Green’s Dictionary of Slang

short time n.

1. of a prostitute, the time spent with one client before taking on a new one, rather than spending a whole night with the same man; the short time allows a single copulation; thus short-time house n., a brothel.

[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor IV 249/2: She [i.e. an ‘accommodation house’ keeper] let her rooms to her customers for eighteen pence for a short time, and three and sixpence for all night.
[Ire]Joyce Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man 116: Good night, husband! Coming in to have a short time?
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 471: I say, Tommy Tittlemouse. Stop that, and begin worse. Have you cash for a short time?
[UK]J. Curtis You’re in the Racket, Too 60: He always has a one-night stand, don’t he, not a short time?
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 193/1: Short time. [...] 2. The period of time spent in visiting a prostitute.
[UK]F. Norman Fings I i: Well we only did a couple of short times all night. The law was all over the place like flies.
[US]J. Rechy City of Night 183: A man who [...] offers me ‘ten bills for just a few minutes — just a short time’.
[Ire]J. Morrow Confessions of Proinsias O’Toole 128: ‘O’ has been telling me that the girls do short times in these snugs at night! Imagine!
[US]Maledicta IX 150: The original argot of prostitution includes some words and phrases which have gained wider currency and some which have not […] short time.
[UK](con. WWII) J. Robinson Jack and Jamie Go to War 165: It’s a brothel! A short-time house. Fifty lire for a quick fuck.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 160: Short time, sugar?

2. (UK prison) a short sentence, a short part of one’s sentence left to run; thus short-time pains, pre-release nerves [time n. (1)].

[US]E. Hubbard Love, Life and Work [Internet] The old plan of ‘short time,’ allowing two or three months off from every year for good behavior was a move in the right direction.
[US]G. Milburn ‘Convicts’ Jargon’ in AS VI:6 441: short time, n. The period immediately preceding release.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 193/1: Short time. 1. (P) The unexpired portion of a paroled convict’s prison sentence which he must serve when returned to prison for violation of parole, or upon subsequent conviction for a new offense.
[US]J. Blake letter 31 Jan. in Joint (1972) 177: It is a feeling of apprehension familiar to every convict. They call it ‘short-time pains’.
[US] in J.P. Spradley You Owe Yourself a Drunk (1988) 223: I’m getting shaky and anxious because I’m on short time. [...] Short time is hard time and the last few days are the hardest to do.
[US]C. Shafer ‘Catheads [...] and Cho-Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy Bounty of Texas (1990) 213: short- time pains, n. – anxiety pains one feels just before being released from prison.

3. in pl., a couple who rent a room for an hour in order to have adulterous sex.

[UK]J. Manchon Le Slang.

4. (US prison) one who has a short sentence or whose sentence is nearing its end [time n. (1)].

[US]T. Willocks Green River Rising 208: You think you’re necessary, Short Time?

In compounds

short-time girl (n.)

a basic, cheap prostitute who satisfies her client’s immediate need and then looks for her next customer.

[US]J. London ‘The “Pen”: Long Days in a County Penitentiary’ in Cosmopolitan XLIII 380: It was the day of release for the third hall-man as well, and the short-time girl I had won for him was waiting for him outside the wall.