1. (UK Und.) of a person or place, not worth robbing.
|New Canting Dict. n.p.: empty as, The Cull looks Empty; or, ’Tis all Empty: A Canting Word to signify, by an Intelligencer, that the Person or House has not the Riches reported, or is not worth attempting.|
|, , ,||Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. 1725].|
2. (US) penniless, broke.
|Rhubarb 8: ‘How you fixed now?’ Eric asked him. ‘Empty,’ said Doom gloomily.|
|(con. 1950s) Nice Guys Finish Last 315: ‘Man [...] I’m empty.’ He’d pull out his pockets. ‘I’m empty.’.|
SE in slang uses
(UK campus) at Cambridge University, a fellow-commoner, i.e. a rich or aristocratic undergraduate, with special privileges and a reputation for self-indulgent laziness.
|Gradus ad Cantabrigiam 63: Fellow Commoners have been nick-named ‘Empty Bottles!’ They have been called, likewise ‘Useless Members’.|
|Five Years in an Eng. University 34: They are popularly denominated ‘empty bottles,’ the first word of the appellation being an adjective, though were it taken as a verb there would be no untruth in it.|
|College Words (rev. edn) 177: At the University of Cambridge, Eng., the sobriquet of a fellow-commoner.|
(US) a useless or insincere person.
|Dogged Victims 135: ‘I knew all the rich guys [...] Most of ’em were empty suits’.|
|Fort Apache, The Bronx 87: He’s an empty suit, don’t even think about him.|
|Real Anita Hill 62: [...] which had the effect of presenting [Clarence] Thomas as something of an empty suit.|
|When Faster Harder Smarter Is Not Enough 34: But don’t get me wrong—I am not going soft, and I certainly don’t want to evolve into a jelly roll, or a spineless empty suit.|
|A Good Fella’s Guide To N.Y. 161: An ‘empty suit’ or ‘jack-off’ was the mobster wanna-be, the guy that just hung around us to feel cool. We were; he wasn’t.|
(N.Z.) a phr. used after breaking wind in public.
|used by Jane Morison, Havelock (Marlborough): ‘An empty house is better than a bad tenant.’ (Ed.) [DNZE].|
|Outside In I i: Better an empty house than a bad tenant.|
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.|
|Lincs. Chron. 22 Aug. 4/4: A certain country fellow [...] who was rather ’empty in the upper storey’.|