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49 American Slangs for Beginners

Popular American Slang You Need to Know

Strap in because we’re about to take a wild ride through the crazy world of American slang. If you’re a foreigner or a Filipino looking to woo an American, you’ve got to get these slangs down to a tee. Trust me, nothing says “I’m hip and totally get you” more than casually tossing around some good ol’ American slang. So, let’s get this party started!


First off, we have “Joshing”. Now, don’t go thinking this is about some guy named Josh. Nope, “joshing” is when you’re just messing around, having a laugh at someone else’s expense. Like when you tell your mate you’ve eaten his last slice of pizza, only to reveal it’s just hidden behind the milk. “Just joshing ya, dude! Your precious pizza is safe.”


Next up, we have “Y’all”. This one’s a Southern classic, but it’s making its way up North. It’s short for “you all”, and it’s perfect when you’re addressing a group. Like when you rock up to a party late and yell, “Y’all started without me?!”


Then there’s “Jonesing”. This one’s a bit retro, but it’s all about craving something. Like when you’ve been dieting all week and you’re just jonesing for a greasy burger. “Man, I’m jonesing for a Big Mac like nobody’s business.”


“Bucks” is another one you need to know. It’s just a quick, easy way to talk about money. Like when your friend asks why you’re not going to the concert, and you say, “I’m a few bucks short, mate. Payday’s not till next week.”


This one’s a bit of a wildcard. It can mean being muscular, being excited, or even being on drugs. Like when you see your friend after he’s been hitting the gym and you say, “Dude, you’re looking jacked!”


Let’s talk about “lemon.” No, we’re not talking about the citrus fruit that ruins your tequila shot. In slang terms, a lemon is something broken and utterly useless. Typically, it refers to cars, but honestly, it can be anything that decides to die on you right after you’ve spent your hard-earned cash on it.

Example: “I spent a thousand dollars on a lemon! Now I’m stuck with a car that’s more useless than a screen door on a submarine.”


Heads up, this one’s a bit intense. “Postal” means going batshit crazy, often to the point of a violent outburst. The term comes from those infamous incidents where stressed-out postal workers lost it and went on a rampage. It’s not as commonly used today, but drop it in a convo, and people will understand.

Example: “Fred looked so stressed at work today, I was half-expecting him to go postal and start flinging staplers at everyone.”


“Shook” is all about being stunned or rattled, often into silence. It can refer to anything from a minor surprise to a major life event. Thank the internet for bringing this gem into our everyday lingo.

Example: “I just found out my ex is dating my best friend. I’m so shook.”


This one’s a bit of a chameleon. In the UK, being “pissed” means you’re drunk. In the States, it means you’re angry AF. So, context is key here, people!

Example: “I’m so pissed I got fired from my job. On the bright side, now I can get pissed without having to worry about work the next day!”


Nope, we’re not talking about the candy. An “airhead” is someone who’s ditsy or constantly daydreaming. Think of that bubbly, gum-chewing blonde from 90s sitcoms. It’s usually used playfully, so don’t get too offended if someone calls you this.

Example: “My sister is such an airhead. She skipped class to go to the mall and then wondered why she failed her test. Classic.”


When something is so damn good, especially food, it’s “bussin’.” It’s like your taste buds are throwing a rave.

Example: “This adobo is so bussin’, I might just propose to the chef!”


Drip is all about that stylish, sophisticated look. If someone’s got the drip, they’re basically a walking fashion statement.

Example: “Damn, look at you with all that drip. Are you trying to make the rest of us look like hobos?”


Extra is for all those drama queens and kings who do everything over the top. It’s like they’re living in their own telenovela.

Example: “Did you see Karen’s five-minute-long Instagram story about her coffee? So extra, I thought she was auditioning for a coffee commercial.”


When someone or something is living in your head rent-free, it means you’re obsessing over it without even trying.

Example: “That embarrassing thing I did in high school is still living in my head rent-free.”


Being salty is all about that bitterness and anger. Think of it as the human equivalent of over-seasoned fries.

Example: “She got so salty when I beat her at karaoke.

Vibe Check

A vibe check is making sure the atmosphere or someone’s mood is on point. It’s like being the social thermostat.

Example: “Let’s do a vibe check before we invite Steve. Last time he killed the mood with his conspiracy theories.”


Being woke means you’re socially conscious and aware of the issues around you. But sometimes, people take it to the next level.

Example: “I tried to be woke by recycling, but then I realized I was just hoarding empty bottles. Epic fail.”


Legit means something is genuine and real. No fakes allowed.

Example: “Are these designer bags legit or will they fall apart faster than my last relationship?”

Riding Shotgun

Riding shotgun is all about being the co-pilot in a car. It’s basically the throne of road trips.

Example: “I called shotgun, but my little brother still ended up in the front seat. Kid’s got no respect for the rules.”


Vanilla describes something plain and boring. It’s like the beige of personalities.

Example: “Her idea of a wild night is watching documentaries. So vanilla, I might fall asleep just thinking about it.”

Epic Fail

An epic fail is a disaster of grand proportions. It’s when Murphy’s Law goes on steroids.

Example: “I tried to impress my date by cooking dinner, but I ended up setting off the smoke alarm. Epic fail.”

Low Key

Low key means doing something subtly or keeping it on the down-low. It’s like being a ninja, but with feelings.

Example: “I’m low key obsessed with my neighbor’s cat. I might need help.”


Totes is just a cute way of saying totally. It’s like the slang equivalent of a smiley face.Funny

Example: “Totes forgot to text you back. My bad, dude.”


A whiz is someone super smart or skilled at something. Think of it as a brainiac with a cool factor.

Example: “You’re such a whiz with numbers, maybe you can figure out my love life next.”


Lit is when something is amazing, exciting, or just plain awesome. It’s the party of adjectives.

Example: “The beach party was so lit, even my grandma was dancing.”

Such a Bummer

Such a bummer is when something disappointing happens. It’s like a rain cloud on your sunny day.

Example: “I missed the concert because I got stuck in traffic. Such a bummer, I could cry.”

Spill the Tea

Spill the tea means sharing juicy gossip. It’s like being the town crier but for drama.

Example: “Girl, you better spill the tea on what happened at the office party. I need all the deets!”


Bet is a casual way to say you agree or understand. It’s like nodding but with words.

Example: “You think I can finish this pizza by myself? Bet.”


Rizz is all about that charm and allure. If you’ve got rizz, you’re basically a magnet for admiration.

Example: “His rizz is so strong, he could probably charm a rock.”

It’s Giving

This phrase is used to describe a situation or appearance that reminds you of a specific vibe. It’s like saying something is channeling a certain energy.

Example: “Your outfit is giving me major ‘90s pop star vibes. Where’s the bubblegum?”

Gas Him Up

Gas him up means to hype someone up with compliments and encouragement. It’s like being their personal cheerleader.

Example: “Gas him up before his date, or he might just bail and stay home playing video games.”


Popular American Slang

Savage describes someone who’s brutally honest or impressively bold. It’s when you drop the mic and walk away.

Example: “She told her boss exactly what she thought of his new policy. Totally savage move.”


Popular American Slang

Sus is short for suspicious. It’s when someone’s actions make you raise an eyebrow.

Example: “He says he’s just friends with her, but that late-night texting is kinda sus.”


Popular American Slang

Cheugy is used to describe something outdated or trying too hard to be trendy. It’s like the fashion faux pas of slang.

Example: “Wearing Uggs with shorts in the summer? That’s so cheugy.”


Popular American Slang

Gucci means everything is good or fine. It’s like the high-fashion way of saying all is well.

Example: “Don’t worry about the test, I’m Gucci. Sort of.”


Popular American Slang
Popular American Slang

Flex is all about showing off. It’s when someone’s flaunting their stuff like a peacock.

Example: “He’s always flexing his new gadgets. We get it, you have money.”


Popular American Slang

Thirsty describes someone who’s desperate for attention or affection. It’s like being parched for validation.

Example: “Posting selfies every hour? That’s so thirsty, you might need a drink.”


Popular American Slang

Yeet means to throw something with force or excitement. It’s a word filled with energy.

Example: “I yeeted my phone when I saw my ex’s new post. Oops.”


Popular American Slang

Stan is a super fan who’s borderline obsessed. It’s like being a groupie with a social media account.

Example: “I stan BTS so hard, I might as well move to Korea.”


Popular American Slang

A snack is someone who’s very attractive. It’s like saying they’re good enough to eat.

Example: “Did you see her new profile pic? She’s a total snack.”


Popular American Slang
Popular American Slang

Shade is all about those subtle insults. It’s the art of dissing without being too obvious.

Example: “Did she just compliment my dress or throw shade at my style?”


Popular American Slang
Popular American Slang

Slay means to do something exceptionally well. It’s like nailing it with flair.

Example: “You slayed that presentation! Now, can you slay my procrastination habits?”


Popular American Slang
Popular American Slang

Cap means lying or exaggerating. It’s calling someone out on their BS.

Example: “You ran a marathon this morning? That’s cap. I saw you napping.”


Popular American Slang
Popular American Slang

Sheesh is used to express surprise or amazement. It’s like a verbal exclamation point.

Example: “Sheesh, did you see the price of that bag? I’d need to sell a kidney.”


Popular American Slang
Popular American Slang

A simp is someone overly attentive to their romantic partner. It’s like being a love-struck puppy.

Example: “He’s such a simp, he’d probably fetch her coffee in the middle of a hurricane.”


Popular American Slang
Popular American Slang

Yassify means giving a dramatic makeover. It’s like turning someone from drab to fab.

Example: “I yassified my profile pic so hard, even my mom didn’t recognize me.”


Popular American Slang
Popular American Slang

Smol means small and cute. It’s like a term of endearment for tiny things.

Example: “Look at that smol puppy! I want to put it in my pocket.”


Popular American Slang
Popular American Slang

PeriodT is used to end a statement with emphasis. It’s like saying “end of discussion.”

Example: “I’m the best cook in this house, PeriodT.”


Popular American Slang
Popular American Slang

Clout means fame or influence, especially on social media. It’s like social currency.

Example: “He’s only posting that for clout. Gotta get those likes, huh?”

And there you have it! A quick and dirty guide to American slang. Remember, it’s all about the delivery. So, practice these in front of the mirror, drop them into conversation, and before you know it, you’ll be joshing and jonesing like a true American. Good luck, y’all!

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