What will you never understand about Americans

21 American Slang Words & Phrases You Should Know

English may be the world language, but it is spoken differently in different parts of the world. Here are some useful American English slang words and phrases that can help you understand what they are about Americans entertained all the time. Perhaps you have heard these words one time or another in American series or films?

Important American Expressions: From “Awesome” to “Shut up!”

1. What's up? / Wassup? / ‘Sup?

Meaning: "What's going on?"

No matter what you learned in English class, there is no way you should greet an American How do you do?. What's up? or the more informal one ‘Sup? means the same thing without having to lift your cylinder with your walking stick before setting off in your horse-drawn carriage. In formal situations, you say against it nice to meet you or Nice to see you.

The beauty of What's up? is that no answer is expected to that. Just like the French one Ça va? can you open What's up? with ... exactly: What's up? reply.

2. Awesome!

Meaning: "super, great, awesome, fantastic, great"

This is not exactly an American slang word, but a very useful one: you can use this word to express that you think something is really great. Since Americans are a little easier to inspire than Germans, you can use the word generously in your conversations:

  • "I saw the new Starwars in * IMAX over the weekend. "*
  • Awesome. Did you like it? "
  • "Oh yeah, it was awesome. Hey, can I get a sip of your iced tea? "
  • "Sure."
  • Awesome, thanks. "

3. Like


You know Like probably already as a verb ("like") or as a preposition that indicates a comparison (You swim like a fish!). As a slang word (it is often assumed that it was used in the 1980s by so-called valley girls was introduced into youth culture), its use is not quite as clearly delineated.

  • “Oh my God, it was Like the worst date I've ever been on. Richard what Like such a jerk! "

In this example, one could guess that Like works as a preposition for comparison - but it doesn't! In places like this is Like a so-called Particles, a word that can, among other things, indicate a change of subject, the restructuring of a sentence, stress or the expression of feelings. German examples of particles are: uh, stop ("It happens stop not always the way you want it. "), but ("Sit down but!") and but ("Come over but don't go home too late! ”).

If you get started using Like want to study again, then watch Shoshanna from the TV series Girls at!

But don't forget that it can easily sound childish and frivolous when you have too many likes interspersed with a conversation. So the word is okay for parties, but not for interviews - although most Americans under 35 probably use the word a lot more than they realize ...

4. I hear you / I hear ya

Meaning: "You can say that out loud!"

With just three words you can underline that you are really listening to someone and that you fully agree with them:

  • "I'm kinda sad to be back from vacation. I wish I was still on that sandy tropical beach. "
  • I hear ya. After I got back from Acapulco, the view from my apartment depressed me for weeks. "

Tell me about it, is the sarcastic alternative that actually means: "Tell me something new!"

5. Oh my God!

Meaning: "Oh my God!" (Exclamation)

This exclamation isn't quite as pious as it sounds. If you move in religious realms, eavesdroppers would probably even find it tasteless! Not to mention, it breaks the Fourth Commandment ... you'd rather be Oh my goodness change.

6. Shut up!

Literal meaning: "Shut up!"

Figurative meaning: "Can't be ..."

Although it literally means “shut up”, this slang phrase also works as an exclamation when something is so shocking that you just can't believe it - for example, when you suddenly find out at the age of 15 that you are the princess of Genovia are.

7. Dude

Meaning: "type, age"

Dude could literally best be translated as “guy” or “guy”, but is also often used as an interjection for underlining - similar to Age! or Man! In this usage, it can mean pretty much anything:

  • "Who’s that dude by the bar who looks like he's a movie star or something. Doesn’t he look familiar? "
  • Dude, that's Keanu Reeves! "
  • Dude, you're right! "
  • * "** Duuuuuuuude. ** "*

The bonus definition of dude is, of course, Jeff Bridge's character from The Big Lebowski: the dude.

8. To buy something

Literal meaning: "buy something"

Figurative meaning: "believe something"

Okay okay We are capitalist pigs ... what better evidence than this sentence that equates faith with willingness to pay money?

  • "Her story is just too crazy. I don’t buy it!

9. Off the hook / Off the chain / Off the hinge

Meaning: "to be out of control" (in a good way), "to be awesome"

Off the hook being can mean, on the one hand, that one is “finely tuned”, but is also used when something - in a good, fun way - is completely out of control.

  • "Last night's party something off the hook!

10. To give props to someone

Short for: to give proper respect to someone

Meaning: "Pay someone the appropriate respect"

  • "I gotta give her props for that song. She’s an amazing singer. "

American slang words: From “Bent out of Shape” to “See you later”

11. Bent out of shape

Meaning: "get upset, get angry"

  • "Don't get bent out of shape just because I overcooked the rice! "

12. Bananas / Bonkers / Nuts

Meaning: "crazy, out of control, stupid"

  • "The line at the post office was so long and slow, I was going bonkers.“
  • "Yeah, that place is nuts at lunch time.

13. Bummer / Bummed

Meaning: "Shame !, flop"

Although bummer can also mean “bum” (but then it is usually with bang abbreviated), it is often called "a shame!" used, or when a situation is a total letdown. Also use as a verb (to be bummed) is possible:

  • "It's a bummer that the concert was canceled. "
  • "I know! I'm totally bummed about it. "

Warning: These words mean something in British English very other …

14. To hang tight

Meaning: "wait quietly"

  • Hang tight, I'll be with you in a minute. "

15. Plastered / Sloshed / Smashed / Wasted

Meaning: "drunk"

  • “I got so plastered last night. I'm embarrassed to show my face now. "
  • "Don't worry, everyone was too wasted to notice when you ripped off your shirt and danced on the table. "

16. Whatever

Meaning: "Whatever, I don't care"

You can use this word to demean anything in a slightly sarcastic tone. This one-liner is mostly used by pouting teenagers - suffice it to say that it is one of Eric Cartman's buzzwords South Park is ...

  • "If you don’t start taking this class seriously, you’re going to fail!"
  • Whatever.

17. For real

Meaning: "really, really, seriously"

If you want to make sure that someone is really, really, really serious, or if you want to convince someone that you are really, seriously, and most definitely telling the truth, then reinforce that with for real!

  • "I started training with a synchronized swimming team."
  • "Are you for real?“
  • "Yes, for real, it's been my dream since childhood. "

The OutKast-Song Ms. Jackson includes a perfect example of this expression.

18. For sure

Meaning: "In any case!"

If you wholeheartedly agree, is for sure a good option to express that.

  • "Can you do me a favor and pick up dinner on the way home?"
  • For sure.“

19. I get it / I got it

Meaning: "I understand!"

If an American "Got it!“Replies, then he wants to tell you that he fully understood and that no questions were left unanswered.

  • "Our appointment is at 4 p.m."
  • Got it. I'll meet you there. "

20. “My two cents” / “my 2¢ ”/“ put my two cents in"

Meaning: “My (insignificant) opinion

21. See you later

Meaning: "Bye"

Don't take this too literally. see you later saying is not an obligation to see each other again, it is just a slang way of saying goodbye. For example, an appropriate answer would be, “I love you, but we will never meet again. Tomorrow I'm going to Mars in a rocket to save the world from aliens, but I know that there is no chance of survival in this situation ... "-"Cool. See you later.