Green’s Dictionary of Slang

solid adj.

[SE solid, thorough, downright, vigorous; note Mezzrow & Wolfe, Really the Blues (1946): ‘Solid, which is short for solid as the Rock of Gibraltar and describes a man who isn’t going to be washed away so easy’]

1. full, complete, entire, esp. of time, e.g. a solid month.

[UK]‘Paul Pry’ Oddities of London Life I 36: ‘Is it true (asked Mr. Conant) that you did find a silver spoon among the dust?’ Joe—I’ll take my solid oath on it.
[UK]J. Greenwood Unsentimental Journeys 195: Covent Garden is a ‘solid’ seven miles from Mr. Tibbits’s abode.
[UK]C. Deveureux Venus in India I 76: As I keep a pretty little piece of brown meat, and have my regular greens twice a week, I might not be able to do as good a turn now, as I did then, but I had that woman eight solid times, sir.
[UK]Wodehouse Psmith Journalist (1993) 182: Bat at that time had a solid reputation as a man of his hands.
[US]Cab Calloway ‘For the Last Time I Cried Over You’ [lyrics] Solid M-O, man, but that’s the last time for that jive.
[US](con. 1948) G. Mandel Flee the Angry Strangers 370: He come by nuts in his head. Like-he got the solid horrors.
[US]A. Young Snakes (1971) 74: I need to get in a solid night of practicin with the guys.

2. trusted; usu. as solid with.

[US]B. Hogan Life and Adventures of Ben Hogan 62: This, of course, made him ‘solid’ with the crowd, and he very soon became known.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 16 Oct. 12/4: [He] paid promptly for two or three weeks to make himself ‘solid,’ and then began to ‘hang it up’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 15 Oct. 9/1: Moral: This being a Democratic country, always get solid with the titled bugs of the earth, that thy days may be long in the land, &c.
[US]E.W. Townsend Chimmie Fadden 50: How t’ hell was I t’ know dat I have t’ be jollying and chasing de Duchesse all de time after I was once solid wid her.
[US]A. Adams ‘Around the Spade Wagon’ Cattle Brands [Internet] He asked me as a personal favor to apologize to the lady, admitting that he was none too solid with her himself.
[US] M. Nicholson Hoosier Chronicle 183: I advise you to make yourself solid with her [DA].
[US]T.A. Dorgan Silk Hat Harry’s Divorce Suit 6 Dec. [synd. cartoon strip] I’ll bring some roses home to keep solid.
[US]H.C. Witwer Kid Scanlon 280: The Kid had got Professor Parducci to fix him up with a few love charms and owls’ ears by which he was gonna make himself solid with Miss Vincent.
[US]P.G. Cressey Taxi-Dance Hall 205: I knew she wouldn’t, because I was solid with the captain (district police captain).
[US]I. Shulman Amboy Dukes 7: He would be considered one of the boys, solid with the right guys.
[US]W. Fisher Waiters 155: You’re solid now, pardner.

3. (orig. jazz) trustworthy, dependable, exciting, outstanding.

[US]Lantern (N.O.) 22 Sept. 4: Deserted by their supposed, solid girls.
[US]P.G. McLean ‘A Long Shot’ Variety Stage Eng. Plays [Internet] I told him to give me a name that would sound like something — and make me solid with the lady.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 17 Dec. 15/4: Strike me pink, I was solid when a member of the push; / In a scrap I was as willing as a lion off a gridiron. / I’m growin’ old and seedy – I’m broke up like a kite.
[US]H.C. Witwer Smile A Minute 330: He gives the perfume to Jeanne and makes himself solid for life.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 99: And how is Dick, the solid man?
[UK] (ref. to 1920s) L. Duncan Over the Wall 144: The only thing is, she’s a junker – but she’s solid.
[US]Cab Calloway ‘Are You All Reet’ [lyrics] There’s one thing we want to know, / Are we solid; do we send you, Joe?
[Aus]Argus *Melbourne) 15 Nov. 7s/1: That’s really plenty, slick — or should I say super solid.
[US]H. Simmons Corner Boy 91: He also had an org going. His org was solid. He had handpicked his men.
[US]M. Braly On the Yard (2002) 161: Studs who used to be solid regulars are out there giving up their own mothers.
[US]E. Bunker Animal Factory 75: ‘Inmate’ is . . . an insult. ‘Convict’ is the term that solid dudes prefer.
[Aus]A. Weller Day of the Dog 15: I reckon ya solid, Doug. Ya wanna go with me?
[US]E. Little Another Day in Paradise 237: I think about trying to explain that Ben is solid.
[Aus]T. Winton ‘Boner McPharlin’s Moll’ in Turning (2005) 272: I’m solid, he said. Solid as a brick shithouse.
[UK]K. Richards Life 333: Freddie was one of the best men I ever met [...] I can’t think of another bloke that was solid all the way.

4. as solid on, solid for, devoted to.

[US]‘Bill Nye’ Bill Nye and Boomerang 15: Damon and Pythias [...] were so solid on each other. They thought more of one another than anybody.
[US]Times Dispatch (Richmond, VA) 10 Mar. 53/4: ‘Hundred ’n ten thousand [...] An’ every sould of them solid for you, Boss’.

5. definite.

[US]J. London ‘’Frisco Kid’s Story’ in High School Aegis X (15 Feb.) 2–3: Wot! A quarter. Dat’s very kind in yer, mister. Now I’se solid fer me bed an’ a bowl of Java.
[US]C. Himes ‘Prison Mass’ in Coll. Stories (1990) 163: His thoughts circled to the woman who had ‘tricked’ him into prison before. That had been a solid frame, he reflected.
[US]R. Chandler Little Sister 252: Steelgrave is Weepy Moyer. That’s solid, isn’t it?
[US]Murtagh & Harris Who Live In Shadow (1960) 54: Hell, like here’s a solid fact.
[US]M. Braly On the Yard (2002) 213: I’m going to give you a pass, but don’t come in here with a solid beef because you’ll wear out that isolation unit.
[Aus]A. Weller Day of the Dog 40: Before I ’ad one solid girl, but she changed now.
[US]M. Myers et al. Wayne’s World II [film script] I talked to Rip’s people and I’ve locked him in for a solid twenty.

6. (US) secure, free of problems.

[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 3 Aug. 2/3: As he knew the girl’s father was solid [he] meant to marry her and stand on velvet.
[UK]Wodehouse Carry on, Jeeves 92: As regarded the future he was pretty solid, owing to the fact that he had a moneyed aunt.
[US]R. Chandler High Window 36: Don’t worry about my job, Jack. I’m solid.

7. (Aus./N.Z.) severe, difficult, unfair, unreasonable.

[Aus]Baker Popular Dict. Aus. Sl.
[Aus]N. Pulliam I Travelled a Lonely Land (1957) 239/1: solid – out of line or unreasonable.

In compounds

solid man (n.)

(US Und.) a woman’s long-term male lover (as opposed to any transient entanglements).

[US](con. 1880s) H. Asbury Gangs of Chicago (2002) 118: This latter property was operated for her by Tom Gaynor, her principal lover, or ‘solid man.’.
solid sender (n.) [send v.] (US black)

1. an admirable person, esp. a jazz or swing musician.

[US]Flash! (Wash., D.C.) 21 June 19/2: SWING ADDICTS [...] had their fill of ‘killer dillers,’ ‘solid senders,’ ‘slap,’ ‘rush,’ and ‘lush’ ditties when New York’s radio station WNEW and Martin Block staged their first open-air swing carnival.
[US] ‘Benny Goodman in “Swing on This!”’ [comic strip] in B. Adelman Tijuana Bibles (1997) 105: There’s a likely looking jitter bug! I wonder if she’s a solid sender!
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 227: He’s a solid sender, he can send your spirit soaring and make you really happy, because no matter how heavy his burden is, he still isn’t brought down.
[US]H. Simmons Corner Boy 27: Roy Milton’s Solid Senders jammed away on the frantic notes of jazz.

2. a real, genuine, amazing thing.

[US]Pittsburgh Courier (PA) 2 July 11/1: Erskine Hawkins is breaking it up [...] with his youthful ork that’s a solid sender.
[US]B. Jackson Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 97: The news he got was a solid sender, / old Tojo was just signing unconditional surrender.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

solid ivory (adj.) [ivory n.]

(US) stupid; also as n., a stupid person.

[US]Citizen (Honesdale, PA) 7 June 78/1: It was [...] Solid ivory Splivins, the walking delebgate of the Detectives’ Union, which numbers among its members [...] Sherlock Holmes, Lecoq, Old King Brady.
[UK]D. Lowrie My Life in Prison 55: I’d do ten years on top o’ dis twenty t’ git at pipe dream outer dese judges, solid ivory noodles.
[US]S. Ford Shorty McCabe on the Job 61: I expect his dome was solid iv’ry,—most of them sluggers have that kind.
Dly News (NY) 21 Nov. 78/1: The ‘solid ivory’ lad is a youthful bonehead.
[US]M. Meredith ‘The Human Head in Sl.’ in AS III:5 409: Other expressions which one sometimes hears or sees in popular speech [...] ‘leatherhead,’ ‘tin can,’ ‘dome,’ or ‘solid ivory’ (dome).
[US]Howsley Argot: Dict. of Und. Sl. 47: solid ivory – one with little thinking ability; no sense.