From Bangers to Bossman: This is your guide to British food slang

If there is one thing for certain, it’s that we Brits love some good culinary delights, so much so that we have different iconic slang associations for all things related to food. 

Aside from the common ‘chippy’ and the regional argument over whether it should be classified as ‘dinner’ or ‘tea’, the team at Preply have outlined common British food slang expressions and what they mean. 

How many of these expressions do you use? 

  1. Afters 

A throwback to school lunches at primary school, where after that lovely cottage pie, we’d have room for something more. 

And no, this isn’t dessert, but ‘afters’ – think scrumptious bowls of sticky toffee pudding and custard. 

  1. Burger sauce 

The concept of burger sauce is quite a game-changer, for it’s simply a mixture of mayonnaise and ketchup in one bottle. 

Whether you love or loathe the two, it’s a common consensus that the combination of these condiments makes for a truly delicious taste. 

  1. Builders 

If there is one thing that Brits take seriously, it’s the strength and taste of their tea. 

A common preference for tea is a ‘Builder’s brew’, which is a reference to a milk and two sugars, with the tea bag left in for a while. 

  1. Bossman 

It’s the early hours of the morning and you’ve found yourself in the local kebab shop after a wild night out. 

When it comes to the person who takes and serves your order, this heroic individual is known as the ‘Bossman’. As the name suggests, a Bossman deserves huge respect and is always there to take care of your food needs after a night of partying. 

  1. Bangers 

Other than being associated with a popping song on the radio, bangers are known as sausages, which are an essential part of the classic British meal you’ll find at any pub – bangers and mash. 

  1. Ruby Murray 

Going down South, Ruby Murray is Cockney slang for ‘curry’, and is named after the famous British singer from the 1950s. 

  1. Roll / cob / sarnie / buttie 

If there is one food that has so many different British slang variations, it’s bread. 

All across the UK, it can be referred to as a roll or a cob. Speaking of sandwiches, this can be referred to as a sarnie or a buttie. 

  1. Marvin 

You may have heard of the phrase ‘starvin like Marvin’, so saying you’re Marvin means you’re ravenous for your next meal. 

  1. Bubble and squeak 

A traditional UK dish, usually made up of leftovers,  bubble and squeak  consists of cooked potatoes, cabbage, and any meat or vegetables you have sitting in the fridge, mixed together and fried. 

  1. Yam 

Although it’s often referred to as vegetables, to ‘yam’ in London means to eat something fast.