American slang words and phrases

American slang words and phrases DEFAULT

American Slang: Top Words and Dictionaries to Use

Are your eyebrows on fleek? Do you even know what that means? Learning American street slang is vital to understanding the growth and evolution of the English language. Stay in the know by exploring slang in pop culture and fun regional slang words. You can also explore a few American slang dictionaries.

american slang words jacked muscular woman and stan two men extreme soccer fans american slang words jacked muscular woman and stan two men extreme soccer fans

Slang Terms in Popular Culture

Slang is defined as a casual type of language that is playful or trendy. Funny American slang words consist of coined words and phrases and new or extended meanings attached to established terms. Examples of common slang within the United States include:

  • bail - to leave in a hurry

  • ballin' - wealthy lifestyle, making money

  • bet - sarcastic no

  • bruh - male friend, friend

  • cap/capping - tell a lie

  • chillin' - spending time with your friends

  • drip - extreme coolness, style

  • dope - very good, exciting

  • fire - excellent, attractive, exciting

  • GOAT - the greatest of all time, offers praise

  • ether - to embarrass or criticize someone

  • jacked - strong, muscled

  • juiced - to be very excited or eager to do something

  • lit - exciting, fresh

  • queen - positive female role model

  • rona/vid - COVID-19

  • rekt - beaten, destroyed, especially in an online game

  • shook - upset, shaken up

  • simp - people pleaser

  • slay - do something well or with confidence

  • stan - devoted fan to the extreme

  • swag - style, coolness

  • tea - truth, especially unexpected or disturbing truth

  • trashed - to be very drunk or to completely destroy someone's property

  • yeet - to throw or propel vigorously; also, an excited exclamation

  • wack - lame, lousy

  • zonked - completely exhausted, very tired

Since a number of slang terms make reference to sex, violence, drugs, or crime, the use of slang is often seen as an indicator of the speaker's lower social status. Nothing could be further from the truth! The use of slang has no correlation to the speaker's intelligence or grasp of the language. Indeed, creative use of slang can be a fun and enlightening component of anyone's vocabulary.

Popular Slang Phrases in America

Some American slang words become common phrases. Slang phrases tend to develop from the attempt to find fresh and vigorous, colorful, pungent, or humorous expressions. See a few common slang phrases used today.

  • ankle biter - a derogatory term for an infant or small child

  • Are you kiddin'? - said in frustration or surprise, hope it's not true

  • big mad - extremely angry

  • big yikes - elevated yikes, more intense

  • diamond hands - sticking it out in a situation with financial risk

  • For real! - speaking honestly and truthfully

  • go off - encourage a choice or rant

  • I'm dead! - dying from laughter

  • in a New York minute - to do something very fast

  • knocked up - a woman coping with an unplanned pregnancy, usually, someone who is either very young or unmarried

  • My bad! - acknowledging a mistake

  • Netflix and chill - making out, sex

  • on fleek - perfect, perfectly done

  • See ya! - goodbye, later

  • spilling the tea or spill the tea - gossiping

  • straight fire - that's hot, on the up and up

  • throw shade/throwing shade - do sneaky actions

  • What's good? - How are you?/ How's it going?

Regional Slang Words

Some slang words are commonly used across the country and appear in nationwide communication such as movies, television and magazines. But, some slang words have not gone mainstream and are used only in certain regions of the U.S. For example, here are a few regional slang words.

Word

Meaning

Example

ayah (Maine)

used as a form of greeting

Ayah, how are you?

bubbler (Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Rhode Island)

public drinking fountain

It was so hot in the park; there was a line at the bubbler.

bufflehead (Pennsylvania)

mild insult calling someone foolish

You're dripping that cheesesteak all over my lap, ya buffleheaded goof!

brick (New York)

cold

Layer up; it’s brick outside.

cattywampus (South)

something out-of-whack, crooked

This road is cattywampus.

clothes tree (Northeast)

piece of furniture with extended arms that stands against the wall for hanging clothes

Thought we had a break-in the other night, but it was just the cat knocking over the clothes tree.

fixin’ to (South and Texas)

a quick way to say "will do that shortly"

I'm fixin' to go to the store. Y'all want anything?

hella (Northern California)

a very casual slang word used as an adjective to describe something that is really good.

"Waves are hella good; it's a great day to surf."

Jeezul Pete (Cincinnati)

minced oath for "Jesus Christ"

Jeezul Pete! What are you doing?

no account (South)

Something (or someone) broken or worthless. Never used ironically, and a pretty nasty insult when directed at a person. It's more commonly used to describe objects.

You still got that no account Pinto? Naw, man, I got a rad Camaro up on blocks, but that engine just ain't no account.

pitch-in-dinner (Indiana)

a function where everyone brings a dish to pass

Are you going to the pitch-in-dinner?

punee (Hawaii)

small couch or daybed

It was too hot to ride bikes. We just napped all day on the punee.

whoopensocker (Wisconsin)

uniquely Midwestern way to say something is wonderful

Her rhubarb pie was a real whoopensocker.

wicked (New England)

used for emphasis, the same way you would use "really”

These lobsters are wicked good.

y’all (South and Texas)

a shorthand way to say “you all” to address a group of people

Do y'all want to go to the fair?

American Slang Dictionaries Online

Since slang is constantly changing, it can be difficult to find definitions of certain terms in a printed dictionary. Luckily, many websites are offering rich collections of funny American slang words.

  • Dave's ESL Cafe has a short guide to American slang designed to assist those learning English as a second language.
  • Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) breaks the U.S. into multiple regions and subregions. It only includes words that are used regionally. Audio clips are included for many words, allowing you to hear the regional slang word being said.
  • ManyThings has a list of more than 280 American slang definitions sorted alphabetically. Example sentences are provided with each term to make it easier to understand the correct usage.
  • Urban Dictionary is a large website that allows users to submit their own definitions for various slang terms. While the quality of the information can sometimes be questionable, this site is often the best resource for learning more about obscure slang usage.
  • Slang City, although not a dictionary in the traditional sense, is another great resource for anyone interested in learning more about American street slang. This entertaining website features articles, illustrated topical guides to various types of slang and interactive games such as the "Random Insult Generator."

Using American Slang

Slang is informal speech, and therefore, should be avoided in formal writing, such as business correspondence, academic projects and essays. Slang is also not jargon, which is terminology associated with a particular profession or pastime.

Outside a formal or professional setting, slang is a vital part of American English. Screenwriters and novelists often draw on the power of slang in their craft, and it's a rare conversation between Americans that doesn't feature at least some funny American street slang. For more context, explore the history of American slang words. Happy learning!

Jennifer Betts

Certified Teacher

Sours: https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/slang/american-slang-dictionary.html

A Guide to American College Slang Words in 2021

YOLO!I can’t even…Epic!

For international students, learning a new language like English can be tricky, especially American slang. You may hear dozens of slang terms around your college campus. You might even hear some slang expressions at your internship or job. Our guide to American college slang words in 2021 will help you better understand American slang and to how to use it.

What Is Slang?

Slang terms are words or phrases that have a cultural definition that is different from the literal definition. For example, when you “keep your cool,” you are not talking about the temperature. You are saying that you will stay calm under pressure.

Slang expressions also change constantly. Some phrases, like “what’s up?”, have been around so long that they have become idioms, or common expressions where the meaning of certain word combinations are really different from their literal meaning. An example of an idiom is “out of the blue” to indicate something that happened without warning. 

Other slang words are trendy, or come from current music, TV, or movies, and are only used for a short time. For example, try saying Wazzzup to one of your classmates and see how they respond. (They might laugh, and not in a good way.) 

Knowing how and when to use slang terms will help you connect with and better understand American students. As a general rule, you can use slang with your friends and classmates, but should use more formal English when speaking to professors and coworkers. If you use slang in more formal settings, like at work, people might see you as rude or unprofessional.

Guide to American College Slang Words in 2021

Our list of American slang includes some of the more common slang terms along with their definitions. If you are not sure about whether you should use these slang words, you can check with a friend or research specific slang phrases online using a site like UrbanDictionary to make sure it is OK for the setting. 

All the ___ (phrase)

An exaggeration to show strong feelings, usually in a positive way.

Example: “This song gives me all the feels.”

Amped (adjective)

Very excited.

Example: “I’m so amped for tonight’s basketball game!”

Basic (adjective)

An insult that means something or someone is boring or uncool.

Example: “Let’s get out of here. This party is basic.”

Blow off steam (phrase)

Get rid of extra energy, stress, or anger.

Example: “She’ll be OK after she blows off some steam.”

Break a leg (phrase)

A way to wish someone good luck, often before a performance of some kind.

Example: “She’s so nice, she told me to break a leg on stage tonight.”

Bro (noun)

Short for “brother,” “bro” is used instead of first names among friends, typically men.

Example: “What’s up, bro?”

Chill (verb)

Relax, calm down, or be easygoing.

Example: “We’re done with exams, so let’s just chill tonight.”

Cray or cray cray (adjective)

Shortened version of crazy – something wild or out of control.

Example: “The new Beyoncé album is cray.”

Curve ball (noun)

Something tricky or unexpected, like trying to hit a curve ball in baseball.

Example: “I wasn’t expecting that assignment to be so hard.” “Yeah, it was a real curve ball.”

Ditch (verb)

To leave a place or person unexpectedly, or to not show up to prior plans.

Example: “I had to ditch study group because my dad called.”

Dude (noun)

A casual greeting used instead of first names.

Example: “Hey dude, how’s it going?”

Epic (adjective)

Especially awesome, big, strong, or incredible.

Example: “Did you see that movie? So epic.”

Fan (noun)

Someone who really likes a particular thing. Short for fanatic.

Example: “All the college football fans must be excited for the big game.”

For real (phrase)

To agree with someone, emphasize a statement, or ask if someone is serious.

Example: “This is my favorite class so far!” “For real?”

Get off my back (phrase)

When you want someone to stop bothering or pressuring you about something.

Example: “Get off my back about wearing my pajamas in the dining hall. They’re really comfortable!”

Greek life (noun)

The collection of campus social organizations for male (fraternities) or female (sororities) students. Each fraternity or sorority is named with Greek letters, such as alpha or beta.

Example: “I heard the Greek life on campus is pretty fun.”

Hang out (verb)

Spend time or do something with friends. 

Example: “I’m going to hang out with my best friend this weekend.”

Hit the books (verb)

To study. Can also mean to do homework (or assignments meant to be done outside of class).

Example: “The big test is coming up. Time to hit the books.”

I can’t even (phrase)

Expression of being overwhelmed with something, usually in a somewhat joking and positive manner. Short for “I can’t even handle…” or “I can’t even deal…”.

Example: “I can’t even with these French fries. So good!”

I dunno (phrase)

The short form of “I don’t know.”

Example: “Where are my sneakers?” “I dunno.”

I’m down (phrase)

You agree or are interested.

Example: “Want to go to the movies tonight?” “Oh yeah, I’m down.”

K or KK (abbreviation)

Short for “okay.” Pronounced “kay.” A way to agree with something or to confirm what someone asks, without showing too much excitement.

Example: “Want to go to the mall later?” “K.”

Keep your cool (phrase)

Staying calm in a stressful situation.

Example: “I know you’re worried about the test, but you’ll do better work if you keep your cool.”

Legit (adjective)

Something that is good or worthwhile. Short for legitimate (meaning authentic or real).

Example: “That 65% off sale at the campus store is totally legit.”

Mag (noun)

Short for magazine.

Example: “Have you read this sports mag?”

Mix-up (noun)

A mistake or misunderstanding that causes confusion.

Example: “There was a mix-up and I accidentally grabbed the wrong book for today’s class.”

No problem or no worries (phrase)

A way to answer when someone says thank you. It reassures the person that whatever you did was not difficult. 

Example: “Thank you for holding the door.” “No worries.”

OMG (exclamation)

Abbreviation for “Oh my god.” Pronounced oh-em-gee. Often used to express surprise, excitement, or disgust.

Example: “OMG, I got an A on my final exam!”

Prof (noun)

With friends, many US students call their professors “prof” – but calling professors “prof” to their faces is typically considered too informal.

Example: “My economics prof checks our attendance every single day!”

Quad (noun)

An outdoor gathering space surrounded by buildings, often on a college campus.

Example: “Meet me after class on the quad so we can play soccer.”

Roomie (noun)

Roommate.

Example: “My roomie and I are going to the concert tonight.”

Root for (verb)

To cheer for or support something or someone, such as a sports team.

Example: “I can’t go to the football game this Saturday, but I’ll be rooting for them anyway.”

Selfie (noun)

A picture you take of yourself, either alone or with other people.

Example: “Did you see the cute selfie Emma posted to Instagram?”

Third wheel (phrase)

Someone who is not needed or wanted in a situation, typically with a romantic couple.

Example: “Why is your friend on this date with us? He’s kind of a third wheel.”

Totes (abbreviation)

Short for “totally” and often used to agree with someone.

Example: “I should finish my reading assignment before we play video games.” “Totes.”

Vanilla (adjective)

Used to describe something that is ordinary, boring, or uninspiring. Based on vanilla ice cream being seen as a very normal flavor.

Example: “Last week’s class lecture was really exciting, but this one was a little vanilla for me.”

Wallflower (noun)

Someone who is shy and tries to remain unnoticed at parties.

Example: “So are you a wallflower, or do you just like hiding behind the couch at parties?”

What’s up? (greeting)

A way to say hello or ask someone what they are doing.

Example: “Hey, what’s up?” “Not much, just got out of math class.”

YOLO (abbreviation)

A not very serious motivational phrase, short for “you only live once.” Pronounced “yo-low.”

Example: “I know I shouldn’t eat that whole pizza by myself but YOLO.”

Zone out (verb)

To get distracted and not pay attention to what is happening around you.

Example: “I zoned out during the TV show and missed how it ended.”

How toKeep Up with American Slang

The slang examples above are commonly heard around American college campuses, but keep in mind that different areas of the country may use different slang terms. Sometimes, the same slang word may have slightly different meanings in different places. 

Listen to your classmates to understand which slang expressions are appropriate for your area and social group. This can be a conversation starter, too: If you do not understand something, ask!

If you hear unfamiliar slang terms, do not worry. Even Americans are not aware of all the terms and what they mean. Just use good judgment and you will be able to use American slang effectively, on campus and off. 

Learn how Shorelight’s campus transition services help international students adjust to life in the USA >

Sours: https://shorelight.com/student-stories/a-guide-to-american-college-slang-words-in-2021/
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American Slang Phrases

Slang words are an essential part of conversing in English. American slang isfull of eccentric sayings and colloquialisms, which are useful in a wide variety of casual situations. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned English speaker, you’ll want to brush up on your command ofAmerican slang words!

“Slang” refers to informal vocabulary words that aren’t typically found in a dictionary. Many of these slang words have multiple meanings, so you’ll have to pay close attention to the context of a conversation in order to use them correctly. This makes it a good idea to practice yourEnglish slang wordswith friends before using them with strangers!

Using American Slang Words & Phrases

As you work your way through this list, keep in mind that American slang can vary depending on the region you’re in. For example, certain slang words are more commonly used in rural areas versus in the inner city. You may find a different set of slang words on the West Coast of the US versus the East Coast or in the Midwest versus the Deep South.Not sure which ones to use in your area? Just spend a bit of time with the locals and hear what kind of slang they use!

Keep in mind that slang words are meant for casual conversations, so you won’t want to use these in a formal context.You will hear plenty of American slang in popular TV and movies, so chances are you’ll already be familiar with many of these words.Also, if you think these English slang words will work “across the pond” in England – think again!While there may be a few crossover phrases, by and large, the countries have their own unique sets ofEnglish slang.

Conversational English Slang Words

american english slang

1. What’s up? – Hey; what are you doing?

“Hey Tom! What’s up?”

“Not much!”

2. I feel you – I understand and empathize with you. Eg. “I feel you. That was really unfair.”

3. I get it – I understand. Eg. “I get it now! Thank you for explaining that.”

4. Same here – I agree.

“I’m having a hard time studying for this exam.”

“Same here.”

5. My bad – My mistake. Eg. “My bad! I didn’t mean to do that.”

6. Oh my God! – (Used to describe excitement or surprise). Eg. “Oh my God! You scared me!”

7. You bet – Certainly; you’re welcome.

“Thanks for the jacket, Tom!”

“You bet, Sally!”

8. No worries – That’s alright. Eg. “No worries about the mess. I’ll clean it up.”

9. No biggie – It’s not a problem.

“Thanks for tutoring me, Tom!”

“No biggie, Sally.”

10. No big deal – (Same usage as above).

11. No sweat – (Same usage as above).

12. No problem – (Same usage as above).

American English Slang Descriptors

english slang words for descriptions

1. Laid back – Relaxed or calm. Eg. “This weekend was very laid back.”

2. Chill – (Same as above).

3. Sweet – Fantastic.

“I passed the test!”

“Sweet!”

4. Cool – (Same as above).

5. Lame – The opposite of cool or fantastic. Eg. “That’s so lame that you can’t go out tonight.”

6. Bomb – Really good. Eg. “That sandwich was bomb.”

7. Bummer – A disappointment. Eg. “That’s such a bummer. I’m sorry that happened.”

8. Shady – Questionable or suspicious. Eg. “I saw a shady guy in my neighborhood last night.”

9. Hot – Attractive. Eg. “He/she is hot.”

10. Beat – Tired. Eg. “I was so beat after that soccer game.”

11. Sick – Awesome. Eg. “Those shoes are sick!”

12. Epic – Grand or awesome. Eg. “That was an epic party last night.”

13. Ripped – Very physically fit. Eg. “Tom is ripped!”

14. Cheesy – Silly. Eg. “The romantic comedy we watched was very cheesy.”

15. Corny – (Same as above).

16. Flakey – Indecisive. Eg. “John is so flakey. He never shows up when he says he will.”

17. It sucked – It was bad/poor quality. Eg. “That movie sucked.”

English Slang for People & Relationships

english slang words for relationships

1. Babe – Your significant other; an attractive individual. Eg. “Hey babe!” or “She’s a babe.”

2. Have a crush – Attracted to someone romantically. Eg. “I have a big crush on him.”

3. Dump – To end a romantic relationship with someone. Eg. “She dumped him last May.”

4. Ex – An old relationship or spouse. Eg. “That’s my ex girlfriend.”

5. A turn off – Something that’s repulsive. Eg. “Bad cologne is a turn off.”

6. Party animal – One who loves parties. Eg. “Jerry is a party animal.”

7. Couch potato – A lazy person. Eg. “Don’t be a couch potato! Let’s go for a hike.”

8. Whiz – A really smart person. Eg. “Sally is a whiz at math.”

9. Chicken – Coward. Eg. “Don’t be a chicken! Go ice skating with me.”

10. Chick – A girl or young woman. Eg. “That chick is hilarious.”

11. Getting hitched – Getting married. Eg. “Tom and Sally are getting hitched.”

12. Tying the knot – (Same as above).

13. They got fired – They lost their job. Eg. “Did Jerry get fired?”

American Slang for Social Events

american english slang

1. Hang out – To spend time with others. Eg. “Want to hang out with us?”

2. I’m down – I’m able to join. Eg. “I’m down for ping pong.”

3. I’m game – (Same as above).

4. I’m in – (Same as above).

5. A blast – A very fun event. Eg. “Last night was a blast!”

6. Show up – Arrive at an event. Eg. “I can’t show up until 7.”

7. Flick – A movie. Eg. “Want to see a flick on Friday?”

8. Grub – Food. Eg. “Want to get some grub tonight?”

9. Wasted – Intoxicated. Eg. “She was wasted last night.”

10. Drunk – (Same as above).

11. Booze – Alcohol. Eg. “Will they have booze at the party?”

See Also: Common English Idioms [Infographic]

American English Slang for Actions

english slang words for actions

1. Pig out – To eat a lot. Eg. “I pigged out last night at McDonald’s.”

2. Crash – To fall asleep quickly. Eg. “After all those hours of studying I crashed.”

3. Lighten up – Relax. Eg. “Lighten up! It was an accident.”

4. Screw up – To make a mistake. Eg. “Sorry I screwed up and forgot our plans.”

5. Goof – (Same as above).

6. Score – To get something desirable. Eg. “I scored the best seats in the stadium!”

7. Wrap up – To finish something. Eg. “Let’s wrap up in five minutes.”

8. Ace – Pass a test with 100%. Eg. “I think I’m going to ace the exam.”

9. Cram – To study a lot before an exam. Eg. “Sorry I can’t go out. I have to cram tonight.”

10. Bail – To leave abruptly. Eg. “I’m sorry I had to bail last night.”

11. Ditch – To skip an event. Eg. “I’m going to ditch class tomorrow to go to the beach.”

12. Busted – Caught doing something wrong. Eg. “I got busted for turning in homework late.”

Miscellaneous American Slang Words

1. Freebie – Something that is free. Eg. “The bumper sticker was a freebie.”

2. Lemon – A bad purchase. Eg. “That phone case was a lemon.”

3. Shades – Sunglasses. Eg. “I can’t find my shades.”

4. Shotgun – The front seat of a car. Eg. “Can I sit shotgun?”

5. In no time – Very soon. Eg. “We’ll have our homework done in no time.”

6. Buck – One dollar. Eg. “It only costs a buck.”

7. Rip-off – A purchase that was very overpriced. Eg. “That phone case was a rip-off.”

 

You can’t master conversational English with only a textbook! Listening to native speakers and picking up on social cues is key to getting theseslang wordsand phrases to sound natural.You can also listen to how these words are used in American music, movies, and television to get a better understanding.Don’t forget to imitate what you hear!

Memorizing these English slang words and their meanings will get you one step closer to sounding like a native. Need more help practicing your skills? The best way is to work directly with anEnglish tutor. If you don’t have a teacher nearby, TakeLessons Live makes it easy to work with the perfect teacher throughonline English classes.

Jessica Dais
Sours: https://takelessons.com/blog/american-english-slang-words
15 English Slang Words You NEED TO KNOW in 2020 (Speak Like a Native)

20 Essential American Slang Words for English Learners and ESL Students

American slang can make things so tricky for English learners.

Has this ever happened to you?

Your friend asks: “Hey, what’s up?”

You respond: “Um, the sky?”

Your friend was really asking you, “How is it going/How are you?”

But how were you supposed to know?

This is everyday language from real-life in the U.S.

The language that you’re not taught in ESL class.

Here’s a rundown on some of the most common American slang.

It will help you understand your friends better, it will help you fit in and of course it will help you avoid any more embarrassing situations in American English conversations.

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

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Resources for American Slang Words for English Learners and ESL Students

While we can’t cover every single American slang word in English, there are lots of places to find them online.

The University of Massachusetts’ list of American slang: An alphabetical list of common slang words and phrases with their meanings. Some of it is specific to the Northeast region of the U.S.

Dave Sperling’s ESL Slang Page: A comprehensive, alphabetical list of slang, which also has examples. Some of the slang is not so common.

Commonly-used American Slang from Manythings.org: This also has a comprehensive list. Unlike Dave Sperling’s ESL slang page, this page lets you see the example first. So you can guess the meaning first, before you actually see the definition.

Creativa: This is not exactly a slang resource, but it will teach you how to communicate casually yet professionally in business settings. Creativa provides entertaining videos, useful but unexpected tips, and goes beyond just English to teach you body language, intonation and specific pronunciation tips. Creativa is a new product from the FluentU team.

Here’s a sample video from Creativa’s Mastering Business Video Calls in English course, which has tips for expressing yourself effectively:

 

Awesome (Adjective)

Awesome is such a popular slang word in American English and all over the world. You’ll hear everyone from the young to old saying it. When you use the word awesome, you’re expressing that you think something is wonderful or amazing. It can be used in a sentence or it could be used in a one word reply.

You may have already heard this American slang word in the fun song “Everything Is Awesome,” which you can watch and listen to here. There are even some other words from this list in the song!

Better yet, since that video is available on FluentU, you don’t have to worry about missing a single word.

FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

To watch that video (and the full library) with all the learning features, check out a free FluentU trial.

A wide selection of FluentU videos is also available on FluentU’s English YouTube channel. The channel gives you access to a ton of videos featuring other slang and expressions that will help you speak more naturally, such as this clip about weird sayings in English:

Or this one, which covers a lot of the slang words included in this post:

For more content like this, remember to subscribe to FluentU’s English YouTube channel and hit the notification bell so that you don’t miss any new video!

Now let’s get back to the word “awesome.”

Example 1)

“What did you think of ‘The Wolf of Wall Street?’”

“It was awesome! I loved it!” (They thought it was a great movie).

Example 2)

“I’ll pick you up at 1 pm, okay?”

Awesome.” (Here it shows you’re cool with the idea and you agree).

Example 3)

“My friend Dave is an awesome single guy. You guys would be perfect for each other!”

“Really? I’d love to meet him.”

Cool (Adjective)

Cool like awesome means ‘great’ or ‘fantastic’. It also shows that you’re okay with an idea. Be careful the normal meaning of cool means a little cold so you have to listen to it in context to understand what’s being said.

Example 1)

“How’s the weather in Canada these days?”

“It’s getting cooler. Winter’s coming!” (This is the literal meaning a little cold)

Example 2)

“What did you think of my new boyfriend?”

“I liked him. He seemed like a cool guy!” (He seemed like a nice guy). 

Example 3)

“I’m throwing a party next week for my birthday. Do you want to come?”

Cool! Sure, I’d love to!”

Beat (Adjective)

In normal terms, beat would be used as a verb meaning ‘to win’ (Liverpool beat Manchester United) or ‘to hit’ (Marko, stop beating your brother) however, in slang or everyday English it means something completely different. If you hear your friend saying I’m beat, it means he or she is very tired or exhausted.

Example 1)

“Do you want to go out tonight? There’s a cool new rock bar that’s just opened.”

“Sorry, I can’t. I’m beat and I have to wake up early tomorrow.”

Example 2)

“You look beat, what have you been doing?”

“I’ve been helping my dad in the yard all morning.”

To Hang Out (Verb)

If someone asks you where you usually hang out, they want to know in which place you prefer to be when you have free time. And if your friend asks you if you want to hang out with them, they’re asking you if you’re free and want to spend some time together. And what about if you ask your friend what they’re doing and they just answer hanging out? It means that they are free and not doing anything special.    

Example 1)

“Hey, it’s great to see you again.”

“And you. We must hang out sometime.”

“I would love that. I’ll call you soon.”

Example 2)

“Paulo, where do you usually hang out on a Friday night?”

“If I’m not working, usually at the diner across the road from school.”

“Cool, I’ve been there a few times.”

Example 3)

“Hi Simon, what are you doing?”

“Nothing much, just hanging out with Sally.” (In this case you can just use the word hanging without the out and say “Nothing much, just hanging with Sally.”)

And if it’s used as a noun?  It refers to the place where you spend your free time.     

Example 4)

“Joey, where are you, guys.”

“We’re at our usual hang out. Come down whenever you want!” (It could mean their favorite café, the gym or even the park).

To Chill Out (Verb)

Everybody loves to chill out but what does it mean? It simply means to relax. Usually it can be used with or without the word ‘out’ and if you’re speaking with an American English speaker they’ll definitely understand.
Example 1)

“Hey Tommy, what are you guys doing?”

“We’re just chilling (out). Do you want to come round?”

Example 2)

“Sue, what did you do in the weekend?”

“Nothing much. We just chilled (out).”

But if someone tells you need to chill out it’s not as positive. It means that they think you’re overreacting to a situation or getting stressed about silly little things.      

Example 3)

“I can’t believe that test we just had. I’m sure I’m going to fail.”

“You need to chill out and stop thinking too much. I’m sure you’ll be fine.”

Wheels (Noun)

We know there are many things that have wheels—a car, a motorbike, a bike and even wheelbarrow but when somebody refers to their wheels they are talking about their car.      

Example 1)

“Hey, can you pick me up at 3?”

“Sorry, I can’t. I don’t have my wheels at the moment.”

“Why?”

“I had to take it down to the garage, there’s something wrong with the engine!”

Example 2)

“Nice wheels!”

“Thanks, it was a birthday present from my dad!”

Amped (Adjective)

If you’re amped about something, you’re super excited or you can’t wait for something to happen.

Example 1)

“I can’t wait to see Beyonce live!”

“Me too, I’m amped.”

It can also mean you’re really determined and you want something to happen. With this meaning you can also replace amped with pumped. In other words you’re full of adrenalin!       

Example 2)

“I’m so amped for the game tonight!”

“Yeah, I’m sure you are! You guys need to beat the Sox.”

Babe (Noun)

If you refer to someone as a babe, it means that you think they’re hot and attractive. Be careful though, you should only use this when speaking to another person and not the babe because they may get offended.    

Example 1)

“What do you think of James’ new girlfriend?”

“Total babe! And you?”

“Agreed!”

Example 2)

“Oh man, Justin Timberlake is such a babe, don’t you think?”

“Not really, he looks like a little boy. I prefer Johnny Depp—now that’s a real man!”

Bust (Verb)/Busted (Adjective)

If you bust someone, you’ve caught them doing something they shouldn’t be doing/saying/hiding. The police bust people every day translates to they catch all the bad guys and charge them or put them in prison.      

Example 1)

“Did you hear that Sam got busted speeding?”

“No, but I’m not surprised. I’m always telling him he needs to drive slower!”

Example 2)

“There were two kids who were busted cheating in their exams!”

“Really? What happened?”

“I’m not sure, but they’ll definitely be punished. Our school takes cheating really seriously.”

To Have a Blast (Verb)

The English wordblast normally refers to a big explosion and it’s a phrase that we could often see or hear in the news for example Two men have been seriously injured and taken to hospital from a suspected bomb blast. But if you use this among your friends, it’s a lot more positive and means that something is great or you had an amazing and fun time.

Example 1)

“How was the Jack Johnson concert?”

“It was awesome. Everyone had a blast.”

“Even John?”

Yeah even John. He was even dancing!”

“Wow, it must’ve been good!”

Example 2)

“Thanks for inviting me to your party last night, I had a blast.”

“Thanks for coming and I’m glad you enjoyed it.”

To Have a Crush [on Somebody] (Verb)

To have a crush on somebody is a great feeling and it means that you’re attracted to somebody and would like them to be more than just your friend. And if somebody has a crush on you, well it’s the same—they like you in a more intimate way.       

Example 1)

“I have the biggest crush on Simon. He’s so cute!”

“Isn’t he dating Jenny Parkes?”

“No, not anymore, apparently they broke up a few weeks ago!”

“Cool!”

Instead of saying have a crush you can also just say crushing on—it means the same thing but it’s usually used among the younger generation and teenagers.       

Example 2)

“Oooh, you’re so crushing on Michael right now!”

“I am not! We’re just friends!”

“Liar! I can tell you like him.”

“Is it that obvious?”

To Dump [Somebody] (Verb)

If you dump somebody, you’re probably going to break their heart. If you dump your boyfriend or girlfriend it means you stop having a romantic relationship with them for some reason. And if you’re dumped, it means that somebody doesn’t want to date you anymore—don’t worry, there are plenty more fish in the sea! (There are many more great single people out there to date).     

Example 1)

“What’s wrong with Amy? She’s been walking around campus all day looking sad and like she’s going to start crying any minute.”

“Didn’t you hear? Alex dumped her last night! Just don’t mention his name at all!”

“Wow, I’m surprised. They always looked so happy together!”

Example 2)

“Landon looks so mad! What happened?”

“He and Samantha broke up.”

“Oh no, who dumped who?”

“I’m not sure, but I have a feeling it was Sam!”

Ex (Noun)

Usually if you hear to a friend referring to their ex, they’re referring to their old boyfriend or girlfriend who they no longer date. But if you put it with another noun for example ‘boss’ ex-boss it means your boss from before. I met my ex-boss in the supermarket the other day and he asked me to come back and work for him. I’m not going to now I’ve found this awesome new job.      

Example 1)

 “Who was that guy you were talking to before?”

“Oh Cam? He’s my ex!”

“And you’re still friends?”

“Kind of, we only broke up because he moved to LA.”

Example 2)

“My ex always sends me messages on Facebook. I wish she’d stop, it’s really annoying!”

“Tell her, or just delete as your friend!”

Geek (noun) Depending on how you use this word will depend on whether you’re being nice or not! If you refer to a person as a geek it’s referring to a person in a negative critical way because they like to study too much or spend too much time on the computer and not socialize. But if you call your friend a geek it could be in a fun more playful way.      

Example 1)

“What do think of the new girl Amanda?”

“Not much, she seems like a geek. She spends all her time in the library!”

“Maybe because she feels lonely. She’s new!” (Mean and negative meaning).

Example 2)

“Let’s go Ted’s house party tonight! Everyone’s going to be there!”

“I wish I could, but I have to study for my finals!”

“Ah, man, you’re such a geek!”

“I know. But if I don’t pass Coach Jones is going to kick me off the team!” (Fun and more playful meaning).

Hooked [on Something] (Adjective)

If you’re hooked on something or just hooked, it means that you’re addicted to something and you can’t get enough. You can be hooked on chocolate, basketball, a new TV show or something more dangerous like smoking (which is not cool by the way!)       

Example 1)

“What did you think about the new sitcom with James Franco?”

“Loved it. I’m hooked already!”

Example 2)

“I miss George!”

“George’s your ex. You’re hooked on him and it’s not healthy. It’s time to move on!”

Looker (Noun)

If somebody says that you’re a looker, you should definitely be flattered—they are paying you the ultimate compliment and saying that they think you’re good looking. They’ll probably never say it to your face but you could hear it from someone else.       

Example 1)

“That Marni girl is a real looker don’t you think?”

“She’s a nice girl but not my type!”

Example 2)

“Have you seen the new history professor yet?”

“No, but I hear he’s a real looker!”

“You hear right. He is!”

In (Adjective)

You probably already know the meaning of in as a preposition. It’s one of the first things you probably learned in your English class e.g. the boy’s in the house, my pencil is in my pencil case. But it can be used to mean something completely different—it means to be in fashion or trending at the moment. Things that are in at the moment may not be in in a month—why? Because trends always change!       

Example 1)

“Jordan, why do you keep listening to that music? It’s awful!”

“Mom, you don’t know anything. It’s totally in right now!”

Example 2)

“So, what’s in at the moment?”

“Seriously Dad?”

“Yeah, come on I wanna know what’s cool and what’s not!”

Sick (Adjective)

Cough cough sneeze sneeze… no not this kind of sick. If your buddy says that the party was sick he’s saying he thought it was really cool, awesome or the best. In this case it has a similar meaning to the word awesome, however, you probably will only hear teenagers and college students saying this—oh and maybe those Californian surfers!

Example 1)

“When are you going to Hawaii?”

“Next week! Have you been?”

“Yeah, a few times, it’s sick!”

Example 2)

“You missed a sick party last night!”

“Oh, man, I knew I should have gone!”

Epic Fail (Noun)

The word epic means ‘huge’ and you know what the word ‘fail’ already means. Put the two words together and that’s what it is – a ‘big failure’ or ‘complete disaster/failure’. You’d used this noun when something hasn’t gone the right way as expected and it’s used to exaggerate the idea of failing or doing something wrong.     

Example 1)

“The school basketball team lost the game by 30 points, can you believe it?”

“Yeah, epic fail!”

Example 2)

“Did you get your test marks back?”

“Yeah, it was an epic fail and I have to redo the classes again next semester!”

“Oh too bad, I’m sorry!”

Ripped (Adjective)

In normal everyday English ripped means ‘torn.’ You can rip your jeans or a piece of paper, but… in slang it’s got nothing to do with that. If a person is ripped (usually men/guys, but not always) means they have great muscles and bodies—probably because they work out a lot the gym or are into sport.       

Example 1)

“Dude, you’re so ripped! What’s your secret?”

“Gym two hours a day!”

Example 2)

“Have you seen Martin lately?”

“No, why?”

“He’s done something to himself! He totally ripped!”

“What? No way! He used to be so overweight!”

Dunno (Contraction)

Simply speaking, dunno means ‘I don’t know’. It’s a quicker and lazier way of saying it and it’s very popular among young people. However, do be careful who you say this to – if you say it to someone in a higher position than you it could come across as rude. So to play it safe just use it around people your own age or younger.

Example 1)

“Where’s Jane? She’s supposed to be here by now.”

Dunno, she’s always late!”

Example 2)

“What are you doing for Spring Break?”

Dunno, I was thinking Mexico again. You?”

Dunno yet!”

Loser (Noun)

In a game we have winners and we have losers, but if your friend says a person is a loser, it doesn’t mean they lost a game or a competition it means that they don’t like him or her because of their actions and behavior.      

Example 1)

“Ray is such a loser for breaking up with Rebecca.”

“Yeah, I know, he’s never going to find a girl as good as her!”

Example 2)

“Victor’s turning into a real loser these days.”

“Why?”

“I dunno but he’s turned really arrogant since he’s gone to college!”

Rip-off (Noun)/To Rip Off (Verb)

If you find a simple t-shirt and the price tag says $80 on it, you’d be shocked, right? That t-shirt is a complete rip-off which means that it is way too expensive for what it is. And if a person rips you off they’re cheating you out of money and charging you a lot more than you should be paying for example: tourists often get ripped off by locals because the locals want to make money and the tourists have no idea.   

Example 1)

“I’m not going to the J-Lo concert anymore.”

“Why not?”

“The tickets are way too expensive. They’re $250 each.”

“Oooh, that’s such a rip-off! Who can afford that these days?”

Example 2)

“How much did you buy your wheels for bro?”

“$2000!”

“Dude, you were so ripped off. This car’s worth only half of that!”

 

So there you have it—these are a few of the most common everyday American slang phrases you could hear among your English speaking friends. However, do be careful where and when you use them. Slang is mainly used around your friends (buddies) and people you’re familiar with (family etc). It would be a shame if you didn’t get the job because you used slang talk—that would be an epic fail!

And One More Thing...

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Words phrases slang american and

American slang! Here you will find a useful list of common American slang words with meaning and examples. Learning these slang terms will help you sound like a native in daily English conversations.

What Is American Slang?

For native speakers who have grown up hearing the same phrases and expressions, it can be easy to overlook just how strange they are. Such is the case with a number of American slang words. Sayings like “piece of cake” and “put lipstick on a pig” might not faze someone born in the U.S., but they’re almost sure to leave foreigners scratching their heads in search of fictional cakes and pigs. The difficulty of understanding American slang is further compounded by the fact that the Land of the Free encompasses 50 different states, each with its own unique regional dialect and speech idiosyncrasy. In this lesson, you will learn some awesome American slang words with their meanings.

American Slang Words

Below, we break down just a few of the more common American slang words used universally across the country, as well as those you’re likely to hear in specific areas.

Universal American Slang Words

Use these slang words and phrases anywhere across the continental U.S. – even if you’re not a native speaker, you’ll soon be sounding the part!

1. Basic

Its most recognized definition is as an adjective, to mean simple or fundamental. But Americans have also adopted this word to refer to someone or something that is boring, unsophisticated or mainstream. A basic b*tch likes drinking pumpkin spiced lattes from Starbucks in the fall, for instance.

2. For real

This versatile phrase can be used in three ways: (1) to agree with someone, (2) to emphasize a statement and (3) to ask whether someone is joking. If Johnny tells you he can hold his breath for five minutes, you may check his ego by asking, “for real”? (Spoiler alert: he probably can’t). Which brings us to…

3. Spoiler

This is when someone reveals a previously unknown aspect of something that you would have preferred to learn about on your own. When your friend watches the new episode of your favorite TV show without you (and let’s face it – what kind of friend would do that?!), you might preface your next convo by insisting that he/she not reveal any spoilers.

4. Cray

This list is cray! JK, not really. Americans use the word “cray” as an abbreviation of the word “crazy” to intimate that something is wild or out of control. “JK” is internet slang for “just kidding”.

5. I can’t even

Americans may say “I can’t even” to express a feeling of being overwhelmed (either in a bad or good way). This is usually meant in a playful and joking manner.

6. Vanilla

Apparently vanilla ice cream is not a fan-favorite in the U.S., as “vanilla” is used to describe someone or something that is ordinary, boring or uninspiring. It serves a similar purpose as “basic”, although at least “basic” has the distinction of implying someone is a slave to mainstream trends. “Vanilla” doesn’t merit that recognition. Just as vanilla ice cream is seen as a very normal flavor, a “vanilla” person is someone with a plain and unexciting personality.

7. Buck

A “buck” is both a male deer and a dollar bill – but when someone says “give me the buck”, they’re referring to the latter.

8. No sweat

You sweat when you’re exercising. A sweaty person has clearly exercised effort to do whatever it is they are doing. Similarly, “no sweat” is a way to say that something is easy or not a problem. You want us to help you out with examples of common American slang? Sure, no sweat.

9. YOLO

The not-so-serious abbreviation is short for “you only live once”. It is along the same lines of the Latin “carpe diem” (seize the day), though with much less serious undertones. YOLO was popularized by American rapper Drake, and acts as a call to live life to the fullest. Eat that whole pizza. Go to that party. Make out with that cute guy/girl at the bar. YOLO.

10. FOMO

“Fear of missing out” is a real worry for many Americans, apparently.

11. Screw up

To mess up or make a mistake.

12. Legit

Short for legitimate (meaning authentic or real), Americans say “legit” to affirm that something is good or worthwhile.

13. K (or kk)

This is most commonly used as text or email slang. If your crush texts you to hang out, you don’t want to seem too eager, right? Right. So resist the urge to text back a bunch of heart-face emoticons, and try just writing “K.” That’ll keep ’em on their toes.

14. My bad

My mistake.

15. Hit me up

Please, no hitting your fellow Americans. “Hit me up” is used to tell someone to contact you. You may additionally hear someone ask you to “holler at them”, meaning to give them a call.

16. Binge 

The dictionary defines “binge” as an “excessive indulgence”. Given the rise of “Netflix and Chill” culture, it’s common for Americans to admit to “binge-watching” a favorite TV show.

17. A piece of cake

Unfortunately, there are no literal cakes involved with this slang phrase – but wouldn’t it be great if there were! Instead, a piece of cake refers to something as being very easy.

18. For the birds

This one is a little more obscure – but we stuck it in here just to double check you’re paying attention. When someone says “that’s for the birds”, it could mean anything. Birdseed? Does something have feathers? Is “birds” supposed to be some kind of metaphor you’re missing? Nope, none of the above. “For the birds” actually means that something is trivial or worthless.

19. Kudos

Kudos means “congrats” or “great work”! It can be used in all situations.

20. Take a rain check

This was once a baseball term. If a game was rained out, spectators received a “rain check”, or a ticket admitting them entrance to a future ball game. These days, it has ceased to refer to literal weather, and broadly means that an event will be re-scheduled for a later date.

21. Jonesing

“Jones” has its roots in narcotics, as it was a term previously used for a heroin addiction. Now, the word can be applied to anything. In the context of American slang, “jonesing for” means to be craving something. Right now we’re jonesing for a glass of wine, for example.

22. Zone out

Whether it’s listening to a boring presentation or trying to make sense of a dense textbook, we’ve all zoned out before. This common slang phrase means to get distracted and lose track of whatever is happening around you

23. Break a Leg

While it may sound like the speaker is wishing someone ill, the exact opposite is true. Telling someone to “break a leg” before a performance is actually a term of good luck.

24. To feel blue or have the blues

Just as the color blue can be associated with emotions of loneliness or melancholia, Americans use this slang phrase to express sadness.

25. Cheesy

Nope, it doesn’t actually have anything to do with cheese. Something that’s cheesy is cheap or tacky, such as a cheesy pick-up line or a cheesy movie.

26. Crash

This words has a plethora of meanings. In the context of slang, “crash” can mean to go to sleep quickly and suddenly (for instance, “I crashed as soon as I got home”) or to show up somewhere without invitation. The popular American film Wedding Crashers features titular characters who show up uninvited at weddings to meet girls. Hijacks ensue.

27. Dead

This isn’t what you think. Americans use “dead” to describe bars and clubs as empty, quiet or sad – for instance, “let’s get out of here; this place is dead anyway.”

28. Drive up the wall

If someone is driving you up the wall, they’re likely irritating you.

29. 411

Previously, Americans would dial 411 to reach directory assistance and be provided with information. While this is no longer common, 411 lives on in slang speech. Asking someone the 411 is the equivalent of asking “what’s the gossip” or “what’s the info”.

30. I feel you

Here’s a case where you can translate literally. If a person “feels you”, they are quite literally feeling, understanding and empathizing with what you’re saying.

31. Shoot the sh*t

How’s the weather? Did you have a nice weekend? Workin’ hard, or hardly workin’? Americans refer to this small talk as shooting the sh*t.

32. Hold your horses

Hold up! Wait just a moment.

33. Score

In soccer, an offensive player’s aim is to score a goal. Similarly, to score is to achieve something you want. Upon receiving a candy or video game, little kids might gleefully yell “Score!” For teenagers and adults, saying they scored with that guy/girl last night usually implies sexual connotations.

34. Twenty four seven (24/7)

This extremely common phrase refers to something that’s non-stop or around the clock – for example, “Walgreens is open 24/7.”

35. Shotgun; to ride shotgun

Shotgun is the front passenger seat in a vehicle, so-called because of the position of the shotgun-armed guard on a horse-drawn carriage or wagon train. If someone calls shotgun today, they are announcing their intention to sit in the passenger seat.

36. That hits the spot

Usually spoken in conjunction with food or drink, you can say something hits the spot to express that it was exactly what you needed.

37. It’s not rocket science

A non-English speaker might be asking what a rocket has to do with the conversation at hand. For a native speaker, “it’s not rocket science” explains something by hyperbolically stating what it is not. Something that’s not rocket science isn’t difficult; therefore, it’s easy.

Regional American Slang Words

While the U.S. was once a sprawling map of hyper-localized speech, the technology age has helped homogenize the way we speak to one another. That being said, Americans have still retained a few regional gems – most notably words like “whoopensocker” (Wisconsin) and “shoots” (Hawaii).

1. Wicked (Northeast)

The quintessentially Boston word is liberally used in place of adjectives like “really” or “very”. It is believed to have originated around the 1600s, in conjunction with the Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts. During this time period, the demonology-obsessed Puritans used the word “wicked” to describe accused witches. Over time, the adjective gradually transformed itself into an adverb, morphing from “wicked” to “awful” and finally “awfully” – which carries a similar meaning to today’s intensifiers like “really” or “very”.

2. Whoopensocker (Wisconsin)

This word is essentially a cuter version of “whopper”, and describes something to be exceptionally large – for example, that’s a whoopensocker of a pizza!

3. Cattywampus (Alabama)

Originating from the 19th century, this is a variation of the word “catawampus”, which roughly translates to “destructive”. Because in Alabama, things aren’t ever sideways or messed up. They’re “cattywampus”.

4. Shoots (Hawaii)

Hawaiians substitute this word in for “yeah” or “sure”.

5. Y’all (Southeast)

Y’all is a proper contraction but you’ll never hear a true Southerner say “you all”.

6. Pretty as a peach (Southeast)

If you live in a state known for its peaches (we’re looking at you Georgia), then comparing someone to a peach is as good a compliment as it gets.

7. Blue Norther (Texas)

The East Coast calls their storms “nor-easters”, but Texas wins for the most creative storm name. A Blue Norther is a fast-moving cold front marked by a rapid decrease in temperature, and sometimes dark blue skies. The cold front swoops down from the north (hence norther) and beware – a Blue Norther can send temperatures plummeting by as much as 20 or 30 degrees in mere minutes.

8. To have a hankerin’ for (Southeast)

You’re likely to hear this in the Deep South. It means to have a craving for something (usually food).

 

Congratulations! You’re now well on our way to sounding like an American. Well, unless you zoned out reading our list …

Learn more about British slang words, Australian slang words and Canadian slang words in English.

American Slang Terms Infographic

American Slang Infographic 1

American Slang: Top 30+ Popular American Slang Words For ESL LearnersPin

American Slang Infographic 2

American Slang: Top 30+ Popular American Slang Words For ESL LearnersPin

List of Slang Words

Sours: https://7esl.com/american-slang/
10 American English Slang Words and Phrases - Learn Common English Slang Expressions with TV Series

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Yes, of course, mom, with pleasure. - Thank you. -Mama smiled and disappeared into her room. I got a little horny, because it was strange for my mother to ask me to evaluate her taste. After 5 minutes my mother came out and my dick began to grow like a fucking bamboo.



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