Green’s Dictionary of Slang

poll n.1

[SE poll, the head, ult. ME poll, the nape of the neck]

1. the hair; thus -polled adj., -haired.

[UK]Tom Tyler and his Wife (1661) in Farmer (1908) 33: I will take him by the poll, by Cock’s precious soul! I will make him to toil, when [...] I will sit and rest.
[UK]‘I.T.’ Grim The Collier of Croydon IV i: Now Miller, Miller, dustipole, I’ll clapper-claw your Iobbernoule.
[UK]Shakespeare Hamlet IV vi: His beard was white as snow All flaxen was his poll.
[UK]Dekker Newes from Graues-end (1925) 78: Thou wouldst neuer haue gone to any Barbers in London whilst thou had liude, but haue bin trimd only there, for they are the true shauers, and they haue the right Neapolitan polling.
[UK]J. Taylor ‘Sculler’ in Works (1869) III 21: Yet all the poleshorne crew of Antichrists, / Condemnes me all without remorse to Hell.
[UK]N. Ward Hudibras Redivivus I:10 14: ’Twas snipped so round and regular, / That one would guess he clapp’d a Bowl / On each Enthuiastick Poll.
[UK]J. Townley High Life Below Stairs I iii: kit.: This is a strange Head of Hair [...] It is so coarse, and carrotty. lov.: All my Brothers and Sisters be red in the Poll.
[UK]‘Peter Pindar’ ‘Instructions to a Celebrated Laureat’ Works (1794) II 31: Large, red-poll’d, blowzy, hard two-handed jades.
[UK]‘Peter Pindar’ ‘Royal Visit to Exeter’ Works (1801) V 106: The Princesses, sweet souls, With rosy chucks and flaxen polls.
[Ire]‘A Real Paddy’ Real Life in Ireland 33: His ragged red poll.
[UK]Lytton Paul Clifford I 130: If you be n’t knocked o’ the head! Your poll’s as bloody as Murphy’s face ven his throat’s cut!
[US]J.M. Field Drama in Pokerville 104: His grizzly poll.
[UK]Sam Sly 5 May 2/2: Jack S——ine, alias Giblets, to be more regular in the payment of 2s. 6d. per week to the young girl with the carrotty pole [sic].
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 21 Apr. 3/4: After wagging their polls at the wagon they returned to their seats.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor III 331/2: A lieutenant once put his hand on my poll, and said, ‘My fine red-headed fellow’.
[UK]‘Old Calabar’ Won in a Canter II 47: ‘[Y]ou’re bowled out you carrotty-polled snob’.
[UK]Laughing Songster 26: [song title] The Lad with the Carrotty Poll.
[Ire]C.J. Kickham Knocknagow 73: Ellie looked laughingly at the delinquent, who scratched his curly poll.
[UK]Nottingham Eve. Post 28 Jan. 4/5: ‘Hullia! Nosey,’ said a closely-polled specimen of the genus London Arab.
[Ire]Somerville & Ross Through Connemara in a Governess-Cart 9: The mermaid, when not decoying sailors to their fate, is incessantly ‘racking her poll’ as they say in the County Cork .
[UK]Aberdeen People’s Jrnl 15 Oct. 10/7: The old gentleman rubbed his bare poll.
[Aus]Truth (Brisbane) 19 Oct. 3/3: [H]er greasy ‘poll’ topped by an enormous hat of which imitation ostrich ‘fevvers’ constitute the principal ornament.
[US]W.M. Raine Bucky O’Connor (1910) 241: ‘I’m eating humble-pie in big chunks right this minute,’ said Neil shamefacedly, scratching his curly poll.
[UK]E. Pugh City Of The World 173: ‘Now, whatever you do, Jim, don’t be rash,’ says a red-polled boy who sits next to him.
[UK]M. Harrison Reported Safe Arrival 10: The professor’s heavy eyebrows moved upwards to meet his scrubby poll.
[US]N. Algren Man with the Golden Arm 6: He [...] scrubbed the punk’s wispy poll.
[UK]A. Sinclair My Friend Judas (1963) 50: There he was, shaking his shaved red poll.
[US]H. Roth From Bondage 316: The skinny red-poll, the chubby blonde.

2. a wig.

[UK]Hell Upon Earth 6: Poll, a Peruke.
[UK]C. Hitchin Regulator 19: A Poll, alias Katsing, alias Wigg.
[UK]T. Walker The Quaker’s Opera II i: And when we come unto the Whit, / Our Darbies to behold [...] we bouze the Water Cold. / But as I’ve liv’d to come out again, / If the merry Old Roger I meet, / I’ll tout his Muns, and I’ll snable his Poll / As he Pikes along the Street.
[UK]G. Stevens ‘A Cant Song’ Muses Delight 177: While I mill’d his mazzard she snaffl’d his poll.
[UK](con. 1710–25) Tyburn Chronicle II in Groom (1999) xxix: A Poll, or Catsing A Wig.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Poll, a Wig.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue .
[UK] ‘The Bowman Prigg’s Farewell’ in Wardroper (1995) 283: He snaffled her clout, poll and tail, / For which he was hiked to the Whit, sir.
[UK] ‘Song’ Jovial Songster 67: Two men with long polls – all the world like a briar.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK](con. mid-18C) G.A. Sala Strange Adventures of Captain Dangerous 83: I never shoved the tumbler for tail-drawing or poll-snatching on a levee-day.

In compounds