Green’s Dictionary of Slang

sky n.1

1. (US black) a police officer; a prison warder [the blue uniform].

[US]J.L. Kuethe ‘Prison Parlance’ in AS IX:1 27: sky. A uniformed policeman or guard.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).

2. (US black) a hat [it is above the head].

D. Burley N.Y. Amsterdam Star-News 19 July 13: [I] let them latch onto that hard drape I’m wearing [...] and let them dig them stomps an’ that sky.
[US] ‘Good-Doing Wheeler’ in D. Wepman et al. Life (1976) 73: His fabulous sky was broke so fly / That the city had it banned.
[Aus]Aus. Women’s Wkly 3 Nov. 10/4: Now that Surfie talk is flaking.
[UK]B. Beckham My Main Mother 9: Big Larson, waving his ten-gallon sky back and forth in front of his highyellow face.
N.J. Johnson ‘About This Thing Called Ghetto Education’ in Szwed Black America 248: There was a black student in class with his hat on his head. I paced; I moved toward him; I got angry; I trembled. But [...] [o]nce I reflected on the way black males operate in relation to their ‘sky,’ dealing with hat-wearing presented no problem .
[US]Ebonics Primer at 🌐 sky Definition: [a] hat Example: Y’all check out mah leopard-skin threads an’ matchin’ sky!

SE in slang uses

In compounds

sky blue

see separate entries.

sky drummer (n.) [drummer n.3 ]

(Aus.) a missionary.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 22 Dec. 18/2: Premier Salisbury [...] practically said that many of the ‘sky-drummers’ went on the convert-trail in foreign lands with the idea that the British flag and British lyddite were in their back-pockets ready to avenge their chokers being pulled.
sky farmer (n.)

see separate entry.

sky hoot (v.) [SE hoot, i.e. blow (sky high)] (US)

1. to run off, to move fast; to act irresponsibly.

J. Ritner letter Love & Valor (2000) 372: We are on the rampage after the rebels and [...] it is fun to sky-hoot over these hills and mountains after them.
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper Summer 38/1: Something’s sky-hooted in my shoulder [...] That brute threw me on my head.
[US]Great Bend Trib. (KS) 6 May 3/1: ‘Go along, man! Divo’ce nothin’. Think I’ gwine t’ gin ’im what he wants [...] t’go sky-hootin’ roun’ ’mong dem gals? Na, sah!’.
[US]Santa Ana Register (CA) 16 Dec. 6/3: ‘Young man [...] I advise you to quit this joyriding. Sky-hooting around the country [...] leads to reform school.
[US]H.L. Wilson Merton of the Movies 7: What’s got into you lately? [...] Skyhootin’ around in here, leavin’ the front of the store unpertected.
Tampa Bay Times (St Ptersburg, FL) 13 Oct. 16/4: ‘Mebbe he’s bin skyhootin’ at night in them big cities’.
O. Sheperd Holdfast Gaines 206: An’ ez fer razor-backs, y’ oughter see them fellers sky-hoot!
A. Le May Searchers 207: It’s funny you leave a good ranch [...] to be worked by other men, while you sky-hoot the country from the Nations to Mexico.

2. to rise, to increase.

[US]Democrat & Chron. (Rochester, NY) 2 Nov. 14/2: Almost anything can happen nowadays. One food and then another goes sky-hooting for a season.
[US] in Amer. Mercury Oct. 235/2: Jigger’s reputation as a ‘rugged’ man skyhooted from this point [W&F].
[US]Times (Munster, IN) 19 Jan. 13/1: Competiton would be calculated to sky-hoot my income.
sky-juice (n.)

(US) rainwater [note Jam. sky juice, a popular drink of flavoured syrups poured over shaved ice].

[US]Wilmington Morn. Star (NC) 1 Oct. 1/3: ‘When upon the “move” to day / Sky-juice on your traps shall play / [...] / Please sir, call your water home!’.
[US]Hawaiian Gaz. (Honolulu, HI) 17 Apr. 1/6: At present Hilo is wel supplied with sky juice.
[US]Boston Wkly Globe (MA) 5 July 2/8: The Sky Juice. Reports of damage by floods continue to come in [...] In the East we still prefer to call rain, rain.
in Saskatchewan History 30 (1977) 48: One May 1904 news item reported succinctly that ‘our streets are muddy — about two inches of sky juice fell Monday’.
[US]Delaware Co. Dly Times (Chester, PA) 26 Jan. 3/3: [headline] Sky Juice puts Quietus on Soccer Games.
Nat. Drug Clerk 9 n.p.: Little Boy: ‘Please can I have a drink of water?’ Dispenser: ‘Sorry little chap but we are just out of water. We have some delicious aqua pura distillata, commonly called sky-juice’.
[US]Maines & Grant Wise-crack Dict.
[US] ‘Patois of Annapolis’ in Sheboygan (WI) Press 17 Sept. 8/3: Water is ‘sky juice.’.
H. Samuelson diary 29 May in G. Midlo-Hall Love, War & 96th Engineers (Colored) 54: A deluge of rain [...] caused my shelter roof to fall in and dump no less than ten gallons of sky juice onto my bed.
M. Greenberg Men Against the Stars 87: It’s by blood and sweat, by the last drop of sky juice and the last microvolt in our capacitors and the last thump of our engines.
Pensacola News (FL) 3 Aug. 4/6: Public spirited cooperative arrangements would provide relief from excess sky juice for some residents.
Dly World (Opelousas, LA) 3 July 17/3: She orders ‘Sky Juice on the Rocks’ [...] Bartenders are befuddled until Mrs Doucet explains that sky juice is water.
T. Fischer Thought Gang 25: The sky juice marinated me with my suitcase which had grown a heaviness that outdid its volume.
O. Bornel Something Is Holding Me Back 2: My body aches to be kissed by the cooling droplets of sky juice.
skylarker (n.)

see separate entry.

skylight (n.)

the small space between the top of a glass and the drink within it.

[UK]F. Pilon He Would be a Soldier VI i: Fill your glass higher – higher yet; I’ll have no skylights – This is a bumper toast.
[UK]‘Bumper Allnight. Esquire’ Honest Fellow [check]: No sky-lights.
[UK]‘A Pembrochian’ Gradus ad Cantabrigiam 54: day-light, or sky-light, in the easy attained science of hard drinking, when the glass is not a bumper.
[UK]T.L. Peacock Headlong Hall (1816) 74: For a heeltap! a heeltap! I never could bear it! / No sky-light! no twilight! while Bacchus rules o’er us.
[Scot]Sir W. Scott St Ronan’s Well (1833) 119: Come, Mick—no skylights—here is Clara’s health.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Jorrocks Jaunts (1874) 263: I’ll trouble you to charge your glasses, ’eel-taps off — a bumper toast — no skylights, if you please.
[UK]Punch 31 July I 34: Come, no skylights; ’tis as mild as new milk; there’s not a headache in a hogshead of it.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Handley Cross (1854) 232: Bumper-toast — no ‘eel-taps, no sky-lights.
G. Saintsbury Notes on a Cellar-Book 184: And if our fathers meant by ‘No heel-taps’ that you were always to drink the whole glassful at once, even with allowance of ‘skylight,’ I think that, for once, our fathers were wrong.
skylights (n.)

1. the eyes.

[UK]‘An Amateur’ Real Life in London II 149: Go it Kate!—Handle your dawdles, my girl; —shiver her ivory;—darken her skylights;—flatten her sneizer;—foul, foul,—ah you Munster b—ch!
[UK]Bell’s Life in London 21 Feb. 3/2: Sneezer and skylights, listeners, ribs and nob.
[UK]M. Scott Tom Cringle’s Log (1862) 71: After a long look through his starboard blinker (his other skylight had been shut up ever since Aboukir), Captain Deadeye gave orders.
[Aus]Golden Age (Queanbeyan, NSW) 4 Sept. 3/2: Tom’s fistic slang is like so much Hebrew to us, we being in a most pastoral state of ignorance as to the meanings of [...] ‘closing the skylights,’ ‘rolling in lemons,’ ‘drawing the vermillion,’ ‘tapping the claret,’ ‘flinging up the sponge,’ and the various other terms with which he garnishes his narrative.
[Ire]Dublin Eve. Post 6 Sept. 4/4: Prhaps it may be that ‘plating a little ’un on his sky-lights’ sounds better than ‘committing a brutal assault’.
Montrose, Arboath & Brechin Rev. 4 Dec. 7/4: The ‘creeshie weaver’ went round him [...] darkening his skylights, ornamenting his nose [...] and making his mouth squint.
[US]‘O. Henry’ ‘The Day Resurgent’ in Strictly Business (1915) 51: Why, blast my skylights!

2. spectacles.

[Aus]J. Furphy Such is Life 268: If you’d a pair o’ skylights athort your cutwater, you’d be set for a professor of phrenology.
sky-parlour (n.)

1. a garret; occas. attrib.

[UK]S. Foote Roman & Eng. Comedy Consider’d 40: How often that lucky Circumstance has recommended him to the Approbation of the Sky-parlour Gentry, I submit to the Critics on the Ground Floor.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[Ire] ‘An Unfortunate Woman of the Town’ in A. Carpenter Verse in Eng. in 18C Ireland (1998) 410: I found her parlour nearest to the Sky! / Oh! what a wretched Falling-off.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 311: Bob and the party, chaffing, proposed to see the Author safe to his sky-parlour.
[UK]Dickens ‘The First of May’ in Slater Dickens’ Journalism I (1994) 168: Now ladies, up in the sky-parlour; only once a year, if you please.
[US]Gleaner (Manchester, NH) 15 Apr. n.p.: Charles H. Peabody, editor of the ‘Boston Evening Bulletin,’ took a flogging [...] in his sanctum, or sky parlor.
[UK]Western Times (Devon) 10 Oct. 6/6: One bed [...] being unfortunately situate up in the rafters — it was literally a sky parlour.
[US]J. Brougham Basket of Chips 400: Hup stairs [...] we found ourselves right smack up at the sky-parlor.
[UK]Dickens Little Dorrit (1967) 127: She has a lodging at the turnkey’s. First house there [...] First house, sky parlour.
[US]Venus’ Miscellany (NY) 31 Jan. n.p.: An old toggery collector, resident in a respectable sky parlor [in] Rosemary Lane.
[US]O.W. Holmes Professor at the Breakfast Table 208: On asking him what was the number of his room, he answered, that it was forty-’leven, sky-parlour floor.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 4 May 3/4: On entering the ‘sky parlour’ he twigged the skylight open.
[UK]Man about Town 16 Oct. 45/2: And Buttons to his couch has fled / In yon sky parlour steep.
[UK]Morn. Post (London) 28 Feb. 7/3: It was no use [...] to take proceedings against a ruined man in a sky parlour in Pimlico.
[UK]Birmingham Dly Post 30 Apr. 7: In the sky parlour of a house in the Rue des Martyrs, Paris, lives a venerable dame.
[UK]G.A. Sala London up to Date 143: The guests’ lift takes you up to your sky-parlour on the sixth floor.
Eve. Teleg. 3/6 (Angus, Scot.) 14 Nov. 3/6: Rose Laurier went home to her sky parlour with the revolver.
[US]S. Ford Torchy 178: I didn’t know which sky parlor was vacant until I [...] finds my things out in the hall and a new lodger in my room.
[UK]Derby Dly Teleg. 19 May 6/3: Grisleda Blake called her ‘sky parlour’ a delightful little flat, high up ina tall grey building.

2. (US) the highest tier of seats in a theatre, the ‘gods’.

[US]Whip & Satirist of NY & Brooklyn (NY) 14 May n.p.: In the Sky Parlor at the Walnut Street Theatre things are conducted in very bad order and the female [...] visitors go it strong.
sky-piece (n.)

1. (US) any form of headgear.

[UK]Nottingham Eve. Post 27 Aug. 2/6: His skypiece quite eclipsed anything by way of novelty ever seen upon the head of a human.
[US]F. Hutcheson Barkeep Stories 32: [He] gets insulted w’en everybody in de place didn’t take off der sky-pieces w’en he come in.
[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 74: Say boy. Kindly ast de mag ta remove de skypiece.
[UK]Sheffield Wkly Teleg. 28 Sept. 7/2: She lately owned a dream of a ‘sky-piece’ covered all over with violets.
[US]R.A. Wason Happy Hawkins 304: A sort of kettle turned upside down an’ covered with feathers for a sky-piece.
[US]Ade ‘The New Fable of the Speedy Sprite’ in Ade’s Fables 24: She came out at 10.53 with her Sky Piece badly listed to Port and her toes flattened out.
[Can] ‘Thieves’ Sl.’ Toronto Star 19 Jan. 2/5: HAT Skypiece.
[US]Arizona Dly Star (Tucson, AZ) 11 Dec. 18/4: It was once the regal skypiece of an Arab potentate.
[US]G. Milburn ‘De Night Before Christmas’ in Hobo’s Hornbook 258: W’ile out on de Pennsy, from skypiece t’ shank, / De ’boes was all freezin’, wit no Christ to t’ank.
[US]B. Conlon ‘Rope Meat’ in Wild West Weekly 22 Oct. 🌐 ‘Off with ’em, Loney! Start with the sky-piece.’ Loney dropped the gray Stetson to the ground.
‘Marienne’ ‘Solid Meddlin’’ in People’s Voice (NY) 28 Mar. 31/1: That snazzy green feather that Frank (Esquire) Verlaine is sportin’ in his sky-piece is enuf to make him strut like a peacock.
[US]N.Y. Herald Trib. 28 Feb. 47/1: In the jive vein there is ‘skypiece’ meaning a hat and ‘chalkstick,’ a cigarette.
[US] M.A. Crane ‘Vox Bop’ in AS XXXIII:3 224: The cat [...] dons his [...] skypiece.
[US]E. Shepard Doom Pussy 100: Extra-wide-brimmed hats (which the soldiers dubbed B.F. Skypieces).
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Nov. 5: sky piece – hat.
[US]Dly News (NY) 18 Aug. 42/2: ‘Why didn’t yuz just sit your skypiece on your lap while watching the movie?’.

2. (US) the head.

[US]Bee (Earlington, NY) 12 Sept. 4: W’ile I’m gettin’ de jolt you’ll be gettin’ your skypiece busted. See?
[US]B. Fisher A. Mutt in Blackbeard Compilation (1977) 40: I have made a careful examination of the defendant’s skypiece and find that he has bubbles on his thinktank.
[US]Caldwell Trib. (ID) 4 Feb. 2/4: One reason [...] why I am able [...] to keep my sky-piece working in double shifts is because I am a moving picture fiend .
[US]D. Lowrie My Life in Prison 285: If y’r ain’t careful y’r’ll get a swelled skypiece.
[US]Walnut Valley Times (El Dorado, KS) 11 Mar. 6/2: Engineers in dry dock plated the two halves together and zingo! They had a new boat. Nice work? Righto. Use your skypiece!
skypilot (n.) (also kirk pilot, pilot, sky pi, sky scout, sky-sharp, soul aviator) [he guides one to heaven]

1. a priest, a prison chaplain, a preacher, a missionary.

[UK]A. de Walden Harry Disney II 61: A man who was an accomplice was ‘in the same stable, don’t you know;’ racing not to win was ‘milking;’ a clergyman was ‘a sky pilot ’ [etc.] .
[US]M. Davenport Under the Gridiron 43: I do not feel equal to a journey of three miles to hear the local sky-pilot hold forth.
[UK]Dublin U. Mag. 8960/1: I say, Harry, old fellow, I would not let that sky pilot have a walk over if I were you. [...] By Jove, if I'm ever in Parliament, which is not, likely, I'll bring in a bill for the suppression of curates.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 9 Apr. 8/1: For some time past the only public entertainment in that city has been that provided by the ‘Salvation Army’ [...] The chief Sky Pilot is an attractive female of some seventy odd summers.
[US]G.W. Peck Peck’s Bad Boy and His Pa (1887) 102: After the minister had gone away [...] Pa said he had got enough feeling for one family, and he didn’t want no sky-sharp to help him. [Ibid.] 146: Look a-here you sky-pilot, this thing has gone far enough.
[UK]J. Astley Fifty Years (2nd edn) II 240: I read a letter from a local parson [...] Poor dear innocent ‘Sky Pilot’!
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 11 Mar. 1/5: Possibly the reverential sky-pilot has only just woke up.
[UK]Daily Tel. 4 Oct. in Ware (1909) 225/2: While some of the members of the Congregational Union were enquiring the way to the hall where refreshments were served, the doorkeeper shouted in a stentorian voice: ‘Sky-pilots’ beanfeast!’.
[US]A.H. Lewis Wolfville 226: [It] keeps me rememberin’ what that sky scout says at the Pra’r-meetin’ about the action a gent gets by playin’ a good deed to win.
[[UK]A. Binstead Houndsditch Day by Day 179: An ambitious and distinguished pilot to the upper blue had mysteriously ‘nobbled’ Moses].
[Aus]‘Dads Wayback’ in Sun. Times (Sydney) 2 Nov. 3/3: ‘Fer people will trust er cove as sez he’s er pilot in er country they've never bin in, but won't take no notice of him in their own bush’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 4 Oct. 14/3: With quips and cranks Melba enlivened the afternoon, and had even the kirk pilots won over in the end.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 23 Oct. 4/7: ‘Have you the license?’ asked the sky-pilot.
[UK]E. Pugh Spoilers 65: I dessay I could easy get a job, if I sucked up to some sky-pilot or some society for genteel ticketers.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 23 Sept. 4s/4: The thort of some other sky-pilot gettin’ the threesplicin’ fees brought ’im round ter reason.
[US]C.E. Mulford Bar-20 xxiii: You are like that sky-pilot over to Las Cruces — he preached agin killin’ things, which is all right for him, who didn’t have no cows.
[NZ]N.Z. Truth 20 June 6/7: Of course he can’t help having a sky-pilot for a father.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 30 Jan. 1st sect. 1/1: They Say [...] That Chidlow’s Well is dead weary of the local sky-pilot.
[US]A. Berkman Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist (1926) 172: You talk like a man up a tree, you holy sky-pilot.
[Ind]P.C. Wren Dew & Mildew 349: ‘Yer mealy-mugged sky-pilot’.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 26 Jan. 12/6: We did have a devil dodger, / Pilot, who said clean and neat / That no place outside of blazes / Could compare with Whitfield-etreet.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 298: And one or two sky pilots having an eye around that there was no goings on with the females, hitting below the belt.
[Aus]G.H. Lawson Dict. of Aus. Words And Terms 🌐 PILOT — A clergyman.
[Aus]Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld) 12 Dec. 6s/5: The sky pilot swore that he could not perform the service for such a small amount.
[US]W. Winchell Your Broadway & Mine 7 Mar. [synd. col.] A well-known up-town sky pilot will [...] start a new religion of his own.
[NZ]N.Z. Truth 14 Nov. 6/4: Canon Henry Packe [...] is well known as one of the most tolerant and broad-minded of pilots.
[UK]B. Lubbock Bully Hayes 4: That was his one and only ejaculation, after much carrying to and fro of sky pilots.
[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks n.p.: Sky pi, a minister.
[UK]Thieves Slang ms list from District Police Training Centre, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Warwicks 10: Sky-pilot: Clergyman.
[UK]K. Mackenzie Living Rough 206: To get a lousy flop and a bowl of stew you’d have to listen to the sky-pilot say his piece.
[US]S. Philips Big Spring 76: The sky pilots with the long coat and the whiskers and the sanctmonious look.
[US]F.O. Beck Hobohemia 22: Scarcely had the soul aviator (that was the name the mission preacher was known by) begun to hand out angel-food (and that was the name his sermon was known by) than not a few drowsed off to sleep.
[UK]F. Norman Bang To Rights 174: The sky pilot perswaded him that he wasn’t Jesus.
[Ire]F. O’Connor Only Child (1970) 78: Praying was what the natives did when there was nothing to eat in the house, instead of going after the sky pilots with horse, foot, and artillery.
[Aus]B. Humphries Barry McKenzie [comic strip] in Complete Barry McKenzie (1988) 53: Sky pilots are lucky havin’ them dog collars. At least they can enjoy a good chuck without having to tuck in their tie.
[Ire](con. 1930s–50s) E. Mac Thomáis Janey Mack, Me Shirt is Black 104: In slang the priest is the sky pilot.
[NZ]G. Newbold Big Huey 253: Sky pilot (n) Chaplain.
[US]LaBarge & Holt Sweetwater Gunslinger 201 (1990) 203: ‘Let’s go ask the Sky-pilot to help us.’ The three pilots gathered outside Rabbi Freeman’s stateroom [...] Rabbi Freeman was the only Jewish chaplain on a carrier in the U.S. Navy.
[Ire]P. McCabe Breakfast on Pluto 30: ‘Sex Mad Sky Pilot!’ ‘Fornicator!’ ‘The Adventures of Father Benny Rape!’.
[US]J. Stahl Plainclothes Naked (2002) 123: Some sick fuckos pancaked the sky-pilot and left him for dead.
[NZ]D. Looser Boobslang [U. Canterbury D.Phil. thesis] 169/1: sky pilot n. a prison chaplain.
[[US]W. Keyser ‘Carny Lingo’ in 🌐 Sky Grifter — A tent-revival evangelist of the more mercenary sort].

2. attrib. use of sense 1.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 26 July 13/3: Very noticeable about here at present are the Mormon elders kicking round. [...] All the other sky-pilot cadgers go to the native and ask straight out for the money in cash. Not so the Mormon.
sky-rocket (n.)

see separate entries.

sky rug (n.) [rug n.1 (1)]

(US) a wig or toupee.

[US]Kingston Dly Freeman (NY) 17 May 8/2: [cartoon caption] That life story is as phony as that sky-rug he wears to cover his skull.
[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS.
sky-scraper (n.)

see separate entries.

In phrases

dive into the sky (v.)

see under dive v.

hold one’s sky (v.)

(US black) to keep one’s wits.

D. Burley N.Y. Amsterdam Star-News 21 Mar. 16: ‘Jackson, the trilly was rough, but I held my sky’.
in the skies (adj.) (also in the air) [the image is cognate with fly v. (3)/high adj.1 (3) but antedates both]

intoxicated by a drug.

[US]A.H. Lewis Boss 373: He’s in the skies, so my plan for a talk right then is all off.
[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks n.p.: In the air, full of mariahuana [sic].
reach for the sky (v.)

see under reach v.