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15 Quirky British Phrases that Will Leave Non-Britishers Confused

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There are certain phrases in every language that don’t translate correctly. There are plenty of absolute corkers in British English that might sound the complete opposite of what they actually mean. To kill your curiosity, we have compiled a list of some of the best British slangs that define what the British culture is all about. Without wasting more time, check out some British phrases and try to guess what each one means!

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A Bunch of 5s

A Bunch of 5s

If you’re from the US, saying a bunch of 5s would mean a stack of five-dollar bills, but it means something totally different in the UK. This British phrase refers directly to the human fist, with the 5s being the five fingers. To make it simpler, giving someone a bunch of 5 means to punch someone really hard. It’s the British version of the term “a knuckle sandwich”. Next time you got offered a bunch of five, stop, drop and just run!

Chin Wagging

Chin Wagging

To have a “chin wag” is to have a nice conversation with your closest friends. When you’re gossiping with someone, your chin sometimes bobbles up and down in excitement like a dog wagging its tail. That’s where this term comes from, and as the name suggests, a conversation that makes your chin wag to and forth is known as chin-wagging. Pretty literal meaning of the term, isn’t it? People mostly use this phrase in Eerie or the UK. Now that you know it has a nice old chin wag with your buddies!

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That’s Pants

That’s Pants

It’s too main-stream for the British to call something bad or ridiculous. Instead, they use the phrase “that’s pants” to point out something they dislike. An American would get confused if a Britisher said this to him. To him, “that’s pants” would mean that you’re pointing towards his pants. Not just Americans, any person born outside the UK would get baffled by this phrase. If someone had said this to me before I knew what it meant, my response would be, “yes, I am wearing pants”.

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