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
"S"
Sack Fire; terminate employment (His company sacked David today.)
Sack, the A bed (I just want to hit the sack early tonight.)
Sack of crap Disagreeable person or thing (rude)
Sack out To sleep (Mom won't let me sack out on the sofa.)
Sad Sack Unfortunate person (We should help that Sad Sack.)
Saddle up Prepare to leave; get on a horse (Everybody saddle up. It's time to leave.)
Same here In agreement (Same here. I don't like to eat lima beans.)
Same time, at the Simultaneously (Betty can play piano and chat at the same time.)
Sandbag 1. To surprise unpleasantly (I'll try not to sandbag Arthur with the news.)
2. To undermine (Reporters sandbagged that politician's chance for reelection.)
Sap, a Foolish person (Don't be a sap. You can't do this job.)
Sashay around To prance; be excited (Victor is so happy that he's sashaying around.)
Sashay around (the issue) Avoid telling the truth (Most politicians sashay around the matter.)
Sass argument; complaints (Don't give me any of your sass!)
Sass back To argue (She better not sass back to me.)
Save (my) breath No need to speak (Save your breath. John will get the promotion.)
Save face Retain respect (The auto company made an attempt to save face.)
Savvy Knowledgeable (Stephen is savvy about computer programming.)
Sawbones Medical doctor
Say Expression to draw attention (Say, is this the correct address?)
Scab Temporary non-union worker to replace a striking union worker
Scam To cheat by trickery (The bank's latest offer actually is a scam.)
Scared of own shadow Easily afraid; coward (That fellow is scared of his own shadow.)
Scoop To reveal information before any other source (Newspapers try to scoop competitors.)
Scot-free Without consequences (George always seems to get off scot-free.)
Scram To leave [an imperative] (Scram! We don't want to see you again.)
Scratch Money [old slang] (You can't buy anything without some scratch.)
Scratch back To reciprocate; support (You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.)
Scratch the surface Barely begin (Your research merely scratched the surface.)
Scream, a Entertaining person (Roger is a scream at parties.)
Screw up To do something wrong (He probably will screw up the assignment.)
Screw-up Person who makes often mistakes (Bill is another screw-up.)
Screwball Crazy person; strange action (George is the class screwball.)
Screwy Strange; wrong (Something is screwy with your idea.)
Scrounge To seek (She scrounged for food.)
Scrounge up To organize; to get (He scrounged up a game.)
Scum Trashy people (That part of town is filled with scum.)
Search me I do not know (Search me, I never heard of that before.)
Second thoughts Doubt; indecision (Do you have any second thoughts about going?)
Seconds 1. An additional amount of something (I eat seconds almost every meal.)
2. An inferior quality (Val often buys seconds at the store.)
See daylight To understand; comprehend (I'm starting to see daylight now.)
See you Meet you later. [also said as See ya]
Seedy Old; rundown (Sally works in a seedy part of town.)
Sell like hotcakes Sell quickly (The latest video game is selling like hotcakes.)
Sellout A traitor; take payment to violate a promise (Henry definitely is a sellout.)
Send Me, You (You) excite me.
Set free To release (Matilda want to set the horse free.)
Set of wheels A vehicle (Bernardo bought a great set of wheels.)
Set on legs To make (someone) responsible (It's time to set him on his legs.)
Shabby Not very good; old (What a dump! The furniture is shabby, too.)
Shack-up Live together without being married (It's not proper to shack-up with someone.)
Shadow To follow without being seen (The detective shadowed his suspect.)
Shaft To cheat someone (Marilyn shafted her old boyfriend.)
Shag 1. To retrieve; catch (Do you want to shag a few balls with me now?)
2. To depart quickly (Let's shag before the cops come!)
Shake a leg To be quick (Shake a leg! We must leave now.)
Shake in boots To fear (Marco is shaking in his boots because police caught him.)
Shake like jelly To be afraid (Julius is still shaking like jelly.)
Sham Pretense; fake (Too bad that Arnold's promise to help was just a sham.)
Shanghied Kidnapped; taken without permission (Competitors shanghied my latest idea.)
Sharp Intelligent (Bill is sharp. He always learns quickly.)
Shavetail Second lieutenant [Military term] (Veteran troops distrust a new shavetail.)
Shell company Front company (Richard set up a shell company in the Cayman Islands.)
Shell game Method to cheat people (The crook developed a new shell game to get money.)
Shell out To give (Dad had to shell out more money for school books.)
Shine on the job To look busy (Jeff dosn't work well. He just shines on the job.)
Shindig A party (Dallas often has big shindigs in its convention center.)
Shiner Black eye (Nathan had a shiner from the fight last night.)
Shinolah Deception (Joe tried to give me a load of shinolah.)
Sho' nuff Certainly [Southern dialect] (Sho' nuff, the boys can go fishing with me.)
Shoo To chase away (I've got to shoo those cows from my garden.)
Shoot 1. To speak; ask a question (Go ahead and shoot. I probably can answer you.)
2. Mild expression of annoyance (Shoot, I can't go with you.)
Shoot off 1. To speak; reveal a secret (Jerry can't be stopped; he'll shoot off his mouth.)
2. To fire; ignite (Tonight we can shoot off some fireworks.)
Shoot up 1. To run wild and fire a pistol (Cowpunchers might shoot up the town tonight.)
2. To inject heroin (The drug addict bought a fix and will shoot up soon.)
Short shrift Cheat (Watch out, or you'll be given a short shrift.)
Shorthand Method to write quickly (My new secretary can take shorthand.)
Shorthanded Deficient in workers (Roberto's company is shorthanded this summer.)
Shot of booze Drink of alcohol (Sam downed another shot of booze.)
Shot to hell Ruined (Look, my dress is shot to hell.)
Shove it! Expletive to express displeasure (Shove it! I won't go with you!)
Shove it up (your) ass! Expression of warning: Do not bother me! [very rude]
Show off To boast; exhibit (Pam loves to show off her expensive clothes.)
Show port side Cranky; irritable (There's no need to show your port side this morning.)
Showoff Boastful person (Pete craves attention because he's a big showoff.)
Shrimp Small, weak person (Willy is a shrimp and boys pick on him.)
Shrink A psychiatrist (You can't trust a shrink.)
Shut up Not speak (Allen ordered us to shut up.)
Sic 'em Attack them; kill them [Term used to order a dog into an attack.]
Sick Inappropriate; bad (He told a sick joke.)
Sick in the head Crazy (Bubba acts like he's sick in the head.)
Side with To support (I'll always side with you.)
Sidekick A subordinate companion (Bucky was Captain America's sidekick.)
Sidelined Kept out of action (Coach sidelined Joe for the whole game.)
Simmer To be angry (Look out! Jake is simmering.)
Simmer down To reduce anger (Mother told Johnny to simmer down.)
Sing a different tune Change opinion or testimony (Jane sang a different tune after we caught her in a lie.)
Sit a horse To ride a horse [Cowboy talk] (Did you ever sit a horse?)
Sit down To sit (Mother warned Amy to sit down and be quiet.)
Sit in on To participate (Matt decided to sit in on the meeting.)
Sit on 1. To delay (The County supervisor sat on his report.)
2. To participate (Mr. Jones sits on the board of directors.)
Sit on (my) thumb To do nothing (Jeremy just sits on his thumb all day.)
Sit pretty To be in a good situation; prepared (Looks like Jim is sitting pretty.)
Sitting duck To be a target (I felt like a sitting duck during the investigation.)
Skag Girl with small breasts (She's cute but also a skag.)
Skank Nasty girl (Everyone at school knows that Natalie's a skank.)
Skeedaddle To run away (British troops skeedaddled at the battle of New Orleans.)
Skid row Dilapidated and filthy area of town (Homeless and poor people live on skid row.)
Skin and bones Skinny; starving (The prisoner is nothing but skin and bones.)
Skinflint Stingy person (Old man Myers is a skinflint who hates to spend a dollar.)
Skinny-dip Swim naked (Boys sometimes skinny-dip in the Mississippi River.)
Skip it Forget about it
Skip town To leave (I think we should skip town now.)
Skirt, a Girl; woman (We invited a few skirts to the party.)
Skivvies Underwear (Dave appeared in his skivvies.)
Skunk, a Devious person (Don't trust that salesman. He's a skunk.)
Sky is the limit No limit (I told Jane that the sky is the limit.)
Slammer Jail; prison (Raymond was sentenced to five years in the slammer.)
Slap silly To strike repeatedly (The bully slapped Richard silly.)
Slated for Scheduled (The old computer software is slated for replacement.)
Slip by To avoid; fail to see (Pete's mistake slipped by the committee.)
Slip (my) mind To forget (It slipped my mind that Rosa was coming for a visit.)
Slip one by To avoid detection (He can slip one by the command center.)
Slippery as an eel Devious; tricky (Our congressman is slippery as an eel.)
Slob Slovenly person (She's such a slob; won't ever clean her house!)
Slow as molasses Very slow (Stephanie is slow as molasses. She won't be on time.)
Slowpoke Slow person (Farmer John is a slowpoke when he drives.)
Slum around To relax; be lazy (It's so hot that I just want to slum around.)
Slumming To do nothing (Buddy felt like slumming today.)
Sly as a fox Cunning (That insurance salesman is sly as a fox.)
Small fry Unimportant people (I want to speak with a boss, not the small fry.)
Smart Stupid [Said in sarcasm] (Oh, that was smart!)
Smart-ass Rude person [rude] (No one likes a smart-ass!)
Smartmouth To be sarcastic or rude (Don't be a smartmouth!)
Smashed Drunk (Dave looks smashed again tonight.)
Smell like a rose To win (Deborah came out smelling like a rose.)
Smiley Nickname for a person who smiles often.
Smokescreen Cover the truth; false claim (William is hiding behind a smokescreen.)
Snake, a Devious person; liar (You can never trust a snake.)
Snake in Enter by devious means (Mort snaked his way in with a fake smile.)
Snake in the grass Devious person (Bruce is a snake in the grass.)
Snakepit Mental hospital (A psychiatrist committed his patient to the local snakepit.)
Snap 1. To speak in anger (Mom snapped at us.)
2. To lose control; go crazy (Martha suddenly snapped.)
3. Easy (That's a snap for me to do.)
Snap out of it Become aware of reality
Sniff the streets To investigate (Their boss told the detectives to sniff the streets.)
Snip Rude adolescent (Keep that young snip away from me!)
Snockered Drunk (Mary is snockered again.)
Snoop, a Detective; person who is nosey (We hired a snoop to find the thief.)
Snort A drink of alcohol (Mary-Ellen likes to take a snort sometimes.)
Snort coke Sniff cocaine (Only a foolish person will snort coke.)
Snow; snow job To confuse (Bobby is very good at giving people a snow job.)
Snuff out To extinguish (Scott snuffed out the candles on his birthday cake.)
So fast (your) head will spin Very quickly
So help me Expression of affirmation
So long Good-bye (So long, I hope to see you again soon.)
Soaps; soap opera TV romantic melodramas (Priscilla must watch TV soaps each afternoon.)
Sob story Excuse designed to elicit tears (Delia gave a sob story about why she was late.)
Soft touch Gullible (We can get money from her; she's a soft touch.)
Softhearted Kind (I have a softhearted grandmother.)
Son-of-a-bitch Disagreeable fellow [very rude]
Son-of-a-gun Disagreeable fellow (I won't allow that son-of-a-gun in my home.)
Song and dance A lie (Congressmen ususally give the people a song and dance.)
Sort of; sort of like Somewhat like; similar to (Frog legs taste sort of like chicken.)
So-so Mediocre (Joe can't find anything better than a so-so job.)
Sot Drunkard (Marge is tired of living with a sot.)
Sound like a broken record To be repetitive (His complaints sound like a broken record.)
Sound off To respond verbally (Sound off if you like this idea.)
Sound the alarm Call to an action (I'm not going to sound the alarm.)
Sound the bell Call to an action (OK, I'll sound the bell against him.)
Sounds bad To be disagreeable (That sounds bad to me.)
Sounds good To be agreeable (Sounds good. I like the idea.)
Sounds great to me I think that is a good idea.
Sounds like To be (That sounds like something that I will enjoy.)
Sour apples Disgruntlement (Dorothy sounds like a case of sour apples.)
Sour grapes Disgruntlement (I feel like sour grapes due to her action.)
Sow, a Fat woman (That old sow better not come near me again!)
Sow wild oats Act sexually irresponsibly (Don't sow any wild oats.)
Spaced out Vacant look (Matilda looks all spaced out this morning.)
Speak against To oppose (Jimmy spoke against the new school policy.)
Speak for 1. To support (Lilly speaks for the need to change policy.)
2. To represent another person or thing (I speak for everyone in my town.)
Speak out To speak very vocally (Jeff had to speak out or people would not his opinion.)
Speak out against To oppose vocally (I will speak out against raising taxes this year.)
Speak up 1. To voice an opinion (Abigail decided to speak up in favor of the proposal.)
2. Speak louder (Please speak up so everyone can hear you.)
Speakeasy Club that sold illegal alcohol during the American prohibition era
Specs Eyeglasses (I can't see squat without specs.)
Speed burner Move fast (That horse is a speed burner.)
Speed up Go faster (Speed up or we won't catch them.)
Spend all day Take a long time (Martha can spend all day looking at new clothes.)
Spend time To participate (Dad will spend time with the children today.)
Spill the beans To reveal information (It's a secret. You aren't supposed to spill the beans.)
Spit it out Tell the truth; speak plainly (It's time to just spit it out.)
Split the scene Depart (We should split the scene before trouble starts.)
Spoiled rotten Obnoxious due to coddling (Those two children are spoiled rotten.)
Spoiling for To seek (Big Bob is spoiling for a fight.)
Spot To see (Can you spot John anywhere?)
Spot on Exactly right [British term] (Your guess is spot on.)
Spread A ranch (Barney owns a big spread in west Texas.)
Spread thin To be overextended (Our troops are spread too thin.)
Spud Potato (Idaho is famous for its spuds.)
Squawk To complain (She squawked at him.)
Squealer Sycophantic informant (I hope to beat the crap out of that squealer.)
Squirrely Odd; strange (Francisco was acting a bit squirrely.)
Stacked To have a good figure (Alisa definitely is stacked.)
Stack up to Comparable; meets with (Ralph actually stacks up to my expectations.)
Stand a chance Possibility (I'm not sure if I stand a chance to get that job.)
Stand for To advocate; support (Patriots stand for the constitution.)
Stand in; stand in on To represent; participate (Anna asked is she can stand in on the ceremony.)
Stand-in A substitute (I could not go, so the company sent a stand-in.)
Stand pat Immovable (I'm going to stand pat.)
Stand (something) To tolerate (I can't stand it anymore.)
Stark raving mad Completely crazy (We're afraid Jonathan will go stark raving mad.)
State of the art Modern; most current (The new computer must be state of the art.)
Stick around To wait (Do you want to stick around for the movie ro start?)
Stick foot in mouth Say the wrong thing (Steve really stuck his foot in his mouth this time.)
Stick in the craw Upsetting (Not being allowed to voice an opinion sticks in my craw.)
Stick in the mud Boring person (Ned is a stick in the mud. He just stays home.)
Stick it in (your) ear! Expression of warning: Do not bother me! [rude]
Stick to (his) guns To be persistent (Lowell stuck to his guns and would not sell the house.)
Stick to (his) work Focus on work (The company asked everyont to stick to their work.)
Stickler Fussy; particular (Jeanie is a stickler about how things look perfect.)
Stickup A robbery (He was shot in a stickup.)
Stiff 1. Potent alcohol (Bob poured himself a stiff one.)
2. Serious (Jane acts too stiff at parties.)
3. To cheat (I refuse to let Malthus stiff us.)
Stiff, a Dead body (Police found an unidentified stiff buried in trash.)
Stiffle it! An order to not speak.
Sting To cheat (Police caught the people who stung us.)
Stink Not good; bad (I think Tom's idea stinks.)
Stinker Bad person (That stinker just conned us out of $1,000.)
Stinky Lousy; bad (Melissa is wearing such a stinky dress.)
Stomping grounds Familiar territory (I enjoy returning to my old stomping grounds.)
Stoned 1. In a drugged stupor (A few college students were stoned out of their minds.)
2. Hit by stones (An ancient punishment was to be stoned.)
Stonewall To postpone giving a response (He stonewalled a police investigation.)
Stool pigeon An informant (Don't trust that guy. He's a stool pigeon.)
Stoolie An informant (Joey is a stoolie for the police.)
Stop cold Stop completely (Margaret's angry face stopped him cold.)
Stop on a dime Stop immediately (Jake's new car can stop on a dime.)
Straight arrow Honest person (Joseph is a straight arrow.)
Straight scoop True information (Nathan gave us the straight scoop.)
Straighten out To correct (Jane promised to straighten out her son's bad behavior.)
Straighten up and fly right To act properly (Dad warned Steve to straighten up and fly right.)
Strapped for cash To need money (Can you lend me $100? I'm strapped for cash just now.)
Stretch (our) legs To exercise (That was a long ride. I need to stretch my legs.)
Strike out To lose (Jonathan struck out again. He always seems to lose.)
Strike out for To depart (Jack's family decided to strike out for California.)
String along To trick (The used car dealer is trying to string us along.)
String along with To join; follow (The guys will string along with Billy's idea.)
Strong-arm To force (Bullies resort to strong-arm tactics.)
String along 1. To agree (I can string along with your ideas.)
2. Travel together (Dave decided to string along with us to town.)
3. To trick (A devious salesman tried to string us along.)
Stringbean Tall and thin person (Danny is such a stringbean that girls avoid him.)
Stuck Cannot get out (People were stuck in the elevator.)
Stuck with Must accept/pay for (Dad got stuck with the bill again.)
Stuff 1. Refers to any unidentified objects (Bring the stuff here!)
2. To fill (I stuffed everything in a bag.)
Stuff it! Be quiet (Stuff it! You talk too much.)
Stuff the face Eat quickly (Sammy likes to stuff his face.)
Suck eggs Expression of disgust [rude] (Suck eggs, you scum-covered vermin!)
Suck (your) thumb To pout [rude] (Go suck your thumb and don't bother me!)
Sucker 1. Foolish person (Crooks always look for a sucker to cheat.)
2. Hard candy on a stick (Little Jake likes cherry flavored suckers.)
Sucks Bad [rude] (I think the teacher's theory sucks!)
Suck up to To be servile (That California politician thinks everyone should suck up to her.)
Suck-up A sycophant (Who's the suck-up trying to get the chief's attention?)
Sunk To lose; hopeless (We're sunk now. No one will loan us more money.)
Sure; sure thing 1. Yes, of course. (Sure, I can help you.)
2. Certain; a winner (I believe that will be a sure thing.)
Swarm around To congregate (Boys swarmed around the new pretty girl in school.)
Swabbie Navy enlisted man (Jack decided to join the navy and now is a swabbie.)
Sweat it out To endure (I hope they can sweat it out until Monday.)
Sweet-talk Words of endearment (Ron likes to sweet-talk his girlfriend.)
Sweetie-pie Name of endearment (My sweetie-pie is taking me on a date.)
Swell Fun; good (We should have a swell time at Disneyland.)
Swelled head Arrogant (Dan's success gave him a swelled head.)

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