A Glossary of Brevity

About-face = change of heart
Amid = before, after, during, or all three; in the face of, in spite of
As = at the same time as; before; during; after. Also, because
Axe = dismiss, remove, eliminate
Back = support, offer support, express support for, approve (of), stand with/behind
Bash = criticise (thus, “Catholic health association bashes bishop on abortion hospital”)
Bid = attempt, try
Blast = criticise
Blaze = fire, conflagration
Blow = setback, handicap, hindrance; consider rephrasing to “hamper, scupper chances”
Boss = manager, executive, CEO, chairman
Brand = describe as, label, nickname
Bug = infection (viral or bacterial); malicious computer program
Cage = imprison, incarcerate, jail
Chide = criticise
Clash = conflict
Con = convict, prisoner
Critics = opponents, adversaries
Curb = rein in, restrain, repress, limit
Cut = reduce, lower; reduction, decrease, discount
Diss = criticise
Dodgy = underhand, corrupt; we suspect they’ve done something wrong, but have no evidence to back up our suspicions
Dub = describe as, label, nickname
Eye = consider, contemplate
Face = is in line for; faces the prospect of; must prepare for; is threatened with
Fear = anxiety, concern, worry, terror
Fever = excitement (however mild)
Fire = dismiss, remove, eliminate
Flay = criticise
Flip-flop = change of heart
Furore = outcry, hubbub, uproar
Fury = anger, or, more probably, mild annoyance
Guru = expert
Hail = welcome, recognise, approve of
Heist = robbery
Helm = run; take over control of
Hike = increase, rise
Hit (by) = affect, have impact on (something more specific would be nice)
Hit back = retaliate, riposte, counterthrust
Hit out at = criticise
Hold = arrest, detain
Ink = sign, put signature to (thankfully on the wane)
Ire = anger, or, more probably, mild annoyance
Jibe = accusation, criticism, sideswipe
Lag = convict, prisoner
Laud = praise, garland with praise
Key = significant, important, major
Kill (figurative) = cancel, overrule, countermand, rescind
Knock = criticise
Lash = criticise
Loom = impend, be imminent, approach; should be used only with negative events. Isn’t.
Mar = spoil, ruin, undermine
Maul = criticise
Moot = suggest, propose, table
Mull = contemplate, consider, weigh up
OK (v) = approve, pass, agree to, sign off on
Pact = treaty, agreement, contract
Pan = criticise
Plea = request
Poll = survey; election
Probe = investigation, inquiry, review; (verb) look into, examine, review
Raft = wide range, selection, host, plethora
Rage = anger, or, more probably, mild annoyance
Rue = regret
Quiz = question, interrogate, grill
Quit = resign, stand down, tender one’s resignation, vacate one’s position
Rail at = complain of, about
Ramp up = increase, amplify, develop, intensify
Rap = criticise
Rift = division
Rig = manipulate, pre-arrange, fix
Roast = criticise
Row = conflict; controversy
Row back = have a change of heart
Sack = dismiss, remove, eliminate
See = forecast
Seek = request
Seize = arrest
Set to = is going to, plans to, intends to, is about to, is preparing to
Slam = criticise
Slash = reduce, cut down/back
Soar = rise, increase
Spark = trigger, cause, prompt
Spat = conflict
Split = division
Slag off = criticise
Slap down = criticise
Slate = criticise
Swipe = criticism
Tear into = criticise
Tick off = admonish, rebuke, reproach
U-turn = change of heart
Vie = compete, fight
Volte-face = change of heart
Vow = swear, promise
Wag = raconteur, wisecracker; romantic partner of footballer
War (figurative) = conflict
Woe = misery, hurt, or, more likely, mild disappointment
Woo = make advances/overtures to, try to win over

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