Green’s Dictionary of Slang

aunt n.

[note synon. Yid. mume, lit. ‘aunt’]

1. (also auntie) a procuress, a madame.

[UK]Middleton Trick to Catch the Old One II i: And was it not then better bestowed upon his uncle, than upon one of his aunts? I need not say bawd, for every one knows what aunt stands for in the last translation.
[UK]J. Mabbe (trans.) Life of Guzman Pt I Bk I 15: A good old beldame, a reuerent Matron forsooth, an honest Bawd, one of my charitable Aunts.
[UK]R. Brome Mad Couple I i: Such shee-customers, as an Aunt of mine shall finde out for us.
[UK]T. Killigrew Parson’s Wedding (1664) III i: Follow her, like one of my Aunts of the Suburbs.
[UK]Merry Drollery in Ebsworth Choyce Drollery (1876) 242: From the stinking breath of an old Aunt / Libera nos Domine.
[UK]Dryden Kind Keeper I i: The easiest Fool I ever knew, next my naunt of Fairies in the Alchymist.
[UK] ‘Flatfoot the Gudgeon Taker’ in Lord Poems on Affairs of State (1965) II 191: Two rev’rend aunts, renow’d in British story / For lust and drunkenness.
[UK]J. Dunton Night-Walker Dec. 14: I have followed the Trade of being an Aunt, says she, ever since I was not able to be any longer a Niece.
A. Ramsay Lucky Spence’s Last Advice [ballad] Whan e'er the Lads wad fain a faun t'ye, To try the auld Game Taunty Ranty, / [...] / They took Advice of me your Aunty / if ye was clean.
[UK]J. Dalton Narrative of Street-Robberies 32: This Susan Haws told Dalton, if he would go with him to his Aunt Wittles [...] he would treat him: Accordingly Dalton consented, and coming there, he found this Aunt Wittle was a Man, and no Doubt a Molly.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. n.p.: aunt, a Bawd or Procuress; a Title of Eminence for the Senior Dells, who serve for Instructresses, midwives, &c. to the Morts.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Life and Adventures of Samuel Hayward 97: His Aunt he had previously disowned.
[UK]R. Nares Gloss. (1888) I 42: aunt. A cant term for a woman of bad character, either prostitute or procuress.
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 5: Aunt — a bawd or old procuress, or hanger-on upon w—s, sometimes called Mammy or Mother —.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict. 4: Aunt – a bawd, sometimes called a mother.
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 108/2: Aunt, a bawd, a procuress [...] ‘my aunt,’ the slang or cant of this is said to have arisen from the following circumstances: – A certain gambler had a most beautiful wife, who vainly endeavoured to dissuade him from his ruinous practice of gaming; he would patiently hear her, then throw his arms around her and exclaim – ‘What nonsense, my dear: you are as much a gambler as I am. You never refuse all fours or cribbage; you will always have me at put, and are sure to put me in the hole, play at what you will. You, my dear, are a perfect aunt; and I am sure I am as good an uncle, though I have not so many balls’.
[UK]Duncombe New and Improved Flash Dict.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 17 Aug. 2/1: After people have visited the ‘aunts’ of dissipation, they usually visit their uncles.
[US] ‘Jargon of the Und.’ in DN V 437: Aunt, n. An old bawd.
[US]D. Maurer ‘Prostitutes and Criminal Argots’ in Lang. Und. (1981) 117/2: landlady. Proprietress of a house. Also aunt, madam, mother.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 20/2: Auntie. The proprietoress of a house of prostitution.

2. a whore.

[UK]Dekker Honest Whore Pt 1 I ii: To call you one a mine Aunts, sister, were as good as call you arrant whore; no, no, let me alone to cozen you rarely.
[UK]Shakespeare Winter’s Tale IV ii: The lark, that tirra-lirra chants, / With heigh! with heigh! the thrush and the jay, / Are summer songs for me and my aunts, / While we lie tumbling in the hay.
[UK]J. Taylor ‘Wit and Mirth’ in Works II 193: There are some that are commonly termed Mistresses, which are not much better then mine Aunts; and a Mistris is oftentimes a marke for euery knaue to haue a fling at.
[UK]R. Brome Mad Couple III i: How came up the proverbe, Shee is one of mine Aunts, doe you thinke?
T. Jordan Tricks of Youth I i : Rivers. [D]ost thou conceive the stock of Females vertue is so extreamly wasted, that in so small a number as they are, the most part must be vitious? Fly. I, I vow if there were but two there, though my Mother were one. Wild. And thy Aunt tother. Fly. I mean so, the other should be one of my Aunts.
[UK] ‘Panegyrick’ in Lord Poems on Affairs of State (1963) I1 244: Thus sneak’d away the nephew overcome, / By’s aunt-in-law’s severer wit struck dumb.
[US] in Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) I 367: Old Aunt Kate an’ her little daughter, / Will do it all night for a dollar an’ a quarter.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 159: an old whore. [...] aunt.

3. (US, also Aunt Dinah, auntee, auntie, aunty, Tantie, Tanty) an old black woman, used by both blacks and whites.

[WI]J.B. Moreton West India Customs and Manners 159: Their compliments of respect and friendship, when speaking of or to each other, is Uncle, Aunty, Granny, Tatta, Momma, Sista, Boda.
[US]S.P. Holbrook Sketches 111: In many families, however, the children are taught to address the older servant as uncle or auntee, and this is sometimes more than a form of speech [DA].
[US]A.B. Longstreet Georgia Scenes (1848) 103: ‘There they are, aunt* Clary,’ said Evelina [*‘Aunt’ and ‘mauma,’ or ‘maum,’ its abbreviation, are terms of respect, commonly used by children, to aged negroes].
[US]Knickerbocker (N.Y.) xl. Oct. 326: So long as the race of good old colored ‘aunties’ do the cooking.
[US]M. Griffith Autobiog. of a Female Slave 10: My mother, Keziah the cook, commonly called Aunty Kaisy.
[US] in B.L. Ridley Battles and Sketches of the Army of Tennessee (1906) 481: Old Aunt Dinah and Uncle Tom will only be heard of in the past.
[UK]G.A. Sala My Diary in America I 211: The sable ‘Aunty’ who would boast that she ‘brought her up’.
[US]Schele De Vere Americanisms 152: Even the familiar appellations of Uncle and Aunt, by which for many generations every colored man and woman was called, were not peculiar to America, as Pegge’s Supplement to Grose distinctly states that the two words are ‘in Cornwall applied to all elderly persons’.
[US]McCook Wkly Trib. (NE) 27 Nov. 6/1: Aunt Dinah was a washerwoman by profession and a right good one too.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 14 Sept. 7/4: His trainer [...] had secured an old coloured ‘Aunty’ to cook for him.
[US]Capital Jrnl (Salem, OR) 2 Dec. 4/1: On account of the rain Aunt Dinah failed to gather the corn.
[US]B.T. Washington Up From Slavery (1901) 228: He seemed to be as careful to shake hands with some old coloured ‘auntie,’ clad partially in rags [...] as if he were greeting some millionaire.
[US]N. Davis Northerner 202: Served by old-time ‘aunties’ in snowy white, with bright-colored turbans on their heads.
[US]Deseret Eve. News (Salt Lake City, UT) 1 Jan. 7/7: One hundred and twenty-nine years is said to have been the age of ‘Aunt’ Dorcas Harris, a negro woman.
[WI]J.G. Cruickshank Black Talk 22: ‘Morning, me child.’ ‘Morning, Aunty!’.
[US]P.A. Rollins Cowboy 107: Thus the ‘Aunt Dinahs’ of the Southern kitchens unwittingly dictated as to what the cowboy of the West should hang about his neck.
[US]J. Peterkin Scarlet Sister Mary 206: Auntie can’t stand people to talk ugly talk.
[US]R. Sorrell [ex slave] in Yetman Voices from Slavery (1970) 296: Dey call me ‘Auntie’ and said ‘Auntie tell us where de money is, you knows’.
[US]K. Lumpkin Making of a Southerner 155: If I knew their names I at once forgot them, contenting myself with ‘Sally’ or ‘Jim,’ or if they were old, perhaps ‘Uncle’ or ‘Auntie’.
[US]T.C. Bambara ‘Blues Ain’t No Mockin Bird’ Gorilla, My Love (1972) 131: ‘Now, aunty,’ Camera said, pointin the thing straight at her. ‘Your mama and I are not related.’.
C. Eneas Bain Town 41: Every woman was an aunt [...] Aun’ Beck, aun’ Yi-Ya, aun’ Clysa, [...] aun’ Sookie.
[US]I.L. Allen Lang. of Ethnic Conflict 50: Status Diminution: aunt [fem. Early 1830s. Also auntie, -ey. Used for older women].
[UK]S. Selvon Eldorado West One 21: You know how old your Tanty getting. Is a shame to leave she alone to dead in Kingston.
[UK]W. Chen Chutney Power and Stories 137: Tantie Moggie shudders, moves her wrinkled arm out.

4. (US, menstruation; usu. in such phrs. as Aunt Flo is visiting; my redheaded aunt has arrived; Aunt Jody’s come with her suitcase; W.I.) auntie coming to town, menstruation is starting.

Word 4 183: Some of these [phrases] combine with allusions to red: My red-headed aunt from Red Bank, aunt Emma from Reading, Grandma’s here from Red Creek.
[US] ‘Miscellany’ AS XXIX:4 298: Reference to Visitors or Person [...] Aunt Flo is come.
[US]J. Randall ‘Visit from Aunt Rose’ in Verbatim XXV:1 Winter 25: The personification of the period, odd as it may be, is a popular coding. Generally the period takes on the identity of a friend or relative, usually female, who comes for a visit: [...] my aunt, [...] my aunt from Redbank or from Redwood City, Reading, or Redfield (with the place name incorporating the color of blood) or my red-haired aunt from the South.

5. (US) ‘Disciplinary role played by a female or crossdressing male in a sadomasochistic scenario’.

[US]Murray & Murrell Lang. Sadomasochism (1989).

6. see auntie n.2

SE in slang uses

In phrases

if your aunt had balls she’d be your uncle [var. of pvb phr. if your aunt had been a man she’d be your uncle]

a phr. used as a rejoinder to a speaker who has just finished a long and laborious explanation of the obvious.

E. Dykhuizen ‘McGwire Day’ [Internet] To which I say, well, if your aunt had balls she’d be your uncle. In other words, statistics are impure, imperfect expressions of performance, and playing ‘what if’ games is pointless.
live at your aunt (v.) (also live at your nennen) [W.I. nennen, a godmother]

(W.I.) to find it hard to make enough money to live, to subsist, to suffer great hardship.

[WI]Allsopp Dict. Carib. Eng. Usage.
my aunt (n.) [euph.]

1. a house of assignation.

[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 5: My Aunt’s — an accommodation-house where half-modest women resort, as to a relative or aunt’s.

2. (also the Aunt) the lavatory; thus visit my aunt, go to see my aunt v., to visit the lavatory.

[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[UK](con. 1930s) J. Wolveridge He Don’t Know ‘A’ from a Bull’s Foot 8: For going to the Lav we used euphemisms like ‘I’m going to see my Aunt’.

In exclamations

go and kiss your aunt! (also kiss my aunty!)

a general excl. of contempt, dismissal or surprise.

[UK]Marvel 10 July 11: Go and kiss your aunt! Do you imagine I’m afraid?
[US](con. 1920s–30s) J.O. Killens Youngblood (1956) 406: Well, kiss my Aunty in the country [...] You working for Mr Ogle too – Ain’t that a bitch.
my aunt! (also my Aunt Eliza! my Aunt Jane! my Aunt Nellie! my Aunt Sally! my fat aunt! my giddy aunt! my great aunt! my hairy aunt! my holy aunt! my precious aunt! my sainted aunt! my sainted hat! your sweet aunt’s ass!)

a mild excl, but note my arse! under arse n.

[UK]Otway Friendship in Fashion V i: Oh law! my Aunt! what have I done now?
[UK]Congreve Double-Dealer IV v: O my precious aunt! I shall never thrive without I deal with the devil, or another woman.
[UK]Western Times 2 Mar. 3/2: He said to me in French, ‘Oh, my Aunt, let me tattoo your arm, it does not hurt at all’ — (laughter).
[UK]Sporting Times 22 May 3/3: ‘It was at the bismelah ’ee sung it, yer bally fool!’ ‘Bismelah my aunt! It wasn’t’.
[[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 22 Oct. 8/1: Don’t go on like that. Keep steady, can’t you? Sainted Bismarck! will you tell me what you want or else clear!].
[UK]Gloucs. Echo 31 Aug. 3/5: Oh, my prophetick soul! my Aunt Eliza! (He is stung!) [by a bee].
[UK]Kipling ‘Slaves of the Lamp — Part I’ in Complete Stalky & Co. (1987) 58: ‘My Aunt!’ said Abanazar, ‘you chaps are communists. Vote of thanks to Beetle, though.’.
[UK]Punch Jan. 10 34, 2: Glory and love to the men of old, / But my aunt! the price of goods they sold!
[UK]Marvel 23 Dec. 664: ‘Oh, my Aunt Eliza!’ he muttered.
[UK]Gem 16 Mar. 2: My sainted aunt!
[UK]Gem 16 Sept. 7: ‘My only Aunt Jane!’ exclaimed Wally.
[UK]E. Pugh Cockney At Home 198: My great-aunt, but I do find ’em!
[UK]J. Buchan Greenmantle (1930) 152: ‘O my sainted aunt!’ said Sandy. ‘What is it? For Heaven’s sake put me out of pain.’.
[UK]J. Buchan Mr Standfast (1930) 799: ‘Hark to the guns!’ cried Archie. ‘My aunt, there’s a tidy bombardment goin’ on somewhere.’.
[Aus]M. Garahan Stiffs 280: Gone wrong! My hairy aunt, you ask has anything gone wrong?
[UK]Wodehouse Inimitable Jeeves 20: My sainted aunt!
[UK]Wodehouse Carry on, Jeeves 207: ‘I shall not dare to show my face in the West End of London again.’ ‘My aunt!’ I cried, deeply impressed.
[UK]W. Watson Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day (2000) 97: ‘My Holy Aunt!’ breathed Miss LaFosse.
[UK]D. Bolster Roll On My Twelve 126: Oh my sainted, flamin’ Aunt!
[UK]R. Grinstead They Dug a Hole 72: ‘Sniping my Aunt Sally!’ he snaps.
[US](con. 1860s) S. Longstreet Pedlocks (1971) 29: Oh, my sainted aunt.
[Aus]D. Niland Call Me When the Cross Turns Over (1958) 24: Marriage, my fat aunt!
[UK]A. Wesker Roots I i: Oh my sainted aunt, the bread!
[UK]H.E. Bates Little of What You Fancy (1985) 564: University my Aunt Nellie. Never spoil a natural talent.
[US]D. Ponicsan Last Detail 66: ‘Both I guess,’ says Meadows. ‘Both your sweet aunt’s ass.’.
[US]S. King Long Walk in Bachman Books (1995) 218: Oh my suds and body! Oh my sainted hat!
[UK]D. Fallowell One Hot Summer in St Petersburg 185: Oh my giddy aunt! Whatever next?
[Aus]T. Winton ‘Reunion’ in Turning (2005) 209: Oh my sainted aunt! cried Carol.
Denver Post 24 Jan. [Internet] ‘American carnage,’ my Aunt Sally: the correct term is ‘American capitalism’.
[UK]Guardian 11 June [Internet] Oh my giddy aunt [...] now the brainless president with the vocabulary of a 3 year old won't come to our shores.