Unusual Adjectives 2


When people talk about the weather, they use adjectives like: sunny when the sun is shining or cloudy when the sun is hidden. In the summer when it is hot and humid, the weather gets hazy, and people get sweaty, and if they perspire too much for too long, people start to get stinky. In the winter when it is a bit cold, we say that it is chilly, but when the temperature drops below freezing, it gets icy. In places like London, it gets foggy, which makes it impossible to see beyond a few feet ahead.

Sometimes, when we get a bad cold and we take medicine to get better that makes us get drowsy, which is another way of saying tired or sleepy. When an activity is really tiring, it makes us get weary. Some drugs make us feel dizzy, and if somebody takes drugs to get high, he or she might be referred to as a druggy or a junkie.

If you are a person with many different skills and can fix almost anything you might be described as a handy person, but handy is also used to describe something that is useful to have at home or at work. If someone does a job that is not satisfactory you might say that it is a crappy or lousy job. When we talk about food and drinks, we have many informal words to describe them. Chewing gum or maple syrup might be described as sticky. Some people might say that Brussels sprouts or liver are iky. We call something that gives a lot of juice like oranges or steaks juicy, or tasty if it tastes really good, but if what you eat has too much fat or oil in it; people would say that it is greasy.

When people in New York City talk about their apartments, they often use the word tiny, but when something takes up a lot of space in your apartment you might call it bulky. If somebody does nasty things behind another person’s back for his or her own benefit, that would be sleazy, and when the police try to catch a delinquent that usually manages to get away, they will say this guy is slippery. The word slippery is also used to describe floors that are wet or has just been waxed. If something is a little bit difficult and demands some thinking, people would call it tricky. Sleazy, slippery, and tricky are all words that are frequently used when people talk about lawyers.

If you’ve got energy and charm, people might call you perky, but if you are overconfident and brash, they would say that you are cocky. Someone with peculiar habits would be described as quirky, while someone who is rude would be referred to as jerky, and a person who is not considered cool, hip, or stylish would likely be thought of by others as dorky. When people discuss fashion, they use especial words to describe certain things like trendy, if something or some place is very popular. Tacky is a very trendy word used to describe something in bad taste, which can also be applied to a person who has really bad taste. If someone is constantly asking his or her friend for things, the adjective to describe that person is needy.

Somebody who is into buying sex-magazines or tiple-x-rated videos would be referred to as kinky. TV commercials or songs that get our attention right away are called catchy. When talking about humor we have numerous descriptive terms. If something is very funny people might call it hilarious. If somebody is funny- looking or does things that make other people laugh, they would say that he or she is goofy or daffy, which is way these words were both used as names for famous cartoon characters.

Vocabulary and Expressions

Hazy = marked by the presence of mist in the air.
Chilly = cool or cold enough to cause shivering.
Icy = containing or covered with ice, bitterly cold.
Drowsy = dull with sleepiness, sluggish, inducing sleepiness.
Dizzy = having a whirling sensation and a tendency to fall.
Weary = physical or mentally fatigued.
Junkie = a narcotics addict, especially one using heroin.
Handy = skillful at using one’s hands, accessible, easy to use.
Crappy = vulgar slang, worthless, nonsense, rubbish
Lousy = nasty, unpleasant, worthless.
Sticky = having an adhesive property, warm and humid.
Juicy = rich in juice, succulent.
Tasty = having a pleasing flavor or showing good taste.
Greasy = coated or soiled with grease.
Tiny = extremely small.
Bulky = massive, something that has considerable mass.
Sleazy = dirty, vulgar, dishonest, or corrupt, disreputable.
Slippery = causing sliding or slipping like a bar of soap, elusive or tricky
Trendy = in accord with the latest in fashion.
Tacky = lacking style or good taste, distasteful, tasteless.
Needy = someone who is in need of something all the time.
Kinky = showing or appealing to bizarre or deviant taste especially in relation to sex or erotic nature.
Catchy = attractive or appealing, easily remembered.
Funny = causing laughter or amusement
Goofy = slang, silly, ridiculous.
Daffy = silly, foolish.
Tricky = difficult to deal with or handle; deceptive.

Conversation Activities

1. Why do you think slang exists?
2. Are there many informal words or slang in your own language?
3. How do you think slang is learned?
4. Why are informal words easier to learn than formal ones?
5. Will new informal words be added to language in the future?