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English is a cool language because well, there are so many different and expressive ways to say things.
One English word that is useful in many situations is the exclamation “cool”.
You’ve probably heard an English speaking friend say that someone or something is “cool”. Or maybe you’ve heard it used by a character on your favorite Netflix TV series or in that holiday movie you just watched.
“Cool” is a common way to express approval with a situation or to pay someone a compliment. If you want to become fluent in English, you don’t just know how to use “cool” properly, but you also need to know the different ways to say “cool”. What do native speakers really mean when they say “cool”?
Strictly speaking, “cool” in English is an adjective that refers to temperature. When something is cool, it is neither warm nor cold. Saying that something like the night or the weather or a glass of water is “cool” means that it is comfortably cold.
“Cool” can also be used as an adverb, to describe how someone is acting. For example, if someone is speaking “coolly” they are neither very welcoming nor totally displeased to be interacting with you.
“Cool” is also commonly used as a slang term, mostly among the younger generation of English speakers.
When we are talking about slang, the most common ways to say “cool” are to either express acceptance or agreement or to convey admiration and approval.
You can say “cool” in place of “I agree” or even “okay”. For example, if Sean asks if you can meet at the restaurant at 7:30, you can say “cool” to mean you agree to that plan.
“Cool” is also used as an exclamation of pleased surprised, to convey your admiration of a person or your approval of a situation.
For example, Mary said that she got her dream job, you can say “Cool!” and it’s understood that you are happy for her.
In English, there are often a lot of different words and phrases you can use to convey emotions – even if the literal translation of the word doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with emotions.
“Cool” literally refers to a state of physical being, not an emotion, yet it is now associated with feelings and used to express happiness and admiration.
While “cool” is a versatile slang term that can be used in almost every situation, it’s not the only English expression you can use. There are several other words and phrases out there that means “cool” and it’s probably a good idea that you learn them as you might encounter them in conversation with native speakers.
Here are a few of the most common ways that people have to say that something or someone is “cool”.
You can say something is “awesome” if you want to imply that you are impressed. If you admire someone or something, you can say “awesome”.
Your new sports car is awesome.
You got an “A” in the test? Awesome!
You can also simply say “awesome” if someone asks you if you agree with something.
You can say something is “nice” when you want to express admiration. It’s usually used to say that you think that something someone told you is “cool”.
Do you have a date with Nancy on Friday? Nice.
Similar to “nice”, you can say sweet when you want to convey admiration. You can also say something is “sweet” when you are pleased about it.
Sweet! I have tickets for the concert.
When you say something is “excellent” it is a way to say a situation is “cool”.
You got an “A” in the exam? Excellent!
Going hiking this weekend? That is an excellent plan.
This is a good example of how certain slang words may have multiple meanings.
“Dope” can be an insult; it is short for “dopey” which means acting stupid. “Dope” is also used in place of addictive or dangerous drugs.
Dope is also one of the ways to say cool among young people nowadays. If something is “dope” it is “cool” or great.
Going on a surfing trip? That’s dope!
While beginner English language learners may be taught that “kill” or “killer” has slightly negative connotations, native speakers often use it as another way to say “cool”.
Killer dress, it suits you.
Again, another of the different ways to say “cool” might be confusing for beginning learners. “Sick” means illness or feeling ill, but it is also a slang word that is used to say that you admire something.
That band was sick! I want to hear them play again.
Sick moves, did you study dance?
The following words can also be used to say “cool”. They are all basically words that mean you think that something is admirable.
The following slang terms are also used to mean “cool” though they are considered a bit dated.
English is one of the most common languages in the world and, like many common world languages, there are different regional varieties of English. The three most common regional varieties of English are American English, British English, and Australian English.
“Cool” as a slang term actually originated in American English, though it’s pretty much “universal” among all English speakers nowadays. There are, however, ways to say “cool” that are a bit more associated with British English or Australian English.
If you hear someone say the following terms, they are basically saying that someone or something is “cool”.
This is an example of British slang. While other English speakers might use “wicked” to say that something is “cool”, it’s more commonly heard among those who speak British English.
That was a wicked performance last night. You should be proud.
Wicked! It’s the new BMW.
“Brilliant” or simply “brill” is what British English speakers say when they want to say that something is “awesome” or “cool”
Brilliant! I passed the test.
Brill, I can go on that trip this weekend.
When a British person says that something is “mint”, they mean it is of high quality. So they are saying something is worth admiring or “cool”.
That record is mint. Still great after all these years.
This is an Australian slang term that is used to say that something is amazing. So, Australian English speakers will use this to say that they think something is “cool.”
It is basically short for “beautiful” or beauty.
Your new car is a beaut.
If you hear an Australian English speaker say this, they are saying that something is “awesome”. So this is basically a way to say “cool” in Australia.
Did you get front row seats for the concert? Bloody ripper!
This is possibly the most commonly known Australian slang word and it can basically be used the same way that you would say “cool”.
Crikey! Did you see that winning goal?
If you look up a slang word or phrase, you will often find that the literal or dictionary meaning is totally different from the everyday meaning.
As we pointed out in the beginning, “cool” is defined as an adjective describing temperature in a dictionary but means something else in daily conversation. The following ways to say “cool” in English should be used with cautions as their other meanings are not so “polite”
When you say that something or someone is “badass” you are saying that you admire them. It’s usually used to say something or someone that is “cool” is also tough and a little intimidating.
Be careful when you use this, however, not only is it informal but “ass” technically is a mild English swear word.
Vin Diesel gets more and more badass with each “Fast and Furious” movie.
Your leather jacket is so badass!
Like with “badass”, you can use this to say that you think that something is “cool”. Also, like “badass” however, you need to be careful around who you say this with because it derives from a swear word or insult.
This is my favorite club. The music is bitchin’.
Okay. “Shit” is a swear word that means feces. It is commonly used as an exclamation of pain, displeasure, or anger. However, adding the article “the” makes it another way of staying cool.
Be very careful with this. Native English speakers will usually use a tone of voice to convey if they are saying this as an insult or a compliment, but it can be easily open to misinterpretation.
I love that movie! It was the shit!
In order to improve your fluency and hold daily conversations with native English speakers, it’s as important to learn different English slang words as it is to learn the most common words and phrases of English.
One effective way to learn slang is to download lists of different English slang words and memorize them. To help you learn the different ways that “cool” can be used, we have complied these words into a list in a PDF that you can download.
We also recommend that you go through this list of ways to say “cool” with your online native English speaking tutor. They can provide you with some useful tips about not only when and where you should use these different words for “cool” but also how to properly pronounce them
Sounds cool? Awesome! Have fun learning.
Awesome, Nice, Sweet, Excellent, Dope, Killer, Sick.
Wicked, Mint, Brilliant, Beaut, Bloody ripper, Crikey
Badass, Bitchin, The shit
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