Green’s Dictionary of Slang

day n.

SE in slang uses

In compounds


see separate entries.

daylights (n.)

see separate entry.

day one (n.) [lit. the first-ever day]

(orig. US) the beginning; long ago.

[US]O. Hawkins Ghetto Sketches 88: It was a lot like what niggers in this country been goin’ through, from Day One.
[US]Source Oct. 192: I know they paid their dues since day one.
[US]N. Kelley ‘The Code’ in Brooklyn Noir 172: Upon arriving upstate he had shanked two motherfuckers Day One who looked at him as if he were sweet meat.
day opener (n.)

(orig. boxing) an eye.

[UK]A. Mayhew Paved with Gold 190: Ned got a biter on his ‘day-opener,’ which made him wink the eye violently.

In phrases

all day (n.)

1. the end of one’s life.

[US]Ade Fables in Sl. (1902) 30: At last he came to his Ninth Inning and there were Two Strikes called and no Balls and his Friends knew it was All Day with him.
[US]J. London ‘Odyssey of the North’ Complete Short Stories (1993) I 242: Guess it’s all day with Axel Gunderson and the woman.

2. (US Aus./Und.) a life sentence.

[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 5 June 2nd sect. 13/4: Where’s ‘Burglar Bill’ now?’ he was asked. ‘Oh, he's doing ALL DAY in Pentridge Gaol !’ ‘ALL DAY?’ ‘Yes! KATHLEEN MAVOURNEEN!’ ‘What on earth do you mean?’ ‘It may be for years, or it may be for ever!’.
[US]C. Shafer ‘Catheads [...] and Cho – Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy Bounty of Texas (1990) 197: all day, n. – a life sentence.
[US]G.V. Higgins Cogan’s Trade (1975) 150: You’re going to be in for all day on this one, my friend.
[US] Ice-T ‘Where The **** Goes Down’ 🎵 ’Cos I got some other crimeys down, true Gs, / But they got all day and now it’s just me.
[US]Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July 🌐 All Day: A life sentence, as in ‘He’s doin’ all day . . .’.
all day, all night, just like New York

(US black) fashionable, sophisticated.

[US] ‘Idioms of the Present-Day American Negro’ in AS XIII:4 Dec. 314/2: ALL DAY, ALL NIGHT, JUST LIKE NEW YORK. Adv. or adj. phrase meaning the same as mellow back.
all day from a quarter [all day + quarter n. (3b)]

(US Und.) a sentence of 25 years to life.

[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 24: All Day from a Quarter A prison sentence that requires the inmate to serve no less than 25 years, up to life.
day-day [the daytime equivalent of SE night-night, goodnight, and similarly used to children or in a consciously joc. manner]

(US) goodbye, farewell.

[[Scot]J. Arbuthnot Hist. of John Bull 125: B’uy, b’uy, Nic. not one poor smile at parting; won’t you shake your day-day, Nic?].
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ John Henry 11: You find yourself saying day-day long before Papa drops in.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ Out for the Coin 14: He grabbed his lid, shook a day-day to the Street, and dipped for the woods.
day for a/the king (n.) (also day for a/the queen, day on the king/queen) [SE phr. a day (fit) for a king, a very pleasant day + the idea of the king/queen, as ruler, paying for the day]

(N.Z.) a day off, orig. when outdoor work was impossible, but used generally to cover any unofficial day off, e.g. one that follows a night of over-enthusiastic enjoyment.

[NZ]P. Newton Wayleggo (1953) 119: A foggy day is usually a cause for rejoicing [...] he and his dogs have a day off—in musterers’ parlance— ‘a day for a king.’.
D. McLeod N.Z. High Country 43: When you wake up in the morning in a mustering hut and hear the rain beating on the roof someone is sure to poke his head out of the door and look around and say: ‘Its a day for the King boys!’ I don’t know how this saying originated but it means a day of enforced idleness [DNZE].
A.W. Liley et al. Health of Fieldworkers in the N.Z. Forest Service (TS) 16: Although no objection is made to ‘having a day on the king or queen’, nearly every day is worked in the bush regardless of the weather [DNZE].
F.I. Preston Woolgatherers 96: The next day being wet, all [mustering] hands stayed in camp – a ‘Day for the King’ [DNZE].
D. Grady Perano Whalers 140: As well as superstitions, the whalers of Tory Channel had a few time-honoured habits. One of these was known as ‘a-day-for-the-Queen’. Its main application seems to have been when a whaler had had a heavy day on the grog and had butterflies in his stomach and head the next day in the form of a hangover [DNZE].
dig a day under the skin (v.)

see under dig v.1

In exclamations

for days! [the orig. implication was of having sex continually, for day after day]

1. (gay) an excl. implying shock or amazement.

[US]J.P. Stanley ‘Homosexual Sl.’ in AS XLV:1/2 45: The questionnaire was a list of terms known to the investigator and thought to have the greatest currency: trick, basket, box, camp, queen, Mercy! For days!

2. (orig. US black, also days!) a general intensifier implying an extreme, for a very long time, absolutely truthfully.

[US] ‘Sl. of Watts’ in Current Sl. III:2 24: For days, adv. The truth.
[US]H.E. Roberts Third Ear n.p.: for days an expression indicating extremes; e.g. I’ve known her for days (I’ve known her for a very long time); he was fine for days (he was a very good-looking boy).
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 60: days (exclam) affirmative, translated to mean you said it!
[US]A. Maupin Tales of the City (1984) 161: It’s the bathroom cabinet [...] face creams and shampoos for days.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 237: for days 1. Indicates extended period of time or great degree (‘That dude was loaded for days!’). 2. Indicates a sense of the ultimate (‘That chick is foxy for days!’).
[US]‘Touré’ Portable Promised Land (ms.) 185: Six foot one with tight cornrows and curves for days.