The beauty of living in Britain is that you only have to go a few miles to hear a completely different accent and local expressions. When I moved to London last year, I was amazed with how many new expressions I learnt that I had never heard before. English idioms and colloquial expressions make the language vibrant and colourful and I think you will find them fun to learn!
1. Do Me A Lemon!
My colleague, Ciaran, was born and raised just outside of London. He speaks differently to me and I am always learning new expressions from him. When he is angry or can’t believe what he is hearing, he says: “Do Me A Lemon!”. It’s a more colourful and less formal way of saying “I can’t believe this!” Use it when you are tired, angry and fed up!
2. It’s A Car Crash
Sometimes you look at a situation and it’s such a mess you don’t know how to fix it. For example, when your house is so messy, you can’t think of a way to tidy it. In this scenario, you might call your a house “A Car Crash!”. It means it’s a terrible mess that you can’t fix! Use it when you want to express that a situation is awful.
e.g. “I went to help Juan organize his DVD collection but it was such a car crash, we didn’t make it any better!”
3. Give Over (verb)
When you are in a situation where a person is being difficult or you don’t believe what they are saying, you can tell them to “give over”. It means, stop being so silly!
A: “How much is this old television?”
B: “It’s €500 euros”
A: “Give over! This TV is 10 years old! I will give you €50 for it!”
B: “OK, I think you are right. I will sell it to you for €100”
A: “It’s a deal!”
Remember, if you want to hear authentic colloquial English language, book yourself into one of the many hotels in London and explore the food markets and local shopping streets – that’s where you’ll find authentic English.