noun, plural hard-ons.Slang: Vulgar.
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Origin of hard-on
Words nearby hard-on
ABOUT THIS WORD
What does hard-on mean?
A hard-on is slang for an erection of the penis. It has been extended as a metaphor for being excited about something in general.
The vulgar slang hard-on is not to be confused with the expression to be hard (on someone) is to be mean and critical, or to he expression to go hard (on something), meaning “to go all out.”
What are some other forms of hard-on?
Where does hard-on come from?
To be hard (on someone), or “to be tough on or critical of,” has also been around since at least the 1860s. Hard, here, implies unfeeling treatment. In the 1950s, hard-on was slang for “tough” or “aggressive” behavior.
Hard on for “sexually aroused” is evidenced in 1893, as in He was hard on for her. By 1922, the word had become a noun for “erection” (e.g., He had a hard-on). Erect penises are characterized—if you need us to spell it out—as hard.
By the 1990s–2000s, hard-on had extended (no pun intended) to intense excitement in nonsexual contexts (e.g., You have a hard-on for McRib sandwiches).
How is hard-on used in real life?
As a noun, a hard-on is slang for “erection”—and not something you want to go around saying in a polite setting.
Verb phrases involving hard on vary in meaning. It often appears in to be hard (on someone), though in British English to be hard (on someone), as a cop on a thief, can mean “on the heels of.”
To go hard (on something) is Black slang for “going all out,” or “being really into” it, whether it’s sports or burritos.
Idc if the music industry shifted against buying, if you know that BTS don’t have radio, GP streaming nor high curated playlisting you go hard on songs sales, it’s totally doable. Cry me a river, and that’s the last I’m gonna say. Things got better tho, keep buying legends 💕
— 🥳 (@hyyhgcfilm) February 25, 2020
More examples of hard-on:
“To me, ‘being hard on yourself’ — it’s just another way of saying ‘having passion for the game.’ It’s just another way of saying ‘high expectations.’”
—Ryan Howard, The Players’ Tribune, September 2018
How to use hard-on in a sentence
Just the hard-on before you shoot unarmed members of the public.'Babylon' Review: The Dumb Lives of Trigger-Happy Cops|Melissa Leon|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
But so-called jungle primaries are notoriously hard to predict or poll.The Golden State Preps for the ‘Red Wedding’ of Senate Races|David Freedlander|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
My body used for his hard pleasure; a stone god gripping me in his hands.‘A Gronking to Remember’ Speed Read: 8 Naughtiest Bits|Emily Shire|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Three on-the-record stories from a family: a mother and her daughters who came from Phoenix.I Tried to Warn You About Sleazy Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2003|Vicky Ward|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
You just travel light with carry-on luggage, go to cities that you love, and get to hang out with all your friends.Coffee Talk with Fred Armisen: On ‘Portlandia,’ Meeting Obama, and Taylor Swift’s Greatness|Marlow Stern|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
He thought they were now in touch with our troops at "X" but that they had been through some hard fighting to get there.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I|Ian Hamilton
However this be, it is hard to say that these fibs have that clear intention to deceive which constitutes a complete lie.Children's Ways|James Sully
And it would be hard indeed, if so remote a prince's notions of virtue and vice were to be offered as a standard for all mankind.Gulliver's Travels|Jonathan Swift
Even if poverty were gone, the flail could still beat hard enough upon the grain and chaff of humanity.The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice|Stephen Leacock
"I congratulate you on your engagement," he said at last, looking up with a face that seemed to Bernard hard and unnatural.Confidence|Henry James
Idioms and Phrases with hard-on
Also, hard upon, hard by. In close proximity, as in The police were hard on the heels of the thieves, or It was hard upon three o'clock, or Their house is hard by ours. The variants are used less than hard on. [Second half of 1700s]
be hard on. Deal severely with, cause damage to. For example, He asked the teacher not to be too hard on those who forgot the assignment, or That cat has really been hard on the upholstery. [Second half of 1600s] Also see hard time, def. 2.