used by a succession of teen generations as an all-embracing term of approbation.
|Tucker’s People (1944) 107: That’s one hell of a real fellow.|
|Bop Fables 37: I’ve fixed up a real wild basket of ribs and a bottle of juice.|
|Ways of Sunlight 185: My girl is very real. She hated the city, I don’t know why.|
|Shake Him Till He Rattles (1964) 122: ‘I really dig that little chick. I really do. She’s the greatest in my charts.’ ‘Yes, she’s real.’.|
|Current Sl. V:4 18: Real, adj. Great, enjoyable, incomparable.|
|(con. 1982–6) Cocaine Kids (1990) 89: I wanna get hooked up with what’s real.|
|Workin’ It 112: Karen was down to earth. Plain and simple. She was real!|
|Guardian Editor 28 Jan. 10: That type of thinking, where black people equate being down, being real, and being black with just being stupid.|
|Campus Sl. Apr. 5: real – honest, authentic: They like Miranda because she’s real.|
see separate entries.
(orig. US) to face facts, to abandon one’s unreal fantasies.
|Current Sl. III–IV (Cumulation Issue).|
|Maledicta III:2 222: He is a dizzy queen who doesn’t know when to quit (how to live or when to die) and won’t get real (face facts).|
|‘Radio Suckers’ [lyrics] You better get real, come on.|
|Filth 129: They think that they can drag Bruce Robertson down? [...] Get fuckin real you sad cunts!|
|Indep. Rev. 17 Mar. 14: Let’s get real here.|
to maintain one’s honesty, to stick to one’s roots.
|Clueless [film script] (Scene changes to the bathroom, where Murray is getting his head shaved) dionne: What have you done! Oh, my God! Uh! Why did you do this to your head?! murray: Because I’m keeping it real. Because I’m keeping it real.|
|Everybody Smokes in Hell 36: They were keepin’ their shit real, that’s what they’d tell you.|
|Londonstani (2007) 6: I wouldn’t be using poncey words like attain an authenticity, innit. I’d be sayin I couldn’t keep it real or someshit.|
|Sun. Indep. (S.Afr.) Culture 27 Jan. 11: The movie becomes obsessed with the theme of ‘keeping it real’.|
|Pigeon English 39: Keep it real, Ghana.|
|Observer 13 Apr. 17/4: His Twitter handle [...] seems to sum up his mission: keeping it real.|
honest, dedicated to one’s roots.
|Source Nov. 144: A lot of these hardcore, keep-it-real niggas might think it’s commercial.|
(US campus) an admonition to be serious, act maturely.
|Queens’ Vernacular 96: get real (exclam) stop playing dumb.|
|Breaks 256: Here he was telling me to hit the road at sixteen. I mean, get fucking real!|
|Sl. U. 32: John, are you going fishing this weekend? — Be real, Smitty, I have to study for a test.|
|Llama Parlour 18: Get real. I’d rather die than vote for a black man.|
|Tuff 230: ‘Y’all niggers going to vote for me?’ [...] ‘Get real, dog. I’m from the projects, dog. That vote shit ain’t for niggers like me.’.|
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.|
|Call of the Weird (2006) 164: Give me a break! Get real!|
SE in slang uses
see also under relevant n.
see real thing, the n.
(US) pre-Prohibition liquor, thus ‘pure’ liquor.
|AS IV:6 440: Some names for intoxicants of various grades and potencies are: real A.V.‘“Drunk” Again’ in|
see separate entries.
see for sure adv.
see perfect lady n.
see separate entry.
(Aus.) the genuine article, the ‘real thing’.
|Man from Snowy River (1902) 124: I tell you those old hidalgos so stately and so polite, / They turn out the real Maginnis when it comes to an uphill fight.‘The Boss of the Admiral Lynch’ in|
1. (US prison) a prisoner well respected by his peers.
|Man, Crime and Society 516: The real man is the prisoner who ‘pulls his own time’ in the phrasing of the inmate population.|
|Prisoner Subcultures 14: The ‘real man’ never gives in to the administration.|
|et al. Prisons and the Problem of Order 39: The ‘inmate code’ which elevates the values of the ‘real man’ into a set of nostrums (do your own time, don’t grass or ‘squeal’, show reserved disdain for the guards) [note] The ‘real man’ [...] displays fortitude and manly self-restraint.|
2. (US campus) a macho male.
|Campus Sl. Fall 4: real-man – stud, macho-man.|
(US) an absolute certainty.
|Down the Line 16: Here you are, John Henry, the real Pietro! [...] play Pump Handle straight and place!|
an extremely attractive woman.
|Sporting Times 19 May 1/4: For beauty, for genuine raspberry jam— / Well, ask ’em round Flowerydean Street.‘Where To Ask’|
|(ref. to 1883) Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.|
see separate entries.
(US black) honest, candid.
|Way Past Cool 78: Maybe I just waitin to hear you say it in that real-time way you got.|
(US black) a heterosexual woman.
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines 251: real woman Heterosexual woman.|