Green’s Dictionary of Slang

sheep n.

SE in slang uses

In derivatives

sheepish (adj.)

(US campus) of men, long-haired.

[US]G. Underwood ‘Razorback Sl.’ in AS L:1/2 65: sheepishadj Long-haired (of males).

In compounds

sheep dip (n.)

1. (Aus./US) inferior whisky, or any bad alcohol.

[US]E. Nye Forty Liars (1888) 260: He had been down to Sam Wood’s and hoisted in about six fingers of what was known [...] as Vinegar Hill Sheep Dip.
[US]Witchita Dly Eagle (KS) 31 Aug. 5/3: Rossler got hold of a pint of Vinegar Hill sheep dip and [...] got abusive.
Dly Arkasas Gaz. (Little Rock, AR) 24 Nov. 13/2: ‘Give me some o’ that sheep-dip, Charley,’ she called to the bartender, who [...] set out a black bottle of whiskey.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 28 Nov. 16/4: Hear some quaint slang among Australian shearers occasionally. One of the fraternity confided to me on the board the other evening that he ‘had peeled 88, and was dragging the chain behind Nugget Smith,’ but had ‘bet him a bottle of sheep dip’ that he’d ‘wheel him next day.’.
[US]Port Huron Times Herald 13 Nov. 2/4: [headline] Five indicted for Sheep Dip Rum.
[US](con. 1918) E.W. Springs Rise and Fall of Carol Banks 290: ‘No sheep dip for me.’ ‘Never fear! [...] the likker is good enough to spill on your shoes.’.
M. West My Little Chickadee [film script] A little sheep dip, a panacea for all stomach ailments.
[US]Salt Lake Trib. (UT) 24 Aug. 6/7: The effete cast drinks whiskey on the rocks [...] A gulp of sheep-dip won’t rearrange the drinking habits of the majority.

2. (US) nonsense, esp. in phr. hog-wash and sheep dip.

Sante Fe Dly New Mexican (NM) 16 Oct. 2/2: What a tremendous smile this sort of hog-wash and sheep dip must cause to flit over the faces of [...] growers of New Mexico.
Independence Dly Reporter (KS) 16 July 1/5: The dispensers of South Coffeyville brand of hog-wash and sheep dip.
[US]H.A. Smith Life in a Putty Knife Factory (1948) 130: They spew out hogwash and sheep-dip from day to day, and they accept large sums of money for their daily drool.
[US]R.L. Bellem ‘Suicide Stunt’ Speed Detective Apr. 🌐 Which [denial] was just so much sheep-dip, of course. [...] But I didn’t say so to Steve Duane.
Bee (Danville, VA) 27 Sept. 4/1: All of that yak-yak [...] is just a lot more hog-wash and sheep dip.

3. (Aus./US) coarse tobacco, issued in prisons [the use of tobacco as a constituent of agricultural sheep dip].

[US]Austin Wkly Statesman (TX) 9 Aug. 3/3: [advert] Sheep-Dip Tobacco for sale.
Courier-Jrnl (Louisville, KY) 8 Nov. 19/6: Tom filled his pipe and lit it, whereupon his partner breathed [...] ‘Put out that smudge [...] the idea of lightin’ sheep-dip in a sick-room!’.
J. Stuart Part of Glory 157: I could smoke or leave it alone, and as the jail weed was ‘nail rod’ or ‘sheep dip’ I left it severely alone.
sheep-dodging (n.)

(Aus.) working as a sheep hand.

[Aus]A. Russell Gone Nomad 27: Next to my dogs and two or three horses of my cattle-camp and sheep-dodging days, these two little jenny pack-mules lie nearest to my heart.
sheep’s arse (n.)

nonsense, deception.

[UK]Guardian Sport 29 Apr. 12: He’s claiming he’s got some sort of eye infection, which, as we all know, is sheep’s arse.
sheep’s back (n.) [the wealth of sheep farmers]

(Aus./N.Z.) luxury, indolence, security; usu. in phr. on the sheep’s back, living very comfortably, securely.

[Aus]Sydney Stock and Station Jrnl 7 Dec. 7/3: It was this year that a State Minister answered that financially ‘Australia is on the sheep’s back’.
[Aus]Sydney Morn. Herald 26 Apr. 10/5: Australia, a country living ‘on the sheep’s back’ stands in danger of becoming brutalised [...] by the policy of economic nationalism.
[Aus]Baker Popular Dict. Aus. Sl.
[Aus]Age (Melbourne) 2 July 15/3: In spite of this, Australia was still living on the ‘sheep’s back’.
[Aus]Sydney Morn. Herald 1 Sept. 91/2: When times are good, living off the sheep’s back is very good.
[Aus]Sydney Morn. Herald 19 Mar. 17/1: Living Off the Sheep’s Back [...] The Frosts, who run a 1,500-acre sheep property at Yass, know the [...] benefits to theirlivelihood.
[Aus]Syndey Morn. Herald 28 Sept. 22/2: After a generation of living off the sheep's back, Australia suddenly finds itself with a mountain of wool [and] a sheep ppulation which needs to be culled.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 184: sheep’s back, living on/off the Relying on wool to sustain income handsomely. ANZ 1930s.
sheep-shagger (n.) [shagger n.1 (1); negative racial stereotyping]

1. a Scot; orig. a derog. ref. to Scots regiments, esp. the Black Watch.

[[UK]M. Bence-Jones Paradise Escaped 73: I used to know a Rockburn once [...] He was in the Sheep Shaggers [OED]].
[Ire]J. Morrow Confessions of Proinsias O’Toole 19: The Major leant out of the Land Rover [...] and screamed: ‘Filthy Jock sheepshaggers!’.
[UK](con. WW2) T. Jones Heart of Oak [ebook] ‘There’ll always be an England,’ yelled another, ‘as long as Scotland stands!’ [...] ‘Come to bloody Wales and say that, you fucking sheep-shagger!’ I challenged the corporal.
R. Stuart Atlantic Adventure 73: [This] was obviously why his Irish mates were collectively known as bog—trotters, which was still a bit better than what he and his fellow members of the Black Watch were known as (sheep—shaggers).

2. (also yak-shagger) a peasant.

[UK]Guardian 15 July 8/3: ‘ho would notice you, a passing sheep-shagger?’.
[Ire]J. Morrow Confessions of Proinsias O’Toole 155: These Nepalese yak-shaggers can fend for themselves.
Marshfield News-Herald (WI) 12 July 14/4: The enemy [in the Falklands war] was referred to as ‘the Argies,’ and the ‘sheep shaggers’.
[UK]Guardian 14 Oct. 34/3: Jonathan Meades [...] referred to natives of that part of the world [i.e. Somerset] as ‘triple-headed sheep-shaggers’.
[UK]Roger’s Profanisaurus 3 in Viz 98 Oct. 18: joskin, joskynn. A yokel; a county bumpkin; a sheep shagger.
[Aus]Age (Melbourne) 12 June 246/1: Australians never pass up an opportunity to call New Zealanders a bunch of sheep shaggers.
[Scot]I. Rankin Falls 420: ‘Bollocks!’ he’d yelled from his window, giving each sheep-shagger and country bumpkin the finger.
OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. 🌐 sheepshagger n. person deemed to copulate with sheep because they comes from a ‘rural area’ and (thus) are short of woman. The result being an invariable desire/need to copulate with sheep. Used by any city dweller for anyone from the suburbs and beyond.
[Aus]P. Temple Truth 76: Son [...] you’re on staff till I say you’re not. Currently on loan to police the sheepshaggers.
[Scot](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 306: A bunch ay fuckin sheepshaggers wi thair diddy European Cup Winners’ Cup.
[UK]K. Sampson Killing Pool 96: The necessary authorization for us to join forces with our sheep-shagging comrades on the wild west isle of Anglesey and nick these cowboys.
P. Temple ‘High Art’ in The Red Hand 21: ‘Bit like the Ghan [...] Only the sheepshaggers here don’t try to take you out with old SAM-7’s’’.

3. a Welshman.

[UK]Fraser & Meadows TwentyFourSeven [film script] (1998) 49: knighty: So where are you two from? student: Conway, in Wales. knighty: Sheep-shagger, ah?
[UK]N. Griffiths Sheepshagger 19: I want yew bastards out! [...] – Any time, sheepshaggers! We’ll be waiting!
[UK]Guardian 20 Jan. 59/3: She thought it was a huge joke to say Welsh people were [...] sheep-shaggers.

4. attrib. use of sense 3.

[UK]N. Griffiths Stump 11: Imagine it; some sheepshagger bizzy pulls us over for speedin.

5. (Aus./N.Z.) an Australian or New Zealander, depending on the nationality of the speaker.

[NZ] McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.
sheep-shagging (n.) [shag v.1 ; reference to the act is often used to mock the Welsh]

committing bestiality with a sheep; thus attrib.

[Ire](con. 1940s) B. Behan Borstal Boy 218: You never see a Taffy in for knocking off. Only sheep-shagging.
[UK]Observer 28 Nov. 32/2: Village life, with its constant hints of sheep-shaging, is ludicrous enough to be funny.
[UK]Observer 12 Dec. 74/1: The players got into a sheep-shaging routine which, butfor the gutteral Serbo-Croat accents [...] could have been all about Welsh hill farmers.
[Aus](con. 1986) Age (Melbourne) 12 Nov. 39/2: The full house [...] was taunting the socceroos with the chant [...] ‘sheep-shagging bastards, you’re only sheep-shagging bastards’.
[UK]Guardian 2 June 130/1: The speaker told these terrible sheep-shagging jokes.
[Aus]P. Temple Broken Shore (2007) [ebook] Want a transfer to Port Monro? [...] Just pub fights and sheep-shagging.
sheep’s head (n.) [the perceived stupidity of sheep, reinforced by subseq. saying, ‘like a sheep’s head, all jaw’]

a fool, esp. a talkative one; thus sheepheaded adj.

[UK]Udal Erasmus’ Apophthegms (1877) 122: Those persones who were sely poore soules... wer euen then... by a common prouerbe called shepes heads or shepe .
[UK]Chapman All Fooles I ii: What, no more compliment? Kiss her, you sheep’s head!
[UK]Massinger Maid of Honour (1632) II ii: You, sirrha Sheepes-head, With a face cut on a cat-stick.
[UK]J. Taylor ‘A Discovery by Sea’ in Works (1869) II 26: Yet is it most Idolatrously adored, honoured, & worshipped by those simple Sheepeheaded fooles.
[UK]J. Taylor Crabtree Lectures 165: You are a meere Sheepeshead, or rather a Rams head in a Wolfes Skinne.
[UK]A. Wilson Inconstant Ladie IV i: Farewell, good sheepe’s-heads!
[UK]Fumblers-Hall 21: Susan Shrews-face: I have a Sheeps-head to my husband, that’s bewicthed to dessembling whores.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Sheep’s head a Fool, a Block-head.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Dyche & Pardon New General Eng. Dict. n.p.: Sheeps-Head [...] also a Nick Name for a bashful, foolish, silly or ignorant Person.
[UK]Dyche & Pardon New General Eng. Dict. (4th edn).
Dialogue between a Noted Shoemaker & his Wife 6: You lie! sheep’s-head! I am as honest a woman as any in the parish.
J. Payne (trans.) Poems of Villon 87: My poor orphans, all the three, Are grown in age, and wit likewise, No sheepsheads are they, I can see.
[UK]G. du Maurier Trilby 106: Great big she-fool that you are – sheep’s-head!
[US]‘O. Henry’ Roads of Destiny 202: You blankety-blank, flop-eared, sheepheaded coyote.
[US]S. Lewis Our Mr Wrenn (1936) 26: Ain’t both them ushers the jingling sheeps-heads, though!
sheep-shearer (n.) [pun on SE fleece, to rob + shear v.]

a swindler, a confidence trickster, esp. one who works the jack in a box n. confidence trick; thus sheep-shearing n.

[UK]Dekker Lanthorne and Candle-Light Ch. 11: This art or slight of changing Gold into Siluer, is called Trimming. They that practise it, terme them-selues Sheepe-shearers [...] how hast thou beene Trim’d, Washd, Shauen, and Polld by these Deere and Damnable Barbers; how often hast thou mette with these Sheep-shearers? how many warme flakes of Woll haue they pulled from thy Back.
[UK]C. Cotton Virgil Travestie (1765) Bk I 60: Drink, that she, with much forbearing, / Havd sav’d long since for her Sheep-shearing.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Sheep-shearers c. Cheats.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
sheepskin (n.)

see separate entry.

sheep’s piss (n.)

weak alcohol, usu. beer.

[UK]N. Griffiths Grits 379: Tha Americans ar largely tossers, an fat, an ther beer’s sheep’s piss.
sheep-wash (n.) (Aus./N.Z.)

1. poor beer or spirits.

[Aus]Stephens & O’Brien Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 141: SHEEPWASH: Aust. bush concocted liquor, inferior liquor. [...] Shanty keepers [...] are often accused of putting salt-beef, tobacco, bluestone, etc. in their grog [...] All these, with the exception of beef, are common ingredients of sheepwash.
[Aus]Baker Popular Dict. Aus. Sl.
[Aus]Age (Melbourne) 14 July 15/5: The first Australian [she] met came up to the ship’s bar [...] and loudly demanded ‘sheep wash.’ Then, beer in hand [etc].
[Aus](con. 1855) Age (Melbourne) 25 Apr. 52/2: The Colonial ale enjoyed such derogatory nicknames as ‘sheep wash,’ ‘tangle-foot’ [...] ‘stringybark’ and ‘shypoo’.

2. (also sheepwash tobacco) poor tobacco.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 29 Sept. 14/4: ‘Wayback’ [...] is surprised at drunks in backblocks. He wouldn’t be if he found (as I did) a publican in the act of nailing a quarter twist of ‘sheepwash’ tobacco inside of a 10-gal rum-keg prior to despatching it to the bush races up creek. No wonder men die of D.T’s.
[Aus]X. Herbert Capricornia (1939) 16: The villainous sheep-wash tobacco she smoked.

In phrases

keep sheep by moonlight (v.) [the gibbet was often on a heath or moorland where sheep might be wandering; the corpse provided a fig. ‘shepherd’]

to hang in chains.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (1984) 638/1: C.18-early 19.