Here in the far-flung reaches of the English-speaking world, we're constantly being told our local language is being taken over by "American Slang". But does it go the other way? Are there any British / Australian / New Zealand or wherever phrases and words that have become commonly used by people in North America recently? Do Brooklynites ever exclaim "Crikey!" or "Bloody Hell!"?
Where does the term "pissed off" come from? Doesn't seem to be related to being angry. You are more likely to piss your pants when you are scared.
Looking for slang words for a hangover. [more inside]
What's a "German Favor"? [more inside]
Slang term for statutory rape laws? [more inside]
What does "barnacle code" mean to programmers? [more inside]
Please help an American out with British slang: what is a flute shop? [more inside]
Explain to me the popularity of "moonbat." [more inside]
What's the origin of the phrase "For those of you [playing/following/scoring] along at home?" [more inside]
What's the new word for "cool"? [more inside]
Does anyone know a colloquial Spanish (/dialect irrelevant) term equivalent to 'Tripping," as in "being under the influence of a hallucinogenic drug?"
Is the phrase "Jive Turkey" offensive? [more inside]
I've noticed when reading European books translated into English, the turn of phrase "Do sex" or "sex each other" etc. Is this an accurate translation, or is it a watered down translation for the tradionial f-word in American English? British books sometimes feature it as well. Are both phrases used in Europe? Is there a difference in meaning?
Does anyone know any slang that waiters/waitresses use to refer to regular customers other than the obvious "regulars"?
What's a nickname for the speakers on a stereo? [more inside]
My grandfather was from the Deep South, and his speech was very colorful. He used the word "epizootics" to describe any kind of flu-like illness. I realize this is a real word, used to describe epidemics in the animal world. But he pronounced it differently, "eppa-zoo-tiks." Or sometimes he said "eppa-zoo-ti-kus." Has anyone else heard this before? Would this be considered slang, or an idiom, etc? [more inside]
We were discussing the source of playground rhymes/mythology/logic. Is there an example of a piece of nationally or internationally popular playground lore we can trace to a specific author?
Please help me find a print depicting idioms and slang. [more inside]
What's the etymology of "gully" (as in "street", "badass")? Thanks.
Is "Starlight" some form of British slang for "Medic"? [more inside]
My friend DJ just got a snowboard with a pretty girl painted on it, and she's named it "Betty" after the surfer slang for a good-looking woman. What's the equivalent to "Betty" in surfer lingo to describe a good-looking man?
I'm looking for a slang word/phrase used to describe a false bar in a prison cell. The idea is that when a prison was built/expanded by inmate labor, workers would loosen one bar before it'd set too solidly in cement to make a potential escape hatch. What would inmates call this? [more inside]
Identify that slang! "Gribnodes" used to refer to snackfoods, particularly snackfoods that one serves in small bowls at a party, like nuts or chexmix. [more inside]
In James T. Farrell's novel The Young Manhood of Studs Lonigan (1934), Studs's favorite beverage of choice (other than booze) is a coffee an'. What is a coffee an' ?
I just learned the term "bridge and tunnel crowd" which refers to people from the suburbs who come out on the weekends to the Manhattan [more inside]
A smart Venezuelan acquaintance is looking for fiction to help improve his understanding of current American idioms and slang. [more inside]
My friends and I were talking about building a cabin up North, and then we started talking like it was a 'heist' or a 'job', if you get the picture. So we designated someone as the Wheel-man, and someone else as the Grease-man, and then I asked: what's a grease-man? No one actually knew. I tried Google to no avail. Does anyone know what a Grease-man is? Are there any other *-man titles you can think up for a heist?
I'm embarrassed to ask, but what's a "Hollaback Girl" (that which Gwen Stefani ain't)?
Where did the term "meatspace" originate? I know it entered the OED in 2000 (alongside "gaydar," "cybersquatting" and "Frankenfood"), and I see The Word Spy credits a 1995 article about John Perry Barlow as the "earliest citation," but I think I saw it in cyberpunk sci-fi before that. Anyone got an earlier appearance than 1995? [more inside]
What does 'natch mean? Origins? Uses? [more inside]
[OffensiveSlangFilter] What exactly does "shay," as in "shay whitey," mean? From whence does it come?
Edwardian slang. I'm in the midst of an Upstairs Downstairs marathon and the daughter of the house keeps using a word that sounds like "deevee" and apparently means something like "cool." I've googled (hard when you don't know the spelling) and gone through online dictionaries of Victorian and Edwardian slang, but no luck on what it means or the derivation. Can anyone enlighten me?
Is there a good online dictionary of idioms and phrases? I know there are online thesauri, but they don't have the colorful expressions from the original Roget's I.
LanguageFilter: Any Arabic speakers here? I'm trying to decipher an Arabic phrase: "Baashake ya halo." I might have spelled it wrong, but I know it's not a common Arabic phrase so much as it is slang. Any ideas?
I was watching da Ali G movie the other night, and the bit at the beginning where his "West Side Massive" faces off against the "East Side Massive" got me wondering: what the heck is a "massive"? I've heard the term used in similar contexts, but can't seem to Google or Wiki up any explanation. Respec!
Usually I'm pretty "hep" to the "lingo" you kids use, but will someone tell this clueless geezer the provenance of "Oh, snap!"? (sorry, that's it, no more inside)
CanadianSlangFilter: What is a "tucker"? [more inside]
I'm listening to some Public Enemy MP3s and it has ocurred to me that I don't know, nor have I ever known, what "cold lampin'" means or refers to. Anyone?
I checked every slang dictionary I could find to no avail. Does anyone else use "gaf", "gaff", or "gaffe" as slang for "party" or "get-together"?
Could someone please explain what the phrase "bleeding deacons" means ?
Not to display (again) my ridiculous naivete, but what exactly is a half and half? [more inside]
anyone speak polish? my grandmother used to have a word (most likely not a nice one) for what my irish grandfather referred to as "chippies"--young women, tight pants, high heels, bright lipstick. not *bad* girls, per se, but not nice ones either. i'm thinking it might have been "cichodjka" (more or less pronounced: tsyhodyeh'kah) but my aunt says no, that doesn't sound right to her.
What is the origin of the slang term beeyotch (not sure I spelled it right.) [more inside]
One for the helpdesk [hopedesk!] folks: when one is referred to as "starfish", is it a reference to being a butthole, or does it mean one is so low on the food chain they have no brain (like arms + legs + head = 5 appendages)? Neither?