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

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Is a tin-ear one who dislikes music or one who dislikes new popular music? Why?

I know folks who couldn't hear well used to use a tin-ear to help but I don't understand the connection between a tin-ear and a dislike of music or of new popular music.
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3answers
601 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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5answers
12k views

Why does to “take a powder” mean to run away or to leave?

From Flappers to Rappers: American youth slang by Dr. Thomas Dalzell cites "take a powder" as a 1930s expression meaning to run away or to leave. Does anyone have any ideas why taking a powder would ...
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2answers
197 views

Why does to “cheek it” mean to bluff?

From Flappers to Rappers: American Youth Slang by Dr. Thomas Dalzell cites the 1930s expression "cheek it" as meaning to bluff. I don't quite understand why and I'm hoping someone on here may help me ...
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1answer
237 views

Where did “I lost it” come from?

People on Reddit often comment "I lost it" while quoting the funniest part of a joke to highlight how funny that part is. As I don't speak English much, I am not sure if this is Reddit-specific, but I ...
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2answers
246 views

What does “cooks crystal” mean?

Jack Reaper: So he works here? Sandy: Ya. It's bullshit though. He cooks crystal. I saw this conversation in the movie called Jack Reaper. What does "cooks crystal" mean? From the context it ...
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1answer
302 views

Old slang words for a kiss--cherry smashes and honey cooler--why?

Cherry smashes are defined as feeble kisses and a honey cooler is simply a kiss. Cherry smashes was slang from the 1920s and a honey cooler was slang from the 1930s. Any ideas why feeble kisses would ...
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91 views

Is an excessively shy person a “gussie”?

I'm sure most of us are familiar with a shrinking violet as being an excessively shy person; however, while reading from Flappers to Rappers: History of American Youth Slang Dr. Dalzell defines a ...
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1answer
200 views

Need clarification about some metaphors/slangs used by a girl I met online [closed]

Hi I was talking to this girl online and she uses lots of metaphors and slangs out of which few of them just gone over my head so I would appreciate if you guys could help me out understanding the ...
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1answer
67 views

Why does “to wire” mean to trick?

A Collection of College Words & Customs written by Benjamin Homer Hall in 1856 defines a "wire" as a trick and I'm curious to know if it is of any relation to a magician using invisible wire to ...
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3answers
262 views

How does the word “gas” relate to cheating and deception?

According to A Collection of College Words & Customs by Benjamin Homer Hall, written in 1856 I believe, gas is defined as cheating or deceiving someone. Any ideas why that may be?
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1answer
317 views

Why were “skin” and “niggle” slang words meaning to hurry?

I've read in a book From Flappers to Rappers: The Study of American Youth Slang two words used commonly within the same decade 1900-1910 meaning to hurry were "skin" and "niggle". I'm puzzled as to ...
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Meaning of “put it down”

What does "put it down" mean in Brandy's song? I tried googling it, but all I got was the song's lyrics.
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1answer
413 views

Why does “all to the mustard” mean excellent?

While reading P.G. Wodehouse's The Inimitable Jeeves I came across a fascinating expression of "all to the mustard!" It is defined as meaning excellent. Why? Can anyone please help me understand this ...
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3answers
173 views

Priscilla = a girl who prefers to stay home: who might this term have been based on?

From Flappers to Rappers, a book of American youth slang, records "Priscilla" as a 1920s slang word for a girl who prefers to stay home. I'm curious to know why the author chose that name. Is there a ...
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2answers
149 views

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

A book titled Flappers 2 Rappers 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 she ...
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3answers
297 views

what is the word for someone not trying their best or performing badly on purpose?

It sounds like a street slang, but both webster and urban dictionary gave the same definition. Can't remember what the word/phrase for it is - like when someone plays bad at first to hustle someone ...
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2k views

Can I call my close friends “Old Sport” nowadays?

I wonder, can I call my close friends "Old Sport" nowadays? What about my close female friends?
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3k views

Meaning and origin of British/Australian slang word 'tut'

About twenty years ago I overheard a girl from the north of England laughingly advise a friend to get ready for a night out by telling her to 'slap some tut on your face'. She clearly meant 'put on ...
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2answers
2k views

Terminology for a “group selfie”

A selfie is a kind of casual self-portrait. People often take selfies that include a significant other or multiple friends, and I’m curious whether there is any established terminology or slang for ...
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1answer
555 views

Is there a pejorative term or phrase that lesbians use to refer to straight women?

Is there a pejorative term or phrase that lesbians use to refer to straight women? There seems to be a wealth of terms (both offensive and inoffensive) that are used in the other direction. I ask ...
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6answers
130 views

What is an alternative word for “downvote”

I am curious about what another way to describe the negative action of "downvoting" could be. Is there another word out there that could be used as a replacement?
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Did the slang term “The Bomb” meaning “Very Cool” come from the American Jazz scene?

Searching Google for the history of the slang term "the bomb" (as in "That song is the bomb") yields a number of results in 40s/50s jazz glossaries, but they tend to at best give an artificial example ...
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4answers
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Warmth of a seat that has been vacated by a person who was sitting on it

I fail to recall this word (could be informal in nature) that refers to the 'warmth of a seat that has just been vacated by someone seated on it for some time'. Anyone?
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1answer
262 views

What does “I had every last one of them” mean?

I heard this quote from a Channel 4 sitcom the IT crowd I'm gonna go, I may not come back but I want to say this. That accounts team, I had every last one of them. It is said by Douglas ...
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3answers
1k views

What is the military term for calling attention to yourself, in a negative way?

There is a military term or idiom, which I cannot recall exactly, that essentially means calling negative attention to yourself. For example, you are doing something you know you shouldn't be doing. ...
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3answers
772 views

Is “Missus” used as a word in American English?

In the book "Geisha", Liza Dalby writes the following about schools for wearing kimonos (for Japanese people): The text of one school calls for an elderly lady to wear her kimono "with dignity"; a ...
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1answer
2k views

Who invented “dooblidoo”?

The word dooblidoo is used by several different youtube channels as a different word for the youtube description bar. I've seen it used by the vlogbrothers and by PBS Idea Cahnnel. Who was first to ...
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5answers
7k views

What do you call someone who is obsessed with video games?

A slang word which means someone addicted to playing video or computer games. A gameholic? It can't be nerd or geek because those expressions denote the person may indeed be eccentric, a loner, and ...
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1answer
296 views

Translation of slang *pass*

I have a movie (The wolf of wall street) I'm translating (subtitling) with the dialog below, and I really don't have a clue what this pass is about. I'd appreciate a help understanding it. -I'm ...
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1answer
331 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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2k views

“The next big thing” phrase

Is the phrase "The next big thing" considered a formal or a slang phrase? Especially when communicating with a professional committee.
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“perhapsy” as a slang term for “perhaps”

I've recently heard somebody answered "Yes, perhapsy." Or could it be "perhapsee"? Could this be used as a slang term for "perhaps"? It happened in NYC area a few weeks ago.
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874 views

What do we call people who work out at home?

This question was very interesting: What do we call people who go to the gym? Now I am wondering if there is a word for someone like me who works out at home. What I refer to is weight training, work ...
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1answer
601 views

I find that this monologue is very hard to understand [closed]

This is monologue from Caddyshack movie, which's become pretty famous internet mem. And some points of his speech are hard for understanding for me. So I jump ship in Hong Kong and make my way ...
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1answer
307 views

Why don't we teach slang in schools? [closed]

The English language is always evolving, and current day slang will soon become mainstream, just as much our current vocabulary originated as slang. If so, then why is it is writing/speaking slang ...
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Why are promiscuous women known as “slappers”?

Women who aren't interested in much more than sex are referred to as "slappers" in British English. British informal, derogatory a promiscuous or vulgar woman. Why is this? I can't find any ...
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2answers
1k views

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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2answers
188 views

Is “Where is your mother at?” grammatical? [duplicate]

When querying: Where is your mother at? Is that considered to be proper English language usage? Alternatively, you could just state more simply: Where is your mother? Is adding the ...
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A phrase for 'a free, informal space for learning'

What could be a short phrase for 'a free and informal space for learning?'
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1k views

What's the etymology of “humdinger”?

A humdinger is a remarkable or outstanding person or thing. The OED has it as originally US dating (as hum-dinger) from 1905, but says the origin is unknown. Where does the word humdinger come from? ...
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1k views

Where does the word “*ag” come from?

Once upon a time in America, particularly during the 1970s, if you asked an American whether they ‘fancied a shag’, they might well have thought of this: And therefore declined the offer for fear ...
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Come on, don’t be such a nimrod!

According to the OED, the word English Nimrod is derived from the Hebrew, where in Genesis 10:8–9 he is described as ‘a mighty one in the earth’ and ‘a mighty hunter before the Lord’. It is ...
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1answer
534 views

Where does “noogie” come from?

The OED says noogie means a "hard poke or grind with the knuckles, esp. on a person's head" with a first quotation from 1968. They say it was popularised by Saturday Night Live in the late 1970s but ...
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7answers
15k views

What does “ratchet” mean and when was it first used?

The word ratchet is all over Twitter. Some real examples from just now: "All these ghetto ass ratchet ass girls at mchi are wearing these Santa hats, and they all claim to be Santa..." "I was ...
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3answers
7k views

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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Where does the word “jism” come from?

Another word of mysterious origins of jism, in the sense of spunk. The OED mentions it is sometimes spelled jizz, and may even be the precursor word to jazz. But neither the OED nor Etymonline ...
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1answer
2k views

Where does the word “spliff” come from?

Neither the OED and Etymonline has any answer to the etymology of the word. The latter does suggest it may have an origin in the Caribbean, but offers nothing better. The first citation is from ...
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1answer
6k views

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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5k views

Where did the word “quim” come from?

Both the OED and Etymonline offer no clue as to origin of the slang term quim, meaning minge. The OED’s earliest citations are from the 18th, which isn’t quite as old as Adam, but has certainly been ...