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
"T"
Tab A bill for services (It's your turn to pay the tab.)
Tail between legs To be afraid (You act like a dog with its tail between its legs.)
Take a bow To accept praise (Roberto will take a bow for the idea.)
Take a break To rest (Andy needs to take a short break.)
Take a breather To rest (It's time to take a breather away from work.)
Take a chance To chance (I'll take a chance on eating Jill's cookies.)
Take a crack at To attempt (I'll take a crack at snow skiing.)
Take a dive To lose/fall deliberately (Steve took a dive because he's a coward.)
Take a dump To vacate the bowels [rude] (Bill took a dump in the forest.)
Take a jigger To drink alcohol (Matt took a jigger before going to bed.)
Take a look To observe (I want to take a look at what Jim's new truck.)
Take a nip To drink alcohol (Nathan took a nip because he was cold.)
Take a pass To miss; avoid (Jill decided to take a pass and not go tonight.)
Take a number Wait to take a turn (Take a number and hope for the best.)
Take a peek To look (Sam took a peek at the latest auto magazine.)
Take a powder To depart (I've been here a long time, now it's time to take a powder.)
Take a shower To bath in a shower (Mom likes to take a shower at least twice a day.)
Take a snort 1. To drink alcohol (Vince likes to take a snort of whiskey each evening.)
2. To use cocaine (Police arrested Jim for possession and taking a snort.)
Take a stand To hold a position (That politician never takes a stand.)
Take a (vehicle) To travel (I think we'll take a train.)
Take a walk To depart (You better take a walk now, pal!)
Take around To lead; to show a location (Could you take us around the city?)
Take away from 1. To remove (Do not take material away from this building.)
2. To detract (Accusations cannot take anything away from her charm.)
3. To obtain (What did you take away from his explanation?)
Take breath away To surprise; impress (This new design will take your breath away.)
Take care of To supervise/control (Bob can take care of everything.)
Take down To defeat; kill (Take him down!)
Take down a peg To humble (Good, that takes him down a peg!)
Take for a ride 1. To convey in a vehicle (May I take you for a ride?)
2. To cheat (Watch out or they'll take you for a ride.)
Take guff Criticism (John won't take guff from anyone.)
Take in 1. To receive (The store takes in a lot of money.)
2. To attend (My parents took in a movie.)
Take in the sights To tour (Beverly wants to take in the sights of Beijing, China.)
Take in tow To supervise; assist (I want you to take the new man in tow.)
Take it easy Be calm (Take it easy. I don't want to hurt you.)
Take it slow Be careful; deliberate (Let's take it slow and no one will be hurt.)
Take lip from Criticism (Look out, I won't take any lip from you!)
Take off 1. To remove (Mom asks people to take off shoes before entering the house.)
2. To depart (Our airplane is ready to take off.)
3. Leave! [an imperative] (Take off, before I call a cop!)
Take off head To be angry with (someone) (I was afraid mom would take off my head.)
Take-out Food ordered/eaten outside of a restaurant (We ordered take-out.)
Take own sweet time Slow (Nancy took her own sweet time getting here.)
Take (someone) out 1. To have a date (He is taking Betty out)
2. To eliminate or kill someone (Our military took out the enemy.)
Take swipe at 1. Verbal attack; criticize (Reporters took a swipe at the president's spokesman.)
2. Physical attack with a hand (Sam will take a swipe at his opponent.)
Take the bit in (your) mouth Take control (You'll have to take the bit in your mouth.)
Take the bread out of the mouth To refuse something (He'd take the bread out of a baby's mouth.)
Take the cake To win; be the best (That speech takes the cake.)
Take the field To arrive at a location for conflict (Their army is taking the field.)
Take the lead To lead (We all agree that Roger should take the lead.)
Take the rap To accept blame or responsibility (Jim can take the rap for his actions.)
Take time To concentrate; deliberate (Mohammed took time to study for his algebra test.)
Take to 1. To convey (I took the box to Bill's home.)
2. To be attracted (She took to Wesley immediately.)
Take to the cleaners To be cheated (A shyster took me to the cleaners.)
Take up To study/start (Melanie took up ice skating last week.)
Taken in To be deceived (I'm afraid you've been taken in by a crook.)
Taken with Attracted to (It's evident that Susan is taken with Andy.)
Taker, a 1. Person who always takes from other people (Billy is a taker.)
2. An interested person (Did we get any takers for the new job?)
Talk a blue streak Speak much (Connie began to talk a blue streak.)
Talk back To defy verbally (Coach doesn't want anyone to talk back.)
Talk down to Speak condescendingly (Pam gets angry when anyone talks down to her.)
Talk turkey Tell the truth (You better start talking turkey with me!)
Talk up a storm Speak constantly (Little Scotty sure talks up a storm.)
Tall drink of water Tall man (Cindy is taken with that tall drink of water.)
Tank 1. Lose; fail deliberately (We think the shortstop tanked that play.)
2. Drunk (Johnny certainly looks tanked again.)
3. Jail cell (Police put drunks in the tank.)
Tanked up To be drunk (Don't allow Leonard to get tanked up!)
Tater Potato (Scotty likes to eat taters and fried chicken.)
Tattletale Relate information to harm someone (No one can trust a tattletale.)
Teacher's pet Favorite student (It's obvious that Jeanie is the teacher's pet.)
Tearjerker Sad movie or story (Molly enjoys watching tearjerkers with her boyfriend.)
Tease To joke (Rodrigo enjoys teasing Anna-Marie.)
TexMex Texas/Mexican food (Santiago's restaurant has the best TexMex burrito.)
That'll be the day. That will never happen.
That's all right Do not worry about that.
That's bad! That is very good! [Slang term with an inconsitent meaning.]
That's life. That is a normal action (Don't complain; that's life.)
That's rich Unbelievable (That's rich! She never wrote that song.)
That's the way the ball bounces. That is reality. Life is as it happens.
That's the way the cookie crumbles. That is reality. Life is as it happens.
That's the way things go. That is reality. Life is as it happens.
Thick as flies Very many (Shoppers in the mall today are as thick as flies.)
Thick as thieves Very many (People on the beach were as thick as thieves.)
Thingamabob Nameless item (I need that thingamabob over there.)
Thingamajig Nameless item (What is this thingamajig?)
Thingy Any nameless or unknown item [Child's word]
Thick-skinned Emotionally callous (Paul is thick-skinned when it comes to employee rights.)
Thin-skinned Emotionally sensitive (Don't be critical because Joyce is very thin-skinned.)
Thrim down to size Defeat an opponent (Otto thrimed the school champion down to size.)
Throw a curve To confuse; surprise (I hope Marty doesn't throw us a curve to spoil the party.)
Throw for a loop To surprise (Her sudden smile threw me for a loop.)
Throw in Additional; to add (Throw in a few tickets to the game.)
Throw in with To join with others; to support someone (Manuel threw in with us.)
Throw out To discard (John threw out his old socks.)
Thumb a ride Hitchhike (Can I thumb a ride with you to the store?)
Thumbnail sketch Cursory analysis (Police mistakenly operated on a faulty thumbnail sketch.)
Tick off To irritate (It's not a good idea to tick off your boss.)
Tickled pink Very excited (Nancy was tickled pink to win a vacation to Hawaii.)
Tide turns against To suffer opposition (Amy is miserable because the tide turned against her.)
Tie down To have commitments (Patrick isn't tied down to a family yet.)
Tie in knots To confuse; frustrate (Patricia can tie Juan in knots easily.)
Tightwad Stingy person (That tightwad hates to spend a dime.)
Time to cut out Time to leave (Hey, it's time to cut out or we'll be late.)
Time's a wasting It is getting late. (We should go now. Time's a wasting.)
Tin cup To beg; a beggar (Let's try to avoid that tin cup.)
Tip (his) hand To reveal intent (Sanchez tipped his hand too early.)
Tip of the tongue Almost remembered; ready to speak (He had a response at the tip of his tongue.)
Tip off Opponents jump to tip the ball to a team member [Basketball term]
Tip-off A warning (Police received the tip-off from a reliable informant.)
Tipsy Drunk (Looks like Joan is tipsy.)
Tits Breasts [rude] (Ralph said he likes women with big tits.)
T-man Treasury agent (T-men broke up a counterfeit money operation.)
To coin a phrase To state; affirm (To coin a phrase, I think we better get out of here.)
To no end Completely (That obnoxious boy bothers me to no end.)
Toady A sycophant (Get someone else! I refuse to be your toady!)
To-do Event; party (Neighbors had a noisy to-do last night.)
Tomato Girl (Joseph is going with a new tomato named Mary-Jane.)
Tone down To reduce (Jose should tone down his dating method.)
Tongue in cheek In jest (Nora said she liked Bill with tongue in cheek.)
Too bad To be unfortunate (It's too bad that you came late.)
Too much To be excellent (That new boy in school is just too much!)
Toosh Butt (Grandma gave the baby a pat on her toosh.)
Top brass Highest leadership (The army's top brass will observe this operation.)
Top gun Skillful fighter (Sammy is the top gun we want in this fight.)
Top notch The best; excellent (Pauline's food is always top notch.)
Top of the morning Good morning (Top of the morning to you.)
Top off Fill to the top (Dad topped off the gas tank before our trip.)
Torpedo To sink; defeat (My analysis will torpedo this foolish project.)
Torpedo, a Gangster; thug (A Mafia boss has plenty of torpedoes for dirty work.)
Touch, a Small amount (Smells like Ben had a touch of booze.)
Touch bottom To reach the lowest level (Your school grades have touched bottom.)
Touched in the head Crazy (Morris might be touched in the head.)
Tough 1. Difficult (It will be tough to find the latest cell phone.)
2. Strong (Joseph certainly is a tough dude.)
Tough bounce To be inconsequential (Tough bounce to you! That's how it is.)
Tough eggs To be inconsequential (Tough eggs, if you don't like this!)
Tough luck To be unfortunate (He had some tough luck.)
Tough time Difficulty (We had a tough time in Las Vegas.)
Traffic Jam Congested traffic on a road (Large cities often have traffic jams.)
Treat (someone) To entertain or pay for (Steve will treat (us) to a movie.)
Treat with kid gloves Be very careful (Mr. Ching must treat those chemicals with kid gloves.)
Trip, a Narcotic experience (She had a bad trip after taking some pot.)
Trip up To fluster; frustrate (someone) (They had no success in trying to trip me up.)
Try to Attempt (John will try to complete the job by Friday.)
Tuffy Strong person [Child's term] (Little Taylor is afraid of the class tuffy.)
Turd 1. Excrement (Watch out for dog turds in the grass.)
2. Undesirable person (Julia refused to speak with that turd.)
Turn around 1. Change direction (Turn around and look at me.)
2. Reconnoiter nearby (Troops made a careful turn around the perimeter.)
Turn back 1. To repulse (Troops turned back an enemy attack.)
2. To return (We turned back because the snow was too deep.)
Turn back on To ignore (someone) (Jose turned his back on their call for help.)
Turn chicken Coward (Some new soldiers turn chicken during combat.)
Turn down 1. To reduce (Turn down the heat.)
2. To refuse (I turned down the company's offer.)
3. To pull back (The maid turned down the bed covers.)
Turn in 1. To enter (Go ahead and turn in at our driveway.)
2. To sleep (I decided to turn in early tonight.)
3. To surrender; relinquish (The culprit turned himself in before the police came.)
Turn loose To release (It's time to turn the captured bird loose.)
Turn loose on To express anger (Lucy turned loose on Jack for being so insensitive.)
Turn off To Extinguish (Please turn off the stove.)
Turn-off Intellectual or sexual disincentive (A loud mouth is a definite turn-off.)
Turn on 1. To engage; open a switch (Stacy can turn on the lights for you.)
2. To change direction (Turn left on Center Street.)
Turn-on Intellectual or sexual attraction (Long, flowing hair is a turn-on for some men.)
Turn on a dime Tight turn (Tim's new sports car can turn on a dime.)
Turn out 1. To become (The situation should turn out to be fine.)
2. To extinguish (Stephanie will turn out the lights.)
3. To prepare (Mother turned out the bedcovers for her guests.)
Turn out to be To become (Barry turned out to be a big disappointment.)
Turn over 1. To change position (Jeanie turned over in her sleep.)
2. To relinquish (You must turn over possession of the house.)
Turn tail and run Cowardly (I hope Joe won't turn tail and run when trouble comes.)
Turn tricks Prostitute (Watch out! She probably turns tricks.)
Turn up 1. To increase (Turn up the pressure on our competition.)
2. To appear (My lost dog turned up today.)
Turn yellow Coward (Bob dislikes anyone who turns yellow.)
Turncoat Traitor (Benedict Arnold was an American turncoat.)
Turnkey Prison guard (The turnkey ordered prisoners back to their cells.)
Turnout 1. A congregation (There was a good turnout for our school dance.)
2. Place to exit a road
Turnoff 1. Something that discourages (Mark's big belly was a turnoff for Betty.)
2. Place to exit a road (You should exit at the second turnoff.)
Turnover Change in personnel (The company suffered a high turnover.)
Tweak a beak To bother or humiliate [Pinch the nose] (She tweaked his beak.)
Twerp Obnoxious person (Virginia can't stand that little twerp.)
Twist (his) arm To entreat; to force (George had to twist my arm before I agreed to go.)
Twit Foolish girl (Jeff laughed at the twit who tried to date him.)
Two-faced Devious; untrustworthy (You can never trust a two-faced backstabber.)
Two-time To cheat emotionally or sexually (Anita two-timed on Julio.)

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