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Some Examples of Slang in English

There is a long history of slang usage in the English language, and you can find some examples of English slang on Yabla too! Slang is sometimes often regional—many slang words used in the United Kingdom would not be readily understood in the United States and vice-versa—but slang is also cultural, for instance people of certain cultural heritages often use slang that is different from what you might hear among people with different ethnic or cultural heritages. Some slang is, of course, very vulgar and not acceptable in polite company, but there are many slang words and phrases that are common and acceptable in everyday speech. 


My personal style, I guess, would be edgy, boho [slang: bohemian], fun, flirty.

Caption 6, Demi Lovato - Seventeen Magazine

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The adverb and adjective "boho" is short for "bohemian", which when written lower case does not mean somebody from the Czech region of Bohemia, but rather describes an unconventional lifestyle as often lived by artists and writers. 


Oh, ta [British slang: thanks]! Ah, yes, I'm very proud of my kiddies.

Caption 57, George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four - BBC TV Movie

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This is an example of British English slang that may not be readily understood among speaker of US English: "ta" is commonly used in the United Kingdom for "thank you". The word "kiddies" is not slang, but is an informal version of "kids" (children).


Robust and secure, so our swag [slang: style] is on blast.

Caption 57, Java - The "Java Life" Rap Music Video

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Here is a slang word with an urban origin often found in rap music: "swag" probably came from the verb "to swagger," which means "to walk or strut with a defiant or insolent air" or "to boast or brag noisily," but as a slang word has come to mean "style." The phrase "on blast" is a slang usage too meaning "loud," therefore "swag is on blast" means they are "showing their style." 


Has just been released from the pokey [slang: jail].

Caption 3, The Pop Topic Minute - Christina, Lady Gaga and Lindsay

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The noun "pokey" is slang for "jail," and may have originated from the term "poorhouse," which was a kind of prison that existed until the 20th century for people who were too poor to pay their debts. Some other slang words for "jail" are  "clink," "cooler," "pen," and "slammer." The adjective "poky," on the other hand, is an informal word for "slow" (such as a "poky car") or small (such as a "poky room"). 


Further Learning
Do a search for "slang" on Yabla English and find other examples of slang words used in a real-world context. You can also read this Wikipedia article about slang and go to the links to learn about different kinds of slang in English.

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