adjective, salt·i·er, salt·i·est.

  1. tasting of or containing salt; saline.
  2. piquant; sharp; witty.
  3. racy or coarse: salty humor.
  4. of the sea, sailing, or life at sea.

adjective saltier or saltiest

  1. of, tasting of, or containing salt
  2. (esp of humour) sharp; piquant
  3. relating to life at sea

n.1660s, from salty + -ness. adj.mid-15c., “tasting of salt, impregnated with salt,” from salt (n.) + -y (2). Meaning “racy” is from 1866, from salt in the sense of “that which gives life or pungency” (1570s, originally of words or wit). Meaning “racy, sexy” is from 1866. U.S. slang sense of “angry, irritated” is first attested 1938 (probably from similar use with regard to sailors, “tough, aggressive,” attested by 1920), especially in phrase jump salty “to unexpectedly become enraged.” Related: Saltily.

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