1. to tamper with, to falsify; thus cook the books, cook the accounts; thus cooking n., tampering, falsifying.
|Letters II (1739) 16: The Proof was once clear, however they have cook’d it since.|
|Cardiff & Merthyr Guardian 5 Apr. 3/4: The public had hesrd a great deal of ‘cooking accounts:’ it had become a slang term.|
|Punch XXXI 189: It is remarkable especially for the facilities it offers for cooking the accounts, as it entirely prevents any possibility of checking them.|
|Hard Cash II 25: You have cooked the books in time.|
|F&H].Study of Sociology (9th edn) 119: The dishonesty implied in the adulterations of tradesmen and manufacturers... in cooking of railway accounts and financial prospectuses [|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 13 Mar. 1/4: This was very rough on the Anglican Church; but it is necessary to remember that the warder was a real Roman Catholic and wanted to ‘cook’ the gaol statistics to suit His Grace Archbishop Vaughan.|
|Sat. Rev. (London) 1 Feb. 134/1: Money has to be found somehow [...] the clerk cooks his books, and the shop-boy ‘fingers the till’ [F&H].|
|Mufti 223: I believe the men would willingly agree to that if they were [...] sure he wasn’t cooking his books.|
|Nightmare Town (2001) 267: Your husband had been cooking the books for some time.‘Who Killed Bob Teal?’ in|
|Right Ho, Jeeves 188: Accusing the latter of having cooked the marks.|
|None But the Lonely Heart 42: Everybody knew them machines was cooked.|
|All Bull 209: I found that the man before me had been cooking the wardroom wine accounts.|
|Mooi Street (1994) 26: It’s a bladdy racket. A cooking of books.‘Under the Oaks’ in|
|Curvy Lovebox 125: So Tax [...] star’ doin’ a little cookin’.|
|Soho 193: Once in a blue moon he comes in early to cook the books.|
|Mystery Bay Blues 76: A law firm [...] where the lawyers were cooking the books.|
2. to ruin, to spoil; to cheat.
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 22 Dec. 3/2: Here’s a discharge he gave me on the 17th. that will cook him, I think.|
|Paved with Gold 357: Suppose they should think I have bolted, and break open my trunks? [...] That would about cook me up.|
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor III 350/2: When the clarences, the cabs that carry four, come in, they cooked the hackney-coachmen in no time.|
|Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 13 Nov. 2/3: This witness had been ‘cooked’ — had been ‘done up brown’ — by [...] his employer.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 21 Feb. 6/2: The ‘Continental Gossip’ of that darling ‘Stella’ […], is bound to cook us, in the end.|
|Colonial Reformer I 76: Never knew one of ’em that didn’t take to drink sooner or later; and, in course, that cooked ’em.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 24 Mar. 28/1: The Theatre Francais, the burning of which is cabled, was a played-out institution. Three things, within the last 20 years, have been enough to ‘cook’ it.|
|Battlers 226: Take me eyes off ye for two minutes and you try to cook the whole show.|
|Slam the Big Door (1961) 56: Rob Raines felt his face grow hot. A thing like that [...] could cook you for good.|
3. to give someone their due deserts.
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 26 Apr. 2/6: ‘Good boy,’ shouted the brums, ‘That’s the way to cook him’.|
|Five Years’ Penal Servitude 128: Seeing how the fellow was acting he sent him two ‘shise’ notes, which gave him a dose that ‘cooked’ him.|
4. to suffer from the heat.
|DSUE (1984) 251/1: from ca. 1860.|
|Crazy Kill 60: Friends who had come to bury big Joe [...] but were being cooked instead.|
|Campus Sl. Apr. 2: cook – to get sunburned.|
|Hip-Hop Connection Jan. 69: Turn the fecking heating down next time [...] We was cooking.|
5. (Aus.) to die by hanging.
|Bulletin (Sydney) 13 Jun. 22/1: The bolt was drawn, the drop fell, and the idiotic little Tester went through! With all Nosey Bob’s assurances, however, he took some time to ‘cook.’ The rope was badly adjusted, and the idiot, thus lightly pronounced sane, kicked in the air for many, many minutes.|
6. in the preparation or consumption of drugs; occas. alcohol.
(a) to heat opium before smoking it.
|Harper’s Weekly 24 Sept. 646: [He] takes up a little of the treacle-like opium which is brought to him in a small clam shell, upon a long steel needle, or yen hanck, and holding it above the flame of the lamp, watches it bubble and swell to eight or ten times its original size. In doing so it loses its inky hue, becomes of a bright golden brown color, and gives off a creamy odor, much admired by old smokers [...] This process is known as ‘cooking’ the opium.|
|Sun (N.Y.) 20 Oct. in Stallman (1966) 145: When a man can cook for himself and buys his own layout, he is gone, probably.in|
|Tales of the Ex-Tanks 390: There were four other Chinks to cook the pills.|
|Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 128: Men and women sprawled on straw bunks cooking fragrant, satisfying pills of bubbling brown.|
|Limehouse Nights 260: Lois swung herself from the lounge and began to ‘cook’ for her boy.|
|Hop-Heads 113: It is the unwritten law of the average opium den that a man tend the pipe of his woman companion as well as his own, rolling and cooking her ‘pills’.|
|You Can’t Win (2000) 191: His withered, clawlike hands trembled as he feverishly rolled the first ‘pill,’ a large one [...] Half cooked, he stuck the pill in its place and turning his pipe to the lamp greedily sucked the smoke into his lungs.|
|Chicago May (1929) 139: I went down to Limehouse Causeway, and engaged the services of a high-class chef, to cook the pills. [Ibid.] 141: He cooked green pills for me, and I nearly passed out. I was fed up with dope, and I have never inhaled opium in any form since.|
|Gangster Girl 142: Another pill, and still another cooked on his pipe.|
|Phenomena in Crime 92: A skinny piece of yellow humanity [...] ‘cooked’ for the patrons.|
|DAUL 49/1: Cook, v. [...] 2. To tend the opium pipe for smokers; to chef.et al.|
(b) to manufacture smokeable opium from the crude product.
|Rev. of Reviews 5 June 604: Crude opium is not imported in such a proportion as formerly, because the heavy duties make it impossible to manufacture or ‘cook’ the product in this country and compete with the foreign prepared variety.|
(c) to prepare a narcotic (esp. heroin) for injection by heating a solution of powder and water for use in a syringe.
|Und. and Prison Sl.|
|Monkey On My Back (1954) 103: A place where the boys could ‘cook’ and take their shots.|
|Addict in the Street (1966) 28: When you cook the stuff [...] You measure out the heroin into the water, light a match, and cook it up.|
|House of Slammers 88: And they both rolled up their sleeves. / While cookin’ a taste over a small blaze.|
|Grits 17: None uv em cooking or choppin up powders on thuh table.|
(d) to distill (bootleg) alcohol.
|One-Way Ride 93: They set hundreds of their countrymen to work cooking alcohol in the tenements of the West Side Italian quarter. [Ibid.] 130: Captain John Stege, in a police raid in the neighborhood of Genna headquarters [...] broke up thirty alcohol cookeries with a capacity of 20,000 gallons a week.|
|Amer. Thes. Sl.|
|DAUL 49/1: Cook, v. 1. To redistill denatured alcohol.et al.|
|(con. 1975–6) Steel Toes 17: ‘When are we getting drunk . . . asshole?’ ‘Be done cookin’ tonight.’.|
(e) to prepare a non-narcotic drug, e.g. an amphetamine pill, for injection.
|Chronicle-Telegram (Elyria, OH) 18 June 1/1: A staggering woman announced, ‘I’m tired of alcohol. I want to go home and cook my “bamms”.’ ‘Cooking’ is street slang for a process used by drug addicts to dissolve tablets into a solution.|
(f) to manufacture illicit drugs, e.g. heroin or crack cocaine.
|Indep. on Sun. 25 July 14: Small groups would import small amounts of cocaine, ‘cook’ it into crack and sell it on the streets.|
|(con. 1960s) Blood’s a Rover 15: He was cooking painkiller-grade product. He hadn’t cooked dope since Saigon.|
|Crime Factory: Hard Labour [ebook] I’ll cook [i.e. methamphetamine] nights on a customised trawler [...] plenty of ventilation, all the newest kit.‘In Savage Freedom’ in|
|Mother Jones July/Aug. [Internet] He cooked meth in their toolshed and once beat her so badly he dislocated her shoulder and knee.|
(g) (also cook up) to heat cocaine until it hardens.
|Crackhouse 73: Base is coke, cooked by your own hands, professionally boiled in baking soda and water. You don’t need water to cook it, though, because cocaine makes its own water.|
|‘Something Good’ [lyrics] Now everyday punks get took / Either for they dough, they’ll ride ’em for the powder that they cook.|
|annotation to geneius.com ‘Cooking’ is the process of converting ‘powder’ cocaine into ‘hard’ or crack-cocaine.|
|‘Recipe’ [lyrics] Show you how to sway that rice, I got that recipe / [...] / we cook up on the spot, boy / You gon’ need to stir it.|
7. to overcome.
|Robbery Under Arms (1922) 395: Miss Falkland came forward and held out her beautiful hand to me [...] It very nigh cooked me.|
|Little Men, Big World 78: If it cooks, we’re in clover.|
8. to bribe, to arrange illicitly.
|Memoirs of the US Secret Service 71: He had sought out the Government witnesses and ‘cooked’ all he could find access to.|
|Down Donkey Row 139: The fight’s cooked – I kin beat this boy wiv one ’and. I’m backin’ meself [...] but keep it dark.|
9. (US) to kill, to murder; lit. and fig.
|Complete Stalky & Co. (1987) 127: Come on, Campbell. Let’s cook ’em.‘The Moral Reformers’ in|
|Confessions of a Detective 25: ‘Settle the bull, Red! Go in and cook him!’ I might add that ‘settle’ and ‘cook,’ in the language of the Five Points, always mean ‘kill’ and never mean anything else.|
|Truth (Melbourne) 3 Jan. 11/6: You have cooked your Catherine this time. I am poisoned.|
|Classics in Sl. 57: He feels certain that he can take Cyclone Duncan in a fifteen round fight, whereas if he cooks him at his own house he will only get the chair.|
|‘A Nose for News’ in Goulart (1967) 221: Shut your mouth, damn you [...] or I’ll cook you right now!|
|Cotton Comes to Harlem (1967) 189: ‘This cooks him,’ Grave Digger said.|
|Fort Apache, The Bronx 159: They would take one look at the Seville, the cashmere coat, and they would cook him.|
|Sweetwater Gunslinger 201 (1990) 222: Sweetwater told Jeff about the time Slim and Sundance ‘cooked’ the Russian ship.|
10. (also cook up) used fig. to cover any activity.
|Swell’s Night Guide 75: One of the combatants cuts the other [...] which soon cooks up a chaff and a snarly – that some of the party get shirty and narkish.|
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor I 214/2: ‘Cooked’ assassinations and sudden deaths of eminent individuals.|
|Boy’s Own Paper 29 Dec. 198: It’s been a first-rate place for cooking our little plan.|
|You Can Search Me 16: I’ve got a scheme cooking that will put you and me all to the splendid.|
|Tomboy (1952) 111: You’re supposed to get in with girls from other clubs and tell us what’s cooking around.|
|Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956) 280: My manager might show up with some guy he’s cooking a movie deal with.|
|Proud Highway (1997) 458: This is what I have cooking at the moment.letter 25 June in|
|Carlito’s Way 67: If they got a big deal cooking they get a job done.|
|Secrets of Harry Bright (1986) 150: ‘Five for Otto!’ Archie said, writing his score on the steering-wheel card holder. ‘Now you’re cooking, kiddo.’.|
|Outlaws (ms.) 6: Big Moby’s buzzing his nuts off. He knows there’s something cooking.|
11. (Aus.) to render drunk.
|Truth (Perth) 1 Oct. 4/7: You will ‘jerry’ when they tell, / Bishop Wright, / Of some ‘silvertail’ or ‘swell’ / Who got ‘tight,’ / That the ‘tanglefoot was crook,’ / And they ‘had him on a hook’ / Where ‘bazaar-maids’ help to ‘cook’ / Us at night.|
12. (US) to concoct a mendacious story.
|Old Man Curry 53: Them Irish jockeys had a story all cooked to tell.‘Playing Even with Obadiah’ in|
13. (US) to die or execute in the electric chair.
|Prison Community (1940) 331/1: cook, vt. [...] 2. To kill by legal electrocution.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
|‘Death Row’ in Life (1976) 118: Serve it raw, punk. The chair’ll do the cooking.et al.|
|Manchild in the Promised Land (1969) 230: It seemed like a whole lot of people in the neighborhood [...] were being cooked in Sing Sing.|
|Tenants (1972) 59: Ellery is cooked to death in Sing Sing.|
|From Potter’s Field (1996) 382: The asshole needs to go to Virginia and get cooked.|
14. (US) to be electrocuted.
|Call It Sleep (1977) 423: ‘Five hundred an’ fifty volts. What a wallop!’ ‘He’s cooked, yuh t’ink?’.|
15. (US black) to do something exceptionally well.
|,||(ref. to 1940) DAS 121/1: Usu. in ‘Now you’re cooking,’ said approvingly.|
|Jazz Lex. xxii: Contrasting with the extravagant descriptiveness of jazz nouns, adjectives, and adverbs is the spareness of its verbs, most of which are action verbs, e.g., blow, cook, cop, dig, jump, knock, latch on, make, pick up, and put down.|
|Serial 23: Suffused with a happy glow because his party was really cooking.|
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines 107: The expressions that characterize an extraordinary performance, to cook, to blow fire, to smoke out someone.|
16. (orig. US black) of a musician or group of musicians, to be playing in harmony, particularly creatively; to be in mutual understanding.
|Shake Him Till He Rattles (1964) 40: They were in their shirt sleeves, sitting on wooden folding chairs. And they were cooking! He sat down to listen.|
|(con. 1930s) Night People 65: ‘Shake me, daddy. I’m not with you.’ ‘ I mean, rang her bell.’ ‘Now, we’re cooking. Carry on.’.|
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines 233: cook See blowfire [i.e. to play well].|
17. (Aus.) to scold; to criticize harshly.
|‘The Whisper All Aussie Dict.’ in Kings Cross Whisper (Sydney) xxxiii 4/4: cook: To downgrade a person.|
|Ridgey-Didge Oz Jack Lang 22: Cook Castigate.|
|Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. [Internet] Cook. 1. To criticise.|
18. to start or rev up a car.
|(con. 1970s) King Suckerman (1998) 263: Goodrich cooked the 327 and pulled away from the curb.|
|Drama City 234: He cooked the ignition and headed for Park View.|
|What It Was 16: Jones pointed to the keys hanging in theignotion. ‘Cook it, Coco’.(con. 1972)|
19. to be burnt to death.
|Secrets of Harry Bright (1986) 109: Turns out he was shot in the head before he got cooked.|
|Couple of Cops 190: Since the medics on the [fire] scene hadn’t found any sign of wounds and beating, and neither body had — in the parlance — been cooked, it was assumed that they’d died of smoke inhalation.|
(UK black) to be sexually excited .
|‘Fire in the Booth’ [lyrics] Rah she really got me sprung She got me cooking beef and you know she's having some.|
(drugs) the process whereby users liquefy heroin in order to inhale it.
|ONDCP Street Terms [Internet] Cook down Process in which users liquify heroin in order to inhale it.|
|‘Drug Sl. Vault’ on Erowid.org [Internet] Cook down mixing Heroin with water and heating in preparation for injection.|
see separate entry.
(Can./US) to be very busy, to be working very well.
|Stores 36 7: Wise old-timers [...] show you how ace salesmen can really make sales when their gumption's stirred up... and they cook on all four burners!|
|DSUE (8th edn) 251/1: Can. adopted ca. 1945, ex US.|
|Wiseguy (2001) 85: Waiting for the loads to come to us wasn’t cooking on all burners.|
|Challenge for the Actor 296: Once you have found or created a place that fulfills these requirements, the actors are free to cook on all four burners.|
|Up in Smoke 70: After all those months of Willie not having answers, Madge was really starting to cook on all burners.|
1. to do something very well, to act or think correctly.
|Fortnightly Rev. Chicago Dental Soc. 5 June 60/1: I was all pepped to try to write a column, cooking on the front burner.|
|Hepcats Jive Talk Dict. 23/1: Cooking on the front burner, tops.|
|Billboard 12 Nov. 9/2: Altho Ed East and Ralph Dumke (Sisters of the Skillet) haven’t worked as a team for 10 years, the radio vets’ reunion on video proved that the sisters still know how to cook on the front burner.|
|in PADS XXX 39: Although ‘cooking on the front burner’ has long since gone out of style, some musicians still refer to New York as ‘The Apple’ .|
|Arm’d Rhinoceros 264: ‘You’re cooking on the front burner, Mac,’ I replied in a kind of English to relieve my feelings .|
|[Internet] Now that Back In Your Life is cooking on the front burner Julian realizes that the long and winding road of bringing the CD out to his fans is kicking back into high gear. The tour trail beckons and he’s ready to roll.|
2. (also to be on the burner) to be currently pertinent.
|Joint (1972) 146: There’s nothing else on the burner at present.letter 23 Sept. in|
|Garner Asset Mgement Co. [Internet] The collapse of the likes of Enron and Global Crossing has brought into question numerous accounting issues. One cooking on the front burner currently is stock option accounting.|
see separate entry.
see cook someone’s goose v. (2)
see separate entry.
(orig. US black) to succeed, to do very well, to tackle a project in the right way, esp. after misdirected efforts have failed; thus usu. in phr. now we’re cooking with gas.
|Kansas City Star 23 Feb. n.p.: Now you’re cooking with electricity!|
|Novels and Stories (1995) 1009: Now you cookin’ with gas: now you’re talking.‘Story in Harlem Sl.’ in|
|‘Shake It Baby’ [lyrics] Shake that thing, baby, one time for your daddy, / I love it, you’re cookin’ with gas.|
|Odd Spot of Bother 158: ‘Now you’re cooking with gas,’ said Esso.|
|Texas Mthly Aug. 180/2: ‘Now you’re cooking with gas,’ which once was another way of saying someone is working briskly and efficiently.|
|N.Y. Mag. 14 July 20/3: Now that the stock market is cooking with gas, and cocktail culture has ushered in cigars, porterhouses, and fur-trimmed Balenciaga knockoffs.|
|Portable Promised Land (ms.) 51: Now ya cookin wit gas!|
|Raiders 278: Demented Danny was cooking with gas in the trigger-pulling stakes.|
1. lit. ‘what’s going on?’, i.e. what is happening?; thus negative response nothing cooking.
|Wise-crack Dict. 11/2: Nothing cooking – Nothing doing.|
|Walk in Sun 77: What’s cooking, Jack?|
|An Indiscreet Guide to Soho 53: A well-known crooner comes in ‘just to say hello and see what’s cooking’.|
|Battle Cry (1964) 12: Any idea about what’s cooking?|
|Rock 3: ‘What’s cooking?’ he says. ‘Nothing but the asphalt.’.|
|Scrambled Yeggs 97: Hey, what cooks here?|
|Go, Man, Go! 8: ‘What the hell cooks with you?’ Paul felt it. He knew what was the matter.|
|Big Rumble 81: ‘Hey, what’s cookin’?’ [...] ‘You had your chance.’.|
|(con. 1950s) Unit Pride (1981) 217: What’s cookin’ here, you guys?|
|Property Of (1978) 14: ‘What’s cooking out there on the street?’ T.J. asked.|
|Cape Town Coolie 35: What’s cookin’ on the religious front?|
2. (orig. US) a phr. of greeting, ‘what’s going on?’.
|[||Anglia VII 270: Biznis cookin’ = trouble brewing].‘Negro English’ in|
|(ref. to 1934–5) N.Y. Times 12 July n.p.: As for the use of the phrase, ‘What’s cooking?’ – Mr. [Gene] Krupa traced it back to 1934 and 1935, when the ‘first swing bands were touring the country on one-nighters and ballroom engagements.’.|
|Dan Turner – Hollywood Detective Dec. [Internet] Come in and tell me what cooks.‘Malibu Mess’|
|High Window 157: The old man leaned out of the car to spit and said in a dull voice: ‘What’s cookin’?’.|
|Keep It Crisp 139: milo: Is that some more of your newfangled college slang? rapier: Don’t be a sherbet, Herbert, [...] What’s cookin’, good-lookin’?|
|Phila. Eve. Bulletin 11 Nov. n.p.: We used to ask what’s cooking — today’s slanger tells mama: ‘Get off the stove, mother; I’m riding the range tonight’ to show a big date’s on.|
|Beat Generation 32: What’s cooking, Father-O?|
|in Sweet Daddy 50: What’s cooking, Doc?|
|Royal Family 501: What’s cooking? Same old, same old.|
(US campus) wouldn’t that annoy/shock you?
|Pamphlets in Philology I 17: wouldn’t that cook you ? An expression of extreme surprise, usually involving an idea of protest.|
|Student Sl. in Cohen (1997) 17: wouldn’t that cook you? An expression of extreme surprise, usually involving an idea of protest. ‘She told me to work her problems for her so that she could go to the party Now, wouldn’t that cook you?’.|
|Inlander 14 83: He tossed aside the paper and tore open the first envelope. He glanced at its contents. ‘Wouldn't that cook you?’.|
|Collier’s 69 iii/2: Spending the night sociable, and then him and me going out together, so’s he could land me in the jug. Wouldn’t that cook you!|
|Patchwork Time 231: Wouldn’t that cook you? Keeristamighty! Give him a gal like Lurlene that wasn’t a sugartittin ninny.|
SE in slang uses
of a woman, to masturbate.
|GeorgeCarlin.com [Internet] Masturbation (Female): cookin’ cucumbers.|