155 posts tagged with slang.
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Thai for lesbian

I go to Thai restaurants and Thai massage on a semi-regular basis. My name is Dee. Googling has previously told me that Dee is the Thai word for a femme lesbian. Is this something that your average Thai person would know or sub-culture slang? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 15, 2016 - 7 answers

Did my carpet cleaner just tell me he was on drugs?

Just had a carpet cleaner in to clean our carpets. As I was paying, he was having trouble getting his phone to read my card, due to my card being worn. But while he was doing it, he made a comment to the effect of "I only got about 6 amps in me today so I've kind of got the shakes." Any idea what that statement meant?
posted by jferg on Jul 18, 2016 - 14 answers

Is this what the kids are saying these days?

I've got a list of supposedly trending slang terms among the middle-to-high-school set, and I need to know whether it's accurate, especially for different regions of the U.S. [more inside]
posted by terilou on Jun 29, 2016 - 46 answers

What did Mickey Spillane mean by this word?

Okay, so I'm working on new subtitles for Robert Aldrich's noir classic "Kiss Me Deadly". Around 50 minutes in, Mike Hammer drops in on a character named Carl Evello, and encounters a sexy girl who introduces herself like this:
"I'm Friday. I'd have been named Tuesday if I'd been born on Tuesday. I'm Carl's sister. Half sister. Same mother, different father."
The thing is, while her voice said "father", her lips were obviously pronouncing a different word, that was later overdubbed as "father". [more inside]
posted by Silky Slim on Apr 23, 2016 - 5 answers

How commonplace is this Spanish pejorative term?

My wife and I are really, really hoping to name our (possible girl) baby "Zora"--as in Zora Neale Hurston. However, we recently learned that "zorra" is a slang term in Spanish roughly equivalent to b**** or c***. We live in an area with a sizable Spanish-speaking population. So, two questions: (1) Are we interpreting the term correctly? (2) How widespread is its use?
posted by anonymous on Mar 27, 2016 - 16 answers

Slang phrases (and where you heard them) for u-turn?

Hi, I'm interested in any slang words or phrases you have heard for making a u-turn. I'll share the two I've heard; I'd love to hear what you have heard. [more inside]
posted by rachelpapers on Sep 23, 2015 - 63 answers

What's it called in American English?

You know that game when you grab someone's forearm with both hands and twist back and forth in opposite directions? In Swedish it's called "tusennålar" - thousand needles. My kid asked me what it's called in English and I hesitated to tell him "Indian burn" which is what I remember. Surely there is something better? Help me out please.
posted by three blind mice on Aug 23, 2015 - 35 answers

Garbage People

When did the phrase "Garbage People/Person" become popular? [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight on Jul 30, 2015 - 38 answers

Did people actually say "shwench"?

Many years ago I read this William Safire article in which he claims that "shwench" is 1985 slang for a female college first-year. Did anyone ever actually use this completely bogus-sounding slang term? [more inside]
posted by town of cats on Jul 22, 2015 - 26 answers

What is the meaning of the -core suffix?

In words like normcore, krishnacore, and all the words on this list, what do you think the meaning of the suffix -core is? What do you think people are trying to signify by adding -core to the end of words? Also, can you think of other examples of words that end in -core? [more inside]
posted by sam_harms on Jul 8, 2015 - 24 answers

Roberto Bolaño and Chilean Slang

Has Roberto Bolaño ever used Chilean slang in his writings? [more inside]
posted by slowlikemolasses on Nov 10, 2014 - 3 answers

Sweet Little Buttercup

What is the origin of the phrase 'Suck it up, buttercup'?
posted by bq on Nov 2, 2014 - 5 answers

# = ♀ ?

How and when did referring to a woman as a "number" become a euphemism?
posted by Heatwole on Oct 23, 2014 - 21 answers

Regional dialects and vernaculars in fiction and television?

I'm curious as to how writers of fiction or television (specifically writers who are not from the depicted region or culture or economic class themselves) of shows like The Wire or Deadwood or The Sopranos, are able to write a wide range of dialects, vernaculars and idioms so successfully.* [more inside]
posted by Mrs. Buck Turgidson on Sep 8, 2014 - 9 answers

What are the kids these days calling each other?

What are teenagers, and college-age kids calling each other when they are trying to flirt? [more inside]
posted by JennyJupiter on Sep 4, 2014 - 23 answers

Spanish slang suffix -uqui?

In Mexican telenovela Qué Pobres Tan Ricos, there is a character (Leonardo Ruiz Palacios) who often uses some sort of slang that involves adding "uqui" to the end of certain words. For example, he'll say "amiguqui" instead of "amigo." What does this suffix signify? [more inside]
posted by dayintoday on May 10, 2014 - 8 answers

"young lady"

Is there any explanation for how the phrase "young lady," used in addressing an obviously older woman, became popular? I never hear it used in addressing girls anymore, but only as a lame attempt to be friendly to an older woman. It's as if the speaker is trying to make you feel better about the fact that you are not a young lady; it is so much nicer to hear the respectful yet affectionate Southern colloquialism "miss lady." Ditto for the phrase "graduate college': when and why did even respected news sources drop the "from" ("graduate from college")? Thanks for listening.
posted by mmiddle on Feb 25, 2014 - 30 answers

Meaning of a Yiddish expression my Mother used.

What did my Yiddische mother mean when she said, "You can have [reasonable alternative choice 1] or you can have [reasonable alternative 2] or you can have 'kakebetchke with hindigzumen'" ? In that context, what is "kakebetchke with hindigzumen"? [more inside]
posted by SamFrancisco on Feb 4, 2014 - 33 answers

Help me figure out the origin of this Italian-American slang word

I'm trying to figure out the origin of a particular Italian slang word my family uses that means "gaudy, tacky or overdone". [more inside]
posted by Thin Lizzy on Feb 1, 2014 - 29 answers

Can you point me to a TV show episode that contains words like "adorbs"?

I'm looking for examples of real-world (that is, non-Internet) usage of new slang shortenings like "totes", "ridic", "adorbs" or "awks". TV shows where characters use such words would be great, especially if the episodes are available online. I've found Youtube videos where people talk about the phenomenon, but I'd prefer non-ironic, spontaneous examples.
posted by redlines on Dec 21, 2013 - 30 answers

Is "tee tee" for pee a regional or ethnic thing?

Is "tee-tee" for urination a regional or ethnic thing? [more inside]
posted by vincele on Nov 17, 2013 - 36 answers

How is the jargon in Shadowrun translated in other languages?

Kind of curious about this. I know Shadowrun does/did well in Germany, and has/had at least a nominal presence in Japan. One of the (for good or ill) characteristics of the setting is the jargon and street slang. How are these translated into other languages? What are some examples?
posted by curious nu on Jul 26, 2013 - 4 answers

Words in non-English languages that look English but really aren't?

I'm fascinated by the efforts of Deutsche Bahn to get rid of the "Bahnglisch" that litters the service with expressions that look English but aren't the sort of expressions that any native speaker of English would actually use, and it occurred to me that this sort of thing is common in German outside of DB, and probably all over the world. [more inside]
posted by ethnomethodologist on Jul 14, 2013 - 38 answers

Slang term for treasure hunt in different languages?

ForeignLanguagesFilter: Looking for a name for a new project. It'll be a local 'treasure-hunting' sort of app for different cities around the world. What's some slang you know for 'treasure hunt', looking for something special, or the like? [more inside]
posted by chrisinseoul on Jul 6, 2013 - 5 answers

Is "sawbuck" generally recognized as $10 in North America? Elsewhere?

I've been thinking of starting a small, single-serving Web site that offers a very specific service for $10. I was thinking about calling it “Sawbuck [Service]”. How much confidence should I have that the word "sawbuck" will be understood by most casual readers as meaning $10?
posted by Shepherd on Jun 4, 2013 - 110 answers


What is the etymology of "ratchet," a slang term with a negative meaning? [more inside]
posted by lewedswiver on May 29, 2013 - 20 answers

"Hosed" etymology - When did this phrase come into use?

At what point did the phrase "I'm/you're/we're hosed" come into play in the US vernacular? Earliest record? From pop culture somewhere? Are there regions of the US that did not ever use this turn of phrase?
posted by juniperesque on May 17, 2013 - 17 answers

Do I really want to know what a man's "jolt" is?

What would it have meant in the mid-twentieth century to "shake another man's jolt"? [more inside]
posted by dinger on Apr 30, 2013 - 11 answers

Jag söker svenska idiomen!

I'm learning Swedish in advance of a trip to Stockholm to visit friends this summer. (Yes, I know Swedes generally speak excellent English; learning languages is a hobby.) When I'm there, I'd like to pepper some of my conversations with colorful sayings, slang, and idioms. Kan du hjälpa mig? [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Mar 7, 2013 - 5 answers

Hokis - Armenian slang?

Trying to find out more about what the word Hokis, which seems to be a slang term, means in Armenian. Not very googlable, or not for me. Any help would be much appreciated.
posted by jitterbug perfume on Feb 3, 2013 - 5 answers

Oy-yey Lady? Oyez Man?

My grandmother (born in 1905) used to refer to herself as the "Oy-yey Lady" (I'm spelling phonetically here) every time she had to clean up something particularly gross (usually animal related). I'm wondering if it's a real word or something she made up. [more inside]
posted by Sweetie Darling on Jan 17, 2013 - 13 answers


What is the etymology of British nicknames ending in -zza/-zzer? [more inside]
posted by catlet on Nov 30, 2012 - 21 answers

Well, it's not below the Mendoza Line.

Is/Are there term(s) to describe the threshold at which a person can see their own breath outside ? [more inside]
posted by fizzix on Nov 13, 2012 - 4 answers

Help me sound out-dated!

I'm looking for an online dictionary (or even a simple list) of zoot-suit (Pachuco) culture/era slang. My Google-fu is weak. Help? [more inside]
posted by scaryblackdeath on Nov 9, 2012 - 4 answers

What do you call an overly protective facebook creeper?

What is the name for the phenomenon of creepy guys being overly protective of women they barely know on the internet, in particular on facebook? [more inside]
posted by albrecht on Oct 31, 2012 - 14 answers

"Man, I need to find a johnny on the spot right now!" "What?"

Is "Johnny-on-the-spot" a common nickname for a portable toilet throughout the US, or it it just a regionalism? [more inside]
posted by zsazsa on Oct 26, 2012 - 65 answers

Tolmasos? Vignazos?

Canarian Spanish slang filter: On a recent trip to rural Tenerife I found some graffiti on a water pumping station wall. It reads: "Tierra Guanche - only local - no nos hacemos responsables de posibles tolmasos o vignazos" 'Tierra Guanche - only local" seems pretty clear; a (possibly non-literal) identification with the Guanche (pre-Castilian indigenous people of Tenerife) and a comment on tourism or immigration. My rudimentary Spanish says the rest runs "we take no responsibility for possible ..." but 'tolmasos' and 'vignazos' seem to be local slang. Does anyone know what they mean? There's a photo (not mine) here.
posted by cromagnon on Oct 15, 2012 - 4 answers

Me talk pretty one day?

My informal English is boring! I'd like to make it more interesting by incorporating new and/or local (to Philadelphia) linguistic features to it. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious on May 22, 2012 - 18 answers

Having gone to school in California, I assume we just liked saying "weed" as often as possible.

Past and current university students: Did you ever use the specific term "weeder class" during your academic career? If so, where did you study? [more inside]
posted by C^3 on Apr 25, 2012 - 65 answers

Like awesome dude... Slang from the 90s

Looking for examples of late 20th century slang/lingo has fallen out of common usage? [more inside]
posted by kreestar on Apr 18, 2012 - 55 answers

Must I Holler? Must I Shake 'Em On Down?

Calling Bluesologists and/or Language Historians: Want interpretations of the meaning of a song, or more specifically, a specific phrase used in that song. [more inside]
posted by mreleganza on Feb 21, 2012 - 5 answers

Two unidentified words from Bill Moyers' Colbert interview

What is Bill Moyers talking about at 16:30 in this recent Colbert Report episode? [more inside]
posted by Who_Am_I on Jan 12, 2012 - 2 answers

What are "susans?"

"Ladies with their 'susans' showing?" My google-fu failed this one! What is a susan, if it's not lazy and not an actual person's name? [more inside]
posted by Rosie M. Banks on Aug 29, 2011 - 17 answers

Maybe We Can Eventually Make Language A Complete Impediment To Understanding.

I'm working on a comic that's a parody of detective noir comics. I want the most obscure, antiquated, and obfuscating slang from early 20th century America. [more inside]
posted by cmoj on Aug 8, 2011 - 10 answers

The feds in a unitary state

In recent coverage of the Mark Duggan shooting and subsequent riots, I've seen a few instances of people referring to the police as "feds". Obviously in Britain there are no actual feds since there's no federal government, so what's the story here? [more inside]
posted by strangely stunted trees on Aug 7, 2011 - 7 answers

I deserve to ask a question because I paid my $5.

What does it mean to "deserve" something? [more inside]
posted by Pastor of Muppets on Jun 16, 2011 - 36 answers

Hello, Pete!

Have you heard "Hello, Pete!" used as an exclamation? [more inside]
posted by something something on Jun 2, 2011 - 16 answers

Help me find an M.I.A. mashup?

I'm looking for a specific mashup, and suggestions for similar mashups. [more inside]
posted by herrdoktor on Apr 20, 2011 - 5 answers

Springtucky Derby

I'm trying to gather a list of regional pejoratives for cities and suburbs. Like here in Oregon USA, we refer to Springfield as "Springtucky," and Clackamas as "Clackansas". In Denver they call Aurora "Saudi Aurora" or "Guadalaurora". "Spocompton" is a common epithet for Spokane, WA. [more inside]
posted by yalestar on Apr 18, 2011 - 217 answers

Readin' time's here!

Do you know of any written stories, fiction or otherwise (but not movies) with language usage similar to that in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome or The Dark Knight Returns? Example of what I'm looking for are after the break. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 23, 2011 - 30 answers

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