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

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Alternative term to 'Uncle Tom' for a black or colored person who is subservient to whites?

In Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, the eponymous character was meant to be a sort of model of resistance against slavery, a man who whose "devotion to his fellow slaves is so unshakable that he ...
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To give someone the 411

"To give someone the 411" is short for information but is this phrase common in the US and/or in Britain and is it still up to date or outdated?
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How did “snookered” become a slang word for “to cheat or to steal”?

In this question we discussed the etymology of the word "snooker" as a noun, based on a game played on a pool table. But dictionary.com references a form of the word, "snookered" as a slang verb that ...
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Meaning of “the seventies are calling”

I heard the sentence in a TV show (Fringe 4x16). The guy's phone was ringing and his friend said: "You should get that. I think the seventies are calling." and they both chuckled as if at a ...
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Indirect, quoted speech: He's all

What does it mean, when someone is alluding to quoted speech, and says to be all something? Is this just slang? For example: "I'm all.. I don't think I'm gonna go". "And he's all.. I think you ...
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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? ...
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In the UK - what does “cheeky half” mean?

And what is the expression's origin? (I believe it's related to beer)
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Slang words for body parts [closed]

We all know the various slang words for bottoms, boobs and genitalia. Those are well covered here already. This question relates to slang words for the other parts of the body. What common slang ...
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What does the colloquial “b” mean? Is it a gangland expression?

If you watch The Wire, you'll notice that Stringer calls Avon "B" quite often. What does it mean? Is it short for "buddy"? When and where did people start using this expression?
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Is there a pejorative word for “poor” that can be used in a self-deprecating way?

I was trying to translate Portuguese-language expression pé-rapado into English, which literally means "grated/rasped/shaved foot", but that probably makes no sense in English. I'm not sure those ...
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Are “lb” or “lbs” ever pronounced differently from “pound(s)”?

The “standard” pronunciation of lb or lbs is the same as for pound(s). However, given the nature of humans, I find it likely that in some slang a pronunciation based on the written word is used, e.g....
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Does “selfie” refer to the picture's taker, the picture's poster, or both

I'm a middle-aged person who is not up on the latest trends and am not a social media user. But a few days ago on CNN, the anchors were going on about the latest celebrity "selfie" that had "gone ...
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A vague definition in a dictionary, “shag:a sexual partner of a specified ability”. Is there any better or plainer explanation?

I'm not a native English-reader, I'm Chinese. So mostly I get meanings of words by consulting dictionaries. I read this in a dictionary about the word shag: a sexual partner of a specified ability....
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What does “I'll kill that cat” in the play Dinner for One mean?

In the play Dinner for One, James the butler says, "I'll kill that cat," at time 14:05. What does this mean? Is he referring to the tiger rug which keeps tripping him, or is it a saying or ...
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“Kvell” word usage

I kvell over Zhang Bin's drawings I'm a bit biased about "kvell" word usage. It is on Urban Dictionary ( http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=kvell ), but seems to be pretty rarely-used. ...
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What does “I gets mine” mean?

In the last episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" there was this dialogue between Larry and Leon (black guy who uses a lot of street slang): Larry: You think I'd go out with a guy wearing a green wife-...
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“Hot Diggity …”

Ok, perhaps the last one was too easy :) Here's one that a friend of mine uses, and I'd love to know if it's something he coined, or is it a more common expression than I think: Hot diggity-dag-...
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Usage of “got” as a subsitute of “taking care of”?

I want to represent a situation in which the character is sad because her boyfriend isn't there, then a guy says: "in any case don't worry, I got you". It is meant to be something like "I will take ...
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What's a word for “toughish”?

I am looking for an adjective that can be used to describe a 'thug'. Seeing that toughish isn't in most dictionaries (nor did I expect it to be, but an entry in a thesaurus would have been nice), nor ...
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What does “sliders” mean in this context?

I am reading the book "Moneyball" by Michael Lewis and in Chapter3 - The Enlightment, there is a paragraph: "His teammates might as well have been a different species than the high school kids he ...
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Meaning of the statement “Are you playing thick or just are? ”

Somebody told me Are you playing thick or just are? in the middle of a conversation. and I didn't know its meaning. I searched for "play thick" in Google, but I didn't find anything. Is “are ...
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Is “take a leak” considered only masculine or is it okay if women use it too?

And if it can also be used by women, I still feel vulgar using it.
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Deciphering of William Henley's “Bus-Driver”: put 'a bit on'?

This beautiful sonnet, "Bus-Driver" by William Henley, is studded with idioms, some of which are hard to understand. I've bolded one part (of the two) I don't understand: He’s called The General ...
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Ogooglebar , ungoogleable or agoogleable?

If something cant be found after searching on google. Ogooglebar or some other term? Predictions? Is there already an accepted term?
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Just once I'd like a PB & PB

Not sure if that has a special meaning but I heard it in a movie: Just once I’d like a PB & PB. What does it mean? Here is a cartoon:
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Is it right/appropriate to say “double bag it?”

What one would say to get another (plastic) bag for carrying heavy groceries? Is it right to tell the cashier "would you please double bag it?" I am asking this question because when I tried to ...
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Where do East End / Gangster slang terms for numbers relating to money originate?

Words like 'monkey', 'pony', 'ton' and so on are used by East End villains and Cockneys to denote numbers - ton is one hundred for example. Examples abound in popular culture (The Krays, Only Fools ...
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Etymology of 'ends' or 'the ends' and other current British/London slang

I'd like to know more about how 'ends' came to mean 'hometown' in current London slang. I have heard it used to mean money, which is an extension of mainstream use - means to an end, for one's own ...
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20's Slang and idioms

What are some of the most common idioms and phrases of speech in the 20's? Specifically what are a couple different terms for bars (I already know speakeasies)? What were taxi's and cab drivers known ...
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it's good for your dime

I was listening to Moonshine a Kill the Vultures tune. I'm not sure about the meaning of: it's good for your dime Does he mean it is cheap? complete sentence: I got moonshine Drink it ...
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“It's say to say”

I recently came across an online forum where a reader responded using the phrase, "It's say to say..." where I would expect to see, "It's safe to say...". I thought perhaps it was a typographical ...
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word for that time of the month where funds are running low and you gotta wait til payday [closed]

Basically title, but is the meaning of the Indonesian phrase "tanggal Tua". Any ideas?
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Is there a term for someone who barely moves their arms whilst walking?

I know someone who barely moves his arms when he walks, a bit like Frankenstein's monster. There is a Seinfeld episode ("The Summer of George") in which someone with the same behaviour is made fun of ...
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Shake 'em on down [closed]

In 1937 Bukka White recorded a blues song under the title of "Shake 'em on down". Part of the lyrics are cited on Wikipedia: Get your nightcap mama, and your gown Baby 'fore day we gonna shake '...
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335 views

“likes like” vs “like likes”

Which sentence would be correct: The sun like likes the moon. The sun likes like the moon. One of the examples in the Urban Dictionary definition has "Jenna so like likes Tom", so I'm ...
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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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“One half” vs “a half”

I'm working on a copy editing project and in the copy they use ...only nine and one-half kilometres long... I have decided the hyphen is wrong. However one half sounds awkward to me. Is that ...
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“Ridgy didge” — what's that mean? [closed]

Australia day is nearly upon us! And that means it's time to throw another steak on the barbie and say real Aussie things like "ridgy didge". Flaming heck, what's that even mean, "ridgy didge"? I've ...
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Origin of “blue” for rude?

This question Why do we talk a blue streak?, had me thinking—why do we use blue for rude ? Dictionary.com has it: lewd, indecent recorded from 1840 "(in form blueness, in an essay of Carlyle's)" and ...
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What does “like a [expletive] wazoo” mean? [closed]

I was video-documenting on my cellphone like a goddamn wazoo. What does wazoo mean in that sentence? I googled it, and the results seemed to indicate wazoo means ass. Is that what it means in the ...
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Shirty birty (bertie)?

I’ve been enjoying the BBC TV series Last Tango in Halifax, a show which regularly sends me to the dictionary in order to decipher certain inscrutable British-isms, the latest being “don’t get all ...
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How would you call sitting with your legs crossed but one calf resting on the other knee?

Sorry, perhaps this has been asked before but I just can't think of what this way of sitting should be called. Is there a word for it? I hope so! To be more specific, you're sitting upright in a ...
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Is “Christmas for Bogans” a metaphor?

If someone describes Australia day as "Christmas for Bogans", would that be a metaphor? What stereotype is implied in this statement? The term bogan (/ˈboʊɡən/) is Australian and New Zealander ...
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South African Slang “Nu”

Any idea what Nu means when someone uses it as a nickname for someone else in South Africa?
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“Definite ninety-nine” - UK English meaning

I've been browsing through older lyrics of Judas Priest songs, namely Rocka Rolla, which has the following lines in a verse: Barroom fighter Ten pint a nighter Definite ninety-nine ...
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What is the origin of “pretty” as slang for “somewhat”?

We now often hear phrases like: That's pretty interesting. The word "pretty" here is used to say "somewhat," "considerably/rather," or something along those lines (if a little stronger). ...
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What is the origin of the slang term “get out of here” to mean “you're kidding”?

What is the origin (first recorded use) of the slang term "get out of here" to mean "you're kidding" rather than "go away" ?
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Terminology for a “group selfie”

A selfie is a kind of casual self-portrait. People often take selfies that include a significant other or multiple friends, and I’m curious whether there is any established terminology or slang for ...
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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 1936 ...
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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 ...