axle grease n.
1. (orig. Aus., also pin-grease) butter.
|Portsmouth Eve. News 15 Dec. n.p.: Cow’s butter is no longer fashionable. I wanted some of this oleomargarine, made up [...] of axle-grease [...] that looks like butter.|
|Leeds Obs. 28 June 2/7: ‘What is the price of this axle-grease,’ asked the clerk of a Chicago grocery [...] ‘It depends on your customer. If he asks for axle-grease, charge him fifteen cents a pound; but if he wants butter, make it thirty-eight cents.|
|Evelyn Observer (Vic.) 8 July 25: Keeping cows to make axle grease butter is living next door to the poorhouse.|
|L.A. Times 9 Apr. 5: ‘Wake up,’ he cried, ‘one brown stone front, side of a funeral; two Irish lemons with all clothes on; plate of punk; an easy smear of axle grease and draw one in the dark, cap it all off with a farmer’s alliance.’.|
|Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 58: Pass the axle-grease!|
|Digger Dialects 9: axle-grease — Butter.|
|Lima (OH) News 5 June 6/3: Butter is ‘axle grease.’.|
|Milk and Honey Route 199: Axle grease – Butter.|
|Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 75: In a railroad eating-house, [...] ‘a string of flats, plenty of pin grease and a tank of murk,’ would be merely an order for a plate of griddle or pancakes with plenty of butter, and a cup of coffee.|
|Sydney Mail 14 Oct. 2/4: You'll find some more damper in there, flybog, cocky’s joy, bullocky’s delight, axle grease, and a bit o’ junk. That day we had some doughboys and ‘underground mutton’.|
|Amer. Lang. (4th edn) 582: Milk is cow-juice, butter is salve or axle-grease.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
|Jailhouse Jargon and Street Sl. [unpub. ms.].|
3. (Aus., also axle) money.
|Popular Dict. Aus. Sl. 6: axlegrease: money.|
|Lowspeak 14: Axle grease – a bribe. The shortened version axle is more common.|
4. a thick application used for one’s hair.
|DSUE (8th edn) 33/2: since late 1930.|