Green’s Dictionary of Slang

jazz v.

[jazz n.; note Pierre Guiraud in his ‘Dictionnaire érotique’ (Paris 1978, 1984, 1993) has ‘jaser = coiter’ and gives as a quotation ‘Tu as les genoux chauds, tu veux jaser’ (La Comedie des proverbes XVIe s.) As his source he gives ‘Glossaire érotique de la langue francaise depuis son origine jusqu’à nos jours’ by Louis de Landes, Bruxelles 1861; this cit. is used in Farmer Vocabula Amatoria (1896); however anglophone researchers have discounted any valid link]

1. (orig. US black, also jaser, jazer) to have sexual intercourse.

[[UK]Farmer Vocabula Amatoria (1966) 162: Jaser (or Jazer). To copulate].
[US]M.B. Cary Jr ‘Mlle from Armentieres’ 🎵 She jazzed a nigger, she jazzed a Jew.
[US]Kitty Brown [song title] I Wanna Jazz Some More.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Young Manhood in Studs Lonigan (1936) 230: The guy has just drunk and jazzed himself to death.
[US] in Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) II 600: She sayd, Kind sir, would you like to jazz?
[US]E. Thompson Garden of Sand (1981) 436: I want you to play ball and enjoy yourself [...] Jazz them little hotass cheerleaders, hunh?
[US]S. King It (1987) 387: I bet he’s got a nice polite college-boy’s cock. Long enough to jazz with.
[US](con. 1946) G. Pelecanos Big Blowdown (1999) 59: You told me the next day that you jazzed her all up and down —.

2. (US) to enliven, to inspire, to excite.

[song title] Jazz Me Blues.
[US]H. Wiley Wildcat 54: Vinegar juice, jazz my trailin’ feet.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 109: Jazz. – To speed up.
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 805: jazz – To speed up.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 277: When things sizzled down with Lynn, he started looking for stuff to jazz him.
[US](con. 1964–8) J. Ellroy Cold Six Thousand 191: The Lincoln gleamed. New paint/new chrome/New leather. The car jazzed him. The car distracted him.
[US]J. Ellroy Hilliker Curse 9: The book jazzed me. I tore through it.

3. in fig. uses.

(a) (US) to mess up, to confuse.

[US]K. MacLeish letter Sept. in Rossano Price of Honor (1991) 22: I received a letter from Washington stating that my orders were all jazzed up.
[UK]P. Marks Plastic Age 271: I want to fight when orchestras jazz famous arias. Well, petting is jazzing love; and I hate it.
[US]J. Conroy Disinherited 165: You jazzed my poor ol’ gran’pa / And my poor ol’ gran’ma blind!
[US](con. 1964–8) J. Ellroy Cold Six Thousand 579: Bob vibed anxious. Bob vibed scared. Bob vibed jazzed.
[US]T. Piccirilli Fever Kill 111: You could get yourself pretty jazzed in front of a closed door in a state-run facility.

(b) (US) to tease.

[US] ‘Miscellaneous Notes’ in AS III:3 259: Today we ‘josh’ him, ‘jazz’ him, ‘razz’ him, or ‘hand him the raspberry’.
[US]J.T. Farrell Gas-House McGinty 161: When you jazzed one of these hot skirts you had on the wire [...] is that a sin?
[Aus]W. Dick Bunch of Ratbags 226: And then, all adopting phoney Italian accents, we started jazzing him.

(c) to lie, to deceive [for cit. 1831 note Fr. jaser, to chatter, babble, tittle-tattle].

[[UK]Palmerston letter 11 Nov. n.p.: I have been at Van de Weyer all yesterday and today [...] I am writing in the Conference, Matuszevic copying out a note for our signature, old Talley jazzing and telling stories to Lieven and Esterhazy and Wessenberg ...].
[US]J.T. Farrell ‘Big Jeff’ in Short Stories (1937) 50: Big Jeff . . . gyping . . .pimping . . . rimming . . . jazzing.
[US]B. Schulberg Harder They Fall (1971) 181: I didn’t know how bad I hurt him and I let him jazz me out of it.
[Ire]D. Healy Bend for Home 293: Jazzing, says my mother, just jazzing.

(d) to take liberties, synon. with fuck with v.

[US]‘Ed Lacy’ Best that Ever Did It (1957) 24: Hell, a little cushion money — that’s expected, but this fool tried jazzing the numbers syndicate.

4. to dance someone around.

[UK]‘J.H. Ross’ Mint (1955) 85: Sailor took me under the armpits and jazzed me past the basin-and-comb band to the far door and back.
[US](con. WWII) B. Cochrell Barren Beaches of Hell 46: Want a woman? Your cobber’s jazzing the one I brought, but I’ll get her for you.
[Aus]W. Ammon et al. Working Lives 92: We walked through the door and began to jazz. She was a beautiful dancer.

5. to enjoy oneself, to be inspired or excited; thus jazzing n.

[US]Hulbert & Simpson ‘My Girl Is My New C.O.’ 🎵 I shop all day and I jazz all night, / Now my girl is my new C.O.!
[US]Capt. Billy’s Whiz Bang Aug. 46: Jazz and the bunch jazz with you.
[UK]D.L. Sayers Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1977) 68: With all this jazzing and short skirts and pretending to have careers [...] Money – money and notoriety – that’s all she’s after.
[Aus]Truth (Brisbane) 7 Oct. 27/3: Brisbane’s fast set living a gay and jazzing existence at the expense of the grocer, the butcher, the milkman, and the tailor .
[US]C. McKay Banjo 45: Never was there such [...] close, indiscriminate jazzing of all the Negroes of Marseilles. [Ibid.] 304: Ise jest gwine on right along jazzing with the wul’.
[UK]G. Blake Shipbuilders (1954) 33: Jazzin’ and the Pictures and wenchin’ – that’s about the size of him.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 142: Part of him wondered how something could be so ugly and so beautiful and part of him plain jazzed on it.
[US]C. Cook Robbers (2001) 3: Eddie and Ray Bob, jazzing in low gear. Radio on soft.

6. (Aus. prison) to sodomize.

[Aus]Tupper & Wortley Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. 🌐 Jazz. 2. Sodomize.

In derivatives

In compounds

jazzhound (n.)

see separate entries.

jazz talc (n.)

(drugs) cocaine.

[UK]Roger’s Profanisaurus 3 in Viz 98 Oct. 18: jazz talc n. Bolivian marching powder, showbiz sherbert; Keith Richards’ dandruff.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 27 June 1: She has been phenominally keen on dangerous drugs – Ecstasy in her case rather than jazz talc.
jazz water (n.)

(US) bootleg alcohol.

J. Joseph in Black Mask mag. May [title] Jazz Water — By Special Delivery.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

jazz around (v.)

1. (also jazz about) to fool about, to idle, to lead a fast life, mainly in pursuit of sex.

[US]DN V 25: To jazz [...] 1. To talk to kill time. 2. To walk about to kill time.
[US]J. Conroy World to Win 237: Missus Biloski said it looked like some people should stay home and take care of their brats instead of jazzin’ around the country.
[US]‘Hal Ellson’ Duke 81: It’s about our ladies. We don’t want no jazzing around with them.
[US]H. Ellison ‘No Fourth Commandment’ in Gentleman Junkie (1961) 150: You [...] jazzed around at the fraternity house.
A. Burgess Beds in the East (1972) 473: ‘You’re not the men your fathers were, nor never will be. All this Coca-Cola and jazzing about. Where are the principles your fathers fought for?’.
[UK]J. McClure Spike Island (1981) 443: A weddin’ in Myrtle Gardens and all the bucks are pissed, jazzin’ around.
[Aus]J. Morrison Share House Blues 8: [H]e goes out every night, jazzing around looking for adventures.

2. thus, of money, to squander.

[UK]P. Cheyney Dames Don’t Care (1960) 23: She is a careful dame, an’ will stick to the dough an’ not let him go jazzin’ it around.

3. (also jazz along, jazz out, jazz round) to rush about.

[US]T. Thursday ‘Mr. Mister’ in All-Story Weekly 22 May 🌐 While friend captain is jazzing around the room, in floats Anice Milland.
[Can]R. Service ‘The Ballad of How MacPherson Held the Floor’ in Bar Room Ballads (1978) 613: Then two bright boys jazzed round him, and they sought to play the clown.
[US]S. Ace Stand On It (1979) 147: The rolling thundercrack of sound came jazzing along behind it.
[SA]Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg) 13 Apr. 🌐 We jazzed out and down to Foundation for a few sessions of hard house.
jazz up (v.)

1. of people, places or objects, to brighten up, to improve, to make more gaudy, to pep up.

[US]Perrysburg Jrnl (Wood Co., OK) 1 May 7/4: Two Performances Only [...] World famous Colored band - the band that ‘Jazzed up Europe’.
[US]Colville Examiner (WA) 20 Sept. 6/5: A two-reel L-KO comdy ‘All Jazzed Up’.
[US]N.W. Putnam West Broadway 12: We can jazz it up [i.e. Romeo & Juliet] a lot to make it screen good.
[UK]P. Marks Plastic Age 172: I’m with you. A shot of gin might jazz me up a little.
[US]N. Algren Somebody in Boots 245: We got my boots soled an’ my tattooin’ jazzed up.
[US]B. Schulberg What Makes Sammy Run? (1992) 149: Only I changed the characters. And I jazzed it up a little more.
[US]Laurents & Sondheim West Side Story I viii: We’re gonna rock it tonight, / We’re gonna jazz it up and have us a ball.
[UK]W. Manus Mott the Hoople 36: I’ve been taking a new drug that jazzes up the thyroid.
[UK]A. Salkey Come Home, Malcolm Heartland 89: Malcolm was a guest who had to be [...] rushed into an urgent militant posture, before his return home, and seen off hopelessly jazzed up and hopefully primed as yet another free-wheeling, independent guerrillero.
[UK](con. WW2) T. Jones Heart of Oak [ebook] The Elephant and Castle is a famous pub in South London, once much patronized by naval seamen, now unfortunately ‘jazzed up’.
[Can]M. Atwood Cat’s Eye (1989) 403: I could jazz myself up somehow. I ought to have some dangly earrings.
[UK](con. 1960s) A. Frewin London Blues 61: They call him in, give him the bare details, and he jazzes it up and makes them look like the Lone Ranger.
[US]J. Ridley Conversation with the Mann 87: Come on. It’ll be fun. We’ll catch a couple of acts, get us both jazzed up again.

2. to improve performance.

[US]Weekly Jrnl-Miner (Prescott (AZ) 27 Feb. 5/7: things have been jazzed up a bit over in Mohave county following the recent strikes [...] everybody in that camp feels that the district is [...] back to the good times.
[US]Eve. Public Ledger (Phila., PA) 30 May 23/1: [pic. caption] ‘Jazzing up the works’ This watchful foreman permits no loafing on the job.
[UK]A. Petry Narrows 367: Like that stuff they shoot into a hasbeen racehorse, jazz him up so he can keep running.

3. to mess up.

[US]R. Barrett Lovomaniacs (1973) 349: Something jazzed up the phone on this end [...] Twisted cord or something.