Love Island UK became a huge hit in America this year

Eleven phrases from Love Island UK that are baffling Americans

While traditional British slang has always caused confusion, as Love Island UK became a huge hit in America this year, some of the most popular phrases from the show have left fans baffled.  

To find out which slang terms are the most confusing, puzzle experts at Hearts-Challenge used Google search data from the US to reveal which ones are questioned the most.  

From getting “pied” to being “muggy”,  here are the phrases and slang words puzzling America. 

UK Slang term

No of monthly US searches

It is what it is










The Ick




Don't put all your eggs in one basket


Mugged off






The iconic Love Island saying “it is what it is” comes in first place with 7,200 average monthly searches. For those who don’t know, according to this simply means “deal with it.” They 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.”  

“Peng” comes in second place with 6,600 searches. 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.  

Next up is “bevy”, which is a British slang term for an alcoholic beverage, sometimes also referred to as a “bev”. This is  followed by “geezer” which is a common word used to describe a male in a positive way.  

And, while “salty” is 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. This slang term receives 3,600 monthly searches on average. 

“The ick” is another popular phrase which reels in 3,520 searches, is used a lot in Love Island UK, when the feeling of attraction to a current or potential partner is suddenly flipped to a feeling of disgust and they “get the ick”.  

“Gutted” is also in the list, with 3,500 monthly searches. This is a UK slang term for the feeling of sadness or disappointment.  

Another popular saying, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”, has unsurprisingly got Americans scratching their heads with 2,750 average monthly searches. 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.  

Iconic Love Island UK phrases “mugged off” (2,500 searches) and “pied” (2,300 searches) also appear in our list of confusing slang terms. “Mugged off” 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". 

“Pied” which receives 2,300 searches on average, 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.” 

Last on the list is the word “fit”, which doesn’t actually connect to how much cardio you can handle at the gym. “Fit” is a British slang term used to describe someone who is physically attractive or good-looking. This slang term gets 2,000 internet searches every month, according to our study.  

A spokesperson from Hearts-Challenge commented: “While traditional British slang terms have always been puzzling for people from other countries, Gen-Z lingo is causing a new wave of confusion. 

“Love Island UK has proved to be extremely popular in the US, igniting the launch of Love Island USA which is currently airing. 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. 

”As Love Island USA grabs the attention of the UK, it will be interesting to see if there are any American slang terms that baffle Brits, too.” 

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