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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As was mentioned in another thread, Theatergeek does not understand a lot of American slang due to her upbringing. She also mentioned that she really wants to be "corrupted" by slang.

So, here is the thread to introduce her to American or regional slang. If you know the background of the slang also include it.


Lesson 1: Names for money denominations

fin--five dollar bill
fiver--also five dollar bill
sawbuck--ten dollar bill (so named for a sawhorse which is an X shape and the roman numeral for ten is X)
buck-one dollar bill
2 bits (as in "shave and a haircut, 2 bits")--25 cents (came from the practice of cutting up a dollar coin into 8 parts)
benjamin (as in "all about the benjamins")--100 dollar bill (the one with Benjamin Franklin)
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
When Vampyre and I "take a powder," it doesn't mean we are cocaine addicts or have a headache and need some BC headache powder. It means to go away for a while. I suspect that it derives from "taking a trip to the powder room." (female bathroom)
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh.  "On the lam" means "on the run."  And it does usually imply that you are on the run from the law, though one could be "on the lam" from other gangsters who wish one harm.  See the collected works of Bogart, Cagney and Raft for further education on these two references.
 

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"Y'all" is Southern for "you all". lol, no, I do not believe the plural for that is "all y'all".

Bacardi Jim said:
When Vampyre and I "take a powder," it doesn't mean we are cocaine addicts or have a headache and need some BC headache powder. It means to go away for a while. I suspect that it derives from "taking a trip to the powder room." (female bathroom)
If BJ and Vampy both head for the ladies room, it's time to make a run for the border. (run for the border = head into another county/state/region/country seeking asylum, freedom, anonymity, or ladies rooms free of Vampy and Bacardi Jim. Also a very old Taco Bell slogan. That works as well.)
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hitch = Alfred Hitchcock
hitch = hitchhike
hitch = marry (also "get hitched")
hitch Hitch = marry Alfred Hitchcock
 

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How about the fact that when someone says there is a "fat chance" of that happening or a "slim chance" of that happening, they usually mean the same thing?
 

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"He's good with his hands but numb as a hake," ie, not the sharpest tool in the shed, ie, not too bright, ie, a dim bulb, ie...not very intelligent!

Just a few sandwiches short of a picnic
Just a few beers short of a six pack


L
 

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I don't know how much use this one gets when Paris Hilton isn't talking, but "that's hot" won't always mean temperature. Neither will "that's cool".
 

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Leslie said:
"He's good with his hands but numb as a hake," ie, not the sharpest tool in the shed, ie, not too bright, ie, a dim bulb, ie...not very intelligent!

Just a few sandwiches short of a picnic
Just a few beers short of a six pack

L
A few bricks short of a load
A few cards short of a deck

Another good couple of phrases are:
Bats in the Belfry

Toys in the Attic

They both mean someone is insane as does insinuating that somebody has "lost their marbles."

Edit: Also, here in California, instead of using those phrases to describe nuttiness we just say someone "must be from Berkeley" but you totally have to live on the west coast to get that one.
 

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Not playing with a full deck- indicates someone isn't so smart

Over Yonder - southern slang for over there

I reckon - southern slang for I think

Squirming like a worm in hot ashes - can't be still

Hit the grit and pack the sand - southern slang for leave



 

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Here's a tidbit of local Michigan slang.

If you go to a "party" store, you're not going to where they sell balloons and cake. You're going to a convenience store where they generally sell beer and cigarettes.
 

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Bacardi Jim said:
"Numb as a hake?" ???

Never heard that one.
A new one for your lexicon, BJ.

A hake is a fish and I guess it must be a dumb fish, although I never thought of any fish as particularly smart.

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Leslie said:
A new one for your lexicon, BJ.

A hake is a fish and I guess it must be a dumb fish, although I never thought of any fish as particularly smart.

L
Then why do they travel in schools?
 

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"Drain the lizard" and "Talk to a man about a horse/dog". Both mean visit the restroom.

I don't know if this is strictly American but we use a brand name to speak in generalities:
Xerox = using any copy machine, not just Xerox brand
Coke/Soda/Pop = all mean a carbonated beverage, usage depends on where you are. Coke is mostly Southern, Pop is mid-western
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I now usually say "soda pop" to avoid confusion.  Being from Kansas and having lived in various other places, I found that my native use of "pop" was frequently not understood.  I've adapted.
 

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Running around like a chicken with it's head chopped off - confused, excited, not knowing what to do

Sick as a dog - southern slang for very sick

Supper - slang for dinner

Blind as a bat - can't see well

Hey - Hello
Burn Rubber - take off fast in a car leaving tire marks on the pavement
Dough - money
Like a bull in a china shop - clumsy, not careful
Wack - crazy
You made your bed and now you have to lie in it - made a mistake and you have to deal with it

Shake a leg - hurry up or dance

Once in a blue moon - doesn't happen very often or *never*

When hell freezes over - unlikely whatever you are discussing will ever happen

In a month of Sundays - same as the above
 

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If you're going to mention coke/soda and pop, you should also mention Grinder, Hoagie, Hero, Sub, & Submarine. All names for the same type of sandwich.
 
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