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

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What was Princeton 6 in Jamaican English?

I got an Old Raggae album and started listening to "Bam Bam" by Sister Nancy (youtube) After listening several times, I could start making out the English words (lyrics): A me seh one thing Nancy ...
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3answers
2k 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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1answer
1k views

Meaning of “get a serious reaming”

As a non-native reader, I stumbled upon the meaning of "get a serious reaming" and it seemed to be an idiomatic expression for being punished. At least the first Google matches seem to suggest this. ...
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1answer
141 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 ...
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1answer
69 views

Origin of the word Waddy and how it came to mean “unappealing, unattractive.”

From the first decade of the 20th century and up till the 1940s, the word waddy was a popular word meaning unappealing and unattractive. Can anyone help me better understand this word and it's origin? ...
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3answers
4k views

First use of the slang term “Scrub”?

The slang term "scrub", when referred to a person, can mean several things. It seems like the original usage as an adjective is someone who is not good at something - video games, sports, etc. I am ...
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3answers
122 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 ...
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1answer
89 views

Source of the term Munter (unattractive person)

I'm a rock climber and I live in the UK (both of these will become relevant soon). In the UK (typically southern England) it's common to call an unattractive person a Munter. What a Munter Now ...
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1answer
1k views

Where does the word “spliff” come from?

Neither the OED and Etymonline has any answer to the etymology of the word. The latter does suggest it may have an origin in the Caribbean, but offers nothing better. The first citation is from ...
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2answers
148 views

How did 'arching' come into use as a verb meaning 'to thwart'?

I have seen the word 'arch' used as a verb in the context of a villain causing trouble for a hero, or a hero thwarting a villain. It is also used when a villain is actively trying to become a hero's ...
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3answers
3k views

Is it “D.J., ”DJ“ or ”deejay"?

This is in the context of a person who plays recorded music at a party or club. Referring to such a person as a "disk jockey" or "jock" seems hopelessly old fashioned. Three variants are in vogue and ...
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1answer
433 views

Why are “bollocks!” so often “old”?

Prompted by this question (How old is “Bollocks!”?), I wonder why it's so often "old bollocks". Where I live (South-East England), "giving it all that old bollocks" is a fairly common expression in ...
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3answers
56 views

Why do people substitute “Way” for “Much”?

Nowadays people often say "way more", "way better" etc. instead of using the word "much". How did this become popular usage?
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1answer
123 views

What would be 1850's equivalent of slang praise for being audacious?

What might an 1850's working class American man say as praise to another man for being really audacious such as equivalent of "You crazy mf" or "crazy ass"?
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1answer
73 views

Meaning of “barrer” (noun) in W. Henley's poem “'Liza”

I don't understand the meaning in which the count noun word "barrer" is used in William Henley's poem 'Liza (the italics are the author's): ’Liza’s old man’s perhaps a little shady, ’Liza’s old ...
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4answers
685 views

Why is a young surfer called a “grommet” or a “grom”?

Why is a young surfer called a "grommet" or a "grom"? This page suggests that "a possible etymology for the word may be from the Portuguese term 'grumete', meaning the lowest ranking person on board ...
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1answer
109 views

A slang term derived from another slang term

Is there a word that describes a slang term that was, itself, derived from (or riffs on) another slang term? I was under the impression that the term Snowclone described ths phenomenon, but it seems ...
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1answer
123 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
140 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
367 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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0answers
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
381 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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0answers
845 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
126 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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0answers
719 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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866 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
2k views

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
163 views

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
1k 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
13k 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
346 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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4answers
324 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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8answers
682 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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6answers
222 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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2answers
2k views

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
65 views

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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8answers
482 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 ...
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1answer
264 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
123 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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2answers
697 views

What was slang for “absentminded” before “space cadet”?

What was slang for "absentminded" before "space cadet"?
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1answer
321 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
158 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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105 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
230 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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68 views

What does the phrase “Have weight to ” mean?

I've watched a TV show about house renovation. After they take down a old window and carry it away. A guy says something like: It was a decent window. Jeepers have some weight to it What does ...