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29 votes
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Can “spooky” and “sketchy” be considered synonyms?

Sketchy* means [in this respect] dishonest or disreputable, rather than its usual 'not highly detailed'. Spooky doesn't really cover it in either usage, 'scary' or 'easily scared', but 'fishy' [...
Tetsujin's user avatar
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23 votes

Word for the loss of one parent

Motherless or fatherless are terms used to refer to a child whose mother or father has died (or does not live with them).
Gio's user avatar
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20 votes

At a 2:40 rate — slang for high speed

Your interpretation is right: '2:40' does indeed refer to the amount of time it took the horse to go a mile. What's important is that these are not cart-pulling horses, these are racehorses. Merriam-...
Heartspring's user avatar
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19 votes
Accepted

At a 2:40 rate — slang for high speed

From the OED: two-forty noun U.S. colloquial. An expression for a high speed (originally spec. at the rate of a mile in 2 min. 40 sec., formerly a ‘record’ pace for trotting).* 1855   I had ...
Tinfoil Hat's user avatar
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19 votes

What triggered the slang term "epic fail"?

This is internet slang, pure and simple, and you can't find out about that through normal channels, such as OED, your parents, or any hidebound source that never "pwned" or got "pwned&...
Robusto's user avatar
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16 votes

Word for the loss of one parent

Merriam-Webster has an entry for half-orphan, meaning someone with only one living parent. They say specifically a child, which would match the usual usage of "orphan" (as mentioned in the ...
Stuart F's user avatar
  • 9,803
14 votes

What does TOOLER mean in Rugby school slang?

William Parker Brooke, Rupert’s father became Tutor at Rugby’s School Field House a fortnight after marrying Ruth Mary Cotterill in December 1879. According to the biography Rupert Brooke: Life, Death ...
bookmanu's user avatar
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11 votes

Origin of prefix "Mc" McDonalds or Monty Python?

The use of prefix Mc in a derogatory sense appears to predate McDonald’s and also Monty Pyton references: Mc: (often derogatory) Used in combination with a non-name descriptive word to form mock ...
user 66974's user avatar
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10 votes
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Idiomatic word/expression for someone ‘who has no feeling for the game’ - Translation of Spanish ‘pechofrío’

If you want a slang expression for someone that is not putting in the required effort, or showing very little interest, I would say a good one is "half-ass." Please note this is considered ...
DanM87's user avatar
  • 131
9 votes

What is the meaning of "burke a school" in Anticipations?

It's outdated Victorian "slang"... burke (verb, transitive) LITERALLY To murder, in the same manner or for the same purpose as (mass murderer) Burke did; to kill secretly by suffocation or ...
FumbleFingers's user avatar
8 votes
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Meaning of "get the tags"

When I was growing up and learning to drive in early 1970s New York, tag could also refer to the license plate itself, as the tag number refers to the plate #, and the sticker needs to jibe with that. ...
Cascabel_StandWithUkraine_'s user avatar
7 votes

Origin of prefix "Mc" McDonalds or Monty Python?

J.E. Lighter, Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, volume 2 (1997) has an on-point entry for Mc- as used in the relevant sense: Mc- prefix. {fr. McDonald's, international chain of ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
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7 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning of "burke a school" in Anticipations?

I don't know this work but the work was either abridged or enlarged and the version cited in the question is missing the explanation: He is a remnant and legacy of mediævalism, a sentimentalist ...
TimR's user avatar
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6 votes

Idiomatic word/expression for someone ‘who has no feeling for the game’ - Translation of Spanish ‘pechofrío’

The expression in your Spanish definition, "persona sin sangre" also exists in English as "bloodless" bloodless adj. Deficient in or lacking blood. Pale and anemic in color: ...
bjmc's user avatar
  • 1,347
6 votes

Can “spooky” and “sketchy” be considered synonyms?

These words as used are from two different subcultural usages. sketchy comes from the concept of a plan not being explained to the speaker completely. The speaker implicitly assumes that because they ...
Stephan Samuel's user avatar
5 votes

What's the meaning of the expression "[something] much?"

Most commonly, "x much?" is used when the person being addressed is displaying too much x (where x is something bad). For example, someone might say "hypocrisy much?" in response ...
Laurel's user avatar
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5 votes

Word for the loss of one parent

For completeness, it's worth mentioning that orphan itself is sometimes used in this way. This is indicated in its Merriam-Webster definition: a child deprived by death of one or usually both parents ...
ruakh's user avatar
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5 votes

Idiomatic word/expression for someone ‘who has no feeling for the game’ - Translation of Spanish ‘pechofrío’

Maybe "apathetic" or "detached" or "half-hearted". M-W apathetic affected by, characterized by, or displaying apathy : having or showing little or no interest, concern, ...
Jack O'Flaherty's user avatar
5 votes

Idiomatic word/expression for someone ‘who has no feeling for the game’ - Translation of Spanish ‘pechofrío’

Variants of "has no heart for/in it" would capture the sense of this better than existing answers IMO; e.g. "Messi is a great technician, but does not have his heart in the game" ...
jkf's user avatar
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5 votes

Idiomatic word/expression for someone ‘who has no feeling for the game’ - Translation of Spanish ‘pechofrío’

Another option is going through the motions. Normally it is used for a particular person doing a particular thing, eg Merriam Webster gives "to do something without making much effort to do it ...
Bug Catcher Nakata's user avatar
5 votes

Can “spooky” and “sketchy” be considered synonyms?

You've both got a point. Both something spooky, and something sketchy can provoke uneasiness. But they're not synonyms, and it's a different sort of uneasiness. The former is the spine-tingling ...
Chris H's user avatar
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5 votes

What does "neat" mean in 1950s slang as a noun referring to a person? (see: Grease)

Urban Dictionary has a number of definitions for neat, but among them are An expression that means something is wonderful, terrific, or cool. Used to sarcastically describe someone or something. ...
Andrew Leach's user avatar
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4 votes

Why is a good-looking or sexually attractive person called a 'snack'?

I've heard a bunch of taste-related words (scrumptious, delicious, yummmy etc.) used informally to describe someone who's attractive, so it seems that people often slangily associate foodstuffs with ...
Heartspring's user avatar
  • 8,610
4 votes
Accepted

Origin of the word "blackbirding" for a type of slave trade

An Elephind newspaper database search reports that an early instance of blackbirding used in this slang sense appears in an unidentified item in the Philadelphia [Pennsylvania] Press (April 17, 1861) [...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
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4 votes

Idiomatic word/expression for someone ‘who has no feeling for the game’ - Translation of Spanish ‘pechofrío’

Such a person could be a "wet blanket": A person who takes the fun out of a situation or activity, as by pessimism, demands, dullness, etc. They might also be described as a "cold ...
Obie 2.0's user avatar
  • 284
4 votes

Can “spooky” and “sketchy” be considered synonyms?

Tetsujin's answer is correct, but it occurs to me that perhaps your daughter was thinking of the term 'spooked' when she said 'spooky'. It's completely understandable that these terms could be ...
JimmyJames's user avatar
4 votes

What triggered the slang term "epic fail"?

epic is first recorded in writing by OED, and in this sense, in 1983 2b. colloquial (originally and chiefly U.S.). Particularly impressive or remarkable; excellent, outstanding. 1983 When University ...
Greybeard's user avatar
  • 42k
4 votes

'My bad' vs 'My bag'

So, this is actually one of my pet peeves. "My bag" is the original. The card game Spades is popular among U.S. jail and prison populations. Part of the partner game is counting how many ...
Joe Blow's user avatar
3 votes

What is the etymology of the expression "spit bath"?

The expression can be found in a few online sources, for instance. Spit bath: A quick wash of oneself, usually with a wet cloth , when there is very little time and/or water . (Wiktionary) The ...
user 66974's user avatar
  • 67.4k
3 votes

What is the origin of a 'racket', meaning a scam or swindle?

By 1900, Tammany politicians would grant friends and employees an informal concession to run parties called balls or rackets as money-makers. Here are a few lines from Joseph Mitchell's 1941 New ...
AMurr's user avatar
  • 31

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible