John Kendrick
[ken-drik] /ˈkɛn drɪk/ (Show IPA), 1862–1922, U.S. humorist.
a loud, sudden, explosive noise, as the discharge of a gun.
a resounding stroke or blow:
a nasty bang on the head.
Informal. a sudden movement or show of energy:
He started with a bang.
energy; vitality; spirit:
The bang has gone out of my work.
Informal. sudden or intense pleasure; thrill; excitement:
a big bang out of seeing movies.
Slang: Vulgar. sexual intercourse.
Printing and Computer Slang. an exclamation point.
to strike or beat resoundingly; pound:
to bang a door.
to hit or bump painfully:
to bang one’s ankle on a chair leg.
to throw or set down roughly; slam:
He banged the plates on the table.
Slang: Vulgar. to have sexual intercourse with.
to strike violently or noisily:
to bang on the door.
to make a loud, sudden, explosive noise like that of a violent blow:
The guns banged all night.
Slang: Vulgar. to have sexual intercourse.
suddenly and loudly; abruptly or violently:
She fell bang against the wall.
directly; precisely; right:
He stood bang in the middle of the flower bed.
bang into, to collide with; bump into:
The truck skidded on the ice and banged into a parked car.
bang up, to damage:
A passing car banged up our fender.
bang off, Chiefly British Slang. immediately; right away.
bang on, Chiefly British Slang. terrific; marvelous; just right:
That hat is absolutely bang on.
Often, bangs. a fringe of hair combed or brushed forward over the forehead.
to cut (the hair) so as to form a fringe over the forehead.
to dock (the tail of a horse or dog).
a mild preparation of marijuana made from young leaves and stems of the Indian hemp plant, Cannabis sativa, drunk with milk or water as a fermented brew or smoked for its hallucinogenic effects.
a water pipe.
Contemporary Examples

Soon, Twitter erupted with news that the First Lady had given up her Bangs.
You Decide: Did Michelle Obama Get Rid Of Her Bangs? Isabel Wilkinson May 16, 2013

One week her hair was grayish pink, the next it was black with Bangs, then pixie-cut, then Marilyn Monroe–like curls.
Agyness Deyn in ‘Pusher’: On Stripping, Acting, and How She’s Not Done Modeling Isabel Wilkinson October 23, 2012

Her golden hair prompted a nationwide outbreak of “feathered” Bangs.
Farrah’s Brainy Side Amy Wallace June 24, 2009

A blonde employee with newly-shorn Minter Bangs looked on, laughing.
Marilyn Minter’s Dirty World Isabel Wilkinson October 21, 2009

Her Bangs tickle the tops of her thin horned-rimmed prescription glasses, her earlobes sparkle with a small pair of sparkly studs.
Horrifying ‘Little Girl Sex Cult’ Diane Dimond May 31, 2010

Historical Examples

Bangs gave the proper signal for the affirmative, after he had struck the gong.
Across India Oliver Optic

Just before twelve Captain Bangs did ask a question, his first one.
Thankful’s Inheritance Joseph C. Lincoln

Mr. Bangs took charge of the outside guard that night, in which the clergymen had volunteered to serve.
Two Knapsacks John Campbell

They spoke of Captain Bangs, of his advice and help and friendship.
Thankful’s Inheritance Joseph C. Lincoln

When Sammy pinned him down with a direct question, he let his Bangs fall over his eyes, looked down at his feet, and went silent.
Makers Cory Doctorow

a short loud explosive noise, as of the bursting of a balloon or the report of a gun
a hard blow or knock, esp a noisy one; thump: he gave the ball a bang
(informal) a startling or sudden effect: he realized with a bang that he was late
(slang) an injection of heroin or other narcotic
(taboo, slang) an act of sexual intercourse
(US & Canadian, slang) get a bang out of, to experience a thrill or excitement from
with a bang, successfully: the party went with a bang
to hit or knock, esp with a loud noise; bump: to bang one’s head
to move noisily or clumsily: to bang about the house
to close (a door, window, etc) or (of a door, etc) be closed noisily; slam
(transitive) to cause to move by hitting vigorously: he banged the ball over the fence
to make or cause to make a loud noise, as of an explosion
(transitive) (Brit)

to cause (stock prices) to fall by rapid selling
to sell rapidly in (a stock market), thus causing prices to fall

(taboo, slang) to have sexual intercourse with
(intransitive) (slang) to inject heroin, etc
(informal) bang for one’s buck, value for money: this option offers more bang for your buck
(informal) bang goes, that is the end of: bang goes my job in Wapping
bang one’s head against a brick wall, to try to achieve something impossible
with a sudden impact or effect: bang went his hopes of winning, the car drove bang into a lamp-post
precisely: bang in the middle of the road
(slang) bang to rights, caught red-handed
go bang, to burst, shut, etc, with a loud noise See also bang up
a fringe or section of hair cut straight across the forehead
verb (transitive)
to cut (the hair) in such a style
to dock (the tail of a horse, etc)
a variant spelling of bhang
a preparation of the leaves and flower tops of Indian hemp, which has psychoactive properties: much used in India See also cannabis

“hair cut straight across the forehead,” 1878 (singular), American English, attested from 1870 of horses (bang-tail), perhaps from notion of abruptness (cf. bang off “immediately, without delay,” though this expression is attested only from 1886). See bang.

1590s, from Hindi bhang “narcotic from hemp,” from Sanskrit bhangah “hemp.” Cognate with Russian penika, Polish pienka (from Russian) “hemp.” The word first appears in Western Europe in Portuguese (1560s).

1540s, “to strike hard with a loud blow,” from a Scandinavian sourse akin to Old Norse banga “to pound, hammer” of echoic origin. Slang meaning “have sexual intercourse with” first recorded 1937. Bang-up “excellent, first-rate,” 1820, probably shortened from phrase bang up to the mark. The noun is recorded from late 16c.

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper

[T.S. Eliot, “Hollow Men,” 1925]

Bang (bāng, bäng), Bernhard Lauritz Frederik. 1848-1932.

Danish veterinarian who discovered Brucella abortus, the agent of brucellosis in cattle and of undulant fever in humans.


Precisely; exactly: bang on the hour (1820s+)


A very pleasurable sensation; surge of joy; thrill; kick, rush: This’ll give you a big bang (1930+)
An injection of a narcotic, esp an intravenous shot of heroin (1910+ Narcotics)
The sex act: The wedding night, you idiot. The first bang. How was it?
An exclamation point; shriek: Let’s stick a bang on it to dress it up (Printers 1930s+, computer 1980s+)
A drink of liquor; shot: Give me a bang of Jaeger Meister (1990s+) v1x To do the sex act with or to; copulate with: He banged her twice and left happy (1916+) 2 To be in a youth gang; be a gangbanger

Related Terms

big bang, gang bang, get a bang (or charge) out of someone or something, go over with a bang, whizbang

[late 1980s+ Los Angeles gangs; from the rhyme, but influenced by gang bang, ”serial sex act done by a group of males to one woman”]


Marijuana; a marijuana cigarette: old bhang in his car

bang away
bang for the buck
bang into
bang one’s head against
bang out
bang up


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