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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11
votes
2answers
7k views

Would sir like something for the weekend?

"Something for the weekend" is a euphemism heard in barber shops, when the above phrase is used to enquire of a customer whether he would like a packet of condoms. Does anyone know how this phrase ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

On being golden

Saying that [someone] is golden means that person is in a desirable situation that will likely lead to some sort of success. I am trying to find out the origin of this phrase. So far, I have found ...
14
votes
2answers
5k views

What does “OMG ponies!” mean?

What does this mean and what is the origin of this phrase?
1
vote
2answers
930 views

Preposition cluster “all up in”

What exactly does the string of words functioning as a preposition "all up in" (many many Google hits) mean in modern American slang usage?
4
votes
4answers
11k views

All up in my grill?

Is the phrase [all] up in $POSSESSIVE_PRONOUN grill which is synonymous with the figure of speech in one's face an automotive metaphor? If so, would it be more correct to spell the last ...
6
votes
1answer
85k views

“Cannabis” vs. “marijuana” vs. “weed”

I know all these words have the same meaning and refer to a kind of drug. Also, as far as I know, weed is slang for marijuana or cannabis. (Correct me if I’m wrong). What I do not understand is the ...
16
votes
2answers
6k views

How did the slang meaning of “owned” come to be?

Why does Dude! I just owned you! mean that the speaker did really well against "Dude" in some sort of competition or game?
6
votes
6answers
41k views

Why does one run around like a blue-arsed fly?

I have been a bit busy recently; too busy to give this website the attention it warrants. In fact, I said to myself yesterday, I have been running around like a blue-arsed fly. I stopped to think: ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

“Birmingham” or “Manchester” screwdriver?

I occasionally use the phrase "Birmingham screwdriver" to mean "hammer", but this evening I heard a hammer referred to as a "Manchester screwdriver", by someone with no association with either city. ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

“Oojakapiv”: what does this word mean?

A lot of people in my family use this word, not regularly, but enough for me to ask what it means. I know it’s not a “real word”, but how come people from different sides of my family use it? It must ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

How do American dialects differ?

I grew up in a very homogenous suburb, and was quite shocked when I moved to Philadelphia for college and started hearing how many different dialects exist even within one city. My untrained ear could ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What does 'mothercanuckers' mean?

First of all, sorry if it is offensive (I think it somewhat is). I was going through http://bleacherreport.com/articles/424590-the-funniest-promos-and-moments-in-wwe-history#page/20 The Rock ...
15
votes
3answers
4k views

Why the opposite meanings of the word “bollocks”?

The phrases the dog’s bollocks, the bee’s bollocks, and golden bollocks are used to mean something or someone excellent, fine, or well thought of. But if one were to say a load of bollocks, or ...
17
votes
10answers
86k views

Is it offensive to call a redhead a “ginger”?

So I just re-watched this great comedy by Tim Minchin, and here are the questions: How bad/offensive is the g-word really (other than being an anagram of the n-word)? What are alternatives? Is "...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

What does “urge to kill” mean?

I've got an answer to my comment at Stack Overflow, and I don't get what it means. I've googled and looked over several dictionaries with no help. Seems like it is some specific slang/phrasal verb, ...
25
votes
4answers
98k views

Is the word “wotcher” British slang? What does it mean?

I was reading a Harry Potter book the other day and one of the characters, Nymphadora Tonks, greets Harry by saying "Wotcher, Harry". What is "Wotcher"?
5
votes
1answer
10k views

Where and how is Geil used?

The urban dictionary writes: GEIL (Guy-el) The best colloquial word ever established by the German language. It has slowly assimilated itself into English speaking culture, particularly ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Origin of jive slang

Where did the jive style of slang come from? It sounds pretty funny... specially from that scene in Airplane.
6
votes
5answers
18k views

Meaning of “flip the script”

I’ve heard the phrase “flip your script” or “flip the script” in various hip-hop songs. What does it mean?
19
votes
2answers
69k views

What does the “atta” mean in “attaboy” and “attagirl”?

What does the prefix atta mean? What is it trying to abbreviate? What a? Wiktionary claims that it stands for that's a or that's the, but I do not see the resemblance to atta.
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do you suck at XYZ?

How bad is the usage of the word suck in English? Is this "bad boy" language or commonly used?
24
votes
5answers
108k views

Etymology of “Buff” and “Nerf” as used in video-game slang

In video games, when the makers increase the power of something, it is sometimes referred to as a buff. If they decrease the power of something, it is called a nerf or a de-buff. This also applies ...
181
votes
6answers
31k views

What is the origin of ZOMG?

I have looked in a number of places, with contradictory results. The Urban Dictionary provides a whopping 73 "explanations", of which I will quote just a few. (Original spelling and punctuation ...
4
votes
6answers
636 views

Is kickassiness an accepted word?

I have been looking for a word that means kickassiness, but haven't come across one. Is this an accepted word? If not, what word can be used in its place?
8
votes
1answer
40k views

Does “way too long” mean “a lot too long” or “slightly too long”? [closed]

Does way too long mean a lot too long, or slightly too long? Does way too stand for a huge or small measure?
8
votes
3answers
14k views

Meaning of “moving right along”

What does the slang moving right along mean?
7
votes
2answers
39k views

Is “could've” or “should've” standard English?

As the title says — is "could've" or "should've" standard English or is it slang and should correctly be spelled "could have" and "should have"?
6
votes
6answers
7k views

“Fixing to” at the beginning of a sentence

Use of fixing to at the beginning of a sentence is prevalent in the southern states of Amerca. Is this the right usage? And is this only a southern US thing? Examples: Fixing to call her. ...
6
votes
2answers
49k views

Where did “You know what thought did!” come from?

"You know what thought did" is a catch-phrase addressed to someone who has just made a stupid mistake and attempted to excuse himself by saying "But I thought..." Does anyone know the origin of this ...
37
votes
10answers
841k views

What is an appropriate response to “what's up” greeting?

Sorry if it's a trivial question, but when someone uses what's up as a greeting I have no idea what they want to hear. What are the possible answers and what does this question mean exactly?
15
votes
13answers
10k views

What does “from hunger” mean?

What is the meaning of the phrase "from hunger", as in, "This xyz is from hunger"? From the context I found it in, it appears to mean either very good, or very bad, but it's hard to tell which. The ...
13
votes
3answers
43k views

Why are spies called “spooks”?

In many books, I've seen the word 'spook' used to mean some kind of spy. Definition 5 on dictionary.reference.com confirms this usage, but is not very helpful about the origin. Does anyone know how ...
11
votes
4answers
6k views

Are the acronyms FYI, BTW, LOL, WTF now considered “normal” words?

Are these "words" moving out of the elitist slang stage and into popular usage? It is hard for me to tell, because in the techie culture I work in they are ubiquitous. However, I've tried them out ...
20
votes
3answers
23k views

What does “packing heat” mean?

I believe it means “to carry a weapon”, but I would also like the phrase origins, if possible. So the full question is: What is the meaning of the phrase “packing heat” and what are its origins?
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Is “denormalized” a word?

I use it all the time since I work with databases, but every time I write it somewhere with spell check I get the squiggly line below it. I've seen other people spell it with an "s" instead of a "z" ...
11
votes
7answers
11k views

“Don't got” — how common is it in American usage?

I often hear the usage "don't got" in American English as spoken on TV programmes. Recently I was watching season four of "Prison Break" and one character, an Asian computer wizard, repeatedly used "...
37
votes
7answers
17k views

How bad is the f-word, really?

I am confused: on the one hand, many of my native-speaker friends keep telling me that the f-word is very, very bad. Much worse than the s-word for example. On the other hand, I see it being used ...
92
votes
20answers
557k views

Which expressions can be used to close an email? [closed]

At the end of written communication like emails and letters, it is customary to use a closing valediction or "complementary close". Which formal and informal expressions can be used to end emails?
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Why would you write “ain't”? Isn't it a contraction only used in spoken English?

I often hear in English conversation or movies the contraction "ain't" (for "isn't"), but I am more surprised to see it in writing (and I am not referring to a novel, where I can understand its usage: ...