The BBC recently wrote a fabulous article about the strange habits and customs of the British which prompted its readers to add their own. It’s an invaluable guide not only for tourists but also for those of you trying to better understand the English.

We thought we’d continue our ‘British Slang’ posts and after rereading our last post on the topic, realised there were a lot of other British words that can be difficult to understand which are related to food. So here are some common British slang food words.



A soft flattish bread roll that originates from Scotland. They’re similar to hamburger buns in America, but are usually eaten with sandwich fillings inside. ‘Bap’ can refer to the soft roll or the sandwich made from using the roll.

Click on the photo for a recipe.



Bitter is a type of beer, either a pale ale or a similar type of beer. It’s probably the most common beer drunk in England and is usually gold or copper in colour. Unsurprisingly it has a bitter taste.



Just the other day, in a hurry to get out of the supermarket, I asked where the zucchinis were. She looked at me like I was speaking another language. In Australian and America (and Italy!) it’s ‘zucchini’, but the English use the French word ‘courgette’. It’s a marrow squash that comes in different shapes from long and thin to spherical, and its colour varies from green to yellow.


Digestive biscuits

These are semi-sweet plain biscuits commonly used to make cheesecake bases and are a common accompaniment to a cup of tea of coffee. Chocolate digestives have one side covered in chocolate.


No, the English don’t eat insect larva, but ‘grub’ also means ‘food’. This slang word has been around since the mid 17th century!



Pimms is an alcoholic drink traditionally mixed by the British with lemonade, pieces of fruit like strawberries, apples and oranges, cucumber and fresh mint. It’s commonly drunk in summer.


Dessert of any type is called pudding. It also refers to the dessert course of a meal.

“What’s for pudding?” = “What’s for dessert?”