31 British Phrases That Are Absolutely Loved By Non-Brits, As Shared Online
It's genuinely incredible how diverse our world is – but what's particularly impressive is the number of stunning languages it carries. To be somewhat precise, around 6,500 languages are currently spoken by folks globally, as well as an uncountable amount of accents and dialects. Every language has its own set of slang words and sayings that might make no sense to other people yet are perfectly straightforward to those who're used to using them. After all, who knew that "Bob's your uncle" could ever become a way of saying "and there you have it", though the origin of the phrase is quite amusing.
Speaking about British slang and sayings, an online user shared a now-viral Tweet stating how she wishes she were British just so that she could describe everything as "absolutely mental". The post ended up receiving nearly 100K likes and even encouraged fellow non-Brits to share their favorite slang words that they wish to use in their everyday conversations.
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Image source: GiuliaRozzi
According to the definition of the word "slang", it is basically a language that is made up of words and sayings that are considered to be very informal and are not a part of the standard vocabulary. To describe it in a simpler way, slang words are usually those very rich metaphors that essentially add extra color to our everyday conversations.
Whenever one decides to learn a new language, slang tends to be the hardest aspect to grasp in the entire process, as all the words are typically quite unique and more often than not, nobody really knows where the term or phrase came from.
It's fascinating how the slang world constantly changes and never stays in one place. Each century, decade and year, our society comes up with brand new meanings for different words and actions, or even creates something totally new. People constantly come up with things to express themselves in a more creative manner and it's truly brilliant.
For all one knows, these days the number one source for all kinds of innovative and even sometimes artistic slang words would be everybody's favorite – the internet. The web is full of insanely talented people, and it's not surprising that once in a while we get a little something that we could add to our slang jar.
Moreover, in the space of a year, Oxford Online Dictionaries adds roughly 1000 words to our what seems like infinite vocabulary list. It's fascinating how new expressions come around because of music, politics, films, and most importantly, all sorts of things that happened to earn the title of a meme. We adopt those words into our daily conversations without even realizing that the word didn't exist a few months ago.
However, our cultural lexicon never stays the same and that's the true beauty of any language, even if we end up embarrassing our future selves when remembering how often we said "yas, queen" in 2019.
What's also quite thought-provoking is that slang is somewhat similar to what we call "offensive" language. Profanity has existed for centuries or even thousands of years, and the vocabulary for this kind of language also tends to grow, definitely not as rapidly as slang does, but still.
Slang is mostly forbidden from any serious literature and films, just like profanity is, and it essentially shows us that humanity craves and requires more ways that could potentially help folks to express themselves in a more vibrant manner.
Anyhow, British slang tends to satisfy people, whether it's the words themselves or the accent that enunciates the absurdity of some sayings that makes it all sound so exciting and entertaining. For instance, the previously mentioned "Bob's your uncle" has such an amusing history that it makes you want to adopt the phrase forever.
The thing is, in 1887, British prime minister Robert Gascoyne-Cecil appointed his nephew Arthur James Balfour as Minister for Ireland, and the phrase originated when the nephew addressed the prime minister as "Uncle Bob", which is why the saying began to be used to describe something that could be done very easily.
Ultimately, it's pretty obvious that slang helps people to express their thoughts and is essentially just a very fun twist for any language to have. Just imagine what kind of words the English language will have in 50 years' time – do you think things will still be absolutely mental?