English phrases to use at a pub

We have discussed the origins of a “pub” and the terms used to describe the interior. Here are some English phrases and words you might hear on your next visit to a typical Pub. For many years the only order you would hear is “I’ll have a pint please”. So beer or stout (much darker in colour and brewed differently) were drunk in pint or half pint glasses or measures and that is still the case today.

pub English vocabulary

However, the biggest change that I have witnessed is “the bottle”. Now you are as likely to hear:

-I’ll have a bottle please or a bottle of beer

-Which would you like? Heineken or Bud?

-No, I will have a Coors please.

-In a glass?

-No, by the neck.

By the neck means without a glass; so many people now drink without a glass.

Here are some other common or likely English phrases and words on your next visit to a pub:

Just put it on my tab please – if the bar owner knows you and you are ordering a lot of drinks they may allow you to accumulate the orders and pay for them at the end of the night.

Just put it on my card – if you are celebrating a special event you might arrange with the barman to leave your credit card behind the bar and tell him each time you order a drink. At the end of the night he gives you the bad news!!

The drinks are on me – If you are celebrating promotion or a birthday you might buy a drink for everyone in the bar or your close friends.

I’ll get the first round or I think its your round next? A round or a round of drinks means a drink for everyone in your group. Its customary for someone to buy the first round and then someone else buys the next round and so on.

It’s my shout! This means I’ll buy the drinks. We use shout because in a busy bar or pub you often have to shout at the barman to get his attention and place (give) your order.

At the end of the night it is traditional for the barman to shout last orders. “Ladies and gentlemen last orders please!”. In the UK pubs used to close at 11 or 11.30 pm so the barman would shout last orders 10 or 15 mins before closing. The licence does not permit him to sell alcohol after closing time. However, the authorities usually allow “drinking up time” a short period after closing to allow you to finish your drink.

Have you know homes to go to! A very common phrase heard at the end of the night when the barman is trying to get everyone out and start his cleaning.

Regrettably pubs have changed dramatically. Now they serve more food than alcohol and the old traditional pubs are disappearing. They can still be found in villages and towns with the locals occupying the same seat everyday.In many cases they are a social club where elderly neighbours get a chance to gossip and chat. Enjoy your next visit. Cheers!

More words and phrases can be found in my post A visit to the pub