I'd like to know whether ELL is the right place to ask about song meanings and slangs in general. For example, Sheryl Crow starts a song saying "Slappin' leather" which, until some time ago, I had no idea what it could possibly mean.


1 Answer 1


The rule of thumb on ELU has been that expressions in songs and poetry are fair game, but not "interpretation", and that seems to me a good policy to follow here, too.

At my age I'm not competent to speak to current slang; but probably many people here are. I'd certainly be interested in the questions and answers.

Basically, I'd say if you're a native speaker and don't understand it, take it to ELU; if you're not a native speaker and either don't understand it or don't know whether it's "real" English you can use in ordinary writing and conversation, bring it here.

  • Um..no actually, expressions in song and poetry is not fair game, at least not in the general sense. That is, it depends on how you ask, what you're looking for.
    – Mitch
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 21:02
  • @Mitch 'Fair game' in the sense that a question concerning the language in a song is judged on its merits - there's no a priori exclusion. I found 102 QQ on ELU about language in songs; 25 were Closed, but only 12 as Off Topic. Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 22:54
  • @StoneyB: OK, I'm down with that.
    – Mitch
    Commented Feb 5, 2013 at 0:02

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