Green’s Dictionary of Slang

straight adj.1

1. [mid-19C+] esp. of language, unadorned, undiluted, expressed in a straightforward manner, honest.

2. of an individual, in pocket (esp. after a spell of poverty), recompensed.

3. [mid-19C+] respectable; trustworthy .

4. [mid-19C+] law-abiding, honest; spec. of a reformed criminal.

5. [mid-19C+] of a situation, honest, satisfactory, as one desires, ‘sorted’.

6. [mid-19C+] a synon. for SE right.

7. [late 19C] of a wager, definite.

8. [late 19C+] of a woman, chaste, respectable.

9. [late 19C+] of information etc., trustworthy, undisputable.

10. [late 19C+] in criminal terms, trustworthy.

11. [1910s+] heterosexual.

12. [1920s+] aware, understanding, comprehending.

13. [1930s+] in the sex industry, involving normal heterosexual intercourse, with no ‘perversions’, e.g. flagellation or bestiality.

14. (UK Und.) susceptible to bribery or corruption, thus, from a criminal point of view sense 10.

15. [1960s+] conventional, as opposed to the values of the ‘counterculture’.

16. safe, beyond suspicion.

17. [1990s+] (US campus) likeable.

18. [2000s] successful.

In compounds

straight crip (n.)

see under crip n.

straight dinkum (n.) [dinkum n. (2)]

[1900s] (Aus./N.Z.) the truth.

straight dope (n.)

1. [20C+] the honest truth, undisputed facts or full information.

2. used as adv. completely, utterly.

straight goer (n.)

see under goer n.

straight goods (n.) (also straight stuff) [late 19C+] (US)

1. the absolute truth.

2. attrib. use of sense 1.

3. a person who tells the truth.

4. undiluted spirits.

5. a competent individual.

straight oil (n.)

see under oil n.

straight pitching (n.)

see under pitch v.

In phrases

on the straight

[late 19C–1910s] behaving respectably and honestly.

run straight (v.)

[1900s] (UK Und.) of a criminal, to lead a law-abiding life.

straight and narrow (n.) [Matt. 7:14: ‘Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ Note the mid-19C hymn: ‘Loving Shepherd, ever near, / Teach Thy lamb Thy voice to hear; / Suffer not my steps to stray / From the straight and narrow way’]

[1910s+] conventionally moral and law-abiding behaviour; thus keep on the straight and narrow v., to maintain a regular, law-abiding life; also attrib.

straight as a die

unassailably honest, impeccably respectable.

you straight?

(US campus) a greeting, ‘how are you?’.

In exclamations

SE in slang uses

In compounds

straight ahead

see separate entries.

straight arrow

see separate entries.

straight drinking (n.)

[late 19C] drinking while upright, i.e. standing at a bar rather than sitting at a table.

straight-hair (n.) [the convict crop; thus a derog. ref. to Western Australia] (Aus.)

1. [mid-19C] a convict.

2. [late 19C+] a Western Australian.

straight man (n.)

[1960s] (US teen) an intimate, a best friend, irrespective of gender.

straight neck (n.)

[1960s] (US) a conventional, disapproving person.

straight off (adv.)

[1930s+] immediately.

straight out

see separate entries.

straight peg (n.)

[1980s+] a law-abiding person; also attrib.

straight shit (n.) [sense 1] [1960s+]

the truth.

straight shooter (n.)

see separate entries.

straight time (n.)

a prison sentence.

straight up

see separate entries.

straight walk-in (n.) [i.e. one needs only walk in and introduce oneself]

[1920s–30s] a woman who is seen as easy to seduce.

In phrases

dry straight (v.) [woodworking imagery, of wood that dries without warping]

[late 19C–1930s] to work out in time.

get one’s head (on) straight (v.) (also get one’s head straightened out)

[1970s+] (US) to think clearly; to sort oneself out.

make a straight coat-tail (v.) [one’s tails are blown out by the wind of one’s progress]

[mid-19C–1920s] (US) to run, to hurry.

straight as a dog’s hind leg (adj.) (also straight as a butcher’s hook, ...a loon’s leg, …as my leg)

[mid-19C–1940s] crooked.

straight bit of goods (n.)

see separate entry.