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Tanya’s Tips: Everyday American Slang
Tanya’s Tips: Everyday American Slang

Tanya’s Tips: Everyday American Slang

February 12, 2023

2 -min read

You know that moment when you understand every single word someone is saying, but you have no idea what they mean? That’s the challenge of slang!

Are you ready to test your knowledge of American slang? Check out my tips so you’re ready to talk like an American.

Play it by Ear

The correct answer is: Not make any specific plans and just see what happens. To play it by ear means you aren’t sure what you’re going to do, and you’ll figure it out as you go.

Take a Raincheck

The correct answer is: Not do it this time, but maybe some other time. When you take a raincheck on an invitation, you’re saying you don’t want to do it this time, but maybe you’ll join some other time.

Get the Ball Rolling

The correct answer is: Start working on it. When you start to do something, take the first step, you’re getting the ball rolling.

Down to Earth

The correct answer is: Humble, genuine, and really nice. Most of the Americans you’ll meet throughout your program will be really nice people — very down to earth.

Get Ripped Off

The correct answer is: Charged too high of a price. It’s always important to know how much something should cost and what you’re getting for it so you don’t get ripped off!

Rings a Bell

The correct answer is: Is familiar. If a friend asks you if you remember somebody or something, and it’s slightly familiar to you — you know you’ve heard it before, but you can’t remember fully — you can say that it rings a bell. (Or, if it’s not familiar to you at all, you can say it doesn’t ring a bell.)

Drives me up the Wall

The correct answer is: It’s annoying. When something is frustrating or annoying, you can say it drives me up the wall!

Kill Two Birds with One Stone

The correct answer is: Get two things done at once. Killing two birds with one stone means you’re taking an opportunity to be efficient and achieve two things at the same time.

Pig Out

The correct answer is: Eats lots of food. To pig out means to eat so much food that you can’t move.

Rip the Bandaid Off

The correct answer is: Do something right away, even though it might be difficult. Taking a bandaid off your skin slowly hurts more than just doing it quickly. It’s the same with homesickness. Don’t let fear get in the way of making new friends. Just rip the bandaid off and get out there!


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An international exchange alumna originally from Ukraine, Tanya started her career at InterExchange in 2011. Tanya is passionate about travel and cultural exchange and enjoys meeting J-1 exchange participants at InterExchange events.


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