Slang dictionary



What does shag mean?

Shag means "to have sex" with someone in British slang.

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Related words
baiser, laying pipe, doggy style, cock on, twat, chav, cheeky Nando's, hobknocker, Side to Side, afternoon delight
Examples of shag
Here’s the thing: falling asleep shagging is a rare shagging move.
Joel Golby, Vice, December 2018
Offset begging for Cardi B back is the best representation of a boy realising he’s lost the best thing going for him for a quick shag
@evealishac, December 2018
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Where does shag come from?

Shag is a much older slang term for “having sex” than you think. Evidence for the term dates back to the 1680s. It is probably related to the word shake. (Use your imagination for the connection.)

As a verb, shag means “to have sex,” e.g., I shagged her last night. By the 1780s, it evolved into a noun for the act of copulation itself, e.g., We had a shag in the barn.

Come the late 1960s, a sexually attractive person was described as a shag. This was often said of a women, but also sometimes men, e.g., He was a good shag, but he’s not that bright.

Many people outside the UK learned shag thanks to the hit 1999 comedy film Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me starring Mike Myers. The title is a play on the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).

Shagdescribing something rough or matted, as in carpethas a different root than the sexual shag. It is a 16th-century word, possibly from an Old English term for “rough, matted hair or wool.”

Who uses shag?

Referring to “sex” as shagging is closely associated with British slang.

When used as a verb, shag is conjugated just like any other English verb. As noted, shag can also be a noun describing the act of copulation or referring to someone as a sexual object.

The tone of shag is dirty and definitely informal, though far less vulgar than fuck.


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This is not meant to be a formal definition of shag like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of shag that will help our users expand their word mastery.