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90s Slang You Should Know


[rou-dee] /ˈraʊ di/
noun, plural rowdies.
a rough, disorderly person.
adjective, rowdier, rowdiest.
rough and disorderly:
rowdy behavior at school.
Origin of rowdy
1810-20, Americanism; perhaps irregular from row3
Related forms
rowdily, adverb
rowdiness, noun
unrowdy, adjective
2. boisterous, unruly, obstreperous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for rowdy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They were so excited and rowdy that I really feared they would come and burn the house over my head.

  • And in spite of all his efforts, the school was as rowdy as ever.

    The Willoughby Captains Talbot Baines Reed
  • The boys of the Fortuna went along as personal bodyguard with rowdy to share the honors.

    Boy Scouts in Southern Waters G. Harvey Ralphson
  • It was renowned for its riots, and was, in fact (to use a slang word) a "rowdy" place.

    We Two Edna Lyall
  • They have not quite the rowdy actuality of Mr. Tarkington's urchins.

    Explorers of the Dawn Mazo de la Roche
British Dictionary definitions for rowdy


adjective -dier, -diest
tending to create noisy disturbances; rough, loud, or disorderly: a rowdy gang of football supporters
noun (pl) -dies
a person who behaves in a rough disorderly fashion
Derived Forms
rowdily, adverb
rowdiness, noun
Word Origin
C19: originally US slang, perhaps related to row³
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 rowdy

"a rough, quarrelsome person," 1808, American English, originally "lawless backwoodsman," probably from row (n.2). The adjective is first recorded 1819. Related: Rowdily; rowdiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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