Abstract：Slang is a special language variety. Language is embedded in particular culture and mirrors the culture, and the same is true with American slang. American slang is commonly seen on newspapers, magazines and celebrity biographies, novels, etc, which makes it hard for non-native speakers to gain a full understanding. What causes difficulty in understanding is probably the cultural implication loaded in slang and language learners’ inadequate knowledge of the slang.
The present thesis makes a tentative attempt to probe into American slang in light of the phenomenon of American counterculture. The purposes of the study are to help the English learners better comprehend American slang, to help understand American counterculture in the 1960s and 1970s, and to reveal how the counterculture affects the formation of American slang. As there are a large number of slang terms in American language, it is impossible to exhaust them all. As the study falls into the scope of counterculture, only a minority part of American slang terms are integrated into the study.
Therefore, the study of American slang from counter-cultural perspective can help us have a better understanding of counterculture movements. The findings offer some implications for language learners.
Key words: American slang; counterculture; social functions