An illustration depicts the close-up shot of two women's faces. One woman has a look of surprise while the other whispers something into her ear.

When you’re an English speaker, it can be easy to forget that English is a very diverse language.

However, for North Americans who venture ‘across the pond,’ many experience the strange sensation of knowing the language but not understanding what’s being said.

That’s because the UK is rich with English dialects and accents, both of which have an impact on how a non-native speaker would comprehend what’s being communicated (more on the difference between accents and dialects here).

There are so many sayings – otherwise known as ‘slang or colloquialisms’ – that are unique to each region in the UK, which is home to the countries of Britain, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Test Your Knowledge of British Slang and UK Colloquialisms

If you want a taste of what it’s like to travel the UK while not leaving your home, you can take our quiz below and find out where you fall on the spectrum: From as ‘smooth as a native UK citizen,’ to ‘North American English only.’

You can listen through audio samples of some of the sayings and phrases that you might hear if you traveled through the UK, take a guess at their North American equivalent and see how you score – then challenge your friends to do the same!

Please note: These recordings have been completed by Voices.com voice over talent, and selected in consultation with a dialect coach. The accents of the UK are incredibly diverse – more so, than we could ever depict in one article, quiz or audio file. However, if you’d like to hear more, you can also travel the world of UK accents in our Accent Map.

Don’t forget to answer ALL the questions so your results will appear at the bottom of the page!

 

UK Colloquialisms Quiz

“Have a butcher’s at this”

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“It’s an absolute blinder!”

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“Ya daft apeth!”

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“What you skriking for?”

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“Oh don’t pay any attention to Jeffery, he’s all mouth and no trousers.”

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“Fine words butter no parsnips.”

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“Oh, I'm all in a tizz wozz.”

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“Me in me glad rags.”

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“Why aye man, ad do anything for a canny bag a tuda.”

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“Where’s that to?”

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“Cwtch up by yer, cariad.”

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“Are you reading that magazine you're sitting on?”

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“Whit's fur ye'll no go past ye.”

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“Haud yer wheesht!”

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“Lang may yer lum reek.”

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“Shut the windie.”

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For over a decade, Tanya has been helping organizations and individuals alike tell their stories. A graduate of Western University, Tanya holds a Bachelor of Science degree, as well as a post-graduate diploma in Public Relations. As an experienced marketing and communications professional, she has helped individuals, start-ups, and multinational corporations craft and amplify meaningful communications across the arts, culture, entertainment, health, wellness, and technology industries.

5 COMMENTS

    • Hi Julie! Thank you so much for taking the quiz & commenting! We really wanted to create engaging, fun content. Your score is also very impressive – good job!

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