Learn some English slang. Slang is highly ephemeral: it changes from one generation to another. Slang terms come into existence for various reasons, some obvious, some inexplicable, but most of them are delightfully direct and to the point. The use of slang adds spice to speech and writing.
in low water: short of money
e.g. In this economic time, many people are living in low water.
stunner: an attractive person or object
e.g. This necklace is a stunner on you.
flap one's mouth: talk too much
e.g. Shut up and don't flap your mouth!
off the nail: drunk
e.g. Every time I come home, I find him off the nail with a bottle in his hand.
e.g. He's not a trustworthy person: he's going to ditch you before long.
flattened out: broke; having no money
e.g. I tell you what: I'm flattened out!
something out of a bottle: an impracticable idea
e.g. Is your suggestion something out of a bottle?
stuffed shirt: an arrogant person
e.g. He's nothing but a stuffed shirt; nobody likes him.
do oneself proud: indulge in unusual and satisfying extravagance
e.g. Now that he has inherited the family fortune, he's going do himself proud.
fat lot: extremely little
Did you win a lot at the casino? Fat lot!
Copyright© by Stephen Lau