21 American Slang Words For 2021

What’s goin’ on!!

Alright, right off the rip, lemme say welcome to GNE; my name’s Ryan..and today I’m talking about American slang words!

If you didn’t follow that, off the rip is a slang term referring to the start of something! For example: Lebron James scored off the rip…which means he scored at the very beginning!

This past summer I worked at a language camp with some English people, and many times I used words that they didn’t understand…and vice versa! For example: taking the Michael?? I think it means joking or kidding…

They taught me some other slang words from their part of the world, but today, we aren’t talking about those words…

Instead, we are focusing on slang words that are definitely used in America! I’ve put together 21 terms used by Americans from many ages and backgrounds. Which words are new for you? Leave a comment below and tell us which American slang word you like most, and which one you will try to use!

American Slang Words You Should Know

Alright, let’s get after it!

#1

So this term is a way to express starting something with a focused mindset!

If my friend says he wants to learn English, I can say, “Ok, let’s get after it!”

#2

Number 2 is a real one. So the dictionary definition would tell us this means something that is real. Well in slang, a real one is someone who is a loyal friend, or a really good person! My friend Forest is a real one!

#3

Next up is savage (noun). As a noun savage is someone or something that is really great or really cool! In this sense, it is most commonly used in reference to someone’s ability or skill. 

John is a savage at football.

Jill is a savage at drawing.

#4

Number 4: Flex. So we usually associate flexing with showing off muscles…but in slang to flex = to show off something or be extravagant. Post Malone song reference

#5

Dead. If I say “I’m dead” then I’m saying that I think something is super funny. There is an old vine (which is basically the grandpa of TikTok) with a famous basketball player (Kyrie Irving) using the double meaning of “dead” to make a joke. Check it out here >> (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoLiVHVY1Ds) 6 second video…possibly embed? 

#6

Number 6 is trippin’. If someone is trippin’ it means they are acting crazy or foolish. (example) tripping can also refer to someone who has taken drugs and is currently not in their normal state of mind..just be aware of the difference!

Jasper said he saw a flying pig…he’s trippin’!

#7

If you have been saving up money and just bought a brand new car..you can tell people “I just got a new whip”! Whip is slang for car, and usually a nicer, fancier car. I would NOT call a PT cruiser a whip unless you wanna be funny and ironic like my younger brother used to do with his pt cruiser!

#8

Number 8 is one most of us have probably heard…it’s chill. As an adjective, if someone or something is chill they are relaxed and friendly. As a verb, to chill means to spend time together.

#9

You know in movies when there is a lot of money, and they are often wrapped with rubberbands? Well “bands” is a slang term for a stack of money or money in general. This word is pretty common in rap/hip-hop culture. “I’ve got 100 bands in the back of this car.”

#10

And speaking of money…if your neighbor has a lot of money, you can say he is loaded. Loaded is a general term for money/wealth, and for me, I feel like it most fits someone that’s not famous. I wouldn’t call Lebron James loaded..but I would call my friend’s family loaded if they had a giant house and take 1st class flights around the world.

#11

Number 11 is ghost. Of course, we know that a ghost is a spirit or entity. But using ghost as a verb means to stop talking to or to skip seeing someone, usually without explanation. I was supposed to play basketball a few days ago, but my friend ghosted me, and didn’t reply until AFTER I got home! 

#12 & #13

To be down for. If you are down for something, then you are willing to do something. If my friend Foofy asks, “Hey, do you wanna visit me in Sweden”…I can say “Yea, man…I’m totally down for that!” One funny thing to note is that to be down for something is the same as to be up for something (to be down for something = to be up for something)

#14

If my grandma tells me that Microsoft called her and asked her to pay them money with google play cards…I would immediately say “Grandma…that sounds really susSus is just a short version for suspicious. In gaming, if someone is being sneaky or suspicious, you can just say “hey man, you’re being pretty sus..”

#15

Next up is a term used a lot in social media: a glow-up… or a transformation. You will find this used in a TBT (or throwback Thursday) when someone is showing a current photo vs an old one. “Do you remember big Lenny? He’s ripped now! He had a crazy glow-up.”

#16

Number 16 is really common in certain areas. If my brother said to me “Ryan, I can beat you in a race”…I would look over at him and say “Bet.” I am not actually requesting a wager, I’m basically expressing that I challenge what he just said. If he is saying something negative or like a challenge, then “bet” would be expressing disagreement. But if he said something positive, like “hey let’s go eat”, then saying bet would express that I agree or want that. 

#17

Do you remember the slang term from earlier that meant something was super funny? Yep! “I’m dead”…and now I give a synonym. “I’m weak” is pretty much the same thing…when you see or hear something funny, you can say “I’m weak”

#18

This one isn’t really a thing yet…but I hope it can be. A few years ago, “ok boomer” became super popular when referring to an old person who is out of touch or complaining about young people. Generation Z is probably the group that used this most often, but saying generation Z doesn’t flow as easy as…say, Zoomers! I’ve seen this term on forums like Reddit and thought it was funny. So, a zoomer is just someone from generation Z! Like I said..not overly popular yet..but maybe we help take it there!

#19

Number 19 is Sheeple. Can you hear the 2 words in there? Sheeple = Sheep + people. This is a somewhat derogatory term that refers to a group of people that follow something without thinking for themselves..kinda like sheep on a ranch. You can also just use sheep, but sheeple sounds a bit more comical! There a super popular game called “among us” where players must vote others out of the game….if everyone starts to follow the word of the player who was trying to eliminate me…I might say “you guys are a bunch of sheep”…after which I get ejected from the spacecraft!!

#20

Sketch. You might be familiar with sketch as a noun, meaning a rough pencil drawing, but sketch is also the short form of sketchy: to be ominous or suspicious. Sketch is similar to sus, but most often it’s describing a situation or a place. If I were in the woods at night with a friend and saw an old house, I would probably say “Dude, this place is sketch..let’s get outta here”

#21

Finally number 21! Cap. If someone is lying, they are cappin. (Cap = to lie). I could easily say “Freddy stop cappin”. I can also say “no cap” to mean no lie or seriously! For example, “That new GNE video is great, no cap” 

Conclusion

If you’ve made it here, congrats…I hope you learned a few new words that you can use or incorporate into your day to day life.

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