►l'argot en anglais
A glossary of classic English slang
Linguapress.com - English Language study resources
These slang expressions are regularly used in contemporary English, specially in Britain. Some of them are well established, but most are recent or new words or phrases.
With some exceptions (i.e. for contrast), this list does not include a lot of very well-established slang words that appear in all good dictionaries. It does not include SMS or "text" language. It does not include dialectal or regional slang, unless these are understood well beyond their region; it does not include swear words or "bad language"; and it does not include words that are simply phonic transcriptions of other words or expressions, and are not used in written language (example: gonna for going to, shouda for should have).
Words marked "impolite" should be avoided in most situations.
A Word of Warning:Learning slang is not particularly useful for the learners of English, except those who actually live in an English-speaking country. Most slang words are either short-lived, or else regional (dialect). Among teenagers, slang changes at a remarkable speed in the age of social media. More generally, London slang from the 1980's would for instance be largely incomprehensible to a New Yorker in the 2020's ! Slang is only required (or cool) in contexts where people expect slang to be used.... which means essentially among native speakers... and even then only among the groups that commonly use slang, and only the right kind of slang. Using slang in other situations may be entirely inappropriate. Using the wrong slang will always be inappropriate, and often incomprehensible. The essential value of this glossary is therefore to allow students to understand slang used by others, rather than to encourage its use.
ace: really good, exceptional.
very boring person,
person who has no character.
extremely angry (as in "He'll go ballistic when he hears that")
bash, have a bash: (1) try to do something, (2) have a party.
bird: woman, female.
blab: talk, give away secrets
blag: talk in persuasive language (blag in, blag out). (Do not confuse with brag, to boast)
blown away by: very impressed by.
box, on the box: television, on TV.
brill: really good, brilliant.
broke (adjective): without any money.
bum around: go round doing nothing.
teenager or young person, with no social aspirations, and probably
Barnes & Noble, Waterstones and other good bookshops
chill out: stop being excited, become calm. (c.f. cool it.)
Chinese, go for a Chinese: have a take-away Chinese meal.
chippie: fish and chip shop
cool it: don't get excited, be more calm, calm down.
cool: good, fashionable.
crack up: (1) disintegrate under pressure, (2) laugh uncontrollably.
crap (impolite): excrement, shit, something with no value.
crash (out): go to bed, go to sleep
cut it out: shut up, stop talking.
cut up (adjective): distressed, sad.
do over: burgle, steal from
dude: person, man This glossary is Copyright Linguapress.com
easy, I'm easy; I don't mind, I have no preference one way or the other.
fazed: worried, disconcerted (and unfazed: cool, calm.)
fag (noun): (GB) cigarette: (USA) homosexual, gay.
fire: really cool
flak, take the flak: criticism, blame, take the blame
flake out : collapse, be completely exhausted
funny farm: hospital for mentally retarded people, asylum.
grand: thousand (pounds or dollars)
grass (noun): 1. cannabis. 2. An informer. (also supergrass).
grass (verb): to give information about someone (to the police or the authorities).
gutted: very annoyed, very angry with oneself
guy: man, boy, person
hair, keep your hair on: stay calm, don't get alarmed
half a mo' : wait a minute, hold it !
halls: university student residences.
hand, lend a: help.
hang on: wait
hell of a (adjectival expression): enormous, giant, big.
high, he's on a high: elated, in a very good mood.
high: he's high: he's under the influence of drugs.
hold it ! : stop, pause
hold on! : hold it, wait,
hole in the wall: cash distributor, cash machine, ATM
he's got the hump....
: he's (very) angry with ...
iffy: dubious, of dubious quality
item : as in they're an item - a couple, people living together
knackered: tired, exhausted
knock someone up: (GB) wake someone up: (USA - impolite) get a girl pregnant .
knot, tie the knot: get married.
man who tries to be popular with other lads, see lager lout.
(Traditionally, a lad
is just a Scottish word meaning a boy
or young man)
ladette: female version of lad
male who drinks too much cheap beer.
lady (Traditional Scottish word)
mental: mad, stupid, idiotic.
miffed: disconcerted, taken aback
naf, naff: of poor quality, rubbish
neat: really good, appreciated.
nerd: person who is passionately interested in computers.
nick (noun): prison
nick (verb): take, steal
pad: the place you live in.
PIN number: personal identification number used at a hole in the wall.
piss off: go away, stop it
piss off, as in You piss me off: You bore or annoy me.
pissed off: angry, fed up
plastic: plastic bank card, Visa card etc.
Pond: the Atlantic Ocean
pop pills: take drugs
psyched up: tense, anxious
puke: vomit, be sick
quid: pound (sterling)
rat, to rat on someone: to give information about someone.
sack, hit the: go to bed.
sad: pathetic, poor, opposite of cool.
score with... : have sex with...
screenager : person who spends their time looking at their computer, iPad, mobile phone or TV - neologism based on the words screen and teenager, though applicable to all ages.
screw, have a screw loose: be mentally retarded.
screw: (a) extort money from a person, overcharge for something. (b) (impolite) have sex with a person.
screw it up: do something very badly, fail at something (e.g. an exam)
shack up with: live with.
shattered: very tired, distressed
shit: excrement, haschich, something bad, bad, or just an expletive.
shoot down to: go quickly to...(e.g. shoot down to the station).
shoot up: inject a drug (such as heroin).
sickie, take a: be absent from work because you are (or are pretending to be) sick.
skint : as in I'm skint : I don't have any money
skive: avoid work, avoid going to work.
slag someone off: to say unpleasant things about someone to other people.
slag: a woman who sleeps around with different men.
sleep around: have sex with lots of different people.
sleep over: spend the night at someone else's house.
slog, a hard s.: something very difficult.
snog: kiss, embrace.
stoned: under the influence of cannabis.
out: work out,
find the solution
a swift one: a quick drink.
switch, hit the: turn on or turn off (TV, etc.)
takeaway: restaurant seeling take-away food.
tick : a very short period of time, as in "Wait a tick!"
throw up: vomit, be sick (puke).
twisted, he's twisted: he is a bit strange.
twit: idiot, stupid person.
unfazed: cool, calm
wanker: (impolite) stupid person, un-cool person
wheelie, do a: cycle with the front wheel in the air.
wheels: car, vehicle.
up: to tease or
try to deliberately aggravate someone
Yucky, yug, yuggy: disgusting, unpleasant
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