Green’s Dictionary of Slang

rock n.

1. in monetary senses.

(a) [mid-19C+] (US) one dollar; thus half a rock, 50 cents.

(b) [1990s+] (US prison) one carton of prison cigarettes, the equivalent of $1 in a barter economy.

2. [20C+] a diamond, thus bum rock, a flawed stone.

3. [20C+] a man who is sturdy and solid both emotionally, physically and in his character.

4. in drug uses.

(a) [1920s] opium.

(b) [1940s–50s] a piece of hashish.

(c) [1960s+] cocaine, when in uncrushed form.

(d) [1980s+] (also rock cocaine, rock crack) crack cocaine; a piece of crack cocaine.

(e) [1990s+] heroin, prior to being crushed to powder.

(f) [2000s] methamphetamine, when in uncrushed form.

5. (US Und.) a prison.

6. [1950s] (US teen) a large, tough person.

7. [1960s+] (US prison) a cellblock.

8. [1970s+] (S.Afr.) an Afrikaner. [abbr. rock spider n.].

9. [1980s+] (US black) a basketball.

10. [1990s+] (US) in fig. use, the essence, the ‘bottom line’.

11. [2010s] a piece of excrement, an individual stool.

In compounds

rock attack (n.)

[1980s+] (drugs) a desire for crack cocaine.

rock crack (n.)

see sense 4d above.

rock crank (n.) [crank n.2 (4)]

[1980s+] (drugs) methamphetamine.

rock fiend (n.) [fiend n. (1)]

[2000s] (US drugs) a habitual user of crack cocaine.

rock head (n.) [-head sfx (4)]

[1990s+] (drugs) a consumer of crack cocaine.

rock hoe (n.) [ho n.1 (1)]

[2000s] (US black) a woman who takes crack cocaine; thus a general derog.

rock house (n.)

[1980s+] (drugs) a place where crack cocaine is sold and smoked; also attrib.

rock kid (n.) [kid n.1 (4)]

[1990s+] (UK black/drugs) a smoker of crack cocaine.

rock lobster (n.) [note lobster n.2 ]

[1980s] (Aus.) a $20 bill.

rock monster (n.) [monster n. (5)/SE monster?]

[1980s] (US drugs/campus) an addict who is desperate for a dose of rock or crack cocaine; one who may steal to support their habit.

rock star (n.)

[1980s+] (drugs) a smoker of crack cocaine, esp. a woman who trades sex for crack cocaine or money to buy crack cocaine.

In phrases

ride the rock (v.)

[2000s] (US drugs) to smoke crack cocaine.

rocked up (adj.)

[1990s+] (US black) sporting diamond jewellery.

rock out (v.)

[1980s+] (drugs) to collapse through an excessive consumption of marijuana or pills.

roll the rock (v.)

[late 19C] (US) to send someone out with a container to have it filled with beer at the local bar or tavern.

SE in slang uses

Pertaining to prison

In compounds

rock crusher (n.)

1. [20C+] (US) in prison uses [hard labour in the rock quarry].

(a) a convict.

(b) a prison.

2. as a form of machine.

(a) [1920s] (US) an automobile.

(b) [1930s] (orig. US black) an accordion.

rockpile (cure) (n.)

see separate entries.

In phrases

big rock (n.)

[1960s] (US) a prison.

General uses

In compounds

rock ape (n.)

see under ape n.

rock candy (n.)

[1920s–40s] (US tramp/black) diamonds.

rockchopper (n.) (also chopper, R.C.) [used by Protestants as a derog. ref. to the original Irish immigrants, who were mainly convicts and, as such, condemned to hard labour; the common initials ‘r.c.’ are strengthening, but not the origin]

[1940s+] (Aus.) a derog. term for a Roman Catholic.

rockhead (n.) [-head sfx (1)]

[1920s+] (US) a stupid person; thus rock-headed adj., very stupid.

rockhound (n.) (also rock sharp) [-hound sfx/sharp n.1 (2)] [late 19C+] (orig. US)

1. a geologist.

2. an amateur mineralogist.

rock spider (n.)

see separate entry.

rock worker (n.) [worker n.1 (1)]

[1940s] (US Und.) a seller of cheap jewellery.

In phrases

rock of ages (n.)

see separate entry.