Green’s Dictionary of Slang

lily n.

also lil, lilly

1. the symbolic purity or innocence of the flower.

(a) (US) anything or anyone remarkable or particularly outstanding.

[UK]Paul Pry 12 Feb. n.p.: Mr. L—y to keep his temper. He was anything but a lilly at the Bunch of Grapes, in Milk street, on Monday last.
[US]Ade Stories of the Street and of the Town (1941) 249: The head was a lily.
[US]Ade ‘Hickey Boy & the Grip’ In Babel 110: I felt like I’d been run over by an ice-wagon three or four times [...] an the head was a lily. No eyes at all. Just a couple o’ poached eggs, that’s all.
[US]N.Y. Tribune 24 Jan. 29/1: She was something of a lily in her partic’lar line.
[US]D. Hammett ‘Who Killed Bob Teal?’ Nightmare Town (2001) 269: ‘What do think of all that?’ [...] ‘She’s a lil, huh?’ He grinned.
[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 40: D’ye get the doll tryin’ to give him the eye? Ain’t she a lil?
[US]D. Runyon ‘The Big Umbrella’ Runyon on Broadway (1954) 549: A right-hand shot that is positively a lily.
[NZ]D. Ballantyne Cunninghams (1986) 166: It’s Betty that can’t hold the liquor, isn’t it? She’s a real lily of a hophead.
[US](con. 1948) G. Mandel Flee the Angry Strangers 66: You ain’t no lily.

(b) (US Und.) a gullible person.

[US]H. Green Maison De Shine 15: Fine for the lilies! I got her now.
[US]Hostetter & Beesley It’s a Racket 231: lily – An easy victim; exceptionally gullible person.
[US]Sun (N.Y.) 19 Feb. 28/1: The sucker has many names among the crooks. ‘Lily,’ ‘mug,’ ‘pushover,’ and ‘mooch’ are the most common.
[US]‘F. Bonnamy’ A Rope of Sand (1947) 48: The guy couldn’t take it. How’d I know he was a lily?
[US]M. Millar Vanish in an Instant (2016) 58: ‘That stinking lily [...] I ought to poke him’.
[Aus]P. White Solid Mandala (1976) 181: A big, porous, trembly lily, he was terrified for the fate of the dogs.

(c) (US) a virgin.

[US]E. Dahlberg Bottom Dogs 264: She sure was one peach of a lily.
[US]J. Lait Gangster Girl 81: You saw me first with Silk Freeman, so I guess you know I’m no lilly.

2. a livid bruise.

[US](con. 1914–18) L. Naon Top Kick 29: You’re tired and all that, but don’t blackguard this outfit or I’ll hang a lily on your nose myself!

3. the whiteness of some varieties of the flower.

(a) (US) usu. in pl., a white person’s hands; thus lily-presser, a handshaker.

[US] ‘Jargon of the Und.’ in DN V 454: Lilies, The hands. ‘I butchered wood all day and dug the splinters out of me lilies fer a week after.’.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 145: lillies The female hands.
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 807: lillies – The hands.

(b) (US black) a white person [SE lilywhite. Note 14C SE lily, a person or thing of exceptional whiteness, fairness or purity].

[[UK]G.A. Sala Strange Adventures of Captain Dangerous 157: She was a bitter woman when vexed, and called me ‘beggar buckra,’ ‘poor white trash,’ ‘tam lily thief,’ and the like].
[Ire]Ragni & Rado Hair [lyrics] My Mother Call ’Em Lilies.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 60: The single most descriptive attribute young blacks focus on in their labeling of whites is color – or the lack of it – such as [...] lily, pale face, rabbit.

4. the implicit ‘femininity’ of flowers.

(a) a derog. term for an effeminate man or a homosexual, esp. one who fears to reveal his sex life; also used by homosexuals.

G. Saintsbury Second Scrap Bk v 39: But in order once more to consider and console that lily, the Educational Expert, let us turn to ‘grind’.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Judgement Day in Studs Lonigan (1936) 772: He [...] couldn’t get over what that lily of a poet had been springing on the dame.
[US]G. Legman ‘Lang. of Homosexuality’ Appendix VII in Henry Sex Variants.
[US]H. Sebold Adolescence 254: He found out that in their argot a ‘lily’ meant a homosexual.

(b) the queen in cards.

[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks n.p.: Lilly, a queen (playing cards).

(c) (camp gay) a proper name used for a variety of camp nicknames.

[US]Maledicta IV:2 (Winter) 229: Other old names [for homosexual men] are Flo(rence), Lily, Fanny, Alice.
[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak 93: Lily – a male homosexual.

5. (US) a penis, usu. with ref. to urination or masturbation.

[US] Transcript Dunn Inq. in L.R. Murphy Perverts by Official Order (1989) 81: He asked me how my lily was.
[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 123: A hermit who lived on St Roque / Had a lily perfected to poke.
[US](con. 1940s) E. Thompson Tattoo (1977) 242: Raise up a little, pud, you’re bending my lily.

6. (US black) the vagina, esp. when loose.

[US]Ebonics Primer at [Internet] lily Definition: 1. A nasty pussy 2. saggy because of over use Example: Damn. How am I sposed to screw dat nasty lily?

7. see lily law n.

8. see lilywhite n. (2)

9. see lilywhite n. (6)

In compounds

In phrases

drain one’s/the lily (v.)

to urinate.

[US] in Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) II 728: You can powder your nose, or ‘the johnny’ will pass, / It’s a drain for the lily, or man about a dog.
[US](con. 1946) G. Pelecanos Big Blowdown (1999) 95: I just pulled over to drain my lily.
shake the dew off one’s/the lily (v.) (also knock the dew off the lily, shake the dew off one’s wienie)

to urinate.

[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]E. Thompson Garden of Sand (1981) 265: Jack shook the dew off his wienie and zipped it back into his rumpled slacks.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 122: knock the dew off the lily to shake the last few drops of urine from the penis after relieving oneself.
[US](con. 1940s) E. Thompson Tattoo (1977) 75: Glen hitched up his Levi’s and said, ‘Think I’ll shake a little dew off the lily then’.
[US]LaBarge & Holt Sweetwater Gunslinger 201 (1990) 63: Come on, Sundance. Go shake the dew off your lily.
[UK]J. Baker Walking With Ghosts (2000) 61: ‘I just have to shake the dew from my lily.’ He made his way [...] to the lavatory.
D.M. Riley Blurry and Disconnected 118: Going to shake the dew off the lily, huh?
[US]D. Swierzynski Point and Shoot Hardie goes to shake the dew off his lily one last time.
wave the lily (v.)

(US) of an exhibitionist, to expose and wave one’s penis.

[US]Western Folklore Jan. 49: According to San Francisco police, overt masturbation by exhibitionists is termed ‘waving the lily’.