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  • Writer's pictureSusannah Powers Stengel

Proper Banter Innit?

I Binge Watched Series 4 and 6 of Love Island UK and Here’s a Ranking of All of My Favorite Brit Sex Slang


Spoilers For: Coupling Results and for Cheeky Escapades

The season six sexcapade ready cast is pictured here. Can you spot the winning girl?

Image Credit: Daily Mail

As unemployment has choked me and procrastination has frozen me, a televisual bevy of beach-ready beauties in the Love Island villa have self-championed to find love before my needy, tired eyes. I binge-watched most of Series 4 and all of Series 6 of Love Island UK in a few mad weeks. Don’t worry, I’m okay. Are you okay? Are any of us? Regardless of the personal psychological implications of such an overwhelming, salacious ride, I have learned A LOT. About British sexual and emotional slang that is. Enjoy my hand-picked, hand-ranked selection of the best Love Island UK idioms, a delightful verbal hodgepodge to both reflect its UK contestants’ diversity--from Essex and Manchester, from Newcastle and Belfast, from Scotland and Wales, from posh Londoners to Cornish pasties--and to enlarge your love lexicon. Let’s go!

10. Crack On: To engage in the process of creating a relationship.

As In: In series 4, Adam thought he might crack on with Kendall, but then he cracked on with Rosie. He dumped the rightfully salty Rosie to crack on with Zara. After the islanders unceremoniously dumped Zara from the island, Adam began to crack on with Daryll. Despite her many tattoos and sexy body piercings, Adam left the villa still intent to crack on with Zara.

9. Proper Like: To fancy, to lust for, to begin to obsess about an individual with romantic intent.

As In: It was clear in series 6 during the dirty dancing challenge that Finn proper liked Paige, who would go on to be his girlfriend. Sexy wriggles in corsets are wont to beget proper likings.

8. Melt: A lovestruck fool. A tuna melt of besotted, idiotic obsession.

As In: Georgia felt a right melt in series 4, when Josh returned from Casa Amor with Kaz, and she stood, suddenly single and marinating in a state of melty rejection.

7. Buzzing: Energized, quavering, electrically catalyzed by joy in the promise of newfound or growing sexual partnership.

As In: Mike in series 6 was buzzing to spend the night alone in the Hideaway with the lovely, elegant, and frankly out-of-his-league Stella. I don’t blame him. I’d be buzzing too.

6. Slag: A contemptible slut or hussy. To slag off: To harass or attack.

As In: Laura called Megan a slag in series 4 when Wes chose to couple up with Megan and desert his previous connection with Laura. Laura went back to Megan within the same night to admit that she didn’t actually think Megan was a slag, but only said so because she felt slagged off.

5. Good Chat: One’s intrinsic ability to spin a web of compliments, questions, and witty repartee, a trait possession or lack thereof within a potential sexual playmate.

As In: In series 4, when Alex, the beloved Doctor, but bumbling Casanova, failed again and again to have good chat with women who were not his brainy type, and yet chose an objectively hotter girl (Grace) he had less good chat with than the zippy Charlie when leaving Casa Amor. Come on Alex! You save lives! Get better chat and don’t discard good chat when you barely manage it!

4. Cheeky: Sexy, flirtatious, mischievous.

As In: When Luke T. and Siannise in series 6 first began to copiously flirt, each accusing the other in turn, despite many cheeky protests, of being cheeky and having very cheeky smiles.

3. Grafting: The art of seducing/pulling a sexual conquest, from ambivalence to affection. (Alternatives uses: a grafter, a player.)

As In: Series 4 when the delicious-but-too-late-to-the-party Idris grafted the entire Villa during the Fireman seduction challenge. Consider me grafted.

2. Banter: A vibe, a process, a sizzle, and the most flexible sexual term in the Love Island UK dictionary. You can have good banter or be good banter. You can dance banter, speak banter, or fail banter. It is the art of making as well as the bread and butter of sustaining, love.

As In: In series 4, when Megan and Eyal split because, despite their immense sexual connection, there was no banter, no heat, and no joyful flow between them.

1. Mug: (Alternatives are: mugged, mugged off, being someone’s mug.) Being forsaken for riper, newer fruit, being played, disrespected, or deceived by someone’s initial charms.

As In: Despite its origins in Essex, this is the most holistically beloved phrase for a jilted lover on Love Island. Copiously utilized in series 6 by Shaugna, when, despite her many girlfriend-like acts, she is mugged off by scaffolder Callum for the younger, blonder Molly. Shaugna was made a right mug, and earned her sacred reality show right to eternally bitch.

Sooooooo . . . if you want to improve your vocabulary, might I suggest a trip to the island villa? Prepare for sensual singles, stupid challenges, and visceral escape. And of course, prep for discussions about the moral implications of the friend zone, and musings about the gradient connecting radical versus traditional feminism. With its sticky, raunchy, hopeful, trashily self-aware embrace, Love Island has been my horny shepherd throughout this particularly rancid August/September moment of quarantine. Thank you for all the banter.

Image Credits:

What slang did I miss? Comment and expand our lexicon below.


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