Green’s Dictionary of Slang

wood n.1

1. [early 19C; 1940s+] money [ref. to the barrels in which valuable liquor is stored].

2. [mid–late 19C] the pulpit.

3. [1920s] (US Und.) a beer keg, holding bootleg alcohol.

4. [1940s] a police truncheon.

5. [1950s+] (also tree) the penis.

6. [1980s+] an erection; thus give/slip someone wood, of a man, to have sexual intercourse [the solidity of the erection].

Sexual terms

In phrases

buff the wood (v.)

[1990s+] to masturbate.

catch wood (v.)

[1980s+] (US) to get an erection; thus in fig. use, to become extremely excited.

get wood (v.) (also have (good) wood)

[1990s+] to achieve an erection.

give wood (v.)

[1990s+] to render erect.

morning wood (n.)

[1990s+] (US) an erection of the penis first thing in the morning.

put the wood to (v.)

1. [1970s+] (US) of a man, to have sexual intercourse.

2. see also general phrs. below.

take wood (v.)

[2010s] to subject oneself to (anal) intercourse.

General uses

In compounds

wood rash (n.)

[1970s–80s] (N.Z. prison) an injury inflicted by a truncheon.

In phrases

lay the wood to (v.)

[1970s] (US) to beat severely.

look over the wood (v.)

[late 18C–early 19C] to mount the pulpit, to preach.

put the wood to (v.) [image of hitting with a wooden club or truncheon] [1970s+] (US)

1. to punish, to coerce by threats.

2. to cause serious trouble for.

3. see also sex phrs. above.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

wood butcher (n.)

[19C+] a carpenter.

wood duck (n.) [Aus. wood duck, technically classified as a maned goose, thus pun on SE goose, a fool] [1980s+]

1. (Aus.) a fool.

2. (Aus. prison) an inexperienced prisoner.

woodheap (v.) [SE woodheap, a stack of firewood] (Aus.) [1910s+]

1. to ostracize a fellow worker; thus woodheaping n.

2. to force an itinerant to chop firewood in return for food and accommodation.

wood hick (n.) [SE wood(land) + hick n.1 (2)]

[19C] (US) a derog. term for a rustic, a peasant.

wood merchant (n.)

[late 19C–1910s] a street seller of matches.

wood-pussy (n.) (also woods-pussy) [lit. ‘wood-cat’]

[late 19C+] (Can./US) a skunk, a polecat.

In phrases

have wood for (v.)

[2010s] (US) to be obsessed with, usu. negatively.

look through the wood (v.)

[late 18C–mid-19C] to stand in the pillory.

poor as wood (adj.)

[20C+] (Aus.) second-rate.

put the (bit of) wood in the hole (v.) (also put a piece of wood in the hole)

[1910s+] to shut the door; usu. as imper.

take it out in wood (v.)

[mid–late 19C] to stand in the stocks; latterly to serve a prison sentence.

up to the arms in wood

[early 19C] standing in the pillory.

wood-and-water joey (n.) [joey n.1 (2a), they run for firewood, drinking water etc.] [late 19C+] (Aus./N.Z.)

a general labourer; also in non-manual use (see cite 1912).

wood up (v.) [? the wooden barrels that hold liquor]

[mid-19C] (US) to drink.