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How do you say bro in England?

In England, there are a few different slang terms that are used to refer to someone’s brother or friend in a casual way, similar to how “bro” is used in American English. Some of the most common English slang equivalents of “bro” include “mate”, “bruv”, and “geezer”.


“Mate” is probably the most common and versatile slang term used in England that serves a similar function as “bro” in American slang. Some key things to know about using “mate” in England:

  • Mate can be used to refer to an actual friend or brother, or it can be used as a general term of endearment or acknowledgment between men.
  • You’ll hear people say things like “Alright, mate?” or “How’s it going, mate?” to greet friends and acquaintances.
  • Mate is often used in the same way as “man” or “dude” in American slang – “C’mon, mate, let’s go!”
  • It’s very common for British men to refer to each other as “mate” regardless of how well they actually know each other. It’s used widely as a casual, male-bonding type of term.
  • Women do also sometimes refer to each other as “mate” in England, though it’s more common between men.

Some examples of “mate” being used:

  • “Me and my mates are going down the pub later, wanna come?”
  • “Throw us another beer, mate!”
  • “You alright, mate? Long time no see!”


“Bruv” is a shortened version of “brother” that is commonly used in London and other urban areas of England. Some key uses of “bruv”:

  • It’s an informal term of address between friends or actual brothers.
  • The term originated in Black British culture but is now widely used by British youth of all ethnicities.
  • You’ll hear exchanges like “Safe, bruv” or “See you later, bruv.”
  • It’s often used as a playful form of acknowledgement between guys, like “Yo, bruv!”

Some examples:

  • “Bruv, you got a few quid I can borrow?”
  • “Big up yourself, bruv!”
  • “Lookin’ good, bruv.”


“Geezer” is an older British slang term that is still sometimes used today. Key facts:

  • A geezer is a guy, fellow, chap or dude.
  • It’s traditionally associated with working-class London culture.
  • The term can be used affectionately between male friends, or more negatively to describe an eccentric or dodgy guy.
  • Older British men might affectionately call their actual brothers “my old geezer.”
  • Younger generations today might use it ironically or humorously, like “Who’s this geezer?”

Some examples:

  • “The pub was full of old geezers watching the footy match.”
  • “That geezer tried to sell me a broken phone.”
  • “Me and the geezers are heading to the pub if you want to join.”


“Lad” is another very common British term of endearment referring to a boy or man:

  • A lad is a male friend or acquaintance. It can also just mean guy or fellow.
  • Friends might address each other as “lads” in a cheerful way, like “Alright lads, let’s head out.”
  • It’s often used to directly address a group of male friends, kind of like “boys” or “guys.”
  • Calling someone a “good lad” is a compliment meaning they’re fun to be around.
  • Can also have some negative connotations calling someone a “naughty lad” or “silly lad.”

Some examples:

  • “Me and the lads got really drunk last night.”
  • “Oi oi lads, how’s everyone doing?”
  • “Jack’s a top lad, always down for a laugh.”


“Bloke” is one more very common British term for a man or guy:

  • A bloke is just a dude/fellow/guy/man. Very informal and generic.
  • Can be used affectionately – “He’s a decent bloke.”
  • Or negatively – “Some bloke was shouting at people outside the pub.”
  • It’s often used in phrases like “a random bloke” or “some bloke.”
  • You’d say “me and the blokes are…” when referring to your male friends.


  • “Who’s that random bloke over there?”
  • “This bloke started chatting to me at the bar.”
  • “Nice one bloke, thanks for the drink.”

Regional variations

There are also some region-specific British terms equivalent to “bro”:

  • In Scotland, “pal” or “mate” is common.
  • “Butty” is used in some northern areas like Yorkshire.
  • “Chum” or “chummy” is an old-fashioned term still heard sometimes.
  • In the West Country and Wales, “my lover” is a very informal term for friends.

When is it appropriate to use these terms?

Here are some tips on when it’s appropriate to use these British “bro” terms:

  • They’re very informal, mostly used between friends or when addressing strangers in casual contexts.
  • Between good friends, they are used frequently and affectionately.
  • Don’t use them in formal situations or with people who don’t know you well.
  • Mirror the usage you hear British people using – don’t overuse the terms.
  • The safest options for foreigners are “mate” and “lad” – they’re the most common and inoffensive.

Do British girls use these terms?

Yes, British girls and women sometimes use these male-dominated slang terms in casual contexts:

  • Women often call friends “mate” or “lads” when in a mixed gender group.
  • Younger women especially might jokingly use “bruv” or “geezer.”
  • But in general, British women less frequently use these very informal and masculine terms.
  • Women have their own slang terms of endearment like “hen”, “bird”, “girlie”, “duck”, etc.


So in summary, the main British equivalents of the American “bro” are “mate”, “bruv”, “lad”, “geezer” and “bloke.” Use them cautiously and mirror native usage. While originally masculine terms, some are also used by British girls in casual settings. There are also fun regional variations to listen out for. With the right context, using a bit of British slang can be a great way to blend in with the locals and make new mates!