Street English – Learn Casual English Expressions

Learning to speak like a local! Here are some casual English expressions commonly used in the UK:


  • Ace: If someone says “Ace” to you, it means “great.” This word is frequently heard around Liverpool.
  • All right? This phrase is often used in London and the southern regions and means “Hello, how are you?” You can use it when talking to a foreigner or someone you know. You might receive the response “All right?” or “All right mate?” It’s commonly used among young people and blue-collar workers.
  • As well: Another way to say “me too.” If you’re tired of adding “too” to the end of everything, you can use “as well.” For example, if you want to order the same thing your friend ordered, you can say, “I’ll have one as well.”
  • Belt up: A term that kids are using these days instead of “shut up.”
  • Best of British: If someone says “The best of British to you” for your visit to the UK, they’re wishing you good luck. You might also hear the shorter version “best of British luck.”
  • Dear: If something is “dear,” it means it’s expensive. (I thought Texan insurance was dear.)
  • Dishy: If someone is described as “dish” or “dishy,” it means they are attractive or good-looking.
  • DIY: The abbreviation for “Do it yourself.” It’s often used in shopping centers or for things you need to do yourself. For instance, for a poor-service restaurant, you might say, “(oh, you noticed!) then we might ask the waiter if it is a DIY restaurant – just to wind them up.”
  • Do: Party.
  • Grub: Food. While its main meaning is “larva” in English, you might see it used for food in some places.
  • Hard lines: Another way to say “bad luck” or “hard luck.”
  • Hiya: A shortened form of “Hi there,” a friendly way to say “Hello.”
  • Jolly: People use this word a lot alongside many things, but it simply means “very.” So “Jolly good” means “very good.” You might also come across it in expressions like “I should jolly well think so!”
  • Left, right and centre: To look everywhere, meaning you’ve searched all over.
  • Mate: Friend, buddy, your drinking partner at the pub.
  • Not my cup of tea: A popular way to say you don’t like something. For instance, if someone asks if you’d like to go somewhere, and you respond “it’s not exactly your cup of tea,” your friend will understand what you mean.
  • Pass: Another way to say “I don’t know.” This comes from the old TV show “Mastermind,” where participants would say “pass” for questions they couldn’t answer.
  • Yonks: “Blimey, I haven’t heard from you for yonks.” If someone says this, they mean they haven’t seen you in years (for ages).
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