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

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Is “Drop the big hammer” American slang?

In a trailer for the movie "Black Hat", one person says "The guy we're working with will drop the big hammer and not think twice about it" Is this some sort of American slang, possibly for a ...
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3answers
463 views

Why does the word “joed” mean weary, tired, exhausted, fatigued, etc.?

The word "joed" is a word I use frequently to describe my feeling tired or exhausted. As a child, I used to hear my grandfather say "I feel joed" before he would sit down for a respite or turn in; ...
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1answer
87 views

Calculus vs calculation

It is becoming more popular on American talk shows to say "calculus" instead of "calculation." To my mind, calculus is either a branch of Mathematics or a stone like in the gall bladder. Any comments? ...
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2answers
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what does the sentence “You wouldn't know a hospital corner if it bit you on the arse” mean?

The conversation goes something like this: Woman: I'll change the bed sheets. Man: No, I'll do it! Woman: I can make a bed! Man : You wouldn't know a hospital corner if it bit you ...
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6answers
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How to spell “the youzhe” as in the abbreviation of “the usual”

The usual is a common reply to what will you order? or what are you up to?. It is often abbreviated, in Canada, to the first syllable of usual, as in the youzhe. How would you spell this abbreviation? ...
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14answers
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What is the origin of the slang term “book” meaning “leave” or “hurry”?

This verb is used in expressions such as “I’ll see you later – gotta book now”. Dictionary.com has: Slang. b. to leave; depart: I’m bored with this party, let’s book.¹ Anybody know the ...
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10answers
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Why is money called “rhino”?

I was going to the hole-in-the-wall to get some rhino the other day, when I started to wonder why cash is so-called. I hit the books. Farmer & Henley gives no etymology. Partridge says Origin ...
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1answer
96 views

Dating Colloquial Expressions and Slang

I remember hearing "be more chill" meaning, "calm down" in the nineties but it was not in common use ten years later - although "chill" as a verb with the same meaning lingers on. The expression "I'll ...
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What's a “right old roarer” in British English?

I was reading an Amazon review just now, and came across someone (Tchaikovsky) being described as a right old roarer. I'm guessing this is familiar slang to Brits, but I'm not getting good search ...
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3answers
380 views

What does the verb “nig” mean?

I have seen a photo on the Internet of a customer filling a large empty jug from a soda fountain at a fast food restaurant. It had caption that someone is "gonna nig". What does "nig" mean? Among ...
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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?
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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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1answer
133 views

Tolerance in English for names with vulgar everyday meaning? [closed]

Why does English (and perhaps other languages) allow collisions between names and nouns with vulgar/offensive meanings? I'm thinking of course of Dick vs. dick. Possible explanations (in no ...
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2answers
121 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

Why do Aussies use “cactus” to mean “dead,” “useless,” or “broken”?

This bloody washing machine is cactus! Glossaries / dictionaries of Australian slang (like this one, and this one) list cactus as meaning "dead, useless, or broken." How did this usage come ...
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1answer
8k views

“Buff” and “Nurf” from video games etymology

In video games when the makers increase the power of something it is sometimes refereed to as a buff. If they decrease the power of something it is called a nurf or a de-buff. This also applies to ...
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7answers
3k views

British and American slang words for immigrants?

What slang words or phrases do British/American English speakers use for (poor) immigrants?
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3answers
137 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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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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4answers
510 views

What do you call someone who is addicted to a Q&A website?

I was looking for a term for someone who is addicted to a Q&A website but I came up with general terms like nethead, cybernaut, netizen, internet addict etc. You can think of adjectives like ...
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7answers
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What’s a “handegg”?

What’s a handegg? NOTE: This question is primarily related to the etymology of a compound noun which is not in The Dictionary. There is a hat this year called “Handegg”, given out for a posting that ...
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10answers
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Does Santy (Santa) exist outside Ireland?

It's common at this time of year for adults to ask small children What's Santy bringing you? (awkward as this is for those of us who don't celebrate Christmas). Is this pronunciation of Santa unique ...
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1answer
126 views

Would the slang version, yessir, of yes, sir, be deemed as derogatory, offensive, or simply disrespectful to someone your senior?

I use yessir as a slang form of yes, sir all the time. Is it even a word? Would the slang version, yessir, be deemed as derogatory, offensive, or simply disrespectful to someone your senior?
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1answer
364 views

What are the origins of using the abbreviation “v.” for “very”?

Looking to figure out where the abbreviation "v." originates from. I know "v." was heavily used in "Bridget Jones Diary," but that movie came out over a decade ago and was British. What are the ...
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6answers
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What is the origin of ZOMG?

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

Is using “all” instead of “all used up” a regional thing?

My inlaws from Central Pennsylvania will say, "The milk is all" instead of "The milk is all gone". Another very common example, "Can you bring me some cookies?" "Sorry, the cookies are all". Anyone ...
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1answer
243 views

Is there a slang word or phrase for a middle-aged woman who serially dates much younger men? [closed]

Such practice is observed more often in the artistic world and among socialites. Is there a slang word or frase for these ladies?
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4answers
1k views

What is the origin of the expression “brassed off”?

Brass bands were being discussed today which naturally led to someone claiming to be brassed off about something, meaning disgruntled or annoyed. Does anyone know the origin of this expression? ...
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3answers
209 views

What do you call something that everyone says will happen but never does?

Is there a term for something that lots of people say is going to happen, but it never happens (at least in the immediate future)? For example, say everyone says "the tech bubble's going to burst" - ...
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1answer
60 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 ...
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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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Where do “shenanigans” come from?

Shenanigans, or shenanigan, also with several variant spellings, can be dated to 1855 USA in both the OED and Etymonline, but the OED simply says "Origin obscure" and Etymonline throws a few guesses ...
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7answers
474 views

Word or idiom to describe someone who always tries to inflate his skills/properties/experiences when talking with others? [duplicate]

Is there a word or idiom to describe someone who is always trying to create a good impression when talking about himself? Someone who is always trying to show that he is better than others even if he ...
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3answers
942 views

“Grizzly status”

In a Youtube video I was watching yesterday I heard some young kid shouting "grizzly status!" over and over again. According to urban dictionary, it applies to extremely extraordinary achievements ...
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American word for commode

I know several words for the toilet, i.e. bathroom. However I want to know the colloquial word for the seat on which one sits while defecating. I have read john somewhere but never heard an American ...
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14answers
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Is there a slang word or phrase for someone who is always playing dirty tricks or unpleasant practical jokes on his friends and acquaintances?

context: He will surreptitiously introduce a frog into your handbag. You leave your car keys on a desk, he sees it and hides it somewhere. He may offer you M&M type candies that will leave your ...
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19th century American English “slang”?

As I was doing a bit of research online I stumbled on this Children's Corner page 311 from the American Farmers' Magazine 1858. And, frankly, there are a lot of words that look totally foreign to me. ...
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What does “Jungle Fever” mean?

I have just watched the "Jungle Fever 1991" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungle_Fever) film which tell a story a white woman dates a black man. So, Does "Jungle Fever" mean a white woman dates a ...
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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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4answers
11k views

Get a life | You have no life

I saw this as a mild insult on the Internet, one person tells another: "get a life" or "you have no life". What does it mean literally and what is its meaning as an insult?
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5answers
282 views

Is there a common expression for someone who “always holds a mobile phone in hand”?

I would like to know if there is a typical expression or phrase, used by native speakers, for someone who always has their mobile phone in their hand. I would prefer a spoken expression rather than ...
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5answers
969 views

What would be an English equivalent for the Mexican Spanish word tocayo? [duplicate]

In Mexican Spanish (not sure if other Spanish speaking countries use the word too) we call "tocayo" to those people that share the same name as us (but not necessarily the same last name i.e., Juan ...
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9answers
6k views

Why do we “get cold feet”?

A sudden loss of nerve when embarked on a venture is called cold feet. Does anyone know why that should be? An etymology is suggested at englishdaily626. If your 'feet' are 'cold', you can't walk ...
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Old timers referring to a “bad penny”

What is the source and meaning of "turning up like a bad penny?"
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What Is A Beta Orbiter?

It's a term for a sociological type, like a 'yuppie', 'baby boomer'. DINK, etc. But what else are they? Scene in a club: My Friend: "I'd like to go over to that table full of girls and talk to them ...
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2answers
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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?
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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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9answers
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What could be the equivalent term in British or Australian English to the American English word “hillbilly”?

In Wikipedia, “hillbilly” is defined as: … a term referring to certain people who dwell in rural, mountainous areas of the United States, primarily Appalachia but also the Ozarks. Owing to its ...
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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 ...