How well do you know your slang terms?

There are many slang terms in the English language that we use often without a thought. Occasionally, when I speak to someone just learning or where ESL is involved, they’d give me a “what the heck look.”

There are a lot of people on the 5r forum that have difficulties with writing or understanding English. They still use, thank you, dear." - well, because, apparently they were taught that is acceptable form of communication.

I’m curious to know if the following make sense or if you’ve heard of it. Not the literal term but what else it could mean.

  • Where your ears burning?
  • Break a leg!
  • What does that have to do with the price of (any noun)
  • That’s an old wives tale.
  • Freeze
  • Over the hill
  • Down under
  • Under the weather

We use these every day without a 2nd thought, but if you were first learning english, you’d take these literally and it wouldn’t make much sense.

What other slang terms have you used or use often in your native tongue that wouldn’t make any sense to the rest of us? :thinking:

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I often chat to @Starrynight, but she doesn’t speak much English. Her replies to me usually read something like “si, si, gracias, si!”

Because of that, I try to limit my use of idioms or confusing phrases when chatting to her.

People in London often say something they like “ain’t half bad”. I think that’d be quite a confusing phrase to work out if you’re new to English.


Yeah, right! :unamused:

¡Ponte las pilas, Babyface! ¡Ponte las pilas! :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

It’s not “if, if, thank you, if!”. In any case, it would be “¡Sí, sí, gracias, sí!” (yes, yes, thank you, yes). Diacritical accent in “i”. :stuck_out_tongue: :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

Thank you very much, mi lord, for being so compationate with me. :bowing_woman: :sweat_smile:

From those, I don’t understand:

  • Over the hill
  • Down under
  • Under the weather

I would have taken it as if they didn’t like it too much: It wasn’t bad, but not that good.

Besides the one I just used with Babyface, right now I can recall:

  • Esto traerá cola.
  • Le está echando los perros.
  • Vamos a hacer una vaca.
  • Cuando la rana eche pelos.
  • Tener violín.
  • Pedir/dar la cola.
  • Cambiarle el agua al canario.
  • Estar limpio.
  • Bajarse de la mula.
  • Dejar el pelero.
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I don’t have that on my keyboard. :joy:

I do like your Venezuelan slang term “the garlic lollipop”.

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Then use a virtual one! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Hahahaha, how could I have forgotten that one? :grimacing: :joy:

Yeah, that’s me! :innocent: :sweat_smile:

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something really, really good (confusing I know!:slightly_smiling_face:)



Unwell or poorly

Makes total sense, doesn’t it? :wink:


Yeah, sure, especially “down under” meaning Australia. :sweat_smile:

Waaaaaay down from where UK is located, and under…


Under where? :thinking: Or should it be underwear? :grimacing: :sweat_smile:


Oh my goodness! You know you’d gotten multiple :checkered_flag: if this were another forum. :grin: But then again, they don’t know us and have no sense of humor. :rofl:


You’re gonna have to translate these for us @Starrynight . No hablo Espanol.

Also, garlic :lollipop:? :nauseated_face:


Got a few more:

  • Can it!
  • Bite me!
  • Sneaky as a :snake:
  • Dust my feather
  • Holy smoke!
  • Well, I’ll be a :monkey: 's uncle
  • Are you pulling my leg?

@glacierlily , I know you got some mid western slang up yonder in the mountains. Share, share, share.


Starry and I have received soooo many flags on the FF for joking around with each other. :sweat_smile:

I won’t deprive the forum of hearing Starry’s definition, but it’s a phrase often used to refer to a person who can be a pain in the butt.

For a long time, a user on the forum called Francis (Hum) thought Starry enjoyed eating lollipops made of garlic. :grimacing:


Only if you have a dirty mind. :wink:

Apparently, in the 19th century, British explorers were looking for a block of land below Asia. They found Australia and nicknamed it the land down under.

There’s a very catchy song by Men at Work titled Down Under.


I live in the mountains. People who live in the eastern part of the state are called flatlanders.

Borrow Pit
Rocky Mountain Oysters


And are you a fan of this particular dish, Ms. Lily?

I have not had the occasion to sample any…yet. But I am usually up for a new culinary experience.


There is also Cowboy Up or Cowgirl Up as the case may be. I used to use that with my students. And speaking of cows. Have you heard of cowpies?


Ohhhhhhhh… Now I understand… :see_no_evil: :sweat_smile:

Well, at least I’m not so, so. :grimacing: :sweat_smile:

Hahahaha Just a small correction here, @RegiAdd. Babyface wouldn’t have beed flagged, but suspended ad eternum!!! :joy: As for me, they would have suspended for not flagging him, but only for half a life time!! :sweat_smile:

I will never be able to greet Babyface with a warm mek-sell “Hello, darling” or “Thank you, my dear”. :grimacing: :pensive: I would get flagged for innapropiated faster than a thunder. :sweat_smile:

Oh, sorry, I thought you asked to put it in our own language.

English translation next to each one:

  • Esto traerá cola - This will bring tail.
  • Le está echando los perros - Throwing the dogs.
  • Vamos a hacer una vaca - Let’s do a cow.
  • Cuando la rana eche pelos - When the frog grows hair.
  • Tener violín - Having violin.
  • Pedir/dar la cola - Ask/give the tail.
  • Cambiarle el agua al canario - Change the water of the canary.
  • Estar limpio - To be clean.
  • Bajarse de la mula - Get off the mule.
  • Dejar el pelero - Leave the hair.


Yes, you’re almost there. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

Beeing a garlic lollipop, is saying or doing something (but with a veeeeeery sweet, loving voice, and amorous face or manners), to annoy or p i ss off somebody who is arrogant, or idiot (or both :face_with_hand_over_mouth:), or who you deslike and insists in making you speak to him/her.

It can be in a sarcastic way, a very serious way, or even showing off all your knowledge to make that someone feel like a smashed tomato.

I remember, yes. :joy: :joy: :joy:

Hahahahaha I was playing with words and pronunciation (bad pronounciation, in fact. :sweat_smile:) :upside_down_face: :blush: :wink:

Oh, yes, I know this song, but didn’t know they were talking about Australia. :grimacing: :sweat_smile:

P.s.: Hahahaha I was censored for the word p i ss, and couldn’t post the comment. :grimacing: :joy:

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None of these I understood. :grimacing:

Maybe this one could be compared to our “pulling the tongue” (When someone says something trying to make a specific person to reply knowing that that person doesn’t want to).

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Hum, are British slang similiar?

A friend told me there are different slangs in different parts of the world; Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain, Columbia & Venezuela apparently differ in spoken, slang and accents. I went to college with students from these neck of the woods.

Hey, another slang, “Neck of the woods.” Anyone gander what that means.

Oye! @Starrynight , none of those make one kindling ounce of sense - at least not in the translated version.

“Pulling my leg” actually means joking.

Are you pulling my leg or you’re pulling my leg, right?

Translation: "You’re kidding me, right? Or, are you joking?


Yeap, every country has its own slangs and expressions, but also have common expressions between them, and all linked to the Spanish heritage.

Again, you left me like a bird in grass. :grimacing: :sweat_smile:

Yeah, it won’t do any sense. :sweat_smile:

I’ll try to explain:

  • This will bring tail is that something hasn’t ended yet and can get tangled up. For instance, Babyface’s complaint brought tail, so much, that mods went into vacation, resigned and Mr. Jensen showed up.
  • Throwing the dogs is a man/boy buzzing around a girl/woman, bringing her things, inviting her out, etc. because he likes her and wants her to be his girlfriend.
  • Let’s do a cow is doing a common money pot. Everybody puts in money, usually to buy food or drinks while they gather.
  • When the frog grows hair means it will never happen.
  • Having violin is when someone’s armpit stinks. He has violin/ smells like violin.
  • Ask/give the tail is to ask for/give a lift/ride.
  • Change the water of the canary is to go to the bathroom to pee. Normally said by boys.
  • To be clean is to have no money.
  • Get off the mule means having to pay.
  • Leave the hair is to desappear.

Ahhh, ok. Then we would say “Me estás mamando gallo, ¿no?”, “¿Me estás mamando el gallo?” (You are sucking me the rooster, right? Are you sucking me the rooster?).

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Spanish, written or spoken, is the same for everybody. Spanish is a ruled language set by RAE (Spanish Royal Academy). RAE forces and constricts all the Spanish speaking world to ensure the unity and stability of the language.

RAE acknowledges expressions and words of each LA country and has incorporated them to the dictionary, but Spanish, as a language, is one for everybody, and everybody is taught the same rules on spelling, syntax, grammar, etc. whether you learn it in Spain or in Japan.

Accent may change from one country to another, and even pronounciation, just as it happens in any country in the world, but that doesn’t affect language as it is, because even if I don’t pronounce the “z”, I have to write it down correctly whenever a word has it, and I have to know where it goes.

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