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



RA

"Return Authorization." A common commercial abbreviation, usually designating a number, such as RA#768. Sometimes RGA.


Rabic

"Pertaining to Rabies." From the French "rabique" of the same meaning. See "rabies" and "-ic."


Rabid

"Furious, Mad, Raging; Overly Enthusiastic; Infected With Rabies." From the Latin "rabidus" = "raving, furious, enraged, mad." Note also the German "rabiat" = "violent."


Rabies

"A Nervous Disorder in Dogs." Rabies is named for its property of driving dogs "rabid," or raving mad. The word goes back directly to the Latin "rabies" = "madness, rage."


Rad

"Cool, Hip." [Cont] Short for "radical" in its evolved, vulgar, meaning. See "radical."


Radar

"Radio Detection." A semi-acronym of RAdio Detecting And Ranging.


Radical

1. "Of, Pertaining to, Arising from or Going to a Root or Source, Basic." Etymologically, "of roots" through the French radical from the Latin radicalis = "having roots," from radix = "root." The word evolved to mean something akin to "fundamental" or "basic." Something "radical" is something which gets to the roots of something, hence a "radical solution" is one which attacks the roots of a problem, hence "radical" as "revolutionary" and later "hipster." See also "rad," "root," "radish," "radix," "radicans," "radicosus," "radicatus," "radicate," "eradicate," "rhizo-" and "rhizome."

In botanical terminology, something radical is something which arises from the roots, such as "radical leaves."

In linguistic terminology, radical means "of or being a root," as in a "radical form."

In mathematical terminology, a radical is the root of a quantity as indicated by the radical sign.


Radicans

"With Structures that Have Rooting Abilities." Botanical Latin, generally meaning a plant where the stem sends out root structures, from the Latin radix = "root." This can be seen in such binomial designations as Toxicodendron radicans = "poison ivy" and Campsis radicans = "trumpetcreeper," both vines which send out roots all along their stems. See also "root," "radicate," "radicatus" and "radical."


Radicate

"To Take Root, Become Rooted." From the Latin radicatus, past participle of radicari = "to take root" from radix = "root." See also "radicatus," "radix," "root" and "eradicate."


Radicatus, Radicata, Radicatum

"Rooted." Botanical Latin, past participle of radicari = "to take root" from radix = "root." This can be seen in many binomial designations such as: Erigeron radicatus, Sonchus radicatus, Polyporus radicatus = "rooted polypore," Hypochaeris radicata = "hairy catsear," Fistulina radicata, Murexiella radicata, Papaver radicatum, Hebeloma radicatum and Sisyrinchium radicatum = "bigroot blue-eyed grass." See also "radicate," "radix" and "root."


Radish

"Raphanus sativus." So called because it is a root vegetable, from the Middle English radiche = "radish," from the Anglo-Saxon "rædic" = "radish" from the Latin radix = "root." See also "root" and "radical."


Radix

1. Botanical: "A Root or Point of Origin" 2. Mathematics: "The Base Number of a Numerical System" as in 2 = the radix of the binary system, 10 = the radix of the decimal system and 16 = the radix of the hexadecimal system. Both meanings derive from the Latin radix = "root." See also "root," "rhizic" and "radical."


Raffish

"Tawdry, Showily Vulgar in Appearance." From the Middle English "raf" = "rubbish."


Rage

"Violent Anger; To Communicate or Act with Violent Anger." From the Middle English and Old French cognates "rage," which in turn come from the Latin "rabio" = "to rage, be mad." "Rage," in French, is still used to denote rabies as well as its English meanings. In English, the word has also come to refer to pop madness, as in something being "all the rage."


R&D

"Research and Development." A common abbreviation.


R&R

"Rest and Recreation." A military term.


Ranarium

"A Place Where Frogs Are Kept." From the Latin "rana" = "frog" and the suffix "-arium" = "place where something is kept" from Latin, neuter of "-arius" generally meaning "pertaining to something."


Ranidae

"Frogs." The scientific name for the true frog family, from the Latin "rana" = "frog."


Ranidaphobia

"An Irrational Fear of Frogs." Also known as "batrachophobia." From "ranidae," the family name of frogs, from the Latin "rana" = "frog" and the suffix "-phobia." See "-phobia."


Raniform

"Frog Shaped." From the Latin roots "rana" = "frog" and "forma" = "form, shape."


Ranine

"Pertaining to Frogs; Frog-like." From the Latin "rana" = "frog" and the suffix "-ine." See "-ine" 1.


Ranivorous

"Eating Frogs." From the Latin roots "rana" = "frog" and "voro" = "devour, swallow."


Rank

"Putrid; Offensive Smelling; Conspicuously Offensive." While the word "rank," meaning "offensive" derives from the Middle English and Anglo-Saxon "ranc" = "strong, overbearing," it seems probable that some of the modern connotations have been influenced by the word "rancid."


Rapscallion

"Rascal." A development of the obsolete "rascallion" = "rascal." See "rascal."


Rascal

"Scoudrel; Playfully Mischievous Person." From the Middle English "rascaile" and the Old French "rascaille," both meaning "rabble" or "commoners." The etymology past that is sketchy.


Rascality

"A Mischievous or Malicious Act; Behaviour Befitting a Rascal." See "rascal."


Rcpt.

"Reciept." A common abbreviation.


RE, Re

"Regarding." An internet abbreviation. Used commonly in message headers.


Ream

1. "Quantity of Paper." A ream used to be 480 sheets, but is now generally 500 sheets. A printer's ream consists of 516 sheets. Ream comes from the Middle English "reme," from the Old French "reime," from the Old Spanish "resma," which in turn comes from the Arabic word "rizmah" = "bundle."


Ream

2. "To Form or Enlarge a Hole; Perform Anal Sex." the secondary meaning developed from the first. The secondary meaning developed from the Middle English "remen" = "to make room." This is a descendant of the Anglo-Saxon "ryman" = "to clear, open up." It is related to the word "room," as in "space."


Reamer

"A Tool for Enlarging Holes." See "ream."


Red Shirt

"An Expendable Character." A Star Trek allusion. It seems that whenever the crew landed somewhere the extras wearing red shirts were the ones who got killed off.


Reel

"Real." [DV] Primarily in Black Vernacular usage, as in "Fo' Reel" by Nelly. It seems to be influenced by "reel," as in "reel to reel recording," hence the idiom "on the reel to reel" = "in reality."


Reimkennar

"One Skilled in Magic Incantation." Literally, a "rhyme-knower," according to its Germanic components. The actual origin of the word is obscure. It seems to first appear in the work of Sir Walter Scott, and may be of his creation.


Reneg

"To Go Back on an Agreed Deal." Contracted from "renegotiate."


Rental Units

"Parents." See "rents." Shortened from the sociological term "parental units." "Rental unit" is also a term used to denote an apartment. This useage most likely influenced the slang useage.


Rents

"Parents." [Cont] A derogatory shortening of "parents," implying their disposability after a term, through association with the term "rental" or "to rent."


Ret

"Ready." [Cont.][DV] Idiomatically found in "ret ta go."


RGA

"Return Goods Authorization." A common commercial abbreviation, usually designating a number, such as RGA#768. Sometimes RA.


Rhabdoidal

"Resembling or Having the Form of a Rod." From the Greek root "rabdos" = "rod" and the suffixes "-oid" and "-al." See entries for both suffixes.


Rhabdomancy

"Divination by a Wand or Rod, Dowsing." From the Greek roots "rabdos" = "wand or rod" and "manteia" = "mode of divination."


Rhabdophilia

"Sexual Arousal from Being Beaten." From the Greek root "rabdos" = "rod" and the suffix "-philia." See "-philia."


Rhabdophobia

"Fear of Being Beaten." From the Greek root "rabdos" = "rod" and the suffix "-phobia." See "-phobia."


Rhizic

"Pertaining to the Root of an Equation." Mathematical Terminology, from the Greek rizikos = "of the root." See "rhizo-" and "-ic."


Rhizo-

"Pertaining to Roots." A combining form based on the Greek rizo-, from riza = "roots." Riza is allegedly developed from a PIE root *wrot = "root." Cognate to this are the Latin "radix" and the English "root." See also "root," "radix" and "rhizome."


Rhizoid

"Resembling a Root." See "rhizo-" and "-oid."


Rhizomania

"An Abnormal Development of Roots." See "rhizo-" and "-mania."


Rhizome

"A Horizontal, Usually Underground Stem that Often Sends Out Roots and Shoots from its Nodes." Also called a rootstalk or rootstock. From the Greek rizoma = "root mass" from riza = "root." See also "root," "rhizo-" and "radix."


Rhizomorphoid

"Root-Like." See "rhizo-," "-morph" and "-oid." See also "rhizomorphous."


Rhizomorphous

"Root-Like." See "rhizo-" and "-morphous." See also "rhizomorphoid."


Rhizophageous

"Feeding on Roots." From the Greek "rizophagos" = "eating roots," combining rizo- (see "rhizo-") and phagos, from phagein = "to devour."


Rhodo-

"Of Roses." Sometimes used to denote "rose colored." This takes the form of "rhodo-" before a consonant and "rhod-" before a vowel. It derives from the Greek rod- and rodo-, combining forms of rodon = "rose."


Rhododendron

"A Genus of Shrubbery in the Ericaceae Family, incuding Azaleas." From the Greek rododendron. See "rhodo-" and "-dendron."


Rhodochrome

"Rose Colored." See "rhodo-" and "-chrome."


Rhymestone

"Rhinestone." [DV] A Black Vernacular permutation, based in part on "rhyme."


Rice Burner

"a Small Japanese Motorcycle." An American redneck pejorative based on the association of rice with the far Eastern diet.


Ridda

"Rid Of." [Cont]


Riddim , Rydim

"Rythm." [DV] A Jamaican, Reggae term. Note also the term "riddim trok" = "rythm track."


Rifle

"A Gun With Rifling." Technically, any gun with rifling is a rifle. The original term was "rifled gun," later shortened to "rifle." A howitzer or tank cannon is a rifle as long as it has rilfing but a shotgun, for instance, does not and therefore is not a rifle. See "rifling."


Rifling

"Grooves in a Gunbarrel Used to Spin the Bullet." These grooves improve accuracy by spinning the bullet much like a football is spun when thrown. The word comes from the French "rifler" = "to scrape." See also "rifle."


RL

"Real Life." An internet abbreviation.


RME

"Rolling My Eyes." An internet abbreviation.


RN

"Registered Nurse." Pronounced out as the letters "are-en" regularly.


ROFL

"Rolling On Floor Laughing." An internet abbreviation. See also "ROTFL."


'Role

"Parole." [Cont] Southern Black prisoner's slang, as seen in the Alan Lomax prison recordings of Parchman Farm, also known as Mississippi State Penitentiary, during the late forties. Cf. the chorus to "I'm Going to Memphis" which runs "I'm goin' to Memphis when I get my 'role." Similarly, "When I Went to Leland" from the same collection runs "But I'm goin' to Jackson when I, when I get my 'role." These are variants of the same, both followed by similar verses about standing on the levee hearing a big boat blow. The same appears in the track "Old Dollar Mammie" as well, only in that volume, the transcriber writes "roll." Son House sings "I'm gonna do like a prisoner, I'm gonna roll my time on out" in his "Preachin Blues." How he would have spelled it himself is not known to me.
To roll, in Black Vernacular has the connotations of leaving, as in "let's roll" meaning to leave a place. This also seems apparent in the term "rolling stone," so familiar from blues lyrics, meaning one who is always on the more. The word possibly also has sexual connotations, parole being one's only chance at getting laid, or getting the "sweet jelly roll."


Roll

2. "Parole." See "'role."


Root

1. "The Underground Portions of a Plant." From the Anglo-Saxon rot = "root" from the same in Old Norse. These allegedly derive from the PIE *wrot = "root." Cognate to these is the Latin radix and the Greek riza, both = "root." See also "wort," "radical," "radix," "rhizo-" and "rhizome."


Root

2. "The Point of Origin from Which Something Stems," metaphorically from definition 1. This secondary definition is attached to most forms of the word throughout history including the Anglo-Saxon rot, the Latin radix and the Greek riza. See "root 1," "radix," "radical" and "rhizic."


ROTFL

"Rolling On The Floor Laughing." An internet abbreviation. See also "ROFL" and "ROTFLMAO."


ROTFLMAO

"Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off." An internet abbreviation. See also "ROFL" and "ROTFL."


Roun, Round

"Whisper." An archaic English word from the Middle English words of the same meaning, "roune," "rounen" and "rounden." Note also the Middle English "rouninges" = "whisperings, private conversations." The Middle English forms derive from the Anglo-Saxon "runian" = "to whisper, murmur, talk secrets, conspire," which probably derives from the Old Saxon "runon" = "to whisper" or a similar form in Frisian or old Anglian. The word survives in the German "raunen" with the same meaning. All these forms derive from the idea of "conspiring," "mystery," and "secrecy" seen in old forms of the root. This same root gives us "rune," as the "runic characters" of the Germanic script. The "runes" are thus labelled "mysteries."


Round

1. "Around." [Cont] As in "take a look 'round."


Round

2. A variant of "roun."


RPM

"Revolutions Per Minute." A common abbreviation.


RPS

"Revolutions Per Second." A common abbreviation.


RTDM

"Read The Damn Manual." An internet abbreviation.


RTFM

"Read The Fucking Manual." An internet abbreviation.


RTDF

"Read The Damn FAQ." An internet abbreviation. See "FAQ."


RTFF

"Read The Fucking FAQ." An internet abbreviation. See "FAQ."


Ruff

"Rough." [DV] This spelling is popular in Black Vernacular, for example "thru the ruff and crazy times," "If It Ain't Ruff," etc. Note also the "Ruff Ryders," "Ruff Nation," "Ruff Endz" and the Reggae band "Ruff Kutt."


RV

"Recreational Vehicule, Camper." Pronounced "are vee."





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