Green’s Dictionary of Slang

car n.

[the image of the prisoners driving/sitting in the same car]

1. [1970s+] (US prison) in a prison, a group of inmates who associate to run money-making schemes, dominate other prisoners, and otherwise ‘rule’ the institution.

2. [1990s+] a group of prisoners who pool their supply of drugs.

3. see Cadillac n. (2b)

In phrases

drive the car (v.)

[1990s+] (US prison) of a prisoner, to purchase the day’s supply of marijuana for a small group of friends; members of the group take it in turns to provide for their fellows; those who are smoking the drugs but not purchasing that day are hitch-hiking.

in the car

[1990s+] (US prison) on good terms.

out of the car

[1990s+] (US prison) on bad terms.

SE in slang uses

In compounds


see separate entries.


see separate entries.

car jockey (n.) [jockey n.2 (3c)]

[1950s+] (US) a car-park or garage attendant.

carnapper (n.) [play on SE kidnapper; modern use, esp. Filipino]

[1950s+] (orig. US) one who steals a car for joy-riding (rather than for resale), and then dumps it or returns it to the place from where it was taken.

car-ringing (n.) [ring v. (1k)]

[1950s+] the practice of altering a car for the purposes of using it as a getaway vehicle, hold-up van, etc. or for reselling it to an unsuspecting customer.

car surfing (n.)

[2000s] (N.Z.) a game based on jumping from one car bonnet to another.

carwash (n.)

[1970s+] (US gay) sexual interaction in a car.

In phrases

get on the cars (v.) [SE streetcar]

[late 19C] (US campus) to start.