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Top 100 British Sayings

"A delightful journey through the quirks and charms of British expressions."

British sayings, often whimsical and witty, reflect the unique culture and humor of the United Kingdom. From the colorful colloquialisms to the traditional idioms passed down through generations, these expressions offer a glimpse into the British way of life. In this list, we explore the top 100 British sayings, providing insight into their meanings and origins.



  • Title: "Top 100 British Sayings: Exploring the Charm of British Expressions"
  • Subtitle: "Exploring the Charm of British Expressions"
  • Tagline: "A delightful journey through the quirks and charms of British expressions."
  • Description: "A curated list of the top 100 British sayings, showcasing the wit and wisdom of the UK."
  • Keywords: British, sayings, expressions, idioms, UK, culture, humor, language


# Top 100 British Sayings
- Exploring the Charm of British Expressions
- A delightful journey through the quirks and charms of British expressions.
- A curated list of the top 100 British sayings, showcasing the wit and wisdom of the UK.
- 5 Topics

## Topics
- Traditional Sayings: British, traditional, sayings, idioms, culture
- Modern Expressions: British, modern, slang, expressions, contemporary
- Humorous Phrases: British, humor, sayings, funny, witty
- Regional Idioms: British, regional, dialect, idioms, local
- Everyday Phrases: British, everyday, common, phrases, expressions

Topic 1: "Traditional Sayings"

"Echoes of the past in the present."

Traditional British sayings offer a glimpse into the history and culture of the UK. These expressions have been used for generations, often carrying deep meanings and wisdom.

  1. "A stitch in time saves nine": Addressing problems early prevents them from becoming bigger.
  2. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away": Promoting healthy eating habits.
  3. "Barking up the wrong tree": Pursuing a mistaken or misguided course of action.
  4. "Birds of a feather flock together": People of similar interests or characteristics tend to associate with one another.
  5. "Break the ice": To initiate conversation in a social setting.
  6. "Caught red-handed": Caught in the act of doing something wrong.
  7. "Cutting corners": Doing something in a hasty and inefficient way.
  8. "Don't cry over spilt milk": Don't be upset about things that have already happened.
  9. "Every cloud has a silver lining": Every bad situation has a positive aspect.
  10. "Hit the nail on the head": To be exactly right about something.
  11. "In the nick of time": At the last possible moment.
  12. "Let sleeping dogs lie": Avoid interfering in a situation that is currently causing no problems.
  13. "Once in a blue moon": Something that happens very rarely.
  14. "The ball is in your court": It is up to you to make the next decision or take action.
  15. "Throw in the towel": To give up or surrender.
  16. "Under the weather": Feeling unwell.
  17. "When pigs fly": Something that will never happen.
  18. "You can't judge a book by its cover": Appearances can be deceptive.
  19. "A penny for your thoughts": Asking someone what they are thinking.
  20. "Burning the midnight oil": Working late into the night.

Topic 2: "Modern Expressions"

"Capturing the spirit of contemporary British life."

Modern British expressions reflect the evolving language and culture of the UK. These sayings are often influenced by contemporary life and social trends.

  1. "All mouth and no trousers": Someone who talks a lot but doesn't take action.
  2. "Bob's your uncle": Everything is alright, or there you go.
  3. "Chuffed to bits": Extremely pleased or happy.
  4. "Dodgy": Suspicious or unreliable.
  5. "Faff about": Wasting time or being inefficient.
  6. "Gobsmacked": Astonished or amazed.
  7. "Knees up": A lively party or celebration.
  8. "Leg it": To run away quickly.
  9. "Lost the plot": Becoming confused or irrational.
  10. "Minted": Very rich.
  11. "On the pull": Looking for a romantic partner.
  12. "Piece of cake": Something very easy to do.
  13. "Skint": Having no money.
  14. "Sorted": Arranged or dealt with satisfactorily.
  15. "Take the mickey": To mock or tease someone.
  16. "Throw a spanner in the works": Causing a disruption or problem.
  17. "Waffle": Talking at length without saying anything meaningful.
  18. "Whinge": To complain persistently.
  19. "Zonked": Extremely tired or exhausted.
  20. "Blimey": An expression of surprise or shock.

Topic 3: "Humorous Phrases"

"Adding a touch of humor to everyday language."

Humorous British phrases often showcase the nation's wit and love for a good laugh. These sayings are sure to bring a smile to your face.

  1. "As the actress said to the bishop": A humorous innuendo.
  2. "Away with the fairies": Someone who is not fully aware of their surroundings.
  3. "Bent as a nine bob note": Something or someone that is dishonest or corrupt.
  4. "Cheeky": Playfully impudent or irreverent.
  5. "Couldn't organize a piss-up in a brewery": Incompetent at organizing events.
  6. "Does my bum look big in this?": Asking for an opinion on one's appearance.
  7. "He's all fur coat and no knickers": Someone who has a lot of outward appearance but lacks substance.
  8. "I could eat a horse": Extremely hungry.
  9. "Keep your pecker up": Stay cheerful.
  10. "Not my cup of tea": Not something one enjoys or prefers.
  11. "Pulling your leg": Teasing or joking.
  12. "Right as rain": Perfectly fine.
  13. "Sod's law": The idea that if something can go wrong, it will.
  14. "The bee's knees": Something excellent or of high quality.
  15. "The dog's bollocks": The best or most excellent.
  16. "Up the duff": Pregnant.
  17. "Wonky": Not straight or aligned properly.
  18. "You what?": An expression of disbelief or confusion.
  19. "Chinwag": A good chat or conversation.
  20. "Hunky-dory": Everything is fine.

Topic 4: "Regional Idioms"

"Exploring the local flavors of British dialects."

Regional idioms highlight the diverse linguistic landscape of the UK, with each area having its own unique expressions.

  1. "All fur coat and no knickers" (Northern England): Showy but with no substance.
  2. "Away with the fairies" (Scottish): Not fully aware of surroundings.
  3. "Better than a slap in the face with a wet kipper" (Northern England): Better than a bad alternative.
  4. "Can’t see the wood for the trees" (Southern England): Overlooking the bigger picture.
  5. "Chuffed to bits" (Northern England): Very pleased.
  6. "Do a Devon Loch" (Scottish): To fail spectacularly at the last moment.
  7. "Gie it laldy" (Scottish): Do it with great enthusiasm.
  8. "I’m not as green as I’m cabbage looking" (Northern England): I’m not as naive as I look.
  9. "It’s brass monkeys" (Northern England): Very cold.
  10. "Keep your hair on" (Southern England): Stay calm.
  11. "Like a cat on hot bricks" (Southern England): Very anxious.
  12. "Mutton dressed as lamb" (Northern England): An older woman dressed young.
  13. "Over the moon" (Northern England): Extremely happy.
  14. "Put wood in the hole" (Northern England): Shut the door.
  15. "Stop faffing around" (Southern England): Stop wasting time.
  16. "That’s pants" (Southern England): That’s not good.
  17. "You’ve got more front than Brighton" (Southern England): Very bold or cheeky.
  18. "Yonks ago" (Northern England): A long time ago.
  19. "Zonked out" (Northern England): Very tired.
  20. "You’re off your trolley" (Southern England): You’re crazy.

Topic 5: "Everyday Phrases"

"Common expressions used in daily British life."

Everyday British phrases are the bread and butter of communication in the UK. These expressions are widely understood and frequently used in daily conversations.

  1. "All right?": A common greeting.
  2. "Cheers": Thank you.
  3. "Fancy a cuppa?": Would you like a cup of tea?
  4. "I’m easy": I’m flexible or don’t mind.
  5. "It’s not rocket science": It’s not difficult to understand.
  6. "Lovely jubbly": Great or excellent.
  7. "No worries": Don’t worry about it.
  8. "On your bike": Go away.
  9. "Piece of cake": Very easy.
  10. "Pop round": Visit someone’s home.
  11. "Right then": Used to start a conversation or activity.
  12. "See you later": Goodbye.
  13. "Spot on": Exactly right.
  14. "Ta":

Thank you. 15. "Taking the piss": Mocking someone. 16. "Throw a wobbly": Have a tantrum. 17. "Tickety-boo": Everything is going well. 18. "Toodle-oo": Goodbye. 19. "Wotcha": Hello. 20. "You’re having a laugh": You must be joking.

Top 100 List

  1. "A stitch in time saves nine" (Traditional)
  2. "All mouth and no trousers" (Modern)
  3. "As the actress said to the bishop" (Humorous)
  4. "All fur coat and no knickers" (Regional)
  5. "All right?" (Everyday)
  6. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" (Traditional)
  7. "Bob's your uncle" (Modern)
  8. "Away with the fairies" (Humorous)
  9. "Away with the fairies" (Regional)
  10. "Cheers" (Everyday)
  11. "Barking up the wrong tree" (Traditional)
  12. "Chuffed to bits" (Modern)
  13. "Bent as a nine bob note" (Humorous)
  14. "Better than a slap in the face with a wet kipper" (Regional)
  15. "Fancy a cuppa?" (Everyday)
  16. "Birds of a feather flock together" (Traditional)
  17. "Dodgy" (Modern)
  18. "Cheeky" (Humorous)
  19. "Can’t see the wood for the trees" (Regional)
  20. "I’m easy" (Everyday)
  21. "Break the ice" (Traditional)
  22. "Faff about" (Modern)
  23. "Couldn't organize a piss-up in a brewery" (Humorous)
  24. "Chuffed to bits" (Regional)
  25. "It’s not rocket science" (Everyday)
  26. "Caught red-handed" (Traditional)
  27. "Gobsmacked" (Modern)
  28. "Does my bum look big in this?" (Humorous)
  29. "Do a Devon Loch" (Regional)
  30. "Lovely jubbly" (Everyday)
  31. "Cutting corners" (Traditional)
  32. "Knees up" (Modern)
  33. "He's all fur coat and no knickers" (Humorous)
  34. "Gie it laldy" (Regional)
  35. "No worries" (Everyday)
  36. "Don't cry over spilt milk" (Traditional)
  37. "Leg it" (Modern)
  38. "I could eat a horse" (Humorous)
  39. "I’m not as green as I’m cabbage looking" (Regional)
  40. "On your bike" (Everyday)
  41. "Every cloud has a silver lining" (Traditional)
  42. "Lost the plot" (Modern)
  43. "Keep your pecker up" (Humorous)
  44. "It’s brass monkeys" (Regional)
  45. "Piece of cake" (Everyday)
  46. "Hit the nail on the head" (Traditional)
  47. "Minted" (Modern)
  48. "Not my cup of tea" (Humorous)
  49. "Keep your hair on" (Regional)
  50. "Pop round" (Everyday)
  51. "In the nick of time" (Traditional)
  52. "On the pull" (Modern)
  53. "Pulling your leg" (Humorous)
  54. "Like a cat on hot bricks" (Regional)
  55. "Right then" (Everyday)
  56. "Let sleeping dogs lie" (Traditional)
  57. "Piece of cake" (Modern)
  58. "Right as rain" (Humorous)
  59. "Mutton dressed as lamb" (Regional)
  60. "See you later" (Everyday)
  61. "Once in a blue moon" (Traditional)
  62. "Skint" (Modern)
  63. "Sod's law" (Humorous)
  64. "Over the moon" (Regional)
  65. "Spot on" (Everyday)
  66. "The ball is in your court" (Traditional)
  67. "Sorted" (Modern)
  68. "The bee's knees" (Humorous)
  69. "Put wood in the hole" (Regional)
  70. "Ta" (Everyday)
  71. "Throw in the towel" (Traditional)
  72. "Take the mickey" (Modern)
  73. "The dog's bollocks" (Humorous)
  74. "Stop faffing around" (Regional)
  75. "Taking the piss" (Everyday)
  76. "Under the weather" (Traditional)
  77. "Throw a spanner in the works" (Modern)
  78. "Up the duff" (Humorous)
  79. "That’s pants" (Regional)
  80. "Throw a wobbly" (Everyday)
  81. "When pigs fly" (Traditional)
  82. "Waffle" (Modern)
  83. "Wonky" (Humorous)
  84. "You’ve got more front than Brighton" (Regional)
  85. "Tickety-boo" (Everyday)
  86. "You can't judge a book by its cover" (Traditional)
  87. "Whinge" (Modern)
  88. "You what?" (Humorous)
  89. "Yonks ago" (Regional)
  90. "Toodle-oo" (Everyday)
  91. "A penny for your thoughts" (Traditional)
  92. "Zonked" (Modern)
  93. "Chinwag" (Humorous)
  94. "Zonked out" (Regional)
  95. "Wotcha" (Everyday)
  96. "Burning the midnight oil" (Traditional)
  97. "Blimey" (Modern)
  98. "Hunky-dory" (Humorous)
  99. "You’re off your trolley" (Regional)
  100. "You’re having a laugh" (Everyday)

Top 100 Table

Rank Name Topic Tagline
1 A stitch in time saves nine Traditional Addressing problems early
2 All mouth and no trousers Modern Talks a lot but doesn't act
3 As the actress said to the bishop Humorous Humorous innuendo
4 All fur coat and no knickers Regional Showy but no substance
5 All right? Everyday Common greeting
6 An apple a day keeps the doctor away Traditional Promoting healthy eating
7 Bob's your uncle Modern Everything is alright
8 Away with the fairies Humorous Not fully aware
9 Away with the fairies Regional Not fully aware
10 Cheers Everyday Thank you
11 Barking up the wrong tree Traditional Misguided course of action
12 Chuffed to bits Modern Extremely pleased
13 Bent as a nine bob note Humorous Dishonest
14 Better than a slap in the face with a wet kipper Regional Better than a bad alternative
15 Fancy a cuppa? Everyday Would you like a cup of tea?
16 Birds of a feather flock together Traditional Similar people associate
17 Dodgy Modern Suspicious or unreliable
18 Cheeky Humorous Playfully impudent
19 Can’t see the wood for the trees Regional Overlooking the bigger picture
20 I’m easy Everyday Flexible or don’t mind
21 Break the ice Traditional Initiate conversation
22 Faff about Modern Wasting time
23 Couldn't organize a piss-up in a brewery Humorous Incompetent
24 Chuffed to bits Regional Very pleased
25 It’s not rocket science Everyday Not difficult
26 Caught red-handed Traditional Caught in the act
27 Gobsmacked Modern Astonished
28 Does my bum look big in this? Humorous Asking for opinion on appearance
29 Do a Devon Loch Regional Fail spectacularly
30 Lovely jubbly Everyday Great or excellent
31 Cutting corners Traditional Doing something hasty
32 Knees up Modern Lively party
33 He's all fur coat and no knickers Humorous No substance
34 Gie it laldy Regional Do it with enthusiasm
35 No worries Everyday Don’t worry
36 Don't cry over spilt milk Traditional Don't be upset about past
37 Leg it Modern Run away quickly
38 I could eat a horse Humorous Extremely hungry
39 I’m not as green as I’m cabbage looking Regional Not as naive as I look
40 On your bike Everyday Go away
41 Every cloud has a silver lining Traditional Positive aspect of bad situation
42 Lost the plot Modern Confused
43 Keep your pecker up Humorous Stay cheerful
44 It’s brass monkeys Regional Very cold
45 Piece of cake Everyday Very easy
46 Hit the nail on the head Traditional Exactly right
47 Minted Modern Very rich
48 Not my cup of tea Humorous Not preferred
49 Keep your hair on Regional Stay calm
50 Pop round Everyday Visit someone’s home
51 In the nick of time Traditional Last possible moment
52 On the pull Modern Looking for romantic partner
53 Pulling your leg Humorous Teasing
54 Like a cat on hot bricks Regional Very anxious
55 Right then Everyday Start a conversation
56 Let sleeping dogs lie Traditional Avoid interfering
57 Piece of cake Modern Very easy
58 Right as rain Humorous Perfectly fine
59 Mutton dressed as lamb Regional Older woman dressed young
60 See you later Everyday Goodbye
61 Once in a blue moon Traditional Happens very rarely
62 Skint Modern No money
63 Sod's law Humorous If something can go wrong, it will
64 Over the moon Regional Extremely happy
65 Spot on Everyday Exactly right
66 The ball is in your court Traditional Up to you to take action
67 Sorted Modern Arranged satisfactorily
68 The bee's knees Humorous Excellent
69 Put wood in the hole Regional Shut the door
70 Ta Everyday Thank you
71 Throw in the towel Traditional Give up
72 Take the mickey Modern Mocking
73 The dog's bollocks Humorous The best
74 Stop faffing around Regional Stop wasting time
75 Taking the piss Everyday Mocking
76 Under the weather Traditional Feeling unwell
77 Throw a spanner in the works Modern Causing disruption
78 Up the duff Humorous Pregnant
79 That’s pants Regional Not good
80 Throw a wobbly Everyday Have a tantrum
81 When pigs fly Traditional Will never happen
82 Waffle Modern Talking without meaning
83 Wonky Humorous Not straight
84 You’ve got more front than Brighton Regional Very bold or cheeky
85 Tickety-boo Everyday Everything is going well
86 You can't judge a book by its cover Traditional Appearances can be deceptive
87 Whinge Modern Complain persistently
88 You what? Humorous Disbelief or confusion
89 Yonks ago Regional A long time ago
90 Toodle-oo Everyday Goodbye
91 A penny for your thoughts Traditional Asking what someone is thinking
92 Zonked Modern Very tired
93 Chinwag Humorous A good chat
94 Zonked out Regional Very tired
95 Wotcha Everyday Hello
96 Burning the midnight oil Traditional Working late into the night
97 Blimey Modern Expression of surprise
98 Hunky-dory Humorous Everything is fine
99 You’re off your trolley Regional You’re crazy
100 You’re having a laugh Everyday You must be joking


British sayings, with their unique charm and wit, provide a fascinating insight into the culture and humor of the UK. From traditional idioms to modern slang, these expressions reflect the diverse linguistic landscape of Britain. Whether you're familiar with these sayings or encountering them for the first time, we hope this list has brought a smile to your face and a touch of British flair to your day.