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Real American Slang

Real American Slang

Date: Sep 29 2010

Topic: Idioms and Slang

Author: andylu2


Read this lesson and ask ANY American or Canadian person to ask if this is really the way we speak.  I promise you they will say YES!

I've seen so many English programs promising to teach real American slang.  It's honestly ridiculous and makes me angry because I know it's not REAL.  What is taught in school simply isn't how we speak.  And it's a big problem if you are learning in this way.

If you can't understand native speakers it's simply because no one has taught you all the real slang we use all the time.  I sometimes record my conversations with my friends and then write them down.  I show them to Chinese or other foreign people and ask them what they don't know. 

It's amazing that most English learners are having the same problems with slang.  Sometimes, even if you understand everything except one word or phrase, you can't understand the meaning at all.  Then you just sit there listening to native speakers talking and laughing and you don't really know what to do. 

The key is to learn the real slang.  I've spent over 3 years of my life paying attention to the kind of real conversations I have and writing down the important slang.  It's much different than you will find in most English programs.  

Americans and Canadians speak pretty much the same way.  It doesn't matter who you meet, we all use almost the same words.  If you learn even only a hundred key common slang terms that you usually miss during a conversation, then you will be amazed at your progress.  

TV dramas and Movies will give you an idea of how native speakers talk in real life.  Real life dialogs are even better.  I had a conversation with my best friend Jay last night and I recorded it.  Here it is:

Jay: Hey man, what’s up?

Andrew: Not much, I’m just seeing what you’re up to tonight.

Jay: I was kind of planning on just staying in and chilling at my place. You can swing by if you want.

Andrew: I was thinking of going somewhere for a drink. I’ve been
cooped up in the office all week and I need to let loose a bit.
Would you be up for that?

Jay: I don’t know man, I’m pretty beat. I’ll let you know later if I get a second wind.

Andrew: Ok, cool. Later.

Jay: Later

What's Up? 

When friends talk together, we often ask, "what's up?"  The answer is often something like "not much" or "I'm just watching TV".  It basically means, "What are you doing now?"  We NEVER say "How are you doing?"  It's really too formal and weird!

Up To: 

We often ask a friend, What are you "up to" later?  This "up to" means "doing".  It's the same as saying, "What are your plans later?"  Asking "What are you up to?" is much more common and a more natural question.

Staying in: 

In this context, native speakers say "Staying in" instead of saying "Staying at home".  It's much more natural.  If you hear that someone is "staying in" it means they are staying at home and not leaving the house.


This is a very common slang word that we often pronounce as "Chillin".  It means something like "Relaxing" "watching DVD's" or something like that. 

Swing by: 

If you "swing by" someone's house it means you "go there".  We use this phrase a lot.

I might swing by the bar after work and meet you guys for a couple of drinks.  It will depend on when my meeting finishes and how tired I am.

Cooped up: 

If you are feeling "cooped up" it means that you are feeling like you have been staying inside the house or the office for much too long.  This is the feeling that makes you want to leave the house and go outside.  A common example sentence is:

I've been cooped up in bed all week with this stupid flu.  I'm better now and I need to get out of the house.

Let loose: 

If you "let loose" it means that you allow yourself to have fun.  Maybe after a long work week or a long school week, you need to see your friends and just have fun.  This is called "letting loose".  It means you forget about your everyday stress and problems and just have fun.

Be up for: 

If you are "up for" something it means you are interested in doing it.  Here's a perfect example:

I'm really too tired to leave the house today but I'd be up for having lunch together tomorrow.

I'm pretty beat: 

If you are "beat" it means that you are really tired.  Here is a sentence.

I'm so beat from work lately.  I really need to take a huge nap.

Get a second wind: 

If you "get a second wind" it means that you were tired before but all of a sudden you got some energy to do something.  Sometimes you might be really tired at 7:00 pm but later you might get a "second wind" at 9:00pm and be ready to meet your friends.


We often end phone conversations with "later".  It means the same thing as "bye" but it is more common between friends.

If you want to learn more slang like this, I've got a great program you will love.  The website doesn't look great but please read it until the bottom.

Real American Slang



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If it conatained the audio record, that would be super fantastic.

12:18 PM Mar 05 2018 |

1 person likes this



well done …I want more lessons, igot binifit from it


Graduated from [url=http://www.soran.edu.iq/] Soran [/url] University with First Class Degree with Honours in Political Science.

07:20 AM Nov 10 2014 |



Russian Federation

Thanks a lot! I want more lessons!!

01:23 PM Nov 09 2014 |



really good stuff for english learners, keep on going, my dear pal!

03:21 AM Nov 07 2014 |

angel_ eyes


They are pretty cool. Can you upload more lessons like that ?

11:54 AM Apr 23 2012 |

L♥vely Aйgel


Thanx alot , It is really helpful

I love ur lessons Smile

08:05 AM Apr 23 2012 |

Carmen Wu


Learn a lot from it,thanks!

06:08 AM Apr 23 2012 |

Nancy lihuiying



02:59 PM Apr 21 2012 |



United States

to get a second wind is a very good expression)))

02:56 PM Apr 21 2012 |

1 person likes this




this is really helpfull, i woulb probably use it Wink

12:39 PM Apr 21 2012 |





06:25 AM Apr 21 2012 |



Thanks for the lesson. It was awsome, informative.

08:25 PM Apr 20 2012 |




I like it! AWESOME! Thanks for lesson :)

03:42 PM Nov 07 2010 |




Tongue out nice thx for ur help.

06:31 AM Oct 07 2010 |



Russian Federation

I also agreed with you, man. Knowing slang is real speech…

12:50 PM Sep 30 2010 |

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