American Slang A - Z

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fake / fake it: to pretend something is real; phony.

She said she had a good time, but I could tell she was just faking it.

 

fall for: to be attracted to someone; to be deceived, tricked, or fooled.

Zoe said that she spoke to Barack Obama on the telephone, and some of her friends fell for it. (They believed her lie)

 

fart / fart around: (a little vulgar but popular) 1. to expel gas; 2. to goof around or play around.

1. We could all tell that someone had farted in the classroom, but no one knew who it was.

2. You've got to stop farting around and get some work done.

 

fat cat: a rich person.

Investors are suddenly thinking seriously about investing in alternative energy now that the fat cats are getting involved.

 

fast food: food that is made and served very quickly, usually not healthy.

It's not a good idea to eat fast food every day if you want to avoid health and weight problems.

 

faux pas: an embarrassing mistake; a social error (This is a French word. It's pronounced fo paw )

He committed a slight faux pas by arriving at the dinner party half an hour early.

 

fed up: to feel anger toward someone or a situation; tired of something routine.

Most Americans are fed up with George Bush's incompetent handling of the U.S. economy.

 

feel up: to feel a person's body, sometimes unwanted touching of another person. (*use with caution)

When her boss tried to feel her up on the elevator, she reported his behavior to human resources and he got in big trouble with the company.

 

feel up to: want to do something. (notice that a gerund follows the word "to" in the example)

  • A: Do you feel up to seeing a movie today?
  • B: No, I don't feel up to it.

 

fender bender: a car accident, usually a small accident

To avoid fender benders in parking lots, try parking at the far end and walk the extra distance.

 

finagle: to make something happen through hard work or trickery.

We were able to finagle new financing for our house which lowered our monthly payments

 

fill (one) in: provide information; tell what happened.

Could you please fill me in on what happened at work yesterday. I was out sick.

 

fire away: ask me your question.

  • A: I'd like to ask a question.
  • B: Okay. FIre away.

 

fish: 1. try to get information; 2. a person of importance, sometimes a criminal.

1. The children in class fished for answers to questions about where life comes from.

2. The police caught a very big fish involved in illegal gambling and drugs.

 

five-finger discount: stealing from a store; shoplifting

Tony decided that a five-finger discount for a bottle of wine was worth the risk of getting caught by the store owner.

 

fixing to: going to; will

They're fixing to get married next year.

 

fizzle: lose energy; slowly stop working

When business at the restaurant started to fizzle, Mario decided to look for another job as a cook.

 

flake: a person who is a little stupid. As an adjective, use flaky.

The teacher is such a flake. She always forgets what we did in class the day before.

 

flashback: to think back in time; to see the past clearly in your mind.

Are you able to flashback to a time in your youth and remember exactly what everything looked like?

 

flick: a movie, usually at a movie theater.

Who wants to go see a flick this weekend?

 

flip or flip out: to get very angry.

Jill's mother flipped out when she found out her daughter was smoking cigarettes.

 

flip-flop: to change one's mind.

Politicians are often said to flip-flop on the issues, but it might be more accurate to say that they compromise.

 

flip someone off or flip the bird: to give someone the middle finger. (in the U.S., sticking the middle finger up while the others are down is a very rude, insulting thing to do.

That guy just flipped me off. I'm going to kick his ____.

 

flower child: a person who was young during the 1960s and 1970s and participated in the youth culture of the time. Lifestyles focused on music, anti-war protests, some drug use, long hair, and environmental concern.

The flower children of the 1960s surprised many Americans with their ideas about politics and communal living.

 

fluke: something that happens by chance; something lucky or unlucky.

It was just a fluke that the tree branch was struck by lightning and crushed the car below.

 

flunk: to fail a test; to do a bad job at something.

After he flunked out of high school, he tried to get a job, but nobody wanted to hire him without a diploma.

 

fly: cool (this is a relatively new use of the word--not easy to use. Origin is African-American)

She looks so fly in those jeans.

 

fool around (with) : 1. to have a relationship outside of marriage or outside of an established relationship. 2. to experiment with something; to try to learn how something works.

1. My boss was caught fooling around with another woman, so his wife divorced him.

2. I spent all day fooling around with this computer program and it still doesn't work right.

 

forget about it: don't worry about it; it's okay;

  • A: Thanks for all your help.
  • B: Forget about it. It was my pleasure.

 

fork over: to give; to give something with reluctance.

Okay, fork over that money you owe me.

 

for real: Really? Are you telling me the truth?

It's free to get into the concert tonight? Is that for real?

 

for sure: yes; certainly; I agree.

  • A: They're going to have to get rid of that ugly furniture.
  • B: Oh, for sure.

 

forty winks: sleep; sometimes it's a nap.

If I don't get my forty winks, I'm no good the next day.

 

four-letter word: a bad word; a swear word

Students caught using a four-letter word in class get in big trouble with the teacher.

 

freak / freak out: to be very upset; to be surprised and then get mad.

His mother freaked out when he told her he was going to join the marines.

 

free lunch: something for nothing

There's no such thing as a free lunch.

 

freeze: 1. stop working, usually for computers.

I can't use my computer right now because it's frozen. If it doesn't unfreeze in a minute, I'll have to restart it.

 

French kiss: a kiss that includes the tongue.

French kissing in public is not a cool thing to do.

 

fresh: something that is in style; something good.

The DJ is spinning some pretty fresh tracks. (music)

 

fret: worry.

The man next door frets too much about his daughter's driving.

 

fruit / fruitcake: an unusual person; someone eccentric; sometimes someone who is gay.

The fruitcake down the street painted his house pink and purple.

 

fruity: not masculine.

Why is Bruce speaking with such a fruity voice? It sounds like he's lisping.

 

full of it: to say things that aren't true; to be false. (related to B.S.)

He so full of it. Why do you believe him when he says he's making over $100,000 a year?

 

full of oneself: to have a very high opinion of oneself.

She's so full herself, she won't listen to anyone who tries to give her advice.

 

funky: odd; unusual; sometimes good.

Where did you find this funky music? I kind of like it.

 

funny business: suspicious activity; something that's not right or something that might be illegal.

There was all kinds of funny business going on at that company before the police came in and shut it down.

Attention: Some slang is inappropriate in certain situations. That's why you see the word "caution" after some of these slang words. Some slang is considered to be vulgar.

vulgar = impolite or considered a swear word. Don't use it around your supervisor or someone who might be offended.

 

 

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