2
votes
1answer
52 views

Meaning of “kick out the last jam of the set”

I can't clearly get this phrase. Is it related to the "kick out the jams"? Or "jam" means the song/jazz improvisation, so what does "kick out" mean in that case? The context is "they are kicking out ...
1
vote
8answers
178 views

What is a heterosexual term for “cruising”?

Cruising, the act of going out and about looking for a sexual partner, is generally only used in a gay context in the US. What is a term with the same basic meaning but without the homosexual ...
2
votes
3answers
74 views

“Try me”: Too Sexually Suggestive and “Slangy” for Retail Marketing?

Is the expression “Try Me” inappropriately sexually suggestive and “slangy” for use in retail marketing? A client wants an expression for use on a sticker for an electronic device in a retail store ...
2
votes
4answers
156 views

Why do the words ducky and jake mean fine or satisfactory?

Even the Merriam-Webster dictionary acknowledges both ducky and jake as acceptable terms meaning fine or satisfactory and it dates the word ducky back to 1897 and jake to 1914. Does anyone know how ...
0
votes
2answers
172 views

If you're “balled up” why are you confused?

I believe the expression 'balled up' dates back to the first decade of the twentieth century and I believe it means 'confused' but I'm all balled up as to why it means 'confused'. The only ...
0
votes
3answers
80 views

Is a tin-ear one who dislikes music or one who dislikes new popular music? Why?

I know folks who couldn't hear well used to use a tin-ear to help but I don't understand the connection between a tin-ear and a dislike of music or of new popular music.
1
vote
1answer
132 views

Why does the word “joed” mean weary, tired, exhausted, fatigued, etc.?

The word "joed" is a word I use frequently to describe my feeling tired or exhausted. As a child, I used to hear my grandfather say "I feel joed" before he would sit down for a respite or turn in; ...
7
votes
4answers
625 views

Why does to “take a powder” mean to run away or to leave?

From Flappers to Rappers: American youth slang by Dr. Thomas Dalzell cites "take a powder" as a 1930s expression meaning to run away or to leave. Does anyone have any ideas why taking a powder would ...
3
votes
2answers
85 views

Why does to “cheek it” mean to bluff?

From Flappers to Rappers: American Youth Slang by Dr. Thomas Dalzell cites the 1930s expression "cheek it" as meaning to bluff. I don't quite understand why and I'm hoping someone on here may help me ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

Old slang words for a kiss--cherry smashes and honey cooler--why?

Cherry smashes are defined as feeble kisses and a honey cooler is simply a kiss. Cherry smashes was slang from the 1920s and a honey cooler was slang from the 1930s. Any ideas why feeble kisses would ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Is an excessively shy person a “gussie”?

I'm sure most of us are familiar with a shrinking violet as being an excessively shy person; however, while reading from Flappers to Rappers: History of American Youth Slang Dr. Dalzell defines a ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Why does “to wire” mean to trick?

A Collection of College Words & Customs written by Benjamin Homer Hall in 1856 defines a "wire" as a trick and I'm curious to know if it is of any relation to a magician using invisible wire to ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

How does the word “gas” relate to cheating and deception?

According to A Collection of College Words & Customs by Benjamin Homer Hall, written in 1856 I believe, gas is defined as cheating or deceiving someone. Any ideas why that may be?
4
votes
1answer
123 views

Why were “skin” and “niggle” slang words meaning to hurry?

I've read in a book From Flappers to Rappers: The Study of American Youth Slang two words used commonly within the same decade 1900-1910 meaning to hurry were "skin" and "niggle". I'm puzzled as to ...
0
votes
1answer
94 views

Why does “all to the mustard” mean excellent?

While reading P.G. Wodehouse's The Inimitable Jeeves I came across a fascinating expression of "all to the mustard!" It is defined as meaning excellent. Why? Can anyone please help me understand this ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Priscilla--a girl who prefers to stay home? Who could this term be resultant of?

From Flappers to Rappers, a book of American youth slang, records "Priscilla" as a 1920s slang word for a girl who prefers to stay home. I'm curious to know why they've chosen that name. Is there any ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Why does pine feather period signify the period in a woman's life when she blossoms?

In a book titled From Flappers to Rappers it lists youth slang from the 1920s and one of the terms it lists is pine feather period. Pine feather period is defined as a period in a woman's life when ...
0
votes
1answer
505 views

“The next big thing” phrase

Is the phrase "The next big thing" considered a formal or a slang phrase? Especially when communicating with a professional committee.
1
vote
5answers
116 views

A phrase for 'a free, informal space for learning'

What could be a short phrase for 'a free and informal space for learning?'
-1
votes
1answer
983 views

What does it mean “I am not around”? [closed]

When I asked my friend, "would you like to come to the party tomorrow?" he answered, "thanks, but I am not around" does it mean he is not in the NYC or just not around the hood??
5
votes
2answers
222 views

What is the origin of the idiom “tight fit” meaning a good joke?

I've recently been studying etymology and I received a book titled Flappers 2 Rappers: A Study of American Youth Slang written by Dr. Thomas Dalzell. Dr. Dalzell's research goes as far back as the ...
6
votes
4answers
617 views

What word should I use to describe a kid who has pooped in their underwear?

I have seen some kids who can't go to the restroom in time and their poops stain on their underwear. I would like to know what word I can use to describe this situation?
1
vote
1answer
554 views

Are words with negative meaning used to describe positive things by the youth? [closed]

In Germany, kids of age 10 to 15 tend to evolve a language pattern that uses a certain word that has a negative connotation to describe everything they approve of, be it an impressive slam-dunk or ...
4
votes
2answers
164 views

What in the world is “neckbeard vomit”?

A user of U&L posted the following comment in response to somebody's answer: That's some neckbeard vomit right there. Nice. I investigated and discovered that neckbeard, unsurprisingly, ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Origin of “how we/I roll”?

The phrase "that's how we roll" (along with variants) seems to have become increasingly popular in recent years. It appears to draw attention to one's behavior or policies, asserting -- sometimes ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

Origin of “for the birds” (Trivial; worthless; only of interest to gullible people.)

I really have looked, but the best I can come up with is this To say that something is "for the birds" is to call it horse manure. Dating from the days of horse-drawn traffic, the expression is ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

I have questions coming out the yin-yang about yin-yang phrases!

Yin Yang is the Chinese philosophy of Light and Shadow, often signifying the need for balance or that everything exists in balance. But the (reasonably enjoyable to use) phrase Up the Ying Yang ...
0
votes
1answer
685 views

“Pain in the neck” and similar expressions [closed]

Are there any other expressions equivalent in meaning to "pain in the neck" that mention another part of the body (e.g, "pain in the ass")? How would you rate each of those expressions (including the ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

“sit back and relax” vs. “kick back and relax”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why 'kick back' can mean 'get relaxed'? I have seen so many times "Sit back and relax" while installing softwares. I understand that it means it will ...
1
vote
2answers
108 views

What is a “Dublin Castle Knight”?

I was reading Surtees' Young Tom Hall the other day, and came across this... Sir Thomas, whose father had been a great army tailor, was a Dublin Castle knight, but, like all truly great men, ...
3
votes
4answers
883 views

Meaning of “being sold as a silver-bullet”

I was reading an article about software developers and read that something is being sold as a silver-bullet. What does it mean?
3
votes
2answers
223 views

Meaning of “boosting cat food from someone”

In the 'The Panic in Needle Park' movie, one of the actors tell someone the following on the phone: No, man. I didn't boost any cat food from you. What does it mean? It doesn't seem to be a very ...
5
votes
6answers
5k views

Origin of the expression “Get stoned”

My daughter asked me a question in the car the other day, and I didn't have an answer. She asked me about the origin of the expression "get stoned" (i.e. with regards to drug use), and how it might be ...
1
vote
3answers
549 views

Two word phrase to refer to community of people who come together to exchange knowledge [closed]

I need a two word phrase to refer to a community of people (academia + non-academia) who come together to share/exchange their knowledge/ideas openly on topics of their interests/ specializations. I ...
-8
votes
1answer
216 views

Origin of “Make someday today”

I guess there are other variations for this expression that one can google out on the Internet such as "Make today your someday" and "Make that someday today". However, is it possible to find out its ...
6
votes
2answers
27k views

Meaning and origin of “That dog don't hunt”

Is That dog don't hunt an American slang expression? What does it mean exactly and where does it originate? If possible, please give some examples.
0
votes
2answers
4k views

Full of (piss|pith) and vinegar

Re: the expression: "Full of (piss|pith) and vinegar" Are both correct/acceptable? Is one preferred?
1
vote
3answers
647 views

Is there an alternative expression for 'opening band' or 'opening act'? [closed]

The question says it all. Together with a colleague we were looking for this. We both had the feeling that there's another way to say it.
0
votes
2answers
1k views

How about 'play cute' or 'play adorable'?

I wonder if 'play cute' or 'play adorable' is frequently used to stand for 'act cute/adorable' in spoken language. It seems easier to google out 'act cute/adorable' instead of 'play cute/adorable'.
0
votes
1answer
4k views

Common expressions of surprise in American and British English [closed]

I'm trying to learn English and I would like to know what are the expressions of surprise with positive meaning (slang or not, but not vulgar) currently used in spoken English for USA and Britain. Is ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the expression “to float someone's boat” possible outside of “Whatever floats your boat”?

According to the Urban Dictionary, the expression "whatever floats your boat" means [...] whatever "soothes your soul" or whatever "works best" Aka- Whatever you feel like doing. Is it possible ...
0
votes
1answer
569 views

“pop bottles all night” - slang or valid term?

I know the meaning of "pop bottles all night" - drink all night long. My question is - is this valid term, or slang invented by the person who wrote the song?
4
votes
2answers
353 views

What is the origin of “oh noodles!”

Noodles are tasty. I like them, but why are they also used as an exclamation of dismay in the following? Oh Noodles!
5
votes
4answers
21k views

Meaning of “catch you on the flip side”

I received an email from a coworker, and we're not that friendly. Actually, we're not friends at all, just two good colleagues. In his email, he wrote as his last sentence Catch you on the flip ...
2
votes
2answers
728 views

What is the origin of the expression “brassed off”?

Brass bands were being discussed today which naturally led to someone claiming to be brassed off about something, meaning disgruntled or annoyed. Does anyone know the origin of this expression? ...
40
votes
6answers
25k views

What is meant by “don't piss on my boots and tell me it's raining”?

I have heard a couple of times recently the phrase "don't piss on my boots and tell me it's raining", usually in the context of a heated argument so I've hesitated to ask speaker what exactly he meant ...
4
votes
7answers
10k views

What's the origin of “throwing someone under the bus”?

What's the origin of the phrase "to throw someone under the bus" or "so-and-so threw me under the bus?" (in the sense of betrayal)? It seems like a very specific phrase not to come from some specific ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

What does it mean to “pay X on the dollar”?

When I hear money laundry lingo in TV crime-series, people sometimes fence stuff for so and so much "on the dollar". What does it actually mean? And where does the expression originate from?
3
votes
5answers
3k views

Why do they call a murder a “red ball” case?

Not being a native speaker, I wonder why they call a murder a "red ball" case ("redball" or "red-ball") in certain TV-shows and films. Specifically this expression is often heard in TV-shows like The ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Having some kind of grit

What does the expression, "You have got some kind of grit," mean? Is it sarcastic, like being a bit crazy?