Green’s Dictionary of Slang

box n.1

[uses of SE box]

1. as a bodily organ.

(a) [mid-16C+] (also Christmas box, sex-box) the vagina; thus generic for a woman.

(b) [1930s–50s] (US) the mouth.

(c) [1940s+] (US gay) the male genitals; thus the bulge of genitals in tight trousers.

(d) [1950s–70s] (US black) the buttocks; the anus.

(e) [1960s] (US black) sexual intercourse.

(f) [1990s+] (US campus, also lustbox) an exceptionally attractive female.

2. as a container.

(a) [early 17C; mid-19C+] (also stiff box) a coffin; thus phrs. put to bed in a box, send home in a box, to bury.

(b) [19C+] a prison, a prison cell, a prison visiting compartment; thus boxing up, imprisonment.

(c) [late 19C] (US campus) a pulpit.

(d) [20C+] a safe (esp. an old-fashioned model); thus box-cracker, a safe-breaker.

(e) [20C+] the witness box; thus (Aus.) jump the box, to turn Queen’s evidence; also fig. use.

(f) [1920s] (US Und.) a slot machine, a ‘one-armed bandit’.

(g) [1930s] (US) a cash till.

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

(i) [1970s+] (US prison) a carton of cigarettes, the equivalent of $15 in a barter economy.

(j) [1970s+] (US) a refrigerator.

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

(a) [late 17C] a small drinking house or tavern.

(b) [mid-18C–mid-19C] a house.

(c) [20C+] a nightclub.

(d) [1940s] (US black) a room; an apartment.

(e) [1950s+] (US Und.) a punishment cell; also attrib.

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

(a) [20C+] (US) a piano; thus bang the box, play the piano.

(b) [1910s+] a radio, a record-player; a portable radio cassette player.

(c) [1920s+] (orig. US black) a guitar, a fiddle, a banjo.

(d) [1920s+] (US, also hell-box) an accordion; a melodeon.

(e) [1940s+] (US) a jukebox.

(f) [1960s+] television; thus on the box, on television.

(g) [1960s+] a tape-recorder, stereo system, cassette tape deck.

(h) [1980s] (UK black) a speaker for a sound system.

(i) [1990s+] (US) a lie-detector.

In compounds

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

[1910s–40s] (US) a piano-player.

box-biter (n.) [sense 1a]

[2000s] (S.Afr. gay) a lesbian.

box-busting (n.) [sense 2d + bust v.1 (1a)]

[1950s] (US Und.) safe-cracking.

boxcar/boxcars (n.)

see separate entries.

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

[1980s+] (US) dead.

box-getter (n.) [sense 2g + SE getter]

[1930s] (UK Und.) one who steals from tills.

box job (n.) [sense 2d + job n.2 ]

[1930s+] (US Und.) breaking open a safe.

box lunch (n.) [sense 1a + lunch n. (3)]

1. [1960s] fellatio.

2. [1960s+] cunnilingus.

boxman (n.)

seeseparate entry.

box screw (n.) [sense 2d + screw n.1 (2c)]

[1930–40s] (US Und.) a bank guard.

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

[1970s] (US Und.) a safe-breaker.

box time (n.) [sense 2b + time n. (1)]

[1990s+] (US prison) time spent in solitary confinement.

box tosser (n.) [sense 1a + SE toss]

[1960s–70s] a sexually enthusiastic woman.

box work (n.) [sense 2d + work n. (1)]

[1970s] (US Und.) the physical act of safe-breaking.

box worker (n.) [sense 2d + worker n.1 (1)]

[1940s–50s] (US Und.) a safe-breaker.

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. [1940s–60s] a sexually promiscuous woman; also attrib.

2. [1960s+] the female genitals.

hot in the box (adj.)

[1970s+] sexually aroused.

lick a box (v.)

[1990s+] (orig. W.I., Trin.) to perform cunnilingus.

sex-box (n.)

see sense 1a above.

shoot a box (v.)

[1940s] (US Und.) to blow open a safe.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

box-ankled (adj.)

[mid-19C+] (US) having legs so made that the ankle-bones knock together.

box-bag (n.) [ext. of bag n.1 (6)]

[1990s+] (US prison) the amount of marijuana that can be purchased in exchange for a carton of cigarettes (worth approx. $10).

box fire (n.)

[1940s] (US black/Harlem) a cigarette or cigar (stub).

box-hat (n.) [orig. dial.]

[late 19C] a silk top-hat.

boxhead (n.) [var. on squarehead n.2 (2)]

1. [1920s–40s] (US) a Scandinavian.

2. (Aus.) a German.

boxheaded (adj.) (also boxhead)

1. [20C+] stupid.

2. [1918] (US) synon, with squarehead n.2 (1)used to describe a German.

box-irons (n.) [SE box-iron, a smoothing iron with a cavity to contain some form of heating]

[late 18C–mid-19C] shoes.

box-it (n.) [? the use of cheap boxed rather than bottled wine]

[1980s] a drink composed of wine and cider, consumed by alcoholics.

box-rattle (n.)

[mid-19C] (UK Und.) a woman’s tongue.

box rustler (n.) (also box-hustler) [SE rustler, a cattle-thief/hustler n. (7)]

[late 19C–1920s] (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.

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]

[late 18C–early 19C] a would-be man of fashion, with ambition, but lacking income.

box of… (n.)

see separate entries.

how’s your box?

[1930s] (US black) a general phr. of greeting.

in a box (also in a bad box, in the wrong box)

[late 17C-18C; 20C+] in difficulties, in a confused state of mind, in a quandary.

in the same box (also …canoe, …street)

[late 19C+] (Aus. / Can.) in the same situation.

on the box-seat (also in the box-seat) [coaching imagery]

[1950s+] (N.Z.) in an advantageous or dominant position, in a secure situation.

out of the box (adj.)

[20C+] (Aus.) exceptional, well above average.

put someone in a box (v.)

to place someone in an impossible situation.

take a box (v.)

[1990s+] (Irish) to defecate.