This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
All the time; always available; without a break. 1) In New York City, a lot of stores are open 24/7. 2) I had to move because my neighbors played loud dance music 24/7.
Etymology: Some convenience stores are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a
week. The phrase is used for anything that is always (or nearly always) available.
Synonyms: around the clock
To do something very well, particularly an examination (verb); first-rate (adjective), or an expert (noun). 1) I'm going to ace this exam - I've been studying all week! 2) Lois Lane was the ace reporter for The Daily Planet -- although she did have a lot of trouble uncovering Superman's identity!
In World War I, a pilot who shot down five enemy planes was called an 'ace', which is the powerful one card in a deck of playing cards. 'Ace' can be used as a verb (to do well) or as an adjective (excellent, best) or as a noun (a nickname for someone who is good at something, or for a good friend).
Someone who isn't very smart; a stupid person.
1) Susan and Jim are such airheads -- they love sports but they are failing all of their classes at school!
2) I woudn't ask Alaine for the answer -- she's an airhead!
If your head is filled with air instead of brains, you probably can't think very well.
Definition: Listening carefully; keenly attentive. Example:
1) I was all ears as Svet told me this exciting story. entire being is listening to someone speak.
Etymology: You listen with your ears, so if you are ‘ all ears ‘ your
Definition: A study or work session that goes through the night;
studying without sleep ( usually a last-minute course of action ). 1) We pulled an all-nighter to finish the report. 2) I pulled an all-nighter to study for my math exam.
Etymology: The term is popular with college students who spend the
night before an exam studying ( or ‘cramming’ ), trying to learn a lot of material in a short period of time. The term is frequently used in the phrase ‘ pull an all-nighter ‘.
Definition: A large amount of money; very expensive or costly. Example: 1) My new Mercedes cost me an arm and a leg!
Etymology: Some things are so expensive that they are painful to buy, and cost everything you have.
Definition: To be nervous or anxious or jumpy; to be unable to sit still. Example:
1) The children had ants in their pants, so we took them outside for some exercise. 2) Would you please stop tapping your foot?! You must have ants in your pants!
Etymology: If you had 'ants' (small insects) in your 'pants' (clothing) you
would probably feel like jumping around.
Definition: To be out of options or alternative courses of action; to be stuck in a bad situation. Example: 1) I'm at the end of my rope -- I lost my job, my car died, and I don't have any money in the bank. Etymology: A 'rope' is thrown to someone who is in a difficult place, such as deep water or the edge of a cliff. If there is not enough rope, the person might be in trouble. So to be 'at the end of your rope' means that there is no more help available, and the situation is not good. Synonyms: in a jam, at wit's end
Definition: To recover, usually from an illness; to feel better after being sick. Example: 1) Rick has been in the hospital for a week, but he'll be back on his feet in no time. Etymology: To be 'on your feet' means that you are standing. So if you are 'back on your feet', it means that you are standing again, after a period of lying down due to sickness. Synonyms: back in the saddle
Someone who gives unwanted advice; someone who tries to run things even though they don't have the power or authority to do so. 1) Rob is the worst back seat driver I know - he's always telling me what to do.
2) I wish I could tell my boss to stop being such a back seat driver. I don't need to hear his comments every ten minutes! Etymology: Sometimes people riding in the back of a car will give advice to the driver; this is usually more annoying than helpful. This phrase can be used literally (in a car) or more generally to make fun of someone who is giving unwanted advice.
Definition: To begin again; to repeat a process, often after a major setback. Example: 1) Professor Hoopeldinger had to go back to the drawing board after his experiment blew up. 2) Our sales plan isn't working, so I guess it's back to the drawing board! Etymology: If the initial design for a building or aircraft fails, the designer has to go back to his or her work tab
Definition: A troublemaker; someone who has a bad attitude and causes trouble. Example:
1) Emily is a real bad egg -- she's always starting fights and causing trouble. 2) We have to get rid of the bad eggs in the accounting department.
Etymology: In this phrase, 'egg' means 'person' or 'individual'. This is probably
because the human head looks a lot like an egg. A bad egg, then, is a simply a bad person. There is a similar phrase to describe a good person - a 'good egg'.
To say negative things about someone o something.
1) Lisa bad-mouthed her boss at the water cooler. 2) I wish people would stop bad-mouthing Cleveland. It’s really a very nice city.
“ Bad “ means not good, and ‘ mouth’ refers to the physical act of speech.
Definition: A good numerical guess; an estimate. Example: 1) I'd say two hundred dollars, but that's a ballpark figure. Etymology: This phrase is related to another popular phrase, 'in the ballpark', which means 'close but not yet there'. The idea is that you can be in the ballpark (a place where baseball games are played) but not yet in the right seat (the seat you have a ticket for). The seat is a metaphor for the right idea or place, and the ballpark is a metaphor for an approximation of that idea or place. A 'ballpark figure' is a number that is 'in the ballpark' (close to the true number) but not quite in the right seat (the true number). Synonyms: guestimate
Looking for something in the wrong place; to be mistaken. 1) Tanya tried to get some money from her uncle, but she was barking up the wrong tree -- he doesn't have a dime! 2) If you're looking for a new job, Ted, you're barking up the wrong tree. We aren't hiring right now.
Etymology: A dog will chase its prey (such as a cat) until it runs up a tree. The dog then barks to tell its owner where the prey is. Sometimes, the dog might get confused, and bark at the 'wrong tree' where there is no prey.
An episode of heavy drinking; a period of any kind of unusually intense behavior.
1) After losing my job, I was so depressed that I went on a three day bender. Etymology: Comes from the 19th century sense of the word 'bender', which was used for anything great or spectacular.
Definition: To vomit; to be sick. Example: 1) I feel really sick -- I could blow chunks right here! Synonyms: puke, spew Definition: Something that is not good, or a major disappointment.
1) That movie blew chunks! I can't believe I paid $9 to see it.
Definition: To lose or waste something; to do very poorly or fail miserably. Example: 1) Don't blow all your money in that one store--there are five more down the road. 2) You didn't study for your
Definition: Body odor, usually caused by sweating; an unpleasant Example:
1) The taxi driver had such horrible b.o. that I almost passed out.
smell coming from the human body. Pronounced 'bee oh'.
2) Man, you've got to do something about your b.o. Do you ever take a shower?
Etymology: Abbreviation of 'body odor'.
Definition: To leave. Example:
1) We've got to bounce -- my friend Charlie is having a big party. 2) I'm going to bounce. I have to get up early tomorrow.
Etymology: When something 'bounces', it moves up and down, like a ball.
When a person 'bounces', she moves from one place to
another, as though flying through the air.
Beer; a bottle or can or glass of beer.
1) I'm going to the kitchen. Who wants a brewski? 2) Let's go get some brewskis after work.
To make beer, you 'brew' or cook water, malt and hops. No one is sure when or why the 'ski' ending was added to 'brew'. The ending sounds Russian or Polish, and somehow makes the word sound kind of fun.
Extremely tired; lacking energy; worn out from working too much.
1) I was completely burned out after working on a big project for three weeks straight. 2) After staring at a computer for 80 hours per week for the last two years, Michael was finally burned out and quit his job.
When you are 'burned out' you have no more fuel to burn. You are without energy, like a candle that has consumed all of its wax.
wiped out, worn out, pooped
To get someone's telephone number.
1) I need a date for tomorrow night, so I'm going to try to bust some digits tonight. 2) I stood at the bar busting digits all night long.
This is African-American slang. 'Digits' are numbers, and 'bust' means 'break open'. So the phrase suggests that you're getting some numbers from a source that has to be open
1) Lance bought the farm when he drove his motorcycle straight into a brick wall.
Sometimes, when a person dies, the life insurance payment is large enough for the surviving family members to pay off the mortgage on a piece of property - or to 'buy the farm'.
Definition: To be irrational and wild; to lose control. Example:
1) I knew Joe would go bananas when he found out he's not getting a raise this year. them with tremendous enthusiasm, as though they've
Etymology: When apes are given a bunch of bananas, they eat
lost their minds.
Synonyms: go crazy, bonkers
Definition: To be wildly enthusiastic. Example:
1) Alaine went bananas over the new shoes from Manolo Blahnik. I think she bought five pairs!
A young woman, particularly an attractive young woman.
1) I like Holly -- she's a cool chick!
A 'chick' is literally a young chicken or any baby bird. The use of 'chick' to refer to a young woman comes from 1920s African-American sl
Definition: A coward; someone who is not daring or willing to take risks; a person with little self-confidence. Example: 1) Don't be a chicken--go introduce yourself to the professor. 2) Come on, you chicken. Just try one of my homemade cookies. Synonyms:
Food, a meal (noun); to eat (verb).
1) I'm starving! Let's get some chow. 2) Dinner is served. Let's chow!
This word dates back to the 1800s, and may come from the Chinese-American phrase 'chow-chow', which refers to a mixture of foods.
Definition: Loss of courage; fear. Example:
1) Lisa wanted to jump off the high diving board, but she got cold feet once she got up there. 2) The investors got cold feet and called the deal off.
Etymology: If your 'feet' are 'cold', you can't walk or move
forward very well - you are frozen in one place.
Definition: One who sits in front of the television for long periods of time, with little or no physical activity. Example: 1) My roommate is such a couch potato - last weekend he watched television for 14 hours straight! Etymology: A 'potato' is a vegetable that just sits there, doing nothing.
Definition: Example: Definition: Example:
To fail or stop functioning 1) My computer crashed just when I was going to print my paper! To collapse from exhaustion or fatigue; to get rest. 1) I finally crashed after working 8 hours straight. 2) Is it all right if I crash at your house tonight?
A weird or disturbing person; an annoying person Example: 1) Some creep was bothering me last night at the party. 2) I hate it when my little brother follows us around. He's such a creep! Etymology: To collapse from exhaustion or fatigue; to get rest. Synonyms: jerk
Definition: To make an agreement; to form a contract. Example: 1) We cut a deal with Sony and now we handle all of their accounts in Jersey City. Etymology: This phrase goes back to ancient practice of killing an animal and slicing it up to mark the beginning of a new agreement.
cut and dry
Definition: Something which is very obvious and clear; not requiring further explanation. Example: 1) Stop asking me questions--the instructions are cut and dry.
Excellent, the best.
1) Michael Jordan was da bomb -- he was the greatest basketball player ever!
'Da bomb' is African-American slang that became popular in the 1990s. 'Da' is an informal way to say 'the', and 'bomb' refers to something very powerful and explosive.
Definition: Very old; out of date; obsolete. Example:
1) That cell phone you're using is a real dinosaur. When did you get it, 1983? 2) Svet loves the Rolling Stones and all of those other dinosaur rock bands.
Etymology: A 'dinosaur' is an ancient animal that no longer
exists. As slang, it refers to anything that is outdated and no longer desirable.
Definition: To insult someone (verb), or the insult itself (noun). Example:
1) Did you hear that? That guy dissed you! 2) Don't let me hear another dis out of your mouth, young man!
Etymology: 'Dis' is African-American slang, and comes from the
Definition: To leave an unwanted person, place or thing behind;
to get rid of something or someone.
1) Terry ditched his girlfriend so he could go hang out with his friends. 2) When are you going to ditch that ugly old hat?
Etymology: A 'ditch' is a hole in the ground. The informal
meaning of the word comes from the idea that you can hide or get rid of something in a ditch.
Hopeless or futile; something that cannot be repaired or salvaged.
1) The local football team decided to move to another city, so our proposal for a new stadium was DOA.
2) The victim was rushed to the emergency room, where doctors pronounced him DOA. Etymology: DOA comes from the first letters of the phrase 'dead on arrival', which is used in hospitals to describe dead people who are brought to the emergency room. As slang, the term can be used to describe anything that is no longer possible.
A weak individual who is regularly abused by others.
1) Ned will never get anywhere until he stops being such a doormat. 2) I wish people would stop treating my brother like a doormat.
A 'doormat' is where people wipe their feet before entering a house, so someone who is called a 'doormat' is someone who gets 'stepped on' or abused by other people.
Definition: Something or someone that is depressing;
anything that makes one sad.
1) Matt was a real downer last night -- all he could talk about were his problems. 2) It was a real downer to hear that all those kids got killed in the school bus accident.
Etymology: When you are filled with positive emotions and
happy thoughts, you are 'up'. When you are sad and depressed, you are 'down'.
Definition: Wearing fashionable clothing; dressed in one's most
stylish and sophisticated apparel.
1) Holly is really dressed to kill -- everyone in the room is looking at her! 2) Tina was dressed to kill for her date on Saturday night.
Etymology: The idea is that your appearance could be so strong
and powerful that you would 'kill' (dominate, defeat, knock over) anyone who sees you.
Definition: A practice session. A trial exercise; a rehearsal. Example: 1) Let's go through a dry run of our presentation before we give it to the board of directors.
Someone who wakes up and starts working very early in the day; someone who arrives before an event begins.
1) Tom's a real early bird--he's always the first person at the office in the morning.
This phrase comes from the proverb, "The early bird catches the worm."
An overly intellectual person; someone who thinks too much.
1) Charles can't order lunch without using an algebraic formula -- what an egghead! 2) Those eggheads in the media are always giving advice, but they don't know anything about real life.
Presumably, someone who thinks a lot must have a big brain, and their head must be large enough to hold their brain. A large head might be shaped something like a giant egg.
Definition: A person or thing that gets in the way; a burden that you are stuck with. Example:
1) Ed wants to leave his wife and kids - he feels like they are just excess baggage. Etymology: When you fly on a plane, there are limits on how much luggage (or how many suitcases or bags) you can bring with you. Anything over the limit is called 'excess baggage' (or extra bags) and cannot be put on the plane. Synonyms: fifth wheel
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.