Slang terms for "good"

On The Brunching Shuttlecocks they’re rating slang terms for “Good”. I won’t spoil the ratings, but the terms they rate are Cool, Bad, Phat, Awesome, and Gear.

And they’ve got a point. There seems to be a sort of war of escalation for words that mean “good”. Whatever term did the trick last week is no good this week. There’s nothing worse than describing something that is clearly “rad” as being merely “swell”.

The one that particularly confuses me is a relatively new British entry into the fold: “Pants”. Pants? The hell?

Nothing really to say here. Just general musings about slang terms for “good”.

Dude, I think “pants” is a real zipper.

I think “pants” is pretty bitchin’, myself.

Howzabout “sweet”? I use that one.

“Sweet” is definitely the shit.


In New England, things are wicked good. Or wicked cool. Or even frikkin’ wicked.

“Wicked” just means “very”; things can be wicked hard or wicked expensive too.

Let’s see, ones I use or have used recently on a regular basis: Hot (cf. ‘mad hot’), sweet, awesome, cool, neat, excellent, nice, fuckin’ nice, tight (west-coast only), and one I wish I’d use but never do: wizard.

Humm - I always say “swell” or “splendid”.

People look at me oddly a lot.

I still use the groovy every once in awhile. And if I’m around my sister something might even be grovy (inside joke).

BTW, I never liked gnarly. Made me think of a bent old man who’s almost wasted away. ick!

well here in australia we have words like grouse, tops, and top tucker. nobody really uses these words except bogans, though :slight_smile:

me, i use cool bannanas

“Ill” or “sick” has come to mean “good”, especially in skateboarding or hip-hop lingo.

The word ill is pretty old. I know Will Smith used it in his Nightmare on My Street song.

I find this to be a very confusing trend. How the heck am I supposed to keep up with what means ‘good’ and what means ‘bad’?

e.g.: Dirty Earthworm said: “Sweet” is definitely the shit.

Does that mean you like it or don’t like it? I’m guessing the former, but…

In any case…I picked up “cool” from some teenage boys when I was around 12, back when it was new & original (at least to me). Recently I picked up “sweet” from my brother…I think I use it more than he does, now.

“Phat” I have never understood. Where the heck does that even come from??

“Gear” and “pants”…well, I just might start using them because of this thread, but I don’t think any of my friends would have a clue what I was talking about. :slight_smile: When you start using words to mean “good” that have no inate relation to the quality of goodness or badness, that’s going a tad to far, for me.

At any rate, in a hundred years they’ll all be laughing at us anyhow…heh.

The word ‘pants’, in Britain anyway, means that something is crap - “Well, that movie was (a load of) pants”. IIRC a TV presenter called Dominic Diamond coined the term in the early 90’s.

I tend to use ‘Kushti’ - A Romani word for good that is now part of British slang as ‘Cushty’

Thinking about it, there is a little game that some people play where they tell someone the wrong definition of a word - or even make one up - for a laugh. A few of my wife’s cow-orkers tried that. As I’ve just been kindly reminded, I did that too - I convinced her that in Britain we call thimbles ‘Thumb protectors’

On the 'net the game often takes the form of popping into a chatroom and coming out with ‘Dude that is totally (insert made-up word or real brand name here)’ and, when asked what it means saying ‘cool’. Then sitting back and laughing as a load of American teenagers post ‘Dude, that is totally dulux’.

*Dulux is a brand of paint

**I’ve only ever teased my wife and have learned, to my cost, that her Buddha is a vengeful Buddha.:smiley:


I keep hearing ‘mad’ lately. As in ‘mad props’, or whatever. I’m assuming its good, but it just seems to have come right out of left field to me. God lord, I’m only 23, I can’t be losing touch already!

mad = very
the shit = very good

Just confirming – in the UK, “pants” means bad, not good.

I’ve heard “Sweet!” and “Keen!” used quite a lot lately. “Twist” is a kind of hybrid between “good” and “true” – a bit like that old awful “true!”, I suppose.

Here’s one from Eighties England…

“Wow, your BMX is skill!

More Australian additions:

Beaut and Ripper

As in “That’s a beaut little car you’ve got there mate” or “You little ripper!”