1. (UK/US Und.) reliable, trustworthy, (from the criminal’s point of view); thus corrupt (i.e. of a police officer).
|Nugae Venales 251: She had a Daughter which was more Handsom than Honest, and much more Witty than Wife, in short, both Mother and Daughter were as right as my Leg, and as good as ever twang’d.|
|The Quaker’s Opera I i: Qu: What hast thou got? Poor: Sir, you may have what you please, Wind or right Nantz or South-Sea.|
|Stamford Mercury 2 May 4/1: I swear by G—d ’tis beastly / Thus (like an Essex calf) to treat poor Priestly.|
|Reading Mercury 11 July 2/3: Your stomach aches? [...] Take a good dose of right Nantz.|
|(con. 1703) Jack Sheppard (1917) 38: It’s right Nantz. I keep it for my own drinking.|
|Mysteries of London III 4/2: There’s no doubt that you was then a right sort of blade.|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 8 Jan. 3/3: A large muster of the right sort were moving towards the [cock]pit.|
|Recollections of G. Hamlyn (1891) 364: He was one of the right sort once himself, I have heard; but he’s been on the square for twenty years, so I don’t like to trust him.|
|Morn. Post 18 Dec. 3/3: A troop of gaol-birds right and tight / [...] / At the Thieves’ Kitchen made a night.|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 86/1: The only detectives then in the town were Jemmy Childs, Bob Hartley and Jack Stubbs. Bob Hartley being considered easiest to make ‘right’.|
|Greenock Advertiser 15 June 4/1: ‘Why Judge, “Bunt” was a right man all around. [...] He wouldn’t squeal if he knew where all the stolen money in the world hid’’.|
|First She Would and Then She Wouldn’t [ballad lyrics] I thought it was ‘right’ and so I had / The banns put up ‘on spec’.|
|Barkeep Stories 152: ‘I got de joint open at dat, but [...] I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t know der was a right guy on de beat’.|
|World of Graft 11: Chi is goin’ to be ‘right’ for the likes o’ you an’ me as long as the gang is in power.|
|Types from City Streets 160: It was lucky for the up-town investigator [...] that some of the gorillas knew he was ‘right’.|
|Keys to Crookdom 415: Right. All right, O.K. Good reputation with gang, bosses and fences. One who can be trusted.|
|Truth (Brisbane) 22 June 12/3: [of a regular narcotics user] ‘Very few drug shops will turn down good money, if they know you are “right”’.|
|Und. and Prison Sl. 62: right, adj. 1. Trustworthy, loyal. 2. Willing to overlook a law violation for a price.|
|(con. 1905–25) Professional Thief (1956) 72: One of the banks in Reno was regarded by confidence men as a ‘right jug’.|
|Big Con 227: If a right copper can be bought by one man, he can be bought by another.|
|in Men of the Und. 117: Do you think that well-known guns could graft with impunity unless they had someone right?|
|Scene (1996) 291: I even met that Rudy Black cat [...] I knew he wasn’t right.|
|Carlito’s Way 84: A beater is always on time. If a guy is right he don’t rush.|
|Corner (1998) 101: And the Family Affair bag from this fall. Dag, that was right.|
|Running the Books 81: Yo, your kite was right!! Chic, ya off the hook, and on some real shit.|
2. (Aus./N.Z.) safe, secure; lit. and fig.
|Satirist & Sporting Chron. (Sydney) 11 Feb. 2/3: Baily succeeded in getting home a terrific body blow, which regularly doubled Hough up. (Baily’s backers making their minds up that all would be right) .|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 29 Oct. 3/3: I’m as right as the bank [...] and a good deal righter than some banks I could mention.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 28 Mar. 10/1: Anyhow, Mr. Anderson has got to windward of the coloured ‘push’ for a surplus, and a bit of ‘stuff,’ so he’s pretty right on it.|
|Aberdeen Press 21 June 7/4: ‘Got the blessed defunct?’ said the undertaker [...] ‘Right and tight,’ answered the buffer.|
|Inter Ocean (Chicago) 25 Jan. 34/7: New Yorker’s Experience in a Brace Game [...] [I mailed] friend in New Orleans his bit in a money order for putting me right.|
|Lucky Palmer 68: Oly for glittering Gold winning on Thursday we’d have been right.|
|Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 92/2: right secure state philosophically important to traditional Kiwi person; I’ll see you right reassurance that hospitality or a loan will be extended; she’s right/ she’ll be right/she’s jake/ she’s apples/she’s sweet/ too right all emphasising that all is secure and settled.|
|Bad Debts (2012) [ebook] You’ve got an ex-cop for a Police Minister now. He’ll see you old blokes right, won’t he?|
|Lingo 29: The use of terms like she’ll be right, mate, she’ll be apples, take it easy, and don’t bust a gut, are often presented as evidence of an economically undesirable casualness.|
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].|
|Australian 9 Feb. [Internet] We also teach them Australian slang, an explanation of some of the slang they might hear for example, ‘she’ll be right, mate’.|
3. (US Und.) justifiable, e.g. an arrest that follows a crime one actually did commit.
|(con. 1905–25) Professional Thief (1956) 119: Unquestionably a real thief would rather have an arrest on a good rap than on a bum one. When the rap is right, he knows what to do and how to go about it. He knows whom he must square. But in a bum rap he is entirely at sea.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 194: right fall Legitimate arrest.|
|Ridgey-Didge Oz Jack Lang 41: Right Whack Just deserts.|
|Sporting Times 13 June 1/4: He’s not one when he’s ‘cannoned’ to pay for a round, / And he doesn’t do that when he’s right.‘A Consistent Consort’|
5. sane, mentally balanced; usu. in negative to mean insane, e.g. not right, and usu. in combs. e.g. right in the wits, right in the head.
|Preston Herald 17 Nov. 5/4: The male prisoner conducted himself in an eccentric manner [...] but his wife asserted that he was right enough.|
|Ten-Thousand-Dollar Arm 267: The next time I get at these fellows I’ll be right, or —.‘McCluskey’s Prodigal’ in|
|Ulysses 719: Is he right in his head I ask.|
|Family from One End Street 109: Mr Hare [...] asked Mr Ruggles if that boy of his was ‘all right’ – ‘his eyes you know’.|
|Man with the Golden Arm 114: Frankie dealt the fastest game in the Near Northwest Side when he was right.|
|Scrambled Yeggs 58: You seem like a pretty right kind of a guy. I’d like to tell you a few things.|
|Garden of Sand (1981) 483: Rita was a small bubble-breasted, bleached blonde who Rusty claimed was not quite right.|
|Picture Palace 245: She doesn’t know what she’s saying [...] She hasn’t been right since she came back.|
|London Fields 254: Just when you thought she was a complete innocent or ‘natural’ or maybe even not quite right in the head.|
6. (US) respectable, honest, dependable.
|Kidnapped 248: I’m no a right man at all; I have neither sense nor kindness.|
|(con. 1910–20s) Hell’s Kitchen 120: Right ... proper and genuine.|
|‘The Death Club’ in Complete Stories 15 Dec. [Internet] ‘Captain Galpin down at headquarters is a pretty right guy.’ ‘He’s so honest it hurts.’.|
|Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1986) 129: Nobody [...] would ask a right young girl to sit down to the table where he was drinking with another man.|
|Weed (1998) 178: I know you’re a right kind of fella.|
|Cannibals 143: You’re one right Dago, Joey.|
|Wind & Monkey (2013) [ebook] ‘You’re right, mate’.|
7. (US) drunk or intoxicated [the inference is that the sober/drugless state is ‘wrong’].
|AS XVI:1 Jan. 70/1: right.‘Drunk in Sl.’ in|
|Night Song (1962) 68: He can wail when he’s right, but he ain’t consistent any more.|
|Campus Sl. Mar. 8: right – an ideal degree of drunkeness: I felt right last night.|
|Campus Sl. Mar.|
|Another Day in Paradise 167: Back at the hotel [...] slamming to stay right.|
8. (US) good, in good spirits.
|Thief 291: You might say I was feelling pretty good that night. Feeling right.|
9. of a confidence trickster’s victim, thoroughly ensnared.
|Little Boy Blue (1995) 217: Once you qualify a sucker, make sure he’s right.|
10. (US black) of a woman, very attractive.
|Wire ser. 1 ep. 4 [TV script] I ain’t seen a female that fine since. I gotta say, shorty was right.‘Old Cases’|
|Crime Factory: Hard Labour [ebook] She was a right piece [...] Skin like fresh cream.‘Death Cannot Be Delegated’ in|
(US Und.) defiance of authority.
|In For Life 246: I judged men by the ‘rightness’ of their thinking, by the degree of their defiance of authority.|
a corrupt police officer.
|Prison Community (1940) 335/1: right cop, n. A police officer who is in on the graft; one who will ‘do business.’.|
|Und. and Prison Sl. 62: right cop, right D.A.. One who will accept bribes.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 193: right cop A policeman who will accept a bribe.|
|DAUL 178/1: Right copper. A policeman who will accept bribes or offer limited cooperation to the underworld; a policeman who shuns use of third degree methods and is scrupulously fair in his relations with criminals.et al.|
(US) a doctor who is willing to write prescriptions for narcotic drugs, patch up wounded villains and perform other illegal services.
|It’s a Racket! 93: To him [i.e. the racketeer], a physician or surgeon is only a ‘croaker’, a ‘right croaker’ if he is the sort who will treat a fugitive criminal’s wounds or injuries without notifying the police.|
|Lang. Und. (1981) 108/1: right-croaker. A physician or dentist who will sell drugs to an addict; one who will sail, or turn, or write scrip.‘Lang. of the Und. Narcotic Addict’ Pt 2 in|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
|DAUL 178/1: Right croaker. A physician who does business with the underworld, treating wounds without reporting to police.et al.|
|Traffic In Narcotics 314: right croaker. A doctor who sells narcotics illegally.|
|Narcotics Lingo and Lore.|
(US Und.) working confidence tricks after bribing the police and thus without fear of arrest.
|(con. 1905–25) Professional Thief (1956) 117: A special form of fixing is known as ‘right grift.’ This refers to a situation where absolute immunity is guaranteed in so far as the police detailed to a particular spot are concerned.|
1. (US, usu. Und.) a trustworthy person, esp. in criminal terms.
|St Paul Globe (MN) 15 July 10/1: Randall claimed that it was occasionally necessary for him to do a ‘job’ [...] to convince his associates that he’s a ‘right guy’.|
|Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 61: What with treating the gang and being a right guy generally.|
|Lucky Seventh (2004) 279: You’ve done a right guy an injustice.‘Won Off the Diamond’ in|
|Journal of Murder in Gaddis & Long (2002) 117: I never met or heard of anyone yet who ever admitted that they were wrong [...] They all insist that they are right guys and square crooks.|
|Rough Stuff 124: We branched out into a stronger organization and were known as ‘right guys’.|
|Crown Jewels are Missing 43: You won’t find anything wrong with him. He’s a right guy.|
|Across the Board 104: Leo the Bum stood up in the Hinds trial and is fundamentally a right guy.|
|Cannibals 172: He’s a right guy.|
|(ref. to 1917–18) Make the Kaiser Dance 101: In World War I parlance, a man who was on the square was the real goods—in other words, a right guy.|
|Patriot Game (1985) 89: I’m here for information, and I hear you’re a right guy.|
|Legs 8: He was a right guy.|
2. (US prison) a popular prisoner, respected by his peers.
|Rumble on the Docks (1955) 60: Yuh gotta listen to the right guys who were sent up [...] Your brothers are right guys!|
|Sex in Prison 116: The inmate code is followed by ‘right guys’ and not by all prisoners. ‘Right guys’ are the inmates who stick together, and a man has to earn his way into the fold.|
|House of Slammers 38: Most of his trouble seems to stem from trying to prove to others that he’s a right guy.|
1. a safe criminal haunt or establishment.
|DAUL 178/1: Right joint. Any establishment or prison operated in conformity with the established ethics of the underworld, as a saloon from which police and stool pigeons are excluded.et al.|
2. a prison, esp. one considered to treat prisoners fairly.
(Aus.) the honest truth, true facts.
|Dict. of Aus. Words And Terms [Internet] RIGHT OIL — The truth; to be informed.|
|I Travelled a Lonely Land (1957) 238/1: right oil (straight oil) – the true information.|
|(con. 1944) Rats in New Guinea 42: I’ll give you the right oil, Mick, but you’ll have to keep it to yourself.|
1. something that is an exceptional example of its type, usu. humorous or bizarre.
|Midnight Spy (c.1929) 62: [of a blow] If you nag, I’ll tip you such a right one, that I’ll make you believe the devil’s come for you before your time.|
|Bk of Sports 51: Mr. Harrison, a right one and never at fault.|
|Empire (Sydney) 27 July 5/5: A very clever man / We see has reached our isle / ‘’Tis a right ’un and a tight ’un,’ / said Derby with a smile.|
|Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 3 Oct. 1/4: [of a horse] Titan, the right ’un, was head of the string.|
|Cheapjack 39: They look all right-’uns to me.|
|There Ain’t No Justice 21: Once he had been a right’un and had boxed with Johnny Basham.|
|Long and the Short and the Tall Act I: smith: Read us one out, Bammo. / bamforth: Here’s a right one. Get this.|
|Birthday 49: She’s a right one, she is. She’d skin your prick like a banana.|
2. an admirable person (or animal).
|[||Monsieur Thomas (1639) I i: This last wench was a faire one: A dainty wench, a right one].|
|Paul Pry 18 Dec. n.p.: F—W— [...] is a stunning good sort, but at times follows the example of his horses, by kicking over the traces. But being a right’un, we shall allow him to wet his eye, or both.|
|‘’Arry on Competitive Examination’ in Punch 1 Dec. 253/2: We wants it made easy for right ’uns, and nice for the nobs — and wot ’arm?|
|Tales of the Ex-Tanks 223: [of a horse] After you’d got your money down on the right one [...] the flash ’ud come in on one of the other skates.|
|Grimhaven 164: She was a square one and a right one.|
|None But the Lonely Heart 41: She was a proper bramah, a smasher, a right one.|
3. (Ulster) an unpredictable person.
|Day of the Dog 38: Got a right one here, he thinks.|
|Dying of the Light 78: We’ve got a right one here, thought Jarvis.|
a corrupt prison warder.
|Autobiog. of a Gipsey 4: This [...] can only be effected by the connivance of a ‘screw,’ or warder – who, when accessible to a bribe, is termed a ‘right screw’.|
|DAUL 178/2: Right screw. (P) A prison guard who handles smuggled letters, contraband, etc., often for bribes, sometimes gratis.et al.|
see separate entry.
see separate entry.
(US Und.) any town or small city where the authorities – police, local politicians – have been bribed into allowing criminal activity to flourish.
|Wash. Post 11 Nov. Misc. 3/5: In the heyday of the criminal tribes who roamed this country [...] Toledo was known as a ‘right town’ and a good place to hide out.|
|Big Con 22: These [small] cities, known as ‘right towns’, are indelibly identified with the big store.|
a corrupt prison warder.
|Criminal Life 272: Will you go and tell Dutch Doll to come up to try and get me right twirl (good warder).|
1. to get drunk or intoxicated by drugs.
|Campus Sl. Fall 3: get one’s head right – get high: ‘I guess I’ll get my head right this weekend’.|
2. see SE phrs. below.
1. (US black) to become drunk or intoxicated by drugs.
|‘Sl. among Nebraska Negroes’ in AS XIII:4 Dec. 317/1: Among adjectives [...] High, ready, sent, right, lushed refer to various stages of intoxication.|
|Black! (1996) 236: Roy [...] made Ely a drink. ‘Take this,’ he said [...] ‘Get right with the world, man.’.‘Yet Princes Follow’ in|
|Corner (1998) 240: Fran [...] runs a game on Buster to get right.|
2. see SE phrs. below.
(US Und.) to buy protection from an official.
|Big Con 298: To have (someone) right. To buy protection from an official [...] Also used of cities, banks; etc.|
(US black) to feel good, esp. as a result of drug use.
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines 246: make (one) right Feel good (especially from getting high).|
(UK Und.) to bribe, to corrupt.
|Liverpool Mercury 14 Jan. 38/2: There are, in Liverpool [...] and other seaports, police ‘made right’.|
SE in slang uses
1. in cards, the knave of trumps; also fig. use.
|Heathen Chinee At last he put down a right bower, / Which the same Nye had dealt unto me.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 26 Sept. 13/2: In a betting case tried in the Tamworth (N.S.W.) Court, the Bench of magistrates, one and all, professed that they did not know the meaning of a ‘right bower,’ or ‘The Devil’s Prayer Book.’ Sweet innocents; to see the exceedingly loose leg the elderly elders of that elderly town flourish when down in Sydney on ‘urgent business,’ is enough to —.|
|Straight as a Line 264: Good old Jack! Knew he was the Right Bower of something! [...] but did not know it was the trumps!|
|A Vaquero of the Brush Country 173: His ‘right bower,’ Charlie Bawdre, dying from a bullet wound, staggered into the hut.|
|Maori Girl 257: ‘Your deal, Alec.’ ‘Here’s just the boy to turn up a right bower!’.|
2. in fig. use: a preferred suitor.
|Bulletin (Sydney) 22 Nov. 25/3: She has to attend to too many to be really dangerous, unless one can win his way to the expensive and irksome position of ‘right bower.’.|
|Quinton’s Rouseabout and other Stories 231: In the meantime the foreigner had become infatuated with the fresh beauty of Kate Leeson, and for months he had looked upon himself as the ‘right bower.’.|
3. (US) a deputy or second in command.
|Goodwin’s Wkly (Salt Lake City, UT) 9 Aug. 14/1: Freddy Robsinson [...] Richett’s right bower, will see the ladies are properly entertained.|
|Day Book (Chicago) 21 Mar. 1/1: Henry C. Schwab, president of Rothschild & Company, and his right bower [...] assistant superintendant of the store.|
|Woodfill of the Regulars 38: Besides being the captain’s right bower, he was one of the most popular fellows.|
|(con. late 19C) Gentle Giant 166: An expert cowhand, Mark was known as Dusty’s right bower.|
see charlie n.4
1. to come to one’s senses.
|(con. 1975–6) Steel Toes 79: You got history with him, how about getting his head right about this.|
2. see sl. phrs. above.
1. (US) to pull oneself together; to re-establish one’s reputation.
|Dly Bulletin (Honolulu, HI) 14 Nov. 4/1: One man named Sifas [...] got angry and smashed a canoe. He came to us [...] to know how he should get right again.|
|Checkers 48: You take a paralyzed oath [...] that if you ever get right again you’ll ‘salt your stuff’ and be a ‘tight-wad.’.|
|Mrs Grundy (Tracy City, TN) 18 Feb. 1/4: He is wrong with the people, he should get right with himself.|
|Hy Lit’s Unbelievable Dict. of Hip Words 18: get right – Tighten your game.|
2. (US campus) to get ready.
|Campus Sl. Fall 4: get right – get ready: I’m getting right for my date tonight.|
3. see sl. phrs. above.
all in order, completed.
|Tom and Jerry; A Musical Extravaganza I iv: You’re right and fly, now Jerry. [Ibid.] 55: Right and fly, complete.|
see under bank n.1
(US campus) a parody of the 1960s slogan right on! excl.
|AS L:1/2 65: You didn’t study for the test? Right arm!‘Razorback Sl.’ in|