Green’s Dictionary of Slang

hump n.1

1. constr. with the, a fit of bad-humour, a sulk; usu. as get the hump [abbr. SE phr. hump the back, to sulk].

[UK]Chickens Feed Capons 4: Though they are suffered to live, ’tis under many Hardships and Restrictions, many Humps and Grumps.
[UK]Sl. Dict. 198: Hump low spirits. A costermonger who was annoyed or distressed about anything would describe himself as having ‘the hump’.
[UK]‘F. Anstey’ Voces Populi 3: Never mind your hump.
W. Sickert Whirlwind 26 July 67: His sunny vision [...] will dissipate what a picturesquely expressive proletariat invariably describes as ‘the hump’.
[UK]Punch 28 Mar. 225/1: He’ll prophesy from Mr. Punch’s own time-honoured hump / His power all other’s ‘hump’ to take away from them.
[UK]Wodehouse ‘The Making of Mac’s’ Man with Two Left Feet 133: Young Andy still had his hump.
[UK]Lawrence & Skinner Boy in Bush 285: Fair gave me the bally hump.
[UK]G. Blake Shipbuilders (1954) 20: ‘Hullo! [...] The hump again?’ ‘Worry, I would call it.’.
[US]R. Chandler Little Sister 145: Have to help them over the humps. It gets to be all humps after a while.
[US]J. Steinbeck Sweet Thursday (1955) 100: He ain’t got over the hump yet.
[UK]Sun. Times Mag. 6 Feb. 10: Marian used to call me Camel because I always had the hump.

2. (US Und.) the midpoint of one’s prison sentence [image of the hump as a midpoint].

[US]Jackson & Hellyer Vocab. Criminal Sl. 46: hump [...] the half-way point in a prison sentence. Example: ‘How long have you got yet on your bit? I’m just over the hump.’.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 105: Hump. – [...] The middle of a prison sentence, in this case the prisoner feeling the worst is over, and that in a sense he is able to ‘coast’ or slide down the other side.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 104/1: Hump, n. 1. (P) The halfway mark in a prison term.
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 804: hump – The middle of a prison sentence.

3. (orig. US) in sexual contexts [hump v.1 (1); the physical movement of ‘missionary position’ intercourse].

(a) an act of sexual intercourse.

[US] in P. Smith Letter from My Father (1978) 57: The nigger mill hands [...] paid for their ‘hump’.
[US](con. 1880–1924) F.J. Wilstach Anecdota erótica 9: The ’ore is familiar with him and the Englishman finally says: ‘If you don’t stop that familiarity this ’ump is off.’.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 105: Hump. – [...] Sexual intercourse.
[US] ‘Cary Grant in “Who’s a Fairy?”’ [comic strip] in B. Adelman Tijuana Bibles (1997) 101: I can give you a good hump without even turning around.
[US] in E. Cray Erotic Muse (1992) 370: The camel has a lot of fun. / His height’s ample when he has done. / He always gets two humps for one / When he revels in the throes of fornication.
[US]H.S. Thompson Hell’s Angels (1967) 199: What does a jury make of a testimony to the effect that the first hump was for love, the next two for kicks and all the others were rape?
[UK]A. Bleasdale Who’s Been Sleeping in my Bed 23: No one’s talkin’ about gettin’ married – just a quick hump in the back fields, that’s all.
[US] ‘Open Book’ in G. Logsdon Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing (1995) 113: A counterfeit chump, the result of a hump, / twixt a Spaniard, a Yaqui and a Jig.
[UK]I. Welsh Trainspotting 174: Nae kinky stuff, jist a straight hump.
[US]C. Hiaasen Nature Girl 61: He had no intention of relaxing, not even for a fifteen-minute hump on the sofa.

(b) (US) playing on sense 3a, a semi-euph. for fuck n. (2a), e.g. I don’t give a hump.

[US] General Wood’s speech at The Selwyn Hotel, quoted in Charlotte (NC) Observer 6 July [Internet] All this is for the soldier for personally we do not give a ‘hump’ who gets a camp, but we must play the game squarely and try to give them the best place possible.

(c) a person, usu. a woman, considered purely as a sexual object.

[US] in E. Wilson Twenties (1975) 175: She don’t yet know he’s a bum hump!
[US]H. Miller Sexus (1969) 256: She certainly was a good piece of hump.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 104/1: Hump, n. [...] 2. Loose women and prostitutes as a class; the act of copulation.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn (1966) 7: Freddy [...] yelled at them to go fuck their mothers, ya cottonpickin bastards. I hear shes a good hump.
[US]T. Harris Silence of the Lambs (1991) 20: They call him Buffalo Bill because he skins his humps.
[US](con. 1960s) J. Ellroy Blood’s a Rover 34: A boozer, a gambler and a woim,anizer. A sweet-natured hump.

(d) (US prison) a (passive) male homosexual.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 104/1: Hump, n. [...] 3. (P) A passive pederast; pederasty.

4. with ref. to the defining physical aspect of the zoological camel.

(a) (Aus.) a camel.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 4 July 15/1: The camel is the boss kicker of the universe. Hump’s hind leg will reach anywhere.
[US]E.P. Norwood Other Side of the Circus 65: We call the camels the ‘humps’ and the zebras the ‘convicts’.
[Aus]T. Wood Cobbers 27: These humps had to be trained to go without [...] A camel would drink all day long if you let him.

(b) (US, also hump cigarette) a Camel (brandname) cigarette.

[US](con. 1918–19) S.V. Benét Beginning of Wisdom 295: ‘Got a hump, Sellaby?’ said Bennett [...] He was indefatigable at bumming cigarettes.
[US]G. Milburn No More Trumpets 28: Say, buddy, you ain’t got another hump there, have you?
[US]W. Guthrie Bound for Glory (1969) 230: He didn’t smoke hump cigarets.
[US]P. Kendall Dict. Service Sl. n.p.: have you got a hump on you? . . . stake me to a cigaret.

5. as a person.

(a) a contemptible person, esp. a man.

[US]‘Campus Lingo’ in Reading (PA) Eagle 20 Mar. 7/2: A person, place or thing that is no good has earned the dubious title of a ‘hump’.
[Aus]D. Niland Big Smoke 52: Get out, you little black hump.
[US]E. Droge Patrolman 70: He just got here himself, the hump.
[US]H. Gould Fort Apache, The Bronx 87: That hump gets on my nerves.
[US]C. Hiaasen Lucky You 79: Normally the little hump didn’t check the VCR unless there’d been a robbery.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Goodoo Goodoo 123: Evidently that hump in the yellow dress was his girlfriend.
[US](con. 1964–8) J. Ellroy Cold Six Thousand 131: Where’s that hump Maynard Moore?
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Mystery Bay Blues 241: [of a woman] I got better things to do than worry about that hump.
[US]Simon & Burns ‘The Detail’ Wire ser. 1 ep. 2 [TV script] How come they send you every worthless hump in plainclothes? You ask for men, they send you drunks and fuck-ups.
[US]D. Winslow The Force [ebook] [of a lawyer] ‘What did that hump want?’.

(b) a general term for a person, basically a peasant or manual worker.

[Aus]D. Niland Shiralee 44: Them fussy humps, you can’t satisfy them.
[US]S. King Long Walk in Bachman Books (1995) 298: I got girls everywhere, you dumb hump.
[US]C. Hiaasen Tourist Season (1987) 89: This hump Bloodworth says he heard there’s some connection between Bellamy and Sparky Harper.
[US](con. 1950) B. Helgeland L.A. Confidential [film script] In the back seat, with cases of Walker Black and Cutty Sark, is Bud’s partner – dick stensland. Older, but also a tough hump, ‘Stens’ sucks on a pint of Old Crow.
[US]J. Lerner You Got Nothing Coming 252: Didja know Lenny da Hump that usta hang out on Flatbush?

6. see hump day

In derivatives

In compounds

In phrases

dry hump

see separate entries.

get the hump (v.) (also capture the hump, cop the hump, get the humps, have the hump, take the hump)

1. to be depressed, miserable.

[UK]Sl. Dict. (6th edn) 198: A costermonger who was annoyed or distressed about anything would describe himself as having ‘the hump’.
[UK]Punch 10 Jan. 24: I had got the ’ump, and no error [...].
[UK]W. Pett Ridge Mord Em’ly 237: One evening, I’d got a rare old ’ump of it; as down in the mouth as – well, I don’t suppose you can understand.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 24 Aug. 13/4: ‘What’s the matter, old man?’ / ‘I don’t know. Suppose I’ve got the hump.’ / ‘What about?’ / ‘Oh nothing! Everything!’.
R. Free Seven Years Hard 69: ‘No foolin’ now,’ says he; ‘I’ve got the bloomin’ ’ump, and I can’t stand nothink. Wot d'you mean by arstin’ me to drink?’.
[UK]Wodehouse Psmith in the City (1993) 15: ‘Father’s worried about something.’ ‘He looked as if he’d got the hump rather at dinner.’.
[Aus]Northern Star (Lismore, NSW) 24 Jan. 8/3: To have ‘the hump’ does not come from the camel’s back.
[UK]S. Murphy Stone Mad (1966) 186: He has the humps now.
[Ire](con. 1920s) P. Crosbie Your Dinner’s Poured Out! 219: It gave me the hump, i.e. bored me.
[UK]Observer Cash 3 Oct. 7: You won’t get the hump on holiday with good insurance.

2. to be over-sensitive or ‘touchy’, thus angry.

[UK]R. Whiteing No. 5 John Street 295: Then you’ll fit the ’ump, an’ cuss the dye you tried to mike a lidy out of a fightin’ flower-gal.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘A Thinker’ Sporting Times 1 Sept. 1/4: His dad, the old chump, / Has got tired of Bill’s idling, and captured the hump.
[Aus]Kia Ora Coo-ee 15 Mar. 14/3: At all parades the ‘winds up,’ and in the lines as well, / Till we all get the hump of it, and it’s the truth to tell, / We strafe the Orderly Sergeant, and wish he were in Hell!
[US](con. WWI) H.F. Cruikshank ‘So This Is Flanders!’ Battle Stories July [Internet] Jerry had suddenly got the hump.
[UK]F. Anthony ‘Rivals’ in Me And Gus (1977) 64: After I had straightened the hump out of my back.
[Aus]R. Park Poor Man’s Orange 152: Put a hump on himself like a ferret ... shaping up to me.
[UK]G.F. Newman Villain’s Tale 50: All right, Dolly, you got the hump. What’s the problem then?
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘To Hull and Back’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] Look, don’t, don’t get the hump with us.
[UK]J. Cameron It Was An Accident 52: Once he got the serious hump after he got shot on my account.
[UK]I. Welsh Filth 36: The sad cunt took the hump and fucked off.
[UK]Guardian G2 1 Feb. 16: Would Lennon get the hump if the modfather didn’t consult him before blowing all their savings on a customised Velocifero and a quantity of hard oak flooring?
[UK]J.J. Connolly Layer Cake 19: It’s a sure sign you’ve been in the game too long, when a guy turns up to give you twenty large and you’re getting the hump cos it ain’t all facing the right way.
[UK]N. ‘Razor’ Smith Raiders 2: The last thing you want is [...] to find that your wheelman has copped the hump with you and gone for a cuppa. [Ibid.] 5: Tough Tony [...] got the raving hump over injustice.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Viva La Madness 39: Sonny [...] has only three moods — got-the-hump, hostile or mad ecstatic.
give someone the hump (v.)

to annoy, to irritate.

[UK] ‘’Arry on the Elections’ in Punch 12 Dec. 277/2: It gives one the fair, blooming ’ump.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 3 Jan. 6/1: The rest of the rhyme might make modesty frown, / And give our friend Camphor the hump.
[UK]C. Rook Hooligan Nights 104: Give me the fair ’ump, it did.
[UK]Murray, Leigh & LeBrunn [perf. Marie Lloyd] Sleep! Sleep! [lyrics] He’ll never be no better and it fair gives me the hump.
[Aus]E. Dyson Fact’ry ’Ands 51: Pastin’ beastly bags fer Spats at a tizzy a drayload, it fair gi’s me the ’ump.
[UK]‘New Church’ Times 8 May (2006) 66/2: How those bangs give me the hump.
[UK]R. Hall Well of Loneliness (1976) 349: You’re not playing fair with that girl; the life she’s leading would depress a mother abbess. It’s enough to give anybody the hump.
[UK]J.B. Priestley Good Companions 381: In fact the place gives me the hump, absolutely.
[Aus]T. Wood Cobbers 5: These medical inspections gimme the hump.
[UK]E. Bond Saved Scene v: This dump gives me the ’ump.
[Ire]H. Leonard A Life (1981) Act I: Peculiar day, Good Friday: give you the hump.
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘Sleeping Dogs Lie’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] Let’s get out of here Del, he’s giving me the hump!
[UK]Guardian Editor 15 Oct. 10: It gives her the right hump when she has to buy the larger sizes to fit over her boobs.
have a hump in one’s back (v.)

(US black) of a man, to be in the middle of sexual intercourse.

[US]N. McCall Makes Me Wanna Holler (1995) 191: Everybody feels like Superman with a helluva hump in his back.
[US]‘Master Pimp’ Pimp’s Rap 196: The brother had a hump in his back and was making ugly faces.
have one’s hump up (v.)

to be in a bad mood.

[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict. 198: ‘To have one’s hump up,’ to be cross or ill-tempered ― like a cat with its back set up.
[UK]Sl. Dict.
make a hump in one’s back (v.) [the missionary position]

of a man, to have sexual intercourse.

[US]C. Cooper Jr Scene (1996) 33: He crawled right in [to bed] beside her and made a hump in his back, without even being asked.
on the hump

having sexual intercourse.

[UK]P. Barker Union Street 3: ‘There’s some of us still trying to sleep.’ ‘No bloody wonder. On the hump all night.’.
throw someone a hump (v.)

to have sexual intercourse with someone.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 222/2: Throw one a hump. 1 [...] 2. To engage in sexual intercourse with one. 3. To be intimate with, as with a passive pederast.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn (1966) 40: He worked [...] in the morgue, and this nice lookin young head croaks so he throws a hump inner.
[US]W.J. Caunitz One Police Plaza 159: I took her into the bedroom, took off her cotton drawers, and threw her a hump.

In exclamations

my hump!

a general excl. of disdain, dismissal, arrogant contempt.

[Ire]H. Leonard A Life (1981) Act II: In me hump it happened.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

hump day (n.) (also hump, hump night) [SE hump, the critical point of an undertaking. Once Wednesday has passed one is coasting ‘downhill’ towards the weekend]

(US) Wednesday, the middle of the week.

[US] ‘Aircraft Production Dispatcher’s Vocab.’ AS XXX:3 226: hump night, n. Wednesday night, which is over the hump of the week.
[US]Current Sl. I:3 4/2: Hump night, n. Wednesday.
[US]Current Sl. II:2 18: Hump, n. The middle of the week, ‘hump day.’.
T. Fey Mean Girls [movie script] I’m gonna make you girls a ‘hump day’ treat.

In phrases

bust one’s hump (v.)

(US) to work very hard.

[UK](con. 1943) A. Myrer Big War 285: I’ve been busting my hump for seven days.
[US]P. Thomas Down These Mean Streets (1970) 88: No matter how much you busted your hump trying to be one of them, you’d never belong, they wouldn’t let you.
[US]G.V. Higgins Cogan’s Trade (1975) 15: He’s down there, busting his hump, up to his ass in oil and stuff.
[US]D. Woodrell Muscle for the Wing 154: She’d busted her hump [...] peeling shrimp at the dock.
[US] Pistone & Woodley Donnie Brasco [film script] Thirty years I’m busting my hump. What have I got?
[US]F.X. Toole Pound for Pound 67: After busting his hump in the gym, it was no fun to come home.
[US]D. Winslow The Force [ebook] You’re out there, busting your hump, all the time.
bust someone’s hump (v.)

(US) to harass, to annoy, to persecute.

[US]D. Ponicsan Last Detail 107: Charlotte, don’t bust my hump.
[US]R. Price Ladies’ Man (1985) 42: She would make me feel undesired and I would want to bust her hump for it.
[US]D. Winslow The Force [ebook] ‘How’s life treating you?’ [...] ‘Sykes is busting my hump’.
crawl someone’s hump (v.) [crawl v.2 (3)]

(US) to attack, to assault.

[US]A.H. Lewis Wolfville 243: If you insists on puchin’ along through yere I’ll turn in an’ crawl yer hump some.
[US]S.E. White Arizona Nights 149: Here I pick you up on the street and save your worthless carcass, and the first chance you get you try to crawl my hump. Explain.
[US]A.P. Man Jr ‘Further Word-List – Arizona’ in DN IV:ii 165: crawl one’s hump, v. phr. To kill one.
[US](con. 1918) L. Nason Sergeant Eadie 47: And then to have his hump crawled by the first sergeant!
[US]O. Strange Sudden 54: There’s me, shiverin’ in my shoes, waitin’ for a big stiff to come an’ crawl my hump.
[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS.
get a hump on (v.) [one humps one’s back with effort]

(US) to hurry, to exert oneself.

[US]Harper’s Mag. Feb. 487/2: ‘We went fast enough then.’ ‘We do seem to be gittin’ a leetle less hump on oursel’s than we did then’ [DA].
[US]J.W. Carr ‘Words from Northwest Arkansas’ in DN III:ii 137: get a hump on (one’s self), v.phr. To hurry; to show energy.
Julie M Lippmann Making Over Martha (2005) 6: She don’t work hard enough, as it is. Get a hump on, mother! Get a hump on.
E.R. Burroughs Mucker (2004) 119: I do know dat if we wants to get out o’ here we gotta get a hump on ourselves good an’ lively.
[US](con. 1820s) W.E. Wilson Wabash 231: ‘Let’s git a hump on, Allen,’ Abe said; and the two boys dipped their oars deeper into the brown water.
go over the hump (v.)

1. to finish a job.

[US]C. Himes ‘Let Me at the Enemy’ in Coll. Stories (1990) 41: They finished out their rows and went over the hump.

2. (US) to pass one’s prime, to decline in ability.

[US]B. Schulberg Harder They Fall (1971) 44: Everything’s copasetic until Speedy goes over the hump.
[UK](con. 1943) A. Myrer Big War 159: You think you can walk off and get out from under by going over the hump [...] Getting drunk.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 1 Dec. in Proud Highway (1997) 424: I haven’t altered my conviction that this nation is going over the hump.

3. (US drugs) to become intoxicated by a drug, usu. marijuana.

[US]Anslinger & Tompkins Traffic In Narcotics 309: go over the hump. To attain exhilaration from using drugs.
hit the hump (v.)

(US prison) to make an escape attempt.

[US]H. Simon ‘Prison Dict.’ in AS VIII:3 (1933) 27/2: HIT THE HUMP. Try to escape.
over the hump

1. (orig. US) over the worst, past the midpoint of a job or experience, usu. an unpleasant one.

[[US]Denton (MD) Journal 24 Oct. 1/7: Slang of the Sailor [...] To re-enlist is to ‘slip over,’ and when more than half the enlistment is in, a sailor is ‘going downhill.’].
[[US]Jackson & Hellyer Vocab. Criminal Sl. 46: hump [...] the half-way point in a prison sentence. Example: ‘How long have you got yet on your bit? I’m just over the hump.’].
[US]C. Samolar ‘Argot of the Vagabond’ in AS II:9 390: To be over the hump and going down-grade is to be more than half-through with something,—a stretch of work or incarceration.
[US]D. Maurer ‘Argot of the Und. Narcotic Addict’ Pt 2 in Lang. Und. (1981).
[US]B. Schulberg What Makes Sammy Run? (1992) 102: I’m over the hump [...] From now on I can write my own ticket.
[US]N. Algren Little Lester’ in Entrapment (2009) 93: Upstairs, on the topmost tier [...] hustlers over the hump for redemption.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 150/2: Over the hump. [...] 2. (P) Past midpoint of prison sentence; at the beginning of the second half of one’s prison term.
[US]J.E. Schmidt Narcotics Lingo and Lore 69: Go down the hump – Of a drug addict taking the cure, [...] to be past the worst part.
[US]J.D. Macdonald Slam the Big Door (1961) 64: Troy has the idea a few more hundred thousand dollars will get it over the hump.
[US]J. Langone Life at the Bottom 202: That’s when you’re over the hump, Hump Night they called it, halfway home.
[Aus]L. Davies Candy 43: We got over the hump and were beginning to feel all right.

2. gone beyond return or reversal.

[US]N. Algren Man with the Golden Arm 205: Over the hump for redemption [...] they hurried forward all the faster into the darkness.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 23 May in Proud Highway (1997) 453: Marxism is over the hump for the time being.

3. (US drugs) enjoying the peak of a drug experience.

[US]Anslinger & Tompkins Traffic In Narcotics 313: over the hump. Drug-exhilarated.
[US]R.R. Lingeman Drugs from A to Z (1970) 199: over the hump (go) [...] To feel the full exhilaration of a narcotic.
throw a hump (for) (v.)

(US und.) to create a distraction to facilitate a pickpocket’s manoeuvres, to work as a stall n.1 (1)

Jackson Dly News (MS) 1 Apr. 7/1: Crook Chatter [...] ‘Fresno Phil flew me a kite last week sayin’ they was a dozen raps against me for “throwin a hump” for him in St Louis’.