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ivories (2)

This page is about the slang term ivories (2)

American English


piano keys

For example

  • Lay down a groove on those skins, my man, and I'll start tinklin' the ivories when the baby's rockin'.

  • And that's Mr. Ron Carter on double bass, Mr. Wayne Shorter on saxophone, and the cool cat on the ivories over there is Mr. Joe Zawinul!

Origin: Piano keys were traditionally made out of ivory from an elephant's tusk.


This is typically used in American English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz

If someone's playing the ivories, they'll be

a. gambling

b. playing music

c. playing the Chinese game Mahjong
a) gambling b) playing music c) playing the Chinese game Mahjong

Slang of the Day

Contributor: Matt Errey