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When Brits say cheeky?

Hey there! If you’ve ever hung out with Brits, then you’ve probably heard them use the word “cheeky” quite often. It’s a word that can be hard to explain, but it’s used to describe a particular wicked, playful, or mischievous behavior. It’s become so ingrained in the British lexicon that it’s not uncommon to hear it used in everyday conversations. So, if you’re curious about what Brits mean when they say “cheeky,” then keep reading to find out!

What Does Cheeky Mean?

Cheeky is a British term that’s widely used across the country, and it’s an expression that has a number of different meanings in different contexts. This term is an adjective used to describe something or someone that is daring, impertinent, playful, or mischievous. Cheeky can refer to a person’s attitude, behavior, or actions, and it is often used with a sense of light-heartedness and humor.

Here are some of the different ways that Brits use the word “cheeky”:

1. Cheeky Chappy

When someone says that a person is a “cheeky chappy,” they are likely talking about a man who is bold, confident, and charming. He has a likable personality and isn’t afraid to take risks, even if they might seem a little bit naughty. This term is often used to describe someone who is fun to be around and who makes people laugh.

2. Cheeky Nando’s

If you’ve spent any time in the UK, you may have heard people talking about going for a “cheeky Nando’s.” Nando’s is a popular restaurant chain that specializes in peri-peri chicken, and a cheeky Nando’s refers to a casual, impromptu meal with friends that’s usually accompanied by banter and laughter.

3. Cheeky Monkey

When someone refers to a child as a “cheeky monkey,” they are usually talking about a child who is playful, mischievous, and full of energy. This term is used affectionately, and it’s often used to describe a child who is a bit of a handful but who is still adored by everyone around them.

4. Cheeky Request

A cheeky request is a request that is made with a sense of humor or playfulness, even if it’s a bit bold or daring. For example, if someone asks for a raise at work in a joking manner, they might refer to it as a “cheeky request.”

5. Cheeky Comment

A cheeky comment is a comment that’s made with a sense of humor or mischief, even if it’s a bit impertinent or inappropriate. For example, if someone makes a witty or sarcastic comment as a way of teasing their friend, they might refer to it as a “cheeky comment.”

6. Cheeky Grin

A cheeky grin is a smile that’s made with a mischievous or playful expression. It’s often used to express that someone is up to something sneaky or daring, and it’s often accompanied by a twinkle in the eye.

7. Cheeky Flirt

When someone is described as a “cheeky flirt,” it means that they are someone who likes to playfully tease and flirt with others in a lighthearted and non-threatening way. This term is often used to describe someone who is charming, outgoing, and fun to be around.

8. Cheeky Banter

Cheeky banter is playful and lighthearted teasing or joking between friends. It’s often characterized by quick-witted comebacks and humorous insults, and it’s a sign of a close and comfortable relationship between people who have a lot of fun together.

9. Cheeky Drink

A cheeky drink is an alcoholic beverage that’s consumed outside of regular drinking hours or in a place where alcohol isn’t supposed to be consumed. For example, if someone has a quick beer during lunchtime or a sneaky glass of wine in a library, they might refer to it as a “cheeky drink.”

10. Cheeky Sneak

A cheeky sneak is someone who likes to do things that are a little bit sneaky or sly, usually in a playful or humorous way. For example, if someone takes a friend’s hat and wears it around the house, they might refer to themselves as a “cheeky sneak.”

In Conclusion, the term “cheeky” is a versatile term that has a number of different meanings in British culture. Whether it’s used to describe a playful child, a daring action, or a lighthearted joke, it’s a term that’s often used with a sense of humor and lightheartedness. So, next time you hear someone use the word “cheeky,” you’ll know exactly what they mean!

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What Does Cheeky Mean in British Culture?

1. The Definition of Cheeky

Cheeky is a term that is often used to describe a person who is playful, mischievous, or impudent. Cheeky behavior can be interpreted as lighthearted teasing, flirtatious gestures, or good-natured teasing.

2. Cheeky Behaviors in British Society

In British culture, being cheeky is often viewed as endearing rather than offensive. Brits enjoy lighthearted banter and are not easily offended when others use cheeky behavior toward them. Playful teasing and sarcasm are standard in many social situations in Britain.

3. Cheeky Behaviors in the Workplace

Cheeky behavior is not seen as appropriate in formal work environments in Britain. However, in more relaxed office cultures, such behavior is common and can help to build camaraderie among coworkers.

4. Cheeky Phrases and Expressions

Some common phrases and expressions that Brits use to describe cheeky behavior include “cheeky monkey,” “cheeky bugger,” and “cheeky sod.” These expressions are often used in a lighthearted way to describe playful teasing.

5. Cheeky in British Humor and Entertainment

Cheeky behavior is prevalent in British humor and entertainment. The British sense of humor is often marked by sarcasm, irony, and playful teasing. Cheekiness is a regular feature of many British TV shows, comedy sketches, and stand-up comedy acts.

6. Cheekiness in British Advertising

Many British advertisers embrace the notion of cheekiness in their campaigns. They use playful and witty copy, visuals, and taglines to grab consumers’ attention and create an emotional connection with their audience.

7. Cheeky Food and Drinks

Some British food and drink brands embrace cheekiness in their branding and messaging. For example, the popular snack brand, Walkers, frequently uses cheeky ads to market its products.

8. Cheeky Fashion Trends

Cheeky fashion trends are also popular in Britain. Cheeky t-shirts, hats, and other clothing items feature playful slogans, puns, and graphic designs that reflect the wearer’s playful personality.

9. Cheeky British Celebrities

Several British celebrities are known for their cheeky personalities, including James Corden, Russell Brand, and Simon Cowell. These personalities often incorporate cheekiness into their public personas to create a more relatable image.

10. Summing Up

All in all, cheekiness is a central part of British culture. Brits enjoy playful teasing, lighthearted banter, and good-natured humor. Cheekiness is a trait that is often admired rather than criticized in British society, making it an essential part of the country’s unique cultural identity.

The Different Meanings of Cheeky

Cheeky Means

When Brits say “cheeky,” they may mean any number of things depending on the context and their tone of voice. Here are some of the most common meanings of this versatile adjective:

Friendly Insult

Friendly Insult

One of the most popular uses of “cheeky” is as a friendly insult. This usually involves someone making a playful jab at another person’s expense and using “cheeky” to take the edge off. For example, if a friend spills coffee on your shirt and you say, “Nice one, mate. Bit cheeky of you to ruin my favourite tee,” you’re not actually upset– you’re just teasing.

Disrespectful or Impudent


“Cheeky” can also be used to describe behaviour that is disrespectful or impudent, but not serious enough to warrant punishment. For example, if a child talks back to their teacher or parent, they might be called “cheeky” as a way of reprimanding them without being too harsh.

Playful or Flirtatious


In a more playful or flirty context, “cheeky” can be used to describe someone who is being a bit bold or suggestive. For example, if a guy sends a girl a message that’s filled with double entendres, she might say he’s being a “cheeky chap.”

Brave or Risky


When something is brave or risky, it can also be described as cheeky. For example, if a small dog barks at a much larger dog, you might say it’s a “cheeky little thing” for standing up to the bigger animal.

Saucy or Lewd


Finally, “cheeky” can also be used to describe something that is slightly saucy or lewd. This might involve subtle innuendo or a playful display of sexuality. For example, if a burlesque dancer performs a routine that teases the audience without revealing too much, you might say she’s being “cheeky.”

In conclusion, the definition of “cheeky” is complex and multifaceted, but it generally indicates a playful attitude or slightly rebellious behaviour. Whether it’s used to express friendly banter, flirtation, or a bit of daring, this word is a key part of British slang that’s worth getting to know!

Meaning of Cheeky Description
Friendly Insult Playful teasing of someone in a friendly way
Disrespectful or Impudent Behaviour that is rude or impolite, but not serious enough to warrant punishment
Playful or Flirtatious A bit bold or suggestive in a playful or flirty context
Brave or Risky Something that is courageous or risky
Saucy or Lewd Slightly suggestive or teasing in a sexual way

Learn more about the meanings and origins of the term “cheeky” in British English with this Lexico article.

Thanks for reading, mate

Well, that’s it for our fun exploration of what Brits really mean when they say “cheeky.” We hope you enjoyed it and learned a thing or two about the nuances of English language. Do come back to our website soon for more fascinating articles that bring language and culture to life. Cheers!

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