Green’s Dictionary of Slang

junk n.1

1. food [naut. jargon junk, old or second-rate cable or rope; ? + overtones of SE junk, a lump, a chunk].

(a) [mid-18C–1930s] (also salt junk) salt beef; cites 1883, 1896 refer to a lump of salt beef.

(b) [mid-19C+] poor or indigestible food.

2. [mid–late 19C] (UK prison) oakum (loose fibre, obtained by untwisting and picking old rope), the ‘picking’ of which provided the main cell task for 19th century prisoners.

3. inanimate objects.

(a) [mid-19C+] (orig. US) a usu. negative description of possessions or other unspecified objects; used dismissively of objects that are in fact sound but that the speaker no longer likes; also attrib.

(b) [20C+] (Aus.) the dregs of a bottle or glass of alcohol.

(c) [20C+] (US Und.) jewellery.

(d) [1920s+] a run-down vehicle.

(e) [1930s+] something unpleasant.

(f) [1990s+] (US, also junkst) cheap or inferior liquor.

4. [20C+] (US) rubbish, nonsense.

5. [1900s] (US) money.

6. [1910s–20s] (US) a mean, despicable man.

7. in drugs use.

(a) [1910s+] (also jeesunk) opiates, orig. opium, later usu. heroin.

(b) [1910s+] non-recreational drugs in general, often medicinal.

(c) [1950s–60s] cannabis; also attrib.

(d) [1960s] amphetamine, benzedrine.

(e) [1960s] an injectable medicine.

8. [1990s+] (US campus) offensive or abusive speech.

9. [1990s+] (US) the male or female genitals.

10. [1990s+] (US campus) constr. with the, the very best.

In compounds

junkball (adj.)

[1990s+] (US campus) annoying, disappointing.

junk hawk (n.)

[1970s+] (US drugs) a heroin user whose entire existence centres on the drug.

junkhead (n.) [-head sfx]

[1950s+] (US drugs) a drug addict or drug dealer.

junkheap (n.) (also junkpile) [SE heap]

1. [1910s] a railroad train.

2. [1920s+] a disgusting, filthy place.

3. [1930s+] an old, battered automobile; also attrib.

junk hog (n.)

[1930s–50s] (US drugs) a drug addict who is seen as excessive in their consumption.

junk hound (n.) [-hound sfx]

[1930s] (US drugs) a narcotics addict.

junkhouse (n.)

[2000s] (US drugs) a place – an apartment, a house – used for the consumption of narcotics, crack cocaine, etc.

junkman (n.) (also junk guy) [1940s+] (US drugs)

1. a heroin dealer.

2. a cocaine dealer.

junk tank (n.) [tank n.2 (1), with pun on tank n.1 )]

[1960s+] (US police) a cell reserved for drug abusers and alcoholics.

In phrases

junk in the trunk (n.) [SAmE trunk, the ‘boot’ of a car]

[1990s+] (US black) large buttocks.

on the junk

[1950s+] (US Und.) using narcotics.

pop junk (v.)

[1940s+] (US) to gossip.