Top 48 Slang For Sketchy – Meaning & Usage

When it comes to navigating social situations, understanding the nuances of slang can be key to staying in the loop. “Sketchy” is a term that’s often thrown around, but do you really know all the ways it can be used? Fear not, because we’ve got you covered. Our team has put together a definitive list of the top slang terms for “sketchy” that will have you feeling confident in your conversational skills. Get ready to level up your street smarts and dive into the world of sketchy slang with us!

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1. Shady

When something or someone is described as “shady,” it means they are perceived as untrustworthy or involved in questionable activities.

  • For example, “That guy over there looks really shady. I wouldn’t trust him.”
  • In a discussion about a business deal, someone might say, “The whole situation seems shady. I think we should back out.”
  • A person might warn their friend, “Be careful, that neighborhood is known for its shady characters.”

2. Sketch

When something is referred to as “sketch,” it means it is suspicious, unreliable, or of questionable quality.

  • For instance, “I don’t want to eat at that restaurant, it looks really sketch.”
  • In a conversation about a person’s behavior, someone might say, “He’s been acting really sketch lately. I don’t know what’s going on.”
  • A teenager might describe a party as “sketch” if they feel it is going to be unsafe or uncomfortable.

3. Fishy

When something is described as “fishy,” it means it is suspicious or questionable, often implying that something dishonest or deceitful is happening.

  • For example, “The whole situation feels fishy. I think they’re hiding something.”
  • In a discussion about a strange coincidence, someone might say, “That’s really fishy. I don’t believe it’s just a coincidence.”
  • A person might warn their friend, “Don’t trust that website, it seems really fishy to me.”

4. Dicey

When something is referred to as “dicey,” it means it is risky or uncertain, often implying that there is a potential for trouble or danger.

  • For instance, “The weather conditions are looking dicey. We might have to cancel our plans.”
  • In a conversation about a difficult situation, someone might say, “It’s a dicey situation. We need to proceed with caution.”
  • A person might describe a decision as “dicey” if they feel it is risky or could have negative consequences.

5. Dodgy

When something or someone is described as “dodgy,” it means they are perceived as suspicious, unreliable, or of questionable integrity.

  • For example, “I don’t want to buy from that seller, they seem really dodgy.”
  • In a discussion about a business practice, someone might say, “That company has a dodgy reputation. I wouldn’t trust them.”
  • A person might warn their friend, “Be careful, that neighborhood is known for its dodgy characters.”

6. Sketchy

This word is used to describe something or someone that is untrustworthy or seems suspicious. It can also be used to describe a situation or place that feels unsafe or unreliable.

  • For example, “That guy seems really sketchy, I wouldn’t trust him.”
  • In a discussion about a dubious business deal, someone might say, “The whole thing sounds really sketchy to me.”
  • When talking about a neighborhood with a high crime rate, someone might comment, “I avoid that area, it’s really sketchy at night.”

7. Shifty

This term is used to describe someone who is acting suspiciously or in a way that suggests they are hiding something. It can also be used to describe something that seems untrustworthy or unreliable.

  • For instance, “I don’t know why, but that person gives me a shifty vibe.”
  • In a conversation about a person’s behavior, someone might say, “He was acting really shifty during the whole meeting.”
  • When discussing a business or organization with questionable practices, someone might comment, “That company has a shifty reputation.”

8. Skeevy

This slang term is used to describe something or someone that is unpleasant, gross, or gives off a creepy vibe. It is often used to express disgust or discomfort.

  • For example, “I don’t want to go into that sketchy-looking bar, it looks really skeevy.”
  • When talking about a person’s behavior, someone might say, “He was making skeevy comments that made everyone uncomfortable.”
  • In a discussion about a dirty and rundown place, someone might comment, “That motel is really skeevy, I wouldn’t stay there.”

9. Hinky

This slang term is used to describe something or someone that seems suspicious or unreliable. It can also be used to describe a situation or feeling that doesn’t seem right.

  • For instance, “Something about that deal seems hinky, I think we should be cautious.”
  • In a conversation about a person’s behavior, someone might say, “He’s been acting really hinky lately, I don’t trust him.”
  • When discussing a strange or unusual situation, someone might comment, “The whole thing feels hinky, I think we should investigate further.”

10. Grimy

This word is used to describe something that is dirty, grimy, or covered in filth. It can also be used to describe a place or situation that feels shady or disreputable.

  • For example, “I don’t want to touch anything in this sketchy-looking alley, it’s too grimy.”
  • When talking about a person’s appearance, someone might say, “He always looks so grimy, like he hasn’t showered in weeks.”
  • In a discussion about a rundown and neglected building, someone might comment, “That place is so grimy, it’s a health hazard.”

11. Spooky

This term is used to describe something that gives off an eerie or unsettling feeling. It can also be used to describe a person or situation that seems suspicious or untrustworthy.

  • For example, “That old abandoned house gives me the creeps, it’s so spooky.”
  • A person might say, “I don’t trust that guy, there’s something spooky about him.”
  • Another might comment, “The way she was acting was really spooky, like she was hiding something.”

12. Janky

This slang term is used to describe something that is of poor quality, unreliable, or in a state of disrepair. It can also be used to describe a person or situation that is sketchy or untrustworthy.

  • For instance, “The car I borrowed from my friend was so janky, it barely made it to the destination.”
  • A person might say, “I don’t want to eat at that restaurant, their kitchen looks janky.”
  • Another might comment, “The website seems really janky, I wouldn’t trust making a purchase from there.”

13. Wack

This slang term is used to describe something that is strange, weird, or suspicious. It can also be used to express disappointment or disapproval.

  • For example, “That movie was so wack, I didn’t understand anything.”
  • A person might say, “I heard some wack rumors about that place, I wouldn’t go there.”
  • Another might comment, “The way he dresses is really wack, it’s like he’s trying too hard to be different.”

14. Sketcho

This slang term is used to describe something or someone that is suspicious, shady, or untrustworthy. It can also be used to describe a situation that feels uncomfortable or sketchy.

  • For instance, “I don’t know why, but that guy gives me a sketcho vibe.”
  • A person might say, “The whole situation seems sketcho, I think we should leave.”
  • Another might comment, “Her explanation sounded sketcho, I don’t think she’s telling the truth.”

15. Sus

This slang term is an abbreviation of “suspicious” and is used to describe something or someone that is suspicious, sketchy, or untrustworthy. It can also be used to express doubt or uncertainty.

  • For example, “I have a feeling something sus is going on in that house.”
  • A person might say, “He’s been acting really sus lately, I don’t know if I can trust him.”
  • Another might comment, “The whole situation seems sus, I think we should investigate further.”

16. Ratchet

This term is often used to describe something or someone that is considered low-quality, unreliable, or untrustworthy.

  • For example, “That car is so ratchet, it breaks down every week.”
  • In a discussion about fashion, someone might say, “Those shoes are ratchet, they’re falling apart.”
  • A person describing a sketchy neighborhood might say, “That area is known for its ratchet bars and clubs.”

17. Shonky

This slang term is commonly used to describe something or someone who is dishonest, unreliable, or of poor quality.

  • For instance, “I bought this shonky phone online and it stopped working after a week.”
  • In a conversation about a shady business, someone might say, “Their practices are shonky, I wouldn’t trust them.”
  • A person describing a sketchy repair job might say, “The mechanic did a shonky job on my car, it started having issues again right away.”

18. Scuzzy

This term is often used to describe something or someone that is dirty, grimy, or generally unpleasant.

  • For example, “That motel room was so scuzzy, I didn’t want to touch anything.”
  • In a discussion about a run-down neighborhood, someone might say, “The streets are scuzzy, I wouldn’t walk alone at night.”
  • A person describing a sketchy-looking individual might say, “He had a scuzzy appearance, I didn’t feel safe around him.”

19. Creepy

This slang term is commonly used to describe something or someone who causes a feeling of unease, fear, or discomfort.

  • For instance, “That abandoned house gives me creepy vibes, I don’t want to go inside.”
  • In a conversation about a strange person, someone might say, “He always stares at people, it’s really creepy.”
  • A person describing a sketchy situation might say, “I walked down that dark alley and it felt really creepy, I hurried out of there.”

20. Grim

This term is often used to describe something or someone that is disturbing, depressing, or bleak in nature.

  • For example, “The crime scene was really grim, it was hard to look at.”
  • In a discussion about a tragic event, someone might say, “The details are so grim, it’s heartbreaking.”
  • A person describing a sketchy neighborhood might say, “The area has a grim atmosphere, it’s not a pleasant place to be.”

21. Queasy

This word describes something that makes you feel uneasy or uncomfortable. It can refer to a situation, person, or thing that gives off a sense of unease or suspicion.

  • For example, “That abandoned house gives me a queasy feeling.”
  • If someone is acting suspiciously, you might say, “Their behavior seems a bit queasy.”
  • When encountering a sketchy website, you might think, “I’m getting a queasy vibe from this site.”

22. Sneaky

This term describes someone or something that behaves in a secretive or underhanded manner. It suggests a sense of slyness or deceitfulness.

  • For instance, “He’s always sneaky about his plans.”
  • If someone is being deceitful, you might say, “Don’t trust their sneaky behavior.”
  • When describing a prankster, you might say, “They’re known for their sneaky tricks.”

23. Uncanny

This word refers to something that is strange or unsettling in a way that is difficult to explain. It can describe a situation or person that feels unnaturally or inexplicably strange.

  • For example, “There’s something uncanny about that old house.”
  • If someone’s behavior is strange and unsettling, you might say, “They have an uncanny way of making people uncomfortable.”
  • When describing a coincidence that seems too perfect, you might say, “It’s uncanny how everything fell into place.”

24. Slimy

This term describes someone or something that is untrustworthy, deceitful, or morally questionable. It suggests a sense of slipperiness and an inability to be relied upon.

  • For instance, “I don’t trust him, he’s always seemed slimy to me.”
  • If someone is behaving in a deceptive manner, you might say, “They have a slimy way of getting what they want.”
  • When describing a shady business practice, you might say, “Their slimy tactics are unethical.”

25. Creaky

This word describes something that is old, worn-out, or in poor condition. It can also refer to something that makes a high-pitched, squeaky noise.

  • For example, “The floorboards in that old house are creaky.”
  • If something seems unreliable or questionable, you might say, “It feels creaky, like it could break at any moment.”
  • When describing a door that makes noise when opened, you might say, “The creaky door gave away their presence.”

26. Shambolic

This term describes something that is messy, disorganized, or chaotic in nature. It can be used to describe a situation, a person, or an event.

  • For example, “The party was shambolic, with guests arriving late and no clear plan for entertainment.”
  • In a review of a concert, one might say, “The band’s performance was shambolic, with missed cues and out-of-tune instruments.”
  • A person might describe their morning routine as shambolic, saying, “I’m always rushing and forgetting things in the chaos of getting ready.”

27. Shifty-eyed

This term is used to describe someone who appears suspicious or untrustworthy. It refers to the way a person’s eyes move or avoid making direct eye contact.

  • For instance, “He gave me a shifty-eyed look when I asked him about his whereabouts last night.”
  • In a crime novel, a detective might describe a suspect as shifty-eyed, saying, “I knew he was hiding something based on the way his eyes darted around.”
  • A person might say, “I don’t trust him, he always has a shifty-eyed expression whenever he talks about money.”

28. Suss

This term is used to describe the act of investigating or figuring something out. It can be used in various contexts, such as solving a problem or understanding a situation.

  • For example, “I need to suss out the best route to take before I start driving.”
  • In a conversation about a mysterious event, someone might say, “We need to suss out who is behind all of this.”
  • A person might say, “I couldn’t understand the instructions, but after some sussing, I finally got it.”

29. Skanky

This term is used to describe something that is dirty, disgusting, or unclean. It can refer to a person, a place, or an object.

  • For instance, “The public restroom was skanky, with overflowing toilets and a foul odor.”
  • In a conversation about hygiene, someone might say, “I can’t stand wearing skanky clothes, I always make sure to wash them regularly.”
  • A person might describe a questionable food item as skanky, saying, “I took one bite and immediately spit it out, it tasted skanky.”

30. Spurious

This term is used to describe something that is false, fake, or not genuine. It can be used to describe information, claims, or objects.

  • For example, “The article contained spurious claims that were not backed by any evidence.”
  • In a discussion about counterfeit goods, someone might say, “Be careful when buying designer bags online, there are many spurious ones being sold.”
  • A person might describe a rumor as spurious, saying, “Don’t believe everything you hear, most of it is spurious gossip.”

31. Gritty

This term is used to describe something or someone that is questionable or suspicious. It implies a sense of danger or unease.

  • For example, “I walked into that bar and immediately felt a gritty atmosphere.”
  • A person might say, “That guy gives off a gritty vibe. I wouldn’t trust him.”
  • In a discussion about a neighborhood, someone might comment, “That area is known for its gritty reputation.”

32. Quirky

While not necessarily negative, this term can be used to describe something or someone who is strange or odd in a way that may raise suspicion or be unsettling.

  • For instance, “That store has a lot of quirky merchandise.”
  • A person might say, “She’s a bit quirky, but I don’t think she’s dangerous.”
  • In a conversation about a new coworker, someone might comment, “He has some quirky habits that make me question his intentions.”

33. Seedy

This term is often used to describe a place or establishment that is run-down, disreputable, or associated with illegal activities.

  • For example, “I walked into that seedy motel and immediately wanted to leave.”
  • A person might say, “I avoid that part of town because it’s known for its seedy bars.”
  • In a discussion about a nightclub, someone might comment, “That place has a seedy reputation. I wouldn’t go there alone.”

34. Uncouth

This term refers to someone who is rude, crude, or lacks proper etiquette. While not directly indicating sketchiness, it can imply a lack of trustworthiness or questionable behavior.

  • For instance, “He made an uncouth comment that made everyone uncomfortable.”
  • A person might say, “Her behavior at the party was uncouth and raised some red flags.”
  • In a conversation about a coworker, someone might comment, “He has an uncouth way of speaking that makes me question his professionalism.”

35. Unscrupulous

This term describes someone or something that is dishonest, deceitful, or willing to act in an unethical manner for personal gain. It implies a lack of trustworthiness and can indicate sketchy behavior.

  • For example, “He’s known for his unscrupulous business practices.”
  • A person might say, “I wouldn’t trust that company. They have a reputation for being unscrupulous.”
  • In a discussion about a politician, someone might comment, “His unscrupulous actions have raised concerns about his integrity.”

36. Vague

This term describes something that is not clearly expressed or defined, making it difficult to understand or interpret.

  • For example, if someone asks for directions and the response is, “It’s somewhere around here,” that would be considered vague.
  • In a conversation about plans, one might say, “Let’s not be vague about the details, we need a specific time and place.”
  • A person might describe a job posting as vague if it lacks specific information about the responsibilities and qualifications required.
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37. Wobbly

This word is used to describe something that is unstable or not firmly fixed in place.

  • For instance, if a table has a loose leg and wobbles when pressure is applied, it would be considered wobbly.
  • In a discussion about construction, someone might say, “Make sure you secure the foundation, we don’t want the building to be wobbly.”
  • A person might describe their balance after a few drinks as wobbly, saying, “I can’t walk straight, I’m feeling a bit wobbly.”

38. Zany

This term refers to something or someone that is unconventional, unconventional, or offbeat in a humorous or amusing way.

  • For example, if someone has a wild and unpredictable sense of fashion, they might be described as zany.
  • In a conversation about comedians, one might say, “I love the zany characters that Jim Carrey portrays.”
  • A person might describe a comedy show as zany if it features absurd and exaggerated humor.

39. Skittish

This word describes something or someone that is easily startled or prone to being anxious or jumpy.

  • For instance, if a dog is afraid of loud noises and constantly reacts with fear, it would be considered skittish.
  • In a discussion about horses, someone might say, “Be careful around that horse, it’s very skittish.”
  • A person might describe themselves as skittish if they are easily startled by sudden movements or loud noises.

40. Slapdash

This term describes something that is done quickly and without much thought or attention to detail, resulting in a sloppy or careless outcome.

  • For example, if someone throws together a last-minute presentation with minimal preparation, it might be considered slapdash.
  • In a conversation about craftsmanship, one might say, “I appreciate attention to detail, I can’t stand slapdash work.”
  • A person might describe a rushed meal that was poorly prepared as slapdash.
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41. Tawdry

This term refers to something that is tacky, gaudy, or of poor quality. It can also imply something that is morally or sexually provocative in a tasteless way.

  • For example, “She was wearing a tawdry dress that was covered in sequins.”
  • In a discussion about fashion, someone might say, “I can’t stand those tawdry trends that come and go.”
  • A person might describe a party as “tawdry” if it had a lot of cheap decorations and an overall tacky atmosphere.

42. Tenuous

This word describes something that is thin, fragile, or lacking in substance. It can also refer to a connection or relationship that is uncertain or weak.

  • For instance, “The tenuous thread snapped under the weight of the object.”
  • In a discussion about arguments, someone might say, “His evidence is tenuous at best.”
  • A person might describe a business deal as “tenuous” if it is based on shaky or uncertain terms.

43. Tetchy

This term describes someone who is touchy, irritable, or prone to becoming easily annoyed or irritated.

  • For example, “He’s always in a tetchy mood in the mornings.”
  • In a discussion about personality traits, someone might say, “Her tetchy nature makes it difficult to have a calm conversation.”
  • A person might describe a co-worker as “tetchy” if they are easily upset or bothered by small things.

44. Unstable

This word refers to something that is not firm, secure, or reliable. It can also describe a person who is emotionally or mentally unpredictable.

  • For instance, “The table was unstable and wobbled whenever someone touched it.”
  • In a discussion about relationships, someone might say, “Their marriage is unstable and on the verge of falling apart.”
  • A person might describe a political situation as “unstable” if there is a lot of unrest and uncertainty.
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45. Untrustworthy

This term describes someone or something that cannot be trusted or relied upon. It implies a lack of honesty, integrity, or dependability.

  • For example, “He’s known for being untrustworthy and always breaking his promises.”
  • In a discussion about business partners, someone might say, “I would never work with someone who is untrustworthy.”
  • A person might describe a news source as “untrustworthy” if they consistently publish false or misleading information.

46. Sketchy AF

This term is used to describe something that is extremely sketchy or shady. The “AF” stands for “as f***” and emphasizes the level of sketchiness.

  • For example, “That guy hanging around the alley looks sketchy AF.”
  • A person might say, “I wouldn’t go into that store, it looks sketchy AF.”
  • Another might warn, “Be careful, that website seems sketchy AF.”

47. Sketchball

This term is used to describe someone who is sketchy or untrustworthy. It implies that the person is involved in suspicious or questionable activities.

  • For instance, “I wouldn’t trust that sketchball with my money.”
  • A person might say, “He’s a total sketchball, always trying to scam people.”
  • Another might warn, “Stay away from that sketchball, he’s bad news.”

48. Wonky

This term is used to describe something that is not quite right or seems off. It can refer to a person, situation, or thing that is unreliable or unstable.

  • For example, “The floorboards in this old house feel wonky.”
  • A person might say, “I don’t trust that car, it drives wonky.”
  • Another might comment, “The computer program is acting wonky, it keeps crashing.”