Questions tagged [slang]

Questions about “Language of a highly colloquial type, considered as below the level of standard educated speech, and consisting either of new words or of current words employed in some special sense.” [OED: 𝒔𝒍𝒂𝒏𝒈]

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Expressing the idea of killing, finishing/knocking someone off with the phrasal verb "to blip off"

Somehow I was in the knowledge of the fact that the phrasal verb "to blip off" could be used to convey the idea of "to bump off", "to kill", "to knock off" and ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Use of “innit” in informal English English

“innit” etymologically started as a contraction of “isn't it?” and can obviously always replace it. I also know it can now replace any negative tag interrogative such as “wasn't he?” or “can't they?” ...
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2 votes
4 answers
68 views

Looking for a slang term to describe the act of picking valuable minerals from mining tailings

Someone once saw me picking out cashews from a bowl of mixed nuts and said I was [forgotten slang verb here]. I asked what that verb meant and she explained that it was a slang term that miners used ...
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4 votes
1 answer
77 views

Usage of the word "candle" to refer to a specific item in a list

In Maltese English, whenever items in a list are preceded by letters or Roman numerals instead of numbers, we would say that the list is made up of candles. Let us suppose we have the following two ...
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0 votes
2 answers
49 views

To clutch in a gear changing context

I'm a portuguese speaker and we have a slang verb, "debrear", which means to step, all the way to the floor, on the clutch pedal, or, motorcycle-wise, to pull the clutch lever all the way in....
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3 votes
1 answer
94 views

Are ‘Haggers Commagers’ and ‘Jessica Christ’ camp High Church Anglican slang/cant?

In an episode of QI (series G, episode ‘Girls and Boys’), Stephen Fry says that there is a camp High Church (Anglican) cant/language game (like Pig Latin), where Holy Communion becomes ‘Haggers ...
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0 votes
0 answers
33 views

What does it mean to "grab someone in the gut?"

Could anyone please help me know what is the meaning of "grabs people in the gut" in the following quote from Jim Collins’ Built to Last: A BHAG is a huge and daunting goal—like a big ...
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0 votes
1 answer
26 views

“I'd swing for him”

I occasionally hear this phrase from English characters on the telly, and struggle to guess whether it means “I'd welcome an opportunity to swing a fist at him” or “I'd willingly swing from the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
57 views

How is "soc" (UK abbr for Society) pronounced?

How is "Soc" (shortened form of "Society") pronounced in England? I'm reading a piece of fiction set at an English university, and they keeping talking about joining societies, ...
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-1 votes
0 answers
22 views

Question about the slang use of "Word" [duplicate]

When was "Word" first used as a slang term? I've heard it was from a movie or something but I don't know which movie.
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8 votes
1 answer
134 views

Origin of Aussie Slang "Stack" and "Stacked it"

Bit of a weird one but I'm wondering where the slang "stack it" in terms of falling over comes from. Stack: (Australia, slang) A fall or crash, a prang. 2016 June 19, Tom Williams, “Watch ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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What is the meaning of “Donald Trump says Ivanka ‘checked out’…”

What is the meaning of "checked out" in Donald Trump says Ivanka ‘checked out’? "Ivanka Trump was not involved in looking at, or studying, Election results. She had long since checked ...
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8 votes
1 answer
140 views

What is the origin of the phrase "la ti dah"?

What is the origin of the phrase "la ti dah"? Two famous usages of the phrase: it is exclaimed often by the title character in the movie 'Annie Hall', and it is used the lyrics of singer Van ...
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0 votes
3 answers
74 views

When can we use "This/That is how we/you do it"?

I found a restaurant review while searching for google maps, and this is an excerpt from it. This is how you do it. Delicious with a very nice outdoor space. Parking on the street was very vacant. We ...
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1 vote
1 answer
64 views

Is there a word for people who revel in freebies that isn't pejorative?

I was looking for a word for someone that is really into getting free things, that doesn't necessarily carry a negative connotation. I'd describe them as: that person that shows up to random ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is the native word for describing an expression or gesture

What will be the perfect word for expressing huff, pride or sulking like when children angry with their parents and sit in the corner and don't want to talk with them . What word generally a native ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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How do I distinguish wanting something to happen vs predicting it will happen?

This question comes from arises from cases of shipping as in (romantic) relationship - ping; The Psychology of Shipping and The Psychology of Shipping. What happened was that I saw this forum where 1 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Bot, za and the like

The trend of using the last part of words, bot for robot or za for pizza for instance, appears to be from the late ‘60s as suggested by Etymonline: The method of minting new slang by clipping ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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What does "You can step" mean?

It's from the movie Love Jones (1997) Two black men talking about one of them bringing to a party a woman despite that he's married. Here's their conversation: "But you're married and all". ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is the meaning of "if you would on your little diagram" in the following context?

What is the meaning of "if you would on your little diagram" in the following context? if you would on your little diagram here, I'd like you to go ahead and actually sketch out the parts ...
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15 votes
4 answers
6k views

Is “I'm working totes” new slang?

I was reading a New York Times article about a Dollar General employee who was fired from her job in Tampa, Florida, when her TikTok videos went viral. In these videos, the retail store manager ...
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5 votes
1 answer
626 views

What does "careabouts" mean?

What does "careabouts" mean? I saw it in a LinkedIn video regarding jobs, workplace, etc. I searched all dictionaries but got nothing! I even got nothing on Google! Like such a thing doesn't ...
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12 votes
2 answers
216 views

Does anyone know the expression "Aye Gannies" (or perhaps the spelling is "I gonees")

Growing up in the Missouri Ozarks we had a neighbor named Hicks who used this expression. One of Mr. Hick's frequent and unique expressions was, “I Gannies” (the “a” was short). The only other times ...
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0 votes
1 answer
95 views

What does "arse-knit" mean?

In Alan Hollinghurst's 2004 novel The Line of Beauty, winner of the 2004 Man Booker Prize, there appears the term arse-knit. What does it mean? In context, it seems to be some kind of uncomfortable ...
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7 votes
2 answers
174 views

What is Dickens’ “fly-catcher”?

This is a passage from Dickens’ Little Dorrit, chapter 11. Emphasised words relate to the question below. ‘Ah Heaven, then,’ said she. ‘When the boat came up from Lyons, and brought the news that the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
97 views

An English expression for the easiness with which fish are caught

Is there an English word or phrase whose meaning indicates how lucky a person is to get a fish to bite? In my local language, we have a phrase specific to fishing: "clom-giriwil". 'Clom' ...
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1 vote
0 answers
19 views

What is the origin of the idiom of “to stick it to someone”? [duplicate]

My cursory review so far has only been able to uncover the fact that dictionaries can’t even have a consensus on the exact meaning of it, and they differ substantially in how they define it. Collins — ...
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20 votes
3 answers
4k views

Meaning of "The devil with you"

What does the expression "The devil with you" mean in this paragraph? “Yes, yes, I know all about it. Your dear sainted mother is the only woman you’ll ever let into your heart, more’s the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
52 views

What do you call a newbie individual investor in the stock market?

Is there some slang word for a newbie individual investor in the stock market? For example, in Russia, we call them "hamsters", that is, these are people who have just entered the stock ...
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5 votes
4 answers
24k views

What does the expression "He went white ribbon when I was ten" mean?

I just watched the movie 'Nightmare Alley' and, in one of the scenes, the main character when describing his childhood with an alcoholic father says: He went white ribbon when I was ten. What does ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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You [adjective] vs you are [adjective] [closed]

I've been wondering, why sometimes you don't say the verb in sentences, like "you stupid" instead of "you're stupid" or even "you are stupid"? What does it change? Is ...
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4 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is it called when you call someone on the phone over and over again? [closed]

What is it called when you call someone on the phone over and over again? I'm looking for a slang word or phrase.
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0 votes
3 answers
84 views

Is there a word for someone who sells false hope to calm nerves?

Rainmaking is a superstitious belief that performing a dance will make rain come. I guess it's somewhat analogous to the term snake oil salesman but, whereas snake oil salesman sell their bill of ...
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7 votes
4 answers
372 views

Is there an English equivalent of the Scots usage of "boak" (meaning retch) as a noun?

"Boak" is a Scots word that means "retch" (or vomit), and like retch it can be used as a verb, i.e. "that makes me want to boak" means "that makes me want to retch&...
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2 votes
2 answers
372 views

"Screw" slang terms — are any socially acceptable?

There are a number of slang terms that use the term "screw". Pulling from an answer on this site: screw-based [slang terms] abound: you can screw something up (mess it up), you can be ...
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10 votes
3 answers
997 views

What is the origin of the phrase "circular firing squad"?

I've found many definitions online of the term, which the OED says is "used in reference to a situation in which a group of people are engaged in self-destructive internal conflicts and mutual ...
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4 votes
2 answers
293 views

How did "sand" come to mean courage/pluck?

How come sand means courage/pluck? There isn't much information available on the Internet regarding its etymology. With word etymologies I think the buck stops with the redoubtable World Wide Words, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
90 views

Scottish use of "and them" as a subject

Living in Scotland, I am accustomed to hearing "and them" used in non-controversial constructions such as "We are going to see Fiona and them for Christmas", where "them" ...
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0 votes
0 answers
40 views

Where should I add "ing" in the short form? [duplicate]

RTFM = Read the f***ing manual I can say to someone "please RTFM" which would mean "please Read the f***ing manual" How do I say it in short form when I want to say I have done it? ...
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0 votes
0 answers
23 views

Can you wind the wind? Can you tear a tear? Can you lead to lead? What are these examples called? [duplicate]

These words are spelled the same. These words sound different. These words have different meanings. This question can be answered and is about learning English. We really speak American in the United ...
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2 votes
1 answer
535 views

What does "Oh snap" mean?

May I ask, what does "oh snap" mean please? I heard it from the DIY Art competition, when the competitors were waiting for the judges to announce who's the winner. Competitor A said: I'm ...
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1 vote
1 answer
64 views

Would you use 'bender' to describe a person? [closed]

We know 'bender' as a period of time which one spends excessively drunk (or maybe high), and "a person or thing which bends," and Bender, the robot on "Futurama," but would -- or ...
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0 votes
0 answers
261 views

What does “white spade” mean in this context?

This is a lyric in the Tom Waits song Heart Attack and Vine - “white spades hanging on a telephone wire”. Does anyone know what this means? I found online that “white spade” refers to an old type of ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
45 views

What does this name "X Perry Ment" mean? [closed]

0 I read this sentence in a book named Eyewitness testimony: It gradually becomes evident that the article is satirical when the reader learns that the trial took place on April Fool’s Day, that the ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
74 views

Why does "tarrier" as an American job title not appear in OED or Merriam-Webster?

The folksong "Drill Ye Tarriers Drill" is well-known: Wikipedia Drill Ye Tarriers Drill. The title refers to Irish workers, drilling holes in rock to blast out railroad tunnels. It may mean ...
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0 votes
0 answers
43 views

Origin of the Expression: "Yes, Harriet"

When I was a child (in the 1970s) when my mother asked my father to do something that he had already planned to do, he would say "Yes, Harriet". Can anyone tell me where this expression &...
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2 votes
3 answers
178 views

Legitimacy of the word "imput"

I see Merriam Webster defines "imput" as a "variant of input" but no other dictionaries have entries (unless you count the Urban Dictionary's "The usual idiotic misspelling of ...
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0 votes
2 answers
266 views

What is the general name/description for what I thought was "Makeout Creek"?

In The Simpsons, and many old movies from/set in the 1950s, there is a common scene where a couple sits in a parked car at what appears to be a high hill, in the evening or night, looking out over the ...
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1 vote
0 answers
281 views

"Ain't no thang but a chicken wang."

I understand that phrase to mean, "it's not difficult," but what is the metaphor with chicken wings? Where does this phrase come from?
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-2 votes
1 answer
401 views

What does it mean by "Done Diddly doo do" [closed]

What does it mean by "Done Diddly doo do" I have heard people saying this after a meeting or at the end of the meeting. Alright folks we are done diddly doo do.
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