Starting university is an exciting time. Moving to a new country, learning new things and meeting new people are all things to look forward to when starting your course. However, it might seem a bit daunting if English is not your first language.

Many countries have local phrases and slang terms used amongst friends that you may not know when you first move. That is why we are here to help. We have collected a few of our favourite and most popular phrases to help you fit in when you start with the University of Roehampton.

  1. “Fancy a cuppa?”

Meaning: Would you like a cup of tea?

English breakfast tea is an essential in the UK so this may be one you hear more than the rest. ‘Brew’ or ‘char’ are a few variations of the word tea but cuppa is more widely known. You could also try learning how to make the tea, too!

  1. “Donkey’s years”

Meaning: a long time

Did you know that donkeys can live up to an average of 30 years in the wild? Longer than most common animals, which is probably where this phrase comes from. If you ever hear someone say that something is taking ‘donkey’s years’ – just know they are not talking nonsense.

  1. “Swamped”

Meaning: busy

You will be pretty ‘swamped’ yourself as a first-year student. This term is used when you are busy.

  1. “Cheeky Nando’s”

Meaning: Going for a Nando’s (a restaurant) treat

‘Cheeky’ can be added to anything to describe something that’s a bit of a treat. Similar to tea, Nando’s (a restaurant) is a favourite with British people so a “Cheeky Nando’s” is probably a phrase you will hear during your time at university.

  1. Have a butcher’s

Meaning: have a look

The average vocabulary of a London native will include some Cockney rhyming slang, in which words are often exchanged for words that rhyme – even if they have no relevance. Butcher’s ‘hook’ is often swapped for ‘look’, and this phrase is a shortened version. Although it started in the Capital, this phrase is now widely used across the UK.

Don’t worry, you are not expected to commit these to memory. As you spend more time in the UK you will pick up more and more phrases that will naturally form your day-to-day conversations. These are just to give you a head start.

If you are feeling confident, why not try out our British slang quiz? We’ve given you a few tips already but let’s see how many more you can guess.

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