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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
2answers
1k views

Where does “I'll go he” come from, and is there more to the phrase?

I understand the meaning of the saying "I'll go he", but does anyone know where it comes from? The researcher here seems to think that there is a couple of words left off.
3
votes
2answers
174 views

OED Appeals: Antedatings of “party animal”

The OED has made a public appeal for help in tracing the history of some English words, including: party animal noun earlier than 1982 When the OED added its entry for party animal, ...
4
votes
2answers
192 views

Usage of hain't

According to Dictionary.com, ain't has two meanings: Nonstandard except in some dialects. am not; are not; is not. Nonstandard. have not; has not; do not; does not; did not. When I ...
4
votes
1answer
184 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 ...
-1
votes
8answers
216 views

Non-offensive equivalent to KISS [closed]

Is there a non-offensive way to tell someone: is better to (k)eep (i)t (s)imple, (s)... Update Let's say someone came with his part of the homework done, then it turns out to be a rather ...
4
votes
1answer
902 views

Does “awe” have a colloquial meaning (similar to “awesome”)?

The meaning of awe is given in dictionaries as "an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime" (this definition is from ...
-2
votes
1answer
2k views

Origin of “can't be asked” [closed]

I was wondering about the phrase "can't be asked" and I haven't been able to find out anything definite about it. Does it have an earliest known usage? Is it an accidental or a deliberate mutation of ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Origin of “for the birds” (Trivial; worthless; only of interest to gullible people.)

I really have looked, but the best I can come up with is this To say that something is "for the birds" is to call it horse manure. Dating from the days of horse-drawn traffic, the expression is ...
3
votes
3answers
602 views

Is “ain’t” slang, or is it colloquial instead?

Does using the word ain’t in a song make it slang, whereas using it in a speech make it colloquial?
4
votes
5answers
416 views

Was there textspeak before texting?

2b |! 2b, < = ? With such a rich history of inventive writing and puns, it seemed bizarre to me that the idea of writing in txtspk would be a new one. I found a brief degree of truncation in ...
1
vote
2answers
641 views

Explanation for “them's”

Recently someone said to me: Them's the rules I thought he had the sentence wrong, but as it turns out it is slang. I am learning English as a second language and I would really appreciate if ...
0
votes
2answers
961 views

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 ...
6
votes
3answers
243 views

Origin and scope of “cruft”

I just had to look up "cruft" (jargon for software or hardware that is of poor quality), as used in a comment to an earlier question. But I can't find any details of etymology, and I don't know how ...
1
vote
1answer
304 views

A single word for “blind” and “slow on the uptake” [closed]

We have a word tiomny in Russian which has the meanings blind, dim, and dumb. Is there a word (possibly slang) in American English which is as close in meaning to both blind and slow on the uptake?
-1
votes
1answer
5k views

The meaning of “What's she gonna look like with a chimney on her” [closed]

Title - Feel It Artist - The Tamperer ft. Maya You got it on the side A little one night thing I thought it over and this time I will forgive you Well I'm not letting go But don't forget ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Reflexive love: where does “love me some …” come from?

It seems trendy to use a reflexive-like construction with love or hate plus some, like this: You know I love me some cheese! I hate me some cold and the temperature is dropping. Where did this ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

“I'm on the brew”

A conversation between two Scots: — What do you do for a living? — I'm on the brew. Assuming that I have the phrase right, what exactly does "on the brew" mean here? Based on the context, I ...
3
votes
1answer
17k views

Nerd vs. Geek vs. Dork [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Which term correctly identifies those who enjoy programming/technology: “geek” or “nerd”? I'm somewhat perplexed on the usages of these terms. Most references appear an ...
-1
votes
2answers
355 views

Human verbs for things - bad style? [closed]

In writing on an academic topic concerned with IT systems and business stuff, my aim is to write with active formulations which liven the text. But I'm noticing that I tend to use human verbs for ...
0
votes
1answer
273 views

86 it ! using 86 as a verb [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What does the term “86’d” relate to? I found that you can say "86 something" as a verb when we want to "cancel" something... Is it used for everything?? For example, ...
4
votes
3answers
985 views

Why abbreviation for “Definition” as “Def^n” (math context)

I've seen in math and physics lectures delivered in English, that people use to abreviate the commonly very used word "Definition" by "Def n"(Def superscript n). What's the meaning of this n? That is, ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Meaning and acceptability of “One fifty” when speaking of dollars

I was watching Errol Morris' ‘11 Excellent Reasons Not to Vote?’. At some point, the dialog goes this way: ― If I could sell my vote, I probably would. ― How much? ― How much? Psssh... ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is a black eye called a “shiner”?

I saw a photograph of Chris Robshaw, the Harlequins captain, in the paper yesterday sporting a magnificent shiner, and naturally started to wonder where the term originated. Consulting Etymonline ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

I have questions coming out the yin-yang about yin-yang phrases!

Yin Yang is the Chinese philosophy of Light and Shadow, often signifying the need for balance or that everything exists in balance. But the (reasonably enjoyable to use) phrase Up the Ying Yang ...
-2
votes
1answer
361 views

Is it derogatory to call user a punter?

I've been wondering whether it is somewhat derogatory to call a user a punter. For instance, We should encourage punters to participate in the discussions. Update: My apologies — I owe you an ...
7
votes
4answers
750 views

“Muppet” in American English

I see an event is being organised in Washington, DC, called the Million Muppet March. In British English (at least) a muppet has no very positive a connotation:- muppet (ˈmʌpɪt) — n slang ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Meaning of the phrase “hacked by someone” — but not in context of computers

What does it mean when a girl says that she "hasn't been hacked [by a boy]"? Dictionaries give us only computer-related meanings of "hack"; does it have any other meaning?
4
votes
1answer
331 views

Substituting special characters or numerals for letters/word parts

Is there a word or phrase to describe a substituting a dingbat, special character or number for a letter or portion of a word? Examples: The Chicago Bulls successfully achieved a 3peat. "In ...
3
votes
2answers
289 views

Has “Fat Belt” been established as a metonymy for the Midwest? Doesn’t it sound derogatory to the Midwesterners?

I found the word, “Fat Belt” in the headline of the article in Time magazine (October 11 issues), titled “Salad restaurant chains sprouting up even in the ‘Fat Belt.’” The article reads: “Salad ...
2
votes
1answer
494 views

What does it mean “to rock a coat”?

What does it mean "to rock a coat"? Does it mean to wear it? Still rocking my J Crew navy peacoat. Thing is warm as f-k. Zara-man coat I bought in Copenhagen in 2008. Still rocking it, still ...
2
votes
3answers
616 views

Origin of word “xfered” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do some words have “X” as a substitute? I came upon the word "xfered" recently. From what I gather, it means "transferred", and I believe it is used in ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Why does “klick” mean kilometer in US military slang?

Wiktionary says it is either likely a pseudo-condensed pronunciation of kilometer or onomatopoeic of the sound of a military odometer. Though kilometers are not commonly used to measure distance ...
-3
votes
1answer
438 views

What is the origin of the nickname “Money Making Manhattan”? [closed]

What is the origin of the nickname "Money Making Manhattan" for the borough of Manhattan in New York City?
0
votes
5answers
418 views

Is there a word to describe the unintelligent/streety way some people talk? [closed]

This type of communication frequently leaves the 'g' off the end of words. "Talking" becomes "talkin'". Also, it combines certain small phrases into one. "What's that?" becomes "Wuzzat?" The best ...
2
votes
4answers
405 views

Simple word/ slang for “Re-share a content”

I need a simple(commonly used/known) word or short slang(2 words max.) which means to re-share a piece of information with your network of friends. Something just like "Share" on social networks. ...
4
votes
1answer
585 views

proper way to write the slang term for “gravitational force”

I came across something very similar to this in a thriller novel: At this stage, the rocket is experiencing its maximum acceleration, say about ten gees. Here, the author has spelled out the ...
8
votes
2answers
185 views

Etymology of “catch a bosso”

Reading Look to the Lady, by Margery Allingham, I came across the apparent slang "catch a bosso," used by Lugg, the Cockney manservant, at the beginning of Chapter 6: As soon as I caught a bosso ...
9
votes
2answers
256 views

Etymology of “ruggit”?

I did something stupid yesterday. "What a ruggit", I said to myself, meaning a stupid person. It occurred to me I hadn't heard the word for a while, so I looked it up, and found this source here ...
0
votes
1answer
584 views

“Pain in the neck” and similar expressions [closed]

Are there any other expressions equivalent in meaning to "pain in the neck" that mention another part of the body (e.g, "pain in the ass")? How would you rate each of those expressions (including the ...
2
votes
3answers
863 views

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. ...
0
votes
2answers
669 views

Phrase for expressing victory and teasing the opponent [closed]

I'm looking for a slang term that can be used when someone has defeated their opponent and the opponent is speechless and gave up the challenge. So he might want to to brag about how weak the opponent ...
0
votes
2answers
817 views

How long is “in a second”? [closed]

When someone says "give me a second", or "one second please", how long do they actually mean? Do they mean "will give you a response as soon as I can", or "in a short time, around 5 minutes"
5
votes
1answer
750 views

Why do we say a check “bounced”?

A "bounced check" is a check that cannot be processed by the bank because the party who wrote the check has insufficient funds to cover the amount of the check. (To my understanding it is a non-formal ...
0
votes
1answer
928 views

“sit back and relax” vs. “kick back and relax”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why 'kick back' can mean 'get relaxed'? I have seen so many times "Sit back and relax" while installing softwares. I understand that it means it will ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

The use of “hey” in North America

Having had my formative years in New Zealand, I was born in South Africa. I vaguely recall when I was VERY young having someone tell me when I said "hey" that "hay is what horses eat". I got that ...
6
votes
4answers
11k views

Origin of current slang usage of the word 'sick' to mean 'great'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How and why have some words changed to a complete opposite? How did 'sick' come to mean 'awesome' or 'really good / cool' in modern U.S. slang? I'm interested in origins ...
3
votes
1answer
597 views

Where do East End / Gangster slang terms for numbers relating to money originate?

Words like 'monkey', 'pony', 'ton' and so on are used by East End villains and Cockneys to denote numbers - ton is one hundred for example. Examples abound in popular culture (The Krays, Only Fools ...
4
votes
2answers
245 views

Is there any connection between Polari and Nadsat?

While reading the Wikipedia article on Polari, I was struck by the similarities between Polari words and these used by the Droogies in Clockwork Orange. Does anyone know if there are any links between ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

What does “and then some” mean and why is it used that way?

It seems that a good explanation of "and then some" is: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/and+then+some and then some (Informal) With considerably more in addition: This project will take ...
9
votes
6answers
3k views

Etymology of “to be like” meaning “to say”

It seems that "to be like" is an informal phrase for "to say". E.g. She was so angry, she was like "I'm breaking up with you", and I was like "I'm sorry", and she was like "Go away". Is this a ...