Green’s Dictionary of Slang

thick adj.

1. in senses of SE thick-headed.

(a) stupid, dull, foolish; often as thick as... adj. (1) .

[UK]Jonson Every Man Out of his Humour II i: I think he feeds her with porridge, [...] she could never have such a thick brain else.
J. Hayward Answer to Dolman iv M: I omit your thicke error in putting no difference betweene a magistrate and a king .
[UK]Fletcher Spanish Curate V i: A thick ram-headed Knave.
W. Penn Liberty of Conscience v n.p.: What if you think our reasons thick, and our ground of separation.
[UK]Proceedings Old Bailey 30 May 62/2: He said, d – n the D – of C – , his h – was too thick to take it in.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 151: Would Jove to all the rest assign / Noddles but half as thick as thine.
[UK]‘Peter Pindar’ ‘More Money’ Works (1794) III 137: Thick as may be the head of poor John Bull, The beast hath got some brains within his skull.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Apr. XVI 44/1: ‘Here comes paper-skull.’ – ‘Who do you call paper-skull? [...] my head is as thick as any of yours!’.
[UK]B.M. Carew Gypsey of the Glen I iii: Run your thick heads into halters.
[UK]Navy at Home II 138: A professed passer of midshipmen’s, who undertook [...] to knock a given quantity of navigation into the skulls of these grown up gentlemen, let them be ever so thick.
[UK] ‘Anecdotes of British Lawyers’ Town Talk 8 Aug. 203: No more than one idea could ever stay in his thick head at a time.
[UK]Mansfield School-Life at Winchester College (1870) 238: Thick – Stupid.
[UK]S.O. Addy Sheffield Gloss. 255: Thick, dull stupid.
[UK] ‘’Arry in ’Arrygate’ Punch 24 Sept. 133/2: He seemed jest a bit thick.
[UK]Gem 16 Mar. 2: Your grey matter, meaning your thick head!
[US]Van Loan ‘Excess Baggage’ Score by Innings (2004) 397: I must have been pretty thick, because I didn’t tumble at first.
[US]Dos Passos Three Soldiers 19: Run around the room a little . . . No, not that way. Just a little so I can test yer heart . . . God, these rookies are thick.
[US]W.N. Burns One-Way Ride 62: Polack Joe, ‘a little thick in the head,’ as Police Captain John Stege described him.
[UK]P. Kavanagh Tarry Flynn (1965) 147: ‘He’s a very thick man,’ said Tarry. ‘He’s a hasty man, ‘ said Petey, ‘but I wouldn’t say he’s a thick man.’.
[Aus]D. Stivens Scholarly Mouse and other Tales 62: There must be a safe way if I’m not too thick in the nut.
[UK]E. Bond Saved Scene vii: He goes we’re ’ere, the thick bastard, an’ lets ’em in.
[UK]P. Theroux Family Arsenal 31: You’re really thick – you shouldn’t have told me that.
[US]J. Flaherty Tin Wife 65: Don’t piss an unlimited career away by acting like a thick Mick.
[UK](con. 1944) C. Logue Prince Charming 54: You’re thicker than you sound, lad.
[UK]H. Mantel Beyond Black 180: She was a bit thick, wasn’t she? [...] She didn’t get any exams in school.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 309: You’re thick [...] Stubborn like his father.

(b) dull-headed, ‘dopey’.

[US]M.M. Pomeroy Nonsense 53: One night I felt a little thick, and went to the buttery for the gin bottle!

(c) drunken.

[UK]Kipling ‘Black Jack’ Soldiers Three (1907) 106: I made feign to be far gone in dhrink an’ [...] I went away, walkin’ thick an’ heavy.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘A Consistent Consort’ Sporting Times 13 June 1/3: When he’s ‘squiffy,’ my word! he’s sufficiently thick, / But when sober he’s quite as opaque.
[UK]‘Sapper’ Bulldog Drummond 196: Looks like a boozing den after a thick night.
[NZ]N.Z. Truth 29 Apr. 1/8: They drink till they’re thick in the head.
[UK]T. Croft Cloven Hoof 153: You look a bit under the weather; have a thick night?

2. in senses of lit. or fig. closeness.

(a) close, intimate; often as thick as... adj. (2)

[UK]Cibber Refusal 42: Since our Men of Quality are got so thick into Change-Alley, who knows but in time a great Man’s Word may go as far as a Tradesman’s?
[UK] in J. Nichols Literary Anecd. 18th C. (1812) II 70: We begin now, though contrary to my expectation, and without my seeking, to be pretty thick; and I thank God who reconciles me to my adversaries .
[UK]H. Cowley Belle’s Stratagem III ii: Sally is very thick with Mr. Gibson, Sir George’s gentleman.
[UK]W. Carr Dialect of Craven.
[UK]Dickens Oliver Twist (1966) 388: Yer a very nice man, and I’m very fond of yer; but we ain’t quite so thick together, as all that comes to.
[US]J.H. Ingraham Pierce Fenning 41: You and the Britisher seem to be pretty thick!
[UK]G.J. Whyte-Melville Digby Grand (1890) 23: Major O’Toole [...] warned me repeatedly that I was ‘much too thick with Miss Jones.’.
[US]‘Artemus Ward’ Artemus Ward, His Book 69: Our parents (Betsy’s and mine) slept reglarly every Sunday in the same meetin house, and the nabers used to obsarve, ‘How thick the Wards and Peasleys air!’.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]Trollope Duke’s Children (1954) 370: That fellow Tregear, who is so thick with Silverbridge.
[UK] ‘In the Guards!’ in ‘F. Anstey’ Mr Punch’s Model Music Hall 75: With duchesses I’m ’and in glove, with countesses I’m thick.
[US]W.N. Harben Abner Daniel 212: Fincher’s his best friend [...] an’ they are mighty thick.
[Aus]J. Furphy Rigby’s Romance (1921) Ch. xxx: [Internet] Presently I got thick with Nora again.
[Aus]‘G.B. Lancaster’ Jim of the Ranges 23: He’s not the sort for you to get thick with.
[Ire]Joyce ‘Ivy Day in the Committee Room’ Dubliners (1956) 124: Fanning and himself seem to me very thick. They’re often in Kavanagh’s together.
[US]Black Mask Aug. III 46: We had been through training camp together [...] and were pretty thick, being from the same city.
[US]E. Anderson Hungry Men 171: He was too thick with the niggers, though. He treated them like they was white.
[UK]A. Christie Sparkling Cyanide (1955) 104: They were pretty thick at the office and there’s an idea there that she was keen on him.
[UK]J. Betjeman ‘Hunter Trials’ in Coll. Poems (1959) 237: Miss Blewitt says Monica threw it, / But Monica says it was Joan, / And Joan’s very thick with Miss Blewitt, / So Monica’s sulking alone.
[US]D. Jenkins Semi-Tough 94: Rudi Tambunga is very thick with the owners of the dog-ass Jets, the Mastrioni brothers.
[NZ]H. Beaton Outside In I i: I saw you thick with that kid.
[US]J. Wambaugh Golden Orange (1991) 273: They were thick, those two!
[Aus]S. Maloney Sucked In 41: ‘They were pretty thick, were they?’ ‘Chalk and cheese [...] Mortal enemies’.

(b) (US campus) emotionally involved, romantically attached.

[US]W.R. Burnett Iron Man 50: I didn’t know you managers liked to have your boys thick with women.
[Aus]‘Banjo’ Paterson Shearer’s Colt 26: Maggie’s the girl who works there, and she and I used to be pretty thick.
[US]E. Stephens Blow Negative! 245: I thought you two were pretty thick.
[US]G. Underwood ‘Razorback Sl.’ in AS L:1/2 68: That couple is really thick.

3. unacceptable due to its excess, too much to handle; usu. in phr. a bit thick.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 18 Jul. 14/4: Lord Shaftsbury said of the teachers of the early Ragged Schools that they were ‘men and woman [...] who […] devoted themselves to the work in a real spirit of martyrdom which they would not find in all the history of Popish religion.’ This is rather ‘too thick.’.
[UK]Birmingham Dly Post 31 Mar. 3/4: [H]e unravelled such a ‘yarn’ that even the good man [...] deemed it rather ‘thick’.
[UK]C. Rook Hooligan Nights 14: Giving mugs and other barmy sots the push [...] when their swank got a bit too thick.
[UK]A. Binstead Mop Fair 201: Strike me up a plum tree, this is too, too thick!
[UK]J. Buchan Thirty-Nine Steps (1930) 126: ‘O Lord,’ said the young man. ‘This is a bit too thick.’.
[US]‘Ellery Queen’ Roman Hat Mystery 133: Really, now, old chap, that’s a bit thick.
[UK]Hotspur 11 Jan. 47: It’s a bit thick that we’ve already lost more of our regular team through mumps than the other Houses.
[UK]C. Day Lewis Otterbury Incident 100: It was a bit thick – the line Toppy was taking with Ted.
[Aus]H. Drake-Brockman ‘The North-west Ladies’ West Coast Stories 160: It is a bit thick to swallow, isn’t it?
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves in the Offing 82: A bit thick.
[US]K. Cook Wake in Fright [ebook] ‘I don’t pay for any of the beer I drink.’ Grant didn’t quite know how to react, so he just said: ‘Don’t you?’ ‘I could get yours free too, but it’d be making it a bit thick, wouldn’t it’.
[UK]Wodehouse Much Obliged, Jeeves 94: ‘This is a bit thick, what,’ I said.
[Ire]R. Doyle Van (1998) 354: I’m to do the sink an’ the washin’ machine but I’m not goin’ to. It’s thick.
[UK](con. 1960s) A. Frewin London Blues 280: But doing it with a couple of niggers . . . that’s a bit thick, isn’t it?

4. intense; dedicated.

[UK]H. Newton ‘Bai Jove’ [lyrics] At Billiards, we’re thick’uns, you bet, boys, / Pool and Pyramids too are our pride.
[UK]E.W. Rogers [perf. Vesta Tilley] My Friend the Major [lyrics] Very thick at Baccarat.
[UK]C. Rook Hooligan Nights 43: Not wivout giving ’em somefink thick in the way of slanging.
[UK]Marvel 12 Nov. 7: Nibbley’s a thick ’un – a dead wrong ’un, Nibbley is.
[UK]E. Pugh Cockney At Home 68: I can’t quite call to mind what ’appened arter that – not clearly, I mean. It got so thick. And I mixed it crool.
[US]S.L. Hills Tragic Magic 143: The tension in prison is so thick you can cut it with a knife.

5. of an accent, very strong.

[US](con. 1875) F.T. Bullen Cruise of the ‘Cachalot’ 329: A man—short, tubby, with [...] a brogue thick as pea-soup.
[UK]L. Thomas Woodfill of the Regulars 15: My mother’s folks were Germans, and talked with an accent so darn thick sometimes we couldn’t tell what it was all about.
[Aus](con. 1940s) T.A.G. Hungerford Sowers of the Wind 120: ‘What’s them bastards allowed in here for, anyway?’ [...] It was the voice of an American, thick with drink and hatred.
[US]L.K. Truscott IV Dress Gray (1979) 298: He’s got an accent so fuckin’ thick.
[Ire](con. 1920s) L. Redmond Emerald Square 61: He hated Dublin kids, who jeered him behind his back, imitating his country accent, thick as pig’s muck.

6. (US black) in senses of quantity or quality.

(a) (US) substantial in number.

[US]Central Record (Lancaster, KY) 16 Aug. 1/4: ‘Dope’ Fiends Thick. Itis said that fifty per cent of the negros on Battle Row are addicted to the use of cocaine.
[US]Sun (NY) 27 July 40/1: They were thick as quick lunches all along the side streets.
[US]Boogie Down Productions ‘My Philosophy’ [lyrics] My posse from the Bronx is thick / and we’re real live.
[US]De La Soul ‘African Connection’ [lyrics] More brothers come about, try to scheme slick / But the Native Tongue's thick / Lick ’em real good.

(b) extremely drunken.

[UK] ‘We Haven’t Got a Hope’ in C.H. Ward-Jackson Airman’s Song Book (1945) 59: I’d had a thick night and a very sore head.

(c) (UK/US black) of a woman, physically attractive.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr. 10: thick – having a good figure. Said of a female.
[US]UGK ‘Life Is 2009’ [lyrics] Keep a bad yella bitch and a thick young brown.
S.R. Mazzarella Girl Wide Web 2.0 61: Black adolescent boys prefer shapely and ‘thick girls’ [...] By emphasizing ‘thickness’ [...] the girls in NevaEvaLand have over turned the White beauty ideal in favour of a more realistic view of body image based on the cultural ideas of beauty valued in Black culture.
[US]T.I. ‘No Mediocre’ [lyrics] Super thick, pretty face.

(d) of a man, having a large penis.

[US]G. Smitherman Black Talk.

(e) (US campus) overweight.

[US]Da Bomb [Internet] 29: Thick: Heavy, overweight.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr.

(f) used of objects or people, displaying wealth [i.e. a thick roll of cash].

[US]Source Aug. 144: Snoop’s house is so thick, you have to hold your gin and juice above your head so as not to spill it.

In compounds


see separate entries.

thickwit (n.)

see separate entry.

In phrases

thick as… (adj.)

see separate entry.

thick in the clear (adj.)

confused, at a loss for coherence.

[UK] ‘’Arry in ’Arrygate’ Punch 24 Sept. 133/2: He seemed jest a bit thick in the clear.
[UK] ‘’Arriet on Labour’ Punch 26 Aug. 88/1: Bit bosky, Sam, thick in the clear, as usual on Saint Monday.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

thick ear (n.) (also thick earhole)

1. an ear that has swollen up after a blow; usu. in phr. give someone a thick ear.

[UK]Sporting Times 24 Feb. 1/2: That’s ’ow I got this thick ear!
[UK]Magnet 10 Sept. 2: That sort of talk will get you a thick ear.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 546: He doesn’t half want a thick ear, the blighter. Biff him one, Harry.
[UK]Essex Newsman 15 Apr. 4/7: ‘What is a thick ear?’ Judge Crawford asked [...] He is informed by counsel that it was a boxing term.
[UK]Aberdeen Jrnl 19 Sept. 1/4: He would not cast odium on women’s demands, he confessed ‘ might get a thick ear’.
[Ire]B. Behan Quare Fellow (1960) Act I: I’ll wave you a thick ear.
[UK]F. Norman Bang To Rights 165: If they see anyone hurting [an animal] that person has a good chance of getting a thick earhole.
[UK]D. Behan Teems of Times and Happy Returns 44: But the scar added a terrible ha ha hee, and usually earned Grinner an undeserved thick ear.
[UK]F. Norman Too Many Crooks Spoil the Caper 83: Most of the barmen that I had any dealings with would give you a thick ear as soon as look at you.
[Ire](con. 1930s) L. Redmond Emerald Square 114: They had an ‘oul fella’ who gave them a thick ear and sometimes a penny.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read How to Shoot Friends 71: I’ve had my head punched in so many times that I would get a thick ear, if I had one left, just listening to it all.

2. in fig. use, a thug.

[UK]‘P.B. Yuill’ Hazell and the Three-card Trick (1977) 114: What you got — a few hundred quid? That’s enough to buy a thick-ear like me, I suppose?
thick end (n.)

the larger portion.

[UK]Halliwell Dict. Archaic and Provincial Words II 864/1: thick end. A considerable part [...] ‘The thick-end of a mile.’ Linc.
[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 243/2: Thick end of a hundred years (Yorks.). Nearly a century.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 205: All right, Jimmy, we’ve sold you forward. [...] You’ve had the thick end of the stick all along — now it’s our turn.
[UK]P. Closterman (trans.) Big Show 165: Fagged out, dead beat, nerves in tatters [...] we always got the thick end of the stick.
[UK]T. Parker Frying-Pan 60: They’ll tell you how many officers have applied for transfers [...] It’s the thick end of ninety since I came.
thick lip (n.) [var. on thick ear ]

a minor beating, lit. a lip that has swollen up after receiving a blow.

[US]‘Mae West in “The Hip Flipper”’ [comic strip] in B. Adelman Tijuana Bibles (1997) 100: He tried to drag Lotta up into the hay-loft and got a thick lip for his efforts.
[UK]N. Barlay Crumple Zone 180: Alv din get no beatin’, just a thick lip.
thicklugged (adj.)

very stupid.

[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 311: The curse of a goodfornothing God light sideways on the bloody thicklugged sons of whores’ get!
thickneck (n.)

a large, thuggish person.

[UK]Wodehouse Psmith Journalist (1993) 320: ‘Kid’s right,’ said thick-neck number one.
[US](con. 1900s) S. Lewis Elmer Gantry 49: One of those thick-necks that was born husky and tries to make you think he made himself husky by prayer and fasting.
[US]B. Schulberg On the Waterfront (1964) 41: Truck [...] wasn’t satisfied just being a thickneck and had to double as a comedian.
thickskin (n.)

a fool.

[UK]Stanyhurst Of Virgil his Æneis ded. to Dvnsayne: What thinck you of thee thick skyn, that made this for a fare wel for his mystresse vpon his departure from Abintowne?
thick-skulled (adj.) (also thick-scull, thick-sculled)

stupid, foolish; also as adv.; thus thick-skull/thick-scull n., a fool.

[UK]Dryden Sir Martin Mar-all I i: Now will this thick-scull’d Master of mine tell the whole Story to his Rival.
[UK]T. Shadwell Epsom Wells I i: That men should be such infinite Coxcombs to live scurvily to get a reputation among thick-scull’d Peasants.
[UK]R. L’Estrange Erasmus Colloquies 100: I should hammer it into the heads of those thick-skull’d Courtiers.
[UK]Congreve Love for Love IV i: Why, you thick-sculled rascal, I tell you the farce is done.
[UK]J. Hall Memoirs (1714) 13: Mud, a Fool, or Thick-scul Fellow.
[UK]S. Centlivre Artifice Act III: Ha, Thickscull! [...] Why you Thickscull’d Rascal! – You unthinking Dolt!
[UK]T. Walker The Quaker’s Opera III ii: Oh you Thick-skull!
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 21: Then I hope you’ll hang yourself / For being such a thick-skull’d elf.
[US]Yankey in London 160: Dutch scoundrel, French coward, and German thick-scull are familiar in his abuse.
[UK]Scots Mag. 1 June 5/2: He had the assurance to spit in my face and call me a thick-skulled booby!
[UK]Royal Cornwall Gaz. 19 May 4/4: Some thick-sculled bigots gravely asserted, that it was invented by a Jesuit.
[Ire]Cork Examiner 3 July 1/5: The Orangemen [...] are a set of ‘thick-sculled unpurchaseable fellows’ who defy him in everything.
[UK]Westmorland Gaz. 6 Mar. 7/3: Thank God we shall no longer have the impenetrable, thick-sculled stupidity of Sir Charles Wood to contend with.
[UK]Bradford Obs. 26 Feb. 7/4: The councillor and aldermen may rest assured that they are far too heavy and thick-sculled for the purpose.
[UK]Reynolds’ Newspaper (London) 19 Sept. 4/6: Their resolutions are worthy of reproduction, if only to show what thick-skulled boobies and brainless bores are elected.
[UK]Cornishmen 4 Mar. 4/5: At the Port he had some old birds who are not to be caught by chaff [...] nor yet so ‘thick-skulled,’ as Pat says.
Indianpolis News (IN) 6 Sept. 4/2: Just like cheap white men, there may be ‘thick-skulled nergroes’ claiming so much influence.
[UK]Dundee Courier 5 May 4/3: The thick-skulled Councillors were not awar of any attack on it before, and some of the denser are not aware of it yet.
[UK]Northants Eve. Teleg. 23 Aug. 4/2: ‘What an imbecile,’ exclaimed the former. ‘It is the folly of this thick-skulled nation,’ agreed the Secretary.
[US]C.E. Mulford Bar-20 Days 43: You dod-blasted, thick-sculled wooden-heads.
[UK]Morn. Post 9 Feb. 4/3: Ours is no common parish, ours is a thick-skulled thinking, and provident committee.
[US]S. Kingsley Dead End Act II: drina, quietly: I ain’t no Red. policeman, thick-skulled: Well you talk like one.
[UK]G. Fairlie Capt. Bulldog Drummond 112: How [...] is our worthy but thick-skulled friend going to settle that burning question for us?
thick ’un (n.)

see separate entry.

In phrases

thick ’n’ thins (n.) [? the pattern which may include stripes of varying widths]

(US black) stylish nylon socks, usu. black or brown.

[US]D. Claerbaut Black Jargon in White America 82: thick ’n thins n. a type of nylon socks, commonly worn and considered stylish by many black men.