Slang is one of the most enjoyable parts of English, yet learning it isn’t always fun. This is largely because it changes often.
But, of course, that’s what makes slang cool – knowing it and using it properly shows that you are in the know. You’re modern; you’re with it. Unfortunately, by the time you learn a new word, it might not be cool anymore!
The best way to keep up with slang is to be immersed in the English language – ideally, you live in the U.S., the U.K., Australia, or another English-speaking country.
Regardless of where you live, however, you can keep up with new expressions by following pop culture closely and taking time each day or week to study it.
Fortunately, learning slang doesn’t have to be boring. Here are four ways to get started!
How to Have Fun Learning Slang
1. Listen to Pop Music
Music is a fantastic way to learn English slang. Pop, rock, and even country are all great sources. You can find playlists on Spotify and YouTube. If you listen to songs on YouTube, you may also be able to find videos with the lyrics written in English so you can follow along.
An even better way to learn casual expressions with music is to find the lyrics online (just search for the song title with the word lyrics) and look up any words you don’t know in a dictionary. Hip hop fans should check out Rap Genius, which explains the lyrics to many popular hip hop songs.
2. Find Lists Online
There are dozens of lists of English slang online. While reading and memorizing lists is not the most thrilling way of learning a language, you can try to make it a little more interesting by doing things like focusing on one letter a day; for example, Tuesday is b words day.
You could also make flashcards; on one side write the new word and on the other write its definition and one or two examples or synonyms.
Even better, you can simultaneously learn and annoy your friends and family by using English slang with them.
3. Use Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are not only good for sharing photos and connecting with others, but they’re also a slang paradise. Try to follow or become friends with native speakers on social media. Read their status updates and the comments other people leave.
There are also some Instagram accounts specifically for learning slang. If you have Instagram, consider following @slangcards and @californianslang.
4. Watch Television
TV is another great resource for learning slang, and there are some fantastic TV shows out there right now. Check out classic shows like The Simpsons, How I Met Your Mother, Seinfeld, and Friends; any sitcom (comedy) or even drama in the last few years will be a good source.
And, watching TV is not the worst way to study English, is it?
Slang is fun, and fortunately there are fun ways to learn it! Listen to music, watch TV, use social media, and find lists of words online. Make sure you keep up with your studies – slang changes every couple of years, and you want to be on top of it!