Green’s Dictionary of Slang

boat n.1

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

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

[UK]E. Collins ‘On Miss W**DC**K’s’ Misc. 112: Why Peg, dost imagine there ever could be, A likeness between Edward’s Darling and thee? No, no, my dear Punk, you’re a different thing [...] Ned’s Cockboat was she, but you are the Town Lighter.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 126: He peep’d in every coney borough, / Examin’d all their rotten boats, / And all the women’s petticoats.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[UK]Farmer Vocabula Amatoria (1966) 194: Nacelle, f. The female pudendum; ‘the boat’.
[US]R. Klein Jailhouse Jargon and Street Sl. [unpub. ms.].

(b) (US) an airplane.

[US] in Stars and Stripes 8 Feb. 8: The engine of my boat died on me just over Rombach [HDAS].
[US](con. 1920s) Dos Passos Big Money in USA (1966) 962: It was a relief Bill Cermak was there to get the boat into the hangar.

(c) (also big boat) a large, trad. American car, esp. a large station wagon.

[US]Hopsville Kentuckian (KY) 30 Nov. 3/2: So he shot round the corner, exulting to feel / the way the old boat always answered her wheel.
[US]T.A. Dorgan Indoor Sports 15 June [synd. cartoon] This boat of mine has gone 65,000 miles [...] It’s the best engine that was ever built.
[US]C.H. Darling Jargon Book 4: Big Boat – A large automobile.
[US]H.C. Witwer Smile A Minute 291: I wouldn’t get in that boat for a cut of the Liberty Loan [...] If that thing’s a auto, I’m president of Samoa!
[US]N. Putnam West Broadway 107: But ye gobs [sic] and little fishes! We was to learn the real truth about why a car is called a boat!
[US]S. Lewis Babbitt (1974) 20: I don’t want to take the old boat but I promised couple o’ girls [...] I’d drive ’em.
[US]Helen Kane ‘Is Anything Wrong In That?’ [lyrics] A man loaned me his Cadillac, [...] Well, it was so cold in that great big boat, / So, I just went and took his raccoon coat.
[US]T. Thursday ‘Dead Steal’ Detective Fiction Weekly 13 June [Internet] That boat looks and runs like new!
[US]J. Weidman What’s In It For Me? 254: For that boat of yours, they’d give you a damn nice allowance.
[US]S. McBarron ‘Coffin Custodian’ Ten Detective Aces Apr. [Internet] ‘If you don’t get that hospital destination out of your brain, I’ll splatter it all over your boat.’ [...] ‘Okay, mister. Where do you want I should drop ya?’.
[US]Kerouac On the Road (The Orig. Scroll) (2007) 330: Geeyah, roll old boat roll! That magnificent car made the wind roar.
[US]Kerouac On The Road (1972) 212: This boat cuts so fast that we can make it without any time trouble.
[US] M. Scorsese Mean Streets [film script] 14: This is some boat. Your father’s?
[US]J. Sayles Union Dues (1978) 204: We’re gonna [...] put this boat on cruisomatic over the Mystic River Bridge and up onto the Naweast Expressway.
[US]T. Wolfe Bonfire of the Vanities 40: A big white Pontiac Bonneville came barreling by, a real boat [...] the kind of twenty-foot frigate they stopped making about 1980.
[US]C. Hiaasen Stormy Weather 76: Tony’s huge boat of a Chevrolet.
[US]W. Mosley Walkin’ the Dog 93: All I got is room in this boat. Ride on up front with me.
[US]T. Robinson Rough Trade [ebook] I hadn’t driven a car in almost six years. And when I did, it certainly wasn’t the boat that Miss Kitty was.

(d) (US) a large shoe or boot.

A. Baer Spring Fashions 20 Mar. [synd. col.] You never hear of policeman’s shoes being designed after any kind of boat except a canal boat.
[US]M. Hargrove Girl He Left 142: What have you got on those boats? Oil of chromium? [HDAS].
[US]Oui Mar. 69: On your feet you’ve got those stacked-heel, two-toned, perforated leather . . . boats.

(e) (US Und.) a freight car used to transport bootleg beer.

[US]Phila. Eve. Bulletin 5 Oct. 40/3: Here are a few more terms and definitions from the ‘Racket’ vocabulary: [...] ‘boat,’ a beer-laden freight car.

(f) (US) a large foot.

[US]R. Price Clockers 91: Too small for your fat fuckin’ boats.
[US]P. Cornwell Cause of Death (1997) 74: I feel sorry for a woman with boats that big.

2. lit. terms of transportation.

(a) (UK tramp) a jail sentence; a life sentence; thus get the boat below.

[UK]A. Griffiths Fast and Loose III 45: Say I have been copped, that I am going back to the ‘boat’ (penal servitude), and that I shall be away about three years.

(b) (US Und.) transportation from one prison to another; the mode of transport is irrelevant.

[US]A.H. Lewis Boss 34: Another yeep, an’ the boat’s waitin’ for you! You’ve been due at the Island for some time.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 31/1: Boat, n. (P) A transfer of convicts from one prison to another. ‘I’m dropping in a tab (note) to make an Auburn boat.’.
[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 9: Train Refers to prisoners being transported from one institution to another. (Archaic: boat, draft).

(c) (drugs) a 1,000 tablet shipment of Ecstasy.

[US]Microgram Bulletin XXXVII:1 11: The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Vancouver, British Columbia, has noted an increase in the supply of seized MDMA, with 1,000-tablet shipments, known as ‘boat’ shipments, the most common.

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

(a) a cannabis cigarette.

[US](con. 1986) G. Pelecanos Sweet Forever 274: ‘Gimme some of that boat, man.’ Ray handed Monroe a lit joint.
[SA]A. Lovejoy Acid Alex 237: I looked outside and there were a couple of ouens smoking a boat.

(b) phencyclidine.

[US]ONDCP Street Terms 4: Boat — PCP.
[US]G. Pelecanos Drama City 204: Eddie Davis, up on PCP [...] When he was smoking that boat, Eddie felt as if he had the strength of ten men.

In phrases

do the boat (v.)

(UK Und.) to be transported to Australia.

[UK]Manchester Eve. News 16 Oct. 4/2: I learned from scraps of conversation they had ‘done the boat’ (the slang term for the now abolished system of transportation) from London.

SE in slang uses

In derivatives

In compounds

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

(US) a recently arrived immigrant.

[US]W.J. Caunitz One Police Plaza 111: She’s a real boat jumper, brogue and all.
[UK]Guardian 13 July [Internet] Philipps had described [Gina] Miller as a ‘boat jumper’.
boatrace (n.)

see separate entry.

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

(US) a pleasant, undemanding task.

[US]D. Tracy Brass Ring 379: This is a boat ride, f’crissake. There ain’t a kraut within half a mile [HDAS].
boat rider (n.)

(US Und.) a professional gambler who works the transatlantic liners.

[US]D. Maurer Big Con 290: boat rider. A professional gambler who rides the ocean liners and frequently ropes for confidence games. Also deep-sea gambler.

In phrases

boat it (v.)

(US black) to walk, to travel.

[US]L. Hairston ‘The Winds of Change’ in Clarke Harlem, USA (1971) 320: I boated it down to Forty-sixth where the joint was.
boat with (v.)

(US Und.) to become partners with.

[US]Matsell Vocabulum 13: ‘To boat with another;’ to go in with him; to be his partner in the same boat — in the same scrape.
off-the-boat (adj.)

(US) of an immigrant, recently arrived; the implication is of naïveté.

[US]C. Stella Jimmy Bench-Press 85: He’s an off-the-boat nephew of Aniello Vignieri, from the other side [i.e of the Atlantic].
row in the (same) boat (v.)

to join, to take shares with.

[UK]Sporting Mag. June IV 161/2: With talents never questioned for rowing in the boat, our hero has not the vanity of rolling in his carriage.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (3rd edn) n.p.: To row in the same boat; to be embarked in the same scheme.
[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang. in McLachlan (1964) 262: row in the boat to go snacks, or have a share in the benefit arising from any transaction to which you are privy. To let a person row with you, is to admit him to a share.
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 152: To row in the boat ― to partake in the adventure, as robbery, gambling, &.
[US]J.R. Lowell Biglow Papers (1880) 110: I edvise the noomrous friends that’s in one boat with me.
[UK]Brighton Gaz. 12 Aug. 3/3: ‘We row in the same boat, you know,’ said a literary friend. [...] Jerrold replied, ‘True, my good fellow [...] but with very diufferent skulls’.
[UK]Sherborne Mercury 8 Sept. 6/7: ‘Why is impossible for two bishops to row in the same boat?’ ‘Why, because they are in different seas (sees)!’.
[UK]Essex Newsman 7 Dec. 3/2: The chairman believed the labourer and the tenant would row in the same boat before long.
[US]G. Devol Forty Years a Gambler 284: Requesting that they tell the kicker he was in the same boat with the gambler, as he would be fined just as much.
[UK]Kipling ‘The Impressionists’ in Complete Stalky & Co. (1987) 101: ‘What’s the good of cursing?’ said Stalky at last. ‘We’re all in the same boat.’.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 73: You and me, don’t you know? In the same boat. Soft soaping.
[UK]G. Fairlie Capt. Bulldog Drummond 41: We’re all in the same boat now.