British English words & Slang
For the most part, my characters are British, and my books are set in the UK, so I use British spelling and grammar in my stories. Below is a list of BrEng words I use and their meanings - some of it may be British slang. I don't always use these words, and we also use a lot of Americanisms here nowadays with the influence of modern pop culture, but hopefully you'll find this list useful. I add things as I think of them, in no particular order, and it may be that you are already familiar with some of them as you use them across the pond too :)
NOTE! You may find a few rude words in the list below!
If you'd like to know if a word is listed below, click Ctrl + F on your computer and type the word into the search box that appears.
"ise" endings (realise, materialise, polarise, idolise, etc.)
bunking off / bunk off (slang)
skiving off / skive off (slang)
pants (slang), as in "that's pants"
pissed off (slang)
arse / arsehole (slang)
blond (male with light hair)
blonde (female with light hair)
American English equivalent
efficiency apartment / studio
smelled ("Smelt" is not just a fish, or a way to extract metal by heating; in the UK it is commonly used in writing and every day language, as the past particular of the word smell. That's right folks - most of us say smelt, and not smelled. However, the two variations are inter-changeable for us.)
fetus (spelling variation)
learned (We say "learnt" and not learned. "Learned" more often than not, for us, is actually Old English to mean someone who is learned - pronounced learn-ed. He was a learned man.)
earned (This one's controversial We say earnt all the time, but it is seen as more correct to write it as "earned" - not sure why, when all the others (as shown above) have remained correct usage in BrEng spelling).
"ize" endings ("ise" is, surprisingly, from the French/Latin, and "ize" is from the Greek. Technically "ize" is correct in BrEng spelling, but it has become known as American spelling because of their adoption of it. Some British presses still prefer to use "ize" whilst others prefer to use "ise".
crappy / not nice / a dump
general term for indoor heater
derogatory term for a male - i.e. dickhead. Originally, it literally meant "one who masturbates", but has since become a general insult.
panties (we do say panties too, but not as often)
bullshit (unless it's the dog's bollocks. If it's "the dog's bollocks" then it means it's fabulous - don't ask me why!)
shitty / "that's shitty" (obviously, "pants" in the non-slang context, also means trousers. Some people say it to mean "underpants", but you'll rarely see it written that way.)
aluminum (spelling variation)
color (and you'll often see "our" instead of "or" in BrEng - harbour, honour, humour, etc.)
very annoyed / angry
drunk (having said that, in the UK, it's juuuuuust starting to become acceptable to use "pissed" to mean "angry" as with our American friends - and I occasionally use it in my books to mean angry as well, when it flows with the sentence that way - but that's still really uncommon here. "Pissed" mostly just means "drunk".)
ass / asshole
a type of donkey (from Asinus, a subgenus of Equus that includes the donkey and other asses)
derogatory term for a male (rarely used for a woman); callow / rude person
male with light hair
female with light hair - I have seen in [mostly] American, commercially published books, "blond" used to indicate both the masculine and feminine. Certainly in the UK, it is still correct that the two different spellings be assigned to the two different genders. I actually thought this was still a worldwide rule, and personally feel it's a shame it's not implemented professionally any more.
More terms to come as I think of them. Feel free to email me if you'd like me to add any specific ones.