He got hisself kicked out cause he couldn't cough up nuff money to pay the rent.

What do 'hisself' and 'nuff' mean? It maybe looks like the nuff money is type of money. But how he can cough up money?

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    In questions like these, it's generally helpful to tell us where you found the quote. (Perhaps that information wasn't necessary to answer this particular question, but oftentimes the question doesn't have ’nuff information, and the source of the quote provides that extra piece of the puzzle that clears things up.)
    – J.R.
    Feb 19, 2013 at 0:10
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    @J.R. Indeed! (Also questions are also more interesting to read when you know their origins! That doesn't really factor into making it a better question, I suppose, but it makes reading it more fun ;)).
    – WendiKidd
    Feb 19, 2013 at 0:35

1 Answer 1


'Hisself' and 'nuff' are not actual words. They are shortened versions of words that are sometimes used in certain dialects. In proper English the sentence would read:

He got himself kicked out because he couldn't cough up enough money to pay the rent.

"Hisself" is the speaker trying to say "his" and "self" together as one word, when really the grammatically correct term is "himself."

"Nuff" is a shortened version of "enough", without the 'e' sound at the beginning.

'To cough up money' is an idiom that means to find enough money to pay someone with. What the person is trying to say is that someone was kicked out of their apartment because they couldn't make enough money to pay their rent.

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    +1, but I don't like the description of hisself and nuff as not actual words - although I suppose it depends on what you define as an "actual word". "Hisself" and "nuff" in this context are not mistakes. They are vernacular slang (particularly African American Vernacular slang). The only real "mistake" is that nuff would normally be written 'nuff.
    – Matt
    Feb 18, 2013 at 23:46
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    What you meant by "actual words" was "mainstream standard English dialect words". As long as groups of people use these words -- and they do -- they are actual words. In fact, "hisself" is actually in the MW online dictionary, "nuff" is in the Urban dictionary, & "'nuff" is in Wikitionary. A shorter term is "AAVE dialect". What you said was unnecessarily biased & prejudicial: "I don't use those words, so they're not real".
    – user264
    Feb 19, 2013 at 0:47
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    @Matt: Calling those words "slang" is a contradiction. If they're part of a known & recognized dialect (AAVE, which is a dialect, not a "slangalect", of English), then they're not slang. If they're spoken or written by someone who doesn't speak that dialect, then they may be slang or they just may be a standard idiom: "'Nuff said" is idiomatic in my mid-Atlantic dialect, but it's quite informal, & I don't speak AAVE. This leads to a discussion of what is & isn't slang, something I don't want to get into because there's no chance of consensus.
    – user264
    Feb 19, 2013 at 0:53
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    @Matt: In school, we're all taught mainstream "standard English", so of course using any other dialect is verboten. Same in China, where everyone learns Mandarin in school but speaks local dialects at home. I didn't say that WendiKidd was being consciously prejudicial, but, then, neither are the people who feel compelled to say "some of my best friends are X". They know not what they say. Say what you mean & mean what you say is a major principle for me. Unfortunately, we (me too) don't always think about it.
    – user264
    Feb 19, 2013 at 1:05
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    @BillFranke: That's true. I think English Language experts have moved a long way in the past couple of hundred years from saying "This is how we write and speak. All other ways are WRONG" to a much more nuanced approach, where 'nuff, lol and txtspeak, whilst not yet on a par with Queen's English, is something to be studied rather than stamped out by beating children who use it. If this was ELU, I'd definitely agree that we should call 'nuff and hisself real English words and be done with it. But this is ELL, and I worry that learners'll say "oh, that's a great word. I'll put it in my essay."
    – Matt
    Feb 19, 2013 at 1:14

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