SLANG, IDIOMS & EXPRESSIONS
(I periodically add terms.)


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I deliberately have included some rude words, but avoided vulgar terms. These should not be used. Terms with (pronoun) or (noun) indicate that alternate words can be used within the ( ).

Term
Definition
"A"
About face Turn around [Military term] (Sergeant Green ordered troops to about face.)
About time To be late; to take a long amount of time (It's about time you came!)
Above board To be honest (He does everything above board.)
Above (my) head Beyond (your) ability to understand (That is above your head.)
Absent-minded To be forgetful (The teacher is very absent-minded.)
Acid test A real test (Take the new car for an acid test.)
Across-the-board Something for everyone (The pay raise was made across-the-board.)
Across town On the other side of a town (Nick lives across town from me.)
Act up Behave improperly (The children are beginning to act up.)
Action Excitement (Jimmy is looking for some action tonight.)
Affair, have an To commit adultery (He had an affair in March.)
After; to be after To chase (someone) (Sally really was after Mark.)
After my own heart In agreement with; to have similar likes
Against the grain, go Contrary to the norm (Her idea went against the grain.)
Aim too high To seek an unattainable goal (Ian aims too high. He's not qualified for the job.)
Airhead A stupid young woman (She is a California airhead.)
Albatross, an A burden (That boy is an albatross around her neck.)
Alive with To be full of something positive (He is alive with new ideas.)
All ahead full Full speed (The captain ordered the ship at all ahead full.)
All at once Everything at one time; now (You cannot do those things all at once.)
All broken up Sad (The kids were all broken up after their dog died.)
All choked up Sad (That depressing movie left me all choked up.)
All ears To listen carefully (I am all ears.)
All heart Sympathetic (When it comes to children, Pauline is all heart.)
All in Exhausted (I need sleep; I am all in!)
All-out Completely (We must go all-out to win.)
All over 1. To be finished (She told Sam it was all over for them.)
2. To be totally engaged; completely (He was all over the new material.)
All shook up Upset (Jennifer is all shook up because her boyfriend dumped her.)
All the way Completely (Dad can drive all the way there.)
All there; [not all there] Sane; [insane; crazy] (He is not all there.)
All thumbs Clumsy (Ralph is all thumbs when it comes to home repairs.)
All tied up Busy; preoccupied (I'm sorry that I can't help. I'm all tied up today.)
All told Total (All told, it came up to $25.)
All torn up 1. To be distressed (She was all torn up when he dumped her.)
2. Not to be distressed [said in sarcasm]
All washed up A failure (Our new company now is all washed up.)
Almost there 1. Near to a location
2. Nearly complete in performing an action (Yes, we are almost there.)
Alright; all right To be in agreement with someone (Alright, we can do that.)
Amount to much To be unsuccessful (Her idea did not amount to much.)
Amount to something To succeed (He will never amount to something.)
Amscray! Get out of here!
And how! Emphatic agreement (She looks beautiful. And how!)
Angle, have an To have a sneaky plan of action (John always has an angle.)
Answer for To be responsible (You must answer for your actions.)
Ante up To pay (Ante up or you cannot go play the game.)
Ants in the pants To be excited; to fidget (Billy had ants in his pants at school.)
Apple, a bad A bad person (He is another bad apple.)
Apple of (his) eye (His) favorite (He is the apple of mother's eye.)
Apple-pie order Proper order (Make sure it is in apple-pie order.)
Apples Breasts (Ralph is turned off by small apples.)
Applesauce! To be untrue! (That is applesauce!)
Arm and a leg Expensive (Things in that store cost an arm and a leg.)
Around Nearby (Yes, I've seen Richard around before today.)
Around the clock Continual; all day (They worked around the clock.)
Around the corner Nearby (I think Pete's Pizza is somewhere around the corner.)
Around town In town; local (Mary prefers to stay around town.)
As good as Virtually (We're as good as dead if we travel to that trouble spot.)
As is In current condition (He bought the car as is.)
At all costs Completely; without reservation (He had to win at all costs.)
At arms length Distant (Be sure to keep the dog at arms length.)
At ease To relax [Military term] (The troops are standing at ease.)
At full blast Completely; top speed (Let's drive the car at full blast.)
At odds with To oppose (He is at odds with the government.)
At sea with To be confused (He appeared totally at sea with that idea.)
At the same time Simultaneously (Betty can play piano and chat at the same time.)
At times Occasionally (Bobby likes to watch a movie at times.)
Atta boy Praise (Charlie received a nice atta boy from his company.)
Ax to grind, an To settle a grudge (Bob has an ax to grind with Steve.)

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