Urban Dictionary

Hugo hugovk at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 9 09:27:53 UTC 2014

Urban Dictionary should be used with caution but is definitely useful.

Some of Urban Dictionary's definitions are jokes, but others are
genuine. Each word or term can have multiple definitions by different
authors, and they can be up and down voted so the top answers are more
likely to be genuine. But then some just vote up because it's funny
for them.

Now, how to tell if they're genuine? Well, look up in another
dictionary. But these may not have the very latest slang. So you can
search for some real-life examples and see if the context matches.
Twitter is a good place to search.

Urban Dictionary can be especially useful etymologically. Because
definitions have dates it you can find early examples of recent slang
and trace the evolution. For example:

Computing phrase "ftw"/"for the win" from 2003:

London slang "ends" dates to at least 2004:

Also London slang "peng" from 2004 and 2006 in different senses:

Jokey "hangry" to at least 2003:

Tracing "image macro", "fanboi" and computer game "creep":


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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