English Slang Words

by | Last updated Jan 20, 2024 | English Learning

Slang refers to the informal use of English words, typically in casual and youth-oriented settings.

What is slang?

Slang refers to the informal use of English words, typically in casual settings and primarily among young people. When employing informal language, caution is advised, especially when communicating with superiors, older individuals, or teachers. It is advisable to reserve slang expressions for conversations with friends, colleagues, and those with whom you share a close and familiar relationship.

Additionally, slang words may not always be officially recognized in dictionaries; they often evolve from existing words or other slang expressions. For instance, consider the term “frenemy,” a blend of “friend” and “enemy.” This slang term, not found in conventional dictionaries, highlights the informal nature of slang and its creative derivation from common English words.

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Now, let’s discuss the slang terms frequently employed in English.

  To goof up
We all make errors. The slang term “to goof up” is used to describe making a mistake or doing something foolish. For instance, you might say, “I goofed up by coloring my hair purple,” or “I goofed up by painting my room red.”

   To make waves
Have you come across the expression “to make waves”? Some teenagers use this phrase, which means to cause difficulties or problems. For example, a politician’s controversial statement can “make waves” around town.

The term “bummed” is related to a person’s mood. If you feel down or disappointed for some reason, you can express your mood using this slang: “I was really bummed because my car broke down, and I couldn’t go to the party.”

It’s not advisable to directly call someone an “airhead” as it can be offensive. The expression “airhead” literally means a head full of air, implying a lack of intelligence. Exercise caution, as being called stupid is generally not well-received.

Example: My sister is dating an airhead. This indicates that my sister is in a relationship with a young man who is not very intelligent.

 To blow out of here

This slang expression signifies leaving a place.

Example: It’s time for me to take off; the movie is really awful.

 A pain in the neck

Experiencing a literal pain in the neck is unpleasant. Therefore, when something is annoying, we use the expression “a pain in the neck.”

For instance, if your younger brother or sister constantly asks you questions or doesn’t listen, you might say, “My little brother is a real pain in the neck; he asks me so many stupid questions.”

 Zapped out

After working hard all day without a break and feeling completely exhausted, you can express this state using the slang expression “zapped out.”

For example: I was really worn out after a very long day at work.

To catch some Zs

There’s even a tiredness smiley for emails and text messages with the letter “z” over it. As you may have guessed, the slang expression “to catch some Zs” means to sleep or take a nap.

Example: Before heading to the airport, I might need to catch some Zs.

   Screw around

The expression “screw around” refers to doing things that are not productive, essentially wasting time on frivolous activities. If done at work, it implies not fulfilling one’s responsibilities, such as playing games on a phone, sending text messages, or checking social media.

Example: If you screw around too much, you will be fired.

 Far out

The term “far out” is commonly used to describe something excellent, especially in the context of music. For instance, if you attend a concert featuring your favorite rock group and enjoy the music, you can say, “The music at this concert is far out.” Although popular in the 1960s and 1970s, this expression is rarely heard today.

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That concludes the list. I trust these English slang expressions will prove helpful in your conversations with friends and coworkers.

Enjoy your journey in learning English!

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