Popular American Slangs

American English is very commonly around the world and this doesn’t mean that English speaking people of different dialects can not still confuse one another with local and slang words. Below is a list of familiar American slang words and phrases.

1. The cold shoulder — A metaphor for deliberately ignoring someone.

2. Bail — Intransitive verb for leaving abruptly.

3. By the skin of (my/your/his/her) teeth — just barely.

4. For Real — A proclamation of honesty.

5. Down to earth — And adjective for practicality and lack of pretense.

6. Feeling blue; have the blues — A feeling of depression or sadness.

7. Cram — To study feverishly before an exam typically done after neglecting to study consistently.

8. Couch Potato — A lazy person who spends the bulk of their time engaged in things that can be done while sitting on a couch.

9. Drive up the wall — To irritate.

10. A buck — Slang term for a the American dollar.

11. Going Dutch — When each person, usually in a dating scenario, pays for his/her own meal.

12. Creep (n.) — An unpleasantly weird/strange person.

13. Crash— To abruptly fall asleep, or to show up without invitation.

14. Plead the fifth — References the fifth amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which allows a witness in court to refuse questions on the grounds that they risk self-incrimination.

15. Tight — An adjective that describes closeness between competitors, i.e. a tight competition.

16. Uptight — Stuffy, persnickety, the opposite of relaxed.

17. Zonked — Completely exhausted.

18. Sweet — An adjective that describes something that is good, or nice.

19. Trash — Can be used as an intransitive verb for destruction. e.g. “He trashed the car.”

20. Screw up — To make a mistake, i.e. mess up.

21. Wrap (something) up — To finish or complete something.

22. Lighten up — To relax and take things too seriously. Typically stated as an appeal to someone who is acting uptight.

23. Hang out — To casually gather together or spend time with someone in a social manner.

24. Give a ring — To call someone on the telephone.

25. Pig out — A metaphor for binge eating.

26. Knock — To speak negatively, to disparage, to badmouth.

27. Piece of cake — A metaphor to describe something that is easy or effortless.

28. Pass the buck — To deflect responsibility onto someone else.

29. Hyped (adj.) — A very excited state.

30. Jack up — An abrupt increase, typically in the price of something.