Quiz: Can You Translate These American Slang Words?: HowStuffWorks
Can You Translate These American Slang Words?
By: Robin Tyler
6 Min Quiz
Image: CoffeeAndMilk / E+ / Getty Images
About This Quiz
What up, dudes and dudettes? English certainly ain't what it used to be. Why? Well, the queen's English makes you sound like you have a hot potato in your mouth and that just ain't right.
So what did we do about it? Well, we perfected our own American slang words. And we have been doing so for many decades, bro. The 1950s had their own slang terms, the 1960s did so as well, along with the '70s. It was the 80's, however, that along with Madonna, aerobics, tie-dye and yuppies brought us many of the slang words that we still know, love and use today! And it snowballed from there, so much so that slang has become a part of our everyday makeup. Try talking for a minute or two without including a slang word. Impossible? You betcha!
But don't have a cow though, dude, this gnarly quiz will test your knowledge of American slang words, like totally to the max! And do you think you can ace it? Chee'uh! Of course, right! You got this, fo' shizzle!
Tight. So let's see just how much you know about American slang then, my homie. You got this! Good luck! You gonna be fine!
In American slang, if someone declares themself "zonked," what are they?
Yes, to be "zonked" means to be tired. But not regular tired, extremely tired ... like, fall asleep while standing up tired. You can get "zonked" in many ways. An all-night gaming session, a two-hour CrossFit challenge or simply partying all night! Time to get some much-needed sleep!
What would the slang term "creep" describe?
Now, this is certainly a slang word you should know. While creep means to move slowly, usually while down on all fours, the slang word "creep" is given to a person who is a bit weird or strange. It can be used in a number of ways, for example, "Bob is a creep" or "Bob gives me the creeps,"
If a student says they need to "cram," what do they plan to do?
Students love leaving their studying to the last minute. At that point, they will spend the few hours before their test "cramming." This means to try to get all the knowledge they need into their brain in as little time as possible.
Somewhat derogatory, what is an "ankle biter"?
It's normally people who don't have kids that will call their friends' small children "ankle biters." And it certainly is a little derogatory. You won't say it to the parents' faces, that's for sure. And an example of how it may be used? "I really don't feel like visiting Tom and Mary. Their ankle biters are so noisy!"
Which of these American slang terms best describes a "couch potato?"
We all have been "couch potatoes" at some point or another. Often, on weekends, people will sit on their couch and binge watch TV series. They are best described as "couch potatoes."
When someone says they "have the blues" they are?
The American slang term, "having the blues," has to do with a person's current mood. Essentially, it means that the person is feeling a little depressed and down in spirit.
"Pigging out" means what in American slang?
We've all done it, so you probably know what the term "pigging out" means, right? Yes, its to eat too much. Far too much, to the point that you actually feel ill. It comes from the fact that pigs will literally eat anything in front of them until it's gone.
If you give someone the "cold shoulder," what are you doing to them?
To give someone "the cold shoulder" means to totally ignore them. For example, "Since he saw me with Darren, Mark is totally giving me the cold shoulder!" The phrase is linked to food. Visitors to a house were given warm food if they were welcome and the cold shoulder of whatever meat had been prepared if they were not.
What does the American slang term, "hang out," suggest people are doing together?
You surely must have heard this American slang term before. Used in such a manner, "Hey, let's hang out sometime." Hanging out is just spending time socially together, with no time period defined as to how long you hang out for. It's all about relaxing with your buddies.
If something is looking "choice" it means _____.
"Choice," in most cases, was meant as a sign of approval. For example, "That hairstyle is looking choice today." It could also be used to express envy. "Your Camaro is choice, dude ... you are so lucky."
What form of transport is a "crotch rocket"?
A "crotch rocket" is American slang for a road bike of Japanese origin. There were speedy super-styled bikes, not a cruiser or touring bike, for example.
A person said to be "going Dutch" on a date will do what?
In American slang, "going Dutch" means that each person pays for their own meal. It is thought that the term comes from the rivalry between England and Holland during the 17th Century. It is also called a "Dutch date" or a "Dutch treat."
If someone is said to have a "bod," what is admired about them?
Without a doubt, the fitness craze of the 1980s, which saw gyms become popular, led to a lot of "bods." And this was simply a person with a muscular or toned physique. "Bods" are still popular today!
Sorry, I "screwed up" means ______.
It's something we have all done at some point ... made a big mistake, or in the case of American slang, "screwed up." It's a term that can be applied to people as well. For instance, "That Mark is such a screw-up."
What is a "meat wagon" in American slang?
A meat wagon is an ambulance. This is not general American slang but often used by the police or truckers, for example.
Someone who is "trashed" is what?
We've seen them and sometimes it may have been us, a "trashed" person is simply someone who had far too much to drink. We not talking slightly tipsy here, we're talking blind drunk. As in fall over drunk. Probably better that they didn't remember what they did the next morning.
If you "bail" from somewhere, you are doing what in American slang?
In America, you don't just leave. You bail! For example, "Let's bail this joint, man" which loosely translated means, "Let's leave this establishment." And you can bail from everywhere, your home, the mall or the local diner. You can even bail from jail if you get bailed out ... but that's another term for another day!
What does the slang word, "negatory," mean?
Not a very popular slang term with the general American population, "negatory," which means no, is used by certain groups. This includes truckers, for example.
"Chillin' with your homies" means what in American slang?
"Chillin''' is to modern American slang what "hanging out" was to '80s American slang. It basically means sitting around, not doing anything much. When you add "homies" to the equation, well, then you are sitting around with your friends.
"Totally" was a favorite slang term in the1980s. What meaning did it have?
"Dude, your surfboard is like totally awesome." When you needed to emphasise just how cool or lame something was, you could add a 'totally' before your choice of words. It's a total bummer that this answer is finished! See what we did there?
If your friend came to you at a party and said "let's bounce," what does he want to do?
Any cool cats from the 1980s knew what it meant to "bounce" because that's when this term originated. Yes, it had nothing to do with downing a beer and everything to do with leaving. "Let's bounce this sad party" meant you were leaving.
If you are going to "ride shotgun" in someone's car, where will you sit?
"Riding shotgun" is sitting next to the driver in the front of the car. This comes from the Old West, where a person armed with a shotgun would sit next to the stagecoach driver to provide protection against bandits.
If someone is "beat," what are they?
A classic American slang phrase, to be "beat" means to be really tired. For example, "sorry, I can't come out tonight, I was in an all-day strat meeting and I am beat."
In monetary terms, what does the American slang term, "a buck," mean?
Every language has slang terms for money. And in American slang, a dollar is simply known as a "buck." This is a pretty well-known slang term. In fact, most people in the Western world would have heard it.
In American slang from a few decades ago, if you were told to "take a chill pill," then you are expected to?
This staple of '80s slang was used when you just wanted someone to calm down. Like telling your hysterical friend that her crush would phone her at some point. "Denise, take a chill pill. He will phone you after football practice!"
A slang term used by American truckers all the time, what does "copy" mean?
'Copy' is used in a number of ways by American truckers. For example, "Do you copy?" means "Do you understand?" "That's a copy" would be a positive affirmation that you understood what the other driver has said.
What does the interesting slang term "chee'uh" mean?
To pronounce "chee'uh," pretend to say cheetah without the T. A popular phrase from the movie, "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventures," it can be used as an exclamation of approval or excitement. "We going to the concert tonight? Chee'uh!"
"Driving me up the wall" is an American slang term that indicates _______.
You've heard it before. In fact, you may have even used it before. The slang term, "You're driving me up the wall" is a classic that registers a person's irritation with another.
An American slang phrase from years gone by, what does "gnarly" mean?
To a surfer, "gnarly" means dangerous or difficult to do. To an '80s kid, "gnarly" was simply cool or awesome. For example, "Your He Man action figure is gnarly, dude."
The '80s gave us a number of interesting new slang words. What was a "zeek"?
If you were a "zeek," then you were a hot geek. And that made you attractive to those outside the geek circle. "That Martin, he is such a zeek. Do you have his phone number?" is an example of how the word would be used.
Someone who is totally "bad" is _______.
When cool just wouldn't cut it anymore, the '80s produced a new term. And that term was "bad." Yes, if you were bad, you were the coolest of the cool. Even Michael Jackson called one of his albums "Bad." And it was really good! "Bad" remains a popular slang word, even today.
A "New York minute" is a slang term describing what?
A "New York minute" is a period of time. Basically, it describes the fast pace at which the people of New York live. Where the rest of America sees a minute as 60 seconds, a "New York minute" is over in a flash. It can also be used in other ways. For example, "I will get you that drink in a New York minute."
The word "phat" means what in classic American slang?
Something that was "phat" was certainly cool or awesome. No, this has nothing to do with your weight at all. And how would it be used? Well, like this. "Those new jeans of yours are phat."
When your friend says "gag me with a spoon" they mean what exactly?
Let's be honest, "gag me with a spoon" sounds terrible. And what it meant was disapproval. "You're wearing THAT shirt? Gag me with a spoon."
In American trucker slang, what is a "sleeper creeper"?
Prostitutes could be found at truck stops everywhere and truckers often used their services. They are commonly called "sleeper creepers" in trucker jargon.
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