Skip To Content

    17 British Swearwords Explained For Americans

    Bloody hell, it's about time this happened.

    1. Bloody hell

    Warner Bros / Via

    Definition: An exclamation. Usually used when you can't believe something.

    Example: "Bloody hell, that brojob was brilliant."

    2. Git


    Definition: Generally used to describe an old, miserable man.

    Example: "I asked him if he wanted a cake for his birthday. He said no, the miserable git."

    3. Bugger


    Definition: A tamer word than fuck. Can be used to express frustration or surprise, but also can be another term to describe all the bum fun.

    Example: "Well, bugger me, have you seen David Beckham recently? I'd let him bugger me into next week."

    4. Piss off

    FremantleMedia Enterprises

    Definition: Go away. Not to be confused with "pissed", meaning drunk, or “pissed off”, meaning angry, of course.

    Example: "He asked me to send him a nude. I told him to piss off."

    5. Rat arsed

    Warner Bros / BuzzFeed

    Definition: Drunk. Beyond drunk. There'll be so much regret tomorrow morning drunk.

    Example: "I got so rat arsed last night, I got on the bar, pulled my pants down, and screamed HERE'S URANUS."

    6. Shag

    Warner Bros / BuzzFeed

    Definition: Used by British people as a substitute for the word sex. Rates highly on the lad scale of vocabulary.

    Example: "I won shagger of the year once. It's still my greatest achievement."

    7. Bellend

    20th Century Fox

    Definition: The not-so-scientific name for the head of a penis. Used as an insult.

    Example: "I asked him if my butt looked big in this. The bellend said he couldn't see the TV."

    8. Fanny

    Zjjg / Supplied by WENN

    Definition: Another word for lady bits. Also used to describe an absolute idiot.

    Example: "This thong is cutting my fanny in two."

    9. Tosser


    Definition: Technically describes someone who masturbates frequently, but often used as an insult.

    Example: "Got on the bus and there was this tosser with his bag on the seat like other people didn't want to sit down. Tosser."

    10. Pillock


    Definition: Stupid, basically.

    Example: "I asked what 12x17 was. The daft pillock said a headache."

    11. Bollocks


    Definition: "You're talking shit" or "I fucked up" – take your pick, because it can be used both ways.

    Example: "He said he reads Shakespeare for pleasure, which is bollocks because he thought Romeo was a child of the Beckhams."

    12. Shite


    Definition: British version of the word shit. Can be extended into the word gobshite, meaning someone who's dumb AF and talks constant shit.

    Example: "I want to believe what you're saying but you're just talking shite."

    13. Bastard

    20th Century Fox

    Definition: Technically means born out of wedlock but as with most swearwords, it's just flung around as a general insult. In the UK it's pretty tame and often one of the first words said in the playground.

    Example: "They charged me to use the toilet in the train station, the bastards."

    14. Wanker

    E4 / Via

    Definition: Someone that wanks a lot. Or just a general douchebag.

    Example: "I can't believe they chose that wanker for the job over me."

    15. Twat

    Screen Gems

    Definition: Describes a woman's lady bits and again, another insult. In America, it's pronounced with an o. THIS IS WRONG. There is an a in the word, use it. Twat rhymes with cat, not cot.

    Example: "My wife called me a twat because while she was giving birth, I started singing the Barney theme tune."

    16. Fuck

    Fireside Film

    Definition: THE BEST FUCKING SWEAR EVER INVENTED EVER. It has such versatility and can be used in every fucking sentence. Unlike our transatlantic cousins, Brits tend to throw this word into every fucking sentence, particularly to emphasise a point.

    Example: "Fuck you, you fucking fuck."

    17. Cunt


    Definition: Americans use this when they really want to hurt someone. Like this is a last resort. British people tend to throw this around a bit more free willy. It's still the worst word, but Brits are more nonchalant about using it.

    Example: "You're a cunt."