Green’s Dictionary of Slang

smoke v.1

also smoak

1. fig. uses based on the idea of smoking someone/something out.

(a) to suspect.

[UK]G. Walker Detection of Vyle and Detestable Use of Dice Play 39: When the money is lost, the cousin begins to smoke, and swear that the drunken knave shall not get his money.
[UK]Dekker Jests to Make you Merrie in Grosart Works (1886) II 329: Kinchen, the coue towres, which is as much as, Fellow, the man smokes or suspects you.
[UK]Dryden Sir Martin Mar-all I i: Sir John, I fear, smoaks your Design.
[UK]Etherege Man of Mode III iii: Peace, they smoke.
[UK]Swift ‘Vanbrugh’s House’ in Chalmers Eng. Poets XI (1810) 377/2: Van [...] Takes a French play as lawful prize, / Steals thence his plot and every joke. / Not one suspecting Jove would smoke.
[UK]New Canting Dict. n.p.: smoke to suspect or smell a Design.
[UK]J. Gay Distressd Wife III iv: I believe Sir Thomas smoaks their Intimacy.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. 1725].
[UK]Ordinary of Newgate Account 18 Mar. Pt II 7: The Gang surrounding the Ladies in order to make a greater Croud, and help Jenny off if she should be smoak’d.
[UK]Foote Author in Works (1799) I 155: I begin to smoke, hey! Mr Cape? [...] Guilty or not?
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]F.F. Cooper Elbow-Shakers! I ii: Why, Bill, that’s the chap we saw last night; – d’ye think he’ll smoke us?
[US]A. Greene Glance at N.Y. II ii: I’m afraid he’ll smoke if I go it on him too strong.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.

(b) (UK Und.) of a member of a pickpocket team, to select a potential victim.

[UK]Greene Notable Discovery of Coosnage in Grosart (1881–3) X 38: In Figging law. The picke pocket, a Foin He that faceth the man, the Stale Taking the purse, Drawing Spying of him, Smoaking The purse, the Bong The monie, the Shels The Act doing, striking.

(c) to uncover or discover a person, used passively.

[UK]Greene Art of Conny-Catching in Grosart (1881–3) 13: The Foist, the pick-pockets (sir reuerence I meane) is cros-bitten by the Snap, and so smoakt for his purchase.
[UK]Dekker Lanthorne and Candle-Light Ch. 5: The two Free-booters seeing themselues smoak’d told their third Brother.
[UK]Middleton & Dekker Roaring Girle V i: Zounds, we are smoked!
[UK]Massinger Renegado IV i: All is come out, sir. We are smok’d for being cunnicatchers.
[UK]R. Brome Eng. Moor IV v: I fear we shall be smoak’d then.
[UK]Mercurius Fumigosus 16 13–20 Sept. 142: They both fell fast asleep, and so were smoak’d (or found out) he with his hand upon her nunquam satis.
Ordinary of Newgate Account of Malefactors executed at Tyburn 18th Mar. 1740 [Internet] Some time or other when you are out upon Business, you may be smoak’d, and then perhaps all may be blown.
[UK]Bloody Register III 171: The gang surrounded the ladies in order to make a greater croud, and help Jenny off if she should be smoaked.

(d) (also smoke out) in active senses, to discover, to unmask a person or thing.

[UK]Greene Defence of Conny-Catching 7: I haue for 3. pence bought a little Pamphlet, that hath taught me to smoke such a couple of knaues as you be.
[UK]Dekker Belman of London H3: He [...] layes waite to smoake or Boyle him.
Jonson Masque of Augurs in Moxon Works 230: Sir, we do come from among the brew-houses,... that’s true, there you have smoked us.
[UK]Massinger City-Madam III i: I’le hang you both you rascalls [...] You for a purse you cut In Powl’s at a sermon; I have smoak’d you.
[UK]Dryden Sir Martin Mar-all III i: I will not thank you for the Courtesie, which now I find you never did intend me—this is Confederacy, I smoak it now.
[UK]R. L’Estrange Fables of Aesop (1926) 6: The Cunning Gypsy smoak’d the Matter presently.
[UK] ‘The (Dis-)Loyal Feast’ in Ebsworth Roxburghe Ballads (1885) V:1 149: But Royal Charles he smoak’d out the thing, / and sent the rabble with a Pox away.
[UK]Congreve Old Bachelor III ii: Oh! I begin to smoke ye.
[UK]N. Ward London Spy XV 365: The Butcher Smoking the Cheat, Not I, by my Troth, Doctor.
[UK]Farquhar Beaux’ Strategem II ii: The devil! how d’ye smoke ’em?
[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy II 284: But Tony’s luck was confounded, The Duke soon smoak’d him a Round-head.
[UK]Vanbrugh & Cibber Provoked Husband II i: How will you prevent the Family’s smoking your Design?
[UK]Swift Polite Conversation 42: I smoakt her huge Nose; and I’gad, she put me in Mind of the Woodcock, that strives to hide his long Bill, and then thinks no Body sees him.
[UK]Fielding Tom Jones (1959) 100: I smoke it; I smoke it, Tom is certainly the father of this bastard.
[US]N.Y. Gazette Revived 15 Jan. 3/1: Old Wisewood smoak’d the Matter as it was.
[UK]Foote Minor Introduction 4: If he smokes me for the author, I shall be dash’d out of her codicil.
[UK]Foote The Bankrupt II ii: Should they smoke his design...
[UK]Morris et al. ‘Song’ Festival of Anacreon (1810) 39: For should Sir Fletcher smoke the joke, / He’d bring it in crim. con.!
[UK]T. Morton Way to Get Married in Inchbold (1808) XXV 32: Let me get off these trappings – the Londoner will smoke me.
[UK]G. Colman Yngr John Bull II i: I have smoked him.
[UK]W. Combe Doctor Syntax, Picturesque (1868) 34/2: An honest ’Squire, who smok’d the trick.
[UK]‘Bill Truck’ Man o’ War’s Man (1843) 265: We mustn’t allow Jonathan to smoke us [...] let us get out of this place.
[US]J.K. Paulding Westward Ho! I 123: I began to smoke him for one of these fellers that drive a sort of trade of making books about Old Kentuck.
[UK]Thackeray Yellowplush Papers in Works III (1898) 342: It’s you yourself, you thief of the world: we smoked you from the very beginning.
[UK]R. Barham ‘Lay of St. Medard’ Ingoldsby Legends (1842) 284: He ‘smelt the rat,’ and he ‘smoked’ the trick.
[UK]A. Mayhew Paved with Gold 255: I thought he was a ‘queer gill’ (suspicious) at first, and smoked us, from what he palavered to Phil when he gave him his ‘deux-wins’ (twopence).
[UK] ‘Toasts & Sentiments’ Rambler’s Flash Songster 48: May all who smoke my meaning get good shagg in Petticoat-lane.
[UK]Five Years’ Penal Servitude 220: He stayed in a place doing the grand, and sucking the flats, till the folks began to smoke him as not all there.
[UK]Newcastle Courant 2 Dec. 6/6: The Nobbler has been here. He hasn’t smoked me, however, or I’d have mizzled.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 28 Mar. 10/1: At length, when half the country round / Had ‘smoked’ the stillers’ game, / To make the capture doubly sure, / Two special troopers came.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 12 Dec. 1/1: Our suggest [...] will probably be tested, unless his police pals ‘smoke’ him out of the way.
[Aus]Teleg. (Brisbane) 30 Sept. 3/8: When questioned about Gill, the accused said, ‘I smoked the other man away to Sydney in the train to-day’.
[US]Van Loan ‘The Mexican Marvel’ Lucky Seventh (2004) 187: I [...] started to pump him a little, and he smoked me out right away.
[US]J.L. Kuethe ‘Prison Parlance’ in AS IX:1 27: smoke. To look at; to notice.
D. Hitchens Sleep with Strangers (1983) [ebook] That sum should smoke out something if there was anything to get.
[US]Burns & Zorzi ‘Unto Others’ Wire ser. 4 ep. 7 [TV script] Couldn’t smoke out who was pullin’ the strings.

(e) as imper., take notice of.

[UK]J. Addison Drummer III i: But see! smoak the doctor.
[UK]Swift Polite Conversation 45: Pray, Madam, smoak Miss yonder biting her Lips.
[UK]T. Sheridan Brave Irishman I ii: Smoke his sword.
[UK]Foote Orators in Works (1799) I 211: Smoke the justice, he is as fast as a church.
[UK]Sporting Mag. May X 115/1: Smoke the quiz, with his long knuckle dabs.
[UK] ‘Jacko and Judas’ Slops Shave at a Broken Hone 19: ‘Now, Jacko, quiz the King.’ – ‘Now smoke the parson.’.
[UK]‘T. Gwynne’ Young Singleton viii: ‘Smoke the big-wig Lund!’ whispered Fotheringay, winking at Mat .

(f) (US) to understand.

[UK]Swift Polite Conversation 36: Ay, but Tom, smoak that, she calls you Puppy by Craft.
[US]‘Mark Twain’ Innocents at Home 332: You don’t smoke me and I don’t smoke you.

2. fig. uses based on the idea of blowing smoke into someone’s face/eyes.

(a) to cheat, to deceive; thus smoker n., one who deceives; smoking n., deception.

‘Peter Aretine’ Strange Newes 5: Bess. We two so smoakt him [...] that by drinking, sporting and kissing the fool lost his purse, but how he knew not.
[UK]T. Shadwell Squire of Alsatia IV i: I am not so dark neither; I am sharp, sharp as a needle. I can smoke now, as soon as another.
[UK]M. Leeson Memoirs (1995) III 201: By Jupiter, he has fairly smoked us all.
[UK]G. Colman Yngr ‘Two Parsons’ Poetical Vagaries 136: These wooden Wits, these Quizzers, Queerers, Smokers.
[US]A. Greene Perils of Pearl Street 77: The fellow takes me for a country dealer. Good! I’ll smoke him.
[US]R.F. Burton City of the Saints 103: In this age [...] the western man has become more sensitive to the operation of ‘smoking’.
[US] ‘Paddy Burke’ Donnybrook-Fair Comic Songster 66: May the Peter Funks rope ’em, / And John Anderson smoke ’em.
[UK]J. Mowry Way Past Cool 74: Figure that pussy little sucker gonna smoke Miss Crabtreee into marryin him?

(b) to ridicule or attack a stranger verbally as soon as they enter the room; thus smoking n., an act of ridiculing someone.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Smoke him, Smoke him again, to affront a Stranger at his coming in.
[UK]Swift Ans. to Sheridan’s New Simile n.p.: With which he made a tearing show; And Dido quickly smok’d the beau [F&H].
[UK]Mme D’Arblay Diary and Letters (1904) II 14: ‘Oh! [...] what a smoking did Miss Burney give Mr. Crutchley!’ ‘A smoking indeed!’ cried he.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Nov. VII 109/1: A fellow that was clever at a joke, / Expert in all the arts to teaze and smoke.
[UK]J. Kenney Raising the Wind II i: plain: So, she’s returning [...] Now we’ll smoak her. diddler: (Aside) I’ll join the laugh at all events.
[UK]‘An Amateur’ Real Life in London I 559: Zounds! [...] these fellows are smoking us; and, in the midst of my instructions to guard you against the abuses of the Metropolis, we have ourselves become the dupes of an impostor.
[UK](con. 1835–40) P. Herring Bold Bendigo 286: They were well warmed with wine and insisted upon ‘smoking’ Buck Castleton.

(c) (US, also smoke it, smoke someone’s ass) to fool, to give the wrong idea; thus smoke up v., to confess, to tell the truth [ass n. (4)].

[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 62: Better smoke up, Ida. You’re a lyin’.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ You Can Search Me 61: Please don’t smoke, there are ladies present!
[US]J. Wambaugh Secrets of Harry Bright (1986) 173: Think he’s smoking it or what?
[UK]J. Mowry Six Out Seven (1994) 298: Well, we all kinda po’ here too, man. Don’t let all this blubber smoke your ass.
[US]UGK ‘Good Stuff’ [lyrics] Like you major boy you have done played yourself / Too $hort smoked you like a Newport.

3. fig. uses based on the idea of heat.

(a) (UK teen) to blush.

[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.

(b) (US) to get angry.

[US]A. Adams Log of a Cowboy 360: When my father returned home that night, there was a family round-up, for he was smoking under the collar.
[US]H. Rhodes Chosen Few (1966) 161: Them niggahs got their heads smokin’ and started a young war right in those huts, shootin’ at each other like kids playin’ cops’n robbers.
[US]Baker et al. CUSS 199: Smoke Go wild.

(c) (US) to be dangerous (for criminal activity), i.e. to be hot adj. (5a)

[US]O. Hawkins Ghetto Sketches 237: The streets is smokin’ . . . ever since that shit with kwendi, we really been in a bind.

4. (US Und.) to be executed in a gas chamber.

[[US]‘Ed Lacy’ Lead With Your Left (1958) 17: He went up in smoke in the chair].
[US] Chapman NDAS.

5. (UK black/gang) to shoot.

Harlem Spartans ‘Hazards’ [lyrics] Before I smoke, I used to step with bassy.

In compounds

smoke house (n.)

(US) the chamber holding the electric chair.

[US]R.L. Bellem ‘Feature Snatch!’ Dan Turner - Hollywood Detective Feb. [Internet] Something that’ll buy him a one-way ticket to the smoke house at San Quentin.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

smoke bacon (v.)

to work well and enthusiastically.

[UK]Guardian Guide 18–24 Mar. 25: Rest assured, they’re not faking, still smoking bacon.
smoke it white (v.) [Mandrax capsules are white]

(S.Afr. drugs) to smoke a mixture of marijuana and powdered Mandrax (methaqualone).

[SA]Cape Times 1 Dec. 11: Smoking dagga green is mostly for the beginner and soon he becomes addicted to smoking his ‘skuif’ or ‘pil’ white. (The term white indicates that mandrax tablets ground to a fine white powder have been sprinkled onto the smoker’s green dagga.) [DSAE].
smoke like that

(US black) in phr. ‘I can/can’t smoke like that’, I can/cannot do something.

[US]Ebonics Primer at [Internet] smoke like dat Definition: can be used as ‘I can’ or ‘can’t’ do something. Example: Man dat nigga want $35 fo dat lil ass sack, I can’t even smoke like dat.
smoke one (v.)

(drugs) to smoke marijuana.

[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 73: Smoke One Smoking a marijuana cigarette.
smoke out (v.)

1. to get information from someone.

[US]D. Hammett ‘Tom, Dick, or Harry’ in Nightmare Town (2001) 245: I’d like to smoke it out a little further, far enough to put anybody away who has been trying to run a hooligan on the North American.
[US]E.S. Gardner Case of the Crooked Candle (1958) 60: Mason said ‘Phooey! The police will smoke all this out [...] They’ll ask her to account for all her motions on Friday afternoon.’.

2. (US black) to impress, to outdo.

[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 107: The expressions that characterize an extraordinary performance, to cook, to blow fire, to smoke out someone.

3. (US) to collapse, to break down [automobile imagery].

[US]J. Stahl Plainclothes Naked (2002) 18: Get one of these bum tickers to smoke out in the sack, it’s payday.

4. see sense 1d above.

smoke over (v.)

(Aus.) to think over.

[Aus](con. 1936–46) K.S. Prichard Winged Seeds (1984) 331: ‘If you make up your mind to go, though,’ he added, pausing to smoke over what he was saying, ‘it’d better be soon.’.
smoke (someone) over (v.)

(US black) to stare at, to look over, to assess .

[US]R. Fisher Walls Of Jericho 154: And I smoke him over, and he’s grinnin’ like a Chess-cat with a mouse.
[US]Z.N. Hurston Mules and Men (1995) 19: Get out de way there and let a real man smoke them toes over.
[US]Z.N. Hurston ‘Story in Harlem Sl.’ in Novels and Stories (1995) 1010: Smoking, or smoking over: looking someone over.
[US](con. 1950s) D. Goines Whoreson 101: Now that you have smoked me over at close range.
smoke the habit off (v.)

see under habit n.

smoke up (v.) (US drugs)

1. to smoke opium.

[US]Number 1500 Life In Sing Sing 261: We got the stuff all right. Well, I’m off to the joint to smoke-up, so-so.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 361: Hey, call the Chink and let’s smoke up!

2. to smoke cannabis.

[US]W. Murray Sweet Ride 31: We threw a big bash, smoked up a storm of pot.
[US]D. Mitchell Thumb Tripping (1971) 178: All those straight adults smoking up.
[Can]Totally True Diaries of an Eighties Roller Queen [Internet] 5–26 Sept. The monthly dance was last Friday and Steve was with this other girl. Everyone was smoking up. Marijuana could be smelled throughout the entire cafeteria.