AMERICAN SLANG WORDS AND PHRASES
(To) ace (v.): To pass a test, exam, etc. really easily. “Robert aced his physics exam.”
A-Game: One’s best self, often in relation to a competition. “I’ll bring my A-game”
All-ears: When someone says “I’m all ears”, they are telling you that they are listening to you, that they are giving you their undivided attention.
All-nighter (n.): A period of work or study that lasts all night. Most often used with the verb “pull” (To pull an all-nighter) – “We pulled an all-nighter in order to finish the project.”
Are you kidding me? Phrase often used rhetorically to express frustration or excitement.
Around-the-clock: 24/7, all day and night, non-stop
ASAP: stands for ‘as soon as possible’
B-Ball: often used to abbreviate basketball
Blow or Bomb: to fail or to be unsuccessful
Blue or Have the Blues: to feel depressed or sad
Bro: a friend, often used for a masculine friend
Buck: one dollar
By the skin of your teeth: just barely
Cash (n.): money
Cashback: An option available to retail consumers when, during a debit card transaction, the customer can request to add an extra amount to the purchase price and receive the added amount in cash. Cash back using debit provides customers a convenient method of withdrawing cash when purchasing goods and services without having to make a separate trip to an ATM or bank.
Cheesy (adj.): Cheap, tacky. “A cheesy pick-up line”, “A cheesy song”, etc.
Come on: used to express frustration.
Cool (adj.): nice, great, impressive, popular, interesting “a cool dress”, “a cool guy”, “a cool bar”
Cop (n.): Police officer.
Couch Potato: a lazy person, one who sits on a couch and watches TV.
Cram: to study feverishly before an exam.
Crash: to go to sleep; or to show up without invitation “Can I crash here tonight?”
DC: UMass term for the dining commons
Dead: Empty; quiet (said of bars, clubs, restaurants, etc.) “It’s really dead in here tonight” (It’s empty in here tonight/there are very few people here tonight).
Drive up the wall: to irritate; “He is driving me up the wall.”
Dutch or go Dutch: each person pays for his/her own meal.
FYI: acronym “for your information”
Get under one’s skin: bother
Give the cold shoulder: ignore
Hang out: to gather in a casual; and social manner.
Hip: cool, popular.
Hit the books: study.
Hit the road: to leave.
Hold your horses: Wait a minute!
Hyped (adj.): Really excited. “We’re all hyped about the concert next weekend.”
I feel you: I understand/empathize with you
In no time: Very soon. “Don’t worry – We’ll be there in no time.”
It is what it is: it’s a fact that cannot be changed.
Jacked: really strong/muscular, “He’s jacked”
Jonesing: to want something badly. “I’m jonesing for a coffee”
Lemon: a bad buy or purchase.
Lighten up (v.): To relax; to not take things too seriously. “You gotta learn to lighten up a bit!”
LOL: Text acronym for ‘laugh out loud’
My Bad: my fault or my mistake.
No problem: you’re welcome, not a big deal
OMG: Text acronym for ‘oh my god’. Used to express surprise or excitement.
On the hour: an idiom for at every hour exactly; one o’clock, two o’clock, and so on. An extension of this idiom is every hour on the hour, meaning every time the clock’s big hand reaches twelve, “The bus passes by the house every hour on the hour.”
Once in a blue moon: infrequently
Pass the buck: transfer responsibility to someone else.
Piece of cake: easy or effortless.
Put up a front: trying to act/appear tough
R.S.V.P.: Stands for a French phrase, repondez, s’il vous plait. A formal reply to an invitation, by phone or mail.
Recap: to state something again
Ride shotgun (v.): To ride in the front passenger seat of a car. “I wanna ride shotgun!”
Score: to get something you want.
Screw up (v.): To make a mistake, do something badly/wrong “I really screwed up my audition.”
See ya: goodbye
Shoot the breeze: casual conversation.
Snagged/Nabbed: to take something without asking or slyly
Spill the beans: reveal a secret.
Take a rain-check: do at another time.
Take for granted: to assume.
That hit the spot: (When talking about food/drinks) that was really good; that’s just what I needed.
The bomb: if something ‘is the bomb’, it is awesome
Trash (v.): To destroy. “The band trashed the hotel room.”
Twenty four seven (24/7): Non-stop, around the clock. “That place is open 24/7. It never closes.”
UCard: UMass term for the University student identification card
What’s up: How are you?
Wicked: (In New England) used as adjective (meaning “amazing”) or a modifier (meaning: “really).
Wrap up (v.): To finish; to bring something to a close. “OK, let’s wrap things up for today.”
You bet: of course or no problem.
You can say that again! Phrase meaning “I agree with you completely.”
You’re telling me! Phrase meaning “I know exactly what you mean”; Similar to “Don’t I know it!”
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