Slang is a type of language that consists of words, and phrases, that are regarded as very informal.

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Where does the slang word “bad” + “ass” (badass) come from?

What is the origin of the word badass? Why a "bad" ass/"bad" + "ass"? What is an ass that is bad and how can an ass that is bad describe a tough person?
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1answer
118 views

How to pronounce “arch” in Linuxese?

Tech stands for technique or technology. But how should one pronounce tech? Is it as /tɛk/ as in technical or /tɛtʃ/ as in tetchy? Similarly, arch stands for architect or architecture. How do you ...
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2answers
135 views

Is “Where is your mother at?” grammatical? [duplicate]

When querying: Where is your mother at? Is that considered to be proper English language usage? Alternatively, you could just state more simply: Where is your mother? Is adding the ...
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2answers
351 views

Is “chill” out of place to say to someone after a not so particularly good exam? [closed]

I am not a native speaker of English. Now, this was the conversation: A: How was today's exam? B: It was just okay. A: Well, you've got 2 more, right? You'll do well in those. Now when ...
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48 views

Word up, and where it came from [duplicate]

I'm aware of English's unpredictable nature in wording, but this phrase got me thinking. What is the origination of the phrase word up... a lot of times shortened to just word! I understand the ...
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4answers
347 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 ...
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792 views

Where can I find a list of colloquial abbreviations for cities? [closed]

I'm seeking a list of commonly used abbreviations for US cities (and also European cities, but let's start with the US). When I say abbreviations, that could be anything from 2 letters or more that ...
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2answers
125 views

What does the author mean by “door culture” in this context?

What does the author mean by "door culture" in this context? First-order effects I take to be a metaphor with economics. However, I don't understand how to translate my understanding of "first-order ...
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708 views

Popular (slang) adjectives for referring to a corrupt politician? [closed]

I'm brazillian and I'm curious to know popular expressions to call corrupt politicians. Here we have the word "ficha suja" which translated would be something like "dirty card". I don't really know ...
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Should we avoid using words that have alternate offensive meaning [closed]

There are many English words that could be used to refer to something innocent that also has a common slang meaning, such as pussy, ass, bitch, etc. For convenience' sake, should we avoid using ...
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854 views

Has “Error 404” acquired a meaning in everyday English?

So, we've all seen the web page message "Error 404: Not found." Apparently, this has now been extended to non-http contexts, and 404 now means a stupid person. Is this true?
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4answers
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Is the phrase “move over” an official English idiom? And if so, is it only in American English?

Is the phrase "move over" an official English idiom known worldwide? I would like to know: Is it an official English idiom (not slang or colloquial)? Is it known outside of the US (e.g. in the UK, ...
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5answers
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I'm looking for a slang word or idiom for someone who insists on intruding his presence on two others who would rather be alone

This person usually pretends not to see that he is unwelcome at the moment, but it may be that he just doesn't notice it. Depending on the circumstances, one of the two persons (typically lovers) ...
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2answers
1k views

Explanation for “them's”

Recently someone said to me: Them's the rules I thought he had the sentence wrong, but as it turns out it is slang. I am learning English as a second language and I would really appreciate if ...
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3answers
945 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.
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3answers
12k views

Meaning and usage of “to no end”

What does the phrase mean in "He annoys me to no end"? Literally, does it mean that he annoys me forever? Or does it mean that he annoys me to no result?
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3answers
305 views

What do you call someone who knows multiple programming languages?

Someone who knows multiple languages is called polyglot or multilingual (There can be nuances between two words also.). I'm not sure if we can apply these terms to someone who knows multiple ...
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8answers
658 views

How to define someone who does not like/want to get a job or do anything in life?

In Portuguese, my natural language, we have a lot of words to define this kind of people, like mandrião, calaceiro, calaça, indolente, malandro, etc. We have also lighter words like preguiçoso that is ...
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4answers
3k views

“How be you” or “How are you”?

I have never heard the phrase "How be you?" until yesterday, and started arguing that this was incorrect and that the correct phrase is "How are you?". My friend's reply was "This is how it's taught ...
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3answers
279 views

Is there a pejorative/offensive slang word or phrase for a man who suffers from erectile dysfunction?

Erectile Dysfunction is defined as the consistent or recurrent inability to acquire or sustain an erection of sufficient rigidity and duration for sexual intercourse. Clinic 45 I'm a ...
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6answers
217 views

Phrase to means “something a hipster would like”

I've been trying to come up with a phrase that means "something a hipster would like" in the modern context. Cool and hip seem kind of dated, so what would be a good recommendation for a more modern ...
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2answers
6k views

Grease quote explanation “Pinkslips ownership papers?”

My son loves Grease and watches it over and over. So I am starting memorizing it all, but there are some phrases I don't understand. Please explain exactly what this part means (it is before the car ...
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What does “urge to kill” mean?

I've got an answer to my comment at Stack Overflow, and I don't get what it means. I've googled and looked over several dictionaries with no help. Seems like it is some specific slang/phrasal verb, ...
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4answers
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Origin of louse for the following: louse around--to idle and louse up--to ruin?

I understand louse being singular for lice; however, I'm uncertain as to why louse around means to idle and louse up means to ruin. Any ideas?
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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 ...
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1answer
218 views

If something is considered the best why is it said to be “the berries”?

According to From Flappers to Rappers: A Study of American Youth Slang by Dr. Thomas Dalzell, "the berries" was a 1920s widely used slang term among American youth to describe something wonderful or ...
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5answers
121 views

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

What could be a short phrase for 'a free and informal space for learning?'
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7answers
3k views

British and American slang words for immigrants?

What slang words or phrases do British/American English speakers use for (poor) immigrants?
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1answer
238 views

“You are not your f***ing khakis” - What does “khakis” exactly mean in the Fight Club movie?

You are not the car you drive You are not your fucking khakis! I absolutely love Fight Club - this is a cult movie. I know that khakis mean a special color used for army dresses; but I want to ...
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2answers
154 views

“The feds” has a negative connotation? Who exactly are they anyway?

In the US media, news reporters enjoy saying "the feds" with authority, but this using of a slang term without an agreed upon definition frustrates me. Let me elaborate. Speaking as a native speaker, ...
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2answers
99 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 ...
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3answers
225 views

What type of word is “abnomaly”?

I've got a coworker that frequently uses the word, "abnomaly", not "abnormal" and not "anomaly", but "abnomaly". While the types of these words differ (i.e. adjective versus noun), the meanings are ...
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232 views

Is “fresher” really a “proper” English word?

I see a lot of folks on Stackoverflow using fresher when describing themselves as beginners at any given topic. I have never really heard of "fresher" as a synonym for beginner. I know "freshman" as ...
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1answer
80 views

Is “Goldbrick” commonly used in American English?

I came across the slang term "Goldbrick" in the American WWII cartoon Private Snafu The Goldbrick (Warning: possibly sexist at the start, and possibly racist near the end). I'd never heard the word ...
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2answers
92 views

What would “Garth Brooks” refer to in a multiple-choice Poll?

I noticed an online poll about marriage, where the person was curious to know what percentage of the current generation are interested in getting married, and the last option is: Garth Brook! I know ...
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1answer
192 views

British slang: larl

I've seen this word a couple of times in twitter and I've not gotten a clear definition. A friend of mine wrote a mock British text that went like this "al av ya mum ya larl cunt" so that might give ...
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183 views

Would the word “tween” be considered a portmanteau or is it just a truncation?

Is it the word "between", but truncated, or a portmanteau of "in between" and "teen"?
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114 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, ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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3answers
124 views

Meaning of “take”

Context (New York Times), Today, sampling the cuisine can be a rarefied and pricey experience; meals at Michelin-starred kaiseki restaurants like Kikunoi (kikunoi.jp/english) run upward of $160 a ...
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1answer
615 views

What's the meaning of 'haler'? [closed]

This doesn't seem to be general reference, because in the context I've seen it used tonight (the London riots), it certainly isn't referring to a coin, or 'a person who hails'. I've heard it used ...
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2answers
5k views

What is a plausible etymology of “dosh”, a British slang word for money?

Neither Wikitionary nor The Online Etymology Dictionary seem to know anything.
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1answer
75 views

What does this person say in this video?

I don't know if this is allowed but I want to know what this Gwyneth Paltrow say in this video at 0:51 to be exact. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZORey6EHF3g or ...
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203 views

Origin of an ethnic slur

The American Heritage Dictionary states that the origins of "sheeny," a pejorative slang word for a Jew, are unknown. As a Jew, I am interested in finding out where and when this word developed. Any ...
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2answers
761 views

Use 'Two dollar word' or 'Ten dollar word' or other? [duplicate]

We commonly use the phrase "two dollar word" in our company, but recently I have seen "ten dollar word" and "four dollar word" being used. Which is the most common one, and therefore which should we ...
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1answer
98 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 ...
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1answer
360 views

Is there a pejorative term or phrase that lesbians use to refer to straight women?

Is there a pejorative term or phrase that lesbians use to refer to straight women? There seems to be a wealth of terms (both offensive and inoffensive) that are used in the other direction. I ask ...
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2answers
314 views

“'Hello', says he. 'Hello', says I” — is this correct?

I'm reading a novel in which once in a while a character says something like "I are", "He do", and similar stuff. I understand the author is just reproducing the way people talk on the streets. ...
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3answers
118 views

What’s the verb for discontinuing a call on a mobile phone?

What is the correct term for stopping a conversation on a mobile phone? In the old days we used to put the phone down when we were done talking. Do we now put the mobile down instead of putting the ...
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1answer
118 views

Is there a slang word or phrase for a middle-aged woman who serially dates much younger men? [closed]

Such practice is observed more often in the artistic world and among socialites. Is there a slang word or frase for these ladies?