1. as a term of address; no affection is implied.
|(con. 1900s) Elmer Gantry 48: ‘I’ll explain how I feel.’ ‘Oh no, you won’t, sweetheart!’.|
|One Way Ticket 119: ‘Hello, sweetheart.’ Mac did not answer.|
|Mammoth Detective May 🌐 All right, sweetheart, we’re all through fooling.‘Tea Party Frame-Up’|
|Long Good-Bye 295: ‘You got crossed up, sweetheart,’ Ohls told him carefully.|
|Teachers (1962) 118: Just so long as we understand each other, sweetheart.|
|Fields of Fire (1980) 89: Don’t be sorry, sweetheart, just answer my goddam question.|
|(con. 1967) Welcome to Vietnam (1989) 110: This is my time now, and you’re with me, sweetheart.|
|Six Out Seven (1994) 191: Yeah, sweetheart, just one more sorry motherfucka in this great big sorry-ass motherfucker.|
|Bible in Cockney 13: The snake replied [...] ‘God ain’t gonna kill you, sweetheart.’.|
2. a person; usu. used in a derog. sense.
|It’s a Racket! 240: sweetheart—Anyone you particularly dislike.|
|Golden Boy II iv: You’re a real sweetheart ...|
|East of Farewell 49: He’s a sweetheart [...] So he’s got psychic powers now.|
|Long Good-Bye 67: You didn’t spend three days in the freezer just because you’re a sweetheart. You got paid off.|
|Hooligans (2003) 42: He favours a nine-millimetre Luger [...] A real sweetheart. He’s also a muscle freak.|
|Grand Central Winter (1999) 69: ‘We’ve got a sweetheart of a judge out there,’ he beamed.|
3. anything considered good.
|AS VI:6 441: sweetheart, n. Anything that is swell.‘Convicts’ Jargon’ in|
|DAUL 216/2: Sweetheart. 1. One easily victimized; a place easily and profitably robbed. ‘That jug (bank) is a sweetheart for a pete-job (safe-robbery).’ 2. An extremely desirable person or thing.et al.|
|To Kill a Cop 200: ‘It’s a sweetheart, that gun’.|
4. (US Und.) a stolen automobile in good condition.
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
SE in slang uses
(W.I.) the state of living together but not being married.
|cited in Dict. Jam. Eng. (1980).|