resources for esl students and teachers








American Slang/Idioms starting with S | NEXT PAGE

School (someone) (v.): To teach someone a lesson. To show someone how something is (really) done. ex: "We thought we were the best, but the other team really schooled us."

Screw up (v.): To make a mistake, do something badly/wrong ex: "I really screwed up my audition."

Sharp (adj.): When talking about people = smart, intelligent; when talking about clothes = stylish, high-quality.

Shoot hoops (v.): To play basketball in a casual, informal way. ex: "Let's shoot some hoops on Friday."

(To be) short on cash: To not have too much money. ex: "I'm a little short on cash - Can you help me out a bit?"

Show, Show up (v.): To arrive. ex: "We waited for two hours, but they didn't show (up)."

(The) slammer (n.): Jail. ex: "He was in the slammer."

Snail mail (n.): Regular physical mail (as opposed to email).

Something (n.): In phrases such as "Wasn't that something!", "something" actually means "something interesting" or "something special" or "something surprising", depending on the context.

Space-case/Space-cadet (n.): Very strange person who always seems to be in his/her own world. ex: "Peter is a bit of a space cadet. He's always zoning out when I talk to him."

Space out (v.): To lose oneself in thought, esp. when you should be paying attention to something else. To zone out. ex: "Sorry, I spaced out for a second. What were you saying?"

Split (v.): To leave. ex: "I have to split. See you tomorrow!"

Split-up (v.): To break up; to stop seeing each other (as boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, etc.) ex: "Tom and Maria split up last month."

Spook (v.): To scare.

Spread (n.): Collection. ex. "They had quite a spread of food at the party."

Stash (n.): A hidden collection of something, often (but not always) used to refer to hidden drugs. ex: "Mark's parents found his stash (of pot) under his bed."

Steamed (adj.): angry, very upset, pissed off (*rude*). ex: "Bill was steamed about what happened."

Stick to (something): To keep (doing something). To not stop (doing something) ex: "Madonna wants to be an actress, but I think she should stick to singing."

Straight (adj.): 1) Direct, clear, honest. ex: "He wouldn't give me a straight answer."; 2) Heterosexual. ex: "I'm pretty sure he's straight."

Straight up: Honestly/Honest.

Strike up a conversation: To start a conversation.

Stuck up (adj.): Snobbish, conceited. ex: "I don't like her. She's so stuck up."

Stunner (n.): Attractive woman. ex: "Wow! What a stunner!"

Sucker (n.): Person easily fooled or impressed by something. ex: "I'm a sucker when it comes to classic cars." (I'm easily impressed by classic cars)

Sugar daddy/sugar mama(n.): A wealthy man or woman who either supports you financially (pays for you) or gives you gifts, in return for sex or companionship.

Sweet (adj.): Very nice. ex: "That is a sweet car."

(To have a) sweet tooth: To love to eat candy, sweets, etc.

Swig (n.): A drink (out of a bottle). ex: "Gimme a swig!"

Swing (something) (v.): To arrange (something)/to get (something) done. ex: "It'll be hard but we'll probably be able to swing a deal."

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