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5 Awesome Urban American Slang Words

The United States: it’s the land of stars and stripes, big cars, barbecues, and great slang. The US is a big place, and as a result, each of its cities has a unique character and feel — as well as its own set of slang words! If you’re traveling to the country, or you’re simply curious about how people speak in the different cities, here are some of the best slang words and expressions from different US cities.

New York, New York: O.D.

Photo via terabass/wikipedia

In the Big Apple, if something is over-the-top, overdone, or just too much to handle, you can describe it as “O.D.”,which comes from the abbreviation of “overdose”. But it doesn’t only relate to substances: New Yorkers can use “O.D.” in just about any circumstance when somebody needs to relax a bit.

How do I use it? “I tried to take the subway during rush hour and it was O.D. crowded! I could barely move!”

To check out more New York slang, such as 730 and wavy, see our full list here.

Miami, Florida: Feezy

Photo by A volaaa/wikipedia

Photo by A volaaa/wikipedia

Somebody who lies frequently, is two-faced, or is otherwise untrustworthy is called “feezy” in Miami. Interestingly, the word derives from Haitian Creole, but has since become standard in Miami vernacular, especially among people under 30.

How do I use it? “My girlfriend cheated on me . . . again. I always seem to find the feezy ones.”

If you’re interested in learning more Miamese, take a look at our list here.

Chicago, Illinois: Tweak

Photo via a4gpa/Flickr

Photo by a4gpa/Flickr

When somebody is acting stupid, crazy, or paranoid, residents of Chicago will say that they’re “tweaking”. The verb “to tweak” originally started as a way to describe somebody on a methamphetamine high, but since then its meaning has been generalized to include any situation in which somebody’s behavior is erratic or foolish.

How do I use it? “This traffic’s makin’ me tweak! I’m about ready to slam into the car in front of me.”

Click here to see more of the slang that’s used in the Windy City.

Are you from the United States? Check out the slang in your area and tell us what you think! And if you’re feeling brave, suggest a word that we can add to the map!

San Francisco Bay Area, California: Chillax

Photo by paul hwikipedia

Photo by paul h/wikipedia

If the cold, windy weather in Chicago has got you tweakin’, head over to sunny California and “chillax” a little. “Chillax” is a combination of the words “chill” and “relax”, which originated in the San Francisco Bay Area but has gained considerable popularity since then.

How do I use it? “Wanna come over to my house and chillax a little? I’ve got nothing to do.”

Have a glance at our complete list of Bay Area slang — we’re sure you’ll dig it.

Las Vegas, Nevada: Long Haul

Photo by Dietmar Rabich/wikipedia

Photo by Dietmar Rabich/wikipedia

It’s every tourist’s nightmare: you’re in an unfamiliar city, and your taxi driver keeps driving in circles in order to hike up your fare. It’s no surprise that this shady practice has its own official name — “long haul” — in Las Vegas, the United States’ very own Sin City.

How do I use it? “When we drove past the same casino for the third time, I knew my taxi driver was long hauling me.”

For more Vegas-themed slang, and to find out why locals refer to Las Vegas as Rack City, consult our full list here.

Now that you’ve learned some of the best slang from sea to shining sea, you’re ready to take on the rest of our American slang — an enormous collection of over 200 slang words from across the country! But if all of this seems a little O.D., don’t tweak — our experts clearly explain what each word means in plain English, so just sit back, chillax, and learn about some of the best slang that America the Beautiful has to offer.

And if you’re learning English and want to know even more, don’t forget to check out our course/package options — our native English trainers will teach you all you need to know about the English language, slang and beyond.