Green’s Dictionary of Slang

hide n.

[SE 11C–16C]

1. skin or its products, whether human or otherwise.

(a) [17C+] the human skin, thus one’s life; esp. in phrs. like save one’s hide etc.

(b) [20C+] a person.

(c) [1930s–60s] (US) a horse.

(d) [1930s–70s] (jazz) drums.

(e) [1930s+] (US) a wallet.

2. by metonymy, as a woman or her body.

(a) [18C-19C] the female genitals; thus sexual intercourse.

(b) [20C+] (US) a woman, usu. considered as a sex object.

(c) [20C+] (US) an old crone, a hag, an ugly old woman.

(d) [1940s–50s] (US) an effeminate male homosexual.

3. [late 19C+] (usu. Aus./N.Z.) in fig. use, impudence, effrontery, cheek.

In compounds

hide-beater (n.) [sense 1d + SE beater]

[1930s–40s] (US) a drummer.

In phrases

loosen someone’s hide (v.)

[1900s] to thrash, to flog.

more hide than Jessie (the elephant) (also more arse than Jessie) [a favourite elephant Jessie (1872–1939), which could be visited at the Taronga Park Zoo]

[1930s+] (Aus.) a phr. used of one who is very cheeky.

tan someone’s hide (v.) (also tan someone’s pelt)

[17C+] to beat someone severely, to spank someone severely.