Initially, when I moved to US for the first time, in my conversations with Americans, they would use some expressions in that would make me think a little bit and understand based on context or sometimes ask them or look up on the interet for the usage….They were new to me because, either they were used by only Americans in their daily life as slang or they were not british…Anyways, let me share some of the common American Slang expressions. In the same lines, you may read this article : Commonly used American English words in daily life, Some of this may help you with TOEFL or ESL too
I do not know if the equivalent slang terms that I mention below are exactly from British English, but at least they were used by me when I lived in India. We speak and use British English in India…so just assuming they are the same…
American Slang Expression and their Equivalents in British English
British English Term
American English Slang Expression
|Tire is punctured||Have a flat tire||You do not use puncture for tires or tubes in America. You got a flat tire|
|Stand in Queue||Stand in a line||I never heard anyone using queue in US. You just stand in a line at bus stop or in a bank|
|Go to Petrol Bunk||Go to Gas Station||In America, gasoline is the term for petrol and they call it gas in short form. Diesel is still Diesel in America.|
|Put a full stop at end of sentence.||Put a period at end of sentence.||No one uses full stop in US. It is a period|
|I want to post this letter||I want to mail this letter||In America, people use mail for post|
|I passed out in 2000 from Delhi University||I graduated in 2000 from Delhi Univerity||In America, Pass out means faint because of loss of blood, weakness or sometimes after getting drunk too much|
|We are used to saying “hash” for symbol #||In US, “#” means a pound symbol|
Turn left at the signal
Turn left at traffic lights or just lights
|I have seen many people use lights for traffic siginals|
|Don’t be coward, step up.||Don’t be a chicken, step up.||Chicken is used to signify that you do not have courage or you are bold enough.|
|Some people use, “you bet”, whenever you say Thank you to them for doing a favor. It is like saying “You are welcome”|
|I am trying, but the phone is engaged.||I am trying, but the phone is busy.||You do not use the word engage in US, just phone is busy|
|I need to buy some alcohol or liquor for tonight||I need to buy some booze for tonight||Using booze is very common for alcohol in slang|
Bummer! I can’t go to concert tonight.
|“Bummer” is an expression used to express emotion and it means something that you did not expect happened and you cannot do anything about it.|
|Look at a place or visit the place.||Lets check out this place or just check out anything.||In slang, people use “check out” for visiting or looking at them with interest. Based on context, it can also mean you have to vacate the place like in “Check out the hotel at 11 AM”|
|He just hung upon me or Just hang up the phone||“Hang up” means just disconnect the phone. It has nothing to do with hanging someone in gallows|
I cannot do this buddy.
I wish I could do this buddy
|It is tricky here, when some says, “I wish….” it means they cannot do it, but politey saying they cannot do it.|
|Its fine||Its Cool or just Cool||In America, people use “Cool” a lot. It is kind of cool to use cool It has nothing to do with “Cold weather or cool climate”|
The bar is empty tonight
|The bar is totally dead tonight||In this context, dead means just empty.|
There are still so many to write, I will write another article some other time. In the mean time you can check this article : How to Greet People in America.
Do you have any other expressions that you would like to share ?