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Memory Alpha

Slang on a shirt

Slang was the use of colorful words, derived from regional or time specific terminology, used in place of more formal words.

Many time frames and cultures have their own unique slang. For example, during the 20th century on Earth, several cultural movements had their own slang terminology. Starfleet officers who were involved in instances of time travel or other alien contact were sometimes subjected to a degree of social ineptness due to the confusion caused by the usage of slang.

In 2364, Data identified the phrase "Nothing to write home about" as slang and questioned whether he had used it correctly. (TNG: "The Last Outpost")

Variations of slang

The Iotian culture developed on Sigma Iotia II built its society based on the novel Chicago Mobs of the Twenties. Therefore, the Iotians used many slang terms that were originally popular during the 1920s on Earth. (TOS: "A Piece of the Action")

Likewise, the holodeck program Bashir 62, used a lot of early 1960s slang. (DS9: "His Way")

The following uses of slang may extend beyond the timeframe indicated. For sake of convenience, they are listed in the timeframe from which they were specifically used. When applicable, the usage of the term may be found below in italics.

19th century Earth slang


  • "Bleeding a man dry"
  • "Card shark"
  • "Chit chat" – small talk
  • "Folks"
  • "Forty-Niner"
  • "Geez"
  • "Go to blazes"
  • "Hot damn"
  • "Humdinger"
  • "Missus"
  • "Phony"
  • "The deed is done"
  • "To have someone peg for a sap"
  • "To jostle someone"

Ancient West

  • "Being in cahoots with someone"
  • "Bunch of hot air"
  • "Cattle rustler"
  • "Floosy"
  • "Horse-stealing scurvy crew"
  • "Howdy"
  • "Pa"
  • "Scrumptious"
  • "Scum"
  • "Tin can" – prison
  • "To bushwhack someone"
  • "Varmint"
  • "Yellow" – a coward person
  • "Whisker"

20th century Earth slang


  • "Cement overshoes" – A self-defining gangster term describing a method of drowning someone
  • "Flivver" – a type of cheap automobile, usually old and battered



  • "Buck" – dollar
  • "Dick" – detective
  • "Doll" – woman or girl
  • "Downtown" – jail
  • "Fella"
  • "Geedus" – money
  • "Gung Ho kind of gal"
  • "Hep-looking broad"
  • "Jake" – alright, fine
  • "Jamoke" – a stupid person
  • "Jerry"
  • "Joint" – a place where people congregate, like a bar or nightclub
  • "Jumpy"
  • "Moolah" – money
  • "Mug" – a thug; a hoodlum
  • "Nut"
  • "Shrew" – a policeman
  • "Slime"
  • "Stiff" – a corpse
  • "To ice somebody" – to murder somebody
  • "To take a gander"


  • "Cooped up"
  • "mogul" – a prominent businessman
  • "Pinko" – an individual who only mildly supports the ideas of socialism or communism
  • "Red" – an individual who more actively supports the ideas of socialism or communism
  • "N*gger" – derogatory term for Negros
  • "Rag"
  • "Tater" – a "home run" in the game of baseball
  • "Zero"


  • "Charley"
  • "Chick" – woman or girl
  • "Clyde" – a person lacking up-to-date sophistication
  • "Daddy-O" – see also: Big Daddy-O Surf Special
  • "Deadsville"
  • "Far out"
  • "Grease Monkey"
  • "Groovy" – great or excellent
  • "Harvey" – a person lacking up-to-date sophistication
  • "Jerk"
  • "Jet setter"
  • "Lounge lizard"
  • "Nanook of the North"
  • "Pallie" – friend
  • "Romeo"
  • "Square" – uncool, unhip, clueless, rigid in thinking (see: "Herbert")"



  • "The beast" – the US Government
  • "The big boy" – the captain (or leader)
  • "Boob tube" – television
  • "Cool"
  • "Freakasaurus" – an individual who exhibits extreme, uptight behavior
  • "Low-mileage pit woofie" – a young or inexperienced stock car racing groupie
  • "Old Watosh"
  • "Shrink"
  • "To scuffle along"

21st century Earth slang




  • "Take a leak" – crude term for urinate

22nd century slang

  • "Skag" – derogatory term for Skagarans
  • "Hick" – semi-derogatory term (sometimes embraced by those it is directed at) for people from rural areas of the United States such as western Florida and Iowa
  • "Boomer" – term used to describe a person who spent the majority of their life in space

23rd century slang


Iotian (supplement to 1920s slang)

"You mind your place, mister, or you'll be wearing concrete galoshes." (TOS: "A Piece of the Action")



24th century slang


See also


External link