verb (used with object), slagged, slag·ging.
verb (used without object), slagged, slag·ging.
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Origin of slag1
OTHER WORDS FROM slag
Words nearby slag
Definition for slag (2 of 2)
Origin of slag2
ABOUT THIS WORD
What else does slag mean?
Content warning: the following content includes references to strong and sexist language.
As a verb, to slag (off somebody) is “to attack (them) verbally,” i.e., to talk smack about them.
Where does slag come from?
Outside of slang, slag refers to residue from the process of smelting, a method used to separate a metal from raw ore. This slag comes from a German root and has been recorded in English since the 1550s.
The British slang slag, for a “worthless or objectionable person,” is seen by the late 1700s. Its origin is unclear, but the smelting slag may have contributed a sense of “useless detritus.”
From this sense of “contemptible person,” slag expanded to all types of people or things considered unsavory. In the early 1900s, according to Green’s Dictionary of Slang, we can find slag for a “rough person,” “nonsense,” and “petty criminal,”
Another use of slag is as a verb, usually in the verb phrase slag off. This means “to verbally abuse (someone),” e.g., He was slagging me off by calling me an idiot. This use has been recorded as early as the 1960s.
The English rock band the Arctic Monkeys notably used slag in their 2007 song “Fluorescent Adolescent”: “Oh, the boy’s a slag, the best you ever had.” Here, slag is apparently characterizing a male as being sexually promiscuous.
How is slag used in real life?
While not as coarse as some slurs or swears, slag is considered offensive. When used of women, it’s even more insulting and can be considered sexist.
Do not understand why any girl would want to try talk to a lad who they can blatantly see has a girlfriend 😂 slags everywhere
— Shauna Pull (@shaunapullx) June 30, 2019
Slagging (someone off) isn’t a nice thing to do, but using the slang verb isn’t as offensive as outright calling someone a slag.
Imagine having a girl staying completely loyal to you and saying nothing but nice things about you as you sit in the other villa and slag her off to some random girl you’ve known a day. Poor Amber😩 #loveisland #loveisland2019
— Jasmine Hoyt (@jazzhoyt) July 2, 2019
More examples of slag:
“To get slagged off by Noel [Gallagher] was, for me, a real life-affirming moment,” says [Lewis] Capaldi. Would he like to slag off anyone in return? ‘That’s not really my move. Ask me at the end of the year.’”
—Elle Hunt, Guardian, June 2019
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
Example sentences from the Web for slag
We could toss all this information onto the ever-growing “Oh, those crazy Republicans” slag heap, have a laugh, and let it go.
It would be the equivalent of someone trying to slag Halle Berry without mentioning Catwoman.George W. Bush: Barack Obama’s Best Friend in the 2012 Election|Michael Tomasky|April 3, 2012|DAILY BEAST
The archetypal Arizonan did not slag the state; he spoke in the language of a real-estate brochure.
And under that rare sun all the little town, among its slag heaps and few tall chimneys, had an air of living faster.The Complete Essays of John Galsworthy|John Galsworthy
In one part there is a caon of slag heaps half a mile long for it to descend through.
Cole drove the cart slowly out onto the slag, studying the sky above him.The Variable Man|Philip K. Dick
The slag is really a kind of readily fusible glass, being essentially a calcium-aluminium silicate.An Elementary Study of Chemistry|William McPherson
I shall fire some rockets from the slag heap to-night about ten o'clock.War and the Weird|Forbes Phillips