Green’s Dictionary of Slang

boat n.1

1. fig. terms based on size or physical resemblance.

(a) [late 18C+] (also cockboat) the vagina; thus a prostitute or mistress [cock n.3 (1)].

(b) [1910s–30s] (US) an airplane.

(c) [1910s+] (also big boat) a large, trad. American car, esp. a large station wagon.

(d) [1910s+] (US) a large shoe or boot.

(e) [1920s] (US Und.) a freight car used to transport bootleg beer.

(f) [1950s+] (US) a large foot.

2. lit. terms of transportation.

(a) [late 19C] (UK tramp) a jail sentence; a life sentence; thus get the boat below.

(b) [20C+] (US Und.) transportation from one prison to another; the mode of transport is irrelevant.

(c) [1980s+] (drugs) a 1,000 tablet shipment of Ecstasy.

3. [1980s+] (drugs) fig. ideas of transportation [? one ‘sails away’].

(a) a cannabis cigarette.

(b) phencyclidine.

In phrases

do the boat (v.)

[late 19C] (UK Und.) to be transported to Australia.

get the boat (v.)

[late 19C] to be sentenced to transportation overseas or a severe form of penal servitude.

SE in slang uses

In derivatives

boatie (n.)

[2010s] (Aus.) a yachtsman; a sailor.

In compounds

boat-jumper (n.) [the pej. image of immigrants as stowaways who have to avoid immigration procedures by jumping from boat to dock]

[1980s+] (US) a recently arrived immigrant.

boatrace (n.)

see separate entry.

boat ride (n.) [one ‘sails’ through it]

[1960s] (US) a pleasant, undemanding task.

boat rider (n.)

[1930s–40s] (US Und.) a professional gambler who works the transatlantic liners.

In phrases

boat it (v.)

[1960s] (US black) to walk, to travel.

boat with (v.)

[mid-19C] (US Und.) to become partners with.

off-the-boat (adj.)

[2000s] (US) of an immigrant, recently arrived; the implication is of naïveté.

row in the (same) boat (v.)

[late 18C+] to join, to take shares with.