A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



LA

"Laughing Aloud." An internet abbreviation.


Laliophilia

"Arousal from Public Speaking." From the Greek root "laleo" = "talk, chatter, prattle" and the suffix "-philia." See "-philia."


Laliophobia

"An Irrational Fear of Speaking." From the Greek root "laleo" = "talk, chatter, prattle" and the suffix "-phobia." See "-phobia."


Lamp

"A Source of Illumination." From the French "lampe," from the Latin "lampus," from the Greek "lampas" = "torch," from the root "lampein" = "to shine."


Lampadomancy

"Divination by Observation of the Light of a Candle or Oil Lamp." From the Latin "lampadomantia," from the Greek roots "lampas" = "torch, lamp" and "manteia" = "mode of divination."


Lard

"Lord." [DV] Meaning primarily Jesus Christ, when used in vain, as in "Lardy me!"


Lata

"Later." [DV] Primarily from Black Vernacular.


Lecanomancy, Leconomacy, Licanomancy

"Divination by Fluids (Usually Oil on Water) in a Dish." Literally, "dish-divination, from the Greek "lekanomanteia," from the roots "lekanê" = "dish" and "manteia" = "mode of divination."


Lech

"A Perverted Man." [Cont.] A shortened from of "lecher."


Lecher

"A Perverted Man." Literally, "lecher" means "licker." It came through Middle English from the Old French "lecheor," from "lechein" = "to lick." The root of the French is Germanic through Frankish, though it is a common Indo-European root. See "lick." Lecher can also take a verb form.


Lecherous

"Given to or Characterized by Lechery." From the Old French "lecheros." See "lechery" and "lecher."


Lechery

"Lewdness, Excessive Indulgence in Sexual Activity." From the Old French "lecherie." See "lecher."


Leconomancy

A variant of "lecanomancy."


Left-Handed Compliment

"An Ambiguous Compliment, Generally One Which is Negative or Unflattering." This cliché idiom shows the negative connotation of the "left hand side" seen reflected in our language. C.f. particularly "sinister."


Leggo

"Let Go." [Cont] Made popular in multiple vernaculars by the commercial slogan "Leggo my Eggo."


Legit

Contraction of "legitimate." This is still considered slang, but has entered into all stratums of speech.


L8R

"Later." An internet phoneticism.


Lemme

"Let Me," or sometimes "Lend Me or Let Me Have." This is a widespread contraction, appearing anywhere from British slang to Black Vernacular.


Lench

"Lynch, Hang, Execute." [DV] This is a Black Vernacular version of "lynch," popular in Rap culture.


Let the Cat Out of the Bag

"To Give Away Secrets, Particularly Deceptions." This cliché supposedly derives from the practice of tying dead cats up in bags and selling them as pigs to unsuspecting marks.


Lewd

"Obscene." This derives from the Middle English "læwed," meaning "lay" or "unlearned." This came from the Anglo-Saxon "loewed," meaning "lay," "not of the clergy." It was a relative of the German "Leute" = "people." This developed much the same way as the term "profanity," which originally came from "profane," meaning simply "secular."


Lexical

"Of or Pertaining to the Words of a Language." Often used in differentiation from "grammatical." From the Greek "lexis" = "word or phrase" and the suffix "-al." See "-al."


Lexicography

"The Writing or Compilation of Dictionaries." A variant of "lexigraphy" influenced by "lexicon." See "lexicon" and "lexigraphy."


Lexicology

"The Study of Words." From "lexical" and "-ology." See entries for both.


Lexicon (pl. Lexica)

"Dictionary, Word Book; Specialized Vocabulary." Greek, from the root "lexis" = "word or phrase."


Lexigraphy

"The Writing or Compilation of Dictionaries." From the Greek "lexigraphos" = "lexigrapher." Sometimes spelled "lexicography." See "lexical" and "-graphy."


Lexiphane

"A Word-Monger." From the Greek "lexiphanes" of the same meaning.


Lexiphanic

"Pertaining to or Given to Inflated or Pompous Word Useage." See "lexiphane" and "-ic."


Lexiphanicism

"The Habit of Using Inflated or Pompous Words." See "lexiphanic" and "-ism."


Lexis

"The Total Set of Words in a Language." From the Greek "lexis" = "word or phrase."


Lg.

"Large." A common abbreviation.


Libanomancy

"Divination by the Burning of Incense." From the Greek roots "libanos" = "frankincense" and "manteia" = "mode of divination."


Licanomancy

A variant of "lecanomancy."


Lick

"to Lap with the Tongue." From the Middle English "licken," from the Anglo-Saxon "liccian." It corresponds to the German "lekken." Though Lick comes to us from Germanic, the root is seen elsewhere in Indo-European, such as the Greek "leiktys" = "cunnilingus."


Lickerish

"Lecherous." An altered form of "lickerous." There was also a form "liqorous" in Middle English.


Lickerous

"Lecherous." This comes form the Middle English "likerous," which possibly derives from the Old French "lecheor." See "lecher." The word has a few archaic meanings beyond "lecherous." It could also mean "relishing good food," "skillful in making good food," and "appetizing." See also "lickerish."


Lil'

"Little." [cont] This is a Southern pronunciation, but definately an Ebonic spelling. It is commonly used for stage names, as in "Lil' Kim," "Lil' Bow Wow," "Lil' Blunt," "Lil' Buddy," "Lil Cease," Lil' Rob," "Lil' Troy," "Lil' Soldiers," "Lil' Wyno," "Lil' Zane," "Lil' Wayne," and the pornstar name "Lil' Ass." It also appears in regular text, for instance: "a lil' cash money."


Lingo

"Specialised Language." From the Latin "lingua" = "tongue, language," probably through Portugese.


Lingua Franca

"Common Language, International Languiage." Italian for "French Language," from when French was the common international tongue.


Linguaphile

"A Lover of Language and Words." From the Latin "lingua" = "tongue, language" and the suffix "-phile." See "-philia."


Lissen

"Listen." [DV] A Black Vernacular spelling. Note for example "LissenUp! Promotions."


-lith

"Stone." From the Greek root "lithos" = "stone." See also "-ite."


Lite

"Light, Having Fewer Calories or Less Substance." An alteration of "light," but generally only in the sense of weight, not as in illumination.


-lite

"Stone." French, from the Greek root "lithos" = "stone."


Lithography

"The Art of Engraving on Precious Stones; The Art of Using Engraved Stones to Make Prints of an Image." From the Greek roots "lithos" = "stone" and "graphe" = "picture, drawing."


Lithoid

"Stonelike." From the Greek root "lithos" = "stone" and the suffix "-oid." See "-oid."


Litholatry

"Stone Worship." From the Greek roots "lithos" = "stone" and "latreia" = "service to the gods, divine worship."


Lithology

"The Descriptive Study and Classification of Minerals." From the Greek root "lithos" = "stone" and the suffix "-ology." See "-ology."


Lithomancy

"Divination by Stones or Meteorites." From the Greek roots "lithos" = "stone" and "manteia" = "mode of divination."


Lithophagus

"An Animal that Eats Stones." From the Greek roots "lithos" = "stone" and "phagein" = "devour."


'll

"Will." [Cont]


LMAO

"Laughing My Ass Off." An internet abbreviation.


LMSO

"Laughing My Socks Off." An internet abbreviation.


Locc

"Prison, Jail; Imprisoned." [DV] A particularly Ebonic spelling. See "lock."


Lock, Locc

"Prison, Jail; Imprisoned." Primarly from Black Vernacular. The term is short for "locked up." For example, "In da locc" or "on lock" = "in prison." See also "lockdown."


Lockdown

"Prison, Jail." See "lock."


Lock, Stock and Barrel

"In Its Entirety." A cliché allusion, usually seen as "bought it lock stock and barrel." These are the main three components of an old gun. If you bought the lock, stock and barrel, you bought the whole gun.


Logomania

"A Pathological State of Volubility or Incoherent Wordiness, Given to Logorrhea." From the Greek roots "logos" = "speech" and "mania" = "madness; enthusiasm or inspired frenzy."


Logorrhea

"Outbursts of Incoherent Rambling." Characteristic of mental disorders. See "logomania." It is derived from the Greek roots "logos" = "speech" and "roia" = "flux" or "flow."


LOL

"Laughing Out Loud." An internet abbreviation.


Lollapaloozer

"A Member of the 'Alternative Rock' Crowd." A play on the name of the "Lollapalooza" festival and the word "looser."


Loon

"Insane Person." [Cont] From "lunatic." See also "luny" and "loony."


Loony, Looney

"Insane Person; Insane." Corruption of "lunatic." See also "luny" and "loon."


Lotta

"Lot Of." [Cont.] As in Led Zeppelins' "Whole Lotta Love." It is popular in Black Vernacular.


Lousy

"Unpleasant; Dirty, Filthy; Infested With Lice." This word originally connoted just what it looks like, infected with lice. From the association of lice with dirtiness and low station, the word aquired a pejorative and abusive use. It is first recorded in a pejorative sense in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, where it appears as "lowsy."


LR

"Living Room." Common in real estate ad terminology.


Lrg

"Large." Common in ad terminology.


Lthr

"Leather." A common abbreviation in sales ads.


LTR

"Long Term Relationship." From single's ad terminology.


Luddism

"Opposition to Technological Change." From "Luddite." See "Luddite."


Luddite

"Someone Who Opposes Technological Change; Someone Who Opposes Factory Mechanization." Originally, the term "Luddites" refered to a group of British protesters who, between 1811 and 1816 rioted and smashed textile machinery in opposition to factory mechanisation, which they felt would take away jobs from the workers. The group was named after Ned Ludd, who supposedly also destroyed textile machinery in the year 1776.


Luny, Luney

"Insane Person; Insane." Corruption of "lunatic." See also "looney" and "loon."


Lupine

"Characteristic of Wolves; Rapaceous." From the Latin "Lupus," from the Greek "lukos." See also "wolf" 1, 2 & 3.


Lurk

1. "To Lie in Wait; Sneak; Exist Unobserved; Move Around Furtively." The primary meaning of "lurk" appears to be "to sneak" in some way, either moving about or staying still. See also "lurking." In the 19th century, it also started appearing with the meaning of "prowl," both in substantif and verb forms. These meanings still survive today, as in "on the lurk." Later in the same century the word appeared with a slang meaning "method of fraud" or "racket." Though these meanings appear late, they seem to have cognates in other languages, suggesting that these are not, in fact, recently formed meanings. There are two new meanings of the word in computer terminology. One is someone on a discussion forum that reads posts, but does not comment and make themselves known. Another is to enter a computer system illegally to eavesdrop or extract data. The word "lurk" comes from the Middle English verb "lurken" of the same meaning. It is definitely Germanic, though its history is obscure. There seems to be no record of it in Anglo-Saxon. There are various cognates in the Scandinavian languages. Norwegian has "lure" = "eavesdrop, spy, watch, lurk," and also "lur" = "to fool, trick; sneak, steal; lie in ambush, in wait for; be on the watch for." The Swedish and Danish also have "lur" = "to lie in wait." The Swedish have "lura" = "to lie in wait, take in, cheat; impose upon, dupe." Norwegian has "lurerie" = "trickery" while Swedish has "lurendrejeri" = "cheating; fraud." The Danish also have "lure" = "eavesdrop, peep." It is almost certainly related to "lurch"


Lurking

"Hiding Place." An abbreviation of the phrase "lurking place," which means the same thing. See "lurk."


Lurker

"One Who Lurks." From the Middle English "lurkere" of the same meaning. See "lurk."


Luv

"Love." [DV] This is popular in Black Vernacular spelling, with a high spillover into other dialects. See also "luva" and "luv 1s."


Luva

"Lover." [DV] Primarily from Black Vernacular. See "luv."


Luvlee

"Lovely." See "luv."


Luv 1s

"Loved ones." [DV][Cont] Primarily from Black Vernacular. See "luv."


LY

"Love Ya." An internet abbreviation.


Lycanthropy

"The Mythological Affliction of Being Turned Into a Wolf, or Of Changing Periodically Into a Wolf; The Psychological Affliction Where One Believes Themseves to Be a Wolf (Zoanthrope), or to Change Into a Wolf." From the Greek "lukanthropos," from the roots "lukos" = "wolf" and "anthropos" = "humanity." See "werewolf" and "wolf."


Lynch

"Hang; Judge Unfairly." This is an eponym after Charles Lynch, a Justice of the Peace of Bedford County, Virginia in the late 18th century. He was known for having set up his own court unlawfully because prisoners sent to the nearest court were often rescued. Although some guilty were sentenced to death, the implication of hanging came secondary. The term started out in the idiom "lynch law," meaning an unfair or unauthorized trial. See also "lench."





A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home