General English

  • adverb without stopping or changing


  • noun an animal foodstuff composed of one type of food


  • adjective close to an imaginary line separating the off and leg sides of the pitch in front of the batsman; the term is used in describing fielding positions in front of the wicket, such as long-on or mid-off, but can also denote a ‘correct’ style of batting (see straight bat) or a ball hit by the batsman that goes back past the bowler or over his head
    Citation ‘The pace of the pitch is indicated by the setting of the field. If it is fast, mid-on, mid-off and cover point will be set straighter than usual; if slow, they will be more square’ (Arlott 1983)
    Citation ‘His 150, reached in 333 minutes, included a delightful straight six off Matthews’ (Ian Brayshaw, The Times 27 December 1983)
    Citation ‘The only batsman who exuded any sense of security was Kevin Pietersen, … who played irreproachably straight without sacrificing any of his attacking instincts’ (Haigh 2005)


  • adjective used for describing an alcoholic spirit served undiluted or unmixed


  • adjective with no irregularities such as bends, curves or angles


  • adjective restored to one’s desired state of drunkenness or drugged euphoria
  • noun a heterosexual, particularly heard in the language of homosexuals
  • noun a conventional person, someone who does not take drugs or ascribe to ‘counterculture’ values. A term from the language of drug abusers and counterculture members which was a buzzword of the later 1960s.
  • noun a cigarette (as opposed to a joint). A now dated cannabis users’ term in wide currency in the 1960s.
  • noun a bottle of alcoholic liquor. Recorded as an item of Sowetan slang in the Cape Sunday Times, 29 January 1995.


  • adverb with no water or any other liquid added

Origin & History of “straight”

Straight began life as the past participle of stretch. Nowadays this verb has a perfectly normal past form (stretched), but in middle English it was straught (source of distraught (14th c.), an alteration of distract) or straight – whence the adjective straight. The sense ‘not bent or curved’ derives from the notion of stretching something between two points. Straightaway (15th c.) originally meant ‘by a straight path’; the temporal sense ‘immediately’ emerged in the 16th century.