Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bone n.1

1. resemblance in shape and/or colour.

(a) [mid-17C+] the penis.

(b) [late 19C] a thin man.

(c) [1910s+] (US black) a thin woman.

(d) [20C+] (also bone-on) the erect penis.

(e) [1960s] the figurative bone that makes a penis erect and potent.

(f) [1970s+] (US drugs) a cannabis cigarette.

(g) [1990s+] (US black/drugs) a cigarette rolled with a mix of tobacco and crack cocaine.

(h) [1990s+] (US black/prison) a cigarette.

(i) [1990s+] (US drugs) (a $50 piece of) crack cocaine.

2. made of bone.

(a) [mid-19C] a gambling chip; usu. in pl.

(b) [late 19C+] a domino, usu. in pl.; see also bones n.1 (7)

(c) see bones n.1 (1)

In compounds

bone-ache (n.)

1. [1980s] (W.I.) an erection.

2. see also SE compounds below.

bone dance (n.)

see separate entry.

bone-eater (n.) [eat v. (4)]

[2000s] (US black) a male homosexual.

bone hog (n.) [SE hog]

[1990s+] (US) a dedicated and enthusiastic fellatrix.

bone-in-a-valley (n.) [sense 2]

[1950s+] (W.I.) a thin person.

bone-on (n.)

see sense 1d above.

bone phone (n.) (also bonaphone)

[20C+] (US) the penis.

bone queen (n.) [-queen sfx]

[1970s+] (US gay) a fellator.

bone-riding (n.) [ride v.]

[2000s] having sexual intercourse, whether vaginal or anal.

bone smuggler (n.) [the ‘smuggling’ is into the anus]

[1990s+] a male homosexual, esp. one who dresses in female clothes; a drag queen n. (1)

bone stroker (n.) [1990s+]

a masturbator.

In phrases

bite the bone (v.) [? fig. use of sense 1 above]

[1970s+] (US teen) to be disgusting, unpleasant, second-rate.

bone down (v.)

[20C+] (US) to have sexual intercourse.

bone up (v.)

[2000s] of the penis, to become erect.

buck the bone (v.)

[1990s+] to masturbate.

bury one’s bone (v.) (also bury one’s beef)

[1970s+] (US black) of a man, to have sexual intercourse.

bury one’s bone in the backyard (v.)

[1990s+] to sodomize.

get one’s bone on (v.)

[2000s] (US) to get an erection.

give someone a bone (v.)

[1990s+] of a man, to have sexual intercourse.

give the dog a bone (v.)

[1980s+] to have sexual intercourse.

gnaw the bone (v.)

[1990s+] to perform fellatio.

knuckle the bone (v.)

[1990s+] to masturbate.

put the bone to (v.)

[2000s] to have sexual intercourse.

smoke someone’s bone (v.)

[2000s] (US) to fellate.

throw a bone (to) (v.)

[2000s] of a man, to have sexual intercourse.

SE in slang uses

In derivatives

boned (adj.)

see separate entry.

In compounds

bone-ache (n.) (also bone-ague) [the side-effects of syphilis]

1. [16C–mid-17C] venereal disease.

2. see also sl. compounds above.

bone-baster (n.) [SE bone + SE baste]

[late 16C–mid-17C] a cudgel.

bone-bender (n.) (also bone-breaker, bone-butcher, bone-carpenter, bone-chiseller)

1. [late 19C+] (US) a surgeon.

2. see bonecrusher n. (2)

bone box (n.)

see separate entry.

bone-breaker (n.)

1. [mid-19C] (Anglo-Ind.) a powerful hunting rifle.

2. [late 19C–1910s] fever, ague [the aches it induces in the bones].

bone cart (n.)

[1910s] (Aus.) an ambulance.

bone-cleaner (n.) [SE bones, objects made of ivory + cleaner]

[late 19C–1900s] a domestic servant.

bone crusher (n.)

see separate entry.

bone-dome (n.)

1. [1930s+] a protective helmet, initially for fliers, latterly [1950s+] motorcyclists and [1980s+] cyclists.

2. a bald person.

bone factory (n.)

1. [1950s] (US Und.) a hospital.

2. [2000s] (US) an old people’s home.

3. see bone-house

4. see bone orchard

bone-grubber (n.) (also bone-hunter) [SE grubber]

[mid-19C] a scavenger who specializes in collecting old bones and selling them to rag-shops or to the bone-grinders; thus bone-grubbing n.


see separate entries.

bone-hider (n.)

[late 19C] (Aus.) an undertaker.

bone-house (n.)

1. [late 18C–19C] a coffin.

2. [late 18C–mid-19C] (also bone factory) a house or vault in which the bones of the dead are piled up, a charnel-house.

3. [19C] the human body.

4. [1940s] (US Und.) a hospital.

bone-juggler (n.)

[20C] (orig. US) a doctor.

bone-licker (n.)

[early 19C] a valet.

bone-melter (n.)

[late 19C] (Aus.) brandy.

bone orchard (n.) (also bone factory, bone pile)

[mid-19C+] (US) a cemetery.

bone-picker (n.)

1. [late 18C–mid-19C] a footman [the poor standard of the meals, often based on leftovers, given to servants].

2. [early 19C–1900s] a scavenger, a rag and bone man; thus bone-picking, scavenging; also attrib.

3. [mid-19C] a female servant.

bone-polisher (n.)

1. [early–mid-19C] a footman; any servant [ the ‘bones’ or ivory objects that require cleaning].

2. [mid-19C] the cat-o’-nine-tails or the man who wields it [the ‘polishing’ of the malefactor’s bones].

3. [1920s–30s] (US tramp) a (vicious) dog [the bones are those of animals, or of the victims the dog attacks].

bone-setter (n.) [SE bone-setter, a surgeon]

1. [early 17C] a brothel bully, a male bawd .

2. [early–mid-17C] an impassioned lover [he crushes his partner’s bones in his passionate embrace].

3. [mid-18C–early 19C] a horse that gives its rider an uncomfortable journey .

4. [early 19C] (US) in fig. use, a surprise, i.e. a jolt.

5. [early–mid-19C] a hackney coach.

bone-shaker (n.)

1. [late 19C+] an early model of bicycle, with solid rather than rubber tyres; thus later use implies any old or run-down bicycle.

2. [20C+] a decrepit motor vehicle with, inter alia, inadequate springs, thus jolting its passengers.

boneshop (n.)

1. the human body.

2. [late 19C–1900s] the workhouse [the paucity of the provisions].

bonetop (n.) [top n. (3)]

[1910s] (US) a fool, a dullard.

boneyard (n.)

see separate entry.

In phrases

bag of bones (n.)

see separate entry.

flag a bone (v.) (also flag the bone, flip a/the bone, ...finger, give a/the bone, shoot a/the bone) [the SE bones inside the finger]

[1960s+] (US) to make a gesture of contempt by raising the middle finger.

four bones (n.)

[early 19C+] (Irish) the human body; thus oneself.

keep the bone green (v.) [20C+] (Ulster)

to postpone settling an argument.

make one’s bones (v.)

1. [1950s+] (US Und.) to arrange and carry out one’s first contracted murder.

2. [1970s+] to achieve a successful course or action, in one’s profession or work.

on bone

[2000s] (US prison) out of favour among fellow prisoners after committing some form of mistake in terms of inmate standards.

pick the bones out of that

[1930s+] a phr. of dismissal, retaliation, challenge, now see what you can do with that.

polish a bone (v.)

[late 18C–early 19C] to eat a meal.

put a bone in someone’s hood (v.) [ext. of SE phr. put a bone in someone’s hood, to break or cut off someone’s head]

[mid–late 16C] to cuckold someone.

put one’s bones up (v.) (also put up one’s forks) [abbr. SE knuckle-bones/fork n.1 (3)]

[late 19C] to get ready to fight.

to the bone (adv.)

[1910s+] (orig. US black) to the extreme, to the ultimate extent, usu. in combs.

In exclamations

give it a bone! [the silencing of a dog by giving it a bone; 20C+ use mainly N.Z.]

[late 19C+] shut up! stop talking!