Master Roadman Slang: A Full Guide

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Allaa Ashraf

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27 April, 2023

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3 mins read

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Roadman slang is a type of colloquial language commonly used by young people in London and other urban areas of the UK. It is an ever-evolving language, with new terms and phrases being added to the lexicon all the time. Mastering Roadman slang is necessary if you want to sound like a proper Londoner and understand what your friends are saying. Get ready to level up your slang game with our full guide to mastering roadman slang!

From understanding popular phrases to learning pronunciation and usage, this comprehensive guide will help you navigate the world of urban slang like a pro. Whether you want to impress your friends or expand your vocabulary, our guide has everything you need to speak like a true roadman. In this full guide, we'll take a look at some of the most common Roadman slang terms and phrases and how to use them correctly. Come on, hop in for the ride!

 roadman slang

Trap Lingo

One of the most common types of roadman slang is trap lingo. Trap music originated in the southern United States and is characterised by its aggressive beats and lyrics about life on the streets. Trap lingo has become an important part of roadman slang and is used to describe a variety of situations. Examples include the following:

  • Peng - attractive or good-looking
  • Mandem - a group of friends or associates
  • Bands - large amounts of money
  • Skeng - a weapon, usually a knife
  • Waste man - an insult for someone who is useless or a failure
  • Feds - the police
  • Endz - a neighbourhood or area where someone is from
  • Wagwan - a greeting, similar to "What's up"
  • Link up - to meet with someone
  • Grind - to work hard, often referring to illegal or illicit activities
  • Gassed - excited or hyped up

Regional Slang

In addition to trap lingo, roadman slang also includes regional slang that varies depending on where you are in the UK. Examples include the following:

  • Yute - a young person (London)
  • Jook - to stab or poke with a sharp object (Birmingham)
  • Chirps - to flirt or chat up someone (London)
  • Gyaldem - a group of girls or young women (London)
  • Pagans - enemies or rivals (London)
  • Oi oi - a greeting or exclamation of excitement (Manchester)
  • Bait - obvious or noticeable (London)
  • Whips - cars or vehicles (London)
  • Riddim - a beat or instrumental (Birmingham)
  • Hella - very or extremely (Liverpool)
  • Truss - to believe or trust (London)

Other terms include:

  • Allow It - This phrase means to let something go or to stop doing something. For example, "Allow it, I don't want any trouble."
  • Bruv - This word is a slang term for "brother" or "bro" and is used as a term of endearment or familiarity between friends.
  • Bare - This word means "a lot" or "many". For example, "There were bare people at the party."
  • Clapped - This word is used to describe someone or something that is unattractive or ugly.
  • Dench - This word means "good" or "excellent". For example, "That outfit looks dench on you."
  • Ends - This word is used to refer to one's neighbourhood or local area. For example, "I'm from the east ends."
  • Fam - This word is short for "family" and is used as a term for endearment or familiarity between friends.
  • Garms - This word is a slang term for clothing or garments.
  • Hype - This word means excitement or enthusiasm. For example, "The party was hype."
  • Innit - This phrase is short for "isn't it" and is often used at the end of a statement to seek agreement or confirmation. For example, "That movie was good, innit?"
  • Jokes - This word means funny or entertaining. For example, "That comedian is jokes."
  • Nang - This word means "cool" or "awesome". For example, "Those shoes are nang."
  • Par - This word means to be paranoid or suspicious. For example, "Why are you so par about going to that party?"
  • Reh Teh Teh - This phrase is used to fill in a gap or to indicate that the speaker is unsure of what to say next.
  • Safe - This word means "OK" or "all good". For example, "Are you ready to go?" "Yeah, I'm safe."

 roadman slang

How to Use Roadman Slang

Using roadman slang correctly requires an understanding of the context in which it is used. It is important to use the right slang for the right situation and avoid using slang you are unfamiliar with. It is also important to note that roadman slang is often used in informal settings, such as with friends or on social media, and may not be appropriate in more formal situations.

And there you have it! Roadman slang is one of the most important UK slang to learn if you’re planning on staying in the UK for a while. Mastering roadman slang is an important part of fitting in with the youth culture of London and other urban areas of the UK. 

By learning the common terms and phrases, you can communicate more effectively with your friends and better understand the culture around you. However, it is important to use roadman slang responsibly and avoid using it in inappropriate situations. With this full guide, you should be well on your way to becoming a fluent speaker of roadman slang!


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Roadman slang?

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Roadman slang is a type of English slang that originated in London's urban areas and has since spread to other parts of the UK and beyond. It is a vernacular used by young people, particularly those from working-class backgrounds, who are often associated with street culture. The slang is characterised by its use of distinctive vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation, and is often used to express defiance, aggression, or humour. Some of the most common words and phrases used in roadman slang include "mandem" (a group of friends), "peng" (attractive), "wagwan" (what's going on), and "bruv" (brother). While some see it as a vibrant and creative form of expression, others view it as a sign of social disadvantage and a lack of education.

Where does Roadman slang come from?

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Roadman slang is believed to have originated in London's urban areas, particularly in the 1990s and early 2000s. It was first used by young people who were part of the city's vibrant and diverse street culture, which included graffiti art, hip-hop music, and street fashion. The slang drew on a variety of influences, including Caribbean patois, Cockney rhyming slang, and African-American vernacular English. Over time, roadman slang became more widespread and was adopted by young people from a range of backgrounds across the UK. Today, it is often used as a form of identity and self-expression, with its distinctive vocabulary and grammar serving as a marker of belonging to a particular subculture. While it is often associated with youth and street culture, roadman slang has also been appropriated and commercialized by mainstream media and fashion, further contributing to its spread and evolution.

What are some common words and phrases in Roadman slang?

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Certainly! Roadman slang is characterised by its unique vocabulary and grammar, which often include words and phrases that have specific meanings within the subculture. Some of the most common words and phrases in roadman slang include "mandem" (a group of friends or associates), "peng" (attractive), "wagwan" (what's going on), "bare" (a lot of something), "bruv" (brother), "ting" (a girl or woman), "roadman" (someone who is street-smart or tough), "dun know" (I understand or agree), and "allow it" (stop it or leave it alone). These words and phrases are often used in a casual and informal manner and are intended to convey a sense of authenticity, belonging, and confidence. While some of these words and phrases may be unfamiliar to those outside the subculture, they have become increasingly mainstream in recent years, reflecting the growing influence of roadman slang on popular culture.

Is Roadman slang associated with gang culture?

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Roadman slang is often associated with gang culture, particularly in the media and popular culture. This is partly due to the fact that some of the vocabulary and grammar used in the slang have been adopted and used by gangs in the UK. However, it is important to note that not all young people who use roadman slang are involved in gang activity and that slang is not inherently linked to criminal behaviour. Rather, roadman slang is a form of expression that reflects the experiences, attitudes, and values of young people from diverse backgrounds, including those who may feel marginalised or excluded from mainstream society. While it is true that some gangs have adopted roadman slang as part of their identity and culture, it is important not to conflate the two and to recognise the many positive aspects of the slang as a form of creative expression and cultural identity.

Can anyone use Roadman slang, or is it exclusive to certain groups of people?

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While "roadman slang" originated in London's urban areas and is often associated with young people from working-class backgrounds, anyone can use it if they wish to. The slang has become increasingly mainstream in recent years and is now used by people from a range of backgrounds across the UK and beyond. However, it is important to note that the slang may be more commonly used by certain groups of people, such as young people from inner-city areas or those involved in street culture. Additionally, some may see the use of roadman slang as a form of cultural appropriation or disrespect, particularly if it is used by those not part of the subculture. As with any form of language or slang, the appropriateness of using roadman slang will depend on the context, the audience, and the speaker's intentions. Ultimately, the decision to use roadman slang is personal and should be made with sensitivity and respect for the culture and community from which it originated.

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