the London slang spoken today is called road man slang or road talk
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Fans of grime and drill will be well up on their London street slang, aka roadman talk. But if you’re new to London, you’ve been watching a bit of Top Boy and you wanna get down wit da lingo, or you just wanna diss your fam with a peng new cuss, we got you covered boss.

For a bit of background… London slang has long been associated with the world of cockney’s with their rhyming slang. And although you might hear a bit of this in the capital, especially in the East End or South around Bermondsey and Peckham, the truth is the youth of today are more likely to speak MLS – or multi-cultural London Slang.

Sometimes referred to as Jafaican (by the press, NEVER by people on the street themselves), this modern London slang is very different from cockney and is a mash up of Jamaican, African and Asian terminolgy.

And although you will hear most of the road talk in the schools and playgrounds in London, increasingly some of this slang is getting into modern British slang too.

If you wanna get a more solid run down on the world of roadman slang, we recommend this book, which is pretty comprehensive.

Anyways fam… Let’s take a proper look at the world of London’s modern street slang.

A is for…

Allow it – Meaning forget about it, or ignore it. “I ain’t taking the central line at 5 man, allow that!”

B is for…

Bare – Lots of or many. “There are bare candy shops on Oxford street now man, whats up with that?”

Bait – Looking obvious or shifty. “Relax man, you’re looking proper bait”

C is for…

Chirpse – To flirt or chat up. “Oh my days this girl is buff fam. I’m gonna chirpse her”

Creps – Trainers/sneakers. “Fresh creps bruv. How much they set you back?”

Cuz – Short for cousin. Can be used for anyone who is a friend or even in your family circle.

D is for…

Dash – To throw something or get rid of something. Can also be used to refer to passing… “Dash that zoot bro, the feds are coming”

Dizzy – An insult implying extremely ignorant or stupid. “You paid £100 for that shirt? Are you dizzy?”

Dun know – A term of agreement or confirmation. “You coming to the party later?” – “Ya dun know”

E is for…

Ends – The local neighbourhood. “I’m just gonna chill at the ends this weekend… Can’t be arsed to go central”

F is for…

Fam – Short for ‘family’, familiar term similar to mate. Can be used with anyone you’re friendly with. “Yes fam, long time no see…”

Feds – The police. “Bare feds around man, whats gone down?”

G is for…

Garms – Clothes. “I got bare fresh garms on Black Friday cuz”

Gyal or gyal dem – Girls. Gyaldem refers to multiple. “Gyaldem looking smoking hot tonight”

H is for…

Hench – Very muscular or in top physical shape. Can also say ‘dench’. “He’s training for the marathon and he is looking so hench…”

I is for…

Innit – Heavily overused term for agreement or acceptance. Can be added at the end of a sentence as in, “weather is awful today innit?”. Or used as agreement or dismissive term. “Weather is awful today”. “Innit”

Is it – Or “izziiit” which is much more fun to say. Can be used in place of ‘oh really?’ or used to generally express agreement or disbelief. “I punched him right in the dick”, “is it?”

Roadman speak is also known as Jafaican

J is for…

Jakes – The police. “It got serious man, gun jakes turned up” – “Dash that zoot fam, Jakes is rolling this way”

Jokes – Something funny. “We had a great time man. It was jokes”

K is for…

Kotch – To relax or take it easy. “I ain’t going out tonight man, just gonna kotch at home”

L is for…

Leng – A weapon, usually a gun. Can also refer to a dangerous person. “Stay away from him man, he’s bare leng”

Link – Sex, usually hookups. “Yeah I linked her after the club” – but can also refer to meeting “Lets link later yeah?” Context is everything here!

Long – Anything that is boring, tedious or annoying. Can be used as a standalone ‘long!’ if someone is being tedious, or to describe a situation. “Ah man my parents give me such a hard time about studying. Long”

M is for….

Mandem – Usually refers to multiple men. Can also refer to your friends or a random faceless group. “Meeting my mandem after work” or “Mandem don’t care about good service, they just want your money”

Manor – The local area. Can also refer to your house. “Come to the manor cuz, we’ll get some chang and make a weekend of it”

Merk – Technically means to kill or stab, but can also be used to diss/insult someone. “Ohhh you got merked mate…”

N is for…

Nang – Very good. “Oh man this burger is nang!”

O is for…

Oh my days or Oh my gosh – General exclamation of disbelief. Widely used by pretty much everyone. “Oh my days, you’ll never guess what I’m doing later…”

P is for…

Peng – Top quality or excellent. “Get that sauce on the chicken bro, it’s proper peng…” Also widely used for compliments or to express attraction, “Wow, you’re looking peng tonight”

Pussyole – An insult generally meaning someone is weak or useless. “Yah get outta here ya pussyole”

Q is for…

Qweng – Usually refers to an attractive woman.

R is for…

Roads – The local area, but can also refer to the city in general. Usually refers to the grimy or ghetto element of the city. “You can tell a man from the roads innit”

Roadman – Typically refers to gangsters, specifically drug dealers or gang members. However these days can also be used to refer to anyone who dresses like they’re in a grime music video. “Bare roadmen in the yard today fam… Watch your back innit”

S is for…

Seen – Jamaican term for acknowledgment or agreement. “I’m going away this weekend”, “Seen”

Shade – Rude or disrespectful behaviour. You can ‘throw shade’ or ‘act shady’. “Oh my days, did he just shade you?”

T is for…

Ting – A thing. Can be used widely pretty much wherever you’d say ‘thing’. “I gotta go do my ting bruv…”, however Ting is also a soft drink which is often referenced in music. Often drunk with rum. “She’s slamming the vodka and Ting harrrd tonight…”

V is for…

Vexed – Confused, angry or generally irritated. “Shut up man, don’t vex me”

Vibes – The general ambiance of a place, or sentiment about something. Same use as in general English, but you can also be ‘Vibesing’ (really feeling the vibe) or getting into something. “I was vibesing off that new mix tape”.

W is for…

Wasteman – Someone totally useless or idiotic. “I dunno why she’s with him, he’s a total wasteman”

Y is for…

Yoot – The youth, or young people. “Dem yoot don’t know what a proper club night looks like fam, I’m telling you…”

Z is for…

Zoot – A spliff. “Who’s bunning the zoot? I can smell it a mile off”

We hope you’ve enjoyed this basic guide to London road man slang. If you wanna hear some of this up to date London slang in action, we recommend Top Boy (which you can view on Netflix and All4), Phone Shop (also on All4)

You can also get stuck right into The Pengest Munch on YouTube which is a fun tour around the chicken shops of London (although ya boy has become a celeb these days and is all over TV).

Looking for the full dictionary of modern London slang?

Pick up this guide from Amazon if you want the full run down of modern London lingo and slang.

About Post Author

Gesten van der Post

Is he the Keyser Soze of the content writing world? Maybe. Gesten writes for a variety of online magazines and several businesses too.
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By Gesten van der Post

Is he the Keyser Soze of the content writing world? Maybe. Gesten writes for a variety of online magazines and several businesses too.

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