Green’s Dictionary of Slang

hole n.1

[SE hole]

1. as a part of the body.

(a) [late 14C+] (also hol) the anus.

(b) [late 16C+] the vagina.

(c) [mid-19C+] the mouth; usu. as shut one’s hole

(d) [20C+] the buttocks.

(e) [20C+] sexual intercourse; usu. in phr. get one’s hole

(f) [1940s+] (US) a (promiscuous) woman, a prostitute.

(g) [1970s+] (US) a passive homosexual man, esp. when promiscuous.

(h) [2000s] an underage girl used for paedophile exploitation.

2. as an unpleasant place.

(a) [mid-16C+] (orig. UK prison, also dark hole) the punishment cells [the orig. Hole was found in the Counter or Compter debtors’ prison in Wood Street, London, where it was the nickname for that cell, a notably squalid one, in which the poorest prisoners were confined. The rich enjoyed the ‘masters’ side’, while the middle classes went to the ‘knights’ side’; all were entered in the prison’s Black Book. William Fennor’s Counter’s Commonwealth (1617) gives an extensive survey of life within the prison. A similar form of dungeon, not apparently sl., was the hell, cited by the OED and Nares, Glossary (1822), who suggests it was ‘something worse than the hole’].

(b) [18C+] a derog. description of any small, dirty, clandestine place, often one where illegal occupations were planned or carried out; also used of larger areas, e.g. cites 1826, 1839, 1865, 1894.

(c) [1920s+] (US campus) a student’s room.

(d) [1930s–50s] (US Und.) a hideout.

(e) [1930s+] (US) the subway or one of its stations.

(f) [1940s+] (US) a space or slot, a position, e.g. in a race.

(g) a grave.

(h) [1990s+] (US Und.) a railroad side track.

(i) [1990s+] (Aus./US) a prison.

3. [late 18C+] in fig. use: a difficult situation, a fix, a scrape, a mess.

In compounds

hole and corner work (n.)

[mid–late 19C] sexual intercourse.

hole nervous (adj.)

[1970s] (US Und.) suffering from the nervousness that arises from a lengthy period spent in hiding or keeping a low profile.

holes and poles (n.) [pole n.]

[1960s+] (US campus) sex education classes.

hole time (n.) [time n.]

[20C+] (US prison) time spent in the punishment cells.

In phrases

break someone’s hole (v.)

[1970s] (US) to beat up.

get one’s hole (v.) (also get one’s hole away)

[1960s+] (Scot./Irish) of a man, to have sexual intercourse.

give him a hole to hide it in (v.) [it n.1 (2)]

[late 19C+] of a woman, to permit sexual intercourse.

in one’s hole (also in one’s pants, ...shite)

[1970s+] a general dismissive rejoinder, usu. negating the previous statement.

in the hole (also in a hole) [mid-19C+] (orig. US)

1. in debt, owing, usu. connected with gambling.

2. in difficulties.

put in the hole (v.) (also put in the bucket,, …well) [the image is of hiding away the partner’s share; note bucket v. (1)]

[early 19C+] (UK Und.) to deceive, to cheat, to swindle, to ruin, esp. to rob an accomplice of their share of a robbery.

put someone in the hole (v.)

[mid-19C] to make someone feel inferior, to ‘put down’.

shut one’s hole (v.)

[1940s+] to be quiet, esp. in imper. shut your hole!

up someone’s hole

[1970s+] (US) immediately behind and therefore irritating, bothering.

In exclamations

my hole!

[late 17C+] a general excl. of disdain, dismissal, arrogant contempt.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

can you see any holes in my head?

[1930s] (US) a retort, do you think I am stupid?

hole in one’s head (n.)

see separate entry.

hole in the wall

see separate entries.

hole up

see separate entries.

hunt one’s hole (v.) (also hunt a hole)

[mid-19C–1960s] (US) to run away, to seek refuge.

make a hole in (v.) [20C+ use is SE]

1. [early 17C–19C] to use up a great deal of, esp. money or a dish of food.

2. [1930s] (US Und.) to escape from prison.

make a hole in one’s manners (v.) (also put a hole in one’s manners)

[mid–late 19C; 1970s+] (later use Aus.) to behave rudely.

make a hole in the water (v.)

[mid-19C–1910s] to commit suicide by diving or jumping into water and drowning.

In exclamations

hole in one! [golf imagery]

[1970s+] absolutely correct!