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

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What does the slang “My eye!” mean?

Does the slang my eye in following sentence represent "Surprise" or sadness? I heard that you made a high jump of eight feet at the track meet. My eye! From the paragraph above, I understand ...
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4answers
2k views

Is there a slang word for “electronic cigarettes” (e-cigarettes)?

An electronic cigarette (e-cig or e-cigarette), personal vaporizer (PV) or electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) is a battery-powered vaporizer which simulates tobacco smoking by producing an ...
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5answers
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Meanings of word “nick” in British English

Word nick seems to be used to describe many things. According to the dictionary, the main meanings are: a small notch, groove, chip, or the like, cut into or existing in something. a hollow place ...
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1answer
242 views

Meaning of the slang Boo

The following paragraph is from the story of Billy, Sally, and Joe: Billy and Sally were inside a dark room. - Billy yelled "Boo" and scared Sally. Then, Joe came in. - Hey, boo, come over ...
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7answers
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Why are you a plonker?

The idiom, plonk (something/someone) down means to slap something down; to plop something down to sit or lie down on something in a careless or noisy way to leave someone somewhere to do ...
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3answers
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Is “premises” always plural?

On-premises ... On-premise I see these terms frequently used to describe software systems hosted within a company's datacenter vs. software systems hosted externally by a third party (in the ...
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2answers
65 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 ...
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Why are animal names used as vulgar slang for body parts?

Asking this question in strict propriety out of genuine curiosity, why is that in (American) English animal-related names are used for vulgar names for the private body parts? In fact, all of the ...
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3answers
128 views

What does this phrase mean: “they just can't keep their hands off the cookie jar”?

What does the following sentence mean? They just can’t keep their hands off the cookie jar (or outta the cookie jar) I came across this sentence in a movie. The context is racism and the social ...
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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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1answer
114 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, ...
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4answers
338 views

What does “trollpoking” mean?

The edit summary here says: cleaned up a bit, removed the trollpoking. I'm certain removing trollpoking is referring to the removal of: This answer is going to be deleted as off-topic, isn't ...
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4answers
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Origin of using “clocked” to mean “noticed”

The word "clocked" can be used to mean "noticed", as in: Bob: I'm gonna park here a minute. Did you see any traffic wardens about. Geoff: Actually, I clocked one down the road on my way up. ...
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2answers
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Why are pounds sterling called “knicker”?

I asked the price of an article the other day, and was told that it cost 120 knicker. This is a slang term for pounds sterling that always appears in the singular. I have failed find any reason why ...
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5answers
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Are Pounds Sterling referred to as squid (in addition to quid)

Commonly pounds are called quid, but I've come across references to pounds as squid Is that a typo or actually a common usage? Example from Football forums: It is believed they have ...
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3answers
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Origin of “retarded” (slang)

retarded[ri-tahr-did] adjective characterized by a slowness or limitation in intellectual understanding and awareness, emotional development, academic progress, etc. Slang. stupid or ...
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1answer
86 views

What do these slang phrases in Dahl's “The BFG” mean?

I am studying Roald Dahl's The BFG and I am confused by a couple of passages. Context: The Big Friendly Giant suggests that the soldiers leave the helicopter and then drive Jeeps to man-eating ...
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1answer
81 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 ...
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3answers
1k views

Is this usage of “lol” considered a hedge?

In doing some research on another question I bumped into the term "hedge": A hedge is a mitigating device used to lessen the impact of an utterance. Typically, they are adjectives or adverbs, but ...
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0answers
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What is the etymology of the word “basic” as used in current slang? [duplicate]

For those not familiar with the term, it is used mainly by teens and 20-somethings. The definition can be found at Urban Dictionary (look at definitions 1 and 3). Specifically, I am not talking ...
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1answer
182 views

“Shut my mouth wide open!”

"What is origin of the expression "Shut my mouth wide open."? Google search for the phrase produced nothing of interest.
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3answers
59 views

What is the origin of the term “ages”

I understand obviously that an "age" is a measurement of time, but can someone specify for me the earliest known use of "ages" as a slang term? An example would be the following use: The drive to ...
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0answers
39 views

What is a bogan called in the UK? [duplicate]

In Australia, "bogan" is used to describe a person who is uncouth and rather unsophisticated and considered lower class. However, "bogan" is not necessarily offensive - some people pride themselves ...
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5answers
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Does the word “troll” necessarily have negative connotations?

Does the word "troll" necessarily imply negative connotations? More specifically, can the word "troll"/"trolling" be legitimately used to describe a posting which is clearly made with intent of ...
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3answers
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What does “iron-ass” mean?

In New York Times’ (November 7) article under the title, “Poppy Bush finally gives junior a spanking,” Maureen Dowd introduced the following statement of Jon Meacham’s new biography, “Destiny and ...
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3answers
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Origin of an ethnic slur

The American Heritage Dictionary states that the origins of "sheeny," a pejorative slang word for a Jew, are unknown. As a Jew, I am interested in finding out where and when this word developed. Any ...
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Origin of “the wrong end of the stick”

If someone has the wrong end of the stick it means they've misunderstood something. If they've got the shitty end of the stick it means they've got a bad deal in some bargain or share-out. This ...
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1answer
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Is there an idiom or slang word for “the last round of beer”?

I'm looking for a word or phrase that would fit here, where a few guys are drinking at a pub. A. "I must be going now." B. "Hey, wait, let's have ..............." which would mean a final drink ...
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1answer
403 views

Why does the phrase “to take the rag off” mean to excel in the classroom?

A Collection of College Words and Customs (1851) by Benjamin Homer Hall defines to take the rag off as "to excel; to compose much better than one's classmates." I understand the phrase is quite old; ...
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1answer
116 views

The meaning of 'take over' in this sentence

I've recently watched a youtube video where a person mentioned a phrase 'It's pretty much taken over my Instragram'. I think she meant 'The pictures are taken over.' I tried to find out all of the ...
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9answers
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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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1answer
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What are the sources of the popularity of the urban slang term “shank”? [duplicate]

to shank to stab with an improvised knife How did shank evolve to its importance in popular culture? Has there been a key gangster rap with this word, perhaps taking off as an internet ...
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2answers
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Origin of the word “glitch”

glitch /ɡliCH/ noun: glitch; plural noun: glitches 1. a sudden, usually temporary malfunction or irregularity of equipment. "a draft version was lost in a computer glitch" ...
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1answer
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North American joke: “What do you call Halloween boner?'”

I searched everywhere to find out what this joke means: "What do you call a Halloween boner?" "Petrified wood!" Wood is probably slang for boner. Maybe erectile dysfunction, but I still don't ...
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6answers
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How did the slang meaning of “flog” come about?

I've searched multiple dictionaries and Etymonline but the only origin for "flog" that I can find is: 1670s, slang, perhaps a schoolboy shortening of L. flagellare "flagellate." This clearly ...
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2answers
7k views

What is swag? And where does it come from?

I'd just like to know where it comes from. This is a word that I've heard all my life but it has always been a special kind of curtain. I was baffled when kids started calling each other curtains so I ...
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1answer
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Origin of the term 'Pom'

I am fishing for an explanation. The term 'Pom' for an Englishman is used in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The common explanation is that it is derived from 'pomegranate' - saying the ...
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4answers
128 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 ...
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1answer
38 views

is this sentence right? is it a slang? or is it wrong?

If I want to say I am good at something but not very good can I say "I am about good" does this phrase considered slang.
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A Philadelphia Question

Up until recently I was firmly convinced that the expression "youse guys" originally came from Brooklyn, New York. A couple of days ago I ran across an essay that mentioned (in a disgustingly ...
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What is a plausible etymology of “dosh”, a British slang word for money?

Neither Wiktionary nor The Online Etymology Dictionary seem to know anything. UPDATED (October 25 2015) dosh ‎(uncountable) (Britain, slang) Money Etymology Unknown. ...
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1answer
70 views

What does “Keep it real” mean in this context?

All: It is 9:00PM, one of my coworker said to me:"Dude, keep it real..". I am curious about what does that means? I thought that phrase only has negative meaning( like true to urself. behave your ...
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1answer
50 views

What grammar rules are violated by “when you” statements?

For the past couple of years there has been a trend on twitter and facebook to post statuses with incomplete "when you" statements. These statements are intended to imply some unstated, but obvious ...
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8answers
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Why is “bombshell” used to describe attractive women?

Bombshell is a term used to describe very attractive women, similar to the term "sex symbol". The phrase was notably used as the title of a 1930's film, which incidentally lead to its lead actress ...
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6answers
11k views

What does “what for” mean and where did it come from?"

There is a fight scene in one of my favorite movies in which the main character says "Give them what for!" I've hear this term many times before (usually from old south-eastern Americans,) but no ...
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1answer
58 views

Who was the first white person in media to use the phrase “Shout-Out”?

Jazz was created by African-Americans. It's impossible to say with any authority exactly where and how it started, other than to acknowledge that it started in Black-American culture. It is much ...
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Clarifying the usage of “hella”

The word hella has spread from the Southern California dialect to the point where most varieties of American English speaker (such as me in the Midwest) know that it exists and hear it used. I always ...
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0answers
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What does “zoozi” or “zoozie” mean?

I've heard a phrase in London, it sounded like "It's a big zoozi" or something like that. I wonder what this could mean?
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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 ...
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8answers
1k views

Why does “smashing” mean “very good”?

Smashing is a BrE slang which means "very good" or "impressive". Most folks might know this already, due to its use as a catch phrase by various BrE characters in media. However, from the usual ...