Green’s Dictionary of Slang

belt v.

[sense 1: lit. to hit with a belt; senses 2–5 fig. uses of sense 1]

1. (also belt out, belt up) to hit (with a fist), to flog, to thrash.

[UK]J. Hogg Wool-Gatherer 162: ‘I kend your father weel; he’s a good cannie man.’ ‘I wish he had beltit your shoulders as aft as he has done mine, ye maybe wadna hae said sae muckle for him.’.
[US]J.C. Neal Charcoal Sketches (1865) 46: He intends to belt me, does he?
[US]H.L. Williams N.-Y. After Dark 77: Belt ’em in the snoot!
[US]Butte (MT) Miner 21 Nov. 1/4: You are charged with assault and battery [...] having belted a man over the head.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 29 Dec. 10/2: In the second round Prendergast meant business, and ‘belted’ Denning all over the stage.
[UK]Kipling ‘The Madness of Private Ortheris’ in Plain Tales from the Hills (1890) 267: I’ve belted him, an’ I’ve bruk his head.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (1922) 255: I’ve half a mind to belt you home again to your mother.
[US]S. Crane Maggie, a Girl of the Streets (2001) 6: Here you, Jim, git up, now, while I belt yer life out, you damned disorderly brat.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 16 Sept. 1/6: The Chinese war-ship Chen-Yuen has belted the Japanese belted cruiser Hi-yei. The latter was sunk.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Lord Douglas’ in Roderick (1972) 499: Here, Barcoo, stump up, or I’ll belt it out of your hide!
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 2456: I’ve heard her say forty times she’d belt him in the jaw if he came ’round.
[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘War’ Moods of Ginger Mick 26: Why don’t ole England belt ’em in the slats?
[Aus]K.S. Prichard Working Bullocks 7: Chris working up the excitement [...] brandishing his piece of bark and belting the polers.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Hold ’Em, Yale!’ Runyon on Broadway (1954) 155: As fast as they are flattened they get up and keep belting away.
[Aus]K. Tennant Foveaux 49: You’re a nice one [...] There’s times when I could belt you.
[US]W.R. Burnett Asphalt Jungle in Four Novels (1984) 247: Dietrich belted him again, slamming him back against the wall.
[US]‘William Lee’ Junkie (1966) 60: There was not one who wouldn’t wilt and spill as soon as someone belted him in the mouth.
[US]A.J. Liebling ‘The University of Eighth Avenuie’ A Neutral Corner (1990) 29: ‘I’d belt them out,’ he said. ‘Oh, I’d belt them out.’.
[UK]F. Norman Fings I i: Fer two bleedin’ pins, I’d belt ’em rahnd the lug’oles.
[Aus]W. Dick Bunch of Ratbags 45: He became violent and we got belted up.
[UK]T. Keyes All Night Stand 49: It was happening; a woman was causing trouble. I’d belt her for that.
[US]C. Bukowski Notes of a Dirty Old Man (1973) 33: I belted him out!
[UK]T. Parker Frying-Pan 38: She’s only herself to blame if you belt her to shut her up.
[Aus] in K. Gilbert Living Black 35: You belt him, stick it into him. [Ibid.] 303: When a kid shits on the doorstep you belt his arse and rub his nose in it.
[UK]P. Barker Union Street 201: Her eyes were so black you’d ’ve thought somebody had belted her one.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett You Wouldn’t Be Dead for Quids (1989) 31: Les was going to belt him but decided against it.
[US]D. Woodrell Muscle for the Wing 202: At the kitchen door he was belted on the neck.
[Aus]Penguin Bk of More Aus. Jokes 211: All of a sudden his victim bursts in and belts him on the scone.
[US]E. Bunker Mr Blue 145: Nelson had taken revenge for when I pulled off his gas mask and belted him in the chops.
[UK]N. Griffiths Grits 40: A don’t suppose a shoulduv belted er. A can be annarse too when am pissed up.
[Aus](con. 1960s-70s) T. Taylor Top Fellas 24/1: Belting long-hairs was just a nasty lark.
[UK]T. Black Artefacts of the Dead [ebook] When he belted his girls, he made sure the consequences stayed out of sight.
(con. 1926) T. McCauley ‘For Whom No Bells Toll’ in ThugLit Mar. [ebook] ‘You think he belted her for running down his writing or his buddy?’.

2. to drink heavily, esp. straight from the bottle.

[US]G.W. Harris ‘The Knob Dance’ Spirit of the Times (N.Y.) XV July in Inge (1967) 46: He can belt six shillins worth of corn-juice at still-house rates and travel.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Social Error’ Runyon on Broadway (1954) 455: Handsome Jack takes to belting the old grape.
[US]R.L. Bellem ‘Death Ends the Scene’ Hollywood Detective May [Internet] He took to belting the bottle, [...] and stayed plastered so long he became a confirmed lush.
[US]B. Schulberg On the Waterfront (1964) 49: They were [...] belting whisky with beer chasers.
[Aus]Kings Cross Whisper (Sydney) xxxvii 6/3: All questions are based on the assumption you’ve been belting booze into you for at least six hours.
[UK]W. Manus Mott the Hoople 159: I belted down several shots.
[US]L. Rosten Dear ‘Herm’ 150: She belts down Martinis like her stomach has a sponge lining.
[US]D. Woodrell Muscle for the Wing 156: He [...] belted back some brew.
[Aus](con. 1945–6) P. Doyle Devil’s Jump (2008) 52: Herb kept belting his flask of whisky.

3. to rush, to hurry.

[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 2 Dec. 1/2: He never neglected to take up the collection [...] before the audience could ‘belt’.
[UK]G.F. Northall Warwickshire Word-Book 26: Belt [...] To hurry, to rush.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 30 July 14/2: In his fervor he follows the gee-gee over miles of rough country, and on the day when I first met him he was belting across the plain, apparently in hot pursuit of nothing.
[Aus]Examiner (Launceston, Tas.) 15 Aug. 2/7: You can belt up the street as slick as possible.
[UK]‘Sapper’ Human Touch 39: I come belting back to try and git in the same crush.
[US]R.L. Bellem ‘Feature Snatch!’ Dan Turner - Hollywood Detective Feb. [Internet] I belted back to Duke’s portal; knocked.
[US]N.Y. Herald Trib. 11 Mar. 25: As for the propriety of Godfrey’s belting around in Air Force planes, I see nothing wrong in it [W&F].
[UK]C. Fry Dark is Light Enough 80: This precious idiot [...] Belted off like a madman.
[UK]W. Hall Long and the Short and the Tall Act I: We’ll have to belt it like the clappers out of hell. We can’t afford to hang about.
[UK]R. Cook Crust on its Uppers 55: We go belting off to Winston’s.
[UK]A. Sillitoe Start in Life (1979) 117: Thick clouds were belting across the woods.
[UK]S. Gee Never in My Lifetime in Best Radio Plays (1984) 55: He belts down the street, always in the lead, taking on the whole bloody army.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett You Wouldn’t Be Dead for Quids (1989) 36: He’d belt along the edges of ponds, scattering the water hens and ducks near the banks.
[UK]Reeves & Mortimer Vic Reeves Big Night Out n.p.: Right now he’s belting through a forest in Bombay.
[UK](con. 1944) C. Logue Prince Charming 46: So I belted over to the wallahs’ mess and told them who I was.

4. to trounce, to defeat soundly.

[US]K. Brasselle Cannibals 356: I love to see you get belted in print.

5. of a man, to have sexual intercourse.

[UK] ‘Lagos Lagoon’ M. Page Kiss Me Goodnight, Sgt.-Major (1973) 55: We’re belting black velvet around Lagos Lagoon [...] You can get a good grind for a piece of PK.
[US](con. 1945) G. Forbes Goodbye to Some (1963) 145: Did you belt any of those nurses?
[UK]B. James Detective is Dead (1996) 48: Harpur would belt anything teenage to twenty-three.

6. see belt it out

In derivatives

belter (n.)

1. a prostitute.

[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues (rev. edn).

2. a boisterous, energetic singer [belt it out ].

[US]Time 20 July 90: She became a belter. She found herself ‘living’ every song she sang.
[US]P. Rabe Murder Me for Nickels (2004) 140: First thing, a drum came on [...] then a belter who shattered the glasswool off the ceiling.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Real Life 20 June 3: Some Sixties belter who hasn’t had a full-blown major hit.

3. a (heavy) drinker.

[US]Philadelphia Inquirer (PA) 6 Feb. 19/1: The Irish belters [...] who belly up at the watering hole [...] never thought they would see old Shoosh Novelli banging down a shot and a beer again. The old man has the Big One. The doctors found it in his jawbone.

4. an admirable, exciting, or exceptional person [northern dial. belter, a heavy blow or series of blows].

[UK]J. McClure Spike Island (1981) 333: Our boxer dog [...] was a belter [...] he’d be snarlin’ and they all backed off.
[UK](con. 1950s) D. Nobbs Second From Last in the Sack Race 307: She’s a right belter now, is Lorna Arrow.
[UK]K. Sampson Awaydays 25: You, my derlin, are a liddle fucken belter. Yeah fucken gerjuss.
[Aus] [Internet] Fuck me, you’re in a foreign country with the focus on bending over belters, yet none of you will fork out a single peso to guarantee a bit of Mexican minge.
[UK](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 24: Heh-low . . . ride alert, ride alert . . . the daughter has turned oot a right wee fuckin belter!

5. something exceptional, exciting, amusing etc.

[UK]J. Sullivan ‘Christmas Crackers’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] earl: Hullo Del Boy. Nice Christmas? del: A belter.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Culture 11 July 1: They’re re-telling a belter about some tasty bank job.
[UK]Guardian Rev. 3 Nov. 17: Purely Belter means more brilliant than ‘cushdy’ or ‘mint’; it means, as it were, doubleplusgood.
[UK]C. Brookmyre Be My Enemy 114: It [i.e. a joke] was a sheer belter because it illustrated that [...] Rory could also be a blundering numpty.

6. a loud, emotional and melodramatic song [belt it out ].

[UK]Guardian Rev. 5 May 20: There’s a very faint breeze of 50s pop cheesiness about such belters as How Can I Be Sure?

7. in phr. a belter of, an extreme or exceptional example.

[UK](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 273: Ah’ve goat a belter ah a hard-on n she looks as sexy and sleazy as fuck.
belting (n.)

a beating.

[UK]‘Bill Truck’ Man o’ War’s Man (1843) 229: I’ll not forget the great sound belting I catched.
[Aus] (?) H. Lawson ‘Getting Back on Dave Regan’ in Roderick (1972) 368: If I ketch him I’ll give him a beltin’ for it.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 14 Feb. 4/5: The latter came out gaily [...] and gave Kubla a terrific belting, and drove the sick, battered fragments of him to seek shelter in a storm.
[US]J. London Valley of the Moon (1914) 235: Cal’s mother wouldn’t let ’m go swimmin’, an’ whenever she suspected she always licked his hair [...] If it tasted salty, he got a beltin’.
[US]J.T. Farrell ‘Curbstone Philosophy’ in Short Stories (1937) 221: Some day you’re gonna get the beltin’ you got comin’.
[US]D. Runyon ‘The Lemon Drop Kid’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 380: One of the attendants in the orphans’ asylum [...] gives him a good belting.
[Aus]L. Glassop Lucky Palmer 21: If me old man catches me with this much dough I’ll get a belting.
[UK]‘Charles Raven’ Und. Nights 43: He gave him a private belting.
[UK]C. Rohan Down by the Dockside 215: Do you want a belting?
[UK]E. Bond Saved Scene viii: Yer need a bloody good beltin’.
[Aus]J. Wynnum I’m a Jack, All Right 21: Can’t afford [...] getting a belting into the bargain.
[UK]F. Taylor Auf Wiedersehen Pet Two 182: Would I lie to my big sister [...] knowing the belting she’d give me when she found out?
[UK] in D. Campbell That Was Business, This Is Personal 15: I got a thorough belting for escaping from the police.
belting (adj.)

excellent, very good of its type.

[UK]J. Curtis Look Long Upon a Monkey 33: You’d have a belting time too, in a cushy country like that.
[UK]Jackie 19 Dec. n.p.: I always thought it was a belting idea [KH].
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘It Never Rains’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] Come to think of it, it’s a belting idea!

In compounds

belt-up (n.)

a fight.

[NZ]G. Slatter Pagan Game (1969) 162: A belt-up in the ruck, a bunch of five, fair enough.

In phrases

belt it (v.)

to masturbate.

[US](con. 1949) J.G. Dunne True Confessions (1979) 91: He was belting it, I bet. And saying ooohhh and aaahhh on the telephone.
belt it out (v.) (also belt)

to sing loudly and enthusiastically; thus belting n. and adj.

[US]J. Blake letter 26 June Joint (1972) 63: I notice the effect of Sammy Davis, Jr., who saves his too belting delivery by a sly oblique junkie-type humor.
[UK]G. Lambert Inside Daisy Clover (1966) 25: She was singing, and by the last verse fairly belting it out.
[UK]N. Cohn Awopbop. (1970) 80: He just stomped his foot, stood his ground and belted.
[US]J. Susann Love Machine 186: She belts out a song better than Garland.
[US]J.G. Dunne True Confessions (1979) 14: ‘And blessed is the fruit of thy womb . . . .’ (This is where Moira really belts it), ‘. . . Jay-sus.’.
belt one’s hog (v.)

see under hog n.

belt out (v.)

1. (Aus.) to create, to gain, to make.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 27 Oct. 10/3: [H]e considers his method of belting out a living as honorable as that of Judkins, Dill Macky or any other strife-creator.

2. (orig. Aus., also belt) to sing lustily; to broadcast or proclaim noisily.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 17 Sept. 34/2: At more than half the patriotic concerts in Australia the National Anthem, ‘Britons Never Shall be Slaves,’ ‘Advance Australia Fair,’ and so on, are belted out of pianos made at Blooduntgutsburg, while the audience waves its imported and anti-British hat enthusiastically.
[US]Sat. Rev. (US) 12 Dec. 55: Standing there in the dim haze [...] belting out the sophisticated sweetness of Porter’s ‘Get Out of Town’.
[UK]F. Norman Guntz 138: All of which [i.e. TV channels] never leave off belting out programmes round the clock.
[UK]F. Norman Dead Butler Caper 101: She was up on stage beltin’ out the latest ’it, an Al Jolson number.
[US](con. 1966) P. Conroy Lords of Discipline 28: I’m listening to fat broads belting out dago songs.
[UK]N. Cohn Yes We have No 280: The Tom Jones wannabe in the karaoke pub [...] is belting out ‘Delilah’.
[UK]C. McPherson Port Authority 1: They’d have to belt something easy out like Anarchy in the UK.
N. Knight ‘Not Even a Mouse’ in ThugLit Nov.-Dec. [ebook] For weeks, he’d belted that they were broke.

3. (US) to eat heartily.

[US]D. Runyon ‘The Big Umbrella’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 557: Jonas thinks he really is belting out these porter-houses.

4. (US) to knock down, to destroy.

[US]Berrey & Van den Bark Amer. Thes. Sl.
[US]B. Schulberg Harder They Fall (1971) 89: An old master chased around the ring, easy to hit [...] finally belted out.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 26/1: Belt out. 1. To arrest; to convict; to commit to prison. 2. To knock unconscious.
[US]J. Breslin World of Jimmy Breslin (1968) 35: Marvin the Torch’s favor job [...] had also belted out most of a million-and-a-half-dollar amusement park.
[US]C. Bukowski Erections, Ejaculations etc. 306: If you come on me a THIRD TIME, I promise you this – I’m going to belt you out.

5. (US) to murder.

J. Breslin [synd. col.] 11 Mar. These kids from Brooklyn who belted people out casually and were called Murder Inc.
[US]R. Sylvester Guilty Bystander 242: I belted them both out [...] I found one and then I tracked down the other [HDAS].

6. see sense 1 above.

belt the bottle (v.)

(orig. US) to drink heavily.

[US]D. Runyon ‘Lillian’ Runyon on Broadway (1954) 281: I get to belting that old black bottle around.
Valley Times (N. Hollywood, CA) 3 Mar. 20/3: Unlike many of his fellow senators who belted the bottle in private and voted for temperance in public.
[US]Tennessean (Nashville, TN) 12 Nov. 10E/7: Until he gave up the grape [...] Tommy [Dorsey] belted the bottle as well as he belted his trombone.
belt the grape (v.)

to drink heavily.

[US]D. Runyon ‘Social Error’ Runyon on Broadway (1954) 455: Handsome Jack takes to belting the old grape.
[US]‘Bill O. Lading’ You Chirped a Chinful!! n.p.: Belting the Grape; Elbow calishthenics or imbibing joy-water.
[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS.
[US]Valley Times (N. Hollywood, CA) 24 Jan. 36/3: Actors who have no great desire or reputation for belting the grape.
[US]Longview News-Jrnl (TX) 3 Dec. 4/4: He blamed it on the bubbly and advised others not to fall into a similar trap by belting the old grape.
belt up (v.)

see sense 1 above.