Dictionary of Contemporary Slang, 3rd edition by Tony Thorne

By Tony Thorne

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Extra resources for Dictionary of Contemporary Slang, 3rd edition

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The term usually implies dancing, but also a degree of Bacchanalian, even orgiastic revelry far beyond that signified by the standard English (hunt or charity) ball. ’ (Little Richard, [ambiguous] song lyrics, 1958) bald bald-headedhermit Badlwin baldyman,the Bailbely bal 3. to play basketball 4a. to behave ostentatiously 4b. to excel in a particular field These senses of the word probably derive from black speech of the 1940s and later in which to ball meant to celebrate or enjoy oneself, itself influenced by the phrase ‘have a ball’.

The term has been heard since 2000. arseilkc arsel-ciker arsem- an arseo-n feeling a bit of an arse-on He’s got the arse-on. arseoverti/pit arse over tip/tit adv head over heels, upside down. The expression is typically cockney, but widespread in Britain and Australia. The American version is ass over tincups/teacups. ’ (Recorded, plumber, London, 1987) arseup arse up vb British to make a mess of, mix up or spoil. A less common variation of balls up and the verb form of cock-up. He managed to completely arse up the whole job.

The usage originated in black speech of the 1940s and has been defined as ‘…carrying on in a flash fashion, as used by hip hop types…’. ballistic adj furious, uncontrollable. This use of the term, often in the phrase ‘go ballistic’, has become a common expression since the 1990s. It probably originated, unsurprisingly, in the slang of the armed forces, where it is still common. bambaclaat found in the phrase to ‘make a balls of it/something’. 5. American money, dollars. This usage was recorded in the later 1990s among adolescents.

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