Green’s Dictionary of Slang

boiled adj.

1. (also boiled as an owl) drunk; thus ext. as boiled to...

[US]Yale Lit. Mag. XLII 263: There is a balm for a headache caused by last night’s debauch to have it said you were ‘slightly cheered’ or ‘slewed’ or ‘boiled’ .
[US]C.F. Lummis letter 19 Dec. in Byrkit Letters from the Southwest (1989) 180: One would have to be pretty industrious, however, to get ‘biled’ [sic] on this native wine.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 10 Feb. 5/7: Do you thing [sic] I am such a dod-gasted fool as to waste my time [watching] a lot of boiled owls attempting to bat?
[US]E. O’Neill The Movie Man in Ten ‘Lost’ Plays (1995) 192: You know what I mean – he’s soused, pickled, stewed, boiled.
[US](con. 1917–18) C. MacArthur War Bugs 71: He got boiled as an owl.
[US]D. Parker ‘Big Blonde’ in Penguin Dorothy Parker (1982) 192: ‘’Atta girl,’ he would approve. ‘Let’s see you get boiled, baby.’.
[US]E. Anderson Thieves Like Us (1999) 26: If he wants to get boiled, he’ll go clear up to Muskogee.
[US]J. Archibald ‘Bird Cagey’ in Popular Detective Jan. 🌐 The citizen with her was boiled to the scalp.
[US]E. O’Neill Long Day’s Journey into Night Act III: Lately Vi’s gone on drunks and been too boiled to play.
[US]A. Zugsmith Beat Generation 12: Some of them are knocked into the middle of next week because their old man is boiled.
[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS.
[US](con. WWII) J.O. Killens And Then We Heard The Thunder (1964) 380: Both of these Yankee bastards’re boiled, and we don’t allow strong drinks in here. [Ibid.] 420: Samuels was just about half boiled already.
[US]T. Wolfe Bonfire of the Vanities 327: They were talking and laughing, with their heads thrown back, blissfully boiled.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr.
[US]A. Kleinzahler Cutty, One Rock (2005) 84: She was stiff, Boiled as an owl.

2. angry, furious.

[UK]Wodehouse Carry on, Jeeves 216: The policeman was regarding me in a boiled way.
[US]‘Hal Ellson’ Rock 25: Gimpy just looks at him [...] ‘He’s boiled,’ Lubo says.
[US](con. 1940s) A. Bergman Big Kiss-off (1975) 116: I got a little boiled about that.

In compounds

boiled-bum (adj.)

(Aus.) red, from drunkenness.

[Aus]J. Hibberd Dimboola (2000) 88: I’ll smash your boiled-bum face in.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

boiled dinner (n.) [culinary stereotyping]

(US) an Irishman.

[US]‘The Lang. of Crooks’ in Wash. Post 20 June 4/1: [paraphrasing J. Sullivan] The Irish race [has] numerous cognomens, as a boiled dinner, harp or a mick, also a terrier.
[US]Spokane Press (WA) 22 Sept. 7/3: An Irishman is referred to as a ‘boiled dinner’.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
boiled dog (n.) [? SE boiled shirt + put on (the) dog under dog n.2 ]

(Aus./N.Z.) snobbery, stand-offishness, ‘side’; also attrib.

[NZ]Otago Witness (NZ) 11 Feb. 20: he was not smart enough for the lurements of the Arrow dredging boom, and became ‘interested’ in some ‘boiled dog’ venture.
[NZ]Marlborough Express (NZ) 4 Apr. 5: These deluded people think that ‘boiled dog’ is essential to breeding.
[NZ]Truth (Wellington) 21 May 4: If they can’t afford servants [...] they should put on less ‘boiled dog’.
[NZ]Truth (Wellington) 26 Jan. 6: And so he did stalk in awful majesty last Saturday evening. It was a triumph of boiled dog.
[Aus]Baker Aus. Lang. 119: Terms like frill, boiled dog, jam and guiver, connoting ‘side’ or affectation.
[US]T.B. Haber ‘Canine Terms Applied to Human Beings’ in AS XL:2 93: boiled dog. Extreme social pretentiousness.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 28: boiled dog Affectation, eg, ‘Don’t come the boiled dog with me, mate. I know you grew up in a railway house in Papakura.’ From about 1910.
boiled (lobster) (n.) [lobster n.1 (1a); cooked lobsters turn red/pink]

a soldier.

[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 8 Nov. 3/4: The undertaking by the ‘boiled lobster’ to take his daughter.
[UK]Wild Boys of London I 124/1: ‘One of the biled’ll come and shove him out.’ ‘One of the biled?’ exclaimed Lucy. ‘Yes. A sojer,’ returned Sam.
[UK]Besant & Rice Celia’s Arbour (1887) 284: Jack the Sailor, Joe the Marine, and the Boiled Lobster.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
boiled rag (n.) (also boiled linen) [joc. var. on boiled shirt ]

(Aus./US) a starched dress shirt.

[US]‘Artemus Ward’ Artemus Ward, His Book 30: The Shakers axed me to go to their meetin, as they was to hav sarvices that mornin, so I put on a clean biled rag and went.
[Scot]Dundee Courier 28 Oct. 3/2: On his first candidature for office in Oregon territory, certain of the baser sort voted agin’ him [...] in respect of his wearing a white shirt, or, as they [...] styled it, a ‘boiled rag’.
[US]Public Ledger (Memphis, TN) 23 Apr. 1/2: About ten o’clock Sunday morning [...] an infuriated man in every household [...] would be yelping for a clean boiled rag .
Dly Bulletin (Honolulu) 28 Aug. 2/3: The shirt (‘a boiled rag’) was being got up [...] when she and her husband were going somewhere.
[Aus]Sydney Sl. Dict. (2 edn) 4: Flesh-bag - A shirt. American, biled rag.
Fort Worth Wkly Gaz. (TX) 26 June 7/4: Nothing has more style about it than what the horrid men call a ‘boiled rag’.
[US]N.Y. Tribune 6 May 4/4: [from the London Leader] If you do not hapen to possess a clean ‘bi’led rag’ [...] then an overcoat buttoned up to the neck round which you fold a handerkerchief is quite in the fashion.
[Aus]Stephens & O’Brien Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 23: BOILED RAG [...] see boiled shirt.
Wash. Standard (WA) 4 Oct. 1/5: Federal officals in court dress were an unknown quantity, a ‘boiled rag’ [...] was seldom seen.
[US]A. Irvine My Lady of the Chimney Corner 170: As a flunkey I had my first dose of boiled linen and I liked it.
boiled shirt (n.) (also biled shirt) [earlier use can denote, in US, simply a white shirt; such shirts were literally boiled in the wash to remove the starch]

1. a starched dress shirt.

[US]C.L. Canfield Diary of a Forty-Niner (1906) 104: He had shaved his beard [...] and was dressed up in a ‘biled shirt’.
[US]‘Artemus Ward’ Artemus Ward, His Book 224: Accordingly I put on a clean Biled Shirt and started for Washinton.
[UK]A.K. McClure Three Thousand Miles through the Rocky Mountains 412: In order to attend the Governor’s reception, I borrowed a boiled shirt, and plunged in with a Byron collar, and polished boots.
[US]J. O’Connor Wanderings of a Vagabond 229: Men wearing polished boots and boiled shirts were too exclusive to play in company with the ‘great unwashed’.
[US]Daily Trib. (Bismarck, ND) 5 Sept. 11/6: Going to slide into a boiled shirt, grease my boots, and light out for Washington.
[US]N.Y. World 13 May n.p.: Is it possible that the Chicagoans never heard of white shirts before this spring? May-be the street-railway presidents never saw a starched shirt (I must deplore the use of the word ‘biled’ as applied to shirts) until this year [F&H].
[US]New Ulm Rev. (MN) 22 Nov. 4/5: He [...] found it to be a white shirt with a highly glossed front. ‘A boiled shirt!’ he exclaimed.
[US] in Overland Monthly (CA) July 58: A good clean shirt an’ a good clean shave — / An’ a white biled shirt.
[Aus]Stephens & O’Brien Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 23: BOILED SHIRT: a white cotton or linen shirt: no doubt originated in the common wear of flannel, crimean or other woolen shirts which will not stand washing. Sundays and holidays a change to a boiled shirt was fashionable.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 29: Castleton wore a red shirt [...] and wouldnt’ have worn a biled shirt if he’d had one.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 1 May 2nd sect. 10/5: One wonders In gazing at the mournful spectacle whether it is the skates that pain him, or his boiled shirt.
[US]‘Lord Ballyrot in Slangland’ in Tacoma Times (WA) 10 July 4/4: Every guy what gets into the blow-out has to doll up in a hard-boiled chest-protector.
[UK]‘Bartimeus’ ‘Legion on the Wall’ in Naval Occasions 54: ‘Oh, my aunt!’ gasped an ex-International [...] ‘My last boiled shirt and it’s got to last another week!’.
[US]O.O. McIntyre White Light Nights 19: Doc Shuffield in high hat and boiled shirt.
[US]T.T. Flynn ‘The Deadly Orchid’ in Goodstone Pulps (1970) 106/1: I went in with a fat billfold, a boiled shirt, tails and everything.
[US]J. Evans Halo in Blood (1988) 163: I’m sure you didn’t ask me to put on a boiled shirt and come over just to point out what a dirty name I am.
[UK]Picture Post 13 Nov. 14: Mr. Hindle the manager, his boiled shirt swollen with satisfaction.
[US]S. King It (1987) 357: In his threadbare tux and yellowing boiled shirt he looked like an undertaker who had fallen on hard times.

2. attrib. use of sense 1.

[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 224: There was a big spread out at Glencree reformatory, Lenehan said eagerly. The annual dinner you know. Boiled shirt affair.

3. (US) a respectably dressed man.

[US]P. Hamill Flesh and Blood (1978) 51: All them boiled shirts comin’ aroun’ here for the fights – that’s the Parole Board, man.
boiled stuff (n.) [used by Shakespeare in Cymbeline (1610); the ref. is to the sweating tubs, used to treat venereal diseases]

prostitutes, viewed collectively.

[UK]Shakespeare Cymbeline I vi: Which rotteness can lend nature! such boil’d stuff As well might poison poison!

In phrases

as good as boiled (adj.)

(Aus. gambling) of a racehorse, not being raced to win.

[Aus]Herald (Melbourne) 3 Jan. 6/7: Hence [...] such phrases as ‘a dead un,’ ‘as good as boiled,’ and other sentences expressive of the advantage of betting against a horse that can by no possibility win: for ‘dead’ is a metaphorical mode of expressing the condition of an animal sure not to run, or, if running, ‘made safe not to win.’ .
boiled lollies or Turkish delight [lollies n. (1)]

(Aus.) a phr. representing the two extremes – lose or win – of a given bet.

[Aus]T. Peacock More You Bet 8: When ‘going for broke’ [...] the outcome was either going to be ‘boiled lollies or Turkish delight’; or, ‘the Paris house (which was a glamrous Sydney restaurant) or the shit house’, [or] ‘either the shithouse or the penthouse’.
drunk as a boiled owl (adj.)

see separate entry.