1. as a bodily fluid.
(a) [late 17C–early 18C; 1920s+] vaginal secretions; thus gravy bowl, the vagina.
(b) [18C+] semen; thus gravy-receiver, the vagina.
(c) [mid-19C+] blood.
(d) [1960s+] (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.
(e) [1970s] sweat.
2. in fig. use, i.e. as a bonus, something extra.
(a) [late 19C+] 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.
(b) [1910s+] (orig. US) extras, perquisites, the best; money paid as bribes.
(c) [1910s+] good fortune.
(d) [1930s+] (US) emotional stimulation.
3. [1940s+] (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’].
4. [2010s] (US) alcohol.
1. [1940s+] (US) a sinecure, a simple, substantially profitable situation from which one can benefit easily.
2. [1960s] a wealthy person.
[1940s+] (US) a sinecure, a simple, substantially profitable situation from which one can benefit easily.
1. the vagina.
2. the penis.
[1910s–50s] (US) a person with an easy job; a leech on one’s friends.
[1970s] (US) an easy, profitable or successful situation.
see vinegar strokes under vinegar n.
see separate entry.
see bring home the bacon under bacon n.1
see under dish (out) v.
1. of a man, to reach orgasm.
2. to hit, to beat.
[1950s+] to perform oral sex.
[1940s+] rich, prospering.
see ride the gravy train under gravy train n.
[1960s+] (drugs) of a narcotics addict, to reinject the blood that has been drawn into the syringe and there mixed with the heroin solution.
see under swap v.
SE in slang uses
[late 18C–19C] bleary-eyed, having mucus-filled eyes, thus n. gravy eyes; note naut. gravy-eye, the notorously tedious 0400-0600 watch.
see gravy adj.
[20C+] (Ulster) a doughnut.
[1950s] very good.
[1930s+] (US black) to be enjoying a materially successful life.
[mid-19C+] (US) a mild oath.