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'Slanguage' Arts

If you hear your Eugene Starbucks barista mention a "black ball," they're not referring to the newest coffee drink on the menu.

They mean that a customer is being rude or taking too much time deciding what to order -- so smile and pick up the pace! 

This is just one of the 6,808 terms listed on the UO Slang Dictionary, an archive of local slang words, phrases and their definitions. For the past eight years, Linguistics 101 students have conducted research and interviews with people from various social groups.

The result: an extensive and accessible online Slang Dictionary, with a collection of culture-specific lingo and jargon for each of the 587 social groups listed.

A few of our favorites are listed below.

Bag nasty (noun). Social group: U.S. Marines serving in Iraq. Source: Bag probably has its origins in the Norse word baggi, and Nasty is probably from Middle English nasti, possibly alteration of Old French nastre, bad, short for villenastre: vilein, bad; see villain + -astre, pejorative suff. (from Latin -aster). Meaning: Any bagged (prepackaged) meal, can be dehydrated or not.  Context: Mealtime, or any time of hunger.

Cupcaking it (verb). Social group: UO football team. Source: Derived from the English word "cupcake," meaning "a small cake baked in a cup-shaped container." Meaning: You are always on the phone, and your conversation is too affectionate. Context: Used between players to let each other know that a phone conversation is a reflection of a relationship that is considered too "mushy."

Edison medicine (noun). Social group: Marion County police officers. Source: From Thomas Alva Edison and medicine -- an inventor who made great strides in the development of electricity and a corrective or remedy respectively. Meaning: The use of the taser. Context: Used between officers.

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Slanguage Arts

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Check out the complete UO Slang Dictionary.

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