What is your short list of some important contemporary slangs and idioms of the American English?
There are so many that it would easily fill a book. I'm from the south, so southernese is spoken...errr...fluently. The redneck dictionary well understood.
One of my aunts, now dead, had the saying of 'I'll Suwanee'. It meant 'I'll be danged' but it was very a very local, out of time past slang. You see the Suwanee river was not very far away, making it more acceptable regionally but not in use outside that area.
This is a picture of the Suwanee River I've taken.
Another favorite is the word 'hosepipe'. This comes from the Mississippi state area. Mainly meaning a garden hose but what it is called by the locals.
Sometimes for the variety of it, I'll throw in a ya'll in the text or something of similar nature. I know it to be bad English but to flavor the text some is the reason. Ya'll is just slang for 'you all' crammed together into a conjunction. It's not proper English.
I have tons of these and if you are observant you will see them pass by from time to time.
How do you like New Orleans? Is it really something like a "Little France"; is it a popular tourist destination?
Funny you should ask about that. I lived in Naw Orleans as the natives pronounce it. You have a lot of small towns that have all grown into one city. The tourist place you speak of is the French Quarter. I will have to hunt around as I have some images from those times. It is much like old Europe in flavor. Vehicle traffic is not allowed in the area with the exception of delivery trucks during the day, cop cars, and emergency vehicles. The streets are narrow, most of the older buildings have balconies to look down on street level. There are parks around, the Mississippi River is close by and can be walked to in a few blocks, there is an old building that used to be a beer brewery there (the Ajax building), lots of tourist places from tee shirt shops to hot sauce shops, no glass allowed in the area due to the cobblestones making a hazard for foot traffic.
Free concerts are often given, especially during the 4th
of July and New Years Eve. Street side musicians are often found in unexpected places. During the 4th
of July one of the attractions is the fireworks. The tradition there is to shoot them from barges on the river. It's called the Dueling Barges. All ship traffic is halted during this time, the music is provided by a local broadcast and comes in to the Riverwalk by speakers permanently in place.
It gets sort of wild during Marti Gras. People on the balconies courage young ladies to show their tits for bead neckless thrown to them after the happening. The crowds are shoulder to shoulder often, people drinking in the streets from plastic cups. Mostly the crowd is nothing but a happy go lucky type atmosphere. It's often a mark of status to have a huge cluster of necklesses on your neck within the crowd so you can guess the prettier ladies do fairly good at that. It's probably the only place I know of in the US with that sort of public street party.