Green’s Dictionary of Slang

mug v.1

1. in sense of grimace.

(a) (also mog) to pout, to grow sullen.

[UK]E. Collins ‘Epit. on John Hippisley, Comedian’ Misc. 122: Wit hung her Blob, ev’n Humour seem’d to mourn, And sullenly sat mogging o’er his Urn.
[UK]‘The Mugging Maid’ in Rumcodger’s Coll. in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) IV 245: And for all she drank the blunt he paid, / He won the heart of the mugging maid.
[UK]Macmillan’s Mag. (London) XL 479: He never mugged at the pit.

(b) to make a face, to make people laugh by one’s antics and grimaces; thus fig. to play around.

[UK]Dickens Little Dorrit (1967) 282: The low comedian had mugged at him in his richest manner fifty nights for a wager .
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 5 Sept. 11/3: So, though the way / They gambol may / Remind you of the monkeys – / Well, better hug, / And maul, and ‘mug,’ / Than smirk and fawn like flunkeys.
[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 179/1: Mug (Theatrical). To show variety of comic expression in the features.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 132: Mugging. – Making faces, on the stage as a means of creating a laugh; in criminal circles to give silent warning behind another’s back, or to warn.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 119: He’d been mugging at the mike [...] just starting to sing his vocal.
[US]N. Algren Walk on the Wild Side 206: Dove began mugging silently with the singer, pretending it was his own voice mourning Caruso.
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 809: mugging – Making faces; to give silent warnings behind another’s back; or to warn.
[US]N. Thornburg Cutter and Bone (2001) 184: And finally the girl caught on. ‘Uncle! Uncle!’ she cried. Cutter got off her then, mugging triumph.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 260: Hence, too, the photograph that is a mug shot and the verb, to mug, to make a funny face.
[UK]Guardian Guide 2–8 Oct. 81: The boys mug knowingly at the cameras.
[US]C. Cook Robbers (2001) 111: Fucker was standing directly in front of the camera. Looking right at it, winking and mugging.
M. Miner ‘The Hurt Business’ in ThugLit July [ebook] I bounced lightly [...] Watched the Kid mug for the fans.

2. as a physical or verbal attack.

(a) to fight, to punch, to strangle.

[UK]Sporting Mag. II 279: The latter got away, and in return mugged him .
[UK]Fancy I 261: Madgbury showed game, drove Abbot in a corner, but got well mugg’d [F&H].
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 60: cracksman: Why, send I may live, if she was to tumble to you widding about her, she’d mug you like a shot. Wouldn’t she Sall? shake: Safe, and no nunks. She can slog and no flies, so help my squirter, if I dosn’t put her fly to it.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[US]‘Number 1500’ Life In Sing Sing 250: Mug. to strangle.

(b) (also mug up) to ruin, to interfere in, to make a mess of.

[UK]C. Dibdin Yngr Spectre Knight 16: His mind he’d to mugging been giving.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Steelman’s Pupil’ in Roderick (1972) 209: If Smith [...] ‘mugged’ any game they had in hand, Steelman would threaten to ‘stoush’ him.
[Aus](?) H. Lawson ‘An Oversight of Steelman’s’ in Roderick (1972) 218: You always do mug-up the business when you try to do more than I tell you.

(c) to chastise.

[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.

(d) to rob, to assault, usu. in the street and often with violence; orig. to garrotte; thus mugger n.1 (2)

[US]Eye of the Storm 20 Dec. 296: At the sinks, which are a long way from the barracks, many men were ‘mugged’ and robbed.
[UK]Sl. Dict. 231: Mug [...] Also, to rob or swindle.
[UK]O.C. Malvery Soul Market 289: Pickpockets who are adepts in ‘mugging a red’ or ‘pinching a leather’.
[US]D. Maurer Big Con 202: Those are just some old cannons that were mugged in Jerusalem!
[US]A. Zugsmith Beat Generation 35: I read about the citation you got for saving that old woman and then keeping the other officers from beating up the bum who mugged her.
[US]N. Heard Howard Street 20: There were [...] teen-age gangs who roamed about mugging and rolling drunks.
[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 38: He was gorillaing peoples, mugging peoples.
[UK](con. 1950s–60s) in G. Tremlett Little Legs 1: People worry in case I’m mugged.
[UK]D. Widgery Some Lives! 21: Musn’t grumble [...] Only got mugged, didn’t I.
[UK]N. Griffiths Stump 51: This fuckin alky screwed Tommy out of a loader swag an fuckin disappeared [...] Mugged one of Tommy’s little mules.
[Aus]L. Redhead Thrill City [ebook] ‘How’d he get on the boat’ ‘Mugged a guest and stole his clothes’ .
[US]L. Berney Gutshot Straight [ebook] [M]ugged and hit on the head with an almost-full beer can.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Viva La Madness 202: Maybe he was mugged. London’s getting dangerous.
[US]T. Robinson ‘Delivery’ in Dirty Words [ebook] [S]ome gangbangers recognized him from return trips and mugged him.
[UK]Eve. Standard (London) 29 Feb. [Internet] They did not mug me. It was violence for the sake of violence.

3. in sexual senses.

(a) (UK/Aus./US campus, also mug down, mug up) to kiss, to cuddle, to neck.

[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 324: But while you both mug me together, / You’ll make me a spooney (Hiccoughing) I say.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 24 Jan. 5/1: Cosh Jenkins, the carroty bullock driver has bought Bandy Jane a pair of boots for not splitting he seen her muggin’ the blacksmith’s misses behind the skool house.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 3 Feb. 1/7: Give ’em sixpence apiece, and let ’em mug all the girls!
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 20 July 14/1: Storp gittin’ at me. If yer luvs me woy don’t yer mug me?
[UK]‘Ramrod’ Nocturnal Meeting 48: He was mugging me in his usual fucksome style.
[Aus]‘Henry Handel Richardson’ Aus. Felix (1971) 47: Dick, you fathead! [...] you’ve mugged the wrong one.
[Aus]G.H. Lawson Dict. of Aus. Words And Terms [Internet] MUG, TO — To fondle affectionately.
[US]J.L. Kuethe ‘Johns Hopkins Jargon’ in AS VII:5 334: mug — v. — to kiss.
[US]M.H. Boulware Jive and Sl. n.p.: Mugging up ... Making love.
[US]Baker et al. CUSS 160: Mug To neck.
[US]G. Underwood ‘Razorback Sl.’ in AS L:1/2 63: mug vt Kiss.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Oct.
[US]College Sl. Research Project (Cal. State Poly. Uni., Pomona) [Internet] Mug (mugg) 1. (verb) To kiss someone (usually while drunk, and hopefully something worth bragging about the next day) [...] Mug down (verb) To make out (kissy-kissy) like bandits.

(b) (US black) to have sexual intercourse with.

[UK]W. Eyster Far from the Customary Skies 61: Never mugged a black before.
[US]Trimble 5000 Adult Sex Words and Phrases.

4. (UK Und.) to drink.

[UK]Kendal Mercury 17 Apr. 6/1: The venches all vept ven poor Tom hopt the twig, / An’ to drown their vexation vent mugging the swig.

5. (UK Und.) to trick, to fool.

[UK] ‘Leary Man’ in ‘Ducange Anglicus’ Vulgar Tongue (1857) 42: And if you come to fibbery , / You must mug one or two.
[UK]Eve. Teleg. 12 Feb. 6/4: Banter may fly around till one statement wilder than usual calls forth the protest, ‘Ye’re moggin’’ (‘mog’ is a quaint corruption of ’mock’).
[UK]J.J. Connolly Layer Cake 117: These cunts are tryin to mug us into doin the biz.

6. to bribe, usu. by plying with liquor.

C. Dibdin Yngr Mirth and Metre 253: A scolding spousy was his lot, Wha’ mugg’d hersel’.
[UK]H. Angelo Reminiscences II 479: Having [...] mugged, as we say in England, our pilot [EDD].
[UK]J. McClure Spike Island (1981) 95: You’ve got to turn up results and, if you do, you’ll get a good backhander off the police or you’ll find an insurance company will want to mug you.

7. to speak; thus mugger n., a speaker.

[UK] ‘’Arry on Competitive Examination’ in Punch 1 Dec. 253/2: Mugged a lot about Parley Voo, histry, and grammar.
[US]R. McCardell Conversations of a Chorus Girl 147: I want a good mugger and musician, because a cheap turkey actor would queer the act.

8. with ref. to mug n.1 (1b)

(a) to take a photo, e.g. for a newspaper.

[US]C.L. Cullen Tales of the Ex-Tanks 332: I recognized him instantly [...] He’d often been mugged for the picture papers.
[US]Public Ledger (Maysville, KY) 8 Jan. 1/3: Run as fast as you can when you see a camera man [...] Otherwise stand still and be mugged for the movies. A snap shot artist is on the streets.

(b) (orig. US police) to take identification pictures for prison/court use; thus mug room n., a room in which such pictures are taken or stored.

[US]J. Flynt Tramping with Tramps 389: In some cities suspicious characters are arrested on general principles and immediately photographed by the police authorities. Such towns are called ‘muggin’ joints,’ and the police authorities ‘muggin’ fiends’.
[US]J. Flynt World of Graft 4: If the Underworld has had occasion to approach him for purposes of graft and found him corrupt, he is immediately classified as an ‘unmugged’ grafter — one whose photograph is not in the rogues’ gallery, but ought to be. The professional thief is the ‘mugged’ grafter; his photograph and Bertillon measurements are known and recorded.
[US]‘Number 1500’ Life In Sing Sing 250: Mugged. Photographed.
[UK]D. Lowrie My Life in Prison 25: I was escorted to the photograph gallery and ‘mugged’.
[US]‘A-No. 1’ Mother of the Hoboes 29: I was led to the ‘rogues’ gallery’ to be ‘mugged’.
[US]M.C. Sharpe Chicago May (1929) 36: For the first time I got mugged (photographed) and a place in the rogues’ gallery, and all for a trivial offence against a man who tried to get the better of me.
[US]J. Archibald ‘When a Body Meets a Body’ in Popular Detective Sept. [Internet] He was a smart gee an’ they never could [...] get him mugged or fingerprinted.
[US]‘William Lee’ Junkie (1966) 39: I was taken to the Tombs, mugged and fingerprinted.
[UK]‘Raymond Thorp’ Viper 141: We were ‘mugged’ - had our photographs taken - fingerprinted, bathed and dressed.
[US]C. Himes Rage in Harlem (1969) 112: She had never been mugged or fingerprinted.
[US]G.V. Higgins Friends of Eddie Coyle 115: [We] mugged him and printed him and then we brought him here.
[US]H. Gould Fort Apache, The Bronx 56: Back to the precinct to fill out reports, get the prisoners printed, mugged and locked up.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 186: I got it when they sent me to mug his corpse.

(c) (US Und.) to arrest, esp. for purposes of identification.

[US]Flynt & Walton Powers That Prey 182: Good job for us ’t we wasn’t mugged that time that old Freckleton got ’is glims on us.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 62: Get your rags on, skate down there an’ holler out he’s mugged an’ sent you for the bankroll to spring him.

9. to act like a fool.

[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Stiffner and Jim’ in Roderick (1972) 124: You mugged that stuff away, and you’ll have to get us out of the mess.
[UK]Guardian Guide 29 Jan.–4 Feb. 12: ‘There have been many great hairdressing movies in Hollywood history,’ he mugs, ‘like Shampoo...’.

10. to stare at contemptuously or aggressively.

[US]G. Pelecanos Way Home (2009) 15: One of them gave Chris a look [...] and smiled in an arrogant way. ‘Is he muggin me?’ said Chris.

11. see mug (up) v.1

12. see mug (up) v.2

In phrases

mug down (v.)

see sense 3a above.

mug off (v.)

to cause trouble for, to fool or deceive someone.

[UK]J.J. Connolly Layer Cake 35: Ninety percent of the cons are complete fuckin gobshites [...] mug ’emselves off the whole time. [Ibid.] 115: Some very capable geezers who may be thinking that we’re here to mug them off a lorry load of bushwhacked pills.
[UK]N. ‘Razor’ Smith A Few Kind Words and a Loaded Gun 221: I couldn’t believe it! My best pal and my bird! They had mugged me off.
[UK]N. ‘Razor’ Smith Raiders 182: I can only imagine Tufty’s rage [...] He was the fucking daddy, and I was mugging him off.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Viva La Madness 224: She thinks I’m mugging her off, talking to her like a cunt.
[UK]Vanity Fair 16 Mar. [Internet] If they think it’s an inside job, they will not put 100 percent into it [...] They’ll think, You mugging us off, you cunts. You want us running all around London when it’s fucking from inside.
mug-up (n.)

see separate entry.

mug up (v.)

1. see sense 2b above.

2. see sense 3a above.

3. see separate entries.