Slang in Beyonce’s Songs

Beyonce is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She is famous for her powerful voice, spectacular shows and strong personality. As a matter of fact, she can teach us some English too. Let’s see what slang and idiom treasures her songs’ lyrics hold…

WORD/PHRASE: sprung (slang)

MEANING: crazy in love with someone, infatuated with someone

FROM: “Crazy in Love” (2003)

EXAMPLES: 1. You got me sprung and I don’t care who sees. 2. I’m so sprung on you. 3. I can’t forget about her. I guess I’m sprung.


WORD/PHRASE: to touch on something 

MEANING: to mention something when you are talking or writing

FROM: “Crazy in Love” (2003)

EXAMPLES: 1. I touch on you more and more every time. 2. Sorry for touching on this issue. 3. Don’t touch on her career. It’s a sensitive topic.


WORD/PHRASE: heart skips a beat

MEANING: used to say that someone is suddenly very surprised, excited, or nervous about something

FROM: “Crazy in Love” (2003)

EXAMPLES: 1. It’s the beat my hearts skips when I’m with you. 2. When I learned I was on live television, my heart skipped a beat. 3. The news made my heart skip a beat.

The lyrics are here.


WORD/PHRASE: funk (slang)

MEANING: a state of undesirable emotions or feeling out-of-sorts (slightly ill, upset or unhappy) 

FROM: “Naughty Girl” (2003)

EXAMPLES: 1. I feel the funk coming over me (= affecting me in a strong way). 2. You’re in a funk, aren’t you? 3. What’s all this funk about?

The lyrics are here.


WORD/PHRASE: to front (slang)

MEANING: to assume a fake or false personality to conceal one’s true identity and character

FROM: “Me, Myself & I” (2003)

EXAMPLES: 1. There’s no need to front like you’re still with me (= pretend). 2. Stop fronting. I know you better than you know yourself. 3. Don’t front, just tell me the truth.


WORD/PHRASE: homey (slang)

MEANING: homeboy/homegirl (a male/female friend who is from the same area or social group as you)

FROM: “Me, Myself & I” (2003)

EXAMPLES: 1. All your homies know, even your very best friend tries to warn me on the low (= secretly). 2. My homies will always be by my side. 3. I trust my homey.

The lyrics are here.


WORD/PHRASE: to lose it (slang)

MEANING: to suddenly become unable to behave or think in a sensible way, to go crazy

FROM: “Deja Vu” (2007) (read about deja vu and other French words in English here)

EXAMPLES: 1. It’s like I’m losing it. 2. I don’t know what happened to me, I just lost it. 3. I’m afraid he’s really lost it.

The lyrics are here.


WORD/PHRASE: twisted (slang)

MEANING: strange in an unpleasant way

FROM: “Irreplaceable” (2007)

EXAMPLES: 1. You got me twisted. 2. He’s a twisted man, so stay aways from him. 3. He’s twisted, isn’t he?


WORD/PHRASE: chick (slang)

MEANING: woman (the word is usually offensive)

FROM: “Irreplaceable” (2007)

EXAMPLES: 1. Call up that chick. 2. I’m not a chick! Show some respect. 3. Who’s that chick?

The lyrics are here.


WORD/PHRASE: kick it (slang)

MEANING: to relax somewhere, usually with other people, not doing anything in particular (more idioms on rest and relaxation are here)

FROM: “If I Were a Boy” (2008)

EXAMPLES: 1. If I were boy, I’d kick it with who I wanted and I’d never get confronted (= accused) for it. 2. Most weekends I’ll just kick it with my friends. 3. Do you want to kick it?


WORD/PHRASE: to stick up for somebody

MEANING: to defend or support a person who is being criticized or attacked

FROM: “If I Were a Boy” (2008) (read about the grammar of conditionals here)

EXAMPLES: 1. They’d stick up for me. 2. Learn to stick up for yourself. 3. I’ll always stick up for you.

The lyrics are here.


WORD/PHRASE: to blow it (slang)

MEANING: to destroy your own chance of succeeding, or to waste a good opportunity

FROM: “Best Thing I Never Had” (2011)

EXAMPLES: 1. Thank God you blew it. 2. You really blew it this time. 3. This is a really good opportunity, so don’t blow it.


WORD/PHRASE: to dodge a bullet

MEANING: to narrowly avoid something or some situation that turns out to be undesirable, disastrous, dangerous, or otherwise harmful

FROM: “Best Thing I Never Had” (2011)

EXAMPLES: 1. Thank God I dodged the bullet, I’m so over you (= I’m not in love with you anymore). 2. I really dodged the bullet when my exam was postponed to next week, as I hadn’t studied for it at all! 3. Coastal towns dodged a bullet when the hurricane veered out to sea (= suddenly changed direction).

The lyrics are here.


WORD/PHRASEto smile from ear to ear

MEANING: to have a broad, enthusiastic smile

FROM: “Love on Top” (2011)

EXAMPLES: 1. Everybody’s asking me why I’m smiling out from ear to ear. 2. The kids ran around the beach in a happy frenzy (= wild excitement), both of them smiling from ear to ear. 3. Tim was smiling from ear to ear when his boss praised him during the ceremony.


WORD/PHRASEto put someone/something first

MEANING: to decide that someone or something is more important than anything else

FROM: “Love on Top” (2011)

EXAMPLES: 1. Finally you put me first. 2. I always put my family first. 3. Who or what do you put first?

The lyrics are here.


WORD/PHRASE: fifty-eleven (slang)

MEANING: countless

FROM: “Yonce” (2011)

EXAMPLES: 1. See me up in the club with fifty-eleven girls. 2. I’ve told you fifty-eleven times that I don’t like broccoli. 3. I asked her out fifty-eleven times but she says no every time.


WORD/PHRASE: posted (slang)

MEANING: hanging out in one spot with nothing much to do

FROM: “Yonce” (2011)

EXAMPLES: 1. See me posted in the back, diamond fangs in my grill (= a gold/diamond plate that is molded for your teeth; it is decorated with diamonds and/or gold – watch the video below to see what Beyonce means). 2. Guinness World Records has officially confirmed that a reputable cosmetic dentist has created the world’s most valuable grill. 3. Encrusted with diamonds and precious gemstones, it’s no wonder that the intricate grill is worth a hefty $1,000,000. (Sentences 2 and 3 are about a grill created especially for a Katy Perry’s video. Watch it here.)


WORD/PHRASE: brim (slang)

MEANING: man

FROM: “Yonce” (2011)

EXAMPLES: 1. Brooklyn brim with my eyes sitting low (“low eyes” is another slang phrase; it refers to being high on weed (marihuana)). 2. What’s up brim? 3. I’m going to hang out with my brim.


WORD/PHRASE: cake by the pound (slang)

MEANING: cake: a girl with a large tight ass; pound: hashtag #

FROM: “Yonce” (2011)

EXAMPLES: 1. All on Instagram, cake by the pound. 2. # is often called pound sign in the UK. 3. They said she had a cake, which she found abusive.


WORD/PHRASE: G’s up (slang)

MEANING: used as a greeting

FROM: “Yonce” (2011)

EXAMPLES: 1. G’s up, tell me how I’m looking, babe. 2. G’s up, how’s it going? 3. G’s up, what’s up?

The lyrics are here.


WORD/PHRASE: fly (slang)

MEANING: cool, in style

FROM: “Formation” (2016)

EXAMPLES: 1. Paparazzi, catch my fly and my cocky fresh (= arrogant). 2. This dress is so fly. 3. He’s fly.


WORD/PHRASE: swag (slang)

MEANING: cool (noun)

FROM: “Formation” (2016)

EXAMPLES: 1. I got a hot source in my bag, swag. 2. You’ve got swag. 3. I just did it, swag.


WORD/PHRASEyellow bone (slang)

MEANING: a fair-skinned African American woman

FROM: “Formation” (2016)

EXAMPLES: 1. I stunt (= show off), yellow-bone it. (“Yellowfins bone” is used as a verb in the song, though usually it’s a noun.) 2. Beyonce is a yellow bone. 3. Yellow bones are very attractive.


WORD/PHRASEto slay (slang)

MEANING: to succeed in something amazing, to do something really well

FROM: “Formation” (2016)

EXAMPLES: 1. I slay. 2. Slay trick or you get eliminated. 3. This song slays.

The lyrics are here.

Did you hear something that you couldn’t understand? Some of Beyonce’s songs are full of slang, so feel free to ask your questions in the comments below. Thank you for reading!

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