Essential Slang for International Students

Despite the cultural similarities that exist between Australia and the UK, there is a wealth of British slang that will come as a surprise to any new arrival. There are also certain words which don’t mean what you might think – not in the UK, anyway! Here is a list of commonly used slang to help you grow accustomed, as well as some of the more quirky Cockney rhyming slang – of which you might not hear much on the streets, but which are certainly worth a few cultural brownie points!

Everyday Slang

Give You A Bell – Call you

Gutted – Devastated

Hoover – Vacuum

Bee’s Knees – Awesome

Kip – Sleep or nap

Wonky – Not right

Skive – Lazy or avoid doing something

Loo – Toilet

Bob’s Your Uncle – There you go!

Bangers – Sausage

Bits ‘n Bobs – Various things

Tenner – £10

Fiver – £5

Fortnight – Two Weeks

Fancy – Like

Chat Up – Flirt

Plastered – Drunk



Cockney Rhyming Slang

Adam and Eve – believe

Apples and Pears – stairs

Barnet Fair – hair

Barney Rubble – trouble

Bees and Honey – money

Butcher’s Hook – a look

Dog and Bone – phone

Fireman’s Hose – nose

Frog and Toad – road

Half-Inch – pinch (to steal)

Lady Godiva – fiver

Peckham Rye – tie

Rub-a-Dub – pub

Ruby Murray – curry

Trouble and Strife – wife

Whistle and Flute – suit (of clothes)


Words that are different in British English:

Australian English on the left, British English on the right!

Capsicum = Peppers

Zucchini = Courgette

Eggplant = Aubergine

Pants = Trousers

Underwear = Pants or Knickers

Thongs = Flip-Flops

G-string = Thong or G-String

Coriander = Cilantro

Bandaid = Plaster

Bludge = Skive

Sneaker = Plimsole or Pump

Chips (in a packet) = Crisps