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

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6answers
21k views

Why does one run around like a blue-arsed fly?

I have been a bit busy recently; too busy to give this website the attention it warrants. In fact, I said to myself yesterday, I have been running around like a blue-arsed fly. I stopped to think: ...
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3answers
2k views

“Birmingham” or “Manchester” screwdriver?

I occasionally use the phrase "Birmingham screwdriver" to mean "hammer", but this evening I heard a hammer referred to as a "Manchester screwdriver", by someone with no association with either city. ...
15
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4answers
974 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
2k views

How do American dialects differ?

I grew up in a very homogenous suburb, and was quite shocked when I moved to Philadelphia for college and started hearing how many different dialects exist even within one city. My untrained ear could ...
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1answer
1k views

What does 'mothercanuckers' mean?

First of all, sorry if it is offensive (I think it somewhat is). I was going through http://bleacherreport.com/articles/424590-the-funniest-promos-and-moments-in-wwe-history#page/20 The Rock ...
14
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
14
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10answers
38k views

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
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, ...
19
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4answers
31k views

Is the word “wotcher” British slang? What does it mean?

I was reading a Harry Potter book the other day and one of the characters, Nymphadora Tonks, greets Harry by saying "Wotcher, Harry". What is "Wotcher"?
5
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1answer
6k views

Where and how is Geil used?

The urban dictionary writes: GEIL (Guy-el) The best colloquial word ever established by the German language. It has slowly assimilated itself into English speaking culture, particularly ...
2
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1answer
1k views

Origin of jive slang

Where did the jive style of slang come from? It sounds pretty funny... specially from that scene in Airplane.
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5answers
8k views

Meaning of “flip the script”

I’ve heard the phrase “flip your script” or “flip the script” in various hip-hop songs. What does it mean?
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2answers
31k views

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.
6
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3answers
793 views

Why do you suck at XYZ?

How bad is the usage of the word suck in English? Is this "bad boy" language or commonly used?
16
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1answer
16k views

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 ...
160
votes
6answers
24k views

What is the origin of ZOMG?

I have looked in a number of places, with contradictory results. The Urban Dictionary provides a whopping 73 "explanations", of which I will quote just a few. (Original spelling and punctuation ...
4
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6answers
385 views

Is kickassiness an accepted word?

I have been looking for a word that means kickassiness, but haven't come across one. Is this an accepted word? If not, what word can be used in its place?
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1answer
26k views

Does “way too long” mean “a lot too long” or “slightly too long”? [closed]

Does way too long mean a lot too long, or slightly too long? Does way too stand for a huge or small measure?
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3answers
8k views

Meaning of “moving right along”

What does the slang moving right along mean?
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2answers
27k views

Is “could've” or “should've” standard English?

As the title says — is "could've" or "should've" standard English or is it slang and should correctly be spelled "could have" and "should have"?
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6answers
3k views

“Fixing to” at the beginning of a sentence

Use of fixing to at the beginning of a sentence is prevalent in the southern states of Amerca. Is this the right usage? And is this only a southern US thing? Examples: Fixing to call her. ...
6
votes
2answers
21k views

Where did “You know what thought did!” come from?

"You know what thought did" is a catch-phrase addressed to someone who has just made a stupid mistake and attempted to excuse himself by saying "But I thought..." Does anyone know the origin of this ...
20
votes
10answers
272k views

What is an appropriate response to “what's up” greeting?

Sorry if it's a trivial question, but when someone uses what's up as a greeting I have no idea what they want to hear. What are the possible answers and what does this question mean exactly?
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13answers
6k views

What does “from hunger” mean?

What is the meaning of the phrase "from hunger", as in, "This xyz is from hunger"? From the context I found it in, it appears to mean either very good, or very bad, but it's hard to tell which. The ...
12
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3answers
12k 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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4answers
4k views

Are the acronyms FYI, BTW, LOL, WTF now considered “normal” words?

Are these "words" moving out of the elitist slang stage and into popular usage? It is hard for me to tell, because in the techie culture I work in they are ubiquitous. However, I've tried them out ...
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3answers
13k views

What does “packing heat” mean?

I believe it means “to carry a weapon”, but I would also like the phrase origins, if possible. So the full question is: What is the meaning of the phrase “packing heat” and what are its origins?
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5answers
716 views

Is “denormalized” a word?

I use it all the time since I work with databases, but every time I write it somewhere with spell check I get the squiggly line below it. I've seen other people spell it with an "s" instead of a "z" ...
11
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6answers
5k views

“Don't got” — how common is it in American usage?

I often hear the usage "don't got" in American English as spoken on TV programmes. Recently I was watching season four of "Prison Break" and one character, an Asian computer wizard, repeatedly used "...
35
votes
7answers
10k views

How bad is the f-word, really?

I am confused: on the one hand, many of my native-speaker friends keep telling me that the f-word is very, very bad. Much worse than the s-word for example. On the other hand, I see it being used ...
81
votes
20answers
500k views

Which expressions can be used to close an email? [closed]

At the end of written communication like emails and letters, it is customary to use a closing valediction or "complementary close". Which formal and informal expressions can be used to end emails?
7
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1answer
3k views

Why would you write “ain't”? Isn't it a contraction only used in spoken English?

I often hear in English conversation or movies the contraction "ain't" (for "isn't"), but I am more surprised to see it in writing (and I am not referring to a novel, where I can understand its usage: ...