Green’s Dictionary of Slang

grass n.1

1. pubic hair; thus cut someone’s grass, of a man, to have sexual intercourse.

[UK] ‘The Trooper Watering his Nagg’ in Farmer Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) I 193: But what if my Nag should chance to slip in, [...] Then catch hold of the Grass that grows on the brim, [...] But what if the Grass should chance to fail, [...] Shove him in by the Head, pull him out by the Tail.
[UK] ‘My Oval Well’ Cockchafer 16: I love to feel the grass that grows / Around my well so free.
[US]Lillian Glinn ‘Where Have All the Black Men Gone?’ [lyrics] I ain’t got nobody who will cut my grass in spring, / Yeller men are lazy, they won’t even move that thing.
Alice Moore ‘Grasscutter Blues’ [lyrics] I woke up this morning and the rain was falling fast, / I began to wish I had some good man to cut my grass.
[US]N. Heard Howard Street 138: Your black snake’ll never crawl through this grass!
[US]Maledicta VI:1+2 (Summer/Winter) 131: Pubes […] chuff, Fort Bushy, fur, garden, grass, lawn, mowed lawn if shaved.

2. used fig., with ref. to green-ness of grass, a fool, a naive person.

[UK]‘Knowing Bill’ in Rake’s Budget in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) III 87: To Billingsgate each morn I goes, / I think myself no grass.

3. hair; thus cut the grass, to cut the hair.

[[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 27 Jan. 3/2: The top of his noddle is an extensive plain entirely free from grass, and of sufficient dimensions to fight a maiii of bantams].
[Aus](con. WWI) A.G. Pretty Gloss. of Sl. [...] in the A.I.F. 1921–1924 (rev. t/s) n.p.: grass. [...] hair.
[US]D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 59: In drills a chippie with grass as short as mine.
[UK]S. Selvon Lonely Londoners 93: While he combing the grass he have to sort of look up and not forward.

SE in slang uses

In derivatives

grassville (n.)

see separate entry.

In compounds

grass-eater (n.)

(US) a police officer who accepts small bribes; thus grass-eating.

[US]E. Torres After Hours 13: The grass eaters, punks and stool pigeons.
[US]T. Philbin Under Cover 102: I know they accused you of grass-eating [...] Everybody eats grass, I don’t see that as bad. As long as you aren’t a meat-eater, that’s fine.
[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak.
[US]J. Stahl Plainclothes Naked (2002) 137: None of the cops Manny knew would call you a ‘grass-eater.’ They’d just call you a dirty cop.
[US]D. Winslow The Force [ebook] Cops fall into two categories—grass eaters and meat eaters. The grass eaters are the small-timers—they take a cut from the car-towing companies, they get a free coffee, a sandwich. They take what comes, they’re not aggressive.
grass-fighter (n.) [fighting on the grass rather than on canvas; note John Healy book title The Grass Arena (1988)] (Aus.)

1. a bare-knuckle boxer; thus grass-fighting, bare-knuckle boxing.

[Aus]Northern Miner (Charters Towers, Qld) 2 Jan. 2/4: O.K. was fortunate enough to witness a willing battle between Jack Burke and Pill Hudson [...] Both men are pretty well known In the North as grass fighters, and a game go was expected.
[Aus]Dly Herald (Adelaide) 11 Apr. 7/5: If some of the old-time Corinthians could see a present-day boxing contest and contrast it with the fight-to-a-finish grass fights of the time when the prize ring was at its very zenith.
[Aus]Port Pirie Recorder & North Western Mail (SA) 15 Feb. 2/8: He has won a lot of grass fights and minor ring events.
[Aus]Canowindra Star & Eugowra News (NSW) 16 Oct. 7/1: James Lennon, of circus fame, and grass fighter acrobat, was fined £2.
[Aus]Cessnock Eagle & South Maitland Recorder (NSW) 24 Aug. 2/1: What should prove a very interesting fight [...] between Tommy Juno [...] and Typo Hepplewhite, the Greta grass fighter.
[Aus]Cessnock Eagle & South Maitland Recorder (NSW) 12 Oct. 8/4: Recently the pair engaged in a grass fight, and honors were even.
[Aus]Narromine News & Trangie Advocate (NSW) 18 May 8/4: I heard Bill was going to belt the stuffing out of my carcase when he sees me, and I am very anxious to meet him. I reckon I am the best grass fighter who ever wore boots, and I don't think be will do me much harm. I can wallop him to pieces, blacken an eye or two, and knock him as flat as a lizard run over with a steam roller.
[Aus]Newcastle Morning Herald & Miners’ Advocate (NSW) 18 June 6/2: Rourke, a red-headed old-time bare-knuckle grass fighter.
[Aus]I.L. Idriess Across Nullarbor 19: Those were the bare-knuckle days, ‘kinged’ over by the grim ‘grass fighters’.
[Aus]H.G. Lamond Big Red 283: Grass-fighter, bare-knuckle man. Prize-ring rules, or no rules at all.
[Aus]Canberra Times (ACT) 13 Nov. 10/7: He looks strictly a grass fighter, and his polished opponent had represented Ceylon at the 1962 Commonwealth and the 1964 Olympic Games.
[Aus]D. Stuart Wedgetail View 99: Professional pug, yes, he makes money [...] though it’s a pretty crook way of making a quid. But grass fighting, hell [...] it’s crazy [AND].

2. one who fights in public rather than in the prize-ring; thus one who is known as a brawler.

[Aus]D. Niland Call Me When the Cross Turns Over (1958) 220: Fascination was the grass-fighter. No two-minute rounds and a minute spell for him.
[Aus]R.H. Conquest Horses in Kitchen 123: He reckoned any good Australian grass-fighter, fast on his feet, could skittle a shillelagh man in no time.
grasshopper (n.)

see separate entry.

grass sandwich (n.)

(US) an alfresco act of sexual intercourse.

[US] in E. Schaefer Bold! Daring! Shocking! True: A Hist. of Exploitation Films (1999) 7: The first extant American film, A Free Ride (also known as A Grass Sandwich) has been dated about 1915.
[US]Sanders & Blackwell Forces 164: Get a Grass Sandwich: To copulate [HDAS].
[US]C. Sandburg Always the Young Strangers 168: They told of a young fellow saying to his girl, ‘Let’s go to the picnic and after sundown we’ll have a grass sandwich’.
long grass (n.)

the rural provinces, that area of a country beyond the major cities.

[US]E.W. Townsend Sure 6: ‘[M]ost of our big banks is run by men who came here from de provinces.’ ‘Dat’s dude langwudge for long grass’.

In phrases

grass before breakfast (n.) [? grace before breakfast or go to grass v. (1)]

(Irish) a duel.

[Ire]S. Lover Handy Andy 82: Dick Dawson had a message conveyed to him from O’Grady requesting the honour of his company the next morning to ‘grass before breakfast’.
[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 146/2: Grass before breakfast (Irish, 18 cent. and early 19 cent.). Duel. May be a jocular derangement of grace before breakfast.
go to grass (v.)

see separate entries.

go to the grass (v.) [i.e. the countryside]

(N.Z.) to run off, to abscond.

[NZ]Truth (Wellington) 29 May 7: But alack and alas! Eady has once more gone to the grass. His miraculous ‘cure’ has ben exploded like a pricked balloon and great was the noise and fall thereof [DNZE].
if there’s grass on the pitch, let’s play

if a girl has pubic hair she is eligible for seduction, irrespective of her age.

[UK]T. Black Ringer [ebook] ‘Aye well, if you keep to the schoolies then it's an unfair advantage.’ ‘I’ve heard this patter before. I’m having none of it.’ [...] ‘If there’s grass on the pitch – let’s play ... that’s what I say’.
in the long grass

lying low, esp. of someone one hasn’t seen for some time; thus wait for someone in the long grass, to lie low, to maintain a ‘low profile’.

[UK]V. Davis Phenomena in Crime 255: In the long grass. Hiding from the police.
[UK]B. Geldof Is That It? 213: When you have not seen someone for a long time and you ask them where they have been they might reply, ‘Oh, I’ve been in the long grass,’ meaning they’ve been around but not visible.
out at grass (adj.)

1. (US) temporarily absent from one’s usual life.

[US]N.E. Police Gaz. (Boston, MA) 12 Oct. 5/4: Linda Somers is in town once more, having been out at grass all summer.

2. (Aus.) of a woman whose husband is temporarily absent, ie. a SE grass widow.

[Aus]Truth (Brisbane) 12 May 7/3: In the house there were a slavey / Plump and fresh, not second-hand. / Like her missus, who’s a scorcher — out at grass, you understand.
put out to grass (v.) (also put to grass) [animal imagery]

1. to send out to work as a prostitute.

[UK]Merry Devil of Edmonton IV i: You are a couple of hot-shots; does a man commit his wench to you, to put her to grass at this time of night?

2. (also put out to pasture) to send into retirement.

[UK]E. Rutherford 15 May diary in Garfield Our Hidden Lives (2004) 25: Churchill sounded tired when he spoke on Sunday. I think he should be put to grass, as he calls it.
[UK]D. Davin For the Rest of Our Lives 278: He was my squadron once. Before they put me out to grass here.
[US]L. Rosten Dear ‘Herm’ 152: ‘I don’t want to be put out to pasture!’ protests Miss M.
[UK](con. 1940s) J.G. Farrell Singapore Grip 505: A couple of elderly Englishmen who but for the war would long since have been put out to grass.
[Can](con. 1920s) O.D. Brooks Legs 122: I’ve worked for the road all my life. In six years they’ll put me out to pasture with a damn good pension.
[UK]K. Lette Foetal Attraction (1994) 239: Oh, you mean Nigel? My dear, he could only get an erection on a wooden rocking horse [...] I put him out to pasture days ago.