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Ok, in the TV series Glee season3 episode 21, I came across this sentence: you were a smash. From the context, it might mean you were wonderful or something. Then I looked this up online, I found smash means sex in Urban Dictonary, which is definitely not what I was looking for. So is there a phrase you are a smash? What does it mean?

well, then I found this smash, slang, which says that smash can mean a successful thing, especially a movie, so can you use it to describe people?

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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Green's Dictionary of Slang lists numerous meanings for smash, but the one that appears relevant is:-

smash n. a great success, a 'smash' hit

from which you can get the adjectives smashing or (if you like) smashtastic.

Other meanings are possible, but if your context suggests a compliment, that's the only one that could apply.

See also here, meaning (6):-

Informal A resounding success: The play was a smash on Broadway

Edit: per your edit, certainly. One could be a smash on the stage, at a party, at some sporting event or just generally.

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Thanks, slang always causes me trouble... –  Gnijuohz Jun 9 '12 at 1:49
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Note that you could say "You were a smash." or predict "You will be a smash." but you wouldn't normally say "You are a smash." (as your title states). There has to be feedback from an audience in order to be a smash. I suppose you could be backstage and hear the immediate response of the audience, and say, "You are a smash." –  JLG Jun 9 '12 at 2:30
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As Brian said, "smash" is slang for success. I just wanted to add that, though it can be applied generally, it's typically used in conjunction with a performance of some sort. (The person who was a "smash" at the party, e.g., would almost assuredly be one who drew a lot of favorable attention to himself.) –  J.R. Jun 9 '12 at 2:43
    
@J.R., and JLG, good points. –  Brian Hooper Jun 9 '12 at 6:31
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Just in case, I also want to add that although you can use "you were/are a smash" to mean "you were/are a success", you can't generalize it and say "smashing" to mean "success". Not saying you would, but if I was the asker and told just that, I would automatically assume that I could use "smashing" in the same way.

It's funny and I don't know why, but saying "you were/are smashing" would be closer to saying "you were/are great" or "excellent".

I've heard many people also say "that was a smashing success", but then obviously you can't say "that was a smashing smash". That would just sound strange.

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