British Slang Terms in Healthcare


British Slang Terms in Healthcare

February 20, 2024

British Slang Terms


The British English language is packed full of slang terms and shorthand ways of saying what you mean, a lot of these slang terms are very often new to overseas Nurses in the UK.

It’s important that overseas qualified Nurses practising in the UK are aware of these terms and able to understand and conversate with patients when they use these slang phrases, patients in discomfort will often speak in the way that is most natural to them, so it’s important to remember that they are not trying to confuse you.

Included in this blog post are some commonly used slang terms in the UK, a sentence will be provided along with the term to add context.


“Loo” – Toilet
“I just need to go to the loo, where is it?”

“On the Mend” – Recovering
“She’s had the flu, but now she’s on the mend

“Cold Turkey” – Quitting Something Abruptly
“Tom quit smoking cold turkey

“Spend a Penny” – Needing to go to the Toilet
“Excuse me for a moment, I need to spend a penny

“Right as Rain” – Fit and Healthy
“I’m doing great thanks, right as rain

“Cut to the Chase” – Get Straight to the Point
“I don’t want to waste your time Sir, so ill cut to the chase

“In the Dark” – Not Being Told all Information
“The manager has kept me in the dark regarding sick days”

“Pulling a Blinder” – You’ve Done a Great Job
“You’re amazing at Childrens Nursing, you’re really pulling a blinder today!”

“Cream Crackered” – Very Tired
“By the time I got home, I was absolutely cream crackered

“Full of Beans” – Full of Energy
“Kids are so energetic, they are really full of beans

“Skiving” – Meaning to Fake Illness to Stay Off Work
“I bet he’s off work skiving today”

There are many more slang terms that are commonly used in the UK, more than can be counted!
Searching online should reveal more general slang terms, the ones on this list are more likely to be encountered in a medical setting. 

HQ address: 42 Upper Berkeley Street, London, W1H 5QL, United Kingdom
Company Number: 12894528


Weekly Updates About The UK Healthcare Sector