35 most useful Slang Expressions for Spoken English

January 11, 2018
11 January 2018,

Slang expressions are a group of words which allow English speakers to express how they are thinking and/or how they are feeling.  These slang expressions are worth learning and are not taught in schools.  For English-speaking learners learning these slang expressions help them understand native speakers and gives them more confidence to use these Slang expressions themselves in their daily lives.  Here are 35 most useful slang expressions in English:


Slang Expression                       Meaning


Blew me away                        When someone or something truly amazes you


Unreal                                     Something that is amazing or brilliant


Go the extra mile                    To make a special effort to achieve a goal or piece of work


Piece of cake                           This refers to when something is very easy to do or finish


Crunch time                            The decision has to be made now

                                                The piece of work has to be handed in immediately


Get out of hand                       A situation gets out of control


Skeleton crew                         The minimum number of people needed to keep an office

                                                            or restaurant or hotel open and running smoothly


Leave no stone unturned         To ensure that a situation or goal is achieved


Cry wolf                                  To keep wanting attention or help from others when you

                                                                        do not really need it


Don’t judge a book by its cover         Do not make a decision too quickly without

                                                            knowing all the facts


Cost an arm and a leg             Refers to the cost of an item for sale which is very expensive


Feeling under the weather      To feel unwell and so are unable to do something as usual

                                                            for example, being too ill to go to work


Pull yourself together             To stop over-reacting and to calm down and to think more

                                                            clearly about the situation


Already know all these slang expressions but don’t know how to apply them in real conversations? Try our a Spoken English practice session with a Native English teacher

Spoken English Trial Lesson

When pigs fly                         This refers to when an event or something will definitely not happen


Once in a blue moon               A situation or an event which happens very rarely


Go the extra mile                    To try really hard to finish a piece of work or to achieve your



Hear on the grapevine             To hear something which may or may not be true


Full of beans                           This refers to someone who has a great deal of energy


Freak out                                 To over-react or get angry without their being any need to

                                                            do so


Hit the nail on the head          When something is totally correct or right


Bob’s your uncle                    Means ‘and that’s it’ or that is how the situation is and

                                                these slang words always go at the end of the sentence


Pear shaped                             This refers to when a situation has become a disaster or

                                                            gone wrong


Leg it                                       This means run away from a situation very quickly/as fast

                                                            as possible


Sod’s law                                This is another way of saying Murphy’s Law

                                                If a situation can go wrong, it will definitely go wrong


Flog it                                     This means to sell something as soon as possible at

                                                            whatever the price


Bright as a button                   This refers to someone who is very clever


Splash out                               When you go shopping and spend more money than you were planning to do


Throw a spanner in the works To make a situation go wrong


Not my cup of tea                   This means that that there is something someone definitely    does not like or does not want to do


Lost the plot                            This refers to not understanding the situation at all


Dog’s dinner                           This refers to when someone is dressed very well or over dressed


Talking nineteen to the dozen When a person is speaking very fast


Having a good old chinwag    This means to have a good gossip with someone


Budge up                                 This refers to when you ask someone to move over so there is space for you to sit down as well


Donkey’s years                       When someone has not seen another person for many years

                                                or when someone has not done something for many years



Although formal English is used in business, the use of slang expressions is an important part of speaking English in everyday life and is therefore unavoidable as it is part of whatever language one uses. These slang words refer to unusual and casual use of words and are definitely worth learning. With practice, everyone can use slang so learn some of the above and enjoy as then students will be able to speak like natives.