Thursday, July 21, 2022

Lists of American Vernacular English

I decided to post numerous lists of vernacular English here on my science blog. I have been developing these lists for more than 15 years, and they each hold a special place in my heart. The first few lists are fun and nostalgic. I call the first list “old speak” and it reminds me of my childhood, naivety, and of old black and white movies. I hope you enjoy the lists, and they remind you of turns of phrase you used to use and hear. However, some of the later lists contain rowdy and explicit words, so please be advised.

My favorite of the lists enumerates southern idioms and colloquial expressions. I was born in Houston, Texas and lived there until I was 5 1/2. One day around age 4, I told my mother that I was thirsty for milk. I said, “I wunt some mailk momma, mumma I won’t sum moe mailk.” She jokingly said that it was time for us to move before the kids from preschool ingrained my southern accent further. My mother was from Saint Louis, Missouri, and my father was from Lafayette, Indiana, so they had slight accents, but not southern ones. 

I’ve always had a reverence and love for southerners and southern speak. Drake once said there is a kind of “simplistic beauty that all of them southerners have.” I agree, and I have always been fond of it. The way they speak exemplifies a slow, relaxed approach to life that seems to disregard social pressures. Instead, it focuses on intonation, melody, and musicality. I like this because I think it lends language dynamism, playfulness and novelty. Growing up in Los Angeles, I had various friends with different variations of a southern accent. I’ve appropriated it at times, but due to some formative years in the south, I’d like to think that my usage of it is at least partially genuine.

Here are a few of my favorites:


I might could do it.

He must don’t know.

Alright then / So long.

But it whadn’t.

Couldn’t say.

Go’on head then. Go head on then.

I’m not gon bide (abide by) it.

I’m not rightly sure.

They bed not be.

They better had.

I wasn’t the friend I had ought to been.


This blog contains several different lists: Old speak (how my grandparents spoke), American minced oaths (exclamations), southern speak, hillbilly speak, African-American vernacular English, Los Angeles gang and penitentiary terminology, Mexican terms, Caribbean terms, Britishisms, and a list of lingo and honorifics that I have developed in concert with about ten of my closest friends.


I want to add a disclaimer. I am a straight, white man. Given my identity, there are several problematic issues with making this post. There are aphorisms and terms here that some people will perceive as racist, sexist, and homophobic. I am none of these things, and I want to point out that any improper use here is unintentional. I also recommend that readers use appropriate sensitivity and caution when using the words in this list. I certainly don’t use many of these words in public or in front of strangers because it would be insensitive. I never use many of these words and phrases because I know it would not be appropriate given my identity. Some might think I’m trying to misappropriate African-American vernacular English (AAVE). Unfortunately, in some senses, perhaps I am doing that here. I want to assure the reader that I intend to do so with the utmost respect.


Even further, there are sections of terminology used by criminals and people in prison. Some of the phrases there are denigrating, highly politically incorrect, and some even involve despicable criminal acts. Again, I don’t advocate the use of these words, and I include them with understanding and sympathy.


I would like to address why I would post these lists. First, I feel there’s some value in having a collection of associated words. Being able to see them together takes me to another place and time. I hope it will do that for you. The lists are by no means comprehensive or definitive. Still, given that I have spent over 15 years compiling some of them, a lot of thought has gone into them, and (unlike other sources like Urban Dictionary) they allow a reader to see a wide variety of terms and definitions grouped together by meaning at a glance. I made an effort to add definitions for some expressions in parentheses. I have spelled some of the terms in ways that they have probably never been spelled before in an attempt to capture the way I have heard them pronounced. I also listed related terms together, and I believe there is some usefulness in that. I even think there is some cultural and also data-analytic value inherent in this endeavor. I’m also posting it because it allows easy access to some of my friends and others who would like to see these lists.


Please keep in mind that these are heavily edited versions of my master lists with many questionable terms removed. I’m sorry if you take offence at any of this, and I certainly welcome suggestions and criticism. Thank you.



Old Speak


… or my name isn’t…

…And another thing.

…And everything like that.

…I’ll tell you what.

…No more than the man on the moon.

…shall we.

A mighty long time.

Across hill and dale.

Acting ornery.

All the livelong day.

Alls we need.

And how (indeed).

And to think that…

Any who.

As all get out.

As sure as I live and breathe.

As thick as thieves.

Back in a flash.

“Blank” as “blank” can be.

Bully for you (good for you).

By the seat of your pants.

C’mon gang.

Don’t it just?

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

Ever lovin’.

Fine and dandy.

Fire plug (fire hydrant).

Five ways to Friday / Seven ways to Sunday (from all angles).

Flim flam (nonsense).

Fraidy Cat (scaredy cat).

Get a grip on yourself will ya?

Give it a rest will you?

Go to town on it.

Good as good can be.

Got it down pat (proficient).

Guilty as sin.

He’s on the ball.

Heebie jeebies

Hey man, what do you say?

Hey sport. Hey Mac.

Hog heaven.


I’m afraid... (I regret to inform you).

I’m talkin _____.

Is that a fact?

It high time you...

It wouldn’ta made a bit of difference.

It’ll be a cinch (easy).

It’s dynamite (great).

It’s tops. It’s boss (good).

Johnny come lately (newcomer).

Just goes to show…

Let me get my grips (luggage or briefcase).

Let’s play it by ear.

Measure twice, cut once.

No ifs, and’s or butts about it.

No need to “blank” on my account.

Not on your life.

Nothin doin.

Oh that was the living end.

One fell swoop.

Out like a light.

Plum tuckered out.

Poindexter (nerd).

Ragamuffin parade.

Samoleans / Hay pennies.

Stinks to high hell.

Strike while the iron is hot.

Suffice it to say.

Suit yourself (do what you want).

Sure thing / sure enough.

Tell the truth and shame the devil.

That is swell (good).

That’s _____ for ya.

That’s an understatement.

That’s rich.

The boy who cried wolf.

Time and time again.

To say the least.

Too big for your britches.

Tough it out.

We’re livin right.

Well bless your soul / bless your heart.

Well lah-dee-dah.

Well, hello.

Well, what do you know about that?

Well, what do you know?

What say we... (what do you think about doing…)

What’s doing?

What’s the plan Sam?

What's with him?

Why... matter of fact let’s try it.

Yeah, boy, do I.


You are just putting me on (leading me on).

You are so tired you can’t even see straight.

You better believe it.

You can say that again.

You don’t say (really?).

You mean to tell me…

You really hit the nail on the head.

You’d better believe it.

You’re barking up the wrong tree.

You’se mugs.

You're telling me (you’re preaching to the chorus)!

Hop Scotch McGee. Doobie. 23 Skidoo. Hopalong Cassidy. Woodrow Mulligan. Dobie Gillis. Scooter Gavin. Sloppy Callahan.


Exclamations and Minced Oaths


Ah Crimony = Christ’s Money.

Ah Cripes.

Ah for crying out loud.

Aw shucks.

Aw shucks.

Boy oh boy.


Confound it / Consarn it.


Dagnabbit. Dadburnit.  

Doggone it.



For heaven sakes.


Gee Wilikers.

Geez Louise.

Goodness gracious.

Gosh golly.

Heavens to Betsy.

Hell’s bells.

Holey moley.

Holy mackerel.

Holy matrimony.

Holy moly.

Holy smokes.

Jeepers Creepers.

Jiminy Cricket (a minced oath for Jesus Christ).

Jumping Jehosaphat.

Man alive.

Man O Man.

Oh bother.

Oh brother.

Oh Lordy.

Oh my.

Oh rats.

Sakes alive / Saints alive.

Sam Hill (Sam Hell).

Shut the front door.

So help me God.



Tarnation (damnation).

Well I’ll be tarred and feathered.

What for all the…

What in the loving world?

What the dickens?


Southern Speak


...By the by, and by.


A body can’t be…

A sorry sight.

Actin all happy like.

Ah had a vur good time.

Ah suppose.

Ah’m inna tint gray (i’m in the 10th grade).

Ain’t she purty?

All y’all

Alright then / So long.

And I might tell ya…

Any how’s.


Arkansas toothpick (knife)

Believe you me.

Bless her heart.

Bubba and Sissy (brother and sister)

Buggy (shopping cart)

Bulee dat.

But it whadn’t.


Can you carry me to the store? (Drive me)

Can’t cha tell?

Can’t never could do nothing.

Cattywampus (askew).

Commode (toilet)

Couldn’t say (I don’t know)
Awful good.

Critters (animals)

Don’t be flip boy (flippant).

Don’t cha know it / Don’t chew know?

Don’t get me to lying (I’m not sure).

Don’t listen to this guy, he might just turn you upside down.

Egged on (urged)

Fit as a fiddle (in good shape)

For a spell (a short time).

Frunchard (front yard).

Full as a tick.

Gah bless ‘em.

Get a move on.

Give me some sugar (a kiss or hug).

Give you a licking (beating).

Go a larking (engage in harmless fun)

Go’on head then. Go head on then.

Goobers (peanuts)

Granddaddy, pops, my pa, sonny.

He country (he acts country).

He must don’t know.

He’s pitching a hissy fit.

He’s so cheap he wouldn’t give a nickel to see Jesus ridin’ a bicycle.

Hear tell (heard it told)


Hoecakes (cornbread pancakes)


Hooting and hollering.

Horse sense (smart)

How bout it?

How do you do? Howdy.

How goes it?

How you getting on?

How’s that (what?)?

Hunkering for a…

Hunky Dorey (everything is good)

Hurra up (hurry up).

Hush up (shut up)

Hwhat (voiceless labial-velar fricative).

I aim to lick it (beat it).

I ain’t got but three more minutes.

I ain’t never seen a man yet could appreciate...

I am worn slap out.

I appreciate it something powerful.

I can’t trust him no how.

I don’t think they hardly could.

I have a mind to…

I mayda tried it before.

I may-da tried that before.

I might could do it.

I own’t like this.

I reckon.

I’d be glad to do it fur ya.

I’d take it mighty kindly if you did.

I’m none too impressed.

I’m not as tired as all that.

I’m not gon bide (abide by) it.

I’m not rightly sure.

I’ve heard tell bout you.

If I had my druthers (my way).

If’n it’s all the same to you.

If’n you don’t mind.

In the moanin time (morning)

In the whole godforsaken world.

Iono about you.

It hadn’t oughta take too long.

You bust that and your ma’ll tan you good.

Always bragging on your looks.

If I hear one more word, ah’ll be dogged if I ain’t take a switch to you.

I’m fixna whomp ya.

Praise be.

Thats the good lord a-comin for you.

Dixie / Dixie land, (before 1860 many ten-dollar bills in Louisiana had “dix,” the French word for ten printed on the back, i.e. the land of dixies).

If the music happens to get down around my feet, I might just cut loose and stop a spell.

It is at that.

It’s right nice.

J’eet yet? (Did you eat yet?).

Laying out all night (staying out)

Lazy man’s load (large load to avoid making multiple trips)

Let him alone.

Let’s get a going.

Lord love em.

Mah daddy’s daddy (my grandfather).

Maybe if we gave it a try we could make a go of it.

Much obliged (thank you).

Mudding (off roading)

Nearabout (almost)

Not right yet.

Now he’s a green whippersnapper if I ever saw one.

Now steer clear of this fella, he’s liable to get you into a tar patch.

Nuss (nurse)

Oh come now…

Oh yeah that’s really something else.

On account of…

Only man round here what could read…

Over yonder.

Pack or tote (carry)

Particular (attentive to details)

Peachy keen.

Piddling (small or trivial)

Please duh meetcha (Pleased to meet you).

Put a little something on your step (hurry up).

Right Chere (right here).

Ruther (rather)

Say man?

Seldom (rarely).

Shuck (remove the covering of a nut, corn, or shellfish)

Skedaddle (run, scatter)

Slap Your Pappy (pat your stomach)

So good it makes me want to slap my mamma.

So I gatha.

So’s I can.

So’s we can (so as).

Sumpthin or other.

Sundy. Mondy. Tuesdy. Yesterdy.

Take a good gander.

Thank you kindly.

That friend a yourn.

That ought to do in a pinch.

That right?

That there is a promise.

The boys in here says you don’t keep your word any too good.

The lights a burnin’.

Them’s the rules.

Then the first thing you know…

Then why’s you cryin foe?

They bed not be.

They better had.

They shore is (They sure are).

This here.

Tore up (broken)

Try not to run afoul of him.

Turn it a mite that way, no thotha way.

Varmint (vermin)

Wait a minute now.

Walking on a slant (drunk)

Washeteria (laundromat)

We was in the midst of carrying on

Well aren’t you precious. (Sarcastically)

Well let’s just don’t stand there.

Well looky here.

Well then let’s just leave it alone.

Well, I declare.

Well, it don’t hurt to...

Well, stop riling her.

Well, what do you know about that?

What can I do for (do you for (do for you))?

What kai do you foe?

What with?

Whatsaneva, whosaneva.

Who you stepping out with?

Who’s come callin’.

Whoop, whup, whale, tan (whip or beat)

Why own’t you come off that?

Y’all come back now ya hear?

Yaller dog (coward)

Yes’m. No’m.

Yessuh. Nossuh.

You ain’t posta do that.

I cay-knee-m buh-lee (I can’t even believe).

You bed not (you better not).

You just do like I tell you.

You know good and hell well what I’m talking about.

You might say that.

You minds well (you might as well).

You see how that go?

You sure know about that.

You’re reaching boy (you are overreaching).

You’ve been looking ugly bout as long as I can stand. 



Southern Sayings


Act like you’ve been to town before.

Ain’t got the good sense God gave a rock.

Don’t let the screen door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.

Getting your britches caught on your own pitchfork.

Give him two nickels for a dime and he’ll think he rich.

God don’t like ugly.

Grinning like a possum eating fire ants.

Happy as a heifer in red clover.

He thinks the sun comes up just to hear him crow.

He’s taking to it like a cold hog to warm mud.

His cornbread ain’t done in the middle.

Hold your horses (stop).

I ain’t seen you in a month of Sundys.

I was born at night but not last night.

I’ll hit you so hard atop your head you’ll be able to ride half-fare.

I’m about to jerk a knot in your tail.

Knee-high to a grasshopper (small).

Madder than a cat getting baptized.

Madder than a wet hen.

Mildew or BBQ (chill or party)?

My eyeballs are floating (I have to pee).

Nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

Quit being ugly.

Scarce as hen’s teeth (rare).

She could start an argument in an empty house.

Shut your mouth.

Stepping out like a chicken in high oats.

That dog won’t hunt (it’s not gonna work).

To poor to paint and too proud to white wash.

Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit.

You’re whistling dixie (it’s a lost cause).

Your druthers is my ruthers (your preferences are mine).


Hillbilly and Rural Bumpkin Speak


Yur durn tootin’ (you’re right). Sammich (sandwich). Library (library). Tomorry (tomorrow). Californee. Hoss (horse). A swaller (a swallow). Nippin (sippin). Piani (piano). Kinfolk (family). Alki-hol (alcohol). Gih-tar (guitar). Hongry (hungry). The banja (banjo). The ho-tell (hotel). The opry (opera). Injuns (Indians).You yeller (you scared)? I’ll be if it ain’t… ( I’ll be damned if it ain’t). Yarbs (herbs). Vittles (vital organs). Wrasslin’ (wrestling). It’s quat nahce. Yon mountains. Ain’t nary a hog got away from me yet. I won’t touch nothing more from you without it was sterilized. Ah’ve been hankering to see yuh. I’ll bet you pigs to poll cats that… Mighty vexin. I just wanted to sit down and bawl.


Ain’t never been there no how. I’ll be doing it die-rectly. You stop doing that or you’re going across my knee. I’m a-listinin’. Gettin a mite cranky. That ain’t no call to bust a feller’s head. Well, I’ll be dogged. Hot diggity dog. Mmmm dawgies that’s nice. It stands to reason. Simmer down now, you gon bust suh-mh. The old crawdad hole. Don’t you reckon? Where in hell / where in the hell. You sho are all gussied up. I wasn’t the friend I had ought to been. A hairy sitcheeation. Now wouldn’t that beat all get out. Ah 'on know. A ver long time. My are we touchy today. About as trustworthy as two stepped on rattlesnakes. I’m telling you… And that’s all there is to it. Ah won’t you to know the truth. So, I’ll be moseying on. We shoot fellers as need shooting. Scrub it with some turpentine. Well, I don’t rightly know if I can do that. It’s not something you forget in a hurry. I’d a heap rather do it this way. That number (song) was some kind a purty. Not right yet. What now? Aw, I don’t expect I know everything. That’s about the size of it. That’s about the doggonedest… Durned if you didn’t talk me into it. Supposin’ a body were to ask you to…


I got it all wrote down. I’m just sitting here a-watching. That there music is fine. That smarts (hurts). Downright unnecessary. Crying something awful like. All I sent you fer was some eggs. This here feller. Hee-haw. Yahoo!  We’s doing the best we ken. Good day. That’n (that one). A look see. Whachoo brung fer us? Young’uns. Okey-dokey. She’s a-coming. I didn’t bother her none. Honest to Pete. Oh no, I don’t think we’d better. I ain’t figured on marrying up with nobuh-dee. Ah hear-d of them. A wing ding (party). A barn dance. A square dance. Hullabaloo. Hoedown. Do-si-do. Them boys is coming. Whilst I’m … Iffin it’s all the same to you. Yes sirree. I recollect the time I commenced to reckoning. I don’t give two shucks. He lit out hours ago. Whereabouts you from? Afore (before). Might could be. I hear tell that… that’ll get my blood to stirring. Thems mah best socks. Ya haven’t ought to do that. I ain’t a feared of it at’all. You can’t make silk purses out of sows ears. You’re looking a mite green around the gills. A powerful long time. I’m took with her (I like her). Out of sorts (unwell).



Southern Food / Backwoods Food


Chitlins (chitterlings or pigs intestines), gumbo, catfish, crawfish pie, hush puppies, okra, gumbo, collard greens, grits, hominy, pigs feet, boudin, creole seasoning, poboy, alligator. oyster. softshell crab. red beans and rice. chicken fried steak. cole slaw. hoecakes. potato salad. spicy macaroni. barbecue pulled pork. a side of cow. ham hocks. turnip greens.


A whole mess of corn pone, hog jowls, mustard greens, squirrel shank, deviled buzzard eggs, pickled crow gizzards, boiled chicken hawk, gopher gravy, and grilled possum belly. Some cherry bark bitters, chimpmuck renderings. sorghum syrup. and sassafras tea. Butter churning, lye making, corn huskin, chicken plucking and goat milking. You oughta hurry up before I have all these vittles ate.



AAVE / Ebonics


You ain’t said nothing but a word. Get it how you live. Stop playin’ wit me. Don’t do em like that. You better stop it. That’s all that is. Y’all think I’m playin. I’m just saying though. I’m doin’ skreat. I peeped it. Don’t whur about it. You own know nun ‘em people. What chu know about that? Who all did that? Who all’s going? We red (ready). Oh no she didn’t. Does you hate it, or is you hating on it? What chew not gon do. I knew dere was sumpim special bout it. Is you is or is you ain’t? I ain’t wanna say nothing, but... You cuh buh lead dat (You could believe that). What the problem is? I wouldn’t be in yo shoes if the sweet Lord Jesus come down and assed me hisself. You right (you’re right).


Turnt. The turn up. Bussin. Hits different. Swerve. A real one. Say less. It be like that sometimes. You said what? That part. On god. Whachu mean? Opps = opposition. The bag (the money). Fire (hot). Lit (exciting). Deuces (bye). Chuckin the deuce. No cap (no offense). Old head. Outchea. On fleek. Skrrt. Yasss. Yeet. Woot woot. Got curved. Sus (suspect). Ghosted (disappeared). A flex. Low key. It’s Gucci (good). It’s a vibe. Mood. Slaps (good music). She basic. Keep it 100. Ratchet. AF. Drip. My G. Feelin some type of way (emotional). In one’s feelings. He a whole fool. Appreciate you. Facts. I see you. You got me fu@(*& up. Got-heeem (Got him). Dab. Trap (drug house). Bando (abandoned trap house). Let’s go! Who’s man’s is this? Come get your man. Not about that life. Living my best life. It’s giving (vibes).


Paper (money). Scratch. Skrilla. Bread. Cheese. Racks. Hunnids. Hundo. Broccoli. A bill. A note. A c-note. Cheddar. Bands. Stacks. Ends. Dough. Moolah. Bones. Guap. Grinding. Hustling. On the come up. Ice (diamonds).


Chi- town (Chicago), the A (Atlanta). ATL. LBC. Motown (Detroit). H-town (Houston), Screwston, Cali, Oak-town (Oakland), the Wood (Inglewood), the NOLA. Benzo (Benz). Beamer (BMW). Caddy (Cadillac). L dog (Lincoln). Dom p (Dom Perignon). Lex (Lexus). Henny (Hennessy). Erk and jerk (Easus Jesus (E&J)). A fit (outfit). Timbs (Timerlands). Rolly (Rolex). 187 (murder). Fofo (44). 411 (info). 420 (weed). 5-0 (police). 5150 (crazy). 211 (robbery). What’s your 20 (location).


A honey dip (attractive woman). Shawty. Hootchie. Bust down. Jump off. Side piece. Twerk. Toot it up. Behine (behind). Rump. Bye Felicia. Damn Gina. Musty. Stank. Stanky. Anybody can get it. She belong to the streets. Get slayed. Get stuffed. Chicken hawking. Sprung. Headsprung. Sucka for love. Simp. Captain save a h@&. Playa. A mac. Holla. Spit. Spit game. Run game on. Funky. A cold piece. A bad b$%ch. Parking lot pimpin. I bagged her. Tenderoni. Fees. Females. Chickenheads. Chickens. Pigeons. Birds. Thirst trap. Thick. Thic check. Saditty. Hold you down. Got you open. Boo (beau). Freaky deaky. A freak. A trick. Mamajama. That thang. Get in that thang. Turned out.


Get gully (tough). I’m good on that. I’m straight. Nah, we straight. Cool like that. It’s not the business. Go run tell dat. I owen’t do nun nat (none of that) Ain’t no halfsteppin. My bad. You good. That song thumpin’. Got the beats in the trunk. Bump that. Who da man? Who da pee-amp? Where yo grandma stay? Project. Swag. Goons. Homeboy (fellow convict). Homie. Hawmie. Bro. Brah. Bruh, Bruh. Brotha, Brova, Brothaman, Brody. Dude. Dupe. Du.


As you should. You ain’t lyin. Be easy. You already know. Thank hoodness. And he own’t een know it. That’s on a strenph (the strength). That’s on GP (general principle). Awe-ite (alright). Buggin. Bumpin (playing loud music). Frontin (pretending). Perpetrating. Haps ina hood. Schooled (taught). Clowned (ridiculed). Ah snap. Try-fo-lin (trifling). Beef (animosity). Trippin (overreacting). Don’t trip. On one (acting weird). Tight (cool). Dope. Whack. Janky. Been had. What had happened was. You lookin’ dusty. Everything is everything. I can see through your jive a$$ like glass. Hey, can I get a phone in your name, can I get a loan in your name? Feeling myself. Whip. Crib (home). Ayo (yo). Ashy. Bamma. Back in the day. Bae mamma (baby’s mother). Beef. Bidness (business). Bootsy (out of style). Played out. Bougie (bourgeois). Boogie. Bust a move. Call me out my name. Honey Chile. Chillun. Chilling. Lounging. Lamping. Cold lampin’. Coolin. Chop it up (talk). Conversate. Creeping. On the down low. Def. Ill. Really doe? Erythang. Fixna (fixing to). Fitna. Finna. Floss. Fly. Fuc% around and… Get it (dance). Get up in. Git. Gon. Hate on. Hell to the no. I feel you. I know that’s right. Mofo. Muh-fuhkah. That mug. Off the chain. Scag. Sheeit. Step off. Step-to (physical advance). Upside the head (against the head). Sumn. Stunt. Swole. Whachootalmout (what are you talking about). Talmbout. Nomtomout. Get tolt (told). We’s about… Whutcha. Witchoo. Wild out. Wildn out. Wrassle. Yo mama. Bagging (making fun of). Yo. You’sa. I see how it is. The itis. Get caught lacking (caught without a gun). Catch him slipping. Weyment = wait a minute. You extra (you are doing too much). Snatched. Salty. Whoomp. No homo. On point. The thirst. Savage. GOAT (greatest of all time). Clap back. Squad. Shook (scared). Realness. Shife. Shiesty. Throw shade. Shady. Sho’Nuff. Cracking. Aint that about a bi*@#. Get served. Don’t be hating. Bless up.


Bring the heat. Haters. I came up. The come up (score). Pull up (come by). Hops (jumping ability). Boosties. Ducking them (avoiding). Tell you about yourself (tell off). True that. You with that? Aggy (aggravated). Pressed/ pressin me. We been knew. Go off (get mad). Got no chill. Cop that (buy). Cray cray (crazy). You feel me (do you agree)? You smell me? You dig? Get dragged. Hunty (honey). Mad cool. Whassupp-er? I’ll see what’s up. What it do? What it is? That's what's up (ok). The struggle is real. Got schooled. Shook. Straight up. Biting, biters. Ima go off (get mad). Big ol’. kick it, kicking it, gassed up, acting a fool, Clapped up (shot). How you gon do me like that. I don’t play that. I can’t call it. I ain’t seen you in a minute (in a while). Y’all ain’t ready. It’s all good. Thems the breaks. Ask about me. Don’t get it twisted.


Dead ass. Say word. Word is bond. Word to mother. Word up. Aired out (shot up). Moked out. No doubt. Mos def. Pluggin it (promoting it). Son. Kid. God. My dude. My guy. Wat up B? What up fam? What’s the deal? What’s the dilly yo? Flava. He wildin’.


Trill. Flossin. Grill. Dirty south. Dripped out. Am-boo-lants (ambulance). Pooted. Whoadie (person from a Ward in New Orleans). What’s right woadie? Mean mugging. Mad dogging (staring). Grill (mouth jewelry). Grilling (sneering). Whur? Right thur. Don’t be scurred. Parlayin (talking). Candy paint (bright paint job). Chopped and screwed (DJed music with reduced tempo (Slowed and throwed)). Sittin’ sideways (driving with the torso at an angle). Ghost ride the whip (drive sitting way back). Hella (a lot). Hyphy (hyperactive). Geeked up (hyperactive). Put on blast (called out). Good looking out (thanks). Good looks. Acting out of pocket. Yeee (yes). Swanging. Swang. You put your foot in that meal (complements excellent cooking). Dry begging (asking in a vague way).


Drop a jem. Crush groove. Pop locking. Rock the mic. B-boy. Beat boxing. Tagging (spray paint). Bomb (graphiti intensively). Break dancing. Fresh. Wildstyle. Rapping. Yo Momma (jokes). The dozens (verbals insults toward an opponent’s mother). Shucking and jiving (acting evasive).  DJ (disc jockey). MC (master of ceremonies). Dissing on wax.


Put it down, its kicking, its popping, keeping it real, the bomb (great), bi%@# ass, dont knock it, got smoked, ghetto bird, a hitter, what the deal is, your boy, setting it off, Clocked, packing heat. Piece (gun). Heater. Blammer. Tool. Toolie. Gat. Glock. Strap. getting active, buck wild, goin in, get it in, Here go the… Going out like that. Bounce, dip, shake, Bout to dip, peace out, one (one love), I been on that, I be on that, I stay on that, I’m steady on that, I’m with that, get at em, get gone, laced, flossy, yezzir, hoad up (hold up), on my bumper, gas’s you up, I was about to say, most def, it’s going down, boo-yah, i’m already knowing, joints, jahwns, wet, boom there it is, Fire on me (punch me). Fire off (throw a punch). Tee off (punch). Clocked (punched). Squab (fight). Catch these hands. Catch my fade (beat you up). Catch these hands. I’ll fold you. Can’t fade me. Can’t see me (can’t come close). Breaking (sprinting). Off that. What I’m on. Ain’t that some shi%. Toe up (tore up). Really doe? Who dat ee-yuh (who that is), where you at? Howsyamammaanem (how is your mamma and them)? Boo-coo (beaucoup).


Whassappnin’. What’s the haps? I ain’t tryna hear that. These other cats are my sons. Put that on something. Props (respect). Proper like. Fly. Kicks (shoes). Aks (ask), You betta a$$ somebody. If you don’t know, now you know. Shiznit. Fo’shizzle. Marinating. Wifey. Chillax. Diss (disrespect). Mode-ed (demoted). Celly (phone). Dap (fist bump). Pound. Homie hug. In the cut (hidden). Swole (muscular). Steelo. Stees (style). Out the bed. Buster. Buster brown. Get like me (quarter game). Rock those (wear them). Gov’ment name (full name). Act like you know. Real talk.



Prison and Gang Speak


Twisting fingers (throwing up gang signs). Cuz or cuh. Loced out. Slobbed up. Set trippin. Cap peeling. Peel your cap (head shot). Split your wig (lacerate your scalp). BG (baby gangster). OG (original gangsta). Big homie. Blood call. “Suwoop.” Blaat. With the woo. Baby loc. Crip call. “Scooee.” Slobs. Crabs. Krip killas. That’s on crip, Cuh-rip. What’s bracking? Set. Clique. Crew. Chin check (to punch someone and see if they will fight back) Flag (bandana). Flagging. Off the hook. Mane. Choppa (automatic gun), Riding dirty (driving with guns or drugs). C-walk, blood-walk, the squad deep, how deep is your set, Baby gangster (BG), Young gangster (YG), original gangster (OG). Rank: BG, OBG, YG, OYG, G, BOG, YOG, OG, OOG, OOOG (triple OG), Shot Caller / Godfather. Don. Mobbin. Roll up on. Claim your set. Hooride. Banging. Represent. Rep. Rep yo hood. Throw up the hood. That’s on the hood. On hood. Rida (rider). Ride or die (friend). Down a$$ homie. Running the streets. Jackin (stealing). Jacked (stolen). Gank (rob). Hemmed up (detained). Caught up (in trouble). Khakis. Chucks (Converse shoes). Oaks (Oakley glasses). Keep your chain tucked. Get your weight up. Feds (federal agents). Po-po (police). Fuzz. Five-O. One time. The Jakes.


Hit a lick (steal). The big house (jail). The pen (penitentiary). Perp. Fifi bag. Shiv (knife). Shank (makeshift knife). Blues (prison outfit). Commissary books. Bunker (bunk mate). Cellie (cell mate). Snitch. Drop a dime. Caught a body (killed someone). Get bodied (killed). The hole (solitary confinement). Hooch. June bug. Lock down. Lock in a sock (to hit someone with). Dope boy. Molly whopped (beat up). Road dog. Shot caller. Strapped (carrying a gun). Sucker ducker. A vic (victim). X’d out (killed). Yard. Bones (dominoes). Iced (killed). All day (life sentence). Keister (verb). Ninja turtles (guards in riot gear). Ride with (do favors for). A mark (someone who is marked for death).


Crips, Bloods, Vice Lords, Black Disciples, Black Mafia, Bounty Hunter Bloods, Nine Trey Gangsters, Pirus, United Blood Nation, Rolling 30s, Rolling 60s, 8 Trey, Neighborhood Crips, Shotgun, Hoover, Grape St. Decepticons, Gangster Disciples, Savage Nomads, Somali Outlaws, Haitians, Westmob, Young Boys Inc. ///  Mexican Mafia,18th street, Barrio Aztecs, Nortenos, Surrenos, Cali cartel, Juarez Cartel, La Familia Michoacána, La Raza Nation, Latin Kings, Los Solidos, Medellin Cartel, Sinaloa Cartel, Vatos Locos



Jamaican / Caribbean Speak

Patois, laad a masi (lord have mercy), wah gwan (what’s going on), meh nah ceer (I don’t care), blood clot (tampon), bumba clot (toilet paper), Pon dem bumbaclaat, duppy (ghost), riddim, tings, tree (three), bredda (brother), bwoy (boy), dutty (dirty), dutty wine (dirty wind), dancehall, likkle (a little), nuh badda mi (don’t bother me), tanks (thanks), pickni (children), Fahda, Madda, girlfriend (dawta), jus a word (excuse me), criss ting (pretty girl), walk good (take care), gal gyal (girl), wah you a call me fah (why did you call me), wha yu ah doh yah (what are you doing here), pon (upon), irie (pleasing), wasteman (useless person), rasta (Rastafarian), blem (high), boxside (butt), yuh a crassis (you’re a crisis), unruly, wiself, yaga yaga (big up), Zion (Africa), rude boy (tough guy), meh see yah (I see you), seen (cool), more chune for your head top, mash up the scene (I am gonna take over), shottas (shooters), dutty gyal or jamette (unscrupulous woman), Waz di scene hoss (what up)? Dat gyal rel bess (that girl is real nice). We gwan be winein’ and limein’ (we will be dancing). Yuh grease yuh waistline owah (ready to dance)? Fete (party). Bacchanal (party). Lime (hanging out). Ya too close mon. Wha’ppen (what’s happening). Yuh makin joke (you can’t be serious). Selecta (DJ).


Mexican Slang (Los Angeles)

A la chingada cabron (get screwed).

Aguas (be careful).

Andale pues (go on then).

Apurate (hurry up).

Ay guey (oh man).

Aye no (whoa no).

Cabron (dumba$$ or goat).

Callate carnal (shut up brother).

Calmate (calm yourself).

Chale (hell no, stop it).

Chale holmes (you’re kidding me).

Chankla (sandal or hood rat).

Chido (cool).

Padre (cool).

Chingona (bada$$woman).

Cochina (dirty girl).

Compa (friend).

Culo o colito (butt).

Dale (go ahead).

Desgraciada (disgraced).

El equipaje (the booty).

Estoy enchilado (my mouth is spicy).

Guey or wey (fool or dude (bull or ox)).

No mames guey (don’t suck fool).

Mira quien habla (look who’s talking).

Nalgas (butt cheeks).

No manches (don’t stain, don’t trip, no way).

No seas mamona guey (don’t be dumb).

No seas menso (don’t be a moron).

Obvio (obviously).

Orale pues (allrighty then).

Panchita (female fob).

Pinche (scullery or works in a kitchen, but used similar to “freakin”).

Pinche pendejo (freaking idiot).

Pinche vato (hood fool).

Por eso guey (that’s why fool).

Puras pendejadas (pure stupidness).

Quanto es lo menos (what’s the best price)?

Que estas haciendo wey (what are you doing).

Que Honda guey (what’s up).

Que onda guey (what’s crackin)?

Simon (yeah man).

Ya guey (stop dude).


British Slang

By Jove (exclamation). Blimey (wow). Crikey (exclamation). Cheerio (goodbye). Chip chip cheerio (bye). Pip pip (good bye). Boot (car’s trunk). Bonnet (car’s hood). Nonce (stupid person). Bloke (a man). Lad (young man). Daft (foolish). Trollied (drunk). Knackered (tired). Bird (woman). Pikey (gypsy or vagrant). Limey (a British person). Yankee (American person). Slag off (make fun of). Sod (devil). Muppet (A clueless person). Rubbish (trash).  Innit (Isn’t it)? Govnah (governor). Ello guv (hello governor). Mate (Friend). Merry old England. Foggy old London town aye? London yard. Inna (aren’t you)? Telly (television). Dustbin (trash can). Eva (either). Fanks (Thanks). Fink (think). Fursday (Thursday). Bloomin’. Bloody el (hell). Whose that nutter (crazy person)? I got blarterred. Bum (butt). Love, lova, lovey, luv. Wench (woman). Fishermans daughter (water). Let’s get down to brass tacks (facts). We’s in a whole eap of Barney (Rubble (trouble)) we is. Lift (elevator). Flat (apartment). Tube (subway).

Plumb full ah surprises, me. Ah expect she’ll give me a snog (kiss). So you fashion yourself randy (excited) eh? See you on the utha side me chum, me sovereign, milord, me earl, me duke, my liege. A ratha cheeky (irreverent) bird, this one. What do ya say bruv? I’m needing to use the proper loo (toilet) luvey. Stop mugging me off mate (making me look like a fool). Oii don’t care! As the actress said to the bishop (that’s what she said). I told you to sod-off you minger (unpleasant person). A load of tosh (nonsense) you tosser (unpleasant person). Can’t be arsed (bothered) with that right now. I’m down in the bog (toilet). Me ‘at (hat) is on me ‘Ed (head). Top of the morning (good morning). Wif a l’ul bit uh bloomin luck! Right as rain. Blooming cur (contemptable man). Fancy a biscuit (do you want a cookie)? I haven’t the foggiest (I don’t remember/know). At her majesty’s pleasure. I’m off to Bedfordshire.

Me missus (girlfriend or wife). Fit (attractive). Dosh (money). Up the duff (pregnant). A cuppa (A cup of tea). Uh-gain (again). Loverly (lovely). A li’ul bit (a little bit). I should say. That blasted / soggy / bloomin’ / bloody (expresses emphasis). Aeroplane (airplane). Aluminium (aluminum). Econ-oh-mics (economics). Barman (bartender). Bully (good). Carriageway (road). Motorway (highway). Carvery (restaurant with cut meat). Constable / Bobby (police officer). Dungarees (overalls). Father Christmas (Santa Claus). Fire brigade (firefighters). Full stop (a period). Nought (zero). Noughts and crosses (tic tac toe). Gangway (aisle). Gastropub (bar with food). Gents (gentlemen). Hen night (bachelorette party). Hey ho (exclamation of disappointment). Holiday (vacation). Humbug (peppermint candy). Ice lolly (popsicle). Knickers (pants). Lavatory (toilet). Oxbridge (Oxford and Cambridge). Petrol (gasoline). Post (mail). Shilling (former monetary unit). Tuppenny (two pence). A pound. Stone (14 lbs). Truncheon (billy club). Union jack (UK flag). Have a go (try). I’ve got a hankering for some fozzewuzzles ahvent I? This is a right roggle wogger, this is. Mi Gullivers. Did you check your woffagin? You was singing a song last time weren’t it? A jolly punting on the Thames (a punt is a boat propelled by a pole). Tally ho (goodbye). Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Beau’iful day, inni’. Harry Pottah broug’ ‘is new girwfriend to au ‘ouse to meet me muvver. Mumfs (months). Toffs (upperclass people). Plebs (lower class people). Posh (elegant). Meself (myself).


British Fictional Characters: Sherlock Holmes. James Bond. Barnabas Collins. Ebenezer Scrooge. Robin Hood. Little John. Lady Marian. Olivah Twist. The Artful Dodger. Nigel Croker. Henry Jekyll. King Arthur. Phineas Fog. Alfred Pennyworth. Christopher Robin. Captain Hook. Peter Pan. Smee. Dr. Doolittle. Dr. Who. Monty Python. Hermione Granger. Miss Havisham. Mary Poppins. Austin Powers. Lara Croft. Mr. Bean. Merlin the Magician. Bulldog Drummond. Basil Fawlty. Andy Capp. Allan Quatermain. Ali G. Toad of Toad Hall. Lemuel Gulliver. Lady Macbeth. Cruella De Vil. Jack Sparrow. Long John Silver. Jane Eyre. Tarzan. Thomas the Tank Engine. Sweeney Todd. Peter Rabbit. Winnie the Pooh. Willy Wonka. Buzz Killington. Nigel Pinchley. Martin Smiley.

British Food: Fish and chips. Cornish pastie. Bangers and mash. Shepherd’s pie. Toad in the hole. Steak and kidney pie. Liver and onions. Beef Wellington. Steak and mushroom pie. Full English breakfast. Minced pies. Black pudding (blood and suet sausage). Pork pie. Cottage pie. Scotch egg. Branston pickle. Julienne fries. Petite sandwiches. Battenburg cake. Sunday roast. Horseradish sauce. Chicken curry pie. Crisps (potato chips). Fish fingers (fish sticks). Samosas. Eton Mess. Afternoon tea. Earl Gray. Strawburry (strawberry). Shortbread. Gin. Whisky. Scotch. Draught (draft).


Cockney Pronunciation:

Cockney: A person born in London, but within the sound of Bow bells, at the Church of St Mary Le Bow, in Cheapside. The word cockney used to be a pejorative term for the working class. Many celebrities are Cockney including Adele, Jason Statham, Amy Winehouse, Russell Brand, Michael Kane and many more.

·       Don’t pronounce the “H” sound at the start of words. Arder (harder). Ave (have). Ouse (house).  Is (his). Ow (how).

·       The “L” sound should turn to a “W.” Bah-eww (bottle). Heh-eww (hell). Ew (ill). Pih-ew (pill).

·       Replace some “T’s” with a glottal stops. Wa’er (water). Ligh’er (lighter). Ate (hate). A bo’le av wa’er (A bottle of water). Oi ate ewe (I hate you). Moi ed, it erhts (my head, it hurts). Beh-ah (better).

·       Voice “TH” sounds turned to “V.” Bruva (brother). Bovah (bother). Muvah (mother). Favah (father).  Cloves (clothes). Levah (leather). And anovah one, and anovah!

·       Unvoiced “TH” sounds turn to “F.” Fankyou (thank you). Fursday (Thursday). Nuffing (nothing). Everyfing (everything). Sympafetic (sympathetic).

·       For “the,” “them,” and “that” don’t pronounce the TH sound at all.

·       “Or” sounds are pronounced differently. Toke (talk). Woke (walk). Poke (pork).

·       The “ai” sound is pronounced differently. Oiright (alright). Poi (pie). Thoi (thigh). Loik (like). Toight (tight).

·       Say me instead of my. Me froa’ ‘ur’s (my throat hurts).

·       Use double negatives. I ain’t got none. You wasn’t even there. I weren’t even talking to you.

The rine in spine stees minely ohn thee pline (The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plane). Een Artford, Ereford, en Ampshire urricanes oddly evah appen (In Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire hurricanes hardly ever happen.)


Cockney Ryhming Slang

"Apples and pears" (stairs). "Army and navy" (gravy). "Basin of gravy" (baby). "Bees and honey" (money). "Borrow and beg" (egg). "Bottle and stopper" (copper). "Box of toys" (noise). "Can't keep still" (treadmill). "Clever mike" (bike). "Coals and coke" (broke). "Coat and badge" (cadge). "Cop a flower pot" (cop it hot). "Crowded space" (suitcase). "Cut and carried" (married). "Cuts and scratches" (matches). "Day's a-dawning" (morning). "Derry and Toms" (bombs). "Didn't ought" (port). "Do me good/s" (wood/s). "Duck and dive" (hide). "Dustbin lid/s" – (kid/s). "Early hours" (flowers). "Fisherman's daughter" (water). "Give and take" (cake). "Helter-skelter" (an air-raid shelter). "In and out" (snout). "Light and dark' (park). "Lion's lair" (chair). "Loop the loop" (soup). "Lump of ice" (advice). "Lump of lead" (the head). "Lump of school" (fool). "Merry-go-round" (pound). "Mozzle and brocha" (on the knocker). "Near and far" (bar). "On the floor" (poor). "Once a week" (beak). "Penny-come-quick" (a trick). "Pig and roast" (toast). "Pimple and blotch" (Scotch). "Pleasure and pain" (rain). "Rank and riches" (breeches). "Rats and mice" (dice). "Rattle and clank" (bank). "Scotch mist" (pissed). "Stand to attention" (pension). "Satin and silk" (milk). "Short of a sheet" (in the street). "Tick tack" (the track). "True till death" (breath). "Tumble down the sink" (drink). "Weep and wail" (a tale). "Yet to be" (free). Lemon and lime (time). Dog and bone (phone). Brown bread (dead). Custard and jelly (television (telly)). Friar Tuck (luck). Britney Spears (beer). Pork pies (lie). Boat race (face). Trouble and strife (wife). Sausage and mash (cash). Gregory Peck (cheque). You can always drop the first word.