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90s Slang You Should Know


[poh-lair-is, -lar-, puh-] /poʊˈlɛər ɪs, -ˈlær-, pə-/
Astronomy. the polestar or North Star, a star of the second magnitude situated close to the north pole of the heavens, in the constellation Ursa Minor: the outermost star in the handle of the Little Dipper.
a two-stage U.S. ballistic missile, usually fired from a submerged submarine.
Origin of Polaris
1955-60; short for Medieval Latin stella polāris polar star


[puh-lahr-ee, paw-] /pəˈlɑr i, pɔ-/
a distinctive English argot in use since at least the 18th century among groups of theatrical and circus performers and in certain homosexual communities, derived largely from Italian, directly or through Lingua Franca.
Also, parlyaree, parlary.
ultimately < Italian parlare to speak, talk; see parle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Polaris
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In New York the elevation of Polaris above the horizon is forty degrees, which is the latitude of the city.

    Astronomy for Young Folks Isabel Martin Lewis
  • A morning twilight sight for a fix or, at least, for latitude by Polaris.

    Lectures in Navigation Ernest Gallaudet Draper
  • If they have any other ships of that size, the Polaris will be able to handle them.

    The Revolt on Venus Carey Rockwell
  • I never dreamed we'd have you and the Polaris unit at our fair!

  • If Tom failed in his efforts to catch the saboteur, it could very well mean the end of the Polaris unit.

    Sabotage in Space Carey Rockwell
  • "It's a cinch they'll take the Polaris over," explained Tom.

British Dictionary definitions for Polaris


Also called the Pole Star, the North Star. the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Minor, situated slightly less than 1° from the north celestial pole. It is a Cepheid variable, with a period of four days. Visual magnitude: 2.08–2.17; spectral type: F8Ib
  1. a type of US two-stage intermediate-range ballistic missile, usually fired by a submerged submarine
  2. (as modifier): a Polaris submarine
Word Origin
shortened from Medieval Latin stella polāris polar star


an English slang that is derived from the Lingua Franca of Mediterranean ports; brought to England by sailors from the 16th century onwards. A few words survive, esp in male homosexual slang
Word Origin
C19: from Italian parlare to speak
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 Polaris

1769, short for stella polaris, Modern Latin, literally "the pole star" (see polar). The ancient Greeks called it Phoenice, "the Phoenician (star)," because the Phoenicians used it for navigation, though due to precession of the equinoxes it was not then the pole star. Also see pole (n.2). The Old English word for it was Scip-steorra "ship-star," reflecting its importance in navigation. As the name of a U.S. Navy long-range submarine-launched guided nuclear missile, it dates from 1957.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Polaris in Science
A bright star at the end of the handle of the Little Dipper in the constellation Ursa Minor. Polaris is 1° from the north celestial pole, and it remains in the same location in the sky all year, making it a useful navigation tool. Polaris is actually a double star with a faint companion star and has an apparent magnitude of 2.04. Also called North Star. Scientific name: Alpha Ursae Minoris.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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