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slug away (at something)

To continue trying or working diligently (at something); to plug away (at something). I'm really not very good at math, but I've got to keep slugging away if I want to get into an engineering program. John's been slugging away at the new project, but I don't think he's enjoying it very much.
See also: away, slug

slug bug

A game in which participants try to be the first to punch the others and say, "Slug bug!" upon seeing a Volkswagen Beetle (known colloquially as a "Bug"). A: "Slug bug!" B: "Ouch! I don't see one anywhere!"
See also: bug, slug

slug it out

1. To physically fight. Watch out, there's two guys slugging it out in the back of the bar! I slugged it out with some guy last night and earned myself a black eye for my troubles.
2. To contend with someone or something for something. In such a big family, my siblings and I always have to slug it out for our parents' attention.
See also: out, slug


1. A fight in which two or more participants punch with their bare hands; a fistfight. A portmanteau of "slug" (meaning "to punch") and "festival." The arguing led to pushing and shoving, which eventually led to an all-out slugfest. She came away from the slugfest with a black eye and a broken hand.
2. A particularly intense or heated argument between two or more people in which points, rebuttals, accusations, etc., are exchanged back and forth. The senator is bracing for a slugfest when she puts her proposal before Congress for a vote. The case has truly been a slugfest between the two large companies' teams of lawyers.

slugged up

1. slang Drunk. From his smell to his stagger, I could tell the old man was already slugged up.
2. slang Wearing dental grills, especially ones made of gold or embedded with diamonds. Our son idolizes those rap stars who think being tattooed and slugged up is an attractive look.
See also: slug, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

slug it out

to fight something out; to argue intensely about something. They finally went outside to slug it out. We'll just have to sit down in the conference room and slug it out.
See also: out, slug
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

ˌslog/ˌslug it ˈout

(British English, informal) (of people, organizations, competitors, etc.) fight very hard until one person or group finally wins: The boxers slugged it out to the finish.The two teams will slog it out for second place.
In this idiom, slug and slog are both informal words meaning ‘to hit very hard’.
See also: out, slog, slug
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017


1. n. a drink of liquor; a shot of whiskey. Have a slug of this stuff. It will—I’m sorry to say, ma’am—put hair on your chest. A couple more slugs and he was ready to face the huge bull-necked ruffian.
2. n. a bullet. Marlowe sent a couple of slugs into Rocko’s chest. Rocko crumpled soundlessly.

slug it out

tv. to fight something out; to fight about something figuratively. We’ll just have to sit down in the conference room and slug it out.
See also: out, slug


1. n. a fight; a festival of slugging. They went out in the alley for a real slugfest.
2. n. a festival of arguing. The president emerged from the slugfest with control of the company still hers.


mod. alcohol intoxicated. I’m slugged—skunked, you know, corned. And I think I am going to sick up. Ted realized that he was slugged out of his mind, but tried to get the bartender to serve him another drink.
See also: slug
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"Our previous work established that Slug is critical for stem cell activity in breast tissue, but we suspected that there was more to the story," said Kuperwasser.
Any cheap lager will work, though slugs are reputed to favour Guinness.
Two products containing essential oils (Slug & Snail Defense and Pure 'N' Natural Snail & Slug Away) were included in paired-choice foliage consumption studies in the same manner as the diatomaceous earth feeding deterrent (choice) studies, except that they were sprayed onto foliage discs directly from the spray bottle.
The humid weather has become an ideal breeding ground for Spanish slugs, which are known to feast on plants as well as dead mice and even each other.
These conditions allowed slugs to thrive in warm but wet conditions, with rain falling every other day on average throughout the spring period.
My field experiences with slug guns have been fairly limited but what little there's been has revolved around a 20-gauge.
The changing weather patterns - mild, wet winters and wet summers - have boosted slug populations, but the situation has been exacerbated by the loss of natural predators including hedgehogs, thrushes, frogs, toads and ground beetles, which feed on slugs and help retain the balance of nature, he says.
The classic slug trap is beer in a saucer that is sunk level to the ground.
GARDENS across the country may be in danger from a slew of alien slug species identified by Welsh scientists.
Effective snail and slug management calls for a combination of garden upkeep and trapping.
A newly discovered sea slug adds a special something to mating: simultaneous forehead piercing.
He is leading a group of scientists in a project to monitor sightings of the Spanish slug, Arion vulgaris, a particularly aggressive and large slug which breeds and eats at a faster rate than our native species and has so much slime on its body many native predators are put off.