Learn American Slang
nag: to ask for something again and again; to bother someone with questions and requests.
Tito’s wife nagged him to do work around the house so often, he finally decided to move out.
nail: to be successful in something; to do something well (sometimes it means to have sex).
The Vikings nailed another victory, and now they’re going on to the playoffs.
nark: to inform the authorities of illegal or unethical activity.
Natasha was getting free cable TV service for years until her neighbors narked on her.
neo-con: short for "neo-conservative, a person with a politically conservative, often Republican, view of world affairs. Favors preemptive attacks on sovereign nations.
The neo-cons advising George Bush in the first half of his administration, quickly found the door when their plans in Iraq went awry.
nerd: awkward and often brainy but not good at athletics, and often not good at social interaction.
Our new math teacher is kind of a nerd. He always has a calculator and several pens and pencils sticking out of his front pocket.
network: an ability to contact a group of people with similar interests, usually for the benefit of an individual or a company (a word often used in business settings).
Oscar used his sharp networking skills to get another job soon after he was laid off.
never mind: it’s not important; it doesn’t matter; no problem.
A: Do you still need help?
B: No, never mind. I’ve found what I was looking for.
nickel and dime: to pay small amounts of money, suddenly amounting to a large amount.
Every year it seems as though the schools nickel and dime the parents to death by asking for more financial support.
nightie night: goodnight.
nit-pick: identify small problems; complain about everything.
If you keep nit-picking the way I cook, I’m not going to make dinner any more.
nitwit: a stupid person.
The pharmacist is a total nitwit. He gave me the wrong prescription, and he overcharged me for the medication.
no-go: something that isn’t going to happen.
The game tonight is a no-go because of the weather.
no good: poor quality; a bad product (similar to "not good").
We had to throw out the apples because they were no good.
no-no: a bad situation
Smoking inside public buildings is a big no-no.
no show: someone doesn’t come to an event, an appointment, or a meeting–often without calling.
Dr. Johnson’s 3:00 appointment was a no-show, so he left his office to go play some golf.
no sweat: no problem; something easy.
A: Can you lend me 20 bucks?
B: Sure, no sweat.
no way: no; absolutely not; impossible.
He’ll have to take out a loan because there’s no way he’s going to have enough money to buy a new car.
not so hot: not good.
A: How do you feel today?
B: Not so hot. I think I’m going to stay in bed and get some rest.
not so much: something isn’t good, especially in comparison to something else.
I like the way this band sounds, but as for the one that play earlier–not so much.
not to worry: don’t worry.
A: Oh no! I forgot to bring my wallet.
B: Not to worry. I have some money I can lend you.
no win: a situation in which no one benefits.
Geraldo and Jose decided that a fight would put them both into a no-win situation at work, so they decided to just try to get along with each other.
number one: the best; the biggest.
Toyota is now the number one automaker in the world because they make great cars.
nut job: a crazy person; someone you dislike because his or her behavior is unusual.
The guy who decorates his house with empty glass bottles is a real nut job.
nuts and bolts: the important parts of something.
Do you understand the nuts and bolts of our program?
nutty: a little odd; unusual.
A bake sale seems like a nutty way to raise money for a school. There has to be a better way to do that.
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