Green’s Dictionary of Slang

box n.1

[uses of SE box]

1. as a bodily organ.

(a) (also Christmas box, sex-box) the vagina; thus generic for a woman.

[UK] Buckley ‘Oxford Libell’ n.p.: Neare to ye crosse standes marie and Inane w’h each ofe them an offering boxe you wear as good let them alone for best spedes hey ’scapes ye poxe.
[UK]Whythorne Autobiog. 126: [He was] Medling so with such A box az waz not for A frier.
[UK]Shakespeare All’s Well That Ends Well II iii: He wears his honour in a box unseen, That hugs his kicky-wicky here at home, Spending his manly marrow in her arms.
[UK]J. Day Humour out of Breath I iii: An I were a man as I am no woman, I’d pepper your box for that jest.
[UK] ‘The New Exchange’ in Farmer Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) V 4: Here’s dice and boxes, if you please / To play at in and in [...] & if you like such thundering spourt, / Here is my ladyes hole.
[UK]Davies of Hereford Wits Bedlam 180: Her Guests and Gamesters do so ply her Box.
[UK]Robin Goodfellow, His Mad Pranks and Merry Jests E3: Maids in your smocks, Looke well to your locks, and your tinder Boxe.
[UK]H. Glapthorne Hollander IV i: They are sure faire Gamesters use to pay the boxe well: especially at In, and In, (the Innes of Court Butlers would have had but a bad Christmas of it else) and what care they so they can purchase plush, though their wives pay ith’ hole for it.
[UK]R. Brome New Academy II i: And she ha’ not good box and steel, I shall so grull her, And then at Mumbledepeg I will so firk her.
[UK]W. Lawrence Diary Aug. 27: Flesh was so cheap in that Market [...] that their Boxes were unremembred, and they return’d with pockets as light as their persons.
[UK] ‘Session of Ladies’ in Wilson Court Satires of the Restoration (1976) 212: Lady Onnery, once both a beauty and wit, / With the box and dice had great hopes to prevail; / But she had a trick, when she was in her fit, / To throw off with her hand what she got with her tail.
[UK]Motteux (trans.) Gargantua and Pantagruel (1927) II Bk IV 258: The stiff deity that has no forecast, Priapus [...] remained sticking in her natural Christmas box.
[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy VI 324: Each swears she’ll buy her a Fairing, And opens her Christmas-box: She’ll give it all to the Red-coats.
[UK] ‘Female Tobacconist’ Gentleman’s Spicey Songster 43: One was an old parson, three score and ten, / Who enjoyed his pipe a bit now and then; / For her spitting box, he’d eagerly call, / But he’d smoke the whole night without spitting at all.
[US] in P. Smith Letter from My Father (1978) 195: I kissed her thighs, then her wet hairy box.
[US] ‘The Iceman & the Cook’ [comic strip] in B. Adelman Tijuana Bibles (1997) 48: Hello Bertha old keed, here’s a piece for your box.
[UK] ‘Christopher Columbo’ in Bold (1979) 53: They’d caught a pox from the very box / That syphilised all Europe.
[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 58: Have you heard of the lady named Cox / Who had a capacious old box?
[US]The Bangers [song title] Baby Let Me Bang Your Box.
[UK](con. 1943) A. Myrer Big War 12: I’m going to stick your little sex-box, there.
[US]Kerouac On The Road (1972) 154: The same thing happened to that dumb little box.
[US]T.I. Rubin In the Life 44: He screwed my box off.
[US] in Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) I 230: And after school we go to Block’s, / We pick up bags of woolly socks (Oh, horse shit!) / We like the way they tickle our box, / We are the Pi Phi girls.
[UK]N. Cohn Awopbop. (1970) 15: It was straight about sex [...] it was downright filthy – Hank Ballard’s Work With me Annie, Billy Ward’s Sixty Minute Man and the Penguins’ Baby Let me Bang Your Box were typical.
[US]J. Wambaugh Choirboys (1976) 14: Damn, she’s got a hairy box!
[UK](con. 1975) W. Sherman Times Square 315: I’ll split your wife from her neck to her box [...] if you pull out.
[US]Maledicta VI:1+2 (Summer/Winter) 131: Box (vagina).
[UK]Viz June/July 25: I’ve played with my wife’s box.
[US]W.T. Vollmann Whores for Gloria 108: If some cunt walked by and I wanted her box, I bought it.
[US](con. 1970s) G. Pelecanos King Suckerman (1998) 85: He [...] took in the lingering fish smell of Donna’s box.
Online Sl. Dict. [Internet] box n 1. a vagina. 2. an attractive female.
[US]‘Master Pimp’ Pimp’s Rap 52: This had been driving her crazy ever since I started licking her box.
M.E. Dassad ‘Chickenhawk’ at www.cultdeadcow.com [Internet] You ever been fucked? [...] Anybody stick their meat in your box?
[SA]K. Cage Gayle 59/1: box n. crotch, either male or female.
[US]G. Pelecanos (con. 1972) What It Was 39: His thick, helmeted cock plunging in and out of her warm, wet box.

(b) (US) the mouth.

J. Huston Frankie and Johnny 69: Close your box.
[US]New Yorker 12 May 32: First crack outa Don’s box is ‘What is with you, Sonny?’.
A. Paikada Gitanjaly Express [Internet] I have told you time and again not to speak this bloody local language. Speak English or shut your box for good.

(c) (US gay) the male genitals; thus the bulge of genitals in tight trousers.

[US]‘Swasarnt Nerf’ et al. Gay Girl’s Guide 18: The following words or phrases are frequently used, seriously or facetiously, in a sense the same as, or equivalent to, their meaning in straight English (Slang) [...] box.
[US]R. Abrahams Deep Down In The Jungle 47: You suck my ass and the box, that way you can’t miss my asshole.
[US]Lavender Lex. n.p.: box:– [...] the bulge caused by the genitalia when wearing tight pants.
[US]Guild Dict. Homosexual Terms 5: box (n.): The male genitalia; also the basket; also the bulge of the genitalia when covered by tight pants.
[US]J.P. Stanley ‘Homosexual Sl.’ in AS XLV:1/2 48: For the homosexuals of Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, and the Southwest, box is used to denote the male genitalia.
[US]Maledicta VI:1+2 (Summer/Winter) 131: Box [...] in the sense of U.S. gay term basket, U.K. packet).
[US]H. Max Gay (S)language.
[SA]K. Cage Gayle 59/1: box n. crotch, either male or female.

(d) (US black) the buttocks; the anus.

[[US]Bawdy N.Y. State MS. n.p.: He wiggled his ass and began for the scratch, / But presently he found he was in the wrong box].
[US]Al Collins ‘I Got the Blues for You’ [lyrics] Baby with the big box / Tell me where your legs stop / I got the blues for you.
[US]W. King ‘The Game’ in King Black Short Story Anthol. (1972) 305: You sho got a niaz box, baby! [...] See how she shakes that thang?
[US](con. 1930s) C.E. Lincoln The Avenue, Clayton City (1996) 49: ‘She got to have a whole lot of poontang,’ he said aloud, ‘’cause she got a whole lot of box to tote it in.’ All ass and no class, he mused.

(e) (US black) sexual intercourse.

[US]A. Baraka Tales (1969) 10: Me and Chris had these D.C. babes at their cribs [...] Oooooo, that was some good box.

(f) (US campus, also lustbox) an exceptionally attractive female.

[UK]B. Naughton Alfie Darling 198: You’re a real hot little lustbox, ain’t you.
[US]Hope College ‘Dict. of New Terms’ [Internet] box n. A young woman of exceptional pulchritude. [...] The term likely derives from the idea of an attractive woman having or being ‘the complete package’.

2. as a container.

(a) (also stiff box) a coffin; thus phrs. put to bed in a box, send home in a box, to bury.

[UK]J. Cook Greenes Tu Quoque Scene xviii: My father is fleeced of all; griefe will give him a box, yfaith, but ’tis no great matter, I shall inherit the sooner.
[UK]Witts Recreations Epigram No. 652: Make a Tomb for me, good folks, I will be buried in a Box.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Aug. XX 286/2: The Turk, the Christian, Pagan, and the Jew, / Must all be shut up in a box at last!
[UK] ‘Bob Dusty’ Lummy Chaunter 72: Six lushy old sweeps, some short and some tall, / Carried Bob in his box to the earth made for all.
[US]G.W. Harris Sut Lovingood’s Yarns 210: Hit mus’ be a sorter vexin kine ove thing tu be buried alive, tu the feller what am in the box.
[UK]‘The Jargon of Thieves’ in Derry Jrnl 8 Sept. 6/5: A coffin is a stiff box.
[US]J. Miller First Fam’lies in the Sierras 142: The men [...] lowered the unshapely box, caught up spades, and found a positive relief in heaping the grave.
[US]W.K. Post Harvard Stories 127: Just think of coming back in a pine-box.
[US]A.H. Lewis Wolfville 3: We gets a box an’ grave ready.
[UK]R.H. Savage Brought to Bay 241: I would like to see the man who would blacken my name! [...] Either him or I would go off in a box!
[US]J. London ‘Flush of Gold’ Complete Short Stories (1993) II 1289: Flush of Gold being married, and Dave Walsh in his big box casting the shade for her.
[US]C.E. Mulford Bar-20 Days 174: Follow that glory-outfit, an’ see what’s in that box!
[UK]R. Tressell Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (1955) 347: Crass always did the polishing of the coffins on these occasions, besides assisting to take the ‘box’ home when finished and to ‘lift in’ the corpse.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 105: Poor Dignam! His last lie on earth in his box.
[UK](con. WWI) Fraser & Gibbons Soldier and Sailor Words 34: Box, The: A coffin.
[US]E.C.L. Adams Congaree Sketches 54: When dey start comin’ out wid de box to take Silas to de grave.
[US]J. Lait Gangster Girl 2: He was laid away in a fifty-grand stiff-box.
[US]M. Harris ‘Facing the Mob’ in Gangland Stories Feb. [Internet] Andy’ll yes me or be put to bed in a box.
[US]E. Caldwell Tobacco Road (1958) 66: You’ve got to swear to me you won’t let me be left in the box where the rats can get me.
[US]J. Mitchell McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon (2001) 49: I’m not long for this world [...] I give myself three more years they’ll have me in a box.
[Aus]‘Taboo Tabie’ in Mess Songs & Rhymes of the RAAF 40: Now hes ’dead and in his box.
[Ire]B. Behan Scarperer (1966) 83: Bring in the box [...] and we’ll get on with the body.
[US]Randolph & Wilson Down in the Holler 229: box: n. Coffin.
[Aus]J. Alard He who Shoots Last 70: Keep him away from me or he’ll end up in a box.
[US]A. Brooke Last Toke 63: Should o’ killed him right there ... let that ole wino breathe on him fo’ five minutes he be in a box ’stead o’ talkin’ mo’ jive.
[US]H. Gould Fort Apache, The Bronx 15: If it was me in that box [...] he’d say the same thing.
(con. c.1966) Roberts & Sasser Walking Dead 77: Send me home—before I go in a box.
[UK]J. Cameron It Was An Accident 158: They want us out their manor, and out their manor in a box.

(b) a prison, a prison cell, a prison visiting compartment; thus boxing up, imprisonment.

[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 16: A man is ‘boxed’ when he is put in prison.
[UK]Crim.-Con. Gaz. 1 Sept. 24/3: We hear of his being in Giltspur-street Compter [...] and the said Vander in the next box blind drunk.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 6 Aug. 2/5: They were both sentenced to a month’s boxing-up.
[UK]N&Q Ser. 5 X 214: The box in the stone-jug is doubtless a cell [F&H].
[UK]Barrère & Leland Dict. of Sl., Jargon and Cant.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]W. Burroughs Naked Lunch (1968) 151: In the box he meets this cat who is some species of cheap hustler.
[US]F. Elli Riot (1967) 242: We’ll be right back in one of these stinkin’ boxes as soon as they get in here.
[UK]A. Hollinghurst Swimming-Pool Library (1998) 256: My first visit was from Taha – a ‘box-visit’, a reunion conducted through glass.
[US]A.N. LeBlanc Random Family 343: In the box Cesar couldn’t intimidate, protect, or save anyone.

(c) (US campus) a pulpit.

[UK]Besant & Rice Golden Butterfly II 29: Did you notice the young gentleman in the box?
[US]E.H. Babbitt ‘College Words and Phrases’ in DN II:i 24: box, n. The pulpit in chapel.

(d) a safe (esp. an old-fashioned model); thus box-cracker, a safe-breaker.

[US]Number 1500 Life In Sing Sing 261: We got a country jug on our first touch, but the box wasn’t heavy enough for five.
[US]Wash. Post 11 Nov. Misc. 3/6: The ‘can-opener’ or large jimmy is sometimes used on old boxes.
[US]J. Lait ‘Canada Kid’ Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 155: I was the son of a tough box-cracker an’ a whisky-drinkin’ counter-snatcher.
[US]C.S. Montanye ‘The Man Who Never Forgot’ Detective Story 17 Dec. [Internet] It’s harder to find a box to bust than a million bucks!
[US]F. Packard White Moll 72: They ought to be able to crack that box without making any noise about it in an hour and a half at the outside.
[US]J. Callahan Man’s Grim Justice 54: They were different boxes in those days [...] They were key-lockers and fireproof petes.
[US]J. Spenser Limey 256: The other men were bank robbers, pay-roll robbers, stick-ups, ‘box’ (safe) blowers and nondescripts.
[US]San Quentin Bulletin in L.A. Times 6 May 7: BOX, a safe.
[US]H. Wilson ‘I Was King of the Safecrackers’ in Hamilton Men of the Und. 136: The box sits in a sidewalk window with a light on it.
[US]C. Hamilton Men of the Und. 320: Box, A safe.
[US]T. Runyon In For Life 95: I could [...] make my own nitroglycerin from stolen dynamite and use the grease to crack a box.
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 792: box – A safe or money box.
[US]R.E. Alter Carny Kill (1993) 104: ‘Can you bust a box if you have to?’ [...] ‘Are you suggesting that I, Gerald Malone, would stoop to cracking a safe?’.
[US]‘Red’ Rudensky Gonif 6: I must have busted four hunded boxes and lifted more than a million.
[US]E. Little Another Day in Paradise 51: He [...] has the safe open in under ten seconds [...] ‘I’ve never even heard of anybody opening a box that fast.’.
[UK]N. ‘Razor’ Smith Raiders 138: Billy [...] said he would have no trouble popping the box.

(e) the witness box; thus (Aus.) jump the box, to turn Queen’s evidence; also fig. use.

[US]Dly Capital Jrnl (Salem, OR) 30 Oct. 1/3: When Oi was placed in the box in front of the old b’hoy with the wig he told me to kiss the book.
[UK]T. Burke Nights in Town 225: ’Ad a rough time in the box, Luba? [...] And the old man’s questions. Put you through it, din’ ’e?
[UK]Breton & Bevir Adventures of Mrs. May 67: Belinda were a bit wobbly when she went into the box.
[UK]J.B. Priestley Good Companions 613: I’ll tell yer what I know for George ’ere, but yer don’t put me in the box, see?
[UK]P. Kavanagh Tarry Flynn (1965) 160: We’d better try Flynn in the box before we chuck it.
[NZ]J.A. Lee Shiner Slattery 31: Into the box one of us gets.
[Aus]Kings Cross Whisper (Sydney) xxxv 6/3: jump the box, to give evidence in favour of a charged person in court.
[US]N. Pileggi Wiseguy (2001) 75: I couldn’t believe it. He was going to put me right in a box.

(f) (US Und.) a slot machine, a ‘one-armed bandit’.

[US]Hostetter & Beesley It’s a Racket! 220: box—Slot machine for gambling purposes.

(g) (US) a cash till.

[UK]O.C. Malvery Soul Market 288: They were initiated by more experienced criminals into the art of ‘box-lifting’ – that is, till-stealing.
[US]D. Fuchs Low Company 204: Why should he suddenly want to take money from the box?

(h) (US prison) a measure of marijuana, orig. (1960s) that which filled a matchbox.

[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 73: Box […] a unit of measure associated with marijuana. In the 1950s and 1960s, before marijuana became so expensive, it was sold in matchboxes for about ten dollars.

(i) (US prison) a carton of cigarettes, the equivalent of $15 in a barter economy.

[US]C. Shafer ‘Catheads [...] and Cho-Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy Bounty of Texas (1990) 199: box, n. – [...] a carton of cigarettes.
[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 64: Box One carton or ten packs of cigarettes. A box of premium cigarettes is the prison equivalent of $15.
[US]Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July [Internet] Box: (1) A carton of cigarettes. [...] (3) A quarterly package containing personal items sent from the outside.
A Prisoners Dict. at www.inmatesplus.com [Internet] Box: (1) A carton of cigarettes.

(j) (US) a refrigerator.

[US]R. Price Ladies’ Man (1985) 152: I figure, shit, I’ll blow this little jay and . . . wail! Raid the box, hole up with the Bogey, you know?
[US]Easyriders Oct. 17: So I liberated a cold one from his box and kicked my tired ass back [HDAS].

3. as a (small) place [also Fr. boîte, lodging house or restaurant].

(a) a small drinking house or tavern.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: A pretty Box [...] a small drinking place.

(b) a house.

[UK]Laugh and Be Fat 7: He came to a pretty neat Box which stood by the Highway-Side.
[UK]W. Godwin Caleb Williams (1966) 267: By God, and I do not know whether it be or no! I am afraid we are in the wrong box!
[UK]Comic Almanack Dec. 73: To please her will, at fam’d Box Hill, / I took a country box.

(c) a nightclub.

[US]I.L. Allen City in Sl. (1995) 71: The plain English box [...] has long been used in American slang for a night club or dance hall.

(d) (US black) a room; an apartment.

[US]‘The Jiver’s Bible’ in D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive.

(e) (US Und.) a punishment cell; also attrib.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 33/1: Box. [...] 3. (P) The prison segregation block for housing recalcitrants or inmates under protection. ‘Whitey just hit the box for flipping (knocking down) that screw (guard) that was giving him buckwheats (unpopular assignments) in the shop.’.
[US]J. Blake letter 25 Feb. Joint (1972) 13: I was sent to the Box, a solitary cell.
[US]D. Pearce Cool Hand Luke (1967) 64: Curly could eat. But he could work too. This is what kept him out of the Box.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 289: I wondered how long they’d punish me in the box.
[Can]R. Caron Go-Boy! 265: All the while I remained in the isolation box, I remembered all the old man had told me.
[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 9: Box In solitary confinement for disciplinary purposes.
[US]K. Scott Monster (1994) 68: The box is actually solitary confinement, where those being held for murder one are sent for seven days.
[US]New Yorker 3 Apr. [Internet] He could [...] even be sent to disciplinary segregation—solitary confinement—in the Special Housing Unit, or shu, pronounced ‘shoe’ but referred to simply as ‘the Box.’.
[US]Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July [Internet] Box: [...] (2) Segregation or SHU, as in ‘I don’t want to do any box time.’ (NY).

4. as a musical instrument, record player, television, etc.

(a) (US) a portable organ, usually played by an itinerant Italian organ-grinder (possibly partnered by a monkey) [note nickname of a small violin, used for playing popular tunes, in late 18C: the devil’s tune-box].

Western Kansas World (Wakeeney, KS) 20 July 6/2: ‘Whatever is the matter with this yere tune box, anyhow?’.
St Louis Post-Dispatch 5 Apr. 4/5: An organ grinder or Greek piano player operated his ‘tune-box’ within ear-shot of her stall.

(b) (US) a piano; thus bang the box, play the piano.

[US]Boston Globe Sun. Mag. 21 Dec. 7–8: To ‘bang the box’ means to play the piano.
[US]G. Bronson-Howard God’s Man 129: Pink starts to bang the box.
[UK]Hall & Niles One Man’s War (1929) 221: A young officer in the British Artillery played piano [...] How he did stroke that box!
[US]S. Lewis Main Street (1921) 281: She was ‘all het up pounding the box’ – which may be translated as ‘eagerly playing the piano’.
[US](con. 1910s) S. Lewis Elmer Gantry 248: Bet it went swell, with you pounding the box.
[US]Metronome Feb. 61: box: piano.
[US]E. O’Neill Iceman Cometh Act II: Hey, you dumb tart, quit banging the box!
[US]‘The Jiver’s Bible’ in D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive.
[US]Z.N. Hurston Seraph on the Suwanee (1995) 742: Maybe I’ll be done forgot all I used to know on the box.
[US]L. Durst Jives of Dr. Hepcat (1989) 5: The kid that’s blowing the box is in stout shape letting his fingers idle boppingly over the ‘88,’ the kiddy with the skins is sitting em up.
[US]A. Anderson ‘Dance of the Infidels’ Lover Man 152: ‘I blow box.’ ‘You blow what?’ ‘Piano.’.
[Aus]M. Anderson River Rules My Life 127: ‘The old box wants a drink.’ Before I could blink an eye he had opened the lid of the piano and poured a glass of beer down inside.
[US]A. Hine Unsinkable Molly Brown 36: ‘Can you handle the box?’ he asked Molly. ‘What box?’ [...] ‘The pianna.’.
[US]J.L. Dillard Lex. Black Eng. 70: The piano itself has been the eighty-eight, the box, and any number of other things.
[US](con. 1940s–60s) Décharné Straight from the Fridge Dad 14: Blow the box Play the piano.
C. Hammer Scrublands [ebook] After that, Martin kills the box.

(c) a radio, a record-player; a portable radio cassette player.

[US]H.L. Wilson Somewhere in Red Gap 63: I’m darned if he didn’t hang in a strained manner over that box, like he was the one that was doing it all and it wouldn’t get the notes right if he took his attention off. ‘It was a first-class record, I’ll say that.’.
[US](con. WWI) H. Odum Wings on My Feet 32: One po’ buddy so sick throws his music box over boa’d [...] Throws box in deep rolling sea.
[US]San Quentin Bulletin in L.A. Times 6 May 7: BOX, [...] a phonograph.
[US]Kerouac letter 8 Nov. in Charters II (1999) 79: I just bought ‘Trombone for Two’ [...] but I dont have a box to play it on.
[UK](con. 1918) D. Behan Teems of Times and Happy Returns 20: Sure oul Cruk hasn’t stopped playing that bloody box since he got it a week ago.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 79: That box at the side of the bed had rejected, and ‘Indigo’ was encoring.
[US](con. 1950s) D. Goines Whoreson 166: What the hell is that on the box?
[US]J. Wambaugh Choirboys (1976) 93: Then the honky jist fired on the brother and took the box.
[US]T.R. Houser Central Sl. 12: box [...] A ghetto blaster.
[US]G. Marcus in Bangs Psychotic Reactions (1988) x: Was it because ‘box’ is old hipster slang for record player.
[US]C. Hiaasen Double Whammy (1990) 234: The trooper [...] got the portable stereo. [...] ‘Nice box,’ he said.
[US](con. 1949) G. Pelecanos Big Blowdown (1999) 157: Williams handed Florek a record [...] ‘Here ya go, man, put this one on the box.’.
[US]Big L ‘Ebonics’ [lyrics] A radio is a box, a razor blade is a ox.
[US]G. Pelecanos Right As Rain 184: The rest moved their heads to some jungle-jump coming from a box.

(d) (orig. US black) a guitar, a fiddle, a banjo.

[US]Odum & Johnson Negro and His Songs (1964) 157: The majority of the songs of the evening are accompanied by the ‘box’ or fiddle.
[US](con. WWI) H. Odum Wings on My Feet 164: Nobody couldn’t git his banjo ’way from him. Love to play box.
[US]Metronome Aug. 16: Eddie was playing the kind of banjo I wanted, but I got him to lean that ‘gitter box’.
[US]Z.N. Hurston Mules and Men (1995) 22: ‘Got yo’ guitar wid you, Johnnie?’ ‘Man, you know Ah don’t go nowhere unless Ah take my box wid me,’ said Johnnie.
E. Borneman Tremolo 115: A dark little guitar player had appeared from nowhere and he could make that old box talk, all right.
[US]J. Jones From Here to Eternity (1998) 149: Say, any time you want to play this old box, you just get it out a my locker.
[UK]D. Powis Signs of Crime 174: Box, a A guitar.
[US]S. King Stand (1990) 580: You like to have a swing on this old box o mine?

(e) (US, also hell-box, tune box) an accordion; a melodeon.

[US]R. Bradford This Side of Jordan 201: ‘Come hyar wid dat ole hell-box and le’s see kin you mash some hell out’n hit.’ [...] A few suspicious notes escaped from the accordion.
[Ire]J. O’Donoghue In Kerry Long Ago 12: Put that blasted nasty old box [i.e. melodeon] away from you to the devil, Brian, [...] and let people talk.
[Ire](con. 1930s) K.C. Kearns Dublin Street Life and Lore 206: My father used to play what they called the ‘box’, the accordion.
[Ire]D. Healy Bend for Home 303: He was inside playing the box to himself. He put the accordion aside and we sipped a glass of whiskey.

(f) (US) a jukebox.

[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 211: There was only one record we’d allow on the boxes with Louis.
[US]‘William Lee’ Junkie (1966) 27: Let’s [...] go over to Denny’s. They have some gone numbers on the box.
[US]J. Wambaugh Secrets of Harry Bright (1986) 74: Hey, Edgar, ain’t that a song from your time? Ain’t that one you used to have on this box?
[US]C. Cook Robbers (2001) 229: Got a jukebox. What you play? Blues, Eddie said. Like on your box.

(g) television; thus on the box, on television.

[US]H.S. Thompson letter 31 May in Proud Highway (1997) 519: It was comforting to flip on the box and see your face for a change.
[UK]J. Burke Till Death Us Do Part 156: They’ve banned all your tobacco adverts on that box, ain’t they?
[UK]M. Novotny Kings Road 196: I’ll watch the box.
[UK]A. Burgess 1985 (1980) 179: You have enough to do this evening without reading rags or gawping at the box.
[Ire]J. Morrow Confessions of Proinsias O’Toole 22: He’s on the blower to one of them Prod puffs in the BBC [...] an’ the next thing he’s on the box cuttin’ me to ribbons, the sly bastard!
[UK]S. Berkoff West in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 96: Filth that comes out streaming from the box.
[Ire]D. Healy Bend for Home 244: She turns to the box.
[UK]I. Welsh Filth 286: I’ve accidentally on purpose got the box on.
[UK]Observer Screen 12 Sept. 26: The box is on. You watch 10 minutes.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Culture 13 Feb. 14: Vegging out on the sofa, watching the box.
[UK]Observer Screen 9 Jan. 14: Both deliver the goods in a way that makes for a perfectly reassuring winter evening round the box.
[UK]D.S. Mitchell Killer Tune (2008) 64: They must have seen the minister doing her pulpit routine on the box today.
B. Reed ‘The Meat Axe by the Kitchen Door’ in Passing Strange (2015) 13: He’s been lying doggo all day [...] on the couch in the TV lounge [...] making like all he’s doing is watching the box.

(h) a tape-recorder, stereo system, cassette tape deck.

[US] ‘Sl. of Watts’ in Current Sl. III:2 11: Box, n. Stereo console.
[US]H.E. Roberts Third Ear n.p.: box n. […] hi-fi set.
[US] W. Safire What’s The Good Word? 84: A box being one of those big portable radio/cassette players the bros carry around.
[US]P. Munro Sl. U. 44: box portable stereo.
[US](con. 1985–90) P. Bourjois In Search of Respect 141: He always had a big box.
[US]G. Pelecanos Shame the Devil 25: ‘You load the disks in the trunk.’ [...] ‘Always wanted me a box like that.’.

(i) (UK black) a speaker for a sound system.

[UK]R. Hewitt White Talk Black Talk 116: Record decks and giant ‘boxes’ – loudspeakers.
[UK](con. 1981) A. Wheatle East of Acre Lane 31: You’ve barely got enough boxes to play a t’ree room blues, let alone a hall.

(j) (US) a lie-detector.

[US]D. Simon Homicide (1993) 250: The man will blow his box, failing the polygraph.
[US]Burns & Zorzi ‘Unto Others’ Wire ser. 4 ep. 7 [TV script] Come on, did he blow the box or not?

In compounds

box-beater (n.) [sense 4a]

(US) a piano-player.

[US]G. Bronson-Howard God’s Man 190: She fell for a honkatonk box-beater at Billy’s.
[US]Newark Advocate (OH) 2 Sept. 12/6: Didja see the skin beater slipping a wax to the tonsil twister every time he had a chance [...] The box beater nearly blew his top.
[US](con. (costn. ) Ottley & Weatherby Negro in N.Y. 249: The only furniture was a piano at which a ‘box-beater’ extracted weird and dissonant harmonies.
Now mag. (Toronto) [Internet] Suitably dishevelled guest stars Rufus Thomas, Doo Rag box-beater Thermos Malling and Money Mark get on board to make the whole mess hum.
boxcar/boxcars (n.)

see separate entries.

box city (adj.) [sense 2a + -city sfx]

(US) dead.

[US]Sha-Na-Na [CBS-TV] I hate to say this, but you’ve passed away. You’re box city [HDAS].
[US]ALF [NBC-TV] You could have developed pneumonia—ended up in box city [HDAS].
box job (n.) [sense 2d + job n.2 ]

(US Und.) breaking open a safe.

[US]R. Chandler ‘Pearls Are a Nuisance’ in Spanish Blood (1946) 105: He does hisself a neat little box job.
box lunch (n.) [sense 1a + lunch n. (3)]

1. fellatio.

[US]Trimble 5000 Adult Sex Words and Phrases.

2. cunnilingus.

[UK]T. Keyes All Night Stand 89: Best box lunch in town.
[US]T. Southern Blue Movie (1974) 24: Their gay hostess [...] flashing black lace panties and one spoke-like stretch of ivory thigh, screeching: ‘Anyone for box lunch?!?’.
[US]H. Selby Jr Demon (1979) 44: He might go back someday [...] the next time he wanted a box lunch, hahahaha.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 14: To engage in oral-genital sex is to eat, of course, a metaphor that has been extended into such expressions as box lunch and hair pie.
[US]‘Bill E. Goodhead’ Nubile Treat [Internet] ‘Well,’ Babs said, ‘I guess there’s no time like the present to eat your first box lunch.’.
boxman (n.)

seeseparate entry.

box slugger (n.) [sense 2d + weak form of slugger n. (1)]

(US Und.) a safe-breaker.

[US]‘Red’ Rudensky Gonif 49: Two major outfits outside were in dire need of a box slugger and would collaborate to break me out.
box time (n.) [sense 2b + time n. (1)]

(US prison) time spent in solitary confinement.

[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 28: Hole time is also called dead time due to the fact that inmates do not have access to any educational or recreational programs since they are locked in their cell at all times. (Archaic: box time).
box work (n.) [sense 2d + work n. (1)]

(US Und.) the physical act of safe-breaking.

[US]‘Red’ Rudensky Gonif 87: I then did the box-work while Smitty handled the car. The three jobs netted us around $6,000.

In phrases

box up (v.)

see separate entry.

Christmas box (n.)

see sense 1a above.

hell-box (n.)

see sense 4d above.

hot box (n.) [hot adj. (1a)] (US)

1. a sexually promiscuous woman; also attrib.

[US]Bill Tomlin [instrumental title] Hot Box is on My Mind.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]‘Paul Merchant’ ‘Sex Gang’ in Pulling a Train’ (2012) [ebook] Deek [...] had not been a virgin since the age of thirteen when a hot-box aunt [...] had taken him like Hitler took Poland.
[US]G. Swarthout Where the Boys Are 192: A hot-box coed like Tuggle.
[US]Trimble 5000 Adult Sex Words and Phrases.
[US]Baker et al. CUSS 139: Hot box A sexually attractive person, female.

2. the female genitals.

[US]Trimble 5000 Adult Sex Words and Phrases.
[US]Maledicta VI:1+2 (Summer/Winter) 131: Vagina […] hairpie, hatchi, hidden treasure, hot box.
hot in the box (adj.)

sexually aroused.

W. Markfield Teitlebaum’s Widow (1999) 90: You don’t hafta worry about if my mohter was hot in the box. She was plenty hot in the box. Oh boy was she hot in the box!
Flossie: Memoirs of a Jazz Baby n.p.: The way he began to make love made me think he was putting on a drunken act to gain admission to my privates...or did he have to get drunk before he could make love? More problems, but who worries about these things when they are hot in the box .
lick a box (v.)

(orig. W.I., Trin.) to perform cunnilingus.

Morcheeba ‘What New York Couples Fight About’ [lyrics] on Charango [album] If it’s up to you / My little sweet babou / Through the shouting and the fever / Lick a box as queer.
sex-box (n.)

see sense 1a above.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

box-ankled (adj.)

(US) having legs so made that the ankle-bones knock together.

SC Court Appeal Reports XI 13: He was always clumsy and was (as it was variously termed) double-jointed, box-ankled, or African-footed.
[US]Jeffersonian May in H. Howe Times of the Rebellion in the West (1867) 45: Should old Lincoln grow so insane as to send 100,000 of his box-ankled Yankees up through this part of Virginia, our mountain boys will give them a warm reception.
Freemont Wkly Journal (OH) 27 Mar. 1/4: The Southern people whill never follow the crazy [...] box-ankled, bandy-shacked, [...] vulgar, slimy-mouthed, onion-eating, whiskey drinking, sausage stuffing scoundrels.
[US]Camden Jrnl (SC) 31 Oct. 3/2: He is a box-ankled, bow-legged, cadaverous, lantern-jawed, hatchet-faced, [...] snaggle-toothed, whiskey-drinking old bachelor.
Kansas Constitutionalist (Doniphan City) n.p.: [He is ] cross-eyed, crank-sided, peaked and long razor-nosed, blue-mouthed,...soft-headed, long-eared, crane-necked...squeaky-voiced, empty-headed, snaggle-toothed filthy-mouthed, box-ankled, pigeon-toed, hump-shouldered.
S.P. Jones Thunderbolts 547: There are more bow-legged, box-ankled, lamper-jawed, crooked-nosed, knock-kneed, one-horse stewards and deacons than in any other profession.
[US]Watchman & Southron (Sumter, SC) 7 Aug. 8/2: The said wagon was hitched to two oldmand most appropriate ‘pestle-tailed’, box-ankled, flopped-eared blind and deaf, long-jawed mules.
[US]DN V 70: Box-ankled hound, a term of disparagement.
[US]Z.N. Hurston Jonah’s Gourd Vine (1995) 43: You ole battle-hammed, slew-foot, box-ankled nubbin, you!
[US]PADS 14 16: Box-ankled [...] Having a conformation of legs and feet so that in walking the ankle bones are supposed to strike together.
[US]Johnny Mercer ‘Ugly Chile’ [lyrics] You’re knock kneed, pigeon toed, box ankled, too. / You’re big foot, barefoot slue footed to[o].
[US] in DARE.
box-bag (n.) [ext. of bag n.1 (6)]

(US prison) the amount of marijuana that can be purchased in exchange for a carton of cigarettes (worth approx. $10).

[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 74: Box Bag […] the amount of marijuana a person can buy for one carton of cigarettes or approximately ten dollars.
box-hat (n.) [orig. dial.]

a silk top-hat.

[F.T. Elworthy Dial. W. Somerset 86: box-hat [...] The name of the ordinary chimney-pot hat. To wear one in a country village is thought to imply, or to ape, gentility].
[UK]Barrère & Leland Dict. of Sl., Jargon and Cant.
[US]Good Words 35 73: I’ll sit down in a minute, when I’ve put my box-hat where I nor you can kick it about.
[UK]Western Morn. News 23 Jan. 5/5: Queen Anne’s Box Hat. The statue of Queen Anne at Barnstaple was decorated by a paractical joker [...] with a box hat.
boxhead (n.) [var. on squarehead n.2 (2)]

1. (US) a Scandinavian.

[US]J. Mitchell McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon (2001) 135: You remember the night you fought Boxhead Tommy Hansen at the Pelican A.C.?
[NZ]G. Johnston Fish Factory 75: What a cruel thing to say, box-head.
[US]Elting, Cragg & Deal Dict. of Soldier Talk 352: Boxhead (1920–30 Navy) [...] A Swede or Norwegian.

2. (Aus.) a German.

[Aus]R.G. Barrett You Wouldn’t Be Dead for Quids (1989) 172: This box-head’s got a melon on him like retaining wall.
boxheaded (adj.) (also boxhead)

1. stupid.

[US]O. Wister Lin McLean 105: I ain’t box-headed no more [...] I’ve got maturity.
[US]O. Wister Virginian 20: He’s one of those box-head jokers.
[US]H.S. Truman letter 5 Aug. in Poen Letters Home (1984) 53: They had a box-headed censor over there and I am morally certain he destroyed that [...] effort of mine.
R. Park 12 1/2 Plymouth St 291: ‘You boxheaded little louse!’ bellowed Hughie at Mr. Reilly.
Workers Online 21 Dec. [Internet] And lets face it good guys do win, even if they are a bit on the boxheaded side.

2. (US) synon, with squarehead n.2 (1)used to describe a German.

[US]Dly Ardmoreite (OK) 3 Sept. 8/2: The ex-Kommandantur of Cambrai must have been a living example of our impression of a ruthless, boxheaded German officer.
D. Wector When Johnny Comes Marching Home 288: An unlettered private in the Thirty-Ninth Infantry wrote his brother: ‘I dont mind of being in the Army so much, but to think that you have to live with flat boxheaded Jerrys after whiping them’.
box-irons (n.) [SE box-iron, a smoothing iron with a cavity to contain some form of heating]

shoes.

[UK]G. Parker Life’s Painter 173: Shoes. Hockey-dockies, or Box-irons.
[UK] Minor Jockey Club in DU.
box-it (n.) [? the use of cheap boxed rather than bottled wine]

a drink composed of wine and cider, consumed by alcoholics.

[UK]New Society 2 Sept. 378: Drinking schools mix wine and cider to make a cheap heady drink called box-it.

5. (Aus.) a cask of (cheap or inferior) wine.

[Aus]Aus. Word Map [Internet] box monster ‘Cheap cask of wine: “Someone always brings a box monster to parties don't they.”’.
box rustler (n.) (also box-hustler) [SE rustler, a cattle-thief/hustler n. (7)]

(US, Western) a chorus-girl who followed her performance by mixing with the patrons in their boxes, promoting the sale of drinks and, when desired, offering herself as a part-time prostitute.

[US]Morn. Call (S.F.) 23 Aug. 2/2: Annie Wilson, who has pursed the unsavory calling of a ‘box rustler’ in a Kearny street dive, was [...] being tried on the charge of stealing $225 from David Morck [who] visited the den and accompanied Annie to a private box .
Seatle Post-Intelligencer (WA) 13 June 1/5: The charming young woman was employed in the lucrative but debasing occupation of ‘box rustler’ at Harry Morgan’s Theatre Comique.
[US]Anaconda Standard (MT) 11 May 8/3: [headline] Mr Hughes accused Box Rustler Kitty Walsh of Robbery.
[US]Spokane Press (WA) 9 Dec. 1/4: She gives her occupation as an actress, but is known as a box rustler.
(con. 1883) Abbott & Smith We Pointed Them North (2003) 80: In that kind of theatres [sic] they used to have curtained boxes running all around inside, and box rustlers was what they called the girls that worked them.
(con. 1876) FWP Guide WA 145: The women did their song and dance on the stage and then, in costumes that [...] were considered the extreme of indecency, mingled with the customers in the boxes, encouraging the sale of liquors. The women became known as box-rustlers, and box-rustling theaters sprang up all over the west .
(con. c.1900) M. Morgan Skid Road 117: From the curtained box seats in the low balcony came laughter and shouts and giggles and, most important, a steady ringing of bells as the box-hustlers summoned waiters with drinks .
[US](con. 1880s) C. Jeffords Shady Ladies of the Old West [Internet] The older hurdy-gurdy girl, the young one expected to be a ‘box rustler’ (serve and entertain the customers in private behind curtains) [...] routinely took to alcohol and narcotics.
(con. 1920s) J. Astle ‘Jew Jess – Butte’s Premier Pickpocket/Prostitute’ in A Century of Butte Stories [Internet] A young woman arrived in Butte from Idaho and started as a box rustler at The Casino [...] Within a week she had ‘dipped’ customers, bartenders, and even lifted money from the other women.

In phrases

box-lobby puppy (n.) (also box-lobby lounger) [SE box lobby, the area outside a theatre’s boxes, patronized by the fashionable and would-be fashionable; i.e. one who frequents this area]

a would-be man of fashion, with ambition, but lacking income.

[UK]Norfolk Chron. 29 Nov. 4/3: The distinction between a box lobby Puppy and an upper box Jackadandy — A Box Lobby Puppy comes in at Half-price, and immediately goes to the Box-book, to see who’s there, although he has no acquaintance in the world.
Eng. Review 16 468: But whether our would-be Roscius owes this torrent of vulgar adulation to some needy play-wright, [...] or to some box-lobby lounger, to extort a gratis admission [etc.].
[UK]Sporting Mag. Oct. XV 51: It [i.e. a riot] was occasioned by some box-lobby loungers, who exchanged cards, but neither swords not pistols.
[Aus]cited in J. Ashton Old Times (1885) 192: A box lobby puppy having insulted a gentleman at Covent Garden Theatre, on Friday night, received a very suitable drubbing.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Jan. XXV 232/1: And, backwards and forwards he switch’d his long tail, / As a box-lobby lounger his cane.
[UK]Morn. Post (London) 5 Jan. 3/3: A Box-lobby Lounger was heard to say [...] at Drury-Lane, that the French had certainly been taken in the rear, and defeated in the Fistula.
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ A Dict. of the Turf, The Ring, The Chase, etc. 16: Box-lobby loungers.
[Ire]Kilkenny Jrnl 7 Sept. 1/2: One of the underbred box lobby loungers of the present day stod up beofre him[and] covered the sight of the stage.
[UK]Crim. Con. Gaz. 25 Aug. 2/3: [heading] Box Lobby Loungers — No. 1 Mr Cornelius Rivers [...] Whenever we see such box-lobby loungers, we feel inclined to kick them downstairs.
box of… (n.)

see separate entries.

how’s your box?

(US black) a general phr. of greeting.

[US]Flash! (Wash., D.C.) 4 Oct. 8/3: How’s your box.
in a box (also in a bad box, in the wrong box)

in difficulties, in a confused state of mind, in a quandary.

[UK]J. Phillips Maronides (1678) 136: He beggd him ore and ore again / To clear his eyelids, but in vain, / For Palinure he could not coax: / Friend, quoth he, y’are in the wrong box.
[[UK]Foote The Minor 81: Sir, Sir, we are all in the wrong box, my scheme is blowen up].
[US]T.G. Fessenden ‘Political Pepper-Pot’ Poems (1804) 67: Now England lends her powerful aid [...] And helps us out of many a bad box.
[UK]Westmoreland Gaz. 30 Jan. 1/4: ‘You don’t think you’re going to choke me off, do you? If you do, I’m blow’d if you a’nt in the wrong box, my kiddy’.
[US]M.L. Weems Drunkard’s Looking Glass (1929) 61: You are now in a bad box; for if you take notice of him at all, he is sure to turn mad, and give you a confounded knock on the head.
[Aus]Australian (Sydney) 12 May 3/4: [He] used very gross and abusive language to his mistress, who told him to let her have no more of his ‘bounce,’ or he would find himself in the wrong box.
[UK]Oxford Jrnl 1 Jan. 2/2: They call you in contempt quid nuncs, but believe me they are inthe wrong box, for it is a title not to be sneezed at.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Handley Cross (1854) 520: ‘I’ll knock your head off your shoulders!’ ‘Vill you? [...] you’ll find yourself in the wrong box if you do’.
[US] in N.E. Eliason Tarheel Talk (1956) 261: You must ... help me out of a box.
[US]F. Norris Vandover and the Brute (1914) 75: You can’t tell a girl like that that you’re ashamed to be seen with her, but very likely he would get himself into a regular box with it all.
M.E. Freeman By the Light of the Soul 227: But say, M’ria, you be in an awful box.
[US]A. Adams ‘The Double Trail’ Cattle Brands [Internet] ‘Well, we are certainly in a bad box,’ said he meditatingly.
[US]R. Chandler ‘Finger Man’ in Pearls Are a Nuisance (1964) 66: Suppose I don’t, and walk out on you, and you get in a box?
[Aus]Baker N.Z. Sl.
[US]N.Y. Times Bk Rev. 9 Aug. 8: Now we are in an awful box [W&F].
[US]J. Broughton Thud Ridge 72: Unless your tactics or your people were so weak that they put you in an impossible box, they could seldom get enough advantage to attack.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 20/1: in a box confused state.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 33: boxed/boxed up Lost or confused, from the tramping term for getting lost; to be in a box, to be in a confused state. ANZ from 1930s.
[US]S. King Finders Keepers (2016) 305: There’s the fingerprints [...] they’ll find them on the murder weapon. I think you’re in a box even if you can account for every minute.
in the same box (also …canoe, …street)

(Aus. / Can.) in the same situation.

Debates: Houses of Parlt Canada 168/2: Men of old parliamentary experience, and who should have known better than I, because I was a young member of this House — that they also were in the same box as myself.
[UK]H. Goldsmid Dottings of a Dosser 43: The neighbours being, most of them, ‘in the same box,’ would neither complain or give evidence.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 26 Nov. 44/1: I can symperthyse with Vandy, symperthyse ’eartily. I’ve bin in the same box myself.
[Aus]D. Ireland Burn 42: I can tell a better yarn than that old half-dead bag o’ bones. He’s not in the same street as me.
[UK]D. Davin Breathing Spaces 95: Me and Boxer are in the same canoe, aren’t we, Boxer?
on the box-seat (also in the box-seat) [coaching imagery]

(N.Z.) in an advantageous or dominant position, in a secure situation.

[NZ]G. Slatter Gun in My Hand 147: You can shove the bully beef. Livin in a good paddock. Never had it better. On the box seat.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 20/1–2: box seat favoured position; originally the driver’s box or seat, specifically Ned ‘Cabbage Tree’ Devine’s box seat [...] Modern eg: ‘After bowling Australia out for 125 on the first day, New Zealand look to be in the box seat in the third test at the Basin.’.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].
out of the box (adj.)

(Aus.) exceptional, well above average.

[Aus]Coburg Leader (Vic.) 8 Dec. 3: ‘Good shot.’ ‘One of out the box.’ ‘Well done.’.
[Aus]J. Alard He who Shoots Last 73: It was nothing out-of-the-box, even as bush pubs go.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 20/1: out of the box, (one) superb person or thing, special; eg ‘That Mort’s got a heart of gold. One out of the box, that joker.’ c. 1930.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].
put someone in a box (v.)

to place someone in an impossible situation.

[US]H. Green Mr. Jackson 102: This puts me in a box [...] I dunno where I’m at.
take a box (v.)

(Irish) to defecate.

[UK]A. Higgins Donkey’s Years 146: To slash (to piss), to take a box (to crap), to spoon (to court), to sow (to love).