Love Island 2021: From ‘grafting’ to ‘bev’, key list of words from the ITV2 dating show


Finally, after months of anticipation, Love Island is set to return to our screens, serving up a platter of fresh-faced singletons armed with flirty one-liners and fluorescent swimwear.

The hit ITV2 dating show will return on Monday 28 June after a year-long hiatus due to the pandemic, opening its villa doors to 11 new contestants ready for a summer of love, sun, and drama.

Laura Whitmore will return to present the show for a second series, while comedian Iain Stirling will provide the show’s voiceover.

This year’s eclectic lineup includes a civil servant, a PE teacher and a luxury events host who worked at Princess Eugenie and Beatrice’s weddings.

But contestants aside, one of the man features of Love Island that makes it so popular has has little to do with love at all. In fact, it’s to do with language.

Every year, the Islanders educate the British public on myriad new dating terms, ranging from the basic (pied) to the bizarre (bev), in order to describe how they feel about one another, among other things.

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Amid the range of British dialects in this year’s series, from Geordie to Scouse, contestants are expected to once again introduce a whole new lexicon of words for viewers to get their head around.

So, what words will we be adding to our dictionaries this year?

Here’s the Love Island glossary you need to see you through the next few weeks:

Factor 50

Meaning: To flirt outrageously (verb)

The islanders have used this phrase in the past to indicate that they intend to, erm, flirt with someone in a way that is, well, very obvious.

Example: "I like her - I'm going to lay it on Factor 50"


Meaning: To be angry with someone (verb)

Contestant Maura Higgins used the phrase during a conversation with Curtis Pritchard to ask if he was annoyed with her.

Example: "Are you thick with me?"


Meaning: To be annoyed (verb)​

Contestant Tommy Fury coined the phrase during his breakfast with partner Molly-Mae during the second week of the show. It’s not clear where the phrase came from. Perhaps Fury has an aversion to chives themselves, as in the herb.

Example: “I’m getting chived”


Meaning: An attractive man (noun)

Contestant Lucie Donlan used the phrase several times in the 2019 series’ first episode to describe her ideal partner.

Example: “I want a bev” (not to be confused with a beverage that you drink)

It is what it is

Meaning: C’est la vie (phrase)

Fairly self-explanatory, but given how often it crops up in the Islanders’ conversations, it warrants inclusion in this glossary.

The term was first used by both Sherif Lane and Michael Griffiths after being rejected during the coupling stage in the first episode.

Example: “I was dumped but it is what it is.”


Meaning: Disrespectful (adjective)

To be rude to someone or ‘to mug someone off’ by, say, flirting with their partner in front of them.

Example: “I can’t believe you did that, that was well muggy.”

To crack on

Meaning: To try and make someone fancy you (verb)

This is essentially what happens in every episode of Love Island. In short, if someone in the villa is single and there is an imminent recoupling, they may “crack on” with someone else.

Example: “I left Olivia for five minutes and he was cracking on with her!”

Total melt

Meaning: A soppy person (adjective)

Kem Cetinay, who won the 2017 series, popularised the catchphrase when describing his fellow male contestants.

Example: “You’re acting like a total melt over her.”

To graft

Meaning: To put the work in with someone to get them to like you (verb)

Grafting typically occurs after cracking on with someone.

Example: “He’s barely been talking to me so needs to get grafting really.”

My type on paper

Meaning: Your ideal partner who ticks all your boxes (noun)

Someone who meets all of your needs, both physically and... well, it’s mostly just physically, actually.

Example: “Adam is 100 per cent my type on paper.”


Meaning: Angry (adjective)

To behave in an aggressive manner towards someone because, for example, they ate your sandwich. Though this isn’t limited to food.

Example: “Stop being so salty with me!”

To stick it on

Meaning: To flirt (verb)

Similar to cracking on and grafting, sticking it on someone is when you flirt in a blatant and very forward manner.

Example: “She was sticking it on him about five minutes after meeting!”

To pie off

Meaning: To reject (verb)

If you’ve been pied off, you’ve been rejected by someone.

Example: “I stuck it on her but she totally pied me off, it was so embarrassing.”

The “ick”

Meaning: The sudden and overwhelming feeling of being repulsed by someone (noun)

If you’re coupled up with someone you fancy but all of a sudden find you can’t bear them, you’ve got the ick.

Example: “I don’t know what happened but I don’t want to kiss him at all any more – I think I’ve got the ick.”

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