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What do British people call kissing?

Kissing is a form of expression that people participate in regularly across the world, and it should go without saying that different cultures have their unique ways of referring to it. British people, for instance, have their own terms for kissing which might sound unfamiliar to those who are not from the UK. Whether you’re curious about the colloquial terms for kissing or just interested in the culture of the UK, read on to discover what British people call kissing.

What is kissing to the British?

Kissing is a romantic gesture that has different connotations depending on the country and culture. In the context of British culture, kissing has different names and meanings. Here are some of the different ways in which British people refer to the act of kissing:

Terms for Kissing in British Culture


The slang term “snogging” is commonly used in Britain to refer to the act of French kissing or making out. The term is used synonymously with “pashing”, “necking”, or “swapping spit”. The word “snog” originated in the 1940s and became more prevalent in the 1960s and 70s with the increasing influence of American culture on British teenagers.


Peck on the Cheek

When British people want to express a more friendly or affectionate greeting, they may give a “peck on the cheek”. This type of kiss involves a quick touch of the lips or cheek without any additional intimacy. The peck on the cheek is also sometimes known as “air kisses” or “mwahs”. It is a popular greeting among friends or family members, particularly among women.

Peck on the Cheek

Buss or Bussing

The term “buss” or “bussing” is used in some parts of Britain to refer to a quick kiss on the lips or cheek. It is similar to a peck on the cheek but can also involve a touch of the lips. The word “buss” likely comes from the Middle English word “bussen”, which means to kiss.

Buss or Bussing

Butterfly Kisses

Butterfly kisses entail brushing one’s eyelashes against another person’s skin, without touching the other person’s skin. The sensation is meant to be soft and gentle, like the flutter of butterfly wings. It is often seen as a romantic or intimate gesture, although it can also be a playful way of expressing affection or friendship.

Butterfly kisses


A “nuzzle” is a form of affectionate gesture in which one person rubs their nose against someone else’s face or neck. It is often considered an intimate gesture, reserved for close partners or couples. The nuzzle is a way of showing affection nonverbally and is often seen as romantic or sexy.



“Making out” is a term used to describe a passionate and extended kissing session that typically involves a lot of touching, caressing, and sometimes even groping. It may involve French kissing, but also involves other types of kissing, such as biting, nibbling, and sucking. This type of kissing is often seen as erotic or sexually charged and is more common among couples or those looking to express physical affection more intimately.


Kisses and Cuddles

Some British people may often use the term “kisses and cuddles” to describe a more affectionate and loving display of physical intimacy. The term may refer to hugging, snuggling, or spooning, in addition to kissing. This type of intimacy is often seen as more romantic and loving rather than sexual.

Kisses and Cuddles


A “smooch” is a kiss that is considered casual or friendly. This type of kiss is usually quick and is often used as a greeting or farewell. It can be placed anywhere on the face, including the lips, forehead, or cheek. Although it is not as intense as a make-out session, it can still convey affection and care.


Lock Lips

“Locking lips” is another slang term used in Britain to describe a passionate and prolonged kiss between two people. This type of kiss is typically more intimate than a smooch but less intense than a make-out session. It is often viewed as romantic and is commonly seen among couples or new lovers.

Lock Lips


When British people want to convey more passion and intensity, they may use a biting technique during a kiss. The bite may involve a nibble on the lips or neck, or a gentle bite on the mouth. It is often a way to show dominance or to convey sexual attraction and interest.


What Is Kissing Called in Britain?

If you’re from a country outside of Britain, it may come as a surprise that kissing has a variety of names in the UK. The British, being a diverse people with their own regional dialects, have developed different terms for what is commonly referred to as “kissing” elsewhere. Here are some of the most common names for kissing in Britain:


Smooching is a term often used to describe a light, playful kiss. It’s usually associated with young love and can be seen as innocent.


Snogging is a more passionate and intense form of kissing. It often involves using the tongue and can be associated with more adult and romantic relationships. Snogging is a term that is more commonly used in the South of England.

Making Out

Making out is a term borrowed from American slang, but is still used in Britain to refer to extended kissing sessions. Making out usually involves a lot of physical contact and can be seen as more erotic or lustful than other types of kissing.


Necking is a term that refers to kissing and nibbling on the neck. It’s often associated with sexual encounters and can be used to describe foreplay.


Pecking is a quick, light kiss on the lips. It’s usually used to show affection in a platonic way, such as greeting a friend or relative.

Kissing Goodbye

The act of kissing someone goodbye is often referred to as “having a goodbye kiss”. It’s a common way to show affection or appreciation when parting ways with a loved one.


Pashing is a slang term that originated in Australia but has become popular in the UK, particularly in Scotland and Northern England. It’s a term used to describe passionate or intense kissing, similar to snogging.


Lipping is a term that refers to kissing without using the tongue. It’s often associated with more innocent or sweet forms of affection.


Bussing is a term that refers to a quick, gentle kiss on the lips. It’s often used to show affection in a platonic or professional context, such as greeting a colleague or business partner.


Although not a term for kissing, XOXO is a common way to end a message or letter in Britain. It stands for “hugs and kisses”, and is used as a way to show affection towards a friend, family member, or romantic partner.

Overall, there are many different names for kissing in Britain, each with their own unique connotations and associations. Whether you’re snogging in London or pecking in Edinburgh, the language of love is universal.

What are some regional terms for kissing in the UK?

British kissing terms

Kissing is a common practice among people, and it’s no different in the UK. However, there are some regional terms for kissing, which are unique to certain areas in the country. Here are some of the common terms that you may hear in the UK:



Snogging is a term that is commonly used in the UK to refer to a passionate kiss. It’s a term that has been around for a long time and is popular among young people. The term is believed to have originated from the West Country in England.


Necking British kissing term

Necking is another term that is used in the UK to refer to kissing and cuddling. The term is often used by older people, and it’s believed to have originated from the US.


Peck kiss

A peck is a quick, light kiss that is often given on the lips. It’s a term that is commonly used in the UK, and it’s suitable for both casual and romantic settings.


Smooch kiss

Smooch is another term that is used in the UK to refer to a passionate kiss. It’s a term that is often associated with teenagers and young people, and it’s believed to have originated from the US.

Butterfly Kiss

Butterfly kiss

A butterfly kiss is a type of kiss where the eyelashes of one person flutter against the cheek of the other person. It’s a term that is commonly associated with the UK, and it’s often used in a romantic setting.

Term Definition
Snogging A passionate kiss.
Necking Kissing and cuddling.
Peck A quick, light kiss.
Smooch A passionate kiss.
Butterfly kiss A kiss where the eyelashes flutter against the cheek.

In conclusion, there are several regional terms used in the UK to refer to kissing. Snogging, necking, peck, smooch, and butterfly kiss are just some of the common terms used. These terms are an excellent way to add some romance and variety to your kissing style.

Learn about the different ways British people refer to kissing in this BBC America article.

Thanks for reading, mate!

And there you have it, folks! Now you know all the different ways the British call kissing. Whether it’s a snog, a peck, a smooch, or a snoggeroo, you’re all set to impress your British friends. We hope you enjoyed the read and learned something new today. Make sure to come back again soon for more exciting insights into British life and culture. Cheerio!

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