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I came across this word in a lyric (the song is Piss Up a Rope by Ween):

And you can put on your shoes, hit the road get truckin'
Pack your bag, I don't need the ag

What is the meaning of ag here?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's "lyrics interpretation" (ag has no currency as an abbreviation for aggravation; it's only used here for the sake of rhyme/scansion). Dec 25, 2019 at 14:59

1 Answer 1

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At https://genius.com/14590982, a site with user-submitted song lyrics and annotations with additional explanations (again, submitted by random people like you and me, but sometimes the very authors of the lyrics), you can find the following comment addressing that specific word:

The word “ag” is short for aggravation.

Some users have expressed doubts about the accuracy of the rest of the commentary linked above, so I implore you to exercise caution while navigating the link.


There's another source I have found that corroborates the meaning above: OnlineSlangDictionary.com, definition of ag:

also a diminutive form of aggro.

with aggro being defined as follows:

aggravation. Also abbreviated ag, but pronounced in its full form in south-east England and other areas. To "look for aggro" is to look for a fight.

He's been getting a bit of aggro from his boss.

Note that both of these definitions were submitted in 1997 and 1998, which is around the same time the song quoted in the question came out (1996 according to Wikipedia).


There's also ag, an interjection, recorded by multiple dictionaries, and it signifies something similar, but is etymologically, or so it seems, divorced from the diminutive described above.

Lexico.com says:

ag

Pronunciation /æx/, /əx/

South African
Used to express a range of emotions from irritation or grief to pleasure.

‘ag man, there's nothing anyone can do’


Origin Afrikaans, from Dutch ach.

Take a look at the pronunciation and you'll notice it's actually not pronounced with a "hard g" (i.e. /ɡ/), but rather with a KH sound denoted /x/, which sounds like the harsh H sound in Bach.

We can therefore exclude this as our candidate because otherwise the rhyme wouldn't be preserved. (If you listen to the (wonderful, if I may add) song you'll hear it's pronounced with a "hard g".)


To conclude, it seems this slang term isn't really something English-speaking people recognize today (at least judging by the comments), so I wouldn't use it, except perhaps if I wanted to deliberately imitate that sort of style / slang.

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  • That link is hopelessly misleading. It's true that in this specific context, "ag" is a (non-standard, "one-off") abbreviation for "aggravation", but the "contributor" who points that out goes on to claim that to nag (to scold, complain) derives from the same "original". Which is complete poppycock. Dec 25, 2019 at 15:05
  • @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica I only quoted the relevant part, which I think is correct. The link is there so that the source doesn't go uncredited.
    – user3395
    Dec 25, 2019 at 15:15
  • You don’t limit the link, you link to the complete thing so it is very misleading and incorrect.
    – Solar Mike
    Dec 25, 2019 at 15:18
  • @SolarMike The rest of the comment on that website is only tangentially pertinent to the matter anyway. I never claimed that everything on that Web page is accurate.
    – user3395
    Dec 25, 2019 at 15:23
  • You did not limit it either, and as the other comment says it is “poppycock”.
    – Solar Mike
    Dec 25, 2019 at 15:25

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