Green’s Dictionary of Slang

scene n.

1. any situation.

[UK] ‘’Arry on Law and Order’ in Punch 26 Nov. 249/2: Brickbats and hoyster-knives? Walker! Not on in that scene, mate, not me!
[US]R. Chandler Farewell, My Lovely (1949) 226: It was still a bum scene.
[UK]C. MacInnes Absolute Beginners 50: If you go in anywhere, they take for granted that you know the scene.
[US]J.A. Williams Night Song (1962) 176: Let’s make the bed scene again.
[UK]T. Keyes All Night Stand 92: It all happened in scenes that were beyond my control.
[US]D. Goines Inner City Hoodlum 34: The fuckin’ scene has ended, and there’s no place to go but up.
[US]J. Ellroy Brown’s Requiem 70: The whole scene is a long-gone dead duck.
[Aus]J. Byrell (con. 1959) Up the Cross 173: ‘I was [helping] [...] but that is now not the scene’.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 195: This scene stinks even without the stogie’s help.
[UK]Z. Smith White Teeth 17: You into that kind of scene?

2. a place, esp. a party.

[US]K. McGaffey Sorrows of a Show Girl Ch. iii: The only thing that kept me from having a scene with myself was the fact that I had drank up all my merry Yuletide gifts.
[UK]Melody Maker Sept. 61: Since ‘Nelly Kelly’s Cabaret’ came on the scene, it’s put fresh kick into dancing.
[US]Rosenthal & Zachary Jazzways 16: By 1907, Bolden had disappeared from the scene, confined to an insane asylum.
[US]C. Himes Crazy Kill 27: Don’t nobody leave the scene.
[UK]F. Norman Guntz 85: Way out scene man.
[UK]J. Barlow Burden of Proof 45: Come on to my place [...] We’ll have a scene.
[US]D. Goines Dopefiend (1991) 150: With cops on the scene, man, if you run, you’re taking your life in your hands.
Meyer & Ebert Beyond Valley of the Dolls [film script] Here, have some grass. [...] No, thanks, man. In a scene like this, you get a contact high!
[WI]S. Baku ‘One Bad Casa’ in Three Plays I ii: Why don’t you check out the scene here, man.
[Scot]I. Welsh Trainspotting 125: The auld boy’s still on the scene in Leith.
[US]R. Cooley When Corruption Was King 83: We started busy and only got busier. [...]. Greco’s was always quite a scene.

3. the fashionable world, usu. of the young, as defined by the current trends.

[US]O.O. McIntyre Bits of New York Life 20 Dec. [synd. col.] My temper always reaches the boiling point when I am far from the scene.
[US]Hepster’s Dict. 9: Scene – Any jam session or party.
[UK]Gandalf’s Garden 6 n.d. 11: the scene is an atmosphere rather than a locality, of things happening in people’s heads all over the world, and the places where people of alive minds [...] congregate and manifest their ideas creates that nebulous thing called ‘The Scene’, wherever it may be.
[US]C. McFadden Serial 21: It’s her scene. She’s got a different lifestyle.
[WI]M. Thelwell Harder They Come 152: Cho man, you new to de scene.
[UK]K. Sampson Powder 6: Helmet pointedly excluded Sensira from any ‘scene’.
[SA]IOL News (Western Cape) 27 Sept. 🌐 A ‘face’ was the term used by Sixties Mods to describe a respected member of their scene.

4. (drugs) the drug-taking environment.

[US]Hal Ellson Golden Spike 163: Cool it, man. You weren’t on the scene, that’s all. Waiting for you, I could have died.
[US]C. Cooper Jr Scene (1996) 24: This is ‘the Scene’, addicts’ jargon meaning the place where everything’s going on, where dope, women, or any other commodity can be bought or stolen.
[US]R.R. Lingeman Drugs from A to Z (1970) 223: scene Social patterns of drug use in a particular area, usually referring to a college or high school.
[US]H. Selby Jr Requiem for a Dream (1987) 117: He knew the streets and the scene.
[UK]G. Burn Happy Like Murderers 151: You could crash there and you could score [...] It was a whole scene there in the centre of Cheltenham.

5. (gay) a lengthy sexual encounter; often paid-for.

[US]J. Blake letter 12 Oct. in Joint (1972) 191: We made some fine scenes with the young pachucos of the region.
[UK]T. Lewis Plender [ebook] ‘I don’t want the law linking your little scenes with my little scenes. That’s why I’m asking’.
[US]L. Kramer Faggots 41: ‘Did he elucidate upon his . . . encounters?’ [...] ‘Scenes. They’re called scenes.’ [Ibid.] 263: I forgot to tell you that I had this date tonight with Dennis. We’re going to do a leather scene.
[US]P. Califia Macho Sluts 42: Submissive straight men paid her to do scenes with them.
[UK]A. Hollinghurst Swimming Pool Library 202: Anyway, he got involved in some other really heavy scene. This taxi-driver that tied him up and whipped him.
[SA]K. Cage Gayle 93/2: scene n. [...] 2. a sexual encounter (I had a scene with X last night).

6. (orig. US black) choice, preference; usu. as not one’s scene

‘Lord & Marshall’ Girl Called Honey 146: ‘You're different,’ she said. ‘Different? Just because I like girls? That's not all that different, baby. It’s my scene. You've got to be tolerant of another person’s scene, baby. It's the only way’.
[US]J. Rechy Numbers (1968) 64: Lots of the guys here, they go for the three-B’s scene — you know, blow-job, bed, breakfast.

7. a sexual relationship.

[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972).
[UK]Fabian & Byrne Out of Time (ms.) 73: ‘You can’t just sit here being available for Doc,’ I told her. ‘Isn’t there anyone else you fancy a scene with?’.

8. (US gay) a situation created as a backdrop to a given sexual fantasy.

[US]R. Scott Rebecca’s Dict. of Queer Sl. 🌐 scene — [...] (2) in BDSM, the arranged and negotiated sex or play; the framework (e.g. a ‘cop scene’ is one in which one or more of the players takes the role of a cop) or period of time (e.g. ‘Master Bob praised his submissive before ending the scene.’) in which BDSM activity takes place. Used more loosely, it means any non-vanilla sex act.

9. (S.Afr. gay) the meeting places and relationships of the gay community.

[SA]K. Cage Gayle 93/2: scene n. 1. the gay world of bars, clubs and private relationships.

In derivatives

scenester (n.)

a devoted pursuer of fashionable life.

[US]Art Director & Studio News 13 67: [For a] scenester, it’s details that make the difference between just wearing clothes and being with it .
B. Greene Running Nixon 62: Another scenester turned on by the power thing.
[US]Spin Sept. 87/2: A downtown scenester, banging out post-punk tunes with the Contortions, or starring in those early Beth & Scott B. 8-millimeter epics.
[US]The Virago Woman's Travel Guide to San Francisco 319: Paula Sabatelli, a seasoned scenester who owns Paula’s Clubhouse.
[US]Wash. Post 23 Jan. X10: Staying plugged in to pop culture – not just cyberculture but the whole mad carousel of trends, icons and personalities – can exhaust even the hardest-partying scenester.
[US](con. 1962) J. Ellroy Enchanters 284: Doc Shelley was a scenester [...] hung out at party pads, jam-session pads, fuck pads, and upscale call pads.

In compounds

scene-chewer (n.)

an overly histrionic actor.

News Jrnl (Wilmington, DE) 25 Mar. 4/2: An Iowa letter stigmatizes a rather poor theatrical troupe as ‘a gang of scene chewers’.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 11 Mar. 2/2: [N]o Italian scene chewer must ati tempt to fire off his bald-headed photographs.
scene queen (n.) [-queen sfx (2)]

(gay) one who frequents the world of bars, restaurants and streets equated with the gay lifestyle.

[US]Orlando Sentinel Trib. (Nexis) 17 Aug. 24: The group strays gratifyingly far from the usual rock subjects, discussing...the life of a bored scene queen in ‘My Friend Goo’ .
[UK]Guardian 31 Jul. n.p.: I’m not a scene queen. Not a camp thing. I enjoy a pint in a pub and I don’t go to nightclubs.

In phrases

make the scene (v.)

1. to be involved in a particular situation, esp. one that features fashionable, smart people.

[US]J. Blake Ex Post Facto in Joint (1972) 54: We turned on and, in local idiom, ‘made the scene’.
[UK]R. Cook Crust on its Uppers 127: They spend too much trying to make the scene with the big-income groups.
C. Sellers Where Have All the Soldiers Gone 23: I‘t’s not like we didn’t want to make the scene’ .
[US]L. Rosten Dear ‘Herm’ 94: Snakey or Slats – who each or both never really ‘made the scene’ with me.
[US](con. 1940s–60s) H. Huncke ‘Detroit Redhead’ in Eve. Sun Turned Crimson (1998) 110: Most of the acts making the scene downtown kind of fell in love with her.

2. to go somewhere.

[US]W. White ‘Wayne University Sl.’ AS XXX:4 305: split to make a scene, v.phr. Go to a class or to take some other repeated course of action.
[US]Mad mag. Apr. 29: Man, I never make the scene with more than 20 skins in bread.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 101: Let’s split and make the scene at the ‘lair’.
[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972).
[US]J. Ellroy Blood on the Moon 22: ‘I wants to die! [...] I gots to make the scene on de other side!’.

3. to understand, to appreciate a situation, to experience something.

[US]Mad mag. May–June 20: I would make the scene for such crazy action.
[US]M.A. Crane ‘Misc.’ in AS XXXIII:3 224: Most of us have little trouble understanding the story of the cat (or stud) who, having eyes to make the scene with his chick (or hen), dons his front (or threads), his skypiece, and his kickers, jumps into his short (or wheels, or lush-wagon), and plays on down to her pad (or rack, or crib).
[US]Velvet Undergound ‘Run, Run, Run’ 🎵 When she turned blue, all the angels screamed / They didn’t know, they couldn’t make her scene.

4. to appear, to be present.

[US]I Taylor ‘Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb’ 🎵 I’ve got smog in my noggin ever since you made the scene.
[US]M. Spillane Return of the Hood 7: In a way it was lucky that the cops made the scene first.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 91: That stud would have got busted [...] if the ‘heat’ had made the scene.
[US]C. McFadden Serial 18: The guy she was waiting for [...] hadn’t made the scene.
[US]W.D. Myers Mouse Rap 32: When we first make the scene there aren’t too many people around.
[US]J. Hannaham Didn’t Nobody Give a Shit 44: She made the scene in the dinged-up booth, across from him.

5. (US gay) to have sexual intercourse.

[US]Lavender Lex. n.p.: make the scene:–To engage in sexual relations. ‘Making the scene’ would mean that two homosexuals are at least parttime lovers.
[US]Guild Dict. Homosexual Terms 29: make the scene (v.): Engaging in sexual intercourse.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 130: to be successful in finding sex [...] make the scene with.
not one’s scene (n.) (orig. US)

1. describing an unpleasant or unacceptable situation.

J. Kennaway Some Gorgeos Accident 107: Do you hear me? This isn’t my scene, this crumby dump.
M. O’Connor et al. Desire, high heels and red wine stet l.c. in title50: This isn’t my scene anymore. Take me somewhere calm.
J. Fine Harrison 146: He looked around the place and said to me, ‘Hey, man, you know, this isn’t my scene.’ .

2. describing anything not to one’s taste.

[UK]‘P.B. Yuill’ Hazell Plays Solomon (1976) 69: That’s not my scene any more, thank God.
[UK]A. Payne ‘You Need Hands’ in Minder [TV script] 26: The ’73 weren’t my scene at all.
[UK] in R. Graef Living Dangerously 99: I’ve never mugged anyone [...] it just ain’t my scene.
[US]Spectator 8 Feb. 🌐 To him it would have been a glitzy hell. As the jazzer poet said himself, ‘It’s all showbiz now. Not my scene, Dad.’.
quit the scene (v.)

(US black) to die.

[US]Shapiro & Hentoff Hear Me Talking to Ya 248: Ma had quit the scene.
[US]T. Stoddard Pops Foster Epilogue 175: On October 30, 1969 at about 3.00 p.m. George Murphy ‘Pops’ Foster quit the scene.
split the scene (v.) [split v. (2b)]

(orig. US) to leave, to depart.

[US]Southern & Hoffenberg Candy (1970) 153: That’s right, kiddo, he took it out on the lam, split the scene, cut on out.
[US]P. Thomas Down These Mean Streets (1970) 43: Mah man done split one helluva scene on me an’ the kids. Shi-it, iffen that sonavabitch evah showed his skinny ass round ouah pad, Ah’d put a foot up his ass so fast his eyebrows would swing.
[US]S. King Stand (1990) 60: Your friends saw what was happening [...] and split the scene.
[US]‘Master Pimp’ Pimp’s Rap 69: When I come back we’ll split the scene.