The Alternative English Dictionary

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Colourful extracts from Wiktionary. Slang, vulgarities, profanities, slurs, interjections, colloquialisms and more.


so-so etymology From so + so. Compare Dutch zozo, German soso, Norwegian så som så. pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Neither good nor bad; tolerable, passable, indifferent. The dessert was pretty good, but the meal was so-so.
    • Goldsmith In some Irish houses, where things are so-so, / One gammon of bacon hangs up for a show.
    • Prof. Wilson He [Burns] certainly wrote some so-so verses to the Tree of Liberty.
Synonyms: (neither good nor bad): average, fair, meh, mediocre, middling, lackluster, okay
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. Neither very well nor very poorly. He performed so-so during the tryouts, and the coach was undecided whether to add him to the team or not.
Synonyms: (neither well nor poorly): blandly, indifferently, insipidly, moderately, passably
so there
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. (idiomatic, childish) A defiant expression used to finish a poorly-made argument. Ha! I just smashed up your best vase. Well, well, I'll break your vase in return, so there.
related terms:
  • that's that
  • here's to
  • heteros
  • threose
sotto etymology ellipsis. pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈsəʊtəʊ/, /ˈsɒtəʊ/, [ˈsotːo]
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (music, informal) = sotto voce
    • 1978–81, David Henderson, ‛Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky: The Life of Jimi Hendrix (1983), page 104: Jimi’s guitar plays flat against the major chord, giving a strange, almost discordant effect. Mitch on drums is behind the bass sotto.
    • 2006 October 2nd, Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, The Big Bang Theory, “”, screenplay (revised first draft), act one, scene A (page 27): :   Énchanté, mademoiselle. Howard Wolowitz, Cal Tech department of applied physics. You may be familiar with some of my work – – it’s currently toodling around the surface of Mars.:   Hi. Penny.Wolowitz:   You smell wonderful. What is that scent you’re wearing?Penny:   It’s called b.o.Wolowitz:   Ah. Hence the shower, of course. Leonard, where have you been hiding this one? She’s charming.:   (SOTTO, TO LEONARD)   Oh, he’s good.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (music, informal) = sotto voce
    • 1978–81, David Henderson, ‛Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky: The Life of Jimi Hendrix (1983), page 237: Playing against the effect, Wood plays single sotto lines with a variation on the key that sustains a minor mode against the finely tuned feedback effects stroked in pinks against the upper canvas.
    • 2008, David Henderson, ‛Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky: Jimi Hendrix, Voodoo Child, page 192: The twelve string rings out but Jimi’s voice is sotto, intimate.
sotto voce {{wikipedia}} etymology From Italian, literally "low voice".
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (of speech, of a voice, etc) In soft tone; quiet.
  2. (music) soft (can be used of instruments other than the voice, such as pianos)
  • 1913, , , Then a man called for her, and began to make coarse jokes. But Mr. Pappleworth nodded his head in the direction of the boy, and the talk went on sotto voce.
  • 1985 — , Divided Loyalties, p 38 'Hello?' she shouted, but still her voice came out barely louder than a sotto voce whisper.
Synonyms: (music: soft) sotto (informal)
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (of speech, of a voice, etc) (speaking) quietly
  2. (music) (spoken or played) softly (can be used of instruments other than the voice, such as pianos)
Synonyms: (music: softly) sotto (informal)
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (music) A direction in a score that a passage in a piece should be played softly (or sung 'under the voice', when applied to vocal music).
sou etymology From French sou.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. An old French copper coin.
  2. (dated, slang) Cent; pocket money.
  • ous, USO
soul brother
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A fellow African American man
related terms:
  • soul sister
soul kiss
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (idiomatic, colloquial) A kiss in which contact occurs between the tongues of the kisser.
Synonyms: French kiss, tongue kiss
  • sousliks
soul patch {{wikipedia}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A narrow beard descending from the lower lip, above the chin.
Synonyms: (narrow beard descending from lower lip) flavor saver, flavour saver (slang)
soul sister
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A fellow African American woman
related terms:
  • soul brother
soulster etymology soul + ster
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A performer of soul music.
soulstress etymology soulster + ess
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, music) A female soulster.
    • {{quote-news}}
soulular etymology {{blend}}.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal) Of, relating to, or characteristic of the soul.
    • 1997, Lynnclaire Dennis, The Pattern, Integral Publishing (1997), ISBN 9780941255509, page 30: A sense of lightness permeated my being to what I thought must be a cellular — indeed a soulular — level.
    • 2010, Dan Shafer, The Power of I Am: Claiming Your Inherent Power to Consciously Create a Life of Purpose, Meaning, and Joy, PathBinder Publishing (2010), ISBN 9780977302239, pages 11-12: The final important thread of this phase of my spiritual "rivering" came when I encountered Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy where I discovered the convergence among ancient and modern spiritual teachings around a core set of shared beliefs that resonated with me on a soulular level.
    • 2011, Ollie Mae Farley, The Life He Chose: Biography of Pastor Tom Weeks, Jr., Xlibris (2011), ISBN 9781453525456, page 31: The spirit-filled power of his beautiful, rich voice reverberates at the cellular and soulular core of my being.
Synonyms: spiritual
sound {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: soune (obsolete), sowne (obsolete) pronunciation
  • /saʊnd/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 From Middle English sound, sund, isund, ȝesund, from Old English sund, ġesund, from Proto-Germanic *gasundaz, *sundaz, from Proto-Indo-European *sunt-, *swent-. Cognate with Scots sound, soun, Saterland Frisian suund, gesuund, Western Frisian sûn, Dutch gezond, Low German sund, gesund, German gesund, Danish sund, Swedish sund, Irish fétaid. Related also to Dutch gezwind, German geschwind, Old English swīþ. See swith.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Healthy. He was safe and sound. In horse management a sound horse is one with no health problems that might affect its suitability for its intended work.
    • {{cite-book}}
  2. Complete, solid, or secure. Fred assured me the floorboards were sound.
    • Chapman The brasswork here, how rich it is in beams, / And how, besides, it makes the whole house sound.
  3. (mathematics, logic) Having the property of soundness.
    • {{RQ:Schuster Hepaticae V}} With fresh material, taxonomic conclusions are leavened by recognition that the material examined reflects the site it occupied; a herbarium packet gives one only a small fraction of the data desirable for sound conclusions. Herbarium material does not, indeed, allow one to extrapolate safely: what you see is what you get…
  4. (British, slang) Good. "How are you?" - "I'm sound." That's a sound track you're playing.
  5. (of sleep) Quiet and deep. Sound asleep means sleeping peacefully, often deeply. Her sleep was sound.
  6. Heavy; laid on with force. a sound beating
  7. Founded in law; legal; valid; not defective. a sound title to land
  • (in logic) valid
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. Soundly.
    • Spenser So sound he slept that naught might him awake.
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. (British, slang) Yes; used to show agreement or understanding, generally without much enthusiasm. "I found my jacket." - "Sound."
etymology 2
  • Noun: from Middle English sownde, alteration of sowne, from xno sun, soun, Old French son, from accusative of Latin sonus.
  • Verb: from Middle English sownden, sounen, from xno suner, Old French soner (modern sonner), from Latin sono
  • The euphonic -d appears in the fifteenth century.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A sensation perceived by the ear caused by the vibration of air or some other medium. exampleHe turned when he heard the sound of footsteps {{nowrap}}.  {{nowrap}}
    • John Milton (1608-1674) The warlike sound / Of trumpets loud and clarions.
  2. A vibration capable of causing such sensations.
    • {{RQ:SWymn ChpngBrgh}} It was April 22, 1831, and a young man was walking down Whitehall in the direction of Parliament Street.{{nb...}}. He halted opposite the Privy Gardens, and, with his face turned skywards, listened until the sound of the Tower guns smote again on the ear and dispelled his doubts.
  3. (music) A distinctive style and sonority of a particular musician, orchestra etc
  4. Noise without meaning; empty noise.
    • John Locke (1632-1705) Sense and not sound…must be the principle.
Synonyms: See also
  • noise
  • quiet
  • silence
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive) To produce a sound. When the horn sounds, take cover.
  2. (copulative) To convey an impression by one's sound. He sounded good when we last spoke. That story sounds like a pack of lies!
    • {{rfdate}} Shakespeare How silver-sweet sound lovers' tongues!
  3. (intransitive) To be conveyed in sound; to be spread or published; to convey intelligence by sound.
    • {{rfdate}} Bible, 1 Thessalonians i. 8 From you sounded out the word of the Lord.
  4. (intransitive, obsolete) To resound.
  5. (intransitive, legal, often, with in) To arise or to be recognizable as arising in or from a particular area of law.
  6. (transitive) To cause to produce a sound. He sounds the instrument.
  7. (transitive, phonetics, of a vowel or consonant) To pronounce. The "e" in "house" isn't sounded.
Synonyms: (to make noise)echo, reecho, resonate, See also
etymology 3 From Middle English sound, sund, from Old English sund, from Proto-Germanic *sundą, from Proto-Indo-European *swem-. Cognate with Dutch sond, Danish sund, Swedish sund, Icelandic sund. Related to swim.
noun: {{en-noun}} {{wikipedia}}
  1. (geography) A long narrow inlet, or a strait between the mainland and an island; also, a strait connecting two seas, or connecting a sea or lake with the ocean. Puget Sound; Owen Sound
    • Camden The Sound of Denmark, where ships pay toll.
  2. The air bladder of a fish. Cod sounds are an esteemed article of food.
  3. A cuttlefish. {{rfquotek}}
etymology 4 Middle English sounden, from Old French sonder, from sonde of Germanic origin, compare Old English sundgyrd, sundline, Old English sund. More at Etymology 3 above
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive) dive downwards, used of a whale. The whale sounded and eight hundred feet of heavy line streaked out of the line tub before he ended his dive.
  2. To ascertain, or try to ascertain, the thoughts, motives, and purposes of (a person); to examine; to try; to test; to probe. When I sounded him, he appeared to favor the proposed deal.
    • Dryden I was in jest, / And by that offer meant to sound your breast.
    • Addison I've sounded my Numidians man by man.
  3. test; ascertain the depth of water with a sounding line or other device. Mariners on sailing ships would sound the depth of the water with a weighted rope.
  4. (medicine) To examine with the instrument called a sound, or by auscultation or percussion. to sound a patient, or the bladder or urethra
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A long, thin probe for sounding body cavities or canals such as the urethra.
  • {{rank}}
sound as a bell
adjective: {{head}}
  1. (simile, colloquial) In excellent condition.
    • 1600, Much Ado About Nothing, Act III, scene 2, “He hath a heart as sound as a bell, and his tongue is the clapper; for what his heart thinks, his tongue speaks.”, William Shakespeare
sound as a pound
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (UK, informal) wholesome; reliable; in good condition
sound bite Alternative forms: soundbite etymology sound + bite pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈsaʊndbʌɪt/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (journalism, television) An extract from a speech or interview used as edited into a news or other broadcast; an interview clip, especially seen as particularly expressive or pithy.
  2. (often pejorative) A one-liner deliberately produced for this purpose; a statement specifically intended to be punchy and memorable.
    • 1990, : The ground offensive against Iraq ended after 100 hours, partly out of concern that American troops not occupy an Arab capital, partly because Arab allies feared the disintegration of Iraq and partly because a “100-hour war” made a good sound bite.
soundbitey etymology soundbite + y
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal) Characteristic of a soundbite.
    • 1997, Carole Rich, News Writing: Student Study Guide (page 157) If there's something that is generally a trite soundbitey kind of thing, I generally don't use it. I'm looking for the people to tell the story and not me.
    • 2009, Damien Broderick, Unleashing the Strange This is funny, astute, cynical and soundbitey all at once.
sounds like a plan {{wikipedia}}
phrase: {{en-phrase}}
  1. (informal) Used to indicate agreement with a proposed suggestion. Let's catch a movie after dinner, what do you say? -- Sounds like a plan.
soup {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • (UK) /suːp/
  • (US) /sup/
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{audio}}
etymology 1 From Middle English soupen, from Old English sūpan, from Proto-Germanic *sūpaną. More at sup.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. alternative form of sup
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. alternative form of sup
etymology 2 (1645) From Middle French soupe, from Old French souppe, sope, from ll suppa, from Proto-Germanic *supô (compare Middle Dutch sope. See also sop and supper.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Any of various dishes commonly made by combining liquids, such as water or stock with other ingredients, such as meat and vegetables, that contribute flavor and texture. Pho is a traditional Vietnamese soup.
    • c. 1430 (reprinted 1888), Thomas Austin, ed., Two Fifteenth-century Cookery-books. Harleian ms. 279 (ab. 1430), & Harl. ms. 4016 (ab. 1450), with Extracts from Ashmole ms. 1429, Laud ms. 553, & Douce ms. 55 [Early English Text Society, Original Series; 91], London: for the Early English Text Society, volume I, 374760, page 11: Soupes dorye. — Take gode almaunde mylke … caste þher-to Safroun an Salt …
    1. (countable) A serving of such a dish, typically in a bowl.
    2. (uncountable) The liquid part of such a dish; the broth.
  2. (figuratively) Any mixture or substance suggestive of soup consistency.
    1. (slang) Thick fog or cloud (also pea soup).
    2. (US, slang) Nitroglycerin or gelignite, especially when used for safe-cracking.
    3. (cant) Dope (illicit drug, used for making horses run faster or to change their personality).
    4. (photography) Processing chemicals into which film is dipped, such as developer.
    5. (biology) Liquid or gelatinous substrate, especially the mixture of organic compounds that is believe to have played a role in the origin of life on Earth. primordial soup
    6. (UK, informal, often with "the") An unfortunate situation; trouble, problems (a fix, a mess); chaos.
      • {{quote-book }}
    7. (surfing) The foamy portion of a wave.
hyponyms: {{top3}}
  • bisque
  • bouillon
  • broth
  • chowder
  • consommé
  • cream soup
  • gazpacho
  • gruel
  • porridge
  • purée
  • summer soup
  • velouté
related terms:
  • supper
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (uncommon) To feed: to provide with soup or a meal.
    • 1904 October, East is East and West is West, in The Vassar Miscellany, volume 34, number 1, page 236: "I was so mad, I let him wait half an hour to-night before I souped him."
    • {{rfdate}}, Diza Sauers, Historama, page 152: She cooked huge stock pots and souped her dogs once a day.
    • 2008, C Mark Chapoton, A Tale of Two Iditarods, page 34: I souped the dogs, and went in for a bite. I ended up going back out and making my pups a full meal, then went back in and pigged out myself.
  2. To be in trouble or in difficulty (often passive--cf. in the soup).
    • {{quote-book }}
  3. (photography) To develop (film) in a (chemical) developing solution.
    • 1970 December, in The Rotarian, volume 117, number 6, page 31: That girl Vivienne, by the way, once worked as a secretary in the workshop of The Rotarian, began "souping" her own snapshots at home, went from there to top rank as a New York color photographer specializing in small children …
    • 1991, Ruth Jean Dale, Society Page: "Then perhaps it won't surprise you to learn Annie's taking over the Sunday social column," Roz said. "You photo-guys'll be souping her film."
    • 1998, Edward Gorman, Cold Blue Midnight: And her camera position had been completely out of his sight. Satisfied that she'd gotten everything she'd needed - much more, in fact - she went back inside and got to work. Jill had souped her first photographs while she'd been on …
    • 2005, Jock Lauterer, Community Journalism: A Personal Approach, page 242: By 6 pm Beau and I are back at the paper, souping the film, when Woody rushes into the room.
  4. (obsolete) To sup or swallow. {{rfquotek}}
  5. (obsolete) To breathe out. {{rfquotek}}
  • opus
  • pous
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, slang) Excited.
related terms:
  • supe up
  • suped-up
verb: {{head}}
  1. en-past of soup
  • does up, pseudo
souped-up Alternative forms: souped, souped up, suped-up etymology Etymology is unclear, although it is a past participle form from the verb soup. Automotive and aviation usage is attested at least since 1925 (in ) — possibly from 1921 — with even early citations linking it to supercharged. Therefore, it is often contended that is a {{clipping}}. However, this is antedated by usage in horse racing cant that applies the term to horses, and by a euphemism for drunkenness. The former is attested in Webster New International Dictionary (1909) and the latter in (May 1915). Both may be figurative interpretations of as a liquid food item, although other origins cannot be discounted.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (horse racing, cant) of horses injected with something to make them run faster or change their temperament (19th-early 20th century)
  2. (US Navy, slang) drunk
  3. (of an engine, a motor vehicle or another device) modified for higher performance (likely derived from the horse-racing term)
  4. (Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, slang) excited
related terms:
  • soup up
souperism etymology souper + ism
noun: {{en-noun}} {{wikipedia}}
  1. (historical, derogatory) During the Irish Potato Famine, the setting up of school by non-Roman Catholic Bible societies in which starving Catholic children were fed but were subjected to Protestant religious instruction at the same time.
source code
noun: {{wikipedia}} {{en-noun}}
  1. (computing, uncountable) Human-readable instructions in a programming language, to be transformed into machine instructions by a compiler, assembler or other translator, or to be carried out directly by an interpreter.
Synonyms: code, source
related terms:
  • coding (the act of writing source code)
  • source control
sourdough {{wikipedia}} etymology sour + dough. The senses pertaining to Alaska and the Yukon derive from the distinctive pouches of bread starter worn on a belt or around the neck by experienced prospectors during the .[ Learn to Speak Alaskan][ Sourdough baking] pronunciation
  • (GenAm) /ˈsaʊɚdoʊ/
  • (RP) /ˈsaʊədəʊ/
  • {{hyphenation}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A type of bread dough leaven with yeast and lactobacilli that produce acid giving a sour taste.
  2. (slang) An old-timer, especially in Alaska.
    • 1944, , Brave Men, University of Nebraska Press (2001), page 80: "The troops went for those fresh tomatoes like sourdoughs going for gold in the Klondike."
  3. (Yukon) A permanent resident of the territory. Someone who has lived in the Yukon during all four seasons.
  • (someone new to Alaska and Yukon) cheechako
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Made from sourdough.
verb: {{head}}
  1. en-past of souse
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (slang) inebriated, drunk.
Synonyms: (drunk)
  • douses
South Cackalacky
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (humorous) South Carolina.
southern fairy
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (derogatory) Someone from southern England.
coordinate terms:
  • northern monkey
Southern Ireland {{wikipedia}}
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. The short-lived autonomous region of the United Kingdom established on 3 May 1921 and dissolved on 6 December 1922, superseded by the Irish Free State.
  2. (informal) The Republic of Ireland.
Southern United States
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. An expansive region encompassing the southeastern and south-central part of the United States, typically defined as including the state of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Virginia.
The term Southern United States is defined more by shared culture and history than strict geography. Although located in the extreme south of the United States, southern California, New Mexico, and Arizona are not considered part of it. In contrast, Virginia and West Virginia, though located in the middle of the east coast, are considered part of it. Synonyms: American South, Dixie (informal), the South
South Park Republican {{wikipedia}} etymology Coined by commentator Andrew Sullivan in 2001.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, politics, colloquial) A member of a generation of young people holding center-right political beliefs more or less aligned with those portrayed in the American animated television program South Park.
southpaw {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • /ˈsaʊθˌpɔː/
  • (cot-caught) /ˈsaʊθˌpɑ/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) One who is left-handed, especially in sport.
  2. (baseball) A left-handed pitcher. Since home plate is generally in the southwest corner to avoid glare in the batter's eyes, a southpaw's pitching hand is to the south.
  3. A left-handed write who, instead of mirror right-handed writers, turn his or her hand upsidedown in order to put the writing implement in the same position as right-handed writers.
Synonyms: (one who is left-handed) left-hander, lefty
soutie etymology From Afrikaans soutpiel
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (South Africa, Army slang, vulgar) An Englishman.
  • outies
sov etymology Shortened from sovereign pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (British, slang) Pound sterling. That car of his has got to be worth a few sovs.
Synonyms: (pound sterling)
  • (standard English) pound, pound sterling
  • (slang) nicker, quid
, (standard English) pound, pound sterling, (slang) nicker, quid
  • OSV
  • OVs, OVS
  • SVO
  • VOS
  • VSO
Soviet Canuckistan etymology First attested in a 1993 article in the American anti-Semitic publication The Liberty Bell.Eric Thomson, "An Interview With Josef Ginsburg", ''The Liberty Bell'', November 1993, [ page 37] Subsequently (and apparently independently) used by American conservative political commentator on the October 31, 2002 episode of his MSBNC television show, in reaction to Canadian objection to a U.S. law mandating Arab-Canadian visitors to the U.S. be photographed and fingerprinted.Nancy Carr, "[ U.S. talk-show host Pat Buchanan calls Canada 'whining,' 'freeloading' nation]", ''CNEWS'', 1 November 2002
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (informal, derogatory or, humorous) Canada.
    • 2005, Elizabeth Bear, Worldwired, Spectra (2005), ISBN 9780553587494, unnumbered page (acknowledgements): {{…}} Chelsea Polk and Kellie Matthews for bolstering my knowledge of the native music of Soviet Canuckistan; {{…}}
    • 2005, Laura Penny, Your Call Is Important to Us: The Truth About Bullshit, Three Rivers Press (2006), ISBN 9781400081042, pages 118-119: We have been on the verge of decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use up here in Soviet Canuckistan for the past couple of years, but have yet to do so.
    • 2006, Adbusters, Issues 63-65, unknown page: But it's not just the residents of Soviet Canuckistan - a Pat Buchanan dig that many Canadians have embraced - who have soured on the US.
    • {{seemoreCites}}
Synonyms: Canuckistan
Soviet Jewnion
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (derogatory, informal, neologism) Soviet Union (viewed as being under the control and influence of Jews)
sow {{wikipedia}}
etymology 1 From Middle English sowe, from Old English sugu, from Proto-Germanic *sugō (compare West Frisian sûch, Dutch zeug, Low German Söög, Swedish sugga, Norwegian sugge), from Proto-Indo-European *suh₂kéh₂ 〈*suh₂kéh₂〉 (compare Welsh hwch, Sanskrit सूकर 〈sūkara〉), from *suH- ‘pig’ (compare German Sau, Latin sūs, Tocharian B suwo, Ancient Greek ὗς 〈hŷs〉, Albanian thi, Avestan 𐬵𐬏 〈𐬵𐬏〉. See also swine. pronunciation
  • /saʊ/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A female pig.
  2. A channel that conducts molten metal to mold.
  3. A mass of metal solidified in a mold.
    • 1957, H.R. Schubert, History of the British Iron and Steel Industry, p. 160: In England, it was generally termed a 'sow', if the weight was above 10 cwts., if below, it was termed a 'pig' from which the present term 'pig iron' is derived.
  4. (derogatory, slang) A contemptible, often fat woman.
  5. A sowbug.
  6. (military) A kind of covered shed, formerly used by besieger in filling up and passing the ditch of a besieged place, sapping and mining the wall, etc. {{rfquotek}}
The plural form swine is now obsolete in this sense. Synonyms: (mass of metal solidified in a mold) ingot, (contemptible woman) bitch, cow
etymology 2 From Middle English sowen, from Old English sāwan, from Proto-Germanic *sēaną, from Proto-Indo-European *seh₁- 〈*seh₁-〉. Compare Dutch zaaien, German säen, Danish . pronunciation
  • (UK) /səʊ/
  • (US) /soʊ/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}}
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To scatter, disperse, or plant (seed). When I had sown the field, the day's work was over. As you sow, so shall you reap.
  2. (figurative) To spread abroad; to propagate.
    • Addison And sow dissension in the hearts of brothers.
  3. (figurative) To scatter over; to besprinkle.
    • Sir M. Hale The intellectual faculty is a goodly field, … and it is the worst husbandry in the world to sow it with trifles.
    • Milton [He] sowed with stars the heaven.
Synonyms: plant, scatter
  • OSW
so what
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. (colloquial, rhetorical question) A reply to an unimportant or irrelevant statement, indicating indifference on the part of the speaker. I lost my old red shoes. - So what? Get a new pair.
Synonyms: who cares, whoopee do, whatever
  • hot saw
  • whatso
adjective: {{head}}
  1. (childish) eye dialect of sorry
sox pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-plural noun}}
  1. (informal) plural of sock (footwear)
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, chemistry) A Soxhlet extractor
soylent green {{wikipedia}} etymology From a foodstuff in the 1973 science fiction film Soylent Green, from soylent in the 1966 novel Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison, from soy and lentils.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (humorous) Any foodstuff of dubious nature or origin.
soylent pink etymology From soylent green, a foodstuff in the 1973 film Soylent Green.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (derogatory, humorous, sometimes capitalized) SPAM or another processed meat product.
    • {{quote-newsgroup }}
  • {{seeCites}}
soy milk {{wikipedia}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (uncountable) A milky liquid made from soy bean and used as a milk substitute, cooking ingredient or beverage.
  2. (countable, informal) An individual serving of such a beverage.
Synonyms: soya milk, soybean milk
coordinate terms:
  • rice milk
  • almond milk
  • coconut milk
  • grain milk
  • hazelnut milk
  • hemp milk
  • oat milk
  • peanut milk
  • smokily
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (slang, chiefly, British) Shortened form of sorry.
    • 1987 quoted in John Silverlight, More Words (Macmillan) p.53: Examples are 'Kaz' , 'Shaz' , 'Baz' and Waz' for Karen, Sharon, Barry, and Warwick, and the latest, 'soz' for sorry.
    • 1996 "Dear Annie: Ready to wear" Independent on Sunday, 1 September 1996: I'd like to apologise, unreservedly, to pigs everywhere, but especially those on my farm [...] So Hermes pig collars all round to my herd and soz soz soz.
    • 1999 in Season 1, Episode 5 of . I'm soz about what happened.
    • 2001, "Clarkee", "Soz Mick", yep...god will give him a good kicking and he'll keep kicking till he bursts into tears and sez soz for bin a cunt to Micky Yes, God will give him a good kicking and he'll keep kicking until he busts into tears and says sorry for being a cunt to Micky.
    • 2002, "*Patrick-Blue*", "Soz I Missed This (look) ??", Soz for bringing it up again, but it is good to have a healthy attitude towards this..!!!!
    • 2005, The Register, article headline: U2 says soz for online snafu
    • 2007, ">{daZza}<", "Wii info", Does it auto update when the disc is inserted or will i get the option to ignore the update?¶ Or do i just DL pal games to be on the safe side?¶ Soz for all the questions but wanna make sure I get it right
  • zos
sozzled pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈsɒzl̩d/
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (British, slang) Very drunk.
Synonyms: (very drunk) pickled, sloshed. See also:
spa {{wikipedia}}
etymology 1 The term is derived from the name of the Belgian town of , where since medieval times illnesses caused by iron deficiency were treated by drinking chalybeate (iron bearing) spring water. In 16th century England the old Roman ideas of medicinal bathing were revived at towns like Bath, and in 1571 William Slingsby who had been to the Belgian town (which he called Spaw) discovered a chalybeate spring in Yorkshire. He built an enclosed well at what became known as Harrogate, the first resort in England for drinking medicinal waters, then in 1596 Dr. Timothy Bright called the resort The English Spaw, beginning the use of the word Spa as a generic description rather than as the place name of the Belgian town. At first this term referred specifically to resorts for water drinking rather than bathing, but this distinction was gradually lost and many spas offer external remedies. There are various stories about the origin of the name. A Belgian spring of iron bearing water was called Espa from the Walloon term for "fountain", and was used in 1326 as a cure by an iron master with such success that he founded a health resort that developed into the town. It has also been suggested that the term Espa may be derived from the name of the resort, and that its source could be the Latin word spargere meaning "to scatter, sprinkle or moisten". pronunciation
  • /spɑː/
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A health resort near a mineral spring or hot spring.
  2. A trendy or fashionable resort.
  3. A health club.
Synonyms: health club, resort
etymology 2 Shortened form of spastic pronunciation
  • /spæ/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Ireland, slang) A clumsy person (see spastic)
  2. (Ireland, slang) An idiot
  3. (Ireland, slang) A gobshite
  • APS
  • asp, ASP
  • pas, Pas, PAs
  • Psa., PSA
  • sap, s.ap., SAP
space cadet
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (original) A person in training to be a (generally military) astronaut, especially in science fiction.
  2. (slang, derogatory) One who deals with reality in a way consistent with being under the influence of (or "spaced out on") drugs.
  3. (slang, derogatory) One who forgets, daydream, or otherwise is distracted from reality more often than most.
spacecake etymology Neogolism of informal term space out and cake
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) Any cake or biscuit made which contains a psychoactive extraction of cannabis.
space cake
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) Cake as an edible infused with THC, usually cannabutter
Synonyms: hash cake
space case
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) An insane person who has little grip on reality.
spacegirl etymology space + girl
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A girl from outer space.
    • 1970, Russel Blaine Nye, The unembarrassed muse: the popular arts in America ...his amusing "Bride Ninety-One," which deals with the marital problems of one earthman who unwittingly marries eighteen alien spacegirls.
    • 1985, Films and filming (issues 364-375‎, page 10) At last the robots of the 1940s, who rampaged across the covers of the pulp magazines in impotent pursuit of shrieking spacegirls, have come of age.
    • 1998, Irvine Welsh, Filth The dyke spacegirls find out that they love cock, but the cop admits that lesbianism is a turn-on for men, provided the women are good-looking...
space hopper
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A toy; consisting of an large inflated rubber ball, upon which one bounce.
spacenik etymology space + nik
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (dated, informal) One who travels into space; an astronaut.
  • capeskin
space opera {{wikipedia}} etymology Compound of space + opera. Coined by fan and writer Wilson "Bob" Tucker in 1941. The term was originally derived from the term horse opera and thus indirectly from soap opera, to describe a specific, hackneyed science fiction writing style.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (initially derogatory) A subgenre of speculative fiction or science fiction that emphasizes space travel, romantic adventure, and larger-than-life characters often set against vast exotic settings.
    • {{quote-magazine }}
  2. A subgenre of speculative fiction or science fiction that utilises serialisation.
  3. (countable) A work or production in this style.
spacer {{wikipedia}} etymology {{-er}} pronunciation
  • /ˈspeɪsə(r)/ {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A person who works in space.
  2. An object inserted to hold a space open in a row of items, e.g. beads or printed type.
  3. A bushing.
  4. (slang) A forgetful person.
  5. (medicine) A type of add-on device used by an asthmatic person to increase the effectiveness of a metered-dose inhaler.
  • capers, Casper, crapes, escarp, e-scrap, Pacers, pacers, parsec, recaps, scrape
spack etymology unknown a contraction of spastic (as a term of abuse).
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (British slang, pejorative) A clumsy, foolish, or mentally deficient person. You spilt beer on your shirt, you spack!
  • {{seeCites}}
related terms:
  • spacko
  • spacka
  • spacker
  • spaz
  • spastic
  • packs
spack attack
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (UK, slang, pejorative) A fit of foolish rage; a tantrum.
    • 2011, Shirley Castley, One Eye Crying, One Eye Laughing (page 265) We had some small touristy spack attacks here as our hotel was rubbish (even Istvan thought so) so relocated a few times until we were happy …
    • 2009, Niall McLaren, Humanizing Psychiatry: The Biocognitive Model (page 169) She left jobs because she had “meltdowns from the stress” or had “spack attacks.”
spacker etymology See spack; ultimately from spastic.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (British, slang) A spack; a clumsy or foolish person.
  • packers, Packers
  • repacks
spacky etymology spack + y, ultimately from spastic.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (UK, slang) clumsy or foolish; mentally or physically inept
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (UK, slang) A clumsy, foolish, or mentally deficient person.
spacy Alternative forms: spacey etymology space + y
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (colloquial) spaced-out
  2. (colloquial) eccentric
  3. (colloquial) having much space This car is very spacy.
  4. (colloquial) of, related to or connected with the extraterrestrial His latest CD sounds very spacy.
etymology 1 Shortening of special adviser. {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: SpAd
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (politics, United Kingdom, informal) A government adviser, often in a political or media role.
    • 2009, Ben Wright, Hidden world of the political advisers, BBC: A successful stint as a spad can be a crucial political apprenticeship - as many of the current crop of professional politicians including the Miliband brothers, David Cameron and George Osborne can testify - so long as they stay in the dark.
    • 2012, Avoid The Thick of It-style spad appointments, ministers told, The Guardian: The hit BBC sitcom satirising the inner workings of Whitehall and the so-called spads contains "more than a grain of truth", the head of the cross-party public administration select committee has warned.
etymology 2
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (mining) A nail one or two inches long, of iron, brass, tin, or tinner iron, with a hole through the flattened head, used to mark station in underground surveying.
spade {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • /speɪd/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{homophones}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 From Old English spadu, spada, from Proto-Germanic *spadō. Cognate with Dutch spade, Old Frisian spada, Old Saxon spado, German Spaten. Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *sph₂-dʰ- 〈*sph₂-dʰ-〉, whence also Ancient Greek σπάθη 〈spáthē〉, Hittite {{rfscript}}.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A garden tool with a handle and a flat blade for dig. Not to be confused with a shovel which is used for moving earth or other materials.
    • 1898, J. Meade Falkner, Chapter 4 'Make your mind easy,' Ratsey said; 'I have dug too often in this graveyard for any to wonder if they see me with a spade.'
  2. A playing card marked with the symbol 〈♠〉. I've got only one spade in my hand.
  3. (offensive, ethnic slur) A black person.
  4. A cutting instrument used in flensing a whale.
related terms:
  • in spades
  • call a spade a spade
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To turn over soil with a spade to loosen the ground for planting.
  2. (videogaming) To collect and statistically analyze data, for the purpose of determining the underlying random number generator structure or numeric formula.
etymology 2 Compare spay, noun. Alternative forms: spaid, spayade
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A hart or stag three years old.
  2. A castrate man or animal.
{{Webster 1913}}
  • adeps
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (UK, slang) A sparrow.
    • 1961, Margery Allingham, Three cases for Mr. Campion (page 82) The broadcasting blokes are twittering away like spadgers over there.
    • Roald Dahl, The Swan 'If you think spadgers is easy,' the father said, 'go get yourself a jenny wren. Jenny wrens is 'alf the size of spadgers and they never sit still for one second. Get yourself a jenny wren before you start shootin' yer mouth off about 'ow clever you is.'
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) spaghetti
related terms:
  • spag bol
  • gaps
  • gasp
spag bol etymology Initial syllables of the words spaghetti and bolognese.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) spaghetti bolognese
spaghetti {{wikipedia}} etymology Italian (see Italian etymology below) pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /spəˈɡɛti/
  • (US) [spəˈɡɛɾi]
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A type of pasta made in the shape of long thin strings.
  2. A dish that has spaghetti as a main part of it, such as spaghetti bolognese.
  3. Informally, any type of pasta.
  4. Electrical insulating tubing.
  5. Anything tangled or confusing.
  6. A short form of spaghetti code.
  • An individual strand is called a piece of spaghetti or a strand of spaghetti, or rarely spaghetto, derived from the Italian form.
  • Often used with another noun to convey a spaghetti-like attribute, such as thinness (spaghetti strap, spaghetti stripes), Italianness (spaghetti western), flexibility (spaghetti limbs), or intertwining strands (spaghetti code, spaghetti junction, spaghetti grid)
related terms:
  • spaghettini
  • spaghettoni
  • pasghetti
spammage etymology spam + age
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (internet, informal) spam; sending junk mail in electronic format
    • 1996, "The Lone Warrior", Alt.Barney.Dinosaur.Die.Die.Die FAQ (tentative) (on newsgroup alt.barney.dinosaur.die.die.die) Massive velveeta and spammage are highly frowned upon.
spamtard etymology spam + tard
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, pejorative) One who sends spam; a spammer.
spamvertise etymology {{blend}} pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈspæmˌvɜː(ɹ).taɪz/
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (Internet, slang, intransitive) To engage in spamvertising.
  2. (Internet, slang, transitive) To use spam to advertise.
related terms:
  • spamvertisement
  • spam
spamvertiser etymology spamvertise + er
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Internet, slang) One who spamvertise.
Synonyms: spammer
spanger etymology spange + er, root {{blend}}, from stereotyped phrase “spare change?”, “spare any change?”
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, pejorative) beggar, one who uses the phrase “spare change?”
    • 2007, Pam Hogeweide, Spangers and Song on Hawthorne:[ Spangers and Song on Hawthorne], by Pam Hogeweide, November 2007 I squatted down on the sidewalk to get eye level with the spanger (someone who asks passerbys for spare change).
While sometimes used neutrally, more often used pejoratively,[ The Plague of Professional Panhandling], August 26, 2008, by Steven Malanga, The Dallas Morning News[ Panhandlers More Often Pros Than Cons: It's a full-time gig for some, and cities make little headway with efforts to stop begging], by Kate Schwartz, Newster, Sep 22, 2008[ What can we do about spangers?], The Portland Mercury, [ Questionland][ Atlanta ‘Giving Meters’ Program off to Slow Start], by Jay Black, WSB News, March 28, 2009 with connotations of professional begging.
related terms:
  • spange
  • spanging
spank bank
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A mental stock of image or fantasies brought to mind when masturbating.
    • 2005, Jill L. Ferguson, Sometimes Art Can't Save You, In Your Face Ink LLC (2005), ISBN 0976565919, page 22: Now my mother just became part of his spank bank. Just what I needed. The only guy I was screwing and now when he was whacking off he'd be thinking about my mom. Ick!
    • 2007, Brandon Wilkinson, Memoirs of the Messed Up Minds, iUniverse (2007), ISBN 9780595429868, unnumbered page: {{…}} but on the other hand it would've been nice to get a view of that outstanding cleavage again. It was a thing of beauty and had immediately qualified her for membership to my mental “spank bank.”
    • 2012, Saranna DeWylde, How to Lose a Demon in 10 Days, Brava Books (2012), ISBN 9780758279064, unnumbered page: The Highwayman Fantasy had been in the spank bank forever. When she watched old episodes of Star Trek, she'd wished for the holodeck to be real so she could be held up and accosted by a handsome highwayman who was really a disinherited duke trying to right some horrible wrong, {{…}}
    • {{seemoreCites}}
Synonyms: wank bank
spanking {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈspæŋkɪŋ/
  • (US) /ˈspeɪŋkɪŋ/, /ˈspeɪŋkiŋ/
verb: {{head}}
  1. present participle of spank
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A form of physical punishment in which a beating is applied to the buttocks. Domestic spanking is often endured over the knee (or lap), formal spanking rather applied over a contraption such as a tresle or A-frame, with or without constraints
  2. An incident of such punishment, or such physical act in a non-punitive context, such as a birthday spanking.
    • 2001, John Rosemond, John Rosemond's New Parent Power!‎ Some people think spankings of any sort constitute child abuse.
related terms:
  • spankee
  • spanker
  • spankingly
  • unspanked
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Fast and energetic. a spanking pace
    • James Joyce I'd like nothing better this minute, said Mr Browne stoutly, than a rattling fine walk in the country or a fast drive with a good spanking goer between the shafts.
  2. (often, nautical) Brisk and fresh. a spanking breeze
  3. remarkable of its kind. a spanking good time
Synonyms: striking
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (colloquial, now usually with “new”) An intensifier. brand spanking new
spanko etymology spank + o
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A person with a fetish for spanking, usually but not exclusively sexual
coordinate terms:
  • vanilla
  • BDSMer
related terms:
  • spankee
  • spanker
spankophile etymology spank + phile
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) One who derives sexual pleasure from spank.
    • 2005, Edwin Amboy, The Place on the Lake: Book One (page 15) This guy was a spankophile who got off on beating women.
    • 2010, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Spanked: Red-Cheeked Erotica (page vi) I cannot legally quote him here, but believe me, judging by these missives, Joyce was a full-on spankophile who understood precisely what it means to submit (and to willingly struggle).
    • 2010, Adam Glasser, Rock Her World: The Sex Guide for the Modern Man (page 222) Responsible spankophiles will always use a “safe word.” This is a word that participants in a spanking session agree to use to signify that the spanking is too hard and should he stopped.
spank the monkey
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (idiomatic, colloquial, vulgar) To masturbate (male). Dan said, "I'm going to go home and spank the monkey."
spanky etymology spank + y
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal) brand spanking new
    • Victoria Twead, Two Old Fools - Olé! (page 169) Soon a spanky new house had arisen from the rubble of the old one.
spank you very much etymology From spank you, formed by imitation of thank you very much
phrase: {{en-phrase}}
  1. (humorous) thank you very much
    • 2006, M Apostolina, Dark Cindy He giggled with that obnoxious hyena laugh he has. "Spank you very much. I know you missed me, Cindy."
spanner etymology span + er pronunciation
  • (UK) {{enPR}}, /ˈspæn.ə(ɹ)/
  • (US) {{enPR}}, /ˈspæn.ɚ/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{wikipedia}} {{en-noun}}
  1. (Australian, NZ, British, Irish) A hand tool for adjusting nut and bolt. Pass me that spanner, Jake; there's just one more nut to screw in.
  2. (rare) One who, or that which, span.
    • 1915, Florence Kiper Frank, The Jew to Jesus: and other poems The scheme of the spanner of continents and the desire of the little husbandman hoarding for his loved ones...
  3. (weaponry) A hand tool shape like a small crank handle, for wind the spring of a wheel lock on a musket.
    • 1786, Fig. 10. The spanner for span or winding up the spring of the wheel lock. — Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, page xvi.
  4. (obsolete) A device in early steam engine for moving the valve for the alternate admission and shutting off of the steam.
  5. (UK) A problem, dilemma or obstacle; something unexpected or troublesome (in the phrase spanner in the works) Halfway through the production of Macbeth, the director found that the stage was smaller than he expected. This really threw a spanner in the works.
  6. (British, Irish, mildly, derogatory) A stupid or unintelligent person; one prone to making mistakes, especially in language. You spanner, Rodney! I wanted a Chinese, not an Indian!
Synonyms: (hand tool for nuts and bolts) wrench (US)
related terms:
  • adjustable spanner
  • ring spanner
  • spanner barb
  • throw a spanner in the works
descendants: {{top2}}
  • Malay: sepana
{{mid2}} {{bottom}}
  • panners
spare change
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Small amounts of money, especially coinage Got any spare change for a cup of coffee, guv?
Synonyms: small change, loose change, shrapnel (slang), pocket shrapnel (slang)
sparge {{was wotd}} etymology From Middle French espargier, from Latin spargere. pronunciation
  • /spɑɹd͡ʒ/
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To sprinkle or spray
  2. To introduce bubble into a liquid Bubble machines sparge water for platform diving competitions to lessen the impact.
  • gapers
  • gasper
  • grapes
  • pagers
spark {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /spɑː(r)k/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}}
etymology 1 From Middle English sparke, sperke, from Old English spearca, from Proto-Germanic *sparkô, *sprakô (compare Dutch spark and sprank, Middle Low German sparke), from Proto-Indo-European *sp(h)er(e)g- (compare Breton erc'h, Latin spargere, sparsus, Lithuanian sprógti, Ancient Greek , Persian پراکن 〈prạḵn〉, Avestan , Sanskrit ).
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A small particle of glow matter, either molten or on fire.
  2. A short or small burst of electrical discharge.
  3. A small, shining body, or transient light; a sparkle.
  4. (figuratively) A small amount of something, such as an idea, that has the potential to become something greater, just as a spark can start a fire.
    • Shakespeare if any spark of life be yet remaining
    • John Locke We have here and there a little clear light, some sparks of bright knowledge.
    • 2013, Phil McNulty, "", BBC Sport, 1 September 2013: Everton's Marouane Fellaini looks one certain arrival but Moyes, who also saw United held to a draw by Chelsea at Old Trafford on Monday, needs even more of a spark in a midfield that looked laboured by this team's standards.
  5. (in plural sparks but treated as a singular) A ship's radio operator.
  6. (UK, slang) An electrician.
Synonyms: (small particle of glowing matter; ember) gnast, (small amount of something, such as an idea, that has the potential to become something greater) beginning, germ, glimmer
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To trigger, kindle into activity (an argument, etc).
    • {{quote-news }}
  2. (intransitive) To give off a spark or sparks.
etymology 2 probably Scandinavian, akin to Old Norse sparkr 'sprightly'
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A gallant, a foppish young man.
    • Prior The finest sparks and cleanest beaux.
  2. A beau, lover.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To woo, court.
  • parks
sparklepire etymology {{blend}}.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, humorous) A vampire who sparkles, such as those featured in the Twilight (series).
sparkler {{wikipedia}} etymology sparkle + er
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A hand-held firework that emit spark.
    • 2006, Marcus Collins, Modern Love (page 258) The Playboy cover was of a girl in grey slacks and sandals, one hand on hip and the other waving a sparkler for Independence Day.
  2. (slang) A gem or ornament that sparkle.
  3. (informal) A sparkling wine.
  4. A tiger beetle.
  5. (dated) One who scatter; especially, one who scatters money; an improvident person.
sparklies etymology sparkly + s
noun: {{en-plural noun}} {{wikipedia}}
  1. (informal) Things that sparkle; gem.
    • 2008, Heather Vogel Frederick, Goldwhiskers (page 27) "Fetched us a good haul of sparklies last night, did our young Twist," said the rat.
  2. (television) A kind of interference pattern on analogue satellite television, caused by a signal that is either too weak or too strong.
    • 1993, Mark Long, Jeffrey Keating, The world of satellite TV (page 179) Once the C/NR of the incoming satellite signal reaches +2 or more dB above the threshold rating of the receiver, the last few stray sparklies disappear and the video appears to be totally clear.
    • 1999, Eugene Trundle, Newnes TV and Video Engineer's Pocket Book (page 96) One of the most common troubles with a satellite home unit is sparklies, as shown in Fig. 4.8.
sparrow-fart etymology From sparrow + fart. In the dawn sense, apparently UK dialect (Yorkshire) from ante 1828.'''2007''', Nigel Rees, ''A Word In Your Shell-Like'', states the definition “break of day” is included in 1828, William Carr, ''The Dialect of Craven [Horæ momenta Cravenæ]'', ISBN 978-0-554-43398-1.
  • Possibly from earlier British Army usage, from Urdu .
Alternative forms: sparrowfart; sparrow fart; sparrow's fart
noun: {{en-noun}} (plural attested only as sparrowfarts)
  1. (uncountable, UK, Australia, slang) A time very early in the day; dawn.
    • 1993, Patti Walkuski, No Bed of Roses: Memoirs of a Madam, page 111, “I was sick of working from sparrow fart as station cook and general dogs-body.”
    • 2005, Alexander Fullerton, Non-Combatants, Hachette UK, [http//|%22sparrow%27s+fart%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&source=bl&ots=hKEYFfNpNJ&sig=niQXYQsigmrqp2Fmp79WTLyLdSw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Ub1dUNO2CsqfiAeInYDIAw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22sparrow-fart%22|%22sparrow%27s%20fart%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false unnumbered page], ‘Took a girl to the flicks, had to get her back to Birkenhead, some goon in a tin hat and armband ordered us to take shelter in the Underground. No bloody option. So I didn′t get her home until sparrow-fart and her father didn′t believe us, turned quite nasty.’
    • 2005, Edward Canfor-Dumas, The Buddha, Geoff and Me: A Modern Story, [http//|%22sparrow%27s+fart%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&source=bl&ots=nirPuRi2jh&sig=SXaQBgYy5Sb16gV76BxlPjEF2dM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Ub1dUNO2CsqfiAeInYDIAw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22sparrow-fart%22|%22sparrow%27s%20fart%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 110], I′d got up at sparrow-fart and schlepped out there on the train, because Piers had been coming from Oxford and couldn′t give me a lift.
    • 2012, Gerald Seymour, The Outsiders, Hachette UK, [http//|%22sparrow%27s+fart%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&source=bl&ots=-R8TkPFpom&sig=792x2oD3ZZrU57H2z4oFcQC8IW8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Ub1dUNO2CsqfiAeInYDIAw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22sparrow-fart%22|%22sparrow%27s%20fart%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false unnumbered page], ‘Tomorrow. Sleep over, then off at sparrow-fart. And the car will have plates.’
  2. (countable) A person or thing of no consequence.
    • 1922, James Joyce , Episode 18: Penelope, …Miss This Miss That Miss Theother lot of sparrowfarts skitting around talking about politics they know as much about as my backside…
    • 1965, Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, 2011, unnumbered page, ‘The hell with the talented sparrowfarts who write delicately of one small piece of one mere lifetime, when the issues are galaxies, eons, and trillions of souls yet to be born.’
The sense is also rendered in non-idiomatic constructions such as “when the sparrow farts.” Synonyms: (dawn) cockcrow, crack of dawn, sunrise, sunup
spastic etymology Latin spasticus, from Ancient Greek σπαστικός 〈spastikós〉. Confer French spastique and see also spasm. pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈspastɪk/
  • (US) /ˈspæstɪk/
  • {{rhymes}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (pathology) Of, relating to, or affected by spasm.
  2. (pathology) Of or relating to spastic paralysis.
  3. (slang, pejorative) Clumsy.
  4. (slang, pejorative) Hyperactive, excited, and acting in a random manner.
See the usage notes about the noun, below.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (now, offensive, especially in the UK) A person affected by spastic paralysis or spastic cerebral palsy.
  2. (slang, offensive especially in the UK) A stupid, clumsy person.
    • I'm Alan Partridge (TV series), To Kill a Mocking Alan Jed Maxwell: See you next week then. We'll have that pint. Alan Partridge: Yep. Jed Maxwell: ...go and see my brother. Alan Partridge: No way, you big spastic! You're a mentalist!
{{wikipedia}} The offensiveness of spastic and spaz differs considerably between the US and the UK. In the United States, the terms are inoffensive; in the UK, they are typically taken as denigrating references to those with cerebral palsy, and consequently University of Sussex linguist Lynne Murphy has described spastic as "one of the most taboo insults to a British ear"{{cite web | last = Murphy | first = M Lynne | title = spastic, learning disability | work = Separated by a Common Language | date = 2007-02-28 | url = | accessdate = 2007-08-17}} and in a 2003 survey by the BBC it was voted the second-most offensive word relating to disability (after retard).[ BBC worst word vote][ The s-word], by Damon Rose, BBC News, 12 April 2006
  • cat piss
spathic etymology From Ancient Greek σπάθη 〈spáthē〉. Cognates include spatula.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (geology, mineralogy) Having good cleavage.
  2. (neologism, slang) Having attractive cleavage of the breast.
    • 1996 April 14, "Lingster" (username), "NEW: AMAZON ARTIFACT 7/8 (M/F cs ama. trans.)", in, Usenet Stephanie pressed Steve's 25-inch chest (64 cm) into the crevice between her own spathic, hypertrophied milk-producing organs.
    • 2000 April 7, Alex Jay Berman, "Re: Cleavage", in misc.writing, Usenet: So? Any of you out there wanna demonstrate how spathic you are?
    • 2003 September 26, "Captain Button" (username), "Re: Orogeny, erogeny wasn't Re: Slide rules", in rec.arts.sf.written and sci.geo.geology, Usenet: Didn't the Alfred Bester tribute in one of the Callahan's Bar stories use the old geologist's pun of describing a young woman as "spathic"?
    • 2005 June 29, David McMillan, "Re: Sea Wasp is not happy with us", in rec.arts.sf.written, Usenet: It only makes up for the lack of spathic content if the tentacles are, ahem, 'Centaurian' in nature.
  • haptics, pathics
spationaut {{wikipedia}} etymology spatium + -naut
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A French astronaut.
  2. (colloquial) A European astronaut (specifically one representing ).
related terms:
  • astronaut
  • cosmonaut
  • taikonaut
spaug etymology Irish Gaelic spàg - the paw or limb or claw of an animal, transferred to humans as pejorative or for club-foot pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (pejorative) A foot.
    • 1922: Taking off his flat spaugs and the walk. — James Joyce, Ulysses
  • gas up
  • gaups
spawn {{wikipedia}} etymology Recorded since 1413; from Middle English spawne, spawnen, from xno espaundre, from Old French espandre, from Latin expandere. pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To produce or deposit (eggs) in water.
  2. (transitive) To generate, bring into being, especially non-mammalian beings in very large numbers.
  3. (transitive) To bring forth in general.
  4. (transitive) To induce (aquatic organisms) to spawn
  5. (transitive) To plant with fungal spawn
  6. (intransitive) To deposit (numerous) eggs in water.
    • {{quote-news}}
  7. (intransitive) To reproduce, especially in large numbers.
  8. (ergative, video games, of a character or object) (To cause) to appear spontaneously in a game at a certain point and time.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The numerous eggs of an aquatic organism.
  2. Mushroom mycelium prepared for (aided) propagation.
  3. (by extension, sometimes, derogatory) Any germ or seed, even a figurative source; offspring.
    • {{quote-news }}
  4. (horticulture) The bud or branch produced from underground stem.
  5. (video games) The location in a game where characters or objects spontaneously appear.
  • pawns
spawny etymology From spawn + y
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. In some way like or resembling spawn.
  2. (slang) lucky
spaz Alternative forms: spazz pronunciation
  • /spæz/
etymology From spastic.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, pejorative, offensive in the UK) A stupid or incompetent person.
    • 2006, Tiger Woods: “I was so in control from tee to green, the best I’ve played for years… But as soon as I got on the green I was a spaz.”
  2. (slang, pejorative, offensive in the UK) A hyperactive person.
  3. (slang, pejorative, offensive in the UK) A tantrum, a fit.
{{wikipedia}} The offensiveness of this term and of spastic differs considerably between the US and the UK. In the United States, the terms are inoffensive; in the UK, they are very offensive; see spastic for more.{{cite web | last = Murphy | first = M Lynne | title = spastic, learning disability | work = Separated by a Common Language | date = 2007-02-28 | url = | accessdate = 2007-08-17}}[ BBC worst word vote][ The s-word], by Damon Rose, BBC News, 12 April 2006
related terms:
  • spack
  • spastic
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (slang, pejorative, offensive) To have a tantrum or fit.
  2. (slang, offensive) To malfunction, go on the fritz.
The sense “to malfunction” is the only sense that is not insulting to the object, and is cognate to spasm (compare seize up), but still may cause offense due to connections with spastic.
  • zaps
spaz attack
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, jocular) A sudden burst of excitement or nervousness.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, pejorative) A stupid person; moron, imbecile, fool, et cetera.
    • 1982, Rik Mayall, The Young Ones RICK: Oh, come off it, Neil, you little swotty-pants. Just look at you, swotting away for teacher like a total spazmo. You're just an utter creep, really, aren't you?
related terms:
  • spaz
spazzer etymology From spastic.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (UK, slang, offensive) A mentally retarded person.
    • 1991, Terry Johnson, Imagine drowning (page 19) None of the staff thought it was much fun, but the spazzers cheered up no end.
    • 2003, "mrgoat", Which is the best console overall (on newsgroup A PC isn't a console you spazzer gaylord
    • 2008, Patt Scott, Police Surgeon: Lethal Deception (page 5) "You accusing my mum of breeding a load of spazzers?"
related terms:
  • spack
  • spacker
  • spaz, spazz
spazzy etymology from spastic pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (slang) clumsy, inept
speak {{wikipedia}} etymology From Middle English speken, from Old English specan, alteration of earlier sprecan, from Proto-Germanic *sprekaną, from Proto-Indo-European *spreg-. Cognate with West Frisian sprekke, Low German spreken, Dutch spreken, German sprechen, Swedish språk and also with Albanian shpreh through Indo-European. pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /spiːk/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive) To communicate with one's voice, to say word out loud.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, 13 , [ The Mirror and the Lamp] , “And Vickers launched forth into a tirade very different from his platform utterances. He spoke with extreme contempt of the dense stupidity exhibited on all occasions by the working classes. He said that if you wanted to do anything for them, you must rule them, not pamper them.”
    exampleI was so surprised I couldn't speak.&nbsp;&nbsp; You're speaking too fast.
  2. (intransitive) To have a conversation. exampleIt's been ages since we've spoken.
  3. (by extension) To communicate or converse by some means other than orally, such as writing or facial expressions. exampleHe spoke of it in his diary.&nbsp;&nbsp; Speak to me only with your eyes.&nbsp;&nbsp; I just spoke with them on IRC.&nbsp;&nbsp; Actions speak louder than words.
  4. (intransitive) To deliver a message to a group; to deliver a speech. exampleThis evening I shall speak on the topic of correct English usage.
  5. (transitive) To be able to communicate in a language. exampleHe speaks Mandarin fluently.
  6. (transitive) To utter.
    • 1611, Authorized King James Version (Bible translation), 9:5: And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.
    exampleI was so surprised that I couldn't speak a word.
  7. (transitive) To communicate (some fact or feeling); to bespeak, to indicate.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick: There he sat, his very indifference speaking a nature in which there lurked no civilized hypocrisies and bland deceits.
  8. (informal, transitive, sometimes, humorous) To understand (as though it were a language). exampleSorry, I don't speak idiot.&nbsp;&nbsp; So you can program in C. But do you speak C++?
  9. (intransitive) To produce a sound; to sound.
    • Shakespeare Make all our trumpets speak.
  10. (transitive, archaic) To address; to accost; to speak to.
    • Bible, Ecclus. xiii. 6 [He will] thee in hope; he will speak thee fair.
    • Emerson Each village senior paused to scan / And speak the lovely caravan.
Synonyms: articulate, talk, verbalize
related terms:
  • speech
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. language, jargon, or terminology used uniquely in a particular environment or group. Corporate speak; IT speak
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (dated) a low class bar, a speakeasy.
  • {{rank}}
  • spake
  • peaks
speaker {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • (GenAm) /ˈspikɚ/
  • (RP) /ˈspiːkə/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology {{-er}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. One who speak. A native English speaker.
  2. Loudspeaker.
  3. (politics) The chair or presiding officer of certain legislative bodies, such as the U.K. House of Commons or the U.S. House of Representatives.
  4. One who makes a speech to an audience. The company hired a motivational speaker to boost morale.
  5. (US) A book containing passage of text for use in speech.
  6. (linguistics) The producer of a given utterance, whether actually spoken or not.
  • respeak
speaking of
adverb: {{head}}
  1. (colloquial) Speaking of which; relatedly; used to introduce a related topic.
    • 2006, , (novel), G.P. Putnam’s Sons, ISBN 978-0-399-15384-6, page 76: “Speaking of by the way: nice car. I mean that.”
    • 2009, , “Executors of Important Energies” (short story), in Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, Macmillan, ISBN 978-0-374-29219-5, page 83: “No more songs. This is a restaurant, for Christ’s sake, and speaking of, can somebody tell me where the hell is that veal?”
    • 2009, James Boice, NoVA (novel), Simon and Schuster, ISBN 978-1-4165-7542-9, page 47: —… Speaking of by the way we should go shopping on Saturday or Sunday because is having a sale at .
    • 2010, and , Take Two (novel), Simon and Schuster, ISBN 978-1-4169-7533-5, page 8: “… And speaking of, can you please cover up that hideous shirt?”

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