Green’s Dictionary of Slang

good adj.1

1. [late 16C; late 19C+] solvent, able to pay for or lend; usu. as good for.

2. [early 19C] (UK Und.) of a place or person, able to be robbed easily; thus good upon the crack, easily broken into.

3. [late 19C+] able to sustain a given situation.

In phrases

do good (v.)

[1970s] (US Und.) to make substantial amounts of money through crime.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

good buddy (n.) [buddy n. (2)]

1. [1940s+] used as a term of address, esp as the popular form of address among users of Citizen’s Band radios.

2. [1950s+] a CB radio user.

3. [1980s+] (US) a homosexual.

good-cut (n.)

[1950s] (US) high-quality marijuana.

good-doer (n.) [a play on do-gooder]

[1910s+] a smart person, who ‘knows a thing or two’; thus good-doing, smart, knowledgeable.

good eating (n.) [the image is of food; the sexual use of eat is coincidental]

[1920s+] (Aus.) an attractive young woman.

good egg (n.)

see separate entry.

goodfella(s) (n.) [ety. unknown; ? link to the film Goodfellas (1990)]

[1980s+] (drugs) fentanyl.

good gal (n.)

[1930s] (US) a girlfriend.

good giggles (n.) [its effect]

[1970s] (drugs) marijuana.

good girl (n.) (also good one) [ironic + she is good for sex]

[17C–18C] a prostitute, a wanton.

good go (n.) [go n.1 (1)]

1. [1930s] (US prison) anything seen as admirable, useful, easy etc.

2. [1950s–70s] (drugs) the right amount of drugs for the money paid.

good guts (n.) [gut n. (2e)]

[1910s+] (Aus.) the facts, the essential information.

good guy (n.)

[1920s+] a friendly individual, male or female, esp. if on one’s side; often in pl. as one of the good guys.

good hair (n.) [good because such white-styled hair was considered superior or more acceptable]

[1930s+] (US black) soft, wavy hair, as opposed to tighter black-style curls; ext. to an attractive body.

good head (n.)

[1920s–70s] (orig. US Und.) a trustworthy, admirable person.

good ink (n.) [? journalistic imagery]

[1910s+] (Aus./N.Z.) something agreeable, pleasant; usu. in phr. that’s good ink.

good iron (adj.)

(Aus.) admirable, trustworthy; desirable; also as n. (cf. good iron! ).

good leave (n.) [? cricketing imagery]

[2000s] (N.Z.) a wise or sensible action.

good-looker (n.)

[late 19C+] (orig. US) an attractive person, usu. a woman.

good man (n.)

1. [early 17C–early 19C] a boon companion, a roisterer; an admirable person, defined according to context.

2. [18C] a gaoler.

good news (n.)

[1970s+] a general term of approval, whether of people, things or events.

good oil (n.) [oil n. (2c)]

[1910s+] (Aus.) the honest truth, true facts.

good one (n.)

see separate entry.

good shit (n.)

see separate entries.

good stuff (n.) [stuff n. (5b)]

1. [early 19C; 1960s] hard liquor.

2. [1960s+] (US drugs, also bad stuff) effective, high-quality, pleasant drugs.

3. [1970s–80s] (US black) sexual sophistication.

4. [1980s] success in a confidence trick, in deception.

good thing (n.)

see separate entry.

good time (n.)

see separate entries.

good-time Charlie/Jane

see separate entries.

good ’un (n.)

see separate entry.

good woman (n.) (also quiet woman, silent...) [the implication is that her ‘goodness’ stems from the fact that bereft of a head she cannot scold. A similar sign depicts an honest lawyer, the absence of his head deprives him of the ability to lie]

[late 18C–mid-19C] a common public house sign representing a woman without a head.

goodyear (n.)

see separate entries.

In phrases

all good (adj.) [ext. of SE use]

1. [1990s+] (US black teen) fine, great.

2. indifferent [ext. of sense 1 to suggest rote agreement rather than actual enthusiasm].

as good as you would desire to piss (up)on (adj.) (also as honest as you would desire to piss upon)

[late 17C–early 19C] excellent, first-rate.

get good (to someone) (v.)

[1990s+] (US black) to be carried away by one’s enthusiasms while performing a task.

get in good (with) (v.) (also be/keep in good (with))

[20C+] (US) to find favour with.

good a piece as ever strode a pot (n.) [a woman ‘bestrides’ a chamberpot to urinate]

[19C] a phr. used of an admirable woman, as good as one might find.

good-looking pictures (n.)

[late 18C] (UK Und.) coins bearing the monarch’s head.

goodman turd (n.) (also goodman fool) [good man + turd n.]

[late 16C–early 17C] a derog. description of another person .


see separate entry.

good on the fang (adj.)

[1940s+] (Aus.) a phr. used of one known as an enthusiastic eater.

good on/upon the star (adj.) (also good on/upon the crack) [the ‘starring’ of the window when one breaks the glass]

[early–mid-19C] (UK Und.) easy to break into, usu. of a window.

good to go (adj.) [go v. (1b)]

1. [mid-19C; 1990s+] (US black teen) sexually available; usu. said by men when referring to a woman they presume they would be able to have sex with, e.g. babe’s good to go.

2. [1990s+] (US black teen) used as a positive reply to ‘how are you?’.

3. (US) set to succeed .

good voice to beg bacon (n.) (also bien squawl to maund bacon) [bene adj. + squall n.2 + maund v.]

[late 17C–early 19C] a very unmelodious singing voice and therefore good only for begging.

In exclamations

good deal!

[1940s+] (US) an expression of approval or congratulation, well done! that’s wonderful!

good egg!

see separate entry.

good future!

[1980s+] (US campus) a sarcastic response to the speaker’s announcement of some form of menial employment, i.e. what a good job! aren’t you lucky!

good gravy!

[mid-19C+] (US/Aus.) a mild expletive.

good grief! (also great grief! spare my grief!) [dial.]

[20C+] a general excl. of surprise and/or dismay.

good iron! [quoits jargon good iron, a good throw] (Aus.)

[mid-19C–1900s] a general excl. of approval, congratulations (cf. good iron ).


see separate entry.

good on you! [often seen as Aus., the term is now equally common in UK and Ireland. Share suggests that the origin lies in Irish rinne sé mhaith orm, lit. ‘he made/did his good on me’]

[20C+] (Aus./Irish) a general expression of approbation, thanks etc; also abbr. to good.