Time for some American Slang

Learn American slang with the ten expressions below:

You can’t really master the American language if you don’t learn American slang. Young native speakers use it all the time and popular U.S. culture is full to the brim with slang expressions. Here are ten of the most important slang expressions currently used in the United States, presented by our American teachers at Break Into English (https://englishclassviaskype.com).

1. To be amped

Pretty obvious one once you know what an “amp” is. “Amp” comes from “Ampere” and is a unit of electric current. “Amp” is also the short version of “amplifier”, the device you use to amplify (= increase) sound. “To be amped” is therefore to feel excited, as if electricity were flowing through your body.

Example: “The Radiohead concert is this weekend: I’m so amped!”

2. To have a blast

A “blast” is an explosion. “To have a blast” is to have so much fun and feel so happy that you think you’ll explode. At least that’s how I see it.

Example: “We had a blast in Rome. It was awesome.”

3. To be hooked on something

The meaning of this expression is quite straightforward. A “hook” is what you use to catch fish or hang clothes. Thus, “to be hooked on something” is to be addicted to something or to be very enthusiastic about something.

Examples: “She’s been hooked on prescriptive drugs since 2009.”

“I’ve been hooked on tennis since I saw Federer playing.”

to be hooked is an american slang expression

4. To dump someone

“To dump something” is to get rid of it in a careless and hurried way. “To dump someone” is to suddenly abandon him/her with no remorse or pity. Boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives keep dumping each other everyday in the world.

Example: “She dumped Gary and started going out with Brett.”

5. That’s sick!

You all know the definition of “sick”, but in this slang expression, “sick” means “awesome” or “really cool”. You say “that’s sick” when you’re really impressed by someone or something.

Example: “Did you see the trick he did? That’s sick dude!”

6. To be ripped

“To rip” is to violently tear something and make it come apart. “A rip” can also be a stretch of rough fast-flowing water. These two meanings of “rip” both express the idea of strength and power. Logically, “to be ripped” means to be muscled.

Example: “Arnold Schwarzenegger was so ripped in Conan the Barbarian.”

7. Get smashed

“To smash” something is to break it into pieces. When someone wants to “get smashed”, he actually wants to get so drunk that he’ll feel as if his body and mind have separated into different parts. Sounds nice.

Example: “We all got smashed the other day.”

“My bad” is a way of recognizing your own mistake. You say “my bad” when you’ve done or said something you regret. In other words, saying “my bad” is like saying “it’s my fault”.

Example: “We should’ve bought two tickets instead of one.” “Yeah sorry, my bad.”

A “hater” is more than just someone who hates something. A “hater” is an essentially negative and critical person who has never done anything with his or her life and hates others for being more talented and successful than he or she is.

Example: “There are so many haters spewing their venom on the Net.”

10. Wanksta

A “wanksta” is a wannabe gangster, or in other words someone who dresses and acts like a gangster (or a gangsta) but hasn’t ever done anything gangster-like.

“Wanksta” is also really close to “wanker”, i.e. a person who spends more time masturbating on his couch and talking shit than actually doing things.

Example: “Ninety percent of hip-hop artists are wankstas.”

That’s all for now, folks! If you want to learn other slang terms or improve your general level of English, don’t hesitate to try out our English classes via Skype.

You can sign up for a free 30-minute trial lesson here:

https://englishclassviaskype.com/trial-lesson/