Finding a cheap accommodation or lodgings in London is relatively easy. What you should concern about going to this great city is learning about common phrases the locals use, also known as Brit Speak. This is one way of immersing yourself in their culture.
The other reason is, of course, for practical purposes. Londoners are naturally friendly and welcoming, but they would surely appreciate it if you can express yourself the way they do, especially when asking for directions or recommendations.
The Brits have distinctive greetings. They may say hi, hello, good morning, good afternoon and good evening. But they usually say “You alright?” or “You sweet?” to greet you. When saying goodbye, they may say “see you,” “take care” or “see you later.”
On the other end, the most common ways to say goodbye is “Ta-Ta” or “Cheerio.”
2) Slang phrases
Englishmen use slang phrases too. You might get caught off guard when you hear a native say these phrases:
- To have a butcher’s – Look at something or someone
- Donkey’s years – Very long time
- Throw a spanner in the works – Make something difficult or prevent something from happening
- Not my cup of tea – Not my ideal thing to do
- Throw a cat among the pigeons – Disturb someone or something
- Take the mickey – Make fun of someone or something
- Cheap as chips – Very affordable
3) Colloquial terms
Cockneys and other native speakers also say complete sentences that may not make sense to you. Some good examples are:
- Don’t get shirty with me! – Don’t be disrespectful towards me!
- What a load of cobblers! – What a load of nonsense!
- Knees up! – Have a good time!
- Get stuffed! – No chance! or Go away!
- Look after your pennies and the pounds will look after themselves. – Do not waste money or you’ll end up with nothing.
- Bob’s your uncle. – There you go.
- That went down a treat. – I enjoyed myself.
When in London, you will surely encounter a Brit speaking something that is totally unheard-of. Do not be a total stranger, though, by learning how locals say some things.