American Slang Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

American Slang

152 Conversations

One thing's for sure: it's almost impossible to compile a definitive list of American slang because every little town has its own words. But this hasn't stopped our researchers from posting their favourite words to this forum, and here's a selection of the most useful - and the most obscure - slang words used in the USA.

As always, if you know of a particularly interesting American slang word that's not listed, start a new conversation below and we'll add it in when the article gets revised.

Ain'tSimilar to "aren't" but can also be used instead of "isn't", "am not", "will not" or just about any form, tense, or conjunction of "is not". Note: the popularity of this word has been so great that it's been added to some of the new dictionaries.
Back burner, Put on the ...Deal with it later.
Besá(Southern US) Said when parting with a good friend or lover, often replaces "Okay I luv you, bye-bye" but in such a way that two males can say that the other means something to them without sounding like they are saying something sexual.
Blow chunksVomit
BoondocksA location far away from any major town (also "boonies")
Booshk(Southern US) Exclamation when one hits, taps, slaps, bangs or performs some sudden and/or violent action to another. Also used in phrases such as "Booshk ya later man", "How ya booshking?", "Booshkn' spectacular!" or "I've had a Booshk of a day"; though there is no consistency with these other uses of the word.
BritchesPants (trousers in the UK)
Bubba(Southern US) Officially means "Brother" as in a male sibling, but is often extended to mean the oldest son of a family; such a kid is then stuck with the nickname of "Bubba" until they move out of the area.
Chicano(San Diego) US-born Mexican
Chico(San Diego) Kid, usually male
ChillTo maintain your cool, often used as an imperative: "Chill, dude!"
Chill outSee "chill"
CokePeople from the deep South generally use this term to describe any carbonated beverage. It sounds rather silly in conversation: "You want a coke?" "Yeah." "What kind?" "Root beer."
CoolA good thing, as in "Cool web site, man!"
Crillo(San Diego) Spaniard, sometimes used for mainland Europeans in general ("ll" pronounced "y")
Da bomb!An expression of good stuff, as in "That gig last night was da bomb, dude!"
DorkA person without social graces (see "dweeb", "nerd", "geek").
DudeCool person
Drop the ballTo mess something up.
DweebA person without social graces (see "dork", "geek", "nerd").
EraserSomething used to remove pencil marks from paper
FagHomosexual male (certainly not a cigarette)
FannyOne's bottom
Fubared(Southern US) Really messed up, often used when talking about computers or a car that was wrecked (short form of "F***ed up beyond recognition").
GeekA person without social graces (see "dork", "dweeb", "nerd").
Geetyet"Have you eaten?"
Get luckyTo have sex
Get laidTo have sex
Get someTo have sex
Grinder(New England) Large sandwich
Grondspindling Hassle(Southern US) A person that gets in your way, and on your nerves, so bad that you'd actually contemplate killing them.
Grub(Inner city) Food
Grubbin'(Inner city) Eating
HandleDeal (verb), as in "Get a handle on it."
HickA back-woods kind of person with an extreme country accent and an assumed small vocabulary (see "redneck").
HoagieLarge sandwich
HomelyAn unattractive woman (to the point of exceptional plainness)
Homie(Inner city) Friend (short for "homeboy" or "homegirl"
HotA good and happening thing, as in "That chick is hot!"
Hunker downTo start working hard on something
LamePathetic, as in "That's a lame deal" or "Lame excuse!"
LaterShort for "See you later"
Loco(San Diego) Crazy
Lucked outUsed to "out of luck" in the 1940s, now means the opposite
MadVery, as in "He's mad cute" and "That was mad fun"
Making groceries(New Orleans) To go shopping for food
Mestizo/Mexicano(San Diego) Mexican-born
NerdA person without social graces (see "dork", "dweeb", "geek").
Niño(San Diego) Small child ("ñ" pronounced "nyeh")
Nop-djew(Southern US) "No I haven't, have you?", sometimes "djew" is used on its own, such as "Djew do this?" and is modified when talking to more than one person such as "Dja'll do that?"
PantsTrousers (in the UK)
Pass by ya mamma's(New Orleans)
PhatPretty, Fine and Tasty (applied to women)
Pimp(Inner city) No longer refers to prostitution, but is used much like player - "He's a pimp" could mean he knows how to romance a girl, and the term pimp can also be used for women. It is also a verb - "Getting your pimp on" to mean getting ready to meet someone, and "pimpin' it" to mean you are in the process of attracting someone.
Player(Inner city) A man/woman who has many romantic interests; can be used as a derogatory term as in "Don't go out with him, he's a player", or something to be proud of as in "That's not the girl he was with yesterday, he's such a player".
PondThe Atlantic Ocean
PopAny carbonated beverage, generally used by people from the old north-west states (Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan etc.)
Reckon"Yes, I think so too" or "I guess I agree", such as "Yep, I reckon" following some statement or question that started with "You figure...?"
RedneckA back-woods kind of person with an extreme country accent and an assumed small vocabulary (see "hick").
RootTo support a team, as in "I'm rooting for the blue team"
ScoreTo have sex
ShaftedTo have something bad happen, as in "I got shafted."
SodaAny carbonated beverage, generally used by people from the western states
SolidGood, as in "How was that band last night man?" "Solid!" "Oh yeah?" "Like a rock, baby."
Speed suggestions(New Orleans) Speed limit
Statue(Southern US) Replaces "Is that you?" when answering a phone. For example:
Receiver: "Jello?"
Caller: "George?"
Receiver: "Statue Billy Bob Joe?"
Caller: "Ya 'tis, statue?"
The SticksA location far away from any major town (see "boondocks")
SubLarge sandwich (submarine)
24-724 hours a day, 7 days a week
Touch baseTo meet up again later
Wicked(New England) Very
Ya'll(Southern US) You all
Yos(Southern US) "Is this yours?" or "This is yours" (plural)
Yous(Southern US) "Are You?" or "You are" (singular)
Yunz(South-west Missouri) All of you

Bookmark on your Personal Space

Edited Entry


Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry

Categorised In:

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more