10 UK Slang Words To Familiarize Yourself With if You’re As Obsessed With ‘Love Island’ As We Are

Your official guide to British lingo

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Here at MILLE, we’re all about decolonizing our vocabulary. We’re also all about British reality television, namely, Love Island, ITV’s popular dating-slash-game-show currently on its eighth season. If like us, you find yourself perched in front of your television or laptop screen every evening at 9pm BST, you’ve probably come across some of the wacky words that make up British slang. Even though these words are still part of the English language, their meanings tend to be very different from what us non-locals are used to. Indeed, UK slang can seem like a whole different language on its own. Like what on earth did Adam mean when he said Ekin-Su was punching? 

For the uninitiated, Love Island is a two-month-long series that sees a group of ridiculously attractive 20-something-year-olds from all over the UK (also referred to as Islanders) jet off to a villa in Mallorca, Spain in the hopes of finding a love connection and a chance to take home $60,800. Throughout the series, a number of “bombshells” enter the villa in a bid to “tempt” the Islanders and break the connections made. There are also public dumpings, in which viewers get to vote on which couple they want to send home, and a number of questionable, but highly entertaining, challenges. Sound interesting to you? Then you may want to familiarize yourself with these UK slang words before you begin binging. 

Punching

Short for “punching above their weight.”  If someone is “punching,” it means the person they are talking to or dating could be thought of as more attractive than them.

Mug/Mugging off

A “mug” is used to describe someone as a fool or an idiot. Meanwhile, when you “mug someone off” you are making them appear foolish, especially if you are deceiving them in a relationship. 

Slag off
To make fun of someone by verbally attacking them. 

Lad/Bloke/Geezer

These would be the US English equivalent of “dude,” “man,” “bro.”

Crack on

To get on or continue with something, basically. in the Love Island villa, it is usually used when speaking about one’s desire to pursue a courtship with a fellow contestant. 

Bird

A word used to describe a young woman. We don’t recommend using this one though, unless you want to come off as sexist.

Grafting

Hailing from Scotland, this slang word denotes a guy who is trying to get a girl to like him, also known as flirting.

Pied/Pied off

If you got “pied,” you basically don’t stand a chance anymore as this word is used to refer to being rejected or shot down.

Bants

An abbreviation of “banter,” which means to joke or exchange witty remarks with someone else.

Melt

An insult for someone who has fallen for another person and gone soft. In other words, a simp.

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