Green’s Dictionary of Slang

smoke v.1

also smoak

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

(a) [mid-16C–mid-19C] to suspect.

(b) [late 16C] (UK Und.) of a member of a pickpocket team, to select a potential victim.

(c) [late 16C–mid-17C] to uncover or discover a person, used passively.

(d) [late 16C–1930s] (also smoke out) in active senses, to discover, to unmask a person or thing.

(e) [18C–mid-19C] as imper., take notice of.

(f) [mid-19C] (US) to understand.

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

(a) [mid-17C–mid-19C] to cheat, to deceive; thus smoker n., one who deceives; smoking n., deception.

(b) [late 17C–mid-19C] to ridicule or attack a stranger verbally as soon as they enter the room; thus smoking n., an act of ridiculing someone.

(c) [20C+] (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)].

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

(a) [mid–late 19C] (UK teen) to blush.

(b) [20C+] (US) to get angry.

(c) [1970s] (US) to be dangerous (for criminal activity), i.e. to be hot adj. (5a)

4. [20C+] (US Und.) to be executed in a gas chamber.

In compounds

smoke house (n.)

[1940s] (US) the chamber holding the electric chair.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

smoke bacon (v.)

[2000s] to work well and enthusiastically.

smoke it white (v.) [Mandrax capsules are white]

[1960s+] (S.Afr. drugs) to smoke a mixture of marijuana and powdered Mandrax (methaqualone).

smoke like that

[2000s] (US black) in phr. ‘I can/can’t smoke like that’, I can/cannot do something.

smoke one (v.)

[20C+] (drugs) to smoke marijuana.

smoke out (v.)

1. [1920s+] to get information from someone.

2. [1970s+] (US black) to impress, to outdo.

3. [2000s] (US) to collapse, to break down [automobile imagery].

4. see sense 1d above.

smoke over (v.)

[1930s–50s] (Aus.) to think over.

smoke (someone) over (v.)

[1920s–70s] (US black) to stare at, to look over, to assess .

smoke the habit off (v.)

see under habit n.

smoke up (v.) (US drugs)

1. [1900s] to smoke opium.

2. [1960s+] to smoke cannabis.