American Slang Expressions


Here are some nice common American Slang Expressions :

Ants in your pants

Definition:

To be nervous or anxious or jumpy; to be unable to sit still.

Example:

1) The children had ants in their pants, so we took them outside for some exercise.

2) Would you please stop tapping your foot?! You must have ants in your pants!

Etymology:

If you had ‘ants’ (small insects) in your ‘pants’ (clothing) you would probably feel like jumping around.

Synonym:

antsy


An arm and a leg

Definition:

A large amount of money; very expensive or costly.

Example:

1) My new Mercedes cost me an arm and a leg!

Etymology:

Some things are so expensive that they are painful to buy, and cost everything you have.

Bounce


Definition:

To leave.

Example:

1) We’ve got to bounce — my friend Charlie is having a big party.

2) I’m going to bounce. I have to get up early tomorrow.

Etymology:

When something ‘bounces’, it moves up and down, like a ball. When a person ‘bounces’, she moves from one place to another, as though flying through the air.


Average Joe

Definition:

Someone who is just like everyone else; a normal person.

Example:

1) Mickey is your average Joe — he likes football, hates opera, and thinks it’s a crime to do any work on weekends.

Etymology:

‘Average’ means ‘ in the middle’ or ‘not extreme’, and ‘Joe’ is a common male name, So ‘average Joe’ refers to a man who is not extremely different from everyone else.

Synonym:

regular guy.

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Back on your feet

Definition:

To recover, usually from an illness; to feel better after being sick.

Example:

1) Rick has been in the hospital for a week, but he’ll be back on his feet in no time.

Etymology:

To be ‘on your feet’ means that you are standing. So if you are ‘back on your feet’, it means that you are standing again, after a period of lying down due to sickness.

Synonym:

back in the saddle


buy the farm

Definition:

To die.

Example:

1) Lance bought the farm when he drove his motorcycle straight into a brick wall.

Etymology:

Sometimes, when a person dies, the life insurance payment is large enough for the surviving family members to pay off the mortgage on a piece of property – or to ‘buy the farm’.


bad egg

Bad egg

Definition:

A troublemaker; someone who has a bad attitude and causes trouble.

Example:

1) Emily is a real bad egg — she’s always starting fights and causing trouble.

2) We have to get rid of the bad eggs in the accounting department.

Etymology:

In this phrase, ‘egg’ means ‘person’ or ‘individual’. This is probably because the human head looks a lot like an egg. A bad egg, then, is a simply a bad person. There is a similar phrase to describe a good person – a ‘good egg’.


big house

Definition:

Prison, particularly a maximum security federal prison ( or jail )

Example:

1) After he got caught robbing a bank, Ted was sent to the big house for 20 years.

Etymology:

A ‘house’ is where people live, and a prison is quite large 9 or ‘big’), home to hundreds of criminals. This phrase became popular in the early 1900′s, when organized crime and large scale prisons developed in the United States.

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Synonyms:

up the river, under glass, behind bars


bump off

Definition:

To kill or murder; to assassinate.

Example:

1) Igor got bumped off last week. The police have no clue who did it.

Etymology:

This phrase comes from 1920s American gangster slang. When you ‘bump’ something, you give it a little push. ‘Off’ means ‘not on’. So if you ‘bump’ someone ‘off’, you push him toward the end of his life.

Synonyms:

rub out


butts

Definition:

Cigarettes, or the remains of cigarettes.

Example:

1) Hey, do you have any butts ?

2) Look at this mess! There are broken dishes, newspapers and butts all over the floor.

Etymology :
A ‘butt’ is the end or rear of something. In this slang word, the end of the cigarette refers both the end of the cigarette and to the whole cigarette.


chick

Definition:

A young woman, particularly an attractive young woman.

Example:

1) I like Holly — she’s a cool chick!

Etymology:

A ‘chick’ is literally a young chicken or any baby bird. The use of ‘chick’ to refer to a young woman comes from 1920s African-American slang.


chicken

Definition:

A coward; someone who is not daring or willing to take risks; a person with little self-confidence.

Example:

1) Don’t be a chicken–go introduce yourself to the professor.

2) Come on, you chicken. Just try one of my homemade cookies.

Synonyms:

yellow


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