Language is forever changing. What is currently popular may be replaced by something else in years to come, and the use of slang is a strong testament to that. Colloquial expressions are often acceptable in informal writing. The more you learn, the more you will know when to use them or not to use them in your writing or speaking.
Blue pencil: censor.
e.g. The committee will blue pencil whatever you are going to say.
Put one's shirt on: wager everything.
e.g. We have to put our shirt on this project; we've no other option.
e.g. I was pooped after working for nine hours in the yard.
Hard at it: busy.
e.g. "Are you working on the project?" "You bet! I'm hard at it."
Not so dusty: quite good.
e.g. Well the performance was not so dusty; much better than I expected.
Are you with me?: understand or agree with me.
e.g. I've been explaining this for an hour. Are you with me?
Bang out: reveal.
e.g. If you go into politics, you must be prepared to let all your secrets bang out.
e.g. What do you take me for? A fool half-baked!
Not worth powder and shot: not worth the effort.
e.g. If I were you, I would just give it up; it's not worth powder and shot.
Cry blue murder: make a great fuss.
e.g. Just ignore him: he's crying blue murder over everything.
Beat hollow: be superior to.
e.g. She is bossy, beating everyone hollow.
Excuse my French: pardon my bad language.
e.g. Ladies, please excuse my French; he really made me mad.
Back to square one: back to where one started.
e.g. We're back to square one: no deal.
Jump on: blame or criticize strongly.
e.g. You jumped on him every time he opened his mouth.
Gift of the gab: ability to give effective speeches.
e.g. The new Mayor has the gift of the gab: people like listening to him.
Keep one's head above water: stay out of debt or a difficult situation.
e.g. In this economic environment, it is not easy to keep your head above water.
Stephen LauCopyright© by Stephen Lau