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[outdated] slang.

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[04 Feb 2002|04:53pm]

1. (noun by 1937) A neighborhood.
The nabe is a honey, architecturally. --Village Voice
2. (noun by 1935) A neighborhood movie theater.
The current films . . . eventually make their way into the nabes. --AD Copleman
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[03 Feb 2002|06:02pm]

[ mood | okay ]

the life of Riley
(noun phrase by 1919) An eay and pleasant life; 'the gravy train.'
I took the money, went to Mexico, and lived the life of Riley
(Origin uncertain; perhaps from an 1880s song about a man named O'Reilly, who became rich and sybaritic.)

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[02 Feb 2002|08:28pm]

Okay, so maybe you'll get more than one each day:

helium hands
(noun phrase by 1990s) A student who frequently volunteers in class.
There's a nickname for people like that, 'helium hands,' their hands are always in the air. --Milwaukee Journal
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[02 Feb 2002|11:19am]

Howdy, everybody, and welcome to [outdated] slang! Here's the plan: I'll be posting one word or phrase with its definition each day. They'll all be taken from my trusty Dictionary of American Slang (I'm hoping to get dictionaries of slang for Great Britain, Australia and so forth in the near future, but we'll see). Anyhow, I thought I'd start with something a bit less obscure:

1. (noun by 1920s) A thug or hoodlum.
2. (noun, theater by 1880) The villain in a play, movie, situation, action, et cetera.
3. (adjective by 1971) Serious, intense.
4. (adjective, 1960s counterculture) Excellent, wonderful, "cool."
5. (adjective by 1842) Important, consequential, prominent.
6. (noun by 1940s) An important person.
7. (noun, 1970s surfers) A big wave.
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