted speech was a nightmare to listen to.”

Blighter

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A person who is constantly screwing things up.
  • Example: “You blighter – you just spilled my tea on my laptop!”

Bloody Toe Rag

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Someone who is completely useless.
  • Example: “Don’t just stand there, you bloody toe rag – help me!”

Bollocks

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): The British word for testicles. It’s commonly used to describe something bad or as an exclamation that’s similar in nature to, “crap.”
  • Example: “Your argument was bollocks.”

Botch

Meaning:

  • (Verb): To mess something up or do a terrible job.
  • Example: “He botched his report, and now the boss is thinking about canning him.”

Bugger Off

Meaning:

  • (Expression): A phrase you use to tell someone to leave you alone.
  • Example: “Bugger off – I’m trying to eat.”

C

Cack-Handed

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): Doing something inefficiently.
  • Example: “He fixed our car in a cack-handed way.”

Chav

Meaning:

  • ((Noun): Low in class. Someone who’s trashy. You may want to avoid using this one, as it has a connection to the Romani people and can be racist in nature.

Chavtastic

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): Something that is incredibly trashy.

Cheeky Monkey

Meaning:

  • (Noun): This is what you call someone who’s being devious. It can also be affectionate when applied to a close friend or child who’s misbehaving a little bit.
  • Example: “Stop playing with your food, you cheeky monkey!”

Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Insulting term you can use to refer to French people. There’s some debate over whether or not this is actually British, or if it was first used in The Simpsons.

Chuffer

Meaning:

  • (Noun): While this is a very versatile term, it’s most often used to reference someone who brags too much. In other words, someone who talks the talk but can’t walk the walk.
  • Example: “My boyfriend is a chuffer. He says he’s good in bed, but I can tell you he’s lying.”

Cock Up

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A wreck or mess. Something that it is in total disarray.
  • Example: “John, your hair’s a cock up right now. Maybe you should look in the mirror.”

D

Daft

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): When you describe someone as “daft,” you’re telling them that they’re unintelligent.
  • Example: “That was a daft move, Ed.”

Daft as a Bush

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Basically just means “dumb as a bush.” A colorful way of calling someone an idiot.
  • Example: “My brother is daft as a bush. He doesn’t even know how to change a light bulb.”

Daft Cow

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A large and unintelligent woman.
  • Example: “Sherry is a daft cow who always messes up my order.”

Dead from the Neck Up

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Another colorful way of calling someone stupid. You can use it similarly to how you’d say, “daft as a bush.”

Death Warmed Up

Meaning:

  • (Expression): When you use this, you’re telling someone they look horrible or disorderly.
  • Example: “What’s wrong? You look like death warmed up.”

Dick

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A jerk or a fool. Treat this one like bellend.

Dive

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Location that’s messy, trashy, or low in quality. It’s similar to how you’d call a place a dump in the US.
  • Example: “That pub’s a dive. Don’t waste your time there.”

Dodgy

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): Of questionable character. Someone or something that you can’t trust.
  • Example: “He’s a dodgy businessman who sells knock-off pocket watches to tourists.”

Dog’s Dinner

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Something that is a disaster or mess. Treat this one like cock up.

Dragged Through a Hedge Backwards

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Another British phrase that simply means someone is looking ugly. It’s like saying death warmed up.

E

Eejit

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Accented way of pronouncing the word idiot. You can say this one any time you’d otherwise call someone an idiot.

F

Face Like a Bucket of Smashed Crabs

Meaning:

  • (Expression): You can use this to call someone unattractive.

Face Like a Bulldog Chewing a Wasp

Meaning:

  • (Expression): If you’re looking for another colorful way to insult someone’s looks, you can use this phrase.

Face Like a Stuntman’s Knee

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Another expression used to indicate that someone is ugly.

Fanny Adams

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): Use this one to describe something that’s outdated or negligible.
  • Example: “Robert’s got fanny Adams for brains.”

Fop/Foppish

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Men who are overly obsessed with their looks or prissy.
  • Example: “That fop won’t stop checking himself out in the mirror.”

G

Gannet

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A way to describe someone who is way too greedy.
  • Example: “My sister is a gannet who hopes to marry a rich man.”

Get Bent

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Another phrase that tells someone to leave you alone. You can say it any time you would say, “bugger off.”

Git

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A fool or idiot.

Gone Out and Left the Lights On

Meaning:

  • (Expression): A phrase that describes someone who’s unintelligent or crazy. This is equivalent to a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

Gone to Shambles

Meaning:

  • (Expression): When something or someone has been completely wrecked.
  • Example: “Annie has gone to shambles since I left her. Poor thing.”

Gone to the Dogs

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Another way to describe something or someone that has been destroyed.

Gormless

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): A word to describe someone who can’t pay attention or someone who’s completely clueless.
  • Example: “Your gormless twit – that’s a toaster, not an oven!”

H

Hell’s Bells

Meaning:

  • (Exclamation): An exclamation that essentially means “oh, my god.” You can use it to express joy, exhaustion, or frustration.
  • Example: “Hell’s bells, Ben, you’re the biggest eejit I know.”

K

Knob/Knob Head

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Synonymous to bellend. It can be used to refer to a penis or to someone who’s a jerk.

L

Laugh Like a Drain

Meaning:

  • (Expression): A laugh that can only be described as loud and annoying.
  • Example: “I try not to tell her too many jokes because she’s got a laugh like a drain.”

Lazy Sod

Meaning:

  • (Noun): An idiot who also has the privilege of being useless and unhelpful. Use it like you would say bloody toe rag.

Let Down

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A person or thing who’s a complete disappointment.
  • Example: “Meeting my hero was a bloody let down.”

Ligger

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Someone who freeloads.
  • Example: “My brother-in-law is a ligger who lives on my sofa.”

Like a Dog with Two Dicks

Meaning:

  • (Expression): A promiscuous man.
  • Example: “He sleeps with a new woman every night. He’s like a dog with two dicks.”

Little Basket

Meaning:

  • (Noun): An upper-class, delicate way of calling someone a bastard.

Load of Shite

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Someone or something that’s full of crap.
  • Example: “That movie was a load of shite and you know it.”

Lose Your Marbles

Meaning:

  • (Expression): When someone has seemingly gone crazy or lost their common sense.
  • Example: “Jenna, have you lost your marbles? You can’t marry someone you just met yesterday.”

Lost the Plot

Meaning:

  • (Expression): This is essentially another way of saying “lost your marbles.”

Lummox

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Someone who is either clumsy or stupid.
  • Example: “Don’t step on my toe, you bloody lummox!”

M

Mad as a Bag of Ferrets

Meaning:

  • (Expression): A way to describe an individual who is crazy or has no common sense.
  • Example: “My best friend is mad as a bag of ferrets and wears a literal tinfoil hat.”

Mad as a Box of Frogs

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Alternative way of saying, “mad as a bag of ferrets.”

Mad as a Hatter

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Another variation on “mad as a bag of ferrets/box of frogs.”

Maggot

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Someone who is worthless, disgusting, or worthy of scorn. This one is kind of like bloody toe rag.

Manky

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): Say this when you want to describe something that’s gross.
  • Example: “She has a manky smell. Someone needs to talk to her about hygiene.”

Mardy

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): A person who’s overly pampered and privileged.
  • Example: “That mardy expects me to make her breakfast in bed every morning.”

Mingebag

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Flexible word that can mean someone who’s stingy or just an all-around despicable individual.

Minger

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A woman who’s very ugly.
  • Example: “Should I put, ‘no mingers’ on my dating profile?”

Mouth Like a Torn Pocket

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Someone who has a mouth like a torn pocket is a gossip. You can’t trust them to keep their mouth shut, and everything they know just falls right out their mouth.
  • Example: “Don’t tell her anything delicate – she has a mouth like a torn pocket.”

Munter

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Another word to describe an unattractive woman or person.

Muppet

Meaning:

  • (Noun): An unintelligent person or someone who can’t think for themselves.
  • Example: “Don’t be a muppet, Willy – do some research instead of believing everything you see.”

N

Naff

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): Something that’s gaudy or trashy.
  • Example: “Has anyone told you that your new sweater is rather naff?”

Ninny

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Someone who’s an intellectual but is otherwise physically weak.
  • Example: “He may be a genius, but he’s still a ninny.”

Nitwit

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A fool.

Not Batting on a Full Wicket

Meaning:

  • (Expression): This is used to describe someone who’s missing a little common sense or crazy. It’s just like saying they’re a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

Not Cricket

Meaning:

  • (Expression): When someone is being dodgy or lying.

Not the Full Shilling

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Another way of saying someone is a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

Not the Sharpest Knife in the Drawer

Meaning:

  • (Expression): This is another euphemism for someone who’s not entirely mentally present, just like not the full shilling.

Numpty

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A softer, more playful term to use when you want to call someone an idiot. You might use this with your friends, for example, as opposed to someone you actually want to insult.
  • Example: “My friend may be a silly numpty, but he’s still my mate.”

Nutter

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A crazy person. You would use this similar to how you’d say “lunatic” in the United States.
  • Example: “Don’t listen to that nutter. He’s been whispering to himself for the past hour.”

O

Off Your Rocker

Meaning:

  • (Expression): When someone is “off their rocker,” they’ve gone insane. Treat this one like saying “lost your marbles.”

P

Pig Ugly

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): This one’s kind of obvious – it just means that someone is as ugly as a pig!

Pillock

Meaning:

  • (Noun): This term also means idiot.

Piss Off

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Go away or leave me alone. It’s like bugger off.

Plonker

Meaning:

  • (Noun): There are a lot of British slang words for idiot – plonker is another one!

Ponce

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Someone who expects things for free. It’s synonymous with ligger.

Posh

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): Posh can be an insult or a compliment. It’s applied to upper-class people, and used as an insult, it means that they’re uppity, conceited, or over-privileged.
  • Example: “Don’t pretend you’re too posh for the pub. You know you love it.”

Poxy

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Apply this word to anyone or anything that’s undesirable, junky, or low in quality.
  • Example: “Her ‘friendship’ is a poxy on my existence.”

Prat

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A nice, efficient way to call someone a fool.

Pug-Ugly

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): This is an alternative version of pig-ugly in which you’re calling your target ugly as a pug.

Q

Quack

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Someone who’s a phony or who’s deceiving other people.
  • Example: “That weight loss ‘doctor’ is a quack. Don’t bother with their new fad diet.”

R

Rank

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): Someone or something that smells awful.
  • Example: “Hell’s bells, you smell rank. Go take a bath.”

Rubbish

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Someone or something that doesn’t make any sense.
  • Example: “Whatever you just said is complete rubbish.”

S

S*** fer Brains

Meaning:

  • (Expression): A way to describe someone who’s a total fool.

Scrubber

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A woman who is both promiscuous and classless.

Skiver

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Someone who is lazy or worthless. You can treat it like you would the phrase “bloody toe rag.”

Slag

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Extremely offensive word for a promiscuous woman. This one is considered quite vulgar, so be careful with it.

Slapper

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Synonymous to scrubber. A whore.

Sod

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A gentler, “nicer” way of calling someone an idiot – kind of like saying numpty.

T

Take the Mickey

Meaning:

  • (Expression): To joke about something at someone’s expense.
  • Example: “Are you taking the mickey or are you being serious?”

Taking the Piss

Meaning:

  • (Expression): This one means exactly the same thing as take the mickey.

Throwing a Wobbly

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Throwing a tantrum. It’s usually said in reference to children but can be particularly insulting when you apply it to a childish adult.
  • Example: “Strop throwing a wobbly and grow up.”

Tosh

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Something that makes no sense.
  • Example: “That’s a load of tosh.”

Tosser

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Another word for idiot or fool.

Learn More: British Slang Tosser Meaning (with Examples)

Trollop

Meaning:

  • (Noun): The British equivalent of calling someone a slut.

Twat

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A stronger way of referring to someone as a jerk or idiot. The term actually refers to a woman’s genitalia.

Twit

Meaning:

  • (Noun): This word also means idiot.

W

Wag Off

Meaning:

  • (Expression): A phrase that means the same thing as bugger off or piss off.

Wanker

Meaning:

  • (Noun): This common, harsh British phrase also means idiot or jerk.

Wazzock

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A less common way to call someone an idiot. Specifically, the implication with this word is that the person won’t ever amount to anything.

Wind-Up Merchant

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Someone who excessively teases people.
  • Example: “Stop with the incessant pranks, you wind-up merchant!”

Wonky

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): This word describes something that’s broken, dysfunctional, or unstable.
  • Example: “His brain must be wonky. He always has bloody awful ideas.”

Wrap Up

The next time you’re mentally reaching for a powerful insult, you really can’t go wrong with a British one. British people have had centuries to develop insults that deliver a perfect sting time and time again.

But trading sharp witticisms isn’t the only thing these people excel at. They’ve got a ton of other slang terms that you may want to brush up on before you take a trip to the UK. Read our guide to British slang words and phrases to learn more.

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