Hi peeps, back for more?
In this blog entry, we are going to take a look at “Category 2.” Today’s list will feature a different theme from the last entry. Last time, we took a look at expressions with unique or original meanings. This time, we will be focusing on slang expressions that have “common” definitions.
What do I mean?
Well, perhaps you know slang ways to say “great” or “excellent,” such as “way,” “rad,” “awesome,” “hella,” “totally,” “tight,” “sick,” “dope” or “cool.” Sure, these are still used and many remain quite popular. In fact, some of these words are words that are perhaps “timeless,” a key aspect that will be discussed in the next blog entry by me.
But the list I’m showing you are expressions that have, for the time being, become widely known and used throughout today’s youth. These words are words like “amazeballs,” “totes,” “tope” or “awesomity,” and may continue to exist in the future. If that doesn’t happen, they may phase out and/or be replaced someday.
I’d always felt that the more simple or common an expression is, the more likely there will be a large number of ways to say it. So if you love language and culture, “keep your ears open*1” for next new popular word that means “good.”
If you’re ready, let’s begin with the list!
“What’s trending?”(What’s currently popular these days?) — This is a modern way to talk about popular things. “Trend” can also be used as an adjective or verb, also with this same sort of meaning.
- The Winter Olympics is really trending now.
“Gotta bounce.” — said when you want to announce that you’re leaving. More updated than “Gotta jet.” or simply “I gotta go.”
- Well, I don’t want to be late for school. Gotta bounce.
“Hello?” or “Wake up!” — Sometimes these two expressions are even used together for more emphasis. This is used to get someone’s attention or direct their attention to something in particular.
- Uh, we can’t go out tonight. Hello? Wake up, guys! We gotta study for the test tomorrow.
Swag — new stuff, gear.
- Hey, I just got some fine swag to make myself look cool for the party this weekend.
Emo — a word that means being a “drama queen.” It is often used to describe a female who is dramatic in behavior, based on some of the following: her attitude, personality, mood or fashion style. Often used with “all” as in “all emo.” An older expression would be a word like “diva.”
- She’s going all emo with those black clothes, make-up and dark attitude.
Amazeballs / Tope / Awesomity — various words that mean “great,” “awesome” or “amazing.” In particular, “tope” is a combination of “tight” and “dope.”
- That indie film was tope !
Chillax — a word that is a combination of “chill” and “relax.” It emphasizes the meaning of “relax.”
- She’s gonna to forgive you for spilling soda on her dress by tomorrow, so just chillax, dude.
Preggers — a word that means “pregnant.” This is more common these days than “knocked up.”
- Oh no! My favorite teacher has become preggers and she’s going to leave our school later this year!
Poser — a person who tries but fails to belong into a social group. Comes from “pose” + “loser.” Usually used to label people who have failed (and implying that they are uncool). Replaces “loser” or “wannabe.”
- Can you believe that guy thought he could hang out with us? He’s a total poser.
Totes — a word that is short for “totally.” It can mean “completely” when used as an adverb. It can also be used to agree with someone. Notice that it can be used like an adverb as in “I totes want to go.”
A: I wanna grab some grub*2. Sandy’s is the best place to eat at this hour.
B: Totes! And I’m totes starving too!
“Props.” — comes from “proper respect.” This is used to offer respect, especially when something has just been accomplished. We used to say “Respect.” as a one-word sentence, but saying “Props.” is perhaps more common now.
- Wow, nicely done! Props.
So yesterday — a saying that means “something is over.” Sometimes it can be used to say “something is out-of-date” or “all in the past*3.” This is a newer version of the expression “ancient history*4.”
- My relationship with him is so yesterday. I haven’t even spoken to him in months!
Weaksauce — weak, lame.
- That band was totally weaksauce. I’m never going to see them again.
Ews — Like the “heebie-jeebies”, the “creeps”, and the “willies*5,” you do not want the ews. It’s what you say when you talk about some kind of “creepy,” or “mysterious” feeling.
- The guy just never washes his hands. It gives me the ews.
“Whatev.” or “Whatevs.” — the most modern form of the expression of “Whatever,” which generally means “I don’t really care about it, regardless of what you think.” Before evolving (or should I say “degenerating”) to this shortened form, it had some other versions like “Whateva.” or “Whatevers.”
A: I’m sure there is some way we can work this problem out.
“Sup?” — “What’s up?” has had many makeovers, like “WAZzup” or “wazZUP” (with stress on either side) or with more of an ‘s’ sound like in “Wassup.” Saying “Sup?” with perhaps a slight nod might be especially common. “What up?” is another popular variant.
Peeps — This word, which means “guys” or “friends,” was once phrased as “people” or “peoples.” Out of all of these words, “peeps” is much more “in the spotlight*6” these days.
- Sup, peeps !?
Nub — beginner. This is often used in describing video gamers or just anyone who is new or unknowledgeable. First, it started with “newbie,” then “noob,” now “nub.” The first word is not very cool to say anymore. However, “newbie” is the only word out of the three that is not used in a slightly rude sense. Referring to oneself as a “newbie” or “noob” can be a good way to show modesty. However, “noob” and “nub” can also be used to insult or label others.
- Sorry, but I’m a total noob to this game. (Used to show humility.)
- Hey, take a look at how that freshman nub is dressed to the party. (Spoken in reference to a first-year university student, for example.)
Skillz — to have a range of talents. This word slightly emphasizes that your abilities come naturally. However, it can also be used when talking about skills acquired through diligence. (It started with “I have skills,” then “I’ve got skills” and now “I’ve got skillz.”) “Skillz, man!” is a common expression used between males.
A: Have you ever danced even once in your lifetime?
B: Don’t worry, I’ve got skillz !
Again, thanks for reading! I hope reading this list will give you the skillz to speak today’s “street lingo*7” and will help you to totes get props from peeps in America. If these words seem hard to you, don’t go all emo and just chillax!
As for next time: As hinted in the beginning of this entry, the next theme, “Category 3,” will be about “timeless,” but still common expressions. Hope to see you then!
Idioms/Other Expressions used in this blog (Note: the following expressions are generally older slang.)
*1 keep your ears open — an idiom that means “be vigilant in listening for certain kinds of information.”
*2 grub — another word for “food.”
*3 all in the past — an idiom that is used when talking about something that has ended a long time ago.
*4 ancient history — slang for “a long time ago.”
*5 heebie-jeebies /creeps /willies — various words that mean “a strange, mysterious feeling.”
*6 in the spotlight — an idiom that means “featured” or “noticeable/noticed.”
*7 street lingo — another way to refer to “slang.”
【プロフィール】Jason Andrew Chau（ジェイソン・アンドリュー・チャウ）
アメリカのテキサス出身。ＵＣバークレーで心理学と人類学を学ぶ。これまで，日本の英語教育に10年以上かかわる中，『仕事の英語 緊急対策マニュアル 電話・メール編』『英会話リズムメソッド』『中学 定期テストの対策ワーク』（旺文社）等英文校正に携わる。また，レベルにあった英会話教授法も熟知している。