20 Confusing American Slang Words and their Meanings

20 Confusing American Slang Words and their Meanings

The popularity of American pop culture has made many US slang words common all over the world, but many expressions are still too obscure for a lot of us to understand.

We rounded up some of those expressions along with their definitions and examples on how to use them in a typical conversation.

You’ve probably heard some these from your favorite TV series or Hollywood flicks, and if you’re not familiar with them, here’s your chance to find out what they mean.               
  1. A dime a dozen – Something so plenty that it has become common and cheap
“Ideas like that are a dime a dozen these days.”
  1. Bail – To leave in a hurry; to escape or abandon something
“Fred bailed on me! We’re supposed to go shopping today.”
  1. Flake – To disappoint someone or fail at something; someone who doesn’t fulfil a duty
“I don’t think she’s interested in the project. She already flaked twice before.”
  1. For the birds – Something unimportant; trivial
“Just focus on the first three steps. The rest is for the birds.”
  1. Going Dutch – A group activity where the people involved pay for themselves
“We went Dutch because we didn’t want Mary to shoulder the big restaurant bill all herself.”
  1. Jack up – A sudden increase, typically in emotion or number; not functioning well
“That drink has me all jacked up for the race.”
  1. John Hancock – Signature
“Just put your John Hancock on the dotted line, and the deal is sealed.”
  1. Jonesing – Intense craving or desire for something
“I already had coffee this morning, but I’m still jonesing for a giant frappe.”
  1. New York Minute – A very short time; a quick moment
“She has very skilled hands. She did my hair in just a New York minute.”
  1. Pass the buck – To pass one’s responsibility to someone else
“After years of passing the buck, someone finally built a bridge leading to our secluded town.”
  1. Pig out – To Binge; overeat
“We pigged out on fries smothered with cheese.”
  1. Queen – A homosexual man who’s typically effeminate
“I could really take lessons on how to walk on heels from my queen friends.”
  1. Shoot the breeze – To pass time; a casual chitchat 
“They’re out on the balcony, shooting the breeze over a few bottles.”
  1. Shotgun! – In a group setting, it is an expression said by someone who wants to sit beside the driver of a vehicle; whoever calls first takes the front passenger seat.
“Shotgun! Passenger seat’s mine the whole ride!”
  1. Take a raincheck – An expression that is said if one is unsure of being able to accept an invitation, in hopes of showing up at a later time
“I might pick up my in-laws this weekend. Is it okay if I take a raincheck on the practice?”
  1. Trash – To damage or wreck
“After the party, the hotel room was totally trashed.”
  1. Wicked – excellent; can be an adverb in place of really
“He’s got some wicked moves that can definitely wow the crowd.”
  1. Wrap – To complete or finish something
“Just one more take, and it’s a wrap!”
  1. Zinger – A witty or amusing remark
“The mayor ended the speech with a zinger that made the audience laugh.”
  1. Zonked – Exhausted; tired
“I look super zonked in the wedding reception photos.”

Are you familiar with some of these phrases? Which expressions should be included in the list? Let us know in the comments section below or tweet us @migrationE_US


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