PowerPoint Show by Andrew
Meaning:
To settle your differences with an adversary.
Origin:
The figurative expression “burying the hatchet” originated ...
Meaning:
Fall just short of a successful outcome and get
nothing for your efforts.
Origin:
The phrase, and its variant “ni...
Meaning:
Get to the point - leaving out unnecessary preamble.
Origin:
This phrase originated in the US film industry. Many...
Meaning:
Evade responsibility by passing it on to someone else.
Origin:
Poker became very popular in America during the 19...
Meaning:
A large, possibly exorbitant, amount of money.
Origin:
A likely explanation is that the expression derived from t...
Meaning:
Making a mistake or a false assumption in something you
are trying to achieve.
Origin:
The allusion is to hunting...
Meaning:
A squalid district inhabited by the impoverished and
destitute.
Origin:
This American expression came into being ...
Meaning:
An exclamation made when encouraging a child to get up
after a fall or when lifting a child into the air.
Origin:...
Meaning:
In difficulty, faced with a choice between two
unsatisfactory options.
Origin:
This phrase originated in the USA ...
Meaning:
A glamorous blonde.
Origin:
The phrase was first used to describe Jean Harlow. Her film
“Bombshell” was released ...
Meaning:
A film with characterization and storylines that appeal
especially to women.
Origin:
The use of “chick flick” to ...
Meaning:
A refusal to accept a proposition - equivalent to 'nothing
doing'.
Origin:
This is a US phrase and originated the...
Meaning:
A collection of things.
Origin:
The words kit and caboodle have rather similar meanings.
A kit - is set of object...
Meaning:
A double blow or setback.
Origin:
A whammy was originally an evil influence or hex. It originated
in the USA in t...
Meaning:
Accept the unpleasant consequences of one's actions.
Origin:
“Face the music” originated from the tradition of di...
Meaning:
Overly elaborate, swanky or pretentious - especially of
dress. Also applied to people who act in that manner.
Ori...
Meaning:
Very rich, possibly having become so by unfair means.
Origin:
This little phrase can't be explained without looki...
Meaning:
Lose self control.
Origin:
This is an American phrase and it alludes to the uncontrolled
way a loose axe-head fli...
Meaning:
A stuffy or foolishly old-fashioned person.
Origin:
There are several citations in American newspapers from the
e...
Meaning:
Mental institution.
Origin:
From the slang use of the word 'funny' to mean weird, unusual
and the description of ...
Meaning:
To go wrong, to become overly excited or deranged.
Origin:
Hay-wire is the light wire that was used in baling mac...
Meaning:
To be rapidly deteriorating - on course for disaster.
Origin:
Hay-wire is the light wire that was used in baling ...
Meaning:
Zealous and eager.
Origin:
This is an adaptation of the Chinese words kung - work, and ho -
together. The Anglici...
Meaning:
A temperamental outburst; a tantrum.
Origin:
The allusion in this expression may be to the hissing and
splutterin...
Meaning:
Remain cheerful in a difficult situation.
Origin:
This sounds like one of those rousing maxims that were drilled
...
Meaning:
An easy and pleasant life.
Origin:
The phrase originated in the Irish/American community of the
USA, in the early...
Meaning:
The heart of the matter; the basic essentials; the harsh
realities.
Origin:
It has also been suggested that 'nitt...
Meaning:
The real thing – not a substitute.
Origin:
McCoy is derived from Mackay, referring to Mackay,
Edinburgh, who made...
Meaning:
Exhausted.
Origin:
The actual derivation of this phrase is quite prosaic. 'Tucker' is a
colloquial New England wo...
AMERICAN SLANG
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AMERICAN SLANG

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AMERICAN SLANG

  1. 1. PowerPoint Show by Andrew
  2. 2. Meaning: To settle your differences with an adversary. Origin: The figurative expression “burying the hatchet” originated as an American Indian tradition. Hatchets were buried by the chiefs of tribes when they came to a peace agreement.
  3. 3. Meaning: Fall just short of a successful outcome and get nothing for your efforts. Origin: The phrase, and its variant “nice try, but no cigar”, are of US origin and date from the mid-20th century. Fairground stalls gave out cigars as prizes, and this is the most likely source, although there's no definitive evidence to prove that.
  4. 4. Meaning: Get to the point - leaving out unnecessary preamble. Origin: This phrase originated in the US film industry. Many early silent films ended in chase sequences preceded by obligatory romantic storylines. The first reference to it dates back to that era, just after the first “talkie” - The Jazz Singer, 1927.
  5. 5. Meaning: Evade responsibility by passing it on to someone else. Origin: Poker became very popular in America during the 19th century. Players were highly suspicious of cheating or any form of bias and there's considerable folklore depicting gunslingers in shoot-outs based on accusations of dirty dealing. In order to avoid unfairness the deal changed hands during sessions. The person who was next in line to deal would be given a marker. This was often a knife, and knives often had handles made of buck's horn - hence the marker becoming known as a buck. When the dealer's turn was done he 'passed the buck'.
  6. 6. Meaning: A large, possibly exorbitant, amount of money. Origin: A likely explanation is that the expression derived from two earlier phrases: “I would give my right arm for…” and “Even if it takes a leg”, which were both coined in the 19th century.
  7. 7. Meaning: Making a mistake or a false assumption in something you are trying to achieve. Origin: The allusion is to hunting dogs barking at the bottom of trees where they mistakenly think the raccoon is hiding. But the raccoon jumped to the next tree.
  8. 8. Meaning: A squalid district inhabited by the impoverished and destitute. Origin: This American expression came into being in the Great Depression. Residence on Skid Row evokes imagery of someone who was slipping down in society - 'on the skids'.
  9. 9. Meaning: An exclamation made when encouraging a child to get up after a fall or when lifting a child into the air. Origin: 'Ups-a-daisy' is clearly the direct source of 'whoops-a-daisy'. This has a different meaning and is an exclamation made after a stumble or other mistake. It is usually said by the perpetrator of the error and the saying out loud is a public acknowledgement. 'Whoops-a-daisy', and the shortened forms 'whoops' and 'oops', are all American in origin.
  10. 10. Meaning: In difficulty, faced with a choice between two unsatisfactory options. Origin: This phrase originated in the USA in the early part of the 20th century. It refers to the uncomfortable nature of the choice between two dilemmas.
  11. 11. Meaning: A glamorous blonde. Origin: The phrase was first used to describe Jean Harlow. Her film “Bombshell” was released in 1933. The blurb that went along with adverts like this one was: "Lovely, luscious, exotic Jean Harlow as the Blonde Bombshell of filmdom.”
  12. 12. Meaning: A film with characterization and storylines that appeal especially to women. Origin: The use of “chick flick” to describe the films with appeal to women began in the early 1990s. For a few years prior to that “chick flicks” were the sexually exploitative films, which were designed to appeal to male sexual fantasy.
  13. 13. Meaning: A refusal to accept a proposition - equivalent to 'nothing doing'. Origin: This is a US phrase and originated there in the early 20th century. Gambling with dice was illegal in many states and so gamblers went to some pains to hide the dice when challenged by the police. Courts would sometimes throw out cases if the dice weren't offered in evidence. There are several court records where gamblers were alleged to have swallowed dice to avoid arrest.
  14. 14. Meaning: A collection of things. Origin: The words kit and caboodle have rather similar meanings. A kit - is set of objects, as in a toolkit, or what a soldier would put in his kit-bag. A caboodle (or boodle) - is an archaic term meaning group or collection, usually of people.
  15. 15. Meaning: A double blow or setback. Origin: A whammy was originally an evil influence or hex. It originated in the USA in the 1940s and is associated with a variety of sports.
  16. 16. Meaning: Accept the unpleasant consequences of one's actions. Origin: “Face the music” originated from the tradition of disgraced officers being “drummed out” of their regiment.
  17. 17. Meaning: Overly elaborate, swanky or pretentious - especially of dress. Also applied to people who act in that manner. Origin: This is an American phrase - which is no big surprise as it derives from the American usage of pants to mean trousers.
  18. 18. Meaning: Very rich, possibly having become so by unfair means. Origin: This little phrase can't be explained without looking at the word lucre. From the 14th century lucre has meant money. These references generally included a negative connotation and gave rise to the terms "foul lucre" and "filthy lucre", which have been in use since the 16th century.
  19. 19. Meaning: Lose self control. Origin: This is an American phrase and it alludes to the uncontrolled way a loose axe-head flies off from its handle.
  20. 20. Meaning: A stuffy or foolishly old-fashioned person. Origin: There are several citations in American newspapers from the end of the 19th century that relate to a pair of fictional wags called Fuddy and Duddy.
  21. 21. Meaning: Mental institution. Origin: From the slang use of the word 'funny' to mean weird, unusual and the description of mad people as 'funny in the head'. An early citation of 'funny farm' is in John Knowles' novel, set in Hew Hampshire, USA - A Separate Peace, 1959: "You might start to believe it, then I'd have to make a reservation for you at the Funny Farm."
  22. 22. Meaning: To go wrong, to become overly excited or deranged. Origin: Hay-wire is the light wire that was used in baling machines to tie up bales of hay. At the turn of the 20th century the expression 'a haywire outfit' began to be used in the USA. This was used to describe companies that patched-up faulty machinery using such wire, rather than making proper long-term fixes.
  23. 23. Meaning: To be rapidly deteriorating - on course for disaster. Origin: Hay-wire is the light wire that was used in baling machines to tie up bales of hay. At the turn of the 20th century the expression 'a haywire outfit' began to be used in the USA. This was used to describe companies that patched-up faulty machinery using such wire, rather than making proper long-term fixes.
  24. 24. Meaning: Zealous and eager. Origin: This is an adaptation of the Chinese words kung - work, and ho - together. The Anglicized term gung ho became widely known in English as a slogan that was adopted in WWII by the United States Marines under General Evans Carlson.
  25. 25. Meaning: A temperamental outburst; a tantrum. Origin: The allusion in this expression may be to the hissing and spluttering of such an outburst, or it may simply be a contraction of 'hysterical'. The term originated in the USA in the mid 20th century.
  26. 26. Meaning: Remain cheerful in a difficult situation. Origin: This sounds like one of those rousing maxims that were drilled into the young of Victorian England - like keep a stiff upper lip.
  27. 27. Meaning: An easy and pleasant life. Origin: The phrase originated in the Irish/American community of the USA, in the early part of the 20th century. The phrase may have been brought to America by Irish immigrants, although there's no known use of it in Ireland prior to 1918, or, more likely, it originated in the Irish community in the USA.
  28. 28. Meaning: The heart of the matter; the basic essentials; the harsh realities. Origin: It has also been suggested that 'nitty-gritty' refers to head lice, a.k.a. 'nits', or that it refers to ground corn, a.k.a. 'grits', but again, neither of these theories is supported by any hard evidence.
  29. 29. Meaning: The real thing – not a substitute. Origin: McCoy is derived from Mackay, referring to Mackay, Edinburgh, who made a brand of fine whisky from 1856 onwards that they promoted as 'the real MacKay' from 1870. The expression could have derived from the name of the branch of the MacKay family from Reay, Scotland, i.e. 'the Reay Mackay'.
  30. 30. Meaning: Exhausted. Origin: The actual derivation of this phrase is quite prosaic. 'Tucker' is a colloquial New England word, coined in the early 19th century, meaning 'become weary' and which ultimately derives from the Old English verb 'tuck‘.

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