1. (US) a butcher’s knife.
|(ref. to 1820s) Fisher’s River 72: I [...] jerked out old Butch [HDAS].|
|(ref. to c.1840) Adventures of Big-Foot Wallace 65: I loosened ‘old butch’ in the sheath.|
|in Treasury Amer. Folklore (1944) 349: Whar’s big butch little butch, ole case, cob-handle, granny’s knife and the one I handled yesterday!|
2. (US) a butcher.
|Sun (NY) 12 Oct. 18/2: As I rubbered into the meatshop I saw Dippy’s wife . She was swinging the butch for a chop or so for supper.|
3. (Aus.) a doctor.
|Digger Dialects 14: butch — Doctor.|
|(con. WWI) Gloss. of Sl. [...] in the A.I.F. 1921–1924 (rev. t/s) n.p.: butch. Doctor – abbreviation of Butcher.|
4. (orig. US) a nickname for a tough man; a nickname for a large, tough woman (not a lesbian).
|[story title] Butch Minds the Baby.|
|in War Paint 19: [aircraft nose art] Butch.|
|(con. 1944) Gallery (1948) 91: She told us to call her Butch. She was from Dorchester and she was the biggest gal I’d ever seen.|
|Complete Molesworth (1985) 234: O.K. Work him over, butch.|
|5000 Adult Sex Words and Phrases.|
|Queens’ Vernacular 39: butch [...] 2. (’40s) nonhomosexual man whose virile appearance both draws and repels the homosexual.|
|Oz ser. 4 ep. 5 [TV script] Excuse me there, butch.‘Gray Matter’|
5. (US milit.) the commanding officer.
|Phila. Eve. Ledger 20 July n.p.: ‘Butch’ and ‘old man’—commanding officer.|
|Dict. Service Sl. n.p.: Butch . . . friendly term for commanding officer [...] Used in his absence of course.|
6. (orig. US) a masculine lesbian.
|Lucifer with a Book 69: Betty Blanchard to us. On dates she answers to Butchie.|
|Norman’s London (1969) 64: We will call the queer Tangerine (who is an old queen), and the brass Chechee, and the lez we will call Butch, which is just another way of saying lez.in Encounter n.d. in|
|Observer Review 20 May 27/5: Toni, a domnant type who I believe would be known in lesbian slang as a butch.|
|Howard Street 219: One of the butches [...] stepped in to breach the custom of noninterference.|
|After Hours 162: A stone butch, she had a cute li’l chick, Sarita.|
|Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In 92: The lady warden, whose name is Miz Terry but who oughta be named Butch, if you know what I mean and I think you do.|
|Prison Sl. 58: Butch A female who looks and acts like a male and assumes the dominant, active role in a lesbian relationship.|
|Guardian Editor 25 June 5: The Daily Star’s ‘tennis totty’ double spread: ‘Butches versus Babes’.|
|Destination: Morgue! (2004) 297: Donna said, ‘Back off, Butch – it’s [i.e. lesbianism] not my scene.’.‘Hot-Prowl Rape-O’ in|
7. (orig. US, also butch haircut) a short, ‘macho’ haircut (used for either gender).
|Asphalt Jungle in Four Novels (1984) 137: His white-blond hair disfigured by a butch haircut.|
|Blackboard Jungle 46: The boys filed in [...] still wondering what sort of a duck this new bird with the Butch haircut was.|
|Gentleman Junkie (1961) 18: Jack Wheeldon, whose head is square and whose hair is cut in a butch.‘Final Shtick’ in|
|(con. 1940s) A Garden of Sand (1981) 421: Jack took a dime to the nearest Barber College and bought himself a butch, a real Army job, a crew cut that left a quarter-inch of stubble on his pale scalp.|
|Campus Sl. Spring 2: butch – a very short hair-cut.|
8. (orig. US) a masculine male homosexual.
|Homosexual in America 113: A camp is also a bitch; but change the vowel, and one has the antonym, a butch.|
|Lavender Lex. n.p.: butch:–The masculine appearing homosexual. He is the insertor in any sexual relationship. This cannot be defined by means of dress or habits or any other method.|
|AS XLV:1–2 56: butch 1: n Aggressor in any homosexual relationship.‘Homosexual Sl.’ in|
|More Tales of the City (1984) 7: I will not call anyone nellie or butch, unless that is his name.|
9. (US gay) a heterosexual male.
|Homosexuality & Citizenship in Florida 23: Glossary of Homosexual Terms [...] butch: [...] (b) Term used by homosexuals to describe a normal person .|
10. (Aus. teen) a promiscuous young woman.
|Lingo 104: Disapproving terms for females included butch, slut, tramp, mole, and cow, all used in the wider Lingo.|
(US) to act in a physically aggressive manner.
|Muscle for the Wing 128: Shuggie, you figure we’ll have to butch down on this tush hog Gillette?|
(US prison) to force a fellow prisoner to give oral sex in return for favours, protection etc.
|Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July [Internet] Butched In: Having to perform oral sex for favors.|
1. to get a military, i.e ultra-short, haircut; thus butched up adj., having such a haircut.
|N.Y. Times Mag. 4 Aug. 9/1: It is difficult to pinpoint the exact date at which the military haircut became both cause celebre and a source of humor. [...] The newest example, of course, is Airman Donald Wheeler, who refused to get himself butched up and got away with it.|
2. (US gay) of a homosexual male, to accentuate a spurious masculinity in order to hide one’s actual homosexuality; of a lesbian, to accentuate one’s ‘maleness’.
|Lavender Lex. n.p.: butch it up:–An admonition to act less faggotty. Often is spoken in jest, and may be heard as, ‘Butch it up, Mary’, meaning to cut out the obvious homosexual talk and action.|
|Guild Dict. Homosexual Terms 6: butch it up (v.): The act or effort of assuming the characteristics of one who is butch (q. v.); said of one who must do so in an effort to hide his homosexuality from his heterosexual friends.|
|Boys in the Band in 3 Plays (1996) 24: I butched it up quite a bit. And I didn’t think I was lying to myself. I really thought I was straight.|
|Maledicta VI:1+2 (Summer/Winter) 138: Butch it up = ‘to make an effort or pretence to be[ing] butch’.|
3. as sense 2 but in non-homosexual contexts.
|Guardian 28 May [Nexis] You must make special efforts to catch her attention. Try some sexy surprises – wear a cosy woolly cardi that brings out the boy in you, just the thing to play smacky lips and huggy bear. Cook something sexy, husky and he-man. Butch up your little world, schmuck.|
|Tradeswomen (S.F.) 31 Oct. [Proquest] 51: [written by a female auto mechanic who became a trades teacher] Over the next several months I studied hard, asked a lot of questions, butched-up even more than usual (a feat thought by some to be impossible) and began pulling a share of the teaching load.|
(US gay) a masculine lesbian or homosexual who wears formal clothes.
|Rebecca’s Dict. of Queer Sl. [Internet] glamour butch — a butch who likes to wear fancy suits, tuxedos, etc, frequently.|
(gay) a ‘masculine’ lesbian with a soft side and gentle character.
|Rebecca’s Dict. of Queer Sl. [Internet] soft butch — a butch lesbian who is, perhaps, not so stereotypically masculine as a stone.|
|Queer Sl. in the Gay 90s [Internet] Soft Butch – A butch lesbian with a soft side and gentle demeanor.|