Green’s Dictionary of Slang

number n.

1. of an individual or individuals.

(a) a person; often used of a young woman, usu. in a sexual context; esp. as hot number

[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 26 Feb. 1/4: Well, Benney, you're a nummer — you’re always in luck.
[US]A. Garcia Tough Trip Through Paradise (1977) 34: Reynolds, La Brie and Shinnick are bad numbers. I don’t trust them.
[US]E. Milton To Kiss the Crocodile 220: Yes, you’re more his number, Loulou.
[US]R.E. Sherwood Idiot’s Delight 22: bebe is a hard, harsh little number who shimmies.
[US]N. Davis Rendezvous with Fear 38: A little fat number called Doan.
[US]‘Hal Ellson’ Tomboy (1952) 164: I’ll take the number in the green sweater.
[UK]B. Naughton Alfie II i: You’re a soft number, mate.
[US]W. Burk Thief 386: Here comes Helen with this tall, red-haired number.
[Ire]S. McAughtry Belfast 111: Two numbers came sallymandering along [...] bold and pretty.
[UK]K. Lette Foetal Attraction (1994) 57: Fancy a bit of rumpity humpity with that little number.
A. Kleinzahler Cutty, One Rock (2005) 16: How old could that little blond number be over there with those two hoods?

(b) a person, in a non-sexual context.

[US]R. Chandler Little Sister 47: He’s a little squatty number.
[UK]C. MacInnes Absolute Beginners 23: This crazy latin American number was lumbering all over the furniture.
[US]A. Rodriguez Spidertown (1994) 91: ‘Rico?’ ‘Tall guy? Used to run the place on Brook? A good number, man. Dependable.’.
[US]C. Goffard Snitch Jacket 56: You’re a dangerous character [...] A nasty little number right out of Central Casting.

(c) (US gay) a potential or actual partner for casual sex, picked up from the street, bar or baths.

[US]J. Rechy City of Night 188: Look at that number near me, hes been staring a hole through me.
[US]L. Kramer Faggots 40: He showed me where he strings up a number, on his gallows, erected right there, in his own apartment.
[UK]Flame : a Life on the Game 109: A big, butch number was sitting opposite me.
[US]Gaymart.com Queer Sl. in the Gay 90s [Internet] Number – A trick; a casual sex partner.
[SA]K. Cage Gayle 85/2: number n. person with whom one is involved/sleeping with, someone to whom one is attracted, generally indicating a transient relationship (That’s a cute number with Jack tonight).

(d) (US) a romantically involved couple.

[US]H. Crews Feast of Snakes 5: Her sister and Jon Lon had been a number.
[UK]J. Hawes Dead Long Enough 112: She had not yet quite written off the possibility that they, she and Harry, might still in some way be some kind of a number.

2. an item of clothing, e.g. a dainty pink number.

[Ire]Somerville & ‘Ross’ Real Charlotte I 22: The shop windows... had progressed... to straw hats, tennis shoes, and coloured Summer Numbers.
[US]J.T. Farrell World I Never Made 191: Let me show you some of our numbers.
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 21 Feb. [synd. col.] Jane Pickens Waldorfing in a little number with diamond shoulder straps.
[UK]A. Baron Lowlife (2001) 150: A sixty-guinea Dior number.
[UK]F. Taylor Auf Wiedersehen Pet Two 269: Vicki came in, clad elegantly in a flimsy black number.
[UK]K. Lette Llama Parlour 187: I would’ve dressed for the occasion too. Something that goes with the colour of puke. A little beige number, I think, with flecks of orange.
[UK]Guardian Sport 26 Mar. 12: The order clearly stated that the hair-pieces should be skinhead style and sending over a few hundred leftover Ruud Gullit numbers [...] was not what I had in mind.

3. in fig./abstract senses.

(a) in general, a thing, place or situation, defined by context.

[US]A.H. Lewis Boss 205: He tells me my light’s goin’ to flicker out inside a year. That’s a nice number to hand a man!
[Ire]‘Flann O’Brien’ At Swim-Two-Birds 179: That’s the number, said Slug, plenty of moss.
[UK]W. Hall Long and the Short and the Tall Act I: It’s going to be a dodgy number as it is.
[US]P. Thomas Down These Mean Streets (1970) 253: God, if you’re up there, I don’t dig this number.
[US]C. McFadden Serial 19: Why didn’t they just leave the whole number up to Pierre?
[UK]Guardian Sport 18 Sept. 16: Looks a handsome little number.
[US]N. Green Shooting Dr. Jack (2002) 192: She reached out and took the hundred, even though she knew that it was a bad number for her.

(b) a scene or performance in a fig. sense, a display of excessive emotion.

[US]Eve. Star (Wash., DC) 11 Sept. 20/3: ’Aw, can that boohooin’ number, son’tchuh?’ he says to his wife , who’s dabbing away at her wicks.
[US]‘Hy Lit’ Hy Lit’s Unbelievable Dict. of Hip Words 12: do a number – To get mad; make a scene; to tell somebody off; blow your cool.
[US]D. Mamet Sexual Perversity in Chicago (1994) 49: She does this number about how she forgot her purse up in her room.
[US]N. Pileggi Wiseguy (2001) 178: Stacks Edwards [...] starts doing his ‘black dude’ number.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 332: This deep freeze number is driving me crazy.
[US](con. 1964–8) J. Ellroy Cold Six Thousand 251: I’m having a crisis of faith here, I’m doing this revisionist number.

(c) a job or task; esp. in phr. cushy (little) number, an easy job.

[US]J. Lait ‘Charlie the Wolf’ in Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 64: Back goes the big lummox to get a new number.
[UK](con. 1940s) J. Wolveridge Ain’t it Grand 77: He didn’t just give Bert a rollicking, he fired him, and I lost my cushy number.
[UK](con. 1950s–60s) in G. Tremlett Little Legs 160: I got another nice little number, handling snatch-backs.
[UK]J. Cameron Vinnie Got Blown Away 30: Got exams at school, did computers then got her number at BA. [Ibid.] 47: Got a nice little number.

(d) belief, commitment.

[US]D. Hammett ‘This King Business’ Story Omnibus (1966) 121: He had plenty of will-power, I imagined, but I didn’t put a big number on that.

(e) (US black) a jail sentence, a life sentence.

[US]R. Whitfield Green Ice (1988) 31: I’ve had a number. I’ve got a record. Manslaughter.
[US]Hughes & Bontemps Book of Negro Folklore 355: Here I is, bowed down in shame, / I got a number instead of a name / Here for de res’ of my nachul life, / An’ all I ever done is kill my wife ...

(a) one’s house [a number on a door].

[US]Ade Girl Proposition 110: She considered it a great honor to have some melancholy Person with an unusual kind of Hair come up to their Number and eat about $2 worth of Chow.

5. a reputation.

[US]Mad mag. Oct. 46: In three pens he’s made a number for himself.

6. (drugs) a marijuana or hashish cigarette.

[UK]J.B. Williams Narcotics and Hallucinogens in Spears (1986).
[Aus]Lette & Carey Puberty Blues 115: Wayne went off to the parking lot with Danny and Gull to blow another number.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 171: A marijuana cigarette [...] number, toke, reefer, skoofer.
[US]R. Shell Iced 149: I had just rolled myself a night-cap number.
[US]G. Pelecanos Shame the Devil 104: Newton picked a rolled number out of his bag of dope.
[US]G. Pelecanos (con. 1972) What It Was 59: She produced a number and fired it up.

7. a style, a way of living, a pose, e.g. the ageing rocker number.

[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972) 140: number [...] Psychological game.
[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 117: He wanted to retire and get away from it all — you know, one of them numbers.
[US]O. Hawkins Chili 53: He’s always liked to argue. At least that was his number driving to Monterey.
[US]N. McCall Makes Me Wanna Holler (1995) 351: Those northern whites must’ve worked a mojo number on their minds.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Layer Cake 70: He’s bought himself this big house, the whole number, swimming pool, whirlpool, three-car garage.

In phrases

do a number (v.) (drugs)

1. to make and smoke a marijuana or hashish cigarette.

[US]J. Webb Fields of Fire (1980) 248: Hey man, wanna do a number?
wet1 posting at SciForums.com 21 Apr. [Internet] In my time I heard it refered to as ‘doing a number’, go figure...
M. Riley ‘Doing a Number’ on West Virginia Northern Community College [Internet] In my 30s, ‘doing a number’ meant sharing a ‘joint’, or marijuana cigarette, with one or more friends.

2. of cannabis, to take effect.

[US]H. Selby Jr Requiem for a Dream (1987) 34: This is some nice hash. Uh huh. Its really doin a number on my head.
do a number on (v.)

1. to make a fuss, to become emotional; to subject someone to emotional blackmail or at least some form of moral, friendship or ethical pressure.

[US]C. McFadden Serial 14: How to get even with Leonard for doing that absolutely unbelievable number on her [Ibid.] 27: If Kate was going to do a number like that on him, he’d take his daughter to dinner instead.

2. to harm.

[US]N.Y. Mag. 12 Dec. 42/1: During the blackout, they really did a number on us. They took all our drugs. They ripped out our storefront. [...] Three weeks later, we were burglarized again.
R.J. Randisi Full Contact 136: ‘What happened?’ ‘Somebody did a number on him, Jack — maybe like somebody tried to do on you’.
[US](con. 1954) ‘Jack Tunney’ Tomato Can Comeback [ebook] I hadn’t realised how nervous I’d been through the fight,. [...] It did a number on my stomach.

3. to manipulate emotionally, esp. through sexuality; to cheat, confuse or deceive someone.

AFL-CIO Biennial Convention (Alabama Labor Council) Proceedings 60: A governor who we had every reason to believe was supportive of the labor movement, did a number on us.
[UK]M. Amis London Fields 97: I’d say she really did a number on Guy Clinch. No half-measures there. It beats me how she keeps a straight face.
[US]P. Cornwell Body of Evidence (1992) 174: If he was, it’d probably be soprano after the number you done on him.
[UK]K. Sampson Powder 393: She’d told him what a big number she was doing on the band.
[US]Eminem ‘Kim’ [lyrics] You really fucked me Kim / You really did a number on me.
[NZ]C. Marriner Southern Style 7: Didn’t stop him doing a number on me, though. Smoother than a peeled onion, our Jock. [...] Still, it had to happen: every London virgin eventually gets fucked.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Viva La Madness 158: He’d [...] not told them the reason. Let their heads do a number on them.

4. to flirt, to entice someone with sexual behaviour.

[US]Spectator Winter 15: Her big baby blues were too busy doing a number on my bloodshot brown ones.
[US]‘Randy Everhard’ Tattoo of a Naked Lady 7: She was doing a number on a grape Popsicle to make your peter wish it was frozen on a stick.

5. to have sexual intercourse.

[US]A. Maupin Tales of the City (1984) 21: ‘He and me did a little number last month on his house boat in Sausalito.’ ‘A little number?’ ‘Fucked.’.
[US]N. Pileggi Wiseguy (2001) 93: We got a really great-looking hooker [...] She used to do numbers for Ralph Atlas’ clients.

6. to beat savagely.

[US]G.V. Higgins Cogan’s Trade (1975) 119: These two guys [...] hadda go out and do the number onna guy that runs a card game.
[US]L. Heinemann Close Quarters (1987) 20: I get about half a chance I’m gonna do a number square on his nappy fucken head.
personal correspondence 7 July: doing a number on his head can mean either repeated blows, kicks, etc to head, [...] doing a number on the ribs is more tightly tied to physical violence.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 304: Get your busted as down the bar [...] so’s I can see for myself the number this guy did on you.

7. (US) to get married.

[US]N. Heard House of Slammers 93: Me and the bitch gon’ do the number.

8. to break, to cause harm (other than through deliberate, person-to-person violence).

[UK]J. Mowry Way Past Cool 113: Done a total number of your cool jacket. Yo! Maybe Mom could sew it?
[UK]M. Collins Keepers of Truth 176: The dust does a number on my sinuses.

9. to hurt severely.

[US]Codella and Bennett Alphaville (2011) 11: The rib shot has done a number on him.
have someone’s number (v.) (also get someone’s number)(orig. US)

1. to understand another person absolutely, despite all their possible evasions and excuses.

[UK]Dickens Bleak House (1991) 775: Whenever a person proclaims to you ‘In worldly matters I’m a child’ you consider that that person is only a-crying off from being held accountable, and that you have got that person’s number, and it’s Number One.
[US]C. Sandburg ‘To a Contemporary Bunkshooter’ Chicago Poems 28: You don’t throw any scare into me. I’ve got your number. I know how much you know about Jesus.
[US]Ade Hand-made Fables 25: They felt that they had her Number.
[US]C. McKay Home to Harlem 14: Sweet Harlem! Harlem, I’ve got you’ number down.
[US]H. McCoy Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye in Four Novels (1983) 102: ‘She’s got your number,’ I said. ‘She says you’re a worrier.’.
[UK]G. Kersh Fowlers End (2001) 53: I had his number—Costas didn’t fool me for a moment.
[UK]C. Wood ‘Prisoner and Escort’ in Cockade (1965) I iii: She’s got your number ’Oskie ... I always thought you were a stinking bastard.
[US]R. Sabbag Snowblind (1978) 208: Canadian Jack had had the Hawk’s number from the beginning.
[UK]A. Payne ‘Get Daley!’ Minder [TV script] 46: They had my number down when I arrived, chum, I’ll tell you that. They said ‘Here, that geezer is completely healthy.’.
[SA]P. Slabolepszy ‘Smallholding’ in Mooi Street (1994) 217: Any fool voel who wants to come and tackle my tomatoes, feel free. Because why? Because I got your bladdy number, jong!
[US]R.C. Cruz Straight Outta Compton 58: ‘What did you do to LeRoy?’ Rooster asked. She was thinking: ‘He’s got your number now.’.
[UK]D. Lodge Therapy (1996) 102: Oh, yes, this guy has my number alright.
[US]R. Price Lush Life 219: I hate that, people day projects kid, projects girl, like everybody’s got your number .

2. to know something disadvantageous about; to place someone in a difficult position.

[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 66: I guess I got yer numbers now, so in future yuh pay in advance!
[UK]J. Curtis Gilt Kid 179: They got our number all right.
[US]W.M. Raine Cool Customer 146: You needn’t bluff, fellow [...] We’ve got your number.
[US]G. Cuomo Among Thieves 218: He’s saying the way he got off so light was that he got everybody’s number now.
[US]E. Grogan Ringolevio 205: Soho wasn’t particularly hospitable any longer because the coppers now had his number.
[US]T. Jones Pugilist at Rest 218: He’s going to wish he never heard of me. I got his number. He’s mine!
heavy number (n.) [heavy adj. (5c)]

anything or anyone seen as serious, important etc.

C. Adelman Generations 91: And he puts down this very heavy number and his mind is so fucked up and I just get very uptight.
[US]R. Price Blood Brothers 184: Look, there’s this very heavy number goin’ down with my father and uncle.
Shaun Traynor [Internet] Pessimistic, serious, truly beautiful, I recommend Port Authority to my readers with the proviso, it is a heavy number.
S-wine [Internet] This heavy number is from Sicily so hence the whopping 14% volume.
hot number (n.) [hot adj. (1c) + pun on telephone number]

a sexually attractive woman or in gay use man, also her or his telephone number, esp. if written on the wall of a phone booth.

[US] in A. Charters Ragtime Songbook (1965) 55: Say gal, you’re sure a red hot number.
[US]S.J. Perelman Dawn Ginsbergh’s Revenge 186: To think of some of the hot numbers I’ve turned away on account of you!
[US]J.T. Farrell ‘A Practical Joke’ in Short Stories (1937) 180: He said she was a hot number, but lousy.
[US]A. Kober Parm Me 33: I told Francey all about this girl [...] and what a hot number she was.
[US]R. Prather Scrambled Yeggs 134: Hot number, that Gloria. Really hot!
[US]M. Puzo Godfather 15: She was a ‘hot number’ this daughter of his.
[US]R. Price Ladies’ Man (1985) 181: In that place any girl became a hot number.
[US]C. Hiaasen Double Whammy (1990) 45: A very hot number [...] Don’t tell me she’s already got your dick in a knot.
[WI]Francis-Jackson Official Dancehall Dict. 25: (H)ot-number a sexy female: u. de gal Sharon deh a hot number.
[US](con. 1970s) E. White My Lives 191: In those days gay guys divided other gay men into three categories: forget-it; hot numbers; and sisters.
[US](ref. to 1963) D. Winslow Winter of Frankie Machine (2007) 60: Marie Anselmo was a hot little number. That’s what we would have called her back in 1963. [...] Nowadays the kids have shortened it to just ‘hottie’.
kill a number (v.)

(US prison) to finish one’s sentence.

[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 107: Kill a Number also Number and Parole to Next Number To complete a prison sentence.
know someone’s number (v.)

to understand another person, to assess a situation.

[UK]T. Rhone Old Story Time II v: She is a distress to me, you see, Missa Mac? But I know her number.
number is up (also number comes up, ...is put up, ...turns up)

1. a phr. meaning that one dies.

[UK]C. Rook Hooligan Nights 62: Nuvver step and your number’s up.
[UK]‘Bartimeus’ ‘Crab-Pots’ in A Tall Ship 11: I think our number’s up, old thing. Thorogood bent and slipped his arms under the surgeon’s body.
[US](con. WWI) Dos Passos One Man’s Initiation: 1917 (1969) 143: The shells were coming in so thick I thought my number’d turn up any time.
[US]C.B. Yorke ‘Mob Murder’ in Gangland Stories Mar. [Internet] ‘So he made a deal with Dimples and Clam’s and Bert’s numbers were put up.’.
[US]J. Mitchell McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon (2001) 34: When you number’s up, rich or poor, you got to go.
[US] ‘Ed Lacy’ Lead With Your Left (1958) 25: The cemeteries are full of ex-cops. When our number comes up we go with the wagon too.
[US]J. Rechy Numbers (1968) 13: When your number comes up —.
[UK]J. Mandelkau Buttons 34: Somewhere, I’d see the guy who’d shot me – who’d tried to murder me – and his number would be up.
[US]Jackson & Christian Death Row 278: And that is one thing you never know: when your number is up.
[UK]K. Lette Foetal Attraction (1994) 259: Before he flew off to bomb and strafe the Hun, until the night his number came up.
[UK]Guardian G2 14 Oct. 3: But the kid’s number was obviously up.

2. a phr. meaning that one is in trouble or has reached a point from which one cannot escape.

[UK]Wodehouse Psmith in the City (1993) 121: The absurd idea that all was over, that you meant all you said — briefly, that his number was up.
[UK]J. Buchan Greenmantle (1930) 430: I knew there was no choice. With Blenkiron crippled we were pinned to the castrol. Our numbers were up all right.
[UK](con. WWI) Fraser & Gibbons Soldier and Sailor Words 211: Number Up, To Have One’s: To be in trouble.
[US]C. Himes Cotton Comes to Harlem (1967) 42: His number’s up and you’d better get on the winning side.
[US]Simon & Burns Corner (1998) 22: When his number came up, it was the result of neither a Western District patrolman’s vigilance, nor the business end of a stickup boy’s nine millimeter.
[Aus]D. Telegraph (Sydney) 22 Apr. [Internet] The moment Jackie O was told her number’s up .
on the numbers

(UK prison) voluntary solitary confinement for the sake of a prisoner’s safety; child molesters, rapists etc. choose this in preference to the natural justice of their peers.

[UK]J. Hoskison Inside 7: ‘Want to go “on the numbers?”’ the officer asked.
pull a number (v.) (orig. US)

1. to trick, to deceive.

[US] in Wentworth & Flexner DAS (1975).

2. with a n., to act in a given manner, usu. in order to deceive.

[US]R. Price Breaks 195: He had been anticipating the number I’d pull on him five years later.
[US](con. 1964–8) J. Ellroy Cold Six Thousand 20: Let the backup do it [i.e. frighten a witness]. Have him pull a cop number.
[UK]K. Richards Life 418: This little French fucker [...] was trying to pull a number on Lil.
roll a number (v.)

(drugs) to prepare a marijuana cigarette; thus rolled number n.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 3: roll a number – to roll a marijuana joint.
[US]R. Shell Iced 149: I had just rolled myself a night-cap number.
[US]G. Pelecanos Shame the Devil 104: Newton picked a rolled number out of his bag of dope.
soft number (n.) [soft adj. (4)]

(orig. milit.) an easy job.

Buffalo Commercial (NY) 19 Jan. 12/2: The navy hold the belief that the chaplain of a warship has ‘a soft number’.
[UK]N&Q 12 Ser. IX 347: Soft Number. Easy job.
[UK](con. WWI) Fraser & Gibbons Soldier and Sailor Words 263: Soft Number, A: An easy job.
Clarion Ledger (Jackson, MS) 27 Feb. 14/2: Chalky Wright [...] gets a soft number on the same card.
[UK]G.W. Target Teachers (1962) 184: It’s a nice soft number – stockbroker’s hours, gentlemens’ holidays.

SE in slang uses

As specific numbers

In compounds

[numbers written out or in digits as found in source material] number 8 (n.) [H is the eighth letter of the alphabet]

(US drugs) heroin.

[US]Anslinger & Tompkins Traffic In Narcotics 313: Number 8. Heroin.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 16: Number 8 — Heroin.
number eight (n.)

(N.Z.) the best; the strongest; the most likely to succeed.

[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 77/2: Number Eight the best, strongest, most likely to succeed; from the thick gauge No. 8 fencing wire used on farms.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].
number one

see separate entries.

number one thousand (adj.) [pidgin, imported by veterans of the Vietnam War]

(US) very bad (cf. number ten thou adj.).

[US]Times Recorder (Zanesville, OH) 13 Mar. 10/5: Numbah Ten [...] once meant the worst. No more. The real worst is now Numbah One Thou and will stand until somebody finally coins Numbah One Mil.
[US]J. Webb Fields of Fire 252: VC bac-bac Phony? Numbah fucking One Thousand.
[US](con. 1967) Bunch & Cole Reckoning for Kings (1989) 54: First Sergeant number fucking one thousand.
number seven (n.)

(US short order) a steak.

Ft Wayne News (IN) 2 Feb. 7/1: Bowery Eating House Lingo [...] A steak, ’number seven’.
number six (n.)

1. a lock of hair shaped like the figure 6 and twisted from the temple back towards the ear.

[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.

2. (US, also number 6) Thomson’s Compound Tincture of Myrrh and Capsicum, a popular household remedy [it was regularly listed as the sixth medicine in the firm’s catalogue].

[US]C.M. Kirkland Forest Life I 83: We stick to thoroughwort,—balmony,—soot tea,—‘number six,’—and the like.
[US]‘Philip Paxton’ A Stray Yankee in Texas 122: His old woman doctored me, and give me ‘number six’.
number ten

see separate entries.

number two (n.)

see separate entry.

General uses

number-chaser (n.)

(US) an accountant.

[US]W.W. Haines High Tension 61: But a big blond number chaser seen some of Beckett’s time sheets and took to weeping red ink.
number-cruncher (n.) [computer jargon number-cruncher, a large, sometimes slow machine which is used for calculations that would defeat, by quantity rather than complexity, mere human efforts] (US)

an accountant or statistician.

A. Sampson New Anatomy of Britain 497: Kenneth Keith, a brusque number-cruncher who had come into banking from accountancy .
[UK]Indep. Information 10–16 July 66: Straight denigration of the number crunchers isn’t too difficult to find.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 24 Mar. 7: The number-crunchers [...] have discovered that in the last couple of years, the average age at which British senior managers are made redundant has fallen.
[UK]D. Mitchell Black Swan Green 57: Us number-crunchers are making a killing!

In phrases

when the numbers are up (also when the numbers go up) [the raising of a board carrying the numbers of the winning horses after a horserace]

(Aus.) when the result is known.

‘Tasma’ In her Earliest Youth III 228: ‘And then your children, a growing family, you know, you have two already,’ suggested the agent blandly. ‘Yes, we’ve got two,’ said George meditatively; ‘and as for the family, it’s the same as with everything else – you never can tell till the numbers are up.’.
F.A. Russell Ashes of Achievement 199: He thinks the chances are in favour; I’m inclined to think they’re against. And my guess is as good as his, before the numbers go up.
M. Calthorpe Defectors 181: You can expect a few sharp counter moves [...] You’ll be hard at it until the numbers go up.
[Aus]J. Anderson Winners can Laugh 123: The numbers were up and that’s what the bookies pay on [AND].
[Aus]T. Peacock More You Bet 8: When a dispute or question had been resolved it might have been said that ‘the numbers are up’.