Decoding Slang: Four Common American Slang Terms To Know

10303784_10152440544942610_2780351906198594438_nLearning a second language is difficult, but mastering idioms and slang expressions can be even more challenging. For example, if someone asks you, “what’s up?” they are not talking about the sky or the ceiling. “What’s up” is an expression that means, “How are you doing?” Let’s take a look at some other common conversational English slang.

1. Cool
The word cool is a common slang term in conversational English. This term usually refers to temperature but can also mean ‘awesome’ or ‘great.’

Example 1)
“What do you think of my new tattoo?”
“It’s really cool! I like it a lot.”

Example 2)
“We are going to the movies tomorrow, would you like to come?”
“Cool! That sounds fun. I’d love to!”

2. To have a blast
While the word blast literally means an explosion, ‘to have a blast’ is a slang term that means ‘to have a good time.’

Example 1)
“How was the party last night?”
“Great! Everyone had a blast!”

Example 2)
“Thanks for inviting me to the concert, I had a blast!”
“I’m glad! Thanks for coming!”

3. To have a crush
The literal meaning of the word crush is to press or squeeze. ‘To have a crush’ on someone, however, means you are attracted to them and would like to be more than just friends. If someone has a crush on you, it means they like you in a more intimate way.

Example 1)
“You have such a crush on John!”
“I know, he’s really cute!”

4. Pain in the neck
If someone says something is ‘a pain in the neck,’ they aren’t referring to physical discomfort. For example, to say someone is ‘a pain in the neck’ means that he or she is difficult.

Example 1)
“I need to renew my driver’s license, but going to the DMV is always such a pain in the neck.”

These are only a few examples of common English slang. A great way to increase your knowledge of conversational slang is to listen to people talking in public. While waiting in lines or using public transportation may seem inconvenient, it is also a great way to soak in the English language outside of the classroom.

Photo Credit: ALCC American Language

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