Top slangs you need to know before jumping in your education program

We have been there: Studying in a new country, they may speak the same language and you may still have problems to understand the locals.  It’s not about the accent, sometimes what makes everything complicated are the slangs. 

Slangs are a very informal form of language, most commonly used while speaking rather than writing. Learning some of the popular slang terms will help you build relationships with your new friends. 

Here are some important slangs in our top international student destinations:

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

United States

Ace: “excellent”, “great”, “to succeed”.
Example: I will ace my exam.

Take a rain check: “to reschedule”,” to pass on an offer for another time”.
Example: Sorry I won’t make it, I will have to take a rain check.

Bombed: Completely fail.
Example: I bombed my driving test, I know it.

Cram: Study hard.
Example: I’ve got to cram for my exam.

Photo by Pam Menegakis on Unsplash


Loonie or Toonie: A loonie, the Canadian $1 coin, gets its name from the picture of the Canadian bird, the loon, that appears on one side of the coin. A toonie, the name for the $2 coin, gained a similar nickname to match the sound of the loonie. 
Example: “All I’ve got is a loonie. Should we Uber instead?”

Two-four: A case of 24 beers. Don’t be surprised when a friend asks you to pick one up on the way over.
Example: “I’m on my way to the Beer Store to pick up a two-four.”

Canuck: Canadians. You may have heard this before in the world of sports (the Vancouver Canucks).
Example: “Look at those crazy Canucks!”

Klick: Kilometres. 
Example: It’s about three klicks away.

Photo by Alejandro Luengo on Unsplash


Sham: A friend
Example: He is a really good sham of mine

Gowl: Annoying stupid person
Example: Will I look like a gowl if I do that?

Feek: Gorgeous girl
Example: She is a feek, must be a model.

Cat: An effusive way to say that something is awful or terrible
Example: Cat! This juice is expired. 

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

United Kingdom:

Chuffed: very pleased or happy about something.
Example: “I’m absolutely chuffed with my birthday present!”

Knackered: extremely tired. 
Example: “I’ve been up half of the night with the baby. I’m totally knackered.”

Cheeky: a little rude or disrespectful, but usually in a way that is funny.
Example: “Did you just take the last biscuit? That was a bit cheeky!”

It can also be used if you are eating, drinking or doing something that you maybe should not or that is not good for you.
Example: “I’m just going to have a cheeky burger on the way home.”

Bum: You may already know that this word is the informal word for “bottom.” It also has another meaning. It is used when somebody uses or gets something from someone else without paying.
Example: “Can I bum a fag?”

Photo by Amber Weir on Unsplash


Arvo: Afternoon. 
Example: I’ll see you this arvo. 

Barbie: Barbecue. 
Example: Let’s make a barbie on the weekend. 

Lappy: Laptop. 
Example: My lappy ran out of battery. 

Brekky: Breakfast. 
Example: I want avo-toast for brekky. 

This is just an introduction, there are thousands of slangs that you’ll master in a couple of months. You will feel a little knackered after your first conversations with the canucks, you may feel that you bombed after trying to sound spontaneous with a feek, but, no worries, after a few barbies with your new shams, you’ll realise that you’re fine. 

Do you want to take the first step and talk with an expert about your study option at an international destination? Learn the slang for real?

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