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90s Slang You Should Know


[rip-er] /ˈrɪp ər/
a person or thing that rips.
Also, ripper bill, ripper act. a legislative bill or act for taking powers of appointment to and removal from office away from the usual holders of these powers and conferring them unrestrictedly on a chief executive, as a governor or mayor, or on a board of officials.
a double-ripper.
a killer who dispatches and often mutilates victims with a knife or similar weapon.
Mining. a hooklike tool, attached to earth-moving machinery, for tearing away ore, rock, etc.
Chiefly British Slang. something especially strong, fine, or good of its kind.
Origin of ripper
First recorded in 1605-15; rip1 + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ripper
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The ripper made a sudden dash forward, down a steeper incline, faster, faster.

    Winter Fun William O. Stoddard
  • Its a ripper, the gramophone, I mean, like some other people I am thinking of!

    The Celebrity at Home Violet Hunt
  • Mr. ripper had no doubt been playing truant on his own account.

    Elster's Folly Mrs. Henry Wood
  • It's a ripper of a kite with a great gilt star on it that's got eight prongs.

    The William Henry Letters Abby Morton Diaz
  • Jack the ripper manifestly had something of the same idea about his use of the knife.

    She Stands Accused Victor MacClure
British Dictionary definitions for ripper


a person who rips
a murderer who dissects or mutilates his victims' bodies
(informal, mainly Austral & NZ) a fine or excellent person or thing
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 ripper

1610s, agent noun from rip (v.). Meaning "killer who mutilates his victims" (1890) is from Jack the Ripper, notorious London murderer, whose nickname contains a pun on ripper in sense of "tool for ripping" old slates, etc. (1823) and the slang meaning "excellent person or thing, a 'ripping' fellow" (1838), from ripping "excellent, splendid."

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



One that is an excellent or admirable example of its kind: Every episode is a ripper (1838+)

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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