English slang expressions
Do people call your English too formal or too old fashioned? English changes every day – new words are constantly being invented and old words are always taking on new meanings. If you want your English to sound more relaxed and natural, it’s useful to stay up to date with the latest words and expressions. If you’re learning English, here are some English expressions that are common all over the world.
One of the most commonly used slang words is ‘cool’, which has been popular since the 1950s and is still common with English speakers all over the world. ‘Cool’ generally means that means something is good. If you see a good movie, you can tell your friends it was “cool” or if you want to compliment a friend, you can call her a ‘cool person’. However, if someone asks “How are you?” and you say “I’m cool” this doesn’t just mean ‘I’m good’, it means that you are feeling content, calm, or relaxed.
2. Chill out – Chilling
If you want to talk about relaxing, you can use the phrasal verb ‘chill out’ or turn it into a gerund – ‘chilling’. When spoken aloud, the ‘g’ is often dropped, so it sounds like ‘chillin’. This word means to spend time doing nothing in particular yet still having fun, as in “I spent Friday night chilling with my friends.” Much like ‘cool’, the word connotes feelings of contentment and relaxation.
3. Do you feel me?
To talk about understanding someone on a deep level, you can ask “Do you feel me?” It’s like asking, “Do you understand what I’m telling you?” only the meaning is more personal. The polite response is “Yeah, I feel you.” Use this for discussing topics you feel passionately about.
4. That’s messed up
If a friend of yours comes up to you and tells you something bad that just happened to them, you can sympathize with them by saying, “That’s messed up.” This means that you agree the situation your friends is in is unfair.
5. How are you holding up?
Then, after sympathizing with your friend, you can ask, “How are you holding up?” which means that you want to know how they’re coping with this ‘messed up’ situation.
6. Greetings: Yo, What’s up? and I’ll catch you later
When it comes to greetings – if you’re saying hello and goodbye friends or acquaintances, there are a few different things you can do. For instance, Spanish words – ‘Hola’ for hello and ‘Adios’ for goodbye – are popular in the US. You can also say “Yo” when greeting a person informally, and then ask “What’s up?” to ask how they are doing. And when saying goodbye, you can say “I’ll catch you later” to mean that you’ll see them some time soon.
Remember, slang can be a fun way to make your English sounds more relaxed but you need to be careful to use it appropriately if you’re leaning English. You wouldn’t greet your boss by shouting “Yo!” Likewise, if you are 50 years old, using expressions that are common with teenagers will make your English sound inappropriate.
If you are learning slang, choose general terms that all English speakers will understand and if in doubt, ask a native speaker or check with a good online dictionary to make sure you are using the expression appropriately. The most important thing, though, is to enjoy learning about all the fun and interesting expressions the English language has to offer.