American Slang

American, English and Aussie slang and their meanings / Американский, английский и австралийский сленг

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American Slang

Postby Henrygory » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:02 pm

20 Essential American Slang Words for English Learners
Has this ever happened to you?

Your friend asks: “Hey, what’s up?”

You respond: “Um, the sky?”

Your friend was asking you how you were, but how were you supposed to know?

This is everyday language from real-life.

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

Here’s a run down on some of the most common 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.

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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20 Essential American Slang Words for English Learners and ESL Students
Awesome (adj) is such a popular slang word in English all over the world and 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.

Example 1)

“What did you think of Wolf on 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 (adj) 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!”

To be beat (adj) In normal terms ‘beat’ would be used meaning ‘to win’ Manchester United beat Liverpool, 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 a native 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.”


“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!”

To be 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?”


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!”

Busted (adjective/verb) 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 normal definition of the word blast 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!”


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.” ... engineers/ ... beginners/ ... -software/
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