Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bang n.1

1. as an act of violence.

(a) a blow, a hit, as aimed at and received by a person; also fig. use [ON banga, to hammer].

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew.
[UK] ‘Bloody Battle between a Taylor and a Louse’ in Ebsworth Roxburghe Ballads (1891) VII:2 478: Then the Taylor got his Goose, and he threw it at the Louse, / And gave her Bang on the side.
[UK]Hist. of Peter and Betteries 14: Hang the rogue, I care not a straw for thee take my word, I can give thee bang for bang [...] I’ll bang thy rogue’s coat by and by.
[UK]A. Shirrefs Jamie and Bess v: Ye snarlin’ Critics, spare your bang, / It’s nae for you I write my Sang, / Sae steek your gab, for ye’ll be wrang, / To think to tease me; / Ere I reply, ye’se a ga’e hang.
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper 15 Oct. 38: He closed the right fist and hit the crocodile an awful bang, fairly in the middle of the right eye.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘A Hooligan in Love’ Sporting Times 17 Nov. 1/4: I oftentimes give vent / To my love for ’er by fetchin’ ’er a bang, / It ain’t nothin’ like the sport there is in downin’ some old gent.
[UK]T. Burke Nights in Town 305: Stop the fight. I forbid the bangs!
[US]Dly News (NY) 3 Mar. 6/2: Gang Slang. These ‘Circus’ guys [...] weren’t looking for trouble. They ddn’t want to get a bang’.

(b) (US) a murder.

[US]H. Gould Double Bang 209: If you’re so slick, tell me how to do this chick without making it look like a street bang.

2. in the context of sex.

(a) a pelvic thrust during intercourse.

[Aus]Baker Popular Dict. Aus. Sl.

(b) (also bang-bang) an act of sexual intercourse, used in both hetero- and homosexual contexts.

[UK]J. Dunton Athenian Spy 282: Give us a good plain Earthen Platter, that will endure a sound Bang, and while we eat in’t we’re safer from Poyson, then if all our Meat were serv’d up in Unicorns’ Horns.
[UK] ‘She Grippet at the Girtest O’t’ in Farmer Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) II 261: She pay’d him twice for every bang.
[US]D. Clemmer Prison Community (1940) 330/1: bang, n. 1. A copulation.
[US] ‘Betty Boop in “Flesh”’ [comic strip] in B. Adelman Tijuana Bibles (1997) 30: Pounding that old roger home as if it were the last bang you’d ever get.
[Aus]‘Oh, Mrs Riley’ in Mess Songs & Rhymes of the RAAF 41: I haven’t had a bang, bang, bang in all me bloody life!
[US]Kerouac letter 10 Jan. in Charters (1995) I 300: Bob had his bang.
[US]A. Zugsmith Beat Generation 59: While you get the bang of all bangs.
[US]A. James America’s Homosexual Underground 39: We didn’t have a second bang because the kid moved out of the neighborhood.
[Aus](con. 1941) R. Beilby Gunner 3: Innocent – hell! She’d had more bangs than Guy Fawkes night.
[Ire]J. Morrow Confessions of Proinsias O’Toole 43: Between bangs she’d talk, about banging in general but primarily about the preceding bang and how good it had been.
[UK]S. Berkoff West in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 93: We’d be good for bang with gang upon a bird.
[Can](con. 1920s) O.D. Brooks Legs 92: But you’re gonna get a bang too. It’s only a deuce a jump.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 2 July 4: Research which involves paying 600 homosexual males to have anal intercourse [...] gives a whole new meaning to this week’s Phrase that Pays: ‘More bangs for your buck’.
[SA]IOL News (Western Cape) 23 Feb. [Internet] He was living ina sprawling £5 million villa named Maison de bang bang.

(c) (Aus.) a brothel.

[Aus]Baker Popular Dict. Aus. Sl.

(d) (also bangee) a man or woman as a sexual performer, e.g. he’s/she’s a great bang.

[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 122: hot bang A passionate young woman.
[US]Baker et al. CUSS 76: Bang A sexually attractive person, female.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Mama Black Widow 90: She did nothing to stop Sally from becoming a community bangee.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 146: passive partner [...] bang (‘That streetcar conductor turned out to be a damn good bang’).
[Aus]B. Moore Lex. of Cadet Lang. 23: bang [...] 2. a woman considered as a ‘bangee’.

(e) (US teen) a party, esp. when seen as a venue for sexual conquests.

[US]Teen Lingo: The Source for Youth Ministry [Internet] bang 1. n. Any party, but especially a party where promiscuous girls may be present. ‘Let’s check out that bang at Jo’s crib tonight.’.

3. as a fig. ‘blow’.

(a) (US) a try, an attempt; usu. in phr. take a bang at, to have a try, to make an attempt.

[US](con. WWI) H.F. Cruikshank ‘So This Is Flanders!’ Battle Stories July [Internet] I am out of hospital now, and almost ready for another bang at Jerry.
[UK](con. WWI) F. Richards Old Soldiers Never Die (1964) 17: Duffy said: ‘We’ll have a bang at the bastards to-day.’.
[US]W.R. Burnett High Sierra in Four Novels (1984) 361: I’m going to take a trip down to the islands and take a bang at some of them sealskin babes.

(b) (US Und., also banger) in fig. use, a criminal charge, i.e. something one is ‘hit’ with.

[US]N. Algren Neon Wilderness (1986) 17: Leo Cooney. Fraud’lent perscription. It’s a bad bang.
[US]Sat. Eve. Post 24 Mar. 78: ‘What they got you locked up for?’ ‘Ah, Sergeant Dooley got me. It’s a bum bang.’ [W&F].
[US]J. Wambaugh Choirboys (1976) 255: He was very close to bringing in a two-banger.

4. (Aus.) alcohol [by meton., the seller bangs the glass down on the bar counter].

[Aus]Inquirer & Commercial News (Perth) 30 Sept. 3/4: We love the barmaid, love to hang / Around her flies and hear her slang, / But most of all we love her bang.

5. (drugs, also bang in the arm) a single injection of a narcotic drug, e.g. a bang of cocaine [the force used to push the needle into one’s flesh + the instantly pleasurable sensation that the drug creates + play on shot n.1 (6b). Note the erroneous sp. bhang in cit. 1922, which is also cited in the OED and leads that dict. to assume it is a ‘revived’ version of the proper use, as a synon. for Indian cannabis (see bang n.4 )].

[UK]E. Murphy Black Candle 49: It is a common expression [...] to jocularly ask another if they could give them a ‘bhang’ [sic] which is a slang expression for a snuff of cocaine.
[US]Phila. Eve. Bulletin 5 Oct. 40/3: Here are a few more terms and definitions from the ‘Racket’ vocabulary: [...] ‘bang,’ a hypodermic narcotic dose.
[US]D. Maurer ‘Junker Lingo’ in AS VIII:2 27: The injection of dope is referred to as a bang in the arm or a shot in the arm.
[US]J.K. Butler ‘Saint in Silver’ in Goulart (1967) 98: Mrs. La Frage needed a bang in the arm.
[UK]I, Mobster 102: I knew then he’d turned junkie and that he’d given himself a bang before he showed up.
[US]C. Himes Pinktoes (1989) 57: Did Schooley and Pine sniff snow or take a bang.
[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972).
[US]D.E. Miller Bk of Jargon 339: bang: As a noun, a shot of heroin or other narcotic.
[US]J. Stahl Permanent Midnight 162: I had to [...] try to squeeze out a third, potent-as-rainwater bang out of the still damp cotton.
[US]J. Stahl Plainclothes Naked (2002) 312: If someone had a gun to his head, and offered him the chance for world peace or a bang of heroin, he’d probably go for the heroin.
[US]J. Stahl Happy Mutant Baby Pills 14: I’d try to sit through Regis and Kelly without a bang of chiba [...] I couldn’t make it past Regis’s rouge without a second shot.

6. excitement, stimulation [SE bang, a hit. a knock; thus a stimulus].

(a) (orig. US) a thrill, often in the context of drug use; thus get a bang (out of)

[US]N. Kimball Amer. Madam (1981) 310: I don’t know much about people who hurt other people for sex bangs.
[US]C.R. Cooper Designs in Scarlet 146: One cigarette can be utilized to produce an ordinary ‘bang’ for several persons.
[US]B. Appel Plunder (2005) 243: There was more of a bang beating Blacky into line.
[US]C. Hamilton Men of the Und. 213: Starting with a reefer, later turning to heroin for a bigger bang.
[US]‘Ed Lacy’ Lead With Your Left (1958) 12: Fast driving gives me a bang.
[US]S. Longstreet Flesh Peddlers (1964) 182: It’s all waterbugs now, way out. You ever drive one? No? It’s a big bang.

(b) energy.

[US]S. Lewis Babbitt (1974) 148: I have tried to sketch the Real He-man, the fellow with Zip and Bang.

7. (US) a handsome man.

[US]J. Dixon Free To Love 113: The distingué one with the white streak in his hair. Isn’t he a bang?

8. (US drugs) an inhalant.

[US]Franklin Favorite (KY) 21 Nov. 17/2: Some slang terms for inhalants are glue, kick, bang, sniff, huff, poppers, whippets and Texas shoe shine.

In compounds

bang artist (n.) [-artist sfx]

(US gay) an active male homosexual.

[US] (ref. to late 1960s) B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 17: The man who fucks in anal intercourse, as opposed to the one who is fucked [...] bang artist (late ’60s).

In phrases

bang in the arm (n.)

see sense 4 above.

get a bang (out of) (v.)

(orig. US) to enjoy, to derive pleasure from, to get a thrill from.

[US]D. Runyon ‘Breach of Promise’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 23: Miss Amelia Bodkin gets quite a bang out of having somebody to take care of.
[US](con. 1944) N. Mailer Naked and Dead 273: I get a bang outa talkin’ to ya.
[US]J.D. Salinger Catcher in the Rye (1958) 33: I hate the movies like poison, but I get a bang imitating them.
[US]H. Simmons Corner Boy 153: The crowd got a bang out of that too.
[UK]P. Larkin letter 25 May in Thwaite Sel. Letters (1992) 287: Some people get a bang out of reading their stuff, but I don’t, I get the reverse of a bang, a deathly silence in fact.
[US]A. Zugsmith Beat Generation 12: Some girls get a bang out of violence. They can’t enjoy it if they’re not roughed up.
[US]‘Lou Rand’ Gay Detective (2003) 106: I do get a bang out of watching.
[US](con. 1940s) H. Simmons Man Walking On Eggshells 106: One time Raymond faked Jimmy all the way up on top of the hood of a parked car. All the guys got a bang out of that.
[US]B. Jackson Thief’s Primer 107: Using narcotics as pills, especially if like me you’ve never shot any dope, you get a pretty good bang out of it. You get a pretty good jolt.
[US]‘Red’ Rudensky Gonif 57: What kind of a bang do you get out of this writing.
[US]A. Maupin Tales of the City (1984) 31: I don’t get a big bang out of this, you know. It doesn’t thrill me.
[US]J. Ellroy Brown’s Requiem 21: He got a bang out of that and started to laugh.
[US]J. Wambaugh Secrets of Harry Bright (1986) 184: Only Beavertail Bigelow [...] didn’t get a bang out of Oleg’s performance.
[Can](con. 1920s) O.D. Brooks Legs 87: I got a bang out of watching the two guys patroling the aisles with long bamboo poles to prod the snoring bos awake.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Leaving Bondi (2013) [ebook] ‘He should like that.’ ‘Oh yeah,’ smiled Norton. ‘He’ll get a bang out of this, I guarantee it’.
give (someone) a bang (v.)

(US) to thrill, to amuse, to entertain.

N. Mailer letter 1 Nov. in Selected Letters (2014) 66: There was one thing though that’ll give you a bang.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

bang-stick (n.)

any form of firearm.

[US]J. Morris Strawberry Soldier 138: A pistol is not a magic bang stick [HDAS].
[US](con. 1968) D.A. Dye Citadel (1989) 185: Subcaliber fucking bang-sticks and a couple of measly-assed hand grenades.
bang wagon (n.) [it carries those who have ‘had a bang’]

(US) an ambulance.

[US]P. Crump Burn, Killer, Burn! 159: Maybe we’d better call the bang wagon.
bang water (n.) [the sound of a car’s engine]

(Can.) petrol.

[UK]Hunt & Pringle Service Sl.
[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 48/1: since ca. 1920.
bang word (n.)

a highly expressive word, a ‘swear-word’.

[UK]Westminster Gazette 20 Jan. 2/1: When the recipient of a letter has to [...] go in for a comparative analysis of the different letters [...] he is justified in using bang words.

In phrases

bang of the latch (n.) [i.e. before the pub door is latched for the night]

(Irish) one final drink after ‘time’ has been called.

[Ire]H. Leonard Out After Dark 8: A long-suffering publican [...] refused their pleas for ‘a bang of the latch’ – a last quick pint.
with a bang (adv.)

used of something that goes well, successfully.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 5 Nov. 7/3: This smiling stripling’s elegant intrepidity sheds new lustre on his branch of business. It surpasses all understanding and closes the show with a bang.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 16 Jun. 14/2: The house-father told the present writer that he had given village-settlements best, after six years’ hard graft, and was making for Gisborne. Go on the land, young man! – and if you go as a village-settler, on 10 acres, you’ll come off it with a loud bang!
[UK]Wodehouse Carry on, Jeeves 197: ‘Dear old Freddie may have been fluffy in his lines,’ I said, ‘but his business certainly seems to have gone with a bang.’.