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gandy dancer

old fashioned A worker in a railway gang who lays and maintains railroad tracks. My grandaddy worked as a gandy dancer building the first stretch of railroads across the state.
See also: dancer

be half the (something) (one) used to be

To lose some of one's skill in a particular area. This phrase can also be applied derisively to men who appear to have lost their virility, especially after marriage. After years away from the sport, she's half the swimmer she used to be—I doubt she'll place in the upcoming meet. A: "Can you believe that Joe is out shopping with his wife right now, instead of watching the game with us?" B: "Ever since he got married, he's half the man he used to be."
See also: half, used

lap dancer

Someone, typically a woman, who dances exotically while straddling and rubbing against a customer's lap. John's friends took him to a strip club and paid a lap dancer to give him a private session for his birthday. My parents don't approve of her working as a lap dancer, but she's earning enough to pay her way through college.
See also: dancer, lap

pole dancer

A dancer who uses a vertical pole fixed to the ground and ceiling as part of their dance routine, often by twirling and swinging around it. Though traditionally performed as erotic entertainment while nude or partially clothed, such dancing is also done for fitness or fun. I know my parents wouldn't have approved if they knew I was working as a pole dancer to pay for college, so I just told them I was waiting tables. If you're really interested in becoming a pole dancer, I teach classes at the gym.
See also: dancer, pole

erotic dancer

n. a dancer, typically female, who performs teasing and sexually stimulating dances, usually on a stage. She was a school teacher by day and an erotic dancer by night.
See also: dancer


n. someone who profits from or takes advantage of someone else’s misfortune. (From dance on someone’s grave, seemingly in celebration of someone else’s misfortune.) I don’t want to seem like a grave-dancer, but his defeat places me in line for a promotion.

lap dancer

n. an exotic dancer who writhes and rubs her posterior on the lap of a seated customer. Most of us lap dancers follow rules about no touching.
See also: dancer, lap

pole dancer

n. a woman, thought of as a stripper, who performs erotic dances around a metal pole, onstage, exploiting the pole’s phallic form. Jed swears that he has never seen an inept pole dancer.
See also: dancer, pole
References in classic literature ?
He saw the same children, and the same toys on the table; and there was the same grand castle with the pretty little Dancer.
There was nothing left of the little Dancer but her gilt rose, burnt as black as a cinder.
She heard the trampling and swinging of the dancers behind her, and the rhythmic sway of the waltz music.
When they came to the windows of the ballroom, the swing of the dancers and the lilt of the music was irresistible.
In the ballroom, meanwhile, the dancers were being formed into squares for the lancers.
She remembered that the general effect of the music to which they had danced so gaily was one of passionate regret for dead love and the innocent years of youth; dreadful sorrows had always separated the dancers from their past happiness.
Elliot, they gallopaded round and round the room with such impetuosity that the other dancers shivered at their approach.
Instantly a gigantic circle was formed, the dancers holding hands and shouting out, "D'you ken John Peel," as they swung faster and faster and faster, until the strain was too great, and one link of the chain-- Mrs.
The dancers came crowding to the windows, pushed them open, and here and there ventured a foot upon the grass.
From John Peel she passed to Bach, who was at this time the subject of her intense enthusiasm, and one by one some of the younger dancers came in from the garden and sat upon the deserted gilt chairs round the piano, the room being now so clear that they turned out the lights.
Lola Montes, a dancer, became the morganatic wife of King Louis of Bavaria and was created Countess of Landsfeld.
Theresa Hessier, a dancer, married Dom Fernando, brother to the King of Portugal.
The dancers scattered to the chairs along the walls.
But Maggie was off, darting her zig-zag way through the maze of dancers.
With the Canadian invasion of Cirque du Soleil and Celine Dion, more and more dancers are placing their bets on Las Vegas with the hopes of big money, glamour, and a lifestyle that may be what every dancer dreams of--stability.