Green’s Dictionary of Slang

jelly bean n.

1. a person who is ‘sweet’ or ‘soft’.

(a) (US) a sweetheart.

[US]L.E. Ruggles Navy Explained 82: The best girl is the [...] jelly bean.
[US]Ogden Standard (UT) 2 May 9/3: The girls are known as ‘calicos, judies and jellybeans’.
[US]P. Oliver Blues Fell this Morning 124: So a lover admires his ‘jelly bean’ and the way she can ‘jello’.
[US]I.L. Allen City in Sl. (1995) 69: This image is certainly evoked of a flapper dancing the Charleston, usually paired side-by-side with her jellybean, boyfriend, sheik, or jazz bo.

(b) (US) a foolish, inept, dishonest or effeminate person.

[US]DN V 65: Jelly-bean. An indifferent individual.
[US]Columbia Eve. Missourian (MO) 29 June 6/2: Jelly beans do not buy their own drinks [...] the average jelly bean either sneaks in by himelf, or waits until a friend comes along.
J. Jones ‘Monkeyin’ Around’ 🎵 I’m going to stop that jellybean / From kicking my stall.
[US]H.H. Brown ‘Nut Factory Blues’ 🎵 You hear one jellybean ask the other one / Which way did the good girl go.
[US]W. Guthrie Seeds of Man (1995) 310: My, my, where have you jellybeans hidden your lantern?
R. Bissell Stretch on the River n.p.: The jellybeans I went to school with [R].
Joe Clay ‘Jelly Bean’ 🎵 Did you mean Jelly Bean? Yeah, what you said Cabbage Head.
[US] in DARE.
E. Dundy Elvis & Gladys (1986) 10: He had been known all his young life as a ‘jellybean’ - by definition weak, spineless and work-shy.

(c) one who is devoted to pleasure rather than work; esp. used of a high-school student.

[US]F.S. Fitzgerald ‘The Jelly Bean’ in Bodley Head Scott Fitzgerald V (1963) 198: ‘Jelly-bean’ is the name throughout the undissolved Confederacy for one who spends his life conjugating the verb to idle in the first person singular — I am idling, I have idled, I will idle.
[US]Lucille Hegamin ‘Rampart Street Blues’ 🎵 Way down on Rampart Street in New Orleans, / Somebody’s callin’ me, / And I can hear that gang of jelly beans, / Are singing harmony!
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Young Manhood in Studs Lonigan (1936) 381: These goddamn two-bit jellybeans around the place.
[US]M. Levin Old Bunch (1946) 3: [ch. title] Flappers and Jellybeans .

(d) a fashionably dressed young man, a womanizer.

[US]Goodwin’s Wkly (Salt Lake City, UT) 28 Aug. 12/2: ‘The half-baked young jelly beans are trying to steal the women’s shirt-waists’ [...] ‘They sure make a guy look mighty sporty’.
Madison Jrnl (Madison Parish, LA) 7 Feb. 1/1: Beaux, fops, dainties, dudes - in England Knuts and jonnies - and now jelly beans [...] Precisely how many inches below the armpits must the waist line be established to indicate jelly-beanism?
Capital Times (Madison, WI) 5 Apr. 8: [cartoon caption] Those jelly beans give me a pain [DARE Ed: The jelly bean here is portrayed as an overdressed, supercilious young man] [DARE].
[US]E. Anderson Thieves Like Us (1999) 11: I want to go bare-headed anyway. Like these jelly beans.
[US](con. 1920s) F.M. Davis Livin’ the Blues 49: The jazz model suit was the official uniform of the sheik, ‘lounge lizard,’ ‘cake-eater,’ ‘jelly bean,’ or ‘drugstore cowboy’.

2. a woman’s kept lover or gigolo; thus a pimp.

[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks n.p.: Jelly bean, a pimp.
[US]D. Maurer ‘Prostitutes and Criminal Argots’ in Lang. Und. (1981) 116/2: b.f. A pimp. Also jelly bean, p.i.
[US] Z.N. Hurston Harlem Slanguage [vocabulary, typescript carbon in Beinecke Library Yale U.] 1: jelly bean, a man who lives by sex, a pimp.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read How to Shoot Friends 76: I look back on the jelly beans I have shot, stabbed, bashed, iron-barred, axed, knee-capped, toe-cut, blow-torched, killed and generally up-ended.

3. (US black) a term of address.

[US]R. Abrahams Deep Down In The Jungle 45: What do you mean, jelly bean? / What I said, cabbage head.
[US]S. King Stand (1990) 157: I know what you mean, jellybean.
[US]Tarantino & Avery Pulp Fiction [film script] 84: Sweet dreams, jellybean.

4. (Aus./US gay) a small penis.

[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 185: small penis [...] jelly bean (late ’60s).
[Aus]M. Coleman Fatty 15: ‘There I was, 900 people watching, and my shorts and undies down around my ankles and my little jelly bean sticking out for all to see’.

5. in drug uses [the drugs resemble sweets].

(a) (drugs) any form of pill, e.g. a barbiturate, an amphetamine.

[US]R.R. Lingeman Drugs from A to Z (1970) 132: jelly beans.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 169: Me, I jus’ cops a few jellybeans here and dere.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 13: Jelly bean — Amphetamine; depressants.

(b) (US campus) a painkiller.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr.
[US]Eble Sl. and Sociability 70: Jellybeans were ‘painkillers’ and sugar ‘cocaine’.

(c) (drugs) crack cocaine.

[US]ONDCP Street Terms 13: Jelly beans — Crack Cocaine.

In phrases