An interesting part of learning a new language is learning “slang”. These are casual phrases used in everyday speech that express things in strange ways. American English has many “slang” phrases, but it is not necessary to learn them all immediately. You can speak and write English without needing to know any slang phrases.
Learning some slang phrases can be a fun way to understand a language better. You will continue to learn slang phrases the more you speak to native English speakers. For an introduction, continue reading to learn four different slang phrases.
The phrase “break a leg” is a different way of wishing someone “good luck”. This phrase is used most often by performers, musicians, or actors. Before a performance, they tell each other to “break a leg” before going onstage. This phrase tells the other person that you hope they will succeed. It is not known why this expression is used.
You can use this phrase with your classmates during ESL training. Before a test, tell your classmate to “break a leg”. This does not mean that you wish for them to actually break their leg. It means that you hope they will succeed at their test.
The phrase “piece of cake” is a different way of saying something is “easy”. It is an interesting way to say that you think you will be able to succeed at something, without a lot of effort. Eating a delicious piece of cake is easy to do. This phrase is used to compare tasks to having a piece of cake as a snack.
If you think that studying a lesson or passing a test will be very easy for you, tell your classmates that it will be a “piece of cake”. This will let them know that you are confident that you learned properly from your ESL lessons.
“Under the weather” is a phrase that means a person is sick, sad, or upset. This phrase was first used on boats at sea. When a sailor on a boat was feeling sick, they were sent downstairs to get away from the weather. Inside the boat, the sailor would be underneath the weather. After some time, “under the weather” started to mean that someone was feeling sick.
If you are feeling sick or sad, you can tell your friends that you are feeling “under the weather”. This is a way of letting them know you aren’t feeling happy or healthy. You can use it if you have an illness, or if something in your life made you feel sad.
This phrase is used very often in America. To “hang out” with someone means to spend time with them. It is unknown where this phrase comes from. It may be that when something is “hanging”, it is loose and not tense.
When you are trying to make friends while in ESL training, try asking people if they want to “hang out”. This means you want to spend time together in a casual way. If you are going to meet friends after class and someone asks you what you are doing, you can say you are “hanging out” with your friends.
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