25 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning When You Move To London

London calling to the faraway towns — it’s really expensive and crowded here.

1. “Commute”

Used to mean: A journey to work, often driving through quiet roads, or maybe a quick walk through town.
Now means: A vicious crusade through an urban hellscape, with detours into subterranean metal canisters stuffed with people and sweat.

ID: 3003682

2. “Flat-Hunting”

AMC / Via reddit.com

Used to mean: The process by which you find a new flat.
Now means: The process by which you are humiliated, broken, terrified, exploited, and then you find a new flat.

ID: 3012127

3. “Pop-up”


Used to mean: A book with lovely 3-D pictures.
Now means: A restaurant that is too weird to actually work, so instead is temporarily set up in the local hipster hangout until the novelty value wears off. Often actually an ad.

ID: 3009886

4. “A quick drink”

Used to mean: Going for a few drinks.
Now means: Going for all the drinks, and waking up with your shoes on, the light on, and a cactus in your bed.

ID: 3012125

5. “Dinner”

Used to mean: The meal you carefully prepared in the evening.
Now means: Either what you spend too much on after a quick drink late at night, or something jammed together from random foods in the fridge because you can’t be bothered to shop.

ID: 3012126

6. “Silence”


Used to mean: No noise.
Now means: The sound-sucking vacuum that exists on the tube every morning, despite the presence of hundreds of people. There is nothing quieter. Monks visit it when they need a break from the racket at the monastery.

ID: 3012144

7. “Tinder”

Used to mean: Something you might use to make fire.
Now means: A handy way to build a comprehensive list of people who don’t want to go out with you.

ID: 3012109

8. “Summer”

Used to mean: Long evenings, drinks in the garden, and the smell of fresh, warm grass.
Now means: Long evenings, drinks on the street, and the smell of fresh, warm urine.

ID: 3017272

9. “Bargain”

New Line Cinema / Via buenosairesloves.tumblr.com

Used to mean: £1 a pint.
Now means: £4 a pint.

ID: 3012110

10. “Outside”

Used to mean: Trees, and grass, and fresh air.
Now means: All of the above, but compressed into much smaller, inconvenient areas, filled with people, and the fresh air has been made not fresh.

ID: 3012133

11. “Cronut”

Used to mean: Er…what?
Now means: A croissant mashed up with a doughnut, which is then licked by God.

ID: 3012129

12. “Rent”

Used to mean: The part of your wages that goes on having somewhere nice to live.
Now means: The part of your wages that goes on having absolutely anywhere to live, and leaves roughly enough for you to survive on stale bread for a month.

ID: 3012121

13. “Central”


Used to mean: The part in the middle.
Now means: The part in the middle of the city that will make you hate all people.

ID: 3012137

14. “Uber”

Used to mean: A german prefix you could use to add emphasis to a word (though while sounding like a bit of a dick).
Now means: A glorious way to get home drunk, which may or may not also be destroying the London taxi industry.

ID: 3012136

15. “Working late”

Universal Studios / Via aroosaansar.tumblr.com

Used to mean: Leaving a bit after 6 p.m.
Now means: Leaving a bit after 6 a.m.

ID: 3012138

16. “Oyster”

Used to mean: Slightly slimy seafood that’s definitely not an aphrodisiac.
Now means: Magic plastic that will take you absolutely anywhere you ever want to go (up to Zone 9.) Kind of an aphrodisiac.

ID: 3012147

17. “Coffee”

Used to mean: A pleasant morning drink.
Now means: Mandatory life fuel.

ID: 3012139

18. “Bank”

Used to mean: The place where you leave your money, and which fills you with dread when you go into it.
Now means: The nexus of every single tube in the city, and which fills you with dread when you’re trying to find the right fucking exit.

ID: 3012159

19. “Met”

Working Title Films / Via giphy.com

Used to mean: Past tense of ‘meet.’
Now means: Rogue bureaucracy in the heart of London, interpreting laws and taking names.

ID: 3012148

20. “The North”

Walt Disney Pictures / Via athousandoaks.tumblr.com

Used to mean: Above Sheffield.
Now means: Above Zone 2.

ID: 3012163

21. “Finance”

Liubov Terletska / Thinkstock

Used to mean: What bankers work in.
Now means: What wankers work in.

ID: 3012149

22. “Angel”

Used to mean: A glorious guardian waiting to take you to heaven.
Now means: A less glorious mess of escalators taking you so far down that you actually go slightly past hell.

ID: 3012166

23. “Writer”

Used to mean: Writer.
Now means: Barman.

ID: 3012131

24. “Cheap”

FOX / Via cheezburger.com

Used to mean: Buying something at a good price.
Now means: A hypothetical construct, only referred to using dark, ironic humour.

ID: 3012132

25. “Leicester Square”

Used to mean: Exciting hub of the capital.
Now means: Where dreams come to die.

ID: 3015607

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Luke Bailey is a staff writer for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
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