The Alternative English Dictionary

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


baby show
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (television, nonstandard, sometimes, derogatory) A television series or television program aimed primarily to be viewed by infant.
  2. {{&oth}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) An embryo or fetus; an unborn child.
    • 2000, Theresa Francis-Cheung, Pregnancy Weight Management: Before, During, After, Adams Media (2000), ISBN 1580623336, page 27: At twenty-six weeks, your baby-to-be can move freely in your womb.
  • {{seemoreCites}}
baccy Alternative forms: backy etymology From tobacco by shortening pronunciation
  • /ˈbæki/
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) Tobacco.
back {{wikipedia}} {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • (UK) /bæk/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 Middle English bak, from Old English bæc, from Proto-Germanic *baką (compare Old Saxon bak (Middle Low German bak), West Frisian beklingling 'chair back', Old High German bah, Swedish bak), possibly from Proto-Indo-European *bʰogo 'bending'. The adverb represents an aphetic form of aback.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (not comparable) Near the rear.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, 19 , [ The Mirror and the Lamp] , “Nothing was too small to receive attention, if a supervising eye could suggest improvements likely to conduce to the common welfare. Mr. Gordon Burnage, for instance, personally visited dust-bins and back premises, accompanied by a sort of village bailiff, going his round like a commanding officer doing billets.”
    exampleGo in the back door of the house.
  2. (not comparable) Not current. exampleI’d like to find a back issue of that magazine.
  3. (not comparable) Far from the main area. exampleThey took a back road.
  4. In arrear; overdue. back rent
  5. Moving or operating backward. back action
  6. (comparable, phonetics) Produced in the back of the mouth. example"U" in "rude" is a back vowel.
Synonyms: (near the rear) rear, (not current) former, previous, (far from the main area) remote
  • (near the rear) front
  • (not current) current
  • (far from the main area) main
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (not comparable) To or in a previous condition or place.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill (novelist) , The Celebrity, 2 , “We drove back to the office with some concern on my part at the prospect of so large a case. Sunning himself on the board steps, I saw for the first time Mr. Farquhar Fenelon Cooke. He was dressed out in broad gaiters and bright tweeds, like an English tourist, and his face might have belonged to Dagon, idol of the Philistines.”
    • {{quote-magazine}}
    exampleHe gave back the money.   He needs his money back.   He was on vacation, but now he’s back.   The office fell into chaos when you left, but now order is back.
  2. Away from the front or from an edge.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, 1 , [ Mr. Pratt's Patients], 1 , “Pretty soon I struck into a sort of path […]. It twisted and turned,…and opened out into a big clear space like a lawn. And, back of the lawn, was a big, old-fashioned house, with piazzas stretching in front of it, and all blazing with lights. 'Twas the house I'd seen the roof of from the beach.”
    exampleSit all the way back in your chair. exampleStep back from the curb.
  3. In a manner that impede. exampleFear held him back.
  4. In a reciprocal manner. exampleIf you hurt me, I'll hurt you back.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The rear of the body, especially the part between the neck and the end of the spine and opposite the chest and belly. exampleCould you please scratch my back?
    • {{RQ:RJfrs AmtrPqr}} It was not far from the house; but the ground sank into a depression there, and the ridge of it behind shut out everything except just the roof of the tallest hayrick. As one sat on the sward behind the elm, with the back turned on the rick and nothing in front but the tall elms and the oaks in the other hedge, it was quite easy to fancy it the verge of the prairie with the backwoods close by.
    1. The spine and associated tissues. exampleI hurt my back lifting those crates.
    2. (slang, uncountable) Large and attractive buttock.
      • [ Right as Rain: A Novel], 0446610798, page 123 , “ He got his hand on her behind and caressed her firm, ample flesh.…"You got some back on you, girl."”
    3. (figurative) The part of a piece of clothing which covers the back. exampleI still need to finish the back of your dress.
    4. The backrest, the part of a piece of furniture which receives the human back. exampleCan you fix the back of this chair?
    5. (obsolete) That part of the body that bears clothing.
      • “Do thou but think / What 'tis to cram a maw or clothe a back / From such a filthy vice”
  2. That which is farthest away from the front. exampleHe sat in the back of the room.
    1. The side of any object which is opposite the front or useful side. exampleTurn the book over and look at the back.
      1. The edge of a book which is bound. exampleThe titles are printed on the backs of the books.
      2. (printing) The inside margin of a page.
        • page 472, 1965 Ayer Publishing ed., [ A Dictionary of the Art of Printing], 0833731289 , “Convenience and custom have familiarised us to the printed page being a little higher than the middle of the leaf, and to its having a little more margin at the fore edge than in the back.”
      3. The side of a blade opposite the side used for cutting. exampleTap it with the back of your knife.
    2. The reverse side; the side that is not normally seen. exampleI hung the clothes on the back of the door.
    3. Area behind, such as the backyard of a house. exampleWe'll meet out in the back of the library.
    4. The part of something that goes last. exampleThe car was near the back of the train.
    5. (sports) In some team sport, a position behind most players on the team. exampleThe backs were lined up in an I formation.
      • {{quote-news}}
  3. (figuratively) Upper part of a natural object which is considered to resemble an animal's back. exampleThe small boat raced over the backs of the waves.
  4. A support or resource in reserve.
    • William Shakespeare (1564-1616) This project / Should have a back or second, that might hold, / If this should blast in proof.
  5. (nautical) The keel and keelson of a ship. exampleThe ship's back broke in the pounding surf.
  6. (mining) The roof of a horizontal underground passage.
    • [ Mining Without Timber], page 161 , “The stope is kept full of broken ore, sufficient only being drawn to leave a working space between the floor of broken ore and the back of the stope.”
  7. (slang, uncountable) Effort, usually physical. examplePut some back into it!
  8. A non-alcoholic drink (often water or a soft drink), to go with hard liquor or a cocktail. exampleCould I get a martini with a water back?
  9. Among leather dealer, one of the thickest and stoutest tanned hide.
    • 1848, Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Maine Reports (volume 6, page 397) …as delivered by a tanner the average weight of a back and two strips would be about 42 pounds{{nb...}}.
Synonyms: (side opposite the visible side) reverse, (rear of the body) rear, backside
  • (side opposite the front or useful side) front
  • (that which is farthest away from the front) front
coordinate terms:
  • (non-alcoholic drink) chaser
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive) To go in the reverse direction. examplethe train backed into the station;  the horse refuses to back
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, 1 , [ Mr. Pratt's Patients], 1 , “Thinks I to myself, “Sol, you're run off your course again. This is a rich man's summer ‘cottage’{{nb...}}.” So I started to back away again into the bushes. But I hadn't backed more'n a couple of yards when I see something so amazing that I couldn't help scooching down behind the bayberries and looking at it.”
  2. (transitive) To support. exampleI back you all the way;  which horse are you backing in this race?
    • {{quote-news}}
  3. (nautical, of the wind) To change direction contrary to the normal pattern; that is, to shift anticlockwise in the northern hemisphere, or clockwise in the southern hemisphere.
  4. (nautical, of a square sail) To brace the yard so that the wind presses on the front of the sail, to slow the ship.
  5. (nautical, of an anchor) To lay out a second, smaller anchor to provide additional holding power.
  6. (UK, of a hunting dog) To stand still behind another dog which has pointed.
  7. (transitive) To push or force backwards. to back oxen exampleThe mugger backed her into a corner and demanded her wallet.
  8. (transitive, obsolete) To get upon the back of; to mount.
    • William Shakespeare (c.1564–1616) I will back him [a horse] straight.
  9. (transitive, obsolete) To place or seat upon the back.
    • William Shakespeare (c.1564–1616) Great Jupiter, upon his eagle backed, / Appeared to me.
  10. To make a back for; to furnish with a back. to back books
  11. To adjoin behind; to be at the back of.
    • William Shakespeare (c.1564–1616) a garden…with a vineyard backed
    • Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) the chalk cliffs which back the beach
    • {{RQ:Frgsn Zlnstn}} So this was my future home, I thought!…Backed by towering hills, the but faintly discernible purple line of the French boundary off to the southwest, a sky of palest Gobelin flecked with fat, fleecy little clouds, it in truth looked a dear little city; the city of one's dreams.
  12. To write upon the back of, possibly as an endorsement. to back a letter;  to back a note or legal document
  13. (legal, of a justice of the peace) To sign or endorse (a warrant, issued in another county, to apprehend an offender).
  14. To row backward with (oars). to back the oars
  • (nautical: of the wind) veer
etymology 2 French bac.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A large shallow vat; a cistern, tub, or trough, used by brewers, distillers, dyers, picklers, gluemakers, and others, for mixing or cooling wort, holding water, hot glue, etc.
  2. A ferryboat.
  • {{rank}}
back, crack and sack etymology See definition
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A beauty treatment for men in which hair is removed from the back, from between the buttocks ("crack") and from the scrotum ("sack").
Synonyms: sack, back and crack
backal etymology Derived in humorous reference to frontal. This word has begun to gain popular acceptance since appearing in the U.S. sitcoms Friends and Scrubs. An earlier example of its use was in the episode of the UK sitcom, Coupling - "The Cupboard of Patrick's Love" (Series 1, episode 6, first aired 16th June 2000).
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (humorous, neologism) Of, relating to, directed toward, or situated at the back. full backal nudity
    • 2007 September 28, Bob Mondello, "Coming Soon, to a Theater Near You: Naked People", All Things Considered, National Public Radio Movie nudity has a long history in Hollywood.... And a lot of different kinds. Male and female, partial and full, frontal and ... backal?
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (idiomatic, colloquial) alternative form of ass-backwards
  • ass backwards, ass-backwards, bass-ackwards, bassackwards
back at you
phrase: {{head}}
  1. (idiomatic, US) Used to return a greeting or insult. "Hey, good luck with that, buddy!" / "Right back at you, man!" "You're an idiot!" / "Yeah? Well, back at you, moron!"
Synonyms: (return of greeting) same to you
backbite Alternative forms: back-bite etymology From Middle English bakbiten, bacbiten, equivalent to back + bite. Cognate with Icelandic bakbíta.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To make spiteful slanderous or defamatory statement about someone.
  2. (informal) To attack from behind or when out of earshot with spiteful or defamatory remarks.
  3. To speak badly of an absent individual.
Synonyms: See also
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. One who engages in backbiting; a backbiter.
back blocks
noun: {{en-plural noun}}
  1. (slang) Remote countryside.
back catalogue Alternative forms: back catalog (US)
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A listing of all the works of a specific artist, or all the books, records etc of a specific publisher, including works that are no longer available
  2. (informal) The works themselves
back door Alternative forms: backdoor, back-door
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A subsidiary entrance to a building or house at its rear, normally away from the street.
  2. A means of access, often secret and unprotected, to something.
  3. (computing) A secret means of access to a program or system.
  4. (slang) The anus, generally used in reference to anal sex.
  • foredoor
related terms:
  • back-door man
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (US, baseball) The path of a pitch which starts outside and then slides over the plate. He has a nasty back door slider.
related terms:
  • back door slider
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To attempt to accomplish by indirect means, especially when direct means are proscribed.
  2. (surfing) To enter a tube by accelerating from behind; to surf into an already formed hollow wave, in contrast to the normal method of slowing to allow a surfable wave to form.
    • 1999, Mark Warren, Mark Warren's Atlas of Australian Surfing, traveller's edition 1999, ISBN 0-7322-6731-5, page 103 If you survive the heavy take-off at 'The Chair' (which is very close to the rocks) you will find you're in 'The Suck-up', which offers either a spectacular barrel or a bonecrunching wipeout, but you might find you have to back door it.
backed pronunciation
  • /bækt/
  • {{audio}}
etymology 1 From back (verb)
verb: {{head}}
  1. en-past of back
etymology 2 From back + ed.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (obsolete, slang) Put on one's back; killed; rendered dead. He wishes to have the senior, or old square-toes, backed; he longs to have his father on six men's shoulders; that is, carried to the grave.
  2. (in combination) Having specified type of back. a high-backed chair sway-backed red-backed shrike
  3. (in combination) Having specified type of backing. asset-backed securities
background pronunciation
  • /ˈbæk.ɡɹaʊnd/
  • {{audio}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Less important in a scenery. examplebackground noise.
  • prominent, conspicuous, forestanding
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. One's social heritage; what one did in the past/previously. exampleThe lawyer had a background in computer science.
  2. A part of the picture that depicts scenery to the rear or behind the main subject; context.
    • {{quote-magazine}}
  3. Information relevant to the current situation about past events; history.
  4. A less important feature of scenery (as opposed to foreground). exampleThere was tons of noise in the background. exampleThe photographer let us pick a background for the portrait.
  5. (computing) The image or color, over which a computer's desktop items are shown (e.g. icon or application window).
  6. (computing) Activity on a computer that is not normally visible to the user. exampleThe antivirus program is running in the background.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To put in a position that is not prominent
backhander etymology back + hand + -er
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A glass of wine given out of turn, the bottle having been handed backwards.
  2. A blow with the back of the hand.
  3. (informal) A bribe.
  4. (racquet sports) A shot played backhand.
backie etymology back + ie
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (colloquial) A ride on the back of a bicycle or motorbike.
back in the day Alternative forms: back in day (chiefly UK)
adverb: {{head}}
  1. (temporal location, idiomatic, informal) In the past; at one time, especially a time which is fondly remember.
    • {{quote-magazine }}
    • {{quote-news }}
    • {{quote-book }}
back o' Bourke etymology From the town of in north-western New South Wales. By supposition, even further west and north than Bourke. pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (Australia, informal) At or to an extremely remote place.
    • 1979, Eric Reade, History and Heartburn: The Saga of Australian Film, 1896-1978, page 28, Mated in the Wild took the audience back o’ Bourke — to Central Australia to be exact.
    • 2002, Garrie Hutchinson, Gilly the Great, The Best Australian Sports Writing, 2002, page 13, Gilchrist has a head that would have passed unnoticed Back o′Bourke where they played cricket using termite mounds as stumps.
    • 2009, Chinle Miller, Desert Rats: Adventures in the American Outback, page 110, “We're getting Back o′ Bourke, sport, a bit of a ways from the bitumen,” Ian notes, huffing a bit.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Australia, informal) An extremely remote place.
    • 2007, Kevin Noble, Chris Foote Wood, Baghdad Trucker, page 93, There were a few Aussies on site, but most preferred to work in or around Perth. The large majority would venture no farther than the coastal resorts, classing the back o'Bourke (back of beyond) as a “no-go” area.
    • 2009, William Efford, Picaroon, page 238, “Where ya headed mate?” “In the back o′ bourke,” said Kate, “and we'll need roo bars and a rack.”
Synonyms: See: , back o' beyond, back of beyond, beyond the black stump, middle of nowhere, Woop Woop
back of the net
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. (British, colloquial) Often smug expression of triumph or happiness.
    • 2002, : Alan Partridge: My girlfriend's thirty-three. I'm forty-seven. She's fourteen years younger than me. Back of the net.
back passage
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The passage between two terraced houses leading between and the front and back gardens or yards.
  2. (slang) anus
backread pronunciation
  • /ˈbæk.riːd/
  • /ˈbæk.rɛd/ past & past participle
etymology back + read
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (Internet, slang, especially in IRC) To catch up on an ongoing conversation, by reading previous portions one was not present for.
  2. To interpret what one has read previously in the light of later experience or knowledge
    • 1980, Diana Hume George, Blake and Freud Thereafter, Freud was obliged not only to expand but to backread that expansion into all that came before.
    • 2001, Andrew Rippin, Muslims: their religious beliefs and practices What must be recognized is the nature of the source material in which one sees a theological/ideological backreading of history.
  3. en-past of backread
backscratch etymology back + scratch
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To scratch one's back
  2. (business, slang) To engage in a reciprocal action
back seat etymology From back + seat.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Any of the seats in the rear of a vehicle.
    • 2011, Rebecca Black featuring , Kickin' in the front seat Sittin' in the back seat Gotta make my mind up Which seat can I take? Gotta catch my bus, I see my friends
  2. (informal) A powerless position.
  • seatback
backsies etymology back + sies
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (childish) A reciprocal action or consequence, such as immediately tag the player who has tagged one in a game of tag.
    • 1987, Carolyn W. Field, Jaqueline Shachter Weiss, Values in selected children's books of fiction and fantasy Frances is the loser when she agrees to no "backsies" or refunds as she buys Thelma's plastic tea dishes with money saved for a china set.
    • {{quote-news}}
    • 2011, Jenna Katerin Moran, Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1, page 11: Then you will be in trouble because it will kill you to have it taken out again but it will betray your deepest inner truth to tell them No Backsies.
backslang etymology From back + slang.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A form of slang in which the spelling of words is reverse.
  2. (British) pig Latin.
backstabby Alternative forms: back-stabby
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal) characteristic of deceit and treachery
    • 2000, Don Aucoin, "Live! From Lexington, It's Rachel Dratch", Boston Globe, 18 February 2000: That would seem to be a recipe for constant tension but Dratch says that backstage at SNL is not a competitive backstabby kind of atmosphere.
Synonyms: backstabbing
backstop etymology back + stop
noun: {{wikipedia}} {{en-noun}}
  1. A device that prevents railroad car from rolling off a railroad track.
  2. (baseball) A wall or fence behind home plate.
  3. (baseball slang) A catcher; the position of catcher.
  4. (rounders) The player who stands immediately behind the striking base.
  5. (cricket, dated) The longstop.
  6. (cricket, dated) The wicket-keeper.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To serve as backstop for.
  2. (transitive) To bolster, support.
    • {{quote-news }}
backup Alternative forms: back-up etymology back + up pronunciation
  • /ˈbæk.ʌp/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A reserve or substitute. If the goalkeeper is injured, we have a backup.
  2. (computing) A copy of a file or record, stored separately from the original, that can be used to recover the original if it is destroy or damage. After the power failure, we had to restore the database from backup.
  3. An accumulation of material that halt the flow or movement of something. The blockage caused a backup in the plumbing.
  4. (law enforcement) reinforcements He's got a gun - you better send for backup.
Synonyms: (reserve): reserve, stand-in, spare, substitute, (computing: copy of a file or record):, (accumulation of material that halts flow): block, blockage
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Standby, reserve or extra. I am only a backup player.
  2. (computing) That is intended as a backup. Make a backup copy of that file.
Synonyms: (reserve) extra, reserve, spare, standby Back-up is an alternative spelling of backup. Both spellings are used as either a noun or an adjective. The verb back up is always spelled as two words and never with a hyphen.
back up
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (idiomatic, intransitive) To move backwards, especially for a vehicle to do so. exampleThat beeping sound indicates that the truck is backing up.
  2. (idiomatic, transitive) To move a vehicle backwards. exampleBack up the car a little, you're blocking the driveway.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill (novelist) , The Celebrity, 5 , “We expressed our readiness, and in ten minutes were in the station wagon, rolling rapidly down the long drive, for it was then after nine.…As we reached the lodge we heard the whistle, and we backed up against one side of the platform as the train pulled up at the other.”
  3. (idiomatic, intransitive) To undo one's action. exampleI couldn't see how to finish the project, so I backed up and tried it another way.
  4. (idiomatic, intransitive) To reconsider one's thought. exampleThis isn't working. Let's back up and think about it.
  5. (idiomatic, computing, transitive) To copy (data) as a security measure. exampleBack up your documents folder before applying the update.
  6. (idiomatic, transitive) To provide support or the promise of support. exampleYou should be careful. This guy is backed up by the local gang. exampleWhen he said I wasn't there, I told him I was, and my buddy backed me up.
  7. (idiomatic, intransitive, cricket) For the non-striker to take a few step down the pitch, in preparation to taking a run, just as the bowler bowl the ball.
  8. (idiomatic, intransitive, cricket) For a fielder to position himself behind the wicket (relative to a team-mate who is throw the ball at the wicket) so as to stop the ball, and prevent overthrow.
  9. (idiomatic, intransitive, of a blockage) To halt the flow or movement of something. exampleWhen I flushed the toilet, the plumbing backed up and burst.
backwards Alternative forms: backward etymology backward + s. See -s (Etymology 3) pronunciation
  • /ˈbæk.wə(ɹ)dz/
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Orient toward the back. The battleship had three backwards guns at the stern, in addition to the primary complement.
  2. Reversed. The backwards lettering on emergency vehicles makes it possible to read in the rear-view mirror.
  3. (derogatory) Behind current trends or technology. Modern medicine regards the use of leeches as a backwards practice.
  4. Clumsy, inept, or inefficient. He was a very backwards scholar, but he was a marvel on the football field.
  • In senses 3 and 4, and often in American English, backward is preferred.
Synonyms: (oriented toward the back), (reversed) mirror image, switched, back to front, (behind current trends or technology) crude, dated, obsolete, primitive, (clumsy, inept, or inefficient) awkward, fumbling, incompetent, poor
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. Toward the back. The cabinet topple over backwards. Life is lived forwards, but understood backwards.—Søren Kierkegaard
  2. In the opposite direction to usual. The clock did not work because the battery was inserted backwards.
  3. In a manner such that the back precedes the front. The tour guide walked backwards while droning on to the bored seniors.
  • In written American English, backward is more common.
  • Strictly speaking, backwards is an adverb and backward is an adjective in British English; in American English, the rule may be reversed. This follows the same usage for similar words ending in -ward/-wards and -way/-ways. See also -wise. It was a backward move vs He moved backwards
  • Also, even though an adverb may be used in adjectival combinations (eg a quickly moving car), only the -ward forms are commonly used in adjectival combinations, e.g.: A backward-facing statue. / A backward facing statue.
Synonyms: (toward the back) hindwards, rearward, retrograde, (in the opposite direction of usual) contrariwise, reversedly, (so that the back precedes the front) back to front, in reverse
  • drawbacks
backwoodsman etymology backwoods + man
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A person who is acclimated to living in a forest area that is far removed from civilization or modern conveniences.
  2. An uncivilized person.
  3. (informal, political) A Peer who is seldom present in the House of Lords of the United Kingdom Parliament, who may be encouraged to attend when a very important vote is expected.
backyard Alternative forms: back-yard, back yard pronunciation
  • (UK) /bækˈjɑː(ɹ)d/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A yard to the rear of a house or similar residence.
  2. (colloquial) A person's neighborhood, or an area nearby to a person's usual residence or place of work and where the person is likely to go.
  3. (colloquial) An area nearby to a country or other jurisidiction's legal boundaries, particularly an area in which the country feels it has an interest.
related terms:
  • front yard
Note that backyard is usually written as a single word, while front yard is always written as two words.
bacn etymology Coined at PodCamp Pittsburgh 2, 2007, modelled on spam (junk mail, or a meat product) and bacon.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (internet, informal) Non-spam email messages that have been signed up for, but which the recipient does not necessarily want or have time to read.
    • {{quote-book }}
    • {{quote-book }}
    • {{quote-book }}
    • {{quote-web }}
bacne etymology {{blend}} pronunciation
  • (US) /ˈbækni/
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) Acne on the back. Bacne seems to be suffered more by men than by women, though women do have outbreaks of acne on their backs as well. - Acne Resource Center The bacne regimen is identical to the regular regimen with the addition of an 8-10% glycolic acid (alpha hydroxy) lotion. -
bacon {{slim-wikipedia}} etymology From Middle English bacon, from xno bacon, bacun, from Old Low frk *bakō, from Proto-Germanic *bakô, *bakkô, from Proto-Indo-European *bhAg-. Cognate with Old High German bahho, bacho (compare Swiss German Bache, Bachen), osx baco, Dutch bake, Old English bæc. More at back. pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /ˈbeɪkən/
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Cure meat from the sides, belly{{,}} or back of a pig.
    • page 93, Seduced by Bacon, Joanna, Pruess, The Lyons Press, 2006, 1592288510, “They fried the fish with bacon and were astonished, for no fish had ever seemed so delicious before.”
    • {{quote-news}}
    • {{quote-news}}
  2. Thin slices of the above in long strips.
  3. A term of endearment. my sweet bacon
  4. A saucisse. {{rfquotek}}
  5. (slang, derogatory) The police. Run! It's the bacon!
Synonyms: (Cut of meat from a pig) ham, pork
related terms:
  • back
  • Finnish: pekoni
adjective: {{head}}
  1. (idiomatic, vulgar) having a fat, sleek face.
Synonyms: full-faced
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (idiomatic, slang, pejorative, possibly dated) Fat.
bacteria pronunciation
  • (US) /bækˈtɪɹ.i.ə/
  • (UK) /bækˈtɪəɹ.ɪə/
  • {{audio}}
etymology 1 From Dutch bacteria, plural of bacterium, from Ancient Greek βακτήριον 〈baktḗrion〉, neuter diminutive of βακτηρία 〈baktēría〉.
noun: {{head}}
  1. plural of bacterium
  2. (US) A type, species, or strain of bacterium
    •, 2nd ed., 8122412254, page 177 , “Anaerobic bacteria function in the absence of oxygen, where as aerobic bacteria require sunlight and also oxygen. Both these bacterias are capable of breaking down the organic matter … ”
  3. (US, proscribed) alternative form of bacterium
  4. (pejorative, slang) A derisive term for a lowlife or a slob (could be treated as plural or singular).
  • This is the plural form of the word. While it is often used as if it were singular (as a collective noun), this is considered nonstandard by some in the US and more elsewhere. See the usage examples under bacterium.
etymology 2 From Dutch bacteria, from Ancient Greek βακτηρία 〈baktēría〉.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (dated, medicine) An oval bacterium, as distinguished from a spherical coccus or rod-shaped bacillus
  • Arabetic
  • race-bait
bad {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • /bæd/
  • (Australia) /bæːd/
  • (New Zealand) /bɛd/
  • (Singapore) /bɛt/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 From Middle English bad, badde, of uncertain origin. Perhaps a shortening of Old English bæddel (for loss of -el compare Middle English muchel from Old English myċel, and Middle English wenchel from Old English wenċel), from bædan, from Proto-Germanic *bad- (compare Old High German pad), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰoidʰ- (compare Welsh baedd, Latin foedus, foedō). Alternatively, a loan from Old Norse into Middle English, compare Norwegian bad (neuter) "effort, trouble, fear", East Danish bad (neuter) "damage, destruction, fight", from the Proto-Germanic noun *bada- (Kroonen, Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic, s. v. *badōjan-).
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Not good; unfavorable; negative.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, 10 , [ The Mirror and the Lamp] , “He looked round the poor room, at the distempered walls, and the bad engravings in meretricious frames, the crinkly paper and wax flowers on the chiffonier; and he thought of a room like Father Bryan's, with panelling, with cut glass, with tulips in silver pots, such a room as he had hoped to have for his own.”
    exampleYou have bad credit.
  2. Not suitable or fitting. exampleDo you think it is a bad idea to confront him directly?
  3. Seemingly non-appropriate, in manners, etc.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, 7 , [ Mr. Pratt's Patients] , ““[…] if you call my duds a ‘livery’ again there'll be trouble. It's bad enough to go around togged out like a life saver on a drill day, but I can stand that 'cause I'm paid for it. What I won't stand is to have them togs called a livery. […]””
    exampleIt is bad manners to talk with your mouth full.
  4. Unhealthy. Lard is bad for you. Smoking is bad for you, too. Grapes are bad for dogs but not for humans.
  5. Tricky; stressful; unpleasant. exampleDivorce is usually a bad experience for everybody involved.
  6. Evil; wicked. exampleBe careful. There are bad people in the world.
  7. Faulty; not functional. exampleI had a bad headlight.
  8. (of food) Spoiled, rotten, overripe. exampleThese apples have gone bad.
  9. (of breath) Malodorous, foul. exampleBad breath is not pleasant for anyone.
  10. (informal) Bold and daring.
  11. (of a, need or want) Severe, urgent. exampleHe is in bad need of a haircut.
The comparative badder and superlative baddest are nonstandard. Synonyms: (not good) unfavorable, negative, (non-appropriate, in manners, etc.), (not suitable or fitting), (tricky; stressful; unpleasant), (evil, wicked) wicked, evil, vile, vicious, (not functional) faulty, (of food) rotten, (of breath) malodorous, foul, (bold, daring) badass, (of a need or want) severe, urgent, dire, false, spurious, disgusting, wrong, corrupt, ill, base, abandoned, vicious, abominable, detestable, deficient, inferior, lousy, off, poor, punk, substandard, unacceptable, ungodly, unsatisfactory, wanting, wretched, See also
antonyms: {{rel-top}}
  • good
  • right
  • worthy
  • competent
  • benevolent
  • true
  • honest
  • just
  • sincere
  • beneficial
  • advantageous
  • profitable
  • virtuous
  • reputable
  • upright
  • propitious
  • choice
  • excellent
  • exceptional
  • first-class
  • first-rate
  • premium
  • prime
  • superior
  • adequate
  • sufficient
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (now colloquial) Badly. I didn't do too bad in the last exam.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) error, mistake Sorry, my bad!
  1. (countable, uncountable, economics) An item (or kind of item) of merchandise with negative value; an unwanted good.
etymology 2 Probably identical to bad, etymology 1, above, especially in the sense "bold, daring".
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. {{rfm-sense}} (slang) Fantastic. You is {{SIC}} bad, man! Also Bek is "bad" at Madden.
etymology 3 From Middle English bad, from Old English bæd, first and third-person singular indicative past tense of biddan.
verb: {{head}}
  1. (archaic) form of Alternative past tense. See bade.
etymology 4 unknown
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (British, dialect, transitive) To shell (a walnut).
    • 1876, The Gloucester Journal, Oct. 7, 1876, reported in William John Thomas, Doran (John), Henry Frederick Turle, Joseph Knight, Vernon Horace Rendall, Florence Hayllar, Notes and Queries, page 346 A curious specimen of Gloucestershire dialect c»me out in an assault case heard by the Gloucester court magistrates on Saturday. One of the witnesses, speaking of what a girl was doing at the time the assault took place, said she was ' badding ' walnuts in a pigstye. The word is peculiarly provincial : to ' bad ' walnuts is to strip away the husk. The walnut, too, is often called » 'bannut,' and hence the old Gloucestershire phrase, ' Come an' bad the bannuts.'
  • {{rank}}
  • ABD ADB, BDA, dab, DAB, dba, DBA, D.B.A.
bada bing
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. (slang) alternative form of bada bing bada boom
bada boom
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. (slang) alternative form of bada bing bada boom
badass Alternative forms: bad-ass etymology bad + ass pronunciation
  • /ˈbædæs/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, slang) A mean or belligerent person; a person with extreme attitudes, behavior or appearance. Don't mess with that guy, he's a real badass.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (US, slang) Having extreme appearance, attitude, or behavior that is considered admirable. That tough guy looks badass.
  • See cool (senses 3-7).
  • Compare wicked (sense 2)
  • See bad (etymology 2)
Synonyms: (admirable) cool, awesome
badassery pronunciation
  • (US) /bædˈæsəɹi/
etymology badass + ery
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) The behaviour or quality of a badass.
    • 2010, Richard K. Morgan, The Steel Remains, link Think The Dying Earth with added barbarian badassery — this is some very superior genre-blending.
    • 2010, Daniel Nayeri, Another Pan, page 179 ...he could always remember the badassery it took to survive the labyrinth.
    • 2012, Danny Vittore, Back the Fuck Up!: Wild Animals That Don't Give a Shit!, page 77 ...the crowning moment of badassery
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, rare) the state or characteristics of being bad-ass
bad boy etymology {{rfe}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Used other than as an idiom: bad, boy
  2. A man whose rebellious nature makes him attractive to women.
  3. {{rft-sense}} (slang) A male criminal.
  4. (figuratively, slang) An undesirable task. Let's get this bad boy done!
  5. (slang) A powerful or impressive product or item.
    • {{quote-magazine }}
    • {{quote-journal }}
    • {{quote-journal }}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (UK, informal) badminton
baddie Alternative forms: baddy pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology corruption of bad + guy
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A person of bad character in a work of fiction; in a western he will typically wear a black hat.
Synonyms: villain, antagonist, evil-doer
  • goodie
  • abided
badger {{was wotd}} {{slim-wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • (RP) /ˈbædʒə/
  • (GenAm) /ˈbædʒɚ/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 From Middle English bageard, from bage, from xno bage, referring to the animal's badge-like white blaze.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A common name for any mammal of three subfamilies, which belong to the family Mustelidae: Melinae (Eurasian badgers), Mellivorinae (ratel or honey badger), and {{taxlink}} (American badger).
  2. A native or resident of the American state, Wisconsin.
  3. (obsolete) A brush made of badger hair.
  4. (in the plural, obsolete, vulgar, cant) A crew of desperate villain who robbed near rivers, into which they threw the bodies of those they murdered.
Synonyms: (native or resident of Wisconsin) Wisconsinite
  • (mammal) cete, colony
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. to pester, to annoy persistently. He kept badgering her about her bad habits.
  2. (British, informal) To pass gas; to fart.
Synonyms: (to fart)
etymology 2 unknown (Possibly from "bagger". "Baggier" is cited by the OED in 1467-8)
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (obsolete) An itinerant licensed dealer in commodities used for food; a hawker; a huckster; -- formerly applied especially to one who bought grain in one place and sold it in another.
  • barged, garbed
bad girl {{rft}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A female criminal.
  2. The female version of a bad boy. A woman whose rebellious nature makes her attractive to men.
related terms:
  • bad boy
bad guy
noun: {{wikipedia}} {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) a villain
Synonyms: See
  • good guy
related terms:
  • bad boy
  • bad girl
bad luck
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (uncountable) Misfortune.
    • {{quote-news }}
Synonyms: hard luck, tough luck
  • good luck
badly packed kebab etymology From a likening of the appearance of the external female genitalia to that of a messy doner kebab (with the pita representing the labia majora and the meat representing the labia minora).
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (UK, slang, vulgar) The vulva, especially one with wrinkly, protruding labia.
    • 2005, 28 August, PMD [username], Re: Has anybody seen,!original/,, “> What was the url for that webpage you found, with the naked woman called<br />> Tinkerbell? She was big!<br />><br />><br /><br />LOL, she had a badly packed kebab too. I can't find it, she was on blueyonder though if anyone wants to google for it.”
    • 2006, 12 January, bobby [username], Re: Can I just make a public service announcement here,!original/,, “Babs? Urgh no! Mebee{{sic}} 25 years ago, but she'd have a 'badly packed kebab' by now!”
    • 2011, John Donoghue, Police, Crime & 999: The True Story of a Front Line Officer, Matador (2011), ISBN 9781848766853, page 107: In brief, with the expletives deleted (which also served to make the story considerably shorter), it involved various quantities of cider, alcho-pops and shots, going to the kebab shop, getting said kebab, walking home, stopping to answer the call of nature on the grass and falling asleep mid-pee. Her badly packed kebab had been on view for all to see.
    • {{seemoreCites}}
Synonyms: See also .
badmouth etymology Calque from mnk.Smitherman, Geneva (1977), Talkin and Testifyin: The Language of Black America, Boston: Houghton Mifflin pronunciation
  • /ˈbæd.maʊθ/
Alternative forms: bad-mouth
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (informal) To criticize or malign, especially unfairly or spite.
    • 1987 August 30, , Theater: England's Endless Love Affair with Farce, New York Times (retrieved 22 July 2013): . . . those cross-Atlantic aficionados who persistently idolize the British theater and bad-mouth Broadway.
badness etymology bad + ness pronunciation
  • /ˈbæd.nəs/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The quality of being bad.
Synonyms: See
bad trip {{wikipedia}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, drug use) A psychedelic crisis, the undesirable dysphoric psychological effects during narcotic drug use, most often fear, paranoia, and especially horrifying hallucinations
Synonyms: psychedelic crisis
  • euphoria
ba-dum ching Alternative forms: ba dum tss etymology Imitating a drum roll and cymbal crash played as a comic sting.
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. (humorous) {{non-gloss}}
    • 2005, Julie Kenner, Night Moves She gave it a little spin as it came off her right arm, then sent it flying. It landed on his head with aplomb, and she laughed. "Ba-dum, ching!"
    • 2006, Mark Mulvey, Where There's a Will, There's Away... Messages Boy, it looks like the average Viagra consumer has some stiff competition. (ba-dum ching!)
    • 2009, Michael Fontaine, Funny Words in Plautine Comedy ...a painfully obvious joke that, in modern performance, is punctuated by a ba-dum ching! drum roll and cymbal crash to coincide with the collective groan of the audience.
bad word
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (idiomatic) A vulgar word.
Synonyms: curse, curse word, cuss, dirty word, expletive, four-letter word, oath, swear word
bae etymology From babe or baby by shortening. pronunciation
  • /beɪ/, {{enPR}}
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) Darling term of endearment.
    • 2013, "Jack", "Jack & Jill: On High School Relationships", The Torch (St. John's University), Volume 91, Issue 5, 28 August 2013, page 9: And if you actually want to see your bae – you know, like in person – You{{sic}} better set aside some of your refund check to pay for the $26 train ticket to a school that lingers outside of the tri-state area.
    • 2014, Laken Howard, "Pillow Talk: Let's talk about V-day", The Current (entertainment insert of The Daily Northwestern, Northwestern University), 13 February 2014, page 3: Your newsfeed gets clogged with statuses like “Happy Valentine’s Day to my bae! I’ve loved you so much ever since we first met three months, eight days, 11 hours and 27 minutes ago!”
    • 2014, "How Steamy Is Your PDA?", Seventeen, June/July 2014, page 98: A fresh pic of you and your bae on vacay together? Who wouldn't “like” that?!?
    • {{seemoreCites}}
Synonyms: babe, baby, darling, dear, love, sweetheart
related terms:
  • babe, baby
  • abe, Abe, Bea, EAB, BEA
baffed out Alternative forms: baffed-out
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (chiefly, Canada, informal) Worn out, exhausted, in dilapidated condition.
    • 2005, Lisa Lynne Moore, Open, Anansi (Canada), ISBN 9780887846847, pp. 94-95: My feet are wet. The Velcro gives when I walk and I have to bend over, with Pete in my arms, in the mall or near the parking meter outside the supermarket, to secure the flap, and it gives again. The boots are baffed out.
    • 2008, Hans Werner, "From sublime icon to camp spectacle" (review of Inventing Niagara: Beauty, Power and Lies by Ginger Strand), Toronto Star (Canada), 29 June (retrieved 3 May 2009): A baffed-out old schooner called The Michigan was being sent over the cataract.
    • 2009, William Weatherstone, "How I Got Started," (Canada): [H]e had spent all day in the tavern, with the boys. By the time he got home and ready for work, he was pretty baffed out.
bafflectomy etymology baffle + ectomy
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) The removal of baffles from stock motorcycle exhaust canister.
verb: {{head}}
  1. en-third-person singular of baff
noun: {{en-plural noun}}
  1. (slang, Nigeria) fashionable clothes
bag {{wikipedia}} {{commons}} etymology From Middle English bagge, from Old Norse baggi, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰak- (compare Welsh baich, Ancient Greek βάσταγμα 〈bástagma〉). pronunciation
  • /bæɡ/
  • (North American also) /beɪɡ/, /bɛɡ/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A flexible container made of cloth, paper, plastic, etc.
  2. (informal) A handbag
  3. A suitcase.
  4. A schoolbag, especially a backpack.
  5. One’s preference. exampleAcid House is not my bag: I prefer the more traditional styles of music.
  6. (derogatory) An ugly woman.
  7. (baseball) The cloth-covered pillow used for first, second, and third base. exampleThe grounder hit the bag and bounced over the fielder’s head.
  8. (baseball) First, second, or third base. exampleHe headed back to the bag.
  9. (preceded by "the") A breathalyzer, so named because it formerly had a plastic bag over the end to measure a set amount of breath.
  10. (mathematics) A collection of objects, disregarding order, but (unlike a set) in which elements may be repeated. exampleIf one has a bag of three apples and the letter 'a' is taken to denote 'apple', then such bag could be represented symbolically as {a,a,a}. Note that in an ordinary context, when talking about a bag of apples, one does not care about identifying the individual apples, although one might be interested in distinguishing apples by species, for example, letting 'r' denote 'red apple' and 'g' denote 'green apple', then a bag of three red apples and two green apples could be denoted as {r,r,r,g,g}.
  11. A sac in animal bodies, containing some fluid or other substance. examplethe bag of poison in the mouth of some serpents examplethe bag of a cow
  12. A sort of silken purse formerly tied about men's hair behind, by way of ornament.
  13. The quantity of game bagged in a hunt.
  14. (slang, vulgar) A scrotum.
  15. (UK) A unit of measure of cement equal to 94 pounds.
Synonyms: (flexible container) poke (obsolete), sack, tote, (handbag) handbag, purse {{italbrac}}, (preference) cup of tea, thing, (ugly woman) dog, hag, (in mathematics) multiset
  • (flexible container) bindle
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To put into a bag.
  2. (informal) To catch or kill, especially when fishing or hunting. exampleWe bagged three deer yesterday.
  3. To gain possession of something, or to make first claim on something.
  4. (transitive) To furnish or load with a bag.
    • Dryden examplea bee bagged with his honeyed venom
  5. (slang, African American Vernacular) To bring a woman one met on the street with one.
  6. (slang, African American Vernacular) To laugh uncontrollably.
  7. (Australia, slang) To criticise sarcastically.
  8. (medicine) To provide artificial ventilation with a bag valve mask (BVM) resuscitator.
  9. (obsolete, intransitive) To swell or hang down like a full bag. exampleThe skin bags from containing morbid matter. exampleThe brisk wind bagged the sails.
  10. To hang like an empty bag. exampleHis trousers bag at the knees.
  11. (obsolete, intransitive) To swell with arrogance. {{rfquotek}}
  12. (obsolete, intransitive) To become pregnant. {{rfquotek}}
  • AGB
  • BGA
  • gab
  • GBA
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A person who carries someone's bags
  2. (informal) A relatively unimportant assistant or spokesman of a more important person
    • 2007, Daily Telegraph, Issue 47,344 page B8, August 24 Ryanair bag-carrier Peter Sherrard ranted Diary entry edited by Sophie Brodie
    • 2007, Private Eye Issue 1191 30th August 2007 (U.K Prime Minister) Gordon Brown's former bag-carrier Neal Lawson is in a state of ecstacy
  • carrier bag
bagel Alternative forms: beigel (UK) etymology From Yiddish בייגל 〈byygl〉, ultimately from Old High German bouc, boug-, from Old High German boug, from Proto-Germanic *baug- plus Proto-Germanic *-il; compare obsolete English bee, Middle English bege, beh, Old English bēag, bēah, ofs bāg, osx bōg, gml bōg, Old Norse baugr, all from Proto-Germanic *baugaz; also compare dialectal ag Beugel, Beigel. See also beag. pronunciation
  • /ˈbeɪɡəl/, [ˈbeɪɡɫ̩]
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A toroidal bread roll that is boil before it is bake.
  2. (tennis, slang) A score of 6-0 in a set (after the shape of a bagel, which looks like a zero).
    • {{quote-news}}
  3. (slang, among South African Jews) An overly materialistic and excessively groomed young man.
  • gable
  • gleba
baggage etymology From Middle English bagage, from Old French bagage, from bague, from Germanic (compare bag). pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /ˈbæɡɪdʒ/
    • {{hyphenation}}
    • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (usually, uncountable) Luggage; traveling equipment Please put your baggage in the trunk.
  2. (uncountable, informal) Factors, especially psychological ones, which interfere with a person's ability to function effectively.. He's got a lot of emotional baggage.
    • 1846, Henry Francis Cary, Lives of the English Poets, , , , “…How much shall I honour one, who has a stronger propensity to poetry, and has got a greater name in it, if he performs his promise to me of putting away these idle baggages after his sacred espousal. ”
  3. (obsolete, countable, pejorative) A woman
    • 1828, Various, The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 10, No. 288, , , , “Betty and Molly (they were soft-hearted baggages) felt for their master--pitied their poor master! ”
    • 1897, Charles Whibley, A Book of Scoundrels, , , , “But he had a roving eye and a joyous temperament; and though he loved me better than any of the baggages to whom he paid court, he would not visit me so often as he should. ”
    • 1910, Gertrude Hall, Chantecler, , , , “But your perverse attempts to wring blushes from little baggages in convenient corners outrage my love of Love! ”
  4. (military, countable and uncountable) An army's portable equipment; its baggage train.
    • 1865, Thomas Carlyle, History of Friedrich II of Prussia, , , , “Friedrich decides to go down the River; he himself to Lowen, perhaps near twenty miles farther down, but where there is a Bridge and Highway leading over; Prince Leopold, with the heavier divisions and baggages, to Michelau, some miles nearer, and there to build his Pontoons and cross. ”
    • 2007, Norman Davies, No Simple Victory: World War II in Europe, 1939–1945, New York: Penguin, p 305: In Poland, for example, the unknown Bolesław Bierut, who appeared in 1944 in the baggage of the Red Army, and who played a prominent role as a ‘non-party figure’ in the Lublin Committee, turned out to be a Soviet employee formerly working for the Comintern.
Synonyms: (luggage) luggage, gear, stuff, bag
bagholder {{wikipedia}} etymology {{blend}}, referring to the phrase "leave someone holding the bag".
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, finance, slang) A shareholder left holding share of worthless stock.
baglady Alternative forms: bag lady, bag-lady
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, pejorative) A homeless woman; an indigent.
bag lady Alternative forms: baglady
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A homeless woman who carries her possession with her in bags.
bagman {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: bag man
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A person who collect, transport, or distribute illicit money, especially for the purpose of bribery, extortion, or the making of other improper payment.
    • 2006, James Graff, "In France, a Vintage Chirac Scandal is Uncorked," Time, 15 Sep., The accused are only the latest in a string of alleged bagmen, vote-riggers and ward-heelers charged with wrongdoing.
  2. Assistant to a police detective, most commonly in the British police force.
  • man-bag, manbag
bag of antlers etymology Used first noted in the late 1990's by physicians and news services to describe several actresses and models.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, derogatory) an emaciated woman, frequently a model or actress, who looks so underweight that her bones and joints stretch out her skin similar to how a burlap sack filled with deer or elk antlers would.
bag of nerves
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A very nervous person.
bag out pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (slang, Australia) to criticise someone I don't mean to bag you out, but that top is really not flattering on you.
verb: {{head}}
  1. (UK, Ireland, informal, childish) To declare or stake one's claim on an object or concept. I bagsie the front seat in the car! Bagsie being policeman!
  • gabies
bah pronunciation
  • (UK) /bæ/, /bɑː/
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}} (in some pronunciations)
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. (sometimes, humorous) Expressing contempt, disgust, or bad temper. "My website is much better than yours!" ― "Let me check... bah!!"
Synonyms: See
  • ABH, AHB, BHA, Hab, Hab., hab, HBA
bah humbug etymology See humbug. Originally spoken by the miser Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens' story A Christmas Carol (1843).
interjection: {{en-intj}}
  1. (humorous) Expressing a dislike of Christmas and its celebrations and festivities.
bail {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • /beɪ̯l/, [ˈbeɪ̯(ə)ɫ], [beə̯ɫ]
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}}
etymology 1 From the Old French verb bailler and noun bail, from Latin bāiulāre, present active infinitive of bāiulō.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Security, usually a sum of money, exchange for the release of an arrest person as a guarantee of that person's appearance for trial.
    • The American System of Criminal Justice, International Edition, page 338, George Cole, Christopher Smith, 2009, “The Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution forbids excessive bail, and state bail laws are usually designed to prevent discrimination in setting bail.”
    • Criminology, Larry J. Siegel, 2011, “The purpose of bail is to ensure the return of the accused at subsequent proceedings. If the accused is unable to make bail, he or she is detained in jail.”, page 658
  2. (legal, UK) Release from imprisonment on payment of such money.
  3. (legal, UK) The person providing such payment.
  4. A bucket or scoop used for removing water from a boat etc.
    • Captain Cook The bail of a canoe … made of a human skull.
  5. (obsolete) Custody; keeping.
    • Spenser Silly Faunus now within their bail.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To secure the release of an arrest person by providing bail.
    • {{quote-news}}
  2. (legal) To release a person under such guarantee.
  3. (legal) To hand over personal property to be held temporarily by another as a bailment. to bail cloth to a tailor to be made into a garment; to bail goods to a carrier
  4. (nautical, transitive) To remove (water) from a boat by scooping it out. to bail water out of a boat
    • Capt. J. Smith buckets … to bail out the water
  5. (nautical, transitive) To remove water from (a boat) by scooping it out. to bail a boat
    • R. H. Dana, Jr. By the help of a small bucket and our hats we bailed her out.
  6. To set free; to deliver; to release.
    • Spenser Ne none there was to rescue her, ne none to bail.
etymology 2 From a shortening of bail out, which from above.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (slang) To exit quickly. With his engine in flames, the pilot had no choice but to bail.
    • 2010 September, Jeannette Cooperman, "Bringing It Home", , ISSN 1090-5723, volume 16, issue 9, page 62: The Teacher Home Visit Program takes a huge commitment—time, energy, patience, diplomacy. Quite a few schools… have tried it and bailed.
  2. (informal) To fail to meet a commitment.
    • Dark homecoming, Eric Lustbader, 1997, “"No one bails on Bennie Milagros. No one, comprende? I'm gonna hold you to that midnight run — "”
    • Hadrian's walls, Robert Draper, 1999, “And I ain't got no help. Goddamn Fitch bails on me, scrambles over to Finance.”
    • The Shimmering Blond Sister, page 119, David Handler, 2010, “A guy who bails on his young wife and son the way he did. Leaving us to fend for ourselves.”
    • Whisper Kiss, Deborah Cooke, 2010, “"We'll just tell Peter that you got called back to work. He bails on vacations all the time for that reason."”
etymology 3 From Middle English beyl, from Old Norse beygla.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A hoop, ring or handle (especially of a kettle or bucket).
    • 2010, John M. Findley, Just Lucky, [http//|bails%22+cow+milk&hl=en&ei=zmvGTqKPIuzDmQWV1oUn&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22bail|bails%22%20cow%20milk&f=false page 78], I reached across beneath the cow to attach a metal bail to each end of the strap so that the bail hung about 5 inches below the cow's belly.…While stroking and talking to the cow, I reached under and suspended the machine on the bail beneath the cow, with its four suction cups dangling to one side.
  2. A stall for a cow (or other animal) (usually tethered with a semi-circular hoop).
    • 1953, British Institute of Management, Centre for Farm Management, Farm Management Association, Farm Managememt, 1960, John Wiley, [http//|bails%22+cow+milk&hl=en&ei=zmvGTqKPIuzDmQWV1oUn&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22bail|bails%22%20cow%20milk&f=false page 160], More recently, the fixed bail, sometimes called the ‘milking parlour’, with either covered or open yards, has had a certain vogue and some very enthusiastic claims have been made for this method of housing.
    • 2011, Edith H. Whetham, Joan Thirsk, The Agrarian History of England and Wales, Volume 8: Volumes 1914-1939, [http//|bails%22+cow+milk&hl=en&ei=zmvGTqKPIuzDmQWV1oUn&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false page 191], Ten men thus sufficed for the milking of three hundred cows in five bails, instead of the thirty men who would normally have been employed by conventional methods.
  3. A hinged bar as a restraint for animals, or on a typewriter.
  4. (chiefly, Australia and New Zealand) A frame to restrain a cow during milking or feeding.
    • 2011, Bob Ellis, Hush Now, Don't Cry, [http//|bails%22+cow+milk&hl=en&ei=5FzGTtXSIO_xmAWTmvwf&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22bail|bails%22%20cow%20milk&f=false page 153], But until he had poured enough milk into the vat above the separator, I drove unmilked cows into the bail where he had previously milked and released one. He moved from one bail to the other to milk the next one I had readied. I drove each cow into the empty bail, chained her in, roped the outer hind leg then washed and massaged the udder and teats.
  5. A hoop, ring, or other object used to connect a pendant to a necklace.
  6. (cricket) One of the two wooden crosspiece that rest on top of the stump to form a wicket.
  7. (furniture) Normally curved handle suspended between sockets as a drawer pull. This may also be on a kettle or pail, as the wire bail handle shown in the drawing.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To secure the head of a cow during milking.
etymology 4 From French baillier.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (rare) To confine.
  2. (Australia, New Zealand) To secure (a cow) by placing its head in a bail for milking.
  3. (Australia, New Zealand) To keep (a traveller) detained in order to rob them; to corner (a wild animal); loosely, to detain, hold up. (Usually with up.)
    • 2006, Clive James, North Face of Soho, Picador 2007, p. 128: The transition over the rooftop would have been quicker if Sellers had not been bailed up by a particularly hostile spiritual presence speaking Swedish.
  • Albi
  • Bali
bail bandit
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A criminal who commit further crime while release on bail.
bail out Alternative forms: bale out
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To secure the release of an arrested person by providing bail money.
  2. (transitive, nautical) To remove water from a boat by scoop it out.
  3. (transitive, idiomatic) To rescue, especially financially. Once again, the industry got itself in trouble and government had to bail it out.
    • 2012, August 1. Owen Gibson in Guardian Unlimited, London 2012: rowers Glover and Stanning win Team GB's first gold medal Stanning, who was commissioned from Sandhurst in 2008 and has served in Aghanistan, is not the first solider to bail out the organisers at these Games but will be among the most celebrated.
  4. (intransitive, with of) To exit an aircraft while in flight.
    • 2004, , Character: Profiles in Presidential Courage Holmes bailed out of his fighter and parachuted onto an apartment house.
  5. (intransitive, idiomatic, slang, with of) To leave (or not attend at all) a place or a situation, especially quickly or when the situation has become undesirable. I'm going to bail out of class today.
  6. (intransitive, idiomatic, colloquial, with of) To sell all or part of one's holdings in stocks, real estate, a business, etc. I'm going to bail out of stocks and buy gold instead.
  7. (intransitive, with of) To make a unscheduled voluntary termination of an underwater dive, usually implying the use of an .
  • obitual, tabouli
bairnish Alternative forms: barnish etymology From Middle English *bernis, *barnisch, from Old English *bearnisc and Old Norse bernskr, from Proto-Germanic *barniskaz, equivalent to bairn + ish. Cognate with Gothic trbarnisks.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (UK dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) Having the manners of a child; childish; silly.
related terms:
  • bairnlike
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Agent noun of bait; one who baits, as with a fishhook.
    • 1853, Lorenzo Sabine, Thomas Corwin, Report on the Principal Fisheries of the American Seas, p. 183: The baiter stands amidships, with the bait-box outside the rail: with a tin pint nailed to a long handle he begins throwing out bait, while every man stands to his berth.
    • 1999, , The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea, p. 52: The hook is easily big enough to pass through a man's hand, and if it catches some part of the baiter's body or clothing, he goes over the side with it.
    • 2005, Susan R. Playfair, Vanishing Species: Saving the Fish, Sacrificing the Fisherman, p. 65: When baiting the hooks, the baiter also straightens any bent hooks, replaces worn or damaged ganglions or hooks, and untangles snarls in the line
  2. (Internet, slang) A troll who deliberately posts aggravating messages on a message board to elicit responses.
  • barite
  • terbia
  • tiebar
bajillion {{wikipedia}} etymology See + illion
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, hyperbole) An unspecified large number (of).
Synonyms: See also .
bake etymology From Middle English baken, from Old English bacan, from Proto-Germanic *bakaną, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰōg-. Cognate with Western Frisian bakke, Dutch bakken, Low German backen, German backen, Danish bage, Swedish baka, Ancient Greek φώγω 〈phṓgō〉, Persian پختن 〈pkẖtn〉. pronunciation
  • /beɪk/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive or intransitive) To cook (something) in an oven. I baked a delicious cherry pie. She's been baking all day to prepare for the dinner.
  2. (transitive) To dry by heat.
  3. (intransitive) To prepare food by baking it.
  4. (intransitive) To be baked to heating or drying. The clay baked in the sun.
  5. (intransitive, figuratively) To be hot. It is baking in the greenhouse. I'm baking after that workout in the gym.
  6. (intransitive, slang) To smoke marijuana.
  7. To harden by cold.
    • William Shakespeare The earth … is baked with frost.
    • Edmund Spenser They bake their sides upon the cold, hard stone.
  8. (computer graphics, transitive) To fix (lighting, reflection, etc.) as part of the texture of an object to improve render performance.
In the dialects of northern England, the simple past book and past participle baken are sometimes encountered. Synonyms: See also
related terms:
  • roast
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (UK, NZ) Any of various baked dishes resembling casserole.
    • 2009, Rosalind Peters, Kate Pankhurst, Clive Boursnell, Midnight Feast Magic: Sleepover Fun and Food If you happen to have small, heat-proof glass or ceramic pots in your kitchen (known as ramekins) then you can make this very easy pasta bake in fun-size, individual portions.
  2. The act of cooking food by baking.
  • beak
baked potato {{wikipedia}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A potato that has been bake so as to be edible.
Synonyms: jacket potato, potato in its jacket
bakgat etymology From Afrikaans bak + gat.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (South African English, slang) Great, good, fine, excellent. "Your car was pinking and I fixed it." "Bakgat."
It is usually a positive response to a statement made by somebody else.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, offensive, derogatory) A Sunni.
Bakrism {{wikipedia}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, offensive, derogatory) Sunni Islam
Balaam {{wikipedia}} etymology The journalism sense is an allusion to the miracle of Balaam's ass speaking; see talk out one's ass.
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. A diviner in the Torah.
    • {{RQ:Authorized Version}}: And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, archaic, journalism) A paragraph describing something wonderful, used to fill out a newspaper column.
Balaam box
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, archaic, journalism) A receptacle for rejected articles.
Synonyms: Balaam basket
Balaamite etymology From Balaam + ite.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (rare) Of or pertaining to (a Biblical figure).
  2. (rare, Christian, pejorative) Resembling Balaam, as described in 2:14.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (rare, Christian, pejorative) A Balaamite person.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (rare, literary or humorous) To stammer.
baldie Alternative forms: baldy
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (chiefly, derogatory) Somebody who is bald.
Synonyms: baldhead, baldpate, slaphead
  • bailed
  • diable
baldist etymology bald + ist
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (humorous) One who discriminates against bald or balding people.
    • 1991 Larry David, Bob Shaw & Don McEnery, "The Tape," Seinfeld, Season 3, Episode 8 (first aired 13 November, 1991), spoken by Jerry Seinfeld (played by Jerry Seinfeld) "Elaine, have you ever gone out with a bald man?" / "No." / "You know what that makes you? A baldist."
    • 1993 Theatre record, Volume 13, Issues 10-19, p747 We must speak only of the Follicley{{SIC}} Challenged to avoid being branded a baldist
    • 2003 David Langford & John Grant, Earthdoom!, p128 The absence of an anti-baldist organisation also did not concern him; he had a full head of very long thick hair which was normally tied back in a horse's tail.
bald patch
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. An area of baldness on a partially bald head. The vain man grew his remaining hair long and twirled it in a spiral to try to cover his growing bald patch, which looked ridiculous when ever it unspiralled, which was always.
baldy Alternative forms: baldie pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈbɔːl.di/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) Someone who is bald.
Synonyms: baldhead, baldpate, chrome dome, slaphead
  • badly
Balkanization {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: Balkanisation etymology The term is a reference to the conflicts the Balkan peninsula experienced in the 20th century. pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˌbɔːl.kən.aɪˈzeɪ.ʃən/
  • (US) /ˌbɑl.kən.aɪˈzeɪ.ʃən/
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (historical, chiefly, political science) A geopolitical term to describe the fragment of a region into several small states that are often hostile or non-cooperative with each other.
  2. (informal) Any disintegration process, such as that of the Internet being divided into separate enclaves.
ball {{wikipedia}} {{commons}} pronunciation
  • (UK) /bɔːl/
  • (US) /bɔl/
  • (cot-caught) /bɑl/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}}
etymology 1 From Middle English bal, ball, balle, from Old English *beall, *bealla or Old Norse bǫllr (whence the Icelandic böllur), both from Proto-Germanic *balluz, *ballô, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰoln-, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰel-. Cognate with osx ball, Dutch bal, Old High German bal, ballo (German Ball; Ballen). Related forms in Romance are borrowings from Germanic. See also balloon, bale.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A solid or hollow sphere, or part thereof. examplea ball of spittle; &nbsp; a fecal ball
    1. A quantity of string, thread, etc., wound into a spherical shape. examplea ball of wool; &nbsp; a ball of twine
    2. (ballistics) A solid, spherical nonexplosive missile for a cannon, etc.
      1. A jacket non-expand bullet, typically of military origin.
    3. A roundish protuberant portion of some part of the body. examplethe ball of the thumb; &nbsp; the ball of the foot
    4. (anatomy) The front of the bottom of the foot, just behind the toes.
    5. The globe; the earthly sphere.
      • Joseph Addison (1672-1719) Move round the dark terrestrial ball.
      • 1717, Alexander Pope, "" Thus, if eternal Justice rules the ball, / Thus shall your wives, and thus your children fall;
    6. (mathematics) The set of points in a metric space lying within a given distance (the radius) of a given point; specifically, the homologue of the disk in a Euclidean space of any number of dimension.
    7. (mathematics, more generally) The set of points in a topological space lying within some open set containing a given point; the analogue of the disk in a Euclidean space.
    8. An object, generally spherical, used for playing games.
      • 1922, Michael Arlen, [ “Piracy”: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days], 3/19/2 , “Ivor had acquired more than a mile of fishing rights with the house ; he was not at all a good fisherman, but one must do something ; one generally, however, banged a ball with a squash-racket against a wall.”
      • {{quote-news}}
  2. (sport) The use of a round or ellipsoidal object.
    1. Any simple game involving a ball. exampleThe children were playing ball on the beach. exampleThe children were playing ball in the garden.
    2. (baseball) A pitch that falls outside of the strike zone.
    3. (pinball) An opportunity to launch the pinball into play. exampleIf you get to a million points, you get another ball.
    4. (cricket) A single delivery by the bowler, six of which make up an over.
    5. (soccer) A pass; a kick of the football towards a teammate.
      • {{quote-news}}
  3. (mildly, vulgar, slang, usually in plural) A testicle.
    1. Nonsense. exampleThat’s a load of balls, and you know it! — Synonyms — See
    2. Courage. exampleI doubt he’s got the balls to tell him off.
  4. (printing, historical) A leather-covered cushion, fastened to a handle called a ballstock; formerly used by printers for inking the form, then superseded by the roller.
  5. (farriery, historical) A large pill, a form in which medicine was given to horses; a bolus. {{rfquotek}}
Synonyms: sphere, globe, (testicle) See , (courage) chutzpah, guts, nerve
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To form or wind into a ball. to ball cotton
  2. (metalworking) To heat in a furnace and form into balls for rolling.
  3. (transitive, vulgar) To have sexual intercourse with.
  4. (ambitransitive) To gather balls which cling to the feet, as of damp snow or clay; to gather into balls. The horse balls; the snow balls.
  5. (slang, usually in present participle) To be hip or cool.
Synonyms: (vulgar) bonk, fuck, lay, screw, shag (British)
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. (Australian rules football) An appeal by the crowd for holding the ball against a tackled player. This is heard almost any time an opposition player is tackled, without regard to whether the rules about "prior opportunity" to dispose of the ball are fulfilled. 2007: A good tackle (and some bad ones) will bring a cry of "Ball!" from the crowd – a plea for a holding the ball free kick. — AFL Sydney Swans Rules Zone
etymology 2 Borrowing from French bal, from ll ballare.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A formal dance.
  2. (informal) A very enjoyable time. exampleI had a ball at that concert.
Synonyms: (very enjoyable time) blast, whale of a time
related terms:
  • ballad
  • ballade
balla Alternative forms: baller
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (nonstandard, slang) One who is a superior ball player (usually basketball). Wow! This guy's a serious balla; he's gonna go pro.
ballache Alternative forms: ball ache
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A nuisance
ball ache Alternative forms: ballache
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A nuisance
ball and chain
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A heavy iron ball attached to a prisoner's leg by a chain as a means of restraint.
    • 1990, (songwriter), (band), “”: Take away this ball and chain.
  2. (slang) One's wife, as a symbol of restraint.

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