The police. So called because you look one time at them, as doing a double-take might attract attention.
by Anonymous December 31, 2003
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The cops. It's correct that it means looking more than once can draw attention. But the actual phrase comes from someone saying "one time" to let the other passengers or friends know that they have now seen the cops and are claiming the first look, and no one else should now turn around because two or more people looking increase your odds of being stopped by more than 50%.
"One time, man. Don't turn around!"
by PhatLladi October 3, 2006
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Poker slang, hoping for luck against the odds. Often uttered after going all-in. Heard frequently during the WSOP (World Series of Poker).
Dealer, I would like to use my one time now.
by CaptPicard776 July 18, 2010
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The police. Contrary to a popularly accepted best guess, this North American black / hip-hop slang term did not derive from the idea that one should only look once and not double-take at the police (arousing suspicion). Instead, it derives from the first few words of personal anecdotes involving the police, often shared while socializing at BBQs etc: "One Time, I was just comin out the Korean store, and the five-oh seen me..." It became a fun slang device to simply refer to police encounters as "one times," as in "that was close! we almost had a one time." which simply evolved into calling the police "one time." This was very early 90s and only really persists among fans of rap produced in that era.
nigga yo ass bess get yo shit up out here nigga! one time straight flossin this hood f' yo ass. and that's only real, on my life nigga.
by THYLTH August 9, 2017
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South African slang term. An exclamation expressing approval
"Let's hit the beach"
"One time!"
by Ash July 22, 2004
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One time is an expression used whenever you want something important to happen. That thing that you want to happen will usually be a game tipping act- should the thing you want to happen not happen, the night/game/whatever will end up far different than it would have should that thing have happened. It is a verb that expresses the desire for an action to occur.

It is used in hockey: a slap shot that comes directly off of a pass

It has shown up in movies and music: in the Little Giants this dialogue occurs:

Danny O'Shea: And even if those Cowboys are better than you guys, even if they beat you 99 times out of 100, that still leaves...

Tad: One time.

Rudy Zolteck: One time.

Junior Floyd: Smiles Yeah... one time!

2-Pac uses one time in his song "All About You."
1. A baseball game between the Angels and Yankees is tied 3-3 in extra innings. You want the Yankees to win. The Yankees are at bat and the bases are loaded. A-Rod steps up the the plate, when the pitch is delivered you scream "ONE TIME," because it will only take one hit for the game to be won by the Yankees. Should that hit not occur, the game will end up differently.

2. At a party, your friend is hitting on a girl he has long had a crush on. If he kisses this girl, and she accepts his kiss, he will end up hooking up with her- an obviously desirable outcome. He moves in, from across the room you scream "ONE TIME," she kisses back. They leave the party and go to his apartment.

3. A beirut game is tied with each team having 1 cup left each. You shoot the ping pong and scream "ONE TIME" as the ball flies through the air, because it will only take one cup to win.
by MGE11 October 18, 2009
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In jail, when the policeman walks around the pod checking in every cell, inmates yell "one time" to alert the other inmates that the police are doing their rounds. This allows people smoking, drinking, etc. to put away their contrabad before the man arrives.
'ONETIIIME' shouted the inmate to his brothes smoking squares in his cell.
by John Clausen June 20, 2005
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