Top Slang Switches to Make You Sound like a Cultured Person
Whether you’re in the workplace or meeting your soon-to-be mother in law, there are some times when you are going to want to impress, and “sweet ride!” is just not going to fly. For those times, I’ve compiled a list of the most common slang terms I can think of, along with my personal favorite substitutions. Enjoy!
1. Hella (I grew up in NorCal… so sue me)à copious. Basically, this means that there are lots of x. Possibly too much. For example, This report is has copious amounts of evidence in support of its claims, or, Amy Winehouse smokes copious amounts of dope. Either way.
2. Awesome (or cool, sick, tight,etc.) à impressive/ scintillating. Obviously scintillating is the more fun word here, but for a professional setting, I’d still recommend the ultra-practical “impressive.” It’s to the point, effective, and somehow empowering. If, on the other hand, you’re trying to impress your friends while describing a new movie you saw, by all means- scintillate it up.
3. Shadyà Suspect. Not suspect like “I suspect you stole my valentine’s day chocolates” or “murder suspect.” This is using suspect as an adjective, as in “The man lingering behind the dumpster’s behavior was suspect.” This little bit of linguistic magic turns a word that’s a fairly common part of the everyday vernacular and transforms it into an impressive little description.
4. Hotà Toothsome. First off, there are probably hundreds of alternatives for this word- from gorgeous to exquisite to handsome to dapper, we are all about finding words to express human physical beauty. Toothsome has always had a special place in my heart, though, because it’s just so darn adorable. It makes me think of a sweet tooth… like some one you’d just want to eat right up… which, to be honest, is usually what we’re saying when we’re calling somebody “hot” anyway.
5. Sexyà Sensual. Fairly self explanatory. Just a little bit more sophisticated, and also a little less awkward to say when speaking to other adults whose opinions you actually care about.
6. StupidàSophomoric, Inane, or Daft. I couldn’t pick just one. Sophomoric implies that the stupid thing/ person is juvenile, and doesn’t have much value. Inane is pretty much the same. Daft is just straight foolish. Again, I’d be cautious using any of these in a professional setting… calling anything your coworkers or customers produce any variation of “stupid” is pretty ballsy. But these words are perfect for describing those people later that night when you go out with your friends for gossip and sushi.
7. Whateverà “I’m Ambivalent.” Express your lack of caring with class, thereby avoiding like sounding like a sad parody of a teen movie.
Upping your vocabulary is always a good idea, and if you’re a lit nerd like me, you’ll love being able to expand your personal arsenal. Even if you’re not crazy- enthused by the melody of words like “incandescence” (emitting light) and “sumptuous” (richly delightful), you’ll still undoubtedly need to make a good impression from time to time, and ditching the slang is a great way to do it. If you want even more linguistic deliciousness, then THIS is your new best friend.