Green’s Dictionary of Slang

lay v.1

1. [mid-16C+] to have sexual intercourse with.

2. [late 17C; 1950s+] to make oneself available for sexual relations; also constr. with for.

In phrases

get laid (v.)

[1920s+] (orig. US) to have sexual intercourse; thus unlaid, used of those who have not had intercourse.

laid, relaid and parlayed [1950s+] (US)

1. having had frequent or protracted sexual intercourse.

2. absolutely deceived, cheated.

lay bricks (v.)

[1930s] (US) to have sexual intercourse.

lay it on the line (v.)

[1940s–50s] (US) to have sexual intercourse.

lay off with (v.)

[1940s–50s] (Aus.) to have sex with.

lay the leg (v.)

1. [17C; 1910s+] to have sexual intercourse.

2. [1940s+] (US prison) to sodomize.

lay the lip (v.)

[1930s–60s] (US) to fellate.

lay the track (v.) [pun on SE]

[2000s] (US prison) to have (presumably homosexual) sexual intercourse.

lay up with (v.)

[1920s+] (US) to have sexual intercourse with.

SE in slang uses

In phrases


see also under relevant n. or adj.

lay an egg (v.) [RAF sl. lay an egg, drop a bomb. The link with US bomb n. (9) may be coincidental. Note Variety headline the morning after the 1929 Crash, ‘Wall Street Lays an Egg’] [1920s+]

1. to fail completely, esp. in show business.

2. (Aus./N.?.) to worry, to be agitated.

3. (N.Z.) to defecate.

lay a patch (v.) (also lay a batch) [the tyres leave a patch on the road]

[1960s+] (US) to make tyre marks by accelerating fast in a car.

lay aside (v.)

(Aus.) to knock out.

lay back (v.)

see separate entry.

lay back and front shops into one (v.)

see under shop n.1

lay cane upon abel (v.) [pun on the biblical brothers Cain and Abel]

[late 17C–early 19C] to beat, to thrash.

lay dead (v.)

1. [late 19C+] (US black) to wait.

2. [1940s+] to do nothing, to stop everything.

lay down

see separate entries.

lay giggy (v.) [? gig n.8 (1)]

[1930s] (US juv.) to keep a lookout.

lay in(to)

see separate entries.

lay it on (v.)

see separate entry.

lay-off (n.)

see separate entry.

lay on (v.)

see separate entry.

lay one on someone (v.)

see under one n.1

lay one’s ass on the table (v.)

[1970s] (US) to be frank.

lay one’s knowledge (v.)

[1940s] (US black) to take advantage of a situation.

lay (on) the hip (v.) [the usu. posture for smoking opium is to lie on one’s side]

[1930s–50s] (US) to smoke opium.

lay out

see separate entry.

lay pit and boxes into one (v.) [orig. theatrical jargon. ‘A simile borrowed from the playhouse, when for the benefit of some favourite player, the pit and boxes are laid together’ (Grose)]

[late 18C–early 19C] to remove the physical division between the vagina and the anus.

lay rubber (v.) (also lay tread, lay wheels) [the rubber leaves a mark on the road]

[1950s+] (US) to drive off at speed, spinning the wheels as one accelerates away.

lay (some) cable (v.) (also lay a cable)

[1970s+] to defecate.

lay (some) iron (v.) (also lay some hot iron) [the metal cleats on a tap-dancer’s shoes]

[1930s–60s] (US black) to tap-dance, esp. as a professional.

lay someone trigging (v.) [? SE trig, the starting line of a race or that from which bowlers deliver the bowl; or SE trig, in good physical condition, strong, sound]

[late 18C–mid-19C] to knock someone down.

lay them down (v.)

[mid–late 19C] to play cards.