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Glossary of Dialect - American Terms
beginning with letter C
American Dialect
Browse the Dialect - American Glossary
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cabinet Tweet Definition of cabinet Like Definition of cabinet on Facebook
  1. A storage closet either separate from, or built into, a wall
  2. (historical) a size of photograph, specifically one measuring 3â" by 5½"
  • 1891: Holmes took a note of it. "One other question," said he. "Was the photograph a ?" " Arthur Conan Doyle, "A Scandal In Bohemia" (Norton 2005 p.19)
    1. (archaic) A small chamber or private room
    2. A group of advisors to a government or business entity.
Cade Tweet Definition of Cade Like Definition of Cade on Facebook
proper noun 
  1. An English metonymic occupational surname for a cooper
  2. (given name, male) derived from the surname. Cade Calvert is a character in the novel Gone with the Wind (1936) by Margaret Mitchell.
captain Tweet Definition of captain Like Definition of captain on Facebook
  1. An army officer with a rank between the most senior grade of lieutenant and major.
  2. A naval officer with a rank between commander and commodore.
  3. (nautical) The person lawfully in command of a sea-going vessel.
The captain is the last man to leave a sinking ship.
  1. The person lawfully in command of an airliner.
This is your captain speaking. Please fasten your safety belts.
  1. One of the athletes on a sports team who designated to make decisions, and is allowed to speak for his team with a referee or official.
  2. The leader of a group of workers.
John Henry said to the captain,"A man ain't nothing but a man."
Synonyms: supervisor, straw boss, foreman
  1. (American South) An honorific title given to a prominent person. See colonel.
  1. (intransitive) To act as captain
  2. (transitive) To exercise command of a ship, aircraft or sports team.
careen Tweet Definition of careen Like Definition of careen on Facebook
  1. (nautical) To heave a ship down on one side so as to expose the other, in order to clean it of barnacles and weed, or to repair it below the water line.
  2. (nautical) To tilt on one side.
  3. To sway violently from side to side or lurch.
catch Tweet Definition of catch Like Definition of catch on Facebook
noun (es, -)
  1. (countable) The act of catching an object in motion in the air.
The player made an impressive by leaping into the air.
Nice !
  1. (countable) The act of noticing, understanding or hearing.
Good . I would never have remembered that.
  1. (uncountable) The game of catching a ball.
The kids love to play .
  1. (countable) A find, in particular a boyfriend/girlfriend.
Did you see his latest ?
  1. (context, countable, uncountable) That which is captured or the amount which is captured, especially of fish.
The boaters took a picture of their biggest .
  1. (countable) A clasp which stops something from opening.
She installed a sturdy to keep her cabinets closed tight.
  1. A emotion-caused pause in voice
There was a in his voice when he spoke his father's name.
  1. (countable) A problem, a snag, especially in a deal or negotiation; a hitch
It sounds like a great idea, but what's the ?
verb (catches, catching, caught)
  1. (transitive) To capture, especially in the hands.
I will throw you the ball, and you it.
I hope I a fish.
  1. (transitive) To understand.
''Did you his name?
  1. (transitive) To notice.
Did you the way she looked at him?
  1. (transitive) To detect; sense.
He was caught on video robbing the bank.
  1. (transitive) To seize an opportunity
I have some free time tonight so I think I'll a movie.
  1. (transitive) To take a form of transportation that only leaves at certain times.
I would love to have dinner but I have to a plane.
The surfer let the smaller wave pass so he could the bigger one.
  1. (intransitive) To engage, stick, or grasp.
Push it in until it catches.
  1. (intransitive) To hesitate, as if momentarily stuck.
His voice caught when he came to his father's name.
  1. (transitive) To make contact with.
The punch caught him in the shoulder.
  1. (computing) To handle an error, especially an exception.
cattywampus Tweet Definition of cattywampus Like Definition of cattywampus on Facebook
  1. (informal) In disarray or disorder; askew.
    Measure carefully before cutting, or the entire structure will turn out .
Cayuse Tweet Definition of Cayuse Like Definition of Cayuse on Facebook
proper noun 
  1. a native American tribe from Oregon
chance Tweet Definition of chance Like Definition of chance on Facebook
  1. (countable) An opportunity or possibility.
''We have the
  1. (uncountable) Random occurrence; luck.
Why leave it to when a few simple steps will secure the desired outcome?
  1. (countable) The probability of something happening.
There is a 30% of rain tomorrow.
verb (chanc, ing)
  1. To try or risk.
Shall we carry the umbrella, or it?
  1. To discover something by chance.
He chanced upon a kindly stranger who showed him the way.
chap Tweet Definition of chap Like Definition of chap on Facebook
  1. (UK, informal) A man.
Who"s that over there?
chaparral Tweet Definition of chaparral Like Definition of chaparral on Facebook
  1. A region of shrubs, typically dry in the summer and rainy in the winter. The coast of the Mediterranean is such a region.
cheep Tweet Definition of cheep Like Definition of cheep on Facebook
noun (plural cheeps)
  1. A short, high-pitched sound made by a small bird.
China Tweet Definition of China Like Definition of China on Facebook
proper noun 
  1. A country in East Asia. Official name: People's Republic of China (Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo).
  2. Region in East Asia comprising the areas governed by the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan).
  3. The civilisation/civilization of the Chinese people.
Chip Tweet Definition of Chip Like Definition of Chip on Facebook
noun See chip proper noun 
  1. A male given name.
verb See chip      
Chuck Tweet Definition of Chuck Like Definition of Chuck on Facebook
proper noun 
  1. (given name, male, , ) (uncountable) A diminutive of the male given name Charles.
    1. (countable) a Chuck Taylor shoe (usually referred to in plural form, Chucks).
chuck wagon Tweet Definition of chuck wagon Like Definition of chuck wagon on Facebook
  1. (USA) Wagon used to prepare meals on a cattle drives, in the latter part of the 19th century.
clabber Tweet Definition of clabber Like Definition of clabber on Facebook
  1. sour or curdled milk
  2. wet clay or mud
  1. to sour or curdle milk
clobber Tweet Definition of clobber Like Definition of clobber on Facebook
  1. (context, Australia, UK, slang) an item of clothing or equipment
  1. (context, Australia, UK, slang) To hit or bash severely.
  2. (computing) To overwrite (data), usually unintentionally.
cobble Tweet Definition of cobble Like Definition of cobble on Facebook
  1. A cobblestone.
verb (cobbl, ing)
  1. To make shoes (what a cobbler does).
  2. To assemble ('cobble together' an improvised assembly).
cock Tweet Definition of cock Like Definition of cock on Facebook
  1. A male bird, especially a domestic fowl.
  2. Male chicken.
  3. A valve or tap for controlling flow in plumbing.
  4. The hammer of a firearm.
  5. (slang, vulgar) The penis.
  6. (curling) The circle at the end of the rink.
  7. The state of being cocked; an upward turn, tilt or angle.
  8. (UK, pejorative, slang) A stupid person.
  9. (UK, informal) An informal term of address.
All right,
  1. (transitive) To lift the cock of a firearm; to prepare (a gun) to be fired.
  2. (transitive) To turn or twist something upwards or to one side.
  3. (UK, transitive, slang) To copulate with.
comb Tweet Definition of comb Like Definition of comb on Facebook
  1. A toothed implement for grooming the hair.
  2. A machine used in separating choice cotton fibers from worsted cloth fibers.
  3. A fleshy growth on the top of the head of some birds and reptiles: crest.
  4. An old English measure of corn equal to the half quarter.
  • 1882, But the comb or half quarter is very general in the Eastern counties, particularly in Norfolk. &mdash; James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, Volume 4, page 207.
    1. The top part of a gun"s stock.
  1. To groom the hair with a toothed implement.
  2. To separate choice cotton fibers from worsted cloth fibers.
  3. To search thoroughly as if raking over an area with a comb.
  1. combination
comfort Tweet Definition of comfort Like Definition of comfort on Facebook
  1. contentment, Contentment, ease.
Sleep in with our new mattress.
the comforts of home
  1. A consolation; something relieving suffering or worry.
We still have the spare tire? That's a at least.
  1. A cause of relief or satisfaction.
The outcome of the peace negotiations in Moscow in 1940 was a heavy blow to the young nation, but in the same time a great : at least the independency was preserved.
  1. (transitive): To provide to or relieve suffering.
Rob comforted Aaron because he was lost and very sad.
  1. To make the physical circumstances comfortable.
comfortable Tweet Definition of comfortable Like Definition of comfortable on Facebook
adjective (more comfortable, most comfortable)
  1. Providing comfort; agreeable
This is the most bed I've ever slept in
  1. Leaving little risk
The home team is ahead by a margin
common Tweet Definition of common Like Definition of common on Facebook
  1. mutual, Mutual good, shared by more than one.
  2. a tract of land in common ownership
adjective (er, more)
  1. mutual, Mutual; shared by more than one.
The two competitors have the aim of winning the championship.
Winning the championship is an aim to the two competitors.
  1. occur, Occurring or happening regularly or frequently; usual.
It is to find sharks off this coast.
  1. found, Found in large numbers or in a large quantity.
Sharks are in these waters.
  1. simple, Simple, ordinary or vulgar.
  2. (grammar) In some languages, particularly Germanic languages, of the gender originating from the coalescence of the masculine and feminine categories of nouns.
  3. Of or pertaining to uncapitalized nouns in English, i.e., common nouns vs. proper nouns
compadre Tweet Definition of compadre Like Definition of compadre on Facebook
  1. A friend or companion.
    • 1839, J. P. and W. P. Robertson, Letters from Paraguay, comprising an account of four years residence in that republic, under the dictator Francia. John Murray (London), p. 339.
    • :Whenever he had a or a friend, it was his bounden duty to do him some service.
conjure Tweet Definition of conjure Like Definition of conjure on Facebook
verb (conjures, conjuring, conjured, conjured, -) (transitive or intransitive)
  1. To perform magic tricks.
  2. To summon up a devil etc, using supernatural power.
  3. To practice black magic.
  4. To evoke something.
  5. To imagine something, or picture it in the mind.
  6. To make an urgent request; to appeal or beseech.
  7. To conspire or plot.
cookie Tweet Definition of cookie Like Definition of cookie on Facebook
  1. (context, chiefly, North America) A small flat, baked cake which is either crisp or soft but firm (often with chocolate chips, candies or nuts mixed in.)
  2. (context, Scotland) a bun.
  3. (computing, browsers) An HTTP cookie, web cookie.
  4. (computing) A magic cookie.
  5. A young, attractive woman. As it is often intended to sexually objectify said woman, it can be seen as offensive (though only mildly, as it is a somewhat dated term, but not yet obsolete).
corrugate Tweet Definition of corrugate Like Definition of corrugate on Facebook
verb (corrugat, ing)
  1. (context, of the skin) To wrinkle
  2. to fold into parallel folds, grooves or ridges
cowboy Tweet Definition of cowboy Like Definition of cowboy on Facebook
  1. a person who tends cattle
  2. a person who tends cattle in the US West or Southwest
  3. a person from the US West or Southwest
  4. a person who dresses like a US cowboy, especially one who wears a cowboy hat
  5. a fan of Country-Western music
  6. (context, UK, colloquial) a dishonest and incompetent independent tradesman. A cowboy plumber may collect a large fee in advance, and leave floods and the need for expensive corrective work behind.
  7. (slang) a king (the playing card)
cowpoke Tweet Definition of cowpoke Like Definition of cowpoke on Facebook
  1. A cowboy (person who tends cattle on horseback)
crack Tweet Definition of crack Like Definition of crack on Facebook
  1. A thin and usually jagged space opened in a previously solid material.
A large had formed in the roadway.
  1. A narrow opening.
We managed to squeeze through a in the rock wall.
  1. When forming an opening, a small amount.
Open the door a .
  1. (context, onomatopoetic) The sharp sound made when solid material breaks.
The of the falling branch could be heard for miles.
  1. (context, onomatopoetic) Any sharp sound.
The of the bat hitting the ball.
  1. A sharply humorous comment; a wisecrack.
I didn't appreciate that about my hairstyle.
  1. (vulgar) The space between the buttocks.
Pull up your pants! Your is showing.
  1. (context, Scots language, common in lowland Scotland and Ulster) conviviality; good conversation, chat, gossip, or humourous storytelling; good company.
The was guid.
Thon was guid .
He/she is quare good .
The party was great .
  1. (context, Geordie) Business/events
What's the ?
  1. (computing) A program, password or procedure designed to circumvent restrictions or usage limits on software.
  2. (context, slang) A potent, relatively cheap, addictive variety of cocaine; often a rock, usually smoked through a crack-pipe.
    • w:Whitney Houston, Whitney Houston:
    • : I wouldn't use it, if I was going to use it I can afford real cocaine. Crack is wack.
      1. (context, Cumbrian, elsewhere throughout the North of the UK) a meaningful chat.
      2. (vulgar, slang) vagina.
      I'm so horny even the of dawn isn't safe!
      1. (colloquial) An opportunity to attempt something.
      I'd like to take a at that game.
    • (Ireland) (colloquial) good fun. (See usage note re Scots sense).
    • 2006, Patrick McCabe?, Winterwood, Bloomsbury 2007, p. 10:
    • :By the time we've got a good drunk on us there'll be more in this valley than the night I pissed on the electric fence!
  1. (intransitive) To form cracks.
It's been so dry, the ground is starting to .
  1. (intransitive) To break apart under pressure.
When I tried to stand on the chair, it cracked.
  1. (intransitive) To become debilitated by psychological pressure.
Anyone would after being hounded like that.
  1. (intransitive) To yield under interrogation.
When we showed him the pictures of the murder scene, he cracked.
  1. (intransitive) To make a cracking sound.
The bat cracked with authority and the ball went for six.
  1. (context, intransitive, of a voice) To change rapidly in register.
His voice cracked with emotion.
  1. (context, intransitive, of a pubescent boy's voice) To alternate between high and low register in the process of eventually lowering.
His voice finally cracked when he was fourteen.
  1. (intransitive) To make a sharply humorous comment.
"I would too, with a face like that," she cracked.
  1. (computing) To circumvent software restrictions such as regional coding or time limits.
That software licence will expire tomorrow unless we can it.
  1. (transitive) To make a crack or cracks in.
The ball cracked the window.
  1. (transitive) To break open or crush to small pieces by impact or stress.
You'll need a hammer to a black walnut.
  1. (transitive) To strike forcefully.
She cracked him over the head with her handbag.
  1. (transitive) To open slightly.
Could you please the window?
  1. (transitive) To cause to yield under interrogation or other pressure. (Figurative)
They managed to him on the third day.
  1. (transitive) To solve a difficult problem. (i, Figurative, from cracking a nut.)
I've finally cracked it, and of course the answer is obvious in hindsight.
  1. (transitive) To cause to make a sharp sound.
    • 2001: Doug McGuinn?, The Apple Indians
    • : Hershell cracked his knuckles, a nervous habit that drove Inez crazy....
      1. (transitive, chemistry, informal) To break down (a complex molecule), especially with the application of heat: to pyrolyse.
      Acetone is cracked to ketene and methane at 700 °C.
      1. (transitive, colloquial) To open a canned beverage, or any packaged drink or food.
      I'd love to open a beer.
      1. (transitive) To tell (a joke).
  1. Highly trained and competent.
Even a team of investigators would have trouble solving this case.
crawl Tweet Definition of crawl Like Definition of crawl on Facebook
  1. The act of moving slowly on hands and knees etc, or with frequent stops
  2. A rapid swimming stroke with alternate overarm strokes and a fluttering kick
  1. (intransitive) To creep; to move slowly on hands and knees, or by dragging the body along the ground
Clutching my wounded side, I crawled back to the trench.
  1. (intransitive) To move forward slowly, with frequent stops.
The rush-hour traffic crawled around the bypass.
  1. (intransitive) To act in a servile manner
Don't come crawling to me with your useless apologies!
  1. (intransitive) To teem; to be covered or swarming (with)
''The crime scene was crawling with police and reporters.
  1. (intransitive) To feel a swarming sensation
''The horrible sight made my skin .
  1. (intransitive) To swim using the crawl stroke
I think I'll the next hundred metres.
  1. (transitive) To move over an area on hands and knees.
The baby crawled the entire second floor.
  1. (intransitive) To visit while becoming inebriated
They crawled the downtown bars.
  1. (transitive) To index files or web sites in order to make them available for search;
Yahoo Search has updated its Slurp Crawler to crawl web sites faster and more efficient.
creeper Tweet Definition of creeper Like Definition of creeper on Facebook
  1. Any plant (as ivy or periwinkle) that grows by creeping
  2. a person who crawls or creeps along the ground
  3. a device which allows a small child to safely roam around a room from a seated or standing position
  4. (nautical) a small, four-hooked grapnel used to recover objects dropped onto the sea bed
cripple Tweet Definition of cripple Like Definition of cripple on Facebook
  1. (offensive) a person who has severe impairment in his physical ability, abilities because of deformation, injury, or amputation of parts of the body.
He returned from war a cripple . This use is politically incorrect.
  1. a shortened wooden stud or brace used to construct the portion of a wall above a door or above and below a window.
verb (crippl, ing)
  1. to make someone a cripple; to cause someone to get a physical disability
The car bomb crippled five passers-by.
  1. (figuratively) to damage seriously; to destroy
My ambitions were crippled by a lack of money.
  1. to release a product (especially a computer program) with reduced functionality, in some cases, making the item essentially worthless.
The word processor was released in a crippled demonstration version that did not allow you to save.
  1. crippled, Crippled.
    • 1599 " w:William Shakespeare, William Shakespeare, s:The_Life_of_Henry_the_Fifth, Henry V, iv 1
    • :And chide the tardy-gaited night, who, like a foul and ugly witch, doth limp so tediously away.
curd Tweet Definition of curd Like Definition of curd on Facebook
  1. The part of milk that coagulates when it sours or is treated with enzymes; used to make cottage cheese.
  1. To form curd; to curdle.
curtain Tweet Definition of curtain Like Definition of curtain on Facebook
  1. A piece of cloth covering a window to keep the sun from shining inside.
  2. A similar piece of cloth that separates the audience and the stage in a theater.
  1. To cover (a window) with a curtain; to hang curtains.

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