Green’s Dictionary of Slang

shine n.2

1. a noise, a commotion; in weak sense a party (see cite 1843).

[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker I 131: A rael conceited critter as you een almost ever seed, all shines and didos.
[Aus]Satirist & Sporting Chron. (Sydney) 18 Feb. 2/4: We avail ourselves of the opportunity afforded by last Monday evening’s ‘shine’ as one likely to c onvey [...] a just idea of the delectableness of a soirée navale.
[UK]Dickens Bleak House (1991) 777: I let their places be, and it’s curious they can’t let my place be. There’d be a pretty shine made if I was to go a-wisitin them, I think.
[UK]Mons. Merlin 18 Oct. 6/1: One says he ‘went the entire animal.’ He didn’t; he went to Evans’s. The other says he had a ‘shine’ in the Haymarket (which would be true if ‘a shine’ meant a good sound drubbing. But it doesn’t).
[UK]H. Kingsley Ravenshoe II 163: Mr Malone’s lot heaves crockery and broken vegetables at him out of winder [...] so there’s mostly a shine of a Sunday evening.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[US]H.B. Stowe Sam Lawson’s Oldtown Fireside Stories (1881) 226: What the divil! [...] What shine be you up to now?
[UK] ‘’Arry to the Front!’ Punch 9 Mar. 100/2: Sech sweet little mobs at their meetings, sech out-and-out shines in the Parks!
T.B. Reed Willoughby Captains (1887) 233: ‘You weren’t at Parliament this afternoon. There was no end of a shine on’.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (1922) 341: After the Turon races and all that shine, somehow or other we found that things had been made hotter for us.
[UK]Kipling ‘Black Jack’ in Soldiers Three (1907) 101: We shtart the divil an’ all av a shine — laughin’ an’ crackin’ on an’ t’rowin’ our boots about.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 25 Nov. 4/5: I see theres been a bit of a shine over Varney Parks resignation.
[UK] ‘Harry on ’Arry’ Punch 17 Aug. in P. Marks (2006) 24: They say we raise shines in their churches.
[UK]Marvel XIV:343 June 15: He meant to make a big shine.
[UK]E. Pugh City Of The World 265: Don’t chance your arm in this here town, or there’ll be the deuce of a shine!
[UK]Marvel 5 June 3: Not as awful as the flogging I’ll give you if you don’t hold your silly shine!
[UK]M. Harrison All the Trees were Green 80: There’s going to be a shine over that.
[Aus]J. Morrison Port of Call 67: There was a bit of a shine on in the kitchen last night. [...] They’ve all go the sulks this morning.

2. (US) a smile [? one’s glinting teeth].

[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.

3. (US) a fool.

[US]W.J. Kountz Billy Baxter’s Letters 54: As a love-maker I guess I am a shine.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ It’s Up to You 11: Seven of us were entered in the race for Clara J.’s affections [...] The other six were Society shines.
[US]‘O. Henry’ ‘The Unprofitable Servant’ in Rolling Stones (1913) 193: ‘You’ve got your chance — fifty times a better one than I had.’ ‘I’d be a shine to turn it down,’ said mac.

4. in uses meaning a black person [the reflection of a blue-black skin; as used in W.I. the term refers to someone with a very dark, smooth complexion and has no derog. connotations].

(a) (US, also chinee, shiner) a derog. term for a black person.

[US]G.G. Hart E.C.B. Susan Jane 22: But now I see / That you’re the thief. You black chinee! [...] You big black liar, I’ll make you shiver.
[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 73: Most of the fellows who draw the color line nowadays say that they don’t think it becomes a gentleman to swap soaks with a shine.
[US]D. Lowrie My Life in Prison 82: Der y’r see that shine comin’ down over there by th’ stairs?’ [...] I looked in the direction indicated and saw a medium-sized negro.
[UK]N&Q 12 Ser. IX 424: Shiner. Nickname for Black.
[US]Odum & Johnson Negro and His Songs (1964) 253: Well, you can’t do me like you do po’ Shine, / You take Shine’s money, but you can’t take mine.
[US]K. Brush Young Man of Manhattan 102: Of all the dumb shines I ever saw in my life!
[US]E. Anderson Thieves Like Us (1999) 67: ‘That’s enough, Shine,’ T-Dub said.
[US]J.T. Farrell ‘A Sun. in April’ in To Whom It May Concern 155: Some shine was arrested for cutting up another shine with a razor.
[US](con. 1900s) S. Longstreet Pedlocks (1971) 122: That’s a smart shine, that Charlie.
[US]B. Hecht Gaily, Gaily 31: They rob my soul out of me. They leave me hiding away—a coon, dinge, nigger, boogie, shine. They disfigure me.
[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 82: Get the shine out of here.
[US]L. Heinemann Paco’s Story (1987) 80: One of them backcounty shines — black as the ace of spades, may I add — got himself shot.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 37: A skinny shine, seven feet tall, a real geek.
[Aus](con. 1964-65) B. Thorpe Sex and Thugs and Rock ’n’ Roll 2: That June of ’63 King’s Cross was [...] brothels, hookers, pimps, hoons, charity molls, spruikers, toffs, chats, mooks, lairs, mugs, phizgigs, drag queens, straights, shines, bent cops, [...] tea leaves, neon, glitz.
[US]J. Ellroy ‘Jungletown Jihad’ in Destination: Morgue! (2004) 336: Many Moors mingled. They shucked with shines and mouthed multicultural mayhem.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 126: Personally, I don’t mind if she’s banging a shine. Live and let live.

(b) (US) as used by a black person, thus not derog.

[US]Van Vechten Nigger Heaven 120: Why, more of us get on through the ofays than through the shines.
[US]R. Fisher Walls Of Jericho 22: Nobody called him Shine, however, but Negroes.
[US]R. Abrahams Deep Down In The Jungle 107: Shark said, ‘Shine, Shine, can’t you see, / When you jump in these waters you belongs to me.’ [...] Shine said, ‘I know you outswim the barracuda, outsmart every fish in the sea, / But you gotta be a stroking motherfucker to outswim me.’.

5. a noisy person; a show-off.

[US]Ade More Fables in Sl. (1960) 174: Nowhere did she meet a Well-Wisher who [...] told her she was a Shine — in fact, the Champion Pest.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ John Henry 32: She said she was svelte. I suppose that’s Dago for a shine.
[US]K. McGaffey Sorrows of a Show Girl Ch. xviii: At that, us chorus dames ain’t so worse. Of course there are a bunch of shines in the aggregation.

6. (US) a fake diamond.

[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ Skidoo! 88: ‘What kind of diamonds are missing? [...] Are they sparklers or shines?’ ‘What is the difference,’ asked Mrs. Shinevonboodle haughtily. ‘The difference is about $95 a carat,’ whispered the policeman.

7. (US black) jewellery.

[US]Big L ‘Ebonics’ 🎵 A suit is a fine [i.e. vine], jewelry is shine.
[US]UGK ‘Underground Kingz’ 🎵 Now it’s long shine, long pine long cash.

8. (W.I.) fellatio [play on polish the knob under knob n.].

[WI]Francis-Jackson Official Dancehall Dict. 47: Shine oral sex: u. she polish ’n’ shine/she practises oral sex.
[UK]Dizzee Rascal ‘I Luv U’ 🎵 That girl gives head / That girl gives shines / That girl gives B.J.s at all times.

In phrases

cut a shine (v.)

1. to complain; to cause trouble.

[US]N. Ames Mariner’s Sketches 34: Has your skipper begun to cut any shines yet?
C.G. Moore Amanda Smith 198: I am sorry to lose the things, and if losing my temper and getting in a rage would bring them back, you would see me cut a shine.

2. to look smart.

Quaver 219: So if you keep in fashion’s pale, / And really cut a shine, sirs, / To buy, I’m sure you will not fail, / A slap-up four and nine, sirs.
‘Nathan Hogg’ Poetical Letters 47: Deer Jan, I’m zorry to me hart / Vrim zodgerin again to part, / An go back drashing Caurn; / Bezaides, the clothes be murch more vine— / I’m zshorely made ta cut a shine.
D.P. Conyngham Sherman’s March 137: He was elegantly dressed, as were also several other officers, who looked as if they wanted to cut a shine on the occasion.
[UK]D. Kirwan Palace & Hovel 69: My togs from Bond street came, it’s a nobby slap-up street / [...] / Nicol’s my man for shirts, with his I cuts a shine.
S. Warner Diana 15: ‘Don’t they cut a shine when they come into meetin,’ though! They think they do.’ ‘It takes all the boys’ attention off everything.’.
Herbert & Bellwood ‘What cheer Ria!’ 🎵 I am a girl what’s a-doing very well in the wegetable line / And as I’d saved a bob or two, I thought I’d cut a shine / So I goes and buys some toggery, these ’ere wery clothes you see.
R. Collinson Jrnl HMS Enterprise 135: Many presents were made to them, but the most highly prized was the sergeant’s red sash, with which Chimuak intended to cut a shine among the natives of King-a-ghee.

3. to show off; to perform well.

[UK]Sporting Mag. Dec. 108: The sun was shining, but the scent was so much clouded that the hounds could not cut a shine at all.
[US]Wkly Rake (NY) 13 Aug. n.p.: the rake wants to knowWhether handsome Tom has really reformed [...] or is only cutting one of his extra shines.
[UK]W.H. Oxberry Oxberry’s Budget of Plays 108: My father left me lots of tin, / Of gold a very mine; / So wheresoe’er I did go in, I always cut a shine / But seedily I used to dress [etc.].
[UK]E. Cook Eliza Cook’s Jrnl Oct. 264/1: But we must have our silver forks, ragouts, and foreign wine. / And not sit down till five or six, if we mean to ‘cut a shine’.
[US]Yankee Notions Dec. 351/2: Yeu don't spose a feller’s goin teu Bosting and not cut a shine, nor nuthin.
[UK]G. Meredith Rhoda Fleming 2 163: His son’ll get all the money, and go into Parliament, and cut a shine, never fear.
[US]T. Pastor Tony Pastor’s 201 Bowery Songster 55: When I was young and in my prime, / I thought I’d go and join the line, / And as a soldier cut a shine, / In a lot called the Hungry Army.
[US]‘Ouida’ Under Two Flags 5: They’ll ten to one [...] put you to shame, let you do what you will to make ’em cut a shine over the country.
[US]‘Angelo’ Adventures of an Atom 142: De darky sing, de darky play, / Arter de work ob de day; / He make de heel cut a shine / Aroun’ de cabin in de moonshine!
[US]Life (US) 22 54: And then a yacht I’d add to these, and stock it well with wine; / And on the turf with horses swift I’d also cut a shine.
[US]Blue & Gold (UC Berkeley) 21 251: I played a game of football, and I played behind the line; / The only time I got the ball I tried to cut a shine; / I ran with it for forty yards, I thought I'd won the day.
[Can]H. Beauregard Canadian Stories 26: If I do say so myself, we shanty fellows cut a shine in the dance that made the hayseeds tired before morning.
[UK]Pall Mall Mag. 23 33: Oh, go on—you’re all for usefulness these days: why can’t we cut a shine—same as others?
[US]N. Ridgley By Law of Might 55: Oh, yes, and as much more to play with and cut a shine in society. Not that Sharp cares much for society himself, but he likes to [...] enjoy the reputation of possessing the best that there is.
[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 8 May 4/6: B C can cut the shine in Blyth, but what about Truro?
[US]W.N. Harben Cottage of Delight 26: You have got some shape to you, my boy, and you will cut a shine up there.
do a shine (v.)

to run away and hide.

[UK]B.E.F. Times 8 Sept. (2006) 226/2: The Hun he started shelling, so I thought I’d do a shine.
get a shiine on (v.)

(N.Z. prison) to lose one’s temper.

[NZ]D. Looser Boobslang [U. Canterbury D.Phil. thesis] 164/2: get a shine on n. to lose one’s temper.
kick up a shine (v.)

1. to cause trouble, to create a disturbance.

[UK]London Standard 14 Aug. 4/5: Now torch, ’tis thine, to kick up a shine.
[UK]Leeds Times (Yorks.) 7 Oct. 5/1: He began to kick up a shine.
[UK]Leicester Chron. 26 Sept. 4/2: Defendants [...] had been heard to express their intention to go to the statue at Blaby, and ‘kick up a shine’.
[US]Richmond Dispatch (VA) 9 Mar. 1/6: Pot hooks and hangers have taken into their heads to ‘kick upa shine’ in the china shop.
[UK]Oxford Jrnl 12 Dec. 6/6: John Bright, you must be careful now, / And not kick up a shine’.
[Scot]Dundee Courier (Scot.) 9 Sept. 2/3: His wife ran away [...] because she thought he was going to ‘kick up a shine’.
[UK]Reynolds’s Newspaper 1 Apr. 6/2: If Bill doesn’t kick up a shine, it’s a mercy.
[UK]E.W. Rogers [perf. Vesta Tilley] The Midnight Son 🎵 But at night in the Palaces of Variety / We kick up a shine regardless of propriety.
[UK]Leigh & Powell [perf. Marie Lloyd] She doesn’t know that I know what I know 🎵 That’s a tale, but what’s the use of kicking up a shine?
[Aus]Truth (Melbourne) 31 Jan. 11/1: It would pay them better in many ways to keep mum than to kick up a shine.
[UK]‘Bartimeus’ ‘Seven-Bell Boat’ in A Tall Ship 80: They come into the gun-room when we have a sing-song on guest nights, and kick up a frightful shine.
[UK]J. Curtis Gilt Kid 32: That’s just about your mark, kicking up a shine at the spike.

2. to put on airs.

[US]J. Harrison ‘Negro English’ in Anglia VII 264: To kick up shines ~ to be proud, to put on airs.
Sunderland Dly Echo (Tyne & Wear) 4 May 1/7: But - mum - I won’t kick up a shine, / Nor of delight give any sign.