65 Commonly Used English Slang Words For English Learners
Do you get confused when native English speakers use slang language?
You are not alone.
Slang is one of the most confusing areas of English for English learners whether you are a beginner or an advanced level student.
The problem is there are so many slang words in the English language.
Learning English slang is almost an impossible task.
However, it is essential if you want to speak and understand English at a native level.
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What are Slang Words?
We can define slang as informal words, phrases and expressions that originate from groups of people or different regions.
Slang is more common in conversational English than in written English.
Why is Slang confusing?
One of the reasons slang is so confusing is because there are so many variations regionally.
For example, slang used in Boston is very different from slang used in Texas.
If you want to become a proficient communicator in English, an understanding of slang is essential.
Even if you are at an beginner or lower intermediate level, a knowledge of English slang will allow you to understand and follow conversations better.
Don’t memorize English!
In this post we will give you a list of 65 of the most commonly used Slang expressions in English.
We have broken this lesson in to 2 parts.
In the first part, you have 35 slang phrases that are commonly used by younger generations of English speakers. (with a strong focus on American English speakers)
These are the English slang you will see everyday on social media and sites like Buzzfeed.
The second part of this English lesson is to refresh your knowledge on more traditional slang English expressions.
These are commonly used by native English speakers of all ages in both the US and the UK.
Remember, the goal is to absorb this list, not to memorize or cram this.
And to start using these when you practice English speaking.
Learn Modern English Slang – Part 1
Ghosted: To discontinue contact, friendship, and association without warning. “I don’t know what happened to him, he ghosted me after two dates.”
Bougie: A term that originated from the word bourgeois; now it is associated with upper-class wealth and/or sophistication. “I’m not so bougie that I won’t eat a hotdog.”
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Thirst trap: A sexy photo posted on social media. “Her Instagram feed is one big thirst trap.”
Thirsty: A feeling a strong desire or need for something, often times sexual in nature. “That girl is so thirsty for attention, she will flirt with anyone.”
Dissing: A disparaging and unkind remark. Originates from the word disrespect. “I’m not dissing you, I genuinely like your shirt.”
Nailed it: When something is done perfectly, although this expression is occasionally used with sarcasm. “Look at her gymnastic routine! She nailed it.”
Douche(bag): An unkind term for a male individual subjectively seen to lack politeness and other respectful social etiquette. “The owner of the club is such a douche, he yelled at me in front of everyone.”
Knocked up: When a female is with child, pregnant. “Jami got knocked up and that’s why she’s getting married so quickly.”
Pushy: Being forceful or aggressive about a subject. “Stop being so pushy, I’m going to do it.”
Redneck: Unkind terminology for working-class caucasian individuals from the rural south (United States). “You might be a redneck if you have a confederate flag tattoo on your neck.”
86: When you plan to omit a person, place, or thing from an event, list, or place. “Let’s 86 Bill from the invite list, he would probably start a fight anyway.”
Trashed: Exceptionally inebriated on alcohol or drugs. “He was trashed that night, he barely remembers anything.”
Tacky: Unkind description for ostentatious individuals or their behaviors. Additionally, can be used in relation to showcases of wealth or a lack thereof. “Wearing a full-length fur coat is already tacky enough, but it’s even worse to wear it in the summer.”
Stuck-up: An unkind expression for an individual or individuals that are displaying snobbish behavior(s). “My boyfriend’s friends are so stuck-up, I hate eating dinner with them.”
Nosy: Intense curiosity about another person’s private matters. “She doesn’t like talking to her in-laws because they are too nosy.”
Spaced out: Taking an unconscious or conscious break from listening and/or paying attention to the present situation. “I was so tired that I spaced out and accidentally drove off of the road.”
Shoot: Send an item of correspondence via technology. “Shoot him an email or text first and then I will call you later.”
Sucks: Terminology for a person, place, or thing that is lacking in overall appeal. “Traveling by bus sucks, I’m not going to do it.”
Buzzed: Description for light alcohol impairment. “I’m pretty buzzed off of those two drinks, I shouldn’t drive my car yet.”
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Boo: Boyfriend, girlfriend, or significant other. “That’s his boo, you shouldn’t ask for her number.”
Bitching: Complaining and/or speaking out of anger or contempt. “Stop bitching at her! It’s not her fault you’re late.”
Red-handed: To be caught in an illicit or immoral act. “They caught the murderer red-handed, he literally had blood on his hands.”
Hot: Term used for the attractiveness of a fellow individual, male or female. “All of the people that work there are really hot, they only hire models.”
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Lawyer up: Obtain legal counsel; typically utilized when anticipating a legal battle. “If you want to lawyer up then we can, but I would rather we discuss this in person first.”
Literally: A commonly used term that is used figuratively. “I literally died when I saw Obama in person.”
Dox: The act of finding and then publicly exposing an individual’s real name and address, via the internet. Originates from the word document. “Doxxing is a new form of bullying, you have to be careful.”
Making out: Kissing intimately for a prolonged period of time. “I don’t want to go to a movie with her and her boyfriend because she is just going to be making out with him the whole time.”
Pissed off: Angry. “You pissed off our parents when you showed up to Christmas dinner late and wearing last night’s clothes.”
Bounce: To leave or depart a location or relationship. “I had two drinks and bounced.” / “He bounced after she got pregnant.”
Bologna: An expression for an untruth or a lie. “That boy is not 21. That’s bologna!”
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Part 2 – Learn traditional English Slang (Part 2)
Hood = rough neighborhood
Easy as pie = very easy
In your face = aggressive
Perfecto = perfect or wonderful
Slouch = lazy; non performer
Gig = Job or task
Perk = additional benefit given with job (E.g. gym membership)
Straight shooter = a person who is direct and truthful
Pesky = Annoying
Show and tell = public display and explanation
Gung-ho = spirited
Dude = young man or young male
Mashup = creative mixing
Cavalry = Help (E.g. send in cavalry means to send in help)
Sucker = a person who can be tricked easily
Dig = room or flat
Glass ceiling = barrier for personal advancement (E.g for women)
Gusty = courageous
Stud = manly man
Sloppy = lack of neatness; untidy
Gut feeling = intuition
Dud = useless; worthless
Ghetto = bad neighborhood; slum
Cuckoo = crazy
Glam up = dress up glamorously
Buddy = friend; pal