It’s the summer of slang! Each video in July and August will go over American slang. Learn the difference between slang and idioms, and the term ‘on fleek’ and ‘snatched’ in this video. See the whole summer of slang playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrqHrGoMJdTROsSGD_NkOae8QSuVur8ZI
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What is the difference between an idiom and slang, and how do you learn them as a non-native English speaker? Stay tuned to find out.
Someone asked me recently, what is the difference between an idiom and slang? And I thought, you know what? I’m not sure! So I did a little research, I did a little thinking about it, and I got it. The two main differences are: First, an idiom is something almost every native speaker of a language will know, and slang isn’t. Slang is something that many native speakers won’t understand. So for example, the idiom, it’s raining cats and dogs, which means it’s raining really hard. You could ask any native speaker this and he or she would know what it meant. But if you said, what does ‘bae’ mean? This is slang, most people probably wouldn’t know. There, it depends entirely upon who you ask.
The second main difference, longevity. How long is something in use? Let’s go back to the idiom it’s raining cats and dogs. I’ve seen a couple of different opinions, but it’s been in use for centuries, since the 1500s or 1600s. That’s a long time ago. Slang, on the other hand, is developed, used, and then dies before too long. For example, when I was working on this video, I asked friends on my Facebook page: What slang are you familiar with? I got lots of awesome answers. A couple of people said ‘on fleek’. Then someone else said, that’s kind of passed. It’s been replaced by ‘snatched’.
When I was talking to my husband David about this, he said, ‘on fleek’ is kind of, like 3 years ago. What do these terms mean? We’ll get to that in a second. The point is, some slang might only be in use for a year or two before it’s replaced with new slang. So if many, maybe even most native speakers don’t understand slang, what’s the deal? Slang is the creation of the younger generation. They play with language much more, they create new ways to use words and even create new words. So if you’re trying to understand people in their teens and twenties and know no slang, you’ll probably feel left out in some conversation.
When I made a recent video on slang on the use of the word ‘dumb’ as slang, I had lots of people say, I’ve never heard that word used that way. My husband works in a high school, so he picks up on lots of slang. That’s why this summer is going to be the Summer of Slang. Because if you don’t know people who are using slang, then you have no idea what these terms mean. When they pop up, when you see them, when you hear them, you’re at a loss.
Every video I make for the rest of July and August is going teach popular and current slang. So come back every Tuesday. Today we’re going to learn ‘on fleek’ and ‘snatched’. As I said, ‘snatched’ is perhaps replacing ‘on fleek’. They have the same meaning, and that is, really great. Awesome, perfectly executed. It’s a very positive way of describing something. And it can describe anything from your eyebrows to your clothes to something you’re eating. Your hair is on fleek. That outfit is snatched. These are great compliments.
A good way to get context around slang, to help you understand how slang is used, is to go to Instagram and search the hashtag. #onfleek has something like 1.7 million public posts so you can see what exactly is being described as ‘on fleek’. And ‘snatched’, #snatched has about 350,000 public posts. On fleek – a two-word, phrase, stress will be on the second word. On fleek. On fleek. That’s so on fleek.
Snatched ends in the CH-T cluster. That’s a little tricky, you might want to practice it slowly: snatched. Snatched. cchtt— cchtt– Most slang takes actual English words and uses them in a different way. Fleek, however, is a made up word. Not a word that already existed in American English.
Snatched and on fleek. If someone uses your name and ‘snatched’ or ‘on fleek’ in the same sentence, it’s a good thing. That’s it for today’s video. Keep your eyes peeled (That’s an idiom!) for a new Summer of Slang video every Tuesday in July and August.
That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.