Green’s Dictionary of Slang

some adj.

(orig. US )

1. of an object, or situation, great, splendid; also used ironically.

[US]G.F. Ruxton Life in the Far West (1849) 3: The way the whisky flowed that time was ‘some’ now, I can tell you.
[Aus]Melbourne Punch 20 Nov. 3/3: ‘Proposals for a New Slang Dictionary’ [...] O.K. —Adj. To rights, proper, stunning, of the right sort, prime, all serene, crummy, some, out-an-out, scrumtious, &c, of the initials of the old English words, Orle Korrect.
[US] ‘English Sl.’ in Eve. Telegram (N.Y.) 9 Dec. 1/5: Let us present a few specimens:– [...] ‘Quite some’ (Western colloq).
[US]Wheelng Dly Intelligencer (VA) 26 May 6/1: Niggers was some ’count dem days, dey was dat.
[UK]Yorks Eve. Post 8 Sept. 4/6: Cute chap, Wren; knows some.
[US]K. McGaffey Sorrows of a Show Girl Ch. ix: The gown I am going to wear to the Friar festival [...] is going to have some class to it.
[US]Van Loan ‘For Revenue Only’ in Lucky Seventh (2004) 211: Lee at once produced a gold watch, which he passed to Truck for inspection. ‘Some kettle!’ said Truck.
‘Bartimeus’ Long Trick 73: Breakfast in the gunroom was, to employ a transatlantic colloquialism, some breakfast.
[US]Dos Passos Three Soldiers 47: Paris is some town, I can tell you.
[UK]D. Footman Pig and Pepper (1990) 133: Christmas, look at that! [...] Some bit!
[Aus](con. 1940s) T.A.G. Hungerford Sowers of the Wind 130: ‘How was Tokyo?’ ‘Some town!’ Craigie kissed his fingers at the air.
[US]J. Mills Panic in Needle Park (1971) 49: Some dumb spic broad hustling a guy who’s probably too stupid to know she’s on junk. Some world.
[Aus]D. Ireland Burn 3: Out of the army I wouldn’t have spat or shat on half those dick heads, but there it was salute like a black boy. Some joke.
[US]K. Vacha Quiet Fire 61: I got involved with the nelliest thing on feet. Those were some years.
[Ire](con. 1930s) K.C. Kearns Dublin Street Life and Lore 84: That was some job!
[US]C. Cook Robbers (2001) 7: Man, ain’t this some weather?

2. of a person, exceptional; also used ironically.

[US]‘Ned Buntline’ Mysteries and Miseries of N.Y. I 44: They say my sister is some in a crowd!
[US]M. Griffith Autobiog. of a Female Slave 95: Lindy’s off fur sartin. Now she tinks she is some, I reckon.
[US]‘Q.K. Philander Doesticks’ Plu-ri-bus-tah 131: Calling him ‘my love,’ before folks, / When she got him in the bedroom, / And the door was closed behind them, / She was ‘some’ on curtain-lectures.
[US]H.L. Williams N.-Y. After Dark 90: He is one of a crowd who think him ‘some’.
[US]‘Mark Twain’ Tom Sawyer 22: Smarty! You think you’re some, now, don’t you?
[US]E. Eggleston Graysons xiii: I used to think you wuz some at a hoe-down [DA].
[US]W.M. Raine Wyoming (1908) 48: Denver’s some in the turtle-dove business, according to that hash-slinger in Cheyenne.
TAD Indoor Sports 8 Feb. [synd. cartoon] He may be some people with the ladies but heeza hard-boiled egg around the boys.
[UK]‘Ian Hay’ First Hundred Thousand (1918) 174: Some Staff — what?
[Aus]Kia Ora Coo-ee 15 Aug. 17/1: I am not handsome, neither am I vain; but when they issued me with ‘blues’ at the 14th. A.G.H. [...] I wanted to go away and die quickly in a dark corner. I was some guy.
[US]F. Packard White Moll 44: I wasn’t looking for a woman to pull this. The White Moll! Some saint!
[US](con. 1920s) S. Lewis Elmer Gantry 373: Oh my, Reverend, if you hadn’t been a preacher you’d have been some dancing man!
[UK]B. Bennett ‘Sobstuff Sister’ in Billy Bennett’s Third Budget 20: She’s a trier, a trooper, some gel.
[US]W.R. Burnett High Sierra in Four Novels (1984) 303: This Marie baby was some girl!
[US]A. Kober Parm Me 39: Believe me, they’re some couple, Billie and Mac.
[US]J. Thompson Getaway in Four Novels (1983) 14: Her parents had washed their hands of her. Some parents!
[US]M. Rumaker Exit 3 and Other Stories 9: Buddies ... yeah ... some buddies.
[US]Cab Calloway Of Minnie the Moocher and Me 24: Papa Jack was some guy.
[Aus]Penguin Bk of More Aus. Jokes 326: Some mate you are. Your advice ain’t worth a piece uv crow shit.

In phrases

some stuff (adj.)

(US) impressive, outstanding; also as n.

[US]World (N.Y.) 21 Sept. 3/1: He was ‘some stuff’ with the bat, making two terrific two-basers during the afternoon.
[US]F. Walter Pollock ‘Courtship Sl.’ in AS II:4 203: A man who ‘shows some mean stuff’ or who otherwise demonstrates unique ability in ‘necking’ gives the girl a ‘thrill’.

In exclamations