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

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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.
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2answers
492 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"? ...
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141 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?
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102 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. ...
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2answers
111 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 ...
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4answers
138 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 ...
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1answer
81 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 ...
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2answers
128 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 ...
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1answer
373 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 ...
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328 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 ...
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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
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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
183 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
76 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
5k 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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129 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
94 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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2answers
156 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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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
440 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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2answers
38 views

Shake 'em on down

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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1answer
34 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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3answers
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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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1answer
158 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
85 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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934 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
116 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
135 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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150 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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381 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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429 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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937 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
129 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
741 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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886 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
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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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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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503 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
375 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
841 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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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
245 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
7k 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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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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72 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?