This is one of the biggest categories, as there are many slang words for people based on their experience, character, and behavior.
Dude and guy are general words for a man, and gal and chick are general words for a woman. We often use these words when we don’t know who the person is (though not necessarily, as in the last example).
• “I asked a guy on the street if I could borrow his phone to make a call.”
• “That dude in the red shirt is totally drunk.”
• “Who’s the tall blonde chick over there talking to Brian?”
• “My sister’s more of a city gal, as for me I prefer the countryside.”
Guy and gal are probably a little more common; dude and chick tend to be used more by men (though not always).
For family, we have:
• bro and sis for brother and sister, although they can also be used for very close friends
• pops or old man for father
• gramps and gran/granny for grandfather and grandmother
• My folks for “my relatives” or “my parents”
• The whole tribe/clan for your entire family, especially extended family
• “Happy birthday to my big sis!” (big sis = older sister; little sis = younger sister)
• “My gramps is 84 but he still loves to play tennis.”
• “Sorry, I can’t hang out this weekend – my folks are in town.” (= my parents are here in my city visiting me)
• “Do you see your family much?” “Not really. Every August the whole clan gets together for an end-of-summer barbecue, but that’s about it.”
Slang words for “friend” include buddy, pal, and chum, and the group of your typical friends can be called the crew. We also have the word peeps (short for “people”) which can mean people in general, or your group of friends (“my peeps”).
• “Peter is one of my old pals from college.”
• “I went to the amusement park with the crew.”
• “I’m gonna invite all my peeps to my going-away party.”
If two people are buddy-buddy, it means they are good friends or have a close relationship. This word can also be used for trying or appearing to have a close relationship, as in the second and third examples:
• “My brother’s wife is an actress, she’s not so famous herself but apparently she’s buddy-buddy with some of the top directors in Hollywood.”
• “I don’t understand how someone can be all buddy-buddy with their ex-boyfriends. I never want to see any of my exes again!”
• “How can you expect to be all buddy-buddy with me after what you did?!”
The slang words homeboy, homegirl, and homie, are also used for friends – these are more African-American or hip-hop style. They are usually used with “my.”
• My homeboy won first place in the karate competition!
• I went to the mall with my homegirl.
• I had an awesome weekend with my homies from the soccer team.
The words bud/buddy and dude can also be used for addressing a person (a man) who you don’t know in a slightly hostile way, like when a fight is about to start:
• What’s your problem, dude?
• Hey bud, stop staring at my girlfriend!
• Look, buddy, I’ll give you till the count of five to get out of my way.
Some older, more “refined” slang words for “man” include chap, fellow, and gent (short for gentleman – a good, courteous man).
• My sister’s boyfriend is a friendly chap. Everyone likes him.
• He’s a handsome fellow with blue eyes and dark brown hair.
• Fred spent six hours helping me move into my new apartment. What a gent!
A funny, kind of ironic way to refer to yourself is yours truly – often when calling attention to something good involving yourself:
• This whole party was organized by yours truly.
• Check out the photo of yours truly in today’s newspaper!
© Shayna 2017
Categories: LEARN ENGLISH