SLANG, IDIOMS & EXPRESSIONS
(I periodically add terms.)


Back to English Home Page or Site Home Page

I deliberately have included some rude words, but avoided vulgar terms. These should not be used. Terms with (pronoun) or (noun) indicate that alternate words can be used within the ( ).

Term
Definition
"L"
Lamebrain Stupid person (You can't expect that lamebrain to help us.)
Land lubber Person who does not sail (Sailors are not fond of land lubbers.)
Last ditch Final (John made a last ditch effort to complete his project.)
Laughing stock To receive derision (His error made Tom a laughing stock at school.)
Lay into To attack; criticize (Mamma intends to lay into those troublemakers.)
Lay off Do not bother (someone) (You better lay off John or he'll get angry.)
Law, the Police (The gang began to run when the law arrived.)
Leatherneck U.S. marine (Leathernecks hit the beach early in the morning.)
Leg up An advantage (A good education will give me a leg up in the job market.)
Lend a hand To help (Can anyone lend me a hand with this heavy box?)
Let go To release; fire (Dad had to let a few workers go.)
Let go of To release (You better let go of her arm before I hit you!)
Let hair down To relax (Melinda should let her hair down.)
Let the cat out of the bag To reveal the truth
Let (yourself) go To relax (Take it easy and let yourself go for a few hours.)
Libber Follower of the women's liberation movement
Lick (someone) To defeat (William can lick the school bully easily.)
Licked before (I) start No hope to win (Amy feels licked before she starts.)
Lie like a rug To lie fluently (Bill lies like a rug.)
Life is a bowl of cherries Life is pleasant and everything is fine.
Life is peaches 'n cream Life is pleasant and everything is fine.
Light Not heavy; not complicated (Jenny prefers having a light conversation.)
Light out for To depart (Big Bob decided to light out for help.)
Lights out/go out 1. To be unconscious (Bill hit the floor with lights out.)
2. Ignorant (Ruth acted as though her lights were out)
Like pulling teeth Difficult (Reasoning with Connie is like pulling teeth.)
Like taking candy from a baby Easy (Convincing Mary was like taking candy from a baby.)
Like the dickens Very much (Banging my knee on that rock hurt like the dickens.)
Like the wind Quickly (Gossip usually travels like the wind.)
Like to 1. Desire; want (George would like to eat at the new restaurant.)
2. To enjoy (I like to be with you each day.)
Limit, the Excellent person (I think Alisa is the limit!)
Line (his) pockets To cheat; steal (Some contractors line their pockets.)
Lip, don't give (me) any Do not speak rudely and argumentatively to (me).
Little shaver Young boy (Mark is just a little shaver.)
Live in a dream world Unrealistic (You can't succeed if you only live in a dream world.)
Live it down To fotget an unpleasant event (Doris is afraid that she can never live it down.)
Live it up Enjoy life; have fun (Alisa intends to live it up on her honeymoon.)
Live wire Exciting person (Sammy sure is one live wire.)
Living in a fool's paradise Expression that means: A person is deluded
Load of Much (The boys tried to five us a load of nonsense.)
Load of Bull Nonsense [similar rude expression: Load of crap]
Load off shoulders A relief from concern (Your help took a load off Jane's shoulders.)
Load off the mind A relief from concern (Susan's acceptance of my apology took a load off my mind.)
Load up on To take much (He loaded up on junk food.)
Loaner Item that can be rented (We decided it was best to get a loaner tractor.)
Local, a 1. Local anesthetic (Betty refused a local when giving birth.)
2. Local train or subway (People in New York City take the local to work.)
Lone wolf Solitary person (Roger enjoys being a lone wolf.)
Lonely heart's club Sadness (Melissa looks ready to join the lonely heart's club.)
Loner Solitary person (Art is a loner who enjoys living on a mountain.)
Long and short of Everything (Now you know the long and short of my background.)
Long shot Unlikely to happen (He is a long shot to win.)
Long stretch Lengthy time in prison (That Mafia boss was just given a long stretch.)
Long time no see To meet infrequently (Hello, it seems like long time no see.)
Look alive Be prepared; be alert (Let's try to look alive and enjoy the trip.)
Look for To seek (Dennis is looking for a ride.)
Look for a fat lip Will be hit in the mouth (Are you looking for a fat lip?)
Look forward to To anticipate (Jimmy looks forward to another season of basketball.)
Look out for To protect (Allen always looks out for his siblings.)
Look over 1. To examine (We can look over the document in my office.)
2. To see from above (Don't look over my shoulder!)
Look-see To look [Southern dialect] (Can you take a look-see over there?)
Look sharp 1. Be careful (Everyone better look sharp. The enemy is coming.)
2. Appear attractive (Alisa looks smart today.)
Look smart Appear attractive (Pauline always looks smart.)
Look up To search (You can look up my number in a telephone book.)
Looks like Look as if; appears to be (It looks like another defeat for our team.)
Loony Crazy (That's a loony idea.)
Loony bin Insane asylum (They committed Matilda to a loony bin.)
Loose lips Speak without caution (Don't tell Mary. She's has loose lips.)
Loot Money (It takes a lot of loot to run this store.)
Lose currency Not credible (The Federal Reserve's recent report lost currency.)
Lose (his) cool To become excited (Don't lose your cool. Things will be OK.)
Lose (his) shirt To lose everything (Don't gamble or you'll lose your shirt.)
Lose out on Miss an opportunity (I lost out on a ride to town.)
Lost (his) marbles Crazy (Jill won't date you! She hasn't lost her marbles!)
Lot more, a Much more (Playing ball is a lot more fun than painting the house.)
Lot of, a Many; much (I have a lot of apples.)
Loudmouth Noisy and boastful person (Most people don't want to be around that loudmouth.)
Louse Despicable person (Our elected representative is a louse.)
Love tap Light hit (Don't worry, Joe only received a love tap.)
Lowdown 1. Information (I need to know the lowdown about Jimmy.)
2. Worthless (That degenerate man is a lowdown skunk!)
Lowlife Despicable (Lawyer Bob often defends lowlife scum.)
Lug Stupid guy (Dad warned Lucy to avoid lugs.)

© Page Publisher: Duane R. Hurst