Preply vs Cambly: Pros & Cons – Students’ Edition

Cambly vs Preply, comparing the two language tutoring sites from the tutors' perspective
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For people seeking to learn English, there have never been so many options as now! With such variety, though, it can get confusing as to which platforms are better suited for each individual student. I mean, we’ve all got our own unique styles and comfort zones, right? This post will take a look at two platforms that I have tutored on.

I’ll give my opinion on what I feel the advantages and disadvantages are for English learners on either of the two. Feel free to let me know what you think below or to share what your experiences have been like learning on these sites. So, let’s talk about some of the similarities, pros, and cons of Preply and Cambly for students.

Read also: Preply vs Cambly, Tutors’ Edition

Check for yourselfCambly InfoPreply

All the Same

Despite some differences, Preply and Cambly actually have a lot of similarities for students, and they offer much of the same things. Both of these are online language learning platforms where students can decide the times and days of their own lessons. These platforms allow for students to attend lessons on practically any device with a camera, from laptops to cellphones to tablets and more.

They also allow for students to choose which tutors they wish to talk with, providing a profile and video by each tutor. The two platforms have learning materials that can be used during the lessons as well. Monitors are on watch for both platforms to make sure the lessons go smoothly and safely. Now, on to the specifics.

Preply, pros & cons

the Preply tutoring company logo, comparing it with pros and cons
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Advantages

  • they make it easy to pay for lessons and set up recurring / weekly lessons with the same tutors
  • if the student doesn’t enjoy their first lesson, they can do a lesson with another tutor free of extra charge until they find a good fit
  • the interface looks nice and the platform is fairly easy to use
  • they have features like a whiteboard, lesson topics, and an easy chat section to navigate
  • students can arrange to do automatic lesson confirmation so they don’t have to worry about this after lessons
  • it’s designed mostly for students that want to stick with the same tutors for longer and do longer lessons
  • they aren’t so picky about doing lessons off of the Preply platform, as long as the lesson is confirmed on Preply, this allows for more freedom to do the lesson where you’re comfortable
  • they check with students to confirm before extending their payment plans
  • students can learn other languages besides English

Disadvantages

  • sometimes the platform can be a little slow, this especially happens during updates
  • there is no free trial lesson and all lessons are paid for in advance
  • students aren’t required to do 1 hour lessons but most do, some students have a hard time keeping up with this weekly schedule, it’s a bigger commitment
  • most students do lessons on a laptop in a more formal setting, this could feel limiting to some students
  • because tutors set their own rates, sometimes lessons may be too pricey for certain students

Cambly, pros & cons

the Cambly English tutoring company logo
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Advantages

  • students usually do the lessons on a cellphone, so they have the freedom to be almost anywhere and practice English
  • lessons are normally shorter, although students can pay for extended lesson times if they wish
    • it is usually a laidback atmosphere which can be very relaxing for students, low pressure
  • students have the freedom to talk to a different tutor each session or make planned lessons with the same tutor
  • students are allowed a free-trial lesson and sometimes promotions for multiple free lessons
  • a great place for YouTubers and influencers to interact with English speakers for entertainment and educational purposes
  • students can feel safe that the lessons are closely monitored, more so than Preply in my experience
  • tutors go through a quick training before starting, this is to better understand other world cultures and behaviors, and it helps them to be more receptive of students’ specific customs
  • you don’t have to schedule lessons, just log in and find someone to talk with
  • I sense that tutors come from a wider array of backgrounds on Cambly, there’s also a fair amount that aren’t native English speakers but still speak English very well

Disadvantages

  • many students like to share contact info, but Cambly strictly prohibits this, this is a downside if you are one of those students
  • students can do the lesson from anywhere, but some locations might make video connection worse
  • because the atmosphere can be more relaxed, some students might not reap the full benefits of a fully focused lesson, this can provide a false sense of improvement for some students who would benefit better from sitting and focusing on English practice, which is totally possible on Cambly

So, there …?

Well, you can see I tried to stay optimistic and focus on the good side of things. The lists are overwhelmingly positive for both platforms, which surprised even me. For students looking to do lessons on either Preply or Cambly, I would suggest just thinking about the kind of lessons you want. Do you want to just practice conversational English or do you want to have a bit more structure and order in your lessons? Or do you want both or something different altogether?

Both of these platforms are excellent tools to use for practicing English and to get some cultural exchange. In the end, though, my experience tells me to encourage all the students out there to use it as one of your many language learning tools, and not as a cure-all. Just using an online platform probably isn’t going to make you fluent, although it’s one great way to help you get there!

Language learning is best done when there is a variety of methods and materials used so the brain can get in contact with the language from different angles, using different experiences. Students that seek a more casual approach to learning might prefer Cambly, while students who seek to put in more focus might prefer Preply. Either way, both platforms allow for casual and serious language learning, just with their own twist. The important thing is how they are used by the students. You can do it! I trust in you. I hope I could make the differences, similarities, pros, and cons of Preply and Cambly a bit clearer for you. Thanks for reading, and we’ll tune in next time. Peace.

‘Butterfly Effect’ by Travis Scott – Lyrics for English Students

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Astroworld album cover by Travis Scott.jpg
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“BUTTERFLY EFFECT” is a song by Travis Scott, as you might know, and it came off of his 2017 album, Astroworld. Below are the lyrics with some explanations about expressions, grammar, and other less-obvious meanings of the song. I am no expert on this song or on Travis Scott, but this might help those of you learning or studying English to better understand the words. If you’d like, please watch the video and read the lyrics and explanations. Then take another listen to see how much you understand the second time. Ready?

Read the lyrics without my explanations on Genius

Other explanations: Where is the Butterfly Effect; Interesting Song Facts

More Lyrics “Explained”

“Butterfly Effect” Lyrics & Explanations

All the commas

  • Other meanings: This probably has to do with money. The more commas, the bigger the number is; 1(,)00(,)000(,)000(,) …

Murda on the beat so it’s not nice

  • Other meanings: This is a popular tagline from the producer on this song, Murda Beatz.

Ooh, hmm

For this life, I cannot change

  • Figurative speech / Philosophy: Just a note about the title: the “butterfly effect” is the idea that changing something small or subtle in the past — like killing a butterfly — can lead to a completely different present and future. It’s also the idea that something small like a butterfly beating its wings can make huge ripples (impacts) in time. This theory kind of rings throughout the song as Travis says he cannot change, as if his life is destined to be this way. The lyric also could mean that this new lifestyle cannot change who he really is. But, like a butterfly beating its wings in the past, his impact will be made on the world.

Hidden Hills, deep off in the main

  • Geography / Other meanings: Hidden Hills is an upscale, sort of exclusive city in the north Los Angeles area where lots of rich and famous people live. It also sounds like he could be saying “in the hills” which has the same connotation. That’s because in Los Angeles, many of the rich and fancy neighborhoods are either literally in the hills or have the name “hills.”
  • Not sure: The “deep off in the main” part is a little confusing, but it could just mean that the people in this society have deep ties, deep roots, or deep connections there. Or something else entirely.

M&M’s, sweet like candy cane

  • Figurative speech: We know M&M’s. Some like chocolate and others swear by peanut butter. He could be relating M&M’s to certain drugs like ecstasy, comparing the “high” feeling of being on drugs to a sugar high from eating lots of sweets.

Drop the top, pop it, let it bang

  • Casual speech / Slang: “Drop the top” and “pop the top off” are ways to talk about taking the top off of a convertible car. “Bang” here could refer to playing loud music in the car. These expressions probably have other meanings too that are a little more provocative, so I’ll leave it at that.

For this life, I cannot change

Hidden Hills, deep off in the main

M&M’s, sweet like candy cane

Drop the top, pop it, let it bang

Drop the top, play hide and seek

  • Games: “Hide and seek” is a kids game where one person has to search for other people who are hiding.
  • Figurative speech: He doesn’t literally want to play hide and seek though. This could mean going to look for something or someone, or trying to run away or hide from someone. Doing things discreetly.

Jump inside, jump straight to the league

  • Figurative speech / Slang: Going to “the league” generally refers to young athletes who skip college and go directly into the professional league. He could be referring to someone joining his “team” or his crew. Come play with the big boys. This mixes in with a popular term among some black men to call each other “hitters,” like a baseball player that hits a ball. That’s not what it means, that’s just the relation to being on the team or in the league.

Take a sip, feel just how I be (It’s lit)

  • Grammar: *”Feel just how I am …”
  • Slang / Informal speech: Saying “how I be” refers to how the person lives, how they act on a regular basis, their style. This is very informal, by the way. Saying something is “lit” means that it’s fun, it’s cool, something good will come of it. It’s also one of Travis’s popular sayings.

On Freeway, but no, ain’t nothin’ free (Straight up)

  • Grammar: *”On the freeway, but no, nothing is free …”
  • Slang: Saying “straight up” like this is the same as “for real,” as if to reiterate that the person really means what they say.

Bend laws, bend lanes (Skrrt, skrrt)

  • Expressions: To “bend the law” means to break it basically, to go against the law. “Bending lanes” is driving quickly along turns on street lanes. Hence, skrrt skrrt.

Been bustin’ bills, but still, ain’t nothin’ change

  • Grammar: *”I’ve been busting bills, but still, nothing has changed …”
  • Slang: By “busting bills” he means he’s been spending a lot of money. Still, he makes a ton of money, so his financial situation isn’t affected by this.

You in the mob soon as you rock the chain

  • Grammar: *”You’re in the mob as soon as you rock the chain …”
  • Slang: The “mob” here refers to his crew again. The same goes for “team, squad, gang,” etc. To “rock” in this case means to wear something proudly, especially a certain brand.

She caught the waves, just thumbin’ through my braids (Alright)

person with twisty braids in their head
Some braids for you – Gift Habeshaw
  • Slang / Expressions: To “catch the wave” here means to get high (on drugs) and feel some wavy vibes. To “thumb” through something means to run one’s fingers through it as if to study it, like thumbing a book.
  • Culture / Style: He plays on the idea of waves as a hairstyle since “waves” have been a popular hairstyle for black men for a while.

Heatin’ up, baby, I’m just heatin’ up (It’s lit)

  • Expressions: “Heating up” figuratively means that something is getting started, it’s just beginning. A similar expression is “warming up.”

Need your love, not a need, it is a must

Feelin’ stuck, you know how to keep me up

  • Expressions / Dual meanings: “Keep me up” here means this person keeps him feeling well, positive, and in good spirits. It also has a more provocative meaning, though.

Icy love, icy like a hockey puck (Alright)

a hockey player hitting a puck into a goal, related to a line from Travis Scott's Butterfly Effect song
this hockey puck is icy – Samantha Gades
  • Slang: “Icy” here has a couple of meanings. It can be really cool, chill, relaxed, good-looking, and involving lots of “ice” or diamonds and jewels.

For this life, I cannot change

Hidden Hills, deep off in the main

M&M’s, sweet like candy cane

Drop the top, pop it, let it bang

For this life, I cannot change

Hidden Hills, deep off in the main

M&M’s, sweet like candy cane

Drop the top, pop it, let it bang

All the ones, all the chains piled on the mantle

All the dawgs, all the dawgs low creep right behind me in the Phantom (It’s lit)

front of a rolls royce phantom, related to a lyric from Travis Scott song Butterfly Effect
a scary Phantom – Taras Chernus
  • Slang: “Dawgs” is the same as a guy or a friend. To “creep” in this scenario means to move slowly and watchfully without trying to be noticed. In a car, it sounds like it means driving with the car low to the ground.
  • Regular speech: Saying “right” with a direction just adds emphasis to how close the subject is. “Right next to, right beside, right above, right there.”
  • Cars / Culture: A Phantom is a popular expensive car often referenced in rap / trap music.

Yeah, never go, never go dip on the set, stayed Santana

  • Informal speech / Grammar: *”I stayed like Santana …”
  • Slang: To “dip” in this case means to disappear or abandon something. The “set” is a person’s original “hood,” group or place that they most represent. So, Travis didn’t abandon his origins, in simpler terms.
  • Pop Culture References: He’s probably referencing Juelz Santana who was a part of a rap group called Dipset or the Diplomats.

Yeah, run it back, turn the lights on when I hit up Green Lantern (It’s lit, alright)

  • Expressions / Slang: To “run it back” means to do something again like repeat a song or phrase, or to go back to a place. To “hit up” a place means to visit it or go to it.
  • Personal meaning / Location: He could be talking about a bar in San Antonio called the Green Lantern, since Travis is from Texas and I’ve heard he went to this place.

Yeah, fly the broads, fly the dawgs down to Atlanta

  • Slang: “Broads” is another term for young women. It’s an older term that can be seen as disrespectful to some women.

Yeah, in the cut in Medusa, lay low, yeah, I might be

  • Slang / Expressions: “In the cut” here means that he is in a place, probably a really nice place. It’s one of those non-specific slangs that could be a number of other things too. To “lay low” or “lie low” means to take it easy, relax, not do much work, enjoy one’s time.
  • Life references / Dual meanings: Medusa could be referring to the logo on Versace brand clothing, or a popular restaurant in Atlanta.

Yeah, roll up, help me calm down when I’m movin’ high speed

  • Slang: “Roll up” here refers to rolling up a joint (of cannabis). It could also refer to rolling his window up to feel stronger effects from the weed since we assume he is in a car.

Yeah, if I send one, need to text back ’cause you know what I need (Straight up)

  • Grammar: *”You need to text back because you know what I need …”
  • Deeper meaning: We can only imagine what he might need from this person he’s texting.

Oh, please, oh, me, oh, my

  • Expressions: “Oh me, oh my” is an old-fashioned expression that sounds like a kids song. “Oh my” is a way to show shock or surprise. It’s short for “Oh my God / goodness / word.” Also, saying “Oh, please!” like this can be like telling someone to stop because they are lying or saying something outrageous. “You wrestled a lion? Oh, please!” Of course, it can also be like saying “Please, stop.”

We been movin’, we been movin’ for some time (Alright)

  • Grammar: *”We have / we’ve been moving …”
  • Expressions: “Moving” here refers to making moves, or doing things to make money and have success.

Flexin’, flexin’, try to exercise

a guy flexing with his shirt off in the gym and curling weights, relating to a line a flexing in a travis scott song
Flexing those muscles, brah – Alora Griffiths
  • Slang: “Flex” in this context means to show off, present what you have to everyone else, usually in a way that is misleading. Of course, it relates to flexing a muscle, showing your strength, proving that you have been exercising a lot.

Exercise, exercise, exercise

Then it repeats.

That’s ‘Wack!’ Video Quick Examples – English Expressions

A film projector in the dark, representing a short video about the use of the expression "wack"
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Hello, English learners and enthusiasts. We have this expression or slang word called:

Wack!

This word is used to describe things that are boring, not interesting, of bad quality, or simply not fun. The video below shows how you might use or hear it in normal speech, so please check that out. Let me know what you think! Sorry, my hair was kind of crazy that day. 😀

In the Urban Dictionary

Watch more Videos

Read “wack” in a short story

Contact me!

Not Pronouncing the ‘D’ & ‘T’ – English Speaking Habits

a cat sticking its tongue out, representing the tongue-twisting nature of people not pronouncing their d's and t's in common English speech
Don Hassan

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Watch it here:

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Dropping the D & T

We’re here to look at a funny habit that many English speakers have. Sometimes we drop the “d” or the “t” sound in the middles or ends of words. This is more common if that “d” or “t” is next to another consonant, and especially if it’s between two consonant sounds.

Examples

  • “I can’t hear a thing you say.” Pronounced, I cann hear a thing you say.
  • “There’s going to be a band night this evening.” Pronounced, There’s going to be a bann night this evening.

Above, the “t” in can’t gets lost between a “nnn” and a “hhh” sound. The “d” in band gets lost between two “nnn” sounds. This doesn’t always happen as a rule, but it is common for many people.

The “d” and “t” sounds when next to consonants are already pronounced weakly in normal cases, so it wasn’t so hard to completely omit them. Still, the sound is not simply dropped, but usually, the sound before it gets a little stressed. Remember, that’s like the “n” sound in I cann hear a thing you say.

Taking other letters along

In some words, the “d” and “t” take some other letters away with them. This can be heard in some accents with the words don’t, doesn’t, and didn’t, among others. Watch how many sounds get dropped from these words.

Examples

  • “He doesn’t look like he knows what that means.” Pronounced, He ‘onn’ look like he knows what that means.
  • “Elvis also played the guitar, didn’t he?” Pronounced, Elvis also played the guitar, dinn’ he?

This might look pretty funny on paper, but it sounds smoother in speech. Again, not all English speakers have these habits when talking, but they can be noticed in several accents. This usually happens so that the words can come out easier since so many “d’s” and “t’s” right next to each other just don’t seem natural.

It’s some people’s way of making the speech flow better. Of course, lots of people may find these habits weird or think they’re uneducated, and there are plenty of those that do try to annunciate all their letters. This is just another habit that English learners may come across when they practice their new language.

Read more: about dropping d’s and t’s especially in American English

Find more posts like this in the Blog.

More examples

I havenn heard from you in a while. (haven’t)

It’s hard to benn metal. (bend)

Chris ‘onn’ even know how to change a tire. (doesn’t)

I dinn’ see that one coming. (didn’t)

Cambly vs Preply: Pros & Cons – Tutors’ Edition

Cambly vs Preply, comparing the two language tutoring sites from the tutors' perspective
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Cambly and Preply are two of the top online language tutoring companies out there right now. I have tutored on both of these platforms and, over time, I’ve noticed some things I want to share with you. This page will focus on the pros, cons, and similarities of these two websites as they are from the tutor’s point of view. Some of these are facts and others are opinions or subjective experiences. Either way, it may help you, potential tutors, to make a clearer decision. So let’s get ready and see what we think!

Check for yourself: Cambly; Preply

Read other tutor reviews: from Preply tutors; from Cambly tutors

Similarities

First off, the most obvious similarity between Cambly and Preply is that they are both language learning platforms, and pretty good ones at that. Both sites are largely popular and sought after by students from all over the world. For the tutors, these sites make available a connection and video/audio test so that tutors can be sure these things are functioning. They also both have teaching materials ready to use and good support teams to help tutors, including groups for fellow teachers to assist each other.

The platforms allow tutors to essentially choose their own work times and days, though in different ways. Both platforms, like most language tutoring sites, do require that tutors use a PC or laptop to conduct the lessons. No phones allowed. Still, they both offer opportunities to connect with people from around the world and enrich our understandings of each other, all while offering professional growth and experience. What’s more satisfying than that?

the Preply tutoring company logo
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Preply: Pros & Cons

Advantages
  • most students search for longer-term tutors & are generally more serious about learning
  • tutors are informed about the student before 1st lessons (where they’re from, what their level and goals are), this eases the uncertainty
  • students can take a placement test which helps tutors understand strengths & weaknesses from the start
  • lessons are normally an hour, so tutors get paid for the full lesson
  • now they have automatic & obligatory lesson confirmations, so you receive payment quicker
  • tutors cash out at any point
  • tutors set the price of their lessons
  • fewer restrictions to share contact information as long as the students confirm lessons on Preply (some students prefer lessons on Zoom, Skype, etc.)
  • the lesson materials setup is a little more sophisticated
  • it’s super easy to make notes in the system and jot down important information for future reference
  • personal opinion, the platform just looks nicer, I love their whiteboard and conversation topics features
  • other languages available to tutor in besides English
Disadvantages
  • tutors have to do a free trial lesson (“free” for them but not for the students), they only earn from the second lesson onward
  • Preply receives commission on all lessons, it starts at a pretty large percentage (I think 33% now) but drops (as low as 18%) as you continue to do more lessons
  • not much else, when getting a student you don’t enjoy you might feel more obligated to stick with them because students generally pay for a package and schedule in advance, also the lessons are usually an hour which can be a lot with students you’re not fond of
the Cambly English tutoring company logo
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Cambly: Pros & Cons

Advantages
  • allows tutors to meet many students from all over the world at a faster rate than most sites, lessons are usually shorter so more students can potentially be met
  • the atmosphere is generally more relaxed since the students come mostly for conversation practice
  • it has been making great improvements in its teaching materials and interface
  • there’s an element of surprise with constantly meeting new students, many interesting people and topics are met and discussed
  • downtime during priority hours can be used to learn more about tutoring (they have a blog for that), learn some other skill, read, or do any other desktop activity
  • there’s an obligatory pre-lesson check for the internet and video/audio, and to make sure tutors are dressed properly, this can be a great reminder
  • lots of influencers promote Cambly and you’re likely to get on someone’s YouTube channel or blog at some point, it can be a nice publicity boost
  • tutors earn for every lesson by the minute, no free trials (for tutors, yes for students)
  • allow for scheduling a lesson with recurring students if you should get any, it does happen
  • ratings are now based on the last 200 student ratings received which helps as tutors continue to do lessons and improve
  • the dashboard shows how many minutes tutors have spent with students all time plus all the money they’ve ever earned, this can be a confidence booster showing your progress
  • tutors on the Cambly groups (like on Facebook) are generally very sweet and helpful
  • they are very protective about sharing information or “meeting” outside the platform, they offer great help for tutors suffering “awkward situations” and are always on the lookout
Disadvantages
  • the rating system can be a little iffy since students can rate even for shorter lessons, this can feel like too much control is with the students, although they have been improving the rating system
  • if tutors happen not to be online at the moment the lesson starts, they aren’t allowed to continue that priority hour (needed to get online and teach), this hurts future availability for those, sometimes unexpected things happen and this can be a bummer
  • tutors may get lots of short lessons and you’re only paid per minute, so you often don’t receive for the entire priority hour you scheduled
  • tutors may potentially have to wait for long periods of time until they can reach a single student some days and not get paid for waiting time
  • only allow cashout after earning a certain amount ($20) and only on Mondays
  • most students (in my experience) don’t continue with the same tutors which is a shame since most of them are really nice and you might want to keep up their lessons
  • although the atmosphere is often relaxed, there may be students who are out with friends, kids playing with the phone, people out in the street, or someone just forcing an English session in before bed, these casual situations can be challenging to navigate since their attention might not be fully on English practice
  • also, since it’s more casual there’s a higher chance of getting someone who is out where the connection is bad and the video quality is poor or choppy
  • every now and then there’s someone on the support groups that is irritated with new tutors asking the same old questions and can be a little offensive, it’s rare but something to be aware of
  • they are very restrictive about sharing information or “meeting” outside the platform, I know this is for the safety of students and tutors but can be a drag in some situations, plus it can feel like you’re always being spied on

In Conclusion …

So, I know the lists look really lopsided up there, but the best choice comes from personal preference. With Cambly, I really love the wide range of people I’m able to meet from all walks of life. I’ve gotten calls from guys at hookah bars and teenagers at recess and vendors at shops.

There’s a connection to people’s everyday life that I’ve experienced nowhere else. I’m just a bit socially anxious, and so the constant feeling of not knowing who I’m going to meet next can be hard on the nerves. Still, that factor could be great for someone else. You might notice that I saw a lot of great things about Preply, but who knows? The fact that they receive commissions on every single lesson and you have to do lessons that you don’t earn for could be a deal-breaker for many.

On the flipside to Cambly, I also enjoy the stability of knowing who you’re going to talk to each time. Both sites have people monitoring lessons to ensure safety, but I never felt “watched” on Preply as I did on Cambly. Either way, I love both of these platforms for their own reasons. I recommend both to any tutors out there, or try to find a better one. There are so many English teaching sites and there’s bound to be one that fits you like a glove.

**I hope I helped you gain some insight on these two fabulous (and a little flawed) websites. Happy tutoring! Read more interesting posts on the Blog and stay tuned for Preply vs Cambly, Students’ Edition! Comment what you think the better site is, or tell us about a site you like even more than these two. Contact me directly at tietewaller@gmail.com or to collaborate with me! Thanks again, and take care of each other.

“Day ‘N’ Nite (Nightmare)” by Kid Cudi – Lyrics for English Students

Flag of the United States, home country of rapper Kid Cudi
artist from.

Do you want to know the lyrics to “Day ‘N’ Nite” by Kid Cudi? Great, you’re in the right place! The song was featured on his 2008 album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day, but was also released on a previous mixtape and single. This page is geared toward explaining to English learners some of the expressions, idioms, slang, and cultural points in the song that most native English speakers probably know already.

I suggest reading the song lyrics and explanations first. Then listen to the song with the lyrics to check for comprehension. If you know most of these explanations, then cool. Your language skills are on point! Ready?

Also Listen: Day ‘N’ Nite Remix (Crookers)

Read: for the lyrics without my explanations, Genius

Read more: Lyrics “Explained”

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Lyrics & Explanations

Day and night

  • Informal Writing: Just a note about the spelling; in the song’s title, “N” is the same as “and” but a popular way to spell it in informal titles or writing. “Nite” is the same as “night” but also an informal alternative spelling. This happens a lot when texting for words that don’t spell like they sound. Ex: Tho (Though), Rite (Right), U (You), 4 (For)

I toss and turn, I keep stressing my mind, mind

  • Expressions: “Tossing and turning” is another way to say that you can’t sleep. It’s a very common expression.

I look for peace, but see, I don’t attain

What I need for keeps, this silly game we play, play

  • Expressions: “For keeps” means something you want to keep or hold on to. It usually means you will win the object you want after playing some game. “Let’s race. Whoever wins gets a new car.” “Are we playing for keeps?”

Now look at this

Madness the magnet keeps attracting me, me

I try to run, but see, I’m not that fast

I think I’m first but surely finish last, last

  • Culture/Literature: This line is reminiscent of a popular fable, “The Tortoise and the Hare.” The two animals race and the hare becomes cocky thinking he will easily beat the tortoise, but the tortoise ends up winning after slowly but steadily staying on track. Maybe Cudi assumes he’s going to win like the hare did, but he gets beat in the end.

‘Cause day and night

  • Informal Speech: *Because day and night …

The lonely stoner seems to free his mind at night

  • Slang: A “stoner” is someone who gets high on drugs, especially cannabis. Similarly, getting “stoned” means getting high on cannabis.

Read more: Stoner

He’s all alone through the day and night

The lonely loner seems to free his mind at night, at, at, at night

  • Other Vocabulary: You might have picked this one up, but a “loner” is someone who spends most of their time alone. They don’t interact much with other people.

Day and night

The lonely stoner seems to free his mind at night

He’s all alone, some things will never change

The lonely loner seems to free his mind at night, at, at, at night

Hold the phone

  • Expressions/Dual Meaning: This one’s pretty obvious, but it can also mean to “wait” in general. This is similar to other expressions like “Hold on,” “Hold up,” and “Hold it.” These all mean to wait. Even though “hold the phone” sounds pretty specific, there are other phrases like this that mean to wait. Ex: “Hold the front door,” and “Hold your horses.” These are a little more silly and informal, though.

The lonely stoner, Mr. Solo Dolo

  • Popular Vocabulary: “Solo” means solitary or alone. I think we got it from Spanish but it’s pretty common to say that you are “solo” or doing something “solo.”
  • Informal/Unusual Expressions: “Dolo” I think is the same as solo. I haven’t heard this expression much, but I guess “solo-dolo” means being alone but feeling relaxed or okay about it.
  • Figurative Speech: Saying “Mr.” before some kind of quality means that the person is full of that quality, as if they were the owner of it. “Okay, Mr. Bossy, you don’t have to order people around all the time.”

He’s on the move, can’t seem to shake the shade

  • Idiom: Being “on the move” is to be active in making plans or moving from place to place.
  • Slang: To “shake” in this sense means to avoid or escape something, like to shake off. “The cops are behind us. I can’t shake them.” Shade here has the sense of something ominous or sad. In slang, “shade” can also be general disrespect or dislike that comes from people who don’t like you. A similar concept is “hating on” someone.

Within his dreams he sees the life he made, made

  • Slang/Possible Dual Meaning: The repeating of “made” here reminds me of another expression. Saying that someone is “made” or they “have it made” is like saying they have everything they dreamed of, they have all the success they could want. They’re living the good life. They “have it made.”

The pain is deep

A silent sleeper, you won’t hear a peep, peep

  • Other Vocabulary: “Peep” is any very small sound. It’s usually said in phrases like “won’t hear a peep” or “don’t make a peep.”

The girl he wants don’t seem to want him too

  • Grammar/Informal Speech: *The girl he wants doesn’t seem to want him either … The way he says it sounds better in this case, though.

It seems the feelings that she had are through, through

  • Common Speech: When something is “through,” it means it is done or over. It has ended.

‘Cause day and night

The lonely stoner seems to free his mind at night

He’s all alone through the day and night

The lonely loner seems to free his mind at night, at, at, at night

Day and night

The lonely stoner seems to free his mind at night

He’s all alone, some things will never change

The lonely loner seems to free his mind at night, at, at, at night

Slow mo’

  • Slang/Casual Expression: “Slow mo” means slow motion. Here, he says it probably to mean slow down or wait.

When the tempo slows up and creates that new, new

  • Foreign/Musical Term: When used in English, “tempo” specifically has to do with the speed of a rhythm, like in music. It has almost become synonymous with speed. I believe it comes from Italian.
  • Slang/Informal Expression: To “slow up” is the same as to slow down or go slower, interestingly enough. It is just another cool way to express this idea. “New new” is a fun concept. It basically means something that is new or hasn’t been experienced before, like an emerging trend. It’s like saying “new thing” but the focus is on the impact of that new thing as opposed to the new thing itself. “You still wear the old brands, but I’ve got that new new. You want to see some?”

Read more: New new

He seems alive though he is feeling blue

  • Slang/Idiom: We probably all know this one, but feeling “blue” is feeling sad.

The sun is shining, man he’s super cool, cool

  • Expressions: “Man” here is just an exclamation, it doesn’t mean anything really.
  • Informal Speech: The way he pronounces “cool” is a very common way to say it in some accents. It also rhymes a lot better with blue.

The lonely nights

They fade away, he slips into his white Nikes

  • Casual Expression: To “slip into” something means to wear it or put it on. “I’m going to slip into a nice dress.”
  • Informal/Alternative Speech: The way he pronounces Nikes (referring to shoes) is an informal way that only certain communities say, though it can also just be an alternative or sarcastic way of pronouncing it. It also rhymes better with nights.

He smokes a clip and then he’s on the way

  • Slang: Smoking a “clip” is smoking the leftovers of a blunt of cannabis.
  • Idiom/Expressions: To be “on the way” means to be arriving somewhere or going somewhere specific.

To free his mind in search of, to free his mind in search of

To free his mind in search of

Day and night

The lonely stoner seems to free his mind at night

He’s all alone through the day and night

The lonely loner seems to free his mind at night, at, at, at night

Day and night

The lonely stoner seems to free his mind at night

He’s all alone, some things will never change

The lonely loner seems to free his mind at night

At, at, at night, night

At, at, at night, night

Na-na-na-na-na-na, Kid Cudi

Cleveland status, grind all day

  • Casual Expressions: Adding “status” after something like a quality or a place means that person is acting like that quality or representing that place. “He’s on Brooklyn status with his Nets jersey and his old Brooklyn Dodger hat.”
  • Slang: To “grind” in this case means to work hard and put in an effort. A similar concept is to be “on your grind.”

Read more: Grind

Then it repeats …

**I hope you enjoyed reading the lyrics to “Day ‘N’ Nite.” Did you understand these pretty well? What part of the lyrics do you still have trouble with? Tell us what your favorite lines are, or what other songs you like by Kid Cudi. You can contact me personally at tietewaller@gmail.com or to collaborate. Read more posts like this one at Lyrics “Explained.” Thank you for coming! Peace.

“Depth trap dive”- figurative meanings and uses of ‘Deep’

the bright entrance of a large dark cave, representing the literal meaning of deep
Ian Chen

The guys didn’t know it, but they were looking down a deep hole. Well, a cave or sinkhole would be the technical terms. Charles was sweating in the heat of the beating sun. His helmet smudged the dirt on his forehead. He looked over to his friend, Jonah, to see how he was getting along.

–So, how do you feel about going down? You’re not having second thoughts, are you? Charles asked.

Jonah responded, –What? Second thoughts! I’m not scared. Besides, we paid all that money to go down into this deep hole.

–Oh, I’m not scared. I was just making sure you weren’t gonna run at the last minute. Life is too short to miss out on self-enriching opportunities like … deep cave diving.

Jonah laughed a bit.

–Wow, I didn’t know you were so deep, my friend.

Deep

“Deep” normally has the meaning of something with a large depth, like deep water or a deep hole, in this case. As a figurative expression deep has a similar meaning of depth or something being profound. The difference is that it has to do with a topic or idea that is very thoughtful, meaningful, or sincere. Sometimes people can say this in a sarcastic way, but the idea is still the same.

Read more: some literal and figurative meanings of Deep

Besides, we paid all that money to go down into this deep hole.

  • To go down into a hole with a lot of physical depth, deep into the earth.

–Wow, I didn’t know you were so deep, my friend.

  • I didn’t know you were so thoughtful, that you had such profound and meaningful ideas.

.

Storytime …

Charles told him, –Yeah, I’m always coming up with cool ideas. I’m starting to really consider leaving my job at the college and just working full-time at the theater. It’s the pandemic anyway, so forget it.

At that moment, the caving instructor, Amy, found the two friends chatting.

–Okay, that’s all the equipment, fellas. Ready to go spelunking? Amy asked.

Jonah and Charles gazed at each other with a dumbfound look. A lightbulb then clicked over Jonah’s head.

–Ohhh! You mean cave diving. I had to think for a second.

Amy laughed and took the lead moving downward into the deep dark cavern. Jonah followed soon before Charles and talked with him on the way down.

–So you said you’re going to do stage design full time. How’s that going?

Charles told him, –I don’t know. I’d like to just walk away and commit to the theater, but I’m afraid I might be in too deep with the financial department.

.

In Deep – Deep Into

Taking in the same meaning of “deep,” being deep into something gives the sense that one is deeply committed to a situation or person. This could be a positive thing, like being in a serious relationship. However, it can also give off the sense that someone is into something they can’t escape from. This can show that the person is in some kind of trouble they can’t get out of. The same idea comes from the expression in deep, though this one is usually for romantic situations.

… but I’m afraid I might be in too deep with the financial department.

  • I might have too big of a commitment, too much to risk, I might be stuck at my current job. Also could say, “I might be too deep in with my job.”

.

Storytime …

Jonah tried to sympathize with his friend’s predicament.

–That is a touch choice. I mean, do you choose the job you want and love, or do you stick around at that boring financial department? Sounds like you’re in the deep end.

.

Deep end

Being in the deep end has a very similar meaning to “in deep.” The idea is still of being under pressure, underwater, or on your toes. It’s a difficult situation to get out of, a hard place to leave from. In other words, “You’re stuck.”

Sounds like you’re in the deep end.

  • It sounds like you’re in a difficult place, have a really tough decision, have nowhere to run to.

.

Storytime …

–Are you all okay? asked Amy. She looked up from the dark with a bright smile on her face.

The two men gave her one thumbs-up each. Before they knew it they had reached the cave floor. Charles opened his mouth to say another deep thought when he was interrupted by a swarm of bats. They screeched and squealed over the three humans, trying to find a place to hide.

Jonah screamed out, –Oh, crap! These are the bats that had the Corona. Fight! Run!

Jonah and Charles started swatting at the little creatures while Amy sat patiently. Jonah didn’t like that.

–What the heck are you doing, Amy? You need to come and help us kill these Covid-19 bats. They just flew in about 50-deep and there’s only three of us here. We need to band together.

.

Deep

So, this use of deep is a little less common than the others. Saying this refers to an amount of people, normally said with a number and then the object. It is supposed to refer to people anyway, but as you can see, Jonah uses it in a joking way to refer to bats. It’s also mostly used to say that “X” amount of people/creatures arrived at a place. Using “deep” in this way is probably more regional and I’m not sure if it’s common outside of my region or country. Still, you may hear it at some point.

They just flew in about 50-deep and there’s only three of us here

  • They flew in with fifty individuals, fifty of them arrived together.

The Ending …

Charles had the same thought as Jonah.

–Yeah, Amy. Why aren’t you doing anything?

Their instructor only turned her head. As the cloud of bats began to clear, she pointed a light at the back of the cave and splayed her luminous smile.

–Look over there!

The two friends immediately turned their heads and found what they had been “spelunking” all this time for. There were several huge columns of stalagmites and crystals shining from the top to the rocky bottom. The friends were utterly shocked, and Charles felt moved to say something.

–Mother Earth must love us humans to offer us such a beautiful sight.

Amy smiled and looked over at Jonah.

–Wow, you’re friend is so deep!

**Read more Adventures of Charles and learn other English expressions and slang. Contact me for a personal message or to collaborate at tietewaller@gmail.com. Follow to get emailed every time a new article is posted. Thanks for reading and take care of yourselves! Peace.

About Guyana – The Actual English World

I really like this guy’s channel

What can we say about the nation of Guyana? It’s a fairly small country — well, most countries look small next to Brazil. Guyana is known for its preserved nature, unspoiled rainforests, scenic mountains, and wildlife. It’s a somewhat black, somewhat East Indian, really mixed country all around with a diverse and unique face in the world. Ready to learn more about the English-speaking world? Let’s talk about Guyana.

map of Guyana regions
regions of Guyana

Geography: The Basics

Officially known as the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, the first thing to know is that Guyana’s located in South America. The nation is divided into 10 regions which are broken into smaller divisions called neighborhoods. Each neighborhood, represent! The capital city is Georgetown within the Demerara-Mahaica region.

a wooden building in Georgetown, Guyanese capital
Georgetown – by Dinesh Chandrapal

The country has a total area of about 83,000 square miles (215,000 sq km). That makes it a bit bigger than Belarus and a bit smaller than Laos. The country’s population is over 743 thousand, slightly less than Bhutan or about the same as the city of Seattle.

Guyana on the Globe

political map of the Guianas region with Guyana highlighted in light red
all the Guianas – By ArnoldPlaton

So Guyana is actually part of a larger region called the Guianas. These are a group of countries and parts of countries in northern South America along the Atlantic coast, east of the Orinoco River. It shares land borders with Brazil, Suriname, and Venezuela with which it has an ongoing border dispute.

Most of the people and major towns are on the wet coastal plains, Georgetown included. Otherwise, Guyana has mountains inland at the Guiana Highlands. Mount Roraima is the highest peak which it shares on a 3-point border with Venezuela and Brazil.

Kaieteur Falls, large waterfall in Guyana
Kaieteur Falls – By Sorenriise

The region has a bunch of those table-top mountains called tepuis, made popular in the Pixar movie, Up. The Essequibo is the longest river forming some major islands at its mouth. Also in the highlands is Kaieteur Falls, believed to be the biggest single-drop waterfall in the world!

The Climate

Satellite image of Guyana
Guyana from space – By NASA

Pretty easy to describe, Guyana’s climate is mostly tropical in the whole country. Of course, it is cooler in the highlands and wetter in the lowlands. It is fairly moist throughout the year with a rainier and drier season.

savanna landscape in the Guyanese interior
savanna in Guyana – by Joshua Gobin

The coast and rivers have lots of wet plains, swamps, and mangroves, while sandy hills and savanna appear inland. There’s also a large rainforest region part of the greater Amazon forest system. Guyana has one of the largest and best-preserved forest areas in the world for its size.

What’s the History?

Patamona indians on the kaieteur plateau
Patamona people – By H. I. Perkins, Esq.

Like everywhere else in the Americas, Guyana was first inhabited by a number of indigenous peoples, most notably the Arawak and Carib tribes. The first Europeans that really settled there were the Dutch in the late 1500s, and they were able to set up a few distinct colonies there.

Later in the 1700s, the British took control, as you do. They eventually united the Dutch colonies into one and called it British Guiana, since there were other Guianas. Around this time, Venezuela started to dispute a large area of Guyanese territory as its own, claiming the area as Guayana-Esequiba.

And the claim has never really been resolved. Finally, in the 1970s Guyana gained independence from the UK, even though they’ve remained a part of the Commonwealth ever since.

Read more: about Canada and the British Commonwealth

One Weird Story

There’s one strange part of Guyana’s history that needed its own separate section. Just after its independence in the ’70s, the government leased some land to this obscure American religious movement called the Peoples Temple. Over time, the group formed a cult that got real dangerous real fast.

The group went so far as to shoot down a plane, killing a U.S. Congressman in the process after he had just paid them a visit. If that weren’t enough, the next day the group performed a mass suicide or murder drinking some kind of Kool-Aid rip-off with poison in it. It’s a really random and odd story that is now tied to the history of Guyana. Alrighty then.

Okay … & Culture?

Guyanese teens in extravagant costumes celebrating carnival
Guyanese people during Carnival – posted by Rachel Lovable

Even though Guyana is in South America, it is culturally a lot closer to the Caribbean. It’s considered a part of the greater mainland Caribbean region (places like Belize, Panama, south Florida, etc.), and this shows in the music, speech, cuisine, and other lifestyle aspects of the Guyanese people.

Read more: about Belize

In particular, the culture has strong Anglo-Caribbean ties due to British colonization. This shows in English being the official language and its highly diverse population, hailing heritage from India, China, Africa, Portugal, and other parts of Europe. This also shows in its religions, where most the people are Christian, but there’s a large Hindu minority. There’s a smaller minority of Muslims and other beliefs too.

smiling indigenous Guyanese girls in traditional wear
Guyana’s First Nations – by the BBC

The nation of course gets immigration and influences from neighboring countries, especially the other Guianas. Guyana is one of the poorer nations in the region though, and it faces lots of challenges and corruption despite being a country rich in oil. They share a common history of Dutch colonization, heavy slave and indentured labor, and plantation lifestyles that other places like Suriname had. Even though it’s so diverse, Guyana’s people are centered mostly in a small area, allowing the different people groups to mix in well.

In the isolated areas, indigenous culture is more prominent, stemming from the main groups: Wai-wai, Macushi, Patamona, Lokono, Kalina, Wapishana, Pemon, Akawaio, and Warao. Beyond that, several communities were formed by escaped African slaves called Maroons, adding a unique flavor to Guyanese identity.

Even though Guyana is the only English-speaking country in South America, most people speak Guyanese Creole as a first language. A common feature in most Caribbean countries, Guyana still technically has its own language. Pretty cool.

Guyanese creole / pronunciation

**What do you think about Guyana? Did you know this stuff, or have you learned something new? I hope you can share more information with us, and I hope this article taught you more about the English-speaking world. Thanks for being a reader! Take care out there.

‘Get police bad excuse’ – meanings & uses of Cop, Cop-out

If you’ve listened to English for long enough, you’ve probably heard the word “cop” before. It can have a couple of different meanings, though. We’ll take a look at these differing definitions with some explanations and some dialogue using our old trusty friend, Charles. Let’s read along!

Cop (n)

wi.ng o

Like I said, Cop can have a number of meanings in English slang. The most common meaning is a “police officer.” This use is used a lot by people all over the world and is not seen as particularly informal or rude to say. Copper is a more old-fashioned or silly way to say this, but it means the same thing. Don’t confuse it with the metal, copper, though.

dialogue

Jonah was rustling through his carry-on bag as the airplane gates closed. In his movements he disturbed Charles a bit, knocking him with his elbows. Other passengers were looking at him suspiciously.

Charles — What are you doing, man? You lose something? You keep hitting me with your arms, making everybody nervous.

Jonah — Oh, my fault. I’m just checking here. Gotta make sure I don’t have any weapons on me.

Charles — What are you talking about? Security already checked all that.

Jonah — Didn’t you hear the flight attendant? They said the cops are coming on the plane to search for some criminal.

  • The police are coming.

Charles — Well, it isn’t you. I hope …

Some police officers stepped onto the plane. Jonah started to panic.

Jonah — Oh, shoot! It’s the coppers. Put your head down!

  • It’s the police (in a silly or sarcastic tone).

.

To Cop (v)

“Cop” has a different meaning when used as a verb. To Cop can mean to get or obtain something, usually from buying it. In this way, it’s normally used as “cop something,” as in, some object or item.

Read more: Cop

dialogue

Some of the nearby passengers gave Jonah a weird look. He was seriously being overly dramatic.

Charles — Calm down! Why in the world are you so scared for? You’re just going to call more attention to yourself.

Jonah — Nah, they’re probably gonna try to arrest me. I got all this cash on me. And look at my watch! It’s way too fancy to go with this face.

He pointed at himself in the face. This made Charles laugh.

Charles — You’re crazy. Where’d you get that watch from anyway? It’s nice.

Jonah — Oh, this old thing? I copped it from that rapper you went to see over on the east side.

  • I bought it, he gave it to me, I received it in some way.

Charles — Really? You know Lil B Dowry?

.

Cop out (v)

Another use is as a phrasal verb, combined to make it “cop out.” This is when someone doesn’t stay true to who they are. It is mostly used when someone becomes rich, famous, successful, or just has their reputation threatened. These situations can make a person do things that are not like them, act in a “bad” character, or with poor morals. In a similar way, to Cop out can also be when someone falls back on something they promised to do. This usually isn’t malicious or intentional, but it is a way for the person to escape responsibility or not admit to doing something. It often is when the person is afraid to face the consequences of their actions.

dialogue

Jonah — Yeah, I know him. He’s a cool dude. He gave me this watch, afterall.

Charles — I thought he lived in a much nicer part of town. He’s a smart guy and he’s always dressed up nice.

Jonah — Well, I’m not surprised. Most of these rappers come from neighborhoods like that. Then they all cop out and forget who their friends are. Sad.

  • They all forget where they came from, stop caring about their friends, change their character.

At this moment, the police were finishing their search and were leaving the airplane. Jonah hadn’t noticed.

Charles — I’m sure he won’t do that. Lil B seems pretty down-to-earth. I can’t see him turning his back on people like that.

Jonah — I’m just saying, he wouldn’t be the first artist from the hood who says he’s gonna help out his block only to get rich and then cop out on everybody. Anyway, let me finish hiding my watch …

  • And then turn his back on everybody, then forget about everybody, then not do what he promised to do.

Charles — For what? The police left already. You’re a free man.

Jonah gave a big smile and jerked his knee, accidentally kicking the seat in front of him.

.

Cop-out (n)

Cop-out can also be a noun. In this case, it is describing a person who has “copped out,” or gone back on their promise, done things that don’t fit their character. A similar expression in English is a “sell-out.” A sell-out (person) can sell out (action) and do things that go against their morals just for fame, wealth, success, or other reasons. It’s essentially the same idea as “cop-out.” A Cop-out can also be the excuse itself used by a person to escape consequences.

dialogue

Passenger — Excuse me! Can you stop kicking my chair?

Jonah — So sorry, sir. Won’t happen again.

Then he turned to Charles.

Jonah — Now we’re home-free! And it’s a good thing because I was totally gonna cop out and say you stole whatever they were looking for.

  • I was totally going to take the easy way out, was going to lie so I wouldn’t get in trouble, run away from the consequences.

Charles — Gee, thanks. I’m sure that cop-out would’ve worked.

  • I’m sure that lie would’ve worked, that bad excuse.

Jonah — Welp, are you ready for this trip? It’s your first time out of the state, right?

Charles — Yeah, kinda. I always get nervous on planes. It’ll be nice to see another part of the country, though.

The engines revved up and the plane started to move. Habitually, Charles started to pray and kissed his hands.

Jonah — That’s what I’m talking about! Even in a foreign country, you keep your traditions. That’s what I mean by not being a cop-out! Don’t sell out your traditions, don’t forget where you come from.

  • Not being a sell-out, not giving up on your identity, not changing who you are.

Charles — Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let’s just enjoy the flight, okay?

Jonah — Enjoy? I’m relaxed as can be. I don’t know what you’re so scared about anyway!

Charles bumped his friend in the ribs with his elbow.

Charles — So, now I’m the scared one?

Last thoughts

I would say by far, the most common use of Cop is relating to police. This will probably be the first thing that comes to most people’s minds. Cop out is also very common and used across the U.S., if not the world. Talking about police, “cop” is the most common slang word for a police officer, even though there are several others. It is also the least offensive and most neutral term for the police.

Copping something is more of a regional slang and I don’t think it’s as common for so many English speakers. I’m sure lots of people understand it, but it is the least used meaning out of the others we talked about here.

**Thanks for reading! I hope this helped you to better understand these expressions. Can you use “cop” or “cop-out” in your own sentences? Comment below! And feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or if you want to collaborate on the page (tietewaller@gmail.com). You’re more than welcome! Until next time. Peace.

Contact me: Give me a Shout!

“Catch work trap device” – meaning and use of ‘Trap, Trapping’

From “Beez in the Trap” to “Trap Queen“, trapping has become a part of mainstream and popular English slang nowadays. Lots of native speakers are now getting used to this fun little word. But what about all my learners out there? Do you know what a “trap” is? We’ll take a look and explain what this word is and how to use it. To do that, we’ll read some dialogues with our favorite character, Charles. (To find other short stories and dialogues where I explain English expressions, check out Adventures of Charles) All set? Here we go …

The Trap

brown mouse inside mouse trap, representing the slang meaning of "trap"
by ardeshir etemad, Pexels.com

Explain

First of all, the trap can refer to a place. Normally, a “trap” is a situation or device used to trick someone or capture something. Think of a mousetrap used to catch mice. Well in slang, the trap has been used a lot to talk about a place, sometimes an actual house (trap house), where drug deals happened. I know, that’s a little dark. It’s also been used to talk about a place where any illegal activities and transactions happen on a regular basis.

On a similar tone, sometimes it’s used to talk about the “hood” or lower-class neighborhoods in general. That’s probably because these kinds of neighborhoods have usually been where you could find a trap house. Now, the whole block is considered a “trap.” This is also where you get names like trap queen and trap music, now a whole subgenre of hip hop.

Dialogue

One thing had been on Charles’s mind for the longest time: Sheila. But he’d heard some rumors about her that he wanted to clear up. One man knew more about Sheila than anybody else, and Charles was in the neighborhood to find him.

Charles — Okay, I hope this is the right stop. Goodness, what is this place? It’s so dirty and empty. I better find this guy soon … before it gets dark.

A boy from the neighborhood came up to Charles, noticing he was kind of lost.

Local boy — Hey, yo. What’s your name? You looking for the trap or what?

  • Are you looking for the drug house, looking to buy some illegal things?

Charles — Who, me? No. I mean, sorry. I’m not from around here. I’m just looking for somebody.

Local boy — I figured, cuz I ain’t ever seen you around here before. Why you look all scared? You never been to a trap before?

  • Haven’t you ever been to a hood, a ghetto, a poor neighborhood before?

Charles’s nervousness was showing all over his face.

Charles — No, I mean … I don’t know. I didn’t know there were places like this in this city. It’s so different. Just trying to find somebody.

Explain

All illegal activity aside, nowadays a trap can also be a place where one makes their money or just spends their time. It’s a bit more sarcastic used this way though. The idea is still of a place or situation that is hard to get out of. Trap is also used to refer to trap music in general, in the sense of “listening to trap.”

Dialogue

Local boy — I could help you find “somebody.” You know her name? What street is she on?

Charles — Oh, no, it’s a he. I’m looking for this rapper or singer or whatever– He records at the studio on Wilmington Ave.

Local boy — Oh, dang. He doesn’t owe you anything, does he? That boy is so bad at paying people back.

Charles — No, no. I need to talk to him about a girl. Sheila. They record together.

Local boy — Ahh, okay! You’re talking about Lil B Dowry, that old trap rapper from down past the alley.

  • That rapper who makes trap music.

Charles — You know him?

Local boy — Yeah, I know who he is. If he’s not at the trap right now, he’s probably at home. Want me to take you over?

  • If he’s not at work, at the place where he makes money.

He thought for a second. Then Charles gave the boy a nod, and they started walking down the street, around the corner, and past the alley.

To Trap

Explain

This is basically the verb version of the above. Just like how “trap” in regular usage can be a situation/device and an action, “trap” in slang can also be an action. More often than not, people refer to the action as trapping. Trapping is used a lot to talk about making illegal transactions, especially dealing with drugs. But you’re all saintly people, so you won’t need to use it like that 😉

Dialogue

As they got near to Lil B Dowry’s house or hang-out spot — or trap, as the local boy called it — Charles noticed a couple of strange-looking people with tired eyes and smelly clothes wandering around. They looked sick in the face, and they couldn’t stop shuffling around on the floor like they were searching for worms.

Local boy — Ha. You see them? They’re probably coming from Lil B’s place right now.

Charles — Yeah? Does Lil B … trap?

  • Does he sell drugs, make money illegally?

The local boy laughed and shook his head. He then turned to Charles.

Local boy — Well, that’s what people say. Let’s find out.

Explain

Now, trapping doesn’t have to be all bad. In the loosest sense, it’s used to talk about any kind of work that one makes their money from. Some people use it to talk about making money in general, even by legal means. That’s right; even on their legal paying jobs, sometimes people say trapping.

Dialogue

When they arrived at the house, Lil B Dowry was already on the front porch. He put out his cigarette and stood up, ready to encounter two strangers. But he realized they weren’t so strange after all.

Lil B Dowry — Hey, bro! What’s happening with you?

Local boy — You know this guy? He was wandering around the block, lost, looking for you.

Lil B Dowry — Heck yeah, I know this fool. I’ve seen him around at the studio. You know, the one on Wilmington. Come on up, don’t be scared!

The sun was getting low in the sky. The sick people were still shuffling around in the streets.

Local boy — So, I see you’ve been hustling out here. Making hit songs and making deals on these fiends.

Lil B Dowry — Nah, that’s not on me. You know I don’t trap like that.

  • You know I don’t sell drugs, make money illegally like that.

Local boy — You mean, you don’t sell …

Lil B Dowry — All of my trapping is legal, kid. I make my music, and that’s it. Don’t get misconstrued. If anybody is dealing drugs, it’s Charles over there. Probably got ties with the Colombian Cartels, the Haitians. He might even be in the Japanese mafia, for all we know.

  • All of my ways of making money are legal.

They broke out laughing, and Charles realized that the rapper was joking with him. Thank God!

Explain

Just a quick note. Trap can also be a person that is lying or deceitful. It’s especially used towards women or trans people who lie about their identity, but that’s another story. You can read more about that meaning if you want to here.

Dialogue

Charles — Yeah, you all better run from me. I’ll get the mob after you. But for real, I came to ask you about …

Lil B Dowry — Sheila? I know, I remember you liked her. You come to find out if she’s a trap or not. Listen, Sheila’s cool, okay? You don’t have to worry about her. And you can ask her for yourself, she doesn’t hide anything.

  • Find out if she’s a liar, if she’s deceitful, if she’s a fake.

A sigh of relief swept over Charles. Nerves came back when he realized how dark it was.

Local boy — That’s cool you rap at a studio though. You should get me a spot in the booth.

Lil B Dowry — For sure! If you want, I’ll take you down there right now. Sheila’s probably getting done making a song right now, Charlie. I’ll take y’all if you want.

Charles — That’s alright! Where’s your car parked?

Closing

Alright, my learners! I hope this made some sense to you. These aren’t all the possible meanings of “trap,” but this is mostly what you’ll want to know. Since it’s a term that originates from illegal activities, it could be a tricky word to know how to use. If you’re an English learner, I suggest not using it unless you’re around people who use it commonly. If you’re around younger people, you could surprise them with your use of “trap” in the healthy, legal sense.

Whatever you decide, at least you now understand these slang expressions. Use them in your own sentences. Think of songs where you’ve heard these expressions. And whatever you do …! Don’t give up learning. Peace out! And take care.