10 Very British Words

Are you interested in British English? If so, then you’re in luck!

This week I’ve had a request for some typically British words to help you communicate with people from my home, the little island of Britain.

So if you would like to understand us Brits a bit better, here are ten words to help you…

[Just remember that these are all informal English words, so don’t use any of these in an essay or business email!]


1. Gutted

This is an adjective that means “disappointed”.

For example, “I’m gutted I failed my exam.”


2. Hoover

This is a verb or noun that means “vacuum” or “vacuum cleaner”.

For example, “I’m just doing the hoovering”.


3. Dodgy

This is an adjective that means “suspicious” or “not to be trusted”.

For example, “Don’t get your phone out near that man; he looks a bit dodgy”.


4. Loo

This is a noun that means “toilet”

For example, “Hang on a sec; I’m just going to the loo”.


5. DIY

This is an abbreviation that means “do it yourself”, which we use for home improvements.

For example, “I need a hand putting this wardrobe together. Are you any good at DIY?”


6. Knackered

This is an adjective that means “tired”.

For example, “I’m going to bed; I’m knackered”.


7. Chuffed

This is an adjective that means “pleased with myself” or “proud”.

For example, “I got the job! I’m pretty chuffed.”


8. Shambles

This is a noun that means something like “mess”. We use this if something goes badly.

For example, “This meeting was a shambles. Everyone was talking over each other and we didn’t decide anything.”


9. Cheeky

This is an adjective to describe a person who is naughty or rude but in a charming way.

For example, “He is such a cheeky monkey; he always asks my age!”


10. Faff

This is a verb that means “mess around” or “waste time”. It can also be used as a noun that means “effort”.

For example, “Stop faffing around and come and help me!” or “I can’t be bothered to help; it’s too much of a faff.”

*Now you try: Write me an email using at least one of these words at charlottesenglishlessons@gmail.com . I will write back and tell you if you used the word(s) correctly!