Green’s Dictionary of Slang

ace adj.

[ace n. (3)]
(orig. US)

1. (also acey, acey-deucey) best, excellent, wonderful.

[US]Albuquerque Jrnl (NM) 13 Sept. 4/6: Why didn't you play the ace ideas when you held them?
[US]O.O. McIntyre New York Day by Day 6 Nov. [synd. col.] The toughest audiences in flush vaudeville days were not at the ace houses.
[UK]V. Davis Phenomena in Crime 13: ‘Ace’ crooks and petty thieves.
[US]Lait & Mortimer USA Confidential 168: The town’s ace madame attends every council meeting.
[US]‘Lord Buckley’ Hiparama of the Classics 15: Hip to the cool sweet groove of Liberty and solid sent upon the Ace Lick that all Cats and Kitties, Red, White, or Blue! are created Level, in front.
[UK]Jackie 6 June n.p.: I met a real acey chick [KH].
[Aus]J. Holledge Great Aust. Gamble 84: [H]e got back those losses with interest when ace lightweight jockey E. Gorry got her up to take both the Spring Handicap and the Free Handicap .
[US](con. 1940s) E. Thompson Tattoo (1977) 227: Hey! That’s straight ace!
[US]Southern Illinoisan (Carbondale, IL) 7 Apr. 4/1: Prison Slang [...] Acey-deucey: OK.
[Aus]B. Humphries Traveller’s Tool 25: As a shag she might score zero, but she’s ace at washing, ironing, and keeping a man’s tucker warm.
[UK]K. Sampson Awaydays 154: Telling me how she’d planned our first shag and how ace it was going to be.
[Aus]P. Temple Dead Point (2008) [ebook] She’s [i.e. a boat] ace, Mr Fil [...] Runnin smooth.
[UK]K. Waterhouse Soho 93: That ace wankah Ellis Hugo Bell was here.
[UK]N. Griffiths Stump 6: Think about how ace the day will be; one of them clear and crisp spring days.
[Aus]T. Spicer Good Girl Stripped Bare 84: ‘Oh wow, that’d be ace,’ I say, like a sixteen-year-old cheerleader.
[US]J. Ellroy Widespread Panic 144: ‘That must have been an ace gig for a guy in your trade’.

2. expert.

[UK]P. Cheyney Dames Don’t Care (1960) 83: I wonder if Mr Lemuel H. Caution, the ace ‘G’ man, is going to do a forlorn woman a good turn ace, in cards.
[US]J.D. Salinger Catcher in the Rye (1958) 190: I’ll show you the door in short order if you flunked in English, you little ace composition writer.
[US]C. Himes Cotton Comes to Harlem (1967) 19: His two ace detectives with their identical big hard-shooting, head-whipping pistols.
[US]Cab Calloway Of Minnie the Moocher and Me 160: He was an ace musician.
[UK]T. Blacker Fixx 298: An ace intelligence maverick on the loose.
[Aus]J. Byrell Lairs, Urgers & Coat-Tuggers 215: [T]here were two ace jockeys who shared the Professor nickname - Higgins (who was also known as ‘Roy The Boy’) and Jack Thompson.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Culture 9 Jan. 2: Shot by ace cinematographer Darius Khondji.
[Aus]S. Maloney Sucked In 39: You’d think Melbourne’s ace crime reporter would have more newsowrthy leads to pursue.
M. Miner ‘The Hurt Business’ in ThugLit July [ebook] Takes me a good five minutes with my ace lock pick kit to get in.

In compounds

ace boon coon (n.)

see separate entry.

ace boy (n.) (also ace buddy, ace-cut) [SE boy/buddy n. (2)/? SE cut]

(US campus) one’s best friend.

[US]H. Ellison ‘Buy Me that Blade’ in Deadly Streets (1983) 101: You’re my ace-buddy, ain’tcha?
[US]Hughes & Bontemps Book of Negro Folklore 559: He’s my ace-boy, / Gone away.
[US]A. Anderson ‘The Checker Board’ in Lover Man 11: Mutton head didn’t never play the dozens with nobody, not even me, his ace-cut.
[US]H. Rhodes A Chosen Few (1966) 47: This is my ace boy, Blood.
[US](con. 1958) R. Farina Been Down So Long (1972) 61: Who [...] was [...] Hop Harrigan’s ace buddy?
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr. 1: ace buddy – close friend.
ace-flat (adj.) [SE flat, absolute, downright, unqualified]

(US) excellent, first-rate.

[US]J.G. Rothenberg ‘Peanuts! The Pickle Dealers’ in AS XVI:3 Oct. 189: Ace-flat copper. A decent, fair-minded, considerate policeman.
ace kool (n.) [var. on ace boon coon n. + cool adj. (3)]

(US black) a very close friend.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) 2 June 6A/3: Ace kool — Best friend.
[UK]W.J. Reynolds Drive-by 298: Because of his closeness to the late FlashMan, FlashMan having been his ‘ace kool’ or mentor, Little Flash now truly was under [...] suspicion.
Atlanta Parent ‘A Street Gang Primer’ 🌐 Ace Kool — best friend. 25 May 🌐 Yesterday, Three of the Crips in Ft. Worth got arrested by the K-9’s being the KLUCKAS that they are. This ain’t no C World G. One banger had 130g’s and you can bet he was no one’s ACE KOOL. He ‘cracked’ with the fear of b-in shackled in the Fed. academy. He spilled his info. at first chance.
J. Eden Ashley Jordan’s Secret 42: We ain’t ace kool, you know. [...] I was getting ready to kick you to the curb.
ace-lover (n.)

(US black, mainly Southern/Midwest) one’s most important lover, the most important member of the opposite sex one knows, e.g. a husband, a pimp, a boyfriend.

[US](con. 1940s) Deuce Ofay Productions ‘The Jive Bible’ at 🌐 Ace-lover: n. One’s superlative companion of the opposite gender, usually implying some degree of sexual prowess; ‘Girl, you’d never think it by checkin’ him out, but Marvin be my ace-lover. The good lord blessed him with man muscle in the double digits and the ’bility to hit it all through the dims and brights!!’.
aceman (n.)

1. (US teen) the leader of a teen street gang.

D. Burley Chicago Defender 7 Dec. 17: The ‘Twigglers’ kept 37th street hot [...] The ‘Jazzbows’ had ‘Slick’ Shelby and Willie Jenkins as ace-men.
[US]Kramer & Karr Teen-Age Gangs 3: He had already heard that Riff, one of the Ace-men, and a few other boys intended to hijack a bundle of the Daily News and hawk them in the subway.
[US]B. Schulberg On the Waterfront (1964) 247: You was our first ace-man.

2. (US black) a male lover, a boyfriend.

[US]D. Burley N.Y. Amsterdam News 29 June 19: The chick from Westchester got sapped up so thoroughly by her angry Ace Man.
ace-one (adj.) [A-1 adj. (1)]

(US black) very best.

[US] ‘The Letter’ in D. Wepman et al. Life (1976) 141: If you see another bone from this here gal, / St. Peter will call Satan his ace-one pal.
ace queen (n.)

1. (US black) one’s favourite girlfriend.

Dan Burley ‘Back Door Stuff’ 20 Aug. [synd. col.] Trying to figure out [...] why your ace queen come up short on your ‘Partial Plan’.

2. (N.Z./US gay/prison) a very effeminate (prison) homosexual.

[US]R.O. Scott Gay Sl. Dict. 🌐 ace queen: [70’s prison] one that appears as womanly as possible with shaven legs plucked eyebrows.
[SA]K. Cage Gayle.