Gavin & Stacey: Some crackin’ Welsh slang

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been watching a lot of random British shows during the pandemic, and one of my favorites has been Gavin & Stacey (a huge hit across the pond but as a dumb American, I’ve never heard of it). I like it because while it’s sweet and heartwarming, it also has a dark and biting humor, and some awesome Welsh slang.


Cracking seems to be UK slang in general for something good or excellent, and might also be used as an intensifier (“He’s got a cracking good voice”). From fan favorite Nessa to Stacey: “You’d be a fool to let that one go. He’s cracking. Even if he is a bit short.”


Something like cool or great in response to something else, tidy is something Nessa often says.


One of Stacey’s favorite words. She’s used lush to refer to her relationship with Gavin, Nessa’s hen night, and Mick’s lamb marinade. 


“Give us a cwtch,” Stacey tells Gavin. What the hell is this word with no vowels? Referring to a cuddle or hug, cwtch comes from the Welsh term meaning a resting place. Another meaning is a cubbyhole or hiding place.

fair play

Seems to be similar to fair enough.


I love it when Nessa says “Oh!” (seems to be similar to “Hey!” or “Oi!”). Only better is when she says it a zillion times in a row.

now in a minute

Described as an oxymoron, the phrase seems to mean “Soon but not right now.” The only American English phrase (which I’m only guessing is American English) I can think of that’s in the same category is “Yeah, no” and “No, yeah.” 

where to she now

An iconic scene from the show. Instead of saying, “Where is she now?” about Smithy’s girlfriend, Ness says, “Where to she now?” I’ve also heard this construction on another show, but for the life of me I can’t remember which.

what’s occurring

Depending on the tone, what’s occurring could mean a casual, “What’s happening?” or “How’s it going?” or, like in the clip, “What’s going on here?” It’s also a phrase I plan on using when I start hanging out with people again.

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