American Slang A - Z

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U.S. Citizenship

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

call it quits: stop working and, maybe, leave the place where you work. Also, call it a day.

We called it quits after a 10-hour day and went out for a few beers.

 

can do: completely possible. Also used in the negative--no can do.

This company needs a can-do attitude if it wants to be successful.

 

catch-22: an impossible situation with no easy solution; a contradiction; illogical reasoning. This is a reference to a book, Catch-22, written by Joseph Heller about a bureaucratic military during World War II. This is hard to use, and it's often misused, but it remains popular.

The harder I work, the more money I pay in taxes. It seems like a catch-22.

 

check it out: look at this; this is interesting; listen to me.

Check it out! I got the new Google phone!

 

cheesy: something kind of cheap; an appeal to popular taste in decorating and entertainment; not of high quality--sometimes regarded as an insult.  

Where did she find that cheesy old picture? It looks like something from the 60s.

 

chick: a beautiful woman; a young woman. (some women don't like the use of this word--it's a little sexist.)

There were tons of hot chicks at the place we went to last night.

 

chicken: scared; afraid. (This is a very popular adjective)

If you're too chicken to ask her out, I'll do it for you.

 

chip in: to share the expenses; to contribute money.

Someone at the office is getting married so we're all chipping in for a gift.

 

choke: to suddenly lose the ability to do something or win; to go from winning to losing.

The Cubs have a good baseball team, but they always choke at the end of the season.

 

chug: drink fast, usually beer.

Let's chug these beers and get going.

 

clean: innocent of wrongdoing; not carrying a weapon. (You hear this used a lot on TV cop shows.)

The public thought he was guilty of murder at first, but then it turned out he was clean.

 

closet: secret (adjective); also in the closet, and out of the closet, usually used for someone who is hiding the fact that he or she is gay.

When he came out of the closet, he lost his job with the military.

 

cold: not friendly; unemotional.

Ali tried talking to Sara, but she was so cold towards him, he walked away.

 

come off: to appear; to make an impression.

She came off as a nice person at first, but then after we all got to know her, it turned out she was really mean.

 

come on: to show some romantic interest in someone.

She was coming on to my friend at the club, but he didn't notice.

 

comp: (complimentary); free; payback.

We're getting out tickets comp because we won a contest.

 

cool: great; interesting; good. (very popular)

This is a very cool song! What's it called?

 

cool off: calm down; try not to be upset

You'd better cool off before you speak to him. You're too angry right now.

 

cop: police officer (very popular)

The cops came when a shot was fired in the restaurant.

 

couch potato: a person who stays on the couch, watches TV, and usually eats.

She'd rather be a coach potato today than go to school on her day off.

 

corny: something that appeals to simple emotions; lacking in sophistication.

A lot of people say that movie is so powerful that it made them cry, but I thought it was corny and boring.

 

cough up: to give; to give with reluctance.

Tom's sister couldn't cough up enough money to pay her rent this month, so he helped her out.

 

crap: something bad; junk.

They have a bunch of crap in their backyard that needs to be thrown out.

 

crib: house or apartment. (African-American usage)

Let's go back to the crib and get something to eat.

 

crush: 1. (noun) a fondness; deep romantic love, often one that can't be fullfilled; 2. (verb, often used in the passive voice) to experience disappointment.

1. She has a crush on her teacher.

2. He was crushed to find out that he didn't get that job.

 

cut it out: stop immediately.

My kids were fighting so I told them to cut it out.

 

cut the cheese: fart; expell gas (a little vulgar); a bad smell.

It stinks in here. Who just cut the cheese?

Next: D arrow

 

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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