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Get the Urban Dictionary in your terminal

The Urban Dictionary website is pretty useful when one wants to know the meaning of any familiar or slang word. Users can write definitions for any words, and upvote or downvote them. Unfortunately, the website doesn’t have a public API, and I couldn’t find a command-line tool for it. So I wrote one.

Introducing ud

ud is a command-line tool which prints definitions from the Urban Dictionary website. It’s written in Ruby, and allows you to quickly search for a definition of any word.

$ ud wth
* WTH (567/126):

   1) Abbreviation for "What the Hell"
   2) Shortened alternative to "With"

   1) WTH was that?!
   2) I ate some crackers wth chicken

For common abbreviations like “wtf” or “omg”, there are dozens of definitions, with minor differences. That’s why the script scraps only the first page of results, and supports a few options: -n allows you to limit the number of definitions (e.g. -n 1 → only one). -r allows you to select only the definitions which have an upvotes/downvotes ratio higher than what you want, e.g. -r 2 will select only the definitions which have twice more upvotes than downvotes. For your convenience, it also support the shortcut -u which is an alias for -r 2. Type ud -h for more info.


That’s easy:

gem install ud

Please note that if you’re using Windows, you’ll need to install the Win32 Console ANSI gem for the colored output. Install it with:

gem install win32console

Using the UD module

The gem also provide a UD module, which you can use to query the website in your own Ruby code:

require 'ud'

wtf = UD.query 'wtf', :count => 1

puts wtf[0].keys.join ', '
#=> id, word, definition, example, upvotes, downvotes