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90s Slang You Should Know


[green-hawrn] /ˈgrinˌhɔrn/
an untrained or inexperienced person.
a naive or gullible person; someone who is easily tricked or swindled.
Slang. a newly arrived immigrant; newcomer.
Origin of greenhorn
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English; see green, horn; orig. applied to cattle with green (i.e., young) horns
Related forms
greenhornism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for greenhorn
Historical Examples
  • It was there the greenhorn from the country took his first steps in the road to ruin.

  • I might have knowed it was some greenhorn, when I heard you coming two points off your course.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • Nobody loves me, and the mosquitoes has mistook me for a greenhorn.

    A Man in the Open Roger Pocock
  • In spite of his nickname, Sally was no greenhorn on occasions like this.

    Labrador Days Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
  • She, on her side, perceiving what a greenhorn she had to deal with, made up her shrewd little mind to set her cap for me.

    The Wasted Generation Owen Johnson
  • He would not be able to help but regard Alan as a kid, a greenhorn; it was natural.

    Starman's Quest Robert Silverberg
  • But it is nevertheless Gospel truth that I was such a greenhorn as to be almost as sorry for you as I was for myself.

    Doctor Cupid Rhoda Broughton
  • They found they had not got quite the greenhorn to deal with that they had first imagined.

    The Congo Rovers Harry Collingwood
  • Having always been fond of outdoor sports in his Kentucky home, he was, at least, no greenhorn.

  • Only a greenhorn is careless of the comfort and welfare of his horse.

    Two Arrows William O. Stoddard
British Dictionary definitions for greenhorn


an inexperienced person, esp one who is extremely gullible
(mainly US) a newcomer or immigrant
Word Origin
C17: originally an animal with green (that is, young) horns
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for greenhorn

mid-15c., "young horned animal," from green (adj.) in sense of "new, fresh, recent" + horn (n.). Applied to new soldiers from c.1650; extended to any inexperienced person by 1680s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for greenhorn



An inexperienced person; newcomer; neophyte; rookie (1753+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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