Americans guess the meaning of grime slang
‘These all sounds like swear words’
Explaining the meaning of British slang to my American friends at home is pretty much a full time job, but also endlessly entertaining (a favourite word of theirs is of course, chunder). I’ve also spent a lot of time trying to get them into my love of grime music (unsuccessfully, unfortunately). So, for my own amusement, and now yours, I decided to send each of them a list of slang used by grime artists and make them guess what they meant.
Jaime, 21, Genetics student
Wagwan: “Is it a car? Like wagon?”
Peng ting: “That’s a penis, obviously.”
Skeng: “It’s like swag.”
Creps: “That’s like your homeboys?”
Sket: “Uh,like to go. Like ‘sket!’ I dunno, it kind of sounds like “scat” but British?”
Ends/Endz: “Jesus fucking Christ, I thought you said we were starting off easy. Is that easy? I’m going to say neighbourhood. Like, East Enders.”
Mandem: “That could be an instruction (like a mandate?). Oh, that’s what it means? Man, that’s dumb.”
Merky: “Is that like American? Like how people here say ‘Merica?”
Lucy, 21, Education student
Wagwan: “OK, I’m thinking wagwan is like a buzz kill.”
Skeng: “It kind of sounds like an object to me so maybe a grill, like grillz for your teeth?”
Sket: “Clearly means swag.”
Peng ting: “A peng ting is a big booty hoe (lol idk it just kinda spoke to me as that).”
Mandem: “Like a baller or ballin’, depending on whether it’s a noun or a verb.”
Ends: “Hm. OK. Maybe after party?”
Creps: “Creps are like a group of dirty hipsters.”
Merky: “Shady (like murky?).”
Nora, 21, Spanish student
Wagwan: “Is this like wanker? What does that even mean?”
Skeng: “10/10 would bang”.
Sket: [in an awful British accent] “‘Sket out of here, Bill! We’re sick of you lurking around’”.
Peng ting: “Is that like a social gathering with alcohol?”
Mandem: “It could be out of control. Like, ‘Katie’s banger was mandem last night’”.
Ends: “Also known as: afties”.
Creps: “A word used to used to describe the wrinkly folds of Donald Trump’s skin”
Merky: “Like sketchy, untrustworthy? Like, ‘that dude in the corner of the club seems merky’”.
Initial response: “These all sound like swear words”.
Wagwan: “Someone creepy.”
Sket: “It sounds like it might mean falling”.
Peng ting: “Playing it cool, like especially when you’re flirting with someone.”
Mandem: “Maybe it means a leader?”
Ends: “It could be like sleeping, like a nap?”
Creps: “Definitely means pooping, like “I’ve got the creps.”
Merky: “Is that possibly like being a bummer? Like, “Like, bro stop being so merky, you’re killing the vibe”.
Laura, 21, English student
Wagwan: “OK, so I think it means like takeout food cuz it sounds like wanton.”
Skeng: “It probably means like a ‘loose woman’ or something I don’t know why, maybe because it kind of sounds like slut?”
Sket: “It means poop or like when someone shits themselves. It sounds nasty”.
Peng ting: “That sounds cute so I think maybe that’s a way to refer to your S.O like ‘bae’”.
Mandem: “I think it maybe means mother because it sounds like madam”.
Ends: “Ends sounds pretty ominous, but I think it means like pizza crusts or sandwich crusts or something. Like, ‘bro lemme have your ends'”.
Creps: “I think it definitely means creepy because it’s like ‘cringey’”.
Merky: “Is it like another word for “shady”, like if someone’s merky they’re of doubtful honesty”.