British Slang 7

What is slang?

Slang is the use of very informal words and expressions. They are usually not considered standard language, but are often used in spoken language. Certain slang words are usually used by a particular group of people. Slang words and expressions are always changing and evolving, and words that are used a lot also change from year to year.

Here are some examples of British slang. As you work through these lessons you will notice they go in alphabetical order. Lesson 7 below has words starting with the letter R.


Rubbish: This word is used very often in British English and has three possible meanings.

  1. It can mean waste or garbage. Rubbish is something you throw away because you do not want it. An example would be: “The rubbish gets collected on Mondays.”

  2. Nonsense: If something is rubbish, it is nonsense or wrong. An example would be: “Ignore her, she’s talking rubbish.”

  3. Bad quality: If something is rubbish, then it is of bad quality. An example would be: “My new smartphone keeps shutting down. It’s rubbish.”