Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bash v.

[ext. of Sw. basa, to baste, whip, flog, lash, or Da. baske, to beat, strike, cudgel; but poss. onomat.]

1. (also bash off) to hit, to batter (with the fist).

[UK]Nashe Strange Newes in Works II 272: A leane arme put out of the bed shall grind and pash everie crum of the booke into pin-dust [F&H].
[UK]Massinger Virgin-Martyr II ii: With Jove’s artillery shot down at once, to pash your gods in pieces.
[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang. in McLachlan (1964) 226: bash: to beat any person by way of correction, as the woman you live with, &c.
[UK]Egan Life and Adventures of Samuel Hayward 23: ‘None of your gammon,’ replied the angry host. ‘You are a saucy, impudent blackguard,’ said Hayward, putting himself in a violent passion, and endeavouring to bash it out.
[UK]G.A. Sala Gaslight and Daylight 350: He had pigs’ eyes of no particular colour [...] a ‘bashed’ nose, and a horrible hare-lip.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor III 356/1: His poor horse gets ‘bashed’ to bits.
[UK] in D. Boucicault ‘Jane Pride’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 250: All for bashin’ a bloke down our a-alley, / And a’ takin’ his huxters away!
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 21 Mar. 17/2: I’ve bashed the lot – there’s nothing I’m afraid of / (I’d like just now to run against Old Nick – / I’d soon find out the sort of stuff he’s made of.).
[UK] ‘’Arriet on Labour’ in Punch 26 Aug. 88/1: Bashing a knobstick’s ripping fun, no doubt — for them as bashes.
[UK]A. Morrison Tales of Mean Streets (1983) 49: All East London idled, or walked in a procession, or waylaid and bashed.
[UK]Essex Newsman 19 May 4/5: Mr Cross ordered the prisoner off his land, and the prisoner threatened to bash his brains out.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 1 Jan. 4/8: He bashed a Johnnie on the beak.
[UK]Magnet 15 Feb. 9: Did you see him bash me with the camera?
[UK]‘Sax Rohmer’ Dope 56: ‘If you two smarts really want handling,’ he rapped ferociously, ‘say the word, and I’ll bash you flat.’.
[UK]N. Lucas London and its Criminals 235: Members of the Underworld are very partial to ‘bashing’ (other people), the weapons used being more often than not broken bottles and knives or a ‘squeegee’ – a piece of rubber tubing filled with lead.
[UK]Lichfield Mercury 11 Mar. 3/6: She admitted calling defendant a black cat, but denied that she threatened to bash her brains out.
[Aus]K. Tennant Battlers 108: Nobody tried to stop me getting my ribs bashed in.
[US]N. Cassady letter in Charters (1993) 195: His head was bashed in.
[NZ]I. Hamilton Till Human Voices Wake Us 17: They didn’t bash me but they didn’t have any need to.
[UK]B. Hill Boss of Britain’s Underworld 5: Night after night some thief or other was cut, or his head was bashed in.
[US]C. Himes Imabelle 96: I’m going to bash that bastard’s brains to a raspberry pulp.
[UK]C. MacInnes Absolute Beginners 9: Crazy seagulls [...] almost bashing their beaks against the circular plate glass.
[US]C. Himes Rage in Harlem (1969) 96: [as 1957].
[US]D. Goines Inner City Hoodlum 22: A gang of thugs that bash old men’s brains in!
[UK]A. Burgess 1985 (1980) 216: Shut it, or I’ll bleeding bash you.
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘The Russians are Coming’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] One thing you must never do with an umbilical cord is bash it about with a hammer.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Boys from Binjiwunyawunya 15: Can you imagine the headlines [...] ‘Casino Operator Sends Thugs in to Bash Aborgininal Welfare Officer’.
[US] Tarantino & Avery Pulp Fiction [film script] 105: A weapon to bash those hillbillies’ heads in with.
[Aus]P. Temple Black Tide (2012) [ebook] I’d put up with being bashed about. Don’t know why.
[UK]Observer 13 Aug. 5: Small children talk of ‘pervs’ and ‘bashing their heads in’.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read Chopper 3 11: The Cowboy had bashed the uncle and father of a tough gang leader.
[Aus] P. Corris ‘Prodigal Son’ in Crime Factory: Hard Labour [ebook] You’ll have to excuse my caution [...] I was bashed in the street a few days ago.
[Aus]C. Hammer Scrublands [ebook] ‘Harley had indeed bashed Katherine, bashed her and raped her’.
[Aus]G. Disher Consolation 1: [T]he Indigenous kid who’d come halfway to thinking Hirsch wasn’t the bashing kind.

2. (UK prison) to flog as a judicial punishment.

[UK] ‘Six Years in the Prisons of England’ in Temple Bar Mag. Feb. 383: They are making it very hot now, and I got ‘bashed’ as well.
[UK]Five Years’ Penal Servitude 295: The director ordered him to be ‘bashed’ or flogged.
[UK]R. Barnett Police Sergeant C 21 235: If his back were to be bared, you would perceive there the seams left by the ‘cat;’ for convict 25, 730 has been flogged – ‘bashed’ he would call it.
[UK]J. Bent Criminal Life 222: He would rather be twice ‘boated’ (that is, sent into penal servitude) than once ‘bashed’ (that is, flogged).

3. (Aus.) to dismiss from employment.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 14 Nov. 44/2: Australian writers who try to better their working conditions are familiar with the threat that ‘selected instead of original matter’ will be used, and that they will thereby by bumped, bashed, or chucked.

4. to masturbate.

[UK](con. WWII) B. Aldiss Soldier Erect 84: Looking down at my cock, I took heart [...] At least I could bash it fervently and privately under water.

5. (Aus.) to expend all one’s money on drink.

[UK]M. Harrison Reported Safe Arrival 131: Ah well! we’d only ’a bashed in all the lolly to-night, ef we’d gone ashore.

6. to work as a prostitute.

[UK]F. Norman Fings I i: Aht on the streets bashin’ / May bring the old cash in.
[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak.

7. (also bash it off) to have sexual intercourse.

[UK]E. Bond Saved Scene iii: An’ ’er ol’ dad ’d bin bashin’ it off for years.
[US]Willowall ‘Amanda Gets Zipped’ 🌐 For weeks, Clyde and Dirk had been circulating polaroids among the locked-up sex offenders of them bashing Amanda with her dad.
1011 ‘No Hook’ 🎵 Bitch suck my dick I ain't bashing.

8. (US) to berate, to criticize, to abuse; usu. as bashing n. (5)

[US]Hepster’s Dict. 1: Bashing – Talking.
[Aus]D. Ireland Burn 47: Why do you bash a man who tries to make a proper walkabout?
[UK]Indep. Information 14–20 Aug. 66: The MacGuffin bills itself as ‘a scholar’s [sic] site’ and then proceeds to bash film academics.

In compounds

bash artist (n.) [-artist sfx]

a violent person, esp. a prison guard.

[Aus]R. Rivett Behind Bamboo 357: The trend of the war had no softening effect on Sergeant Shimojo, a notorious bash-artist. He paraded through the camp seeking every opportunity to beat up Allied officers on any and every pretext.
[Aus]T.A.G. Hungerford Riverslake 3: Urgers, touts, bludgers, bash-artists and straight-out crooks.
John O’London’s Mag. I 197/3: The knuckle, he claims, is the original weapon of the bash artist. It is a classless weapon and has a rich history. Nonsense! The real bash artist never gets within his victim’s reach.
J. Cleary North from Thursday 60: Where is this bash artist?
Ahil & Farewell 168: He’s a bash artist, if he's got a few in.
J. Emery Sky People 15: He’s a bit of a bash-artist at the best of times. [...] Damned if I like his manner, or that of his mates.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 13/2: bash artist brutal user of fists on others; eg ‘Watch out for Morton after he’s had a few drinks, becomes a real bash artist, clock you soon as look at you.’.
J. Verney Mortality Tale 65: Would a derelict victim have been a fairer proposition? [...] A murderer or a bash-artist perhaps?
L. Writer Aus. Bk True Crime [ebook] John ‘Trawney’ Travers was a skinny, scowling 18-year-old, a rapist and bash artist with the disposition of a tiger snake [...] and had been getting into strife since a child.
L. Houlihan Return to the Badlands 131: When confronted with a professional headshrinker whose assessment can lead to a sentence cut, many a bash artist will adopt a gentleman’s demeanour.
bash boy (n.)

1. (UK Und.) that member of a smash-and-grab gang who actually breaks the shop window.

[UK]R.T. Hopkins Life and Death at the Old Bailey 270: Golly, the ‘bash boy,’ who carries the iron bar which is used for smashing the window.

2. (US, West) a skinhead; thus female bashette.

[US]‘Jennifer Blowdryer’ Modern English 5: Bash Boy (n): Bay Area skinhead. Bashette (n): A girl who hangs aound with the above.

In phrases

bashed out (adj.)

(US) worn out.

[US]St Louis Republican (MO) 5 June 11/2: She lied ant said she be ailin’ so I could wear ’er boots, ’cos me boots war bashed out.
bash into (v.)

to meet by chance.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 54/2: from ca. 1920.
bash it off (v.)

see sense 7 above.

bash off (v.)

see sense 1 above.

bash on (v.)

1. (orig. milit.) to persist, to keep making an effort.

[[UK]Yorks. Eve. Post 2 Nov. 11/3: ‘Jungle Bashers’ — A vital force for Freedom].
[UK]K. Amis letter 16 Oct. in Leader (2000) 485: Apart from that I just bash on at my novel.
[UK]W. Hall Long and the Short and the Tall Act I: whitaker: Right, Sarge. Don’t think it’s going to do much good. mitchem: Keep bashing.
K. Amis ‘What became of Jane Austen?’ in Encounter 15 7/2: Meanwhile they bash on with their fake consumer surveys, their pseudo-science, their publicity palmed off as fact, above all their high-grade imbecile notions of what is glamorous and exciting.
H. Lander House Restorer’s Guide 195: They like to avoid the bother of puddling hydrated lime [...] and to bash on with the job.
M. Mills All Quiet on the Orient Express 172: I decided to bash on with the painting for another couple of hours.

2. to make a fuss.

[US]Jet 25 Nov. 61/2: I just don't want to bash on about it constantly. I do, however, feel a responsibility to do wel.
bash out (v.)

1. to produce with only minimal care, esp. of writing.

[NZ]G. Slatter Gun in My Hand 226: Page after page bashed out on the portable.
[US]Current Sl. IV:2 3: Bash out, v. To write out without much thought about content or organization.
[UK]‘John le Carré’ Honourable Schoolboy 151: Jerry bashed out a piece on the effect of the American military pullout.

2. to do, to perform.

[UK]W. Hall Long and the Short and the Tall Act II: They know we’re round about here somewhere. Why else would they be bashing out the patter on the set?
[UK]Indep. Traveller 11 Sept. 6: A place where travel deals are bashed out in hushed tones over a bottle of Beliken beer.
bash someone off (v.)

(UK black) to masturbate a (male) partner.

[UK]Jade LB Keisha the Sket (2021) 53: ‘Ite den, but bash me off’ [...] I took his dick in2 ma hands.
bash the living Moses out of (v.) (also give Moses)

to beat severely.

[US]‘Madison Tensas’ Louisiana ‘Swamp Doctor’ (1850) 52: She tuk off her shoe, and the way a number ten go-to-meetin’ brogan commenced givin’ a hoss particular Moses, were a caution to hoss-flesh.
[US](con. 1910s) J.T. Farrell Young Lonigan in Studs Lonigan (1936) 4: He had bashed the living moses out of that smoke who pulled a razor on him.
[US]H.C. Woodbridge ‘Misc.’ in AS XXXVI:3 228: moses, n. Daylights.
bash the spine (v.)

(Aus.) to idle, to waste time, to loaf around.

[Aus]I.L. Idriess Horrie The Wog-Dog 6: At our tent all the Rebels were ‘bashing the spine’, sprawled out ‘in various attitudes of I don’t care’.
[Aus]D. Forrest Last Blue Sea 114: Sending troops on a route march and going back to bash the spine.
bash up (v.)

1. (mainly juv.) to beat up, to thrash; thus bash-up n., a beating.

[UK]Marvel 26 June 11: Bash them up, Pete!
[Aus]K. Tennant Foveaux 238: The Central Strike Committee was spending money like water just to bash up a few hundred volunteers.
[UK]A. Buckeridge Jennings Goes To School 37: I’ll bash you up tomorrow, when I’ve finished with Jennings.
[Aus](con. 1941) E. Lambert Twenty Thousand Thieves 216: You ever been bashed up by coppers?
[UK]G.W. Target Teachers (1962) 21: I’m gonner bash him up.
[UK]B. Reckord Skyvers I ii: Yeah, they got a name; rammin’ vans in daylight and bashin’ up the old blokes in ’em.
[UK]R. Dahl George’s Marvellous Medicine 47: How’s that for a bash up?

2. (N.Z.) to make.

[NZ]J. Henderson Gunner Inglorious (1974) 140: Everyone had bashed up a duff for himself at one stage or another. Could anything be more delicious?
[Aus]R.D. Magoffin We Bushies 71: ‘Can y’cook?’ asked a bloke. [...] ‘Can y’ bash up a reasonable feed?’.

3. to hurt.

[UK]K. Williams Diaries 22 Jan. 207: Stott has bashed her face up, tobogganing. She is a great fool.
bash up to (v.)

(Aus. und.) to rob in the street.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 31 July 17/4: [He]would often ‘bash up to a bug,’ assisted by one or two other ‘guns,’ turn him over and take the money ‘out of his kicks’.
on the bash

1. (Aus./N.Z.) drinking, usu. to excess.

[UK]J. Buchan Mr Standfast (1930) 599: Ye ken what a man’s like when he’s been on the bash. The cauld air’ll sober him.
[UK](con. 1914) B. Marshall George Brown’s Schooldays 173: And a chap ... and a chap that goes out on the bash and sleeps with chorus girls?
[NZ]G. Slatter Gun in My Hand 187: The boys are getting on the bash.
[NZ]B. Crump Hang On a Minute, Mate (1963) 191: I couldn’t even go on the bash when we were cashed-up.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 79/1: on the bash an alcoholic drinking bout, particularly in New Zealand and Scotland.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].

2. working the streets as a prostitute.

[UK]R. Westerby Wide Boys Never Work (1938) 117: Girls like that, girls who went on the bash every night like she did.
[UK]G. Kersh Night and the City 88: Anybody would think I was asking you to go on the bash.
[UK]S. Jackson Indiscreet Guide to Soho 30: He’s a waiter, like me, but lucky. Got a girl who goes out ‘on the bash’ for him.
[Ire](con. 1940s) B. Behan Borstal Boy 304: Loosening ’er drawers to go off down the town, on the bash.
[UK]F. Norman Fings II i: I’ve seen worse than ’er on the bash.
[UK]F. Norman Guntz 57: Just because a few geezers in Parliament don’t want the girls on the bash no more.
[US]Maledicta IX 144: They slip into [...] kit that shows off the merchandise and walk about on the bash, casually looking.

3. (UK Und.) fighting, esp. between gangs.

[UK]R. Llewellyn None But the Lonely Heart 281: Out on the bash, are you?

4. having sexual intercourse.

[UK]E. Bond Saved Scene vi: len: On the bash. fred: Do what?
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 56: to search for sex [...] on the bash (Brit gay sl).

In exclamations

bash it up you!

(Aus.) go away! leave me in peace!

[Aus]Truth (Perth) 17 July 8/8: ‘Go on.’ Wally says Dad said, ‘Bash it up and I’ll give you the farm next door—I’ll give you a motor car—I’ll give you anything. Only Keep It quiet.
[Aus]Baker Aus. Speaks.
[US](con. WWII) J.O. Killens And Then We Heard The Thunder (1964) 431: ‘Uptya!’ a digger shouted. ‘Bash it upya!’.
[Aus]F.J. Hardy Legends from Benson’s Valley 27: ‘Bash it up yer!’ Arty MacIntosh woke up to advise.