Green’s Dictionary of Slang

dish (out) v.

also dish up

to give out, to apportion.

[UK]Swift ‘Dialogue between Mad Mullinix and Timothy’ in Works VII (1801) 402: Did not an able statesman bishop / This dangerous horrid motion dish-up / As popish craft?
[UK]Morn. Post (London) 27 Jan. 3/3: I would employ Sir James each day some new scan-mag to dish up.
[UK]Dickens ‘Slang’ in Household Words 24 Sept. 74/2: If there had been any of that commodity [i.e. slang] floating about in polite circles then, the Dean would have been the man to dish it up for posterity.
Dly Ohio Statesman (Columbus, OH) 17 Aug. 2/2: The difficulty which teh Whigs experienced in endeavouring to swallow some objectionable doctrine that their party leader had dished up.
[US]Arizona Citizen (Tucson, AZ) 23 Sept. 2/3: He has dished up his feelings with such an array of horrible adjectives.
[US]Arizona Sentinel (Yuma, AZ) 29 Nov. 2/1: he ‘dished up’ several items about Yuma and Arizona territory.
[UK]R. Marsh Beetle 269: Holt re-dished his yarn — I smelt a rat.
[US]Ade Fables in Sl. (1902) 196: The last Chapter is a Give-Away. It condenses the whole Plot and dishes up the Conclusion.
[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 32: If boxing is to be part of the education dished out to the young New Yorkers the schools will take on a different appearance altogether.
[Aus]E.S. Sorenson Bush Cooks in Life in the Aus. Backblocks 88: [T]he cook, on the whole, has an unenviable time [...]. Take the man, for instance, who ‘dishes up’ for station-hands.
[US]F. Packard Adventures of Jimmie Dale (1918) I vi: The same old bunk dished out night after night at so much a head.
[US]R.J. Fry Salvation of Jemmy Sl. II i: He has had to keep dishin’ out change for Jemmy.
[UK]M. Marshall Tramp-Royal on the Toby 333: I was actually on the point of dishing up to you the same old stuff [...] that writers of Scottish travel-books continue to dish up year after year!
[UK]J. Curtis Gilt Kid 16: ‘Yes,’ he said, looking down on his striped suit with obvious pride, ‘this whistle I got on’s a bit different from the old grey one they dish you out with back in the queer place.’.
[US]R.L. Bellem ‘Phoney Shakedown’ Dan Turner - Hollywood Detective Feb. [Internet] Speak up before I dish you a load of lumps!
[US]L. Jordan ‘Infantry Blues’ [V-disc for armed forces] This is Carmen Cavellero. Now Louis and the boys dish up something which probably won’t take up as much time as the title.
[UK]Wodehouse Mating Season 109: He dished out all that stuff about his inner feelings.
[UK]F. Norman Bang To Rights 14: I thought they’d stopped dishing out C.T.
[UK]F. Norman Guntz 124: A great industry for the sole purpose [...] of dishing out bird to wrong doers.
[UK]P. Fordham Inside the Und. 68: The sort of bird that’s going to be dished out to me.
[US]L. Kramer Faggots 112: Music, undoctored, dished up loud.
[US]D. Woodrell Muscle for the Wing 91: These experts said a white dude couldn’t stand up under all the shit they dish out in that bad town.
[US]Snoop Doggy Dogg ‘Doggy Dogg World’ [lyrics] I’m dishin out blues, I’m upsetting like bad news.
[UK]Z. Smith White Teeth 24: It was the girls who chose the moniker and dished it out.
[UK]K. Waterhouse Soho 152: That canteen bacon you dish up at that nick of yours is pigshit.
[SA]IOL News (Western Cape) 9 May. [Internet] He went on to dish out his customary insults [...] calling DA leader Helen Zille a ‘dancing monkey’ from ‘monkey town’.

In phrases

dish out the gravy (v.) (also dish out the porridge) [puns + ironic use of gravy n. (2b)/ porridge n. (1)]

of a judge, to hand out a heavy sentence.

[UK]P. Tempest Lag’s Lex. 97: gravy, dishing out the. During Quarter Sessions or Assizes, when a judge is giving heavy sentences, he is spoken of as ‘dishing out the gravy (or porridge)’. Thus, ‘Cor, he ain’ arf dishin’ aht the porridge.’ Meaning that, to the speaker, he appears to be giving heavy and excessive sentences to all who appear before him.
[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak 50: Dish out the porridge – hand out prison sentences. [Ibid.] 68: dish out the gravy – hand out heavy sentences.