verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?
Origin of stain
OTHER WORDS FROM stain
Words nearby stain
ABOUT THIS WORD
What else does stain mean?
In general, a stain is something that leaves a mark.
In youth slang, a stain is a “worthless person.” In Black American slang, stain is a gang culture expression for “armed robbery.”
Where does stain come from?
Content warning: this article contains vulgar language.
The word stain is an old one in English. Starting in the 14th century, stain was a verb meaning “to blemish.” It became a noun referring to a mark or spot by the 16th century.
In the early 1600s, saying someone was stained could mean they were “drunk”—a slang sense that re-emerged in the 1990s.
By the 1990s, stain was in evidence in American and British English as a slang expression for a jerk (i.e., a contemptible person). This stain could be a shortening of wank-stain (the stain left over from ejaculate) or shit-stain.
In the 2010s, a stain in Black American gang slang came to refer to an “armed robbery,” either of a neighborhood business or of an individual. It’s possible that this stain comes from the metaphor that committing crime leaves a stain on one’s character. Typically, it is found in the expression hit a stain, meaning to “commit a robbery.”
A prominent example of the robbery sense of stain comes from the 2018 track “GUMMO” by notorious rapper and sometime criminal, 6ix9ine: “Hit a stain, fifty bands, all hunnids,” meaning that he’s robbed someone and got fifty thousand dollars in strapped hundred-dollar bills.
How is stain used in real life?
Calling someone a stain can be found in youth slang, especially in the UK.
It’s a distinctly insulting expression, insinuating someone is as disgusting as the mess left over by semen or feces.
In Black American gang slang, hitting a stain is a way to talk about committing armed robbery. Gangsters—and their wannabes—might reference past stains and stains they’re planning to hit.
i love seeing hood mfs on scooters. finna hit a stain w a lime.
— recks (@rxpriest) August 24, 2018
As we’ve seen, the gang-related stain can be found in hip-hop songs, such as Chance the Rapper’s 2013 track “Chain Smoker”: “Stain hitting, satin woodgrain gripping / Paint dripping / Motha, shut your mouth.”
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 stain
I’ve also found that it resists stains and cleans up easily, which is a major plus for road trips and winter camping.
Plus, the sudsing left stains on my lenses from the water I couldn’t shake off.The best ways to stop a mask from fogging up your glasses, ranked|Sandra Gutierrez G.|November 18, 2020|Popular Science
Soil stains hint that there may have been such structures inside and that people were living there, she said.Former Jesuit plantation may hold quarters of the enslaved|Michael Ruane|November 9, 2020|Washington Post
You wrote that it “left a stain on their reputations, their department and the country.”Q&A with ‘Anonymous’: Miles Taylor on his secret, why he didn’t resign and more|Philip Rucker, Carol D. Leonnig|October 30, 2020|Washington Post
They can sop up moisture and help tackle stains on other surfaces, including rugs and carpets.
As mentioned, Yahoo has a black stain on its collaboration and severe breach of privacy.
We ask our celebrities to pour their hearts out, and then chastise them if they stain our buttoned-up shirts.Welcome to Generation Overshare: Lena Dunham, Taylor Swift, and the Politics of Self-Disclosure|Marlow Stern|November 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
While that is unlikely to happen, the very fact that it can is a stain on the American judicial system.10-Year-Old Murder Defendant Shows Failure of U.S. Juvenile Justice System|Christopher Moraff|October 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
About “developers in bed with reviewers,” and the stain this leaves on the “integrity of games journalism.”It's Dangerous to Go Alone: Why Are Gamers So Angry?|Arthur Chu|August 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST
I put my hands behind my head, lay back and looked at a water stain on the ceiling.
Beginners must be warned against mistaking the edges of cells, or particles which have retained the red stain, for bacilli.
There are a number of bacilli, called acid-fast bacilli, which stain in the same way as the tubercle bacillus.
Louis pressed his father's hand to his lips; that hand which was hardly washed from the stain of Wharton's blood!The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4|Jane Porter
There was still visible on it the stain where he had wiped his hand, and this stain seemed certainly blood.
He did not think of the matter again till just as he was getting into bed, when he noticed a red stain upon his handkerchief.