Green’s Dictionary of Slang

puss n.2

[Irish pus, the mouth, a sulky expression]

1. the mouth.

[US]J. Maitland Amer. Dict. Sl. 213: Puss (P[rize] R[ing]), the mouth.
[US]F. Hutchison Philosophy of Johnny the Gent 30: The copper hit him a rap in the puss.
[US]G. Bronson-Howard God’s Man 377: I’ll give you a poke in the puss if You pull any more cracks like that.
[US](con. 1917) J. Stevens Mattock 232: Just one smack in the puss, and he’ll talk!
[US]H. Roth Call It Sleep (1977) 288: He ga’ me a smack onna puss, lousy bassid!
[UK]E. Cross Tailor and Ansty 42: Then they would dance to ‘puss-music’, music made by the mouth alone, without any instruments. [Ibid.] 50: What for? Why, for no reason at all beyond the exercising of his own ingenuity. Things like that were like daisies in a bull’s puss to him.
[Ire]B. Behan Scarperer (1966) 121: Get your puss buttoned up.
[US]D. Ponicsan Cinderella Liberty 20: I saw him with a pussful of paella.
[Ire]R. Doyle Snapper 179: An’ the little puss on his, yeh know.
[UK]J. Fagan Panopticon (2013) 89: D’ye want a smack in the pus?
[US]T. Robinson Rough Trade [ebook] Junior raised his hand up once more [...] Thankfully for Byron, it wasn’t lowered into his puss.

2. a face.

[UK]G. Bartram White-Headed Boy 40: Say I’m the besht man, or I’ll break your puss [EDD].
[US]C. Connors Bowery Life [ebook] if you don’t give me phat belongs to me [...] be the holy smoke, I’ll bate your dirty, yellow puss till there’s more wrinkles in it.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 5 Oct. 6/5: That first punch on the ‘puss’ did the trick.
[Ire]P.W. Joyce Eng. As We Speak It In Ireland (1979) 309: Puss; the mouth and lips [...] ‘He had a puss on him’, i.e. he looked sour or displeased with lips contracted.
[US]Morn. Tulsa Dly World (OK) 18 June 32/4: I bow out, wash the ochre off my puss.
[US]Hecht & MacArthur Front Page Act I: If you was worth breaking my fingernails on, I’d tear your puss wide open.
[US]N. Algren ‘So Help Me’ in Texas Stories (1995) 17: It began to gimme a pain just to look at that weasly-lookin’ puss.
[US]J. Evans Halo For Satan (1949) 43: You shoulda seen his puss when I tell him the Chevvy wasn’t the car I wanted.
[US]‘Ed Lacy’ Lead With Your Left (1958) 72: The powder on her puss seemed to accent the wrinkles.
[US]E. De Roo Big Rumble 109: You done a good thing. Them guys don’t know a good thing when they have it pushed in their pusses.
[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 77: One look at your guinea puss and [...] he’ll bolt like a rabbit.
[US]H. Gould Fort Apache, The Bronx 341: You had to keep comin’ around stickin’ your Irish puss where it didn’t belong.
[Scot]I. Welsh Trainspotting 85: Ah wis the cunt wi the fuckin pool cue in ma hand, n the plukey cunt could huv the fat end ay it in his pus if he wanted.
[Ire]P. O’Keeffe Down Cobbled Streets, A Liberties Childhood 120: So would you if ye were in the muck and slush ’f the market since sunrise and then have to face the sour pusses of you lot.
[US]J. Stahl I, Fatty 131: He [...] stuck that pretty puss of his right up to mine.
[Scot](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 23: All I get here [...] is gloom, despair and greeting puses.
[US]T. Robinson Hard Bounce [ebook] [A] huge grin on his puss.
[Scot]I. Welsh Dead Man’s Trousers 67: Whin ye stat the John Grieg, ye pit oan that coupon, that sad, baleful pus.
[US]D. Winslow ‘Crime 101’ in Broken 76: ‘[G]et that smirk off your puss’.

3. (Irish) a sulky look; also as v., to pout or sulk; thus have a puss on

[US]L. Pound ‘A Second Word-List From Nebraska’ in DN III:vii 546: puss, v. To pout or sulk. ‘He’s pussing about what we said.’.
[Ire]S. O’Casey Plough and the Stars Act II: You louse, you! If I were a man, or you were a woman, I’d bate the puss o’ you.
[US]H. Miller Sexus (1969) 73: ‘Because I’m a half-wit,’ he would say, making a sour puss.
[Ire]P. O’Farrell Tell me, Sean O’Farrell 21: ‘Where are you fellows going, without paying for your drinks,’ she called and she with a puss on her.
[Ire]G. Coughlan Everyday Eng. and Sl. 🌐 Puss (n): face, usually sulky.
[Ire]L. McInerney Rules of Revelation 296: ‘Did you just not like my mam?’ The offended puss on him.

In derivatives

pussful (n.)

(US) a sufficiency, esp. of drink.

[US]D. Ponicsan Cinderella Liberty 97: Come liberty call go get your pussful in the dark and loud places all you boys go to.

In phrases

have a puss on (v.)

to display a sulky or ill-humoured face.

[UK]S. Murphy Stone Mad (1966) 56: Tis often I noticed the puss they have on of a Monday.
[US]E. Hunter ‘Vicious Circle’ in Jungle Kids (1967) 29: You look lousy when you’ve got a puss on.
[Ire]R. Doyle Van (1998) 397: But then you put this puss on yeh – it’s not my fault we’ve no fuckin’ money for you fuckin’ Christmas cards.
[Ire](con. 1970) Gina Moxley Danti-Dan in McGuinness Dazzling Dark (1996) II ii: Christ Almighty, this place is gone mental altogether. Everyone has a puss on them over something.
shut one’s puss (v.)

(US) to be quiet, to stop talking; also as imper.

[US]‘Hal Ellson’ Tomboy (1952) 99: Shut your goddam puss!