Friends Glossary: How to Become Native with Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey, and Phoebe

Tori Tornreviewed byKateryna Protsenko / more about Editorial Process11 min
Created: Apr 4, 2023Last updated: Jan 24, 2024

I'll be there for you! If you sang this line with us, you would love this article. Why? Because it's full of useful words, phrasal verbs, and idioms from the Friends TV series. Being one of the biggest fans of the iconic piece of television, we had to force ourselves to stop binge-watching the show 100 times to finally give our learners what they wanted for so long – Friends glossary! So let's call this article One with All Advanced Vocabulary from Friends. 

How to Learn English with Friends TV Series: Promova's Tips

You can never forget your first time. Remember how you thought you might be too young, inexperienced, and a bit unready? But, fortunately, everything turned out to be even better than you could've ever imagined. Yes, we are still talking about English learning here, to be precise – about learning English with tv series. 

If you take English learners from around the world and ask them what was the first tv series they watched in English, most of them will name Friends. And there is no wonder. Friends is an iconic piece of American television that still touches people's hearts and souls. So, if you've been learning English for some time and feel ready to take the next step, you can use Friends for learning. Don't know what to do? Here are some tips for watching Friends in English effectively!

  1. Watch a series with English subtitles. Subtitles are a safe way to open your mind to English-speaking content. While you still have to follow the real-life speed of speech, you can check if you've heard what was really said. Some English words are pronounced the same but spelled differently. So, you will only understand which one was used in a particular case from the context. 
  2. Repeat after the characters. One of the most beneficial things about Friends in English is how they speak – clear and well-articulated, especially Ross. Pick a character you relate the most to and repeat everything they say. It will help you to understand the speech better and improve your American accent. Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey, and Phoebe are pretty different characters, but their accents do not differ much because they all live in NYC. 
  3.  Pay attention to the sentence structures. Every language is unique, so something that works in your mother tongue might not apply to English. When characters discuss something, you can notice how they build sentences, the word order, which grammar they use, etc. picking up on such things will help you sound more natural and casual. 
  4. Check on the Friends glossary. If you don't know the meaning of the word, phrasal verb, or idiom you've heard in the series, you should pause and check it in the glossary. Once you do that, write a new piece of vocabulary in notes on your phone and use it when you get the chance. Most likely, while watching Friends further, you will bump into this word or phrase again. And trust us, those guys tap into only really useful vocabulary. 
  5. Learn new Friends' vocabulary with Promova. We share the passion for tv series that our learners have to the point that we've created an online course in English with TV Series. You can access it on the Promova app. There are many bite-sized lessons based on the Friends TV series. For instance, you can learn chandler's idioms, everyday metaphors, and interesting adjectives the friend group uses. Our cute flashcards and interactive quizzes will help you to memorize all the necessary vocabulary for good. If you aim for more practice with Friends in English, you can always sign up for a tutoring program at Promova. Our certified tutors know teaching English with Friends TV series is highly effective and fun. 

Start learning English with Friends so that such modern Netflix hits as YouEmily in Paris, and Wednesday won't be a problem for you in the future. 


Friends Glossary: Season 1

If you are ready to watch or rewatch Friends in English, we suggest starting the first season. Here is the Friends glossary for those who are not sure what to look for in each episode. 

Episode 1

It hit me – you suddenly realized something

And then I got really freaked out, and that's when it hit me how much Barry looks like Mr. Potato Head. 

To drift apart – gradually become less intimate or friendly

I know that you and I have drifted apart, but you're the only person I knew who lived here in the city. 

To establish – to discover

Well, I guess we've established she's staying here with Monica. 

To buzz in – to allow someone to enter a door 

Buzz him in. 

To cut off – to disconnect 

Machine cut me off again. 

To walk on someone – to leave someone

Ever since she walked out on me, I haven't been able to perform sexually. 

On a roll – on a streak of success or intense activity 

While you're on a roll if you feel like you got to make a western omelet or something…

To take credit for – to accept the praise given (for something) 

I take credit for Paul. 

Upbeat – cheerful 

And yet you are surprisingly upbeat. 

To leave off – to abandon 

You can't leave off your parents your whole life. 

Geeky – a person often of an intellectual bent who is disliked 

I always figured you just thought I was Monica's geeky older brother. 

Episode 2

To catch up – to go faster to reach the person ahead

How about I'll catch up with you in the Ice Age?

To have a thing for – to have a strong feeling about

They all had a thing for him. 

To take some of the heat off – to reduce the amount of criticism you have to deal with

I think it might take some of the heat off me. 

To shoot for the stars – to aim high

There are people like Ross who need to shoot for the starts. 

To be on the table – to offer for discussion

I believe Julia's on the table.

Episode 3

To cushion – to soften the effect or impact of something

It cushions the blow. 

A filter-tipped little buddy – a cigarette 

You can come in but your filter-tipped little buddy stays outside. 

To be even – when people don't owe anything to each other

You buy me a soda, and then we're even. 

Endearing – arousing feelings of affection or admiration  

I think it's endearing. 

The gloves come off – to be ready to act in an uncompromising or ruthless way

The hair comes out, and the gloves come off. 

Episode 4

An omnipotent – one who has unlimited power or authority

If I were omnipotent for a day I would want world peace, no more hunger, good things for the rainforest and bigger boobs. 

To take the mind off – to switch thinking about something

Maybe it will take my mind off it. 

A slumber party – an overnight party

We thought we'd have kind of a slumber party thing. 

To bring down – make someone unhappy or depressed

I didn't mean to bring you down. 

To draw out – to make something last longer

I think you need to draw him out. 

Episode 5

To gang up on – to unite as a group against someone 

Thanks, but I think she'd feel like we're ganging up on her. 

To burn up – to make angry or very irritated

He burns me up. 

Eager – strongly wanting to do or have something 

I don't want to seem too eager. 

Supremely – extremely 

I had the most supremely awful day. 

To save something – to reserve

But I saved it – I put my basket on top. 

A spaz – an inexperienced person

I'm being like a total laundry spaz?

Rambunctious –  full of energy and difficult to control 

Like you've never gotten a little rambunctious with Ross?

Episode 6

Impending – likely to occur soon

Notice – no fear, no sense of impending doom. 

To be out of someone's league – to be too good for someone

Could she be more out of my league?

To the hell of it – without having a particular reason 

I rode way to the Brooklyn just to the hell of it. 

A kook – a mad person

I can be a kook. 

A resentment - bitterness and anger that someone feels about something

Do I hear a bit of resentment?

To strewn about – to cover a wide area 

Haphazard – random

Just casually strewn about in that reckless haphazard manner? 

Episode 7

Blacked out – without light

The entire city is blacked out. 

To put on the phone – to call on the phone

Put Joey on the phone. 

Episode 8

Life-affirming – positive and optimistic

It's a wonder your mother turned out to be the positive, life-affirming person she is. 

Episode 9

To chip in – to contribute

We all chipped in. 

To bust the ass – to put a lot of effort into doing something

So why was I busting my ass to make this delicious dinner?

Episode 10

To snap – to become very angry

I'm saying I snapped. 

To shout out – say something suddenly and very loudly 

He keeps shouting me out. 

Mingling –  to move around and talk to other people at a social event

What do you say you and I do a little mingling?

Episode 11

To beam with – to smile with obvious pleasure

I'm busy beaming with pride. 

To appraise – assess the value or quality of

Anyone wants me to appraise anything?

Episode 12

To make a move on someone – to try to start a romantic or sexual relationship with someone

He made a move on me. 

To make a pass at someone – to try to kiss or touch someone in a sexual way

Paola made a pass at me. 

To swoop in – to move rapidly downwards through the air

It's time for you to swoop in. 

Episode 13

To barge in – to walk in without invitation 

You just barge in here, you don't knock. 

Not to know you from Adam – to not know someone at all

I don't know you from Adam. 

Conceivable – possible 

It's conceivable that you wanted to sabotage your marriage so that the sibling would feel like less of the failure in the eyes of the parents. 

Stand-up – resistant 

I always figured when the right one comes along I'd be a stand-up guy and go the distance. 

Episode 14

To scooch down – to move a bit to make a space

These people will scooch down. 

Wacky – funny or amusing in a slightly odd or peculiar way

Here is a wacky thought. 

Episode 15

To root for – to show support for

I was rooting for you two kids to get together. 

To blaze up a doobie – to smoke cannabis

In the cab on the way over Steve blazed up a doobie. 

Episode 16

A recollection - the act of recalling something from memory 

She would not have any recollection of firing. 

To occur – to happen

Is this just occurring to you?

Episode 17

To blow off – to fail to keep an appointment with someone

I say we blow off the dates. 

To put out – to remove

His father tried to put you out of business. 

Episode 18

To bluff – to mislead by showing strength or confidence 

I was bluffing. 

To give it a go – to try doing something

I'm going to give it a go. 

To step on the point – to interrupt someone or say something another person was about to say

You kind of stepped on my point. 

Episode 19

To unclench – to relax 

Unclench, you are not even gonna be here. 

To run something by someone – to tell someone your ideas so that they can give you their opinion

I wanted to run something by you. 

Episode 20

To dangle – to hang or swing loosely

Let it dangle. 

Jam-packed – very busy 

I have a jam-packed schedule. 

Episode 21

To ring a bell with – to sound familiar

Well, it does not ring a bell with me. 

To give someone up – to stop having any relationships with someone

I'm going to give him up. 

An open call – an audition when anyone who is interested can try for the role

There's an open call for Cats. 

To turn someone in – give something to someone in authority

It wasn't me who turned you in. 

Episode 22

To pay – to result in something good

It pays to know the man who wears my shoes. 

Icky – distastefully sentimental

It's icky. 

Episode 23

To land on – to consider as an option 

We've never landed on Jordy. 

To come along – to arrive

There are a lot of things Carol had never done before I came along. 

To be involved with someone – to have a close romantic or sexual relationship with someone

Are you currently involved with anyone?

Episode 24

An itinerary – a planned route or journey 

Here's my itinerary. 

Per se – by itself 

I'm not against environmental issues per se.