7 English Slang Words You Should Know (but Probably Don’t)
Do you watch TV shows or movies in English and think, “What are they talking about???” Well, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Our language is always changing. Even native speakers have to learn new slang.
Social media, TV, films, trends and – of course – teenagers influence and change our language. All the time.
Today you are going to learn 7 new words you should know in English (but probably don’t). Then be sure to get practice at the end of the lesson so you can add these words to your daily English.
NOTE: These words are generally informal and used in spoken English. They may not be appropriate to use in more formal situations.
Add Slang to Your Daily English
To use an Uber instead of a taxi, bus, bike, metro or by walking
- “We could have taken the train but it took too long, so we just ubered it to the airport.”
- “Oh, it’s late and I’m tired. Let’s just uber it home!”
Uber and its car service have taken over the world! Now the word Uber isn’t just the name of a company or the car the company uses to drive you around, it is also used as a verb in speaking.
Informal, slang: Used to express that something is amazing or excellent
- “She looks sick in that dress!”
- “We just went to Chez Nino last night, the new restaurant on the corner. It was sick! I can’t wait to go back.”
- “That was a sick party last weekend!”
Okay, so sick isn’t really a new word. At least, it shouldn’t be. You already know it means to be ill – such as to have a cold, to have the flu, etc.
But now, in its slang form, it can also mean amazing or fantastic or super awesome. But be careful with this one, it really depends on context and your intonation!
Used to describe putting one’s palm on or across one’s face to express embarrassment, frustration or disbelief.
- “Did you see Joe after the announcement in the meeting? Facepalm!”
- “Why is French so hard?!? I’m so embarrassed! I used the wrong word at the bakery today and everyone started laughing! A total facepalm moment.”
This word facepalm … wait! First, let’s talk about what an interjection is! An interjection is a word a speaker uses to express a particular emotion.
With facepalm, speakers use this to express the feeling of total embarrassment, frustration or disbelief about something. It is usually used at the end of a sentence or story to show how someone felt.
Used to describe the act of watching a large number of television shows from the same series in one succession (one after another).
- “Oh, Friday was totally low-key. We just binge-watched Mad Men. I love that show!” (low-key = calm, uneventful)
- “What are you binge-watching right now? Have you seen Breaking Bad yet? Totally worth a binge-watching weekend!”
Okay, it is Friday night and it has been a long week with a lot of overtime hours. All you want to do is sit on the sofa, eat popcorn and watch 15 episodes of Game of Thrones. This is binge-watching!
Used to describe a situation when your cell (mobile) phone accidentally calls someone else while the phone is in your pocket. It usually happens from pressure when you sit on your phone or are walking.
- “Hey – I think you butt dialed me yesterday. You called but then it was just noise. I could hear you talking but it was hard to hear you and then you just hung up.”
Imagine this: Your phone rings and it’s your boss – on a Saturday morning! You think, “Oh no! What now?” You answer your phone but you just hear strange noises. You think you can hear your boss speaking but you aren’t sure. You say her name again and again, but she doesn’t talk back. Hmmm, it seems like she butt dialed you. Whew! No work for the weekend!
An informal way to refer to someone who is your best friend (usually among females).
- “Oh, here is a photo of Betsy and I! She was my bestie all through elementary school, high school and university! I wish we still lived close to each other.”
- “I’m so excited! My bestie is coming for a visit next week. We haven’t seen each other for a year.”
Another word to use for your best friend. Note: this is mostly used by women.
An informal interjection to show indifference or lack of enthusiasm for something.
- “Hey, how was the party last night? I couldn’t get away from work.”
- “Meh. You didn’t miss anything.”
- “How’s your dinner?”
- “Meh. I’ve had better.”
Another example of showing an emotion in a particular situation with an interjection. Meh is used to express the feeling that something is just okay, not great and definitely not awesome.
Now that you’ve reviewed the lesson, I’d love to hear from you!
I would love to see how you might use these new words. Choose 2 or 3 of your favorite words from this list and create your own examples.
Be sure to create sentences you can use in your real English life (this will help you remember them!).
And then share your examples below.
Have fun and, if you enjoyed this lesson, please be sure to sure the love. Share on Facebook or Twitter. Email to a friend.
Thanks and have a great week!
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Hi Annemarie, thank you for this new vocabulary, I think it’s excellent because always is necessary to know the changes in the ways to speak of the people.