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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
6answers
165 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
278 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
765 views

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....
3
votes
4answers
3k views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
665 views

“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. ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

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-...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

“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-...
3
votes
2answers
51 views

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 ...
3
votes
5answers
124 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
76 views

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 ...
3
votes
4answers
238 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
690 views

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.
3
votes
2answers
84 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

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?
3
votes
1answer
550 views

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:
3
votes
2answers
502 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
895 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

“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 ...
3
votes
3answers
97 views

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?
3
votes
6answers
182 views

A slang word for person who is addicted to mass media promoted pop-culture [closed]

I am looking for a slang term which describes people who are all about contemporary mass media promoted pop culture: pop song charts, YouTube likes, dislikes and comments, celebrities' instagrams, etc....
3
votes
2answers
72 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
658 views

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 '...
3
votes
1answer
313 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
121 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?
3
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

“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 ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
113 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
342 views

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....
3
votes
1answer
457 views

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 ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
101 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

South African Slang “Nu”

Any idea what Nu means when someone uses it as a nickname for someone else in South Africa?
3
votes
1answer
2k views

“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 ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

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). ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

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" ?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
3k 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 1936 ...
3
votes
2answers
291 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
495 views

Is the colloquial Australian term 'festy' actually a word?

Usage: "I would not like to eat that pie as it looks all festy since you dropped it on the ground." Is the colloquial Australian term 'festy' actually a word? Also, is it used elsewhere in the world?
3
votes
1answer
70 views

Expletive or exclamation meaning “exactly” or “precisely” [closed]

I have a friend who is an excellent non-native English speaker. However, when agreeing emphatically via text message, he will sometimes say "exact-fucking-ly!" This sounds odd compared to "abso-...
3
votes
1answer
85 views

Etymology of “And the Three Bears”

"And the three bears" is a catch-phrase used to express disbelief:- This new investment will allow the Government to save taxpayers' money! And the three bears. Does anyone know how this ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Where did the phrase, “You did a bean,” come from?

I grew up in Texas in the 60s. My dad grew up in Waco and moved to New Jersey during World War II. He contributed may German phrases to our lives. My mom was born in central Texas, but her dad was ...
3
votes
2answers
469 views

Gype or Gyp researching into the origin of this word

I am trying to research the word Gype or I think it is spelt that way. I have heard it to describe people. "Oh he's a bit of a Gype/Gyp" meaning he is a bit of a Gypsey. The phrase is meant to ...
3
votes
2answers
252 views

Why does to “cheek it” mean to bluff?

From Flappers to Rappers: American Youth Slang by Dr. Thomas Dalzell cites the 1930s expression "cheek it" as meaning to bluff. I don't quite understand why and I'm hoping someone on here may help me ...
3
votes
3answers
290 views

How does the word “gas” relate to cheating and deception?

According to A Collection of College Words & Customs by Benjamin Homer Hall, written in 1856 I believe, gas is defined as cheating or deceiving someone. Any ideas why that may be?
3
votes
3answers
851 views

Is “Marco Polo” slang?

I have heard some people utter "Marco Polo" in distress or shocking cases. Is it slang? Or is it used as something else? Can someone great as Marco Polo be used as an abusive word?