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

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Origin and meaning of the American 1960s slang phrase, “bread is”

I am trying to answer a question from a library patron who remembers the entire phrase, "bread is" that she and her friends used in the 1960s. She accepts that "bread" was used for money or "dough," ...
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2answers
23k views

Meaning and origin of “That dog don't hunt”

Is That dog don't hunt an American slang expression? What does it mean exactly and where does it originate? If possible, please give some examples.
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2answers
3k views

Full of (piss|pith) and vinegar

Re: the expression: "Full of (piss|pith) and vinegar" Are both correct/acceptable? Is one preferred?
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3answers
676 views

Do Americans “gee things up”, or is it just a British usage?

As a Brit, I've always thought to "gee things up" (often followed by "a bit") was a relatively well-known Americanism - probably because I assume most figurative usages relating to horses come from ...
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2answers
662 views

Is “shvisle” a real or made up word? [closed]

I've come across the word in this captchart: "Yo, my nizzle, can you pass me that shvisle?". Is it supposed to mean something? I've easly found the meaning of nizzle, but I'm at a loss with shvisle. ...
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2answers
233 views

What is the social context of “pizzazz”?

The word can also be written "pzaz" and "pizazz". I have found some definitions, but I want a synonym. As English is not my natural tongue, I also don't exactly know what it means socially. Is it the ...
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5answers
13k views

How to spell “the youzhe” as in the abbreviation of “the usual”

The usual is a common reply to what will you order? or what are you up to?. It is often abbreviated, in Canada, to the first syllable of usual, as in the youzhe. How would you spell this abbreviation? ...
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2answers
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Use of “deadpool” as a verb

I recently came across this term while examining a set of properties in a JSON feed relating to a startup company: ... "deadpooled_year": null, "deadpooled_month": null, "deadpooled_day": null, ...
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3answers
5k views

Is “embiggen” considered a formal or slang word?

If my memory serves me correctly, I first encountered the word embiggen a year or so ago. I thought it seemed odd, but in context, the meaning was quite obvious. Since that time I've seen this word ...
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2answers
1k views

Where does the phrase “dead simple” originate?

It feels like there should be a story behind it, or perhaps a type of slang, but I can't find anything in various Web searches.
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1answer
2k views

What is the etymology of “fanboi”?

In a recent Daring Fireball post, John Gruber wondered about the origin of "fanboi" as a spelling of "fanboy". I tried searching for this, but couldn't find anything definitive. Harry McCracken has ...
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1answer
2k views

What does it mean to “drink a lot of haterade”?

A friend recently posted on their Facebook status that she has "apparently been drinking lots of haterade lately"[sic]. Does this mean other people are annoyed with her or she's annoyed with other ...
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2answers
646 views

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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3answers
1k views

Is “wtf” an abbreviation or a euphemism?

In the English language we have a lot of euphemisms for profanities that take the form of abbreviations; for instance, people may say the f-word or the s-word if they don't want to say fuck and shit. ...
6
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1answer
688 views

What is the origin of the idiom “Hong Kong dog”?

Does anybody know the origin of the idiom "Hong Kong dog"? EDIT: I'm more interested in how the idiom came into being rather than when it first appeared in mainstream media. Something like the guess ...
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8answers
1k views

What would you call a person who is not a student, but takes interest in exploring academic topics?

A person who is not formally enrolled as a student, researcher or faculty in some university or college but who takes interest in exploring academic topics/stuff. For e.g. Such a person could be ...
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3answers
966 views

A negative person [closed]

What is the best word that I could use to describe a person that seems to attract negative situations? Every time I am around him/her, something bad always seems to happen. Is there a word to describe ...
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3answers
3k views

Origin of the phrase “for the win”?

Just curious as to where "for the win" (commonly abbreviated FTW) originated?
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4answers
124 views

“How long do we have?”

Which of the following is correct? How much time do we have until class starts? How long do we have until class starts?
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3answers
546 views

Is there an alternative expression for 'opening band' or 'opening act'? [closed]

The question says it all. Together with a colleague we were looking for this. We both had the feeling that there's another way to say it.
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5answers
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“Bash” vs. “party”

Our management team ask us to join a pizza/beer bash, which is essentially nothing but a pizza lunch held for all employees. My concept of the word bash still remained somewhere near the name of the ...
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3answers
13k views

What is the origin of “call a spade a spade” and does it have racial connotations?

Now that we know how to punctuate the phrase “call a spade a spade” I am curious where it originated and what the original meaning was. Also, the term “spade” can have negative racial connotations ...
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1answer
2k views

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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1answer
1k views

Origin of “tootsie” or “tootsy” (foot)

I was just sitting thinking I had cold tootsies meaning my toes or feet! This got me wondering, where on earth does the word tootsie/tootsy come from? I did Google this and got definitions ...
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2answers
219 views

“Kvell” word usage

I kvell over Zhang Bin's drawings I'm a bit biased about "kvell" word usage. It is on Urban Dictionary ( http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=kvell ), but seems to be pretty ...
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2answers
1k views

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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3answers
425 views

“My pigs are killing me!”

How has the word "pigs" come to be used as slang for feet? As in the phrase: My pigs are killing me! It seems to me that "pigs" and "feet" have very little in common. I'm not sure how common ...
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3answers
1k views

“It's a-me !” — just an imitation of an Italian accent or something more?

I've seen and heard this at various times: It's a-me! [first name]! (Most of the time, seemingly as a reference to Mario.) I was wondering what the intent was behind the construction "a-me". Is ...
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4answers
9k views

Why “shrink” (of a psychiatrist)?

I know it originates from "head shrinking", but it doesn't help me a lot to understand the etymology. Why are psychiatrists called that? Is it like "my head is swollen [from anguish, misery, stress, ...
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1answer
3k views

Common expressions of surprise in American and British English [closed]

I'm trying to learn English and I would like to know what are the expressions of surprise with positive meaning (slang or not, but not vulgar) currently used in spoken English for USA and Britain. Is ...
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2answers
7k views

Where did the slang usages of “cool” come from?

I see and hear two general slang usages of cool - one meaning great (illustrated by a and b below), and one meaning acceptable/okay (illustrated by c and d). The following are Dictionary.com's four ...
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1answer
356 views

Why are “bollocks!” so often “old”?

Prompted by this question (How old is “Bollocks!”?), I wonder why it's so often "old bollocks". Where I live (South-East England), "giving it all that old bollocks" is a fairly common expression in ...
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2answers
2k views

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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2answers
915 views

Is the expression “to float someone's boat” possible outside of “Whatever floats your boat”?

According to the Urban Dictionary, the expression "whatever floats your boat" means [...] whatever "soothes your soul" or whatever "works best" Aka- Whatever you feel like doing. Is it possible ...
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1answer
2k views

Why is 'shucks' (as in 'aw, shucks') used with an '-s' ending?

I understand that 'shucks' is a slang that is: used especially to express mild disappointment or embarrassment and this definition is listed separately from 'shuck' (the verb/noun) in ...
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4answers
2k views

Why is the movie named “Hot Fuzz”?

"Hot Fuzz" is a british comedy-action-thriller movie from 2007, "fuzz" being a derogatory slang term for police. Is there any additional pun or play of words in the use of "Hot"? Or is it simply ...
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3answers
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Origin of “toffee-nosed”

What's the origin of toffee-nosed (snobbish, disdainful, stuck-up)? Is it related to "toff" (upper-class)?
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4answers
6k views

Why is a bathroom sometimes called a “john”?

"John" is sometimes used as slang for a bathroom or a toilet. I'm curious, what is the origin of this usage?
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1answer
465 views

What is the origin of “eyewash”?

I was passing a sign today that said Eyewash, meaning a place where one could wash an eye that had some foreign matter in it; a common thing in laboratories and factories. But the first impression I ...
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10answers
5k views

What's the origin of “yo”?

I have some friends, and they say “Yo!” when I call them. I haven”t heard this response until quite recently (somehow), and I thought it was some word coined by rappers in their songs, and was adopted ...
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3answers
3k views

Origin of “in a pig's eye”

This Wikipedia article says that "in a pig's eye" is rhyming slang for "lie", but I'm not convinced. The article also claims "in a pig's bottom" exists as a variant - but I doubt that's ever had any ...
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2answers
333 views

Why do exciting things “rock”?

Rock (v): 6. Slang. to be very good, impressive, exciting, or effective: This show really rocks. So where did this odd usage originate?
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3answers
2k views

What could I say instead of “raise the roof”?

What is another way of saying, "raise the roof"? This slang phrase means something like, "get noisy and have a good time at a party," but it doesn't sound correct for some reasons. Why is that? What ...
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3answers
114 views

Meaning of “take”

Context (New York Times), Today, sampling the cuisine can be a rarefied and pricey experience; meals at Michelin-starred kaiseki restaurants like Kikunoi (kikunoi.jp/english) run upward of $160 a ...
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1answer
941 views

What does “I gets mine” mean?

In the last episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" there was this dialogue between Larry and Leon (black guy who uses a lot of street slang): Larry: You think I'd go out with a guy wearing a green ...
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8answers
3k views

Why “job” in “nut job”

Why are crazy people called nut jobs? Why are they called a job? Wiktionary is of no help here.
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1answer
404 views

Chicks - Girls, Cats - Boys?

The 1950's song Fever (covered, among others, by Elvis Presley) contains the following lines: Now you've listened to my story Here's the point that I have made Cats were born to give chicks ...
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2answers
14k views

Are “way better” and “way more” correct?

"Way better" and "way more" are popular expressions, but they both seem incorrect to me. "Far better", "far more", "much better", and "much more" all seem correct. Is this true? If so, why?
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4answers
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Etymology of “Frenchified”

What is the etymology of the term Frenchified? In The Gangs of New York (2002) Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting says Careful, Tweedy. The Mort's Frenchified to William 'Boss' Tweed who has just ...
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4answers
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Where did the phrase “batsh*t crazy” come from?

I am curious how this term came to be. I've found this question on various forums, but none of them seem to agree where the term came from. The most popular explanation seems to come from "bat in the ...