Green’s Dictionary of Slang

water n.1

[early version of waterworks n.]

[late 18C; 1900s] tears.

In phrases

pump water (v.)

[mid-19C–1900s] to cry.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

water bag (n.)

[1930s+] (Aus.) a fanatical teetotaller.

water barrel (n.)

[mid-19C] the stomach.

water bewitched (n.)

[late 17C–1900s] weak tea, punch or any other liquor.

water-bonse (n.) [SE water + bonce n. (1), lit. water-head]

[late 19C–1910s] a ‘cry-baby’.

water-bottle (n.)

1. [mid-17C] the penis [its urinary function].

2. [late 19C] a total abstainer, a teetotaller.

waterbox (n.) (also watercourse, watergap) [note D’Urfey, Pills to Purge Melancholy (1719): ‘She knew him for a Workman that had the ready skill / To open well her Water-gate, and best supply her Mill’]

[mid-17C–early 18C] the vagina.

waterboy (n.) (also waterman) [play on take a dive under dive n.1 ]

1. [1930s+] (US) a useless boxer who accepts money to lose fights.

2. [1950s] by ext., an informer.

water buffalo (v.) [? echoic]

[1980s+] (US campus) to vomit.

water burner (n.)

[1950s+] (Aus.) a cook.

water-cart (business) (n.)

[mid-19C–1920s] weeping; also attrib.

water-closet (n.)

[mid-19C] the vagina .

water-crockery (n.)

[mid-19C] (UK Und.) girls’ virginities, maidenheads.

water-dog (n.) [the ref. is to Norfolk Broads; note a Norfolk dumpling also means a native of Norfolk]

[mid-19C–1900s] a Norfolk dumpling, a plain dumpling made from bread dough.

water-engine (n.)

[late 19C] the urinary organs, irrespective of gender.

waterfall (n.) [resemblance]

1. [mid-19C] pubic hair.

2. [mid-19C] a neckcloth, scarf or tie with long pendant ends.

3. [mid-19C–1920s] false hair.

water-funk (n.) [funk n.2 (3)]

[late 19C] one who is afraid to go into water.

watergate (n.)

[mid-16C] the vagina when wet with sexual excitement.

waterhead (n.) [lit. one who has ‘water on the brain’]

[1960s+] a foolish person.

water-kettle (n.)

(mid-17C) the vagina.

water-lily (n.)

[mid-19C] (UK Und.) an oyster.

waterlogged (adj.)

[1910s–20s] very drunk.

waterman (n.)

1. see waterboy

2. see also separate entries.

watermill (n.)

[mid-17C–early 19C] the vagina.

water pad (n.) [pad n.1 (3)]

[late 17C–mid-19C] a thief who specializes in robbing ships on the River Thames.

water pistol (n.)

[1970s] the penis.

water plant (n.) [joc. resemblance]

[early–mid-19C] an umbrella.

water-pot (n.)

[late 17C] the vagina.

water rat (n.)

1. [late 16C] a pirate.

2. [late 19C–1930s] a sergeant in the Thames River Police.

3. [1950s+] (Ulster) a customs officer.

water scriger (n.) [? corruption of scriver, a scribe]

[late 18C–early 19C] a doctor who diagnoses on the basis of a patient’s urine.

water sneak (n.) (also water sneaksman) [sneak n.1 (1b)]

[late 18C–early 19C] a thief who works on a river.

water sports (n.) (also w.s.)

[1970s+] urolagnia, urinating on a partner for sexual stimulation.

water sprinkler (n.) [the act of christening with holy water]

[1900s] (Aus.) a priest; a clergyman.

water wagon (n.)

see separate entry.

waterworks (n.)

see separate entry.

In phrases

blow someone out of the water (v.)

[1950s+] (orig. US) to defeat comprehensively, to overwhelm.

get one’s water hot (v.)

[1940s] (US) to get over-excited, to lose one’s temper.

get someone’s water on (v.)

[1950s] (US) to pressurize, to intimidate.

go through without the water-bag (v.)

[1940s–50s] (Aus.) to rush, to be in a very great hurry.

hold one’s water (v.) (also hold one’s urine) [fig. ref. to restraining oneself from urinating]

1. [20C+] to be patient, to remain calm; esp. in imper. hold your water! calm down!

2. to maintain silence under pressure, e.g. from the authorities.

out in the water

[20C+] (US) in debt.

take water (v.)

1. [late 19C–1910s] (US) to back down.

2. [20C+] (Aus.) to leave a bar or public house after spending all one’s cash on drink.

water of life (n.)

1. [early–mid-19C] gin.

2. [1930s] (US drugs) any drug.