The Alternative English Dictionary

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


dweeb etymology From 1968 US college slang, probably related to feeb. [ ''dweeb''] at Etymonline The 1980s backronym Dim-Witted Eastern-Educated Boor derives from apparent social and attitudinal differences between West Coast and East Coast US, and describes a stereotypical Ivy-league graduate from Harvard, Yale, etc. pronunciation
  • /dwiːb/
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, slang, pejorative) A boring, studious, or social inept person. {{defdate}}
Synonyms: See also , Sometimes used alongside nerd and geek, however dweeb does not carry the same connotations of intelligence.
  • No way, man, the biggest dweeb of them all with . . . Marilyn! – , "My Women"
  • There never is a Keanu but a dweeb looking at me – "If You Can't Dance", by the
  • I may be dumb, but I'm not a dweeb. – "Self-Esteem", by .
  • bedew
dweebette etymology dweeb + ette
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, rare) A female dweeb.
    • 1988, Daniel Waters, Heathers (film) Do you think, do you really think, if Betty Finn's fairy godmother made her cool, she'd still act nice and hang with her dweebette friends? No way! Uh-uh!
    • 2003, Carsten Stroud, Cuba Strait ...the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, judging by her photo a cranky-looking dweebette with a face like a Chippewa hatchet and a bad case of helmet hair...
dweeblet etymology dweeb + let
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, sometimes pejorative) A young or unimportant dweeb.
    • 1992, Sassy, page 188: Dear Margie: While I thought most of your article on intelligence ["You're Smarter than You Think," May] was very enlightening, I was rather insulted by your closing statement that people who do well in school are "uncreative dweeblets."
    • 1994, Maximum Rocknroll, Issue 137, unknown page: Pseudo-droid braindead dweeblets bore them.
    • 2003, Business 2.0, Volume 4, page 73: "I've wanted to do something like this since seventh grade," he admits, remembering hours spent in the company of fellow dweeblets at the keyboard of a clunky old PDP-11 mainframe, navigating the virtual dungeons of the text-based game Adventure {{…}}
Synonyms: geeklet, geekling, nerdlet, nerdling
dweebling etymology dweeb + ling
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, pejorative) A pathetic or contemptible person.
DWIM {{wikipedia}}
{{initialism-old}}: {{head}}
  1. (computing, humorous) Do What I Mean. A wished-for feature in computer systems, offering magical freedom from the often frustrating discrepancies between one's intentions and the effects of a command.
dyb Alternative forms: dib etymology Short for do your best. dyb (or dib) and dob were used as abbreviated forms of do your best and do our best in certain Scout chants.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive, sometimes, humorous) In the scouting movement, to chant dyb, meaning "do your best" (to follow the scouting laws).
    • 2009, Clive James, Unreliable Memoirs (page 54) I used to get through the dibbing and dobbing all right but during the howling I usually rolled over backwards.
    • 2009, Wendy Holden, Beautiful People 'I'm a scout,' she smiled at him. The boy, in his turn, stared at Sam. He'd heard somewhere that scouting had got more trendy lately, that it was more snowboarding and surfing than dib-dib-dibbing and doing old ladies' gardens.
    • 2009, Justin Pollard, The Interesting Bits Why were there 212 fatalities at the first boy scout camp? There wasn't much dybbing and dobbing at Robert Baden-Powell's first scout camp as the camp in question was in Mafeking and took place during a particularly nasty siege…
DYC {{wikipedia}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (botany, humorous) damn (or damned) yellow composite; any hard-to-identify yellow-flower member of the sunflower family (Compositae).
    • 1981, Kent Dannen, Donna Dannen, Rocky Mountain Wildflowers‎, page 29 At times, it seems as though all flowers are D. Y. C.'s, but these brash newcomers of all colors account for…
    • 1989, Janice J. Schofield, Richard W. Tyler, Discovering Wild Plants: Alaska, Western Canada, the Northwest‎, page 131 Herbalist Michael Moore describes Arnica as a "DYC," or "damn yellow composite." For beginners studying flora, the yellow members of this family tend to cause confusion.
    • 2002, Graham Nicholls, Alpine Plants of North America, page 145 Hymenoxys richardsonii, like H. acaulis, covers a very wide range and could possibly come into the category of "just another D.Y.C." (Damned Yellow Composite).
    • 2008, James Luther Davis, The Northwest Nature Guide, page 205 The most common though sometimes difficult to tell apart yellow members of the sunflower family are arnicas, groundsels, goldenrods, and mountain-dandelions. There are so many confusing members of this family that some botanizers use the term DYC for "damn yellow composite."
related terms:
  • DWC
dyke {{wikipedia}}
etymology 1 Variant of dike.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. alternative spelling of dike
  2. (Australia, slang) A toilet. 1977, In Cubbaroo's dim distant past They built a double dyke. Back to back in the yard it stood An architectural dream in wood — Ian Slack-Smith, The Passing of the Twin Seater, from The Cubbaroo Tales, 1977. Quoted in Aussie Humour, Macmillan, 1988, ISBN 0-7251-0553-4, page 235.
  3. (UK) A ditch (rarely also refers to similar natural features, and to one natural valley, Devil's Dyke, Sussex, due to a legend that the devil dug it).
  4. (UK, mainly S England) An earthwork consisting of a ditch and a parallel rampart.
  5. (British) An embankment to prevent inundation, or a causeway.
  6. (UK, mainly Scotland and N England) A mound of earth, stone- or turf-faced, sometimes topped with hedge planting, or a hedge alone, used as a fence.
  7. (UK, mainly Scotland and N England) A dry-stone wall usually forming a boundary to a wood, field or garden.
  8. (British, geology) A body of once molten igneous rock that was injected into older rocks in a manner that crosses bedding planes.
etymology 2 {{wikipedia}} unknown; various theories suggested. Attested US 1942, in Berrey and Van den Bark’s American Thesaurus of Slang."dike, dyke, n.3" ''The Oxford English Dictionary''. 2nd ed. 1989. OED Online. Oxford UP. 4 Apr. 2000 <>.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, pejorative) A lesbian, particularly one who appears macho or act in a macho manner. This word has been reclaimed, by some, as politically empowering. (See usage notes.)
In the sense of a gay woman, this term is generally derogatory when used by heterosexuals (and sometimes when used by non-heterosexuals), but, it is also used by some lesbians and bisexual women to refer to themselves, positively. A similar approach to the possibility of reclamation is evident in the use of the word queer among some lesbians, bisexual women, and others; see reclaimed word and reappropriation for discussion. It is important to note that many people do not believe that “queer” is able to be reclaimed, because of its fraught history and continued pejorative usage. Thus, the terms “dyke” and “queer” are both potentially liberatory while also being highly contested. Synonyms: See also
  • E.D. Ky.
dykedar etymology dyke + dar
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) The ability to detect whether or not a person is lesbian by observing that person.
Synonyms: lesdar
  • gaydar
  • queerdar
dykey pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (derogatory and offensive) Of a woman, whether actually lesbian or not, having stereotypically lesbian characteristics.
    • {{quote-news }}
    • {{quote-book }}
Synonyms: (non-offensive) butch, masculine
dykon etymology {{blend}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A celebrity, often a woman, who is much admire by lesbian.
    • 2004 She [viz., the television presenter Kirstie Allsopp] says the screen Kirstie – who is now something of a dykon thanks to her bossiness, her spike heels, her 'luscious dark hair' – is pretty close to the real thing, 'just more domineering'. — The Observer Magazine, 5 September 2004, page 17
  • gay icon
dym etymology Corruption of the word dumb.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (Internet slang, humorous, pejorative) dumb, stupid
initialism: {{rfc-header}} {{en-initialism}}
  1. (Internet slang) Dig your message
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (climbing) A dynamic climbing move or jump to reach a hold that cannot otherwise be reached.
  2. (informal) A dynamometer.
  • dyon
  • yond
dy-no-mite etymology The term was made popular by actor and comedian in his role as J. J. Evans on the American situation comedy . The expression is a play on the word dynamite.
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. (slang, catch phrase) good; great.
dyor Alternative forms: DYOR
abbreviation: {{rfc-header}} {{head}}
  1. (informal) do your own research
Often used to imply the other person is being lazy.
  • dory
DYSWIDT etymology Possibly from a catchphrase of British comedians .
initialism: {{rfc-header}} {{head}}
  1. (Internet, informal) Do you see what I did there? (used ironically to draw attention to wordplay, etc.)
related terms:
  • ISWYDT, I see what you did there
E pronunciation
  • (phoneme, usually) /ɛ/, /iː/{{,}} or silent
  • {{audio}}
  • (letter name) /iː/
  • {{rhymes}}
  • (Chinese state) /ə/
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 From Middle English and Old English upper case letter E and split of Æ, EA, EO, and Œ, from five 7th century replacements of Anglo-Saxon Futhorcs by Latin letters:
  • Old English letter E, from replacement by Latin letter E of the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc letter 〈ᛖ〉.
  • Old English letter Æ from replacement by Latin ligature Æ of the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc letter 〈ᚫ〉.
  • Old English digraph EA, from replacement by Latin digraph EA of the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc letter 〈ᛠ〉.
  • Old English digraph EO from replacement by Latin digraph EO of Anglo-Saxon Futhorc 〈ᛇ〉.
  • Old English letter Œ from replacement by Latin ligature Œ of the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc letter 〈ᛟ〉.
letter: {{en-letter}}
  1. {{Latn-def}}
    • {{RQ:Orwell Animal Farm}} On several occasions, indeed, he did learn E, F, G, H, but by the time he knew them, it was always discovered that he had forgotten A, B, C, and D.
number: {{en-number}}
  1. {{Latn-def}}
etymology 2
  • (ESRB rating, everyone) Abbreviation of everyone
  • (East) Abbreviation of east
  • (slang, ecstasy) Abbreviation of ecstacy
  • (grade) From the position of the letter E in the English alphabet
symbol: {{en-symbol}}
  1. (ESRB rating) Everyone.
  2. East.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (street slang) The illicit drug ecstasy (MDMA).
  2. The grade below D in some grading systems. In most such systems, it is a fail grade.
    • 1999, Julian Stallabrass, High Art Lite: British Art in the 1990s, Verso, ISBN 1859843182, page 25, In line with this, he is marketed not only as a mental innocent, but as a class primitive, someone who only got an E in A-level art […]
    • a2003, Rick, quoted in Linda MacDowell, Redundant Masculinities?: Employment Change and White Working Class Youth, Blackwell Publishing (2003), ISBN 1405105860, page 198, My results weren’t that great, to be honest. I weren’t right happy with them; I got an E in Maths and that were a surprise, but I did get a B in Technology – that were all right.
    • 2005, S. J. Smith, Joe Public, Virtualbookworm Publishing, ISBN 1589397681, page 125, Not really, but perhaps I’d have got an ‘E’ in Tech Drawing no matter how much I’d asserted myself. Maybe Mr. Pinkerton would have seen to it that my exam paper was tampered with. A spot of teacher to student revenge.
    • 2005, Craig Taylor, Light, Reverb, ISBN 1905315007, page 103, But she didn’t get the bit about my accidental artistic career, “But you can’t draw love. You got an E in your exam. I remember that. You drew that onion that looked like a boil.”
etymology 3 {{wikipedia}} From cmn (È), formed as a phono-semantic character from ("beat a drum", reconstructed Old Chinese pronunciation *Ngˤ) + , the combinatorial form of ("area", "place").
proper noun: {{head}}
  1. (history) A state in ancient China of varying location in present-day Shanxi, Henan, and Hubei
  2. (history) Its capital, also known as Echeng and Ezhou
etymology 4 {{wikipedia}} Unknown.
proper noun: {{head}}
  1. A river in the Highland of Scotland.
e.g. Alternative forms: eg., eg (informal), ex. gr. etymology Abbreviation of Latin exemplī grātiā. Gratiā here is in the ablative case which is translated into the prepositional phrase "for the sake". Exempli is a genitive case noun meaning "of example". Therefore, the full phrase is "for the sake of example".'''2007''', John C. Traupman, ''The New College Latin and English Dictionary'', ISBN 9780553590128. Previously abbreviated to ex. gr. pronunciation
  • /ˌiːˈdʒiː/
  • It is also spoken as for example.
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. Literally, “for the sake of example”. Used to introduce an example or list of examples to illustrate what is being discuss. Asia is a large continent containing many large nations (e.g.[,] China, India[,] and Russia).
  • The list of examples following e.g. should not be exhaustive'''2002''', [[w:Ernest Gowers|Sir Ernest Gowers]], ''The Complete Plain Words'', ISBN 9781567922035. (in that case, i.e. should be used) and should not be followed by et cetera or etc. as this is a tautology. (Tautologies do have their place, but use etc. in this context with care.)
  • In American English a comma should follow e.g. For example:
Female marsupials (e.g., kangaroos, opossums) have a pouch.
  • In British English no comma should follow e.g. For example:
Female marsupials (e.g. kangaroos, opossums) have a pouch.
  • A punctuation mark always precedes e.g.
I like sweet foods, e.g. chocolate. (cf. I like sweet foods, for example chocolate.) I like sweet foods (e.g. chocolate and marzipan) and eat them often.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) misuse of e.g. (exampli gratia, for example), pseudo-abbreviation of example Lemurs are an e.g. of a non-simian primate.
  • Ge, gE, GE, ge
E'd up
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (slang) Under the influence of the recreational drug Ecstasy.
    • 1996, Irvine Welsh, The Undefeated Ah should've got E'd up the first time ah made love tae Heather, eh.
    • 1999, Simon Reynolds, Generation ecstasy: into the world of techno and rave culture (page 109) With its churning centrifugal groove and almighty turbine-roar guitar, the song sounds exactly like the panic rush of an E'd-up raver wondering how and why the rave dream's dying all around him.
determiner: {{en-pron}}
  1. (colloquial) alternative spelling of every We gon' get e'ry one of 'em. And we 'bout it e'ry day, e'ry day like we sitting on a bench.
Found as an eye-dilect spelling of "every." Only used in colloquial or slang speech.
related terms:
  • e'rybody
  • e'ryone
  • e'rywhere
eager beaver pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˌiː.ɡə ˈbiː.və/
  • (US) /ˌi.ɡɚ ˈbi.vɚ/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (idiomatic, colloquial) One (especially a child) who is very excited or enthusiastic to begin a task.
  2. (idiomatic, humorous) A woman with a high sex drive
related terms:
  • eager
  • beaver away
ear pronunciation
  • (UK) /ɪə̯/
  • (US) /ɪɹ/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}}
etymology 1 From Middle English ere, ȝhere, from Old English ēare, from the voiced Verner alternant of Proto-Germanic *ausô. Compare Scots ear, Western Frisian ear, Dutch oor, German Ohr, Swedish öra, Danish øre. The Proto-Germanic term is from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ous- 〈*h₂ous-〉. Compare Old Irish au, Latin auris, Lithuanian ausìs, Russian у́хо 〈úho〉, Albanian vesh, Ancient Greek οὖς 〈oûs〉, xcl ունկն 〈unkn〉, Persian scfa-Arab.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (countable) The organ of hearing, consisting of the pinna, auditory canal, eardrum, malleus, incus, stapes and cochlea.
  2. (countable) The external part of the organ of hearing, the auricle.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill (novelist) , The Celebrity, 4 , “Judge Short had gone to town, and Farrar was off for a three days' cruise up the lake. I was bitterly regretting I had not gone with him when the distant notes of a coach horn reached my ear, and I descried a four-in-hand winding its way up the inn road from the direction of Mohair.”
  3. (countable, slang) A police informant.
    • 1976, Stirling Silliphant, Dean Riesner, Gail Morgan Hickman, . No I'm not kidding, and if you don't give it to me I'll let it out that you’re an ear.
  4. The sense of hearing; the perception of sounds; the power of discriminating between different tones.
    • Alfred, Lord Tennyson songs…not all ungrateful to thine ear
    examplea good ear for music
  5. The privilege of being kindly heard; favour; attention.
    • Francis Bacon Dionysius…would give no ear to his suit.
    • William Shakespeare Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.
  6. That which resembles in shape or position the ear of an animal; a prominence or projection on an object, usually for support or attachment; a lug; a handle. examplethe ears of a tub, skillet, or dish;&nbsp;&nbsp; The ears of a boat are outside kneepieces near the bow.
  7. (architecture) An acroterium.
  8. (architecture) A crossette.
Alternative forms: ere
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (humorous) To take in with the ears; to hear.
    • Two Noble Kinsmen I eared her language.
etymology 2 From Middle English er, from Old English ear (Northumbrian dialect æhher), from Proto-Germanic *ahaz (compare Western Frisian ier, Dutch aar, German Ähre), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ék- 〈*h₂ék-〉 (compare Latin acus, txb āk, Church Slavic ость 〈ostʹ〉. More at edge.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (countable) The fruiting body of a grain plant. He is in the fields, harvesting ears of corn.
Synonyms: head, spike
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive) To put forth ears in growing; to form ears, as grain does. This corn ears well.
etymology 3 From Old English erian, from Proto-Germanic *arjaną, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂erh₃- 〈*h₂erh₃-〉.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (archaic) To plough.
    • 1595, William Shakespeare, Richard II: That power I have, discharge; and let them go To ear the land that hath some hope to grow, For I have none.
  • are, era, ERA, Rae
earful pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) a reprimand, castigation or telling off
    • 2013, Daniel Taylor, Danny Welbeck leads England's rout of Moldova but hit by Ukraine ban (in The Guardian, 6 September 2013) Ivan Kruzliak had already taken an earful from Gary Neville at half-time and it was rare to see Hodgson as annoyed as he was while remonstrating with the fourth official.
  2. (informal) intimate gossip
noun: {{en-plural noun}}
  1. potato that are harvested before the main crop
  2. (informal) early shift, in a job with a shift rotation I'm on earlies next week
  • realise
ear rocks
noun: {{en-plural noun}}
  1. (medical, informal) otolith
ears are burning
phrase: {{head}}
  1. (idiomatic, colloquial) Being the topic of discussion in another place; or sensing that this is happening. His ears are burning.
earshrift etymology ear + shrift
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (obsolete, rare, colloquial) auricular confession; shrift
    • 1827, Henry Soames, The History of the Reformation of the Church of England In this earshrift (auricular confession) are wrought their malicious mysteries. In it the poor simple creatures are taught to delight in ignorance, and to beware of the reading or hearing of the Scripture in the English tongue, contrary to Christ.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (nonstandard, humorous, science fiction) Of or from the planet Earth.
    • 2002 April 23, Jym Dyer, “Earthican Day”,, Usenet I went to an Earth Day event in San Francisco and there was this huge Earthican flag, circa 3000 A.D., with the red and white stripes and an image of Earth up in the corner.
    • 2004 October 18, Wayne Throop, “Early parallel-universe stories” rec.arts.sf.written, Usenet Just consider that, over time, on a scale of millions of years, earthican continents have had *lots* of different configurations
    • 2006 May 25, James Nicoll, “Spider's Heinlein novel [was: Re: ConCarolinas 2006 is coming!]”, rec.arts.sf.fandom, Usenet You may remember him [Paul Hellyer] from such news articles as "Is there a party Paul hasn't belonged to or at least tried to join?" and "How dare the Americans threaten the delicate Earthican-Alien relationship by [planning] to emplace armed bases on the Moon?"
    • 2006 June 27, John Schilling, “David Drake - Leary and the RCN”, rec.arts.sf.written, Usenet that first step is enough to make direct attacks rather tricky, to make most of the Earthican powers' armed forces useless.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (nonstandard, humorous, science fiction) An inhabitant of planet Earth.
    • 2001 April, “”, , season 4, episode 10 Fry: Well, if you're going to be Earthicans, we're going to have to teach you.
Synonyms: Earthling, Terran, Tellurian, see also
  • alien, extraterrestrial, see also
  • Solarian
  • Earthgirl, Earthman, Earthwoman
  • Catharine
Earthie etymology Earth + ie
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (science fiction, often, derogatory) An inhabitant of the Earth.
    • {{quote-magazine }}
    • {{quote-magazine }}
Synonyms: Earthling, Terran, Tellurian, see also
  • alien, extraterrestrial, see also
  • Solarian
  • Earthgirl, Earthman, Earthwoman
Earthling etymology From Middle English *erthling, from Old English eorþling, yrþling, equivalent to earth + ling and/or Earth + ling. Cognate with German Erdling. pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈɜː(ɹ)θ.lɪŋ/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. An inhabitant of the planet Earth (Generally in science fiction alien who use the term Earthling look down on the people of earth.)
Synonyms: Earthican (nonstandard), Terran, Tellurian, see also
  • alien, extraterrestrial, see also
  • Solarian
  • Earthgirl, Earthman, Earthwoman
  • haltering
  • lathering
earthly etymology Old English eorþlīċ, corresponding to earth + ly. pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈəːθli/
  • {{audio}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Relating to the earth or this world, as opposed to heaven. earthly joys
    • Milton This earthly load / Of death, called life.
    • Bible, Phil. iii. 19 whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things
  2. (negative, informal) Used to put an emphasis
    • Alexander Pope What earthly benefit can be the result?
  3. Made of earth; earthy. {{rfquotek}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (UK, colloquial) A slightest chance (of success etc.) or idea (about something).
    • 1974, GB Edwards, The Book of Ebenezer Le Page, New York 2007, p. 315: ‘Then I didn't have a chance when I stood you a drink?’ I said. ‘Not an earthly!’ she said and laughed; but when I left she kissed me good-night.
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. in an earthy manner
  • lathery
earwax {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: ear wax, ear-wax
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A waxy substance secrete by the ear.
Synonyms: cerumen (technical), wax
earwig etymology From Middle English erwigge, from Old English earwicga.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Any of various insect of the order Dermaptera that have elongated bodies, large membranous wings folded underneath short leathery forewings and a pair of large pincers protruding from the rear of the abdomen.
    • 2001, Jan Harold Brunvand, Encyclopedia of Urban Legends, page 128, The idea was probably strengthened by the earwig′s appearance, with a sharp, pincer-like appendage extending to the rear. However, earwigs are herbivores, and they are no more likely to enter an ear than are ants, bees, flies, or any other small insect. Even when earwigs do occasionally find their way into human ears, they cannot burrow their way through the skin and into the brain.
    • 2002, Maurice Burton, Robert Burton, Nuthatch, entry in International Wildlife Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition, page 1762, Nuthatches search the crevices of bark at other times during the year for insects, including beetles, earwigs, flies and bugs, and they open galls (swellings in plants) to extract grubs.
    • 2008, John L. Capinera (editor), European Earwig, Forficula auricularia, Linnaeus (Dermaptera: Forficulidae), entry in Encyclopedia of Entomology, page 1370, Adults can use the cerci in defense, twisting the abdomen forward over the head or sideways to engage an enemy, often another earwig. Earwigs are nocturnal, spending the day hidden under leaf debris, in cracks and crevices, and in other dark locations.
  2. One who whispers insinuation; a secret counsellor. {{rfquotek}}
Synonyms: (insect of order Dermaptera) forkytail (dialectal), pincher bug
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To fill the mind of with prejudice by insinuations.
  2. (transitive) To attempt to influence by persistent confidential argument or talk.
    • 1831 November, Edward Lancaster, Appearances, The Ladies′ Museum, page 202, In the interim, rest assured that Mr. Atherstone is by no means your friend, for he was perpetually earwigging poor Sir Rowland.
    • 1866 February 23, South Australian Parliament, Debates in the Houses of Legislature: September 29 1865—March 16 1866, page 1127, The hon. gentleman Mr. Reynolds had expressed his fears that the Government would allow themselves to be earwigged out of the money.
  3. (intransitive, UK, slang) To eavesdrop.
    • 2007, Russell K. Lewis, In a Moment...: Book One of the Ley of the Land, page 381, He had heard nothing from Fin, or anyone else, since the angry exchange the other night and was worried about how things were going, but he couldn′t ask about the LeMotts, not with Mum earwigging.
    • 2007, Cat Rambo, Jeff VanderMeer, The Strange Case of the Lovecraft Café, The Surgeon′s Tale and Other Stories, page 89, The nameless earwigging writer scrawled in his notebook that “MS and CT also considered that such low life would have a greater pride and satisfaction in life if they could themselves be cooked and served still bleating to rich diners.″
    • 2010, Charlie Cochrane, Lessons in Seduction, page 100, This man turned up on the last train, wanting a room, and his name had been odd enough to stay in the children′s minds as they earwigged—not something you ever do, Jonty.
ease {{wikipedia}} etymology From Middle English ese, eise, from xno ese, Old French aise, eise, of unknown origin. Earliest meaning was that of "empty space, elbow-room, opportunity". Conflicting forms in Romance point to an external, non-Latin origin The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia, "ease".. Probably from a gem or cel source. Compare Old English ēaþe, Gothic 𐌰𐌶𐌴𐍄𐌹 〈𐌰𐌶𐌴𐍄𐌹〉, Gothic 𐌰𐌶𐌴𐍄𐍃 〈𐌰𐌶𐌴𐍄𐍃〉, Breton eaz, ez, Irish adhais. See also eath. pronunciation
  • /iːz/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The state of being comfortable or free from stress. She enjoyed the ease of living in a house where the servants did all the work.
  2. Freedom from pain, worry, agitation, etc. His mind was at ease when he received his pension.
  3. Freedom from effort, difficulty or hardship. He passed all the exams with ease.
    • {{quote-news }}
  4. Dexterity or facility. He played the organ with ease.
  5. Affluence and freedom from financial problem. After winning the jackpot, she lived a life of luxurious ease.
  6. Relaxation, rest and leisure. We took our ease on the patio.
  7. (clothing) Additional space to allow movement within a garment. to add ease to a waist measurement
  • {{seeCites}}
Synonyms: (state of being comfortable or free from stress) comfort, peace, (freedom from pain, worry, agitation, etc) peace of mind, (dexterity or facility) dexterity, facility, skill, (relaxation, rest and leisure) free time, leisure, relaxation, rest
related terms:
  • easy
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To free (something) from pain, worry, agitation, etc. He eased his conscience by confessing.
    • {{quote-news}} Elyse Saugstad, a professional skier, wore a backpack equipped with an air bag, a relatively new and expensive part of the arsenal that backcountry users increasingly carry to ease their minds and increase survival odds in case of an avalanche.
  2. (transitive) To alleviate, assuage or lessen (pain). He loosened his shoe to ease the pain.
  3. (transitive) To give respite to (someone). The provision of extra staff eased their workload.
  4. (transitive) To loosen or slacken the tension on (something). We eased the rope, then lowered the sail.
  5. (transitive) To reduce the difficulty of (something). We had to ease the entry requirements.
  6. (transitive) To move (something) slowly and carefully. He eased the cork from the bottle.
  7. (intransitive) To lessen in severity. The pain eased overnight.
  8. (intransitive) To proceed with little effort. The car eased onto the motorway.
Synonyms: (free (something) from pain, worry, agitation, etc) assuage, salve, (alleviate, assuage or lessen (pain)) alleviate, assuage, lessen, reduce, (give respite to (someone)) give someone a break (informal), lay off (informal), (loosen or slacken the tension on (something)) loosen, relax, slacken, (reduce the difficulty of (something)) simplify, (lessen in severity) lessen, reduce, (proceed with little effort) cruise
easily etymology easy + ly pronunciation
  • (UK) /iː.zə.liː/, iː.zɪ.liː/
  • {{audio}}
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. Comfortably, without discomfort or anxiety.
    • {{RQ:Spenser Faerie Queene}}, II.xi: Eftsoones she causd him vp to be conuayd, / And of his armes despoyled easily{{nb...}}.
  2. Without difficulty.
    • {{RQ:EHough PrqsPrc}} Carried somehow, somewhither, for some reason, on these surging floods, were these travelers, of errand not wholly obvious to their fellows, yet of such sort as to call into query alike the nature of their errand and their own relations. It is easily earned repetition to state that Josephine St. Auban's was a presence not to be concealed.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, 3 , [ The Mirror and the Lamp] , “One saint's day in mid-term a certain newly appointed suffragan-bishop came to the school chapel, and there preached on “The Inner Life.”&nbsp; He at once secured attention by his informal method, and when presently the coughing of Jarvis…interrupted the sermon, he altogether captivated his audience with a remark about cough lozenges being cheap and easily procurable.”
  3. (colloquial, not comparable) Absolutely, without question. exampleThis is easily the best meal I have eaten.
  • {{rank}}
  • Yalies
East End {{wikipedia}}
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (colloquial, UK, chiefly, London) The east end of London, generally regarded to be east of the medieval walled City of London and north of the River Thames.
  • standee
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (Australia, slang) An inhabitant of the eastern suburb of Sydney.
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (Australia, slang) An inhabitant of the eastern suburb of Sydney.
East Overshoe
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, US) Often used to refer to a place moderately far away. It generally is used in place of a city or town name when that name is unknown or cannot be recalled. I don't get to see Jim much since he moved. Now he lives somewhere out in East Overshoe.
  2. A placeholder for a fictitious municipality in sample documents or hypothetical situations. (This usage is similar to the way John Doe is sometimes used as a placeholder for the name of a person.)
Eastralia etymology {{blend}} pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /iːsˈtɹæɪljə/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (rare, jocular) Eastern Australia; the eastern states (and previously colonies) of Australia.
    • {{quote-news}} …a far pleasanter holiday trip, mingled with cricket, might be arranged for them through Maoriland [New Zealand] after their matches in Eastralia have finished.
    • {{quote-news}} …Wyndham, for instance, is governed from Perth, and to all intents and purposes it is as far from the centre as Westralia is from Eastralia
    • {{quote-news}} …those of the Murchison district in W.A. are gigantic in comparison with those of Eastralia
  • Eastern Australia
  • Eastern states
  • t'otherside (informal), used in Western Australia
easy pronunciation
  • /ˈiːzi/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology From Middle English eesy, esy, partly from Middle English ese + -y, equivalent to ease + y, and partly from Old French aisié, past participle of aisier, from aise, of uncertain origin. See ease. Merged with Middle English ethe, eathe, from Old English ēaþe, īeþe, from Proto-Germanic *auþaz, *auþijaz, from *auþiz, from Proto-Indo-European *aut-. Compare also osx ōþi, Old High German ōdi, Old Norse auðr. More at ease, eath.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (now rare except in certain expressions) Comfortable; at ease.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, 16 , [ The Mirror and the Lamp] , ““[…] She takes the whole thing with desperate seriousness. But the others are all easy and jovial—thinking about the good fare that is soon to be eaten, about the hired fly, about anything.””
    exampleNow that I know it's taken care of, I can rest easy at night.
  2. Requiring little skill or effort. exampleIt's often easy to wake up but hard to get up.
    • {{quote-magazine}}
    exampleThe teacher gave an easy test to her students.
  3. Causing ease; giving comfort, or freedom from care or labour. Rich people live in easy circumstances. an easy chair
  4. Free from constraint, harshness, or formality; unconstrained; smooth. easy manners; an easy style
    • Alexander Pope the easy vigour of a line
  5. (informal, pejorative, of a person) Consenting readily to sex. exampleHe has a reputation for being easy; they say he slept with half the senior class.
  6. Not making resistance or showing unwillingness; tractable; yielding; compliant.
    • Dryden He gained their easy hearts.
    • Sir Walter Scott He is too tyrannical to be an easy monarch.
  7. (finance, dated) Not straitened as to money matters; opposed to tight. The market is easy.
Synonyms: (comfortable) relaxed, relaxing, (not difficult) light, eath, (consenting readily to sex) fast, (requiring little skill or effort) soft, trivial, See also
  • (comfortable, at ease) uneasy, anxious
  • (requiring little skill or effort) difficult, hard, uneasy, uneath, challenging
related terms:
  • ease
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. In a relaxed or casual manner example'After his illness, John decided to [[take it easy|take it easy]].
  2. In a manner without strictness or harshness. exampleJane went easier on him after he broke his arm.
  3. Used an intensifier for large magnitudes. exampleThis project will cost 15 million dollars, easy.
  4. Not difficult, not hard. {{rfex}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Something that is easy
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. to easy-oar (stop rowing)
  • ayes
  • eyas
  • saye
  • yeas
easy as falling off a log Alternative forms: easy as rolling off a log
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (simile, colloquial) Very easy. For me, making a meal out of leftovers is as easy as falling off a log.
Synonyms: See
easy as pie
adjective: easy as pie
  1. (simile, colloquial) Very easy.
    • 1910, , The Young Forester, "Easy as pie," replied he, eagerly. [..] What Dick called easy as pie was the hardest work I ever did. I lay flat on my back, bound hand and foot, and it was necessary to jerk my body along the log till my hands should be under the knife.
    • 2004, , Love Machine, Come make my dreams, honey hard as it seems, loving me is as easy as pie.
Synonyms: bagatelle, breeze, cakewalk, cinch, doddle, duck soup, like shooting fish in a barrel, like taking candy from a baby, piece of cake, walk in the park, walkover
easyish etymology easy + ish
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (colloquial) Quite easy
easy money
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) Money easily acquired.
  2. (economics) A monetary policy that makes money, credit, or both readily available to some borrowers.
Synonyms: (informal) quick buck
  • (informal) fast buck
  • (economics) tight money
easy peasy Alternative forms: easy peasey, easy-peasey, easy-peasy
adjective: {{head}}
  1. (childish) Really simple Now now Benny Wenny, don’t cry about it, learning how to add fractions is easy peasy!
In informal contexts it is reasonably common to further extend this phrase with a nonsensical rhyme, probably due to its frequent use around young children. Common examples include:
  • easy peasy lemon squeezy
  • easy peasy Japanesey
  • easy peasy pumpkin peasy
Synonyms: See also
easy peasy Japanesey
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (childish) Extended form of easy peasy
Synonyms: See also
easy peasy lemon squeezy etymology {{rfe}} Slang phrase (from an old British detergent commercial) used to express that something was quickly and easily done.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (childish) Extended form of easy peasy
Synonyms: See also
eat {{wikipedia}} etymology From Middle English eten, from Old English etan, from Proto-Germanic *etaną, from Proto-Indo-European *h₁ed- 〈*h₁ed-〉. Cognate with Scots aet, Saterland Frisian iete, Western Frisian ite, Low German eten, Dutch eten, German essen, Swedish äta, Danish æde, and more distantly with Latin edō, Ancient Greek ἔδω 〈édō〉, Russian есть 〈estʹ〉, and Lithuanian ėsti. pronunciation
  • (UK) /iːt/
  • (US) /it/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To ingest; to be ingested.
    1. (ambitransitive) To consume (something solid or semi-solid, usually food) by putting it into the mouth and swallow it. exampleHe’s eating an apple.&emsp; Don’t disturb me now; can't you see that I’m eating? 〈He’s eating an apple.&emsp; Don’t disturb me now; can't you see that I’m eating?〉
      • {{RQ:WBsnt IvryGt}} At twilight in the summer there is never anybody to fear—man, woman, or cat—in the chambers and at that hour the mice come out. They do not eat parchment or foolscap or red tape, but they eat the luncheon crumbs.
      • 1959, Georgette Heyer, The Unknown Ajax, 1 , “But Richmond…appeared to lose himself in his own reflections. Some pickled crab, which he had not touched, had been removed with a damson pie; and his sister saw…that he had eaten no more than a spoonful of that either.”
    2. {{senseid}}(intransitive) To consume a meal. exampleWhat time do we eat this evening?
    3. (intransitive, ergative) To be eaten. exampleThe soup that eats like a meal.
  2. To use up.
    1. (transitive) To destroy, consume, or use up. exampleThis project is eating up all the money.
      • William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863) His wretched estate is eaten up with mortgages.
    2. (transitive, informal, of a device) To damage, destroy, or fail to eject a removable part or an inserted object. exampleThe VHS recorder just ate the tape and won't spit it out. exampleJohn is late for the meeting because the photocopier ate his report.
      • Bruce Willis in the movie The Last Boy Scout No! There's a problem with the cassette player. Don't press fast forward or it eats the tape!
    3. (transitive, informal, of a vending machine or similar device) To consume money or (other instruents of value, such as a token) deposited or inserted by a user, while failing to either provide the intended product or service, or return the payment. exampleThe video game in the corner just ate my quarter.
      • From the movie Slap Shot (film) Hey! This stupid [soda vending] machine ate my quarter.
  3. (transitive, informal) To cause (someone) to worry. exampleWhat’s eating you? 〈What’s eating you?〉
  4. (transitive, business) To take the loss in a transaction. exampleIt’s a special order, so we can’t send it back; if the customer won’t accept it, we’ll have to eat the forty tons of steel ourselves. 〈It’s a special order, so we can’t send it back; if the customer won’t accept it, we’ll have to eat the forty tons of steel ourselves.〉
    • From the movie Midnight Run I have to have him in court tomorrow, if he doesn't show up, I forfeit the bond and I have to eat the $300,000.
  5. (ambitransitive) To corrode or erode. exampleThe acid rain ate away the statue.&emsp; The strong acid eats through the metal.
  6. (transitive, informal, vulgar) To perform oral sex on someone. exampleEat me!
Synonyms: (consume) consume, swallow; see also , (cause to worry) bother, disturb, worry, (eat a meal) dine, breakfast, chow down, feed one's face, have one's breakfast/lunch/dinner/supper/tea, lunch
  • {{rank}}
  • a.e.t., ate, ETA, eta, TEA, tea
eat, breathe, and sleep
verb: {{head}}
  1. (transitive, informal) To devote one's time obsessively to.
    • 2004, Adelle Jameson Tilton, The everything parents guide to children with autism It is so easy to begin to eat, breathe, and sleep autism, but it will do no good — not for you, not for your spouse, and not even for your child.
eat ass
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (slang) To perform anilingus.
Synonyms: rim, toss salad/toss someone's salad
related terms:
  • eat out
  • eat pussy
eatathon etymology eat + athon
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A charity event in which participant eat as much as possible.
  2. (slang) A large feast or pigout.
    • 1982, Barbara Zara, Erin McHugh, I left my fat behind (page 14) So I gave myself a week's reprieve and started another eatathon.
    • 1983, Texas Monthly (volume 11, number 3, March 1983, page 49) Our recommendation is to tote the excess home in a doggie bag so you can indulge in the dessert, the Queen of Sheba, an eatathon consisting of a rich chocolate base, mounds of whipped cream, and a guilt complex.
    • 1992, Sue Gebo, What's left to eat? (page 151) Typically, Americans eat a very substantial portion of the day's calories at the evening meal, and then continue an evening "eatathon" in front of the tube.
eatery Alternative forms: eaterie etymology eat + -ery pronunciation
  • /ˈiːtəɹi/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (North American, informal) a restaurant or café, etc.
eating pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈiːtɪŋ/
  • (US) /ˈitɪŋ/, [ˈiɾɪŋ]
  • {{audio}}
verb: {{head}}
  1. present participle of eat
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Suitable to be eaten without being cooked. Wait! That's not an eating apple.
noun: {{wikipedia}} {{en-noun}}
  1. The act of ingest food.
  2. (informal, dialectal) Food; cooking, cuisine. I remember when we visited Aunt Martha's house, we had some really good eating!
  3. The act of corroding or consuming some substance.
Synonyms: (ingesting food) dining, consuming, consumption
  • tagine, teaing
eating ass
verb: {{head}}
  1. en-present participle of eat ass
noun: {{head}}
  1. (slang) Anilingus.
eating irons
noun: {{en-plural noun}}
  1. (slang) knife, fork and spoon; cutlery
    • {{quote-book }}
    • {{quote-book }}
    • {{quote-book }}
  • resignation
eat like a bird
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (colloquial, simile) To eat in small amounts rather than in a single full meal.
  • eat like a horse
  • ate like a bird
eat like a horse
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (colloquial, simile) to consume a large amount of food
  • eat like a bird
  • ate like a horse
eat like a pig
verb: {{head}}
  1. (colloquial, simile) To chew noisily, with one's mouth open, or with much greed.
Synonyms: eat like a horse
related terms:
  • eat like a bird
eat my dust
interjection: {{en-interj}}!
  1. (informal) An in-your-face mockery to a losing rival. I'm ahead of ya! Eat my dust!
eat my shorts pronunciation
  • /ˈiːt maɪ ʃɔːts/
phrase: {{head}}
  1. (idiomatic, chiefly, US, vulgar) An irreverent rebuke or dismissal.
    • {{quote-book }}
    • {{quote-book }}
    • {{quote-book }}
eat one's own dog food etymology From "dog food", jargon for goods sold to customers of a company.
verb: {{head}}
  1. (computing, slang, idiomatic) To test the beta programs that are in the test phase on one's own computers; to dogfood.
  2. (idiomatic) To use or consume the economic good or service that oneself is producing; to be part of a
eat out
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. Used other than as an idiom: eat, out
  2. (intransitive) To dine at a restaurant or such public place. To celebrate their anniversary, the couple ate out by the bay. Jacky wanted Korean barbecue, but his mom didn't want to eat out.
  3. (transitive, slang, vulgar) To perform cunnilingus or anilingus. The lesbian couple ate each other out.
  • outate
  • outeat
eat pussy
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (idiomatic, slang) To perform cunnilingus.
related terms:
  • eat ass
  • eat out
  • pussy eating
eats pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
verb: {{head}}
  1. en-third-person singular of eat
noun: {{en-plural noun}}
  1. (slang) Food. When are we going to get some eats?
  • AEST, east, East, ESTA, etas, sate, saté, seat, SEAT, seta, tase, teas
eat shit
verb: {{head}}
  1. Used other than as an idiom: eat, shit
  2. (slang, vulgar, of a person) To fall and land on one's face.
    • 2009, Laura Thornhill (in Jack Smith, The Skateboarder's Journal - Lives on Board) Finally, for my 13th birthday, I got a skateboard — a Black Knight with those cool black urethane wheels. I cut my teeth on that board — and ate shit on it many, many times.
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. (idiomatic, vulgar) An expression of discontent or aggravation to another party. Sam said "I fucked your sister!" and Kevin replied, "Eat shit!"
eat someone's dust
verb: {{head}}
  1. (idiomatic, informal) To be outrun. You better move fast before you eat his dust.
  2. (informal) To get one to be on a losing end.
verb: {{head}}
  1. present participle of eavesdrop
noun: {{wikipedia}} {{en-noun}}
  1. Listening secretly to private conversation of others.
  2. (telecoms) The interception of electronic communication.
eaw Alternative forms: etymology From the sound; An early known print was in a 1988 instruction booklet for the video game ; probably used earlier.
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. The sound of a donkey; heehaw.
  2. (slang) A sound indicating something is stupid.
  • awe, WAE
eBayer etymology eBay + er
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Internet, informal) A member of the auction web site eBay.
e-bike etymology e + bike
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A bicycle powered by an electric motor.
    • 2010, David L. Kurtz, Contemporary Marketing 2011 (page 377) Another important difference: e-bikes can legally travel in the bike lane; scooters and mopeds cannot.
acronym: {{rfc-header}} {{head}}
  1. (humorous) Error between keyboard and chair.
ebony {{wikipedia}} etymology From earlier hebeny, from Middle English ebenif, hebenyf (influenced by ll hebeninus), from Ecclesiastical Latin ebenius, from Latin hebenus, from Ancient Greek ἔβενος 〈ébenos〉, from Ancient Egyptian 𓍁𓈖𓏭𓆱 〈𓍁𓈖𓏭𓆱〉. pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈɛb.ən.i/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A hard, dense, deep black wood from various subtropical and tropical trees, especially of the genus Diospyros.
  2. A tree that yields such wood.
  3. A deep, dark black colour. {{color panel}}
  4. (slang) A black key on a piano or other keyboard instrument
related terms:
  • ebon
  • Ebonics
  • ebonise
  • ebonite
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Made of ebony wood.
  2. A deep, dark black colour.
  3. Dark-skinned; black; especially in reference to African-American
    • 1864, George Adams Fisher, The Yankee conscript: or, Eighteen months in Dixie He called the ebony mistress of the establishment to him, and speaking to her kindly and winningly, as any dutiful husband should, told her to make the change, which she did.
    • 1931, Catherine MacFarlane Carswell, The life of Robert Burns No attempt was made in her new home to discontinue or even to conceal the presence of an ebony mistress and a thriving family of little mulattoes...
    • 2004, "Alyssa", Ebony Girls Need Attention (on newsgroup Want to watch my gorgeous ebony friend, Almond Joy, naked and online 24/7? She recently ended a long-term relationship and is now fully enjoying being a 25 year-old single gal in Beverly Hills.
  • boney
eccentric Alternative forms: eccentrick (obsolete), excentric, excentrick (obsolete) etymology From Middle French excentrique, from Malayalam excentricus, from Ancient Greek ἔκκεντρος 〈ékkentros〉, from ἐκ 〈ek〉 + κέντρον 〈kéntron〉. pronunciation
  • (RP) /ɪkˈsɛntrɪk/
  • (US) /ɛkˈsɛntrɪk/
  • {{audio}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Not at or in the centre; away from the centre.
    • 2011, Michael Laver, Ernest Sergenti. Party Competition: An Agent-Based Model, page 125, Strikingly, we see that party births tend systematically to be at policy positions that are significantly more eccentric than those of surviving parties, whatever decision rule these parties use.
  2. Not perfectly circular; elliptical. As of 2008, Margaret had the most eccentric orbit of any moon in the solar system, though Nereid's mean eccentricity is greater.
  3. Having a different center; not concentric.
  4. (of a person) deviating from the norm; behaving unexpectedly or differently.
    • 1801, Author not named, Fyfield (John), entry in Eccentric Biography; Or, Sketches of Remarkable Characters, Ancient and Modern, page 127, He was a man of a most eccentric turn of mind, and great singularity of conduct.
    • 1807, G. H. Wilson (editor), The Eccentric Mirror, Volume 3, page 17, Such is not the case with Mr. Martin Van Butchell, one of the most eccentric characters to be found in the British metropolis, and a gentleman of indisputable science and abilities, but whose strange humors and extraordinary habits, have rather tended to obscure than to display the talents he possessed.
    • 1956, , The City and the Stars, 2012, unnumbered page, Khedron was the only other person in the city who could be called eccentric—and even his eccentricity had been planned by the designers of Diaspar.
  5. (physiology, of a motion) Against or in the opposite direction of contraction of a muscle (e.g., such as results from flexion of the lower arm (bending of the elbow joint) by an external force while contracting the triceps and other elbow extensor muscles to control that movement; opening of the jaw while flexing the masseter).
  6. Having different goals or motives.
    • {{ante}} , 1867, Richard Whately (analysis and notes), James R. Boyd (editor), Essay XI: Wisdom for a Man's Self, Lord Bacon's Essays, page 171, …for whatsoever affairs pass such a man's hands he crooketh them to his own ends, which must needs be often eccentric to those of his master or state:….
  • (physiology, of motion) Motions that are eccentric and its opposite concentric are both classified as isotonic, the antonym of which is isometric. See also {{pedialite}}
Synonyms: (not at or in the centre) eccentrical, excentrical, (not perfectly circular) eccentrical, excentrical, (having a different centre) eccentrical, excentrical, (deviating from the norm) eccentrical, excentrical, odd, abnormal, (against the contraction of a muscle), (having different goals or motives) eccentrical, excentrical
  • (against the contraction of a muscle) concentric
related terms:
  • central
  • centric
  • eccentricity
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. One who does not behave like others.
    • 1998, Michael Gross, Life On The Edge, 2001, page ix, Eccentrics live longer, happier, and healthier lives than conformist normal citizens, according to the neuropsychologist David Weeks.
  2. A disk or wheel with its axis off centre, giving a reciprocating motion.
    • 1840, Dionysius Lardner, The Steam Engine Explained and Illustrated, page 379, The position of the eccentrics which is necessary to make the pistons drive the engine forward must be directly the reverse of that which would cause them to drive the engine backwards. To be able, therefore, to reverse the motion of the engine, it would only be necessary to be able to reverse the position of the eccentrics, which may be accomplished by either of two expedients.
    • 1994, James M. Lattis, Between Copernicus and Galileo: Christoph Clavius and the Collapse of Ptolemaic Cosmology, page 116, Clavius goes on to use the large number of orbs in Fracostoro's theory as another reason to prefer the Ptolemaic system, then couples this issue with that of the relative capacity of the theories to save the phenomena, then finally reiterates the lack (as he sees it) of conflict between the Aristotelian natural philosophy and the eccentrics and epicycles of mathematical astronomy.
    • 2007, George Saliba, Islamic Science and the Making of the European Renaissance, page 120, The discussion that revolved around the admissibility of eccentrics and epicycles lied{{sic}} at the core of this theoretical discussion, and those who would not allow such concepts took the position that such eccentrics and epicycles would then introduce a center of heaviness, other than the Earth, around which celestial simple objects would then move.
  3. (slang) A kook.
echo chamber {{wikipedia}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A room or other enclosed space that is highly conducive to the production of echoes, particularly one that has been designed and built for this purpose.
  2. In music production, a sound effect that may be applied to live or recorded sounds through a sound edit process, which creates the impression that the sounds originated in an enclosed space which was conducive to echoes.
  3. (derogatory, by extension) An insular communication space that is of no interest to outsider or refuses their input.
    • 2007, Susan Faludi, The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America But it would resound in the conservative media's echo chamber.
ecilop etymology Backslang for police, perhaps as seen reversed in a vehicle's wing mirror.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, rare) police
    • 1964, Arnold Wall, The Jeweller's Window I don't want, when I go to shop, / A mix-up with the ecilop.
    • 2007, Richard De Nooy, Six Fang Marks and a Tetanus Shot (page 13) Two more patrol cars came howling into the street, dispersing the crowd. "So where's the ECILOP?"
ecky etymology economy pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
adjective: {{head}}
  1. (slang) Anything mass-produced and made to be affordable, with no regards to quality or craftsmanship. Those shoes from the discount store are really ecky.
ecky-becky etymology From Bajan. The word ecky-becky, of African origin, can be traced back to a time before Africans left Africa to Barbados. In one Igbo community in West Africa a French man allegedly named Eque Beque, or something similar, attempted to colonize the Igbo people, but failed, as he had no money or army. From then on, the Igbo people called any poor Caucasian "Ecky-becky." This word would later be taken by these people to Barbados when they were captured along with other African tribes and brought into slavery.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, derogatory) A poor Caucasian person. Specifically, a lower-class descendant of the Caucasians who worked the land before the arrival of African slaves.
ecky thump
interjection: {{en-interj}}!
  1. (colloquial, Northern England, dialectal) Exclamation of surprise or pleasure.
    • 2001, Cyril Morris, Morgi p.122 Ecky thump! I've never tasted anything as good.
    • 1985, Keith Waterhouse, Waterhouse At Large. ... its bellowing cry of Ecky thump! sounded much friendlier than...
    • The Guardian, Sunday June 10 2007, Kitty Empire The latest Stripes album title, a play on the Lancastrian exclamation Ecky thump! is, in part, a gasp of surprise...
ecobabble etymology eco + babble
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, derogatory) Vacuous speech about environmental concerns.
Synonyms: envirospeak
coordinate terms:
  • econobabble
  • technobabble
ecocrazy etymology From eco + crazy.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (derogatory, rare) An environmentalist.
Synonyms: ecofreak, ecohippie, econazi, enviro, environazi, envirotard, tree hugger
ecofanatic etymology eco + fanatic
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, derogatory) One who takes a strong interest in environmental issues.
ecofascism etymology eco + fascism
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (derogatory) aggressive environmental activism
related terms:
  • ecofascist
ecofreak etymology eco + freak
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, derogatory) A person with a passion for protect the natural environment; an ecological activist.
    • 1973, Daedalus: Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences The initial result of the rational ecofreak policies would be that the level of measured income would fall, or at least rise less rapidly...
    • 1999, Fred H Knelman, Every Life is a Story The corporate world has responded to a perceived threat to the economic order by casting the environmentalist as un-American, as an ecofreak...
Synonyms: ecocrazy, ecohippie, econazi, enviro, environazi, envirotard, tree hugger
ecohippie etymology From eco + hippie.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (derogatory, rare) An environmentalist.
Synonyms: ecocrazy, ecofreak, econazi, enviro, environazi, envirotard, tree hugger
ecologically friendly
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal) beneficial (or at least harmless) to the ecology of a region
Synonyms: environmentally friendly, eco-friendly, ecological, green
econazi etymology eco + nazi
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, derogatory) An environmentalist, especially a hardline one.
Synonyms: ecocrazy, ecofreak, ecohippie, enviro, environazi, envirotard, tree hugger
econobox etymology econo + box
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A small, unassuming automobile.
    • {{quote-news}}
    • {{quote-news}}
economy class syndrome etymology From its noted occurrence among airline passengers flying long haul in economy class, where there is less legroom than other classes.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) deep vein thrombosis
econut etymology eco + nut
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, derogatory) One who takes a strong interest in environmental issues.
    • 1973, Petr Beckmann, Eco-hysterics and the technophobes (page 91) Murder, arson, rape, pestilence and doom, screamed the econuts. Death by radioactivity, malformed children for generations, atomic holocaust. Not one bugaboo of the econuts' arsenal of horror tales was left unused…
ecopornography etymology eco + pornography, coined in the 1960s by Jerry Mander, a former advertising executive.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (derogatory) greenwash; misleading advertising used to conceal activities harmful to the environment
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (obsolete) A symbol, !, comprising a vertical line and a dot below, signifying the end of a sentence that is an exclamation.
    • 1858, Goold Brown, The Grammar of English Grammars, fourth edition, Samuel S. and William Wood, page 800, The Ecphoneme, or Note of Exclamation, is used to denote а pause with some strong emotion of admiration, joy, grief, or other feeling; and, as a sign of great wonder, it is sometimes, though not very elegantly, repeated....
    • 1913, Frank H. Vizetelly, The Preparation of Manuscripts for the Printer, fifth revised edition, Funk & Wagnalls Company, page 51, The note of exclamation or ecphoneme is used after a word or phrase to express sudden emotion, and is sometimes repeated for emphasis.
Synonyms: bang (slang), exclamation mark, exclamation point
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (slang) The drug MDMA, a synthetic entactogen of the phenethylamine family.
ecstasy {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: extasy etymology From Old French estaise, from ll extasis, from Ancient Greek ἔκστασις 〈ékstasis〉, from ἐξίστημι 〈exístēmi〉, from ἐκ 〈ek〉 and ἵστημι 〈hístēmi〉.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Intense pleasure.
    • Shakespeare This is the very ecstasy of love.
    • Milton He on the tender grass / Would sit, and hearken even to ecstasy.
  2. A state of emotion so intense that a person is carried beyond rational thought and self-control.
  3. A trance, frenzy, or rapture associated with mystic or prophetic exaltation.
    • Dryden like a mad prophet in an ecstasy
  4. (obsolete) Violent emotion or distraction of mind; excessive grief from anxiety; insanity; madness.
    • Shakespeare That unmatched form and feature of blown youth / Blasted with ecstasy.
    • Marlowe Our words will but increase his ecstasy.
  5. (slang) The drug MDMA, a synthetic entactogen of the phenethylamine family.
  6. (medicine, dated) A state in which sensibility, voluntary motion, and (largely) mental power are suspended; the body is erect and inflexible; but the pulse and breathing are not affected. {{rfquotek}}
Synonyms: (the drug) MDMA mali; (Modern Vernacular) E, XTC, X, mali, thizz
  • (intense pleasure) agony
related terms:
  • ecstatic
Eddie Alternative forms: Eddy pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. A diminutive of Edward, Edgar, Edwin, or other male given name beginning with Ed-.
    • 1994 , The Merry Recluse: A Life in Essays, Counterpoint Press 2004, ISBN 1582433135, page 169: There's a world of difference between the name Edward, which sounds rather regal and stuffy (Edwardian) and the name Eddie, which sounds like a guy on the bus.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Canada, informal) A member of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment.
  • didee
Edison's medicine etymology After (1847–1931), American inventor who pioneered applications of electricity. Chosen for the near-rhyme.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (medicine, humorous) Electroconvulsive therapy.
    • 2011 March 19, Andrew Zajac, "FDA revisits risks of electric shock treatment," Los Angeles Times (retrieved 25 Jan 2014): They used to call it "Edison's medicine" or, with a touch of gallows humor, a "Georgia Power cocktail" — the practice of hooking mentally troubled patients up to an electrical current and jolting them until they went into convulsions.
    • 2012 May 11, "The rise of electroshock therapy: A guide," The Week (retrieved 25 Jan 2014): The use of electroshock as mind-erasing punishment was dramatized in the 1975 film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and that negative portrayal almost served as a death knell for a practice derided as "Edison's medicine."
    • 2013 August 5, David Thomson, "Woody Allen makes a wonderful film. Really" (film review of Blue Jasmine), New Republic, vol. 244, no. 12, p. 56: So this woman who has had Edison's medicine (electroshock treatment) and medication, and who has the good fortune to have such a "sister" as Ginger, has lost everything.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, eye dialect, humorous) Education.
    • 1980, G. Gordon Liddy, Out of Control, link ...a high class guy with a college edjamacation, married a broad with no tits, snorts coke and his dick goes limp when the Russians fart.
    • 1981, Peyton Towns Good ole traditional "edjamacation", Educating disturbed adolescents: theory and practice, link
    • 2007, Gary Stromberg, Jame Merrill, The Harder They Fall, page 85 He says things like edjamacation.
Edmonchuk {{wikipedia}} etymology Edmonton + -chuk, a suffix from Ukrainian surnames, from Ukrainian -чук 〈-čuk〉, in reference to Edmonton's large proportion of residents of Ukrainian ancestry. pronunciation
  • /ˈɛdmənt͡ʃʌk/
  • {{hyphenation}}
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (Canada, informal) Nickname for the city of Edmonton, Canada.
Synonyms: Edmonton
Edmonton {{wikipedia}} {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. Provincial capital city of Alberta (Canada).
  2. An area of north London, United Kingdom.
Synonyms: (Canada) Edmonchuk (nickname)
edu-babble Alternative forms: edubabble etymology {{blend}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (education, pejorative) jargon on educational topics.
    • {{quote-news}}
    • International Handbook of Educational Change‎, page 412, Andy Hargreaves, 1998, “Overwhelmed teachers yearn to escape the edu-babble of conflicting and unworkable policy directives”
    • Edu-Babble: The Glamorous World of the New York City Public School System, page 3, Gwendolyn Green, 2009, “These terms, this way of talking, is what we like to refer to as “Edu-babble.” Orwell liked to call it doublespeak. Edu-babble is just that, with some hip catchphrases attached. And by hip I mean impractical.”

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