Green’s Dictionary of Slang

drop v.1

1. [early 17C+] to abandon a friendship or relationship; to snub; thus dropping n.

2. [early 19C+] of an idea or train of thought, to overlook, to ignore, to give up on.

3. [mid-19C–1950s] to quit, to turn aside, e.g. on a road.

4. [1940s+] to evade.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

drop-case (n.)

[1970s] (US) a fool.

drop game (n.)

see separate entry.

drophead (n.)

[2000s] (N.Z.) a fool.

drop-in (n.) [the image of a gullible victim who may sometimes drop in to a confidence game without having to be steered there first] [1930s–40s] (US)

1. something that is easy; easy money.

2. a victim, a sucker.

drop-shoulder (n.) [the contorted form of Dr Frankenstein’s deformed assistant Igor]

[2000s] (N.Z.) a fool.

drop trick (n.)

1. [late 19C] (US Und.) a form of robbery whereby the thief enters a bank, distracts the attention of a customer who is counting their money by claiming they have dropped a bill, then grabs the pile that is being counted and runs off.

2. see drop game n. (1)

In phrases

drop... (v.)

see also under relevant n.

drop a net on (v.) (also drop the net on)

[1940s+] (US) to commit to a psychiatric institution.

drop a spanner (v.)

[2000s] (S.Afr. gay) to indicate that one is a lesbian.

drop away (v.)

[late 17C] to give, lose or part with something, usu. money.

drop blue lights (v.)

[1960s] to swear, to use obscenities.


see separate entries.

drop down on (v.)

[late 19C] to visit.

drop ’em (v.) [’em are her knickers]

[1940s+] of a woman, to have sexual intercourse.

drop foot (v.)

[1950s+] (W.I., Jam.) to dance energetically.

drop hairpins (v.)

see separate entry.

drop hand (v.) (also drop a hand in)

[1950s+] (W.I.) to hit with the clenched fist.

drop into (v.) [the whip or fist is dropped into the victim]

[mid–late 19C] to beat, to thrash.

drop it across (v.)

[1910s] to reject someone.

drop off (v.)

see separate entries.

drop on (v.)

1. [mid-19C–1910s] to accuse, to rebuke.

2. [late 19C-1900s] to encounter.

drop one’s bait-can (v.) [the most serious mistake an angler can make is to drop his bait-can]

[late 19C] (US black) to make a serious mistake.

drop one’s candy (v.)

[1900s–30s] (US) to make a serious mistake.

drop one’s drawers (v.)

1. [1970s+] of a woman, to allow intercourse; to lead a promiscuous sex life; also trans.

2. to react with extreme emotion.

drop one’s ears (v.) [equine imagery]

[mid-19C] to give up, to be discouraged.

drop one’s ovaries (v.) [2000s] (S.Afr. camp gay)

1. to be completely in love with someone.

2. to have a shock or fright.

drop one’s sash (v.)

[early 19C] to wink.

drop on oneself (v.)

[late 19C] (US) to look out, to restrain oneself (so as to avoid punishment).

drop onto/upon (v.) [the image of a bird of prey plummeting onto a victim] [mid–late 19C]

1. to become aware of.

2. to accuse, to turn on someone suddenly.

drop out

see separate entries.

dropped in the bucket (adj.)

see under bucket n.

drop someone in it (v.) (also drop someone in the crap, ...the shit) [it is trouble, but the implication is also of excrement]

[1930s+] to put someone deliberately into difficulties.

In phrases

drop the arm on (v.) [the physical action + the fig. SE arm of the law]

[1920+] (US) to arrest.

drop the bucket (v.)

[1940s+] (Aus.) to fail to keep a promise, usu. of buying liquor for a third party.

drop the bucket on (v.) (also tip the bucket on)

[1930s+] (Aus.) to make damaging revelations about, esp. in a political context; thus bucket-tipping n.

drop the hook on (v.)

[1930s] to become involved with, to take advantage of.

drop the pill on (v.) [the gas is triggered by breaking open a pill of cyanide]

[1990s+] (US Und.) to execute in the gas chamber.

drop the rag (v.) [rag n.1 (2a); the dropping of a flag to signal the start]

[late 19C+] (US) to give a signal, to set events in motion.

drop the soap (v.)

see separate entry.

drop trou (v.) [a supposedly more sophisticated version of moon v. (2)] (US campus)

1. [1950s] (also down trou) to drop one’s trousers (in public).

2. [1960s+] in fig. use, to be amazed, astonished.

3. [1990s+] to urinate.

drop up (v.)

[1940s–50s] to visit.

drop upon (v.)

[late 19C] to treat badly, to victimize.

In exclamations

drop dead!

see separate entry.

drop it!

[mid-19C+] change the subject! stop talking that way! stop what you are doing!

drop off!

see separate entry.