Green’s Dictionary of Slang

sucker n.1

1. [early 17C; mid-19C; 1980s] a parasite [SE sucker, one who sucks, in this case money and favours].

2. as a part of the body.

(a) [mid-18C] the vagina.

(b) [late 19C] the penis.

(c) [1940s] (N.Z.) the buttocks.

(d) [1970s] (Irish) a woman’s breast.

3. (orig. US) pertaining to people, esp. when innocent [14C sucker, an animal before it is weaned, a child at the breast; thus the innocence of both; the term was popularized by New York nightclub hostess Texas Guinan whose celebrated greeting was ‘Hello sucker!’].

(a) [mid-18C+] (also suck) an innocent, a dupe, also attrib.

(b) [mid-19C+] the victim of any kind of crooked plan.

(c) [mid-19C+] a person (occas. animal) or object, irrespective of status.

(d) [mid-19C+] an unpleasant, mean person; note the stronger sucker n.3 (1)

(e) [1910s+] a general term of address, either derog. or teasing.

(f) [1940s+] an enthusiast, a ‘pushover’.

(g) [1950s] (US) a fan.

4. [mid-19C] (US) a drunkard.

5. [late 19C+] people who suck v.1 (1)

(a) a fellatrix.

(b) a lesbian.

(c) (US Und.) a male homosexual.

6. [1950s] (W.I.) a nagging old woman [note dial. old suck, a blood-sucking demon in the shape of an old woman].

In compounds

sucker-ass (n.) [-ass sfx]

[1980s+] (US black) a general term of abuse.

sucker-bait (n.) [1940s+] (US Und.)

1. young women hired by casinos to appear available and thus lure and distract gamblers; thus the female body, as an object of fantasy.

2. any form of fraudulent enticement.

sucker list (n.) [note WWII US milit. sucker list, duty roster]

[1930s+] (US) a client list, a mailing list; also attrib.

sucker play (n.) [play n. (2)]

1. [late 19C–1950s] (US) any form of scheme intended to trap a gullible victim.

2. [1910s] a foolish action.


see separate entries.

sucker snow (n.) [snow n.1 (2a)]

[1950s+] (drugs) second-rate, over-adulterated cocaine, esp. as sold to gullible consumers.

sucker stroking (n.)

[2000s] (US prison) becoming tearful at the thought of one’s absent girlfriend.

sucker town (n.) [the inference is that the populace are too innocent to accept bribes]

[1940s] (US Und.) a town or city in which any criminal activity is unwise – the authorities have proved impervious to corruption.

sucker weed (n.) [sense 3b + weed n.1 (4)]

[1950s+] (US black/drugs) poor-quality marijuana, esp. as sold to gullible consumers.

sucker-wild (adj.)

extremely stupid, gullible.

In phrases

sucker out (v.)

[1960s] (US) to act like a fool; to make a mistake.