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

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Difference between two phrases [closed]

Which is more appropriate to say: We go on learning We go about learning
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Where does the phrase “in good nick” come from?

The term "in good nick" meaning "in a good condition" came up in conversation and I realised I had no idea where it came from. Searching online seems surprisingly fruitless- there are several roots ...
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2answers
83 views

Origin of 'Son of a Gun' [duplicate]

According to the OED a 'son of a gun' was a child born to a woman who accompanied her husband on a Royal Navy gunship. However I distinctly remember hearing on a BBC Radio 4 history programme that the ...
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3answers
216 views

What do Australians mean when they say 'He came a gutsa'?

What does it mean to 'Come a gutsa'? I think I may have the Australian spelling right.
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6answers
396 views

Odd, but unoffensive slang or idioms [closed]

I'm putting a character in a book who is replacing all typical swear words, exclamations, or name calling with old fashioned or little known words. For instance, exclaiming "Snails" instead of Damn or ...
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Could 'otwards' or even 'hotwards' ever be accepted into the language?

I've just woken early from a vivid dream. (must be the local ale - we are in Yorkshire at the moment). I was in an inferno of an industrial kitchen where they were manufacturing 'ready-meals'. One ...
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4answers
500 views

Why do the British refer to things as 'posh'

Why do the British refer to something very smart, or people who are very well-off as being 'posh'?
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399 views

Origin of “chuck a wobbly”?

Chuck a wobbly is Australian slang for someone throwing a tantrum, and I like it because it invokes amusing imagery. I'm not certain of its origins however. I can see how it may be equivalent to the ...
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2answers
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What is the origin of the idiom “tight fit” meaning a good joke?

I've recently been studying etymology and I received a book titled Flappers 2 Rappers: A Study of American Youth Slang written by Dr. Thomas Dalzell. Dr. Dalzell's research goes as far back as the ...
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7answers
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Alternative term to 'Uncle Tom' for a black or colored person who is subservient to whites?

In Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, the eponymous character was meant to be a sort of model of resistance against slavery, a man who whose "devotion to his fellow slaves is so unshakable that he ...
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4answers
354 views

Boogie - Negative connotation?

I work in a company which has a product called "Boogie" (for reasons that the original owner knows). The product has been called that way for years in our French Canadian environment. Our few English ...
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1answer
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What is the meaning of “backslash”

I have seen several people use the word backslash, it sounds like something similar to disaster, bad result, etc. But I am not quite sure what it means and when I should use it. Examples: But ...
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What word should I use to describe a kid who has pooped in their underwear?

I have seen some kids who can't go to the restroom in time and their poops stain on their underwear. I would like to know what word I can use to describe this situation?
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Etymology of “div”

Acting like a div yesterday:- a stupid or foolish person I started to wonder how this term of abuse came about. Urban Dictionary has a quaint tale:- Actually originates from prison slang in ...
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9answers
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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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1answer
157 views

When did “Twerking” and “Selfie” enter the dictionary?

I read in the news that twerking and selfie have been added to dictionary recently. Did it give any origin? Is there any information or details about them?
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2answers
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Honey badger don't / doesn't care! [duplicate]

Why is it "Honey Badger don't care!" and not "Honey Badger doesn't care!" ?
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2answers
769 views

What is the origin of the slang 'kicks' meaning sneakers

Street culture uses the term 'kicks' to describe sneakers/athletic shoes. I've been using this term for as long as I can remember so I'm comfortable with it's meaning however, as I'm sure I could make ...
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5answers
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Is there a derogatory word for “mobile phone” (cellphone) similar to “idiot box” for a television?

My father called our TV "the idiot box". Implying either that it had idiots on it, was targeted at idiots, or you were an idiot if you watched it too much. Is there any similar term in use but ...
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Does “This blows!” (it's bad) derive from “This sucks!”?

The origin of blow = suck, be bad/unpleasant recently came up in comments to this ELL question. I'd always assumed it was a standard slang "meaning reversal" from suck. But a few minutes on Google ...
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“Screwed” vs. “nailed”: why is the slang so different?

While the two names nail and screw have similar shapes and functions, why do the verbs differ so much? Someone has screwed something sounds like they have ruined something to me, while someone has ...
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4answers
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“aim life with money” [closed]

I am planning for a tattoo with image of target logo. and the caption I thought is "Aim life with money" Money being an arrow and the life being the "center of target". I wanna make a point as in.. ...
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2answers
414 views

Is incharge/encharge a word? [closed]

I always thought the word incharge/encharge existed but I noticed my spell check kept marking it as wrong. Examples: "Who is encharge around here!?" The secretary is encharge of taking notes. I find ...
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2answers
575 views

What does the expression “rabbit-out-of-a-hat” mean? [duplicate]

I read this phrase on a guide for texts about mathematical logic, it says that this proof is “rabbit-out-of-a-hat”. What does this mean? Is it a slang expression? The exact sentence is: A ...
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1answer
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Ogooglebar , ungoogleable or agoogleable?

If something cant be found after searching on google. Ogooglebar or some other term? Predictions? Is there already an accepted term?
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What does “do a take 5” mean?

The context is “We will always do a TAKE 5 prior to undertaking work”. I have no idea what a “take 5” is. I searched “take 5” on Google but I didn’t find an applicable explanation. Here is the ...
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2answers
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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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What does “saving the world, one X at a time” mean?

Does it mean that you are using X to save the world, or that you are saving the world by eliminating one X at a time?
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Just once I'd like a PB & PB

Not sure if that has a special meaning but I heard it in a movie: Just once I’d like a PB & PB. What does it mean? Here is a cartoon:
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1answer
101 views

Is the colloquial Australian term 'festy' actually a word?

Usage: "I would not like to eat that pie as it looks all festy since you dropped it on the ground." Is the colloquial Australian term 'festy' actually a word? Also, is it used elsewhere in the world? ...
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2answers
228 views

Is it right/appropriate to say “double bag it?”

What one would say to get another (plastic) bag for carrying heavy groceries? Is it right to tell the cashier "would you please double bag it?" I am asking this question because when I tried to ...
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1answer
501 views

Are words with negative meaning used to describe positive things by the youth? [closed]

In Germany, kids of age 10 to 15 tend to evolve a language pattern that uses a certain word that has a negative connotation to describe everything they approve of, be it an impressive slam-dunk or ...
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Would the word “tween” be considered a portmanteau or is it just a truncation?

Is it the word "between", but truncated, or a portmanteau of "in between" and "teen"?
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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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Is calling a homosexual person “gay” offensive?

My native language is German but I’ve been watching a lot of TV in English. During a conversation about the English language, a question about the term gay came up. Is calling a homosexual person gay ...
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“wanna” or “wanna” to? [closed]

Sometimes I hear "wanna do something," but other times I hear "wanna to do something." In the dictionary, I found that wanna means "want to." Why do some people use "wanna to"?
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Anyroad and Anyway

As far as I know, anyway is a common word used by both American and British English speakers to mean in any case, nevertheless, etc. I never thought much about the word until I noticed that British ...
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397 views

Cut the lights on

This expression is commonly used in the southern United States from Oklahoma to Virginia, and is patently illogical, and yet fails to inspire any consternation or lack of semantic connection. On a ...
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that's some good sh*t

I found a web site called http://shitformakingwebsites.com/ to find excellent-quality materials for work. I started wondering why "sh*t" can be used so positively here. I have a similar question ...
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1answer
391 views

Is it offensive to refer to someone as a bird? [closed]

Is it offensive to refer to someone as a bird? Is it similar to calling someone a chick in the US? What's the difference?
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2answers
152 views

What in the world is “neckbeard vomit”?

A user of U&L posted the following comment in response to somebody's answer: That's some neckbeard vomit right there. Nice. I investigated and discovered that neckbeard, unsurprisingly, ...
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Is “Marco Polo” slang?

I have heard some people utter "Marco Polo" in distress or shocking cases. Is it slang? Or is it used as something else? Can someone great as Marco Polo be used as an abusive word?
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What is “chopsing the ref”?

Adam Jones, the Wales and Lions prop, was reported as saying about his policy regarding the referee before yesterday's match:- You have to get the ref on the right side of you. You don't want to ...
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What's the origin and popularity of the word “boss” in the context of refering to the person you're talking with?

In a video game called "Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines", a character called "Gorgeous Gary Golden", always refers to the player as "boss". Here are some examples from that first dialog: ...
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Where can I find a list of colloquial abbreviations for cities? [closed]

I'm seeking a list of commonly used abbreviations for US cities (and also European cities, but let's start with the US). When I say abbreviations, that could be anything from 2 letters or more that ...
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6answers
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What is a polite substitute for badass (used as a noun)? [closed]

Badass and BAMF are both modern words with approximately the same meaning: "Someone who is awesome to an extreme level, thereby leveraging unquestionable authority." Is there another noun or title ...
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3answers
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What is the exact meaning of “You've got yourself a deal”? Is it only an American slang?

I came across the phrase, ‘got yourself a deal’ being introduced as a vulgar American English by a character in Jeffery Archer’s, fiction “The Fourth Estate.” In the scene Keith Townsend, Australian ...
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1answer
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Why can a bird be pulled but never caught?

In the UK there is a popular idiomatic saying: To pull a bird. "Bird" is a well known Brit expression for a young woman. In the USA, I think "chick" is more popular. The above expression means ...
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1answer
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“22 Acacia Avenue” British idiom

What is the meaning of this British idiom? I was watching BBC's Top Gear and the presenters were cracking jokes about people who live in the 22 of the avenues. And that the people who live there like ...
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Is “hang” really short for “hang out”? [closed]

I saw this entry in Urban Dictionary (I know, not the best place for formal English, but it does do a pretty good job at collecting slang). 1.hang short for "hang out" "I'm just gonna ...