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  • Writer's pictureElena

Common British English Expressions

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

These are some common British English expressions that are worth knowing if you are planning to travel to the UK for study, work or leisure.

Bob's your uncle= The saying originally meant you could get anything or do anything if you had the right connections because it came about after the 20th British Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury, famously appointed a nephew into an important political post for which he didn’t have the relevant experience. Today, it is more commonly used to say that something is easy to do or use.

Bits and bobs= When we want to say that we have an odd selection of things. For example we could say 'I have a few bits and bobs in the fridge. I’ll see what I can make'. However, it was originally used to describe loose change in your pocket.

Faff around (Phrasal verb)= When somebody is faffing around, they look busy but they are not actually doing anything or they are doing stuff in a disorganised way. 'I told my son to stop faffing around and finish his homework'.

Flogging a dead horse= to try and find a solution to a problem that is unsolvable. For example: 'You’re flogging a dead horse; Mary is too stubborn and won't change her mind'

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