American and British languages are directly related to each other, and once upon a time were practically identical. Over time, the two languages have evolved in very different ways.
For example, some British words sound extremely weird to American English speakers.
Read on below and discover our top picks for weird British words you need to know!
Weird British Words
There are tons of strange-sounding words in British English. From chockablock to off-license, here are our picks for 15 of the weirdest words in British English:
The first weird British word on our list is chockablock. The meaning of the word is “full.” This one is a boat load of fun to say out loud as well.
Example of the word chockablock in a proper sentence:
“The party was off the hook last night, man! Every room in the place was uber chockablock!”
The British term bagsy is another weird one, especially when you learn what it means. Claiming bagsy is like yelling “shotgun!” for dibs on the front seat of the car.
Example of the word bagsy in a proper sentence:
“Bagsy!” *turns and laughs at the slow pokes who’ll be sitting in the back of the car*
3. Bog Roll
The strange-sounding British word bog roll is another way to say toilet paper. In the British language, the bathroom is the bog, loo, lave, or lavatory (hence, the bog roll).
Example of the word bog roll in a proper sentence:
“Hey! There’s no bog roll in the loo, mate!” *looks around desperately*
Bloke is one of the British words many Americans are familiar with, from this list. However, that doesn’t make it any less weird, when it comes right down to it. The word is around 100 years old and refers to the average British man.
Example of the word bloke in a proper sentence:
“That Clapton bloke one hell of a guitar player, eh?”
Dosh is another weird British word that you don’t hear often in the states. The term actually refers to British pounds in the same manner that some people call American dollars “Benjamins” or “bucks.”
Example of the word dosh in a proper sentence:*
“Alright then, ya bloke! Put the Dosh where your mouth is!”
Chuffed is a weird British word that stands for something that is pleasing or delightful. In other words, if you are chuffed, you are pleased/delighted about something.
Example of the word chuffed in a proper sentence:
“We are chuffed to present this year’s graduates with their fancy new degrees!”
Gormless is a weird British term you don’t want to hear people referring to you during your travels. To be gormless is to be foolish and lack intelligence.
Example of the word gormless in a proper sentence:
“Could you believe the way that gormless yank was ogling my Judith? I’d half a mind to bonk his noggin!”
The word starkers is a weird British word that means “stark crazy” or “stark raving mad.”
Know the phrase “stark naked” and you can probably guess what this one means. It’s also a synonym for crazy, as in “stark mad.”
Example of the word starkers in a proper sentence:
“You’ve gone Starkers, parker! You? Spider-man? Have you hit your head, Peter? You couldn’t fight your way out of a wet paper bag, let alone swing from building to building with ease!”
Miffed is another of the weird British words that have seen a lot of use in American cities around the country. It means the same thing as the British term “cheesed off” or the American slang “pissed off.”
Example of the word miffed in a proper sentence:
“Look, I’m gonna need to speak with your manager, missy. I’m really miffed that my double cheeseburger had one meat patty and no cheese. How hard is it to make sure a double cheeseburger has two pieces of meat… and cheese?”
Codswallop is one of those weird old British words that leave us Americans scratching our heads in confusion. Truth be told, it’s absolute nonsense, similar to hogwash and poppycock in British slang.
Example of the word codswallop in a proper sentence:
“This entire idea is complete codswallop. Mark my words, gentlemen, this idea will come to no good. I implore you to turn and walk away while there is still time and the option to do so.”
To say that you are knackered is to say that they are tired to the core. The sort of tired you get when you are going full speed all day long for weeks and months on end; total exhaustion.
Example of the word knackered in a proper sentence:
“I’m completely knackered! The boss is breathing down my neck, the kids need one thing or another, the bills are piling up and all I can do is work, work, work!”
The weird British English word Kip is another way of saying “bed” or “nap.” Basically, anything that has to do with sleeping!
Example of the word kip in a proper sentence:
“That flight was a killer! I’ll be right as rain after I hit the kip for a few winks.”
Quid is a popular British weird word that comes from the Latin term “quid pro quo.” In other words, quid is another word for “exchange.”
Example of the word quid in a proper sentence:
“Hey, Georgie! This one’s quid, right?”
The strange weird Scrummy is another British English gem. The word can be used to describe a person, place, or thing as “tasty” or “scrumptious.”
Example of the word scrummy in a proper sentence:
“Your mom’s pie sure is scrummy, but I couldn’t eat another bite if I tried. I’m so full I could burst!”
As weird as it sounds, the British word dishy is actually used to describe someone that you find sexy or attractive.
Example of the word dishy in a proper sentence:
“That Angelina sure is dishy! What I wouldn’t give to be her date for the night!”
If you have much international gaming experience, you may have come across the weird British English slang word ledge. It is a short version of the word “legend.” The word is used by British gamers.
Example of the word ledge in a proper sentence:
“Golly! That Serralis a real SC ledge, bro-bro!”
Skive is a British word that means roughly the same thing as “playing hooky” from school. If you skive, you are not fulfilling your responsibilities.
Example of the word skive in a proper sentence:
“Yeah, bro, we’re gonna skive the first half of school today and sneak in during lunch.”
A tosser is someone that isn’t too bright. It is the British English equivalent of calling someone stupid or idiot in American English.
Example of the word tosser in a proper sentence:
“Did you see that guy!? What a tosser!”
Every Friday and Saturday night the city streets are filled with legless party goers struggling to make their way home. Legless is a term that refers to those who are stumbling (normally after leaving a pub).
Example of the word legless in a proper sentence:
“Whoa, Nelly! You better slow down on that Guinness! You’ll be legless in half an hour at this rate, mate!”
Snog is a British English weird word that means to “make out.” Outside of Harry Potter, and British literature, the term is practically non-existent in the US.
Example of the word snog in a proper sentence:
“Eww. Why don’t you guys just go get a room and snog already?”
Skint is a British English word meaning “broke” or “low on funds.” So, if you’re skint, you’re lacking money.
Example of the word skint in a proper sentence:
“After the long cold winters lately, our funds for vacations are skint.”
If you are mega, you are “really good”, “big”, or “famous.” Elvis, Madona, and Eminem are some good examples of people who’re mega.
Example of the word mega in a proper sentence:
“If you keep practicing your singing and songwriting every day, one day you’ll be a mega country star, like Garth Brooks in the mid-90s.”
When a person is dodgy, it means that they have a tendency to “dodge” or evade things. This makes dodgy people equivalent to “sketchy” people.
Example of the word dodgy in a proper sentence:
“I asked him point-blank: did you know who took the cookies from the cookie jar? You should have seen his dodgy reaction. The bloody bugger didn’t even have the decency to look me in the eye while he lied to me.”
To say that someone is minted is to say that they are “loaded” or “rich.” If you’re Donal Trump, Bill Gates, or Elon Musk, you are definitely minted.
Example of the word minted in a proper sentence:
“One day, I’m gonna be minted like the Donald… I just need to hit the lottery first.”
An off-license is a store that sells liquor, but not for consumption on the premises. In America, grocery stores, gas stations, and most typical liquor stores would be considered off-license establishments.
Example of the word off-license in a proper sentence:
“Let’s hit the off-license and grab a few pints for the afterparty!”