The Alternative English Dictionary

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


hackish etymology hack + ish pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Characteristic of hack, or inferior writers.
  2. (computing, informal) Using, or characterised by, hack: poorly designed workaround.
    • 2003, Erik T Ray, Learning XML‎ A hackish solution is to use code switching, a technique of replacing a byte with a sequence of bytes headed by a special control character.
    • 2006, Bruce Perry, Ajax hacks‎ The first two hacks in this chapter provide, well, hackish solutions to that conundrum.
  3. (computing, informal) Characteristic of hacker, especially slang; e. g., hackish humor.
Synonyms: hacky
related terms:
  • hackishly
hacky etymology hack + y pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{audio}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Like a hack; amateurish.
  2. (Geordie) Filthy or totally dirty.
  3. (computing, informal) Using, or characterised by, hack: poorly designed workaround.
  4. (colloquial) Short and interrupted, broken, jerky; hacking. A hacky cough. A hacky laugh. A hacky breath. A hacky howl.
related terms:
  • dirty (Standard English)
  • dorty (Geordie)
  • hacky dorty (Geordie)
  • unclean (Standard English)
hacky dorty etymology hacky + dorty
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (Geordie, pejorative) Filthy dirty, totally soiled. "Yor hacky dorty man!, deeky yer claithes, they're soden wi clarts!"
related terms:
  • dorty (Geordie)
  • hacky (Geordie)
  • soiled (Standard English)
hadaway and shite
phrase: {{head}}
  1. (Geordie, vulgar, dismissal) go away
had better Alternative forms: 'd better
phrase: {{head}}
  1. (idiomatic, with bare infinitive, informal) Should; ought to; need to; must. exampleYou had better finish that homework on time, if you want to get a good grade. example"Will we get it finished?" / "We had better." exampleThe project had better get finished by the current deadline.
  • Often had is reduced to the clitic 'd or omitted.
  • The negative form is had better not.
Synonyms: had best
hadn't etymology had + n't pronunciation
  • /ˈhæd(ə)nt/
  • {{audio}}
contraction: {{en-cont}}
  1. (informal) had not
haedine etymology From the Latin haedīnus, from haedus; compare caprine, hircine. Akin to goat via Proto-Indo-European. pronunciation
  • (RP) {{enPR}}, /ˈhiːdaɪn/
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (rare, humorous) Resembling in form or exhibit the behaviour typical of a kid (i.e., a juvenile goat); compare caprine, hircine.
    • 1914: University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign campus), The Illio, volume 20, page 70 Then there was an old-clothes man of Hebraic origin ; a fully-costumed darkey waiter, dispensing delicious liquors from a tray ; countless clowns and placarded unfathomables ; a poor, droning blind man ; a midnight reveller with the essential lamp post ; a valiant huntsman ; an escaped convict, № 27395 ; and — not least by any means — a goat. It was a real goat, real enough to have balking and butting tendencies. Ted Fritchey had him in charge, and underwent many a harrowing experience with his haedine protégé. This goat was intended to be prophetic of a victory over Chicago on the morrow — a capture of Chicago’s goat. Of the fulfillment of the prophecy, more hereafter. It is enough to say that on this afternoon our minds were all overborne with anxiety, and our hearts were all tight with goatish desire.
haemo etymology Shortening.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) haemodialysis
haet etymology hate misspelled.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (Internet, offensive) A very emphatic synonym of the verb hate.
  • eath, hate, heat, HEAT, heta, Thea
hafta etymology Written form of a of have to. pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (colloquial) eye dialect of have to Be required to; must. I hafta fill in my tax return.
  • Fatah
  • fatha, fatHa
hag pronunciation
  • /hæɡ/
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 Middle English hagge, hegge 'demon, old woman', shortening of Old English hægtesse, hægtes, from Proto-Germanic *hagatusjǭ (compare Saterland Frisian Häkse, Dutch heks, German Hexe), compounds of (1) *hagaz 'able, skilled' (compare Old Norse hagr, Middle High German behac), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱak- 〈*ḱak-〉 (compare Sanskrit शक्नोमि 〈śaknōmi〉),Vladimir Orel, ''A Handbook of Germanic Etymology'', s.v. “*xaʒaz” (Leiden: Brill, 2003), 149-50. and (2) *tusjǭ 'witch' (compare dialectal Norwegian tysja).E. C. Polomé, “Althochdeutsch ''hag(a)zussa'' ‘Hexe’: Versuch einer neuen Etymologie”, in: R. Bergmann, ed., ''Althochdeutsch 2 (Wörter und Namen. Forschungsgeschichte)'' (1987), 1107-12.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A witch, sorceress, or enchantress; a wizard.
    • {{rfdate}} Golding [Silenus] that old hag.
  2. (pejorative) An ugly old woman.
  3. A fury; a she-monster. {{rfquotek}}
  4. A hagfish; an eel-like marine marsipobranch, {{taxlink}}, allied to the lamprey, with a suctorial mouth, labial appendages, and a single pair of gill openings.
  5. A hagdon or shearwater.
  6. An appearance of light and fire on a horse's mane or a man's hair. {{rfquotek}}
  7. The fruit of the hagberry, Prunus padus.
Synonyms: (witch or sorceress), (ugly old woman) See also , (fury or she-monster), (eel-like marine marsipobranch) borer, hagfish, sleepmarken, slime eel, sucker, (hagdon or shearwater), (appearance of light and fire on mane or hair), (fruit of the hagberry)
etymology 2 Scots hag, from Old Norse hǫgg ‘cut, gap, breach’, derivative of hǫggva ‘to hack, hew’; compare English hew.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A small wood, or part of a wood or copse, which is marked off or enclosed for fell, or which has been felled.
    • Fairfax This said, he led me over hoults and hags; / Through thorns and bushes scant my legs I drew.
  2. A quagmire; mossy ground where peat or turf has been cut. {{rfquotek}}
etymology 3 From Proto-Germanic *hag(g)ōnan (compare obsolete Dutch hagen ‘to torment, agonize’, Norwegian haga ‘to tire, weaken’).Guus Kroonen, ''Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic'', s.v. “*hagla-” (Leiden: Brill, 2013), 199.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To harass; to weary with vexation.
    • L'Estrange How are superstitious men hagged out of their wits with the fancy of omens.
  • agh, gah
haggle etymology 1570s, "to cut unevenly" (implied in haggler), frequentative of Middle English haggen, variant of hacken, equivalent to hack + le. Sense of "argue about price" first recorded c.1600, probably from notion of chopping away. Related: Haggled; haggling. Source: pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈhæɡəl/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive) To argue for a better deal, especially over price with a seller. I haggled for a better price because the original price was too high.
  2. (transitive) To hack (cut crudely)
    • Shakespeare Suffolk first died, and York, all haggled o'er, / Comes to him, where in gore he lay insteeped.
    • 1884: Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Chapter VIII I catched a catfish and haggled him open with my saw, and towards sundown I started my camp fire and had supper. Then I set out a line to catch some fish for breakfast.
  3. To stick at small matters; to chaffer; to higgle.
    • Walpole Royalty and science never haggled about the value of blood.
Synonyms: (to argue for a better deal) wrangle
hagiography {{wikipedia}} etymology From Ancient Greek ἅγιος 〈hágios〉 + -γραφία 〈-graphía〉. pronunciation
  • (US) /ˌheɪdʒiˈɑɡrəfi/
  • (UK) /ˌhæɡiˈɒɡrəfi/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (uncountable) The study of saint.
  2. (countable) A biography of a saint.
  3. (countable) A biography which expresses reverence and respect for its subject.
  4. (pejorative) A biography which is uncritical supportive of its subject, often including embellish or propaganda.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A small wad of fur or mass of hair formed in the digestive system of a cat or other animal, from hair ingest while grooming.
  2. (slang, figuratively) A messy, tangled, intractable, stay-away-from-it issue. The contract negotiations are turning into a real hairball.
Synonyms: bezoar
hairdryer Alternative forms: hair dryer, hair-dryer etymology hair + dryer
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (chiefly UK) A small electrical appliance for drying hair, by generating a stream of hot air.
  • Hair dryer is most common form in US.
Synonyms: (appliance for drying hair) blow-dryer, blow dryer, blowdryer (all mostly US)
hair pie
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, vulgar) The external female genitalia with an unshaven mons veneris I don't mind munching on her hair pie except when I have to stop to pull her hairs off my tongue.
Synonyms: fur burger, fur pie
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A false substitute for a person's hair; a toupee or wig.
Synonyms: rug (slang), syrup, syrup of figs (Cockney rhyming slang), toupe, toupee, toupet, wig
hair-splitting etymology
  • From the gerund form of split hairs
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (idiomatic) the act of finding exceedingly small differences which are probably neither important nor noticeable to most people.
    • 2006, Ian Aitken, in , Richard Clements Obituary Dick's Tribune poked endless fun at the hair-splitting sectarianism of the various Trotskyist groups jostling on the fringes of the Labour party at that time.
hairyback etymology hairy + back
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A gastrotrich.
  2. (South Africa, slang, derogatory, offensive, ethnic slur) A white Afrikaner.
    • 1986, Breyten Breytenbach, The true confessions of an albino terrorist (page 344) A mistake which is often made by our South African militants is to assume that we are cleverer than the police, that we can out-manoeuvre the 'hairybacks' and the 'rock spiders'…
    • 1990, Rian Malan, My Traitor's Heart: Blood and Bad Dreams (page 54) …the tyranny of the rockspiders, crunchies, hairybacks, ropes, and bloody Dutchmen. Those were the names by which we referred to Afrikaners.
hairy eyeball
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A look askance at someone; a look of disdain or skepticism. He was giving me the hairy eyeball.
  2. (slang) A fond look at someone while batting one's eyelashes. She was telling me about a boy looking at her and she said, "He gave me the hairy eyeball." That meant he liked her.
hajji Alternative forms: hadji, haji
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. One who has participated in a hajj.
  2. (pejorative, slang, US, ethnic slur) A Muslim or Arab.
Synonyms: muhajir
half etymology From Middle English, from Old English healf; as a noun, 'half', 'side', 'part', from Proto-Germanic *halbaz; akin to osx, ofs, and Dutch half, Western Frisian heal, German halb, Swedish halv, Danish halv, Icelandic hálfur and Gothic 𐌷𐌰𐌻𐌱𐍃 〈𐌷𐌰𐌻𐌱𐍃〉. Compare halve, behalf. pronunciation
  • (RP) /hɑːf/
  • (GenAm) /hæf/
    • {{audio}}
  • (Ireland) /haf/
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Consisting of a moiety, or half (1/2, 50%). a half bushel; a half hour; a half dollar; a half view
  2. Consisting of some indefinite portion resembling a half; approximately a half, whether more or less; partial; imperfect. a half dream; half knowledge
    • : Assumed from thence a half consent.
  3. (of a sibling) Having one parent (rather than two) in common. A half brother or half sister
  4. (rare, of a relative other than a sibling) Related through one common grandparent or ancestor rather than two. A half uncle or half aunt or half cousin
  5. (UK, time) Half an hour after the time given; half past. We went to bed at half ten.
  • (consisting of a moiety, or half) The adjective and noun are often united to form a compound.
Synonyms: (consisting of a moiety, or half) hemi-, semi-, demi-
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. In two equal parts or to an equal degree; in some part approximating a half; partially; imperfectly half-colored; half done; half-hearted; half persuaded; half conscious
    • : Half loth and half consenting.
    • Nehemiah 13:24: Their children spoke half in the speech of Ashdod.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. One of two usually roughly equal part into which anything may be divide, or considered as divided; — sometimes followed by of; as, a half of an apple. You don't know the half of it.
    • {{rfdate}}, : Not half his riches known, and yet despised.
    • {{rfdate}}, : A friendship so complete Portioned in halves between us
    1. (sports) One of the two opposite parts of the playing field of various sports, in which each starts the game.
    • {{quote-news}}
  2. Half of a standard measure; frequently used (British) for half a pint of beer or cider.
    • 1968 (British), John Braine, The Crying Game, Houghton Mifflin, p. 11, He came back with a pint of Guinness for me and a half of bitter for Wendy.
    • 1974 (British), James Herriot, All Things Bright and Beautiful, St. Martin's Press, ISBN 0312020309, I accepted a half of bitter from him.
    • 2006 (British), Bill Appleton, Wide Boy, Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie, ISBN 1843862530, p. 168, I went to the bar where I bought a pint and two large brandies. ... "Not brandy," she replied, "but I could use a long drink - maybe a half of lager."
  3. (preceded by “a” or a number) The fraction obtained by dividing 1 by 2. Three-quarters minus a quarter is a half.
  4. (obsolete) part; side; behalf
    • {{rfdate}}, Wyclif
    • {{rfdate}}, : The four halves of the house
Synonyms: (fraction obtained by dividing 1 by 2) ½
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive, obsolete) To halve.
preposition: {{en-prep}}
  1. (UK, Ireland) a half-hour after, thirty minutes after (used with the number of the hour) half one — half past one, 1:30
  • {{rank}}
halfalogue etymology {{blend}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (colloquial) half of a telephone conversation, overheard by a listener at one end
half a mind
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, idiomatic) A moderate inclination. His behaviour gives me half a mind to throw him out.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Produced in an incompetent or desultory manner, or of something lacking in quality or substance; of low rank; incompetent.
    • 1969, The End of the Road by John Barth (page 155) the only abortion she could get even in the city would be a half-ass job by some half-ass doctor who could mess her up for the rest of her life
verb: half-ass
  1. (slang) To perform a task incompletely or carelessly. Usually considered derogatory or insulting.
    • 2002, Guardians of the Eagle by John D. Messer (page 102) if you're working for me and I send you to do a job and you half-ass it, that reflects on me. In civilian life, we'd just fire you. Here I can't get rid of you.
half-baked Alternative forms: half baked, halfbaked etymology half + baked
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Used other than as an idiom: Partially cooked by heating in an oven When the casserole is half-baked, take it out and sprinkle the grated cheese on top.
  2. (idiomatic, informal, frequently, derisive) Incomplete; (of an idea or scheme) not fully plan or carefully consider, ill-conceived, unsound or badly thought-out; (of a person) foolish or having no common sense. The guy had some half-baked idea for getting rich in the stock market.
    • {{RQ:Wodehouse Offing}}
half-breed etymology half + breed
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (derogatory) A person of mixed racial parentage or ancestry, especially one of mixed white and American Indian parentage.
adjective: {{head}}
  1. (of an animal) having one purebred parent; hybrid
half cut
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (slang) Rather drunk.
    • 1974, John Le Carré, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Folio 2009, p. 233: He had the girl's head on his shoulder but she was half cut and in her seventh heaven, so he just went on talking to me, proud of his English, you see.
    • 2009, Death in Blackpool (The New Eighth Doctor Adventures), publisher's summary Lucie Miller always loved Christmas back home in Blackpool. Her Mum running a still-frozen turkey under the hot tap at ten. Great-Grandma Miller half-cut on cooking sherry by eleven. Her Dad and her uncle arguing hammer and tongs about who was the best James Bond all through dinner.
    • 2010, Alexis Petridis, The Guardian, 9 Jan 2010: You think: "That old fella's woken up still half-cut and put on his girlfriend's shoes by mistake."
halfpennyworth pronunciation
  • (British) /hɛɪpnɪˈwəθ/
noun: {{en-noun}} (abbreviation ha'p'orth)
  1. (British) As much as could be bought for a halfpenny (pre- or post-decimalisation).
  2. (British, informal) A negligible amount. he's never been a ha'p'orth of bother
  • Also used in combination with larger amounts, as in "twopence halfpennyworth" (as much as could be bought for two and a half pence).
half polluted
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal) Drunk.
    • 2000, 1 June, rkbb (quoting Charlie), Re: New Opera Cable Show,!original/,, “I keep wanting to make love to girls but then I dress up as a girl and tease old guys and then I end up getting half polluted in some dirty old hotel {{…}}
    • 2002, Dudley C. Gould, Follow Me Up Fools Mountain: Korea, 1951, Southfarm Press (2002), ISBN 0913337471, page 21: I was recalled involuntarily and we argued a little and then kissed and made up and then argued some more and, half polluted on vodka collins, kissed and made up and tore off another piece.
    • 2007, Charles E. Willingham, In My Time: The Greatest Century of Change in the History of Man, iUniverse (2007), ISBN 9780595429301, unnumbered page: Another Saturday night, I came back to the barracks half polluted.
Synonyms: See also .
Halfrican {{wikipedia}} etymology {{blend}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (perhaps offensive) A half-black, half-white person: a person who is biracial, with one parent black and one white.
    • 1994, Myra Goldberg, Whistling and Other Stories‎, page 177: My son who calls himself a Halfrican-American flattens his hair by pressing the top of his head against the wall in our hallway.
    • 2004, Nicole Bailey-Williams, Floating (novel), Random House, ISBN 9780767915649, page 128: … ¶ “White girl!” ¶ “Nigger bitch!” ¶ “HALFRICAN!” ¶ “MUTT!” ¶ “HALF-BREED!” ¶ …
    • 2005, Wendy Coakley-Thompson, What You Won’t Do For Love (novel), Dafina Books, ISBN 978-0-7582-0747-0, page 79: "Oh, Biracial Humor!" Devin laughed. "Too clever for me!" He laughed, but the comment stung. It always had. It meant that even his closest friends saw him as inauthentic, the fake McCoy, a Halfrican.
Synonyms: mulatto
halfro etymology {{blend}}.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, humorous) An afro hairstyle that only covers half the head or is otherwise of below average size.
    • 2007, Richard Peabody, Kiss the Sky: Fiction & Poetry Starring Jimi Hendrix, Paycock Press (2007), ISBN 9780931181245, page 149: He met us at the door with this big 'fro, or half an afro, halfro—he slept on his right side evidently.
    • 2007, Tim Nudd, "Nothing says style quite like Members Only", Adweek, 25 June 2007: But I think the pitchman’s Art Garfunkel-esque halfro is more offensive, since it looks different in nearly every frame.
    • 2013, Matthew T. Bell, "Earth Drum", in The Elderly Kids: Short Stories, AuthorHouse (2013), ISBN 9781481725118, page 21: One had a halfro and a Kobe Bryant Jersey that appeared to be unaccompanied by pants, toddler-sized Nikes peaked out from the bottom.
    • {{seemoreCites}}
half seas over
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (slang) Partly drunk. {{rfquotek}}
  • Used only predicatively.
{{Webster 1913}}
half shell Alternative forms: half-shell
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (rare, colloquial, especially with "on the") Inexpensive; not overpriced.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (physics, figuratively) Any half of a roughly spherical-like object; any dome-shaped object.
  2. (of food, especially with "on the") Either half of a clamshell especially when used to serve individual portions of spiced, minced, breaded, baked clam.
halfsies etymology half + sies; compare backsies, swapsies, keepsies.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (childish) The condition of splitting something in half in order to share it.
    • {{quote-news}}
related terms:
  • go halfsies
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (uncommon, slang) A person who has participated in some sexual acts, but not full intercourse.
halfwit etymology From half and wit.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) Someone lacking in intelligence
Synonyms: See
halfwittery etymology halfwit + ery
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, nonstandard) halfwittedness
    • 2007, "Dr.H@l0nf1r£$", Ping Sharron (youre going to love this one !) (on Internet newsgroup alt.atheism.holysmoke) Please don't judge others by your own halfwittery.
Hallmark holiday Alternative forms: hallmark holidays etymology From "," the greeting card company.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (derogatory) An ostensible holiday, or, by extension, any occasion, invent or popularize for profit.
    • 1999, Karen Rauch Carter and Jeff Fessler, Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life: How to Use Feng Shui to Get Love, Money, Respect, and Happiness, Simon and Schuster, ISBN 9780684866048, pg. 88: See? Valentine's Day is not just a Hallmark holiday after all.
    • 2001, Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Vintage Books, ISBN 9780375725784, pg. 224: [...] that the whole funeral and gravestone thing was just a racket, was this ridiculous tradition, rooted in commerce, a Hallmark holiday sort of thing, [...]
    • 2008, Holly Chamberlin, Tuscan Holiday, Kensington Publishing Corp., ISBN 9780758214034, pg. 8: Honestly, it didn't much matter to me that Marina had forgotten Mother's Day, though I did feel bad on my mother's behalf. As any parent can tell you, what hurts far more than no card on a Hallmark holiday are the casual slights, the eye rolls your child thinks you don't see, the eye rolls your child thinks you don't see, the muttered "whatevers," the unasked-for-and-unwanted criticism of your clothing, your speech habits, your existence.
Hallmarkish etymology From , the greeting card company, and -ish.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (rare, informal, derogatory) Expressing sentiment in a way that seems oversweet and insincere; schmaltzy.
    • 1987, Toby Fulwiler, The Journal book And so we would have to expect that a few parents would find one student's journal entry scandalous, unpatriotic, or rebellious, when the rest of the readers might find it noble, sprightly, or even Hallmarkish.
    • 1994, Margaret McMullan, When Warhol was still alive "You got a letter, too," Ms. Simpson said, picking up a flowery Hallmarkish card...
    • 2004, Bertie Charles Forbes, Forbes Slogans like "We love to see you smile" sounded too Hallmarkish.
Synonyms: Hallmarky
Hallmarky etymology From , the greeting card company, and -y.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (rare, informal, derogatory) Hallmarkish.
hall of shame etymology To rhyme with hall of fame.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (humorous) Collection of the worst, most hated, or poorest quality entries in a particular subject, medium, field, etc.
  • hall of fame
Halloween {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: Hallowe'en etymology A shortening of All-Hallow-even, All Hallows’ Eve (the name of the evening before All Saints Day). pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˌhæləˈwiːn/
  • (US) /ˌhæləˈwiːn/, /ˌhɑləˈwiːn/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The eve of All Hallows' Day; 31st October; celebrated (mostly in the United Kingdom, Canada, United States and Ireland) by children going door-to-door in costume and demanding candy with menace.
hall pass
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US) a permit to be out of class during school hours.
  2. (by extension, informal) a wife's permission for her husband to go for a night out with friends.
hallucination {{wikipedia}} etymology Derives from verb to hallucinate, from Latin hallucinatus. Compare French hallucination. The first known usage in the English language is from . pronunciation
  • /həˌluːsɪˈneɪʃən/
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A sensory perception of something that does not exist, often arising from disorder of the nervous system, as in delirium tremens; a delusion.
    • Hallucinations are always evidence of cerebral derangement and are common phenomena of insanity. - W. A. Hammond
  2. The act of hallucinating; a wandering of the mind; an error, mistake or blunder.
    • This must have been the hallucination of the transcriber. -
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (nonstandard, humorous) alternative spelling of help
  2. (obsolete) helped
    • Chaucer Thus halp him God.
  • The modern form is generally used only as an imperative ("Halp!"). The other forms are more rare.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (obsolete, derogatory) One who is fit to be hanged; a scoundrel. {{rfquotek}}
{{Webster 1913}}
ham {{wikipedia}}
etymology 1 From Middle English hamme, from Old English hamm, from Proto-Germanic *hamō, *hammō, *hanmō, from Proto-Indo-European *kanam-, *knāmā. Cognate with Dutch ham, dialectal German Hamme, dialectal Swedish ham, Icelandic höm, Middle Irish cnáim, Ancient Greek κνήμη 〈knḗmē〉. Compare gammon. pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{enPR}}, /hæm/
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (anatomy) The region back of the knee joint; the popliteal space; the hock.
  2. (countable) A thigh and buttock of an animal slaughtered for meat.
  3. (uncountable) Meat from the thigh of a hog cured for food. a little piece of ham for the cat
    • {{rfdate}}, Audra Lilly Griffeth, A King's Daughter (ISBN 146915532X): She put some ham in the beans and cut up some sweet potatoes to boil.
  4. The back of the thigh.
  5. (internet, informal) Electronic mail that is wanted; mail that is not spam or junk mail.
etymology 2 From Old English hām.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. obsolete spelling of home
  • Persists in many old place names, such as Buckingham.
etymology 3 Shortened from hamfatter, said to derive from the 1863 minstrel show song The Ham-fat Man.[ "ham"], Online Etymology Dictionary
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. An overacting or amateurish performer; an actor with an especially showy or exaggerated style.
  2. An amateur radio operator.
related terms:
  • ham radio
Synonyms: radio amateur (amateur radio operator)
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To overact; to act with exaggerated emotions.
related terms:
  • ham it up
  • HMA, mah, MHA
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Disdainful remark directed at someone deemed worthless or undesirable.
  2. (wrestling slang) A preliminary wrestler; a jobber.
  3. An ordinary person; a simpleton.
  4. (boxing) A failure of a boxer that couldn't make it big; a tomato can.
    • {{quote-video }}
hambeast etymology ham + beast
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, pejorative) An obese person.
    • 2006, Taz Dhariwal, "Left to their own de-Vices", The Nugget (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology), Volume 44, Issue 6, 12 October 2006, page 10: Dudes, if you ever tried to do this to your drunken buddy who's grinding with some hambeast you won't save him. You'll let him enjoy his drunken bliss until he wakes up the next morning; {{…}}
    • 2007, Andrew Solomon, "Compatibility paves the long road to housing bliss", The Vanderbilt Hustler (Vanderbilt University), Volume 119, Issue 18, 19 February 2007, page 5: During the course of the year, your roommate will wake up lying next to a hambeast he swears he thought was a 10 the night before.
    • 2010, Teresa D. Patterson, Project Queen, Edit Again Publications (2010), ISBN 9781470091750, page 2: I don't mess around with big ol' hambeasts like ya aunt.
    • {{seemoreCites}}
Synonyms: See also .
hambone Alternative forms: ham-bone etymology ham + bone
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The bone at the center of a ham
    • {{quote-news}}
  2. (US slang) A ham; an eager or inferior performer
    • {{quote-news}}
  3. (music, dance) A certain type of dance that involves making noise with the body, especially by slapping parts of the body with one's hands
  4. (bowling, informal) Four consecutive strike.
Synonyms: (type of dance) Juba dance
hamburger {{slim-wikipedia}} etymology From German Hamburger, the adjectival form of Hamburg. pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈhæmˌbɜː.ɡə/, /ˈhæm.bə.ɡə/
  • (US) /ˈhæmˌbɝ.ɡɚ/, /ˈhæm.bɚ.ɡɚ/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A hot sandwich consisting of a patty of cooked ground beef, in a sliced bun, sometimes also containing salad vegetables, condiment, or both.
  2. The patty used in such a sandwich.
  3. (uncountable) Ground beef, especially that intended to be made into hamburgers.
  4. (colloquial, somewhat, vulgar) An animal or human, or the flesh thereof, that has been badly injured as a result of an accident or conflict. The truck hit the deer and turned it into hamburger. I'm going to make you into hamburger if you do that again.
Synonyms: (sandwich) beefburger, (patty) hamburger patty
  • (sandwich) burger
hyponyms: (sandwich, patty)
  • slider
  • quarter-pounder
  • cheeseburger
coordinate terms: (sandwich, patty)
  • chicken burger
  • fish burger
  • lamb burger
  • pork burger
  • vegeburger
  • soyburger
noun: {{head}}
  1. (Irish, colloquial) A mess. You've made a right hames of it, you eejit!
  2. plural of hame
  • ahems
  • haems
  • shame
  • Shema
hamfat etymology From ham + fat. pronunciation
  • /ˈhamfat/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, slang, offensive, obsolete) A black person.
  2. (US, black slang, obsolete) Something average; a mediocre thing or person, especially a jazz musician.
    • 1946, Mezz Mezzrow & Bernard Wolfe, Really the Blues, Payback Press 1999, p. 49: Around the poolroom I defended the guys I felt were my real brothers, the colored musicians who made music that sent me, not a lot of beat-up old hamfats who sang and played a commercial excuse for the real thing.
hamfatter etymology From a Negro minstrel song called The Ham-Fat Man.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A low-grade actor; a ham.
etymology 1 Scottish lowlands family name originating from a place name in Leicestershire, from Old English hamel + dūne. {{wikipedia}}
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. {{surname}}
  2. A given name, transferred from the surname.
  3. Cities in Alabama, California, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Australia, Bermuda, Ontario, New Zealand and Scotland.
etymology 2 From the portrait of Alexander Hamilton featured on them.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A United States ten-dollar bill.
    • 2000 March 9, "time4funwithu" (username), "(ASP) New Orleans - Zoey, in, Usenet: I think the girls all work for $200 p/hr, give or take a few Hamiltons.
    • 2006 September, Josh Norem, a review in Maximum PC, page 78: We all know that the stock cooler that comes with your CPU will get the job done, but it won't be exceptionally cool, nor are stock coolers particularly quiet or attractive. Aftermarket coolers, on the other hand, are all of the above, and usually cost just a few Hamiltons.
    • 2007, Brian Johnson, Duncan Mackenzie, Harvey Chute, Zune for Dummies, page 110: All these products cost around $30 each, but although you can use other methods to accomplish the same result without any cost at all, we think the simplicity of using a single program is well worth a few Hamiltons.
hamlet {{wikipedia}} etymology From Old French hamelet, diminutive of Old French hamel (Modern French hameau), in turn diminutive of Old French ham, of gem origin. Cognates include home, Dutch heem, German Heim, Old English hām.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A small village or a group of houses.
  2. (British) A village that does not have its own church.
  3. Any of the fish of the genus {{taxlink}} in the family Serranidae.
  • Thelma
hammer {{wikipedia}} etymology From Middle English hamer, Old English hamor, from Proto-Germanic *hamaraz (compare Western Frisian hammer, Low German Hamer, Dutch hamer, German Hammer, Danish hammer, Swedish hammare). The Germanic *hamaraz "tool with a stone head" derives from a Proto-Indo-European *h₂eḱmoros 〈*h₂eḱmoros〉 (compare Sanskrit ), itself a derivation from *h₂éḱmō 〈*h₂éḱmō〉. For *h₂éḱmō 〈*h₂éḱmō〉, compare Lithuanian akmuõ, Russian камень 〈kamenʹ〉, Serbo-Croatian kamēn, Albanian kmesë 'sickle', Ancient Greek ἄκμων 〈ákmōn〉, Avestan , Sanskrit अश्मन् 〈aśman〉) (root *h₂eḱ- 〈*h₂eḱ-〉). pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈhæm.ə(ɹ)/
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{audio}}
  • (US) /ˈhæmɚ/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A tool with a heavy head and a handle used for pounding.
  2. A moving part of a firearm that strikes the firing pin to discharge a gun.
  3. (anatomy) The malleus, a small bone of the middle ear.
  4. (music) In a piano or dulcimer, a piece of wood covered in felt that strikes the string.
  5. (sports) A device made of a heavy steel ball attached to a length of wire, and used for throw.
  6. (curling) The last rock in an end.
  7. (Ultimate Frisbee) A frisbee throwing style in which the disc is held upside-down with a forehand grip and thrown above the head.
  8. Part of a clock that strikes upon a bell to indicate the hour.
  9. One who, or that which, smite or shatter. St. Augustine was the hammer of heresies.
    • J. H. Newman He met the stern legionaries [of Rome] who had been the massive iron hammers of the whole earth.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To strike repeatedly with a hammer, some other implement, the fist, etc.
  2. To form or forge with a hammer; to shape by beating.
    • Dryden hammered money
  3. (figuratively) To emphasize a point repeatedly.
  4. (sports) To hit particularly hard.
    • {{quote-news }}
  5. To strike internally, as if hit by a hammer. I could hear the engine’s valves hammering once the timing rod was thrown.
  6. (figuratively, sports) To defeat (a person, a team) resoundingly We hammered them 5-0!
hammered pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (slang) Drunk; inebriated.
Synonyms: See also
verb: {{head}}
  1. en-past of hammer
hammerhead {{rfi}} {{wikipedia}} {{wikispecies}} etymology hammer + head
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The portion of a hammer containing the metal striking face (also including the claw or peen if so equipped).
  2. (zoology) Any of various shark of the genus Sphyrna or Zygaena having the eyes set on projections from the sides of the head, which gives it a hammer shape.
  3. (zoology) A fresh-water fish; the {{vern}}, in the minnow family Cyprinidae.
  4. (zoology) An African fruit bat, the {{vern}}, {{taxlink}}, so called from its large blunt nozzle.
  5. (slang) A stupid person, a dunce.
    • 1960: [The butler] joined us with a telegram for Bobbie on a salver. From her mother, I presumed, calling me some name which she had forgotten to insert in previous communications. Or, of course, possibly expressing once more her conviction that I was a guffin, which, I thought, having had time to ponder over it, would be something in the nature of a bohunkus or a hammerhead. (P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, chapter V)
  6. (biology) A kind of ribozyme; hammerhead ribozyme.
Synonyms: (shark) hammerhead shark, {{vern}}, {{vern}}
hammerspace etymology From hammer + space, referring to the large mallets often produced from nowhere by cartoon characters.
noun: {{wikipedia}} {{en-noun}}
  1. (humorous) A notional extradimensional space in which large objects can be store so that they may be quickly retrieved at any time.
    • 1996, "Vincent Tagle", Love and a single Ukclone... (discussion on Internet newsgroup rec.arts.anime.misc) Okay, now just picture what you want to pull out of hammerspace and just reach in and grab it.
    • 2000, "Jason Howe", Hammerspace Cleaning (discussion on Internet newsgroup's a commonly known fact that dust is physically incapable of collecting in Hammerspace, so everything is always looking brand new! I for one would want to keep my collection of--I think it's sixty-four--manga spotless!
    • 2008, Meljean Brook, Demon Night I just learned how to take my sword out of my hammerspace, and I'm not afraid to use it.
hammy etymology Derived from ham. pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Resembling ham.
  2. Amateurish; characterized by overacting.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, Australia, NZ, chiefly, sports, slang) {{short for}} a hamstring injury.
    • 1999, , Hard Yards, University of Queensland Press, page 129, He put his palms flat on the ground, then grabbed the back of his knees, stretching his hammies for the millionth time that morning.
    • 2000, Mark B. Andersen, Doing Sport Psychology, [http//|%22hammies%22+sport+OR+injury+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Dal1T-XEIeqZiQfKg6DdDg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22hammy%22|%22hammies%22%20sport%20OR%20injury%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 96], A: I′m only just getting fully fit now after that hammy [hamstring tear].
    • 2003, John Capouya, Real Men Do Yoga: 21 Star Athletes Reveal Their Secrets for Strength, Flexibility and Peak Performance, [http//|%22hammies%22+sport+OR+injury+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pq11T7KiM-6wiQeZxY2LDw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22hammy%22|%22hammies%22%20sport%20OR%20injury%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 150], “A move like this would have been inpossible for me before yoga,” he said. “Flexibilty-wise, I was struggling. My hammies were tight, my groin was tight. My hips have really benefited.”
    • {{quote-newsgroup }}
    • 2004, J. L. Roberts, Braggin' Rights: Fantasy Football Rewind 2004 (2003 Season Recap), AuthorHouse USA, [http//|%22hammies%22+sport+OR+injury+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Dal1T-XEIeqZiQfKg6DdDg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22hammy%22|%22hammies%22%20sport%20OR%20injury%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 83], A slow start and hammy injury were major contributors.
    • {{quote-newsgroup }}
  2. (informal, childish) A hamster.
noun: {{head}}
  1. plural of ham
  2. (exercise, slang) The hamstring muscle; the biceps femoris
    • 2010, Adam Garett, "Fried Hams", Reps! 17:23 Powerful hip extension is essential if you hope to squat heavier, jump higher or run faster, making it essential to train the hams using focused hip-extension exercises (like the romanian deadlift).
  • AMHS
  • HMAS
  • mash, MASH
  • sham
ham shank
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Cockney rhyming slang, vulgar) A wank. Masturbation.
Synonyms: Barclays Bank, hand shandy, wank, See also
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (anatomy) One of the great tendon situated in each side of the ham, or space back of the knee, and connected with the muscles of the back of the thigh.
  2. (informal) The biceps femoris muscle.
    • 2010, Adam Garett, "Fried Hams", Reps! 17:23 Developing muscle around both sides of a joint (think biceps and triceps, abs and low back, quads and hamstrings) should be one of your primary training considerations because strength on each side leads to lower injury rates.
Synonyms: (biceps femoris) hams
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To lame or disable by cut the tendon of the ham or knee; to hough; hence, to cripple; to incapacitate; to disable.
    • So have they hamstrung the valor of the subject by seeking to effeminate us all at home. -
handbag etymology hand + bag. The music genre is named from women dancing around a pile of their handbags in nightclubs. pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈhændbæɡ/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (mainly Commonwealth) A small bag used by women (or sometimes by men) for carrying various small personal items.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill (novelist) , The Celebrity, 5 , “Then came a maid with hand-bag and shawls, and after her a tall young lady. She stood for a moment holding her skirt above the grimy steps, with something of the stately pose which Richter has given his Queen Louise on the stairway, and the light of the reflector fell full upon her.”
  2. (uncountable) An anthemic subgenre of house music of the late 1980s, often with booming vocals.
    • 2006, Andy Bennett, Barry Shank, Jason Toynbee, The Popular Music Studies Reader, Psychology Press (ISBN 9780415307109), page 102 Who else would lug around that uptight feminine appendage, that burdensome emblem of adulthood — the handbag? ... The music genre had even come to be called 'handbag house'. As one clubber explained to  ...
Synonyms: (bag used by women) purse (North American), (subgenre of house music) diva house, handbag house
  • man-bag, murse
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (British, transitive, humorous) Figuratively, to hit with a handbag; to attack verbally or subject to criticism (used originally of ).
handbaggy etymology handbag + y
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal) Resembling or characteristic of a handbag.
  2. (informal) Resembling the handbag genre of anthemic house music.
handbags etymology handbag + s; in sense “fight”, {{clipping}}, handbags at ten paces (1980s).
noun: {{head}}
  1. plural of handbag
  2. (UK, slang) An insignificant fight or argument.
    • 2011, Daniel Sperling, Ant McPartlin: 'Pub scuffle was just handbags', Digital Spy "It was just a scuffle in a pub, a bit of… handbags. Nine times out of ten, people are nice to us."
related terms:
  • the handbags come out
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. (British, slang) Said jocularly in response to a particularly derogatory, bitchy or catty dialogue; calm down; cool it. Person A: Not another cheeseburger, Marcia? Person B: What's it to you? Person A: Well, you're fat enough as it is. Person B: You can talk! Person C: Ooh - handbags ladies!
Synonyms: meow!
handbags at dawn etymology 1980s UK.{{R:Phrase Finder|handbags-at-ten-paces|Handbags at ten paces}} Jocular derivation of pistols at dawn, replacing “pistols” with “handbags”, referring to women hitting each other with handbags during a catfight. Originated in football, possibly influenced by , in reference to then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher; and Monty Python skit “The Batley Townswomens' Guild presents the Battle of Pearl Harbor” (season 1, episode , December 1969), in which the actors flail at each other with handbags.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (British, humorous, idiomatic) A catty squabble.
  2. (New Zealand, informal) Competitors on a sporting field (often in a rugby game) getting into a fight - looking threatening but not really doing any damage.
related terms:
  • the handbags come out
handball {{wikipedia}} etymology From hand + ball. pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (uncountable) A team sport where two teams of seven players each (six players and a goalkeeper) pass and bounce a ball trying to throw it in the goal of the opposing team.
  2. (countable) The small rubber ball used in the sport of handball.
  3. (countable, soccer) The offence of touching the ball with the hands.
    • {{quote-news }}
  4. (uncountable, US) An American sport in which players must, in turn, bounce a ball off of a wall, taking care not to miss their turn.
  5. (countable, US) The small rubber ball used in this sport.
  6. (countable, Australian Rules Football) An act of passing a football by holding it with one hand and hitting it with the other.
  7. (Irish, uncountable) An Irish sport, very similar to the American sport, in which players must bounce a ball off a wall.
Synonyms: (team sport involving throwing a ball in the gall) European handball, Olympic handball, team handball, (American sport involving bouncing a ball off a wall) American handball, (Irish sport involving bouncing a ball off a wall) Irish handball
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To manually load or unload a container, trailer, or to otherwise manually move bulk goods (often on pallets) from one type of transport receptacle another.
  2. (soccer) To illegally touch the ball with the hand or arm. If the defender handballs in the penalty area, a penalty is awarded.
  3. (Australian Rules Football) To (legally) pass a football by holding it with one hand and hitting it with the other.
    • 2001, Jerry R. Thomas, Alan G. Launder, Jack K. Nelson, Play Practice: The Games Approach to Teaching and Coaching Sports, [http//|%22handballing%22+australian+OR+rules+OR+afl+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=kcd1T_jHGcWiiAfCocnuDg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22handballed%22|%22handballing%22%20australian%20OR%20rules%20OR%20afl%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 111], Meanwhile, you can introduce the basic concept of Aussie rules through a game like lineball, a lead-up game introduced in the basketball section of chapter 10, but with the ball handballed, not thrown.
    • 2005, Andrew McLeod, Trevor D. Jaques, Australian Football: Steps to Success, [http//|%22handballing%22+australian+OR+rules+OR+afl+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=kcd1T_jHGcWiiAfCocnuDg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22handballed%22|%22handballing%22%20australian%20OR%20rules%20OR%20afl%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 9], An obvious way in which football has changed over the last decade or two has been in the use of handballing.
    • 2009, John P. Devaney, Full Points Footy: Encyclopedia of Australian Football Clubs, [http//|%22handballing%22+australian+OR+rules+OR+afl+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=2st1T9PQEI2TiAfBron0Dg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false page 246], On only 8 occasions during the entire match did players who had marked the ball decide not to walk slowly and purposefully back and take their kick, but instead play on by handballing to a team mate.
  4. (sexuality, slang) To insert a hand into someone's anus.
verb: {{head}}
  1. present participle of handball
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (sexuality, slang) The act of inserting a hand into a partner's anus.
Synonyms: anal fisting
handbike etymology hand + bike (despite the fact that most handcycles resemble tricycles, not bicycles).
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A handcycle.
handbra etymology hand + bra
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (colloquial) The act of covering the nipple and areola with the hand, sometimes used for modesty in photographic poses.
handbrake Alternative forms: hand brake etymology From hand + brake
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (automotive) A brake in a vehicle, set by hand, and usually locking on until released by hand, enabling its use when parked.
  2. (automotive) The mechanism, particularly the lock hand-operated lever in a motor car, which is used to set and release such a brake.
Synonyms: parking brake
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To apply the handbrake in a vehicle.
handcuff artist
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. an escape artist who specializes in escaping handcuffs
  2. (gambling, slang) someone who only bets when they are sure they will win
Synonyms: (gambling) locksmith (slang)
  • escape artist
handegg Alternative forms: hand-egg pronunciation
  • /hændɛɡ/
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology From hand + egg, by deliberate contrast to football meaning “soccer”, emphasizing the use of the hands and an elongated rather than round ball.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, uncountable, humorous) The game of American football, or any other sport called “football” that uses a prolate spheroid instead of a round ball and in which the ball is regularly handled, such as Canadian football or Rugby football.
    • 1909 November 9, letter to the editor, in : Football is certainly a misnomer, for the game is played not with the feet but with the hands, and the ball is not a ball but an egg. I propose that the game be played with the feet and with a ball, or else that it be called “hand-egg”.
    • 2002 June 8, "p/g" (username), "Why does Arafat still draw breath?", in Yes, but would anyone show up for a game of handegg?
    • 2011 February 1, "FileServe FileSonic XXX" (username), "Innocent High - Jynx Maze XXX - 303 MB", worlds_sexiest_women: When I get there he was watching handegg. I’m not into that hand egg shit so we got into a heated argument on which was better.
    • 2011 February 8, "RVG" (username), "french pride", in fr.soc.politique: You're wrong, kids all around the world play football, it just takes a ball and a pair of sneakers, whereas handegg requires a full body armour.
verb: {{head}}
  1. en-past of handicap
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Having a handicap.
  2. (derogatory) Limited by an impediment of some kind.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (India) A disabled person.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (idiomatic) Closely cooperative.
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. alternative spelling of hand in glove
hand in one's dinner pail
verb: {{head}}
  1. (informal) To die.
hand job
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. An act of masturbation performed by someone else's hand.
    • 1968, James Arnold Brussel, Casebook of a Crime Psychiatrist, Bernard Geis Associates (distributed by Grove Press), page 179 "I tried it once and she knows it ... I was screwing one night and she lay like a log and I said I could do better jerking off ... a hand job, [...]"
handle {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • (US) /ˈhæn.dl/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{hyphenation}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 From Middle English handel, handle, from Old English handle, from handlian. See verb below. Cognate with Danish handel.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A part of an object which is held in the hand when used or moved, as the haft of a sword, the knob of a door, the bail of a kettle, etc.
  2. That of which use is made; an instrument for effecting a purpose (either literally or figuratively); a tool.
    • Essay on the prevailing methods of the evangelization of the non-Christian world, page 70, Robert Needham Cust, 1894,, “Nothing can be more reprehensible, or wicked, than to make Christian Missions a handle for political expansion.”
    • Advances in immunology, William Hay Taliaferro, John Herbert Humphrey, 1978, page 224,, “Many investigators feel that the double requirement for the antigen-recognition by cytotoxic T cells or DTH-reactive T cells may provide a handle for solving the T-cell receptor puzzle, and that anti-Id reagents are to be used in this approach.”
    • A prologue to revolution: the political career of George Grenville, page 95, Allen S. Johnson, 1997,, 9780761806004, “Indeed, at the beginning of the session he was careful to make "no declarations of what might hereafter be measures, so as to give anybody a handle for fixing him down to any particular system."”
  3. (Australia, New Zealand) A 10 fl oz (285 ml) glass of beer in the Northern Territory. See also pot, middy for other regional variations.
    • Breakwater, page 86, Kate Duignan, 2002, 9780864734174, Victoria University Press,, “A shudder passes over him and he orders another handle of beer.”
    • Lateral Connection, page 68, Rod Hylands, 2006, 9780476015296,, “Imagine staring into the heavens on a clear night and seeing a handle of beer floating amongst the stars, or an angel, or the face of a famous celebrity.”
    • Fodor's 2009 New Zealand, page 571, Stephanie E. Butler, 2008, 9781400019526,, “When ordering a beer, you'll get either a handle (mug) or a one-liter jug (pitcher).”
  4. (American) A half-gallon (1.75-liter) bottle of alcohol.
  5. (computing) A reference to an object or structure that can be stored in a variable.
    • Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on Very Large Data, page 383, Petrus Maria Gerardus Apers, Gio Wiederhold, 1989,, “A handle for a type instance is similar to an open file descriptor; it is used to reference that type instance when performing operations on it.”
    • MATLAB programming for engineers, page 354, Stephen J. Chapman, 2008, 9780495244493,, “By contrast, when a host function creates a handle for a nested function and returns that handle to a calling program, the host function's workspace is created and remains in existence for as long as the function handle remains in existence.
    This article describes how to find the module name from the window handle.
  6. (gambling) The gross amount of wagering within a given period of time or for a given event at one of more establishments.
    • Gambling in America: an encyclopedia of history, issues, and society, page 421, William Norman Thompson, 2001, 9781576071595,, “For a casino table game,the handle is difficult to determine, as it consists of all the bets made in every game, whether by chip or by cash play.”
    • Travel industry economics: a guide for financial analysis, page 139, Harold L. Vogel, 2001, 9780521781633,, “Note here, however, that the casino's "edge" (its expected value per unit bet, or, in casino jargon, the house p.c.) in table games is expressed as a percentage of the handle and not as a percentage of the drop (even though these might sometimes be the same).”
    • The economics of casino gambling, page 77, Douglas M. Walker, 2007, 9783540351023,, “The results for the dog racing model indicate that increases in lottery sales and decreases in horse racing handle and casino revenues in the state in question statistically increase dog racing handle.”
    The daily handle of a Las Vegas casino is typically millions of dollars.
  7. (geography, Newfoundland and Labrador, rare) A point, an extremity of land. Handle of the Sug, Nfld.
  8. (textiles) The tactile qualities of a fabric, e.g., softness, firmness, elasticity, fineness, resilience, and other qualities perceived by touch.
  9. (topology) A topological space homeomorphic to a ball but viewed as a product of two lower-dimensional balls.
etymology 2 From Middle English handlen, from Old English handlian, from Proto-Germanic *handlōną, equivalent to hand + le. Cognate with Western Frisian hanneljen, hanljen, Dutch handelen, German handeln, Swedish handla, Icelandic höndla.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive) To use the hands.
    • Psalm 115:7: They [idols made of gold and silver] have hands, but they handle not
  2. To touch; to feel with the hand.
    • Luke 24:39: Handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh.
  3. To use or hold with the hand.
    • : About his altar, handling holy things
  4. To manage in using, as a spade or a musket; to wield; often, to manage skillfully.
    • Shakespeare, King Lear, IV-vi: That fellow handles his bow like a crowkeeper
  5. To accustom to the hand; to work upon, or take care of, with the hands.
    • Sir W. Temple: The hardness of the winters forces the breeders to house and handle their colts six months every year
  6. To receive and transfer; to have pass through one's hands; hence, to buy and sell a merchant handles a variety of goods, or a large stock
  7. To deal with; to make a business of.
    • Jeremiah, 2:8: They that handle the law knew me not
    • {{quote-news }}
  8. To treat; to use, well or ill.
    • Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part I, I-iv: How wert thou handled being prisoner
  9. To manage; to control; to practice skill upon.
    • Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, V-i: You shall see how I'll handle her
  10. To use or manage in writing or speaking; to treat, as a theme, an argument, or an objection.
    • : We will handle what persons are apt to envy others
  11. (soccer) To touch the ball with the hand or arm; to commit handball.
    • {{quote-news }}
Synonyms: feel, finger, touch, deal, manage, treat
related terms:
  • hand
etymology 3 {{rft}} Originally Cornish-American, from Cornish hanough, later hanow (pronounced han'of or han'o).
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A name, nickname or pseudonym.
    • A 4th course of chicken soup for the soul, 1997, page 312, Jack Canfield, Hanoch McCarty, 9781558744592,, “We sat together at the restaurant and asked him about his handle (CB name).”
    • The Talisman, Stephen King, Peter Straub, 2001, 9780375507779,, “This was so unexpected that Jack came close to gabbling out his real name instead of the one he had used at the Golden Spoon, the name he also used if the people who picked him up asked for his handle.”
    • Invisible Armies, 2007, page 253, Jon Evans, 9780312368678,, “"I don't actually know his birth name. He just uses his handle."”
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A worksheet, leaflet, or pamphlet that is given out (usually by hand) for a certain use.
  2. {{senseid}}A gift to the poor or needy. It's a place to get a hand up, not a handout.
  3. A gift, something given without effort
    • November 2 2014, Daniel Taylor, "Sergio Agüero strike wins derby for Manchester City against 10-man United," They had contributed heavily to their own downfall, most glaringly with the senselessness of Chris Smalling’s red card, and they should know by now that Manuel Pellegrini’s team are not the kind of opponents to pass up these kind of handouts.
hand out
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) to distribute
    • {{quote-news }}
The object may appear before or after the particle. If the object is a pronoun, then it must be before the particle.
phrase: {{en-phrase}}
  1. (baseball, slang, 1800s) a player is out
hand shandy
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (vulgar, slang) An act of masturbation.
Synonyms: ham shank, See also
noun: {{head}}
  1. (childish) hands
  2. flirtatious or lascivious touching
handsome etymology hand + some, compare Dutch handzaam. pronunciation
  • /ˈhænsəm/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{hyphenation}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (obsolete, said of things and people) Dexterous; skillful
    • “That they [engines of war] be both easy to be carried and handsome to be moved and turned about.”, Robynson, Utopia
    • “For a thief it is so handsome as it may seem it was first invented for him”, Edmund Spenser
  2. (of a man) Visually attractive; pleasant looking. a handsome man; a handsome garment, house, tree, horse.
  3. (of a woman) Striking, impressive and elegant proportion, though not typically beautiful.
  4. Suitable or fit in action; marked with propriety and ease; graceful; becoming; appropriate. a handsome style, etc.
    • “Easiness and handsome address in writing.”, Felton
  5. Generous or noble in character Handsome is as handsome does.
  6. Ample; moderately large. a handsome salary
    • “He . . . accumulated a handsome sum of money.”, V. Knox
  7. Having a good appearance
    • {{quote-news }}
Synonyms: (attractive) pretty
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive, obsolete) To render handsome.
handsy {{was wotd}} etymology hands + y pronunciation
  • /ˈhændzi/
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal) prone to touching other people with one's hand, especially inappropriately
    • 1992, Phil Berger, "The Tyson Verdict: Tyson's Critics Stepping Forth", The New York Times, 12 February 1992: "Even back then, there were problems controlling him," said Atlas. "He was doing what he wanted to. He had problems dealing with rejection. If he liked a girl, he'd want to show her off or buy her perfume. And if the girl said no, he'd become very upset. That's normal, I guess. But later on, he'd get just a little bit pushy with women or handsy."
    • 1997, , Floaters, Random House (1997), ISBN 0553575953, page 187: But when his kind got drunk, they got handsy in order to compensate. He kept reaching under the table, where she was crammed into a booth with seven boozy sailors [...]
    • 2001, , Strip City: A Stripper's Farewell Journey Across America, Hyperion (2001), ISBN 0786867906, page 82: Almost all the dances thereafter go like this, but the manager had warned me that some dances could be "handsy." "Handsy" is something of a euphemism. "Grope fiesta" would be more accurate [...]
    • {{quote-video }}
    • 2008, Lisa Plumley, Home for the Holidays, Zebra Books (2008), ISBN 9780821780534, page 96: "Listen up." Nate nodded at Angela's root beer. "That's what you should drink on your date with Patrick the Prick. So you'll be alert if he gets all handsy with you." "He won't get handsy. We're just having coffee.
    • 2008, Phoebe Reilly, "Thick As Thieves", Spin, September 2008: A more pressing struggle is the one Crystal Castles have to contend with each night: feral fanboys who use Glass' aggressiveness as an excuse to get handsy. "They usually get a mic stand to the head," says Glass, with a shrug [...]
  2. (golf) moving the hands and wrists excessively when making a stroke or swing
    • 1991, Jaime Diaz, "Pavin Is Making a Strong Bid to Join Game's Elite", The New York Times, 26 May 1991: At a wiry 5 feet 9 inches and 140 pounds, with a handsy, almost ungainly swing, Pavin lacked the power and solid technique that have been the foundation of success for most of the game's elite players.
Synonyms: (prone to touching others) groping, tactile, touchy-feely
handwavium {{wikipedia}} etymology hand waving and the chemical element suffix -ium.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, fiction) Any hypothetical but unobtainable material with desirable engineering properties.
    • 2008, "Jacey Bedford", Handwavium (on newsgroup rec.arts.sf.composition) My handwavium was an invented mineral, but - reading up - what about platinum? Could I substitute platinum for handwavium?
    • 2008, Alexander Jablokov, The Boarder, in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, volume 114, number 3 (March) He puzzled over the spacecraft and their handwavium drives. "The thousand and one nights of Scheherazade, told by an engineering student who failed his graduation exams," was his literary judgment.
    • 2011, Imogen Howson, Blood of the Volcano (page 167) She writes romantic fantasy and science fiction, and makes liberal use of the substance known as handwavium.
handy etymology From Middle English, alteration of earlier hendi, from Old English hendiġ (as in listhendiġ), from Proto-Germanic *handugaz, from *handuz, equivalent to hand + y. Cognate with gml handich, Middle High German handec, hendec, Old Norse hǫndugr, Gothic 𐌷𐌰𐌽𐌳𐌿𐌲𐍃 〈𐌷𐌰𐌽𐌳𐌿𐌲𐍃〉. pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /ˈhæn.di/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Easy to use, useful. Some people regard duct tape as a handy fix-all.
  2. Nearby, within reach. You wouldn’t have a screwdriver handy, would you?
  3. (dialect) dexterous, skilful She's very handy - she made all her own kitchen cupboards.
  4. Description applied to freight ships which have a small cargo capacity (less than 40,000 DWT). Member of the handysize class.
Synonyms: (useful), (nearby) at hand, (skilful) crafty
handyman etymology handy + man pronunciation
  • /ˈhændimæn/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{Wikipedia}} {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A man who does small task and odd job
Synonyms: jack of all trades, odd-job man
hang {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /hæŋ/
  • {{audio}}
  • (also) (US) {{enPR}}, /heɪŋ/
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 A fusion of Old English hōn [intrans.] and hangian [trans.]; also probably influenced by Old Norse hengja and hanga; all from Proto-Germanic *hanhaną (compare Dutch hangen, Low German hangen and hängen, German hängen), from Proto-Indo-European *keng- (compare Gothic 𐌷𐌰𐌷𐌰𐌽 〈𐌷𐌰𐌷𐌰𐌽〉, Hittite gang-, Sanskrit , Latin cunctari) and Albanian çengë.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive) To be or remain suspend. exampleThe lights hung from the ceiling.
    • {{RQ:BLwnds TLdgr}} On the dark-green walls hung a series of eight engravings, portraits of early Victorian belles, clad in lace and tarletan ball dresses, clipped from an old Book of Beauty. Mrs. Bunting was very fond of these pictures; she thought they gave the drawing-room a note of elegance and refinement.
  2. (intransitive) To float, as if suspended. exampleThe smoke hung in the room.
  3. (intransitive, of a ball in cricket, tennis, etc.) To rebound unexpectedly or unusually slowly, due to backward spin on the ball or imperfections of the ground.
  4. (transitive) To hold or bear in a suspended or inclined manner or position instead of erect. exampleHe hung his head in shame.
  5. (transitive) To cause (something) to be suspended, as from a hook, hanger{{,}} or the like. exampleHang those lights from the ceiling. {{RQ:Authorized Version}} It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
  6. (transitive, legal) To execute (someone) by suspension from the neck. exampleThe culprits were hanged from the nearest tree.
  7. (intransitive, legal) To be executed by suspension by one's neck from a gallows, a tree, or other raised bar, attached by a rope tied into a noose. exampleYou will hang for this, my friend.
  8. (intransitive, informal) To loiter, hang around, to spend time idly. exampleAre you busy, or can you hang with me?  {{nowrap}}
  9. (transitive) To exhibit (an object) by hanging.
  10. (transitive) To apply (wallpaper or drywall to a wall). exampleLet's hang this cute animal design in the nursery.
  11. (transitive) To decorate (something) with hanging objects. exampleLet's hang the nursery with some new wallpaper.
  12. (intransitive, figuratively) To remain persistently in one's thoughts.
    • 1895, H. G. Wells, The Time Machine, Ch.X: Exploring, I found another short gallery running transversely to the first. This appeared to be devoted to minerals, and the sight of a block of sulphur set my mind running on gunpowder. But I could find no saltpeter; indeed no nitrates of any kind. Doubtless they had deliquesced ages ago. Yet the sulphur hung in my mind and set up a train of thinking.
  13. (transitive, computing) To prevent from reaching a decision, especially by refusing to join in a verdict that must be unanimous. One obstinate juror can hang a jury.
  14. (intransitive, computing) To stop responding to manual input devices such as keyboard and mouse. exampleThe computer has hung again. Not even pressing <Ctrl>+<Alt>+<Del> works.&emsp; {{nowrap}}
  15. (transitive, computing) To cause (a program or computer) to stop responding. exampleThe program has a bug that can hang the system.
  16. (transitive, chess) To cause (a piece) to become vulnerable to capture. exampleIf you move there, you'll hang your queen rook.
  17. (intransitive, chess) To be vulnerable to capture. exampleIn this standard opening position White has to be careful because the pawn on e4 hangs.
Synonyms: (be or remain suspended) be suspend, dangle, (float as if suspended) float, hover, (execute (someone) by suspension from the neck) lynch, string up, (be executed) go to the gallows, swing (informal), (loiter) hang about, hang around, loiter, (computing: stop responding) freeze, lock up, (cause (something) to be suspended) suspend, (hold or bear in a suspended or inclined manner or position instead of erect) drop, lower, (to place on a hook) hook, hook up, (exhibit) exhibit, show, (apply (wallpaper to a wall)) put up, (decorate (something) with hanging objects) bedeck, deck, decorate, (computing: cause (a program or computer) to stop responding) freeze, lock up, (in chess: cause to become vulnerable to capture), (in chess: be vulnerable to capture)
  • Formerly, at least through the 16th century, the past tense of the transitive use of was hanged (see quote from King James Bible, above). This form is retained for the legal senses "to be executed by suspension from the neck" and "to execute by suspension from the neck" and hung for all other meanings. However, this rule is not uniformly understood or observed. is sometimes substituted for , which would be considered inappropriate in legal or other formal writing (for the applicable senses only) or, more rarely, vice versa. See also the etymology – in Old English there were separate words for transitive (whence ) and intransitive (whence ).
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The way in which something hangs. This skirt has a nice hang.
  2. (figuratively) A grip, understanding He got the hang of it after only two demonstrations
  3. (computing) An instance of ceasing to respond to input devices. We sometimes get system hangs.
  4. A sharp or steep declivity or slope.
etymology 2 From hang sangwich, Irish colloquial pronunciation of sandwich.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Ireland, informal, derogatory) Cheap, processed ham (cured pork), often made specially for sandwich.
etymology 3 {{wikipedia}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. alternative spelling of Hang
hang a left
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive, North America slang) To turn left, to take a left turn. Hang a left at the next intersection.
hang a Louie
verb: {{head}}
  1. (US, slang, idiomatic) Make a left turn while driving a vehicle. Hang a Louie up at the next stoplight.
related terms:
  • hang a Ralph (very rare)
hang a Ralph
verb: {{head}}
  1. (US, slang, uncommon, idiomatic) Make a right turn while driving a vehicle. Hang a Ralph up at the next stoplight.
related terms:
  • hang a Louie (more common)
hang a right
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive, US slang) To turn right, to take a right turn. Hang a right at the next intersection.
hang around
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (idiomatic) to stay, linger or loiter If you hang around after the show, you can meet the cast.
  2. (idiomatic) to spend time or be friend (especially to hang around with someone) My daughter likes to hang around with older kids after school.
hangar queen Alternative forms: hangar-queen
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (idiomatic, slang, military, aviation) A grounded aircraft which is kept so that its parts can be used in other aircraft.
    • 1944 Jan. 10, "‘Hangar Queen’," (retrieved 12 July 2008): In the Air Forces, "Hangar Queen" is not a proud title. It refers to any grounded plane which is being systematically "cannibalized" (stripped of its parts) so that other planes may fly.
  2. (idiomatic, slang, aviation) An aircraft which requires a great deal of regular maintenance and has an unfavorable ratio of maintenance time to flight time.
    • 2011 Oct. 30, Mark M. Miller, "Second thoughts about the F-35," Toronto Star (Canada), p. A19 (retrieved 30 Oct 2011): [T]he F-35 . . . was not only meant to be an affordable fifth-generation fighter-bomber for the U.S. and her allies, but also to have lower maintenance costs than aircraft now in service. These claims may also turn out to be inaccurate, with the F-35 a potential hanger-queen like the F-22 Raptor.
hangar rash
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (colloquial) minor damage caused to an aircraft caused by collisions with a hangar, structures, or another aircraft. Compare with road rash.
hang back
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (informal) To wait; to falter; to avoid proceeding through reluctance.
    • {{quote-news}}
hang out
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive, idiomatic, slang) To spend time doing nothing in particular. After this is over, do you want to go hang out? He hung out with his friends all day yesterday.
    • Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers 'I say, old boy, where do you hang out?'Mr. Pickwick replied that he was at present suspended at the George and Vulture.
    • {{quote-news }}
  2. (dated, informal) To be unyielding; to hold out. The juryman hangs out against an agreement.
Synonyms: relax
related terms:
  • hang around
  • hang with
  • Aughton

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