Green’s Dictionary of Slang

stink n.

1. a fuss, a furore, a scandal; cite 1961 refers to an alarm.

[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang. in McLachlan (1964) 271: When any robbery of moment has been committed, which causes much alarm, or of which much is said in the daily papers, the family people will say, there is a great stink about it.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue [as cit. 1812].
[UK]Sl. Dict. 311: Stink a disagreeable exposure. ‘To stir up a stink’ is to make a disclosure which is generally unpleasant in its effect.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 16 June 15/2: A rather brutal yarn about a ‘skin’ and a ‘blasted ass’ and a cove who ‘got the nark’ and a bloke who ‘flew into a stink.’.
[Aus]J. Furphy Rigby’s Romance (1921) Ch. xi: 🌐 Case of vigilate et (adj.) orate, when a man’s in such a (sheol) of a (adj.) st-nk.
[NZ]Truth (Wellington) 11 Jan. 5/5: Himself [...] made a hell of a ‘stink’ in Christchurch.
[Aus]Smith’s Wkly (Sydney) 2 June 21/1: ‘If there was a “stink,” he'd have the goods on him, and I should worry.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Young Manhood in Studs Lonigan (1936) 229: It sure caused a stink.
[UK](con. 1920s) J. Sparks Burglar to the Nobility 46: The stink will be in for us now, we must hide until it gets dark again.
[US]D. Lamson We Who Are About to Die 190: The lawyer [...] just had us plead guilty, all nice an’ easy an’ quiet, an’ no stink about it.
[US]B. Appel Tough Guy [ebook] ‘[T]he jewboy let out a stink. Said if you’d be there he wouldn’t’.
[US]Sepe & Telano Cop Team 57: A pusher isn’t going to make a stink to the cops.
[US]J. Ellroy Brown’s Requiem 57: He was probably the only one in L.A. who believed the fourth man existed, and Jesus Christ, did he make a stink about it.
[US]C. Hiaasen Stormy Weather 240: The papers and TV are making a big stink.
[Aus](con. 1964-65) B. Thorpe Sex and Thugs and Rock ’n’ Roll 252: We were expecting a stink but they turned out to be OK.
[US]J. Stahl I, Fatty 122: A big stink linking the top dogs [...] to political payoffs would have sunk the studio.
[Aus](con. 1943) G.S. Manson Coorparoo Blues [ebook] ‘So Flash Harry here [...] kicks up a stink, then next thing he’s gone’.
[Aus]J.J. DeCeglie Drawing Dead [ebook] I knew she wouldn’t like it. That she’d kick up a fucking stink.

2. a contemptible person.

[Ire]Joyce Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man 3: Rody Kickham was a decent fellow but Nasty Roche was a stink.
[US]E. Pound letter 4 June in Paige (1971) 137: Meredith is, to me, chiefly a stink. I should never write on him as I detest him too much ever to trust myself as a critic on him.
P.C. Wren Uniform of Glory 36: ‘You unspeakable species of filth! You walking stink!’.
[US]I. Wolfert Tucker’s People (1944) 88: That stink, Tucker!
[UK](con. 1944) R. Westerby Mad in Pursuit 264: The people are a stink to you. That’s all. Just a stink.
[US]Record (Hackensack. NJ) 23 June 15/1: ‘He’s crazy [...] He’s a stink’.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 200: stink Any person, situation or object considered unpleasant, used without a preceding article, eg, ‘That movie was stink.’ Juvenile usage latter C20, now general.

3. a fight.

[Aus]L. Glassop We Were the Rats 65: I was in the last stink, and take it from me, your paybook’s your Bible.
[NZ]G. Newbold Big Huey 254: stink (n) Fight, brawl.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett You Wouldn’t Be Dead for Quids (1989) 98: They’d had a bit of a stink [...] with a bunch of yobbos [...] out on a bucks’ night.
[Aus]Smith & Noble Neddy (1998) 148: The nights always ended in a stink, with me having to do the fighting. He couldn’t hold his hands up.

4. the quality of rawness, earthiness, ‘soul’ .

R. Charles Brother Ray 163: They got a certain stink that the guys in L.A. lack. [...] I miss the filth—the East Coast filth—that you hear on the streets and in the recording studios of New York City.
[US]‘Grandmaster Flash’ Adventures 68: Barry [White] knew how to get the funk and the stink and the groove and the fire out of your soul and put it in your ass.

5. (US black) the vagina.

[US]R. Klein Jailhouse Jargon and Street Sl. [unpub. ms.].

6. (US) the anus.

[US]N. Walker Cherry 128: About a dozen kids were hanging around, and Borges was teaching them the shocker. He arranged his fingers just so. He said, ‘Two in the pink. One in the stink’.

In phrases

kick up a stink (v.)

to cause trouble, to create a disturbance; thus (nonce use) stink-kicker-upper.

[US] ‘Coming Round the Horn’ in Lingenfelter et al. Songs of the Amer. West (1968) 24: A meeting now and then was held, which kicked up quite a stink.
[US]Potter Enterprise (Condersport, PA) 27 Apr. 2/2: Some political ringsters [...] proceed to kick up a stink.
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper 15 Dec. 163: Higginson’s little bull’s-eye began to kick up a fearful stink.
[US](con. 1917–18) C. MacArthur War Bugs 150: He kicked up a big stink.
[Aus]Mirror (Perth) 9 June 16/6: ‘Well, I mean I wouldn’t kick up a stink,’ he explained.
[US]S.F. Examiner 24 Jan. 27/1: He’s a stink-kicker-upper par excellence when it comes to Reds and Pinkos.
[Aus]T.A.G. Hungerford Riverslake 219: She was always kicking up a stink about something.
[NZ]B. Crump A Good Keen Man 181: Somebody had been kicking up a stink about a shooter who had cut his leg with a slasher.
[Aus] in K. Gilbert Living Black 81: It’s distant enough not to make them kick up a big stink.
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘Watching the Girls go by’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] I was still married to yer Aunt Ada and she’d have kicked up a stink!
[Scot]I. Welsh Filth 30: I’ll kick up a stink through the Federation and the craft if I have to.
[Ire]Irish Indep. (Dublin) 2 Oct. 6/6: [headline] Town chiefs kick up a stink over ‘sickening’ sewage stench.
Calgary Herald (Alberta) 14 Dec. 47/4: Measures to limit tax deferral [...] will be buried in the 2018 budget and so less likely to kick up a stink.
raise a stink (v.)

to make a fuss; to cause trouble.

[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor I 250/2: The newspapers of the district [...] had raised before the eye and mind of the public, what the ‘patterers’ of his class proverbially call a ‘stink’.
Ottowa Free Trader (IL) 27 Feb. 4/1: It will not be long before the turning of the drainings of the filthy city [...] will raise a bigger political stink than the waters do now.
Grenola Hornet (KS) 6 Mar. 1/2: They [...] nursed her tenderly for the scandalous statements they can induce her to make about the citizens, in order to raise a stink.
[US]Huntington Democrat (IN) 8 Aug. 4/2: ‘Oh, I know it will raise a stink for a while, but it will soon blow over’.
[US]L.A. Times pt VIII 16 Jan. 10/2: One of the first things [...] McCarthy did [...] was to raise a stink over a garbage plant bought before he became ruler.
[UK]O. Onions Peace in Our Time 118: She raised a stink because she wasn’t in Tatler last week.
[UK]G. Kersh They Die with Their Boots Clean 116: They’re raising a stink in some of the comic papers about ’ow silly it is to blanco your equipment.
[US]R. Chandler Long Good-Bye 59: Her face was beaten to a pulp. Second degree murder would be the best he could get, and even that would raise a stink.
[Aus](con. 1944) L. Glassop Rats in New Guinea 116: In any case she would probably wake up and raise such a stink I’d find myself in the boob.
[US]Dly Indep. Jrnl (San Rafael, CA) 23 May 10/1: Some people don’t like hogs [...] nd these people raise a stink if they look out their bedroom window and see a giant sow.
Albany Democrat Herald (OR) 11 May 4/1: He raised a stink about a Navy weapons system that had been inadequately tested.
[US]Dly Republican-Register (Mount Carmel, IL) 5 June 1/2: [headline] Marion residnt raised a stink over subdivision plan.
Calgary Herald (Alberta) 4 Mar. F8/4: Marcel Duchamp’s urinal, which in 1917 he entered in a show as a work of art [...] He raised a stink when it was rejected.
[US]Fort Collins Coloradoan (CO) 2 July PA5/2: ‘He’s raising a stink [...] for the folks who can’t afford it’.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

stink bomb (n.)

(US) something, or someone, disgusting or deplorable.

[US]P. Stevenson Gospel According to St Luke’s 200: Well you dirty sarcastic stink-bomb, you—.
[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks n.p.: Stink bomb, scandalous divorce proceedings.
[US]Brownsville Herald (TX) 7 Dec. 4/6: [Walter] Winchell Fomests Hate and War [...] He is a stink bomb. He is a two-legged skunk.
[US]A. King Mine Enemy Grows Older (1959) 74: I thought I had better douse this stink bomb before he loused up my act.
[US]Jrnl Gaz. (Mattoon, IL) 5 Oct. 4/2: Oliver North [...] is a stink bomb.
stink-butt (n.)

(US) a repellent individual.

News-Jrnl (Mansfield, OH) 15 Dec. 17/6: ‘He’s a stink-butt,’ my Mommy said.
stink-car (n.) (also stink engine) [also pun on stinker n.1 (5)]

a motorcar .

[UK]Sporting Times 27 Apr. 21: The advent of the stink-car was almost as mournful a feature in the proceedings as was the mob of habitual bookmakers ‘resting’ by the bars.
[US]J. London Valley of the Moon (1914) 361: Horseflesh is a hobby of mine. Don’t think otherwise because I am running a stink engine.

see separate entries.


see separate entries.

stinkgat (n.)

(S.Afr.) a lavatory.

[SA]P. Slabolepszy ‘Return of Elvis’ Mooi Street (1994) 312: Throwing Jeyes Fluid [...] down that stinkgat is not going to help.
stink-hole (n.)

a lavatory.

[Aus]S.L. Elliott Rusty Bugles I ii: He writes all about the food and the stink-hole outside the Mess and no leave for twenty-three months.
[US](con. 1944) Wilder & Blum Stalag 17 [film script] 125: [In Latrine] We’re busting out of this stink-hole in exactly [...] one minute and twenty seconds.
stinkpot (n.)

see separate entry.

stink-wagon (n.)

(N.Z.) an automobile.

[NZ]N.Z. Truth 4 July 4/6: The other flash stink-wagon was drawn up ready to take a party of young ladies.
stink weed (n.)

1. a cigar.

[US]J. Archibald ‘Smoke Scream’ in 10-Story Detective Feb. 🌐 So I says I will smoke this buck stinkweed [...] I take a light and start puffing away.

2. (drugs) marijuana.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 212/1: Stinkweed. Marijuana.
[US]L. Young et al. Recreational Drugs.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 20: Stink weed — Marijuana.

3. a smoker of marijuana.

[US]Lait & Mortimer USA Confidential 29: New York’s pink little stink-weed commissioned a committee of dizzy do-gooders to report on the reefer situation.

In phrases

a stink of a... (n.)

a great deal of, a large amount of.

[US]I. Shaw Beggarman, Thief (1993) 406: We’d’ve been in a stink of a mess without him .
like stink (adv.) (also to stink) [? euph.]

intensely, furiously.

[UK]E. Raymond Tell England (1965) 251: Apparently the East Cheshires are holding an awkward position on a place called Fusilier Bluff, and being killed like stink by a well-placed whizz-bang gun.
[UK]J. Curtis You’re in the Racket, Too 93: She would probably scream like stink if she awakened.
[UK](con. 1912) B. Marshall George Brown’s Schooldays 157: I hope to stink the old swine’s right because like that they won’t plough me for Sandhurst.
[UK]J. Maclaren-Ross ‘The Dark Diceman’ in Bitten by the Tarantula (2005) 203: Bogart’s planning like stink.
[UK]C. Lee diary 30 Apr. in Eight Bells & Top Masts (2001) 206: Chippie’s ta-fong [i.e. typhoon] was really blowing like stink right up our chuff .
in S. Wilson I Could Be Happy 237: Darling boy, I miss you like stink, and I shall be the happiest girl in the world when I come to meet you off your boat.
Finlay & Sheppard Across the South Pacific 200: They all work like stink. Long hours. No overtime.
[US]R. Salisbury Sweet Thursday 231: I’ll have to move like stink to catch up.
J. Richardson How to Build a Small-Block Chevy for the Street 14: If you find a rebuildable 302 of either configuration, grab it. [...] They go like stink right out of the box.
take a stink for a nosegay (v.) [a nosegay smells sweet, a stink does not]

to make a foolish blunder, to be very gullible.

[UK]B.H. Malkin (trans.) Adventures of Gil Blas (1822) II 177: Simple and cullible, so far from smelling out the rat, he took his stink for a nosegay.