Slang

After doing the exercises in 'Slang', you may find it useful to look at the other activities in this topic, 'Jargon' and 'Buzzwords'. It is important to bear in mind that these categories are not rigid and can overlap, that a word can slip from one to another, and that they are mainly useful in giving us ways to look at the words of the recent past and at changing usage and meanings.

Slang: A word from the C18th - colloquial language, very informal, and more usually spoken than written.

There are usually many slang words for those aspects of life that we talk about most.

For example, here is a list of slang words for money:

Cash
Loot
Bucks
Bread
Dough
Wad
Folding stuff (paper money)
Shrapnel (change)
Readies

Can you think of three more and list them?

Slang words for the verb 'to relax':

Chill out
Take a break
Come up for air
Take a breather
Take five

Take time out
Mellow out
Hang loose
Cool it
Flake out

List three other slang or informal ways to say 'relax'.

Invent one of your own.

There are at least three times as many words for 'stupid' as there are for 'intelligent'. Why do you think this might be?

Slang words for 'stupid':

Loser
Dodo
Out-to-lunch Airhead
Zombie
Jerk
Geek
Goofball

Nutter
Twit
Goon
Dimbo / dumbo
Blockhead
Half-baked
Doesn't know which way is 'up'

Other more picturesque insults include: 'his/her elevator doesn't go all the way to the top', or, 'being a sandwich short of a picnic'.

Be inventive! Add another picturesque insult, without slipping into the more deeply offensive words!

Now look at the exercises on the next page .