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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15 views

“Everything's coming up X”?

I've heard several Americans say "everything's coming up X". Sometimes, it's a person's name, and sometimes, it can be anything. Example: https://youtu.be/ivW7z3wGAl8?t=175 Everything was ...
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1answer
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Is “fleabag” as a derogatory term for an unpleasantly dirty person a Britishism?

I have always heard and used "fleabag" as referring to a shabby hotel/motel room, a dump of a place, so I was kind of surprised to see it also has a separate meaning of a dirty person. This ...
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2answers
3k views

What does “a shnip” mean?

It is the word used in a play. The paragraph in which it is stated is the following: Why does everybody sabotage me, Frank? I give work, I pay well, yes ? They eat what they want, don't they ? I don'...
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3answers
225 views

How and when did “jug” come to be a slang term for “prison”?

Most of the online dictionaries give this kind of alternate meaning of jug: Slang. jail; prison. When I was in grammar school it's what we called detention: "If you talk back to the teacher, ...
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12answers
4k views

A possibly modern derogatory term for housewife

I need a derogatory term for housewife. I couldn't find any in online dictionaries and I'm not sure I have ever heard of any in any language I'm familiar with. But I'm thinking there must be something ...
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0answers
54 views

Is the “Secret Policeman's Ball” an allusion to bribery?

The Secret Policeman's Ball were a series of benefit shows. However, is the phrase "buying a ticket to the Secret Policeman's Ball" an allusion to paying a bribe?
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1answer
66 views

Could the origin of “gangway” as an interjection be from Cantonese?

The use of "Gangway!" to tell people to get out of the way seems to be relatively recent (e.g. 100 years) in use. There is a common equivalent expression in Cantonese, pronounced something ...
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2answers
1k views

in the Chinese bubble

Lily is an international student who is studying in LA. But, she doesn't want to be one who is always in the Chinese bubble. Do English native speakers use 'bubble' to describe "a group of ...
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21 views

What does an 'ice run' means in Heathers?

There is this scene in Heathers (1988), where Veronica and JD sit in her car discussing a murder they commited the night before. Veronica is upset by being fooled, but Jason reassures her it was all ...
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0answers
39 views

Can you use “I digress” after you rant, even if it is an excess rant of the original topic?

Can you use "I digress" after you rant, even if it is an excess rant of the original topic? Example: Person 1: I got banned from league of legends Person 2: ok Person 1: Evan you're really ...
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2answers
321 views

What’s the origin/etymology of “mm-bye”?

As said to end conversations (especially on the phone): mmm-bye. When and how did this form/usage start?
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2answers
76 views

Meaning of “bareback”

I've been watching Guy Maddin's 2007 My Winnipeg and there's a sentence there I have difficulty understanding. The narrator is talking about the coldest month, January, and it goes something like this:...
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1answer
159 views

On a certain pejorative in contemporary British English

According to the OED https://www.oed.com/viewdictionaryentry/Entry/67623) "faggot" and "fag", used to refer to gay men in a derogatory way are "originally and chiefly North ...
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2answers
127 views

Historical change in the use of “dude” in 60's US

My understanding of the history of the word "dude" is the following. The word was originally a mocking term around 1890 in the US for a city man who wore overly fancy clothes. In the West, ...
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2answers
54 views

Verbs and pronouns in action phrases e.g. me: *smiles* [closed]

An action is usually a verb phrase surrounded in asterisks to show that someone is doing something. When an action is written, why is it using the third person verb conjugation even though the subject ...
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2answers
71 views

How do we order food in English?

So I was wondering how we order food in English. Let’s say I want a tea, is this sentence okay? : “Hi, I’d like a takeout tea please.” Or do native speakers say it differently? (I want to sound like a ...
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7answers
3k views

Social Network Accounts Owned by the Same Person

Say, there's a person who has registered more than one account on the same social network and writes from these accounts pretending they belong to different people. How would you name such accounts? ...
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0answers
20 views

What's it means “yes validate just the what” [closed]

I asked my mentor "Do I need to validate the filed if it's type is required?” And he answered "Yes validate just the what" What's that means? It it means yes I should validate it? Or ...
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21 views

What’s a matter-of-fact tone?

I was wondering if a matter-of-fact tone was the same as a straightforward tone, and if these terms all mean “simple” or “without emotions”. (I am not a native speaker for that matter). If I speak or ...
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36 views

Is the use of the singular “they” formal English or not?

so I have to write an academic essay for school, and I was wondering if the use of the singular “they/them/their” would be accepted. Which of these would be “formal” and “accepted” by teachers. A) ...
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32 views

Checking one's closet for somebody

I don't understand the following comment found on YouTube Bobby Jarzombek: Before Portnoy goes to bed, he checks his closet for Bobby Jarzombek. I cannot find any definition of this expression. Is ...
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1answer
76 views

Elegant way to say - I'm just curious

On the website we have two account types. One is car expert account and another is just a basic account. Website purpose is to have professionals share their experience with non professionals. ...
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3answers
56 views

Phrase or idiom for lots of unnecessary actions

I am looking for a short phrase or idiom which means "a lot of unnecessary and hard actions". The whole phrase would be something like: No more tons of unnecessary actions, create it in one minute or ...
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0answers
63 views

Is 'bologna' acceptable for 'baloney' in the sense of nonsense?

A recent NYTimes article about the state of antitrust cases against Google had the line: Most of this is bologna and distracts us from the only question that matters Which seems like an over-...
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3answers
243 views

What’s the origin of the use of the word “hard” to mean unequivocal?

For example, in “hard no” or “hard pass”
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4answers
927 views

Can the word, “whammy” be used for good news?

I found the following headline in today’s (May 11) New York Times: “Triple whammy of good news led by Coronavirus Hopes catapult Dow more than 900 points.” I was under impression that the usage of ...
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3answers
150 views

What do you call a word that follows a punchline or a practical joke and is used to emphasize it?

Popular culture often has people use a specific kind of word to capitalize on a joke they've just told, or a prank they've pulled on someone. Examples of such exclamations would include hey-oh that ...
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1answer
138 views

What does “neato burrito” mean? [closed]

What does "neato burrito" mean? Where is it coming from and when is the right time to use it?
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2answers
164 views

Word/slang for person who cries easily watching movies

I'd like to know from native speakers what would they call or what slang would they use for a person who cries easily watching even the silliest of movies (meaning very little drama). For example, ...
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0answers
43 views

A slang-phrase for “dreamed for him”

Is there an informal way of saying "I've been informed my child was accepted at the school I always dreamed for him"?
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0answers
37 views

Recommended TV shows/ books to improve oral english( slangs, popular internet phrases, etc)

I want to learn some popular words/slangs that people nowadays say. What are some recommended books/ TV shows for me to watch? Sometimes it's hard to understand people's humors and catch the points.
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27 views

What does „stocks of things, recent stuff” mean?

My friend has a problem with the phrase in the title. We’re both non-natives of English and despite my advanced level I’ve never seen such a phrase. It was said by a bilingual child while telling ...
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1answer
73 views

“I’ll get right on it” [duplicate]

What does it mean to say ( I’ll get right on it) if someone in a really terrible situation and being offered a help and he replied ( I ‘ll get right on it )
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55 views

Is it correct to say ‘Skyping’ in a sentence

Is it correct to say to my boss ‘ I will be Skyping with you from there’
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78 views

Is it common to say 'not that urgent'

Is it correct to say ‘not that urgent’ to someone who is offering urgent appointment thinking that there is something urgent?
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5answers
4k views

Why does “blue blazes” specify the color blue, and what is the origin of this expression as an intensifier/euphemism?

A recent question posted on English Language & Usage (What does "blazes" mean in "Stay the blazes home!") asks where "blazes" originated as an intensifier. In attempting to ...
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1answer
6k views

What does “blazes” mean in “Stay the blazes home!”

Canada Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil's war cry against COVID-19, "Stay the blazes home", trending #1 in Twitter Canada today (April 4, 2020). See news article coverage. What does "blazes" here ...
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1answer
1k views

What is the origin of “stir” meaning “prison”?

In these days of self-isolation the composite "stir-crazy" has come to the fore. Several instances of people saying they or others are "going stir-crazy" have been heard. According to the OED it is ...
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33 views

Connotation origin/usage: “self care” along the lines of “Treat yo self” and “#selfcare”

How has the idea of "taking care of yourself, for yourself (your own pleasure), and no other reason" à la the phrases/terms "self care" and "#selfcare" and "treat yo self" developed over time? "self ...
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0answers
39 views

Word choice: Gent, Gent's or Gents? [duplicate]

I'm going to name my new business, I got an idea from another company called "ZZZ Men Supply" and come up with "XXX Gentlemen Supply" for my business. Since the word Gentlemen slightly longer I want ...
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0answers
59 views

Slang etymology of “up” and “down” in phrasal verbs [duplicate]

In this, "to be" is the base verb, conjugated in the first, singular, present tense "am". The verb is then put in a contraction with first, singular, pronoun "I" to create "I'm". This contraction is ...
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2answers
140 views

Origin and evolution of the term “deep state” in political discourse

In the April 2020 issue of The Atlantic, George Packer offers this interesting but brief discussion of the term deep state in his article "The President Is Winning His War on American ...
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1answer
45 views

“tops” meaning “props” or “kudos”

I recently heard "tops" used in a way similar to "kudos" and "props". Kid 1: Hey Palet, tops on your strategy man. Kid 2: What strategy? Kid 1: You know, start off with ...
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29 views

Is there a language technique that categories inverse meanings?

After being asked if I want a receipt at the markets, I notice I can alternate between - I'm good - I'm fine - I'm okay All of these by literal meaning, vaguely motions a "positive" response, ...
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0answers
50 views

What does the sentence “wear your sleeve on your heart” mean?

“There are difficulties and the possibility of heartbreak. There always are in high school. You wear your sleeve on your heart. There are parents.” Is it same like the sentence of “wear your heart on ...
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1answer
176 views

what are some synonyms for alcohol tolerance?

I've searched for some slangy synonyms of alcohol tolerance but couldn't really find any. For example: he has high (synonym of alcohol tolerance).
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92 views

When people say “think tall thoughts”

During small talk I heard someone say, Think tall thoughts. That might help. when another person was complaining about being short-heighted. I checked online information, but I still need some ...
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1answer
164 views

Looking for synonymous expressions for - to throw someone away like a used toothpick

In my native (Georgian) language we have this colloquial saying - throw someone away like an eaten apple, meaning-to get rid of someone after having taken advantage of him/her in a dishonest way. I ...
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1answer
52 views

what is the story behind the word 'Sky' meaning 'the most amazing girl you can ever meet'? [closed]

I researched this question on this site. I saw the word sky used in a way I never heard if. I searched on google and saw these definitions on The Urban dictioney (https://www.urbandictionary.com/...
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68 views

What kind of accent is this one (possibly from Kentucky)?

Is this one of regional accent in the USA or simply a defect in speech? If it's a regional accent, is it a typical Kentucky accent? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oKlERHhPt0&t=490s

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