How to Say “Disgusting” in British

If you’re looking to expand your British English vocabulary, it can be quite useful to know different ways to express the word “disgusting.” Whether you want to describe something gross in a formal or informal setting, this guide will provide you with various options. While there aren’t many regional variations for this particular word, we’ll mention any relevant ones as we explore the different ways to convey disgust in British English.

Formal Ways to Say “Disgusting”

When it comes to polite and formal situations, it’s essential to choose words that convey your sentiment without being too offensive. Here are some formal alternatives for “disgusting”:

  • Appalling: This term is suitable for expressing strong disapproval or disgust, especially in a formal context. For example, “The conditions in that restaurant’s kitchen were simply appalling.”
  • Revoltin: While less commonly used today, this term can also be employed formally to describe something extremely unappealing or repugnant. For instance, “The state of the public toilets was simply revolting.”
  • Repulsive: Use this adjective to describe something that causes intense aversion or disgust. For instance, “The smell coming from the garbage bin was absolutely repulsive.”

Informal Ways to Say “Disgusting”

Informal settings often allow for more colorful language. Here are some informal alternatives to express “disgusting”:

  • Gross: This word is commonly used to indicate something unpleasant or disgusting. For example, “I accidentally stepped in dog droppings, and it was gross.”
  • Vile: Use this adjective to describe something extremely unpleasant or offensive. For instance, “The smell of that cheese is absolutely vile.”
  • Sickening: Employ this term to express extreme disgust or nausea. For example, “The sight of that rotten food was sickening.”
  • Nasty: This word can be used to describe something disgusting or unpleasant. For instance, “The public restroom was in a really nasty state.”
  • Disgustingly: Use this adverb before an adjective to emphasize its undesirable or repugnant nature. For example, “The cake was disgustingly sticky.”

Regional Variations

While British English is relatively uniform across regions, there are a few variations worth noting when it comes to expressing disgust:

In Scotland, you might come across a common slang term for “disgusting”: mingin’. For example, “The smell from the fish market was absolutely mingin’.” It’s important to remember that regional variations should be used sparingly, as they may not always be universally understood.

Examples in Context

Let’s take a look at some examples to further illustrate how these words can be used in various situations:

  • Formal Example:
    During the meeting, the senior executive expressed his disapproval, stating, “The lack of safety precautions in this factory is appalling. We need to address this immediately.”
  • Informal Example:
    Sarah wrinkled her nose and said, “Eww, that sandwich looks gross. I wouldn’t eat it if I were you!”
  • Regional Variation Example:
    David walked past the Scottish fish market and exclaimed, “The stench is absolutely mingin’! I can’t wait to get away from here.”

It’s important to choose the appropriate level of formality when expressing disgust. While informality can be acceptable in casual conversations, it’s crucial to gauge the setting and audience to avoid causing offense.


Now you’re equipped with a variety of ways to express “disgusting” in British English, both formally and informally. Remember to consider the context, formality, and your audience when choosing the appropriate term. Feel free to use words like “appalling” or “revolting” for formal situations, and “gross” or “vile” for informal contexts. Keep in mind that regional variations, such as “mingin'” in Scotland, can also add a unique touch to your vocabulary, but use them sparingly. Happy speaking!

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