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noun
Slang  n.  Low, vulgar, unauthorized language; a popular but unauthorized word, phrase, or mode of expression; also, the jargon of some particular calling or class in society; low popular cant; as, the slang of the theater, of college, of sailors, etc.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Slang" Quotes from Famous Books



... to the West End, and rapidly dying out there, and the "dishonourable" trade of the show-shops and slop-shops—the plate-glass palaces, where gents—and, alas! those who would be indignant at that name—buy their cheap-and-nasty clothes. The two names are the tailors' own slang; slang is true and expressive enough, though, now and then. The honourable shops in the West End number only sixty; the dishonourable, four hundred and more; while at the East End the dishonourable trade has it all its own way. The honourable part of the trade is declining ...
— Alton Locke, Tailor And Poet • Rev. Charles Kingsley et al

... bestowed upon a class of vagabonds who wandered over the country dressed in grotesque fashion, pretending to be mad and working upon the fears or the charity of people for alms. They were common in the time of Shakespeare, and were found even as late as the Restoration. The slang phrase "to sham Abraham," is a survival of the practice. There was a ward in Bethlehem (or Bedlam) Hospital, called the Abraham Ward, and hence probably arose the name of these beggars. Harmless lunatics who had been discharged were often to be seen roaming ...
— Little Folks (October 1884) - A Magazine for the Young • Various

... not a sailor, and his knowledge of sea-life, of seamen, and of sea-slang, is generally attributed to the instructions of his brother, the master of a ship. This brother was subsequently lost at sea, and Dibdin is said to have written Poor Tom Bowling as his elegy. Dibdin's sea-lore was, therefore, altogether second-hand and theoretical; and ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 425 - Volume 17, New Series, February 21, 1852 • Various

... Eleanor said consolingly. "Perhaps it is only because you don't talk a word of slang that your speech sounds ...
— The Rebellion of Margaret • Geraldine Mockler

... assented the contractor again, and then he said something in Spanish to the aged Mexican. What it was Tom could not catch, for Delazes spoke rapidly and seemed to use some colloquial, or slang phrases with which our hero was not familiar. The old Mexican assented by a nod, and then he brought out some corn meal which Eradicate took. The woman with the golden image had gone ...
— Tom Swift in the City of Gold, or, Marvelous Adventures Underground • Victor Appleton

... slang. You know every side-wheel steamer has a statement of her destination painted on her wheel house. I meant to ...
— A Captain in the Ranks - A Romance of Affairs • George Cary Eggleston

... was bustling about and I felt sure that in another minute every available bellhop in the hotel would be at work. As Warrington might have said in his slang, "Action is her ...
— Guy Garrick • Arthur B. Reeve

... chains jingling as the horses tossed and pawed impatient for a start; the tapering holly whip; the bear-skins covering the seats; the top-coats spread above them— every thing, in a word, without bordering on the slang, ...
— Warwick Woodlands - Things as they Were There Twenty Years Ago • Henry William Herbert (AKA Frank Forester)

... she should fasten on the real cause of this violence. "I don't like jargon," she said, "particularly the jargon of Christian Science and Theosophy. I love English literature too much for that; and I don't like slang, particularly slang of a brutal order; but I feel a deep sympathy with anybody who is trying, as Mr. Studdert-Kennedy is trying, to put life and power into institutionalism. It wants it so badly—oh, so very badly—life, life, ...
— Painted Windows - Studies in Religious Personality • Harold Begbie

... inventing an arbitrary private vocabulary of words and phrases for the purpose of disguising references to functions and parts of the body regarded as immodest and indecent, first began to become common. Such private slang, growing up independently in families, and especially among women, as well as between lovers, is now almost universal. It is not confined to any European country, and has been studied in Italy by Niceforo (Il Gergo, 1897, cap. 1 and 2), who regards it as a weapon of social defence against ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 1 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... guineas. "I wonder how the deuce I could ever have liked these people," he thought in his own mind. "Why, I can see the crow's-feet under Rougemont's eyes, and the paint on her cheeks is laid on as thick as clown's in a pantomime! The way in which that Calverley talks slang, is quite disgusting. I hate chaff in a woman. And old Colchicum! that old Col, coming down here in his brougham, with his coronet on it, and sitting bodkin between Mademoiselle Coralie and her mother! It's too bad. An English peer, and a horse-rider of Franconi's! It won't do; by Jove, ...
— The History of Pendennis, Vol. 2 - His Fortunes and Misfortunes, His Friends and His Greatest Enemy • William Makepeace Thackeray

... glimpses of perfect nature which casts the anchor deep in memory, and leaves a lasting impression of bygone days." And then Esmeralda danced as she sang the words of her song; the words not in English are her own, for I cannot find them even in the slang Romany, and what she meant by her bosh ...
— Gipsy Life - being an account of our Gipsies and their children • George Smith

... half an hour, perhaps less. I don't want you to tell Sam unless he has to know. Don't let him risk defeat by attempting a rescue in case I don't show up. Tell him I'm playing off my own bat. That's a bit of English slang he'll understand." ...
— The Pirate of Panama - A Tale of the Fight for Buried Treasure • William MacLeod Raine

... of the best disciplined: and the Italians, anxious not to be outdone in any respect by their allies, were the most accomplished of depredators. They had come in fact to hold theft meritorious, and designated it by the elegant name of poetry. This slang term had become so general, that it was used even by the officers; and the adjutant of Pepe's regiment, in reporting a marauder to him, calls the man a poet. The prosaic application of a couple of hundred lashes to the shoulders of this culprit, served as a warning to his fellows, and soon the ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCLXXVI. February, 1847. Vol. LXI. • Various

... near as I can make out it is a bit of slang that means this: The word 'rag' is the slang for a public dance. When a man in town who is popular enough falls behind in paying his rent, through some misfortune or other, and owes so much he cannot hope to pay it, he hands out a flag that he wants ...
— Ted Strong's Motor Car • Edward C. Taylor

... red, like a bashful woman's. He thought Blecker had divined his secret, would haul it out roughly in another moment. If this slang-talking Yankee should take little Lizzy's name into his mouth! But the Doctor was silent, even looked away until the heat on the poor old bachelor's face had died out. He knew McKinstry's thought of that little girl well enough, but he held the child-hearted man's secret ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 11, Issue 67, May, 1863 • Various

... examining the papers. Suddenly this cautious, strong-minded man looked up into Yuba Bill's waiting face, and said quietly, in the despicable slang of ...
— The Story of a Mine • Bret Harte

... Kentucky, the passage of which is made difficult and laborious, as well by its tortuous course as by numerous shallows and bars. The real application of the phrase is to the unhappy wight who propels the boat, but politically, in slang usage, it means the man rowed up, the ...
— Nature and Human Nature • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... temperament and sympathies far from being an old-fashioned Democrat. He is, as his official expositor, the late Mr. Alfred Hodder, says, "a typical American of the new time." No old-fashioned Democrat would have smoked cigarettes, tossed dice in public for drinks, and "handed out" slang to his constituents; and his unconventionally in these respects is merely an occasional expression of a novel, individual, and refreshing point of view. Mr. Jerome alone among American politicians has made a specialty of plain speaking. He has revolted against the tradition ...
— The Promise Of American Life • Herbert David Croly

... presbytery grounds there was a veritable menagerie of animal pensioners dependent on her—two dogs, three cats, with a numerous progeny of kittens; a cockatoo and magpie, marvellously gifted in slang; two seagulls, kept for the benefit of the snails that infested the garden; an aviary of small, brightly-coloured birds; and, lastly, a miserable sheep, rescued from death by the roadside to live in an asthmatic ...
— Grey Town - An Australian Story • Gerald Baldwin

... Agnes," she declared, though without entire sincerity; "I can't quite keep up with your thieves' argot—your slang, you know. Just what did this brother ...
— Within the Law - From the Play of Bayard Veiller • Marvin Dana

... you want to get looking at that for?" she asked Anna-Felicitas, when she had edged through the crowd staring at the Vaterland, and got to where Anna-Felicitas stood listening abstractedly to the fireworks of American slang the young man was treating her to,—that terse, surprising, swift hitting-of-the-nail-on-the-head form of speech which she was hearing in such abundance for the ...
— Christopher and Columbus • Countess Elizabeth Von Arnim

... the chief, and under it they had sprinkled swan's-down, and they all were dressed up to their limit. And though they could have been killed any minute, these two white men had that lot of Indians feeding from the hand, as the slang ...
— The Young Alaskans on the Missouri • Emerson Hough

... a slice of that bacon and then run, for we shall have to get off this boat in double quick time if we expect to save our bacon," said Billy, thinking the slang ...
— Billy Whiskers' Adventures • Frances Trego Montgomery

... means. But he should never forget that every influence which he can bring to bear in his daily work to make science pleasant and attractive, and every lesson which he gives in the use of pure, correct English, free from exaggeration, from slang, and from mannerism, goes far to render such miserable and pernicious trash distasteful even to ...
— Pedagogics as a System • Karl Rosenkranz

... case was this: My friend Sir J. L., with a large cluster of intellectual qualities, and another of social qualities, had one point of character which I will not call bad and cannot call good; he never used a slang expression. To such a length did he carry his dislike, that he could not bear head and tail, even in a work on games of chance: so he used obverse and reverse. I stared when I first saw this: but, to my delight, I found that the force of circumstances beat him at last. He was obliged ...
— A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II) • Augustus De Morgan

... the position of office boy to that of secretary for the Corrugated Iron Company. The story is full of humor and infectious American slang. ...
— Whispering Smith • Frank H. Spearman

... long, that their masters ultimately adopted it—a language of which Plautus gives us glimpses and which the graffiti may perhaps help to restore. When Varius was emperor, this phrase of the kitchen was as rife as when Plautus wrote—a proof that occasionally slang has been ...
— Cooking and Dining in Imperial Rome • Apicius

... one among the quadrupeds which was striking in appearance—not to say stunning. No; we won't say stunning, because that is a slang expression, and many persons object to slang expressions; therefore we will avoid that word; although we confess to being unable to see why, if it is allowable (as every one will admit it is) to assert ...
— The Wild Man of the West - A Tale of the Rocky Mountains • R.M. Ballantyne

... intuitive utterance of the art was misapprehended or perverted altogether. Its naive misconceits were construed into coarse blunders; its pleasing incongruities were resolved into meaningless jargon. Gibberish became the staple of its composition. Slang phrases and crude jests, all odds and ends of vulgar sentiment, without regard to the idiosyncrasies of the negro, were caught up, jumbled together into rhyme, and, rendered into the lingo presumed to be genuine, were ready for the stage. The ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 121, November, 1867 • Various

... 'landscape in coloured silks' which Charlotte Palmer had worked at school (chap, xxvi.); and of old remedies for the lost art of swooning, in the 'lavender drops' of chapter xxix. The mention of a dance as a 'little hop' in chapter ix. reads like a premature instance of middle Victorian slang. But nothing is new—even in a novel—and 'hop,' in this sense, is at least as old ...
— Persuasion • Jane Austen

... college was founded in 1473 by Robert Woodlark, Chancellor of the University, and dedicated to "the glorious Virgin Martyr, St. Catherine of Alexandria." Undergraduate slang, alas! reduces all this to "Cat's." It was originally called St. Catherine's Hall, and is one of the smallest of the colleges. Although not claiming the strong ecclesiastical flavour of Corpus, it has educated quite a formidable array of bishops. From Trumpington Street the buildings ...
— Beautiful Britain—Cambridge • Gordon Home

... of such men soon created a flagrant scandal in the Democratic party, which was duly aired both in the newspapers and in Congress. It definitely fixed the phrases "old fogy" and "Young America" in our slang literature. The personal friends of Douglas hastened to explain and assert his innocence of any complicity with this political raid, but they were not more than half believed; and the war of factions, begun in January, raged with increasing ...
— Abraham Lincoln: A History V1 • John G. Nicolay and John Hay

... spends so much of her life under the all-pervading eye of authority, she is so drilled, and lectured, and ruled and regulated, that, when the eye of authority is off her, she seems naturally to degenerate into licence. No speech so interwoven with slang as the speech of a ...
— The Golden Calf • M. E. Braddon

... mobile multitude, swayed hither and thither by each gust of passion or caprice, this, which The Spectator hardly expected, while he confessed it possible, has actually come to pass. 'It is one of the many words formerly slang, which are now used by our best writers, and received, like pardoned outlaws, into the body of respectable citizens.' Again, though the murdering of poor helpless lodgers, afterwards to sell their bodies for dissection, can only be regarded as ...
— On the Study of Words • Richard C Trench

... Theory Lyell's Geology Gothic Architecture Gerard's Douw's "Schoolmaster" and Titian's "Venus" Sir J. Scarlett Mandeville's Fable of the Bees Bestial Theory Character of Bertram Beaumont and Fletcher's Dramas Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides Milton Style Cavalier Slang Junius Prose and Verse Imitation and Copy Dr. Johnson Boswell Burke Newton Milton Painting Music Poetry Public Schools Scott and Coleridge Nervous Weakness Hooker and Bull Faith Quakers Philanthropists Jews Sallust Thucydides Herodotus Gibbon Key to the Decline of the Roman ...
— Specimens of the Table Talk of S.T.Coleridge • Coleridge

... I stand on the pier of Beyrout, while my luggage is being embarked for the Austrian steamer lying in the roads, which, in the Levantine slang, has lighted her chibouque, and is polluting yon white promontory, clear cut in the azure horizon, with a ...
— Servia, Youngest Member of the European Family • Andrew Archibald Paton

... for frivolity and excitement, which exhibits itself in many forms in our popular literature. To meet the public taste, our books and periodicals must now be highly spiced, amusing, and comic, not disdaining slang, and illustrative of breaches of all laws, human and divine. Douglas Jerrold once observed of this tendency, "I am convinced the world will get tired (at least I hope so) of this eternal guffaw about all things. After all, life has something serious in it. ...
— Self Help • Samuel Smiles

... cannot pretend to any trade, not even to be porters or messengers. It would be idle if they did, for he knows them, and they know that he knows them, to be nothing but professed Thieves and Ruffians. He knows where they resort, knows by what slang names they call one another, knows how often they have been in prison, and how long, and for what. All this is known at his Station, too, and is (or ought to be) known at Scotland Yard, too. But does he ...
— The Uncommercial Traveller • Charles Dickens

... how far I should be from laughing. "In your case," he continued, "the pathognomonic, if you will excuse medical slang, was every now and then broken by the intrusion ...
— The Portent & Other Stories • George MacDonald

... at least. I don't suppose any one could set me permanently on my physical, corporeal pins. Beg pardon for the slang, Conny, I don't forget how you and Sybil used to lecture me for that, and my other vices. Poor sis, she had given up the drink talks latterly, given me over as hopeless, and so I am. Con., I have made ...
— The Diamond Coterie • Lawrence L. Lynch

... all over the world, Blue-Books, guides, directories, and all such aids to work as forethought could arrange. There was for this special service a body of some hundreds of capable servants in special dress and bearing identification numbers—in fact, King Rupert "did us fine," to use a slang phrase ...
— The Lady of the Shroud • Bram Stoker

... is to connect it with sidus, star, as in considerare, to examine the stars with attention, hence, to look closely at. If this is so, the history of the transition in meaning is unknown. J. B. Greenough (Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, i. 96) has suggested that the word is a military slang term. According to this theory desiderare meant originally to miss a soldier from the ranks at roll-call, the root being that seen in sedere, to sit, ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 2 - "Demijohn" to "Destructor" • Various

... to me innocuous enough, so I engaged in conversation with a man whom the Gay Cat had introduced as the proprietor. Much of the slang I already knew by hearsay, such as "bulls" for policemen, a "mouthpiece" for a lawyer to defend one when he is "ditched" or arrested; in fact, as I busily scribbled away I must have collected a lexicon of a hundred words or so for ...
— The Poisoned Pen • Arthur B. Reeve

... "You've recently," she observed, "got into a new way. Whatever slang you happen to hear outside you come and tell me. And whenever you read any improper book, you poke your fun at me. What! have I become a ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book II • Cao Xueqin

... spirit of the language, and when employed impart to it much dignity and beauty; but there is no standard of orthography, nor any grammar, and but few rules of universal application. Every Siamese writer spells to please himself, and the purism of one is the slang ...
— The English Governess At The Siamese Court • Anna Harriette Leonowens

... semisynthetic narcotics. Poppy straw concentrate is the alkaloid derived from the mature, dried opium poppy. Qat (kat, khat) is a stimulant from the buds or leaves of Catha edulis that is chewed or drunk as tea. Quaaludes is the North American slang term for methaqualone, a pharmaceutical depressant. Stimulants are drugs that relieve mild depression, increase energy and activity, and include cocaine (coke, snow, crack), amphetamines (Desoxyn, Dexedrine), phenmetrazine (Preludin), methylphenidate ...
— The 1998 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... of this confession, and in the same way I sympathize with those Officers of the Salvation Army who, in racing slang, cannot 'stay ...
— Regeneration • H. Rider Haggard

... of Spanish thieves, justice is called "la justa" (the just), and this name is given in French slang to the Assizes, but, as Mayor observes, it may be ...
— Criminal Man - According to the Classification of Cesare Lombroso • Gina Lombroso-Ferrero

... his attitude, less and less like Victor. But it is not to be presumed that he was sinking into mental nothingness. He was not perhaps quite so refined in his language as he might have been, he used slang, and sometimes was inclined to hang his hat on the floor and talk back. He was rather untidy in his dress. But certain compensating qualities of the highest value were appearing in Tim. He had gathered to himself a plentiful supply ...
— War and the Weird • Forbes Phillips

... immediately came to its master and climbed upon his knee. Anselmo took the animal in his hand, put it on its back, and took from under its thick, hairy skin a small, thin instrument called in galley-slave slang "cow's tail." ...
— The Son of Monte-Cristo, Volume I (of 2) • Alexandre Dumas pere

... pictures done by him at that time—one, an especially good one, I happened upon in the Grosvenor Gallery. This picture, although superficial and betraying when you looked into it a radical want of knowledge, was not lacking in charm. In French studios there is a slang phrase which expresses the meretricious charm of this picture—c'est du chic; and the meaning of this very expressive term is ignorance affecting airs of capacity. Now the whole of Mr. Menpes' picture was comprised in this term. The manner of the master who, certain of the shape and value ...
— Modern Painting • George Moore

... "Nasty vulgar slang. If you were going to be here longer, Captain Pleydell's wife should give you lessons in English. She isn't a teacher, you know. She's an American—with a silver tongue. And there's that wretched bell." She ...
— Jonah and Co. • Dornford Yates

... this is the difficult part of the subject to make clear, the most vulgar slang like that quoted above, is scarcely worse than the attempted elegance which those unused to good society imagine to be the evidence ...
— Etiquette • Emily Post

... 'Knights of St. Nicholas,' which, in the slang of the middle ages, meant what they call in the West road agents; indeed, plain highwaymen they were called in England ...
— The Iron Game - A Tale of the War • Henry Francis Keenan

... style was entirely his own. He played strange tricks with the English language, heaped words upon words, strung adjective to adjective; mingled passages of Ruskinesque description with jerky fragments of modern slang. These mannerisms grew with his growth, but in the seventies they were not sufficiently marked to detract from the pure pleasure which we enjoyed when we listened to his preaching as to "a ...
— Prime Ministers and Some Others - A Book of Reminiscences • George W. E. Russell

... too, but she did not say it. While the talk lasted, she had a pleasure in the apt slang, and sinister wit and low wisdom, which made everything higher and nobler seem ridiculous. She tried helplessly to rise above the delight she found in it, and while she listened, she was miserably aware that she was unworthy ...
— The Coast of Bohemia • William Dean Howells

... talk. Their conversation might have taken place between two men. Indeed, they often were brutally frank to each other. Fanny had the vision, Fenger the science to apply it. Sometimes her intuition leaped ahead of his reasoning. Then he would say, "I'm not sold on that," which is modern business slang meaning, "You haven't convinced me." She would go back and start afresh, covering the ground ...
— Fanny Herself • Edna Ferber

... chambers—at Lind's table, in fact. He was a man of about twenty-eight or thirty, slim and dark, with a perfectly pallid face, a small black mustache carefully waxed, and an affectedly courteous smile. He wore a pince-nez; was fond of slang, to show his familiarity with English; and aimed at an English manner, too. He seemed bored. He regarded this man whom Brand introduced to ...
— Sunrise • William Black

... me or any of my doin's. I hate sentimental bosh as much as you hate slang, and should have been a bachelor to this day if I hadn't seen Kitty jest as I did. You see, I'd been too busy larkin' round to get time for marryin', till a couple of years ago, when I did up the job double-quick, as I'd ...
— On Picket Duty and Other Tales • Louisa May Alcott

... and enforcing rules. She held a surprise inspection of the juniors' desks and drawers, and pounced upon illicit packets of chocolate; she examined their books, and confiscated any which she considered unsuitable; she put a ban upon slang, and wrote out a new set of dormitory regulations. Her efforts were hardly so much appreciated as they deserved. The girls grumbled at this unanticipated ...
— The Madcap of the School • Angela Brazil

... disseminated amongst the brotherhood. It did not require much imagination to suppose that the war would add to the number of their clients, whether their claims had real foundation or not; what they wanted above all things was some one of undoubted position who would "boom the movement," in the slang of the day. They laid all their plans to get their man in the author of Raymond, and they got him. Such is his thesis ...
— Science and Morals and Other Essays • Bertram Coghill Alan Windle

... Delia and Sandy lingered behind with alarming significance. He began to hate Cossie and to revolt against the slap-dash untidy menage, Delia and her train of rowdy boys, the shouting, the practical jokes, and the slang. Then suddenly the Levison cloud burst! One night, when he was flying upstairs to his sky parlour, his mother waylaid him on the landing and, with an imperative gesture, beckoned him into ...
— The Road to Mandalay - A Tale of Burma • B. M. Croker

... is! An' what's more, she's on!" The Irishman reverted to trooper slang in his ardor, and got a sharp nudge ...
— A Man of Two Countries • Alice Harriman

... Tough,"' admitted Pinchas; and the table roared again, partly at the rapidity with which this linguistic genius had picked up the local slang. 'But as our pious lunatics think there are many meanings in every letter of the Torah,' went on the pleased poet, 'so there are meanings innumerable in every letter of my name. If I am playwright as well as poet, ...
— Ghetto Comedies • Israel Zangwill

... the sort!" Gisela's voice cut through the ripples of laughter which always greeted Mimi's redundant slang. "You'll go back to Germany with me and do your part in putting an end to this war!" All but Heloise half arose, but she sat staring at that hard drawn face as if in ...
— The White Morning • Gertrude Atherton

... ever take him: her instinct finds truth as the needle finds the pole. Three boys are also working; but they're big babies, with young-chicken-coloured hair and merry, heather-mixture eyes. They talk no language but slang. They come to grief in a preposterous automobile about every ten miles and attract their idol's attention and startle horses by giving vent to S. O. S. yells. Whenever they have to enter a room they ...
— The Lightning Conductor Discovers America • C. N. (Charles Norris) Williamson and A. M. (Alice Muriel)

... public spirit were highly spoken of by those who knew him best. That a journal does not always reflect the editor is as much the fault of society as of the man. So long as the public will pay for gross personalities, obscenity, and slang, decent journals will be outbidden in the market. The fact that the La Crosse Democrat found a ready sale in all parts of the country showed that Mr. Pomeroy fairly reflected the popular taste. While multitudes turned up ...
— Eighty Years And More; Reminiscences 1815-1897 • Elizabeth Cady Stanton

... that if he ever did go in for the peculiar entertainment of falling in love, he would choose a shy girl with brown curls who did not talk slang and went about distributing buns to hungry boys. "Her for mine," he ...
— The Happy Adventurers • Lydia Miller Middleton

... hear such slang from the educated tongue of a college boy?" she exclaimed with a gesture ...
— Christmas with Grandma Elsie • Martha Finley

... excited that he could scarcely speak. This was a new experience. At first it attracted him, but the hopeless vulgarity of the girl at his side, her tawdry clothes, her sordid, petty talk, her slang, her miserable profanity, soon began to revolt him. He felt that he could not keep his self-respect while such a girl hung ...
— Vandover and the Brute • Frank Norris

... both consisted of stripes.[15] No. 7 consisted of eleven horizontal stripes, viz. six red and five white. Flag No. 8 had nine horizontal stripes, viz. red, white, blue repeated three times, the red being uppermost. I submit that in sailor's slang these signals would be commonly referred to as "stripes." Consequently whatever flags subsequently would be used to signal a chase would be known also as "stripes." Therefore whatever signal might be flown in the Revenue service when chasing would ...
— King's Cutters and Smugglers 1700-1855 • E. Keble Chatterton

... made some sign of dissent, because he insisted, "Yes! yes! One talks, one talks; this is all very fine; but at the end of the reckoning one is no cleverer than the next man—and no more brave. Brave! This is always to be seen. I have rolled my hump (roule ma bosse)," he said, using the slang expression with imperturbable seriousness, "in all parts of the world; I have known brave men—famous ones! Allez!" . . . He drank carelessly. . . . "Brave—you conceive—in the Service—one has got to be—the trade demands it (le metier veut ca). ...
— Lord Jim • Joseph Conrad

... of O. Henry's last story. He had planned to make this story different from his others, the beginning of a new series in a style he had not previously attempted. "I want to show the public," he said, "that I can write something new—new for me, I mean—a story without slang, a straightforward dramatic plot treated in a way that will come nearer my idea of real story-writing." Before starting to write the present story, he outlined briefly how he intended to develop it: Murray, the criminal accused and convicted of the brutal ...
— Rolling Stones • O. Henry

... said Bailey. "And you'll come near beating, too. We shall have to work harder than ever, but I'll beat Jack Allingham—or bust! Excuse the slang, Gertie, but I've got to ...
— A Woman for Mayor - A Novel of To-day • Helen M. Winslow

... it is also beyond all cavil, that many respectable English persons, of both sexes, were occasionally found in it; but, it had this great defect:—every Englishman who wore a good coat, and had any of the slang of society, made his way into the outskirts, at least, of this set; and Rupert, whose own position was not yet thoroughly confirmed, had fallen a great deal into the association of these accidental ...
— Afloat And Ashore • James Fenimore Cooper

... was curbed, however, by the bookmaker, who, having no views, but seeing an opportunity for fun, brought up reinforcements of chaff and slang, easily construable into profanity, and impregnated with terse humour. Many of the ladies had spoken of the bookmaker as one of the best-mannered men on board. So he was to all appearance. None dressed with better taste, nor carried himself with such an ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... brutal joy in the present. Kipling gloried in the material world; he did more—he glorified it. He pierced the coarse exteriors of seemingly prosaic things—things like machinery, bridge-building, cockney soldiers, slang, steam, the dirty by-products of science (witness "M'Andrews Hymn" and "The Bell Buoy")—and uncovered their hidden glamour. "Romance is gone," sighed most of ...
— Modern British Poetry • Various

... circumstances. All the way up Broadway the new acquaintance enlivened herself and Susan and the men they were squeezed in among by her loud gay sallies which her young prettiness made seem witty. And certainly she did have an amazing and amusing acquaintance with the slang at the moment current. The worn look had vanished, her rounded girlhood freshness had returned. As for Susan, you would hardly have recognized her as the same person who had issued from the house in Twenty-ninth Street less than an hour ...
— Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise • David Graham Phillips

... a slang expression current among the irreverent youth of the present day, when referring to a man wise in his own conceit, to the effect that "what that fellow does not know is torn out." So I, quoting my juniors, begin my talk with ...
— The Secret of a Happy Home (1896) • Marion Harland

... not to turn out." Is turn out a slang phrase here, or is it a term commonly used in speaking of ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 10 - The Guide • Charles Herbert Sylvester

... beginning of it, David, who had been amusing himself in Madrid by teaching the elements of grammar and a large vocabulary of English slang to any Spaniard who would pay for it, came home and enlisted with Jonathan in a line regiment. For two months they drilled and exercised themselves in the so-called "arts of war." Then, chiefly on account of a soulless section commander, they ...
— Mud and Khaki - Sketches from Flanders and France • Vernon Bartlett

... were fixed up a little. He has fine, dark eyes and a great shock of dark hair. He and I are friends already. And so is the dog. The dog is a peach! Excuse me, mother, but I just must use a little of the dear old college slang somewhere, and your letters are the only safety-valve, for I'm a schoolmarm now and must talk "good and proper" ...
— A Voice in the Wilderness • Grace Livingston Hill

... indefatigable wit and spirit, hitting savagely himself, but taking punishment like a man. He knows and never forgets that people talk, first of all, for the sake of talking; conducts himself in the ring, to use the old slang, like a thorough "glutton," and honestly enjoys a telling facer from his adversary. Cockshot is bottled effervescency, the sworn foe of sleep. Three- in-the-morning Cockshot, says a victim. His talk is like the driest of all imaginable dry champagnes. Sleight of hand and inimitable ...
— Memories and Portraits • Robert Louis Stevenson

... Selby listened in surprise to names which were new to him, and eulogies on the latest Prix de Rome winner. He was delighted to hear opinions boldly expressed and points honestly debated, although the vehicle was mostly slang, both English and French. He longed for the time when he too should be plunged into the ...
— The King In Yellow • Robert W. Chambers

... quite "on his own hook," as people who speak slang say. There was no one to consult as to what he should do; and though this freedom was enjoyable in the full daylight, he began to feel lonesome as evening drew on. He found a good supper where he had found his dinner, then crept into a nice, thick rose-bush, dropped a silent tear as ...
— The Story of a Robin • Agnes S. Underwood

... a complete language must be, with its long and arbitrary vocabulary, its intricate system of sounds; the many forms that single words may take, especially if they are verbs; the rules of grammar, the sentence structure, the idioms, slang and inflections. Heavens, what a genius for tongues these simians have![1] Where another race, after the most frightful discord and pains, might have slowly constructed one language before this earth grew cold, this race will create literally hundreds, each complete ...
— This Simian World • Clarence Day Jr.

... round him with shouts that rent the air. That was the way of it in old times. And the boys whooped him up and stood by him." It was the diffident young man who had half spoken, half recited, with an odd enthusiasm that even the culminating slang could not ...
— A Protegee of Jack Hamlin's and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... moved, indignant, stoutly defensive. G.J. grew self-conscious. Moreover, her slang disturbed him. It was the first slang he had heard her use, and in using it her voice had roughened. But he remembered that Concepcion also used slang—and ...
— The Pretty Lady • Arnold E. Bennett

... miles. The California mining system a gambling or lottery transaction. Miner who works his own claim the more successful. Dr. C. a loser in his mining ventures. Another sleep-killer. Bowling-alleys. Bizarre cant phrases and slang used by the miners. "Honest Indian?" "Talk enough when horses fight". "Talk enough between gentlemen". "I've got the dead-wood on him". "I'm going nary cent" (on person mistrusted). All carry the freshness of originality to the ear of ...
— The Shirley Letters from California Mines in 1851-52 • Louise Amelia Knapp Smith Clappe

... off to man your fleets, to win your Camperdowns and Trafalgars? and when they came ashore again, were no longer the simple, slouching Simons of the village; but jolly tars, with rolling gait, quid in mouth, glazed hats, with crowns of one inch high, and brims of five wide, and with as much glib slang, and glib money to treat the girls with, as any Jack ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 4, September, 1850 • Various

... trader to the South Pacific island where the scene of the story is laid, gives a brief description of the fate of the last dealer in copra. It may serve as a single illustration of volumes of racy, humorous, and imaginative slang; ...
— Robert Louis Stevenson • Walter Raleigh

... up slang expressions from your sons," growled Sir Peter. "You never hear me speaking in that loose way. Why haven't they got a home of their own? You would ask them here—nurse, bottles, and baby like a traveling Barnum's—and ...
— The Dark Tower • Phyllis Bottome

... "Slang!" said Massachusetts, looking up again. "One cent for the missionary fund. You will clothe the heathen at this rate, Maine. That ...
— The Green Satin Gown • Laura E. Richards

... the words into approximate meaning in English, saying it was as difficult to translate these intimate and slang phrases as it would be to put "Yankee Doodle" into French or German. His translation, as he wrote it on a scrap of ...
— Mystic Isles of the South Seas. • Frederick O'Brien

... out as many as seventeen words incorrectly spelt in one letter. But she deftly excused herself by saying that she used archaic forms. "Never mind St. George," she writes good-humouredly, to Mrs. E. G. Burton, "I like old spelling." She did not excuse her slang by calling it old, or refer her friends to Chaucer for ...
— The Life of Sir Richard Burton • Thomas Wright

... the mater you said awfully!" Avice jeered. "Who bites our heads off for using slang, I'd ...
— Back To Billabong • Mary Grant Bruce

... idle boys in the neighborhood collected around the pony-chaise, expressing, in the occult language of slang, their high enjoyment and appreciation at the appearance of "Ariel" in her man's jacket and hat. The pony was fidgety—he felt the influence of the popular uproar. His driver sat, whip in hand, magnificently impenetrable to ...
— The Law and the Lady • Wilkie Collins

... "Slang," he said, "is too sacred and precious to be used promiscuously. Its use should be led up to reverently for it expresses what the King's ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... have been highly disappointed, for the proofs were invariably returned bristling with corrections and having a highly hieroglyphic appearance. Then Gluck would go in and slang his men. He kept them ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... in police slang "putting a man through" meant arresting him and putting him through the Criminal Court into gaol. ...
— The Hampstead Mystery • John R. Watson

... empty box," she remarked, as it was disclosed where it had lain hidden between herself and Betty. "Not a crumb left, Amy, my dear. But I fancy I have a fresh box in the house, if Will hasn't found them. He's always— snooping, if you'll pardon my slang." ...
— The Outdoor Girls at Rainbow Lake • Laura Lee Hope

... larger vocabulary available and in common use, and we possess slang not only of the different nations constituting the United Kingdom, but also slang from the United States, and from our Colonies, whilst we have a lawlessness in the use of our language not permitted to the French. There are disadvantages as well as advantages ...
— Our Stage and Its Critics • "E.F.S." of "The Westminster Gazette"

... of them perversions or corruptions, countenanced even by eminent writers; some, misapplications that weaken and disfigure the style of him who adopts them; and some, downright vulgarisms—that is, phrases that come from below, and are thrust into clean company with the odors of slang about them. These last are often a device for giving piquancy to style. Against such abuses we should be the more heedful, because, from the convenience of some of them, they get so incorporated into ...
— Essays AEsthetical • George Calvert

... exclaimed Fred, "if you desire the continuance of my friendship, and if you wish to respect the dignity of morality and the English language, you must refrain from using such insinuating balderdash and bar-room-slang." ...
— The Black-Sealed Letter - Or, The Misfortunes of a Canadian Cockney. • Andrew Learmont Spedon

... made out that they came from some valley town thirty miles away called Wickenberg, and that they were of the small-town banking, professional, and wealthy-farmer class. They were full of spirits, laughter, and the latest jokes and catches sprung in the latest slang. ...
— The Little Lady of the Big House • Jack London

... I come back I'll talk nothing but Greek and Latin. I'm getting French now from Ford, and Hindoo from Frank Harley. Then I know English and slang and Long Islandish. Think of one man with seven ...
— St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, September 1878, No. 11 • Various

... quite a love affair - for me; and Mr. Wiltshire (the narrator) is a huge lark, though I say it. But there is always the exotic question, and everything, the life, the place, the dialects - trader's talk, which is a strange conglomerate of literary expressions and English and American slang, and Beach de Mar, or native English, - the very trades and hopes and fears of the characters, are all novel, and may be found unwelcome to that great, hulking, bullering ...
— Vailima Letters • Robert Louis Stevenson

... ever did, realized the Roman poet's description of being natus rebus agendis—sent into this world not for talking, but for doing; not for counsel, but for execution. On that field he was a portentous man, a monster; and, viewing him as such, I am disposed to concede a few words to what modern slang denominates his "antecedents." ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... with vain repetitions. She was always "a worm" when asked after her health, and everything that pleased her was "pucka." She knew no language but her own, and that she spoke indifferently, her command of it being limited for the most part to slang expressions, which are the scum of language; and a few stock phrases of polite quality for special occasions. But she used the latter awkwardly, as workmen wear their ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... necessity, Marquis," said he, "to detain you here longer. We shall meet again shortly, and settle matters. Meanwhile Catenac will draw up the prospectus and Articles of Association of the proposed Company, and post you up in the financial slang of which ...
— Caught In The Net • Emile Gaboriau

... master English without a slip, had in it a subdued note of satisfaction and triumph, while Amuk Toolik, who was quick and staccato in his manner of speech, using sentences seldom of greater length than three or four words, and who picked up slang and swear-words like a parrot, swelled with pride as he lighted his pipe, and then rubbed his hands with a rasping sound that always sent a chill up ...
— The Alaskan • James Oliver Curwood

... distinction. She writes Scots because what she has to say could not be written otherwise and retain its peculiar quality. It is good Scots, quite free from misspelt English or that perverted slang which too often nowadays is vulgarising the old tongue. But above all it is a living speech, with the accent of the natural voice, and not a skilful mosaic of robust words, which, as in sundry poems of Stevenson, ...
— Songs of Angus and More Songs of Angus • Violet Jacob

... academies, or the Realschule, where thorough instruction is given, but with less special, though no slight attention to Latin and Greek, and more to mathematics and practical branches, even then he must acquire from one of the gymnasia the exemption-and-maturity-right. In the slang of student-life, the gymnasiast is styled a Frog, the school itself a Pond; between the time of his declaration of maturity and his reception as student, he is called ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 7, Issue 41, March, 1861 • Various

... that he could not talk of it without his voice breaking. He promised to get a copy of it for me; and here it is —an exact copy, with all the imperfections of the original preserved. It has many slang expressions in it—thieves' argot—but their meaning has been interlined, in parentheses, ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... us have suspected for a long time that a good deal of the teaching of the world regarding women has come under the general heading of "dope." Now "dope" is not a slang word, as you may be thinking, gentle reader. It is a good Anglo-Saxon word (or will be), for it fills a real need, and there is none other to take its place. "Dope" means anything that is calculated to soothe, or hush, or put to sleep. "Sedative" is a synonym, but it lacks ...
— In Times Like These • Nellie L. McClung

... now, but the women all take up for me and applaud everything I say, whether it has a point to it or not. 'Whole show!' I oughtn't to have said that. When I try to keep from using bookish expressions I drop plumb into slang; there is no ...
— The Desired Woman • Will N. Harben

... slang expressions used by cadets I am indebted to a member of the corps. From this admiral-to-be I learn that a "bird" or "wazzo" is a man or boy; that a "pap sheet" is a report covering delinquencies, and that to "hit the pap" is to be reported for delinquency; that "steam" is ...
— American Adventures - A Second Trip 'Abroad at home' • Julian Street

... Bromingham was a slang term of the day for a Whig. Roger North says that the Tories nicknamed the opposite party 'Birmingham Protestants, alluding to the false groats struck at that place'. Birmingham was already noted for spurious coinage. cf. Dryden's ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. III • Aphra Behn

... reality Arthur Stansbury, was reckoned a good scout, and a loyal companion who could both play a joke and take one when it was aimed at him; he was rather fond of photography, and addicted somewhat to harmless slang. ...
— Afloat - or, Adventures on Watery Trails • Alan Douglas

... English well enough. Few educated foreign gentlemen could have spoken it better, although there was the tendency to use slang that well-bred natives insist on picking up from British officers; and as he went on, here and there the native idiom crept through, translated. King said nothing, but listened and watched, puzzled more than he would have ...
— King—of the Khyber Rifles • Talbot Mundy

... savings. She had capitalized her income and monthly bonus, and swelled the amount by enormous interest, due to Crevel's liberality in allowing his "little Duchess" to invest her money in partnership with him in his financial operations. Crevel had taught Valerie the slang and the procedure of the money market, and, like every Parisian woman, she had soon outstripped her master. Lisbeth, who never spent a sou of her twelve hundred francs, whose rent and dress were given to her, and who never put her hand in her pocket, had likewise a small capital of five or six ...
— Cousin Betty • Honore de Balzac

... his 'claim.' A surface-miner would think it was not his claim at all, but the property of the doctor and his pal the surgeon—for he would be misled by that word, which is Christian-Science slang for 'ailment.' The Christian Scientist has no ailment; to him there is no such thing, and he will not use the lying word. All that happens to him is, that upon his attention an imaginary disturbance sometimes obtrudes itself which claims to be an ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... which more attention is paid to fashion than to the field, follow one another in a dizzy succession. She has naturally no time for thought, but in order to avoid the least suspicion of it, she learns to chatter the slang of the youthful Guardsmen and others who are her companions. A certain flashing style of beauty ensures to her the devotion of numerous admirers, to whom she babbles of "chappies" and "Johnnies," and "real jam" and "stony broke," and ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98, March 15, 1890 • Various

... fellows may merely have struck a pocket and exhausted it, but I don't believe so, and am willing to risk twenty thousand dollars on the continuance of the vein. If it is there, that sum of money ought to enable us to reach it from your present shaft; and if we do strike it, why, in the slang of the day, the Copper Princess is simply a 'peach.' Are you game to accept my offer and go in for ...
— The Copper Princess - A Story of Lake Superior Mines • Kirk Munroe

... letter, had divined this near-at-hand truth along with the rest. Lowell, almost the greatest and finest realist who ever wrought in verse, showed us that Elizabeth was still Queen where he heard Yankee farmers talk. One need not invite slang into the company of its betters, though perhaps slang has been dropping its "s" and becoming language ever since the world began, and is certainly sometimes delightful and forcible beyond the reach ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... uneasily as she came from the dressing tent and stopped to gaze at the nearby church steeple. The incongruity of the slang, that soon came from her delicately formed lips, was lost upon him as she turned ...
— Polly of the Circus • Margaret Mayo

... jantu, "child, being, stock," jata, "son." Kind, therefore, while not the same word as our child, has the same primitive meaning, "the produced one," and finds further cognates in kid and colt, names applied to the young of certain animals, and the first of which, in the slang of to-day, is applied to children also. In some parts of Germany and Switzerland Kind has the sense of boy; in Thuringia, for example, people speak of zwei Kinder und ein Madchen, "two boys and a girl." From the same radical sprang the Modern High German Knabe, Old High ...
— The Child and Childhood in Folk-Thought • Alexander F. Chamberlain

... came and spent the evening in my little salon, playing to me, and having what he called 'babblings and pleasantries.' I found that he was translating 'Vanity Fair' into Polish, and intended to sell it at home. He convulsed me with his struggles to put cockney English and slang into good Polish, for he had saved up a list of words for me to explain to him. Hay-stack and bean-pot were among them, I remember; and when he had mastered the meanings he fell upon the ...
— Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag • Louisa M. Alcott

... appears to be very well posted on a number of subjects. She is unusually familiar with the Bible, and quotes scripture freely and correctly. She also uses beautiful language, totally void of slang and Negro jargon, "big" words ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States - Volume II. Arkansas Narratives. Part I • Work Projects Administration

... stand it like a man." He did; for "Mrs. Cluppins," "Chadband," and "Sam Weller," always helped him through; thereby causing me to lay another offering of love and admiration on the shrine of the god of my idolatry, though he does wear too much jewelry and talk slang. ...
— Hospital Sketches • Louisa May Alcott

... then had Coxeter—to use a phrase which he himself would not have used, for he avoided the use of slang—"given himself away." Over his lantern-shaped face, across his thin, determined mouth, there had still lingered a trace of the supercilious smile with which he had been looking round him. And, as he had helped Mrs. Archdale into the compartment, as he indicated to her the comfortable ...
— Studies in love and in terror • Marie Belloc Lowndes



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