The Only Fools and Horses phrases that have been added to the Oxford English dictionary

March 9, 2021

Only Fools and Horses is considered the best British comedy of all time and the love for the show remains strong despite it been eighteen years since the last episode aired.

One of the show’s well-known elements was the lingo the characters entertained us with, mainly coming from Del Boy.

There was cockney-rhyming slang, made up French words and other comical phrases that became familiar with the nation.

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In-fact, some of the phrases became so ingrained into our language that the Oxford English dictionary added them to their famous book.

Fromage frais you may say! It is the crème de le menthe that some pukka Only Fools sayings were considered well known enough to be added to Oxford Dictionary. And here they are…

Lovely Jubbly

This phrase is a Del Boy classic and is used to claim that something is “great”.

There is an interesting story to how OFAH write John Sullivan incorporated this as a Del Boy saying.

Back in the 1960s, there was an Orange drink called Jubbly which came in a pyramid carton. The advertising slogan for it was “Lubbly Jubbly” and of course, in typical Derek Trotter style, he put his own interpretation on the phrase.

Back in 2003, this “lovely jubbly” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

The official meaning in the book has it down as an informal British phrase used to express delight or approval.

Very cushty!

And speaking of “cushty”..

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Del Boy uses the word “cushty” in many episodes.

So much so that it became a popular phrase amongst Brits.

The origins of the word comes from the Romany word ‘kushitipen’ or ‘kushti’, meaning good.

Very cultured for Del Boy!

The Oxford English dictionary has it down as an informal British phrase for very good or pleasing.


“Well what a plonker!”

Del and Rodney both used this in the series but this word’s meaning was quite risky according to David Jason.

Speaking to UKTV about the slang used in Only Fools and Horses, the actor explained how he believed “plonker” would not pass the BBC censorship. However, they left it in and it is quite possible they did not know what the word meant in some parts of the UK.

The meaning in the show was known for the Oxford Dictionary’s description: “a foolish, inept, or contemptible person”.

However, the word is also referenced in the dictionary as “to pull one’s plonker” which explains David Jason’s concerns to it possibly being censored.

Thankfully, it was left in. He who dares, wins!

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