Green’s Dictionary of Slang

buck n.1

[all fig. uses of SE buck, a he-goat or male deer ]

1. a cuckold .

[UK]Shakespeare Merry Wives of Windsor III iii: Buck, buck, buck! Ay, buck; I warrant you buck; and of the season too, it shall appear.
[UK]R. Davenport City-Night-Cap (1661) I 3: Let Ballet-mongers crown him with their scorns: Who buys the Bucks Head, well deserves the Horns.
[UK]‘Philomusus’ Marrow of Complements 177: When a man doth grow Much like a Buck you know Monstrum est.
[UK]N. Ward Hudibras Redivivus II:2 11: Get you to Bed, you stagg’ring Beast. / I won’t, you Buck, at your Request.
[UK]N. Ward Dancing Devils in Misc. IV 10: Ladies, with their sweetest Looks, To Bucks and Rams, turn Lords and Dukes.
[UK]J. Townley High Life Below Stairs I ii: A Buck of the first Head; I’ll tell you a secret, he’s going to be married [...] and I intend to cuckold him.
[UK]Foote Commissary in Works (1799) II 25: You called me a buck, and moreover said that my horns were exalted.
[UK]F. Burney Evelina (1861) 451: I fully intended to have treated the old buck with another frolic.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: A Buck is sometimes used to Signifty a Cuckold.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd edn) n.p.: A buck sometimes signifies a cuckold.
[UK]Sporting Mag. July VI 216/1: [They] adopted the appellation which individually had been bestowed upon them by their neighbours, that of Bucks, Anglice, Cuckolds.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (3rd edn).
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. (2nd edn).

2. a bold, daring person of either sex [abbr. of buck-a-dandy, a fop, but note Ware, who suggests a root in SE buckram, a stiffening fabric used by such dandies in the full-skirted coats of the 18C].

[UK]J. Taylor ‘An Armado’ in Works (1869) I 91: Traps for vermin, Grinnes for wild Guls, Baytes for tame Fooles, Sprindges for Woodcockes, Pursenets for Connies, Toyles for mad Buckes, Pennes for Geese, Hookes for Gudgeons, Snares for Buzzards, Bridles for old Iades, Curbes for Colts, Pitfals for Bulfinches and Hempen-slips for Asses.
[UK]Urquhart (trans.) Rabelais III 12: [Jove is] more rammishly lascivious than a Buck.
[UK]J. Phillips Maronides (1678) VI 42: They in their eyes all holding fingers, / Star’d up like Bucks beholding Strangers.
Tavern Hunter 6: The very next Tavern [...] Stood down in a Court of a Leacherous Name, Where Bucks that are Wild may have Does that are Tame.
[UK]New Canting Dict. n.p.: A bold Buck is sometimes used to signify a forward daring person of either Sex. She wants to go to buck, expressed of a wanton Woman, who is desirous of male-Conversation.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. 1725].
[UK]‘Capt. Samuel Cock’ Voyage to Lethe 32: I hear [...] she is commanded by Captain Buck.
[UK] in Sadler Song 208 Muses Delight 292/3: A buck, when he’s drunk, is a match for the devil.
[UK]G. Colman Oxonian in Town I ii: I have taken care to provide you some other dishes, too, my bucks.
[UK]Caledonian Mercury 13 June 1/2: This [...] is the head of a Blood of the the town, or a Buck, for this, is the head of a woman of the town.
[UK]M.P. Andrews Fire and Water! (1790) 16: What, kiss and tell, my Buck of Brimstone.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (4th edn) 25: Militia bucks that know no fears.
[UK]‘Peter Pindar’ ‘Lyric Odes’ Works (1794) I 31: The Buck, Like many English ones, much out of luck.
[Ire]M. Lonsdale Spanish Rivals Prologue: What cheer aloft?—Any Bucks of Wapping? [...] Come, come, all hands to clapping.
[UK]‘Peter Pindar’ ‘Rights of Kings’ Works (1794) III 57: A young Officer, a buck, [...] Dash’d forth, to pierce the middle of the light, Meaning to violate the Dame so good.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (4th edn) II 247: A brave bold-hearted buck that’s willing.

3. a bold, dashing man, a roisterer; often as old buck.

[UK]J. Ray Proverbs (2nd edn) 67: He’s like a buck of the first-head.
[UK]‘A Song’ in Ebsworth Merry Drollery Compleat (1875) 86: Although I am a Buck, I am not so wild / To naile up my horns for another mans hat.
[UK]N. Ward Compleat and Humorous Account of all the Remarkable Clubs (1756) 88: Teach her ill Humours, and provoke the Shrew / To make him both a Buck and Beggar too.
[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy IV 111: Altho’ I’m a Buck, I am not so Wild, / To nail up my Horns for another Man’s Hat.
[UK]Smollett Peregrine Pickle (1964) 350: The company here were not so riotous as the Bucks of Covent-Garden.
[UK]Midnight Spy 109: A parcel of jolly bucks, who [...] were determined to live their every hour, and scorned to waste their time snoring in bed.
[UK]Midnight Rambler 12: Observe, said he, the smart blade [...] whipped into his buckish garb.
[UK]G. Stevens ‘Picture’ Songs Comic and Satyrical 11: Remember my Bucks, when you’re aiming at Jokes / Be sure make the most of a Jest.
[UK]Harris’s List of Covent-Garden Ladies 22: So universally known, and so great a fav’rite with the bucks is this lady, that her description is almost needless.
[UK]C. Dibdin ‘Joys of the Country’ Collection of Songs II 66: Let bucks and let bloods to praise London agree.
[UK]‘A Pembrochian’ Gradus ad Cantabrigiam 47: to culminate; to mount a Coach-box. The University bucks are then in the meridian of their glory.
[UK] ‘Thomas Clutterbuck & Polly Higginbottom’ Garland of New Songs (38) 4: In Chester town a man there dwelt, / Not as rich as Croesus, but a buck; / The pangs of Love he clearly felt— / His name was Thomas Clutterbuck.
[UK]M. Edgeworth Love and Law I i: They call me a beau and a buck, a slasher and a dasher.
[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 197: That such a one was denominated a Corinthian, — a dashing fellow, — a buck, — a blood, — the go, a leader of fashion, &c., was of itself a sufficient recommendation to her notice.
[UK] ‘Farmer Stump’s Journey to London’ in Holloway & Black (1979) II 278: I am call’d Farmer Stump by the bucks, it is true.
[UK]T. Rowlandson Pretty Little Games (1872) plate vi: Well mounted on a mettled steed, / Famed for his strength as well as speed, / Corinna and her favourite buck / Are pleased to have a flying f—k.
[UK]Thackeray Newcomes I 119: Here’s towards you, my buck.
[US]‘Mark Twain’ in Butte Record Oroville, California n.p.: One of the ‘bucks’ jerked something from his belt, that glistened in the moonlight, and looked very much like an Arkansas toothpick, and made for a Mick [R].
[UK]H. Kingsley Hillyars and Burtons (1870) 101: My bonny, pad-clinking [...] George Street bucks! Good day.
[UK]Dly Teleg. 2 June 2/2: Under the velveteen jacket [...] beneath the whitest waistcoat of the oldest ‘buck’ [...] dating back to the days of the Regency.
[UK]Sins of the Cities of the Plain 85: My stars! how the old buck afterwards sucked my prick and frigged me.
[UK]Kipling ‘God from the Machine’ Soldiers Three (1907) 5: They called me Buck Mulvaney in thim days, an’, begad, I tuk a woman’s eye.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘The Home of the Gods’ in Roderick (1967–9) I 264: The jilted young buck of the period, no doubt, / Could lay for his rival and flatten him out.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 14 Apr. 12/3: A remarkable old Buck has married again to a young wife, at the age of over 70.
[UK]A. Binstead Pitcher in Paradise 107: ‘Gregory, my buck!’ cried he.
[US]Ade Knocking the Neighbors 107: She could hand out that Dear Boy line of Polite Guff to all of those rugged and self-made Bucks.
[US]W. Edge Main Stem 127: Two or three young bucks were at the rail with their tarts, hurling slang repartee at each other.
[UK]Wodehouse Right Ho, Jeeves 61: I remember reading in one of those historical novels about a chap — a buck he would have been, no doubt, or a macaroni.
[US]N. Algren Man with the Golden Arm 117: The worst thing the neighborhood bucks got pinched for was strongarming.
[US]Kerouac On the Road (The Orig. Scroll) (2007) 122: We went to a riotous old buck’s saloon.
[US]F. Paley Rumble on the Docks (1955) 126: A Puerto Rican buck, sizing up the dames.
[UK]K. Waterhouse Jubb (1966) 188: Oh, the young bucks [...] Where do they get their finery?
[US]Baker et al. CUSS 89: Buck A strong, often offensive man.
[UK]J. Barlow Burden of Proof 44: The gaming room was full of young bucks who were aristocrats, real or imitation.
[US]L. Heinemann Close Quarters (1987) 250: A young buck like you [...] They’ll probably whip the Pew-litz-er fucken Prize on your ass.
[UK]A. Bleasdale No Surrender 9: He has been a big fit boyo and buck once.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read Chopper From The Inside 140: He was introduced to them by some young bucks he met in what he said was the Prince of Wales Light Horse Regiment.
[US]P. Beatty White Boy Shuffle 25: What you in for, young buck?
[UK]Guardian Rev. 12 June 12: He has the body of a young buck, housing an old bloke desperate to get out.
[US]G. Pelecanos Shame the Devil 214: Young buck with one of those big Afros they all used to wear.

4. as my buck, an affectionate term of address.

[UK]Sporting Mag. Sept. II 348/1: But hark you, my buck, the reason of my writing to you at present, is this [etc.].
[UK]‘Bill Truck’ Man o’ War’s Man (1843) 13: Never mind, my buck.
Clonmel Herald 13 May 4/3: ‘Good evening, gentlemen [...] Ha! is that you, my buck?’.
[UK]Bell’s Life in London 10 Feb. 2/1: Ho, Fred, my buck, don’t be an ass — / I’m bless’d, but there’s a lobster watching.
[US]R. Carlton New Purchase I 156: Well, Johnny, my buck.
[UK]Huddersfield Chron. 22 May 3/1: But what I am waiting see, / My Buck, is your power to invent.
[UK]J. Greenwood Dick Temple III 279: I’m here, my buck! what’s gone wrong?
[UK]G.A. Sala Things I Have Seen II 42: Well, my buck, and what might you want with me?
[US]Philipsburg Mail (MT) 19 Aug. 2/2: ‘What have you there, me buck?’ asked Porter.
[UK]Eve. Teleg. (Dundee) 10 June 8/2: He’d laugh, an’ say — ‘You wait, my buck — you wait’.

5. (US/Aus./N.Z.) a man, 19C use mainly of a Native American or Aus. Aboriginal, 20C+ of African-Americans; derog. unless used by blacks [the strength and sexuality of the male animal underpins this sense in particular, where buck is often an abbr. of the marginally more opprobrious buck nigger under buck adj.1 ; the female equivalent is a wench].

[US]Spirit of the Times (Phila.) 18 Apr. n.p.: The most prominent object was a ‘long nine’ with a fierce looking buck of a colored fellow hanging to the end of it.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 26 June 3/2: The complaining party certainly looked the very opposite of a ‘buck’ in the colonial acceptation of the term, being a sickly-looking black in a black pea-coat.
J.C. Adams Adventures 109: The bucks [i.e. Native Americans] became lively, and shouted, hallooed and whooped.
[US]J. O’Connor Wanderings of a Vagabond 385: The flattering reception he received from them [i.e. women], and their evident admiration of the stranger, roused the jealousy of the ‘bucks’ [i.e. Native Americans].
[US]G. Devol Forty Years a Gambler 20: [of a Native American] One of the old bucks soon began to cheat.
[US]A.H. Lewis Wolfville 86: You go down to them Injuns, an’ find the right buck [...] an’ tell him the squaw’s got a buck now.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 16 Aug. 16/1: [of Aborigines] [T]here are a few well-made ‘bucks’ to be seen even on the goldfields. Those niggers who lately carried a helpless man 30 miles through the bush to Ebagoola must have been sturdy. But I was not writing of the blacks who hang about the diggings, rather of those living in their natural state in the unoccupied country.[...] Contact with whites knocks blacks to bits in no time.
[US]J. London Valley of the Moon (1914) 322: She rams down about three times the regular load of powder, takes aim at the big buck [...] She dropped the big Indian deado.
[US](con. mid-19C) A. Gonzales Black Border 135: Scipio Jenkins, a smart young buck.
[US]‘J.M. Hall’ Anecdota Americana I 172: [of a Native American] Next night he was in a pool room, where a couple of young bucks were engaged in a tense cue duel.
[US]L. Hughes Mulatto in Three Negro Plays (1969) Act I: He’s no more than any other black buck on this plantation – due to work like the rest of ’em.
[Aus](con. 1830s–60s) M. Franklin All That Swagger 33: [of an Aborigine] I’ve seen them shoot down many a fine buck on the north coast [...] They do be saying they’re not human, but only animals.
[US]Z.N. Hurston Dust Tracks On a Road (1995) 568: A stud-looking buck like that would have brought a big price in slavery time.
[Aus]W.E. Harney Content to Lie in the Sun 68: Old bucks get the young gins … the law of the tribe.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 190: He don’t want them humping bucks [...] rubbing their bellies against them soft white bellies.
[US]D. Goines Never Die Alone 26: That part … about that big black buck raping three white women.
[US]I.L. Allen Lang. of Ethnic Conflict 50: Animal Metaphors: buck [1800].
[US]Dr Dre ‘Lil’ Ghetto Boy’ [lyrics] I’m only 18, so I’m a young buck.
[US]D.H. Sterry Chicken (2003) 38: Mr. Hartley [...] studies me like I’m a Negro buck for sale at a slave auction.
[US]C. Carr Our Town 280: These goddamn nigger bucks come in, and they was gonna overthrow everything.
[US]P. Beatty Sellout (2016) 177: Is there a black buck Rebecca ain’t fucked from here to Natchez?
[Aus]D. Whish-Wilson Old Scores [ebook] [of an Aborigine] ‘He’s still there. I bin keepin’ an eye on him, don’t you worry Frank. [...] Behind the frangipani. A big black buck’.

6. a dandy [abbr. of buckwheat n. (1)].

[UK]Thackeray Ravenswing (1887) 61: I bought him, thinking that p’raps ladies and Cockney bucks might like to ride him.
[UK]Thackeray Barry Lyndon (1905) 195: They had [...] scornfully rejected the proposal of Ulick Brady, the ruined gentleman; who was quite unworthy, as these rustic bucks thought, of the hand of such a prodigiously wealthy heiress as their sister.
[US]Wood & Goddard Dict. Amer. Sl.

7. a small dealer who works for a more powerful master.

[US]‘Ned Buntline’ Mysteries and Miseries of N.Y. I 113: ‘Buck.’ An assistant to a cheating hack-driver.
[UK](con. 1950s–60s) G. Tremlett Little Legs 45: When I was out touring or banged up [...] I’d have what we call ‘bucks’ working the barrows for me.
[UK]H. Baumann Londinismen (2nd edn).

8. (Aus.) a foreman.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 5 July 17/1: Accept ’is invitation to ther Farm, / Fur away from biffs an’ rossers, / bucks an’ bats an’ ’ooks an’ dossers.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 4 Aug. 21/2: Why do swagmen shy clear of fettling gangs? [...] especially as most ‘bucks’ would be good nips for […] a handout from their always loaded tucker-boxes.

9. (US prison) a priest, esp. as a prison chaplain.

[US]Number 1500 Life In Sing Sing 246: Buck. A priest.
[US]J. Sullivan ‘Criminal Sl.’ in Amer. Law Rev. LII (1918) 891: A Catholic priest is called a ‘Galway’ or a ‘buck.’.
[US]J. Callahan Man’s Grim Justice 57: I’ll go and see the buck [priest] to-morrow and have a Mass said for him.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 37: Buck. [...] A Roman Catholic priest, so called since many old-time tramps could always raise at least that sum from a priest for the telling of an artistic ‘fairy story.’.
[US]San Quentin Bulletin in L.A. Times 6 May 7: BUCK, a Catholic priest.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 35/1: Buck, n. 1. (P) A prison chaplain.
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 792: buck – A Catholic priest.
[US]R.A. Wilson Playboy’s Book of Forbidden Words 52: Hobos still call priests ‘bucks’ and nuns ‘does’.

10. (Aus.) spirit, energy.

[Aus]Kia Ora Coo-ee 15 May 17/3: He’ll like to see a lot of buck and swank about you, and, by God, you can swank if you like, and it’s me that knows it.
[UK]Wodehouse Right Ho, Jeeves 135: She had been a happy, smiling English girl of the best type, full of beans and buck.
[UK]Wodehouse Mating Season 54: A very fine old port, full of buck and body.
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves in the Offing 145: Their whole aspect was one of buck and optimism.

11. (UK, orig. Liverpool, also buckess) a tearaway, a young, aggressive criminal.

[Ire]P. Boyle At Night All Cats Are Grey 90: The young buck was still licking his chops when Myko comes into the bar.
[UK]J. McClure Spike Island (1981) 21: The bucks running wild, and a few buckesses too.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read How to Shoot Friends 49: Many a big brave buck in Launceston likes to make smart-arsed comments about it [i.e. a tattoo].
[UK]K. Sampson Outlaws (ms.) 12: Everyone loves us in this city, don’t they [...] Even the new faces and that, the young bucks and that.
[UK]K. Sampson Killing Pool 54: These Granby bucks are not daft.

12. (UK juv.) an extremely attractive person of either sex.

OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. [Internet] buck n. Someone really fanciable. Also to really fancy someone and think they are good looking. Seems Laura thinks Mark Cole is a buck!
[earliest uses suggest jargon of songbird-rearing]

In derivatives

buckish (adj.)

acting in a dashing manner.

[Bailey Dict. Rusticum n.p.: nightingale [...] those give hope of proving well, who take their Meat kindly, are familiar and not buckish, and sing quickly].
[Sportsman’s Dict. II n.p.: If you find him [i.e. a skylark] wild and buckish, tie his wings for two or three weeks, till he becomes both acquainted and tame].
[UK]Gentleman’s Mag. Feb. 84/1: We have the pleasure to inform the married gentlemen, particularly those who, in their buckish days, have been a little so-so-ish, and are too apt to look jaunduced upon their ladies, that stiffened stays are again coming into fashion.
Connoisseur 23 Jan. 136: If you love me, keep it secret, and should you hear of any prank more wild and buckish than usual, conclude it to be played by me in men's cloaths.
[UK]London Mag. Oct. 521/1: Jack Clark, one of the wildest bucks in the whole county of Kent, and inferior to few in the metropolis for buckish spirit.
[US]Town & Country Mag. Supp. 693/2: He left the house [...] under the direction of a young clerk, of a buckish disposition, and a couple of maid servants.
[UK]G.A. Stevens Adventures of a Speculist II 86: We have pleasure to inform the married gentlemen, particularly those who, in their buckish days, have been a little so-so-ish, [...] that Stiffend Stays are again coming into fashion.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Oct. XVII 38/1: The melting rib of a buckish butcher.
[UK]W. Combe Doctor Syntax, Picturesque (1868) 59/1: A buckish blade, who kept a horse, / To try his fortune on the course.
[UK]Times 27 Nov. 2/4: He [...] affects a buckish levity in matters of crim. con. and seduction.
J.T. Irving Indian Sketches 216: The one was a little rakish-looking dog [...] who had quite a buckish way of carrying his tail. He was a mighty pragmatical, self-important little body.
Friend 14 184/2: The applauded hero of the modern drama is the rich, proud, chivalrous, revengeful, buckish dandy.
[UK]Household Words 3 May 497/1: Then there is my extremely neat and buckish friend, my friend who has converted the umbrella into one of the leading elegancies of life.

In compounds

buck bail (n.)

(orig. UK Und.) bail put up by one member of a gang for another.

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Buck Bail Bail given by a Sharper for one of the Gang.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd, 3rd edn) n.p.: Buck Bail. Bail given by a sharper for one of the gang.
[UK]New Cheats of London Exposed 59: If the lender should trace him out and arrest him, his comrades bail him, which is called buck-bail.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum 15: buck [...] bail.
[UK]Barrère & Leland Sl., Jargon & Cant.
buckface (n.) (also buck’s face, buck’s head)

a cuckold; thus buckheaded adj.

[UK] ‘Excellent New Medley’ in Pepys Ballads (1987) I 456: The Cuckow sung hard by the doore, Gyll brawled like a butter whore, Cause her buck-headed Husband swore the Miller was a knaue.
[UK]R. Davenport City-Night-Cap in Dodsley Old Plays XIII Act I: Let ballad-mongers crown him with their scorns: Who buys the buck’s-head well deserves the horns.
[UK] ‘The Dub’d Knight’ in Euing Broadside Ballads No. 19: And I like Acteon most strangely was chang’d [...] My head like a Buck, and Horns like a Ram.
[UK] ‘Country Cozen’ in Pepys Ballads (1987) III 249: [A] good man [...] dreamed like Acteon he was transformed, And like unto a Buck his pate was horned.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Buck’s face, a Cuckold.
[UK]N. Ward Hudibras Redivivus II:10 14: [That] brave General Cornutus, With Head like Buck, and Heart like Brutus.
C. Johnson Wife’s Relief III i: His lofty Crest shall be exalted above his Brethren, [...] a Buck of the first Head.
[UK]N. Ward Northern Cuckold in Misc. IV 3: Our Northern Blade Was dub’d a Buck of the first Head.
[UK]New Canting Dict.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. 1725].
[UK]B.M. Carew Life and Adventures.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Buck’s face, a cuckold.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[US]Trumble Sl. Dict. (1890).
buckload (n.) [play on shot n.1 (6a), i.e. buck-shot; note J.S. Williams Old Times in W. Tennessee (1878) ‘Twenty-four "blue whistlers" was an ordinary "buck load," [...] It was a common occurrence, when fired into a drove of deer, to "bring down" three or four]

(US) a large measure of liquor.

[US]W.T. Porter Quarter Race in Kentucky and Other Sketches 14: Colonel, let us have some of your byled corn – pour me out a buck load – there – never mind about the water, I drank a heap of it yesterday.
[J.T. Trowbridge The South 258: I loaded up my horse-pistol for 'em, —sixteen buck-shot: I put in a buck load, I tell ye].
G.W. Harris Sut Lovingood 222: He jis’ grabbed a bottil, an’ tuck hissef a buckload ove popskull, an’ slip’t the bottil intu his pocket.
[US]B.W. Green Virginia Folk-Speech (1912) 71: Buck-load [...] A large drink of liquor .
buck nun (n.)

(US) a batchelor; one who lives alone.

[US]McClure’s Mag. 24 25: I might as well go be a buck nun and be done with it.
[US]R.F. Adams Cowboy Lingo 198: One who was living the life of a recluse was also referred to as a ‘buck nun’.
Jackson Hole Guide (MT) 9 Oct. 16/1: ‘Maybe you’d like to meet this buck nun — wagh! [...] A buck nun is a bachelor what cabins off by his lonesome’.
buck party (n.) (also bucks’ party)

(Aus./US) a party for men only.

[US]J.C. Neal Charcoal Sketches (1865) 26: It’s a buck party entirely;—there’s Mike Mitts, funny Joe Mungoozle [...], Tommy Titcomb, and myself.
[US]Schele De Vere Americanisms 587: Buck-party, like stag-party, denotes a company without ladies.
[UK]Referee 19 Sept. in Ware (1909) T 52/2: The one drawback to our pleasure has been the delicate state of Mrs. Pon’s health. This sent me out to what are called here ‘buck parties’, i.e., parties of men only, when otherwise I should have gone with her to (what she calls) more civilised gatherings.
[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.
[Aus]‘Nino Culotta’ They’re a Weird Mob (1958) 88: Wot about ’im comin’ ter the bucks’ party Fridy night?
[Aus]Aus. Women’s Wkly 17 Feb. 13/4: The ‘gentlemen’ were invited at 4 p.m. for a buck’s party.
[Aus]L. Redhead Peepshow [ebook] I worry about you [...] Not so much the peepshows but the bucks’ parties. What if the guys get out of hand?
[Aus]Sydney Morn. Herald 27 Dec. [Internet] Cowan was meant to be a guest at Mr Sanders’s bucks’ party yesterday.
buck’s night (n.)

(Aus.) a party for men only; a pre-nuptial ‘stag night’.

G. Bottomley After the Odyssey 146: Sometimes they combined the Greek traditions with British-Australian pre-wedding rituals such as the ‘buck’s night’ for the groom and the ‘kitchen tea’ or ‘shower’ for the bride.
[Aus]B. Humphries Traveller’s Tool 26: The bucks night had been a pretty rorty affair.
[Aus]C. Bowles G’DAY 108: Marshall has his buck's night the night before the wedding. The dillbrains he is with get him on the slops and put him on a train.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read How to Shoot Friends 5: She has a string of strippers for bucks’ night, hotels and clubs.
[Aus]L. Redhead Rubdown [ebook] Want to do a show, Friday? You can be warm-up bitch for a buck’s.
[Aus]L. Redhead Thrill City [ebook] ‘Ever since you came back from his buck’s night you’ve been acting strange.’ I’d unwittingly turned up at Alex’a bachelor party [etc.].
bucktown (n.)

1. the rough (and by stereotpung, usu. Irish or black) part of town [sense 5].

[US]Yankee Notions May 140/1: There is a certain locality in Cincinnati. inhabited entirely by negroes, which has acquired the sobriquct of Bucktown, and in which, as may well be imagined, some curious scenes occur.
[[Ire]Dublin Eve. Mail 8 Sept. 4/2: The Irish and the Negroes in Cincinnati [...] The most serious disturbance was between the negro and irish residents of Bucktown].

2. (US black) Brooklyn, New York [buck v.3 (2)].

[US]P. Atoon Rap Dict. [Internet] Bucktown (n) A neighborhood better known as the Brownsville section of Brooklyn used by Smif & Wesson and Black Moon.
Mos Def ‘Brooklyn’ [lyrics] I love my city, sweet and gritty in land to outskirts / Nickname Bucktown cuz we grown to outburst [...] And let this song be, playin loud in Long B / If you love Bucktown STRONGLY! / RAISE IT UP! / Brooklyn my habitat, the place where it happen at.
buck-whyling (n.)

see separate entry.


see separate entries.

In phrases

buck of the first head (n.) (also buck of the first cut) [SE first head, primacy]

a celebrated debauchee, whose excesses outpace those of his peers.

[UK]Shakespeare Love’s Labour’s Lost IV ii: Truly, Master Holofernes, the epithets are sweetly varied, like a scholar at the least: but, sir, I assure ye, it was a buck of the first head.
[UK]N. Ward Northern Cuckold in Misc. IV 3: Our Northern Blade Was dub’d a Buck of the first Head.
Secret Hist. of Betty Ireland (9 edn) 14: Planting [...] a Pair of Horns on his Frontlet, and so make him appear a Buck of the first Head.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: A Buck of the first Head, One whose Gaiety surpasses that of his Companions. A Blood or Choice Spirit. There are in L`ondon diverse lodges or Societys of Bucks, formed in imitation of the free Masons. One was held at the Rose in Monkwell Street about the year 1750. The president is stiled the Grand buck.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd, 3rd edn).
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]‘An Amateur’ Real Life in London I 263: Here comes a Buck of the first cut, one who pretends to know every thing and every body.
[N.Y. Dly Herald 24 May 2/2: It’s a devlish genteele place too — nobody goes there but what’s first cut].
buck up (v.)

see separate entries.

cut a buck (v.)

(US) to show off.

[US]Ely’s Hawk and Buzzard (N.Y.) 21 June 21 4/1: It is possible that Mr. Richards may have acquired that sallow hue of complexion from undue exposure to the sun … Your correspondent, therefore, who talks deridingly of an ‘unbleached phiz’ [is unjust] … his wearing green spectacles … does not arise from ostentation, or a desire to cut a buck.
old buck (n.)

1. a general term of address, usu. with a sense of affection or familiarity.

Universal Mag. 67 366/1: Philosophers we are, my old Buck, as honest as ever swore by Epicurus.
H.B. Dudley Woodman 92: Give me your hand, my old buck — it’s a pleasanter thing to draw a cork than a sword.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Aug. XIV 275/1: The Counsellor addressed him, ‘Well, my old buck; – so, I suppose you are one of those people who do not oft go to church?’.
[UK]J. Kenney Raising the Wind I iii: plain: How’s my old friend and all the rest of the family? diddler: Wonderfully well, my old buck.
[UK]W. Scott St Ronan’s Well (1833) 233: Come, none of your quizzing, my old buck.
[UK]Thackeray Yellowplush Papers in Works III (1898) 264: Daw, my old buck, how are you?
[UK]Thackeray Diary of C. Jeames de la Pluche in Works III (1898) 396: I call him, ‘Bareacres, my old buck!’ and I see him wince.
[US]W.G. Simms Forayers 136: How are you, old buck, this warm weather?
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Little Mr. Bouncer 105: You’d like to smoke a pipe, old buck, I daresay [...] Old buck, would you like to pick a bit of pheasant?
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 21 Feb. 6/1: ‘Yes, yes,’ spluttered the doctor, somewhat mollified; ‘your blow doesn’t quite suit, but if there’s anything more I can do for you – ’ ‘You can! you can! old buck!’ shouted Wright; ‘thim’s bee-yu-tiful daughters of yours, doctir. Give me won of thim!’.
[US]Ade Knocking the Neighbors 137: The Regulars had arranged a Send-Off for Old Buck, who was pulling out for Seattle.
[UK]‘Sapper’ Bulldog Drummond 66: ‘Two alternatives, old buck,’ he remarked.

2. a man, usu. one viewed affectionately.

[UK]Foote The Bankrupt III ii: Master Margin, come and give the old buck satisfaction.
[US]Horry & Weems Life of General F. Marion (1816) 35: He is a fine, honest, good-natured old buck.
[UK]F.L.G. Swells Night Out n.p.: In Jessop, the proprietor, the green Sell will find a mentor and adviser, and the old buck an agreeable and witty companion.
[US]H.L. Williams Joaquin 130: The old buck himself, Joaquin.
[US]E. Eggleston Mystery of Metropolisville 243: He’d heern him tell as how as Ole Buck – the President, I mean – had ordered you let out.
[US]O. Johnson Varmint 15: Who’s the old buck, anyhow?
D. King ‘White Meat’ in Spicy Adventure Stories Apr. [Internet] Don’t let this old buck frighten you.
[US]R. Brister ‘Rock-a-Bye Booby’ in Ten Detective Aces Sept. [Internet] Holy Hannah! How’s the old buck rate that?

3. one’s father.

[Aus]‘A Week in Oxford’ in Bell’s Life in Sydney 1 Nov. 4/5: Sundry proposals are entertained for fresh attacks on ‘the old buck's bank,’ and consultations granted as to the wording of a letter best calculated to make him ‘bleed freely’.

4. see sense 3 above.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

buck-assed (adj.) (also buck-ass)

(US) simple, unadorned, lit. ‘naked’.

[US]R. Graziano Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956) 153: He is only a buck-ass private.
[US]W. Styron Set This House on Fire 402: A buck assed marine private from Columbus County N.C.
[US](con. WWII) J.O. Killens And Then We Heard The Thunder (1964) 14: You ain’t hardly a buck-ass private.
[US](con. 1944) E.M. Nathanson Dirty Dozen (2002) 137: If I’d pushed Colonels around like you [...] I’d be a buck-assed Private.
buck bathing (n.) [buck-naked ]

(US) nude bathing.

[US]Atlantic City News 7 Aug. 4/3: Devotees of ‘buck bathing’ who dance in the nude in and out of the surf [DA].
D. Stoddart Prelude to Night 21: Schoolboys from nearby sneak away to Davey's Lake [...] and go buck bathing in the clear cool water.
D. Weiss Guilt Makers 32: We went buck bathing, just to cool off, and it was tantalizing, adventurous, and it would test me. I did not peek at her [...] and in the darkness we did not touch.
buck-eyed (adj.)

see separate entry.

buck fever (n.) [hunting jargon buck fever, the nerves felt by inexperienced hunters faced by the game they have been pursuing; they get so excited they fail to shoot]

(S.Afr./US) nervousness in the face of an unknown or new situation that may render one incapable of action.

[[UK]Farmer Americanisms 92/1: Buck ague or buck fever — [...] the nervous shyness of deer and game of a similar kind supplies [the hunter] with a term to express the trepidation which at first seizes the young and inexperienced sportsman].
(con. 1861) J.O. Casler Four Yrs in Stonewall brigade 27: Some of our men who, evidently, had the ’buck fever,’ commenced, without orders, firing some scattering shots.
[UK]Hall & Niles One Man’s War (1929) 182: Whenever we take him near a dog of any kind, the dog gets buck fever and sets up a wail like a lost soul he gets.
[UK]K. Mackenzie Living Rough 45: Did you ever get buck fever when you saw that bear coming your way?
[US]J. Blake letter 27 Jan. in Joint (1972) 31: I understand that buck fever is not unusual among convicts approaching release.
[US]S. King Dead Zone (1980) 284: He’s having buck fever.
[US]S. King Dreamcatcher 165: For a moment he couldn’t move [...] Had he agonized his way to that decision on five hundred sleepless nights only to be robbed of his option by a kind of buck-fever?
buck-naked (adj.) (also buck, bucked) [as naked as a SE buck; or ? corruption of butt n.1 (1a) + SE naked]

(orig. US) naked.

[US]J. Peterkin Scarlet Sister Mary 33: You ain’ to stand up buck naked like dat.
[UK]W. Attaway Let Me Breathe Thunder (1940) 201: Thrown out on the street buck naked.
[US]C. Himes Crazy Kill 132: Turn me loose so I can dress [...] You can’t take me to jail buck naked.
[US]J. Hersey Algiers Motel Incident 343: They [...] stripped them buck-naked before all them peoples up there.
[US]D. Goines Swamp Man 58: He made a sorry sight standing buck naked.
[US]S. King Running Man in Bachman Books (1995) 541: Many of the men were buck under their pants.
[US]C. Hiaasen Skin Tight 65: He hauls Mr Studhunk outside and glues him buck naked to the hood of his caddy.
[US]D. Burke Street Talk 2 48: They got bucked last night and went jogging on the beach!
[UK]Indep. Rev. 19 Nov. 13: ‘Was ah playing bongos buck naked at two in the morning?’ he asks.
[US]C. Cook Robbers (2001) 59: Standing there buck naked staring at it.
[Aus]L. Redhead Rubdown [ebook] A man lay face down, buck naked.
buckskin (n.) [SE buckskin, leather (garments) made from the skin of a buck]

1. an American soldier, fighting in the Revolutionary War.

P. Freneau ‘A N.Y. Tory’s Epistle’ in Hiltner Newspaper Verse (1986) 186: Why did not heaven [...] Teach me to take the true-born Buckskin side.
[UK]Burns American War in Works (1835) 268/2: Cornwallis fought as long’s he dought, / An’ did the buckskins claw, man.
P. Freneau ‘On the Conflagrations at Wash.’ in Amer. Poetry: the 19th Century I 9: Their capitol shall be emblazed! / How will the buckskins stand amazed, / And curse the day its walls were raised!’.
J. Thacher Mil. Journal 72: The burlesque epithet of Yankee from one party, and that of Buckskin from the other .

2. a native of Virginia.

M.L. Weems Life of G. Washington 7: A Virginian! ‘What! a buckskin!’ say they with a smile, ‘George Washington a buckskin! pshaw! impossible!’.
[US]J. Neal Brother Jonathan I 245: The Virginians are called Buckskins.
[US]H.C. Todd Notes 8: Buckskin is the nickname for Southerns and Westerns [DA].
[US]M.D. Woodward Checkered Years (1937) 1 Aug. 238: Steve and Dominic and Buckskin Jim are plowing.