Green’s Dictionary of Slang

across lots phr.

also cross lots
[SE lot, a piece of land set aside for building or for cultivation or pasturage]

1. (US) via a short cut.

[US]J. Neal Brother Jonathan I 138: They could push on, a pooty tedious, clever bit furder, cross lots.
[US]Western Scenes in Schele De Vere (1872) n.p.: He went across-lots, maul and wedges, and we never seen nor hearn of him sence.
J.R. Lowell ‘The Two Gunners’ Poetical Works (1876) 164: Joe looked roun’ And see (across lots in a pond) [...] A goose that on the water sot Ez ef awaitin’ to be shot.
[US]H.B. Stowe Oldtown Folks 66: Why, I came cross lots from Aunt Bathsheba Sawin’s, [...] and I got caught in those pesky black-berry bushes in the graveyard.
[US]‘Mark Twain’ Roughing It 182: He made a straight cut across lots, preferring fences and ditches to a crooked road.
[US] ‘Mark Twain’ & C. Warner Gilded Age 154: The cross-lots path she traversed to the Seminary.
[US]Wahpeton Times (Dakota, ND) 29 June 2/5: The sisters put on their sun-bonnets and went ‘cross-lots’ through the fields.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ John Henry 78: He tried to get ‘Janice Meredith’ but Frank McKee cut across lots and headed him off.
[US]E. Hubbard Love, Life and Work [Internet] We want friends, so we scheme and chase ’cross lots after strong people, and lie in wait for good folks.
[US]Omaha Dly Bee (NE) 22 Feb. n.p.: If your pleasure is ‘makin’s’ then you beat it cross lots while your shoes are good and stock up with P.A.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ You Should Worry cap. 6: All I can see is Theodore, the colored gardener, walking across lots with a sack of flour on his back!
[US]Jackson & Hellyer Vocab. Criminal Sl. 27: cross lots [...] Cross-country; away from frequented routes of traffic.
[US]Bridgeport Times (CT) 13 May 11/5: He made his way cross-lots to gain his rest the sooner.
[US](con. 1910s) J. Thompson Heed the Thunder (1994) 174: Myrtle Courtland saw him coming across lots.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 62: cross lots To walk across country.
[UK]K. Bonfiglioli Don’t Point That Thing at Me (1991) 105: Go that way right across lots [...] Follow the bones when you come to them.

2. accelerated, using fig. short cuts.

[US]J.R. Lowell Biglow Papers 2nd series (1880) 69: All the mos’ across-lot ways o’ preachin’ an’ convartin’.
[US]J.A. Riis Battle with the Slum 158: They did reach it [i.e. a problem], by a cut ’cross lots as it were, by putting the whole thing on a neighborly basis.

In phrases

go to hell across lots [i.e. go with speed]

(US) a general expression of dismissal or rejection; often as an excl.

[US]B. Young Jrnl Discourses I 83: I took my large bowie knife [...] and cut one of their throats from ear to ear, saying ‘Go to hell across lots’ .
[US]B. Young speech in Jrnl Discourses V (1858) 78/1: I swore in Nauvoo, when my enemies were looking me in the face, that I would send them to hell across lots if they meddled with me .
[US]T. Winthrop John Brent (1876) 195: You may go to the devil across lots, on that runt pony of yourn, with your new friends, for all I care.
[US]Sunbury American (PA) 25 Nov. 2/2: I always pray for my enemies, I pray that they may go to Hell across lots.
[US]Witchita Dly Eagle (KS) 7 Sept. 5/1: All his supporters said, four years ago, that we were going to hell across lots.
Eve. Times-Republican (Marshalltown, IA) 24 Apr. 4/3: It’s the idle who go to hell across lots.
Dly Capital Jrnl (Salem, OK) 28 Dec. 4/1In an article [...] under the caption: ‘Going to Hell Across Lots’ Mr A Veazie discusses or ‘cusses’ the liquor problem: .
W. Stegner Mormon Country 211: Isaac in his sermons grew solemner, and surer in his mind that the Gentiles were going to hell across lots.