Green’s Dictionary of Slang

spunk n.

[? fig. use of Scot./dial. spunk, a spark]

1. courage, bravery.

[UK]O. Goldsmith She Stoops to Conquer Act I: The squire has got spunk in him.
[Ire]J. O’Keeffe Fontainebleau III i: lackland: Sir, I have spirit and ability, (shews the purse). tallyho: Spunk and Rhino!
[Ire] ‘De Kilmainham Minit’ Luke Caffrey’s Gost 7: We saw de poor Fellow was funking; / De Drizzle stole down from his Eye, / Tho’ we taut he had got better Spunk in.
[US]Mass. Spy 10 Dec. n.p.: The word ‘spunk’ signifies courage, when there is no danger.
[UK]G. Colman Yngr Poor Gentleman III i: Damn it! this is spunk, and plain speaking!
[UK]D. Humphreys Yankey in England 34: I admire your independent spirit. I like to have people think well of themselves. You have convinced me of your spunk.
[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 55: ’Tis then I shows I’ve got some spunk.
[US]N.Y. Enquirer 15 Apr. 2/4: From his known bottom and spunk, it was thought he stood a good chance if he could withstand the first rush of the Pink.
[US]N. Ames ‘Morton’ Old Sailor’s Yarns 195: Why, you have no more spunk than a hooked codfish!
[UK] ‘Billy Taylor’s Three Square’ Gentleman’s Spicey Songster 11: Billy Taylor was a gay young fellow, / Full of spunk, and full of glee.
[US]‘Ned Buntline’ Mysteries and Miseries of N.Y. I 40: I’ve not got the spunk to make a real large haul.
[US]T. Haliburton Sam Slick’s Wise Saws II 115: She has spunk enough to do that herself.
[US]J.R. Lowell Biglow Papers 2nd series (1880) 102: Johnson or some one to lend ’em the wit / An’ the spunk jes’ to mount Constitootion.
[US]W.H. Thomes Slaver’s Adventures 57: The old man has lost his spunk; he isn’t the skipper that he was five years since.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 24 Jan. 5: [pic. caption] Emily Jessup enters a go-as-you-please match with a sneak thief and wins the belt for spunk and speed, by capturing the culprit.
[Aus]Sydney Sl. Dict. (2 edn) 8: Spunk - Spirit, fire, courage, mettle, good humor.
[UK]M.V. Fuller Mrs Rasher’s Curtain Lectures 24: I intend to be a great woman; and if you had one bit or grain of spunk you’d be a great man.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 18 Apr. 17/2: We believe they are chockfull of spunk, and, if they get time to be licked into military form, we quite expect them to show what sort of grit we Australians have.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Brummy Usen’ in Roderick (1972) 77: He hadn’t spunk enough to be a bushranger.
[UK]J. Conrad Lord Jim 187: If Sherif Ali’s emissaries had been possessed – as Jim remarked – of a pennyworth of spunk, this was the time to make a rush.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 23 Mar. 6/3: Digger [...] faced his foe with the spunk of a bull pup.
[Ire]L. Doyle Ballygullion 29: He picks up more spunk than you’d ha’ thought [...] an’ before Mary knowed where she was he was sittin’ on the dhresser beside her wi’ his arm round her waist.
[Aus]‘G.B. Lancaster’ Jim of the Ranges 16: You’ve got spunk, Kid [...] you’re not just thinking of yourself.
[Ire]K.F. Purdon Dinny on the Doorstep 40: Just fancy the poor little pair! The spunk of them; spending their money like that!
[US](con. 1910s) S. Lewis Elmer Gantry 329: Come on now, Clee, show some spunk!
[Aus]K.S. Prichard Coonardoo 298: Rotten, that’s what I am. There goes my son to look for his mother ... and I haven’t the spunk to go with him.
[Aus](con. WWI) L. Mann Flesh in Armour 264: ‘He had more spunk than all of us’.
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 1 May [synd. col.] ‘Confessions of a Nazi Spy’ [...] would rate your bravos for its spunk. It represents Hollywood telling the dictators (finally) to go to hell.
[UK]J. Cary Horse’s Mouth (1948) 273: But by God, I beat ’em. Yes, there’s spunk in the old louse.
[US]B. Schulberg On the Waterfront (1964) 70: With [...] more spunk than was healthy for one little man.
[US]C. Cooper Jr Scene (1996) 124: He had a little spunk [...] but it took more than a little spunk to be a good Narco man.
[UK]P. Terson Apprentices (1970) I i: Have I to tell the rest of the works that this shop were a set of cissies? That you didn’t have the spunk?
[US]L. Kramer Faggots 201: Feeling very sorry for himself, [...] and for his lack of spunk and future.
[US](con. 1964–73) W. Terry Bloods (1985) 41: He put the spunk back into Taylor. Davis could intimidate you into not dying.
[UK]N. Cohn Yes We Have No 334: The Party was full of spunk, not yet split by internal wars.
[US]P. Beatty Tuff 61: At one time Inez had admired the Bonillas’ spunk; at least the boys tried to stand up to Winston’s bullying.
[US]T. Pluck ‘Story of O Street’ in Life During Wartime (2018) 52: They’d have gumption. or moxie, or spunk, whatever they called it.
[Aus]P. Papathanasiou Stoning 187: He was pleased to see the kid showing his fight, his spunk, a backbone.

2. (also spunks) in fig. use, spirit.

[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 262: Whether quite sober or dead drunk, / I know, my dear, you’ve too much spunk.
[UK]‘Peter Pindar’ ‘The Lousiad’ Works (1794) I 245: Any man of spunk Would find it a hard matter to get drunk.
[UK]Harris’s List of Covent-Garden Ladies 59: [She] is very much lik’d by the beaux esprits of the age for her spunk, being remarkably full of Cyprian spirit.
[UK]G. Parker Life’s Painter 136: And as the kelter runs quite flush, Like natty shining kiddies, / To treat the coaxing, giggling brims, / With spunk let’s post our neddies.
[UK]‘Answer to Captain Morris’ in Hilaria 74: In the country we’re healthy, all vigour and spunk.
[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker I 220: Nothin sets up a woman’s spunk like callin her ugly.
[UK]Bacchanalian Mag. 22: You’ve heard of Saucy Sall; / A lass of spunk with leering eye.
[Ire]Spirit of Irish Wit 118: Lady C— [...] a peeress of high spunk [...] and a dashing Equestrian.
[UK]Thackeray Catherine (1905) 629: You young hangdog, you – egad, yes, aha! ’pon honour, you’re a lad of spirit; some of your father’s spunk in you, hey?
[US]Killers 26: If you only had the spunk of a lobster you might roll in gold.
[US]H.L. Williams N.-Y. After Dark 90: Young American has ‘got his spunk up’.
[US]H.B. Stowe Sam Lawson’s Oldtown Fireside Stories (1881) 67: ‘I’ll make him stay down, confound him,’ says the parson; for, ye see, [...] the doctor had got his spunk up.
[US]C.A. Siringo Texas Cow Boy (1950) 166: This one raised Ash’s spunk.
[US]F.P. Dunne in B.C. Schaaf Mr Dooley’s Chicago (1977) 287: She do have spunk. Oh, ’tis she’s th’ spunky wan.
[US]A.H. Lewis Confessions of a Detective 25: Having some native spunks of military genius in my composition, [I] resolved to be beforehand in the business.
[Ire]L. Doyle Ballygullion 26: Ye’ll have to ask her wi’ more spunk that that.
[US]J. London Valley of the Moon (1914) 59: You’ve got spunk an’ fight. I like to see it.
[Ire]S. O’Casey Juno and the Paycock Act I: It’s about time you’d showed a little spunk.
[UK]E. Raymond Child of Norman’s End (1967) 135: I’m loving you – loving you for [...] having the spunk to throw your ball over the garden wall.
[US]D. Runyon Runyon à la Carte 170: I say what she needs is some spunk.
[UK]K. Amis letter 20 Dec. in Leader (2000) 416: I think she ought to take up with some [...] American with lots of money and spunk.
[UK]G.W. Target Teachers (1962) 96: Got some spunk, that boy.
[US]Milner & Milner Black Players 167: Hippy Pimp has a lot of genuine charm, spunk and a disarming love of outrageousness for its own sake.
[UK](con. 1950s–60s) in G. Tremlett Little Legs 41: All I wanted to do was devilment. To get some spunk out of me.
[UK]N. Cohn Yes We have No 222: Work was [...] designed to suck out your spunk.
[SA]Sun. Times (S.Afr.) 6 Jan. 9: Loads of spunk and a few tequilas.
[SA]IOL News (Western Cape) 2 Sept. 🌐 It’s Afro-jazz and pop that has been given a dash of academic spunk.
[US]G. Hayward Corruption Officer [ebk] cap. 51: Her spunk made getting this situation over hard for me.

3. semen; thus despunk v., to facilitate ejaculation; cite 1780 is assumed to be a double entendre from sense 2.

[UK]Correct List of the Sporting Ladies [broadsheet] Miss Al---ck, a beautiful young lady, full of spunk, and very supple in her joints.
[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 223: He can’t go to piss, / But the spunk with the piddle comes bubbling.
Letters from Laura & Eveline 19: His bollocks were enormously swollen, full of boiling spunk.
[UK]‘Lais Lovecock’ Bagnio Misc. 21: [He] discharged a flood of warm spunk.
[UK]Autobiog. of a Flea 7: When my Jacques beds down with that sallow jade, he will have no spunk left for her enjoyment.
[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 105: I shoot my spunk / Up an elephant’s trunk.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 517: Clean your nailless middle finger first, the cold spunk o your bully is dripping from your cockscomb.
[US] (ref. to 1868) N. Kimball Amer. Madam (1981) 55: I smelled of Charlie’s sweat and spunk.
[UK]K. Amis letter 30 Mar. in Leader (2000) 127: You’ll probably win one of these prizes and wake up one morning to find yourself famous FIND YOURSELF COVERED IN SPUNK.
[UK] ‘Eskimo Nell’ in ‘Count P. Vicarion’ Bawdy Ballads XIV: I’m going back to the frozen North, to the land where spunk is Spunk, / Not a trickling stream of lukewarm cream – but a solid frozen chunk.
[UK]Auden ‘The Platonic Blow’ in Mills (1983) 325: His hot spunk spouted in gouts, spouted in jet after jet.
[Aus](con. 1940s–60s) Hogbotel & ffuckes ‘A More Vulgar Mind’ in Snatches and Lays 46: The sheets were all covered with semen, / A more vulgar mind would say spunk.
[UK]P. Bailey Eng. Madam 43: A man who hasn’t got rid of his spunk can turn bloody nasty. [Ibid.] 103: Men are much more pleasant and considerate so long as they’re regularly despunked.
[US]S. King Gerald’s Game (1993) 203: I think she’s seen this stuff, and now you’ve seen it, too. Man’s-stuff. Spunk.
[UK]A. Warner Sopranos 130So you pretend it’s spunk like!:
[UK]B. Hare Urban Grimshaw 32: Young girls [...] swallowing spunk and being fucked up against the walls.
[UK]R. Milward Kimberly’s Capital Punishment (2023) 301: Still sore about the monkey spunk.
[Scot]I. Welsh Dead Man’s Trousers [35]: The gaff smells ay bleach and old spunk.

4. (Scot. Und.) life.

[Scot]D. Haggart Autobiog. 60: The other two were [...] under sentence of lag for spunk.

5. a match; usu. in phrs. below [dial. spunk, spark, tinder, ult. dial. spunk a dried fungus used as tinder; note dial. spunks, lucifer matches].

[UK]‘Paul Pry’ Oddities of London Life I 106: DEFENDANT—He's a manufacturer. MR. CHAMBERS—Of what? DEFENDANT—O spunks, ye ken—what ye ca’ here aboot, matches.
[UK]W.A. Miles Poverty, Mendicity and Crime; Report 156: He is now a spunk-fencer, (match seller,) mostly in Essex. [Ibid.] 168: The slippery and the spunks are fenced by leary-coves all day.
[UK]Morn. Advertiser (London) 23 Dec. 1/6: The City swarmed with vagrants of all kids, coster-mongers, chaunters, shoonies, spunk-fencers and the whole race of cadgers.
[Aus]Sydney Sl. Dict. 9/1: Old Ann has gone a durrynackin with a fakement and some spunks for a blind. Old Ann has gone a-begging with a written placard and some matches for a blind.
[Aus]Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 79: Spunks, matches.

6. vaginal fluid.

[UK]Rosa Fielding 69: [S]he covered our heroine’s face and half filled her mouth, with a delicious ejection of warm spunk.
[UK]P. Norroy Art of Child-Love 123: It is not possible for a little girl of twelve years old to emit a single drop [of] spunk from her little quim [Ibid.] 153: She became convulsed and I felt her spunk ooze onto my hand that felt her.
[UK]‘Mary Suckit’ Yvonne 41: Give me your spunk, child, I shall drink your health in your delicious spendings.

7. (Aus., also spunky) someone seen as sexually attractive, whether male or female.

[Aus] ‘Whisper All Aussie Dict.’ in Kings Cross Whisper (Sydney) xxxix 4/5: spunky: Young female.
[Aus]Lette & Carey Puberty Blues 5: It was Darren Peters — the top surfing spunk of sixth form.
[Aus]B. Humphries Traveller’s Tool 112: Just make sure they send you a young spunk and not some old lezzo.
[Aus]J. Morrison Share House Blues 47: ‘Will you skate with me, spunky?’ says the red-head a second ahead of her friend.
[Aus]T. Winton Lockie Leonard: Scumbuster (1995) 140: I was jealous. Dot was a spunk.
[Aus](con. 1964-65) B. Thorpe Sex and Thugs and Rock ’n’ Roll 86: [of a man] ‘Ooh, what a young spunk you are, young William’.
OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. 🌐 spunk (1) n. [...] (3) an attractive male.
[NZ] McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.
[Aus]L. Redhead Cherry Pie [ebook] [He] was a bit of a spunk.
[Aus]L. Redhead Thrill City [ebook] Sean’s paying your rent [...] Not only that, but he’s a fucking spunk, everybody likes him [etc].

8. (Aus.) a brave, spirited individual.

[Aus]R.G. Barrett Godson 240: You’re a dead set genius, you big, red-headed spunk.
[Aus]P. Temple Bad Debts (2012) [ebook] She was a spunk. Politically loony but a spunk.

Pertaining to sex

In derivatives

spunkette (n.)

(Aus.) a sexy female.

[Aus]Sydney Morn. Herald Guide 18 May 6: A couple of ravishing young spunkettes straight out of a Jane Fonda exercise video.
[US]People Sydney 30 Mar. 6/3: Profumo, a keen pants man, couldn’t resist bedding 19-year-old spunkette Christine Keeler.
[NZ]H. Kouka (ed.) Whatungarogaro in Three Plays of 90s 66: Guess he was a bit of a spunk, eh? [...] I bet you were a bit of a spunkette yaself, Mum.
spunkiness (n.)

1. in the context of semen or vaginal secretions, strength, richness.

[UK]Randiana 80: Although her cunt has not got that tenacity of grip which distinguished Lady Fanny [...] there was that general spunkiness about her final throw-oil which places her in the front rank for one of her station of life .

2. (Aus./N.Z.) sexiness.

[Aus]K. Lette Girls’ Night Out 76: That kind of spunkiness doesn’t come naturally. He must have been taking handsome lessons.
[Aus]P. Wilmoth Glad All Over 94: Back in the seventies, Palinthorpe was lost in a sea of overt spunkiness.

3. see spunky adj. (1)

In compounds

spunk-bag (n.) [SE bag/bag n.1 (1f)]

1. a condom.

S. Foster Soho Whore 101: She didn’t care much for men, but she doted on their spunk [...] She really loved it. I’ve seen her turn a spunk bag inside out and lick up the spunk to the last drop.
A. Sillitoe Open Door n.p.: ‘You might get somebody pregnant.’ ‘I’m not daft. I used a spunk bag’.
[Scot]I. Welsh Filth 149: Annalise [...] tensely wipes herself, even though I was wearing a spunk-bag.
E. George With No One as a Witness n.p.: He always made them use a spunk bag. 13 Aug. 🌐 I saw he was wearing a condom (playground word was ‘spunk bag’.

2. a general term of abuse.

[Scot]I. Welsh Filth 5: That spunk-bag Toal’s wrecked my fuckin day already!
[Scot](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 24: How the fuck did she faw for that shifty-looking spunkbag?
spunk bandit (n.)

(Aus.) a sexually successfulmale.

C. Bowles G’DAY! 87: Spunk bandits are always in like Flynn and never get a knock-back.
spunkbone (n.)

see separate entry.

spunk-box (n.)

the vagina, lit. ‘matchbox’.

A. Ramsay Lucky Spence’s Last Advice [ballad] And gin he likes to light his Match / at your Spunk-Box, Ne'er stand to let the fumbling Wratch / een take the Pox.
spunk-bubble (n.)

1. (Aus.) an attractive young woman, a nubile teenager.

[Aus]People (Sydney) 9 Dec. 41/1: Spunkbubble Sophie Lee has been at a bit of a loose end since Sex came grinding to a halt. The TV program, that is.

2. a term of abuse.

C. Brookmyre Quite Ugly One Morning 208: Right, spunk bubble, [...] open your mouth.
Sexy Beast [film script] You’re the problem! You’re the fucking problem you fucking Dr White honkin’ jam-rag fucking spunk-bubble!
D. Bowker Death You Deserve 226: Greasy, lazy, spunk-bubble, camel-breath. Chef had taken more from Malcolm Priest than he’d taken from anyone.
spunk bucket (n.) (also spunk-dustbin)

1. (Aus.) a sexually attractive individual.

[Aus]Syndey Morn. Herald 19 June 43: Gee, you know, that was great. And what about that spunk bucket, Edmund!

2. a promiscuous woman or one who is branded as such.

[UK]Roger’s Profanisaurus in Viz 87 Dec. n.p.: spunk dustbin See bucket fanny, box of assorted creams (qv). Also spunk bucket.
[Scot](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 364: What the fuck is that dipstick daein, aw this hassle ower a ten-a-penny wee spunk-bucket?
spunk-farter (n.)

a passive homosexual, one who is sodomized.

[Scot]T. Black Gutted 127: Don’t be trying to paint me as a spunk-farter, even in jest.
spunk-gobbed (adj.) [gob n.1 (1); the image is of a man fellating another]

a general term of abuse; lit. ‘semen-mouthed’.

[Scot]I. Welsh Trainspotting 255: Why let one spunk-gobbed cunt ruin your life?
spunk-gullet (n.)

a general term of abuse, lit. a fellator.

‘spentspentspent’ posting ‘I admit I was wrong’ 28 May at 🌐 I would ask you outside to settle this properly, but you still post anonymously, you spineless little spunk-gullet.
spunk-head (n.) [-head sfx (1)]

a general term of abuse.

[Scot]I. Rankin Strip Jack 207: She married that spunk-head and started shovelling Valium because it was the only way she could cope.
spunk-pot (n.) [note Rochester c.1673: ‘To be a Whore, understanding, / A Passive Pot for Fools to spend in’]

the vagina.

at 🌐 ‘The most comprehensive vagina nickname list in the world!’ [...] spunk-pot, hairy doughnut, fun hatch, spasm chasm.
spunk-rat (n.)

(Aus. / N.Z.) a sexually attractive person.

[NZ]D. Eggleton After Tokyo 107: Sweet sixteen and a promiscuous little spunk rat but already setting forth up the career ladder and now away overseas.
[UK]K. Lette Llama Parlour 12: Garry [...] was considered by my girlfriends to be a top spunk rat.
[UK]K. Lette Mad Cows 22: The ex-love of her life, televisual spunk rat Alexander Drake.
[Aus]L. Redhead Peepshow [ebook] Holy mother of god he was a stone cold spunkrat.
spunk-trumpet (n.) (also junket trumpet)

1. the penis.

[UK]Roger’s Profanisaurus 3 in Viz 98 Oct. 9: crescent wank v. To arrange one’s favourite jazz periodicals in a half-moon display, before kneeling down to perform a fivefinger exercise on the spunk trumpet.
[UK]P. Meditzy ‘A Day In The Life Of...’ 29 Apr. 🌐 By this point my ‘spunk trumpet’ was like a ‘horse’s handbrake’.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 118: junket trumpet The penis, in the context of its sexual employment.

2. as an insult.

Twitter 5 July 🌐 You incompetent, ventriloquist-dummy-faced spunktrumpet.

Pertaining to match-selling

In compounds

spunk-faker (n.) [faker n. (5)]

(US) an ostensible match-seller, whose outwardly respectable, if impoverished profession often hides less reputable, and usu. fraudulent, pursuits.

[US]Matsell Vocabulum.
[Aus]Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 79: Spunk Fakers, match sellers.
spunk-fencer (n.) [ -fencer sfx]

(Aus./UK Und.) a match-seller.

[UK]W.A. Miles Poverty, Mendicity and Crime; Report 156: He is now a spunk-fencer, (match seller,) mostly in Essex.
[UK]G.W.M. Reynolds Mysteries of London III 85/1: A Stranger—looked like a spunk fencer. Green king’s-man, water‘s-man, yellow fancy and yellow-man.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 100: spunk-fencer a lucifer match seller.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[Aus]Sydney Sl. Dict. (2 edn) 8: Spunk Fencers - Match sellers.

In phrases

hunk of spunk (n.)

an extremely attractive person.

[US]J. Deitrick Tomorrow the Accolade 28: Bill kissed her; kissed her lips and her closed eyes. ‘Tough, isn’t it? Poor little manhandled, unselfish hunk of spunk’.
[Aus]K.B. Gilden Between the Hills and the Sea 37: ‘The male is the one that fits into the female. Get it?’ How to clunk this lunk into a useful tool? How to convert this hunk of spunk into a smoothly functioning factor?
[Aus]Tharunka (Sydney) 30 Oct. 7/2: Get talking to some girl that you know (be her dog, ex, or just next door) who is with a hunk of spunk, and then with a few deft operations, you’re home again.
[Aus]M. Eldridge in Gordon & Hughes (eds) Best Short Stories 1986 87: My cousin in Melbourne’s gor-geous, my cousin’s a real hunk o’ spunk, she practises telling Cass Jawkins .
[Aus]M. Eldridge Wild Sweet Flowsers 181: ‘The fair-haired guy, the one next to her, that’s my brother Max. He’s really into peace, Max is.’ Alvie looks at Laura’s brother. ‘He’s a hunk of spunk, isn’t he?’ Laura stares at her.
Ridley & Turner That’s Unusual 9: You’ve got the world’s biggest hunk-o’-spunk upstairs and you’re down here on your Pat Malone.
[Aus]K. Lette Altar Ego 82: ...take-me-now-you-brute, drop-dead dreamy hunk of spunk.
[Aus]J. Townsend There Once Was a Girl 🌐 ‘Come here, you big hunk of spunk, and give your sis a hug and a kiss,’ she continued.