Green’s Dictionary of Slang

gut n.

1. in physical senses.

(a) in pl., the stomach.

[UK]Langland Piers Plowman (B) V line 340: Hise guttes bigonne to gothelen As two greedy sowes.
[UK] ‘Herods Killing of Children’ Digby Mysteries (1882) 7: With my sharpe sworde ther ribbes I shall shake, evyn thurgh the guttes.
[UK]Skelton Magnyfycence line 290: But covetyse hath blowen you so full of wynde That colyca passyo hath gropyd you by the guttys.
[UK]T. Ingelend Disobedient Child Eii: A vengeaunce sayde I, lyght on their guttes.
[UK]Hist. of Jacob and Esau II iv: A man were better syll the bellies [...] Than to fill the gutte of one such whoreson elfe.
[UK]S. Gosson School of Abuse (1868) 30: If at the Epicures table, they had nigh burst their guts with ouer feeding.
[Scot]Polwart Invectiues Capitane Allexander Montgomeree and Pollvart in Parkinson (Poems) (2000) V line 33: The deill scad thy guttis within To heall thee of thy skitter.
[UK]Three Lords and Three Ladies of London J 3: Now Ile haue my ten shillings in spite of your guts.
[UK]G. Wilkins Miseries of an Enforced Marriage Act V: Prove it upon him, even in his blood, his bones, / His guts, his maw, his throat, his entrails.
[UK]Beaumont & Fletcher Honest Man’s Fortune I i: I had but good liquor, for which my guts croak like so many frogs for rain.
[UK]J. Howell Familiar Letters 10 Dec.(1737) I 110: Ale, which he thought was the wholesomest liquor that could go into one’s Guts.
[UK]Tinker of Turvey Epistle: I haue thrust into my Guts Dagger-Ale, Steeletto-Ale, Pistoll-proofe-Ale.
[UK]T. Heywood Love’s Mistress I i: One that doth pinch his belly in his life, and starve his own guts to make others feed.
[UK]Mercurius Fumigosus 15 6–13 Sept. 138: Rather stuff their ungodly gutts, and wear their own soft garments, than to cloath their poor naked Mother.
[UK] ‘The Breech wash’d by a Friend to the Rump’ Rump Poems & Songs (1662) II 12: Tho’ the Guts may be troubled with Gripes.
[UK]Etherege Man of Mode I i: Go, call in that overgrown jade with the flasket of guts before her.
[UK]Merry Maid of Islington 7: If I forbear my Breakfast but two minutes longer, my Guts will shrink to Minikin.
[UK]Dryden Juvenal III 50: Whose windy Beans have stuff’t your Guts.
[UK]Humours of a Coffee-House 19 Dec. 74: Such a Rumbling in my Guts.
[UK]S. Centlivre Wonder! III iii: Rascal, speak without hesitation, and the truth too, or I shall stick my spado in your guts.
[UK]N. Ward Amorous Bugbears 42: Go drunk to Bed and snoar away the Night; / In his own Guts thus barrels up his Stout, / And swill until the Tap of Life runs out.
[UK]Laugh and Be Fat 136: Get a Dinner at Pontack’s and Locket’s / For the Spark that hath both empty Guts and Pockets?
[UK]L. Pilkington Memoirs (1928) II 270: Did you eat my black hen’s egg? Could not any other satisfy your dirty guts.
[UK]Smollett Reprisal I i: To be racked with perpetual puking ’till my guts are turned inside out.
[Ire]K. O’Hara Midas I ii: Hungry guts, and empty purse.
[UK]Sheridan Trip to Scarborough II i: ’Slife! he’s run through the guts.
[Scot]Burns Death and Dr. Hornbook in Works (1842) 15: A countra laird had ta’en the batts, Or some curmurring in his guts.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (4th edn) I 191: He has burst his guts for fear.
[UK]J. Gillray More Pigs than Teats 5 Mar. [cartoon] Where the devil do they think I shall find Wash and Grains for all their Guts?
[UK]D. Roberts Military Adventures of Johnny Newcome I 21: O Lord! my wretched guts are all convulsions!
[UK] ‘Poor Dirty Bet’ Lummy Chaunter 49: Drinking gin her guts were burnt up.
[UK]Tom Cladpole’s Jurney to Lunnun 31: Wud shiv’ring lims, an hungry gut, Right forrud den I set.
[UK]T.H. Gladstone Englishman in Kansas 83: Any voter who professed himself ready to take it [an oath] was threatened with instant death, amid cries of ‘Shoot him!’ ‘Cut his guts out!’.
[US]Speareville News 1 Nov. in Miller & Snell Why the West was Wild 397: If I hear you say any thing more about me I will shoot you through the g-t-s.
[UK]London Life 14 June 7/1: [D]igging our charger in the guts (we beg pardon, stomach) with our left heel.
[US]J. London People of the Abyss 67: And, naturally, their guts a-reek with pavement offal, they talked of bloody revolution.
[Aus]Truth (Brisbane) 24 Jan. 3/4: This riled the inspector, and he said that Dan was ‘ONLY BLANKY GUTS,’ ‘a blanky pig,’ and ‘a swine’.
[US]W. Edge Main Stem 163: Well, my guts don’t bother me at all.
[UK](con. 1916) F. Manning Her Privates We (1986) 73: One of them sausages came over and blew most of ’is guts out.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Young Manhood in Studs Lonigan (1936) 182: A girl stuck her high heel in his guts. [Ibid.] 244: He slapped his guts.
[Aus]D. Stivens Courtship of Uncle Henry 26: It’s in the fice that matters. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was in the guts.
[NZ]I. Hamilton Till Human Voices Wake Us 6: I got something wrong with my guts.
[UK]A. Sillitoe Sat. Night and Sun. Morning 5: Felt the beer going beneficially down into the elastic capacity of your guts.
[NZ]B. Crump Hang On a Minute, Mate (1963) 159: Monstrous hunk of work she was – Bessie Gray – stood about twenty-four hands and a guts on ’er like a politician.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn 121: Afraid that the slightest movement [...] would cause him to heave his guts up.
[UK]A. Burgess 1985 (1980) 223: Eat = get grub in your guts.
[Aus]B. Humphries Complete Barry McKenzie 11: The poms reckoned it made them crook in the guts.
[Aus]G. Disher Deathdeal [ebook] ‘I stuck him in the guts’.
[UK]K. Sampson Powder 347: Keva jabbed him hard in the guts.
G. McKay Firefighters 3: If you can’t cop a kick in the guts occasionally, then you are not worth two bob either.
[US]P. Beatty Sellout (2016) 261: We’d both been shot in the gut by gutless motherfuckers.
[Aus]C. Hammer Silver [ebook] [G]reasy hair, tats and a well-tended gut.

(b) in pl., the insides, the contents.

[UK]Hist. of Jacob and Esau V iv: Oh woulde not this chafe a man, and fret his guts out?
[UK]Nashe Have With You to Saffron-Walden in Works III (1883–4) 49: Dogs-tripes, swines liuers, oxe galls, and sheepes gutts. [Ibid.] 183: The verie guts and garbage of his Note-book he hath put into this tallow loafe.
[UK]Marston Malcontent II ii: Lady, ha’ ye now no restoratives for your decayed Jasons? Look ye, crab’s guts baked, distilled ox-pith [...] or powder of fox-stones?
[UK]R. Taylor Hog Hath Lost His Pearl in Dodsley XI (1875) 448: It angers me to the guts, that nobody hath been about her.
[UK]R. Speed Counter Scuffle D: O bring a Surgeon, or I die, / My guts out of my belly flye.
[UK]J. Taylor ‘Taylors Pastorall’ in Works (1869) III 53: Their Guts serue Instruments which sweetly sound.
[UK]T. Killigrew Parson’s Wedding (1664) III ii: I’ll take her with her guts in her Belly.
[UK]Mercurius Fumigosus 25 15–22 Nov. 217: The gutts and garbage are to be brought back to Greenwich to bait hooks for Sea-Beares.
[UK]R. Fletcher (trans.) Martiall his Epigrams I No. 58 8: I fancy none that wring my gutts.
[UK] ‘On a Farts’ in Ebsworth Westminster Drolleries (1875) II 128: Musick is but a Fart that’s sent, From the guts of an Instrument.
[UK] ‘The 2nd Part of St. George for England’ in Playford Pills to Purge Melancholy I 338: Prick’d but the Wem and out there came Heroick Guts and Garbadge.
[UK]N. Ward Hudibras Redivivus I VIII 15: The Guts and Garbich they possess’d, / And thought themselves most highly bless’d.
[Scot]J. Arbuthnot Hist. of John Bull 97: My blood chills about my heart at the thought of these rogues, with their bloody hands grabbling in my guts.
[UK]J. Dalton Narrative of Street-Robberies 49: The D---l ride through my Guts booted and spur’d, if I don’t rip her up, and then cut her as small as minc’d Meat.
[UK]C. Johnson Hist. of Highwaymen &c. 145: They commonly die with their Guts ripped up.
[UK]Dyche & Pardon A New General Eng. Dict. n.p.: Guts. [...] Sometimes it is spoken universally of the inside of a house, clock, &c.
[UK]Proceedings Old Bailey 12 Sept. 298/2: I went, and with my fingers, ripp’d Kendal’s shirt down, and saw his guts work out of his belly, just as if a pot was boiling, just below his navel.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 84: He wav’d a stick, / With one end sharp enough to prick / Quite through your coat, and let your guts out.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Nov. VII 81/1: The old family watch-cases were [...] made into a brown gravy, and the guts are new-christened, and on their voyage to Holland.
[UK] ‘A Man of War’ in Holloway & Black (1979) II 169: When sea-sick took, like death they look. / Ready to bring up guts and garbage.
[WI]M. Lewis 25 Feb. Journal of a West India Proprietor (1834) 352: He struck her to the ground, beat her with a supplejack, stamped upon her belly, and begged her to be assured of his intention [...] ‘to kick her guts out’.
[UK]The Wonderful Monkey of Liverpool 1/1: You bandy-legged, pistol-shinned, shamrock! [...] I will knock the guts out of your skull in one moment.
[UK]Marryat Peter Simple (1911) 286: Orion and Prince George, and one or two others were coming up, and knocked the guts out of them.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 8 Nov. 3/1: I should like no better sport than to kick your g—ts out.
[US] in T.P. Lowry Stories the Soldiers Wouldn’t Tell (1994) 41: If you arrest me, I will rip your God damned guts out and scatter them over the parade ground.
[US]S. Crane Maggie, a Girl of the Streets (2001) 5: Smash ’im, Jimmie, kick deh damn guts out of ’im.
[UK]R. Tressell Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (1955) 232: Workin’ our guts out like a lot of slaves for the benefit of other people.
[US]‘Commander’ Clear the Decks! 132: You’ve dug into the guts of the blame thing.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 155: Silly billies: mob of young cubs yelling their guts out.
[US]J. Steinbeck Grapes of Wrath (1951) 234: They ain’t nothin’ I love like the guts of a engine.
[UK](con. 1923) R. Westerby Mad in Pursuit 57: Stomach, insides, guts showing and everything?
[US]P. Marshall Brown Girl, Brownstones (1960) 32: He was gon be a mechanic. [...] Then it was radio repairing and radio guts spill all over the house.
[UK]A. Wesker Chips with Everything II xi: Takes the guts out of you, don’t it. Look at him, lying there like a bloody corpse.
[UK]Nova Apr. 88: The driver digs up the floor-boards and studies the guts of his engine.
[UK]M. Dibdin Tryst 34: Then they [...] yoik out the guts and chuck them in this fucking great press which crushes them.
[Aus]R.G. Barratt ‘Of Big Wets’ in What Do You Reckon (1997) [ebook] [P]eople worked their guts out only to have the flood beat them in the end.
[UK]Observer Rev. 4 July 12: Some of his guts got cooked on the exhaust pipe.
[UK]J. Joso Soothing Music for Stray Cats 58: Ron’s street was a right mess; litter, black bin bags piled up and spilling their guts out.
[US]S.A. Crosby Blacktop Wasteland 47: ‘I don’t want my family to see me splatter your guts all over the driveway’.

(c) in pl., a notably fat person; thus tub of guts, a grossly obese person.

[UK]Shakespeare Henry IV Pt 1 II iv: Thou clay-brained guts.
[US]N. Whiting Albino and Bellama 55: Bishop Guts, tun-belly’d, all-pancht Fryer.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Gutts, a very fat, gross Person.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]R.S. Surtees Hillingdon Hall II 229: ‘It’s a race!’ [...] ‘Go along, guts!’ ‘Lawk, what a man for a jockey!’.
[UK]E.V. Kenealy Goethe: a New Pantomime 158: A very noted man [...] more worthy than this guts.

(d) in pl., a glutton.

[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 92: Guts — ‘Greedy-guts,’ who will eat all the world up.
[NZ]N. Scanlan Tides of Youth 118: ‘Any more sandwiches left?’ asked Peter, scouting round, as he cleared the plates. ‘Guts!’ said Kelly.
[Aus](con. 1928) S. Gore Holy Smoke 92: Don’t be a guts.
[Aus]K. Gilbert Cherry Pickers I i: Ya skoljeed the lot—you guts!
[Aus]Bill ‘Swampy’ Marsh Old Yanconian Daze 51: Slimy was such a guts he swallowed the prunes, seeds and all.

(e) (Aus.) goods.

Port Phillip Gaz. (Vic.) 2 Oct. 2/3: The term ‘guts’ I understand to be a slang term for goods.

(f) constr. with a, a bloated, fat stomach.

[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 24 June 3/1: That turgid bundle of viscera [...] demanding $300 a week [...] It is only such alleged actors who can get a ‘gut’ and make it pay.
[Aus]K. Willey Ghosts of the Big Country 165: [of a dog] Years of happy beer-guzzling had turned him into a monster weighing more than four stone, with a gut like a five-gallon keg.
[US]G. Pelecanos Night Gardener 20: He was short, had a gut, wore glasses with tinted lenses indoors.
[Aus]A. Nette Orphan Road 59: ‘One was tall, sandy haired. The other had a gut, balding’.

(g) (US Und., also redgut) a sausage.

[US]N. Anderson Hobo 24: Someone will shout, asking if anybody wants some spuds or a piece of punk or a piece of ‘gut’ (sausage).
[US]N. Klein ‘Hobo Lingo’ in AS I:12 652: Punk and gut—bread and sausage.
[US]Mencken Amer. Lang. (4th edn) 582: Pancakes are flat-cars, sausage is gut.

2. in fig. senses.

(a) (also bowels) in pl., courage, bravery.

[UK]C. Cotton Virgil Travestie (1765) Bk I 14: But by Jove’s Favour being blest, / With Guts in’s Head above the rest.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum n.p.: He has plenty of guts, but no bowels; said of a hard, merciless, unfeeling person.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue [as cit. 1811].
[US]E. Pound letter 26 Nov. in Paige (1971) 26: Yr. humbl. svt. is the only person with guts enough to turn a proselyte into a disciple.
[Aus]W.H. Downing Digger Dialects 27: guts (n.) [...] (2) courage; determination.
[US]J. Black You Can’t Win (2000) 92: There comes a feeling of helplessness when the prison gates swallow you up [...] but that feeling soon wears away if you have guts.
[US]W.R. Burnett Dark Hazard (1934) 6: You haven’t got guts enough to tell me you don’t like me.
[UK]G. Kersh They Die with Their Boots Clean 85: For sheer sand in the belly, grit, spine, nerve, and guts, some o’ these soft-looking civvies take some beating.
[US]N. Algren Neon Wilderness (1986) 274: I like a boy with guts.
[Aus](con. 1941) E. Lambert Twenty Thousand Thieves 74: He can stay up here until he gets knocked or finds a bit of guts.
[US]J.D. Salinger Catcher in the Rye (1958) 94: I wouldn’t have the guts to do it. I’d just stand there, trying to look tough.
[US]P. Highsmith Two Faces of January (1988) 226: Chester gave himself credit for having guts.
[US]E. Tidyman Shaft 104: Persons had more guts than the rhino he resembled.
[UK]P. Theroux Family Arsenal 239: There’s no war here. It’s happening in Ulster. If you had any guts you’d go there.
[UK]W. Chen King of the Carnival 152: ‘Dat’s it boy – only showing how we people could bare the grind.’ ‘We have belly – guts.’.
[UK]M. Amis London Fields 271: He marvelled at this new thing he had: guts. Guy didn’t even look around for another white face.
[UK]D. Farson Never a Normal Man 126: I lacked the guts to don the wigs and fishnets, ever the observer.
[US]Newsday 7 Nov. G14: Gathering up his teenage guts, he went in and watched the play in the shadow of the church’s stained glass.
[UK]Z. Smith White Teeth 10: Suicide takes guts.
[Aus]T. Winton ‘Long, Clear View’ in Turning (2005) 194: You [...] try to work up the guts to speak to the girl.
[US]T. Pluck Bad Boy Boogie [ebook] ‘You were the only one with the guts’.

(b) in pl., energy, vigour, power in performance.

[UK]Jonson Gypsies Metamorphosed 28: jack. Tut a Mans a Man lett the Clownes with their slutts come mend vs if they can. pat. If they can for theire gutts. Come mend vs Come lend vs theire showts and theire noyse.
[UK]C. Johnson Hist. of Highwaymen &c. 106: Had you had any Guts in your Brains, you might have perceived by my Face, that my Countenance was the very Picture of mere Necessity.
[UK]Swift Polite Conversation 37 : The Fellow’s well enough, if he had any Guts in his Brains.
[UK]G. Frankau intro. to Manning Her Privates We (1929) ii i: You have forgotten, or you couldn’t write / this sort of stuff, all cant, no guts in it.
[UK]D.L. Sayers Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1977) 229: It’s got the essential guts [...] It takes a fairly experienced palate to appreciate it.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Young Manhood in Studs Lonigan (1936) 249: All right, you guys, show me if you got any guts in your veins.
[US]F.S. Fitzgerald ‘Boil Some Water’ in Pat Hobby Stories (1967) 44: It’s got the old guts if you know what I mean.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 118: Joyce had plenty of spirit and good looks. I liked women with a bit of guts.
[UK]N. Cohn Awopbop. (1970) 127: Soul [...] brought some desperately needed guts into pop during the early sixties.
[UK]P. Theroux Picture Palace 161: Very bad snapshots which for all their gloss had more guts than anything else on view.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 21 Jan. 12: The film has just the right amount of guts, without being too arty.

(c) in pl., the essence of a matter, the underlying meaning.

[US]F.S. Fitzgerald ‘A Man in the Way’ in Pat Hobby Stories (1967) 38: That’s not the way to get the guts out of a book.
[US]B. Schulberg Harder They Fall (1971) 8: Kids from the streets as they really were [...] the greed of the mobsters who had the game rigged; that was the guts of it.
[UK]B. Hill Boss of Britain’s Underworld 199: ‘He’s saying that there’s a geezer [...] who can arrange a lot of stuff for us while we’re waiting . . .’ ‘Stay still and get his guts,’ I mumbled.
[NZ]G. Slatter Pagan Game (1969) 104: And I’ll tell you something else and this is the real guts of it.
[Aus] in K. Gilbert Living Black 158: What do you feel is the guts of an Aboriginal identity?
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Godson 36: ‘I’ll give you the guts while we’re going along’.

(d) in pl., cheek, audacity, ‘nerve’.

[US] in A. Cornebise Amaroc News (1981) 1 June 25: Germany says: ‘Maybe we’ll sign, but before we do [...] we present the proposals of peace as we wish them.’ Some guts!
[US]B. Appel Brain Guy (1937) 69: The sore bastards. Forty-five ain’t enough. They got guts bitchin’. We could’ve borrowed a couple of Duffy’s kids for half the dough.
[US]J. Thompson Alcoholics (1993) 31: You’ve got the guts to come to me and ask for an abortion.

(e) (orig. Aus.) in pl., the facts, the information; esp. as good guts under good adj.1

[Aus]W.H. Downing Digger Dialects 27: guts — (3) The substance or essential part of a matter; (4) information.
[Aus](con. WWI) A.G. Pretty Gloss. of Sl. [...] in the A.I.F. 1921–1924 (rev. t/s) n.p.: guts. [...] The substance or essential part of a matter; information.
[UK](con. WWI) A.E. Strong in Partridge Sl. Today and Yesterday 287: Joe. Anyhow, to give you the fair dinkum guts I put across a beauty when I found the double-headed penny in the ring.
[NZ]F. Sargeson ‘That Summer’ in Coll. Stories (1965) 204: He went on and said a lot more that I couldn’t get the guts of at all.
[Aus]‘Nino Culotta’ They’re a Weird Mob (1958) 157: Never mind readin’ the bloody thing, give us the guts of ut . . . wot does ut say?
[Aus](con. 1928) S. Gore Holy Smoke 93: Just keep yer eyes skinned for these urgers that only want to shout a beer to get yer guts.
[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 61: guts referred to hard information or news and became comic cuts in rhyming slang.

3. pertaining to instinct.

(a) (US campus, also gut course) an easy course; thus gut gunner, one who succeeds in such a course; however note cit. 1902.

[US]Boston Globe Sun. Mag. 21 Dec. 7–8: A ‘gut’ course is a course that does not require much study [...] one often hears a student who has unexpectedly elected a difficult course remarking that he ‘got a hard gut,’ or that he is ‘up against a tough gut.’.
[US] in E. Wilson Prelude (1967) 125: gut (easy) course; hop a gut.
[US]Phila. Inquirer 16 June n.p.: ‘Hopping a gut’ is the quaint expression used when a student elects an easy course.
[US]Weseen Dict. Amer. Sl. 184: [College] Gut course – An easy course.
[US]M.A. Crane ‘Misc.’ in AS XXXIII:3 226: A ‘Mickey Mouse course’ means a snap course, or what Princeton undergraduates in my day called a gut course.
[US](con. 1958) R. Farina Been Down So Long (1972) 25: Couple of guys in the house took that one-o-one course [...] said it was a real gut.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Fall 3: gut – an easy course.
[US]W. Safire What’s The Good Word? 300: Gut courses — where ‘gut gunners’ get an ‘easy Ace’ (A) as opposed to a ‘Hook’ (C) or ‘Flag’ (F).
[US] ‘Don’t talk like a frosh: a guide to Yalespeak’ in Yale Herald 🌐 Gut: An easy class that takes the pressure off a busy schedule and fulfills distributional requirements.

(b) (US) a certainty.

[US]D. Hammett ‘Corkscrew’ Story Omnibus (1966) 227: It’s a gut that you’re in for a lynching.
[Can] in Lethbridge (Alberta) Herald 22 Mar. 14/4: A horse which appears certain to win is a gut.

(c) (US) an easy task.

[US]R. Price Blood Brothers 238: The job’s a gut, no sweat. It’s jerk-off work.

(d) (US) a gut feeling, an instinct.

[US]J. Stahl Plainclothes Naked (2002) 241: Manny’s gut was that McCardle was not as submissive as he came off.
[US](con. 1972) Jurgenson & Cea Circle of Six 219: [M]y gut told me to stay on course and bring Dupree to justice.

4. (US Und.) in pl., the undercarriage of railroad trains on which tramps hitched a ride.

[US]Jackson & Hellyer Vocab. Criminal Sl. 41: guts [...] the various constructive parts underneath a [railroad] car, or the hidden essentials of rolling stock.
[US]C. Samolar ‘Argot of the Vagabond’ in AS II:9 388: Riding the guts means riding underneath.
[US]G. Milburn ‘Gila Monster Route’ in Hobo’s Hornbook 160: So he glommed the guts of an east-bound freight.

5. (Aus. gambling) in pl., in two-up, the centre of the betting circle into which betted money is tossed.

[Aus]Tweed Dly (Murwillumbah, NSW) 18 Jan. 7/5: ‘Now, come mon! Yer know wot ti want! I want five bob in the guts! Un yous can't getcher bets on her side till I git set!’.
[Aus]S.L. Elliott Rusty Bugles I i: I’ll spin ’em for a quid . . . Get set in the guts . . . Come on now . . . Another two bob for the guts . . . Who’ll be in the guts?
[Aus]T.A.G. Hungerford Riverslake 128: There’s one hundred and forty quid in the guts – get it set before you bet on the side.
[Aus]L. Haylen Big Red 101: Outside he could hear the gamblers: ‘Come on, I want a dollar in the guts’.

6. (US) the main street; thus shoot the gut, to drive along or cruise the main street; one-gutted, having a single street.

[US]M. Braly Felony Tank (1962) 35: A month before they had held up a market without bothering to discover that Ardillo was one-gutted [...] when they tried to drive out of town a few hours later they were trapped on the single road.
[US]M. Braly False Starts 86: The old thieves would have called this part of the state one-gutted – there was only the one road, and no way off it.
[Can](con. 1920s) O.D. Brooks Legs 169: The main gut was only a block long.

7. constr. with the, Strait Street, Valetta, the centre of Malta’s red-light district.

[US] T. Pynchon V 47: The exceptionally narrow Strait Street [...] Once a notorious red-light area, known to British servicemen as ‘The Gut’, this is still fairly sleazy at night.
[UK]A. Burgess Earthly Powers 20: You must accompany me to the Gut sometime, dear [...] What the sailors call Strait Street.
[US]Wash. Times Newsletter Issue 1 Autumn on 🌐 In February 1952, while still with the squadron, I had my first trip outside of the UK. [...] There was an area of Valetta known as ‘the Gut’, an area of narrow alleys full of bars, which housed a world I didn’t even know existed.

8. (Irish) constr.with the, the essence, the spirit.

[Ire]L. McInerney Rules of Revelation 90: People would get the guts through the merest gist: some girls are easily manipulated, some men think it’s their right, no eye-opener in that.

In derivatives


see separate entries.

In compounds

gut-ache (n.) (also guts-ache)

1. a stomach-ache.

[UK]J. Gillray Tree of Liberty, – with, the Devil tempting John Bull 23 May [cartoon] They’re so domn’d rotten! that I’se afraid they’ll gee me the Guts-ach.
[UK]Stamford Mercury 24 Oct. 4/4: I sked him what was the matter with him? and he answered ‘I’ve got the guts ache’.
[UK]Sheffield Indep. 17 Jan. 9/1: The sight o’ him air enough to gie a nigger the gut ache.
[US]J.W. Carr ‘Word-List from Hampstead, N.H.’ in DN III iii 189: Guts-ache, n. [...] Occurs vulgarly as a common noun for belly-ache.
[US](con. 1914–18) L. Nason Three Lights from a Match 237: This here Webster’s as good an’ nice to live with as a knock-kneed grizzly with a guts-ache.
[UK]Western Times 15 July 14/2: It’s enough to give a man the guts-ache.
[US]Hecht & Fowler Great Magoo 175: A guy who can spiel a gut-ache! We’ll mop up.
[UK]J. Maclaren-Ross Of Love And Hunger 51: Old Timms had the guts-ache again.
[Aus]D. Niland Shiralee 15: You sheilas pick the most peculiar times to have the guts-ache.
[UK]A. Burgess Time for a Tiger 26: ‘Christ,’ he said. ‘The bloody guts-ache’ .
[UK]R.L. Pike Mute Witness (1997) 171: Do you suppose that gut-ache was faked?
[UK]C. Dexter Last Seen Wearing in Second Morse Omnibus (1994) 368: Mona Lisa with the guts-ache.
J. Birch Congratulations! It’s Asperger Syndrome 103: Bet you’ve got a guts-ache too.

2. (UK juv.) a greedy person.

[UK]I. & P. Opie Lore and Lang. of Schoolchildren (1977) 187: They call him [...] guts-ache.

3. (N.Z.) an irritating person; also used as a term of address.

[US]J.E. Macdonnell Jim Brady 209: Listen, gutsache [...] I’ve had a gutful of this floatin’ fortress.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 95: guts-ache Irritating person. ANZ C20.
gut-bomb (n.) [its deleterious effects]

(US) a very greasy hamburger or similar food.

[US]Current Sl. II:4 6: Gut bombs, n. Hamburgers.

see separate entries.

gut-buster (n.) [it ‘busts one’s guts’]

1. a funny person; thus gut-busting adj., hilarious.

[US]R. Chandler ‘Pearls Are a Nuisance’ in Spanish Blood (1946) 99: A gut-buster. A comedian. Wait’ll I loosen my belt.
[UK](con. 1940s) D. MacCuish Do Not Go Gentle (1962) 116: A gut-bustin’ clown, eh?

2. something powerful and dramatic; thus gutbusting adj., powerful, energetic, overwhelming.

[US] (ref. to l898) N. Kimball Amer. Madam (1981) 259: I didn’t want anything like the gut-busting House of Blazes that a biddy named Johanna Schrifin ran on Chestnut Street near Mason, with three or four houses working together at the same time, and street girls could bring their tricks right into the place and rent a hot sheet room.
[US]S. Longstreet Flesh Peddlers (1964) 147: I’ve had [...] a busy gut-busting morning.
[US]R.M. Brown Southern Discomfort (1983) 77: Roxy threw every gut-busting exercise he could at the kid.
[US]S. King Dolores Claiborne 32: I knew she was holdin onto one gut-buster of a b.m.
[US]D.H. Sterry Chicken (2003) 69: Kristy lets loose a gutbusting blast of laugh.
Dly Spectrum (St. George, UT) 6 Aug. Z2/1: .

3. (N.Z.) a very steep hill.

[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 53/2: gutbuster a mountain likely to bust your gut because so difficult.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].

4. (US) something very funny, e.g. a joke or performance.

C. Busch Vampire Lesbians 52: What keeps me going is a sense of humor [...] and so far [...] you’re not racking up any gutbusters [HDAS].
[Ire]R. Doyle Snapper 70: An ad for a gut-buster on Sky.
gut-check (n.) [orig. sporting use]

(US) a quick reassessment of strategy and stiffening of morale.

D. Jenkins Saturday’s America 17: It would be what Texas-Oklahoma games always are, the usual [. . .] ‘old fashioned, country, jaw-to-jaw, knucks down gut check’.
[US]D. Jenkins Semi-Tough 275: Hose Manning would be panting and jabbering things like, ‘Gotta have it, bunch, gotta have it. Let’s get it, let’s get it. Guts up time now. This is a gut check. Gotta have it’.
[US]B. Hamper Rivethead (1992) 144: GM was big on useless gut checks.
[US]W.D. Myers Sunrise Over Fallujah 18: ‘We got to do a gut check and see if we got the will to win’.
gut-fight (n.)

(US) an intense, ‘no-holds-barred’ competition, thus gut-fighter.

[US]Ben-Veniste & Frampton Stonewall 197: For the greatest gut fight of his career, President Nixon made the mistake of choosing as an opponent a first-class gut-fighter. It was a decision he came to regret.
gut-foot (n.) [ety. unknown]

(US black) fallen arches, i.e. flat feet.

[US]Z.N. Hurston ‘Story in Harlem Sl.’ in Novels and Stories (1995) 1009: Gut-foot: bad case of fallen arches.
gut-fucker (n.) (also gut-monger, -sticker) [fucker n. (1)/sfx -monger/SE sticker]

a sodomite.

[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues III 238/2: Gut-sticker, subs. phr. (venery). – A sodomite. Also Gut-fucker and gut-monger.
gut-head (n.) [-head sfx (1)]

one who is stupefied by an excess of food.

[UK]Gaule Holy Madness in Retrospective Rev. (1821) 229: A very Gut-head, he hath Asses’ Eares direct .
gut-hooks (n.)

(US) spurs.

[US]R.F. Adams Cowboy Lingo 96: Throw in yo’ gut-hooks!
[US] ‘The Castration of the Strawberry Roan’ in G. Logsdon Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing (1995) 95: He’s buckin’ and bawlin’ and playin’ no pranks, / My Garcia gut-hooks are fuckin’ his flanks.
[US]J. Cain Hellbreak County 4: [...] gut- hooks gouging his horse’s side, a hole in his back and chest big enough to kill him.
[US] in DARE.
gut-piece (n.)

(US) the abdomen.

D. Ford Incident at Muc Wa 74: I’m gonna take a bullet through the gut piece and old Toffee is gonna lean over me and say, ‘Pray, you bastard, pray!’ .
gut pudding (n.) [sausages were orig. encased in animal gut]

a sausage.

[UK]Nomenclator in Nares Glossary (1859) 396: Farcimen, Varro. Intestinum concisa minutim carne similive fartura oppictum [...] Boudin, saucisse, ou andouille. A gut pudding.
gut-reamer (n.) (also gut-butcher, -stretcher, -stuffer)

(US) a pederast.

[US] ‘Jargon of the Und.’ in DN V 449: Gut-reamer, An active pederast.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 18: the man who fucks in anal intercourse, as opposed to the one who is fucked [...] gut-reamer [ -stretcher, -stuffer]. [Ibid.] 155: The sexually dominant prisoner [...] is called gut-butcher [reamer, stretcher, stuffer].
gut-ripper (n.)

(US) any kind of knife used as a weapon.

[US]N. Algren Neon Wilderness (1986) 74: His own double-edged double-jointed spring-blade genuine Filipino twisty-handled all-American gut-ripper.
gut-robber (n.) [orig. logging jargon]

(US) a cook, esp. a bad one.

[US]C.E. Piesbergen Overseas with an Aero Squadron 51: The most unpopular man in any organization is the cook. No matter what his personal traits may be [...] he is ‘a crab,’ ‘a gut-robber,’ and ‘a glutton.’.
[US]M. Curtiss Letters Home (1944) 16 May 176: What a meal to start the day on, damn gut robbers.
[US]J. Jones From Here to Eternity (1998) 524: No son of a bitching Texas gut robber was going to tell Milton Anthony Warden what woman he could go out with and what one he couldn’t.
gut-rot (n.) [its presumed effect on one’s innards]

1. cheap wine or spirits; also attrib (cf. rotgut n.).

[UK]A.H. Macklin in Lansing Endurance (1959) Jo217: ‘Gut Rot, 1916’ [...] served only to turn most of us teetotallers for life [OED].
[NZ]D. Davin For the Rest of Our Lives 251: You can remember by the names of the women and the gutrot.
[UK]A. Sinclair My Friend Judas (1963) 48: Normally a pair of codeines, but tonight they’d really been lashing at the gutrot.
[UK]D. Lytton Goddam White Man 74: The smell makes me feel sick. It’s raw brandy, Cape brandy, gut rot.
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘Diamonds are for Heather’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] Get some of this gut-rot down your neck.
[UK]R. Milward Kimberly’s Capital Punishment (2023) 165: [W]ean them off the stronger gut-rot ales and ciders.
[Scot]G. Armstrong Young Team 12: These cunts drank bottle ae pound nasty, pure gut-rot dry cider that cost a quid each.

2. unpalatable drink or food; also fig. use.

[Ire]S. Beckett Murphy (1963) 60: Since the customer or sucker was paying for his gutrot ten times what it cost to produce [...] it was only reasonable to defer to his complaints.
[Aus]Baker Popular Dict. Aus. Sl. 33: Gutrot, unhealthy-looking food or strong drink.
[UK]N. Cohn Awopbop. (1970) 207: Groups began writing songs that meant something and smashed them out over a gutrot rock beat.

see separate entries.

gut-scraper (n.) [the violin’s catgut strings]

a fiddle player, a violinist.

[UK]Jonson Tale of a Tub I iv: Let ’em scrape the gut at home.
[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy II 218: Strike up drowsie Gut-scrapers.
[Scot]A. Ramsay Tea-table Misc. (1733) IV 374: I am a merry gut-scraper.
[Scot]Burns The Jolly Beggars in Works (1842) 12/1: Her charms had struck a sturdy caird, As weel as poor gut-scraper.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc.
[UK]Marryat Peter Simple (1911) 251: You may save yourself the trouble, you dingy gut-scraper.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 12 July 4/7: 'I vould gif five pounds,' confided the gut-scraper.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 6 July 11/4: When the wrangle had subsided the gut-scraper retired into bandaged oblivion.
[US]P.E. Miller Down Beat’s Yearbook of Swing n.p.: gut scraper: a violinist.
gut-shoot (v.)

(US) to shoot in the stomach.

[US]W. Coburn Law Rides the Range 1: He’s out either to gut-shoot or to run me outa the country.
[UK](con. WWII) G. Sire Deathmakers 45: We gut-shot the muckers.
[US]C. Himes Run Man Run (1969) 9: I ought to gut-shoot you, you thieving son of a bitch.
[US]G.V. Higgins Digger’s Game (1981) 154: Then I gutshoot him.
[US]S. King Roadwork in Bachman Books (1995) 516: He heard Harry the gun shop proprietor saying: So your cousin gut-shoots . . . this baby will spread his insides over twenty feet.
gut-shot (adj.) (US)

1. wounded in the stomach.

[UK]D. Morrell First Blood 108: ‘Gutshot,’ Orval said disgustedly.
[US](con. 1967) E. Spencer Welcome to Vietnam (1989) 122: My man is gut shot through the back. The exit wound is near his navel.
[US]W. Marvel Andersonville 156: The two others survived, but the gutshot Knight died the next day.
[US]B. Rockstroh Far from Grace 282: I grabbed his shirt to get his attention [...] He winced and grabbed my wrist to stop me. ‘Gutshot,’ he grunted.

2. in fig. use, deeply hurt.

[US]R. Price Breaks 310: The dressing room door slammed in his face. Louie, looking gutshot, turned to the crowd.
gutstick (n.)

see separate entry.


see separate entries.

gut-wagon (n.)

(US) a truck or wagon that carries cattle carcasses.

[US]Philipsburn Mail (MT) 8 Jan. 1/6: That old man’s feet would drive a dog away from a gut wagon.
[US]Red Cloud Chief (Webster Co., NE) 15 Mar. 1/2: Some farmers [...] gone follow the ‘ration trail’ like a blind dog after the gut wagon.
[US]Truth (Salt Lake City, UT) 19 Apr. 1/2: The so-called ‘American’ party is in the position of ‘flagging a political gut wagon that drives through the red light district of the city’.
[US]Mahoning Dispatch (Canfield, OH) 30 Dec. 1/6: The so-called fresh fish, some of which stink rank enough to scare a vulture or hyena off a gut wagon.
[US]G.H. Mullin Adventures of a Scholar Tramp 109: I wuz a-thrapsin’ along the sthrate that hungry I wud o’ chased a boozzard off’n a gut-wagon.
[US]J. Conroy World to Win 58: A soup bone that didn’t have no great sight of meat on it and would stink a dog offen a gut wagon besides.
[US]M. Braly On the Yard (2002) 5: She was so mortally homely Red figured she’d come near scaring a dog off a gut wagon.
[US]D. Page Drew’s Blues 194: As the old boys used to say back home, she would have stunk a dog off a gut wagon.
[US]B. Templeton Dare Island Enigma 167: ‘That stink would drive a buzzard off a gut wagon.’ All three men pulled out their handkerchiefs and put them over their mouths.
[US]T. Norman Wewoka Switch 47: I was no movie star, but then, I wouldn’t’ve scared a buzzard off a gut wagon either.
gut-warmer (n.) (also gut-bracer)

(US) a strong alcoholic drink.

[US]R.F. Adams Western Words (1968) 137/1: Gut-warmer. A cowboy’s name for whiskey.
[US]E. De Roo Big Rumble 139: How about some sneaky pete or thunderbird or half-and-half from Saints? I got no gut-bracers for my guys.
[US]Fond Du Lac (WI) Reporter 13 Oct. 8/3: Saloon keepers called the stuff they pushed across the bars to cowboys whisky. What the cowboys called it, however, was ‘bug juice,’ ‘gut warmer,’ ‘nose paint,’ ‘red eye,’ ‘rotgut,’ ‘scamper juice,’ ‘snake poison’ or ‘tonsil varnish.’.
[US](con. 1919) Howard Hickson’s Histories 🌐 Out here in the wild and wooly West [...] alcohol sellers went underground. You could still get forty rod, gut warmer, and scamper juice, it just took a little more time and lot more money.
[US]D. Kincaid Genesis 68: Sawyer sat in a chair turned to face the door and poured a gut-warmer.
gut-wrench (n.)

(US) the penis.

[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 129: There was once a mechanic named Bench / Whose best tool was a sturdy gut-wrench.
D. Dye Outrage 21: I’d like to break her down like a twelve-gauge shotgun and get her with my number-nine gut wrench [HDAS].

In phrases

break someone’s guts (v.)

(US prison) to beat a prisoner in order to break their will and spirit.

[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 36: Break one’s Guts.—To flog or beat a prisoner until his spirit is broken; to destroy the ‘nerve’ or ‘backbone’ of an individual. More often than not applied in prisons and gaols.
bust a gut (v.)

1. (also bust one’s gut) to work very hard.

[US]R.W. Brown ‘Word-List From Western Indiana’ in DN III:viii 572: bust a gut, v. To make a supreme effort. ‘Just bust a gut now and see if we can lift this log.’.
[US]F.W. Sullivan Children of Banishment 224: I figger he’ll still be able to git back fer the drive[...] He’ll bust a gut to be here fer that.
[US]D. Fuchs Low Company 172: What had they done to deserve all the money while he had to bust his gut for a buck?
[US] J. Stuart Men of the Mountains 266: He lifted hard enough to bust a gut. That was Lefty. It took me humpin’ all day to do th’ work that Lefty done.
[NZ]G. Slatter Gun in My Hand 23: No sense in bustin ya guts out.
[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS.
[Aus]R. Macklin Queenslander 264: I’m busting a gut trying to get this play finished.
[UK]N. Barlay Curvy Lovebox 121: All of us’ll pull together bustin’ our guts laughin’.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Real Life 24 Oct. 5: They [...] almost bust a gut to meet the players afterwards.
[Aus]S. Maloney Big Ask 25: My blokes, the owner-operators, out there busting their guts every day just to survive.
[Aus]S. Maloney Sucked In 17: You [...] pay your dues, bust your gut, then some prick [...] gets handed a seat on a platter.

2. (US, also break a gut, split...) to be overcome with emotion, e.g. rage, delight etc.

[US](con. 1914–18) L. Nason Three Lights from a Match 152: What’s he gonna do? He’s gonna break a gut!
[US]E. Caldwell Tobacco Road (1958) 22: Ellie May’s straining for Lov, ain’t she? [...] She’s liable to bust a gut if she don’t look out.
[US](con. 1943–5) A. Murphy To Hell and Back (1950) 154: Cut off your gab and you’d bust a gut.
[US]B. Schulberg On the Waterfront (1964) 179: Connie just about split a gut, he was so happy.
[US]P. Crump Burn, Killer, Burn! 307: If you want to bust a gut, I’ll gladly oblige.
[US]E. Thompson Caldo Largo (1980) 80: OK. Just don’t bust a gut. I don’t give a fart if your taste in putas is off base.
[US](con. 1930s) C.E. Lincoln The Avenue, Clayton City (1996) 69: Mr. Gilligan came pretty close to busting a gut.
[US]D. Simon Homicide (1993) 398: I’m going to bust a gut hearing about how every time she goes down on a guy, he gets shot.
[US]D.R. Pollock ‘Blessed’ in Knockemstiff 181: They both busted a gut as they walked back to the cruiser.
[US]D.R. Pollock Devil All the Time 94: [H]e would have busted a gut laughing if someone had suggested that shy, skinny Sandy was going to turn out wild.

3. (also blow one’s gut, bust..., rupture a gut, split...) to strain oneself (esp. by laughing).

[[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 146: One brother’s wounded in the rump; / And for the other, ’tis not clear / But he has burst a gut for fear].
[US]T. Wolfe Look Homeward, Angel (1930) 186: ‘Jesus!’ said Harry Tugman, ‘we’ve got him good and sore. I thought I’d bust a gut, doc, when you pulled that one about embalming the broken heart of Grief.’.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Young Manhood in Studs Lonigan (1936) 179: People nearly busted their guts laughing.
[US]J. Conroy World to Win 220: Oh, if you ain’t a card, Rosy Cheeks! [...] Clear out before I rupture a gut!
[US]M. Levin Citizens 140: That gang in the know split their guts laughing at the millions of suckers down beow.
[US]J. Weidman Price Is Right 198: Charlie laughed so hard he almost bust a gut.
[UK]G. Lambert Inside Daisy Clover (1966) 81: It’s all I can do not to [...] split my guts laughing.
[UK]P. Theroux Picture Palace 177: Hornette giggled and Harvey almost bust a gut.
[US]B. Gutcheon New Girls (1982) 55: I thought I was going to split a gut laughing.
[US]G.V. Higgins Patriot Game (1985) 71: People just about bust their guts every time Ways and Means tells you, keel over, and you do it.
[US]R.C. Cruz Straight Outta Compton 17: Blowing his gut. Cracking up. Absofuckinglutely.
[US]P. Beatty White Boy Shuffle 148: How come none of those overweight, hysterical coaches never bust a gut on the sideline and collapse.
[UK]N. Barlay Curvy Lovebox 170: Fola busts his gut slappin’ the wheel and [...] laughin’.
[UK]M. Collins Keepers of Truth 95: Sam kept leaning forward and busting a gut.
[US]D. Sedaris When You Are Engulfed in Flames (2009) 222: A pilot will offer some shopworn joke, and even the seasoned flyers will bust a gut.

4. to beat someone up.

[US]W.R. Burnett Asphalt Jungle in Four Novels (1984) 187: We’ll collect or bust a gut.
carry guts to a bear (v.) (also bring guts to a bear, carry guts after a bear, pack guts to a bear, tote...)

to perform an extremely distasteful or absolutely basic task, usu. implying inadequacy or stupidity; thus he’s not fit to..., he hasn’t enough/the brains to...

[UK]J. Taylor Juniper Lecture 36: Thou art [...] not worthy to carry guts to a bear.
Mennis & Smith et al. ‘In Praise of Fat Men’ Wit and Drollery 89: Let us look ore the water there, Where guts are carried to the Beare: I meane that London spoiling burrough, Which you to Kent must ride clean thorough.
[UK]J. Howell Eng. Proverbs 17: He is not worthy to carry gutts to a bear.
[UK]J. Ray Proverbs 200: Not worthy to carry guts after a Bear.
[UK]T. Brown Amusements Serious and Comical in Works (1744) III 73: The fellow that carries guts to the bears writes himself one of his Majesty’s officers.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 208: Because you never, it appears, / Was fit to carry guts to bears.
[UK]‘Peter Pindar’ ‘The Lousiad’ Works (1794) I 246: George thinks us scarcely fit [...] To carry guts, my brethren, to a bear.
[UK]Sporting Mag. May VI 94/1: The calumniating party said he was not fit to carry guts to a bear.
[Scot](con. early 17C) W. Scott Fortunes of Nigel I 76: Mair jack-an-ape tricks I suld hae played, instead of offering the Sifflication, he said, as if I had been bringing guts to a bear.
[UK]Navy at Home I 236: I, the master of this here frigate and a commissioned officer [...] I am not fit to carry guts to a bear! — to a bear! — guts! mind that —guts! mark that! — I’ll soon see by G— d whether I’m fit to carry guts to a bear or not.
[US]Burlington Free Press (VT) 5 Sept. 2/2: Our eloquent friend [...] represented that gentleman as [...] ‘not fit to carry guts to a bear’.
[US]Freemont Jrnl (OH) 31 Aug. 2/6: The proprietor [...] said all Republicans were Know Nothings, and that they were ‘not fit to carry guts to a bear’.
[US]Urbana Union (OH) 6 Jan. 2/2: A lawyer [...] who had just had a case decided against him, said that the court were not fit to carry guts to a bear .
[US]White Cloud Kansas Chief (KS) 24 Feb. 2/6: Sanford is a regular bug-eater [...] i hope he will be sent to Russia — to carry guts to the Russian bear.
[US]Pulaski Citizen (TN) 2 Mar. 4/4: Many a man is sent to the Legislature who [...] ‘is not fit to carry guts to a bar.
[US]Wichita Dly Eagle (KA) 23 Sept. 4/4: Gentlemen, I said you were not fit to carry guts to a bear.
[US]Seattle Repub. (WA) 22 June 1/2: A howling mob made up of drunken scrapegraces weith not enough sense to carry guts to a bear, vulgarly speaking.
[US]D.S. Crumb ‘Dialect of Southeastern Missouri’ in DN II:v 323: pack guts to a bear, v. phr. Signifying a low occupation. Used in the expression: ‘He isn’t fitten to pack guts to a bear.’ An expression of extreme contempt.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 3 Aug. 13/1: Premier Bent [...] has publicly snorted at his unfortunate fellow-countrymen who haven’t ‘brains enough to carry guts to a bear.’.
[[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 17 May 11/3: Bobbie J, [...] ought to be whipped with one of his own socks and sent back to school instead of working on the wharf. He could not cairy wheat to sick fowls].
[US]G.A. England ‘Rural Locutions of Maine and Northern New Hampshire’ in DN IV:ii 70: carry guts to a bear, he ain’t got sense enough to, v. phr. Equivalent of ‘He doesn’t know enough to come in when it rains’.
[[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 23 Oct. 5/3: Recitation — You’re not fit to carry cocky chaff to me’].
[US]Z.N. Hurston Sweat (1995) 959: There oughter be a law about him [...] He aint fit tuh carry guts tuh a bear.
[US]Z.N. Hurston Jonah’s Gourd Vine (1995) 42: Youse uh good fuh nothin’ trashy yaller rascal – ain’t fit tuh tote guts tuh uh bear.
[Aus](con. 1830s–60s) ‘Miles Franklin’ All That Swagger 207: ‘Go away you lout and carry guts to a bear,’ said Rodney. ‘He’s not fit to carry guts to a bear,’ added Robert. [Ibid.] 209: I said you weren’t fit to carry offal to a bear, but you are, you are!
[Ire]P. Boyle At Night All Cats Are Grey 66: Sure you’d as lief be carrying guts to a bear as pouring drinks into that porter-shark.
N. Gaiman Amer. Gods 482: I figure you don’t have enough sense to bring guts to a bear.
come one’s guts (v.)

to give information.

[UK]Thieves Slang ms list from District Police Training Centre, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Warwicks n.p.: Come his guts: To give information to the police.
[UK]J. Curtis They Drive by Night 71: Give him a good coating in the station. He’ll come his guts.
[Aus]K. Tennant Joyful Condemned 49: You needn’t say anything [...] We’ve got it on you. Your cobber’s come his guts.
[UK]B. Hill Boss of Britain’s Underworld 127: He came his guts on me and told them [i.e. the police] where I was.
[UK]F. Norman Dead Butler Caper 88: The jig was well and truly up and there seemed nothing for it, except come my guts.
[UK]F. Norman Too Many Crooks Spoil the Caper 169: A little tunin’ up gets geezers to come their guts a treat, straight up it do, guv.
double-guts (n.)

1. a very fat person.

[UK]Partridge DSUE.

2. (US) one who can consume a large amount of food.

[US]D. Pearce Cool Hand Luke (1967) 176: Eat plenty, Double Gut [...] Eat up, you fuckin’ hog.
drop one’s guts (v.)

1. (N.Z. prison) to act in a cowardly manner; to back down.

[UK]C. Rohan Delinquents 128: I’m surprised at you dropping your guts to a few coppers.
[NZ]G. Newbold Big Huey 117: A few guys came in and pegged me, but they didn’t do anything so I guessed they’d dropped their guts.

2. to break wind.

[UK]Roger’s Profanisaurus 3 in Viz 98 Oct. 11: drop your guts v. To break wind. ‘“Fossilised fish-hooks”, croaked Venables. “Which one of you beanfeasters has dropped his guts?”’ (from ‘Jennings Makes a Daisy Chain’ by Anthony Buckeridge).
OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. 🌐 (dropped your ... ) guts v. To break wind in a silent manner but with terrific aroma. The ‘dropper’ is usually proud of his work ‘Watch out, I’ve dropped me guts’.
eat one’s guts out (v.)

to agonize.

[US] in T.I. Rubin Sweet Daddy 57: Bitter? Me? What for? Look, I don’t eat my guts out.
flog one’s guts out (v.)

to work very hard, to make an extreme effort.

[US]R. Greenwood Stone from the Brook 264: What do you think I’m flogging my guts out day and night for — to see that lot bag a share?
[UK]‘P.B. Yuill’ Hazell Plays Solomon (1976) 83: What’s the point of flogging our guts out – my guts anyway.
[US]J.O. Smith ‘Slim Jim’ in Writers News Mar. 🌐 I’m blowed if I’m going to flog my guts out doing physical jerks one day and then undo it all drinking beer the next.
posting at 🌐 My basic was £17k and OTE £29, they SOLD me the job and it was the worst job ever coz I had to flog my guts out and got no rewards as the targets were so high.
get one’s guts in a knot (v.)

(Aus.) to become angry, esp. for no good reason (cf. get one’s face in a knot under face n.).

[Aus]W.H. Downing Digger Dialects 26: get one’s guts in a knot — Become needlessly angry.
[Aus](con. WWI) A.G. Pretty Gloss. of Sl. [...] in the A.I.F. 1921–1924 (rev. t/s) n.p.: get one’s guts in a knot. Give way to anger.
[Aus]A.H. Harris No Flowering Road 37: Don’t get your guts in a knot about that [...] If he's taken, and they put the screws on him, he’ll hold out as long as anyone can.
[Aus]S. Gore Holy Smoke 86: Just keep your eyes skinned for these urgers that only shout a beer to get yer guts in a knot.
get one’s guts up (v.)

(Aus.) to have sexual intercourse.

[Aus]Lette & Carey Puberty Blues 92: Hours later, I awoke again, randy as hell. I had to get my guts up.
gut it (v.)

(US campus) to stay up all night working without any amphetamines for stimulation but purely through strength of will and character.

[US]G. Underwood ‘Razorback Sl.’ in AS L:1/2 60: gut it v phr Stay up all night, as when studying, without taking amphetamines to stay awake.
gut plunge (on butch) (n.)

(US) scrounging for meat from a butcher’s shop by a tramp.

[US]A.J. Barr Let Tomorrow Come 40: Well, so I make another parlor an’ buy what I can, an’ then go on up the avenue to make a gut plunge on butch.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 93: Gut Plunge.—A trip to the butcher to beg meat for ‘mulligan.’ Any kind of scrap meat will do, and the old cry of the tramp in response to the butcher’s query as to what was wanted is a classic of the road. ‘Any meat, butch, we ain’t particular – eye holes, ear holes, air holes, anything at all, butch – just want to make some mulligan.’.
[US]J. Conroy World to Win 57: I made a gut plunge on butch fer a batch o’ mulligan meat, but all I got was a soup bone.
gut through (v.)

(US) to endure courageously.

[US]B. Greer Slammer 141: Tough it out, gut it through, buddy!
[UK](con. 1965) M. Berent Rolling Thunder (1990) 64: I had to go complete my ME degree, in a bloody short time I might add, gutting my way through.
[US]C. Kettlewell Skin Game 178: In that complex interplay of experience and physiology, I like to think that every time I gut it through and survive.
[US]P.J. Murphy Taking the Hill 74: No matter what personal challenges he faced, Captain Gulp would gut it through, working tirelessly for the soldiers under his watch.
hate someone’s guts (v.) (also hate someone’s gizzard, ...hide, ...insides, loathe someone’s guts)

to loathe, to detest.

[US](con. 1917–18) C. MacArthur War Bugs 279: This Schlemmer was the single Kraut in town who hated our guts.
[UK]Wodehouse Right Ho, Jeeves 120: She’s gone and fallen in love with this other bloke, and now hates my gizzard.
[US] (ref. to 1920s) R. McAlmon Being Geniuses Together 22: As we danced she said, ‘Bob McAlmon, why do you act nice to me? You know you hate my guts’.
[US]W.R. Burnett Quick Brown Fox 76: ‘I’m damned if I’d ask Abbot. He hates my insides’.
[US]‘F. Bonnamy’ A Rope of Sand (1947) 26: She’s always hated Hjalmar’s hide.
[UK]N. Streatfeild Grass in Piccadilly 202: A madly silly woman who loathed Freda’s guts.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 175: I hadn’t intended to say this, but I couldn’t help myself. I hated the bastard’s guts.
[UK]J. Osborne Look Back in Anger Act II: You rotten bastard! I hate your guts, I’m clearing out, and I hope you rot.
[UK]R.L. Pike Mute Witness (1997) 12: Much as I hate this hood’s guts, our job is to keep him alive.
[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 86: Amadeo hates my guts.
[UK]‘Derek Raymond’ He Died with His Eyes Open 32: Practically everyone in the place hated his guts.
[US]J. Wambaugh Golden Orange (1991) 208: Daddy hated Ralph’s guts.
[US]P. Cornwell Last Precinct 391: Both of you look like you hate each other’s guts.
have guts in one’s brains (v.)

to be sensible, to show some intelligence.

[UK]S. Butler Hudibras Pt I canto 3 line 1091: Hard matter for a man to do / That has but any guts in’s brains.
[UK]T. Dilke City Lady III.ii: They have no guts in their brains.
[UK]Swift Right of Precedence par. 23: Our vulgar saying, ‘that men have guts in their brains,’ is a vulgar error.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (3rd edn) n.p.: To have some guts in his brains; to know something.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]W. Carr Craven Dialect i 47: ‘You have no guts in your brains’; you are completely ignorant, you are quite destitute of skill or cunning.
have someone’s guts for garters (v.) (also garter up someone’s stockings with their guts, give someone their guts for garters, have someone’s guts for a garter, ...suspenders, make garters of someone’s guts)

to punish comprehensively, to hurt; thus ad hoc var. in cit. 1986 wear one’s guts for earmufffs, to have received punishment.

[UK]Greene James IV III ii: Ile make garters of thy guttes, thou villaine, if thou enter this office.
[UK]Rowlands ‘Master Make Shift’ Knave of Clubs 20: I would be-stab his skin like double cuts, And garter up his stockins with his guts.
[Ire] ‘Lord Altham’s Bull’ in Walsh Ireland Ninety Years Ago (1885) 89: I’ll butter my knife in his tripes, and give him his guts for garters.
[UK]Northampton Mercury 18 Dec. 2/2: He replied the he would be damned but he would rip her, and give her guts for garters.
[Ire]Spirit of Irish Wit 102: My Gossup up wit his chir [i.e. a scraping knife] and swore he’d give him guts for garters.
[UK]Proc. Old Bailey 30 Nov. 43: You have put my sister in prison, and I will rip your guts for garters.
[Ire]Freeman’s Jrnl (Dublin) 28 Feb. 3/9: Murphy said, ‘Let me pass, or I will give your guts for garters’ .
[UK]J. Curtis There Ain’t No Justice 244: A slop would have your guts for garters.
[UK]W. Hall Long and the Short and the Tall Act I: He’ll have your guts for garters yet. He’s after you.
[Aus]J. Wynnum I’m a Jack, All Right 21: You can watch me strutting round the Upper wearing your guts for a garter.
[NZ]B. Mason Awatea (1978) 34: You breathe one single word of this to anyone, I’ll have your guts for garters.
[UK]F. Norman Too Many Crooks Spoil the Caper 18: Me ‘an Drummer ain’t gonna pay yuh anuvva visit an’ ’ave yuh guts for garters.
[UK]‘Derek Raymond’ He Died with His Eyes Open 35: If those two over there even suspect I’ve been talking to you they’ll have my guts for a garter.
[US]S. King It (1987) 263: If one of you touches that baby [...] you’ll both be wearing your guts for earmuffs. [Ibid.] 858: It just about had your guts for suspenders, Haystack.
[UK]K. Lette Mad Cows 197: Ten per cent a week [...] Them’s me terms. Otherwise, it’s guts for garters time.
[UK]R. Barnard No Place of Safety 175: If you do anything to damage my business I’ll have your guts for garters.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 29 June 7: ‘We’ll get you through this.’ I said ‘you’d better or I’ll have your guts for garters’.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read Chopper 4 115: If the stern young Miss upstairs hears that tone of conversation she’ll have our guts for garters.
B. Reed ‘Blind Freddie at the end of the cord’ in Passing Strange (2015) 32: ‘So now it’s your turn for having to keep your guts protected from her garters’.
[Aus]T. Spicer Good Girl Stripped Bare 75: If I send our very expensive chopper down there, and it’s a pissant light plane crash, with no injuries, then I’m having your guts for garters.
jump someone’s guts out (v.)

(Aus.) to kick someone to death.

[Aus]Age (Melbourne) 15 Sept. 5/3: It is to be regretted that a belligerent individual should be unable to devise some more humane method of taking the life of his victim, than by ‘jumping his guts out,’ as the slang vernacular has it .
kick someone’s guts in (v.)

to beat, to assault.

[UK]Proc. Old Bailey 30 Nov. 43: You b—y b—r, get up or I will kick your b—y guts in.
[Aus]X. Herbert Capricornia (1939) 446: I’ll kick your guts in!
lose one’s guts (v.)

to vomit.

[Aus]D. Hewett Bobbin Up (1961) 134: His fingers scrabbled at his once-white shirt, sticky with vomit. ‘I lost me guts’ he muttered.
more guts than a Bedford truck

(Aus.) used of a brave and admirable individual.

[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 196: more guts than a Bedford truck great strength and/or bravery.
more guts than brains

a phr. said of someone who is foolish but determined in their stupidity.

[Scot]Scots Mag. 1 Dec. 17/2: Antoeus had more guts than brains.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: More guts than brains, a silly fellow.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Brains. If you had as much brains as guts, what a clever fellow you’d be. said to a fat man.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (3rd edn) n.p.:
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1796].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
my guts are potato chips

(Aus.) I am absolutely terrified.

[Aus]B. Oakley Salute to the Great McCarthy 89: My guts are potato chips, at the windows the carnivores bellow for blood. One minute and forty seconds to go.
my guts chime twelve (also my guts cry cupboard, ...curse my teeth)

I am very hungry.

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: My Guts Cry Cupboard, i.e. I am hungry.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: His Guts curse his Teeth [...] One is extremely hungry.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd, 3rd edn) n.p.: My guts cry cupboard; i.e. I am hungry. [Ibid.] My guts curse my teeth [...] the party is extremely hungry.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum .
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]‘Alfred Crowquill’ Seymour’s Humourous Sketches (1866) 8: Talking o’ heating, Spriggs — I’m rayther peckish — my stomick’s bin a crying cupboard for a hour past.
pop a gut (v.)

1. to work very hard.

D. Gordon ‘By the Shores of Gitche Gumee’ Part 3 on BMW Touring Club of Detroit 🌐 As I start to lean the bike over to the left, I realize that it slopes away on that side and the sidestand is not going to hold the bike up. Luckily I realize this just before the point of no return, but still I just about pop a gut trying to catch it and get things back upright.

2. to laugh uproariously.

K. Vonnegut ‘The Sisters B-36’ Timequake 🌐 Isn’t that funny? When that conceited old rich man stepped on a nim-nim peel and fell into an open manhole, didn’t that make you practically pop a gut laughing?

3. to be furious.

[US]K.C. Lamott Stockade 55: The lieutenant would pop a gut.
Melissa Taylor ‘Toe-Nail Clipping Tips’ in Guinea Mag Issue 2 Fall 🌐 Don’t pop a gut if your guinea pig starts to bleed.
scare the guts out of (v.)

to terrify.

[UK]B. Kiely Honey Seems Bitter 161: The guts are scared out of you.
[UK]A. Sinclair My Friend Judas (1963) 62: Mack Angelo, who scared the guts out of sticks, stones, popes, and his own ego.
she has to cross her legs to keep her guts from falling out

(US) used of a promiscuous or supposedly promiscuous woman.

[US]M. Braly On the Yard (2002) 112: She’s got a taste for cheating by now [...] Prob’ly has to cross her legs to keep her guts from falling out.
shut one’s guts (v.)

(Aus.) to stop talking.

[Aus]T.A.G. Hungerford Ridge and River (1966) 58: ‘Oh, shut your guts!’ Shearwood snapped.
[Aus]A. Buzo Front Room Boys Scene xii: Ar shut your guts!
[Aus]D. Maitland Breaking Out 157: ‘You just shut yer guts,’ Timothy bawled.
[Aus]J. Hibberd Country Quinella 41: Shut your guts! Lay off, you bastard!
spill one’s guts (v.)

see under spill v.

sweat one’s guts out (v.) (also slave one’s guts out, slog..., slug..., run..., tear..., work...)

to work to one’s utmost; also attrib.

[UK]Barrère & Leland Dict. of Sl., Jargon and Cant.
[UK]R. Tressell Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (1955) 441: If they happened to be good ‘sloggers’ – men who made a practice of ‘tearing their guts out’.
[UK]‘Bartimeus’ ‘Narrative of Commander W.D. Hornby’ in Awfully Big Adventure 95: Here we are sweatin’ our guts out.
[UK]F. Bason Diary I (1950) 40: Our barrows were piled high and we sweated our guts out getting it [i.e. the contents] open.
[UK]W.S. Maugham Bread-Winner Act II: I’ve done my best. I’ve just sweated my guts out.
[UK]‘George Orwell’ Road to Wigan Pier in Complete Works V (1986) 30: Miners sweat their guts out.
[NZ]J. Henderson Gunner Inglorious (1974) 80: I’m not going to slog my guts out and have you moaning all the time.
[Aus]T.A.G. Hungerford Ridge and River (1966) 188: What do you think made them slug their guts out, bringing you in?
[Aus](con. 1940s) T.A.G. Hungerford Sowers of the Wind 5: I’ll think of you slaving your guts out while I’m teaching some little slit-eye a thing or two.
[Aus]H.H. Wilson ‘Kedi’ in Drake-Brockman West Coast Stories 191: A man’s a fool to sweat his guts out drilling for oil in that hell’s country.
[UK]B. Naughton Alfie I ii: You’re sweatin’ your guts out luggin’ them beer crates about all week.
[NZ]G. Slatter Pagan Game (1969) 31: What does the rest of the College do while they’re slogging their guts out for the Championship?
[UK]N. Smith Gumshoe (1998) 61: You imagine coming home from a day slogging your guts out, looking forward to Match of the Day [...] and finding your telly gone.
Dly Mirror 15 July 23/4: ‘I can see his point — he runs his guts out and everybody says “Good old Lester!”’.
[UK]A. Ayckbourn Ten Times Table I i: These were men [...] who spent their working lives sweating their guts out for a living. [...] I ii: He’s been slogging his guts out for this lot.
[US]St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) 16 Mar. 4F/3: He’s the slog-your-guts-out Kentish farmer.
[SA]P. Slabolepszy Sat. Night at the Palace (1985) 16: Hell, what have I done for that team, hey? Sweated my bloody guts out.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Godson 164: ‘What else did you do while I was working me guts out?’.
[Ire](con. 1930s) L. Redmond Emerald Square 109: I stood at the door of our little home and watched him cycle off to work [...] to slog his guts out for another day.
[Aus]Sydney Morn. Herald 24 June 45/1: [cartoon caption] Life is [...] catching a crowded train to a ghastly office where I’ [...] forced to slog my guts out so that someone else can dine on champagne and caviar.
[UK]Indep. 24 July 8: The activists who had ‘sweated their guts out’ to deliver Labour’s landslide victory.
[UK]Guardian G2 4 Apr. 22: The pair [...] slogged their guts out.
[Aus]G. Gilmore Class Act [ebook] ‘[He] swans around all day while the rest of us are slogging our guts out’.
throw one’s guts (v.)

1. (US tramp) to inform.

[US]N. Klein ‘Hobo Lingo’ in AS I:12 653: Throw-your-guts—telling everything. Not trustworthy.
[US] in ‘Jargon of the Und.’ in DN V.
[US]‘Dean Stiff’ Milk and Honey Route 216: Throw your guts—To squeal.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 821: throw one’s guts – To tell everything one knows; to break confidence; to confess.

2. (US) to vomit.

[US](con. 1890) G. Milburn ‘A Convention Song’ in Hobo’s Hornbook 26: We slopped up on that beer / Each ’bo throwed his guts while the other mutts / Laid back and lent an ear.
[US]G. Milburn ‘The Hobo’s Warning’ in Hobo’s Hornbook 257: Now all of you mutts ‘ve heard me throw my guts, / You can see how it’s ending for me.
[US](con. 1940s) E. Thompson Tattoo (1977) 225: Threw her guts up.
up in someone’s guts

(US black) of a man, having sexual intercourse.

[US]Ebonics Primer at 🌐 up in someone’s guts Definition: to have sex. Example: When I get Angel back to her moms house i’m gonna be all up in dem guts.

SE, meaning entrails, in slang uses

In compounds


see separate entries.