Green’s Dictionary of Slang

sloppy adj.

[SE; ult. slop, an act of spilling, the liquid thus spilt]

1. lazy, inefficient, imprecise.

[UK]Academy 29 Mar. 218: [To] teach a great number of sciences and languages in an elementary and sloppy way [F&H].
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 24: Her Sunday stays would not permit of the absolute freedom of movement which Mr. McDuff called ‘sloppy’.
[UK]Cornishman 12 Mar. 7/1: Age of Sloppy Dress. ‘We live in a neglige age, and, unfortunately sloppiness is the keynote of our attire today,’ says the ‘Outfitter’.
[US]J. Lait ‘Annye’s Ma’ in Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 279: Monday morning dawned dismal and sloppy.
[UK]E. Raymond Tell England (1965) 27: Don’t be a sloppy ass.
[UK]Dundee Courier (Angus, Scot.) 28 Mar. 3/4: There was too much sloppy theology nowawdays. The horror of the age was that it did not realise the enormity of sin.
[US]R. Whitfield Green Ice (1988) 46: I was looking for a sloppy blonde.
[UK]G. Kersh They Die with Their Boots Clean 75: I’ll instinctive you, you sloppy great Date, you!
[US]‘Ed Lacy’ Best that Ever Did It (1957) 117: I wasn’t much of a detective [...] what little work I was doing was sloppy as hell.
[US]J.P. Donleavy Fairy Tales of N.Y. I i: Helen could never pack things. I told her she was sloppy, why don’t you fold things up?
[UK]P. Theroux Family Arsenal 98: I still think it’s a pretty sloppy outfit.
[US]C. Hiaasen Tourist Season (1987) 182: Sloppy fucker, too. Left his finger-prints all over the piping.
[UK]K. Sampson Powder 71: Even the basic classics [...] looked sloppy on Tony.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Layer Cake 5: He knows we’re not sloppy wankers.

2. mawkishly sentimental.

[UK] ‘’Arry on the Season’ in Punch 22 June 298/1: Such sloppy saloop [...] ‘embellished’ with rummy old cuts.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 14 Nov. 48/3: It’s sloppy stuff to spoon out here and now before a gang of hard-doers with whipped-beer in their ignoble whiskers, but I did it well then.
[UK]W.S. Maugham Bread-Winner Act III: You’re just a silly, hysterical, sloppy schoolgirl.
[UK]Wodehouse Right Ho, Jeeves 16: The female in question was a sloppy pest.
[UK]P.C. Wren Odd – But Even So 16: He [...] had met Marie, and just gone all sloppy and sentimental.
[UK]J. Osborne Look Back in Anger Act III: He’s a sloppy, irritating bastard, but he’s got a big heart.
[Ire](con. 1940s) B. Behan Confessions 21: Shut up, you sloppy Irish mick.
[UK]‘P.B. Yuill’ Hazell and the Three-card Trick (1977) 100: In this town if we’ve known each other for longer than a year that’s friendship. Let’s not get sloppy.
[US]S. King It (1987) 176: He thought of when the Penguins came on the radio singing ‘Earth Angel’ – ‘my darling dear/love you all the time ... ’ Yeah, it was stupid, all right, sloppy as a used Kleenex.

3. (US) messy.

[UK]E. Pugh City Of The World 245: It’s too hard and sloppy and cold a bed.
[US](con. 1917–18) C. MacArthur War Bugs 231: We kicked our carefully-folded blankets into sloppy piles.
[US]R. Whitfield Green Ice (1988) 27: The place was sloppy with newspapers.

4. (US, also slip-sloppy) drunk.

[US] ‘Sl. Expressions for Drunk’ in New Republic in AS XVI:1 (1941) 9 Mar. 70: [...] sloppy.
[US]E. Booth Stealing Through Life 279: Don’t get sloppy drunk at some bootleg joint.
[US]E. Weiner Howard the Duck 94: He had just got sloppy after knocking back half a bottle of Chivas.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 9: slip-sloppy – very drunk.
[US]D. Burke Street Talk 2 23: You got sloppy at her party last night.

In compounds

In phrases