For many international students, moving to the United States can involve quite a bit of culture shock— and understandably so. After all, learning the native language, customs, and practices of a foreign place is a daunting task. Many students need the help of an English tutor to immerse themselves in the native language fully.
But why? The answer is simple:
Many master English grammar concepts with little knowledge of the ever–changing nature of American slang.
Now, let’s cover some of the most commonly used, and trending slang words of today’s generation.
Everyday Slang Words
1. What’s Up
When someone asks you, what’s up? it’s another way of saying ‘Hi’ or ‘Hello,’ while also asking how someone is doing at the same time.
“Hey, Alyssa, what’s up?”
“Nothing much, what about you?”
You might hear this phrase while passing a fellow student on your way to English class as a common courtesy.
2. My Bad
A way of apologizing when you don’t really care about the situation. Also, like saying ‘my fault’ or ‘my mistake.’
In other words: Someone might say my bad as a ruder way of apologizing with the same meaning.
Teacher: “Johnny, get off your phone!”
Johnny: “Oops, my bad, Ms. Williams.”
Something is cool when it is nice, great, or fantastic. It can also describe something popular, interesting, or impressive.
Friend #1: “I’ll meet you at the mall at 7!”
Friend #2: “Okay, cool. See you then!”
“That’s such a cool necklace, Sarah! Where did you get it?”
“Thanks! It’s from Forever 21.”
Similar to cool, awesome means ‘excellent,’ ‘fantastic’ or ‘great.’
“That play was awesome!”
“Yeah, I know, right. The actors were so talented!”
5. For real
If you say you’re for real, it means you’re completely serious or honest about something. Or, it’s a phrase to use to make sure someone else is telling the truth.
Friend #1: “Yo, my uncle, just won the lottery!”
Friend #2: “For real?”
6. I feel you
I feel you is another way of saying, “I understand you,” or “I relate to what you’re saying.”
“It’s so hard to manage work, school, and social life all at the same time.”
“I feel you, girl…”
7. No worries
When someone says, no worries, it’s their way of saying, ‘it’s all good,’ or ‘don’t worry about it.’
“Hey, sorry, I’m a little late. I got caught in traffic.”
“No worries—it happens to all of us!”
When someone or something is a disappointment.
“Wow, that movie was such a bummer.”
“Yeah, I expected it to be good from the trailers.”
9. Laid back
A phrase to describe someone who has a chill or relaxed personality, the opposite of someone uptight.
“Would you consider yourself a type A or type B personality?”
“Type B. I’m super laid back.”
10. All right
If someone asks if you are all right? it’s their way of saying, ‘hello, how are you?’ This is a great phrase to express concern for someone who seems upset or in danger.
*Sees friend crying*
“Hey, are you all right?”
“Yeah, I’m okay. I’m just going through a lot right now. Thanks for asking.”
Sweet is used in more ways than to describe a sugary dessert—you can also use it to convey how great or fantastic something is to others. An English tutor can teach you many such slang words.
“Woah, I can’t believe I got an A+ on this exam!”
“Sweet! That’s so exciting!”
When something is cheesy, what it means is: Trying too hard, inauthentic, or overly cute or sentimental.
“Adam wrote me a song and sang it to me on Valentine’s day.”
“OMG, that’s so cheesy, but still kind of cute.”
Someone who can’t keep their word; indecisive. Prone to breaking promises.
“Rachel is so flakey. She never shows up when she says she will.”
A slang word to describe someone or something boring and uncool.
“Should we invite Benji?”
“Nah. He’s too lame to hang out with us.”
15. Goof / Goofing
Someone silly purely for comedic purposes. Or, ‘To goof up’ means to make a careless mistake.
“Why did you fail the test?”
“I goofed up and didn’t study.”
Modern Slang Words
The term “mood” grew in popularity from memes, videos, and photos from the generation of Millennials. It
is used to describe something relatable.
Ellie comments on a Facebook post of a lazy cat video, “Mood.”
Grumpy or upset at something or someone.
Boyfriend: “What’s wrong?”
Girlfriend: “Nothing. I’m fine.”
Boyfriend: “Okay, fine. Be salty then.”
18. Spilling the Tea
The phrase spilling the tea started from a meme of Kermit the Frog sipping tea, with the caption, “But that’s none of my business.” It’s when someone spreads gossip or drama. The “tea” in such instances is the truth (which is difficult to swallow).
“Gabby has a YouTube drama channel where she spills the tea on celebrity gossip.”
Stands for: Greatest. Of. All. Time. It stands for someone or something that is the best.
“Lebron James is the G.O.A.T NBA basketball player.”
When someone is Basic, they are only interested in things that are mainstream or popular.
“Ugh, she’s so basic. She only drinks pumpkin spice lattes and wears Ugg boots every day.”
To ghost someone means to suddenly cut off contact with them until they get the picture. It is a passive-aggressive way of telling someone you don’t like them without actually having to say it to their face.
“Brandon won’t stop texting me; it’s so annoying! I might have to ghost him soon if this doesn’t stop.”
A bae is someone’s significant other. It’s a pet name for a girlfriend or boyfriend.
“I just got bae a birthday present!”
If someone or something is extra, it is over the top or excessive.
“Rachel is SO extra. Why is she always so dramatic all the time?
You are shook if you are super surprised at what you’re seeing.
“Dude, did you see Jennifer got verified on Instagram? I’m shook!
The word you use when you find something hilarious.
*Friend says something funny*
“Omg, stop. I’m dead!”
Someone slays when they are looking good/beautiful.
“Did you see Cassidy’s prom dress?
“Yes, slay girl. Slay.”
27. High key
Someone might use the phrase high key when they’re straight up or assertive.
“I high key need those heels.”
If someone’s hair, makeup, and outfit look fantastic, they’re looking snatched.
“Look at her! She did that…She snatched tonight!”
A person is a stan when they are obsessed or crazy about someone or something.
“I will always stan Beyonce! She is queen.”
In this context, woke does not involve getting out of bed. It’s about spreading the truth about a particular social issue or current affairs important to you.
“Why do you watch the Kardashians? Kids are starving all around the world. Stay woke!”
Learn English Slang with ACAL’s English Tutor
Are you looking for English classes near me? You’ve come to the right place. At ACAL, our English Language Program makes learning English easy.
Our dedicated instructors help students embrace new opportunities and fully immerse themselves in learning a foreign language.
The ACAL English Program Offers:
- Customized Lessons
- One-on-one Attention
- Engaging Classes
- Skilled Instructors
Join the preferred English school near me today at ACAL! To learn more, contact us at (346)-358-3237.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Want to Speak English Naturally? Master These 30 Slang Words for English Learners | ACAL – Houston, TX