The American Guide to English Slang


As I dawn on my first week becoming a Londoner, a few cultural differences have really stuck out to me that I honestly was not expecting.  Most of these things had to do with the faces I would get in response to some very simple questions I asked.  In my few days here, I have already learned a thing or two about the different wordings Americans used compared to the English.  

First and foremost, asking “where’s the bathroom” will prompt such a sheer look of confusion from the person in front of you, it is almost funny.  From this, I learned that “where’s the bathroom” is not really a thing in London; rather, they use terms like ‘loo’ or just simply ‘the toilet’.  Switching my phrasing from ‘bathroom’ to ‘loo’ is already something that London has taught me.  

The other important words and phrases I have already heard and caught on to are as follows:

  • ‘Rubbish’= trash/ garbage/ anything to throw away 
  • ‘Cheers’= how to end a conversation/ informally saying goodbye 
  • ‘Knackered’= exhausted/ tired 
  • ‘That’s smashing/ that’s lovely’= best way to describe something positive

For now, those are the most common thoughts and words I have collected through my travels.  Hopefully, I will accommodate these words accordingly to immerse myself in the culture in the best ways possible. 

Madison Rydholm is an ISA Featured Blogger at Rowan University. She is currently abroad with ISA in London, England, Fall 2019.



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