Quiz: British Slang & Language

How well do you know British slang and its often idiosyncratic language (especially its regional variations)?

Take our quiz to find out.

For each of the 20 questions, click on the ‘Next’ arrow to find the correct answer and then to move to the next question.

Here’s the first question anyway:


What is the meaning of the Cockney rhyming slang phrase to “have a butchers”?

  1. Take a look (butcher’s hook = look)
  2. Get married (butcher’s knife = wife)
  3. Lose your temper (butcher’s shop = strop)
  4. Tease somebody (butcher’s block = mock)

In Northern England, what are you drinking if you have a “brew”?

  1. Beer
  2. Coffee
  3. Tea
  4. Cider

If someone asks you to “pony up a monkey” what are they suggesting?

  1. Get someone else to do the hard work for you
  2. Pay up £500
  3. Do something impossible
  4. Buy a new car

If you want someone to look at something you might tell them to take a – what?

  1. Turkey
  2. Chicken
  3. Goose
  4. Gander

What slang term for the smallest room was originally derived from Hindi?

  1. Loo
  2. Karsi
  3. Lavatory
  4. Bog

Who or what might be rudely referred to as a “ball and chain”?

  1. Wife
  2. Mother-in-law
  3. Boss
  4. Mortgage

What does the Cockney rhyming slang “mutton” mean?

  1. Mutton chop = cop
  2. Mutt and Jeff = deaf
  3. Mutton and lamb = scam
  4. Pork and mutton = button

What does it mean if someone is in a “two and eight”?

  1. They’re in a black cab – it refers to what used to be the standard fare of two shillings and eightpence
  2. They’re upset – it’s Cockney rhyming slang (two ‘n’ eight = state)
  3. They’re working a late shift – between 2 and 8am
  4. They’ve got legal problems – it refers to the address of the Royal Courts of Justice

If you’re “chuffed” about something you’re – what?

  1. Angry
  2. Very pleased
  3. Worried
  4. Frightened

What colour are you tickled if you’re very happy?

  1. Pink
  2. Purple
  3. Orange
  4. Silver

People who know what they’re talking about are said to know which vegetable?

  1. Their mushrooms
  2. Their onions
  3. Their potatoes
  4. Their radishes

The police are known as the Old – what?

  1. Bill
  2. Bob
  3. Rob
  4. Nick

What does it mean to “earwig”?

  1. To crawl on your hands and knees
  2. To try to ingratiate yourself with a superior at work
  3. To drink too much
  4. To eavesdrop on someone else’s conversation

A common metaphor for dishonesty is “bent as a” – what?

  1. Crow-bar
  2. Two headed coin
  3. Cheap lawyer
  4. Nine-bob note

Which of these means an argument?

  1. Argy-bargy
  2. Bingey-wingey
  3. Criss-cross
  4. Ordy-bawdy

If someone is described as a “mug” what are they?

  1. Clever
  2. Lazy
  3. Talkative
  4. Gullible

Which of these is cockney rhyming slang for stairs?

  1. Apples and pears
  2. Teddy bears
  3. Ploughshares
  4. Dan Dares

What is “mufti”?

  1. A teatime cake
  2. A cuddly toy
  3. Newspapers
  4. Civilian clothing

If you’ve gone crazy you are “off your” – what?

  1. Shaker
  2. Rocker
  3. Rollers
  4. Knocker

In Yorkshire, what is the meaning of “nowt”?

  1. Nose
  2. Basket
  3. Sugar
  4. Nothing