Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bring v.


1. to steal.

[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc.

2. (also bring down) to get or be given a prison sentence; thus n. bring-up, the length of a sentence.

[Aus]L. Esson Woman Tamer in Ballades of Old Bohemia (1980) 68: Constable: You’re qualifying for a stiff for the crust. / Smithy: (innocently) What have I done, Mr. Jones? / Constable: Nothing that I know of. That’s why you’ll get it. You’re likely to bring a sixer. I’m warning you.
[US]C. Hamilton Men of the Und. 320: Bring, To draw a prison sentence.
[US]T. Runyon In For Life 68: Whatcha bring down, Shorty?
[US](con. 1950-1960) R.A. Freeman Dict. Inmate Sl. (Walla Walla, WA) 17: Bring – to receive a prison sentence. ‘How much time did you bring with you?’ [...] Bring-up – the length of stir time one receives and must do.

3. (also bring around) to break a prisoner’s rebellious nature through punishment.

[US]C. Shafer ‘Catheads [...] and Cho-Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy Bounty of Texas (1990) 199: bring or bring around, v. – to break a convict’s spirit by hard work, harrassment, or punishment.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

bring... (v.)

see also under relevant n.

bring around (v.)

see sense 3 above.

bringdown/bring down

see separate entries.

bring drama (v.)

(US campus) to be very serious.

[US]Da Bomb 🌐 4: Bringing drama: To be serious about the subject at hand.
bring in (v.)

1. to be included in a proposition or plan.

[UK]C. Newland Scholar 18: An’ you’re jus’ bringin’ me in?

2. to receive a share of the profits.

[UK]C. Newland Scholar 20: [He] only asked to be ‘brought in neatly’ when they exchanged their stolen goods for money, or drugs.
bring it (v.)

(US) to confront fearlessly and powerfully.

[US]in B. Dempski et al. Dalko xi: [M]most of the talk was about the octane coming out of the left arm of Dalkowski [...] This guy could really bring it.
bring it all back home (v.)

(US campus) to go out and have a good time.

[US]Bob Dylan [album title] Bringing It All Back Home.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 2: This is going to be a great party. We’re going to bring it all back home tonight.
bring it away (v.) [‘it’ being the foetus]

to effect an abortion.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn).
bring (it) off (v.)

(UK Und.) to steal; to pickpocket.

[Ire]J. Carrick Account of Robberies 12: After having seen the Master of a Norway Ship lodge a bag of 100 l. in our Landlady’s Hands [...] [we] brought it off every Penny by Night from the Till wherein it was placed.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 49/1: We found him [...] examining a couple of ‘ridge-supers’ that had been ‘brought off’ that night by a clever ‘picking-up-moll’.
bring off (by hand) (v.)

see separate entries.

bring oneself off (v.)

see separate entry.

bring one’s hogs to a fair market (v.) (also bring one’s hogs to a fine market, bring one’s pigs to a fine market, …to a pretty market, carry one’s pigs to a fine market)

to be particularly successful in one’s business; also fig. and ironic; thus opposite bring one’s pigs/turkies to the wrong market, sell one’s pigs in a bad market, to do badly.

[UK]Look About You xiii: My fa-fa-father has brought his ho-ho-hogs to a fa-fa-fair m-m-market.
[UK]Beaumont & Fletcher Bonduca V ii: You have brought your hogs to a fine market: you are wise, Sir, Your honourable brain-pan full of crotchets.
[UK]W. Cartwright Ordinary IV iii: ’Tis one that brought his pigs to the wrong market.
[UK]J. Clarke Paraemiologia 7: You bring your hogs to a wrong market.
[UK]T. Randolph Hey for Honesty II v: Ergo, you have brought your hogs to a fair market!
[UK]C. Cotton Virgil Travestie (1765) Bk IV 126: Thou hast of Hope not one Spark left, / Th’ast brought thy Hogs to a fair Market.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: He has brought his Hoggs to a fair Market, or he has Spun a fair Thread.
[UK]C. Johnson Hist. of Highwaymen &c 350: I must needs own that I have brought my Hogs to a fair Market.
[UK]Smollett Roderick Random (1979) 72: Strap with a hideous groan observed that we had brought our pigs to a fine market.
[UK]A. Murphy Upholsterer I ii: Yes, you carried your Pigs to a fine Market.
[UK]Bloody Register II 300: A house on the Common that sold liquors, with this inscription on the sign, I have brought my hogs to a fair market?
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 65: The Greeks, to market bring their hogs.
[UK]‘Earl of Funsborough’ Covent Garden Jester 41: Damn it, said he as he entered, I have brought my hogs to a fine market!
[Ind]Hicky’s Bengal Gaz. 2-9 June n.p.: To their sorrowful disappointment, [they] found they had brought their Turkies to a wrong market.
[UK]W. Forbes Dominie Deposed 11: Faith you hae ca’d Your hogs unto a bonny market Indeed, my lad.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (4th edn) I 90: And is it thus, she says, my king, / The Greeks their hogs to market bring.
[UK] ‘The Exciseman’ in Holloway & Black II (1979) 95: Your hogs to a fine market you’ve brought [...] seeing you’ve paid no excise.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]D. Humphreys Yankey in England 19: Oh Doolittle! Doolittle! (striking hisforehead) you’ve brought your pigs to a fine market.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: He has brought his hogs to a fine market; a saying of any one who has been remarkably successful in his affairs, and is spoken ironically to signify the contrary.
[UK]Lytton Paul Clifford I 156: Mrs. Lobkins, [...] burst weepingly into the pathetic reproach, – ‘O Paul, thou hast brought thy pigs to a fine market!’.
[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker I 176: Poor devil, you’ve brought your pigs to a pretty market, that’s a fact.
[UK]Dickens Our Mutual Friend (1994) 594: I’ll work ’em both at the same time, and I’ll bring my pigs to market somewhere.
[Aus]H. Nisbet In Sheep’s Clothing 201: He felt that he had sold his pigs in a bad market. If he had waited, perhaps he might have met the right woman with even a larger dower.
bring on the china (v.) [bring on + ? rhy. sl. but with what or ? pun on SE China root, a once-popular medicinal plant]

to bring to orgasm.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 136/2: earlier C.20.
bring out (v.)

1. (UK Und.) for a senior to initiate a young beginner.

[UK]M. Davitt Leaves from a Prison Diary I 118: Their [i.e. ‘snatchers’] one great ambition is to be thought clever enough to have performed some daring or successful theft after having been ‘brought out’ by some renowned hook.
[UK]Mirror of Life 13 Jan. 6/2: Mr. Murphy was always to the front in supporting any of sport, but his favourite pastime was rowing. Several aspirants to aquatic honours owe their ‘bringing out’ to him.

2. (US black) to introduce a hitherto ignorant or naïve person to a faster, more sophisticated lifestyle.

[US]C. Major Juba to Jive.

3. (US gay) to introduce someone to the gay lifestyle; to recruit a male prostitute.

[US]‘Swasarnt Nerf’ et al. Gay Girl’s Guide 4: bring out To introduce to the mysteries of homosexuality.
[US]J. Rechy City of Night 197: I hadnt been strictly gay then, but Lance is a charmer — he was bringing me out fast.
[US]J.P. Stanley ‘Homosexual Sl.’ in AS XLV:1/2 56: bring out v Introduce someone to homosexual activity.
[US]J. Hayes in Chesebro Gayspeak 39: Terms in gay slang [...] come out, bring out.
[US]J. Ellroy Clandestine 165: ‘She brought me [i.e. her brother] out. She was lez and she didn't want me to love any other girls but her. [...] And she dressed me up, and made me up [...] and made me do her in front of her girlfriend’.
[US]Maledicta VI:1+2 (Summer/Winter) 147: From them she might pick up and more to startle than identify with her sisters use words and expressions such as [...] bring out.
bring pinnock to pannock (v.) [? dial. but none of the extant dial. meanings of pinnock – a small bridge or a drain or culvert, the hedge-sparrow or the blue titmouse, a sticky red clay, mixed with small stones – is relevant (pannock seems to be redup.); the change from ‘i’ to ‘a’ could be said to ‘ruin’ the word, but seems insufficient]

to bring to grief, to cause to be ruined, to bring something to nothing.

[UK]R. Huloet n.p.: Brynge somethynge to nothynge, as the vulgare speache is, to brynge pynnock to pannock [F&H].
bring someone up (v.) (also bring someone down front) [SE bring up short + mid-19C SE bring up, to bring into the presence of authority or for examination] (US black)

1. to criticize, to tell off.

[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 231: bring (one) down front; bring (one) up [...] 2. Chide.

2. to explain.

[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 231: bring (one) down front; bring (one) up See break it down.
bring the house down (v.) (also bring down the house) [theatrical imagery]

to delight, to gain overall approval.

[UK]World 13 June No. 76 (1819) 126: He doubts if your pictures are originals, and expresses his apprehension that your statues will bring the house down .
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Adventures of Mr Verdant Green (1982) II 158: What, it would surpass the British sailor’s broadsword combat for six, and bring down the house.
J. Forster Life of Charles Dickens IV 252: ‘And give us your applause, for that is always just!’ which brought down the house with rapture .
[Scot]Dundee Courier (Scot.) 30 June 7/5: When my wife was introduced to sing [...] she fairly ‘brought down the house’.
[UK]Bird o’ Freedom 7 Aug. 3: But Samson’s crowning feat of all was to break with his fist two steel chains, suspended from a couple of posts. This fairly brought down the house [F&H].
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 5 July 6/2: To be a success as a woman of to-day you must be little short of a genius – you can’t bring down the house with an Italian fist and the consumption like our grandmothers did.
[US]‘Billy Burgundy’ Toothsome Tales Told in Sl. 105: This was her regular stunt, and invariably brought the house down.
[US]H. Miller Sexus (1969) 470: Any moth-eaten cunt could walk out front [...] and by singing a wheezy tune bring the house down.
[US]Green & Laurie Show Biz from Vaude to Video 47: ‘Drunken dog’ acts brought the house down.
[US]R. Price Ladies’ Man (1985) 98: That brought the house down.
[US]C. White Life and Times of Little Richard 64: He and his band had put on a great performance and brought the house down.
[UK]Indep. 26 July 5: The squealing gaggle of eunuchs who bring the house down with their every reappearance.
[US]C. Cook Robbers (2001) 155: Sit in with the boys on a Saturday night and play that Cajun twostep [...] bringing down the house.
bring undone (v.)

(Aus. prison) to wreck someone’s plans.

[Aus]Tupper & Wortley Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. 🌐 Bring undone. To discover or frustrate someone’s plans. To have been ‘brought undone’ is every prisoner’s lament.
bring up (by hand) (v.)

see separate entries.

In exclamations

bring it on! (also bring it!)

a challenge to combat, literal or figurative.

[US]D. Jenkins Rude Behavior 36: [S]he’d spent a pleasureable two hours on her back, with her legs spread for Tommy Earl’s face, occasionally murmuring, ‘Oh, yeah, baby, do it . . . go there . . . bring it’.
[US]‘Touré’ Portable Promised Land (ms.) 158: We Words (My Favorite Things) [...] Word is bond. Bring it on. In the house. Fight the power.
[US]W.D. Myers Cruisers 88: ‘Come on, punk!’ It was Alvin McCraney pulling off his shirt. ‘Bring it! Bring it!’.
[SA]A. De Bruyn Escaping the Amazon 11: ‘We’re not scared!’ he shouted at the sea. ‘Screw you. Bring it on!’.