Green’s Dictionary of Slang

string n.

1. a hoax, a fraud [string (along) v. (1a)].

[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang.
[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 202: His plausibility of attack is generally so well managed, that strangers are got ‘into a string’ before they are aware of their danger.
[UK]Egan Bk of Sports 3: It was a perfect treat to hear him get the johnny raws ‘in a string’.
[UK]Paul Pry 13 Nov. n.p.: [S]he ought to be ashamed of herself for attempting to commit bigamy, having got a young fellow into a tidy string.
[US]‘Pertaters and Ternups’ in Burke Polly Peablossom’s Wedding 92: Of course Mabe was innocent of the ‘string’.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 19 Jan. 2/7: Mrs O'Brien [...] thinking Jones only wanted to ‘get her in a string,’ [...] treated him with sovereign contempt.
[US]A.H. Lewis ‘The Rat’ in Sandburrs 110: Of course it’s a dead case of string.
[US]N.Y. Tribune 13 Jan. 15/2: He must be an orginal old Rube — just you watch me get him ona string.
[Aus]Truth (Perth) 1 Oct. 4/7: The ‘finger’ who will get you / ‘On a string’ / Is a ‘josser’ who has likely / ‘Had a fling’ .
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 20 Aug. Red Page/1: Then sittin’ tight w’en darncin’s ud its fling, / En kiddin’ to yerself yer jist the one – / Until some screwin’, crook son uv a gun / The cliner grabs, en’ show yer’ve ’ad a string.

2. (US Und.) a form of confidence trick.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 5 Sept. 26/1: A hardshell Gospel-purveyer has had the Briagolong (Gippsland, Vic.) people on the baptism-by-water string.
[US]E.W. Townsend Chimmie Fadden 4: Say, I could have give him a string bout me being a hard-working boy, but I knowed de lady was dead on t’ me.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 204: When I begin on a string I like to play it out.
[US]J. Washburn Und. Sewer 208: She keeps him on the string, and exchanges ‘con’ for coin until he is badly bent, if not broke.
[US](con. 1905–25) E.H. Sutherland Professional Thief (1956) 69: Many other short-con games have been played, including the gold-brick, the sick engineer, the glim-dropper, dropping the fiddle, the gaffed chiv, the strap, the string (a variation of the string), the two red aces (a card game), and the match box.

3. in racing, the finishing line.

[US]Sun (NY) 9 Sept. 3/2: He’ll sail down to the string like a Cingalese tea bark.

4. (US Und.) a fuse, as used for detonation when ‘blowing’ a safe.

[US]F.H. Tillotson How I Became a Detective 95: String – Fuse.
[US]Jackson & Hellyer Vocab. Criminal Sl.
[US]Wash. Post 11 Nov. Misc. 3/6: ‘String’ in the argot of the road, is translated into fuse.
[US]G. Henderson Keys to Crookdom 419: String. Fuse used by yeggs in safeblowing.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 214/1: String. (Obs.) 1. Fuse for exploding percussion cap in safe burglary. 2. The lead wire from the electric socket to the percussion cap in safe burglary.

5. (also string of ponies) a group of prostitutes working for a single pimp [SE string, a set or stud of horses].

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 214/1: String of hustlers. A group of prostitutes operating for the same house or syndicate. ‘Broadway Al’s got a string of hustlers. That’s where his dough comes from.’.
[US] in T.I. Rubin Sweet Daddy 9: I’ve had chicks on my string – hardly ever had themselves a piece.
[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 1168/1: string of ponies A ‘stable’ of prostitutes ‘owned’ by one man [...] since ca. 1925.

6. (US) the penis; thus string and nuggets, the penis and testicles.

[US]C. Bukowski Notes of a Dirty Old Man (1973) 27: I undressed [...] and began dabbing at the string and knobs.
‘SexKitten_Candy’ Forum 26 Aug. [Internet] strap / stretcher / string and nuggets / stud.

In compounds

stringbean (n.)

see separate entry.

string city (n.)

see separate entry.

In phrases

on the string

in pursuit, usu. amorously.

[US]Ade ‘College Widow’ Verses and Jingles (1911) 5: He had a young professor on the string; / He used to send her flowers.
string of ponies (n.)

see sense 5 above.