Green’s Dictionary of Slang

up front adv.

also in front
[SE/front v.3 ]

1. in advance, esp. of money paid for illegal activities, e.g. drug purchases.

[UK]S. Selvon Lonely Londoners 127: Five was a fellar, from the time he see you, he out to borrow money [...] So that all the boys start to take in front.
[US]L. Bruce Essential Lenny Bruce 145: Can I get some bread in front here?
[US]G.V. Higgins Digger’s Game (1981) 26: Eighty K in front from them.
[US]V.E. Smith Jones Men 48: I figure these people’ll want at least half their money up front.
[UK]A-Team Storybook 55: That’s up front [...] There’s another hundred if the mining stops.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 14: To schlep a girl back to a hotel cost two hundred up front.
[Ire]P. Howard The Joy (2015) [ebook] [I]f a junkie wants to use my taxi to go cruising fuckin Dublin for drugs, then he pays up front.
[Aus]P. Temple Black Tide (2012) [ebook] ‘It’s [i.e. a payment] got to be up front’ [...] ‘What’s the figure?’.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Layer Cake 103: You pull up ya cash up front, then you can do what ya like.
[US]D.H. Sterry Chicken (2003) 29: get the money up front!

2. openly, without deception.

[US]‘Ed Lacy’ Best that Ever Did It (1957) 16: I’m telling you in front, I don’t go in for shootings, or any rough stuff.
[US]E. Bunker No Beast So Fierce 218: She’s down on you in front.
[US]R. Price Clockers 8: At least with enemies, you know what they were right up front.
[US]L. Stringer Grand Central Winter (1999) 64: That’s Bold Gold. Worn gangsta-style. Up-front and In-Your-Face.

3. (orig. US black) first, at the start.

[US]‘Lord Buckley’ Hiparama of the Classics 20: Them Christian Cats sayin’ that yo ain’t no where and [...] if you was to be somewhere you’d be no where anyway ’cause you ain’t no where, IN FRONT!
[US]C. McFadden Serial 95: I’m telling you upfront, you can’t move in with me.
[US]D. Woodrell Muscle for the Wing 111: You’re dangerously fuckin’ confused about me. I want you to know that up-front.
[UK]K. Sampson Powder 66: What we’ll do [...] is tip off Chris Cowie way up front.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 198: I’d rather know up front, John, before we’re anymore involved.

4. fig., in the foreground.

[US]C. McFadden Serial 13: For once in her life she ought to put her own needs right up front.

5. (Aus.) in profit.

[Aus]R.G. Barrett You Wouldn’t Be Dead for Quids (1989) 144: He bumps into two of his best mates and they’re half a million dollars in front.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Goodoo Goodoo 47: I’m five hundred bucks in front.