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

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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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273 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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258 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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92 views

Why does owl-eyed mean intoxicated?

The Survey of College Words and Phrases by Eugene H. Babbitt published in 1900 lists the word owl-eyed to mean intoxicated. Any ideas as to why an owl-eyed person is an intoxicated person?
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121 views

“Sport” as an informal appellation

I was watching a film ostensibly set during the American Progressive Era (1900 to 1918 or so), in which two teenaged boys used the line "Ah, be a sport, Charlie!" That got me to thinking, was ...
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535 views

Meaning of “ball off ”? [closed]

How do you get a good job without a college degree?? Claim unemployment, ballin off the state bro.
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622 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 ...
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540 views

On being golden

Saying that [someone] is golden means that person is in a desirable situation that will likely lead to some sort of success. I am trying to find out the origin of this phrase. So far, I have found ...
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158 views

Is “cry” an intransitive verb, or can it be transitive? - as in “Cry me a river”

When I look up the word, it should be an intransitive verb (no object). However, I'm still curious about the title "Cry me a river". Can I say that "I cried a bucket"?
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239 views

Replacement for the annoying habit of saying “I was like”

I am new here, so my first question would be to ask about an annoying habit that I, as well as many other people out there, seem to have... During the telling of a story I will often say this one ...
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85 views

Why is a ragtail an annoying person?

I've heard an annoying person referred to as a ragtail and I've found a reference to the word below; however, I'm uncertain of the etymology. I'm curious to know why a ragtail is an annoying person. ...
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79 views

Pronunciation of subreddit names

I'm unsure of how to pronounce subreddit names in casual conversation without preface. I read /r/funny mentally as "R funny", but this doesn't always work in conversation, especially with acronym ...
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59 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 ...
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184 views

what is the word for someone not trying their best or performing badly on purpose?

It sounds like a street slang, but both webster and urban dictionary gave the same definition. Can't remember what the word/phrase for it is - like when someone plays bad at first to hustle someone ...
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156 views

Etymology of “norton”?

The conversation took a turn towards Monty Python yesterday, and in particular the Life of Brian. This film featured as a character (Brian's putative father) the Roman soldier Nortonus Maximus, a name ...
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725 views

Are you “Dinky Die”? And what does Dinky Die mean? [closed]

Australia day is nearly upon us! And that means it's time to throw another chop on the barbie and say real Aussie things like "dinky die". Stone the crows, what's that even mean, "dinky die"? I've ...
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392 views

A single word for “blind” and “slow on the uptake” [closed]

We have a word tiomny in Russian which has the meanings blind, dim, and dumb. Is there a word (possibly slang) in American English which is as close in meaning to both blind and slow on the uptake?
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4k views

Origin of “poindexter/pointdexter” [closed]

Was this term (I believe it is a synonym of geek, nerd, and so on) based on the television series Dexter or was it around before that and the series based its name on it?
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I want to use the suffix -orama with rate (rating)

So, I've seen the suffix -arama, but I am also used to -orama, which is the correct to use along 'rate'? souce: ...
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446 views

Preposition cluster “all up in”

What exactly does the string of words functioning as a preposition "all up in" (many many Google hits) mean in modern American slang usage?
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what does “tilt north” mean?

I ran into this slang occasionally. Does this mean something (normally a number, e.g. KPI, index etc) is growing? slowly or fast? where does this slang come from?
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75 views

so mainstream or too mainstream [closed]

Should I say "something is so mainstream" or "too mainstream". They are both grammatically correct but which one is more common to use?
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393 views

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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lexy - definition

I have just encountered this word on a news entitled " 'Unfriend' or 'Defriend?' Facebook Fans Debate", and here is the sentence: "No, unfriend is definitely more lexy," wrote another commenter. ...
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What football position does this phrase refer to: “He plays back for Dartmouth”?

What football position does someone refer to when saying "He plays back for Dartmouth"? (I read it in a novel, which takes place in 1931) Edit (more context) A conversation during the game between ...
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152 views

How to translate “to eat their own face off”?

I'm trying to translate an interview with Scottish musician (from Mogwai) Barry Burns and I stumbled upon one sentence which I can't understand. If Rave Tapes, comes from reminiscing of 90’s dance ...
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193 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; ...
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70 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 ...
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513 views

Can I call my close friends “Old Sport” nowadays?

I wonder, can I call my close friends "Old Sport" nowadays? What about my close female friends?
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506 views

What do we call people who work out at home?

This question was very interesting: What do we call people who go to the gym? Now I am wondering if there is a word for someone like me who works out at home. What I refer to is weight training, work ...
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639 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 ...
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313 views

How should I use the phrasal verb “to d**k around”?

To waste time Stop dicking me around and get to the point. Would you please stop dicking around with her? To take advantage of You're dicking him around, you know? Don't ...
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685 views

Meaning of the word 'tight'

What's the meaning of “tight” in the following sentence? This is the least tight thing that's ever happened for me.
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224 views

Correct term or phrase for “unidirectional gaga”

I'm not sure if such a figure of speech exists in English, and "unidirectional gaga" is certainly not correct. But which wording expresses that a person becomes dumber from having exercised/performed ...
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Why does the use of language change so much over time? [closed]

In our day and age we text and use different language than people in the past. Why do we change so much to adapt a new style of language?
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The antonym of Schadenfreude is “fribbly” - the joy in other people's joy. What is the origin of this new meaning?

For many years the word fribbly has been used, in various communities as the antonym of Schadenfreude. Rather than harm-joy or "pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others". Fribbly is "Joy-Joy" ...
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318 views

Inoffensive exclamatory word to express surprise [closed]

Is there an inoffensive (possibly slang) term that can be used to express surprise in the "WTF" sense? For example, this term would be appropriate upon seeing that the stock market has fallen several ...
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207 views

Unisex slang for “man” [closed]

In slang, one can use the generic "man", to describe his conversant. For instance: Man, it's sure hot here this season How can I express that for a woman I'm talking with?
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Use “Hi gents” in an e-mail? [closed]

I would appreciate if someone could tell me if it would be appropriate English to write "Hi gents" in an e-mail to fellow directors? It's in a very informal context.
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234 views

What is the origin of using the letters 'ZZZ' to symbolize a person sleeping? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How did the letter Z become to be associated with sleeping/snoring? In old cartoons and even now in other such media, often the letters 'zzz' are used to indicate that a ...
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Could 'otwards' or even 'hotwards' ever be accepted into the language?

I've just woken early from a vivid dream. (must be the local ale - we are in Yorkshire at the moment). I was in an inferno of an industrial kitchen where they were manufacturing 'ready-meals'. One ...
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239 views

“Kamarka part” etymology? [closed]

I know of some people in south Arkansas and north Louisiana that use this phrase. An example of its use would be when you have almost used up something, you have reached the "kamarka part." I hear it ...
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Is there a word to describe the unintelligent/streety way some people talk? [closed]

This type of communication frequently leaves the 'g' off the end of words. "Talking" becomes "talkin'". Also, it combines certain small phrases into one. "What's that?" becomes "Wuzzat?" The best ...
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Why are animal names used as vulgar slang for body parts?

Asking this question in strict propriety out of genuine curiosity, why is that in (American) English animal-related names are used for vulgar names for the private body parts? In fact, all of the ...
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4k views

Full of (piss|pith) and vinegar

Re: the expression: "Full of (piss|pith) and vinegar" Are both correct/acceptable? Is one preferred?
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114 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.
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50 views

The meaning of “minking it”

There's a line in the musical Guys and Dolls: When you see a Joe saving half of his dough, You can bet he'll be minking it for some doll. My initial instinct is that this is a ...
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What is an alternative word for “downvote”

I am curious about what another way to describe the negative action of "downvoting" could be. Is there another word out there that could be used as a replacement?
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261 views

What is the social context of “pizzazz”?

The word can also be written "pzaz" and "pizazz". I have found some definitions, but I want a synonym. As English is not my natural tongue, I also don't exactly know what it means socially. Is it the ...
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3answers
3k views

What could I say instead of “raise the roof”?

What is another way of saying, "raise the roof"? This slang phrase means something like, "get noisy and have a good time at a party," but it doesn't sound correct for some reasons. Why is that? What ...