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90s Slang You Should Know


[sawr-hed, sohr-] /ˈsɔrˌhɛd, ˈsoʊr-/
noun, Informal.
a disgruntled or vindictive person, especially an unsportsmanlike loser:
Don't be such a sorehead, they won fair and square.
Origin of sorehead
1840-50; compare Scots sorehead a headache
Related forms
soreheadedly, adverb
soreheadedness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sorehead
Historical Examples
  • I guess if I had a woman like you I wouldn't be such a sorehead.

    Main Street Sinclair Lewis
  • "Don't be a sorehead, Bill, just because you lost," put in Fatty Hendry.

    The Rover Boys on a Hunt Arthur M. Winfield (Edward Stratemeyer)
  • We say that "knocking" is a sign of the "sorehead" and we sublimate criticism by saying that "every knock is a boost."

    A Preface to Politics Walter Lippmann
  • "I know one 'sorehead,'" remarked Ray with a grimace as he felt of his wound.

  • sorehead: A politician who has reached for something that was not his, and missed.

    The Roycroft Dictionary Elbert Hubbard
  • As for Rucker, who's waitin' on the table an' packin' in viands from the kitchen, he takes it as sullen as a sorehead dog.

    Faro Nell and Her Friends Alfred Henry Lewis
  • It took the sorehead feeling of wronged genius out of me for good and all.

  • Obviously he was a sorehead—had some kind of grudge against Stet.

    Helpfully Yours Evelyn E. Smith
  • And my Jimmie is going to work to get himself promoted and quit being a sorehead at his steady hours and all.

    Americans All Various
  • The Bug don't waste no time lookin' for holds, but casyooally, yet no less s'fficiently, snags onto sorehead.

    Faro Nell and Her Friends Alfred Henry Lewis
British Dictionary definitions for sorehead


(informal, mainly US & Canadian) a peevish or disgruntled person
Derived Forms
soreheadedly, adverb
soreheadedness, noun
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 sorehead

"mean, discontented person," 1848, American English, from sore (adj.) + head (n.). Especially in 19c. U.S. political slang, a person who is dissatisfied through lack of recognition or reward for party service (1862).

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



An irritable person; a constant complainer; a grouch (1848+)

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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