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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1answer
3k views

Etymology of the word 'roach' to mean the end of a marijuana cigarette?

I was contemplating the German word "Rauch" (smoke or fumes) and the closely related "rauchte" (smoked) and "Rauchen" (smoking). These are related to the English word 'reek', and I wonder if they ...
19
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4answers
7k views

Meaning of “to rolf”

We have a little dispute about this in our team at work. Rolf is a German male name. But someone said, he saw online, that "to rolf" is a verb in American Slang, which means "to vomit". And indeed ...
3
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2answers
110k views

Where does the expression “spill the tea” come from? [closed]

According to Wiktionary, spill the tea (idiomatic, informal) means: To disclose information, especially of a sensitive nature. Apparently, the expression appears to be a recent one. 2012, ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Origin of the word “jack” to mean theft or to steal

This is my very first query/post. I was attempting to find out the history in American slang for using the word jack to mean theft. In a sentence it might be Someone jacked my bike last night. I had ...
15
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2answers
546 views

Wolff ’s sweetening the beat

In an interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers, the CNN journalist, Jake Tapper, said the following about the author of Fire and Fury Jake Tapper: Oh, yeah! I mean, I, I think Michael Wolff very ...
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2answers
122 views

Usage of “all” in phrases like “how all” and “where all”

I'm an Englishman with friends all over the world, including two from Florida. I've observed both using the word "all" in a manner that appears unique to the area – certainly I've never read of its ...
2
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2answers
717 views

What does “a flute busting” mean?

I was watching an ERB video and heard a phrase "a flute busting Prussian" See Alexander the Great vs Ivan the Terrible - Epic Rap Battles of History at (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVbH1BVXywY ,1:...
6
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2answers
257 views

Does anyone know the origin of the name “dear-joy” (used, often perjoratively, by English people to denominate the Irish in the 18th century)?

I'm looking for the origin of the term "dear-joys" applied by English people to the Irish in the 18th (and possibly 19th century). I can find lots of citations for its use in 18th century literature ...
-1
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1answer
28 views

Build it already [duplicate]

Is it correct to say “build it already” when you mean to say “just build it”. Said about a project that has not started yet. Could it be slang?
2
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2answers
118 views

What does twangitude mean?

For giggles, I often go back to this post’s responses and comments, but tonight I realised that I actually don’t know what twangitude means. Google gives me only five results (although that’ll ...
6
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1answer
89 views

When did “brilliant” become a general term of approval in England?

When did "brilliant" become a general term of approval unrelated to radiance or cleverness, e.g., as applied to a rural scene, a dish, or a sunset?
3
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2answers
732 views

What does “you can make out cock and ball definition” mean?

I was watching the third episode of the show White Famous, and came across this line: So listen, I can get you into any restaurant in town any night of the week. We can sit so close to the ...
8
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3answers
1k views

“Went for the deep cut”

I've done some searching but still can't fully understand this sentence. Can somebody explain to me?
4
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1answer
115 views

Translation and etymology of a slang passage

While reading software-user reviews on Google Play Store, I happened to run across the following (verbatim): "I'm game ginger an as wet as, a otters pocket full support to do you will ave to be ...
5
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1answer
129 views

Etymology of informal use of “favor” in the U.S

I know in some U.S. dialects, “favor” as a verb is used informally to indicate that two people share a similar physical appearance, especially when the two look so similar that one's physical ...
2
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1answer
403 views

Dolo: Rhymes with “solo?” / Short for “down low?”

Green's Dictionary of Slang provides two definitions of dolo. It writes "etymology unknown" under the headword. 1. (US black) on one’s own, solo. This first definition is attested from 1991 to ...
10
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2answers
2k views

UK English: Do y'all use “buzzard” to mean “a contemptible or rapacious person”?

In the US, buzzard denotes vultures, but also a contemptible or rapacious person to use definition 3 from the online Merriam-Webster. The most common phrase I'm personally familiar with is to say you ...
0
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1answer
6k views

“Bish” meaning swish swish bish [closed]

What does 'bish' mean in Katie Perry and Nicki Minaj's song, Swish Swish? Swish, swish, bish Another one in the basket (basket, woah, basket, woah) Can't touch this Another one in the casket (...
1
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1answer
687 views

Meaning and origins of the American slang expression “ad' a boy, shooter!” [closed]

What does the American slang expression ad' a boy, shooter! mean? In high school I had an American teacher who would always say this, can't remember which state he was from, I think it's an ...
2
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2answers
208 views

Who is the T-Boner, and who is the T-Bonee?

Imagine this scenario: A motorcycle is riding along the top of a T-intersection. A car pulls out at the intersection into the path of the motorcycle, and the motorcycle hits the car. This type of ...
3
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2answers
305 views

Origin of “wannabe” and its precursors

The OED attests wannabe as slang in 1976 as a noun and 1986 as an adjective. A person who tries to emulate someone else, esp. a celebrity, in appearance and behaviour; a person who wants to belong ...
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2answers
3k views

What is the etymology of the “drop” in “drop acid”?

A lot of recreational drug slang is reasonably comprehensible. Some is pretty cryptic, possibly by design. A common expression for "take LSD" is "drop acid". The "acid" part is obvious; it's a common ...
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3answers
1k views

Origin, history and precise meaning of “banger” in the US music industry

I recently heard the word banger used by a young man in Chicago to describe a catchy, up-beat song. Checking Green's Dictionary of Slang, I found a definition attested in 2016 that to my mind seems a ...
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6answers
1k views

Did a “spliff” originally refer to a mixture of tobacco and cannabis or just cannabis?

This question occurred to me as I was attempting to form an answer to this question: Where does the word “spliff” come from? In answering his own question, tchrist points to multiple sources arguing ...
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1answer
532 views

Are there any cool slang words for “couch potato”? [closed]

Seems like this word is a bit old-fashioned. What do youngsters call lazy procrastinators nowadays?
4
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1answer
203 views

When did 'RINO' begin to be used as an acronym for 'Republican in name only'?

Instances in print of the phrase "Republican in name only"—referring to members of the Republican party who, in the writer's opinion, lack sufficient devotion to what the writer regards as the core ...
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6answers
2k views

What do you call the track made by two wheels?

In centuries gone by, before roads were made, what were the trails/paths/roads called that were made by the frequent passage of wagon teams or carriages joining towns together?
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2answers
3k views

American slang: “to give a girl the time” (in J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye)

In J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, chapter 6, Holden, who is worried sick because one of his school mates, Stradlater, some kind of sexual predator, went on a date with Jane Gallagher, a girl ...
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1answer
107 views

to have a “good in” with somebody

In an article by Juan Cole about the recent release of the Kennedy-Files it states that According to an informant, Ruby had a “good in” with the Dallas police [...] I haven't found anything like ...
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1answer
473 views

Pronunciation of berk and Berkshire

When I was young (1950's southern England) I learned that Berkshire, pronounced "BARK-sheer" was a county the other side of London, and that a "berk", pronounced to rhyme with "work" or "jerk", was a ...
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2answers
1k views

What is the origin of “putting someone on”

What is the origin of “putting someone on”? The phrase means The act of deceiving, teasing or misleading someone, especially for amusement. But where could it have come from? It is not recent, ...
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2answers
163 views

Would the term “guy” to refer to a man be used in the "30s? [closed]

I'm writing a story that takes place in 1940. Would the dialog include the word guy to refer to a man?
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1answer
4k views

Meaning? “One of a kind. Top of the line. A real doggone keeper”

One of a kind. Top of the line. A real doggone keeper This a phrase spoken by Walter to Chris in the movie "Get Out". YouTube link I think I can understand the first two phrases... "One of a kind, ...
12
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2answers
867 views

Etymology of “slang”

Slang lexicographer Eric Partridge once called slang a "prize problem word" with regard to etymology. The OED maintains it as: A word of cant origin, the ultimate source of which is not ...
3
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3answers
594 views

Looking for phrase or word to describe when people think things are high class but they actually are not

I feel like I see this often, people attach certain items to their ideal of high class or posh, even if those things are not. I have worked in some fine dining restaurants and its equal parts amusing ...
17
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3answers
8k views

'You were pigged'

A devastated student flew 400 miles to meet her lover in Amsterdam only to be told she was the victim of a cruel 'pull a pig' prank. Sophie Stevenson, 24, from Stoke, forked out £350 on a ...
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0answers
42 views

1 for the money and 2 for the show [duplicate]

I keep hearing "I say 1 for the money and 2 for the show" (or variants of it) in various songs (rap specifically though I have heard it in other songs) . Can anyone tell me why it is used so much and ...
2
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5answers
827 views

What did Donald Trump mean when he said Hillary “had no game”?

In a tweet, Donald Trump said: "She spent big money but, in the end, had no game!" I looked up the term game on the US version of Oxford Dictionaries but turned up empty-handed. Among many, it ...
16
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2answers
2k views

Why is a jug of draft beer called a “growler?”

Growler is a slang term for a large can, pail, or jug of beer, often sold at breweries so that one can purchase beer in bulk and bring it home. Searching around for the origin of this term, I've ...
3
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2answers
243 views

Is “to sport ivory” actually forgotten English?

I saw on a website that there used to be a verb phrase called "to sport ivory", which meant to smile, essentially showing your teeth/ivory. Did this actually exist or is the website incorrect?
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1answer
1k views

what is the origin of caricatured gangsters using “say?” to end sentences?

Here's an example: I also recall watching cartoon gangsters, from Looney Toons iirc using this. For the longest time I thought they were saying "see?" What is the origin of this postscript to ...
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3answers
4k views

“To pay ode to someone” [closed]

I know that a lyric poem, typically one in the form of an address to a particular subject, is written in varied or irregular metre. But I would like to know what does "To pay ode to someone" they ...
29
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7answers
11k views

How popular is the slang usage of “toss” in British English?

We've already chosen the domain name for a new info blog website called InfoToss. In US English, it doesn’t have any crazy slang meaning, and we didn’t think to check for other regional meanings ...
61
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2answers
7k views

What did “pop a cap” mean, other than “shoot someone,” in the 19th century?

Popping a cap Green's Dictionary of Slang defines "pop a cap" as: to fire a weapon; to shoot someone. In recent uses, the slang meaning is clear, and often extended to "pop a cap (in somebody's ...
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3answers
2k views

Making sense of dollars and “geetus”

Of all the slang words for money, one of the oddest to me is geetus. The word appears here in an article from 2013, although the word is much older than that. Let’s make no mistake about it. The ...
1
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1answer
447 views

Is “poglet” British slang for hedgehog?

Watching YouTube videos posted by the British wildlife rehabbers Wildlife Aid, I noticed that the head rehabber seems to (affectionately) call hedgehogs "pogger" or "poglet." Is this actual British ...
0
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1answer
249 views

Slang or figure or speech?

"I told everyone and their mother about how I won the contest." "Everyone and their mother" meaning that I told many many people. Would this be considered slang or just a figure of speech?
0
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1answer
208 views

“Ubered everywhere” meaning [closed]

On Modern Family episode 1 of season 7, Michael says to Cameron Oh, you walked over here. I just thought you Uber-ed everywhere. I know what Uber is, but I can't understand ubered everywhere ...
4
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1answer
383 views

What is the meaning of the lyric “don't answer the phone 'udden udden'”?

There is a Ray Stevens song titled "Shriner's Convention" which, at around 1:05 in the linked version, contains the following one-sided phone conversation between two characters: "Coy, why aren't ...
2
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2answers
663 views

English Australian (slang) - jerried

Where does the term jerried come from? It's an Australian slang term that means 'realised'