Green’s Dictionary of Slang

easy street n.

1. euph. for a town’s ‘red-light’ area.

[US]Reno (LV) Weekly Gazette and Stockman 16 Aug. 1/5: Another one of the girls on ‘easy street’ [...] got tired of her life and tried to end it last Wednesday with a dose of ‘yen she’ (dregs of opium).

2. a secure, comfortable life; a situation free of problems, esp. material ones, usu. in phr. on easy street.

[US]N.Y. Times 23 Sept. 5: At San Jose the other night ‘Easy Street,’ a new comedy, was given a first production and went very well.
R. N. Stephens Life And Adventures Of Steve Brodie, B. J. 22: As a result he found himself, after having twice worked his way to ‘Easy Street,’ about as poor as he ever had been in his life.
[UK]John W. Parks ‘My Susie’ [lyrics] I’ll be your own fond honey, / If you will furnish money. / We will live on Easy Street.
[US]J. London Valley of the Moon (1914) 230: A hundred. That’s what I fought for. It’d a-put us on Easy street for a while.
[US]Ade Hand-made Fables 233: He had signalized his arrival on Easy Street by purchasing a swell Ring of several Carats.
[UK]Western Dly Press 9 Mar. 10/4: Easy Street. ‘No one in this street has paid rent, or rates for several years’ it was stated during the hearing.
[Aus]New Call (Perth, WA) 7 Apr. 3/1: In days that were, big hazard schools flourished in most of the States and the men who made money by running them are in ‘Easy-street’ to-day.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Judgement Day in Studs Lonigan (1936) 606: I know it’s going to set me up sweet and pretty on Easy Street.
[US](con. early 1930s) C. McKay Harlem Glory (1990) 52: Stop kidding, sweet-back [...] Can’t I see you’re on easy street, you hot dog.
[UK]Dundee Courier 22 Aug. 2/6: Champions in Easy Street.
[US]C. Himes Crazy Kill 44: After six months she’d hooked Johnny and landed on easy street.
[US]L. Bruce How to Talk Dirty 70: It was Easy Street from now on.
[US]A. Garcia Tough Trip Through Paradise (1977) 172: Maybe next day he is again on easy street.
[US]Fantastic Four Annual 8: I’m sick an’ tired of pinchin’ pennies when we could be livin’ on easy street.
[Aus]B. Humphries Traveller’s Tool 18: Our home-grown Oz fillum producers were on Easy Street, Fat City.
[US]T. Willocks Green River Rising 105: Guys used to pay me to work in this place. I was on easy street.
[UK]K. Sampson Outlaws (ms.) 8: For a while we was on easy street with all the tom in Manchester.
[US](con. 1962) E. Bunker Stark 13: The next score [...] would put him on easy street.