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2 min read
Amanda Miller
February 29, 2024
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2 min read

Different ways to say "cool" in English

In this article, we will explore different words and phrases that can be used to say something is "cool" . . .
Different ways to say "cool" in English

Different ways to say "cool" in English

When it comes to expressing admiration or approval in English, there are various ways to convey the message. In this article, we will explore different words and phrases that can be used to say something is "cool." From slang to formal alternatives, we'll cover a range of expressions to help you navigate the diverse vocabulary of coolness.

Informal expressions

In casual conversations, it's common to use slang to express admiration. Words like "cool," "nice," "alright," and "awesome" are frequently employed. For instance, if you spot a trendy hoodie in a store window, you might exclaim, "Hey, check out this cool hoodie!"

Dog wearing hoodie and sunglasses

The term "cool" is relaxed and timeless, regardless of age or generation.

Formal alternatives

In more formal settings where slang might not be appropriate, there are alternative words that convey the same meaning. Expressions such as "nice," "great," "divine," "magnificent," "sublime," "outstanding," "amazing," and "first-rate" are suitable choices. For example, you could say, "This wine is absolutely divine," "This cake is outstanding," or "The entertainment was amazing."

Woman cheering and applauding

These words are commonly used in professional environments and other formal contexts.

Slang usage

Slang terms for "cool" are prevalent among Americans between the ages of 12 and 45. Phrases like "dope," "the bomb," "fire," "hot," "fresh," and "fly" are often used to express excellence. For instance, when appreciating a pair of sneakers, you might say, "These kicks are fire, and they would look dope with that hoodie."

Two men admiring shoes

However, it's worth noting that some slang words, like "outtasight" and "dynamite," are considered old-fashioned and may result in playful teasing if used by younger individuals.

Universally accepted term

Regardless of age or setting, the word "awesome" remains widely accepted and can be used in any context. It is a safe choice to express admiration or approval across all age groups. For example, if a coworker delivers a great PowerPoint presentation, you can compliment them by saying, "That presentation was awesome."

Man in suit applauding

Other words for "cool"

Besides "awesome," there are additional words that convey a sense of admiration. One such term is "sweet." When a friend shows you a new sports car they want to buy, you can say, "That car is sweet."

Man admiring car

While still informal, "sweet" is generally accepted among all age groups, particularly when conversing with friends and family outside of professional settings.

Niche expressions

For younger Americans between the ages of 15 and 45, phrases like "sick," "killer," "rad," "gnarly," and "wicked" are commonly used to describe something as "cool." These terms were popularized in the '80s and are still prevalent within skateboarder culture.

However, the more mainstream term "legit" can be used to emphasize authenticity and is suitable for general conversations. For example, you can say, "This show is legit," or "Those bands are legit."

Man nodding appreciatively

Additional expressions

To indicate approval or acceptance, the phrase "That's chill" can be used. For instance, you might say, "This party is chill" to mean "It's a nice party," or "That person is chill” to convey that you think they’re a cool person.

Woman dancing happily

In recent years, younger individuals have adopted the words "lit" and "on fleek" to describe something as awesome and amazing. However, these terms are starting to lose popularity among certain circles and are considered "played out."

When something is exceptionally nice or cool, you can use the expressions "brilliant" or "wicked cool." For example, if someone asks if Eric is cool, you can respond, "He's brilliant," or "He's wicked cool."


English offers a rich variety of words and phrases to express approval and admiration. Whether you prefer casual slang or more formal language, there are numerous ways to convey that something is "cool." By choosing the words that best fit your style and the context, you'll be able to express your appreciation effortlessly in English.