Green’s Dictionary of Slang

cool v.2

1. (orig. US) to calm down, to deal with a problem in a controlled manner, to resist confrontation.

[UK]F. Burney Evelina (1861) 101: What a’n’t you got out of that passion yet? why then, I’ll tell you what to do to cool yourself; call up your old friend, Monseer Slippery.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 23 Aug. 14/3: ‘Look here, mister, it’s like this; Blank’s my member; I can’t find Blank. Put me on to Blank, an’ I’ll give yer arfer quid.’ They put him away to cool, and Blank came out of the keg he had been hiding in.
[UK]C. Day Lewis Otterbury Incident 140: And just so that you can cool your silly little heads for a bit, I’m going to lock the door at the bottom of the stairs when I go out.
[US]W. Burroughs Naked Lunch (1968) 27: That’s a rumble nobody can cool.
[US]R. Abrahams Deep Down In The Jungle 264: Cooling – Doing a cool thing [...] performing in complete control of oneself in the midst of a potentially explosive situation.
[US]Ice-T ‘Heartbeat’ [lyrics] But I’m coolin’, I’m never foolin’, too busy rulin’.
[UK]C. Newland Scholar 112: Sean shushed him, telling him to relax and cool.

2. to calm someone or some situation down.

[US]L. Durst Jives of Dr. Hepcat (1989) 3: He can solid cool you and school you with some frantic issues.
[US]‘Lord Buckley’ Hiparama of the Classics 8: So, they cooled The All Hip Mahatma, they cooled the chicks [...] and they stashed the spinnin’ wheels.
[US]D. Pendleton Boston Blitz (1974) 130: The old men want this area cooled.
[US]H. Gould Fort Apache, The Bronx 184: Now I gotta go out there and cool all those motherfuckin’ junkies out there ’cause I ain’t got a bag to my name.
[US](con. 1982–6) T. Williams Cocaine Kids (1990) 119: He [...] usually goes in and gets the piece, you know, and he walks out with it and shit; that cools any moves anybody’s got, out.
[US]E. Bunker Mr Blue 393: He appointed a committee of convicts to ‘cool’ the situation.

3. to knock out.

[US]C. Cooper Jr Syndicate (1998) 72: Whoever called the cops thought I’d still be cooled there in the house.
[US]P. Thomas Down These Mean Streets (1970) 157: He didn’t jump me. I cooled him first.

4. (US campus) to turn down a request for a date.

[US]Baker et al. CUSS 99: Cooled Turned down when asking for a date.

5. (US Und.) of stolen goods, to remain hidden until police activity quietens.

[US]M. Braly On the Yard (2002) 237: [They] couldn’t find any way they could trust him or each other not to rob the stash while it was cooling.

6. to render relaxed, happy.

[US]J. Crumley One to Count Cadence (1987) 187: Hey, man, you cats cooling my chick for me?

7. (US) to postpone, to put off, to stop.

[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS.
[US]P. Crump Burn, Killer, Burn! 97: Cool that action.
[UK]M. Novotny Kings Road 211: Get over here fast, and cool that shit talk!

8. (US) of a criminal charge or disciplinary problem, to quash.

[US](con. 1958) R. Farina Been Down So Long (1972) 43: Distract the cat, cool the five bucks [fine].
[US]J. Ellroy Silent Terror (1990) 68: I was the one who got your sex beef cooled.

9. (US black/teen) to lounge around, to ‘hang out’.

[US]Ice-T ‘Six in the Morning’ [lyrics] Seen my homeboys coolin’ way out told ’em bout my mornin’.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Oct. 3: cool – relax [...] After class my friends are always coolin’ in front of the library.
[UK]C. Newland Scholar 207: I know you’re in a crew but boy can’t you ju’ cool at someone’s house?
[US]P. Beatty Tuff 223: ‘What up, kid?’ ‘Coolin’.’.

10. to saunter.

[US]J.L. Gwaltney Drylongso 17: If you cool in here with [...] a yam puddin’, what the hell am I supposed to say?
[US]‘Touré’ Portable Promised Land (ms.) 215: Flippin a cane to the beat as you cool down 125th street.

11. see cool it v. (5)

In phrases

cool in (v.)

(US teen) to inform.

[US]F. Kohner Gidget Goes Hawaiian 3: ‘Cool me in, young lady,’ he said quite sarcastically. ‘Cool me in.’ I hate it when he uses the lingo.
cool it (v.)

see separate entry.

cool off

see separate entries.

cool out

see separate entries.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

cool-cock (v.) [var. on cold-cock v.]

(US) to knock unconscious.

[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks.
[US]PADS 14 21: Coolcock [...] To knock out, knock cold, with a connotation of knocking with a blunt instrument on the side or back of the head.
cool-crack (v.) [var. on cold-cock v.]

(US black) to knock unconscious.

R. Ellison Invisble Man 422: Pull your switchblade! [...] Coolcrack the motherfouler!
cool one’s coppers (v.) [hot coppers n.]

1. to take a drink to ease the parched throat caused by excessive drinking.

[US]T. Haliburton Sam Slick in England II 195: I want an ice cream to cool my coppers, shockin’ bad.
[US]G. Thompson Gay Girls of N.Y. 63: Oh, isn’t it nice / To mix brandy with ice, / And to cool off our coppers with grog!
[UK]T. Hughes Tom Brown at Oxford (1880) 24: A fellow can’t enjoy his breakfast after that without something to cool his coppers.
[Aus]Sportsman 17 Dec. ‘A Chapel Meeting’ n.p.: [...] his chum, who, at the trough in the furthest corner of the room, was cooling his coppers with cold water [F&H].
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 4 Apr. 18/4: The publican fired great guns, loaded with red-hot expletives, after the godly man, and, having cooled his coppers with a quart of XXXXX, he hied him forth to consult his lawyer on the rights of the case.
[US]A.J. Boyd Shellback 224: Having complied with our considerate commander’s request to cool our coppers, we made a bow and got on deck.
Eve. Bulletin (Honolulu, HI) 9 Nov. 8/3: He was released at 7 o’clock [and] made tracks for the nearest wet goods emporium and proceeded to cool his overheated coppers by long libations.

2. to stay in a place.

[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 2 Mar. 3/3: [He] did not ‘feel justified’ in adopting any other course but that of sending the ‘copper’ to cool her coppers at Darlinghurst.
[US]True Northerner (Paw Paw, MI) 9 Nov. 5/3: Harry Joseph was up, charged with being a clear case of chronic drunk. [...] and will cool his coppers [...] for ten days.

3. (US) in fig use of sense 1, to calm down.

[US]Mexico Missouri Message (MO) 18 Jan. 3/1: Didn’t Mister Rogers go to Europe to let his coppers cool off. Didin’t Rockyfeller’s kid go acrost too .
cool one’s jets (v.) (also calm one’s jets, cool one’s boots)

(orig. US) to calm down, to relax.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. (Nov.) 1: Cool your jets – settle down and relax.
[US]S. King It (1987) 952: ‘Okay, okay,’ the clerk said. ‘Cool your jets, my friend.’.
[UK]I. Welsh Filth 284: God Bruce! Cool yir jets man! We’re tryin tae git some sleep.
[UK]C. Brookmyre Be My Enemy 122: Cool the jets, man [...] If there’s a problem, talk tae me.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 207: Maybe you wanna calm your jets [...] You’re the new kid on the block.
[UK]S. Kelman Pigeon English 19: Alright, son, cool your boots. I was only asking.
[UK](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 336: Cunt’ll jist huv tae cool his fuckin jets fir a bit.
cool one’s role (v.)

(US black/gang) to calm down.

[US]P. Marshall ‘Some Get Wasted’ in Clarke Harlem, USA (1971) 351: All right, my man, but cool your role, you dig?