English Insights

Welcome to the English Insights page!

Here you’ll find some advanced tips and tricks for perfect contributions. Nothing here contradicts our Writing Guidelines, so remember to stay up to date with them too. Think of the Insights as English transcription issues which are specialized and niche enough to deserve their own space; a supplement to the guidelines for our most committed and dedicated contributors!


Brand Love

It's very common for artists to give 'shout-outs' to their favorite brands in their songs. This is great for them, as they can show off how much money they have, and great for the brands as they get free advertisement, but it can be tricky for us if we don't know the brand already. To help out, here's a list of commonly used brand names in songs.

Cars Drinks Clothing/Accessories
Rolls-Royce Hennessy (Cognac) Gucci
Cadillac (Cadi) Patrón (Tequila) Prada
Ferrari Grey Goose (Vodka) Louis Vuitton (Louis/Louis V)
Lamborghini Jack Daniels (Whiskey) Red Tops
Chevrolet Cîroc (Vodka) Balenciaga
Mercedes-Benz (Benz) Dom Pérignon - (Champagne) Rolex
Bentley Cristal (Champagne) Jordans
Porsche Mumm (Champagne) Versace
BMW Car (Bimmer)  Adidas (Addies) (Addy can also be used to mean 'Email')
BMW Motorbike (Beamer)


British Bits and Bobs

English is a very diverse language and as English contributors we’re lucky to be able to hear songs from all over the world. Some of these songs, however, can be pretty tricky, as they use English in ways we may not be used to. Songs in British English can be difficult for American or second language speakers of English, and so we’ve decided to prepare a list of common British specific slang for reference when needed.

Word Meaning Example
Aggy Angry, aggressive “You’re being bare aggy”
Baccy Tobacco “Got any baccy?”
Bait Glaringly obvious “I know you like me, look at how bait you’re being”
Bare A lot of “There’s bare people here”“I’m bare tired”
Bevvy Alcoholic drink - short for beverage “Met her at the club then took her for a bevvy”
Bruv Brother (‘Bro’ in American slang) "You alright, bruv? What’s up?"
Chat Used as noun to mean good at talking (specifically to a date) “I’ve got the money, I’ve got the chat”
Chav Derogatory term, usually for a young, lower-class person.  “Yeah, he’s fit, but he’s a little bit chavvy”
Chuffed To be extremely happy/proud “I’m well chuffed with that!”
Cuppa Cup of tea “Fancy a cuppa, mum?” (Remember, ‘mum’ instead of ‘mom’)
Fag Cigarette (in this context it’s not offensive) “Mate, I need a fag”
Fit Attractive (not only in shape) “He’s well fit”
“Look at that fitty over there”
Grafting  Equivalent of ‘Hitting on’ - trying to gain the attention of a desired partner OR trying to make something up to an existing partner “Stacy is well pissed with me, I’m gonna have to graft all day”
Gutted To be extremely disappointed - opposite of chuffed “I’m proper gutted we lost the football last night”
Innit Short for ‘Isn’t it’ - used to seek confirmation “You heard this song, bruv?”“Yeah mate, good innit?”
Mugging someone off To disrespect someone. To make someone look stupid/pathetic. Also used as noun (to be a mug) or an adjective (muggy) “You’ve proper mugged me off”
“You’ve made me look like Sa mug now”
“Mate, that’s proper muggy”
Peng Attractive “She’s peng, bruv”
Pint Used to mean ‘Beer’, usually Lager specifically “Can I have a pint please mate?”
Piss Urine/Urinate “I need a piss"
Take the piss Making fun of someone in a harmless manner OR disrespecting someone “Don’t get upset, mate, I’m just takin’ the piss!”
“Nah, it’s not funny, you’re takin’ the piss now”
To be pissed Either to be drunk, or to be angry” “You’ve pissed me off”
Quid Pound - currency “Ticket to Madrid, only cost me 20 quid”
Racket Noise “I’m ready to party, ready to make a racket”
Shag To have sex with “Goin’ out to town, lookin’ for a shag”
Sick / Bangin’ / Mint ‘Good’ “Yo, that’s sick, mate!”
Slag / Sket Derogatory term for a female - connotations of sexual promiscuity “She’s a slag, she’s a sket, the worst girl I’ve ever met”
Trackies Track-suit “Walkin’ ‘round in her trackies”
Wasteman Someone you don’t respect - connotations of laziness He ain’t got no ambition, he a wasteman
(In order of severity) Tipsy, Wobbly, Pissed, Hammered, Smashed, Plastered, Sloshed, Trolleyed Drunk (almost any noun can be used to describe a very drunk person by adding ‘ed’ to the end of it) “Did you see Dave last night? Mate he was absolutely leathered”
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, but it's a good place to start if you're having trouble deciphering a word. We've also got a British Content Editor, Tim, so you can feel free to contact him via Slack should you need further help.

Nigerian Slang
Many Nigerian songs are counted as English in our catalogue but feature some pretty heavy slang that not all English speakers will recognize. Here's a list of some of the most commonly occurring words to help you out in such cases:
Word Meaning Example
Sapa Hunger or broke-ness we are facing a sapa problem
Lamba False information / lie I don give am lamba / all she told me was lamba
Kolo Crazy / insane I dey kolo for your love
Lepa A slim person I met this lepa girl at the club
Kayamata A sort of love potion I believe she used kayamata for her boyfriend 
Banana Penis she said she wants my banana
Wahala Trouble/Problem I don enter wahala/ This project is giving me too much wahala
Wetin / weytin What Weytin dey happen?
As with the British slang, this list is not exhaustive, but you can always reach out to our Nigerian community on the Slack channel for further help!

Piece ah Patois
Songs from Jamaica also make their way onto the English list and can be very difficult to decipher for many users. The general advice is to leave Patois songs for those who can complete them confidently, but here's a list of some words and terms to keep an ear open for:
Word Meaning Example
Likkle more See you later Mi see you likkle more den
Wah gwan What’s up Wah gwan felicia
Weh yuh a seh How are you doing/where have you been? Weh yuh a seh Tobi? Mi look fi yuh a long time








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