Smeg: Definition, Meaning, and Examples

Last Updated on
October 4, 2023

1. Smeg (noun): A slang term signifying something unpleasant or undesirable, often referring to a person or an unidentifiable or unpleasant substance.
2. Smeg (interjection): An expression  used to convey strong emotions such as annoyance, repulsion, or disappointment. 

Smeg is a slang term often used to describe a person or an unidentifiable or unpleasant substance. It also conveys strong emotions such as annoyance, repulsion, or disappointment. It is similar to expressions like "ew" or "yuck." Please note that this term is slang and may be inappropriate for formal or polite conversations. Understanding its nuances helps in decoding its usage in various contexts.

"Smeg" Definition: What Does "Smeg" Mean?

"Smeg" is a versatile British slang term that functions as a noun signifying something revolting or worthless or as an interjection to express irritation, disappointment, or annoyance more strongly than more polite exclamations allow. The exclamation of "Smeg!" conveys you are fed up, grossed out, or disappointed about something.

When used as a noun:

"Smeg" refers to something considered worthless, pointless, or disgusting. For example, you might use it to describe a messy, filthy room by saying, "The place is complete smeg." It also denotes a gross, unidentifiable substance or a contemptible person. So if someone is rude and annoying, you could call them "a total smeg."

When used as an interjection:

"Smeg" is also used as an expletive, expressing anger, annoyance, or frustration, similar to "damn" or "shit." For instance, you could say "Oh smeg! I left my wallet at home" when you realize you don't have your money with you. The term packs more punch than saying "shoot" or "darn" in the same situations.

Parts of Speech

The slang word functions primarily as an interjection. It's a word that characters use to express strong emotion, similar to how one might use "damn" or "heck." While "smeg" is typically used as an interjection, it can also function as a noun or verb in certain contexts, adding to its versatility.

How to Pronounce "Smeg"?

For those unacquainted with the term, getting the pronunciation right is crucial.

Phonetic Pronunciation: /smɛɡ/

Synonyms of "Smeg": Other Ways to Say "Smeg"

Given its specialized nature, "smeg" doesn't have many direct synonyms. Yet, a few words can encapsulate its essence, particularly in specific contexts.

  • Gross
  • Yuck
  • Darn
  • Heck

Antonyms of "Smeg": Other Ways to Say "Smeg"

For its negative connotations, the antonyms for "smeg" would center around positive affirmations or approvals.

  • Great
  • Awesome

Examples of "Smeg" in a Sentence

The versatility of "smeg" is evident in its varied use across different contexts.

Here are ten sentences illustrating its applications:

1. The devil incarnate accused me of leaving a "smeg" on the kitchen counter.
2. Just smeg off if you can't be nice to others.
3. Oh, smeg! I forgot to bring the tickets.
4. He's been acting like a total smeg lately.
5. That blue movie was pure smeg; I regret watching it.
6. The cake turned into a smeg mess when it fell.
7. She yelled, "Smegging hell!" when she missed the bus.
8. I can't be arsed to clean up this smeg of a mess right now.
9. Don't touch that! It looks like some sort of smeg.
10. I encountered the smeg thief at the shop and had to pick my poison between keeping quiet or informing the manager.

Frequency of Use

Smeg is an obscure slang word of British origin. It was rarely used until the TV show Red Dwarf introduced it to international audiences in 1988. The term saw a rise in usage throughout the 1990s when the show was popular. However, it remains relatively unknown outside the UK. Within Britain, it is seen as a silly or immature expletive.

Variants of "Smeg"

Several variants of "smeg" have been used for comedic effect.

  1. Smegma - The foul secretion smeg was coined to describe.
  2. Smeg head - An insult popularized by Red Dwarf, meaning idiot or incompetent person.
  3. Smeg pot - A vulgar synonym for a dirty or contemptible person.

Related Terms to "Smeg"

Several terms can be associated with "smeg" due to its slang and expressive nature. These terms typically convey similar emotions or refer to undesirables in casual lingo.

1. Gross
2. Yuck
3. Heck
4. Darn
5. Crud
6. Blimey
7. Drat
8. Pish

Etymology: History and Origins of "Smeg"

The word first appeared in the late 1980s as university slang, which was then popularized by the TV show Red Dwarf in 1988. It seems derived from smegma - the foul, cheese-like secretion found under some men's foreskins. "Smegma" refers to a "sebaceous secretion" and dates back to 1811. It is derived from Latin, which took it from the Greek word "smēgma." In Greek, "smēgma" means "a detergent, soap, unguent," and it originates from the verb "smēkhein," which means "to wipe off, wipe clean, cleanse.

Derivatives and Compounds of "Smeg"

While "smeg" is quite specific in its usage, a few terms and phrases have been derived or are related to its meaning, especially in casual or humorous contexts.

1. Smegging: An adverb or adjective form used to intensify the sentiment, e.g., "smegging brilliant."
2. Smeghead: A playful or teasing term to call someone, suggesting they're a bit foolish or clueless.

Common Misspellings of "Smeg"

Ensuring the spelling of "smeg" is crucial, especially when referencing it in certain contexts or discussions.

Here are some common misspellings or misinterpretations of "smeg":

1. Smag
2. Smogg
3. Smigg

10 Idioms Similar to "Smeg"

While idioms directly incorporating "smeg" might be rare, there are idioms that convey sentiments of annoyance, frustration, or disbelief, resonating with the emotions "smeg" often expresses.

1. Darn it!
2. Slimeball
3. A bad egg
4. In a pickle
5. Raised by wolves
6. Rough around the edges
7. Add insult to injury
8. Open a can of worms
9. Don't air your dirty laundry in public
10. Not the sharpest tool in the shed

10 Common Questions About "Smeg"

The peculiar nature of "smeg" is bound to pique interest and lead to various questions. Here are some common inquiries regarding this term and their concise answers.

1. What exactly does "smeg" mean?

"Smeg" is a slang term indicating something unpleasant or a humorous exclamation derived from "smegma."

2. Is "smeg" a real word?

While "smeg" is slang and might not be found in formal dictionaries, its usage, especially in pop culture, makes it a recognized term.

3. Why do people say "smeg off"?

"Smeg off" is a casual, sometimes humorous way of telling someone to go away or expressing annoyance.

4. Is "smeg" considered offensive?

The offensiveness of "smeg" varies by context and region, but it's often seen as a milder, sometimes playful expletive.

5. Where did "smeg" originate?

"Smeg" gained popularity from the British TV show "Red Dwarf," though it's derived from the term "smegma."

6. Can "smeg" be used in formal writing?

"Smeg" is typically reserved for casual or humorous contexts and isn't recommended for formal writing.

7. How is "smeg" related to "Red Dwarf"?

In "Red Dwarf," characters frequently use "smeg" as a catchphrase or mild expletive, popularizing the term.

8. Are there other words similar to "smeg"?

Words like "darn," "heck," and "blimey" can serve similar purposes as mild exclamations or terms of annoyance.

9. How do I properly use "smeg" in a sentence without offending someone?

It's best to use "smeg" with people who understand its humorous or playful intent or in contexts where casual slang is acceptable. Always be cautious using it with strangers or in formal settings.

10. Can "smeg" be used as a verb or adjective?

While "smeg" is primarily a noun or interjection, its derivative "smegging" can be used as an adverb or adjective, e.g., "That was a smegging good meal!"


"Smeg" is a versatile slang term that has found its place in casual conversations, primarily due to pop culture influences like "Red Dwarf." It encapsulates sentiments of annoyance, frustration, or humor, making it a unique addition to colloquial language. As with any slang or expletive, it's essential to gauge the context and the audience before using "smeg" to ensure effective and respectful communication. Check other interesting expressions and slang definitions to learn more and speak better.

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