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

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When did informal use of the word “like” become prevalent? [duplicate]

When and why did the word "like" come to be used to introduce an action, or even as a meaningless filler word, e.g. "He was like, [action or quote]."
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1answer
408 views

Origin of “not for quids” phrase

At various times I've supposed the informal Australian phrase “not for quids” (which apparently is analogous to “not at any price”) derives from quid, which refers to sovereigns, or guineas. At ...
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What's a word that can mean both “good” and “bad”? [closed]

I've recently read about a word that was defined both as "shockingly good" and "shockingly bad", but I can't seem to recall the word. Does anyone know what it is? As far as I can recall, it was a ...
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3answers
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Where did the phrase “shut up” as an expression of disbelief or amazement originate?

I recently heard shut up used according to this definition in Urban dictionary. shut·up (shuht-up) --interjection 1. An expression of disbelief. 2. Amazement; astonishment. I've only ...
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2answers
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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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What is the origin of “have a gander”? (When meaning “look”.)

The phrase "have a gander" meaning "have a look" is common in the UK. (Also can be "have a goosey gander" or just "have a goosey".) What is the origin/meaning of this phrase? I always assumed that it ...
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1answer
334 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 ...
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Where does the word “minge” come from?

The slang term minge in the sense of quim dates from the beginning of the 20th century. However, neither the OED nor Etymonline has any idea where it came from. Here are two of the OED’s citations: ...
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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 ...
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2answers
809 views

Indirect, quoted speech: He's all

What does it mean, when someone is alluding to quoted speech, and says to be all something? Is this just slang? For example: "I'm all.. I don't think I'm gonna go". "And he's all.. I think you ...
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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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1answer
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When to use -Ites / Ians / Ish / An / Ni / Ese / Elsh / Er [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are there any rules governing what we call people from different countries? I have some confusion regarding usage of suffixes such as -ites / -ians / -ish. For example: ...
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2answers
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Origin of “s--t eating grin”

What is the origin of the phrase shit eating grin? How did it come to mean showing smugness or self-satisfaction of an individual's actions?
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4answers
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What is the meaning of the vernacular “beasted”?

Is anyone familiar with the vernacular term "beasted", used as a verb? e.g. I beasted my exam. My colleague's teenaged son used this exact phrase in a text-message. And she had no idea whether ...
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5answers
170 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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3answers
362 views

Origin of “name happened” form: from “s*** happens” via “magic happens”?

There’s a form in current English Then <X> happened or <X> happened, where you transition the name of a thing (a person, a fictitious character, or object), to mean the dramatic ...
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4answers
291 views

Why do the words ducky and jake mean fine or satisfactory?

Even the Merriam-Webster dictionary acknowledges both ducky and jake as acceptable terms meaning fine or satisfactory and it dates the word ducky back to 1897 and jake to 1914. Does anyone know how ...
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1answer
151 views

Why use 'I are' 'You is'?

I've seen many American and English people writing their sentences like this: I are... You is... While the way I've learned it, and seen most widely used is like this: I am You are ...
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3answers
803 views

Is there a non-colloquial equivalent term for “cool”?

As I get older (into my 30s) the less I feel like using youthful slang, and I take extra pride in using professional English. But I can't think of a word that is universally equivalent to the ...
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3answers
587 views

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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6answers
469 views

Is 'learn' the new 'teach'?

With seemingly increasing frequency I come across a phrase using 'learn' when I think it should be 'teach'. The classic example is 'that will learn them!', as in "Shoot all criminals - that will ...
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1answer
95 views

Why does pine feather period signify the period in a woman's life when she blossoms?

In a book titled From Flappers to Rappers it lists youth slang from the 1920s and one of the terms it lists is pine feather period. Pine feather period is defined as a period in a woman's life when ...
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0answers
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What is the origin of using the letters 'ZZZ' to symbolize a person sleeping? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How did the letter Z become to be associated with sleeping/snoring? In old cartoons and even now in other such media, often the letters 'zzz' are used to indicate that a ...
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4answers
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Is the phrase “move over” an official English idiom? And if so, is it only in American English?

Is the phrase "move over" an official English idiom known worldwide? I would like to know: Is it an official English idiom (not slang or colloquial)? Is it known outside of the US (e.g. in the UK, ...
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1answer
569 views

On being golden

Saying that [someone] is golden means that person is in a desirable situation that will likely lead to some sort of success. I am trying to find out the origin of this phrase. So far, I have found ...
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How prevalent is this reversal of “yes” and “no”? [duplicate]

Example: Aren't you going to the store? Where I am from, the correct answer indicating I am going to the store is yes. The contraction "not" is ignored. Is this sort of confusion prevalent ...
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How did the words “petting” and “necking” come to mean kissing with passion?

I'm sure most of you have heard "necking" to mean kissing with passion; however, before "necking" the popular word among American youth was "petting". From Flappers to Rappers: The Study of American ...
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132 views

The math problem is too difficult for `X` to work out

There are four options: everybody, somebody, anybody and nobody. Which one should be used in X place ?
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What do you call the main telephone number?

I understand that someone's work phone might have an extension. What do you call the main number of that office, which would normally be answered by an operator or a computer voice system? Would it ...
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2answers
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How about 'play cute' or 'play adorable'?

I wonder if 'play cute' or 'play adorable' is frequently used to stand for 'act cute/adorable' in spoken language. It seems easier to google out 'act cute/adorable' instead of 'play cute/adorable'.
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Using exclamation points as part of a brand name [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to handle a name that includes an exclamation point (or other punctuation)? I am editing a text about a product whose name contains an exclamation point as the final ...
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What are some slang terms for “newspaper”? [closed]

I'm looking for some slang terms for a newspaper, whether they are archaic terms that nobody has used in the past 70 years or modern, obscure terms.
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“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 ...