Green’s Dictionary of Slang

pack v.1

1. (US) to carry, also in fig. use.

Clark in Lewis and Clark Expedition III (1905) 181: Set all hands packing the loading over the portage which is below the grand shute .
U. Brown Journal II 360: I let him know that I [...] meant to hire a horse of him to pack our provisions .
[US]C.F. Lummis letter 25 Dec. in Byrkit Letters from the Southwest (1989) 188: I am packing a pocketful.
[US]A.H. Lewis Wolfville 332: An’ so none of us s’spexcts Crawfish is packin’ any sech s’prises.
[US]W.M. Raine Brand Blotters (1912) 126: All week you been packin’ the troubles I heaped on you.
[US]J. London Valley of the Moon (1914) 505: I watched a woman over on the other side of the valley, packin’ water two hundred feet from the spring to the house.
[US]W. James Drifting Cowboy (1931) 218: He layed in hospital with a broken jaw [...] and when he come out he was packing a full set of false teeth.
[US]E.P. Norwood Other Side of the Circus 155: Against the law to pack a cookie-cutter without a license in a lot of states.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Gentlemen, the King!’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 180: I never know Jo-jo is packing this article around and about with him.
[US]F. Brown Fabulous Clipjoint (1949) 108: We got Wally tied on the burro and packed him three miles to a medico.
[UK]B. Reckord Skyvers I ii: Look at the guys you see packin’ a big bag of books regular to school.
[US](con. 1969) M. Herr Dispatches 8: We packed grass and tape: Have You Seen Your Mother Baby Standing In The Shadows, Best Of The Animals [etc.].
[UK]M. Manning Get Your Cock Out 28: The little chicquita he’d been skeezing with all evening was packing a pound of sausalito.

2. (US) to live as a tramp, travelling the country [the SE pack that is carried].

[Aus]Stephens & O’Brien Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 117: To pack [...] to travel.
[US]R. Klein Jailhouse Jargon and Street Sl. [unpub. ms.].

3. (US) to carry a weapon, usu. a gun or knife; also to wear.

[US]Big Blue Union (Marysville, KS) 20 June 2/1: We noticed several men in town [...] one of two of whom were ‘packing’ a gun apiece.
[US]C.F. Lummis letter 13 Nov. in Byrkit Letters from the Southwest (1989) 86: A man might just as well be in hell with his back broke as pack a shooting iron around here.
[US]E.W. Townsend Chimmie Fadden 58: What makes it life saving is cause no gents can pack no gun nor no knife t’ de dance.
[US]A.H. Lewis ‘One Mountain Lion’ in Sandburrs 35: Like the Winchester you’re packin?
[US]‘Max Brand’ ‘Above the Law’ in Coll. Stories (1994) 47: Jest pack that shootin’-iron with you by way of a friend.
[US]J. Black You Can’t Win (2000) 170: I’ve packed a gun for thirty years, and every time I fired it I was in the wrong.
[US] ‘Wild Buckaroo’ in G. Logsdon Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing (1995) 106: I pack a long knife and a pistol to boot.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 6: The gats we packed in our hip pockets and aimed at each other just for fun.
[US]‘Hal Ellson’ Tomboy (1952) 67: I’m packing my new home-made [...] it’s as good as any .22 pistol.
[US]P. Marshall ‘Some Get Wasted’ in Clarke Harlem, USA (1971) 350: The cat had gone to church packing his zip that morning and gone down to lock with the Crusaders that afternoon.
[US](con. 1911) J. Monaghan Schoolboy, Cowboy, Mexican Spy 142: I noticed that Villa ‘packed’ his rifle on the offside of his saddle.
[US]Grandmaster Melle Mel ‘Hustler’s Convention’ [lyrics] I partied hard and packed a mean rod.
[US] Dr Dre ‘Lil’ Ghetto Boy’ [lyrics] No need to be uncalm if you pack right / And learning just enuff to keep your sack right.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Rev. 16 Dec. 17: The Railway Children pack switch blades, / Little Women all have AIDS.
[US]C. Goffard Snitch Jacket 56: What is it you’re packing? A switchblade? A blackjack? Brass knuckles? Or maybe a gun?

4. (US) to carry money, to be in funds.

[Can](con. 1920s) O.D. Brooks Legs 25: But we’re packing now and don’t have to bum.

5. (US drugs) to carry drugs for a dealer.

[US]‘Hal Ellson’ Duke 70: You’ll make twenty if you pack it for me today.

6. in sexual uses.

(a) (US) of a man, to have sexual intercourse.

[US]W. Motley Knock on Any Door 201: ‘Who’s the broad?’ Juan asked, grinning. [...] ‘Are you packing her steady?’ ‘Whenever I want.’.

(b) (US campus) of a male homosexual, to have anal sex.

[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 811: pack – A homosexual expression.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 112: Most hustlers claim they protect their manhood [...] Others, however, pack or punch it which is complete acceptance of the customer’s cock anally.
[US] P. Munro Sl. U.

7. (US prison) to carry contraband in and out of a prison; to carry a concealed weapon.

[US]M. Braly On the Yard (2002) 87: It had been another month before Harmon would start packing. He had been scared, but he had been greedy, too.
[US](con. 1960) Pepper & Pepper Straight Life 260: ‘Maybe he’s packing something.’ There’s two ways of carrying dope into a jail. Either you swallow it and vomit it up, or else you’ve got it stuck up your ass.
[US]Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July [Internet] Pack: (1) To carry contraband in the rectum. See also ‘Keester.’.

8. (US) to reject a lover [pack in ].

[UK]‘Jilted John’ ‘Jilted John’ [lyrics] She is cruel and heartless / To pack me for Gordon.
[UK]Observer Rev. 2 Dec. 2: We laugh about how it used to be the fashion to announce that one had ‘packed’ one’s girlfriend or boyfriend rather than ‘dumped’ them.

9. in drug uses.

(a) (US drugs) to fill a crack cocaine pipe.

[US]T. Williams Crackhouse 70: I have to pack my machine [...] I don’t call it a pipe; I call it my machine.

(b) (US drugs) to be a major drug dealer, making up the packs of a drug which are then sold on to the dealers who trade on the street.

[US]E. Richards Cocaine True 53: What the big packers do is give the caps to the addicts and they sell them [...] Used to be where the person who packed it would stand out there and sell for themselves. But they realized, ‘No, no we’re getting big jail time for this’.

In derivatives

packing (adj.) (also packed)

1. (US) carrying a gun or knife.

[US](con. 1944) J.H. Burns Gallery (1948) 8: She began to sing ‘Pistol-Packin’ Momma’.
[US]Dinah Washington ‘New Blowtop Blues’ [lyrics] Oh but she was a 45-packin’ mama, and I ain’t goin’ to try that no more!
[US](con. 1953–7) L. Yablonsky Violent Gang (1967) 86: The first thing we noticed was Chino was ‘packed’ ... We figured he had a blade on him, too. [Ibid.] 106: I got a button [i.e. switchblade knife] on me now – I admit it because I’m ‘packing’, that’s it.
[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 25: There was a hundred guys frozen in there — half of them had to be packing.
[US]L. Bing Do or Die (1992) 135: No guns. Ever. [...] It’ll cost you three years of your life if you’re with anyone who’s packin’.
[US]E. Little Another Day in Paradise 133: Shooting these guys is out of the question, they ain’t packed.
[US]G. Pelecanos Night Gardener 127: He might be packing. Then you got nothin but a gun battle.

2. (US) performing anal intercourse [SE pack in, to fill].

[US]C. Major Juba to Jive 336: Packing [1980s–1990s] heterosexual term for performing anal intercourse.

3. (US black) of a man, having sexual intercourse [SE pack in, to fill].

[US]G. Smitherman Black Talk.

4. (US black) having a large penis.

[US]G. Smitherman Black Talk.
[US](con. 1960s) J. Ellroy Blood’s a Rover 26: Got a fruit gig for you. They guy likes to brown well-hung Filipinos, and i got a mutant packing 10½ inches.

5. (US gay) of a lesbian, wearing a strap-on dildo, usu. under one’s clothes, or wearing other padding in the genital area to look as if one has a penis.

[US]R. Scott Rebecca’s Dict. of Queer Sl. [Internet] packing — among lesbians, to wear a strap-on dildo, usually under one’s clothes. Also, to put something (such as a pair of rolled-up sweatsocks or a cut up Kotex) in the underwear or shorts to achieve the illusion that there is something else there.

6. (US prison) having weapons for sale.

[US]Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July [Internet] Packin’: A prisoner who is carrying a weapon or drugs for sale. (VA).

In phrases

pack a sad (v.)

(N.Z.) to be depressed.

J. Cowley Of Men & Angels 172: Mum’s going to pack a sad [...] I don’t want to be the one to tell her.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 81/1: pack a sad to be depressed; from builders’ term for a warp.
P. Sinclair Frontman 134: If you’re going to pack a sad [...] then pack one. It's the status of your despair that counts.
S.M. Thompson Mother’s Taxi 81: He’ll pack a sad but he’ll do it.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].
pack chitlins (v.) [SE chitlins, pig’s intestines (which are de facto soft)]

(US black) of a man, to be unable to maintain an erection during intercourse.

[US]G. Smitherman Black Talk.
packing it (adj.)

making a large amount of money.

[UK]J. Cameron It Was An Accident 69: ‘You in the dosh?’ ‘Packin’ it Nicky. Packin’ it.’.
pack peanut butter (v.) [the colour of the spread]

(US) to engage in anal intercourse.

[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972) 133: mix your peanut butter [...] Have anal intercourse, a common activity in prison.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 158: A sizable vocabulary is associated with [anal intercourse...] (to get some brown/tight/round eye, to dog fuck, to pack peanut butter).
Thug’s Journal 1 July [Internet] I gots to give props to my dawg Rat Snatch for packing a bone eater’s peanut butter. Nigger left a monkey bite.
pack the mustard (v.) [the colour of the mortar in the hod]

(US tramp) working as a brick layer or labourer.

[US]‘Dean Stiff’ Milk and Honey Route 211: Packing the mustard – Carrying the hod.
pack the pillow (v.) [use of pillow = menstrual pad]

(US) to menstruate.

[US]J. Stahl Plainclothes Naked (2002) 184: That’s one of the Kosher Commandments, man. ‘Thou shalt not touch chicks when they’re packin’ the pillow.’ It’s a Moses thing!
pack (the) shit (v.) (also pack one’s shit, pack them) [shit n. (1a)/shit n. (4a)]

1. (Aus.) to be frightened [image of holding back fear-induced diarrhoea].

[Aus](con. 1941) E. Lambert Twenty Thousand Thieves 69: He’s packing them badly. He’s quite useless.
[Aus]D. Ireland Unknown Industrial Prisoner 132: They were packing the shits when he went off his head in the control room last time.
[US]A. Brooke Last Toke 65: That fool white boy most likely be packin’ his shit.
[Aus]Lette & Carey Puberty Blues 10: I’m so nervous. I didn’t do any study. I’m packin’ shit.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 81/1: pack shit to be afraid.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].

2. (N.Z.) to talk nonsense.

[NZ] McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

pack around with (v.)

(US) to conduct a relationship with.

[US]T.A. Dorgan Indoor Sports 2 Aug. [synd. cartoon] He must be as loose as ashes with the change. She don’t pack around with no tight wads.
pack in (v.) (also pack it in)

1. to stop, to cease to function, to give up, to die.

[US]A.H. Lewis Confessions of a Detective 3: I held it the part of wisdom, without waiting for any age-limit to reach me, to pack in and quit.
[US](con. 1905–25) E.H. Sutherland Professional Thief (1956) 36: A four-handed mob packs in for the day, three going in one direction and the fourth in the other direction.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Dancing Dan’s Christmas’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 264: I am willing to pack in after one gander at the old doll.
[US]‘William Lee’ Junkie (1966) 35: All croakers ‘pack in’ sooner or later.
[US] in T.I. Rubin Sweet Daddy 70: His old lady packed in – died.
[UK]A. Sillitoe Start in Life (1979) 82: The rain’s packing in. It’s light over Stamford.
[UK](con. WWII) B. Aldiss Soldier Erect 47: Why don’t you pack in ordering us about, Wally?
[US]S. King Cujo (1982) 149: Mom’s ole blue Pinto packs it in.
[UK]T. Black Artefacts of the Dead [ebook] ‘Pack it in, Bob,’ he muttered.

2. (US) to consume; thus as n. a meal.

[US]T.A. Dorgan Indoor Sports 12 Mar. [synd. cartoon] I guess the poor simp don’t eat regular eh — the way he packed em in.
[US]T.A. Dorgan Indoor Sports 10 May [synd. cartoon] That pack in will set George back a week — He won’t be in a regular restaurant again for a month.

3. to quit, to leave a job, to give something up; usu. as pack it in.

[US]H. Corey Farewell, Mr Gangster! 279: Slang used by English criminals [...] Packed it in – given it up.
[US]D. Maurer Big Con 173: He may ‘pack the racket in’ and go into legitimate business.
[UK]C. Lee diary 15 Feb. in Eight Bells & Top Masts (2001) 195: I should have told the quartermaster to pack it in .
[UK]P. Willmott Adolescent Boys of East London (1969) 27: School wasn’t all that bad [...] but I packed it in as soon as I could.
[US]G.V. Higgins Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973) 35: Pretty soon he quits, just packs it all in and goes away.
[UK]A. Burgess 1985 (1980) 206: Five or six mosque workers wanted to pack the job in.
[UK]W. Russell Educating Rita I i: frank: Borrow it. Read it. rita: Ta... If I pack the course in I’ll post it to y’.
[UK]I. Welsh Trainspotting 328: Renton [...] has now been clean for ages, since long before he packed in his London job.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 21 Oct. 1: It was a long time after we packed it in that I started blaming the real culprit.
[UK]Observer Screen 20 Feb. 8: Claire [...] will pack in the fags.
[UK]Guardian G2 20 Feb. 6: If I’d been my friend, I would have told me to pack it in.

4. (US Und.) to leave, to depart.

[US]C. Hamilton Men of the Und. 324: Pack in, To leave.
[US]M. Richler Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1964) 27: I’ll drive you home. It’s time to pack in, anyway.

5. to end a relationship; usu. as pack someone in.

[US]‘William Lee’ Junkie (1966) 8: My friend ‘packed me in’ because the relationship was endangering his standing with the group.
[UK]P. Terson Night to Make the Angels Weep (1967) I ix: You think that just because your wife packed you in for another you’ve got to scrape round the barrel for company.
[UK]A. Sillitoe Start in Life (1979) 22: I told him he’d be a fool to pack you in.
[UK]P. Bailey An Eng. Madam 62: I went off it for two or three years after we packed it in.
[UK]A. Sillitoe Birthday 11: Such determination to pack him in was a kindness that saved him pleading for her not to do so.

6. (Aus.) to go to bed.

[Aus]P. Temple Broken Shore (2007) [ebook] You want them asleep. Go in two hours after they pack it in.
pack it in (also pack it up, pack in) [imper. of pack in ]

as a command, stop it, stop doing it, stop talking.

[UK]G. Kersh Night and the City 203: ‘Well what do you want to do, then?’ ‘Pack it up.’.
[US]Berrey & Van den Bark Amer. Thes. Sl. §205.4: Stop talking; ‘shut up’, [...] pack it up.
[UK]D. Bolster Roll On My Twelve 11: Now pack it in, you lads.
[UK]A. Buckeridge Jennings’ Little Hut 43: Pack it up, Jen, for heaven’s sake!
[UK]F. Norman Fings II i: Tosher Pack it in.
[UK]K. Waterhouse Jubb (1966) 82: Pack it in, mate!
[UK]J. Orton Entertaining Mr Sloane Act III: Pack it in, I tell you.
[UK]E. Bond Saved Scene iv: Pack it up! No wonder that kid cries!
[Can]R. Caron Go-Boy! 194: Pack it in! [...] The screws are coming.
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘Wanted’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] Will you two pack it in!
[UK]I. Rankin Fleshmarket Close (2005) 57: ‘Pack it in, Donny,’ the barman warned.
pack off (v.)

to go away; also as imper.

[UK]N. Hooke Sarah-Ad 25: So we [...] in the Twinkling of a Feather, / All Three forc’d to pack off together.
[UK]J. Hogg Wool-Gatherer 125: Hear to the tatterdemallions! – Christian! Bairn i’ My arms! – Ye impudent, hempy-looking tike that ye are! Pack out o’ my house, I say.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. (2nd edn) 185: PACK, to go away; ‘now, then, pack off there,’ i.e., be of, don’t stop here any longer.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict. [as cit. 1860].
pack up (v.)

1. (orig. milit.) to tire, to abandon one’s efforts, to stop doing something.

[UK]‘J.H. Ross’ Mint (1955) 120: Some of the rear rank were heard muttering, as Pearson checked us off. ‘Pack that up,’ he snarled.
[UK]V. Davis Gentlemen of the Broad Arrows 67: Now, Browne, pack your chatter up.
[UK]D. Bolster Roll On My Twelve 53: Pack up natterin’ and go off an’ ’ave a week wiv the luscious nurses.
[UK]Chips 12 Sept. 1: Pack up that stuff, pal.
[UK]T. Parker Frying-Pan 83: You can pack-up any time you want.
[UK]W. Russell Educating Rita I i: I hate smokin’ on me own. An’ everyone seems to have packed up these days.
[UK]C. Dexter Remorseful Day (2000) 146: Just pack up the booze.

2. of a person, to die.

[UK]N&Q 12 Ser. IX 425: Packed Up. Killed.
[UK]E. Raymond Tell England (1965) 293: Sad about such a nice young gentleman. He’s packing up, they say.
[US]‘Bill O. Lading’ You Chirped a Chinful!! n.p.: Packed Up: Dead.

3. of machinery, or of anything that works mechanically, e.g. the human heart, to stop working; usu. as packed up, occas. packed.

[UK]C.F.S. Gamble Story North Sea Air Station 201: To make matters worse another engine packed up [OED].
[UK]C. Day Lewis Otterbury Incident 64: There seemed nothing to stop Toppy unless his voice packed up.
[UK]P. Larkin letter 6 Mar. in Thwaite Sel. Letters (1992) 224: I hurled myself at a novel again, but it packed up last week, and I am still suffering from injury to the self esteem.
[Aus]B. Humphries Barry McKenzie [comic strip] in Complete Barry McKenzie (1988) 105: Her veins have packed up.
[UK]D. Nobbs Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (1976) 144: At midnight Jimmy’s torch packed up.
[UK]P. Theroux London Embassy 156: The radiator packed up in Virginia.
[UK]G. Burn Happy Like Murderers 166: The television packed up early in the New Year and she didn’t have any money to fix it.
[UK]Guardian Travel 8 Jan. 7: The starter motor packed up.

4. to reject.

‘In The Melting Pot’ in Ashton et al. Our Lives (1982) 176: Well, him make up him mind that him wanted Liza, so him pack up Pauline.
pack up one’s alls and be gone (v.) (also pack up one’s awls and be gone) [SE alls, everything, or awls, tools]

to leave for good.

C. Cotton Voyage to Ireland III 10: I then call to pay, And packing my nawls, whipt to horse, and away .
[UK]T. Brown Letters from the Dead to the Living in Works (1760) II 84: I put no confidence in the king [...] should he pack up his awls for the other world I would not trust him.
[UK]Bailey Universal; Etym. Eng. Dict.
[UK]B.H. Malkin (trans.) Adventures of Gil Blas (1822) I 211: The devil [...] whispered in my ear that I should be a great fool, to pack up my alls when the prize was falling into my hands.
[UK]De Quincey Herodotus in Works 8 191: Old Boreas [...] was required to pack up his alls and be off .
[UK]J. Manchon Le Slang.