Origins Of Popular Slang Terms

Illustration for article titled Origins Of Popular Slang Terms

As the internet helps push new words and expressions into common usage, many may wonder where our most ubiquitous idioms come from. Here are the origins of some popular slang terms and phrases:

Hit the nail on the head

This expression, which means “to sum up an issue with succinct precision,” dates back to an age when all conversations were nail-related



The internet acronym for “be right back” originated during the era when people were still occasionally required not to be online for short periods of time


Paint the town red

A phrase meaning “to go wild and have a good time,” used throughout history by people who do not


Bury the hatchet

Derived from an old Native American tradition in which conflicts would be resolved by burying one’s weapon in an enemy’s skull



Directly lifted from the Book of Leviticus


A term that gained ubiquity once we all drifted from our path of togetherness and began to see our fellow man as Other


Turn a blind eye

This phrase for ignoring reality was first coined by those who noticed that blind people can’t see anything


Six of one, half dozen of the other

No one in history has ever known what this means


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