|Worcester Herald 26 Dec. 4/3: Sturabin a goal.|
|Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 52: IN STIR, to be in prison.|
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor I 219/1: Just out of ‘stir’ (jail) for ‘muzzling a peeler’.|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 79/2: The ‘molls’ had brought our bags [...] and placed them in charge of the old woman, with whom they lived while we were ‘doing’ our porritch and kail business in ‘stur’.|
|‘Autobiog. of a Thief’ Macmillan’s Mag. (London) XL 502: I was sent to Maidstone Stir (prison) for two moon.|
|Ledger (Noblesville, IN) 14 Aug. 6/2: A fresh fish came in. He recognized an old friend [...] "Hello! when did you get out of the grand sterr?’.|
|Jottings from Jail 26: ‘Beef to-day, Soup to-moorrow,’ which again does not sound as if ‘stir’ [...] means starvation.|
|Birmingham Dly Post 31 Mar. 3/4: [W]hen a vagabond elects to get a few days in ‘stur’ he does so only in those localities where the prison is known [...] to be a good one.|
|Hooligan Nights 70: The brass was made up by the uvver boys before Dick got took to the stir.|
|Powers That Prey 41: If you shouldn’t happen to discover a way of helpin’ me, that telegram reads cuffs in Clinton Place, jail in Akron, Stir in Columbus.|
|Mop Fair 198: Féo could not possibly order the carriage for such an odious destination as Brixton Stir.|
|Leamington Spa Courier 20 Sept. 7/1: He had just come out of Warwick ‘stir’ (gaol) where he had been doing fourteen ‘jacks’ (days) for ‘gagging’.|
|Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 52: A guy what’s lived the life I have, what’s chivvied a livin’ off o’ secon’ stories for thirty years barrin’ when I was in stir.‘Charlie the Wolf’|
|Man’s Grim Justice 42: Sing Sing was a tough joint in those days, one of the worst stirs in the United States.|
|Green Ice (1988) 171: He figured with you just coming out of stir the green ice would be safe.|
|Eve. Herald (Dublin) 9 Dec. 4/6: Other [underworld] terms include : — ‘Flatty’ (policeman), ‘peach’ (to give away), ‘Peter’ (safe), ‘monkey’ (padlock), ‘stick’ (jemmy), ‘van dragger’ (motor thief), ‘snow’ (cocaine), ‘madam’ (misleading conversation) ‘stir’ (prison).|
|Indiscreet Guide to Soho 116: He had had ‘offers’ as soon as he came out of ‘stir’.|
|Sun. Herald (Sydney) 8 June 9/5: Other English incorporations [in Australian slang] include: [...] ‘stir,’ gaol.in|
|Men of the Und. 81: Out of stir at last, he and his partner ransacked a large summer house.|
|Ghost Squad 25: Thieves’ argot, spoken properly, is a foreign language which needs to be learned [...] ‘porridge’ or ‘stir’ means prison— from the staple diet of jail menus.|
|Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 116: Now I did a hitch in San Quentin, / just to keep an old moll out a the stir, / but don’t you think I was sick when I found out the dick / that pinched me was livin’ with her?|
|Sir, You Bastard 71: Tasting stir, Goldby [...] realized he was the wrong side of thirty for acquiring the habit.|
|Muscle for the Wing 30: The things she’d been pondering for the twenty-two months that Ronnie Bouvier had been in stir.|
|(con. early 1950s) L.A. Confidential 21: Mickey Cohen in stir. [...] Cohen was at McNeil Island Federal Prison.|
|Hooky Gear 140: My imagination must of turn grey in stir.|
|Wire ser. 1 ep. 2 [TV script] Motherfucker tried to put you ass in the stir.‘The Detail’|
2. (US prison) time served in prison .
|Sellout (2016) 12: A secret diary kept since a stir in juvenile hall.|
stressed from enduring a repetitive situation, typically prison.
|Runyon à la Carte 149: ‘All I know,’ Chesty says, ‘is that he is a little stirry [...] He talks to himself a lot. Yes,’ Chesty says, ‘he is without doubt stir-crazy.’.|
|M*A*S*H (2004) 155: We’re all starting to get stirry again. We need something to do.|
(US prison) indigestion caused by tension or fear.
|DAUL 212/1: Stir-belly. (P) A common type of nervous indigestion that affects many convicts after years of nerve-racking routine and prison diet.et al.|
|Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July [Internet] [...] ‘Stir belly’ described indigestion caused by tension or fear.|
(US prison) one who has gone mad due to the pressures of incarceration.
|Muskogee Times-Democrat (OK) 17 Sept. 4/3: ‘The old stir-bugs could freeze the marrow in your bones with their tales’.|
|Me – Gangster 44: He was a stir bug [...] They call them stir bugs because being in prison is being in stir, and after you have been there ten years or more you are sure to be nutty.|
|It’s a Racket! 239: stirbug—Criminal mentally unbalanced by prison life.|
|Und. and Prison Sl. 72: stirnut, n. A convict who has lost his mind after years of close confinement.|
|Female Convict (1960) 77: She goes bats at night and yells like hell – she’s a real stir bug!|
|DAUL 212/2: Stir-bug. A convict or ex-convict whose mind and nerves have been affected by years of prison routine. [Note: Commonest superficial symptoms are glazed eyes, a nervous, preoccupied manner, and frequent suffering from delusions.].et al.|
|Riot (1967) 150: How’n in hell ya gonna talk to a stir-bug like that? [...] He’s a ravin’ lunatic.|
|Prison Sl. 29: Stir Crazy Some men who come to prison cannot mentally adjust to the many hours of continuous confinement in their cells. [...] (Archaic: stir-bug, dingaling).|
|Dly News (NY) 4 May 26/5: ‘I’ve been around every kind of street punk, skell [...] stir-bug and wiseguy you can imagine’.|
(Can./US prison) insane from too long a confinement in prison.
|Keys to Crookdom 419: Stir bugs – prison crazy.|
|Grimhaven 43: He must have been goofy – stir-simple.|
|Somebody in Boots 294: A little half-witted Jew known only as ‘Stir-Nuts’.|
|We Who Are About to Die 63: This little jig was screwy [...] Stir-simple, I guess; he’d been here a long time.|
|Amer. Lang. (4th edn) 581: In virtually all American prisons [...] To go crazy while in confinement is to go stir-bug.|
|Argot: Dict. of Und. Sl. 49: stir nutty – see ‘stir crazy’.|
|Rebellion of Leo McGuire (1953) 169: You wasn’t in Canon long enough to get stir simple.|
|Popular Detective Sept. [Internet] I been cooped up here in the kitchen so long [...] It is bein’ stir nutty all over again.‘When a Body Meets a Body’ in|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 102: go stir-bug To go crazy while in prison.|
|DAUL 212/2: Stir-bugs. [...] ‘I must be gettin’ stir-bugs or blowing my top (going insane) altogether. I bust out laughing over nothin’ and when somethin’ funny makes other ghees (fellows) laugh, I bug up (get mad).’.et al.|
|Walk on the Wild Side 258: I went back and talked to the stir-simple kukes in the clink.|
|Chesterton Dly Mail (Charleston, WV) 28 June 8/2: In close quarters, privacy and territorial ights [...] curtailed [...] the sad spectacle of a break down [...] results.’ Translation — don’t go stir-wacky.|
|Riot (1967) 167: The stir-psycho bastard was sixty pounds lighter.|
|Among Thieves 289: And the screws themselves, they said, were either all gimpies or else a little stirbugs too, because who in their right mind would want to work in a place like that.|
|Go-Boy! 271: George started going stir bugs too.|
(US Und.) a veteran jailbird, esp. when institutionalized.
|Und. Mag. May [Internet] Michael Whorl, taxidermist—an old stir-bum, known to th’ mob as Chuck ‘Hardhead’ Yandi.‘Take ’Im Alive’|
|News Record (Neenah, WI) 9 Jan. 2/6: I should now be [...] institutionalized [...] Such inmates we call stir bums.|
(US prison) psychological/physical problems that come with a jail sentence.
|Gonif 92: I was going through what the cons call ‘stir cramps’ [...] My sleep was restless; I was dreaming of home. My father’s face would flash before me and then some dame’s.|
(orig. US) used of a prisoner who has succumbed to prison-induced insanity; thus stir-craziness n., psychosis induced by imprisonment; also ext. to non-prison use.
|Stevens Point Jrnl (WI) 25 July 5/1: ‘I’m stir crazy, that’s what I am. How could any man be locked up in this jail for 19 months and not get a screw loose’.|
|Austin American (TX) 16 Dec. 5/1: ‘I’m what they call stir-crazy — you get that way rotting in jail’.|
|Oakland Trib. (CA) 19 Jan. 3/7: ‘The best these men can hope for is a life sentence [...] and men long imprisoned become ‘stir-nuty’.|
|Sunderland Dly Echo 12 Dec. 2/7: With the new order of things, we will be able to reduce the number of ‘stir-crazy’ offenders.|
|Grapes of Wrath (1951) 158: Couldn’t think a nothin in there, else you go stir happy.|
|Runyon à la Carte 149: ‘All I know,’ Chesty says, ‘is that he is a little stirry [...] He talks to himself a lot [...] he is without doubt stir-crazy.’.|
|Really the Blues 43: I sure didn’t mean what it said in the song. I wasn’t that stir-happy.|
|Plunder (2005) 224: You’da thought me stir crazy if I’d said a thing about it in the stockade.|
|Men of the Und. 302: ‘Stir craziness’, or prison psychosis [...] has been almost erased.|
|Rap Sheet 174: That silence stuff can drive you stir-batty. [Ibid.] 192: He was gone. Flipped-off. Plumb stir-looney.|
|Hartford Courant (CT) 9 May 1/1: He finds a pigeon [...] and it’s sitting there cooing like a stir-happy lifer.|
|Riot (1967) 6: All the rest of the stir-crazy hardnoses.|
|Go-Boy! 50: If a guy found himself going stir crazy and unable to keep it bottled up any longer, he’d toss his tools down.|
|Big Huey 254: stir-craziness Prison pyschosis.|
|Prison Sl. 29: Stir Crazy Some men who come to prison cannot mentally adjust to the many hours of continuous confinement in their cells.|
|One Night Out Stealing 134: I ain’t stir-crazy, Jube. Stir-sick, yeh.|
|Indep. on Sun. Real Life 3 Oct. 4: Now I go every day [...] If I don’t get out there I’m stir-crazy.|
|Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightdress 119: I’m pretty much going stir-crazy in my room.|
(US prison) a second-rate, barely qualified doctor, assigned to prison work.
|Buffalo Courier (NY) 27 Nov. 56/1: No longer could the stir croaker (doctor) write on a con’s death certificate ‘cause of death, cerebral hemorrhage’ if the real cause [...] was a fractured skull caused by a sap in the hands of a screw.|
|High Sierra in Four Novels (1984) 290: The stir croaker says I’m not in such hot shape.|
|In For Life 243: The grapevine told of prisons where the doctors were ‘stir croakers’ and the convict nurses little better.|
(S.Afr. gay) underage boys.
(US prison) one who has mastered the ‘art’ of incarceration.
|DAUL 212/2: Stir-hustler. (P) One who exhibits a talent for serving a prison term comfortably; hence, by implication, a failure as a thief outside of prison.et al.|
|Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July [Internet] A ‘stir hustler’ mastered the art of imprisonment.|
(US prison) a fellow prisoner who offers advice based on his own purported legal expertise.
|Sioux City Jrnl (IA) 22 Oct, 15/5: Convicts and guards know ‘Big George’ as a ‘stir lawyer’.|
|Detroit Free Press (MI) 26 Jan. 13/1: The State Prison at Jackson is full of amateur lawyers. Or, in prison parlance, ‘stir lawyers’.|
|Parole Chief 99: A ‘stir lawyer’ [...] advises inmates how to behave before the Parole Board, how to explain infractions of prison rules, [etc.].|
|(con. 1940s) Borstal Boy 322: He reckons you’re a regular old stir-lawyer.|
(US Und.) well-adjusted to prison life, capable of sustaining one’s existence in prison.
|Indianapolis Star 13 Apr. 22/6: Stir-wise — A man versed in prison, and prison-avoiding, lore.|
|Twenty Thousand Years in Sing Sing 37: He was world-wise and stir (prison) wise.|
|Und. and Prison Sl.|
|Red Wind (1946) 170: I’ll stay under cover. He’s too stir-wise for me.‘Goldfish’|
|Star Press (Muncie, IN) 12 Sept. 9/1: The person who is not stire-wise [...] would be classified as ‘fresh meat’ or ‘fish’.|
|DAUL 212/2: Stirwise. (P) Familiar with complexities of prison life, hence able to serve time with a minimum of discomfort insofar as rules and regulations are concerned.et al.|
|Tampa Bay Times (St Petersburg, FL) 24 Sept. 17/1: The suspects, reportedly ‘stir-wise,’ aren’t in a hurry to confess.|
|Jrnl News (White plains, NY) 22 Mar. 10/2: The clever, glib, stir-wise and sophisticated con man.|
|Statesman Jrnl (Salem, OR) 5 Aug. 21/3: A chronicle of the evolution of a street tough into a stir-wise convict.|
|Age (Melbourne) Green Guide 11 Mar. 25/3: Lifer Tim Robbins [...] forms an unlikely [...] bond with stir-wise Morgan Freeman.|
(US Und.) a Federal prison.
|From First to Last (1954) 68: He had nerve, and was smart, and stood well with everybody, but a little stretch in the big stir got to him.‘The Informal Execution of Soupbone Pew’|
(UK Und.) to break out of prison.
|Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 100/1: Crush the stur (Thieves’). To break from prison – stur being abbreviation of sturaban. ‘A short time after I ascertained from the jailor who payed me a visit, that my two “fly” friends had “crushed the stir”, and were at large, ready to prey on the community again.’.|