A Partial Glossary of London Slang

“It was necessary that people so fast increasing and so daily practising new and strange Villainies should borrow to themselves a speech, which so near as they could, none but themselves should understand.”

– Thomas Dekker, Lantern and Candlelight

 

Air.

(verb, transitive) To ignore someone, usually with malice aforethought. Airing one’s social inferiors is among life’s sweetest pleasures. (see Eat, Pray, Air: A Modern Guide to Mental Health)

 

Bait.

(adjective) Obvious. “To bait out X” is to make X manifest.

 

Bare.

(adjective) Very. A lot of. e.g. Rah! The sun produces bare neutrinos, fam. 

 

Beg.

(noun) A supplicant. One who loiters in your courtyard with petitions you are unwilling to grant. A spineless groveller. An inept suitor who has failed to master the art of fucking off.

 

Bruh.

(1) A greeting common among African-Americans, “bruh” is a contraction of “brother.” Its reduction to one syllable is symbolic of the violence wrought on black minds by white supremacy.

(2) Similar to “woah.” How a dial-up intellect reacts to a broadband world.

 

Buff.

Physically attractive, especially by virtue of being physically fit. (see hench and peng)

 

Butters.

Not aesthetically pleasing. Falling short of physical perfection. Capable of inducing blindness in the sighted and gratitude in the blind. Derived from the practice in Roman Britain of smearing ugly infants with butter and leaving them at crossroads as offerings to the gods.

 

Chirps.

To flirt. To set a lady sailing on a lake of lies. To storm Fortress Maidenhead with an army of words.

 

Creps.

Trainers. Preferably stolen from JD Sports or Foot Locker during riots.

 

Ends.

Sodom and Gomorrah, where the mandem and gyaldem live.

 

Fam.

The in-group. Prone to snap judgements and mob violence. Occasionally pacified by calls to “allow it.” On being cast adrift by blood relatives, one turns to this alternative family for its endless reserves of good conversation and bad advice.

 

Gyaldem.

see The Church of Girlhood Universal and Triumphant

 

Hench.

Muscular and dim-witted, like an evil villain’s henchman.

 

Innit.

Contraction of “is it not.” Used indiscriminately as a terminal intensifier.

 

Long.

(adjective) Difficult. Boring. More trouble than it’s worth. Applied to anything requiring more effort and concentration than the typical inner-city youth can muster.

 

Mandem.

A group of hench roadmen.

 

Moist.

Emotional. Insufficiently masculine. Dripping with female hormones. Hence, bad.

 

Motive.

An event. A reason to get out of the house. Derived from the English motive and the late Latin motivus (“to move”). Motives are a leading cause of death among  18-24 year olds.

 

Paigon.

A betrayer. A disciple of Judas. One who has as many faces as that traitor had hands. Derived from the English pagan (a non-believer) and panga, a type of machete favoured by back-stabbers.

 

Peak.

Adjective of unknown etymology and meaning.

 

Peng.

Ridiculously good-looking. From Penelope Peng, a shop assistant whose beauty daily drew thousands of deranged men to her home in Little Ilford.

 

Pree.

(1) To spy on. To eavesdrop. To intercept private communications. To joyfully observe the destruction of one’s enemies out of the corner of one’s eye.

(2) To read an acquaintance’s posts on a public forum.

 

Rah.

Exclamation of unknown etymology and meaning.

 

Sket.

(1) A creature known to hop gleefully from bed to bed, orgasm to orgasm and drama to deeper drama. A sexual adventuress.

(2) Any woman who either (a) refuses to sleep with you, (b) likes sleeping with you or (c) reveals her bad taste by sleeping with people who aren’t you.

 

Smash.

To conduct a cunt catechism. To drill for oil in Pudenda Park. To fish for clams in Beaver Bay. To refute Bishop Berkeley. To slay the hairy dragon. To stand upon the Mount of Venus and let loose the children of Gad. To take the hobbits to Isengard. To drown pharaoh’s armies in a river of grain.

 

Tune.

Synecdochal term for good music. Spelled with multiple u’s and n’s and followed by a series of exclamation marks and emojis.

 

Wasteman.

(1) One whose absence would improve the world. A man who lacks talent, ambition, money and charm.

(2) Synonym for ex-boyfriend.

 

Youngers.

The youngest members of a gang. Usually in their early teens and already with several years of iniquity and vice behind them. A pool of vulnerable youth from which one may groom protégés and victims.

 

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