Monday, January 24, 2005

The Broadway Dictionary

We have some new entries to our dictionary, thanks to Rush Glick and Chris Mentzer!

ABSCONDED: To leave quickly and secretly and hide oneself, often to avoid arrest or prosecution.+

ASBESTOS: Either of two incombustible, chemical-resistant, fibrous mineral forms of impure magnesium silicate, used for fireproofing , electrical insulation.+

BEEF (slang): A complaint.+

BIGWIG: A very important person.+

BLOW THE LID OFF: Having information that would expose many wrongdoings and sharing it with the media.+

CAMERA HOUNDS: People taking pictures constantly of everything and anything. Almost like the paparazzi.+

CRACK: A witty or sarcastic remark.+

DIPHENYLAMINE: A colorless crystalline compound used as a stabler for plastics and in the manufacture of dyes, explosives, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals.*

DO THE TOWN (also SEE THE TOWN): Go sightseeing, visit shops, and other tourist attractions.+

DUCKS: (1)Excellent, fine.+
(archaic) (2) An "endearment" used by some Englishmen.

FATHER KNICKERBOCKERS: Father Knickerbockers became a symbol for New York City in the early 1800's following the publication of Washington Irving's satirical "History of New York," which Irving attributed to "Diedrich Knickerbocker." A round, 17th century Dutch character, Father Knickerbocker remained New Yorkers of their Colonial past. Wearing Kickers, buckled shoes, and a white beard, Father Knickerbockers, a memory of Old New York, was prevalent until the 1950's when the modern city had securely taken hold. The name survives today, in abbreviated form, in the name of the New York Knicks basketball team.*

HEAT (slang): (1) An intensification of police activity in pursuing criminals.
(2) The police. Used with "the."*

"HOTTER THAN THE CHICAGO FIRE"--refers to the fire in 1871. Information available that creates a bigger problem than the literal fire.+

HOTTENTOT: (1) A Khoikhoin.
(2) Any of the Khoisan languages spoken by the pastoral people
of Namibia and South Africa.*

HUSH MONEY: Usually bribe money to keep someone quiet. Payoff.+

JAM: A trying situation.+

JOHNNY ON THE SPOT: Being ready to help, being there when needed. (The character's name was also Johnny.)+

KICK IT AROUND: Use words or phrases quickly and sometimes without regard for those around them who can't understand.+

KOWTOW: (1) To knell and touch the forehead to the ground in expression of deep respect, worship, or submission as formerly done in China.
(2) To show such deference.*

LIGHT-FINGERED: (1) Having quick and nimble fingers
(2) Skilled at or given to petty thievery.+

LOWDOWN (slang): The whole truth: Give us the lowdown on the party.*

Maharajah: (1) A king or prince in India ranking above a rajah, especially the sovereign of one of the former native states.
(2) Used as a title for such a king or prince.*

MOUSE (slang): A discolored swelling under the eye caused by a blow, a black eye.*

MUG: A thug, a hoodlum.+

NIFTY (slang): First-rate; great; frequently used as "a
nifty idea."+

ON THE LEVEL: Honest. Not a joke or scam.+

PENCIL-PUSHERS: One whose job involves writing and other paperwork.+

POINT THE FINGER ON: Identify someone, usually a known criminal.+

PURSER: The officer in charge of money matters on board a ship or commercial aircraft.+

RUBBER HOSE: Referring to police brutality during an interrogation.+


RUSTLE UP: Gather together.+

SEE THE TOWN (also DO THE TOWN): Go sightseeing, visit shops, and other tourist attractions.+

SKIP THE COUNTRY: Leave the country in a hurry.+

SCOOP (informal): (1) An exclusive story acquired by luck or initiative before a competitor.*
(2) Also the act of getting the story.

SHAKE-UP: Multiple activities and action occurring in a big city, business, etc.; frequently in connection with criminal activity.+

SHOWDOWN: AN event, especially a confrontation that forces an issue to a conclusion.+

SHYSTER (slang): AN unethical, unscrupulous practitioner, especially of law.*

SLIP YOU SOMETHING: (1) Give information or money secretly.+
(2) Putting some kind of drug in food or drink for some one to consume, usually to put that person to sleep, etc.+

SLUMMING: To visit impoverished areas or squalid locales , especially out of curiosity or for amusement.
(slang): To "go out on the town."*

STEWARD: (1) A ship's officer who is in charge of provisions and dining arrangements.+
(2) An attendant on a ship or airplane.+

SULPHURIC ACID: A heavy corrosive, oily liquid, colorless when pure, but usually yellowish or brownish, produced by the combined action of sulfuric dioxide, oxygen (from the air), steam and nitric fumes. It attacks and dissolves many metals and other intractable substances, sets free most acids from their salts, and is used into the manufacture of hydrochloric and citric acids, of soda, of bleaching powders, etc. It is also a powerful dehydrating agent, having a strong affinity for water, and eating and corroding paper , wood, clothing, etc. It is thus used to the manufacture of ether. of imitation parchment, and of nitroglycerine. It is also used in etching iron, in removing from scale from foraging, in petroleum refining, etc. and in general its manufacture in the most important and fundamental for all the chemical industries.*

TAKE A POWDER: Suddenly leave, the powder referring to talcum powder after showering.+

TEAR A DUCK APART: Banquet or party.+

TOUT YOUR WHISTLE: Give us a call.+

YARN (informal): A long, often elaborate narrative of real of fictitious adventures; and entertaining tale.+

*Thanks to Rush Glick, www.charliechan.info
+Thanks to Chris Mentzer, http://cyberspacechan.blogspot.com

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