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February 6, 2003

Slang of the Week: buck-wild (adjective)
intense, crazy, without inhibitions

With his parents gone for the weekend, Ted threw a buck-wild party at his house and ended up in jail.

Celebrity quote:
"I feel blessed and I've learned so much. I just wanted to make a record where people can forget their troubles and go buck-wild."
-Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, about her album, Miss E... So Addictive

This expression comes from the mating season, when the buck (male deer) begins to act irrationally, often fighting other bucks for a hot (sexy) doe (female deer). A nice complement to this expression is buck naked - completely nude. Since we also say as naked as a jay-bird, you'd be tempted to think this expression came about the same way - "as naked as a buck." However, most references see this as a variation on synonyms butt-naked and bare-naked, without any obvious relationship to forest wildlife.

On the other hand, there seems to be a connection between the animal and buck (dollar). In the 1700s buckskins (male deer hides) were commonly used in trade between Native Americans and European settlers. The term was eventually shortened and changed its meaning with the change in currency. Some word histories see buck as a shortened form of sawbuck - old-fashioned slang for a ten-dollar bill - but I think it's more romantic to think of myself as a backwoods trader when I buy a subway token.

What's new at Slang City?
How many synonyms can you think of for the part of you body you sit on? If your answer is "not enough," take a look at our new translation of Missy Elliot's Work It and expand your vocabulary!