lay down v.
1. in senses of giving up [boxing imagery].
(a) (US, also lay to, lie down) to volunteer for defeat; thus lay-down artist, a defeatist.
|Scribner’s Mag. XXIII 453/2: I swear I hate to lay down to such a nincompoop [DA].|
|Philosophy of Johnny the Gent 56: ‘[W]e’ll stall the Wise Cracker that you’re goin’ to lay down to him’.|
|TAD Lex. (1993) 53: I know for a fact he was going to ‘lay’ to Nelson at Goldfield but was scared out of it.in Zwilling|
|Valley of the Moon (1914) 80: For God’s sake finish me, Bill [...] put her over an’ I’ll fall for it, but I can’t lay down.|
|Coll. Short Stories (1941) 419: It wasn’t like no frame that was ever pulled before [...] where one guy was paid to lay down.‘A Frame-Up’ in|
|Life Its Ownself (1985) 140: There was always one lay-down artist. [Ibid.] 289: So you think the players are laying down.|
|(con. 1979–80) Brixton Rock (2004) 4: Fuck you, man, I ain’t lying down for nobody.|
(b) to collapse.
|Queed 87: You body’s got to carry your mind around, and if it lays down on you, what—.|
|Score by Innings (2004) 361: I worked in forty games and they best me five times; but the team laid down behind me.‘The Bone Doctor’ in|
|DA].Luther Nichols 157: The engine had laid down, he didn’t know what was the matter [|
|(con. 1949) Big Blowdown (1999) 166: Neither of those guys is gonna lay down [...] We’re not talking about some frightened immigrants here.|
(c) to accept, to acquiesce.
|Argot: Dict. of Und. Sl.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 1542: lay down [...] to give up.|
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines 244: lay down Acquiesce.|
2. (drugs, also lay, lie down) to smoke opium [the smoker’s recumbent position].
|‘Strictly Culled Affair’ [lyrics] See ’em laying ’em down, / Boys, they goin’ to town.|
|Really the Blues 243: One night he [i.e. an opium seller] invited me to lay down with him.|
|Lady Sings the Blues (1975) 102: Jimmy started letting me lie down with him [...] it was during this time I got hooked.|
|Drugs from A to Z (1970) 139: lay To smoke opium. [Ibid.] 140: lay down [...] To smoke opium in a reclining position, a practice which may decrease nausea and other undesirable side effects of the drug.|
|Underground Dict. (1972).|
|(con. 1930s) Addicts Who Survived 87: You make arrangements. Like, I’d say, ‘I’m going to lay down for two days, Tuesday till Thursday’.|
3. (US prison) to place an inmate in the punishment cells [punishment cells were so cramped there was barely enough room to stand upright].
|Maledicta V:1+2 (Summer + Winter) 266: More unfamiliar are the expressions to bank off or to lay down to describe a prisoner being placed in a punishment cell.|
4. (US) to explain, to outline, to present a theory.
|Time 19 July 54: Are ya laying down the hustle?|
|Somewhere There’s Music 47: Gene must have really laid down some shuck to Barton about your playing.|
|Hiparama of the Classics 10: When he laid it down wham! It stayed there!|
|Underground Dict. (1972).|
|Street Talk 2 50: Let me lay it down for you.|
|You Got Nothing Coming 32: Skell, lay it down for these fish.|
5. (Aus. Und.) to retract a confession or witness statement.
|Sun. Herald (Sydney) 8 June 9/2: Then there’s [...] ‘lie down,’ to retract a previous confession or statement in court.in|
(US drugs) a place to smoke opium.
|Opium Addiction in Chicago.|
|Lang. Und. (1981) 105/1: lay-down joint. A hop-joint or opium den, especially one which supplies the drug and all necessary equipment.‘Lang. of the Und. Narcotic Addict’ Pt 2 in|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
|Narcotics Lingo and Lore.|
|(con. 1930s) Addicts Who Survived 167: I got married in 1939. I used to go to a lay-down joint – that’s where I met my first husband.|
(US) to abandon someone, to fail in a duty.
|Checkers 47: I thought after all we had done for him, he could n’t hardly lay down on his nephew.|
|Big League (2004) 52: You s’pose that stiff was laying down on us?‘The Cast-Off’ in|
|Shorty McCabe on the Job 101: He couldn’t believe that Pyramid had laid down on him.|
|Nightmare Town (2001) 142: I’m laying down on ’em, right enough, but I ain’t feeding ’em to you.‘Assistant Murderer’ in|
|You Can’t Win (2000) 158: An ambitious fighting young lawyer who never ‘laid down’ on a client.|
|Man’s Grim Justice 267: He said that ‘Joey’ was ‘laying down on him.’.|
|Prison Days and Nights 39: These guys that are always beefing about their friends laying down on them.|
|Who Live In Shadow (1960) 104: I will give you two kilos of pure because you didn’t lay down cold on me.|
|Union Dues (1978) 57: He’s not laying down on you?|
SE in slang uses
|, ,||Sl. Dict.|
|All the Year Round 9 June 543: To ‘hop the twig’, to ‘peg out’, to ‘lay down one’s knife and fork’, and the like [phrases for dying], are more flippant than humorous [F&H].|
|Gal’s Gossip 39: I am greatly afraid she is going to ‘chuck in her knife and fork,’ as Charlie says.|
|Sporting Times 10 Feb. 3/5: We read that an old man in Battersea [...] has just chucked in his knife and fork at the age of ninety-six.|
to act lazily; to do a job badly.
|Ten-Thousand-Dollar Arm 178: Our late printer’s devil [...] known as Man-Who-Lays-Down-on-his-Job-and-Refuses-to-Get-up-Again.‘The Phantom League’ in|
|letter 3 Apr. in Paige (1971) 134: At any rate, it is the best that can be done. Hope Kahn won’t think I’m lying down on the job.|
|Dict. Amer. Sl. 30: lie down. To give up, shirk, soldier on the job.|
|Gun Molls Oct. [Internet] We don’t lay down, Stanton, and we certainly don’t lay down on any cop-killer.‘The Squeal Widow’ in|
|Scholarly Mouse and other Tales 66: He was a real grafter and he dug holes about three times as fast as we did, though we weren’t the ones to lie down on the job.|
see under cow n.1
1. (US) to die [one ‘lays down’ one’s body].
|Cowboy Lore 21: His favorite songs are always melancholy — about home and mother or the cowboy who laid ’em down far away from his friend [HDAS].|
2. (US) to drive very fast [the pressing down of the accelerator].
|Amer. Thes. Sl.|
|CB Baby 21: I turned northbound [in a vehicle]...and began to really lay ’em down [HDAS].|