Bugger Off! 10 Things I Love About My Country #6: Language

We’re over half way through with the ‘United We Stand’ posts and Steve (a scot), Jenny (an American) and I (an English woman) have been compiling lists about the things we love about our countries.

This week’s focus is language. I toyed with the idea of focusing on the different aspects of the history of the english language, but have somehow gravitated towards slang and swear words. Warning: there may be uses of words that you may deem to be inappropriate within this list – if you are easily offended, read the post with your hands over your face whilst peeking out between your fingers.


1. Bugger. This is a word that I use on a regular basis to in any number of situations:

  • Bugger off – go away.
  • We’re buggered – all is lost.
  • It’s buggered – it is broken.
  • I’m buggered – I’m tired.
  • Lucky bugger – a lucky person.
  • Bugger it – forget it.

2. Bung. This is usually placed in the context of putting something into a specific place (“just bung it in the bin), or to throw (“bung it over here will you”). Bung can also be replaced with the word ‘chuck’ in both of these situations.

3. Gagging. This means ‘desperate for’ and can be used in any number of phrases to emphasise the need for something – “I’m gagging for a drink/cigarette/the toilet.”


4. Fanny. To put it simply, this means vagina in England, so when the word is used in American television programmes to describe somebody’s ass I can’t help but have a sneaky giggle to myself. It can also be used to describe someone who is an idiot or who has done something stupid.

5. Piss poor. This has nothing to do with urine, it emphasises the fact that somebody isn’t just short of money, they have absolutely nothing. Like ‘bugger,’ the word ‘piss’ can also be used in lots of contexts:

  • I’m pissed – I’m drunk
  • Piss off – go away
  • I haven’t got a pot to piss in – I don’t have any money
  • Pissing about – messing around/doing nothing/being silly.
  • Piss up – a large drinking session with friends.
  • I’m going for a piss – I am going to urinate.

6. Right. This is often used by people from northern England and means ‘very.’ Example phrases are “I’m right knackered,” and “I’m right pissed off” meaning “I am very tired,” and “I’m very annoyed.”


7. Wanker. This is a word that is often brought up by foreign celebrities when questioned about the differences in language during interviews when they visit our country. It simply means that you are describing somebody as an idiot. Here are other words that can be used in the same context:

  • Tosser.
  • Tw*t. (I detest this word, which is why I have bleeped it out a little.)
  • Scumbag.
  • Arsehole.

8. Rubbish. This can be used to describe something that is put into a bin, or to describe something that isn’t very good.

9. Wangle. This can also be used in lots of contexts, but essentially it is managing to obtain something: “I managed to wangle an invitation/discount/extra day out of them.”

10. Sod’s law. If something can go wrong, it will inevitably go wrong.


11. Chav. This is used to describe teenagers and young adults who generally wear tracksuits, caps with the Burberry pattern on them, sovereign rings, claim benefits and hang around on street corners and parks, smoking cigarettes and weed and drinking cheap alcohol.

12. Slapper. This is often used to describe girls who are considered to be promiscuous.

13. Gobby. This is of no relation to a Harry Potter house elf, it is used to describe a loud, obnoxious person.

14. Arse over tit. This means to fall over. I use this often.

Warning: most of these words are considered to be moderately offensive, and shouldn’t be used in conversation with anyone who you deem to be in a position of authority. Saying “bugger off you wanker” to your boss, the police or your parents is not likely to get you any brownie points.

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog.


29 thoughts on “Bugger Off! 10 Things I Love About My Country #6: Language

  1. #4 is why fanny packs are called that even though we normally associate fanny with the other side of the body LOL.

    I use a lot of these words, often. I like to confuse some people or sound more worldly than I am πŸ™‚

  2. Pingback: United We Stand: 10 Things I Love About My Country #6: Language | O Pie-oneers!

  3. 1, 5, 6, 8, plus bloody, arse, etc. Then I use a lot of non offensive ones too. I spent a lot of time with my grandmother, who managed to hide her accent but still used a lot of British terms πŸ™‚

  4. Love it! Brought back great memories of living in East Anglia during the early 1980’s. Thanks!

  5. Again, playing a British MMO, I’ve heard a vast majority of these terms at some point. Surprised you didn’t mention “take the piss”, though.

  6. I am currently reading “The Cuckoo’s Calling”, the detective novel JK Rowling wrote under a pseudonym. It’s set in London, so the language and turn of a phrase is really tickling me…

  7. Saying F*ck while you’re on hold with a client, working for one of the NSA’s most loved clients who records EVERYTHING isn’t a good idea either. Ask me how I know ……….

  8. My husband who’s American has just discovered the delights of using the word ‘bugger’ and now tells me to bugger off every opportunity he gets! When we first got together, both he and his father loved calling people a ‘wanker’ knowing most Americans didn’t know what it meant. He also knows what a chav is, and we both disagreed about what a ‘fanny’ was.

    Gotta love this language!

  9. My hygienist at the dentist is called Fanny and I love to phone them and say “I’d like an appointment to see Fanny please” (yep my sense of humour). Fanny as a girls name does not seem to be used much these days (I wonder why?), yet back in the early 20th century it was used a lot.

  10. Reblogged this on O Pie-oneers! and commented:
    It occurs to me that I should have reblogged this amazing work of mildly offensive words before I went on vacation. I think I also need use ‘rubbish’ more, and giggle immaturely whenever I stumble across “fanny pack”.

  11. Pingback: United We Stand: 10 Things I Love About My Country #6 Language… | Steve Says…

  12. Fantastic list! I’m a Brit living in France and I often use ‘poubelle’ (French for ‘rubbish’) in the same context that we would use rubbish. It confuses people no end, but I find it highly amusing. πŸ˜€

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