Green’s Dictionary of Slang

holler v.

1. (also hollow) to shout, to scream, to complain.

[UK]Rowlands Martin Mark-all 35: The confused noyse of these cousening Crack-ropes, singing, hollowing and whooping, dancing and whistling.
[UK]N. Ward Vulgus Britannicus IV 46: Supply’d their Wants with thin Old-Groats, / To cheer their Hearts and wet their Throats; / That they might Revel, Whoop and Hollow, / With more undaunted Zeal when Mellow.
[UK]Foote Cozeners in Works (1799) II 153: My Lord [...] pop me plump into de ditch of de devil; and de people all hollow.
[UK]Dickens Oliver Twist (1966) 386: Don’t they holler out a good deal, and scratch sometimes?
[UK]R.S. Surtees Hillingdon Hall II 189: ‘I’ve a great mind to holla,’ he said to himself.
[US]‘Ned Buntline’ Mysteries and Miseries of N.Y. V 50: Holler like mad when you git to the corner.
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Adventures of Mr Verdant Green (1982) I 54: If you don’t holler for your rascal, he’ll never half wait upon you again.
[US]‘Artemus Ward’ Artemus Ward, His Book 39: Sirs, you wood have split your sides larfin to see the old man jump up and holler & run into the house.
[UK] ‘’Arry on Politics’ in Punch 11 May 205/2: Them ’umbuggin’ Rads never done it, for all they so hollered and crowed.
[US]‘Mark Twain’ Life on the Mississippi (1914) 390: A rich man won’t have anything but your very best; and you can just pile it on, too – pile it on and sock it to him – he won’t ever holler.
[UK]‘Walter’ My Secret Life (1966) III 530: She put her hand down, and gave my prick a hard squeeze. I hollowed.
[UK]R. Marsh Beetle 285: You needn’t put yourself out to holler at me — I won’t be hollered at!
[Aus]J. Furphy Such is Life 133: I bin hollerin’ at you till I’m black in the face.
[US]Dly Press (Newport News, VA) 19 Apr. 12/4: How much money the thieves got will never be known, as many men never even ‘hollered’.
[US]R. Lardner ‘Carmen’ in Gullible’s Travels 20: Genevieve hollers for the dips, who dashes in with their gats pulled and it’s good night, Mister Sheriff!
[US]El Paso Herald (TX) 21 Aug. 25/1: [cartoon caption] By Golly! Them guys make so much noise eatin’ they can’t hear me holler.
[UK](con. 1916) F. Manning Her Privates We (1986) 152: The old bitch be’ind the counter goin’ into ’yterics, an’ ’ollerin’ for the police.
[US]J. Weidman I Can Get It For You Wholesale 202: You’re making more money than you ever made and you’re your own boss. So stop hollering.
[US]Botkin Lay My Burden Down 107: The lead row nigger holler, ‘Hold up!’.
[US]C. Himes Real Cool Killers (1969) 20: If you holler you’re dead.
[UK]N. Dunn Up the Junction 9: I open the letter-box and holler ‘Rube!’.
[US]L. Rosten Dear ‘Herm’ 188: She [...] hollered not to blame her if the Brain-Teaser was all loused up.
[US]Cab Calloway Of Minnie the Moocher and Me 86: The band would holler, ‘Yes, we’re all reet!’.
[UK]M. Thelwell Harder They Come 221: Same jump-up rocking beat [...] wha’ mek dem sister dem shake an’ tremble an holler.
[US]Snoop Doggy Dogg ‘Doggy Dogg World’ [lyrics] Tell me what’s goin on / It make me wanna holler.
[US]C. Cook Robbers (2001) 322: He nodded, listening to Fred hollering at Barney.
[US]A. Steinberg Running the Books 162: People were constantly hollering at me [...] Holla was an apt description for prison communications generally.

2. (US) to surrender, to admit defeat.

[US]J.C. Neal Charcoal Sketches (1865) 46: ‘I holler enough!’ ‘[...] Holler enough, indeed! nobody’s guv’ you any yet.’.
[US]W.T. Porter Big Bear of Arkansas (1847) 41: Who hollered? Which gave up?
[US]Spirit of the Times (N.Y.) n.p.: Tige was using me powerful rough, and had done whipped me; but pshaw! I never did holler [DA].
[US](con. c.1840) ‘Mark Twain’ Huckleberry Finn 225: When she got done there warn’t hardly anything left o’ poor Hare-lip. So she hollered.

3. to confess, to betray one’s criminal associates.

[US]W.R. Burnett Asphalt Jungle in Four Novels (1984) 213: You think he wouldn’t holler if they turned the heat on him.
[US]N. Algren Walk on the Wild Side 118: He hollered one me so he’ll holler on you. Watch out, Tex.

4. to sing.

[US]K. Kolb Getting Straight 93: You gonna holler this next set?

5. (US black) to ridicule, to abuse.

[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 242: holler Disparage, ridicule, or confront with particular force.
[US]Dr Dre ‘Let’s Get High’ [lyrics] Tryin to live lavish, marry a big dick and stay carried / Holla back at them niggaz that hollered at me.

6. (US campus) to visit.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr. 14: holler at – visit: ‘I’ll holler at you later’.

7. (US black) to demand, to ask for.

[US]Ebonics Primer at www.dolemite.com [Internet] holler Definition: used as a suggestion to obtain an object Example: You don’t have power windows in this ride? You better holler at some!

8. (US teen) to greet.

[US]Teen Lingo: The Source for Youth Ministry [Internet] holla v. To say a greeting. To say ‘what’s up!’.

9. (US campus) to phone or talk to someone.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Nov.
[US]G. Hayward Corruption Officer [ebk] cap. 31: I told him that I had to holla at him in the inmate TV room.

In phrases

holler (bloody) murder (v.)

see under murder n.

holler calf-rope (v.) (also cry calf-rope, yell calf-rope)

(US, orig. Western/Southern) to give in, to surrender, to admit defeat, esp. in children’s games.

E. Eggleston Roxy 44: [He] was forced to ‘hollow calf-rope,’ that is, to signify by gestures that he was beaten.
J.R. Riley Boss Girl 231: ‘Dern ye! holler “calf-rope!”’ The boy only shook his head.
F. Triplett Conquering the Wilderness xvi: Fink Furious—The Ground Scuffle— Fink Whipped— ‘Calf Rope’— Ordered to Leave.
[US]DN III 129: calf-rope (kaefrop), n. I give up, I surrender. ‘I’ll give it to him till he yells calf-rope’.
J.P. Arthur Hist. Watauga Co. 180: [note] He was chased to the top of the factory, and when about to be killed [...] gave a sigh, and mumbled certain words indistinctly, but which turned out to be ‘Calf rope’ .
[US]Hostetter & Beesley It’s a Racket! 221: calf rope — To plead for mercy.
[US]E. Anderson Thieves Like Us (1999) 10: This Dutchman hollers calf-rope and he shows me the bottom drawer of a desk.
[US]W. Guthrie Bound for Glory (1969) 140: ‘Big Jim’s hollered calf-rope!’ ‘He’s all in an’ down!’.
[US]Randolph & Wilson Down in the Holler 253: holler calf-rope: phr. To acknowledge defeat.
[US]C. Himes Cotton Comes to Harlem (1967) 108: Just before he’d had to holler calf-rope she’d calmed down.
[US]E. Thompson Garden of Sand (1981) 64: I sure made you cry calf rope often enough, didn’t I?
[US]J. Lansdale Rumble Tumble 83: I think they might twist your arm behind your back, make you yell calf rope, then break your arm off.
holler copper (v.)

see separate entry.

holler New York (v.) [echoic]

(US) to vomit .

[US] in DARE.
Geoff Holme Spam Limericks [Internet] But the stench of rank pork / Made me holler New York.