Green’s Dictionary of Slang

rot n.1

1. rubbish, nonsense; esp. in talk rot, to talk nonsense.

[US]B.H. Hall College Words (rev. edn) 396: rot. Twaddle, platitude.
[UK]T. Hughes Tom Brown’s School-Days (1896) 108: Let’s stick to him, and talk no more rot.
[Aus]Melbourne Punch 9 Aug. 6/2: ‘Slangiana’ [...] Come, Bella, do, ‘tis beastly rot / Let’s hook it — Cremorne go to blazes.
[UK]B. Hemyng Eton School Days 71: If you think you are going to put off the mill we must have now by this sort of rot, you are slightly mistaken.
[Aus]Hamilton Spectator (Vic.) 7 Jan. 1/7: [A]ll opinions not agreeing with their own are likely to be ‘cram,’ ‘gas,’ ‘rot’ or ‘rubbish’.
[US]Appleton’s Journal (N.Y.) May 482: ‘Rot’ is a compendious term of general disapproval.
[UK] ‘’Arry on Woman Rights’ in Punch 2 Apr. 156/2: Didn’t understand ’arf wot they said, but of course it was all blooming rot.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (1922) 49: I can’t sit and hear you talk such rot.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 25 Feb. 2/2: I talked a lot of blooming rot, / And smiled my sweetest smile.
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper 13 Nov. 104: Look here, Mobsley, if you read any more sickly rot like that, I’ll lick you!
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 7 Oct. 5/5: One explains, the other argues, / Talkin’ orful bleedin’ rot, / Of her tricks, deludin’ strangers, / Wich they calls extremely hot.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 86: She used to tell rambling tales about an orchard, and some pigs, and rot like that.
[UK]E. Glyn Three Weeks 10: He took to visiting Versailles [...] and came to the conclusion that it was all ‘beastly rot’.
[UK]Magnet 27 Aug. 2: ‘What rot!’ said Wharton.
[UK]Arthurs & David [perf. Marie Lloyd] The Piccadilly Trot [lyrics] No doubt you've heard about the Turkey Trot / Some say it's rot, some say it’s not.
[US]E. Pound letter 8 Dec. in Paige (1971) 27: For the rest, if I stay on the magazine it has got to improve. It’s all very well for Yeats to be ceremonious in writing to you, a stranger, and in a semi-public letter. Nobody holds him responsible for the rot that goes in to the paper.
[UK]P. Marks Plastic Age 163: ‘Rot,’ said Burbank calmly, ‘absolute rot’.
[UK]‘Sapper’ Final Count 776: Rot and rubbish: it was like the wild figment of a sensational novelist’s brain.
[UK]J. Curtis Gilt Kid 10: He wanted to be a good Communist but it seemed to him that all this theorizing was rot.
[US]R. Chandler ‘Trouble Is My Business’ in Spanish Blood (1946) 182: Sorry to be stubborn and all that rot.
[UK]G. Gibson Enemy Coast Ahead (1955) 82: He says it’s all rot.
[UK]J. Osborne Epitaph for George Dillon Act II: I don’t believe in a lot of vegetarian rot either.
[UK]P. Willmott Adolescent Boys of East London (1969) 33: That’s a load of rot, I reckon.
[UK]F. Norman Dead Butler Caper 57: What rot.
[Aus]A. Weller Day of the Dog 28: ‘What rot,’ she cries, for that life is behind her now.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 331: rot. Nonsense, rubbish.
[UK]K. Sampson Powder 51: All this rot about having to earn the dough back.
[US]T. Udo Vatican Bloodbath 98: What’s all this rot mummy’s gotten into her silly head?

2. an unfortunate situation.

[UK]‘Bartimeus’ ‘The Seven-Bell Boat’ in A Tall Ship 83: I had mumps. Wasn’t it rot? It must have been an awful good rag.