Green’s Dictionary of Slang

check v.

1. (orig. US) to look over, to inspect.

[US]J. Black You Can’t Win (2000) 260: My mistake in not checking Swede Pete the night before was not repeated here.
[US]P. Kendall Dict. Service Sl. n.p.: check your hat or check the gloves . . . means I take note of your hat and very chic [sic].
[US]E. De Roo Go, Man, Go! 7: With a quick glance over his shoulder, he checked the Merc standing across from his house.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn (1966) 200: He crossed his legs and checked the barber in the mirror as he cut.
[US]D. Goines Dopefiend (1991) 219: Why don’t you check your whore, Snake?
[UK]M. Thelwell Harder They Come 152: Jose, watching Ivan checking the girls.
[SA]P. Slabolepszy Sat. Night at the Palace (1985) 12: vince: I said check him!!? forsie: Who!!? vince: Jeez – Katz, man!! forsie: I checked him!
[US]Source Oct. 186: I just be checkin’ your shit.
[UK]N. Barlay Crumple Zone 3: Check Miss Thing boppin’ down the street.
[UK]I. Welsh Decent Ride 8: Check thehhht! Juice Terry bellows, at [...] a rather ordinary young woman.

2. (orig. US) to visit, to see.

[US]G. Swarthout Where the Boys Are 16: He said [...] he would check us in the afternoon.
[US] in DARE.
[US]O. Hawkins Ghetto Sketches 21: Awwwright . . . that’s cool . . . we’ll check . . . you. [...] We’ll check you out later on.
[UK]M. Thelwell Harder They Come 278: Tell ’im to check me when ’im come back.
[UK]V. Headley Yardie 38: Blue come check me tonight.
[UK]N. Barlay Crumple Zone 159: We’ll talk . . . Check me abou’ tonigh’.
[UK]N. Barlay Hooky Gear 152: With the words check me if you need anythin man he say goodbye to me an the old days both.

3. (orig. US) to criticize, to attack verbally.

[US]D. Goines Street Players 50: I’ve got my first time to see one of you check one of them white whores.
[US]Dr Dre ‘Fuck Wit Dre Day’ [lyrics] You tryin to check my homey, you better check yo self.
[US]Prison Slang Mommyblogger mydogharriet.blogspot.com 2 Mar. [Internet] That motherfucking bulldog needs to get checked for doing you greasy.

4. (W.I./UK black teen) to see someone, to have a (usu. sexual) relationship with someone; thus checking, having a relationship.

[UK]T. Rhone Smile Orange i i: She fat, you see! So I decide to check her.
[UK]V. Headley Yardie 24: Unsure whether Leroy would approve of him checking his sister.
[UK]‘Q’ Deadmeat 98: She’s not your woman? You’re not checking her?

5. (US black) to kill.

[US]L. Stavsky et al. A2Z 19/1: If you cross me, I’ma check ya.

6. (orig. US) to assess, to envisage.

[UK] in R. Graef Living Dangerously 151: I just had a grudge against them as far as I check it.

7. (US prison) to fight; usu. as checking n., a fight.

[US]Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July [Internet] Checking: A fight. When it happens in the fields, it is generally sanctioned by officers. When it happens in the building, it is generally testing to see whether someone new is going to ride or to be a punk. See Hoe Check. (TX).

In phrases

check ’em

(US black) a phr. apologizing or acknowledging a foolish remark or action.

[US]Ebonics Primer at www.dolemite.com [Internet] check ’em Definition: (referring to the testicles) to make up for something stupid you said or did; or to redeem yourself if someone clowns you. Example: Why you let him talk to you like that; I think you better check em’, man.
check for (v.) (W.I./UK black teen)

1. to seek out.

[UK]T. White Catch a Fire 225: Thir conversations led in due course to Bob ‘checking fe’ (seeking out) the one dread [...] who had actually stood shoulder to shoulder with Selassie.

2. to like, to be involved with.

[WI]Francis-Jackson Official Dancehall Dict. 10: Check-fah/fi to be fond of: u. me check fi da’ gal deh.
[UK]C. Newland Scholar 228: ‘I know you check for Sean a way —’ ‘I love him, I don’t check for him,’ Sonia said.
check it (to) (v.)

(US) to say goodbye.

[US]E. Anderson Thieves Like Us (1999) 48: I’m going to be checking it to you boys [...] in just a few minutes.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr. 1: check it – goodby.
check oneself (v.)

(US) to compose oneself, to ‘get a grip’.

[US]M. Braly On the Yard (2002) 277: Check yourself, Chilly, they think you had that cat taken out.
see sense 3 above.
[US]C. Major Juba to Jive 88: check [one’s] self (1960s–1990s) a warning to stay in or get back in line with what is expected.
[US]Source Aug. 36: You gave Biggie, Outkast, even LL’s sorry ass five mics, check ya’selves.
check out (v.)

see separate entry.

check someone’s chin (v.) (also chin check)

(US black teen) to hit on the jaw; such a blow is a chin-check.

Pooh-Man ‘Judgement Day’ [lyrics] Put ‘em to your dome, cause bullets know how to chin check.
2Pac ‘Enemies with Me’ [lyrics] on R U Still Down? [album] Young Thugs we chin checking all you junior high school motherfuckers.
Z-Ro ‘Tall Tale of a G’ [lyrics] on Look What You Did To Me [album] I step in and checking chins, broke loose with a loose tooth.
NWA on Next Friday [album; song title] Chin check.
check you (also check you later, ...on the flipside)

(orig. US black/campus) goodbye, see you later.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 1: check you later – see you later.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr. 1: check – [...] check you on the flip side, check you (Goodbye).
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Spring 2: check you later – a farewell.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Nov. 2: check ya! – a farewell: Gotta get on the road, so we’ll check ya!
[US]L. Stavsky et al. A2Z 19/1: Check ya, I’ma jet.
[US]Eble Sl. and Sociability 95: Instead of hello and good-bye, characters say What’s happening?, what is it, blood?, and Check you later. [Ibid.] 100: The parting remarks of college students follow the same patterns, as in the long-standing check you later, an elliptical statement that refers to a future meeting. Variations are catch you later, check you on the flip side, catch you on the flip flop, check you, smell you later, and smell you.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

check in (v.)

see separate entry.

check it in (v.) [the idea of checking possessions into a left-luggage locker]

(US black) as an imper. used by a mugger to his or her victim, to demand that someone hand over their money, valuables, etc.

[US]G. Smitherman Black Talk.
check one’s bicycle (v.)

a euph. phr. to disguise one’s desire/need to visit the lavatory.

[US]D. Lebofsky Lex. of Phila. Metropolitan Area n.p.: See a man about a duck, make a river, drop a tear, go to an organ recital, check one’s bicycle, drop a cookie, give a Chinaman a music lesson – to go to the bathroom.
check one’s nerves (v.)

(US black) to take a grip on oneself, to control one’s emotions.

[US]M.H. Boulware Jive and Sl.
check out

see separate entries.

check someone’s oil (v.) [euph. but note oil n. (1)]

(US) to have sexual intercourse.

[US] Robert Johnson ‘Terraplane Blues’ [lyrics] Lift your hood, mama, I got to check your oil.
[US] in H. Oster Country Blues 353: Come out here, little baby, you know I’m boun’ to check yo’ oil [HDAS].
[US]D. Long Song for Nia 16: Hey bitch can I check your oil [HDAS].
[US]W. Kotzwinkle Jack in the Box 157: I’d like to check her [...] oil.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Fall.