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


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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
"P"
Pack heat To carry a gun (Be sure you pack heat in case of an attack.)
Pack in like sardines Very crowded (Low-cost airlines pack passengers in like sardines.)
Packed 1. Crowded (Wow, the place is packed tonight!)
2. Personal efforts are in luggage (I'm packed and ready to go.)
Pain-in-the-ass Obnoxious person [rude] (That jerk is a pain-in-the-ass.)
Pain-in-the-fanny Obnoxious person (Sometimes he is a pain-in-the-fanny.)
Pan out To be successful (Matthew's efforts never seem to pan out.)
Pantywaist Weak and timid fellow (School bullies always seek out a pantywaist.)
Parade around To exhibit (Valerie likes to parade around in a swimsuit.)
Pard Partner [Cowboy term] (I always share with my pard.)
Park in To stop inside (The church allows people to park in its lot.)
Park it To sit down (Stop talking and park it!)
Party-poop Boring person (Don't invite Anthony. He's just a party-poop.)
Pass To avoid (John decided to pass the chance this time.)
Pass along To share (Juanita can pass along the news to her classmates.)
Pass away To die (I am sad to learn that Alisa's father passed away.)
Pass by To go near (Slow down as you pass by the fire station.)
Pass on 1. To share (We should pass on this important information.)
2. To abstain; avoid (I better pass on taking dessert tonight.)
Pass over To cross (A new highway will pass over these railroad tracks.)
Pass over to the other side To die and live again in the next phase of existence
Pass the buck Not take responsibility (Pam passed the buck to Sally.)
Pass up; pass up on To avoid (You really want to pass up such a great opportunity?)
Pass with flying colors Very successful (Jennifer passed the test with flying colors.)
Passel Large group (John likes to hunt with a passel of dogs.)
Paste (someone) To hit (George pasted Sammy a good one on the mouth.)
Pasty/pasty-faced To look sick (Martha is a bit pasty-faced this morning.)
Pat on the back To congratulate (People gave him a pat on the back.)
Pay a call To visit (Leonard wants to pay a call on us today.)
Pay a visit To visit (Uncle Bob will pay us a visit in April.)
Pay dirt Success (Johnny is still looking for pay dirt.)
Pay off To reimburse (The winning horse paid off at 10 to 1.)
Pay through the nose Exorbitant price (Most lawyers make clients pay through the nose.)
Payoff A bribe (A corrupt cop took his payoff.)
Payola A bribe (Congressman Bill expects payola for his vote.)
Peachy Enjoyable; good (Carlos has a peachy idea.)
Pee-pee Urinate; urine [Child's term] (Does Billy need to go pee-pee?)
Peel rubber Start driving a vehicle very fast (Peel rubber or the cops will catch us!)
Peeping Tom A voyeur (Police finally caught the peeping Tom.)
Peg To evaluate (The teacher pegged me wrong.)
Pen, the Prison (A judge sentenced the crook to six years in the pen.)
Penny pincher Stingy person (Mrs. Corning is a penny pincher and always pays low wages.)
Phony Counterfeit; insincere (Rudolfo is a phony. Don't trust him!)
Phony as a 3-dollar bill Counterfeit; insincere
Phony-baloney Fake (His driving license is phony-baloney.)
Phooey Expression of mild disgust
Pick To play a guitar or banjo (The lead guitarist sure can pick well.)
Pick on 1. To torment (Bullies pick on little Davy at school.)
2. To choose (Rosa often picks on Steve to help her.)
Pick out To select (Marilyn likes to pick out her own shoes.)
Pick (person's) brain To inquire; gain information (We need to pick (Pauline's) brain for an answer.)
Pick up 1. To collect (Joseph, pick up your clothes and clean this room.)
2. To date (I hope to pick up a new girl tonight.)
Pickle, a A problem (Looks as though we are faced with a tough pickle.)
Pickled Drunk (After drinking in the bar, Rodriguez came home pickled.)
Pickup Pickup truck (Earl just bought a red pickup.)
Piece of cake Easy to do (Playing football is a piece of cake for Big Bob.)
Pig 1. Fat, ugly person [rude] (Don't let that pig near your children.)
2. Policeman [rude] (Look out for the pigs!)
Pig out Eat too much (I'll probably pig out at the party.)
Pigskin An American football (Our quarterback can throw the pigskin with 95% accuracy.)
Pile in/pile into Get into; enter (The boys piled into Jack's pickup truck.)
Pill roller Medical doctor [rude]
Pin, to Give girl a fraternity pin as a token of going steady
Pin down To hold in position; cannot move (The enemy pinned our troops down near a river.)
Pinch To steal [British term] (Todd pinched a coat from a store on Main Street.)
Pine for To miss someone; sentimental (Melissa pines for her boyfriend.)
Pinhead Stupid person [rude] (You can tell Sam that I think he's a pinhead!)
Pins and needles, on To be excited (Jane is on pins and needles because Ralph is dating her.)
Pipe down Reduce noise; do not talk (You kids better pipe down now!)
Pipedream Unrealistic hope (Penelope's plan to be in the olympics is just a pipedream.)
Pip-squeak Small, weak person (Big Bob considers Jack to be a pip-squeak.)
Pistol, a Odd and interesting person (Nikki acted like a pistol at the party.)
Pitch in To help (John, can you pitch in over here?)
Pits, the Undesirable location or event (This party is the pits! I don't want to be here.)
Plain clothes Out of uniform (Looks like he is a plain clothes, undercover cop.)
Plain Jane Ugly girl (It's too bad that Melissa is a plain Jane.)
Plan on To intend; anticipate (The general plans on an easy attack.)
Plan to To intend; anticipate (Mustafa plans to return home next week.)
Plane Airplane (Many planes fly into an international airport.)
Plastered Drunk (Danny had too much booze and is plastered again.)
Play at To pretend (Many politicians play at being honest.)
Play cards right Make the correct move (Play your cards right and you'll be promoted.)
Play cat and mouse To tease (Ariel likes to play cat and mouse with the boys.)
Play chicken Drivers (usually teenagers) race head-on in an attempt to scare an opponent into veering before impact
Play hard to get Act uninterested in someone (Olivia is just playing hard to get with Arturo.)
Play hooky Avoid going to school by pretending to be sick (Mom won't let Tim play hooky.)
Play house Pretend to be married (It's dangerous for teenagers to play house.)
Play in the street Go away and don't bother (me)!
Play in traffic Go away and don't bother (me)!
Play on the freeway Go away and don't bother (me)!
Play patty-cake To flirt (Looks as though our friends are playing patty-cake.)
Play possum Pretend to be dead (She played possum while crooks searched the house.)
Play the heavy Pretend to be a thug (Murphy played the heavy to scare Mary's brat boy.)
Play with To use (Sheila likes to play with dolls.)
Played out Very tired (Debra is so played out that she slept early.)
Plenty of time Sufficient time (The team has plenty of time to complete the work.)
Plug To shoot; hit (Ron plugged the school bully on his nose.)
Plug in Insert into an electrical outlet (Plug it in the nearest outlet.)
Plugged into To have information (Saul usually is plugged into the latest news.)
Plumb 1. The best (Joan was able to get a plumb job with the company.)
2. Completely [Cowboy term] (I'm plumb tuckered out.)
Plunk down To deposit; put down (He plunked down a thousand dollars on the desk.)
Podunk town Small, country town [Derogatory term] (This podunk town doesn't have much.)
Point out To indicate (Molly pointed out the problem to company managers.)
Poke nose in/into To intrude (We should not poke our nose into his business.)
Polecat Untrustworthy man [Cowboy term] (Even dudes are wary of that polecat.)
Polish off 1. To finish; take the last portion (Jim polished off the cake.)
2. To kill (The mob boss plans to polish off his opposition.)
Poo-poo Excrement [Child's term] (It's time for Sally to go poo-poo.)
Pooch Dog, a (Dad agreed to bring a pooch home.)
Poop 1. Excrement (I think Billy has poop in his diaper.)
2. Information (What's the latest poop from the general?)
Pooped; pooped out Tired (Joe is pooped from working too many hours.)
Pop; pops Father [also refers to any older man] (Hey pops, you better get out of here.)
Pop cork To be angry (Try to correct the problem before Dad pops a cork.)
Pop quizz Unexpected test (The math teacher gave a pop quizz to her class.)
Pop the question Marriage proposal (Jeff popped the question and she agreed immediately.)
Pop up To emerge (Allen decided to leave before a problem pops up.)
Pork out To eat much (We're ready to pork out at the picnic.)
Pork up To become fat (Suzie porked up during the past six months.)
Pot Marijuana (Many students tried pot in college.)
Pot, the 1. Toilet (Steve has been on the pot a long time.)
2. A pool of money, usually in a card game or gambling
Pound sand Engage in a futile effort (An angry Tom told his critics to pound sand.)
Pound the pavement Conduct a search on foot (Police realize it's time to pound the pavement for the thief.)
Pretty Somewhat (The movie was pretty good.)
Prick Obnoxious person [rude] (I can't stand that prick!)
Publicity hound Person who seeks fame (Delia is becoming a shameless publicity hound.)
Pug nose Small nose (Nancy has a cute pug nose.)
Pull 1. Influence (Senator Joyce has a lot of pull.)
2. A swallow of alcohol (Bums took turns pulling at a bottle of booze.)
Pull a boner Make a mistake (You sure pulled a boner in class.)
Pull a code Cardiac arrest (An ambulance rushed Bob to the hospital after he pulled a code.)
Pull a gag Make a joke (Arthur decided to pull a gag on Marcy.)
Pull (her) leg To joke (Sam is just pulling your leg.)
Pull (his) nose To irritate/taunt (Betty likes to pull your nose.)
Pull in the nose A disappointment (That was a pull in the nose.)
Pull out/out of To depart (Our soldiers pulled out of the city.)
Pull out on To abandon (We had to pull out on them.)
Pull out the stops Totally (Pull out all the stops so we can win.)
Pull rank To use superior authority over others (I don't like it when he pulls rank on us.)
Pull the plug To terminate (A doctor pulled the plug on that comatose patient.)
Pull up 1. Go higher (The pilot had to pull up or hit a cloud-covered mountain.)
2. To bring (Pull up a chair and join us at the table.)
Pull up short Insufficient; not close enough (His car pulled up short in the parking lot.)
Pump, the Heart (Phil is mellow in the pump.)
Punch cows To oversee cows (Most cowboy movies have a scene of punching cows.)
Punching bag, a Someone whom others often hit (Little Joe is a punching bag for school bullies.)
Purr like a kitten To be happy (New jewelry causes Jane to purr like a kitten.)
Push around To be intimidated (I won't let anyone push me around.)
Push (something) Encourage to accept or buy (The restaurant is pushing salads this month.)
Put a damper on To inhibit (No food or drink put a damper on the fun.)
Put a finger in the dike Attempt to resolve trouble before it turns into a calamity
Put away To save (Dad recommended that we put away some money.)
Put away for keeps To incarcerate (The jury's verdict was to put the criminal away for keeps.)
Put behind To ignore; forget (It's best to put our problems behind us.)
Put best foot forward To exhibit best behavior (Let's put our best foot forward tonight.)
Put in a fix 1. To arrange an illegal action (Gamblers put in the fix.)
2. Be in an uncomfortable situation (Your decision puts me in a bad fix.)
Put in for To volunteer (I put in for the new training.)
Put in his place 1. To chastise (The teacher put Roger in his place.)
2. To position (General Stark put his force in place to repel an attack.)
Put nose in To give an opinion (Julia loves to put her nose in our business.)
Put on To wear (Victoria put on a heavy coat.)
Put on a front Pretense (The new family puts on a front of being wealthy.)
Put on airs Pretend to be important (Harvey and Beth are known for putting on airs.)
Put on the dog Use best items to make a good impression (Sharon put on the dog when her in-laws visited.)
Put-on Fake (Hiroko is just giving you another put-on friendship.)
Put the brake on To slow or stop something (Tess, you should put the brake on seeing him so often.)
Put the finger on To testify against (Mario put the finger on his former boss.)
Put the kettle on To serve food to other people (Can you put the kettle on for a neighbor?)
Put the kibosh on To stop (Can anyone put the kibosh on Sammy's acting up?)
Put the skids on To stop (Dad quickly put the skids on that bad idea.)
Put the soup on To serve food to other people (Mom decided it was time to put the soup on.)
Put two cents in To give an opinion (Do you always have to put your two cents in?)
Put up or shut up Take action or do not speak idly (Tim told Robert to put up or shut up.)
Put up with To tolerate (Mother puts up with a lot of our noise.)

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