But English in the UK and in Bristol—or Brizzle, as the locals say—is very different than the language you learn in the classroom. Thankfully, we’re here to help.
- In the Midlands, they use duck: “Is everything OK, duck?”
- In the south, they use mate: “How’s it going, mate?”
- And in Bristol, they use my luvver: “Alright, my luvver?”
In Bristol, lush means that something is really nice. It’s a bit like saying something is fantastic. You might have a lush dinner, a lush cup of tea, a lush evening out — and it will be something to tell your lush family about when you get back home.
Feel free to use lush when you’re talking with local students. Everyone uses it. A lot.
When someone says what you’re saying is “very interesting,” they might think what you’re saying is a little strange. Pay attention to body language when someone uses the word. If they seem engaged and like they’re enjoying the conversation, keep talking. If they look a little confused, help clarify what you meant.
In the UK, a cuppa is either a cup of tea or a cup of coffee; cuppa is short for “cup of.” Often, British people will say, “Do you want a cuppa?” Or, “Do you fancy a cuppa?” They are asking if you’d like a cup of tea or coffee. A good answer would be, “I’d love a tea, please.” Or, “A coffee would be great, thank you.”
You might hear phrases like “I could kill a cuppa,” or “I could murder a cuppa.” Don’t be alarmed! No one will get hurt. These are just expressions that show how much they love their tea and coffee. Brits genuinely believe a cuppa will solve everything. Hard day at uni? Have a cuppa. Spent all night on an essay? Have a cuppa. Lost your library card? Have a cuppa.
So if you’re in the student halls and someone seems sad, is missing home or having a hard day, offer them a cuppa. Biscuits (the rest of the world calls them cookies) are a good idea, too.
Brits have a habit of apologizing, whether it be for someone else bumping into them or not having the right change. Apparently, the average Brit says sorry eight times a day, and one-eighth of people will apologize up to 20 times a day.
After some time in Bristol, you might just also pick up the habit as well.