ESL – English Phrases


27 July

English phrases

1. “Fancy a cuppa?”
meaning: “Would you like a cup of tea?”
Everyone knows that Brits love tea, but nothing can prepare you for the ferocity of their addiction to the drink. Tea is more than a beverage. It’s a way of life.

2. “Alright?”
meaning: “Hey, how are you?” Nowadays, your average Brit under the age of 40 is far more likely to greet their friends or loved ones with a curt “Alright?”
But don’t get your knickers in a twist. This greeting is simply an expeditious, modern version of “Hello!”

3. “I’m knackered!”
meaning: “I’m tired.”
This is a great one to break out when you’re catching your breath after a serious amount of physical exercise. Nothing could be more British than running for the bus while holding multiple bags of shopping in your hands. Once you’ve made it aboard, sit down next to the little old Granny in the front row, exhale loudly, turn to her, roll your eyes and exclaim, “I’m knackered!”

4. Cheeky
meaning: playful; mischievous
Brits are famous for their sense of humour, and we like to take life a little less seriously than other nations do. We take pleasure in being playful, so we often use the word “cheeky” to describe small, fun, frivolous activities that make us smile.

5. “I’m chuffed to bits!”
meaning “I’m very pleased.”
This is the perfect phrase to use when describing a great deal of pleasure about something, or displaying immense pride in one’s own efforts.

6. Bloody
meaning: very
Have you just finished eating an exquisite portion of Fish n’ Chips? Then smack your lips and exclaim that they were “bloody delicious!”

7. To bodge something
meaning: to mend, or repair something clumsily. What if a repair job is of a low-quality, and doesn’t really get the job done? That’s what we call “to bodge something.”

8. Lovely
meaning: beautiful; attractive
Spend more than five minutes around any British woman over the age of 40, and you are very likely to hear the word “lovely.” This extremely popular word conveys a feeling of affection or approval on behalf of the speaker towards an object or person, and it’s perhaps best summed up in the phrase, “that’s a lovely cup of tea.”

9. Mate
meaning: friend
Brits are always thought of as being formal and stiff, but modern-day Brits are casual, cheery and honest folk who will stick by those they hold dear. Take for instance the word “mate.” Yes, you could use the word “friend” to describe someone you’re close to, but the British word “mate” suggests a more nuanced relationship shaped by trust, loyalty and lots of laughs.

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