1. a loathsome, unpleasant person; occas. used teasingly/affectionately.
|Northward Hoe IV i: I smelt out my noble stincker Greenshield in his Chamber.|
|Greenes Tu Quoque Scene xix: I doe feare that I shall turne stinckard, I doe smell such a matter: you are married then?|
|The Night-Walker I i: wil.: I am her kinsman [...] Yet honest Franke, before I would have that stinkard, That walking rotten tombe, enjoy her maidenhead... fr.: Prethee leave mocking.|
|Fancies and Fantasticks (1817) II 368: He that hammers like a tinker / Kettle musick is a stinker.‘The Shepheards Holy Day’|
|The Way of the World IV ii: Your Mahometan, your Mussulman, is a dry stinkard.|
|Goethe: a New Pantomime 189: Scoundrel, stinkard, ruffian, booby!|
|Sl. Dict. (1890).|
|Complete Stalky & Co. (1987) 220: He was further (I give the barest handful from great store) a Flopshus Cad, an Outrageous Stinker, a Jelly-bellied Flag-flapper.‘The Flag of Their Country’|
|(con. WWI) Somme Mud 263: Oh sufferin’ cats! The stinkers’ve got me!|
|Queenslander (Brisbane) 6 Sept,. 56/1: Steve very rudely called out, ‘Hello Stinker’.|
|Call It Sleep (1977) 225: Yuh pushed me in id, yuh lousy stinkuh!|
|Anything For a Laugh 70: Let’s keep the little stinker six months more.|
|Poor Man’s Orange 24: ‘Like me a bit, Charlie?’ A kiss landed at the corner of his mouth. ‘No, you’re a little stinker.’.|
|Big Red 98: He had a look at them goats. [...] ‘Watch me give that ol’ stinker a bit of a hurry-up,’ says he.|
|God the Stonebreaker 118: Lying bastard. Damn lying stinker! T’ief! Crooked brute!|
|Inside the Und. 36: I thought she was a stinker when I met her.|
|Rhyme Stew (1990) 70: So finally, like all great thinkers / Who also happen to be stinkers.|
2. (UK Und.) the mouth.
|Swell’s Night Guide 51: So help my squirter, vot a rasping stink! [...] Why don’t you eat more salt and plug your stinker.|
3. a black eye [20C+ use is Aus.].
|Life in London (1869) 311: bob got a stinker.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 8 Dec. 32/1: Uncle Jim was kneeling on the hearth, giving Bobbie a lesson in boxing, and from time to time he ducked cleverly to show us all how to dodge a ‘stinker.’ Uncle has the dirtiest left on the Castlereagh; in fact, you can’t see it for dirt at times.|
4. a counterfeit coin.
|Westmoreland Gaz. 20 Oct. 1/4: Solomons: Ven he showed it [i.e. a bad shilling] after he took it out of his mouth it was a regular stinker. Lord Mayor: Why did you put it in your mouth? You could have discovered that it was a counterfeit without tasting it. Solomon: I just put it in my mouth for to bite it, for to see whether it wasn’t a stinker: so when I finds that it bites soft, I knowed.|
5. anything that emits an offensive smell, orig. aimed at cigars and cigarettes; thus penny stinker n.
|Proceedings Geological Society II 21: The greater part of the workings are only shallow pits, touching merely the sulphureous beds, locally called ‘stinkers’ .|
|Oddities of London Life I 175: [H]e gets a link, a rig’lar ‘stinker,’ vich it’s a shame for any nobleman or gentleman to be obligated to walk arter.|
|York Herald 2 Nov. 6/2: The ventilating shafts were great stinkers.|
|Slum Silhouettes 221: They’re good uns, none o’ yer penny stinkers these ain’t. Kitty brought ’em. She knows a good smoke when she sees ’em.|
|Blackburn Standard 5 May 12/1: Whereupon he took another penny stinker — as rude boys call them — and lit up.|
|Leicester Chron. 18 Aug. 2/3: Silver was to electro what [...] the Havan cigar [was] to the two-penny stinker.|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 26 June 4/8: I smells the shillin’ stinkers an’ I listens to the band.|
|Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 23 4/2: Stinker (Working Boys’). Penny cigars. Frequently so named in taverns.|
|Post 28 Mar. 11/1: Everybody I meet seems to be smoking the fierce black cigarette that is commonly met with in France [...] They used to be called ‘stinkers’ by the Tommies.|
|Ulysses 291: So they started arguing about the point, Bloom saying he wouldn’t and couldn’t and excuse him no offence and all to that and then he said well he’d just take a cigar. Gob, he’s a prudent member and no mistake. – Give us one of your prime stinkers, Terry, says Joe.|
|(con. WWI) Soldier and Sailor Words 47: Canteen Stinker: A cheap cigarette. A ‘gasper’.|
|Tramping with Tramps 147: A packet of stinkers and a red ’un!|
|Honest Rainmaker (1991) 130: A genuine Principe de la Porta [...] ‘No stinker, a real two-dollar torch.’.|
|letter 8 Feb. in Dear America (1985) 153: The beach formed by the bay in town is a real stinker, resulting from all sorts of debris.|
|Big Easy 40: [of a mortuary corpse] He was a real stinker – plumb full of corn bread.|
|Dolores Claiborne 24: Even stuck in a bed most of the time, wearing diapers and rubber pants, she could be a real stinker. The messes she made.|
|Soothing Music for Stray Cats 30: But train bogs [...] they used to be well worse. Man, they were stinkers.|
6. an exceptional example of, e.g. a cold in the head.
|‘A Grand Turn-Up’ in Randy Songster in Spedding & Watt (eds) I 188: Ragged Jack gave his rival a stunning blow on the conk and down went dirty Dick [...] Bravo! bravo! cried Ned the nightman, there’s a stinker!|
|Aerbut Paerks, of Baernegum 1: Ower old mon says, ‘I ain’t ’arf copt a stinker and all,’ so the doctor ’e shoves summat in a bottle.|
|Reported Safe Arrival 23: What a stinker of a cold I shall have!|
|Guardian G2 3 Dec. 18: His wife Irene is having a right stinker of a blazing affair with a younger man.|
|Brummagem Dict. [Internet] stinker n. a cold; flu. ‘I aint ’arf copt a stinker an’ all.’.|
7. (Aus.) a very hot or humid day.
|Port Augusta Dispatch (SA) 3 Jan. 2/6: Christmas Day at Tarcoola was ‘a stinker’ - 112 in the shade - writes our correspondent, from there, on Dec. 26.|
|Chron. (Adelaide) 15 June 63/1: Already the distant hills and the granite outcrop were being swallowed in waves of shimmering mirage; Taffy decided that the day was going to be a ‘real stinker’.|
|Don Dorrigo Gaz. (NSW) 4 Feb. 3/1: It’s also a ‘stinker’ of a day - must be a 200 deg. job to-day.|
|Bobbin Up (1961) 101: A real stinker ain’t it?|
|I’m a Jack, All Right 104: Hot already outside. It’s going to be a real stinker today.|
|Crime Factory: Hard Labour [ebook] The next day was a stinker. The eucalypt scented humidity and relentless cicada buzz combined to form an oppressive wall.‘Grassed’ in|
8. (Aus.) a Chinese person.
|Bulletin (Sydney) 7 Apr. 31/3: I must save myself at all costs. Damn that poker-party last night! How the devil is a fellow to distinguish one ‘schtinker’ from another when he’s been keeping it up all night?|
9. a brandy-ball sweet.
|Marvel 10 Mar. 197: A pennyworth of stinkers – brandy-balls, you know.|
10. a bad turn, an unkind act.
|Essex Newsman 14 Nov. 2/8: Miss Garrett and I walked toghether to the Common gate. I left her outside [...] but when I came back she had gone. [...] Laver asked me if I was going out next night and I said, ‘No, she has done me a stinker to-night, and I have made no appointment with her’.|
11. anything considered unpleasant because of the difficulty in accomplishing it, e.g. a school essay; thus come a stinker v., to fall into difficulties (evidence suggests that this may be unique to Wodehouse).
|Complete Stalky & Co. (1987) 158: The second stanza [...] of that Ode is what is technically called a ‘stinker’.‘Regulus’|
|Diary I (1950) 20: It ain’t a bad life when the weather is O.K. But it’s a stinker when it is wet.|
|Right Ho, Jeeves 65: It seems a pity that the frail craft of love should come a stinker like this.|
|Thank You Jeeves134: ‘And Sir Roderick came a stinker?’ ‘He appears to have fallen with some heaviness, sir.’.|
|Sharpe of the Flying Squad 67: What we call ‘a bit of a stinker,’ a case where there looks to be lots of trouble before anyone is caught – if ever.|
|CUSS 204: Stinker Difficult exam.et al.|
|Bachelors Anonymous 130: It’s his love life. It’s come a stinker.|
|Stand (1990) 51: The man from Columbia presented him with a check [...] and a stinker of a contract.|
|Bug (Aus.) 4 Aug. [Internet] There is so much debate over rule changes that when a real stinker comes along, it’s not treated with the uproar it deserves.|
12. a strongly worded letter; a disagreeable review or other communication.
|Mating Season 166: Like Lord Byron reading a review of his last slim volume [...] and finding it a stinker.|
|Diaries 24 Sept. 155: Bernard Levin in the Express gives it [i.e. a play] an absolute stinker.|
|(con. c.1928) My Grandmothers and I (1987) 180: An old bee, Aunt Emily, wrote the Guvnor a proper stinker after she read something in a rag.|
|Camden New Journal (London) Rev. 4 Sept. VII: Sumptuous costumes and wonderful locations mean this film will no doubt be a [...] hit across the Pond. But as a drama it’s a stinker.|
|Guardian G2 10 Feb. 6/2: Andy Warhol’s maxim, ‘Don’t read your reviews, weight them,’ clearly cut no ice. He still remembers every stinker.|
13. an unfunny ‘joke’.
|‘On Broadway’ 6 Dec. [synd. col.] He quotes radio writers in defence of their raid on Joe’s ancient stinkers . . . That’s all the dial muggs savvy.|
14. a failure.
|What Makes Sammy Run? (1992) 184: I was just running some pictures at the studio. Two stinkers.|
|Dan Turner Detective Mar. [Internet] Think of the publicity you’ll get for free on ‘Desert Destiny’ and all the other Fernando del Cavallero stinkers.‘Dead Man’s Shakedown’ in|
|Faggots 281: This stinker, loser, bomb, meant twenty-three million dollars of P-P’s money down the toilet.|
|R].N.Y. Times n.p.: I took Bill Holden, Audrey Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich, Noël Coward and the city of Paris and made an absolute stinker [|
|Guardian G2 23 July 13: People say your show is a stinker.|
|I, Fatty 85: They shot a one-reel stinker [...] Cohen at Coney Island.|
|Guardian G2 14 Oct. 11/1: One critic described it [i.e. a musical] as ‘a real gold-plated stinker’.|
15. a bad mood.
|Powder 488: Keva, in a stinker again.|