Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bang v.1

1. [late 16C+] to hit, to thump.

2. in context of sex.

(a) [18C+] to copulate with; like many sl. terms involving sex, this implies an aggression irrespective of any affection; usu. of men, but occas. of women.

(b) [1920s+] to have sexual intercourse; intransitive use compared to the transitive sense 1a above.

(c) [1940s] (US) to masturbate; one of many terms for the verb that relate to hitting.

3. to outdo.

(a) [mid-18C–1910s] to defeat, to surpass; esp. as phr. bang bob-tail, bang everything etc [Cumbrian dial.].

(b) [late 19C+] to impress.

(c) [1960s] to thrill.

(d) [1990s+] (US black) to make an impact.

4. [late 18C] a euph. for damn v.

5. [late 19C] to dismiss from a job.

6. to consume a stimulant [bang n.1 (6a)].

(a) [1920s+] (drugs) to inject heroin.

(b) [1950s+] to throw back a drink.

(c) [1950s-60s] to inject someone with heroin.

7. [1990s+] (US) to inflict, to ‘hit with’.

8. [1990s+] (US black) to play music.

9. US drugs to sell drugs.

In derivatives

bangable (adj.)

[1980s+] usu. of a woman, sexually alluring.

In compounds

bang-beggar (n.) [their ill-treatment of tramps]

[18C–late 19C] (mainly Irish) a constable; thus bangbeggar hall, a magistrate’s court.

bang-bellied (adj.) [dial. bang-belly, a swollen abdomen, whether of a malnourished child or a pregnant woman]

[1940s+] (W.I.) having a large paunch.

bang-belly (n.) [the child hits its stomach to indicate its hunger]

[20C+] (W.I.) a starving child.

bang-pitcher (n.) [SE pitcher; the thumping of a tankard on the table]

[mid–late 17C] a drunkard.


see separate entries.

bang-up (n.)

see separate entry.

In phrases

bang a pitcher (v.) [SE pitcher; one bangs the emptied pitcher on the table]

[17C] to empty a pot of beer.

bang around (v.) [SE bang around, to make noise]

1. [20C+] of a person, to make one’s presence felt, with little practical result.

2. [1940s–50s] of an item, a situation, to linger, without coming to a conclusion.

3. to beat up.

bang heads (v.)

[1960s] (US) to fight.

bang it (v.)

[1970s+] (US gay) to achieve orgasm.

bang like a (hammer on a nail) (v.)

[1950s+] (orig. Aus.) to rate as an enthusiastic sexual performer.

bang like a shithouse door (in a gale) (v.) (also bang like a barn door in a gale, ...a dunny door in a gale, ...high wind, ...a lavatory door, ... truckstop door) [shithouse n. (1)/dunny n.2 ]

[1960s+] (orig. Aus.) to rate as an enthusiastic sexual performer; usu. said by men of women.

bang off (v.)

1. [1950s] (US) to murder.

2. [2000s] to ejaculate.

3. see bang v.2

bang out (v.)

1. [19C+] to rush away, to leave quickly [SE bang, to make a noise].

2. [1950s+] (US prison) to murder or beat up.

3. (drugs) to adulterate a narcotic drug.

4. see bang up v.2 (2)

5. see knock out v. (1)

bang (someone’s) ear (v.)

[1950s+] (US) to talk incessantly (and tediously).

bang the banjo (v.) [assonance]

[1970s] (US) to masturbate.

bang the bush (v.)

[mid-19C] (US) to surpass everything.

bang up (v.)

see separate entries.

bang up to (v.)

see separate entry.