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

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How long has the f-word been in use as an abusive term?

When was the f-word 'invented'? Who invented it? Has it always had the derogatory meaning that it does today. Is it a recent invention?
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4answers
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Where did the phrase “batsh*t crazy” come from?

I am curious how this term came to be. I've found this question on various forums, but none of them seem to agree where the term came from. The most popular explanation seems to come from "bat in the ...
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6answers
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The use of “hey” in North America

Having had my formative years in New Zealand, I was born in South Africa. I vaguely recall when I was VERY young having someone tell me when I said "hey" that "hay is what horses eat". I got that ...
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7answers
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A wife who knows and accepts her husband's infidelity

What do you call a wife or woman who knows their spouse or partner is unfaithful but pretends either to (1) not care or (2) to not know? In this scenario it's important that the cheating spouse or ...
16
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5answers
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What do you call a Q&A user who posts a question but never checks back?

I have searched for a term that describes users who post questions and then disappear without trace. These users will post and write their questions in a great flurry, sometimes ignoring the basic ...
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1answer
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Etymology of “Buff” and “Nerf” as used in video-game slang

In video games, when the makers increase the power of something, it is sometimes referred to as a buff. If they decrease the power of something, it is called a nerf or a de-buff. This also applies ...
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5answers
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How to spell [ʒʊʒd] and what does it mean?

I heard this strange word in American Dad over a year ago and it's been bugging me ever since. Not only do I have no idea how it's spelt, I have no idea how it could possibly be spelt. My only guesses ...
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5answers
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Why do we “paint the town red”?

Why is the phrase "paint the town red" used to mean go on a colossal drinking spree? Does anyone know where it came from? Green's Slang Dictionary tentatively suggests a famous toot by the Marquis of ...
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4answers
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Why “shrink” (of a psychiatrist)?

I know it originates from "head shrinking", but it doesn't help me a lot to understand the etymology. Why are psychiatrists called that? Is it like "my head is swollen [from anguish, misery, stress, ...
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3answers
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What is the origin of “call a spade a spade” and does it have racial connotations?

Now that we know how to punctuate the phrase “call a spade a spade” I am curious where it originated and what the original meaning was. Also, the term “spade” can have negative racial connotations ...
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5answers
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What's exactly I'mma? I'mma go now, I'mma open that for you

When I chat I hear sometimes "I'mma ..." like in: "I'mma go now" or "I'mma open that for you" I am not sure how it's written, I have never got a precise answer when I asked. Should I learn to ...
15
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4answers
934 views

“Oojakapiv”: what does this word mean?

A lot of people in my family use this word, not regularly, but enough for me to ask what it means. I know it’s not a “real word”, but how come people from different sides of my family use it? It must ...
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3answers
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How old is the word “prolly”?

Prolly is given this definition at Wiktionary: Clipped pronunciation of probably. I was reading an interesting article today that claimed prolly dates from 1947 and that surprised me. ...
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4answers
2k views

When did people start “boinking”?

Is "boinking" an onomatopoeic and/or a blend word? I would have said so, I believe the word boink refers to the sound of the mattress springs squeaking under the weight of a couple making love. A ...
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4answers
2k views

Why do we say “[expletive] ALL” for “nothing”?

Damn all, Bugger all, Sod all etc., etc. What does all mean here? How did the expression originate? Was there a single original term (expletive or not) preceding all in this usage? At the risk of ...
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12answers
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What is a feminine version of “dude”?

OK . . . another one similar to "What is a feminine version of 'guys'?" "Dude" is masculine; what is the feminine version? The usage I'm thinking of is that "dude" nowadays is used primarily as a ...
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2answers
1k views

What do “orange” and “spindle-shanked beaux” mean in this quote?

While looking up the word "bye" I found this 18th century quotation. Our present race of spindle-shanked beaux had rather close with an orange wench at the playhouse, than engage in a bye battle ...
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10answers
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Is it offensive to call a redhead a “ginger”?

So I just re-watched this great comedy by Tim Minchin, and here are the questions: How bad/offensive is the g-word really (other than being an anagram of the n-word)? What are alternatives? Is ...
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2answers
4k views

How did the slang meaning of “owned” come to be?

Why does Dude! I just owned you! mean that the speaker did really well against "Dude" in some sort of competition or game?
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7answers
5k views

Is “Canuck” offensive?

I was criticized the other day for using this word. It never occurred to me that it was offensive, but Wikipedia says it "may" be derogatory. Given Vancouver's hockey team, I tend to think it's ...
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9answers
8k views

Origin and status of “hosed”, meaning “broken”

Are the etymology and status of hosed known, and if so, what are they? For this question, "hosed" is used as at onlineslangdictionary or at urbandictionary. (That is, with meaning broken, messed up, ...
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5answers
31k views

Origin of “jack sh*t”

Why do we say "Jack Shit" to mean "nothing at all"?
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2answers
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Why does “sucker” mean “unexpected” in “Sucker Punch”?

Sucker punch seems to mean "an unexpected punch" in slang. What is the origin of this term and why does sucker mean unexpected in sucker punch?
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3answers
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Why the opposite meanings of the word “bollocks”?

The phrases the dog’s bollocks, the bee’s bollocks, and golden bollocks are used to mean something or someone excellent, fine, or well thought of. But if one were to say a load of bollocks, or ...
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2answers
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What does the “atta” mean in “attaboy” and “attagirl”?

What does the prefix atta mean? What is it trying to abbreviate? What a? Wiktionary claims that it stands for that's a or that's the, but I do not see the resemblance to atta.
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7answers
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Is it true that “tuppence” refers to a woman's vagina in British English slang? If so, why?

I was looking up a definition online, as I often do, in this case the British slang word tuppence; I got the standard "a slang reference to a coin denomination" definition from Wikipedia, but stumbled ...
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7answers
5k views

Is the term “you suck” always considered slang? [closed]

I'm having a serious argument with a friend on the status of the word "suck" when I used it about him by saying "You suck!" because he missed a train. We are both non-native English speakers. He ...
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9answers
9k views

How to call certain kinds of tall shoes that women use to wear?

Because their strange features, even in my own language I find it difficult to decide by what name to call the shoes shown in the image below. I'm not looking for a technical term, but for a cute and ...
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9answers
629 views

A non-straight route

In informal speech, how would you describe a bus that travels from point A to point B by passing through every part of the city instead of using the straight way? When you give someone an advice which ...
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2answers
1k views

Seeking origin (modern etymology) of a new (slang) use of the word “pixelation”

It would appear that a new (abusive) use of the word pixelation has cropped up. Go to YouTube and enter "pixelation" and you will be barraged with a collection of stop-motion animation videos. Can ...
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4answers
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Is there a parallel to defenestration — for buses?

We often see defenestrate used in a somewhat jocular, mock-intellectual way for throwing someone or something out of a window. Is there, or could we imagine, a similar word for "throwing (someone) ...
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2answers
4k views

What does “OMG ponies!” mean?

What does this mean and what is the origin of this phrase?
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5answers
3k views

Where did “wired” come from?

I am not a coffee drinker, but I just drank some coffee. I said to my Hispanic friend, "I am WIRED!" and had to explain what the slang term means. However now that I think about it, that's an awfully ...
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7answers
19k views

What does the term “86'd” relate to?

What does it mean when someone or something is referred to as being "86'd"?
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5answers
18k views

Origins of the gaming term “cheese strategy”

In a gaming scene the word cheese is used to describe strategies or ways of playing that are really powerful and do not require much skill from the players side at the same time. The term is widely ...
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4answers
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Where does the word “jism” come from?

Another word of mysterious origins of jism, in the sense of spunk. The OED mentions it is sometimes spelled jizz, and may even be the precursor word to jazz. But neither the OED nor Etymonline ...
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4answers
16k views

Why is a bathroom sometimes called a “john”?

"John" is sometimes used as slang for a bathroom or a toilet. I'm curious, what is the origin of this usage?
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11answers
6k views

What do you call a woman who's feeling “emotional”?

It's that time of the month, your female partner has begun to fault pick you, for no explicable reason she becomes weepy, and anything you say or do will be criticized or misinterpreted. Is there a ...
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3answers
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Date as a synonym for anus

In the Song "Ten Foot Cock And A Few Hundred Virgins" Tim Minchin uses the phrase "it's a sin to take it up the date, even if it's great, even with your cowboy mate". I'm not a native English speaker ...
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7answers
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A term for products whose “secret” features are well-known (but not publicized)

What do you call those household items whose selling features are purportedly practical, functional and ‘innocent’ but instead are often bought for completely different, and sometimes ‘naughty’ ...
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4answers
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What does the slang “in my arrogant opinion” convey?

I have seen it on the Internet as follows (abbreviated as IMAO): Only the Muggles will find it offensive IMAO. I know it's contrasted with the common phrase "in my humble opinion," but I still ...
12
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7answers
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How do I spell the truncation 'Cas', as in 'Sports Casual/Sports Cas'?

How do I spell the truncation 'Cas', as in 'Sports Casual/Sports Cas'? It may be UK only, and may have been spawned by Alan Partridge. Cash/Cas are not right. *As in a slang term, "he was acting all ...
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4answers
15k views

Is “embiggen” considered a formal or slang word?

If my memory serves me correctly, I first encountered the word embiggen a year or so ago. I thought it seemed odd, but in context, the meaning was quite obvious. Since that time I've seen this word ...
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5answers
61k views

What is the etymology of “cornhole”?

Since being introduced to the bean bag-toss game of the same name, I've wondered about this word. The old farm game, similar to horseshoes, has recently gained such popularity that Googling cornhole ...
12
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3answers
11k views

Why are spies called “spooks”?

In many books, I've seen the word 'spook' used to mean some kind of spy. Definition 5 on dictionary.reference.com confirms this usage, but is not very helpful about the origin. Does anyone know how ...
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2answers
1k views

Guidelines for the use of the slang term “cise”

I heard an unfamiliar regional slang word used thusly: I'm gonna go cise (rhymes with ice) me a sandwich and then I'll be back. When I questioned the user, the speaker insisted it has been ...
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2answers
2k views

Where does the word “*ag” come from?

Once upon a time in America, particularly during the 1970s, if you asked an American whether they ‘fancied a shag’, they might well have thought of this: And therefore declined the offer for fear ...
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1answer
613 views

What's “nutty” about fruit and cake?

Funnily enough, food is often used metaphorically to describe someone's eccentricity or level of sanity. We have nuts Slang. a foolish, silly, or eccentric person. an insane person; ...
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10answers
3k views

Origin of “hating on”

What is the origin of the slang phrase hating on? Google Trends suggests that the phrase did not enter the lexicon until early 2009. I'm curious where the phrase originated. As Stefano Palazzo ...
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8answers
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Did the slang term “The Bomb” meaning “Very Cool” come from the American Jazz scene?

Searching Google for the history of the slang term "the bomb" (as in "That song is the bomb") yields a number of results in 40s/50s jazz glossaries, but they tend to at best give an artificial example ...