Watch this video for a quick explanation of the English expression a host of something with examples and explanations. Have you heard this expression before? Try to use it in your own sentences!
Watch these quick videos to hear how someone might use the slang word grip. Read “A Handful” to learn more about how this word is used. What do you think of my explanation?
If you’ve been studying English, you know there are many possible meanings of the word “get.” There are so many uses that it has become notoriously difficult for English learners to know how to use. The past tense of that word is “got,” and it is no exception to this wild and confusing system of uses and meanings. I’m not here to explain all the possible meanings of “got”. Instead, I specifically want to tell you about some habits that English speakers have when we talk. You’ll be able to read more quick tips like this on the Blog. Hopefully, this can clear things up a bit more (or confuse you a bit more)!
Got and Have, which one is right?
One habit that many English speakers have is saying “got” where they should be using “have.” This is where “have” means to possess something or needing to do something. This use is quite informal and is used more in casual speech. Read more about that here.
- I got five rooms in my house.
More correctly would be: I have five rooms in my house.
A similar habit that people have is in situations where “have” is used in the present perfect. We might mean to say “have got,” but “have” gets completely taken out. Here’s an example:
- I got to leave in five minutes.
More correctly is: I have (I’ve) got to leave in five minutes.
Because most of the time saying “have” and “have got” means the same thing, it can be hard to tell which of the two cases the speaker is using. Either way, they are referring to possession or a need to do something.
In British-style English (British, Australian, South African, etc.), I notice it can be more common to say “have got” in place of “have.”
British: — Have you got any gum?
— I’ve got some. Here you go.
Neutral: — Do you have any gum?
— I have some. Here you go.
Again, I’m not saying only British-style accents use this. It’s just more common in those accents than in the American-style accents. And remember that all English speakers don’t have the habits listed above. Like any language, the region, social class, and personal experiences of the speaker play a role in how the individual talks. Still, you can bet lots of English speakers talk like this!
Read More Examples:
“Do you got a dress? I need one for the party.”
“Marissa got three kids? She looks so young!”
“Listen, I got to tell you something.”
“We got to go, hurry up!”
**Thank you for coming, curious readers! Have you heard English speakers talk like this? Do you think you could correct the example sentences with the right grammar? You’re doing great for seeking to learn more about this wonderful language! Keep on learning, my friends.
In this post, we will look at song lyrics from Nigerian artist Wizkid, along with rappers Drake and Skepta. The song is the remix of the original “Ojuelegba” from Wizkid’s Ayo album, which you can listen to here. This post is also a continuation of the series where we analyze English-language song lyrics for learners, called Lyrics “Explained”. I’ve mostly been covering songs from the U.S., Canada, or Britain, so this is a nice change-up (at least for one of the singers). It’s a good reminder that English is spoken throughout the world, and places like Nigeria make up an important side of English-language culture too. If you want to read “Ojuelegba (Remix)” lyrics without my explanations, you can find them here. I also got some help with translations since part of the song is in the Yoruba language. You can read more on Kilonso. Okay, here we go.
Song Lyrics (Wizkid, Drake, Skepta)
Ni Ojuelegba o, my people dey there
- Other language: In the Yoruba language, “In Ojuelegba.” Ojuelegba is a busy suburb of Lagos, by the way.
- Regional accent: Then in regional English dialect: “My people are there.”
My people suffer, dem dey pray for blessing eh
- Regional speech: *”They all pray for blessings.”
Ni ojuelegba o, my people dey there
Dem dey pray for blessing, for better living eh eh
Are you feeling good tonight?
This thing got me thanking God for life
I can’t explain
I can’t explain, yeah
Are you feeling good tonight?
This thing got me thanking God for life
I just can’t explain
I can’t explain, no, no, yeah
Look, it’s gon’ be a long long time ‘fore we stop
- Informal speech: *It’s going to be a long, long time before…
Boy better know, they better know who make the scene pop
- Grammar: *Who makes the scene…
- Slang: “Pop” here has the meaning of making something more lively, more exciting, like a party. “That place was popping!”
All I ever needed was a chance to get the team hot
- Slang: “Hot” here can mean successful, famous, or anything similar to that. He refers to his group of friends and people working with him as his team.
Only thing I fear is a headshot or a screenshot
- Grammar: *The only thing I fear…
- Other vocabulary: A “headshot” is a gunshot to the head. A “screenshot” is a picture you take of your own phone’s screen. Basically, he fears either getting killed or someone finding out what’s on his phone. Haha.
Pree me, dem a pree me
- Regional speech: “Pree” I think comes from Jamaica. It means to pay close attention to something. With a Jamaican patois accent, he’s saying that people are paying close attention to him, like the paparazzi or his fans.
- Double meanings: It also sounds like “premie/premy,” an informal way to refer to people that were born prematurely. I don’t know if that was intended, but it could be an interesting way for him to compare these people to babies.
You know they only call me when they need me
I never go anywhere, they never see me
I’m the type to take it easy, take it easy
- Idioms: “Take it easy” means to do things slowly and calmly, in a relaxed manner. “-How have you been? -Oh, I’ve been taking it easy.”
I took girls in the very first text I sent
I don’t beg no lovers, I don’t beg no friends
- Grammar: Double negatives! *I don’t beg any…
If you wanna link, we can link right now
- Slang: To “link” or “link up” is to get together with someone or to meet someone so you can spend time with them.
Skeppy, Wiz and Drake, it’s a ting right now
- Names: Those are the names of the artists participating in this song.
- Slang/Regional speech: Again with a Caribbean/African accent, Drake says “it’s a thing.” This means that they made something happen together, they accomplished something. “Thing” can have lots of weird underlying meanings depending on the situation and the speaker.
Are you feeling good tonight?
This thing got me thanking God for life
I can’t explain
I can’t explain eh yeah
When I was in school, being African was a diss
- Slang: A “diss” or “dis” is something used to tease or make someone feel bad. It comes from the word “disrespect,” but has to do more with teasing or saying disrespectful things toward another.
Sounds like you need help saying my surname, Miss
- Society: Having a foreign last name, Skepta’s teachers had a hard time pronouncing it when he was in school. This is a common occurrence for people who have foreign surnames.
Tried to communicate
But every day is like another episode of Everybody Hates Chris
- Society/Culture: From Chris Rock’s TV show. Throughout the show, Chris suffers from racism for being the only black kid at his school.
Ever since mum said, “Son you are a king“
- Culture/Society: This reminds me of “The Lion King” where young Simba is told that one day he will be king. I guess the idea is ever since he was a boy, a little kid.
I feel like Floyd when I’m stepping into the ring
- Culture: Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a famous boxer.
Just spoke to the boy, said he’s flying in with a ting
- Grammar: *I just spoke…
- Slang/Informal speech: By “the boy,” he probably is talking about Drake. Saying the “ting” again, it could mean any kind of cool thing that he’s bringing. It’s something important.
We’re touching the road to celebrate another win, we’re going in
- Idiom/Figurative speech: “Touching the road” means to go on a trip. It could be literally on the road, like in a car/bus. It could also be just going on any trip. To “go in” can mean a lot of things. Here it means to really enjoy something, put in your biggest effort, to do something very well.
Why am I repping these ends? Man I don’t know
- Slang: To “rep” is to represent something, usually a neighborhood or place of origin. “Ends” I believe is London slang meaning neighborhood.
The government played roulette with my postcode
- Figurative speech: “Playing roulette” here gives the idea of the government randomly choosing where he and his family will live. It appears that in London’s project housing system, that has been a pretty common practice. Also, Skepta is from Tottenham, a rough neighborhood in London.
All I know is it’s where my people dem are suffering
- Regional speech: “Dem” here doesn’t change the meaning of the phrase. It means “they” or “them.” It’s sort of a Caribbean/African style of talking.
I seen it before, narrate the story as it unfolds
- Grammar: *I’ve seen it before…
Dad certified the settings and my mum knows
My mind full of more bullets than your gun holds
- Figurative speech: He’s seen or heard lots of violence, gun shots.
Now I got the peng tings in the front row
- Slang: “Peng” is British slang for beautiful, attractive, or appealing. “Tings” here probably refers to women, so he has pretty women at his shows.
Saying, “Skeppy come home, baby come home!”
- Other info: “Come home” might be telling Skepta he’s welcome to come back to his ancestral homeland, Africa.
Yeah, I love the sun but I respect the rain
- Figurative speech/Double meaning: The sun usually is a reference for good days, while the rain symbolizes hard times. This is especially common in music or literature. It also could be a reference to religion. He can love the Son (Jesus Christ) but respects his Reign (His power and authority). I don’t know if Skepta is religious or Christian, but it could be a double meaning either way.
Look forward to good times, can’t forget the pain
- Idiom/Phrasal verb: To “look forward to” something is to be excited for it to happen. “I look forward to seeing you tomorrow!”
I was the kid in school with the ten-pound shoes
- Society: “Pounds” referring to British currency. These are cheap shoes, probably in bad quality.
White socks, jack-ups and the pepper grains
- Slang: “Jack-ups” refers to pants that are too small/short. “Pepper grains” refers to nappy hair or hair that is curly and kinky. It isn’t combed or brushed and has knots in it, so it looks like grains of black pepper.
Said they’re gonna respect me for my ambition
- Grammar: *I said they’re going to …
Rest in peace my n***** that are missing
- Informal/Figurative speech: “Missing” in this case really means dead.
I had to tell my story cuz they’d rather show you
Black kids with flies on their faces on the television
- Society: Referring to the sad way Africans or black people are often portrayed on TV.
Eh e kira fun mummy mi o
- Other language: More Yoruba; “Thanks for my mom”
Ojojumo lo n s’adura
- “She prays every day”
Mon jaiye mi won ni won soro ju
- “I’m enjoying my life, they are complaining”
Ojojumo owo n wole wa
- “Every day, money is coming in”
E kira fun mummy mi o
Ojojumo lo n s’adura
Mon jaiye mi won ni won soro ju
Won ni won ni won soro ju
And the lyrics repeat.
Last Thoughts on Ojuelegba
Alright, we’ve got Nigeria on the list! This song has an amazing rhythm and is such a relaxing yet upbeat song at the same time. I recommend you listen to it if you haven’t yet. Throughout the lyrics, we join the struggles of growing up in the ghetto or in rough neighborhoods. There is some reflection of hard times, but also a celebration for how much better things are now. These difficulties have made these singers who they are today, and they’re proud of it. Nigeria does have a lot of English speakers, but the country is multi-ethnic and -linguistic. It’s great that we get to see some Yoruba and be more multicultural. In fact, that’s one of the best parts of English-speaking countries, anyway!
What do you think? Did you like this song? Can you relate to its message? And what about you who are from Nigeria or have visited Lagos. What can you tell us about it? Leave a comment below to share. Otherwise take care, everyone!
From a young girl in a police family to a final showdown in the Badlands, there’s a lot of action in this song. We”ll be going over “Dani California” lyrics by Red Hot Chili Peppers here with explanations, especially for you English students out there. Learn some new idioms, slang, and grammar points. Learn a little about society too. And don’t forget to listen to the song to check your understanding! I checked the lyrics on Genius if you want a reference. After you read, make sure to find other song lyrics explanations here. Alright, here we go:
Gettin’ born in the state of Mississippi
- Grammar: *Being born…
- Society: He could be using the improper “getting born” to present the uneducated origins of Dani from Mississippi.
Poppa was a copper and her momma was a hippie
- Slang: “Copper” is an informal word for a cop or police officer.
In Alabama, she would swing a hammer
- Society: “Swinging a hammer” probably refers to a chain gang. This is a form of punishment in prisons that has been outlawed for a while. Prisoners had to do unpaid labor like build and construct things, often in the form of mining or clearing space for roads and train rails. Working in a mine or with heavy tools creates the idea of swinging a hammer,
Price you gotta pay when you break the panorama
- Grammar: *It’s the price you have to pay…
- Figurative Speech: “Breaking the panorama” is like going against what everyone else is doing, or not fitting in. In Dani’s case, she is probably breaking the laws established in her community.
She never knew that there was anything more than poor
- Society: Just a note; the way he pronounces “poor” like “po” is an informal but common way for certain American communities to pronounce it. This is usually associated with poor, black, or Southern speakers.
What in the world, what does your company take me for?
- Daily speech: By “company” here, he means the people you spend time with, not a real enterprise or business. Asking “What do you take me for?” is another way of saying “Who do you think I am?” or “You are wrong about me!” Also, saying “What in the world?” is a simple way to show that you are shocked or confused by something. You can also use it to ask a question. “What in the world is that thing? Oh, it looks like a termite.”
Black bandana, sweet Louisiana
- Culture/Society: The “black bandana” is usually a symbol of criminal activity. This is because traditionally when someone would rob a place, they would wear a bandana to cover their face.
Robbin’ on a bank in the state of Indiana
- Grammar: *Robbing a bank …
- Culture: Again, using informal grammar on purpose to relate to a specific class or region of the U.S. In these communities, it can be common for people to say a verb with “on.” “He was kissing on her, loving all on the poor girl. So she didn’t like that and slapped all on his face.”
She’s a runner, rebel and a stunner
- Figurative/Informal speech: “Runner” in the sense of a fugitive. Also, she lives a fast-paced lifestyle. I can’t tell exactly if he sings “stunner” or “stunter,” but either way he is saying that Dani is confident and likes to show off her skills. She can stun others with her abilities but can make herself look amazing doing it.
On her merry way sayin’, “Baby, what you gonna—?“
- Other details: “Merry” of course means happy or cheerful. Her saying “Baby, what you gonna–?” can be like her teasing or playing with her victims. She’s also a quick shooter, killing them before they can even answer her question.
Lookin’ down the barrel of a hot metal .45
- Informal speech: “A metal .45” probably refers to a Colt .45, a type of gun.
Just another way to survive
California, rest in peace
- Special occasion: “Rest in peace” (R.I.P.) is what we say when someone has died.
- Figurative speech: This line could be talking about the “release” of a gunshot that “releases” Dani’s soul. It also sounds like it could have a sensual meaning, but we’ll stick to the violent one, hehe.
California, show your teeth
- Figurative speech: Saying “show your teeth” is another way of making people afraid of you. Think of how wolves or lions show their teeth to try and intimidate others. It could also mean showing us who you really are.
She’s my priestess, I’m your priest, yeah, yeah
- Figurative speech: This is like saying she told him, so now he is telling us. She taught him, now he will teach us.
She’s a lover, baby and a fighter
- Figurative speech: “Baby” here meaning someone sweet, kind, loving, and also a bit innocent.
Shoulda seen her comin’ when it got a little brighter
- Grammar: *I should have seen …
- Figurative speech: “Get brighter” here refers to something becoming more clear or evident. It’s like the phrase “come to light,” which has this same meaning.
With a name like Dani California
Day was gonna come when I was gonna mourn ya
- Deeper meaning: He says this like he knew the day was going to come.
- Informal speech: “Ya” in this case is an informal way of pronouncing you.
A little loaded, she was stealin’ another breath
- Slang: “Loaded” means drunk. It could also have a double meaning, referring to her loaded gun (gun with bullets in it).
- Figurative speech: “Stealing a breath” is like the phrase “Cheating death.” This means living dangerously, encountering seemingly fatal situations and still making it out alive.
I love my baby to death
- Figurative speech: “Loving something to death” is actually a pretty common term in English. It usually just means that you love someone or something a lot. Here, he uses the “to death” part literally, so it sounds a bit more morbid.
California, rest in peace
- Other details: Now we see that California is Dani’s last name, so we know he’s talking about a woman, not the state.
California, show your teeth
She’s my priestess, I’m your priest, yeah, yeah
Who knew the other side of you?
Who knew what others died to prove?
Too true to say goodbye to you
Too true to say, say, say
Push the fader, gifted animator
- Informal speech: To push the “fader” is referring to the fade feature where DJ’s or music producers make a song fade at the end.
- Figurative speech: Referring to the “gifted animator,” this could be a reference to the Creator, the designer of the universe, putting an end to Dani’s life as if it were a song. This relates the fading feature in music to the fading away of a person’s life.
One for the now and eleven for the later
- Unusual format: This might be a reference to the bullets in a gun. There was one shot, and eleven were saved for later.
Never made it up to Minnesota
- Informal speech: To “make it” somewhere is the same as getting there or arriving there. The same is used for non-physical places. “She never made it to 21 (she died before turning 21).”
North Dakota man was a gunnin’ for the quota
- Other details: The “quota” means a share or earnings from something.
- Slang/Informal speech: This North Dakota man was “gunning,” or using his gun, to get a piece of the reward, apparently for stopping Dani. Adding “a” before a verb is also a stereotypical way that rural or Southern people are seen to talk. It has no meaning but is used to add color to speech. “He was a-going and a-going until he got tired. Then his feet start a-hurting.”
Down in the Badlands, she was savin’ the best for last
- Geography: The “Badlands” is a geographical feature of several U.S. states, and other parts of the world. It is characterized by desert or rugged rocky landscapes where few animals live. It’s usually dry and looks like a very tough place to live.
- Figurative speech: The rock formations look like a spectacular arena or something, so she put on a final show.
It only hurts when I laugh
- Figurative speech: He laughs when he remembers the good times with Dani, which also hurts because she is not around anymore.
Gone too fast
. Then they repeat.
The story of Dani California is a classic bandit highway criminal tale. We have a girl with humble beginnings in the South who’s a rebel for her times. She grows up, gets into more and more trouble, all until she eventually gets taken down. The lyrics add in a lot of colloquial or figurative phrases to better paint the picture of where Dani California is from. There are several bits of imagery to present her wild lifestyle and we see her final demise at the end. The singer loves this woman, has respect for her, but that couldn’t save her. After all, we see that a life of crime really doesn’t pay, though it can bring us fun and exciting memories.
Thanks for reading/listening and I hope you enjoyed the post! Check out some related posts if you want, and follow to be notified of new posts to your email. Thanks and have a good one!
There are more than a few ways to agree with something in English. What about talking about a lifelong friend? We cover these topics and more in today’s post, looking at terms bet, ride or die, rider, and day one, as well as their meanings and how they’re used. Read more if you want to learn more about these words and how to use them properly. We’ll see examples in a short story about Charles, and as always, practice with some questions at the end. Here we go!
You may be familiar with a “bet” as a type of wager or strong guess that something will happen, usually involving a loss or gain of money depending on the result. Bet has meant different things over the years, yet in slang, it often has the same meaning as “cool”, “for sure”, or “really?” This is because of the phrase, “You bet ya” or the shorter version, “You bet.” This is a way to say “of course” or to guarantee something. Shortening it to just “bet” usually is a response to something to show gratitude or respect, but can also be used to question something.
Sweeping up the stage as always, Charles liked to approach his work with a smile. He knew one day he’d save up enough money to move out of his tiny apartment and into a decent condo, maybe even a home. Who knows? His friends Sheila and Jonah could split the rent with him, easy. By then, he could be designing the sets for plays instead of cleaning up dirty props. Until that day, he was content to help where he could.
BUNG BUNG BUNG. Footsteps pounded on the wooden floor before the doors to the theater flung open. It was an actor looking for … something.
Charles — You need help? You look lost.
Actor — Who? Oh, no, I’m just looking for my phone. I always forget it under a seat or behind a box or something. I bet money it’s in the same place I always leave it.
- I’m sure, I know, I’m almost certain.
Charles — What? Do you mean this phone?
The actor smiled and ran up to Charles.
Actor — Yeah, man! Thanks so much. It was under the seat agian, wasn’t it?
Charles — Well, in the costumes bin, actually.
Actor — Bet. Thanks a lot man. I appreciate it. I was getting frantic.
- For sure, cool, I get it, of course.
Charles — Really? I didn’t notice. Haha. I know how it is with the cellphones.
Actor — I have an extra special reason to keep my phone on me, though.
Charles — Bet? What is that?
- Really? For real?
Ride or Die * Rider
The concept of a ride-or-die means a person, usually a close friend or partner, who will do anything to help you and is extremely trustworthy. It can sometimes be used to call someone your best friend or boy/girlfriend. This comes from the idea of “ride,” or to ride with someone. This means the person sticks with you when you need them and you can count on them. A rider then is someone who is a ride-or-die. A rider can also be a person who is willing to do whatever you want and has few boundaries. They go with the flow and are true companions.
Actor — “What is it?” What else could it be? I gotta call my girl, man, my ride-or die.
- My girlfriend, the person I trust, my close partner.
Charles — Oh, I didn’t know you had a girl. She a actress too?
Actor — Yeah, but she prefers the term actor. We met at the theater down the street watching somebody else’s play. Can you imagine? Somebody else’s play. Ha!
Charles continued to sweep the stage floor, focused deeply on his work.
Actor — What’re you doing after this?
Charles — I think I’ll dust the curtains. They’re pretty dirty.
Actor — Man, don’t you have a rider in your life? You need a woman.
- Don’t you have a girlfriend, a close friend, a trustful partner?
Charles — I’m working on that, too. I have a potential girl. Just have to ask, really.
Actor — That’s what I’m talking about! But don’t wait too long. I’ve made that mistake before. Is she a rider?
- Is she willing to do anything for you, trustworthy, does she like you a lot?
Charles nodded, halfway not understanding the question.
Actor — Oh, well then she’ll wait for you. Still, don’t take too long. Take my advice.
This term comes from an older one, “Since day one.” This is used to describe someone who has been there for you since the beginning, during hard times, and has stuck by your side the whole time. Calling someone a day-one means they are generally your closest and most trusted friend, and you respect them a lot for being there for you after years and years.
Charles — I won’t. She’s been a good friend to me since we met. I come from another country and it can be hard to make friends.
Actor — I get that. I couldn’t imagine being so far from home without family or friends close by. I couldn’t live without my day-ones, too. They’re the ones that keep me together.
- Without my closest, most trusted friends.
Charles — Yeah, well I didn’t have any super close friends like that back home anyway. I had to make some new friends here. But Sheila and Jonah have been there for me in lots of situations. They’re like my new day-ones.
Actor — Well, that’s all that matters, isn’t it? Good talking, bro. I never knew your story, so thanks for sharing.
Charles — Don’t mention it. I’ll see you at the next rehearsal. Or the next time you lose your phone.
The actor laughed at this statement and waved at Charles with a sarcastic smile.
Actor — See you next time. And call that girl!
Saying bet is usually more informal, so it’s often used with friends or in casual settings. It’s not that it could be offensive, but it just sounds quite informal. It’s a pretty useful word you can use much the same as “okay, cool, for sure,” and so on. Ride-or-die and rider are mostly compliments and terms of respect, although they can be seen as disrespectful if they aren’t used correctly. “Rider” can have a negative connotation at times, so make sure the meaning is clear if you do ever use it. Otherwise, day-one is a very respecting and caring term, and it’s a great way to refer to a close friend, companion, or anyone that’s been there for you for a long time. We usually use it with friends though, and not family members like parents.
Do you get it? If you want, take some time to practice with these questions below. And make sure to learn some other words with the Adventures of Charles series. Be safe out there!
- Can you use today’s words in your own sentences? Bet – Ride or die – Rider – Day one
- Are there any ride-or-dies or day-ones in your life? Who are they?
- What is something you would “bet money on?”
- Have you heard the slang word “bet” before in casual conversation? When was that?
Have you ever wanted to practice your English while listening to Megan Thee Stallion? Well, you’re in luck! Take a listen to the song and read the lyrics. Learn some new vocabulary, phrases, or cultural pointers here in Lyrics “Explained.” If you have time, answer some follow-up questions below and read some other lyrics here on CultSurf!
Queen B, want no smoke with me (Okay)
- *You don’t want any smoke… “Smoke” here refers to a conflict. It probably comes from guns, since sometimes people say smoke to refer to guns or shooting.
Been turnt, this motherf***** up eight hundred degree (Yeah)
- *I’ve been turnt… “Turnt” means having lots of fun, feeling good about yourself, etc. It comes from “turned up” which means about the same thing. “Turning it up” refers to making the temperature hotter, or making things more exciting and fun. *Eight hundred degrees…
My whole team eat, chef’s kiss, she’s a treat (Mwah)
- *My whole team eats… “Eat” in this slang sense means to get money and to have success. Remember that “bread” and “cheese” are also terms for money. A “treat” is normally something tasty to eat like candy. It can also be used to talk about a situation, event, or person that is really nice and that you like, almost like it is a gift. “Coming to see you during the holidays is always a treat.”
Ooh, she so bougie, bougie, bon appétit
- *She is so bougie… “Bougie” is another word for fancy or someone who has expensive taste. “Bon appétit” comes from French and is used in many languages to mean “enjoy your food.” This mixes well with the word “bougie” which comes from the French word bourgeoisie. Also because the French language, fashion, and food are considered fancy by many Americans and others.
I’m a savage (Yeah), attitude nasty (Yeah, ah)
- “Savage” has become a way to compliment someone who is really cool, has lots of style, skill, and other good features. “Nasty” normally means that some food doesn’t taste good. In a sensual way, it can mean that someone is highly sexual and acts inappropriately. Having a “nasty attitude” means to be upset or angry about something. Megan is probably mixing all of these meanings into one.
Talk big s***, but my bank account match it (Ooh)
- *my bank account matches it… To “talk s**” (also “talk crap,” “talk mess,” “talk stuff”) is to talk badly about someone or to brag about yourself. Basically she brags a lot about herself but she actually has the money to prove it, or to back it up.
Hood, but I’m classy, rich, but I’m ratchet (Oh, ah)
- The “hood” is a lower-class neighborhood usually for underprivileged communities or ethnic minorities. Often these are places with more poor people, drug trafficking or gang violence, thought not always. To “be hood” is to act like the stereotypical person from these kinds of neighborhoods, which could mean loud, confident, but also enjoying fights and conflict. Again, this is the stereotype. “Ratchet” is a similar term that is used to describe women who act loud, cause conflict, and can get very “in-your-face.” It’s like she’s saying she’s the best and worst all wrapped into one.
Haters kept my name in they mouth, now they gaggin’ (Ah, ah)
- *my name in their mouth, now they are gagging… She means that her haters talk about her a lot or criticize her. “Gag” is a form of choking, so her haters are now choking on Megan’s success. The origin of this phrase might be to “make someone eat their words.” This means to prove somebody wrong and be successful, especially when others are criticizing you. “John always calls me stupid. I’ll make him eat his words when I go to college.”
Bougie, he say, “The way that thang move, it’s a movie” (Ooh-oh)
- *he says, “The way that thing moves… “Thang” is just another way to pronounce “thing.” It’s usually used more often by black Americans to add emphasis to that word. Here you might be able to guess what “thang” she’s talking about.
I told that boy, “We gotta keep it low, leave me the room key” (Ooh-oh)
- This line comes from the term “down low” or “keep it on the down low.” Sometimes people say “on the low” or “low down” but it’s basically the same. The “low” is a secret or something secretive. The “room key” refers to a hotel room. Megan is showing her dominance by kicking her “boy” out of the room.
I done bled the block and now it’s hot, b****, I’m Tunechi (Ooh-oh)
- *I have bled the block… Saying “done” like this is another way to say that “you have gotten done doing something” or you “finished something.” “Ouch! I done hit my toe!” “Bleed” here is related to the slang word “kill” which means to have a lot of success in something. Megan “bled the block” so she had a lot of success (in music, I’m guessing) on her block, or in her city. “Hot” of course means it is fresh, new, and everyone likes it. “Tunechi” is another name for rapper Lil Wayne. He made a famous song a while ago called “Tha Block is Hot“. Lil Wayne is also a very good and respected rapper, so she is kind of paying respect to him.
A mood and I’m moody, ah
- A “mood” is a special feeling. Saying something is “mood” has become popular because of social media and hashtags. “Moody” usually is used to call someone emotional or dramatic.
I’m a savage, yeah (Okay)
Classy, bougie, ratchet, yeah (Okay)
Sassy, moody, nasty, yeah (Hey, hey, nasty)
Acting stupid, what’s happening? (Woah, woah, woah, what’s happening?)
- “Acting stupid” doesn’t necessarily mean that she is acting dumb or unintelligently. Sometimes “stupid” can mean funny, silly, or crazy. The way she pronounces “acting” like “ackin” is an informal way that some people might pronounce this word. Again, it’s more common in African American communities. Her “what’s happening?” isn’t a real question really. It’s just a rhetorical question seeing if anyone has something to say now. She’s doing so well that she leaves her haters speechless!
B****, what’s happening? (Woah, woah, okay)
B****, I’m a savage, yeah (Okay)
Classy, bougie, ratchet, yeah (Ratchet)
Sassy, moody, nasty, huh (Nasty)
Acting stupid, what’s happening? (Woah, ooh-oh)
B****, what’s happening? (Ayy, ah, ooh-oh)
Hips TikTok when I dance (Dance)
- “TikTok” is the name of a famous social media app, maybe you’ve heard of it? It has a double meaning here though, since “tick-tock” is the sound a clock makes when the hands move. It’s like saying her hips shake and move back and forth like a clock. A lot of people view and like videos on TikTok, so it can also mean that her hips get lots of love.
On that Demon Time, she might start a OnlyFans (OnlyFans)
- “Demon Time” is a series on the OnlyFans website that has to do with strippers and erotic dancing. OnlyFans is a place where people can post exclusive content directly to their fans and interact with them. It’s kind of known for having provocative content so that’s where the reference comes from.
Big B and that B stand for bands
- *that B stands for… “Bands” is the same as money; a thousand dollars is one band.
If you wanna see some real a**, baby, here’s your chance
I say, left cheek, right cheek, drop it low, then swang (Swang)
- “Swang” is the same as “swing.” It’s same idea as “thang” and “thing” from before.
Texas up in this thang (Thang), put you up on this game (Game)
- To “put someone on the game” is to make someone attracted to you or what you are doing, or to get them “hooked” onto something.
IVY PARK on my frame (Frame), gang, gang, gang, gang (Gang)
- Ivy Park is a clothing brand founded by Beyoncé. It’s on her “frame” or body, so she’s wearing her own brand clothing. “Gang” is just something that some people say to show excitement or enthusiasm for your “crew” or the people you represent. It comes from a song too, “GANG GANG” by Jackboys.
If you don’t jump to put jeans on, baby, you don’t feel my pain (Hol’ up)
- “Hold up” is the same as “wait a minute.” This lyric is a reference to her butt, by the way.
- To “get hype” is to get excited. It can also mean to get out of control, which is probably how Beyoncé means it. “Ice” in slang can mean diamonds. Writing her name in diamonds would be cool, and it also refers to her being “cold” or really good at what she does, maybe ruthless or someone hard to compete against. This comes from the phrase “write my name in stone” which means you are famous forever and people will always know your name.
Can’t argue with these lazy b******, I just raise my price
I’m a boss, I’m a leader, I pull up in my two-seater
- “Two-seater” is a sports car with just two seats. It can also mean a person with a really big butt.
And my mama was a savage, n****, got this s*** from Tina
- Beyoncé’s mom’s name is Tina
I’m a savage, yeah
Classy, bougie, ratchet, yeah (Ratchet, yeah)
Sassy, moody, nasty, yeah (Okay)
Acting stupid, what’s happening? (Ah)
B****, what’s happening? (Ah, what’s up?)
B****, I’m a savage, yeah
Classy, bougie, ratchet, yeah (Woah, woah, woah, okay)
Sassy, moody, nasty, huh (Ooh, ooh, okay)
Acting stupid, what’s happening? (Woah, ah)
B****, what’s happening? (Ayy, ah, ah)
Like Beyoncé, like me (Like me)
He want a b**** like thee Stallion with the knees (With the knees)
- *He wants a… Megan is referring to the way she dances.
He be like, “Damn, how that thang movin’ in them jeans?” (Yeah, yeah, them jeans)
- *He’s thinking… or He is like… How is that thing moving in those jeans? Saying “like” can be used to introduce a thought or dialogue in informal speech. “I was like, Come over, and he was like, Okay.” In informal speech some people say “them” when they mean “those.” “Them are some nice shoes! I want to buy them.”
Ayy, even D4L couldn’t do it like me, like me
- “D4L” (Down For Life) is a rap group based in Atlanta that was popular in the early 2000s, especially for their song “Laffy Taffy.” They made a song called “Betcha Can’t Do it Like Me” which is probably what she’s referring to. D4L was like a one-hit-wonder, so she might be saying that she can make lots of hit songs.
Ooh, ah, ooh
I done got this body ready just for you
Girl, I hope he don’t catch me messin’ ’round with you
- *I hope he doesn’t catch me messing around… To “catch” someone in this sense means to find them doing something they aren’t supposed to do. To “mess around” can be another way to say cheating on someone or sleeping with someone. It can also be just spending time with someone or having fun. Mess around has other meanings too, but these are some of them.
Talkin’ to myself in the mirror like, “B****, you my boo“
- *you are my boo… “Boo” is a loving term that you call someone you love and appreciate like a partner, spouse, and less commonly a family member. Here she’s calling herself “boo” in the mirror.
I’m the s***, ooh
- Saying this means that you are really great and awesome. It sounds like a contradiction, but that’s what it means.
I need a mop to clean the floor, it’s too much drip, ooh
- “Drip” is style, confidence, attractiveness, and all of that good stuff in one. She uses a metaphor, saying she has “drip” but comparing it to a literal liquid dripping on the floor that needs to be mopped.
I keep a knot, I keep a watch, I keep a whip, ooh (Keep it real, ooh)
- These are all things used to control or dominate someone. A knot (she keeps her men tied, they are stuck with her), a watch (she keeps them on the clock, as if they were working for her), and a whip (like slavery, basically, or maybe like Fifty Shades of Grey?). To “keep it real” means to be open, tell the truth, and show things the way they really are. Not hiding or lying about yourself.
Let’s play a game, Simon says I’m still that b****, ayy
- “Simon says” is a schoolyard game where one person is in charge (Simon) and everyone else has to do what that person says. “Simon says, touch your toes. Simon says, stomp your feet” etc. When someone says, “I’m that __,” it means that they are the best or the one being talked about. “Wait, so who are you?” “I’m that dude. Ask your friends, they know.” Megan also could be saying that she is the same as before and hasn’t changed her ways, in a good way.
I’m still that b****, yuh (Ah)
I’m a savage, yeah (Okay)
Classy, bougie, ratchet (Okay)
Sassy, moody, nasty, yeah
Acting stupid, what’s happening? (Ah, what’s up?)
B****, what’s happening? (Ah, what’s up?)
B****, I’m a savage, yuh (Okay)
Classy, bougie, ratchet, yeah (Woah, woah, woah, okay)
Sassy, moody, nasty, huh (Ooh, ooh)
Acting stupid, what’s happening? (Ooh, ooh, ah)
B****, what’s happening? (Ayy, ah, ah)
I heard they askin‘ for the Queen, they brought some cameras in here
- *I heard that they were asking for the Queen…
I’m a bad b****, she’s a savage, no comparison here
- A “bad B-word” is a term of respect and admiration for a woman who takes care of her business, has good looks, makes good money, and so on. Not all women like this term and it could be offensive depending on who says it or hears it. This goes back to the meaning of “bad” as something really good or cool.
I’ma flip my hair and look back while I twerk in the mirror
- *I’m going to flip… You should know what twerking is. If not, just look up Miley Cyrus or somebody. Better yet, watch a Megan Thee Stallion video.
All this money in the room, think some scammers in here
- A “scammer” is someone who tricks others into making money for themselves or makes money in a number of illegal ways. Megan and B make so much money that it looks as if they were doing it illegally.
I’m comin’ straight up out that Third (ah)
- To “come straight up out of” something just means to come out of it or come from it. “Straight up out” here just adds rhythm and emphasis to the sentence, but it doesn’t change the meaning in any major way. Think of the slogan “Straight Outta Compton” (NWA came directly from Compton). The “Third” she refers to is the Third Ward of Houston, which I guess is where Beyoncé lived for a while. Interestingly, the way she pronounces “ah” after Third sounds like she could be saying “Third eye”, which is a light reference to the mystic third eye and deep perception. It’s actually referenced quite often in modern music and could just be used to mean a deeper level of awareness and success. It’s kind of associated with the Illuminati too …
I whip the whip like I stirred it (Stirred)
- “Whip” is a slang term for a car. When talking about cooking, “whip” means to stir something quickly and repeatedly until it forms a foam or cream. That’s why she also says “stir.” Basically, she’s driving her fancy car as if she were whipping some type of food, driving it in circles, doing tricks in her car, and so on.
Woodgrain, we swervin‘, keepin’ his mind all on these curves (Uh)
- *We are swerving… “Woodgrain” is a finish on wood that makes it look more natural. The design of woodgrain has lots of curves and swirls in it. To “swerve” is to curve quickly, usually in a car around a corner or sharp turn.
- “Coupe” is another word for a nice car or two-seater, too. Also, a coop is a place where chickens and sometimes other birds are kept, so she plays with this pronunciation. “Fly” here has the slang meaning of being stylish and attractive, although she compares it to the literal sense of a flying bird. “Cold” here probably has a mixed meaning of ice (diamonds and jewelry) and looking really good, fresh, stylish, etc. Cold is an adjective but she uses it like a verb, which happens a lot in English. “Brrr” is the sound someone makes when they are cold (temperature). It’s also the sound rapper Gucci Mane makes a lot in his music, much for the same reasons as Beyoncé just now.
Always keep my words, no, I don’t do crosswords
- To “keep your word” means to be honest and do what you said you were going to do. It’s like not giving up. “Crosswords” are those word puzzles that you see in newspapers or puzzle booklets. She plays with the idea of a crossword puzzle and “crossing” someone, meaning to lie, trick, or cheat them. It’s also like saying “she doesn’t go back on her word” (she doesn’t say one thing and do another).
Stallion when I ride, he like them hot girls with them hips, ah (Skrrt, skrrt)
- *He likes those hot girls with those hips…
I hopped that s***, the way I hopped out and slid, ah (Skrrt, skrrt)
- Repeating “skrrt skrrt” makes me think she really is referring to a car. She hopped out and slid (got out of) her car. That sound is very popular in hip-hop music lately, and it almost always is talking about a fancy car, usually when someone is arriving or leaving somewhere. I’ll leave you to figure out the rest of what she means.
I pop my s***, now watch me pop up again, ah (Woah)
- This line is more inappropriate but an interesting note: to “pop up” can mean to show up or appear unexpectedly.
I mop the floor, now watch me sweep up these Ms, ’cause I— (Ah)
- Mopping the floor is a reference to the previous line talking about “drip.” Now she’s sweeping up “Ms” (millions of dollars).
And the lyrics repeat.
Wow, that was a lot. This song is packed full of slang, informal expressions, double meanings, and pop-culture references. The whole song is basically about how cool, stylish, and awesome these two women are. They make lots of money, are sexy, close big business deals, and can walk the talk. There’s nothing much more to explain here.
- What did you think of this song? Do you prefer the original or the remix?
- Why do you think they focus so much on their physical attributes? Does hip-hop as a genre encourage this?
- What’s your favorite Beyoncé or Megan Thee Stallion song? What is that song about?
- Would you rather be a savage, classy, nasty, bougie, ratchet, or sassy? (What’s happening)
Cover image: By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63308428
To my English learners out there: Have you ever been in a situation — maybe been watching a movie — and the experience just feels like you are in another dimension, another world, and you’ve essentially left planet Earth? Well, today’s terms are great for these “otherworldly” experiences. I’m going to discuss some informal terms that use the word “trip” as well as similar terms like “freak” and “flip.” At the end I’ll talk about the word “shorty.” We’ll observe these words with the help of our old friend, Charles. If you find this information helpful, share it with someone you know is learning English. Cool? Let’s do it!
Today’s terms: trip, trippy / trip out, freak out, flip out / tripping, slipping / shorty, shawty
1. Trip – Trippy
So we know what a trip is. Taking a drive down the coast, going camping in the mountains, a vacation to Disneyland. But trip also has a more figurative meaning. You can call a situation or an event “a trip” when it is really crazy, spectacular, or unexpected. Sometimes when someone is being really funny or silly, you can call that person “a trip” too. Trippy has almost the same meaning but is an adjective. It describes situations that are very strange, crazy, and almost supernatural. You might see a ghost and say, “Wow, that was trippy.” On the other hand, “trip” can be used as a verb to talk about someone who is acting badly or in a stupid way. In this case don’t trip is also a common way to tell someone “don’t worry.”
Charles was in the recording studio with his friend, Sheila, as she was finishing recording a song. He was bouncing his head and enjoying every second of the lively music with the swirling sound of the musical track. The producer noticed that Charles was enjoying the beat he had made.
Charles — Man, this song is just wild how it fills up your brain and every part of your body just wants to dance!
Producer — I know, the sound is trippy, right? It’s one of my favorite tracks.
- The sound is really cool, crazy, and almost supernatural.
Charles — Well, your beats are always a trip. That’s why I love to come here and listen to you guys record live. Sorry if I’m intruding, by the way.
- The beats are always fun, enjoyable, interesting, and kind of strange at the same time.
Producer — Don’t trip, bro. You can come anytime you want.
- Don’t worry about it.
2. Trip out – Freak out – Flip out
Now remembering the words from above, these next terms carry a similar meaning. If “trip” can sometimes mean “to worry,” then to trip out means to worry a lot, but in a way that you are almost paranoid. This term is common for referring to people who get paranoid on drugs and act in a very strange way. They trip out. Trip has been used to talk about the experience of getting high on drugs, so this relationship makes sense. Still, you can trip out even when you’re not on drugs. Same for freak out or flip out, these terms mean to overreact to a situation, or react to something in a very dramatic or exaggerated way. Freaking out or flipping out can come in many forms, like getting mad, being really paranoid, or being super scared or anxious. Some people also just say freak or flip, but the same meaning is implied when used as a verb.
The producer looked over at Charles and saw that he was almost falling into a weird dream state.
Producer — Psst! Dude, are you okay? You look like you’re tripping out.
- He looks like he is dreaming, like he is on drugs, like his body is being taken over by something.
Charles popped his eyes open and stood up quickly.
Charles — What? Oh, man, I thought I was dreaming. The music together with Sheila’s voice is putting me in a trance, I think. Feels like her voice is coming to attack me or something, to control my mind.
Producer — Okay, well that’s a bit much. Maybe you wanna step outside and take a breath before you start flipping out.
- Before you start acting crazy, acting paranoid, or have some kind of loud and weird reaction.
Charles — No, no, I can handle it. Sorry, I didn’t know I would freak like this.
- I didn’t know I would have this weird reaction, act strangely this way, act paranoid like this. He could also say “freak out” here with the same meaning.
Producer — It’s all good. She’s almost done recording, anyway.
3. Tripping – Slipping
Going back to the meaning of trip as “worrying,” we see that tripping is when someone is acting strange or worrying too much about something. Tripping can also mean to act in a way that other people don’t like. Slipping is a similar idea, but it’s used to say that someone is not doing something well. Usually, it’s a situation where the person was really good at something before but has been doing worse in more recent times.
Sheila finally finished singing and came out of the recording booth. She didn’t look very happy.
Sheila — Dang, that sucked. I can’t believe my voice sounds like that.
Producer — What are you talking about?! You sang great! You had your friend Charles over here looking like he was going to grow wings and fly away.
Sheila — Aw, is that true? I thought I was slipping.
- I thought my singing was getting worse, my voice isn’t as good as usual.
Charles — Yeah, I was about to catch a rocket ship and fly to Mars while you were singing. Haha.
Producer — Your voice is as good as ever, girl, strop tripping.
- Stop worrying, stop acting insecure like that.
Sheila — Thanks you guys. I do sound pretty great, don’t I?
4. Shorty – Shawty
These final words are actually the same word. They both are used to refer to a woman in general, and they are often used as terms of endearment (loving terms). For example, some men call their girlfriends shorty, or even a woman they are attracted to. This term is more common for young women, and even girls can be called “shorty.” I have an Aunt Shorty (not her birth name), to give you an idea. Shorty in the past wasn’t always for just women either. It used to be a nickname for men too, especially short men. More recently because of music, in the States calling someone “shorty” gives a sense of care or femininity, at least. Shawty is just a more informal way of pronouncing the same word.
Producer — Yeah, Sheila, you’re my star singer here. Of all the shawties that come here to record, you’re the best.
- Of all the young ladies that come here.
Sheila took a bow and went to the restroom to clean the sweat off her nervous forehead.
Charles — What do you think? Is she taken?
Producer — Huh? What do you mean? You have a crush on Sheila?! Ooh, I’m telling!
They laugh together.
Charles — Nah, shut up bro! I’m serious. I might try to make her my shorty.
- Make her my girlfriend or go out with her. It sounds less serious and more casual, even though he means something serious.
Producer — As far as I know, she’s never had a man come in here and watch her like you do. Try asking her.
Charles nodded at the producer as he noticed Sheila coming out of the bathroom.
Sheila — Ready to go?
Basically, tripping and words like it (freak, flip) are related to strange and undesirable behavior. Sometimes it can be worrying, paranoia, or someone just asking too many questions. Slipping has to do with not being as good at something as before, or even being lazy at something. Some other terms I want to add real quick are slip up or trip up which both mean to “make a mistake.” Think of it as falling over your own feet or slipping on a banana peel. Those both are good phrasal verbs to add to your vocabulary. Another note about “shorty” is that sometimes men refer to a woman as a “shorty” when they don’t want to sound like they are super interested or in love with her. It’s kind of to look more manly or look tough, we can say to “downplay” their attraction for that woman. Of course, you don’t have to use these words, but you might enjoy understanding them in natural contexts, especially in current music.
Okay! What do you think? Was this helpful? Let me know if you know how to use these words, or write me a few example sentences if you have time. Comment if you’ve heard these words before! And don’t forget to follow the blog and read other posts, you might find something you’ll like. Until the next time, take care y’all!
We’ve got another one … as DJ Khaled might say. Just kidding. Here’s another audio for you to practice your English listening skills with. This is based on the post “Cakes for breakfast” which you can read and listen to at the same time here. Take a listen and see what you can understand! Write about what you thought, or try to use these terms in your own sentences. Sound good? Enjoy!
We’re back again! Here’s an audio recorded version of my original post “Isn’t that a question” where I go over a few English phrases or terms. Please take a listen and test how much you can understand! This page just contains the audio for listening, but you can follow this link to read and listen at the same time if you want. Let me know if this listening practice helped you to understand the words better. Is there something you want me to explain or record next? Tell me in the comments or send me an email! Ready? Happy listening!