Category Archives: slang and informal language

English Slang – FREAK · engVid

English Slang – FREAK · engVid

I heard many people in England call Michael Jackson ‘a freak’ when he was alive.  

Do you think this was a compliment or an insult?  

Watch this video and become familiar with the uses and meaning of this slang word.




Thinking about Michael Jackson, a great many respects have been paid to him and his music since his death.  With the benefit of hindsight (this means looking back in time with the benefit of what is known today), I wonder what those people would call him now?

A ‘freak’ or a ‘legend’?


Slang in English – SUCK · engVid

Slang in English – SUCK · engVid

Another video with James from engVid similar in format to the last video posted ‘blow’.  

James explains the origins of the word ‘suck’ and it’s social history.  The word emerged in the 1920’s/1930’s  in Jazz Clubs in America.  Jazz instruments need the player to blow into them.  If you have a good blow you tend to be a good player.  

However if you suck the air in instead of blowing it out it doesn’t work and the instrument sounds flat and awful.  And so people who are not good at doing things got the nickname ‘sucker’.  

What do you think? 

True or false.



Quick Slang – Talking About Being Excited!

Quick Slang – Talking About Being Excited!

This week the British Council’s podcast introduced ‘informal language phrases’.  For example – ‘What do you fancy?’ instead of ‘What would you like?’ which is more formal. 

Here is another resource that focuses on slang or informal language. There is a quiz at the bottom of the resource to do after you have watched the video. Just click on it and you can test yourself on what you have learnt.