It doesn’t matter if you’re from Austria or Australia, most languages have a couple of phrases that don’t translate well and confuse anyone trying to learn it. 

British English has lots of this weird and wonderful informal slang, and Escape Campus has made it easy for you to learn some of the most popular phrases with the list below. 

Whether you are ‘chuffed’ or ‘gutted’ after reading this list, learning to use some of these phrases in your everyday English will help you to understand natives and sound like one yourself!

In alphabetical order, let’s go…


Meaning:  (Greeting) Hello, how are you?

Example: “Alright, mate?”


Meaning: (Noun) Umbrella.

Example: “It’s raining today, take an umbrella.”


Meaning: (Adjective) To be playful and mischievous.

Example: “I was quite cheeky when I was at school.”


Meaning: (Adjective) To be very happy and glad.

Example: “She was chuffed because she passed her driving test.”

“Cost a bomb” 

Meaning: (Idiom) To be expensive.

Example: “The wedding ring was nice but it cost a bomb.”


Meaning: (Verb)To waste time not doing much.

Example: “They are always late because they faff about.”


Meaning: (Adjective) To describe someone as attractive.

Example: “She is fit”


Meaning: (Adjective) To be very upset.

Example: “I’m gutted, I failed my exam.”

“Half Past”

Meaning: (Idiom) To describe minutes after main hour of time.

Example:  “We will arrive at half past 2.”


Meaning: (Contraction) Isn’t it.

Example: “It’s easy, isn’t it?”


Meaning:  To be very tired.

Example: “I was knackered after my run.”

How to speak English like a native?

Find out how to speak English like a native in our 4 series of British politeness which will help you to get a better understanding of how to use “Could” and “Can” , “Excuse me” , “Sorry” , “Would” and using Passive Voice!