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Southern screamer (Chauna torquata) in flight
Southern screamer (Chauna torquata)


From scream +‎ -er.



screamer (plural screamers)

  1. One who screams; one who shouts; one who sings harshly.
    • 1840 April – 1841 November, Charles Dickens, “Chapter the Twenty-first”, in The Old Curiosity Shop. A Tale. [], volume I, London: Chapman and Hall, [], published 1841, OCLC 1109979921:
      'Don't be frightened, mistress,' said Quilp, after a pause. 'Your son knows me; I don't eat babies; I don't like 'em. It will be as well to stop that young screamer though, in case I should be tempted to do him a mischief. Holloa, sir! Will you be quiet?'
    • 1886, Henry James, chapter IX, in The Bostonians, London; New York, N.Y.: Macmillan and Co., OCLC 3179002:
      He stood almost appalled for a moment, as he said to himself that she would take her up and the girl would be ruined, would force her note and become a screamer.
    • 1999 June 27, "J2rider", "Favourite companions to hate or love", in rec.arts.drwho, Usenet:
      In my opinion, Sarah was a total screamer. [] She screams in BRAIN OF MORIBUS, PYRAMIDS OF MARS, PLANET OF EVIL, REVENGE OF CYBERMEN, GENESIS OF DALEKS, SEEDS OF DOOM, ARK IN SPACE, etc, etc. In just about all her stories. When she is not screaming she is yelping, "Run Doctor RUNNNNNN!"
  2. Any bird in the taxonomic family Anhimidae, endemic to South America, being large, bulky birds with a small downy head, long legs and large feet.
  3. (obsolete, US, hunting) A healthy, vigorous animal.[1]
  4. A healthy, vigorous person.[1]
  5. Something exceptionally good.
    • 1875, Louisa May Alcott, Eight Cousins,
      I do not judge hastily, Alec, for I have read a dozen, at least, of these stories, and, with much that is attractive to boys, I find a great deal to condemn in them, and other parents say the same when I ask them."
      "Now, Mum, that's too bad! I like 'em tip-top. This one is a regular screamer," cried Will.
  6. (sports, cricket) A difficult catch.
    • 2010 Adam Gilchrist, True Colours,
      But then he came around the wicket again, I slashed at one, and Strauss, at full stretch diving to his left at second slip, took an absolute screamer. It was the catch of the summer, and it happened to me.
  7. (sports, baseball) A very hard hit.
    • 2006, R. G. Utley, Tim Peeler, Aaron Peeler, Outlaw Ballplayers: interviews and profiles from the Independent Carolina Baseball League,
      His screamer into the right field bleachers in the sixth with Scarborough and Viau on base put Hickory out in front 9 to 8 and the lead held for the rest of the game.
  8. (sports, Australian rules football) A particularly high mark (clean catch of a kicked ball).
    • 2008, John Devaney, Full Points Footy's WA Football Companion:
      Virtually every other facet of the game is shared by other sports, but the sight of a player taking a fingertip ‘screamer’ whilst perched on the shoulders of an opponent is unique to footy, and players who perfect this ability are among the code’s most celebrated and well remembered.
  9. (sports, soccer, golf) A powerful shot.
    • 2011 January 19, Jonathan Stevenson, “Leeds 1 - 3 Arsenal”, in BBC[1]:
      Kasper Schmeichel brilliantly denied Marouane Chamakh before Bacary Sagna thumped home a second, though Bradley Johnson's screamer halved the deficit.
  10. (sports, surfing) A very large wave.
    • 2010, Peter Klein, Silk Chaser:
      That set the pattern for us both. Catch a screamer, work it hard for as long as you could, then drop back over the shoulder and paddle back out to the line-up.
  11. (music) A march played at the circus to arouse the crowd.
  12. (Internet slang) A video that unexpectedly frightens the viewer by cutting to a loud scream and disturbing image.
    • 2008, Nadia Giosia, Bitchin' Kitchen Cookbook
      The Web is also big business; who needs a real job when you can just send Grandma a screamer and—POOF!—there's your inheritance.
  13. (slang) An effeminate gay man; a man who is obviously homosexual.
    • 1989, Joseph P. Goodwin, More Man Than You’ll Ever Be: Gay Folklore and Acculturation in Middle America, Indiana University Press, →ISBN, page 43:
      Well, this friend was a real effeminate person—[he] was just a screamer. [] Well even my brother was smart enough to realize they were gay.
    • 1992, in The Advocate, issues 607–610,[2] page 315:
      So when George Michael sings in his latest hit, “Girl, you're just too funky for me,” is he really singing about a woman? Or is he just being a total screamer and gender-fucking his male love object?
    • 2001 May 5, "cJ" (username), "Studly buff gay guy?", in, Usenet:
      I thought Jeff was a screamer. I am still wondering about Alicia. She hangs with Jeff. But I shouldn't assume someone is lesbian by the company they keep.
  14. (US, slang, dated) A bouncer.
  15. (journalism, slang) An exclamation mark.
  16. (journalism, slang) A large, attention-getting headline.
    • 2004, Graeme Turner, Understanding Celebrity (page 17)
      Hartley's argument usefully reminds us that the spread of celebrity is not just the consequence of an accumulation of publicity handouts, advertisements, chat show interviews, or the shock-horror revelations in the tabloid screamers.

Derived termsEdit


See alsoEdit



  1. 1.0 1.1 John Russell Bartlett, Dictionary of Americanisms — SCREAMER. A bouncing fellow or girl. This, like the word roarer, is one of the words transferred from animals to men by the hunters of the West.