English slang

Reported speech

And I was like… What on earth are you doing? And then he was like, I live here, actually. So I was like, well why don’t you tidy up sometimes. And he was like, I can do what I want, thank you.

So I arrive there and then she’s like, why didn’t you get here earlier? So I’m like, well, come on, I’m here now – I’m not late. 

In colloquial English, especially among young people, when they are describing what somebody said, they will use the verb to be + like to mean say or said. It’s simply a way of talking about what someone said. Depending on how many people are involved and the tense (时态), you can use was/is/will be or were/are.

If you get there really early, they’ll be like, “This guy must be a good worker, he’s here 20 minutes early!”


You muppet!

This means, you silly person! It is used between friends, and is still reasonably polite (it is much more polite than stupid, for example). 

I’m gutted 

Gutted means disappointed. So you can say, I was gutted because we tried so hard but we still lost the game. Or, maybe you missed a TV programme that you really wanted to see, so you say, I was gutted that I missed that episode of Friends – it’s my favourite TV programme!


A wimp is someone who is weak and easily afraid. It’s not a rude word, but obviously the meaning is negative, but it could be used among friends. For example,

Don’t be such a wimp – it’s not raining that much. You can still go to the shops in this weather.

Don’t be a wimp – cleaning those toilets won’t kill you. It’s only a bad smell. 


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