Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bone box n.

1. the mouth.

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Bone box, the mouth. Shut your bone box; shut your mouth.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]B.M. Carew Life and Adventures.
[Ire]‘A Real Paddy’ Real Life in Ireland 19: ‘How could I be after missing him when he laid so fair?’ ‘Fair in your bone-box! you foul galoosh!’.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]A. Mayhew Paved with Gold 190: Jack jerked his drumsticks against Ned’s ‘bonebox,’ with a force that must have loosened every tooth.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.
[US]J.D. McCabe Secrets of the Great City 359: The Detectives’ Manual gives a glossary of this language, from which we take the following specimens [...] Bone box. – The mouth.
[US]Trumble Sl. Dict. (1890).
[US]Minneapolis Jrnl (MN) 24 Jan. 19/3: Bone-box —the mouth.
[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks.

2. (US) a coffin.

[Aus]Sydney Sl. Dict. 10/2: The Parson is on the highfly in a fantail banger and a milky mill toy. He got the cant of togs from a shickster whose husband’s in a bone-box. He’ll gammon the swells. He touched one for an alderman the first ten minutes.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 21 Dec. 11/2: Old Stiffun, the undertaker [...] had a nice, second-hand, silver-mounted, satin-lined bone-box.
[US]L. Pound ‘American Euphemisms for Dying’ in AS XI:3 201: Bone box.
[US]J. Mitchell McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon (2001) 73: He is opposed to the use of coffins (he calls them ‘boxes’ or ‘bone boxes’).
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
Pensacola News Jrnl (FL) 2 June D1/5: It has been tagged as a crate, a bone-box, an oak overcoat, a six-foot bungalow, a shell. Chicago gangland mentioned it [...] as a wooden kimono.

3. the head.

[US]S. Longstreet Decade 310: Where are you, Ivar Kreuger, match king of the world? A world panic brought you in. A world panic and futile strategy took you out. A shot into the brain in a Paris hotel room – and, poof, out you go like one of your matches. Scratch yourself on the bone box and good-bye, pal.

4. (US) an ambulance.

[US]L. Dills CB Slanguage.
Liberman & Rhodes CB (2nd edn) 131: Bone box – Ambulance.

5. (US prison) a hearse.

[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 104: Bone Box A hearse.

In phrases

button one’s bonebox (v.)

(US) to be quiet.

[UK]Vanity Fair (N.Y.) 9 Nov. 216: beauregard. Then I’ll stow my wid, / Button my bone-box and do as floyd did.