Green’s Dictionary of Slang

fart n.

[fart v. (1)]

1. [late 14C+] an act of breaking wind.

2. [mid-18C; 1930s+] a fool, an unpleasant person, often older than the speaker; thus synon. old fart.

3. [1930s+] as sense 2, but used affectionately.

4. [1940s] something worthless.

5. [1970s] something important, worthwhile.

In derivatives

farty (adj.)

[2010s] conventional.

In compounds


see separate entries.

fart-box (n.) [SE box/box n.1 (1)]

[1960s+] (US) the anus or rectum.

fart-catcher (n.) [the job requires walking closely behind his master or mistress]

[late 18C–early 19C; 1970s+] a footman.

fart-daniel (n.) [? misprint for dial. fare-daniel, a suckling pig that is the youngest of a litter]

[19C] the vagina.


see separate entries.

fart-knocker (n.) [SE knocker, i.e. one who knocks or makes farts; created or at least popularized in the 1990s TV cartoon Beavis and Butthead] (US)

1. [1950s+] an obscure person.

2. [1990s+] someone who does not know what they are talking about.

fart off

see separate entries.

fart-sack (n.) (also farter) [1940s+]

1. (also farter) a bed.

2. a sleeping-bag.

3. (US) a sheet, bedding.

4. a term of abuse.

fart’s end (n.)

[early 18C] a term of abuse.

fart-sucker (n.)

[late 19C; 1970s] a toady, a parasite.

In phrases

a fart for

[mid-17C] phr. of contemptuous dismissal.

crack a fart (v.)

[late 17C; 1980s+] (US campus) to break wind; thus crack-farter n.

give a fart (v.)

[1980s+] to care.

give the farts out of one’s ass (v.)

[1970s] to treat with contempt.

go like a strangled fart (v.)

[2000s] (N.Z.) to go very slowly.

I dare not trust my arse with a fart

[late 18C–early 19C] I have diarrhoea.

last as long as a fart in a windstorm (v.) (also ...whirlwind)

[1930s+] (Can./US) to give up quickly, to be defeated quickly.

like a fart in a bottle (also like a fart in a colander, a fit)

[late 19C+] twitchy, nervous, agitated.

like a fart in a phonebox

[1980s] persistently.

like a fart on a curtain-pole

[2000s] (N.Z.) in a great hurry.

like an Irishman’s fart

[1970s] (US) of a family, always making a stink n. (1)

not a fart’s chance in a windstorm (also ...whirlwind)

[1950s+] (Can./US) no chance at all.