Green’s Dictionary of Slang

dirty adj.

1. [early 19C+] corrupt; morally unsound.

2. [late 19C–1960s] having money, funds.

3. [20C+] (usu. US black) good, wonderful, excellent (on bad = good model).

4. [late 19C+] (UK/US Und.) dubious, unsafe, to be avoided.

5. [1900s–20s] (US) in possession of a large quantity.

6. [1910s+] of money, acquired through crime.

7. [1920s+] holding incriminating evidence.

8. [1960s+] (drugs) currently addicted to drugs.

9. [1960s+] (drugs) in possession of drugs.

10. pertaining to pornography.

11. [1970s+] (US Und.) in possession of or carrying a weapon.

12. [1970s+] (Aus./N.Z. prison) angry, embittered.

13. [1990s+] (US prison) showing evidence of recent drug use in a urine test.

14. [1990s+] (US campus) unattractive.

15. [1990s+] (Irish drugs) of a narcotic injection, adulterated with some form of toxin.

16. in possession of contraband.

17. [2010s] (Aus.) second-rate, poor quality.

In phrases

give the dirty sign (v.) [sense 4 above]

[1940s] (US Und.) to warn.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

dirty acres (n.)

[late 17C–mid-19C] a landed estate.

dirty Annie (n.)

[1920s] (Aus.) Reschs Dinner Ale.

dirty-arsed (adj.) [-arsed sfx]

[1990s+] a general pej.

dirty barrel (n.)

[1960s–70s] (US) the male or female genitals when suffering a venereal disease.

dirty bird (n.)

see separate entries.

dirty bundle (n.) (also old bundle)

[1940s+] (W.I.) an untidy person.

dirty dog (n.) [dog n.2 (1b)/dog n.2 (1e)]

1. [late 18C+] a generally unpleasant person, often with overtones of womanizing.

2. [1940s–50s] (US black) a man who habitually mistreats women.

dirty dowager (n.) [SE dowager, orig. the widow of a dead king, i.e. a queen n. (2a)]

[1940s–70s] (gay) an unkempt, ill-preserved, older, gay man.

dirtyfoot (n.) [? ext. of dirty leg ]

[2000s] (US black) a fellatrix.

dirty gertie (n.) [redup. Note that Gertie is a ‘typically’ vulgar name]

1. [1920s–40s] (US) a promiscuous or sexually enthusiastic woman.

2. [2000s] (bingo) the number 30.

dirty laundry (n.) (also dirty linen, ...washing)

[20C+] unpleasant, embarrassing or revelatory information; thus air one’s dirty laundry in public.

dirty left/right (n.)

[1900s–10s] (Aus.) a powerful fist, of the left or right hand.

dirty leg (n.) [leg n. (9a)] [1960s+] (US)

1. a promiscuous woman.

2. sexual intercourse.

dirty-livered (adj.)

[1950s] (Aus.) a general term of abuse: grumpy, objectionable; thus in a dirty liver, in a bad mood.

dirty name (v.)

[1920s] (US) to abuse, to slander.

dirty neck (n.) [coined by US troops in WWI to describe French women]

[1910s–60s] (US) a promiscuous woman; a general term of abuse; also attrib.

dirty old man (n.)

see separate entry.

dirty pool (n.)

[1940s+] (orig. US) unfair, duplicitous activity; thus play dirty pool, to behave in an underhand manner.

dirty sanchez (n.)

[1980s+] (US black) the act of sticking one’s finger up someone’s anus and then wiping their top lip with one’s finger, to give them a dirty moustache; usu. by a man to a woman.

dirty shirt (n.)

see separate entries.

dirty towel (n.)

[1960s] (US prison) the prison barber shop.

In phrases

the dirty half-mile (n.) [both areas are/were known for roughness, decadence and excess] (Aus.)

1. [1920s+] Kings Cross Road, Sydney.

2. [1930s+] William Street, Sydney.

dirty night at sea (n.)

see under sea n.

dirty (on) (adj.)

[1960s+] (Aus.) resentful (of).

get the dirty water off one’s chest (v.)

to have sexual intercourse.

In exclamations

I’ll be a dirty word! (also I’ll be a dirty name!, I’m a dirty name) [lit. + fig. use of SE dirty word]

[late 19C+] a mild oath.