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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
3answers
147 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
260 views

What is the origin of a 'racket', meaning a scam or swindle?

According to the OED the term apparently began in Britain, but became equally used on both sides of the Atlantic. It means a dishonest or fraudulent line of business, a method of swindling for ...
2
votes
1answer
158 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?
2
votes
3answers
623 views

Is “Missus” used as a word in American English?

In the book "Geisha", Liza Dalby writes the following about schools for wearing kimonos (for Japanese people): The text of one school calls for an elderly lady to wear her kimono "with dignity"; a ...
2
votes
6answers
693 views

Simple word/ slang for “Re-share a content”

I need a simple(commonly used/known) word or short slang(2 words max.) which means to re-share a piece of information with your network of friends. Something just like "Share" on social networks. ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the origin of “stack” meaning $1000?

I just read this lovely quote from MSN about an ex-girlfriend putting out a hit on her ex-boyfriend: "I will pay somebody a stack to kill my baby father," Eley wrote in a post this spring, ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Meaning of “do over”

A colleague and I are having a disagreement over the slang meaning and usage of "do over" Does it mean (a) beat somebody up or does it have a sexual meaning of (b) screw someone i.e. hump someone ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

What's the meaning of 'fan his pantaloons' in this quote?

Consider... the university professor. What is his function? Simply to pass on to fresh generations of numskulls a body of so-called knowledge that is fragmentary, unimportant, and, in large part, ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Do lexicographers have a formal term for Insta-cant

With twitter and social media, it is possible for new cant to appear suddenly and spread widely in weeks or days, often via internet-memes, only to fall out of use just as quickly. Do lexicographers ...
2
votes
1answer
215 views

What does “I had every last one of them” mean?

I heard this quote from a Channel 4 sitcom the IT crowd I'm gonna go, I may not come back but I want to say this. That accounts team, I had every last one of them. It is said by Douglas ...
2
votes
1answer
221 views

Why use 'I are' 'You is'?

I've seen many American and English people writing their sentences like this: I are... You is... While the way I've learned it, and seen most widely used is like this: I am You are ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the phrase “I feel you” too colloquial?

Does the phrase "I feel you" sound too slangy and somewhat horrible to a British person? Is it ok to use it as a synonym of "I understand what you feel/say" in an informal, casual conversation?
2
votes
1answer
121 views

Usage of “you is”

So I'm reading a book set in the American South in the beginning of the 1900 and I stumble upon the use of the verb is with you ("you is", "is you?") in conversations: eg. "is you Samson Fuller?". ...
2
votes
3answers
502 views

What do Australians mean when they say 'He came a gutsa'?

What does it mean to 'Come a gutsa'? I think I may have the Australian spelling right.
2
votes
2answers
518 views

why “and then some” means considerably more?

I've googled the phrase "and then some" and am told that it means "considerably more". But just how to comprehend this? The phrase literally means "some more" -- how does it come to mean "much more"? ...
2
votes
4answers
143 views

“How long do we have?”

Which of the following is correct? How much time do we have until class starts? How long do we have until class starts?
2
votes
3answers
152 views

What English word can be used to describe someone indirectly helping you?

For Example, I want to date a girl but can't seem to get to meet her in order to ask her out. Then suddenly we get invited both to a party of a mutual friend who has no idea I want to date the girl. ...
2
votes
2answers
118 views

Is there an abbreviation to denote "f***k You? [closed]

I frequently see people using various facebook expressions in official e-mails or in general text message. What bemuses me is that most of the time ""F***K you" is written/put as "f**K you". Please ...
2
votes
4answers
168 views

A word to describe the type of literature read on toilet?

Is there an English word (recognised or slang) that describes the type of literature that is intended to be read in the toilet/bathroom/restroom? I've seen books in the past that seemed aimed ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
149 views

“old stiff” (army slang, 1940s, Br)

I am reading the diary of a Colonel in the British Army in the 1940s. He describes some of the recruits as "old stiffs". This seems to be largely a compliment, and seems to refer to older folk who ...
2
votes
1answer
454 views

“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 ...
2
votes
2answers
368 views

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 ...
2
votes
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?
2
votes
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. ...
2
votes
1answer
218 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
80 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? ...
2
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
135 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
1answer
98 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
163 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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
451 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
70 views

Etymology of the term “salty” when used as slang [closed]

I often watch Hearthstone streams on Twitch, and many streamers will use the term "salty" to describe their emotions they feel when something unlucky happens to them. It seems to be synonymous with ...
2
votes
1answer
42 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
66 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?
2
votes
1answer
178 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"?
2
votes
1answer
96 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
122 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
148 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
160 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
398 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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
2
votes
4answers
461 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
134 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
779 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
900 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?