Green’s Dictionary of Slang

strong adv.

1. keenly, enthusiastically.

[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 222: One of the coffee-shop party is tipping a Charley to buff it strong against tom and jerry.
[US]D. Corcoran Picking from the Picayune 9: You can go the anti-Washingtonian ticket strong.
[UK]Sam Sly 10 Feb. 2/2: Give the people back their money; if you do not, look out, for you shall have it strong.
[US]‘Ned Buntline’ G’hals of N.Y. 41: Cussed if I don’t put into it strong, and ’stonish ’em!
[UK] ‘’Arry in Parry’ Punch 15 Nov. 217/1: If you’d twigged me, dear boy, on the start you’d ’a said I was mixing it strong.
[UK]Arbroath Herald 28 Apr. 2/5: ‘Tammas got it [i.e. a scolding] strong’.
[US]F. Hutcheson Barkeep Stories 184: ‘Well, de burly keeps handin’ it to de little guy strong ’bout how he kin go hisself’.
[US]Ade Forty Modern Fables 104: She touted him strong to all the Girls.
[Aus]E. Dyson ‘Nicholas Don & the Meek Almira’ Benno and Some of the Push 17: I gave it to Almira strong, she lookin’ a soft ’n’ simple baby mine.
[US]B. Fisher Mutt & Jeff 13 Sept. [synd. strip] I’m for the news boys strong. I’ll do it.
[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 12 June 4/3: They Say [...] That Bertie H [...] is putting in strong for his cousin.
[US]Dos Passos Manhattan Transfer 31: The poor fellow never did go very strong in the bright lights.
[Aus]X. Herbert Capricornia (1939) 399: The Wet’ll have set in strong.
Dan Burley ‘Back Door Stuff’ 20 Aug. [synd. col.] [T]he old chick [...] went strong for the idea of having such a ‘nice young man’.
[US]M. Spillane Long Wait (1954) 106: The past week she’s been going strong for this one joe.
[UK]P. Willmott Adolescent Boys of East London (1969) 48: Now I’m courting rather strong.
[US]E. Torres After Hours 149: She didn’t go for it too strong.
Desdemona at 🌐 Cherry would hide inside her birthday cake, and when the party got going strong, she would come bursting out, and all the men would get to bid for her.
[US]C. Carr Our Town 270: I asked about the green cross sewn to the front of his white mask. [...] ‘I’m strong into the Bible,’ he said. ‘You know there’s four pages in there on segregation.’.
[US]W. Keyser ‘Carny Lingo’ in 🌐 Strong [...] an aggressive quality (‘"Did you have to play the mark that strong?’).

2. intimately.

[US]R. Lardner ‘The Water Cure’ in Gullible’s Travels 🌐 When my Missus can overlook a guy stingin’ me for legal tender, it means he’s in pretty strong with her.
[UK]A. Wheatle Crongton Knights 123: I don’t wanna be rude but I don’t even know you too strong.

3. (US) in context of burlesque/striptease, displaying a maximum amount of flesh, thus work strong, to perform in that way.

[US]E. Wilson 17 Mar. [synd. col.] At the Troc Theatre [in Philadelphia] we worked stronger than here; didn’t wear net brassieres at all.
[US]W. Keyser ‘Carny Lingo’ in 🌐 When a girl show works strong all the clothes come off and the girls do the most amazing things with [...] their bodies.

In derivatives

strong-oh (adj.)

(Aus.) duplicitous, deceptive.

[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 14 Aug. 1/5: There you’ll see the ‘strong-oh’ talent / On the lookout for a bloke / Who will back some stiffened pony.

In phrases

come out strong (v.)

to act generously.

Aytoun Dreepdaily Burghs 2: I had of late come out rather too strong. When a man has made money easily, he is somewhat prone to launch into expense [F&H].
draw it strong (v.)

to exaggerate.

[UK] in Bentley’s Misc. XXI 258: You men draw it strong when you want anything.
[UK]G.A. Sala in Daily Tel. 6 Apr. n.p.: Our ladies faithfully promised to ‘draw it as mild’ as possible; but when they made their appearance in most splendid array, I felt rather uncertain as to what the consequences might have been if they had drawn it strong.
[US]‘Mark Twain’ Innocents at Home 334: He was one of the whitest men that was ever in the mines. You can’t draw it too strong.
in Testimony Taken Before the Judiciary Committee of the Senate of Calif. 144: They draw it strong and say ‘You shall purchase all.’.
A.H. Lewis Wolfville Days 64: ‘Tell him to come a-runnin’, Enright,’ says Jack Moore; ‘an’ draw it strong.’.
go (it) strong (v.) [go it v. (2)]

1. to speak frankly, to act forcefully.

[US]N.-Y. Trib. n.p.: President Polk in his message goes it strong for the Sub-treasury [B].
[US]‘Artemus Ward’ Artemus Ward, His Book 64: But its my onbiassed ’pinion that they go it rather too strong on Ethiopians at Oberlin.
[US]‘Edmund Kirke’ Down in Tennessee 57: Come all you darkies jine de song [...] You all am free – so go it strong.
[Ind]Kipling ‘My Great & Only’ in Civil & Military Gaz. 11 Jan. (1909) 271: Oh, think o' my song when you're gowin' it strong / An’ your boots is too little to ’old yer .
[US]R. Lardner ‘The Water Cure’ Gullible’s Travels 163: I got to thinkin’ over what I’d said and wonderin’ if I’d went too strong.
[UK]F. Norman in Sun. Graphic 20 July in Norman’s London (1969) 18: I don’t think I had better go too strong on what I think about these geezers in Soho.
[US]E. De Roo Young Wolves 27: Ma was still going strong. Pa was letting her have her habitual summing-up and last words.

2. (Aus.) to act unrestrainedly, e.g. as regards sex.

[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 8 June 12/4: But they mustn’t knock around Sir / Openly, and go it strong.
play (it) strong (v.)

(US black) to act in an aggressive, determined manner.

[US]H. McCoy Corruption City 20: You’ll tip your hand if you play it too strong.
[US] ‘The Fall’ in D. Wepman et al. Life (1976) 87: I played it strong, but it wasn’t long / Before they took me to court.
[US](con. 1950s) D. Goines Whoreson 68: Since I really didn’t know what to do, I decided to play strong.
work strong (v.)

(US) for a performer, e.g. acting more raunchily in burlesque, to perform in an aggressively crowd-pleasing manner, thus overshadowing ensuing acts.

J. Roe Same Old Grind 42: So where was the applause? [...] The spick who had been on just before Flame must have worked too strong. Flame would fix her frijole!