10 Common American Slang Words
10 common American Slang words that you’ll need to know when you get here!
The American language is so wonderfully rich and diverse. Slang words – informal words and phrases more common in speech, than writing – form an important part of that wide vocabulary. While some slang words are particular to certain regions and cities, there are several slang words that translate no matter where you go! Here are ten slang words to get you started, ready for when you arrive!
- “On Fleek” – this word first gained prominence among African American communities within the United States. Originally used in reference to describe Eyebrows (“Eyebrows on Fleek”), the word is now commonly used to describe something, usually its physical appearance, as perfect, beautiful or cool. Sentence example: J.Lo’s make-up at the Grammy Awards was, as usual, on fleek!
- “FOMO” – This is an acronym – a word created from the first letters of each word, in a series of words. It means ‘Fear Of Missing Out’. People use this to describe the anxiety or feeling of loss that something exciting, interesting or fun may be or will be happening without them. Sentence Example: When I saw the live streams of people at the Ed Sheeran concert, I had such FOMO!
- “Throw Shade” – this is another commonly used slang word in America. If someone ‘throws shade’ at you, it means that they are insulting, criticizing or making fun of you in a way that shows contempt – generally not a good thing! Sentence Example: She threw shade at me when I showed her my new phone.
- “Fire” – Sentence Example: This song is fire! This word simply means cool, awesome, great and exciting. It derives from the fact that fire is hot. ‘Hot’ has long been an informal word with similar meaning – cool, awesome, great and exciting.
- “GOAT” – Another acronym, ‘Greatest Of All Time’. This has become a popularized term when debating who is the top in their field, typically either in music or sports. Sentence Example: Christiano Ronaldo is a brilliant player but Lionel Messi is without doubt the GOAT.
- “Hangry” – Possibly one of the most creative of American Slang words in our books. It describes the way that the feeling of hunger can amplify other feelings, usually of grumpiness, annoyance and anger. Sentence Example: I’m sorry that I snapped at you earlier – I was just hangry.
- “Fam” – This is another favorite slang at TALK. It’s simply short for ‘family’. It is regularly used to describe a group of people or friends, that you aren’t actually related to, but that you have become close to as if they are family. Sentence Example: TALK fam, it’s been so good to hang out and learn English together. Let’s keep in touch!
- “Bet” – This slang has a duality of meaning, depending on the context. In one instance it expresses the acceptance of a challenge. Sentence Example: Brian – There’s no way you can make that shot. Bob – Bet. In another context, it can simply mean ‘I agree’. Sentence Example: Brian – Let’s go shoot some hoops? Bob – Ah, bet!
- “My Bad” – This is a widely used expression so much so that you’ve probably heard it in movies and films. It simply means, ‘my mistake’ and is said to acknowledge an instance when you have made a mistake or done something wrong. Sentence Example: Oh I didn’t realize this was your seat. My bad.
- “For Real” – This is often a word of emphasis, specifically to reinforce that something is real and genuine and true. Sentence Example: I swear to you that’s what happened. For real!
Now that you know these, you’ll be able to make your way around a little easier! We’d love to have you here at TALK and teach you more! So if your interested, click here and get a free quote to learn English.
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