Green’s Dictionary of Slang

fresh adj.2

(US black/campus) smart, ‘on the ball‘, aware, attractive; a general term of approval, varying as to context and applying to objects and events as well as people.

[US]Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five ‘It’s Nasty’ [lyrics] I’m a man that’s fresh, huh, a woman’s pet.
[US]Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five ‘She’s Fresh’ [lyrics] That girl is fresh / You know it [...] Walk so fresh, talk so fresh, you’re just so fresh.
[US]C. Stroud Close Pursuit (1988) 95: Fresh meant well-dressed, the only path to respect back in the housing project.
[US](con. 1982–6) T. Williams Cocaine Kids (1990) 86: You gotta go legit, at least for a minute. You gotta go ‘state of fresh,’ all the way live, if you wanna do anything worthwhile out here.
[US]Da Bomb [Internet] 11: Fresh: Neat, cool, awesome, different. Did you see that fresh sports car that just flew by?
[UK]N. Barlay Hooky Gear 119: From what I hear the same olds still fresh an well pissed off.
[US]Codella and Bennett Alphaville (2011) 331: ‘That’s a fresh ride’ [...] ‘Brand new, yo’. ‘Guide to London Slang 10 Jan. [Internet] Fresh – nice, looks good, as in ‘Morena is looking fresh today’.

In compounds

fresh cut (n.)

(US black) a short, neat haircut.

[US]N. George ‘Michael Bivins’ in Buppies, B-Boys, Baps and Bohos (1994) 65: Sporting fresh cuts, Starter sports gear, and well-rehearsed scowls.
[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 49: Fresh Cut A nice, clean haircut.

In phrases

bust fresh (v.)

(US teen) to look one’s best, usu. coupled to a specific event, such as a party, an anniversary, a festival.

[US]P. Munro Sl. U.
[US]Lerner et al. Dict. of Today’s Words 27: Bust fresh – to dress with great style, as in, ‘Man, she bust fresh out of sight today’.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

fresh cat (n.)

(US tramp) a new, inexperienced tramp.

[UK]W.H. Davies Beggars 50: Others, more kind and considerate, would take what was offered and give it to some poor shovel stiff (navvy) out of work, or a fresh cat (new beginner).
[UK]W.H. Davies Adventures of Johnny Walker 20: Wingy knew that he had not seen him before, but he did not want his own presence disgraced by a new-made beggar – who is known to the profession by the name of ‘fresh cat’.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 80: fresh Cat.–A neophyte tramp.
fresh cow (n.)

(US tramp) one who has just developed a venereal disease.

[US] ‘Jargon of the Und.’ in DN V 447: Fresh cow, One with a newly developed case of gonorrhea.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 80: Fresh Cow.–One with a newly developed venereal disease.
fresh fish (n.) [note later fish n.1 (6)]

1. (US prison) a new inmate in a prison; thus fresh fish special, the prison crop given to a new inmate.

[US]Calif. Police Gazette 10 Apr. 1/4: If a new prisoner arrived at night he was put into the room [...] and the instant he entered, his arrival would be signalized by the words ‘fresh fish’.
E. Newsome Experiences 98: The old [...] prisoners would scarecly associate with ‘Fresh Fish’.
[US]J.H. Banka State Prison Life 60: Fresh fish is the name applied to all newcomers.
[US]J. Kelley Thirteen Years in Oregon Penitentiary 35: The next boy to be flogged was a ‘fresh fish’ from Portland.
[US]J. Black You Can’t Win (2000) 42: Several new-looking prisoners walked about [...] They were ‘fresh fish,’ new arrivals.
[US]‘Boxcar Bertha’ Sister of the Road (1975) 92: Too late for the regular supper, seven of us they called ‘fresh fish’ were given a meal.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]C. Hamilton Men of the Und. 243: In the old days [...] there came to San Quentin a ‘fresh fish’ — the house burglar Donald Lowrie.
[UK]J. Colebrook Cross of Lassitude 239: [He] suddenly found himself a ‘fresh fish,’ landing in ‘the can’.
[US]J.D. Horan Blue Messiah 119: Over there the fresh fish [...] are turned over to the old cons.
[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak.
[US]Mad mag. Sept. 22: Oh no!!! [...] You want to make me your fresh fish taco!

2. any novice, e.g. a new recruit.

‘The Alphabet Poem’ (US Army poem) F is for Fresh Fish, who get eaten like candy.
Ledger (Noblesville, IN) 14 Aug. 6/2: A fresh fish came in. He recognized an old friend [...] "Hello! when did you get out of the grand sterr?’.
[US]Maledicta IX 155: Young chits, fresh meat and fresh fish [...] pretties and chicken (tender white meat) are chased by rapacious chicken-hawks.
[US]G. Pelecanos Night Gardener 221: I was fresh fish out of the academy.

3. a new young prostitute.

[US] in E. Cray Erotic Muse (1992) 139: She hung out a sign on the door: / ‘Fresh fish cost you a dollar here, / Fancy fucking cost ten cents more’.
fresh meat (n.)

see separate entry.

fresh union (adj.) [? SAmE union suit, a suit of one-piece underwear]

(US) clean, healthy.

[US](con. 1985–90) P. Bourjois In Search of Respect 109: He musta just come outta jail because that nigga’ looked fresh union. That nigga’ was healthy.
fresh vegetable (n.)

(W.I.) from the perspective of an older woman, the young man one is having a relationship with.

[WI]Francis-Jackson Official Dancehall Dict. 20: Fresh-vegetable a young man being dated by an older woman.

In phrases

fresh as paint (adj.) [play on SE fresh as paint, blooming, healthy]

(Aus.) naïve.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 10 Oct. 16/3: On the fresh-as-paint verdancy of the average Jimmy Grant do I enthusiastically agree with brother ‘Snell’.