The US is a highly regional country, and American slang can vary extensively from state to state and coast to coast. The best way to learn and understand American slang is to make friends who will explain it to you.
Here are some general American slang and common phrases, to give you an idea of some expressions you might hear.
24/7: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: all the time; always available; without a break.
All-nighter: to stay up all night doing something, going more than 24 hours without sleeping.
Average Joe: an ordinary person, a regular guy (usually used for men.)
Ballpark: approximate or approximation. A "ballpark figure" or "ballpark idea" is a good estimate or guess at something.
Check out: to look at or look over (for example, "check out that guy's motorcycle" or "check out the reading list for this class").
Crash: to stop functioning (for example, a computer), or to sleep for the night (crash on a friend's couch).
Dis: to insult someone (for example, don't dis me!).
Dude: an informal way of addressing someone, usually a male (for example, "hey dude, are you going to class?" or "dude, nice car").
Guts: courage; if someone "has the guts" or "has a lot of guts" or "has real guts", they have the courage necessary to do something.
Hang out or Hangout: to pass the time idly or at ease (let's hang out tonight); a place where you can do so (let's go to my favorite hangout).
Iffy: uncertain, unsure, doubtful.
Jock: an athlete, particularly a male athlete. Usually used to describe someone who is good at sports but not good at academics. This word can be used as an insult or as simply a reference to a person's athleticism.
Nerd: an overly intellectual person with poor social skills. This word can very easily be insulting.
No-brainer: obvious, easy to answer.
Ride shotgun: ride in the front passenger seat of a vehicle.
Sad: inferior, of poor quality, in bad shape, pathetic (for example, my marks in that class are really sad, or that's a sad-looking pair of gym shoes).
Uncle Sam: the US government, the USA.
Wuss: a coward or ineffectual, timid person.
Yuppie: a youngish person who works in business; often used as an insult or affectionate insult. Based on "young urban professional."
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