A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Abbreviation of hoodlum is from c. 1930. Hood is also a shortened form of neighbourhood, which is African-American slang from the late 1980s.


Sometimes spelt hoody is short for hooded sweatshirt and can mean either the garment or the young, usually male, people who wear them. The word made i...

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Originally this was American slang for a young rowdy street ruffian c. 1871 and by 1877 came to mean a young criminal gangster. The origin is unknown...

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American alternative version of voodoo dates from the late 19th century but refers specifically to a person or thing that brings bad luck. See also, h...

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Having heard this word so often in movies, especially Westerns, one would think its origin is American. It comes as a bit of a surprise for most peopl...

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US slang for rubbish or nonsense dates from the 1920s of unknown origin.

Hook or by crook

see By hook or by crook

Hook, line and sinker

To swallow something hook, line and sinker is to take the bait as it were and completely believe an unlikely story. It is an American expression from...

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see Off the hook


American term for a prostitute dates from around 1830 and derives from the way such women catch or hook their clients, much in the same way as an angl...

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As in to play hookey or play truant, is American from the 1840s. Americans have three theories about the origin; the Dutch hoekje meaning to hide, pla...

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A British term for a ruffian or thug dates from the late 19th century and supposedly derives from an Irish surname Hooligan, Houligan or perhaps even...

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Hooray Henry

This expression for a noisy, obnoxious and generally upper class moron became very popular in Britain from the 1960s and was perhaps inspired by Damon...

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These particular shouts of approbation, encouragement or exultation date back to the late 17th century. According to the OED, hurrah is the literary a...

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Meaning a laugh or something funny, as in an absolute hoot dates from the early 20th century and derives from hooting with laughter, which dates from...

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