Green’s Dictionary of Slang

lay n.2

[lay v.1 (1)]

1. a person with whom one has sexual intercourse, or a promiscuous woman; usu. qualified as a good lay, a bad lay, an easy lay etc.

[UK]J. Shirley Lady of Pleasure V i: We could not get a lay, A tumbler, a device, a bona roba, For any money.
[Ire] ‘Luke Caffrey’s Ghost’ in Chap Book Songs 4: You know One-ey’d Bid of de alley; / De heffer was min on de lay.
[US]Hostetter & Beesley It’s a Racket! 231: lay — An immoral woman; a prostitute.
[US] J.T. Farrell in Story Mar.–Apr. 46: A foursome passed homeward; two of the group were girls whom Jack and George agreed were swell lays.
[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 19: Said a lecherous fellow named Shea, / When his prick wouldn’t rise for a lay.
[UK]R. Llewellyn None But the Lonely Heart 254: There’s some proper right looking lays up there.
[UK]K. Amis letter 22 Aug. in Leader (2000) 448: She’s quite nice, big tits, friendly piggy face, easy lay.
[US]S. Bellow Henderson The Rain King 119: She may have been a hot lay once, as she claims.
[US]J. Rechy City of Night 48: What a great Lay that chick is!
[US]L. Kramer Faggots 29: He had carted the body-builder/sociologist to Paris to seduce him, only to discover he was a lousy lay.
[Aus]Benjamin & Pearl Limericks Down Under 30: For a would-be religious / She had a prodigious / Repute as a jolly good lay.
[UK]M. Amis London Fields 260: You’re not a Hot Lay either, not quite. Too calculating.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 27: He forced himself not to take gratitude lays and found women elsewhere.
[UK]K. Lette Llama Parlour 63: Not only is this guy a lousy lay, but he’s also this, like, total misogynist.
M.E. Dassad ‘Chickenhawk’ at 🌐 You’re a pretty good lay, I guess you’ve had a lot of practice.
[UK]R. Milward Ten Storey Love Song 24: She doesn’t want to split up with him just because he’s a bad lay.
[Scot](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 214: A barry lay, though. Simon [...] gets ye in a fair auld lather.
P. Heatley ‘Red- Eyed Richard’ in ThugLit Dec. [ebook] He was a young guy [...] He’d been a lousy lay.
[Aus]P. Papathanasiou Stoning 33: ‘Molly was a good woman’ [...] ‘Good lay, ya mean’.

2. (orig. US, also lay-to) an act of sexual intercourse.

[US]‘Investigator Reports, 1927–1929’ Committee of Fourteen Papers 44: You want a lay, don’t you?
[US]M. Levin Reporter 134: Maybe I’ll get a coupla good lays out of it.
[US]‘Peter Long’ (Gene Fowler) The Demi-Wang n.p.: The poor fellow had not enjoyed a lay-to since arriving in the city from abroad three months before.
[US]H. Miller Tropic of Cancer (1963) 102: I had a married woman the other day who told me she hadn’t had a lay for six months.
[US]I. Shulman Amboy Dukes 26: What d’ya say we all give the bum a lay.
[US]‘Hal Ellson’ Tomboy (1952) 119: He says, just like that, How about a lay?
[UK]‘Count Palmiro Vicarion’ Limericks 43: Two shits and a bloody fine lay.
[US]T.I. Rubin In the Life 59: She called it a mass lay, you know, Doc, mass? Means a whole bunch at the same time.
[UK]E. Bond Saved Scene vi: len: What yer reckon on ’er? fred: For a lay?
[US]D. Goines Street Players 55: Just give me a plain old lay.
[US]MC Lyte ‘I Cram to Understand U’ 🎵 Juicin the girls up for some money and a lay.
[UK]Guardian Guide 14–20 Aug. 95: It was really love, not a lay, he was after.
[Ire]L. McInerney Glorious Heresies 37: [R]umour had it that she preferred younger men, and eyewitnesses suggested the effect intensified with every lay.
[US](con. 1991-94) W. Boyle City of Margins 21: [H]er fuck-up of a son’s trying to throw a lay on a girl probably just got out of her training bra.