American Slang A - Z

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U.S. Citizenship

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

tag: the spraying of paint in public areas; the application of graffiti to mark territory.

The gang kids in the Phillips neighborhood were caught tagging by the police and now they have to clean it all up.

 

tailgate: to follow someone too closely in a car.

An accident on the highway was caused by some jerk tailgating someone he thought was driving too slowly.

 

take: opinion; idea.

What's your take on the economy?

 

take it: tolerate; withstand difficulty.

Go ahead and tell me what you really think. I can take it.

 

take it easy: relax.

Most people hope to take it easy on the weekends and do as little work as possible.

 

take off: leave; go.

Are you ready to take off? The movie starts in 20 minutes.

 

take on: 1. to do some work; to take responsibility; 2. to fight someone.

1. Harold is willing to take on a second job in order to make some extra money.

2. If you think you can take on someone twice your size, you must be a good fighter.

 

tank: to decrease quickly in value or quality.

A lot of investors tried to pull their money out of the stock market when it tanked in 2008.

 

teaser: a person who likes to play games with other people in kind of a mean way; a person who says he or she will provide something and then not do it.

Jill told Mark she would go out with him but then changed her mind at the last minute. She's nothing but a teaser.

 

tech: short for "technology," usually used with reference to computers.

We need to hire a new tech person at our company because the one we have now isn't very good at working with Apple computers.

 

teen: someone who's between the ages of 13 and 19.

During his teen years in high school, Barry wasn't very popular, but then things changed for the better during college.

 

teeny: very small. (sometimes teeny-weeny)

The diamond in that ring is so teeny that you can barely see it.

 

tell off: to get mad at someone and say whatever is on one's mind; to get angry and talk directly to a person.

When Rupert told Magda that he wanted to go out with other girls, she told him off in front of everyone at the party.

 

thingamajig: anything that you don't know the name of; same as "thing." (You can use the word "thing" for anything you don't know the name of.)

There's this thingamajig I need to get for my car which costs over $300.

 

thingy: anything. Similar to thingamajig.

What's that thingy sitting on top of the TV set? Is that for your Wii?

 

throw: give up a competition; to willingly concede defeat for monetary gain.

When it was discovered that Louis threw the boxing match, he was banned from all future competition.

 

tied up: busy.

I'm sorry I can't come to your art exhibition. I'll be all tied up tomorrow with meetings.

 

toast: to raise one's glass during a celebration and drink; a formal custom before a eating and drinking at a party.

Before everyone started eating at the reception, Matt made a toast to the bride and the groom.

 

tool: a foolish person; someone who is under the command of another person.

Joe the Plumber is a tool for the Republican Party, and the funny thing is he knows absolutely nothing about politics and democracy. He's a plumber, for gosh sakes!

 

top dog: a person who is the leader of an organization; the person at the top.

Barack Obama is now top dog of the Democratic Party in the United States.

 

topless: no shirt, usually used for women.

Even thought it's more expensive, Bobby and Al don't mind paying extra for drinks at the topless bars downtown.

 

totally: very

His reaction to the situation was totally uncalled for. Totally.

 

tourist trap: a place tourists are attracted to and spend a lot of money.

From the highway, it looked like an interesting museum, but it turned out to be just another tourist trap selling postcards and t-shirts.

 

track: song on a CD, album, or on an iPod.

I love this CD, but the there's something wrong with the fourth track.

 

trendy: something popular; a fad.

The color black was kind of trendy 20 years ago, but now it just looks ridiculous on people who wear it to every social occasion.

 

trip: something amusing, interesting.

This nightclub is a trip. Look! There's an aquarium underneath the dance floor.

 

turf: territory; a neighborhood; a place claimed as one's own.

If another salesperson ever tries to invade Bill's turf, he immediately calls him on the phone and tells him to stay away.

 

turn on: to like, especially sexually.

The pink sweater that she's wearing always turns on her boyfriend husband.

 

turn off: to dislike something; something that makes you feel a little disgusted.

Alice picked her nose in front of her boyfriend, and it turned him off so much, he decided to stop seeing her.

 

tux: short for "tuxedo."

A friend of mine is getting married, so I have to rent a tux for the wedding.

 

twerp: a name given to someone who's small or insignificant; similar to "shrimp."

When Joey called his younger brother "a little twerp," his brother got mad and broke one of Joey's trophies.

 

two cents: an opinion; to express one's ideas.

Well, don't get mad at me for thinking it's wrong to deny health care coverage people who need it. I'm just offering you my two cents.

 

two-way street: a situation that requires cooperation; two people or groups who help each other out.

Mutual respect is a two-way street.

 

 

 

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