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90s Slang You Should Know


[zing] /zɪŋ/
vitality, animation, or zest.
a quality or characteristic that excites the interest, enthusiasm, etc.:
a tourist town with lots of zing.
a sharp singing or whining noise, as of a bullet passing through the air.
verb (used without object)
to move or proceed with a sharp singing or whining noise:
The cars zinged down the highway.
to move or proceed with speed or vitality; zip.
verb (used with object)
to cause to move with or as with a sharp, singing or whining noise:
The pitcher zinged a slider right over the plate.
Slang. to blame or criticize severely:
City Hall always gets zinged when crime increases.
Origin of zing
First recorded in 1910-15; imitative Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for zing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • zingel, zing′el, n. a fish of the perch family, found in the Danube.

  • "zing, Jasper," cried Cap'n Jack, when one verse was completed.

    The Birthright Joseph Hocking
  • But I voot zooner hear la Sfencali zing a scale zan anypotty else zing ze most peautiful zong in ze vorldt—efen vun of my own!

    Trilby George Du Maurier
  • Any koot zinger can zing a peautiful zong and kif bleasure, I zubboce!

    Trilby George Du Maurier
  • It came unstuck from the frame with a tiny explosion of dust and a zing like that of the watch, only louder.

    The Moon is Green Fritz Reuter Leiber
British Dictionary definitions for zing


noun (informal)
a short high-pitched buzzing sound, as of a bullet or vibrating string
vitality; zest
(intransitive) to make or move with or as if with a high-pitched buzzing sound
Word Origin
C20: of imitative origin
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 zing

1911, "high pitched sound," 1918, of echoic origin. Slang meaning "energy, zest" is attested from 1918.

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



Energetic vitality; power; vigor; oomph, pep, pizzazz, zip: Rock adds zing/ with plenty of zing in both the V-8 engine and the powerful Six (1918+)


  1. (also zing along) To move rapidly and strongly; zip: The movie zings right along (1961+)
  2. To throw; inject, esp rapidly and strongly: like the Beatles every once in a while can zing it in there (1960s+)
  3. To insult; assault verbally, esp with bitter humor: King Caen, who zings everyone, gets a taste of his own medicine/ A woman on the editorial board merrily zinged the winking minister (1974+)

[probably echoic of the whishing sound of rapid movement, like zip and zoom]

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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