3
votes
4answers
498 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'?
-2
votes
2answers
400 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
1k views

Why are animal names used as vulgar slang for body parts?

Asking this question in strict propriety out of genuine curiosity, why is that in (American) English animal-related names are used for vulgar names for the private body parts? In fact, all of the ...
2
votes
3answers
640 views

To give someone the 411

"To give someone the 411" is short for information but is this phrase common in the US and/or in Britain and is it still up to date or outdated?
1
vote
1answer
218 views

How should I use the phrasal verb “to d**k around”?

To waste time Stop dicking me around and get to the point. Would you please stop dicking around with her? To take advantage of You're dicking him around, you know? Don't ...
6
votes
2answers
829 views

Is it derogatory or offensive to call a detective a dick?

The word dick is generally considered offensive and is marked so in dictionaries. But there is also a meaning of detective that it carries. I usually find no derog indication for this meaning. Is it ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

“Sport” as an informal appellation

I was watching a film ostensibly set during the American Progressive Era (1900 to 1918 or so), in which two teenaged boys used the line "Ah, be a sport, Charlie!" That got me to thinking, was ...
3
votes
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?
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How commonly does “done” replace “did”?

How common is it for native English speakers to actively replace the past tense 'did' with the past participle 'done'? I used to think it was only really done in rather vulgar dialects, but I have ...
9
votes
3answers
5k views

Is “how come” slang?

Sample Conversation: A: How are you? B: I am mad. A: How come? I thought that how come was a logical word choice but upon speaking with somebody for whom English is a second language, ...
2
votes
4answers
939 views

What is “generation X” and “generation Y”?

Why are we called Generation Y? What's Generation X anyway? What about Baby Boomers?
5
votes
8answers
2k views

Can the word “special” have a negative connotation?

I am involved with a group that works with children aged about 7, who've been through some difficult things. One of the sessions focuses on how "every one of you is special". Recently, somebody's ...
6
votes
3answers
647 views

Is “girls” a suitable complementary term to go along with “guys”?

Trying to keep the discussion about language and meaning, and hopefully not getting socio-political, is "girls" a valid counterpart for "guys", as in "guys and girls"? The intention is to describe a ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

'Ours' meaning 'our home' - where is it used outside the UK, if anywhere?

In expressions like: Let's go back to ours and have some food. There's a party at ours on Friday. There's a bottle of brandy at yours, isn't there? 'ours' and 'yours' are synonyms for ...
10
votes
3answers
485 views

Origin of the word “spraunce”

I was recently talking to someone who said a restaurant was spraunce, meaning it was well-presented and high-quality (that being the sense I was familiar with). We briefly discussed the fact that he ...
12
votes
2answers
761 views

Guidelines for the use of the slang term “cise”

I heard an unfamiliar regional slang word used thusly: I'm gonna go cise (rhymes with ice) me a sandwich and then I'll be back. When I questioned the user, the speaker insisted it has been ...
16
votes
2answers
13k views

People's names as names for genitalia?

How did Peter, the surname, Johnson, and the nicknames for William(Willy) and Richard(Dick), come to mean penis? Was the first instance of these usages, related to a specific person? Are there more ...