Green’s Dictionary of Slang

nod n.1

1. (20C+ use US black) a sleep.

[UK]H. Glapthorne Wit in a Constable V i: Tis very late [...] Shall we Each to his bulke and take a nod?
[UK]J. Ray Proverbs 34: If we must sleep [...] take a nod sitting in a chair.
[UK]N. Ward London Terraefilius V 11: She cannot take a Nod in her Wicker-Chair, but she Dreams that a Tile has tumbled off a House and Knock’d him on the Head.
[UK]Cibber Life of Colley Cibber 16: I don’t see any one Pursuit of them that should so reasonably rouze me out of a Nod in my Great Chair.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Nod. He is gone to the land of Nod; he is asleep.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd, 3rd edn) n.p.:
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1788].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue [as cit. 1788].
[US]Matsell Vocabulum 59: nod Asleep. ‘Gone to the land of Nod,’ gone to sleep.
[US]F.H. Ludlow Heart of Continent 91: In five minutes [...] we were all ‘sawing gourds’ together in the land of Nod [DA].
[US]N. Fleischer in Ring Nov. 10: taking the nod—Unconscious.
[US]Pittsburgh Courier (PA) 27 Aug. 11/1: Jim nod is creeping on my lead so I think I will [...] crawl between the lily-whites and pound my listener.
[US]Cab Calloway New Hepsters Dict. in Calloway (1976) 258: nod (n.): sleep. Ex., ‘I think I’ll cop a nod.’.
[US]C. Himes ‘He Seen It in the Stars’ in Coll. Stories (1990) 105: From two o’clock on, all he’d been thinking of was falling in his righteous pallet and copping a night full of nods.
[US]L. Durst Jives of Dr. Hepcat (1989) 3: Then about four o’clock p.g. the kitties all cruise on back to their pads to cop a little nod.
[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS 147/2: dig [oneself] a nod To get a night’s sleep.

2. (orig. US drugs) the drug-induced stupor or semi-sleep that follows an injection of heroin.

implied in play the nod
[US]J. Mills Panic in Needle Park (1971) 12: When he has finally injected the heroin [...] he may or may not go on a ‘nod’—his eyelids heavy, his mind wandering pleasantly—depending on how much heroin his body has become accustomed to.
[US]D. Goines Dopefiend (1991) 26: [She] drifted off into a nod, as her head slowly dropped down on her chest.
[US]N. Heard House of Slammers 88: Conversation lagged along with the sag / Then Honky went into his nod.
[US]E. Bunker Mr Blue 237: She was fighting the nod and feeling a euphoria that went through her entire being.
[US](con. 1975–6) E. Little Steel Toes 104: I [...] come out of my nod staring at the first naked woman I’ve seen in what seems like forever.
[US]‘Dutch’ ? (Pronounced Que) [ebook] His entrance made YaYa snap out of his dope nod.

In compounds

Nodland (n.)

(US) a state of sleep.

‘Troy Conway’ Cunning Linguist (1973) 58: It felt good to doze off once more. However, I did one thing before I drifted off to Nodland.

In phrases

collar a nod (v.)

(US black) to sleep, to take a nap.

[US]Z.N. Hurston ‘Story in Harlem Sl.’ in Novels and Stories (1995) 1001: But you can’t collar nods all day. No matter how long you stay in bed, and how quiet you keep, sooner or later that big gut is going to reach over and grab that little one and start to gnaw.
[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS.
cop a nod (v.) (also cop a snooze)

1. (US) to have a nap, to go to sleep.

[US]D. Runyon ‘The Three Wise Guys’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 405: Blondy also cops a little snooze now and then [...] but whenever he happens to wake up he pokes me awake too.
[US]M.H. Boulware Jive and Sl.
[US]L. Durst Jives of Dr. Hepcat (1989) 6: I stash me down to cop a nod, if I am lame I’m not to blame, the stem is hard.
[US]Hughes & Bontemps Book of Negro Folklore 363: He come across Elephant copping a righteous nod.
[US]H. Rhodes Chosen Few (1966) 215: That way damn near everybody else is coppin’ some nods.
[US]P. Thomas Down These Mean Streets (1970) 60: Each cat makes it to his pad to cop a nod and have his dreams sweetened by his show of corazón.
[US]E. Thompson Garden of Sand (1981) 436: Let’s cop a snooze.
[UK](con. 1960s) D. Wells Night People 99: He would start rehearsing when I was trying to cop a nod.

2. (US drugs/prison) to become intoxicated and initially comatose after injecting a narcotic.

[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 77: Cop a Nod also Coppin’ a Nod To get ‘stoned’ or ‘loaded’ on heroin or Dilaudid. This phrase is also used to describe someone who has just injected heroin.
go on the nod (v.)

(US) to die.

[US]N. Algren Walk on the Wild Side 132: All had been born in the twenties and died when the twenties died. Some of broken hearts when Wallace Reid had died. Some had gone on the nod waiting for Dempsey to fight Harry Wills.
knock a nod (v.)

(US black) to have a sleep.

[US]H. Sebastian ‘Negro Sl. in Lincoln University’ in AS IX:4 289: knock a nod. To take a nap.
[US]D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 25: The cats and the chippies were all knocking a nod. [Ibid.] 78: ‘Knock a nod,’ says the Jiver. He means going to sleep.
on the nod (drugs)

1. succumbing to a sleepy stupor after smoking opium or taking an injection of heroin.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 145/2: Nod, on the. 1. In an opium stupor; drugged.
[US]‘William Lee’ Junkie (1966) 43: He’ll go on the nod in front of your family.
[UK]K. Orvis Damned and Destroyed 37: I’ve been rolled [...] Some crud of a lightfinger cannoned me while I was on the nod!
[US]J. Wambaugh Choirboys (1976) 201: When he’s geezing and on the nod.
[US]R. Campbell Alice in La-La Land (1999) 1: Tenderloins strewn with winos sucking on a bottle in a bag and young dopers on the nod.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 57: Rigo La Barba slumped on the nod in the crushedvelvet front seat of his ‘62 Impala lowrider.
[UK]G. Iles Turning Angel 398: You gonna be on the nod most of the time.
[UK]K. Richards Life 402: Very occasionally I would go on the nod while we were playing.
[Aus]Sydney Morn. Herald 10 July [Internet] He was a high-functioning addict and never ‘on the nod’.

2. dozing off after smoking cannabis.

[US]N. Algren Walk on the Wild Side 88: And went right back on the nod.

3. falling sleep, exhausted from excess of any sort.

[UK] ‘’Arry’s Visit to the Moon’ in Punch Christmas Number in P. Marks (2006) 163: It wos dry and a little bit drowsy. In fact I was napped on the nod.
[US]H.S. Thompson Hell’s Angels (1967) 205: Crashing means nothing more sinister than going on the nod, either from booze or simple fatigue.

4. see also SE phrs. below.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

on the nod [the shop-owner nods his assent to one’s request]

1. on credit.

[UK] ‘Blooming Aesthetic’ in Rag 30 Sept. n.p.: A pay-on-the-nod, / An always-in-quod, / A sure-to-be-scragged young man.
[UK]J. Astley Fifty Years (2nd edn) II 229: It’s that terrible easy custom of betting ‘on the nod’ that plays havoc.
[Aus] (?) H. Lawson ‘How Steelman Told His Story’ in Roderick (1972) 222: If you go to see a show on the nod you’ll be found a comfortable seat in a good place.
[UK]W. Pett Ridge Mord Em’ly 164: No Admittance on the Nod!
[UK]A. Binstead Pitcher in Paradise 195: It’s all dam fine for your young military duds to come a-bettin’ on the nod.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 7 July 30/2: The average descendant of Eve is a fair terror for articles on the nod, and mostly the nod brings as much trouble as the original wink that was thrown at the blind horse.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 312: So he went over to the biscuit tin Bob Doran left to see if there was anything he could lift on the nod, the old cur after him backing his luck with his mangy snout up.
[Aus]Central Qld Herald (Rockhampton, Qld) 26 July 12/4: The insertion of safety razor blades from a packet obtained on the ‘nod’.
[Aus]L. Glassop Lucky Palmer 248: No money changed hands. He was betting on credit — ‘Lucky’ called it betting ‘on the blue,’ ‘on the Mary Lou’ or ‘on the nod’.
[Aus]F.J. Hardy Yarns of Billy Borker 104: They could always have a bet on the nod with Murphy and many a time he slung them a quid when things were crook.
[UK](con. 1930s) Barltrop & Wolveridge Muvver Tongue 18: To have things on credit [...] ‘On the book’, and in pubs ‘on the slate’ or ‘on the nod’.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read How to Shoot Friends 95: Taylor claimed he did the hit for five grand on the nod, on credit.

2. without argument, typically of Parliamentary or local government business which ‘goes through’ or ‘passes on the nod’.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 18 Jul. 11/4: He was called upon at his hotel, invited to refreshment, and it was plainly hinted to him by more than one bucolic young bachelor that if a note would be of any service to him it rested with him to get it ‘on the nod.’.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 8 May 2nd sect. 9/1: They Say [...] That being full of cheaply-obtained fusel he endeavored to spar in on the nod. [...] That the light-weight doorkeeper subsequently gave him a trimming-up in the yard.
[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘West’ in Digger Smith 45: I ain’t the man to smooge with God / To get to ’Eaven on the nod.
[UK]Sun. Times 12 Jan. 4: The agenda, usually the cause of great fiction, was accepted ‘on the nod’.
[UK]J. Cameron It Was An Accident 175: Went through on the nod.

3. for free.

[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 11 Mar. 1/8: The Secretary of Railways has received £2 as conscience money from an anonymous person who claims to have travelled ‘on the nod’ for two years but who has now ‘found grace’.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 22 Jan. 1/1: [The] manager brutally blocked his attempts to bustle in on the nod [...] despite his ‘Aw, I’ve the entree heah’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 11 July 32/2: I notice Blimy and his three friends outside the course at an up-county meeting. They were all of the spieler variety and on the lookout for a means of getting in on the nod.
[Aus]Eve. News (Sydney) 3 July 11/4: [from UK] ‘I am told,’ said a plaintiff in the Southwark County Court, ‘that the man (referring to the defendant) is nothing more than a duck-shover - a man who gets things on the ‘bounce’ and the ‘nod.’ .
[UK]N&Q 12 Ser. IX 347: On the Nod. Free; gratis.

4. see also sl. phrs. above.