What does 'binned' mean?
April 15, 2009 10:22 AM   Subscribe

What does 'binned' mean in UK slang?

A friend of mine is doing a stint of work in London and has quickly picked up use of the word 'binned' in daily conversation. Except that she uses it so widely and in so many different contexts that I either don't understand the full breath of the definition or she's totally using it wrong.

So what does 'binned' mean in contemporary UK slang?
posted by coryinabox to Society & Culture (25 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
dumped / trashed as in - I binned her. it wasn't working out. or as in - I binned that pair of shoes as they had holes in them.
posted by Frasermoo at 10:23 AM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

I've always heard it used like thrown away, as in trash bin.
posted by amarynth at 10:24 AM on April 15, 2009

Thrown away. You can think of it as a synonym for "shelved" in many contexts.
posted by decathecting at 10:24 AM on April 15, 2009

I'm English, although I've not lived there for a few years. The only context I have ever heard it used is in the sense of getting rid of something. What context is your friend using it in?
posted by Zé Pequeno at 10:25 AM on April 15, 2009

You can think of it as a synonym for "shelved" in many contexts.

I don't agree with this. Thrown away, yes. Shelved.. no.
posted by Frasermoo at 10:29 AM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

It means to throw away or discard (to throw into the dustbin). However it's use has widened to the throwing away of anything, including significant others. So if one person binned another then they dumped them.
posted by mogcat at 10:46 AM on April 15, 2009

Bin in British English. One of the comments there says
The OED now traces the verb bin, in the sense 'to put in a waste-bin; to throw away; hence, by extension, to discard' to 1940...
posted by Electric Dragon at 10:47 AM on April 15, 2009

I would go further than some of the comments above. The context that I have most commonly heard 'binned' used is when someone/thing has been discarded but in an uncaring/thoughtless fashion.

e.g. He binned wee sorearse

or He got binned at his work.

or She binned her mobile because it was goosed.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 11:17 AM on April 15, 2009

There's also the possibility that as a recent transplant, she's using it differently and extending it beyond the context in which a native would use it.
posted by mikesch at 11:25 AM on April 15, 2009

Nthing thrown away.

Can you give us some examples of how she may be using it incorrectly? I'm curious!
posted by elsietheeel at 11:31 AM on April 15, 2009

As a Brit, I don't think I've heard it mean anything other than 'thrown away' - "those shoes were leaking, I binned 'em", or "the bread went off, I had to bin it". It's very similar to the expression 'trashed' - er, in the 'thrown away' rather than the 'drunk' sense, obviously...

I personally wouldn't quite agree with ClanvidHorse - it's used casually but I don't think there's necessarily a derogatory sense to the word. But slang usage varies, obviously.

(On a side note, I googled it to see if there was a usage I'm missing, and it might also be something to do with weed. But I doubt that's the context in which your friend is using it...)

But please do enlighten us as to how your friend is using the term, I'm intrigued!
posted by badmoonrising at 11:59 AM on April 15, 2009

Thanks for the answers, everyone. This question has been bugging me way more than it reasonably should.

To answer the brewing questions: she has used 'binned' on occasion to refer to almost being fired, which seems to be the closest she's come, except that nobody she's referred to has actually been fired, so she's really just using it to mean 'on the receiving end of disciplinary action.' (e.g. "He was rude to a client and how he's binned." when he was not fired.)

She routinely uses it to mean drunk which doesn't really fit, and I'm pretty sure she's used it once or twice to mean tired, which seems way off.

She has never used it to mean 'thrown away.'
posted by coryinabox at 12:10 PM on April 15, 2009

Using "binned" for drunk sounds like "trashed" in North American English- maybe that's the transposition she's making?
posted by twistofrhyme at 12:30 PM on April 15, 2009

Well then! You can delight in the fact that her friends in London are probably laughing at her every time she uses it incorrectly.
posted by elsietheeel at 12:39 PM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Yeah, London is laughing at her.

Binned = trashed if you're destroying or discarding something, but "getting binned" does not equal "getting trashed". What next? People who dress "binnily"?

(Although your friend can take comfort in having embarrassed herself less than an American of my acquaintance who - by a similar chain of reasoning - came the the conclusion that the British phrase for menarche was "getting your first full stop".)
posted by the latin mouse at 12:51 PM on April 15, 2009 [5 favorites]

She might think that it's equivalent to the US(?) slang "canned", which would be appropriate to describe someone being fired.
posted by zamboni at 12:51 PM on April 15, 2009

Alternatively, she might have misheard the phrase "sin-binned".
posted by zamboni at 1:23 PM on April 15, 2009

If she knows anything about rugby union or rugby league binned = sin-binned, ie. a penalty in which players spend ten minutes or more off the field as punishment for particularly violent or dangerous play.
That'd explain the work usage.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 1:25 PM on April 15, 2009

Urban dictionary for all your quirky word queries...

posted by Jeanmi at 1:38 PM on April 15, 2009

Yes it means to throw something away but I have also heard used to mean 'chemically altered' especially as regards to overuse of da 'erb.
posted by ob at 3:21 PM on April 15, 2009

I should say that I've only heard this other usage a couple of times, and I overheard it (so it wasn't used by anyone I knew, but it was quite obvious what was being spoken about.) For the record, I thought it sounded stupid.
posted by ob at 3:23 PM on April 15, 2009

I'm english and I have heared the term used to described being drunk-wasted-fuckedup.

"Aww man I was out on the piss last night and now me ed is totally binned."
posted by gergtreble at 3:37 AM on April 16, 2009

"The bin" is also slang for a mental asylum, as derived from "The loony bin". However, I have never heard someone use the word "bin" as a verb in that context.

nthing the "it means thrown away" responses. The bin is a UK English slang phrase for both indoor and outdoor trash baskets.
posted by maryrosecook at 6:15 AM on April 16, 2009

The bin is a UK English slang phrase for both indoor and outdoor trash baskets.

Just for reference - it's not slang for trash baskets - it's the actual, standard UK English word for them. It's just using the word as a verb that's slang. To confuse matters further, bins are often called buckets in Scotland, as in "If it's broken, just put it in the bucket."
posted by penguin pie at 4:07 PM on April 16, 2009

It's used increasingly expansively to indicate dropping a task or person (and I've not heard it as a synonym for getting drunk - people get "trashed" instead).

For example:
"He was binned from the football team because he never showed up" = He was dropped from the team;
"I'm going to bin my essay and go out instead" = I'm not going to do my essay;
"She binned him on Valentine's Day" = She broke up with him.
posted by TrashyRambo at 6:42 AM on April 18, 2009

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