works, the n.
1. everything, the lot.
|Tales of the Ex-Tanks 133: Costumes, street apparel, and the whole works for the presentation of ‘Shakespearian repertoire.’.|
|Sarjint Larry an’ Frinds 24: Oi [...] had de whole works clamped tight around his head.|
|Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 76: There would be room at the table, and a room the size of a table, and the whole works would cost six dollars a week.‘Felice o’ the Follies’ in|
|Penguin Dorothy Parker (1982) 195: I’m through with the whole works.‘Big Blonde’ in|
|Tropic of Cancer (1963) 267: More and more of it — until the whole fucking works is blown to smithereens.|
|Asphalt Jungle in Four Novels (1984) 263: White beach, palm trees, tremendous luxury hotels [...] the works!|
|Come in Spinner (1960) 20: Coming in here at five-thirty and throwing her weight round to get the whole works.|
|On the Road (The Orig. Scroll) (2007) 330: The fear if they caught me they’d really give it to me – I mean rubber hoses and the works.|
|Dud Avocado (1960) 178: He looked like a Hollywood director out of New Yorker cartoon; full flowing foulard, red shirt and beret, the works except for riding boots and a megaphone.|
|Mute Witness (1997) 53: Give it the full treatment – labels, luggage, clothes; everything. Linings and the works.|
|Shaft 5: Just testimony or the whole works with photographs and all that.|
|Dead Butler Caper 11: Yes, yes, the whole works.|
|Skin Tight 219: We arrive with bells on – sirens, lights, the works.|
|Vinnie Got Blown Away 99: Give you the works Rameez.|
|Dead Long Enough 219: Me. Who has witnessed the whole bastard works.|
2. the leader, the ‘boss’.
|Girl Proposition 142–3: The only call that he made on her Intellect was to please regard him as The Works.|
|Story Omnibus (1966) 319: If he hadn’t [...] been the works, how could he have so neatly turned the others over to me one at a time?‘The Big Knockover’|
3. the finest example.
|Silk Hat Harry’s Divorce Suit 14 May [synd. cartoon strip] She thinks that old Rumnmy is the whole works.|
|Walls Of Jericho 181: This place was a flock o’ towns. It was the same thing to that part o’ the country that New York is to this. It was the works.|
|(con. 1920s) Studs Lonigan (1936) 486: She had a long, greyish coat which made her look like the works.Judgement Day in|
|Crack Detective Jan. 🌐 I just come down to Miami for my health. [...] The quack told me that the Florida sunshine would be the works.‘Sing Sing Sweeney’ in|
|Rooted II i: Let’s go out to dinner tonight. I’ll give you the works – cocktails, dinner by candle-light.|
|Carlito’s Way 51: Get yourself five outfits — the works, look like a boss.|
|Only Fools and Horses [TV script] You’ve gotta see this bird, she really is the works.‘The Miracle of Peckham’|
4. the situation.
|Reporter 255: ‘Come on,’ growled Welsh Hogan, ‘I know the works.’.|
5. a beating; the ‘third degree’; murder.
|Behind The Green Lights 278: He [...] must have demonstrated, if arrested, that he can ‘take the works’ at a police station without a squeal.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
|DAUL 239/2: Works. 1. A violent beating; murder.et al.|
6. (US Und.) an informer; a confession.
|Und. Speaks n.p.: He’s the works, he is a stool pigeon.|
|DAUL 239/2: Works. [...] 4. The complete details, as of a crime; a full confession. ‘You better lam (get out of town), Moe. I hear your broad (girl) got picked up (was arrested) and spilled the works (confessed everything).’.et al.|
7. (US gay) a passive homosexual.
|Und. Speaks n.p.: He’s the works [...] sexually perverted.|
|Homosexual in America 112: The passive [pederast] is defined by no less than sixty-eight different words or phrases, from apple-pie to works.|
8. sexual intercourse.
|AS VII:5 338: the works — [...] copulation.‘Johns Hopkins Jargon’ in|
|Teen-Age Mafia 71: This girl Connie was in for the works.|
9. (US teen) a machine.
|Teen-Age Gangs 50: ‘Shoot the works.’ There was a whirl of the juke box record wheeling into place, the scratching of the record.|
10. in prostitution, the full range of a prostitute’s services.
|Maledicta IX 150: The original argot of prostitution includes some words and phrases which have gained wider currency and some which have not […] the works (complete treatment, perhaps including around the world anilingus).|
(US) an important person.
|Five Thousand an Hour Ch. xiv: I’ d call to-night if I didn’ t have to be the big works at a Coney Island dinner party.|
1. to suffer, to be punished, to be killed.
|Green Ice (1988) 26: Who tipped you off to the fact that Wirt Donner was to get the works?|
|Living Rough 209: The poor niggers sure used to get the works.|
|Sucker’s Progress 145: When ordinary [...] politicians and officials bucked the tiger the dealers ‘protected the house’ at all times; in other words, these smaller fry got the works.|
|Long Good-Bye 140: I did something foolish and I got the works for it.|
2. (US prison) to receive a death sentence, to receive a very long sentence.
|Amer. Lang. (4th edn) 581: In virtually all American prisons [...] To be sentenced to death is to get the works.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 97: get the works To be sentenced to death.|
|(con. 1945) Touch and Go 127: Do you think he’ll get the works?|
1. to reveal everything.
|High Sierra in Four Novels (1984) 425: Louis sure gave them the works. I’m wanted for murder.|
2. (also put the works on) to harm, ranging from beating up to actual murder.
|One Man’s War (1928) 133: The calf did not want to go [...] We carried it alongside of a fence and gave it the works. It was some job skinning it.diary 10 July in|
|Nightmare Town (2001) 36: Well, the rest of them [...] were all for giving Nova the works.‘Nightmare Town’ in|
|It’s a Racket! 242: works — The ‘Third Degree’; the use of violence to obtain a confession; e.g. ‘The bulls gave me the works.’.|
|Maltese Falcon (1965) 307: ‘I'm sorry I got up on my hind legs, but you coming in and trying to put the work on me made me nervous’.|
|Dundee Courier 8 Oct. 11/6: The Treherne girl’s old man put the works on me.|
|Gangster Stories Oct. n.p.: ‘Give them the works if there‘s any funny business. Scram’.‘Snowbound’ in|
|(con. 1920s) Studs Lonigan (1936) 249: If any bird on this team starts dirty work . . . give him the works!Young Manhood in|
|Bruiser 28: At once Gill began to ‘give him the works.’.|
|Really the Blues 21: Sid [...] wobbled down to the police station to squawk about how some hoodlums gave him the works and hijacked all his whiskey.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 187: put the works on To employ violence.|
|Tomboy (1952) 117: The cops picked up twenty-three of us [...] and gave us the works.|
|(con. 1944) Rats in New Guinea 149: Then them an’ the tanks give the Nips the works.|
|Janey Mack, Me Shirt is Black 148: Then Johnny went out to get the gang that gave his Da the works.|
3. to put all one’s efforts into communicating something, typically a sermon or political oration, or doing something, criticizing or selling something etc.
|Barker I ii: Get this kid – hook, line an’ sinker – give him the works.|
|Put on the Spot 39: I got half a notion to give that big flatfoot the works. He’s hot for the front-page copy.|
|War Poems of the United Nations 85: Battle stations, give him the works, give him hell.|
|Till Human Voices Wake Us 11: [The magistrate] assumed the portentous air they nearly always do when they’re giving a chap the works.|
|Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit 40: I [...] prepared to give her the works.|
|Gone Fishin’ 116: You pretend to be an inspector. Give him the works.|
4. (US tramp) to be given a job by a social agency.
|Milk and Honey Route 206: Give him the works – To be given a job by a social agency, or sent to the rock pile by the judge.|
5. (also put the works into) to make sexual advances towards.
|Broadway Brevities Dec 11/2: After having the skids put under her by L. Lawrence Weber [...] she skipped to the coast and put the works into jack Dillon.|
|San Diego Sailor 15: He took his hand out of his pocket and started giving me the works.|
6. to engage in sexual intercourse.
|Short Stories (1937) 169: He handed her an additional dollar [...] Calling him dearie, she gave him the works.‘Clyde’ in|
|Anecdota Americana II 30: The fairy then took his pants down and gave him the works in the ass.|
|Sexus (1969) 105: It was the signal to give her the works and spare nothing.|
|Gun in My Hand 204: Well, your popsy’s not here, sport. Probably someone’s giving her the works on the front verandah.|
|Alfie Darling 173: Did you give her the works — the full treatment?|
|Maledicta III:2 232: He also may or may not know the following words and expressions: [...] give him the shaft (the action, the rod, the works, etc.).|
7. to make a thorough medical inspection.
|Men from the Boys (1967) 29: ‘I’d say you’re in good shape — for an old man.’ ‘I’m only fifty-four, you punk.’ ‘Okay, pops, take off your shirt and I’ll give you the works.’.|
to spoil someone’s chances.
|Final Curtain (1958) 124: ‘What’s he done?’ ‘Handed them the works.’.|
1. (US Und.) to beat up.
|(con. 1900s) Man’s Grim Justice 31: Dat’s my goil [...] I’ve put the works on more than one mug fer trying to make her.|
2. (US) to direct one’s energies towards, e.g. in order to deceive or seduce.
|Man’s Grim Justice 140: Winnie [...] saw I was a regular eighteen-carat sap, so she preceeded to put the works on me.|