Breaktime - The job stops here - Yoofspeak

15th April 2011 at 01:00

Ledge (n)

Means: Someone who is very cool - or very uncool

Usage: "You took the blame for me - you're a ledge!"

It seems very typically British, somehow, for one of the very few Yoofspeak terms that expresses open admiration to double up as a sarky putdown. The shortened form of "legend" or "legendary" started out as a straightforward endorsement for someone who shows outstanding skill (as in skater slang where it may have originated) or just an unexpected kindness, replacing "You're a herostar!" (or "star-spa" as north London kids used to say). When it's meant sincerely like this it is sometimes accompanied by a brandished L-shape made with finger and thumb. Peer envy is even stronger than peer admiration, though: no one likes an over-achiever or a show-off, so these days "ledge" (sometimes "ledgemeister" or "ledgebag") is just as likely to take the form of a sneer. Our kids may have picked this up from older siblings familiar with those ironic phrases popular more than a decade ago: "a legend in his own lifetimelunchtimein her own mind".

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today