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10 Love Island Slang Terms That Should Add to Your Vocabulary Immediately

Over the past two years, I have dedicated what some might consider a concerning amount of time to making my way through all six seasons of Love Island UK. As a reward for my hard work, I walked away with a couple hundred hours of entertainment, a pathological need to speak with a british accent 50 percent of the time and a treasure trove of new british slang terms to spice up my life. Now I will selflessly pass some of my favorite terms, along with my best effort at explaining them, on to you.

“Mug” or “Mugged off”

A “mug” literally means an idiot, but in this context someone is usually a mug because someone has “mugged them off”, or done something to them to make them seem foolish or dumb. I like using this one to make it more dramatic when I ask a friend if they want to do something with me and they decline (see the exact quote I use below).


Example: “And now I’ve got “mug” written across my forehead.”

Translation: They made me look like a total idiot and everyone can see it.

“Pull you for a chat”

“Pull you for a chat” means to ask someone to talk, usually somewhere more private, away from other people. This is a great option to use if you’re trying to pull someone away from a large group of people or simply to jazz up beginning a conversation with someone who is in the middle of doing something alone.


Example: “Hey, sorry to bother you but, can I pull you for a chat?”

Translation: I hate to interrupt you, but can we please speak privately?

“Crack on”

If you are talking to someone and getting to know them, usually in a romantic way, then you are “cracking on” with them. “Crack on” can also usually be used pretty interchangeably with “flirt”.


Example: “If you want to crack on with them, I can leave you two alone.”

Translation: If you’re interested in them and want to keep flirting, I’ll leave so you can talk alone

“Lads on tour”
Molly Peach-Girls Laughing At Night
Molly Peach / Her Campus

“Lads” refers to boys or men, however that doesn’t stop me from using this term when referring to myself and other girls. “Lads on tour” was used in the show whenever the boys would leave the villa for an outing and was chanted excitedly to signal that the “lads” would be going “on tour” to somewhere other than the villa. I think this is a pretty versatile term that I have adopted to use anytime I leave my apartment for anything from going grocery shopping to leaving for a night out.


Example: *about to leave your place of residence* “Lads on tour! Lads on tour!”

Translation: We are so excited to go out. Let’s hit the town.


“Grafting” means to work very hard to flirt with someone, or in the case of Love Island, to try to get someone to couple up with you. To take it a step further, you can say “put your grafting boots on” which means to get ready to do some serious flirting.


Example: “There are so many people here tonight, I’m going to do some serious grafting.”

Translation: There are so many people her tonight, I’m going to flirt with a lot of them

“Throw a spanner in the works”

This is one of my personal favorites. Something can “throw a spanner in the works” when something ruins your plans. In the show it’s usually in reference to when something messes up a relationship, but I personally use it for much more general things and with pretty much any minor inconvenience I face.


Example: “There’s no ketchup left for me to use for my fries? That really throws a spanner in the works.”

Translation: There’s no ketchup left for my fries? That’s very inconvenient for me.

“Stick it on them”

If you “stick it on them”, you are grafting very hard or laying the flirting on thick. This is probably the highest tier of flirting that can be done and it means you have a goal in mind and you’re really getting down to business, so use it with caution. 


Example: “I’ve had a crush on them for a while now so tonight I’m really gonna stick it on them.”

Translation: I’ve had a crush on them for a while now so tonight I’m going to let them know I’m interested by flirting with them very directly.



“Banter” refers to a funny or quick witted way of speaking. If someone has good banter, then it means that they have good conversation skills. Pro tip: drop the -er at the end of this word (pronounced “banta”) to really get the zest of the word.


Example: “It was a good date. We just ate and had a bit of banter.”

Translation: It was a good date. We just ate and had some good, funny conversations.

“Gift of the Gab”

“Gift of the gab” basically means having good banter except it’s more fun to say. If someone has the gift of the gab then they are good at talking to people and more specifically good at flirting through conversation. 


Example: “I think they’re great. They’ve really got the gift of the gab”

Translation: I think they’re great. We have great conversations and they’re naturally very funny and charismatic.


If you’re “buzzin’” then you are really excited, either preemptively as you look forward to something or after the fact as you continue to “buzz” from the excitement of something good that happened to you. Pro tip: for maximum impact, always put “absolutely” before buzzin’


Example: “I just got a great score on my exam. I’m absolutely buzzin.”

Translation: I’m so happy and excited because I did really well on my exam

I hope this has helped you fill a few pages in your mental dictionary and now you can go forth and delight (or possibly confuse) the people around you with these wonderful terms. And for those of you who are hungry for more and enjoy watching drama unfold from a safe distance, I’d highly recommend giving Love Island UK a watch.

Hello, my name is Kristina but I go by Nina. I'm currently a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying Journalism with a certificate in environmental studies. I'm a huge pop culture nerd and have an incredible, though often useless, talent for memorizing celebrities and random facts about them.
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