This year Love Island UK grew increasingly popular in the States. While traditional British slang has always been questionable amongst Americans, some of the most popular phrases from the show have left fans completely baffled.
“Love Island UK has proved to be extremely popular in the US, igniting the launch of Love Island USA which is currently airing,” Hearts-Challenge spokesperson says of the show’s trendiness. “These reality TV shows are viewed by millions of fans and have a huge influence over the language we use in our day to day lives, so it’s no surprise to see such a high number of monthly searches for these terms.”
Puzzle experts at Hearts-Challenge used data from Google search in the United States to reveal which ones are questioned the most. Common UK phrases like getting “pied” and being “muggy” are amongst the odd slang words leaving Americans puzzled.
An obvious Love Island favorite, “it is what it is” comes in first place with 7,200 average monthly searches. According to dictionary.com, it simply means to “deal with it.” It goes on to define the term as: “An expression used to characterize a frustrating or challenging situation that a person believes cannot be changed and must just be accepted.”
“While traditional British slang terms have always been puzzling for people from other countries,” Hearts-Challenge spokesperson continues. “Gen-Z lingo is causing a new wave of confusion.”
The list goes on and on with the top 11 phrases.
Check out the complete list (from the highest searched phrase):
1. “It is what it is”
Definition: An expression used to characterize a frustrating or challenging situation that a person believes cannot be changed and must just be accepted.
No. of Searches: 7,200 avg. monthly searches
Definition: The word is typically used to describe something or someone who is very attractive or beautiful. However, it’s often used by Brits to describe things such as food, clothing, and cars.
No. of Searches: 6,600 avg. monthly searches
Definition: It is a British slang term for an alcoholic beverage, sometimes also referred to as a “bev”.
No. of Searches: 6,500 avg. monthly searches
Definition: It is a common word used to describe a male in a positive way.
No. of Searches: 5,900 avg. monthly searches
Definition: It’s usually used when you put too much salt on your dinner. In the UK, it also used as an adjective to describe someone who is angry, aggressive, or resentful. In Love Island, contestants are often left feeling “salty” after re-couplings are made at the famous fire pit
No. of Searches: 3,600 avg. monthly searches
6. “The Ick”
Definition: When a feeling of attraction to a current or potential partner suddenly becomes flipped to a feeling of disgust and they “get the ick.”
No. of Searches: 3,520 avg. monthly searches
Definition: It is the feeling of sadness or disappointment.
No. of Searches: 3,500 avg. monthly searches
8. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”
Definition: This phrase has nothing to do with eggs, or baskets, and is in fact a metaphor for the action of getting into a relationship or only being romantically connected to one person.
No. of Searches: 2,750 avg. monthly searches
9. “Mugged Off”
Definition: It is usually said when a person deceives another or makes them feel like a “fool”. Research suggests, it possibly comes from a mid-19th century thief slang word, “mug”, meaning “fool” or “sucker.”
No. of Searches: 2,500 avg. monthly searches
Definition: This word refers to being dumped, ditched, or abandoned by a partner or friend. An example would be: “She totally pied him off. He must be feeling like such a mug.” Similar to the term, “ghosted.”
No. of Searches: 2,300 avg. monthly searches
Definition: It doesn’t actually connect to how much cardio you can handle at the gym. Instead, it is a British slang term used to describe someone who is physically attractive or good-looking.
No. of Searches: 2,000 avg. monthly searches
To gather the data for this study, puzzle experts at Hearts-Challenge used SEO tool AHREFS. Taking a list of popular British slang words from 2021-2022 and pairing each one with phrases and words such as “meaning”, “definition” and “what does [term] mean” the experts were able to calculate the average monthly search volumes from the USA.
For more unusual phrases, be sure to stream Love Island UK on Hulu and Peacock.