Common British English expressions translated to Catalan II

Typical British expressions and their equivalent in Catalan language PART 2


Welcome back! Here are 20 further common British English expressions translated to Catalan. As in the first part of Common BrE expressions translated to Catalan, they sound very idiomatic in both languages, so, again, if you ever go to the UK or Catalonia and use these expressions, you will probably impress locals.So let’s have a look at these new expressions:

(to) be stuffed

To be stuffed means to be very full. In Catalan language it can be translated as the very idiomatic expression estar tip, for example No en vull més. Estic tip (I’m good. I’m stuffed).

I’m gutted

I’m gutted means that I am very disappointed. In Catalan, you can say M’he quedat xof / Estic decebut/da.

I’m gutted

(To) be in a pickle

It means (to) be in a difficult or confused situation. In Catalan Estar (ficat) en un merder / embolic.

I’m in a pickle.

That’s mental / It’s mental

Something is crazy or surprising. In Catalan És de bojos (to say that something is a madness) or Quina passada or Brutal (for a surprising thing) depending on the context..

It’s mental!

Give me a bell

It basically means Get in touch with me or Call me. Very similar to the expression we saw in the first part Give me a tinkle (on the blower)> In Catalan, you can say Fes-me un truc or just Truca’m (Call me).

Give me a bell

(to) be in a mood

It means (to) be in a bad mood / upset. In Catalan slang you can say Estar ratllat. In a colloquial language you can say No estar del tot fi/fina or Estar de mala lluna.

I’m in a mood

Crickey / Blimey

It is an expressions to show shock or surprise. In Catalan, you can say Ostres!, ospa! (this one quite provincial), Caram! or, in slang language Wala! (this one quite urban).

(to) take the mickey out of someone

It means to make a joke about someone or to tease them. You are taking the mickey out of me. In Catalan You are taking the mickey out of me can be translated as Em fots el pèl or Me l’estàs fotent.

He’s taking the mickey out of us.

(to) pull someone’s leg

Very similar to make the mickey out of someone. This somewhat old-fashioned expression means to make a joke about someone or to tease them. In Catalan Prendre / fotre el pèl.

(to) faff about / around

We are constantly doing it, specially with social networks. Waffing about or around means to waste time doing unimportant tasks instead of the thing that one should be doing. In Catalan you can say Fer el dropo or Perdre / Matar el temps.

(to) lose the plot

(to) Lose the plot means (to) become confused / (to) do something crazy. In Catalan you can say anar-se’n l’olla. Se m’ha anat l’olla (I lost the plot).

I’ve lost the plot

That’s crap

Slang. You wouldn’t use it in a formal situation. You use it to say that something is not good, that something is rubbish, of low quality. In Catalan you can say És una merda or de merda (if it works as an adjective). For instance una peli de merda (A crap movie). We love the expression Una merda pinxada en un pal (literally, a shit pricked with a stick) to refer to something that is worth nothing.

(to) nick

(to) Nick is slang for (to) steal something. In Catalan you can say Pispar (slang). There is also the slang word mangar, if you like. It is not so genuine as pispar, but many people say it.

(to) have had one’s chips

(to) fail at something or lose an opportunity. In Catalan you can say Cagar-la or espifiar-la. L’he cagat! (=I’ve had my chips!). Nano, l’has cagat! (Dude, you’ve had your chips!)

You’ve had your chips.

The bee’s knees

Slang. Something that is excellent, of a high quality. In Catalan language is ser la hòstia, una passada, brutal. Top. Pensa que és la hòstia, però només és una altra poser d’Instagram (=She thinks she is the bee’s knees, but she’s just another Instagram poser).

(to) take the biscuit

It means (to) be rude/offensive/particularly bad. In Catalan is ser un estúpid, ser un impresentable, (or un borde).


As we saw in the first part of this series, it is synonymous with Knackered, which means very tired. In Catalan it is Fet pols or Rebentat. Estic fet pols. Estic rebentat. (I’m knackered. I’m shattered).

I’m shattered

I’m not being funny, but

It means I don’t mean to be rude, but… (very idiomatic, it sounds very British). In Catalan you can say No és per tallar el rotllo, però… Notice that here the word funny changes its meaning.

I’m not being funny, but…

A spanner in the works

It refers to something unexpected that can disrupt or confuse a situation. In Catalan you can say Posar pals a les rodes. For instance, Van retirar el finançament per l’espectacle i això va posar pals a les rodes (The funding for the show was withdrawn so that really threw a spanner in the works). As you may know, a spanner is a tool with a shaped opening or jaws for gripping and turning a nut or bolt, so the metaphor is quite clear here.

(to) head somewhere

It essentially means (to) go somewhere. In Catalan, Fer cap a algun lloc. Fem cap a la festa. We’re heading for the party.

Mint / That’s mint

It refers to something that is excellent or in perfect condition. In Catalan you can say Genial, perfecte or de pu*a mare.. (the missing word is t). For instance That’s mint! (Està perfecte)


Slang for umbrella. Informal. Oh, no! I forgot my brolly! Catalan: Paraigües.


Colloquial expression for BBC. Informal.


Short for University. Informal. Catalan: la Uni.


Short for television. Informal. There’s nothing on the telly. Catalan: No fan res a la tele.


Colloquial for Christmas. Informal. Are you going away for Chrimbo? Catalan: Nadal.


Short for football. Informal. Catalan: Futbol.


Short for Off-License. Informal. I’m just going to get some beers from the offi. Catalan: Botiga de queviures

Tommy K

Colloquial for Tomato Ketchup. Informal. Catalan: Ketchup.


Short for vegetables. Informal. Catalan: verdures.


Short for biscuit. Informal. Catalan: galeta.


Short for breakfast. Informal. Catalan: esmorzar.

Tocat del Bolet is a blog that aims to promote and share Catalan language and culture throughout its most typical expressions, in a fun and informative way.

Thank you for your attention. We look forward to your comments and questions. Nuts ~Tocat del bolet, Catalan culture crossing borders! Share this post!

Don’t miss out on:

Common British English expressions translated to Catalan I

Common British English expressions translated to Catalan III (Slang edition)

Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle in Catalan

Have a good one! (Que vagi bé!)

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