Green’s Dictionary of Slang

gravy n.

1. as a bodily fluid.

(a) vaginal secretions; thus gravy bowl, the vagina.

[UK] ‘Broadside’ in Adlard Fruit of That Forbidden Tree (1975) 31: I slept with her all night: / I supped upon a cony fat / Whose gravy was delight.
[UK]Rochester (attrib.) Sodom 1st Prologue: You’ll find Some of their Cunts so stuff’d with gravy thick / That like an Irish Bogg they’ll drown your prick.
[UK]T. Brown Letters from the Dead to the Living in Works (1760) II 258: Dainties [i.e. whores] that were hot and hot, never over-done, but always with the gravy in them.
[UK] ‘Meat & Gravy’ Fanny Hill’s Bang-up Reciter 19: The Blowen stoop’d down [...] And the chamber-pot she fill’d right bang to the brim. [...] Then he pull’d out his something, and in the bright drain / He wash’d and sloos’d it again and again; / Said he [...] I’ve had de gravy, but de meat is too dear.
[UK] ‘Yarhoo Doodle’ Rakish Rhymer (1917) 61: As you’re to be my slavey / Before you cook my grub, / Let me taste your gravy.
[US]Virginia Liston [song title] You Can Dip Your Bread In My Gravy, But You Can’t Have None Of My Chops.
[US]Cab Calloway ‘Good Sauce from the Gravy Bowl’ [lyrics] I like good sauce in the gravy bowl, / Must be sauce about ninety days old! / Good sauce, good sauce from the gravy bowl!
[US] in Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) II 600: Called her Fuzz ’cause her hair is wavy, / Pull out my peter and dip it in the gravy.
[US](con. 1920s–30s) J.O. Killens Youngblood (1956) 106: Beef stake, poke steak / make a little gravy / Your thing, my thing / Make a little baby.
‘Lisa’s Story’ in [Internet] She felt the gravy beginning to flow from her pussy.
B. Healey ‘U4ME’ (poem) on Originality [Internet] (Not to be sexist) Stirring the sauce, thickening the gravy / Polishing your fingertips, tickling the baby.

(b) semen; thus gravy-receiver, the vagina.

[UK]Wandering Spy XV 8–15 Sept. 59: He lov’d his meat over done, and so by consequence the gravy must be all out, and so by consequence, Neighbour, you know.
[UK]‘Bumper Allnight. Esquire’ Honest Fellow 9: There’s Eagle-court Sally, / When Jack’s in her alley, / And pouring his gravy all into her dish.
[UK]Burns ‘Dainty Davie’ Merry Muses of Caledonia (1965) 97: Again he wan atweesh my thies, / And, splash! gaed out his gravy.
[UK] ‘Will You See What I Have Got?’ Secret Songster 46: It’s like a beefsteak pudding, / Or something there about; / For no sooner it comes near the lips, / But the gravy it runs out.
[UK] ‘Tim Finigan Wakes’ Rakish Rhymer (1917) 91: Then Irish f—king soon began, / And Irish gravy then was spent.
[US] ‘Pete in “No Pay”’ [comic strip] in B. Adelman Tijuana Bibles (1997) 43: I shoved the throbbing monster in her gravy receiver.
[US] ‘Amos ’n Andy’ [comic strip] in B. Adelman Tijuana Bibles (1997) 71: Hoist dat big sweet ham [...] I’se going to pour hot gravy on it.
[US] in F.C. Brown North Carolina Folklore III 366–7: Fry a little meat, and make a little gravy, / Hug my wife and kiss my baby.
[US]C.E. Lincoln The Avenue, Clayton City (1996) 6: Good night, Guts. Don’t let your meat loaf, your gravy might curdle.
[UK](con. 1960s) A. Frewin London Blues 91: Tell him I don’t want his gravy going all over the bedspread.

(c) blood.

[UK]Bell’s Life in London 7 May 3/2: January, like his namesake [...] took the lead [...] cracking the pieman’s crust and spilling his gravy [...] The pieman was overdone [...] having both ogles completely shut up.
[UK] in Egan Bk of Sports 262: To see them mill was Tom’s delight! / And serve out — ‘the gravy!’.
[UK](con. 1821) Fights for the Championship 65: He received one heavily upon the mouth which [...] drew lots of gravy.
[US]R.L. Bellem ‘Coffin for a Coward’ in Hollywood Detective Dec. [Internet] What little gravy he’d spilled was already dark, coagulated.
[UK]J. Cameron Brown Bread in Wengen [ebook] You reckon inside some geezer’s Judge Dread they got to have a load of gravy.
[UK]J. Cameron Hell on Hoe Street 88: I smacked him on the hooter with a headbutt [...] gravy everywhere.

(d) (drugs) the mix of blood and heroin solution that is created in a hypodermic syringe before it is reinjected into the vein; it can coagulate while in the syringe and, when this happens, must be heated before the injection.

[US]R.R. Lingeman Drugs from A to Z (1970).
[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972).
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 11: Gravy — Heroin.

(e) sweat.

[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 99: gravy sweat.

2. in fig. use, i.e. as a bonus, something extra.

(a) money, esp. profit when easily acquired, a tip or bonus, something that comes ‘on top of’ something that is already very good; thus as v.

[UK]W. Newton Secrets of Tramp Life Revealed 19: It makes them look strange to the public, for it ‘Gravies,’ as they call it, and thus they give these children sometimes half the money they draw.
[US]Sat. Eve. Post 30 July 13/1: Stick him for all you can. You’re a hard worker, and you mustn’t let someone else git the gravy [DA].
[US]T. Thursday ‘Stroke of Genius’ in Top-Notch 1 Apr. [Internet] Would the editor get all the gravy?
[US]H.C. Witwer Yes Man’s Land 224: I’ve took in plenty gravy during my mad career in the ring.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Young Manhood in Studs Lonigan (1936) 396: It’s a hundred-thousand-dollar job [...] there’s going to be real gravy.
[US](con. 1917) S.J. Simonsen Soldier Bill 41: They would not do their share, but if there was any gravy to be handed out, then they were always around looking for something easy.
[US]B. Schulberg On the Waterfront (1964) 181: Won’t McGovern keep soaking up that million-dollar gravy off the top.
[UK]B. Hill Boss of Britain’s Underworld 155: So peaceful did it all become that there was no gravy left for the small-timers.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn 256: Why should I break my balls for some Jew for a lousy couple of bucks a week and they get all the gravy.
[UK]Guardian 11 Nov. 23: It still doesn’t explain how gravy came to be equated with money.
D. Clark Apocalyptic Crawfish! 16: And they’re payin’ me seventy-five scoots a week. It’s a cinch. Seventy-five rubles, and the job is potatoes and gravy.
[US]UGK ‘Gravy’ [lyrics] Fuckin with the midnight ladies – the game is cold but it’s gravy.

(b) (orig. US) extras, perquisites, the best; money paid as bribes.

[US]D. Runyon ‘Votes fer Wimmin’ 20 Sept. [synd. col.] ‘An’ they’ll be no more good gravy from them public jobs for me’.
[US]H.L. Wilson Professor How Could You! 276: Don’t I get a chance at the real gravy?
[US]J. Conroy World to Win 333: Stay right here at home and let the saps pull out and leave the gravy fer the wise birds.
[US]P. Wylie Generation of Vipers 231: Business cannot let go [...] its perquisites of swag, won bets, tribute, lucky dough, family endowment, and so on. This is the gravy.
[US]‘Ed Lacy’ Best that Ever Did It (1957) 24: I wised the boy up, told him not to cut in on the big brass’s gravy.
[US]G.V. Higgins Cogan’s Trade (1975) 159: She’s [i.e. a prostitute], this one’s gravy, right, Honey?
R.D. Pharr Giveadamn Brown (1997) 187: ‘You take it [i.e. a criminal racket] over and all the big gravy Harry is paying out asuddenly stops’.
[UK]M. Amis London Fields 171: If Keith had been inclined to think in Darwinian terms, he might have said to himself that the additional blondes were pure gravy for the brothers, because they kept the black bird-pool high.
[US]Da Bomb Summer Supplement 7: Gravy (adj.) A bonus to something good.
[US]J. Stahl I, Fatty 85: The cheap labor and materials were just gravy.
[US]L. Berney Gutshot Straight [ebook] If anything more came from the afternoon function . . . well, then that was— [...] —that was gravy.

(c) good fortune.

[US]J. Lait ‘Second from the End’ Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 198: This marrying a millionaire ain’t all gravy.
San Bernadino Co. Sun (CA) 25 Mar. 41/1: Many owners leave their cars unlocked repeatedly [...] This is what the auto thief calls ‘gravy’.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Judgement Day in Studs Lonigan (1936) 636: Getting all these tough breaks when fellows like Red Kelly were starting to swim in gravy.
C. Brossard Redemption in G. Feldman (ed.) Protest (1960) 109: Not a cent to that cretin! He had already got his share of the gravy.
[US](con. 1972) J. Ehrlichman Witness to Power 142: He’ll just take the gravy and leave the President all the negatives and the problems.
[US]Eble Sl. and Sociability 15: Hot ‘sexually attractive’ is currently in vogue for the umpteenth time, as well as gravy for ‘an easy test or course’.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Fall 5: GRAVY – going well.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Mystery Bay Blues 150: What started off as a rotten day had turned out gravy.

(d) (US) emotional stimulation.

[[US]N.Y. Times X2/5–6: The big laughs for jasbo, hokum, and gravy, as we call broad humor, frequently come from the women patrons in the house where it is performed].
[US]C. Himes ‘Pork Chop Paradise’ Coll. Stories (1990) 259: He preached to them, he gave them ‘gravy’, he gave them consolation.
[US]H. Ellison Rockabilly (1963) 34: This was big gravy now, no time for sentiment.
[US]J. Stahl Plainclothes Naked (2002) 139: For extra gravy, he added, ‘Love the Sho-Lo.’.

3. (Aus.) any form of tinned food [supposedly the creation of cartoonist Emile Mercier (1901-81) who regularly used the word in unusual contexts, notably a can labelled ‘gravy’, noted by Baker as ‘being one of the few things that are not canned’].

[[Aus]Brisbane Teleg. 20 Oct. 4/1: Emile Mercier ‘explains’: ‘Once I drew two metho’ drinkers sitting amid a pile of garbage. With all the empty tins scattered about. I decided to label one and the word I thought of was ‘gravy.’ The idea that hit me was: ‘Whoever heard of gravy in tins?’].
[Aus]Baker Aus. Speaks.

4. (US) alcohol.

James ‘The Shakes’ [lyrics] Got the shakes / Too much gravy / [...] / I’ll go sober.

In compounds

gravy boat (n.) [var. on gravy train n.]

1. (US) a sinecure, a simple, substantially profitable situation from which one can benefit easily.

[US]Menjou & Musselman It Took 9 Tailors 141: Once you get on the Hollywood gravy boat, it is no trick to make money; the trick is to keep it [DA].

2. a wealthy person.

[US]‘Tom Pendleton’ Iron Orchard (1967) 154: Your girl-friend’s got the gravy boat. I got no money.
gravy case (n.) [var. on gravy train n.]

(US) a sinecure, a simple, substantially profitable situation from which one can benefit easily.

[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 162: You’re fucking partners with the cocksucker who put me away, you’re sucking the same gravy case.
gravy rider (n.)

(US) a person with an easy job; a leech on one’s friends.

Trinity Archive 27 320: Dr. Titus Sycophant, Dean. Dr. Grafton Peoples, Dean of The School of Finance. [...] Coy — gravy-rider and son of a trustee.
[US]Amer. Legion Weekly 6 Oct. 29: Even if the Chief was a boot and a gravy-rider, he was handy with his dukes [HDAS].
Princeton Alumni Wkly 75 65: ‘He was kind of a gravy rider. He would accept favors from pretty near anybody.’ He told how Halliburton’s roommates once had to plot to get him to pick up a dinner check.
[US](con. WWII) oral testimony in Lighter HDAS I 956/1: Gravy-riders were nonflying support personnel, or anyone with a soft job and little responsibility.
gravy street (n.)

(US) an easy, profitable or successful situation.

[US]N.Y. Post 19 Mar. 3: This is gravy street for them [HDAS].
gravy train (n.)

see separate entry.

In phrases

give one’s gravy (v.)

1. of a man, to reach orgasm.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 497/1: C.19–20.

2. to hit, to beat.

[UK]Egan ‘The Bould Yeoman’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 137: And I’ll give you some gravy, / Of that I’ll take my davy, / If you try to prig my gold.
go down for the gravy (v.)

to perform oral sex.

Smell and Quim [Internet] The three most recent Smell & Quim releases are: [...] ‘Smell & Quim Go Down for the Gravy’ Live CD.
gravy-eyed (adj.)

(US) unknown term of abuse.

[US]Ely’s Hawk & Buzzard (NY) 15 Mar. 2/1: His dastardly attack on that conscientious old lady, whom he designated as [...] the ‘gravey-eyed hag’.
shoot gravy (v.)

(drugs) of a narcotics addict, to reinject the blood that has been drawn into the syringe and there mixed with the heroin solution.

[US]J. Mills Panic in Needle Park (1971) 101: Had the needle clogged, he would have dumped the mixture of blood and drugs back into the cooker, heated it until the blood dissolved, and started over. Addicts call this ‘shooting gravy’: ‘Because that’s what it is — right? Cooked blood?’.
[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972).
[US]R.C. Cruz Straight Outta Compton 15: Clive’s daddy was shooting gravy up his arm like it was water.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

gravy-eyed (adj.)

bleary-eyed, having mucus-filled eyes, thus n. gravy eyes; note naut. gravy-eye, the notorously tedious 0400-0600 watch.

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[US]R. Waln Hermit in America on Visit to Phila. 2nd series 27: A hanger-on to bracket-faced, carotty-pated, gravy-eyed ape-leaders.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Crim.-Con. Gaz. 2 Feb. 33/3: ‘To hail with joy the hacknied waist / And gravy eyes of Mary Jones’.
[US]Whip & Satirist of NY & Brooklyn (NY) 21 May n.p.: the whip wants to know If the printer promenades with gravey eye yet.
People’s Jrnl 1 Aug. 94/1: I had the gravy-eyed trick (from four to six) that morning at the wheel.
[[US]‘Frederick Benton Williams’ (H.E. Hamblen) On Many Seas 41: The trick at the wheel from four to five a.m. is called the ‘gravy eye’ because of its notorious tediousness].
F.W. Wallace Around the Galley Stove 6: A ‘gravy eyed’ Dutchman stands at the wheel, blinking owlishly into the mist ahead.
Galsworthy Motley 136: I’m just lonely here; it’s a luxury to me to see a face that's not that gravy-eyed old warder’s.
F.A. Worsley First Voyage 185: I [...] had dressed by the simple process of pulling on my trousers, I no longer felt gravy-eyed.
Celtic Story I 85: Why, you couldn’t knock a fly off a cow turd, you gravy-eyed bugger, you!
[Aus]T. Ronan Vision Splendid 12: If you gravy-eyed bitches don’t get a move on I’ll come down there and kick last year’s goannas out of you.
gravy ring (n.) [resemblance to a ring of gravy staining a cloth]

(Ulster) a doughnut.

[Ire]Share Slanguage.

In phrases

good as gravy (adj.)

very good.

[UK]A.B. Guthrie Way West 290: ‘Good for another trip?’ [...] ‘Good as gravy,’ Hig answered.
have gravy on one’s grits (v.) [the image of a brimming plate]

(US black) to be enjoying a materially successful life.

[US](con. 1940s) Deuce Ofay Productions ‘The Jive Bible’ at [Internet] Gravy on (one’s) grits: adj. Said of an individual who has proved to be a success in financial matters; Rich. ‘Why don’t Jeremy come ’roun hea’ no more? He always be out oozin’ an’ schmoozin’ a’ late.’ ‘He got gravy on his grits now, man. He don’t need ta’ be pimpin’ wit’ us at de quickie mart like we’s use to.’.
hot gravy (n.)

something outstanding.

[US]Ade ‘The New Fable of the Uplifter’ Ade’s Fables 104: They agreed that it [i.e. an operetta] was Hot Gravy and too good for the Stage.

In exclamations

by gravy! (also by gravies! good gravy! goodness gravy!) [euph. for ‘by God!’]

(US) a mild oath.

[US]Working-man’s Gazette (VT) 19 Jan. 130/1: By gravy! I’ll get up early to-morrow morning! [DA].
[US]G.W. Harris ‘There’s Danger in Old Chairs!’ Weekly Nashville Union XIII Oct. in Inge (1967) 71: ‘I say, did that feller get a swing at your rear?’ ‘No, by gravy! he didn’t that.’.
[US] ‘The Telegraph in S. Louis’ in T.A. Burke Polly Peablossom’s Wedding 108: Good as wheat, by gravy!
[US]G.W. Harris ‘Saul Spradlin’s Ghost’ Chattanooga Daily Amer. Union 31 Oct. in Inge (1967) 175: He [...] didn’t mean to condescend to even see me, by gravy.
[UK]Manchester Courier 24 Jan. 9/5: By gravy, I saw a fellow [...] go into one of the biggest establishments there, and I’m a snoozer if he didn’t raise the whole house with two jacks.
[US]Salt Lake Herald (UT) 12 May 12/3: By gravy, it was the funniest time.
[US]S.E. White Westerners 121: By gravy I believe that’s right!
Bismarck Dly Tribune (ND) 23 Aug. 8/2: Man Hoosiers swear ‘by gravy’’.
[Ind]P.C. Wren Dew & Mildew 238: ‘By Gum and by Gravy!’.
[US]Times Dispatch (Richmond, VA) 6 Feb. 6/4: By gravy, she must have seen Elmer Jones comin’ home from the dance.
[US]M. Levin Reporter 196: Good gravy! Were all of them insensible!
[US]‘Max Brand’ Rustlers of Beacon Creek (1935) 35: By gravy [...] that’s The Lonesome Kid’s hoss!
[US]R.O. Case ‘A Ticket Outside’ in Goodstone Pulps (1970) 78/1: Yes, by gravy.
[US]W. Guthrie Seeds of Man (1995) 315: If I’d lose my ore rocks hyere an’ m’ womernn, both, by gravies, I’d feel jest as bad as you do.
[US] in DARE.
[US] in DARE.
[US]L. Berney Whiplash River [ebook] ‘My goodness gravy. I don’t think I’ve encountered anyone or anything so ferocious in my entire life’.