1. to haggle, esp. if one takes advantage of the other person.
|Vocab. of the Flash Lang. in McLachlan (1964) 254: needle (see nail) to needle a person, is to haggle with him in making a bargain, and, if possible, take advantage of him, though in the most trifling article.|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
2. vi, to irritate, to annoy; thus needled
|Sl. Dict. 235: Needle To annoy.|
|‘’Arry on Harry’ in Punch 24 Aug. 90/1: What’s needled my nabs, it appears, / Is being mistaken for Me!!!|
|Sporting Times 3 Feb. 1/4: Oh, it do needle me / That, as old as ’e is, ’e can out me!‘A Dangerous Dad’|
|Phila. Eve. Bulletin 5 Oct. 40/4: Here are a few more terms and definitions from the ‘Racket’ vocabulary: [...] ‘Needle,’ to irritate, as a person.|
|Amer. Lang. (4th edn) 580: Some of their inventions, indeed, were adopted by the whole population, e.g., [...] to needle.|
|Observer Rev. 4 July 14: It is about the new, and the new is always needling.|
|Sun. Times Mag. 6 Feb. 39: It needles him that in another universe entertainers are earning millions for making films.|
3. vtr, to annoy someone, to tease maliciously.
|Topeka Journal 2 Feb. n.p.: Lewis bitterly resented this pressure and [...] developed considerable personal heat against Roosevelt for ‘needling’ him.|
|(con. 1944) Gallery (1948) 34: Nothing was easier than to lash McCloskey into mania by needling.|
|USA Confidential 140: They needle Mexicans in Mexico with the old song of racial inferiority, to turn them against their northern neighbors.|
|Ghost Squad 157: The ‘needling’ went on all the time [...] I also paid him the final insult by asking him in public how he spelled his name!|
|(con. 1940s) Confessions 31: All I want to do is needle them [i.e. policemen] as I best I can.|
|S.R.O. (1998) 108: Many of the less fortunate inmates [...] went out of their way to needle Suzie.|
|Picture Palace 47: They made funny faces behind my back: you can needle an oldster!|
|Muscle for the Wing 156: Ever since she’d made the mistake of telling him the details of her previous major fling he’d needled her about it.|
4. to become annoyed.
|Long Good-Bye 39: You must needle easy if this punk can do it. Who took the cuffs off ?|
5. (US) to add alcohol or ether to a non-alcoholic beer or drink, usu. by injection through the cork, thus needleman, one who does this.
|Phila. Eve. Bulletin 5 Oct. 40/4: Here are a few more terms and definitions from the ‘Racket’ vocabulary: [...] ‘Needle,’ to strengthen, as a liquor.|
|Eve. Sun (Baltimore, MD) 9 Dec. 31/5: Needleman — one who doctors beer.|
|Runyon on Broadway (1954) 573: The beer is not real, and by no means nice, being all needled up with alky.‘For a Pal’ in|
|Indiscreet Guide to Soho 93: The thirsty patrons soon made the position easier by ‘needling’ the tame stuff with liquor from their hip flasks.|
|DAUL 144/1: Needle. [...] 2. To inject ether or alcohol into beer.et al.|
|World’s Toughest Prison 809: needle – To treat a soft drink or ‘near beer’ with some form of alcohol, ether, etc., to give it a ‘kick,’ making it intoxicating.|
6. to insinuate oneself.
|Topeka Journal 21 Mar. 4/2: Whilst Mussolini has been losing influence with Franco in Spain, Hitler has been needling in rapidly.|
7. to encourage, to ‘prod’.
|(con. 1944) Naked and Dead 37: A part of him was trying to needle his courage to look over the edge of his hole.|
8. (Irish) to scrounge.
|At Night All Cats are Grey 66: He makes bloody few mistakes as far as needling for drink is concerned, even the Scroggy-man would be put to the pin of his collar to best him.|
9. (US Und.) to drill a hole, e.g. in a safe.
|Gonif 96: I needled and blew the crib inside of fifteen minutes.|
1. upset, annoyed.
|Dagonet Ballads 77: There, he’s off! the young varmint, he’s needled!|
|‘’Arry in Switzerland’ in Punch 5 Dec. in (2006) 97: I wasn’t much ’urt, mate, thanks be — only needled a bit in my pride.|
|‘’Arry on the Sincerest Form of Flattery’ in Punch 20 Sept. 144/2: You are needled along o some parties.|
|Slum Silhouettes 219: Blowed if she didn’t git fair needled. She ain’t scarcely spoke to me since.|
|Look Long Upon a Monkey 190: He had been waiting for this wide boy to get needled.|
|Inside Daisy Clover (1966) 96: He’s distinctly needled now.|
|Hazell Plays Solomon (1976) 104: I allowed myself to get needled.|
2. (US) intoxicated.
|Broadway Racketeers 253: Needled—Charged with dope.|
|‘Und. “Lingo” Brought Up-to-Date’ L.A. Times 8 Nov. K16: NEEDLED: Near beer, or a beverage into which alcohol or ether has been injected.|
|Runyon on Broadway (1954) 355: He [...] gets out some pretty fair beer, though it is needled a little.‘Hottest Guy in the World’ in|
|Hollywood Detective July 🌐 The fall was an accident [...] But the needled whisky wasn’t.‘Dead Don’t Dream’ in|
|I, Mobster 60: Keep on their tail to see they didn’t hand you nothing but needled slop.|
(US) beer that has been strengthened by pure alcohol or ether.
|TAD Lex. (1993) 59: I hear there’s good stuff down at Al’s. Naw. He’s got that needle beer. One shot and you’re numb.in Zwilling|
|Phila. Eve. Bulletin 5 Oct. 40/4: Here are a few more terms and definitions from the ‘Racket’ vocabulary: [...] ’needled beer,’ beer containing more than one-half of one per cent alcohol. [...] ‘shot beer,’ same as ‘needled’ beer.|
|One-Way Ride 71: The O’Donnells slipped over on him a few barrels of needle beer instead of the real stuff.|
|(con. 1920s) Pedlocks (1971) 297: Peter [...] grew to love the needled beer of the New Jersey bootleggers.|
|USA Confidential 245: [They] go to cheap beer-dives where they get loaded on needled brew, then get rolled.|
|Best that Ever Did It (1957) 7: During Prohibition it was called the Grand Cafe Ice Cream Parlour and openly sold needle beer and very little ice cream.|
|World’s Toughest Prison 809: needle – To treat a soft drink or ‘near beer’ with some form of alcohol, ether, etc., to give it a ‘kick,’ making it intoxicating. needle beer – Beer treated as above.|
|From Bondage 129: Known to Jeffrey was a speakeasy [...] Bob and Ira would repair Saturday nights, after the store closed, and quaff ‘needle beer’.|
(US Und.) one who adulterates beer.
|AS IX:1 27: needle-man. One who doctors beer.‘Prison Parlance’ in|
|DAUL 144/1: Needle-man. [...] 2. (Especially prohibition era) One who doctors beer by charging it with ether or denatured alcohol.et al.|