Green’s Dictionary of Slang

work n.

1. [mid-18C+] (also piece of work) the criminal life or a criminal act.

2. [1910sa] (US) deceit, lies.

3. [1920s] (US tramp) begging.

4. [1920s+] (US Und.) the marking of cards by a cardsharp.

5. [1920s+] (US Und.) some form of weight used to make ‘loaded’ dice.

6. [1930s] a sexual or flirtatious advance.

7. [1990s+] (W.I.) a sexual relationship; usu. in lose the work v., to lose one’s girlfriend.

8. [2000s] (US drugs) a supply or consignment of a given drug.

In compounds

work clothes (n.)

clothes (prob. dark) worn while going out as a burglar.

In phrases

get one’s work in (v.)

[late 19C] (US) to succeed in a course of (criminal) action.

go to work (on) (v.)

[mid-19C+] to attack.

put in work (v.) (also put work in)

[1990s+] (US black gang) to get busy, esp. in the performance of any dangerous and/or illegal act, e.g. theft or murder.

put work in (v.)

1. [1980s+] (US gang) to take part in an attack on a rival gang.

2. [2000s] to murder.

3. to commit a non-murderous but violent assault.

4. to sell drugs.

put work on (v.)

[1960s–70s] (Aus.) to attempt the verbal stages of seduction, to ‘chat up’.

SE in slang uses

In compounds