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90s Slang You Should Know


or downlow

[doun-loh] /ˈdaʊnˈloʊ/ Slang.
of or pertaining to men who secretly or discreetly have sex with other men:
She once dated a down-low guy.
on the down low,
  1. (of a man) secretly or discreetly engaging in sex with other men.
  2. secret; discreet:
    Okay I'll tell you, but keep it on the down-low.
Origin of down-low
First recorded in 1990-95; down1 + low1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for down low
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • That down low, close to the floor, was always a current of fresher air.

    Faith Gartney's Girlhood Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney
  • down low, so low none dream of it, lies that will make you rich.

    Jessica, the Heiress Evelyn Raymond
  • Then he happened to look over the side of the tent, which had been let down low, to allow the breeze to come in.

  • Then he held it down low again and worked it about, and picked out a second batch of much smaller stones.

    To The West George Manville Fenn
  • down low; down low; down low,” came whispered back from man to man.

    Panther Eye Roy J. Snell
  • I boil it down and strain it, then boll it down, put camphor gum and fresh lard in it, boil it down low and pour it up.

  • They made a heavy load for each canoe, and brought them down low in the water.

    The Rival Campers Ashore Ruel Perley Smith
Contemporary definitions for down low

(used with the) secrecy, low profile; a life or world of secrecy; abbr. DL; also written down-low


Keep this on the down-low.

Word Origin


Usage Note



of, for, or having to do with men concealing homosexual tendencies


a down-low dating service


See down low

Word Origin


Usage Note

slang's 21st Century Lexicon
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