1. (also pass up, put a pass) to ignore, to have no interest in, to reject or say no (to); esp. in phr. I’ll pass, as a response to an offer or suggestion [SE pass by].
|Innocents at Home 332: I’ll have to pass, I judge.|
|Wolfville 217: J’inin’ the church in my case is mighty likely to be a bluff. An’ so I passes it up.|
|Tales of the Ex-Tanks 141: He wanted me to cover the whole state of Illinois [...] but I passed and he paid me off.|
|Strictly Business (1915) 107: What’s this? Horse with the heaves? I pass.‘The Call of the Tame’|
|Alaska Citizen 28 Aug. 7/2: He passed up the home girls as though they were pikers.|
|Spats’ Fact’ry (1922) 57: If you thinks more of your cigarettes than you do of me, smoke ’em. I pass.|
|Fighting Blood 314: It did hurt to have all my old friends practically pass me up.|
|Dark Hazard (1934) 26: He had passed up better ones than her out of laziness long before he was married.|
|Thieves Like Us (1999) 39: I’ll pass this time.|
|What Makes Sammy Run? (1992) 257: I knew you wouldn’t mind if I passed up the opening tonight.|
|Harder They Fall (1971) 126: I think I’d better pass. I’ve been on whisky all day.|
|From Here to Eternity (1998) 640: To-day, in this heat, he had thought maybe there would be somebody who had passed up chow.|
|Essential Lenny Bruce 16: I pass with six niggers and eight micks.|
|Daddy Cool (1997) 45: The idea of passing up such a sweet thing bothered him.|
|Ladies’ Man (1985) 152: Maybe we should pass on the grass.|
|After Hours 122: They weren’t sayin’ too much to look at, so Kleinfeld passed.|
|Brown’s Requiem 22: I decided not to pass it up.|
|Songlines 42: ‘Thank you,’ I said. ‘I’ll pass.’.|
|London Fields 55: He would have passed up a visit to the Louvre or the Prado in favour of ten minutes alone with a knicker catalogue.|
|Vinnie Got Blown Away 15: It was quality blow, couldn’t afford to pass it up.|
|(con. 1970s) King Suckerman (1998) 165: I’ll just go ahead and pass on the Sport.|
|Guardian 8 July 3: She passed on the chocolate biscuits, but was happy to drink the Tetley.|
|Love Is a Racket 31: How you gonna pass it up? Forty dollars? How you gonna pass that up?|
|Shame the Devil 81: Johnson’s cool. But I think I’ll pass on the Wilson Boulevard crawl.|
|Shooting Dr. Jack (2002) 274: He could’ve thought what he wanted, when he saw her, and still passed her up.|
2. in senses of SE pass as/for.
(a) of a light-skinned black person, to pose as white.
|[||in House Behind The Cedars (1995) intro. i: In a letter to his publisher in 1899 Charles Chesnutt described the plot of The House Behind The Cedars succinctly thus: ‘It is the story of a colored girl who passes for white.’].|
|Autobiog. of an Ex-Coloured Man (1912/1927) viii : That he ‘passes’ the title indicates.‘Introduction’ in|
|Home to Harlem 64: He knew swell white folks in politics, and had a grand automobile and a high-yaller wife that hadn’t no need of painting to pass.|
|AS VII:1 30: passing. V. v. Passing for white.‘Vocab. of the Amer. Negro’ in|
|Mister Jelly Roll (1952) 3: Louise, the oldest daughter, so fair she could always pass.|
|Kingsblood Royal (2001) 64: What’s this about colored people ‘passing,’ if they’re light enough?|
|Monkey On My Back (1954) 151: All four of the other children were light-skinned, the girl Margery being light enough to ‘pass’.|
|Jamaica Labrish 212: An a nice wite bwoy she love, dah – / Gwan wid her like sey she pass.‘Pass Fe White’ in|
|Mama Black Widow 75: Papa [had] far too much yellow in his complexion to pass.|
|Drylongso 219: Course, we always did have some peolas, an’ everybody know most of these whitefolks is passin’.|
|White Boy Shuffle 119: We missed you at the family reunion! Aunt Tessy wanted to know if you was still passing for Armenian.|
|Guardian G2 14 July 14: The playwright urges that European as well as Asian actors be cast in the Anglo-Indian roles, since many can ‘pass’ for white.|
|Portable Promised Land (ms.) 151: We Words (My Favorite Things) [...] Brown. Bronze. Beige. Ebony. Mocha. Mahogany. Mulatto. Quadroon. Octaroon. Oreo. Creole. Cocoa. Caramel. Café-au-lait. Colored. Passing.|
(b) of a homosexual, to appear heterosexual to those one encounters; similarly of a transsexual, to ‘pass’ as a woman or man.
|[||Dens of London 78: Hatton Garden. Extraordinary Case— A Man-Woman. [...] ‘She may have more than one reason for dressing in that manner, and passing as the husband of the woman Watson, and I wish it was in my power to imprison her’ [...] ‘They always passed as man and wife; and more over, Chapman smokes; and whenever Watson gives her any offence, she beats her and blackens her eye.’].|
|Homosexual in America 142: It would have been a simple thing for these men to ‘pass’.|
|Maledicta III:2 236: Drag queens [...] assert real freedom must mean freedom for the wildest people, not merely those who wish to conform, to pass.|
3. (Aus.) to pawn stolen goods [SE pass on/over].
|Bulletin (Sydney) 5 Aug. 47/2: There, in ’is ’and, was some rings an’ other hangings of a flash cliner. Good stuff it was, too! [...] ‘’Arf’s yours if you’ll pass ’em for me,’ he says.|
4. (S.Afr.) to deal illicit drugs.
|Goddam White Man 71: Passing is passing the dagga which people smoke. Lots of money in that business.|
5. (US campus) to become unconscious (from drink or drugs) [SE pass out].
|What’s The Good Word? 304: If I do too much brew, I’ll get wicked-faced, boot, and maybe even pass.|
see sense 1 above.
SE in slang uses
to play the hypocrite.
|Secret Hist. of Clubs 303: How to file a Drunken Cully; Sweeten an Old Letcher; Whedle a constant Customer [...] and how to pass at once a Sham-Saint and a Maidenhead upon a loose Quaker.|
(W.I., Guyn.) to be treated disrespectfully, to be someone who does not matter.
|Dict. Carib. Eng. Usage.|
(Aus.) to die.
|Bulletin (Sydney) 8 Sept. 15/1: Recently ‘passed-in’ at Kurrajong, N.S.W., William John [...] aged a trifle over the century.|
(Aus.) to punch, to slap.
|W.A. Sun. Times (Perth) 13 Oct. 1/1: During the inky interval a well known bookmaker attempted to fondle his fiancee [and] having cuddled the wrong kleiner in the gloaming he was ‘passed one’.|
|Punch (Melbourne) 27 Sept. 4/2: her goal-kicker wanted ter tike ther ball ‘ome and show it to ‘is tart to let ‘er see ‘e ‘ad touched it; ‘e wudn’t drop it, so Baldy passed ‘im one, as fair a bump’s I ever seen.|
|Songs of Sentimental Bloke 86: I wish’t I ’ad ’im ’ere to deal wiv now! / I’d pass ’im one, I would! ’E ain’t no man!|
|Dict. Aust. Words n.p.: PASS ONE - To deliver a punch.|
|Halfway to Anywhere 106: ‘By cripes, you got a hide, reckoning I ought to miss passing that bloke one because you’re struck on Polly Tanner’.|
(Ulster) to behave as expected.
(Aus.) to commit suicide.
|Bulletin (Sydney) 15 Dec. 10/1: Then – poor man – he went home, gave his last pay to his wife, and passed himself out.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 3 Aug. 12/2: The average bush-worker says, from sheer force of habit, that drowning is a comfortable way of passing yourself out.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 7 Nov. 16/4: There an unfortunate, full up of life, took matters into his own hands and passed himself out.|
1. to die.
|Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1977) 37: There’s a bit of a muddle about the exact minute when the old boy passed out.|
|(con. WWI) Soldier and Sailor Words 220: Pass Out, To: To die.|
|Argot: Dict. of Und. Sl.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
2. (Aus.) to disqualify.
|Bulletin (Sydney) 26 May 24/2: M.L. League of Wheelmen made a beautiful bungle over the disqualification of Sutherland, picked to go to Paris and ‘passed out’ for demanding ‘appearance-money’ from two sport bodies.|
3. (Aus.) to knock out.
|Bulletin (Sydney) 2 July 36/2: I told ’im ’ow they useter go through blokes for their gilt, an’ showed ’im where one passed me out with a bottle be’ind the ear.|
|Fact’ry ’Ands 151: He promised to show Feathers a ‘boshter knack for passing out gazobs’.‘The Fat Girl’ in|
|Ballades of Old Bohemia (1980) 62: You’re all talk. Bongo Williams got nine months for topping off a mob o’ Chows with a bottle. He passed out four of them.Woman Tamer in|
4. to fall asleep, usu. as a result of drink or drugs.
|AS II:6 277: passed out—intoxicated; failed.‘Stanford Expressions’ in|
|AS VII:6 436: A drunkard is a ‘funnel,’ ‘tank,’ ‘blotter,’ or ‘sponge’; he ‘passes out’.‘More Stanford Expressions’ in|
|Argot: Dict. of Und. Sl.|
|Life and Times of Little Richard 151: He stayed up till about ten and then we’d all pass out together.|
|Lucky You 247: A glue-sniffing kidnapper, passed out with one hand dangling.|
see give someone one under one n.1
(US campus) to share experience, to pass on information.
|Da Bomb [Internet] 21: Pass the bone: Sharing one’s knowledge and past experiences with someone else.|
to give a tip.
|Sl. and Its Analogues.|
to be out of danger.
|sermon 24 Apr. in Works II 45: Neither John’s mourning nor Christ’s piping can pass the pikes.|
|Hesperides 31: This a virtuous man can doe, / Saile against Rocks, and split them too: / I! and a world of Pikes passe through.‘His Cavalier’|
|The Rump IV i: Stand here and admire; You are beholding to me, I have past the pikes to meet you, and swet for’t.|
|F&H].Transfig. (3rd Ser.) n.p.: There were many pikes to be passed through, a complete order of afflictions to be undergone [|
|Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: To pass the Pikes, to be out of Danger.|
|New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].|
|, , ,||Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].|
(US) to knock out.
|Valley of the Moon (1914) 168: He’s just a big stiff. I’ve seen ’m fight, an’ I can pass him the sleep medicine just as easy.|