Why Do We Use Slangs?

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Written by: Thùy Linh

A GLIMPSE OF CULTURE | LANGUAGE

Slang is a dialect form that is very popular today, especially among young people. This aricle will explore how slang is used in daily life as well as common slang words.

This article includes:

  1. What Is Slang?
  2. Why Do We Use Slang?
  3. Popular Slang Words
why do we use slangs

1. What Is Slang?

Slang is an informal social dialect form of a language, often used in everyday communication, by a group of people.

Slang originally appeared to hide the meaning of conventional expressions understood only by certain people.

Slang usually does not carry the direct, literal meaning of the word emitted, but carries a symbolic, figurative meaning.

why do we use slangs

2. Why Do We Use Slang?

Slang words are used a lot by young people today such as Gen Z, some words have become the main language of netizens.

Slang was born with the original purpose of hiding the object of communication, it is socially restricted and it is only for a certain class or generation to use. 

We can’t use slang arbitrarily because it’s not prevalent in society. Therefore, it is advisable to consider using it when we talk to people such as bosses, elders, parents,

Sometimes, using slang words to enrich the expression, and meaning is also a good idea. In addition, this is also a way to create humor and wit, making the conversation atmosphere always fun and intimate.

3. Popular Slang Words

Internet Slangs

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Places like social media forums and online messaging might seem like a foreign world. But with these helpful abbreviations, they won’t feel quite so scary. Here are some examples of internet slang words:

  1. BTW – By the way
  1. BRB – Be right back
  2. LOL – Laughing out loud
  3. LMK – Let me know
  4. GA – Go Ahead
  5. G2G – Got to go
  6. FOMO –  Fear Of Missing Out
  7. FTFY – Fixed That For You
  8. FWIW – For What It’s Worth
  9. FTL – For The Loss
  10. FTW – For The Win
  11. FWB – Friends With Benefits
  12. FYE – For Your Entertainment
  13. FYEO – For Your Eyes Only
  14. FYI – For Your Information

American Slangs

why do we use slangs

Even if you’re not a native English speaker, use these sayings and you’ll soon be sounding the part!

  1. Screw up: To mess up or make a mistake.
  2. My bad: My mistake.
  3. Kudos: Kudos means “congrats” or “great work”! It can be used in all situations.
  4. Cheesy: Nope, it doesn’t actually have anything to do with cheese. Something that’s cheesy is cheap or tacky, such as a cheesy pick-up line or a cheesy movie.
  5. Binge: The dictionary defines “binge” as an “excessive indulgence”. Given the rise of “Netflix and Chill” culture, it’s common for Americans to admit to “binge-watching” a favorite TV show.
  6. Shoot the sh*t: An alternate expression to making small talk. Asking someone about the weather or their weekend is an example of shooting the sh*t.
  7. Twenty four seven (24/7): Refers to something that’s non-stop or around the clock – for example, “that grocery store is open 24/7”.
  8. It’s not rocket science: This saying explains something by hyperbolically stating what it is not. If it’s not rocket science, then it must be easy.
  9. That hits the spot: Expresses that something (usually food or drink) was exactly what you needed.
  10. Hold your horses: Wait just a second!



British Slangs

why do we use slangs

It might not be the Queen’s English, but these phrases are guaranteed to familiarize you with how the Brits talk. Here are examples of British slang words you should learn:

  1. Bloke: A bloke is simply used to talk about a man. You might hear someone say ‘I like Martin, he is a decent bloke.’
  2. Chuffed: When someone is chuffed, they are pleased or happy about something.
  3. Cuppa: The Brits love their tea, so this has naturally made its way into slang. “Cuppa” comes from “cup of” and implies a cup of tea … for a reason.
  4. Fag: This derogatory American expression means something entirely different in the UK. A fag is simply a cigarette.
  5. Gander: This word is usually used as part of the phrase “take a gander” which means “take a look”. For example, if you’re struggling with your Math homework, you can ask one of your friends to take a gander at the equation and help you with it.
  6. Gutted: This is a very popular British slang word. When someone’s feeling gutted, they’re very sad, disappointed, and devastated.
  7. Knackered: Deriving originally from “knacker”, which refers to a person who slaughters old worn-out horses, “knackered” expresses exhaustion.
  8. Mate: A friend. This word can also be used to address strangers in informal situations.
  9. Nowt: This is a word which is used to say ‘nothing.’ It might be heard in a sentence such as ‘I really must go shopping, I’ve got nowt at all in the fridge.’
  10. Tosh: When you say that something is tosh, you mean that this is a bunch of nonsense. The word “baloney” can also be used in the same context.

Australian Slangs

why do we use slangs

Master the following Australian slang word, and you’ll be fair dinkum.

  1. Arvo, smoko, bottle-o, defo: Australian slang is characterized by its clipped words and phrases, especially those ending with soft vowels like “ie”, “a” or “o”. A smoke break becomes “smoko”, a liquor store is a “bottle-o” and afternoon turns into “arvo”.
  2. Bonzer: This Australian equivalent of the American “awesome” can be used as an adjective (“bonzer” mates), noun (that game was a real “bonzer”), adverb (the drink went down “bonzer”), and exclamation (“bonzer”!).
  3. She’ll be right: No worries – everything’s going to be OK!
  4. Grommet: A young surfer
  5. Have a roo loose in the top paddock: Just like the American phrase, “a few fries short of a happy meal”, this idiomatic Australian saying describes an intellectually impaired person. Naturally – the more roos loose, the more moronic the person.
  6. What’s the John Dory?: This phrase is asked when someone wants to know the gossip, or what’s going on.
  7. Gone walkabout: This phrase derives from indigenous culture, as “walkabout” was a foot journey taken by Aborigines into the bush in order to live according to traditional indigenous practices.
  8. Stubbie holder: If you go to a game or the beach, you’ll likely bring along your stubbie holder. Another word for a koozie, a stubbie holder is so-named because it holds your stubbie (beer).
  9. G’day: What list would be complete without the most classic of all Aussie slang? “G’day” combines the word “good” and “day” into one.
  10. Thongs: It’s not what you’re thinking, OK? Thongs are sandals.

Canadian Slangs

why do we use slangs

These popular Canadian slang words will help you fit in in the Great White North.

  1. Chesterfield: Nope, you’re not in a field, and this word has nothing to do with chestnuts. “Chesterfield” is typically used by older generations to mean to a couch or sofa. Hey Jimmy, why don’t you relax on the chesterfield and put your feet up?
  2. Dart: Don’t be confused if someone asks you if you’ve got a dart handy. They’re just asking for a cigarette.
  3. Extra: It’s used to describe someone or something obnoxious. So you might overhear someone representing one of their friend’s dresses, “it is a little extra.”
  4. Loonie: This is a word used to describe a $1 coin.
  5. Skookum: This British Columbian term is used by Canadians to mean exceptional or awesome. Someone who calls you “skookum” isn’t comparing you to a skunk. In fact, the opposite is true – it’s a real compliment!
  6. Mickey: In Canada, the locals use the word Mickey to describe a 375ml bottle of alcohol.
  7. Tippy Canoe: Canadians say “tippy canoe” in reference to just about everything that looks to be in danger of falling over. Careful over there; that chair looks like a real tippy canoe.
  8. Pop: In Canada, a POP is a carbonated beverage, such as a Coca-Cola or a Sprite.
  9. The Dep: “Dep” is an abbreviation of the French “depanneur”, meaning a repairman. In modern day, this word refers to a local corner store – so the linguistic thinking here is that a 7-11 can fix just about anything that might be wrong with you.
  10. Toque: Another piece of Canadian slang, but you will not hear a little Canada, symptoms of warm it did winter hats.

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