American slang words - letter W
American Slang word starting with letter W

Slang Beginning with W

In this lesson, we cover essential American slang starting with letter W with examples. In general, slang are used mostly in casual street talks among Americans such that even international (non-native) speakers living in the USA can not understand them. Thus, you may use slang in your daily casual conversations especially with Americans. Just be careful and do NOT use slang in formal conversations like job interviews or business meetings.

Slang Recap

In our previous lesson, we covered American Slang Beginning with V.


Word of the Day: W


walk away: leave without buying anything.

If a salesperson tries too hard to sell you something you aren’t ready to buy, it’s best just to walk away and say you’ll come back later.


walk out on: leave someone and end a relationship.

Tanya was 14 years old when her father walked out on her family, and she hasn’t seen him since that time.


warm up: to practice or get ready for physical activity.

I have to warm up for about ten or fifteen minutes before playing my guitar.


washed up: someone whose career or skill has passed from age or inability.

Bush is a washed-up loser scumbag who will go down in history as one of the world’s worst criminals.


WASP: White Anglo Saxon Protestant.

Barack Obama is the first non-WASP President we’ve had in the White House since John F. Kennedy.


way: very; yes.

That SUV is way too big for our needs. Let’s get something that’s more sensible and better for the environment.


way to go: good job; good performance; congratulations.

I heard you got a raise at work. Way to go!


weasel: a person who says or does anything in order to advance; someone who lies or cheats for personal gain.

No one in the office likes Edward because he’s such a weasel, and he always sucks up to the boss.


weed: take out unnecessary things; pick out.

It’s time to weed through my sock drawer and throw out the ones that are worn and have holes.


weigh in: to give an opinion in addition to opinions from other people.

weird: strange; unusual.

Night of the Living Dead is a weird movie! It’s about people who come back to life from the dead and then try to eat people who are alive.


weirdo: a strange person.

There’s this weirdo outside of the building giving away information about Scientology.


whack: to hit.

If you want to open that jar, try whacking the lid with something hard.


whacky: crazy; comical; amusing; funny.

Conan O’Brien is a whacky talk-show host whose comedy always surprises the audience.


wham: to hit; impact from an accident.

A bird whammed into the window and died.


whatchamacallit: something you don’t know the name of (similar to thingamajig)

You’re going to have to get another whatchamacallit for underneath the sink because it’s leaking.


what for: a reason for doing something; a negative consequence.

The police gave that guy what for when he tried to take a swing at one of them. Now’s he all beat up and in jail.


what gives: why; what’s the reason

You stopped coming to our meetings. What gives?


what’s happening / what’s shaking: hi; how’s it going?

A: Hey, what happening?

B: Oh, I’m just reading the paper and drinking some coffee.


what’s up: hello; how are you; what’s happening in your life?

A: Hey, what’s up?

B: Not much. What’s up with you?

(Some young people say, “What up?” without the “s,” which reflects a more African-American vernacular.)


what’s with: what’s the reason; tell the cause for the problem.

What’s with this refrigerator? Sometimes it’s too cold and other times it’s not cold enough.


wheel and deal: negotiate; buying and selling.

George’s uncle likes to wheel and deal when he goes to antique shops. He can usually pay a lower price on things.


where it’s at: the essence of something; the truth.

I love it when my religion teacher talks about Jesus and the New Testament. He really knows where it’s at.


whiff: to smell something.

This perfume smells like oranges. Here, take a whiff.


wimp: a person who lacks courage or strength.

Bill doesn’t want to take the dead mouse out of the mouse trap because he’s such a wimp, so he just throws out the whole trap instead of reusing it.


whiz: a smart person.

Jennifer is a real math whiz. She’ll probably major in engineering in college.


(the) whole nine yards: everything; all of something.

After Myrtle died, her children sold off everything in the house–the whole nine yards.


wicked: cool; very interesting and, perhaps, a little dangerous.

That was a wicked turn we just took. Did you feel the car lifted a little on the passenger side.


widget: something small and useful; something on a computer that does a task.

This little widget is good at estimating some of the costs for my business.


wig out: to suddenly feel fear; similar to freak out.

Kevin wigged out and moved to California when he lost his job.


wing it: try to do something without preparation.

Instead of using a written speech, the speaker tried to wing it, but he made a lot of mistakes, and a few times he forgot what he was trying to say.


wipe out: to fall over; to cause a loss of property.

Huge medical bills wiped out all of their life savings. Now they don’t have any money left.


wired: 1. wide awake, usually from too much coffee; 2. technologically connected through the internet and mobile technology.

1. I can’t go to sleep. I had five cups of coffee at Starbucks and feel totally wired.

2. We have to get our computer wired to the internet.


wishy-washy: unable to take a clear position or make a decision.

Diedre is kind of a wishy-washy boss. She’s never able to decide on which people to hire, so she relies on others to help her make hiring decisions.


with flying colors: to do something in a way that is great; to achieve success; to do well.

She passed her driving test with flying colors.


with it: hip; able to understand what happening now; up-to-date.

Our teacher thinks she’s really with it, but at the age of 62, it’s not easy to keep up with her young students.


wonk: a technocrat; a person who understands small details as an authority.

The energy-policy wonks in Washington have some good ideas about how we can all save on home energy costs.


woozy: dizzy or tired; a side effect from some medicine.

Laughing gas made Shawn feel a little woozy while the dentist worked on his teeth.


workaholic: a person who works all the time.

If he weren’t such a workaholic, he’d have more time to spend with his kids.


work it in: to bring something into another thing; to incorporate; to make time available in a schedule.

We don’t have a lot of extra time during the meeting, but if you want to talk about your project for a few minutes, it’s possible to work that in.


work out: make something possible; to improve a situation.

Tom and Jennifer are have had some trouble with their marriage, but now they’re trying to work things out.


worry wart: a person who worries too much.

Stop being such a worry wart. Your kids will be okay when they go on the trip.


wrap up: bring a project to a conclusion; finish.

Let’s wrap things up here and go home.


wreck: a person or a thing in very bad condition.

Diane is a wreck after getting only got two hours of sleep last night.


wussy: a person who is weak, fearful.

My friend, Dan, is too much of a wussy to ask his hottie neighbor, Casandra, out on a date.



Attention: Some slang is inappropriate in certain situations. That’s why you see the word “caution” after some of these slang words. Some slang is considered to be vulgar.

vulgar = impolite or considered a swear word. Don’t use it around your supervisor or someone who might be offended.


Next Slang Lesson

In our next lesson, we will cover American Slang Beginning with X.

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English Slang Outline

If you wish to see all HiCafe lessons related to English slang, you can visit the Popular and Practical American Slang page.