The Slang Podcast - Learn British English Now

The Slang Podcast - Learn British English Now

An exploration of British slang for English learners, native speakers and anyone in between. Giving you a chance to hear, understand the origins and meanings of new slang and to use it immediately!


December 7, 2022 3 mins
One of my friends is a musician and he is performing at his first concert tomorrow! This morning I saw him for a coffee and said:

Looking at me with confusion and fear he repeated:
  • Break a leg? Why on earth would I want that

You may be as confused as he was, so let's explore this slang phrase...
To clarify I am not wishing him bad luck! The opposite actually. This idiom "to break a leg" has in fact positive connotations, stran...
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After a long day at work my partner always asks how I am feeling. I usually reply with one of the two:
  • hungry-ish or tired-ish.
So what does this 'ish’' mean? Do I need to eat or go to bed?

Ish spelt I-S-H is an informal suffix used to say about or approximately. This informal suffix can be added to many words including numbers or times of the day. For example:
  • How old is she?
  • Umm 40ish...
  • What time will you be a...
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Our slang word of the week is mug spelt M-U-G. This is a tricky word due to its vast range of meanings within both slang and formal English.

Now our first and formal meaning of mug is a noun meaning a vessel for hot drinks.

- Every morning I drink a big mug of earl grey tea-

It can also be used as the quantity that can be held in a mug, for example:

- Oh no I just knocked over a mugful of tea!

However mug has many more meanings. It has...
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Have you ever suffered from FOMO or JOMO? If you've no idea what I'm talking about, then it could be argued that you're in fact already a victim of them without knowing!

So FOMO, F-O-M-O what is it? This relatively new acronym stands for the expression fear of missing out, used to describe that feeling of anxiety which many people experience when they discover that other people have had fun together, spent time together or done just...
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So you have planned three holidays, booked time off work and are totally ready to lay on a beach sipping pina coladas under the sun. This I am sure were many of your summer plans, unfortunately they have been put on hold due to the recent pandemic.

How do you feel now? Angry? Disappointed? Salty? Yes Salty!

Let me explain myself, in formal english Salty S-A-L-T-Y is an adjective meaning tasting or containing salt, Of course, you may...
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My friend Kelly used to work at an Italian Pizzeria in Canterbury. She worked with many Italian chefs and would compliment them on the daily pasta specials looking ‘sick’.

Their response was usually one of embarrassment or anger, thinking she had insulted their cooking. A basic cardinal sin in Italy. This led to an awkward work environment to say the least, until so explained ‘sick’ was not an insult at all but in fact a compliment!
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Today we will be exploring idiomatic phrases that I would say are rare gems of slang. Before we start, I want to give you some context.

You and your friend have decided to go for a day at the beach, you have been planning this trip for a long time, you have organised everything and finally the morning comes. Just as you are about to set off your friend, who should be driving informs you that his driving license expired one month ago...
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Things don’t seem easy these days, whether you're setting up an online bank account, learning how to work i-teach platform to teach your students, or finding the right ingredients in the supermarket to make your boyfriend's favorite cake.

I hope things feel easier soon, and to prepare you for when they are I have a few phrases to teach you today.

Imagine it is summer 2019 and you want to go to the beach, well hop in your car, drive f...
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As I have been trapped inside for a while now, I have been "face timing" many of my close friends who are far away, as I am sure you have all been doing. While speaking to my closest friend Ella I commented:

- "woah! Your face looks absolutely beat!"

You may think this comment is strange as in formal beat BEAT the word beat has negative and strong connotations.

In formal English beat has many meanings as a verb. Firstly beat can mean...
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Before we get started I wanted to say a few words about the current global situation.
In desperate times we feel panicked and scared for many reasons. I want to thank everyone who is helping us during this crisis, especially doctors and nurses tirelessly working against this pandemic.

All we can do is wait, be kind to each other and most importantly stay inside.

It's safe to say we are all shook. Shook S-H-O-O-K is a slang term that ...
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This weekend I have been lazy, I have gone shopping, tidied my flat and spent some time with my chum... Louisa what are you talking about now? What are your chums?

Chums C-H-U-M-S, is a tricky slang word, we can use it as a noun, a verb or an adjective. So let’s see how now!

As a noun Chum simply means a close friend. The origin of “chum” in this sense is strictly used in speech. The phrase Chum first appeared in the late 17th cen...
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While telling my Italian friends about my good friend Ollie from Glasgow I said "he is a good bloke". Bloke? what nationality is that? No it is not a nationality! So what is my friend Ollie?

Bloke B-L-O-K-E is an extremely common term denoting a man. It is a noun used in reference to an ordinary man, with a similar meaning to "average joe" in America.

Bloke is a slang term for a common man found used in the United Kingdom, Irelan...
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You are listening to our fourth and final episode specialising on slang and money!

Ok on to our next slang term for money… a pony. I can hear you asking me- Louisa why are we now talking about a baby horse? Spelt the same P-O-N-Y pony actually means 25 pounds.

The word has been traced back from the late 18th century in London and has a vast range of suggestions for its etymology. By some it has been suggested that in the 18th century...
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You are listening to our third episode specialising on slang and money!

Today we are starting by looking at the most common and widely used slang terms. I was in a bar recently with my Italian friend, i bought some drinks and she asked me how much i owed her.

I replied ‘only a fiver’ my friend looked at me with such confused on her face and replied ‘five what?!’.

This is when I released we have never spoken about one of slang terms I...
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In our most recent episodes we are discussing slang words for money! Something key when travelling to a different country or even speaking a new language! Today we will be examining slang words for the British Pound Coin.

The most common slang word used for a pound is a quid, a word I use frequently to the confusion of my Italian friends. A quid is equal to 100 pence, and it is generally believed to come from the Latin phrase “quid...
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Today we will be talking about money, something universal….however us brits have found many words and phrases to use when talking about it.

While the origins of these slang terms are many and various, certainly a lot of English money slang is rooted in various London communities, many sectors such as with street traders and gangs developed their own specific slang, which has produce some strange interpretations commonly used today....
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Today we will be exploring more social media slang, in particular how do we identify the sea of people on social media, from trolls to baes...what are they and what do they mean?! Now is your chance to find out so lets get started...

So in formal English a Troll T-R-O-L-L is a character from fairytales, usually an ugly creature depicted as either a giant or a dwarf. However online it means something much different or perhaps even wo...
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Today we will be exploring more social media slang! The internet is super important when learning a new language as social media is something that allows you to connect with people from all over the world.

So let’s have a look now at how to navigate the rabbit hole that is social media abbreviations. As most online slang words are acronyms, they will be our focus for today.

To start with we have AMA meaning ‘ask me anything’. The AM...
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Last episode we mastered internet slang and abbreviations but this episode we will become experts on slang specifically for social media.

Even if you’ve mastered English vocabulary offline, you might find yourself scrolling through Social Media and getting pretty confused. Why do people keep asking me to DM them? Why is everyone hashtagging TBT? Let’s find out why now!

Ok so our first is the easiest and for an English learner the mo...
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Today we will be exploring essential internet abbreviations.

The more time you spend learning English, the more time you’ll spend reading and writing English on the internet. I know as a language learner this can be exciting but also very frustrating!

You may be familiar with L-O-L (laugh out loud) or O-M-G (oh my god). But there are many more us brits use that are slightly less obvious.

So to start, we will discuss an abbreviation us...
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