A BBC article on how British slang is entering into America. How important is slang?

English AmericanIf you listen to the average group of teenagers today in Britain, you’ll hear a lot of slang that originally comes from the USA, such as ‘dude’ which means ‘guy’ or ‘man’.

What slang words have you learnt on your travels or in everyday contact with native English speaking people? What’s your favourite? How important is using slang? And what’s the best way of learning it?

I really think the phrase ‘gobsmacked’ which means to be ‘lost for words’ or ‘completely surprised’, because it’s very amusingly descriptive, such as the word ‘gob’ is slang (originally from Australia) for ‘mouth’ and ‘smack’ is a verb meaning to hit with the palm, so gobsmacked is very descriptive meaning you literally can’t speak because you’ve been hit in the mouth.  “I’m gobsmacked! I can’t believe it!”

If anyone is unsure of what slang is: Slang is the use of informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker’s language or dialect or have a different meaning. Such as ‘sweet!’ which is now often used by young people to mean ‘great’ or ‘fantastic’. So we must be careful in what situations we use it, using some of these words in a formal situation can give the wrong impression.


By Siôn

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