Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Today you’ll learn slang phrases to use on IELTS Speaking.

These are perfect if you’re asked to describe a person on Speaking Part 2.

They can also be used to describe yourself or others on Speaking Part 1.

Using slang like this is the best way to use the variety of vocabulary required by IELTS.

These will not only make the Examiner smile, but they’ll also get you a 7 or higher!

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#1: Positive people

  • There’s nowhere to go but up!

This idiom sounds very hopeful.

However, we only use it when things are going terribly!

After answering a question about something negative that happened to you, end with this.

At least there’s nowhere to go but up!

  • Pollyanna: A person who is very positive and happy

This comes from a movie called Pollyanna, about a little girl who always looks on the bright side.

  • To see the world through rose-colored glasses

We say this to refer to people who ignore the bad and focus on the positive.

She sees the world through rose-colored glasses!

#2: Clumsy people

  • Klutz: A person who is clumsy, always tripping over their feet

We use this as a noun to call someone a “klutz.”

She is a klutz. She’s always tripping over her feet!

  • Klutzy: clumsy

As an adjective, we use this slang to describe someone as clumsy.

I’m so klutzy! I’m always running into doorways!

  • Ram into: run into, crash into

I often ram into the doorframe when I’m not paying attention.

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#3: Speedy people

  • Speed demon: someone who drives very fast

She’s such a speed demon. She never drives the speed limit!

Common IELTS questions:

  • Traffic
  • Driving
  • Vehicles
  • Cars

You can work this into any question about driving or traffic.

A Task 1 letter might ask you to complain about something in your neighborhood.

We need a Stop sign, because there are too many speed demons endangering my children.

  • Lead-footed or heavy-footed: Adjectives to describe someone who drives fast

#4: People who worry

  • Worry wart: Someone who worries a lot

Don’t be such a worry wart! You’ll give yourself anxiety!

You might be asked to talk about your family or friends on IELTS.

This is such a fun, light-hearted phrase, it will make the Examiner chuckle.

#5: People who talk a lot

  • Blabbermouth: A person who can’t keep a secret

She’s a blabbermouth! Don’t tell her any secrets.

This is mostly used to refer to someone who blabs about things they’ve been told in confidence.

  • Blab: Verb for talking, especially for gossiping or divulging secrets
  • A vault: A person who doesn’t share secrets
  • Gregarious: To talk a lot; used to describe very social people

#6: People who don’t say no

  • Doormat: Someone who doesn’t stand up for themselves

A person who places everyone else’s needs above their own.

We’d say they let themselves get walked all over.

  • To get walked all over: Idiom meaning you are easily convinced

Don’t be a doormat on test day!

If something is wrong, bring it up to the Invigilator right away!

Bonus slang!

These slang words are great for describing people on Part 1 or Part 2.

  • Softie: A person who is sentimental or emotional

He’s such a softie. He started crying when he saw the injured dog.

  • Oddball: A person who is different or strange

She’s a bit of an oddball. I never know what she’ll say next!


You need to use slang on IELTS Speaking!

For a 7 or higher on the Vocabulary score, you must show a range of vocabulary.

This means using some informal as well as some high level, more formal words and phrases.

Practice using today’s slang phrases to describe yourself and others.

Then you’ll be ready to impress the Examiner on test day!

For all the strategies you need, sign up for 3 Keys IELTS!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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