Green’s Dictionary of Slang

hold v.1

(US drugs)

1. to be in possession of money, usu. large sums; often as holding.

[Aus]M. Cash Life and Adventures 59: As Stephens heard that ‘he held it’ (a slang phrase implying possession of money) and he would not ‘tip up,’ he resolved to take it out of him another way.
[UK]Barrère & Leland Dict. of Sl., Jargon and Cant.
[US]T.A. Dorgan Indoor Sports 16 Feb. [synd. cartoon] He [sic] so good at holding that he could swim across the Hudson with an armfull of eels and never lose one.
[Aus]G.H. Lawson Dict. of Aus. Words And Terms [Internet] HOLDIN’—Possessing money.
[UK]A.E. Strong in Partridge Sl. Today and Yesterday 288: A. I’m stiff. C. How are you holding, D? D. All right.
[Aus]L. Glassop Lucky Palmer 150: Once before, when he was ‘holding well,’ as he expressed it, ‘Big Jim’ Shendon [...] had made the mistake of telling him what a big man he was.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 99/1: Holding. (Limited to ‘what are you holding?’ and the response, ‘I’m holding. . . .’) 1. To have money in one’s possession. [...] 2. (P) To have in one’s possession contraband cash, cigarettes, tobacco, or other medium of exchange.
[UK]S. Selvon Housing Lark 135: ‘One hundred and twenty pounds, eight shillings and fivepence ha’penny.’ [...] Nobby whistle and dig Alfy. ‘We holding big, boy!’.
[US]T. Wolfe Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1969) 239: ‘How you holding?’ How you holding— ‘I mean, like, you know [...] I didn’t charge Kesey nothing to use this place, like free, you know?’.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Airtight Willie and Me 11: She was holding enough bread to burn up a herd of wet cattle.
[US](con. 1930s) C.E. Lincoln The Avenue, Clayton City (1996) 8: Hey, Red, let me hold something. Lay a quarter on me.
[US]J. Stahl Plainclothes Naked (2002) 59: How much you say she’s holding?

2. for a supply of drugs to suffice an addict for a given period of time.

[US]D. Maurer ‘Lang. of the Und. Narcotic Addict’ Pt 2 in Lang. Und. (1981).
[US]J. Mills Panic in Needle Park (1971) 34: Then a little while ago I had some GB’s, to hold me till I can do somethin’ to get more stuff.

3. to be in possession of drugs, esp. for selling.

[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks n.p.: Are you holding? Have you any dope to sell?
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]E. Hunter Second Ending 266: Hey, are you holding? [...] You got any junk?
[US]J. Rechy City of Night 113: I don really dig this stuff, man — too much of a hassle to hold any.
[US]C. Bukowski Erections, Ejaculations etc. 263: Arthur’s holding a lot of shit. Let’s go [...] and smoke some shit.
[US]H. Gould Fort Apache, The Bronx 184: Because when everything cools down, my man’s gonna be the only dude who’s holdin’.
[US]Rebennack & Rummel Under A Hoodoo Moon 204: ‘Well, what are you holding?’ He broke out this bottle of stuff and fixed me up.
[US]Source Oct. 168: Cookin’, packagin’, holdin’ or using any of the above.
D. Glenn Almost a Proverb 53: ‘You holding man?’ ‘Talk to me after chow.’.

4. (US black) to borrow.

[US]B. Seale Seize the Time 34: I could [...] say, man, loan me a dollar, and he’d let me hold a dollar.

5. (UK black) to take, to steal.

[US]T.R. Houser Central Sl. 28: hold, to [...] To thieve. To commit robbery. ‘Let me hold that radio.’.
[UK](con. 1979–80) A. Wheatle Brixton Rock (2004) 17: Brenton declined the offer of a lift, saying he preferred to ‘hol’ a bus’. [Ibid.] 100: I’m going to kuff the window, hol’ the goods and chip to a brethren’s house.

6. (US Und.) to be armed.

[US]C. Shafer ‘Catheads [...] and Cho-Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy Bounty of Texas (1990) 206: hold, v. – to carry a gun: to hold a gun.
[US]H. Gould Fort Apache, The Bronx 118: You know the prick’s holdin’.

7. to be in possession of anything.

[US]C. McFadden Serial 62: I’m not holding, okay? No grapes.
[US]Rebennack & Rummel Under A Hoodoo Moon 32: I told my parents the stuff wasn’t mine, that I was just holding for friends.

In phrases

do you hold?

(Aus.) a phr. indicating that it is someone’s turn to buy the drinks.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 11 Jul. 12/1: An Australian indulges in no such foolishness. If he meets an old friend, his greeting is either ‘Give it a name!’ or ‘Do you hold it?’ according to circumstances. There is no preliminary beating about the bush with him.
hold heavy (v.) [heavy adv. (3)]

to have a good deal of money .

[US]Ersine Und. and Prison Sl. 44: holding heavy. Having much money.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 99/1: Hold heavy. To be well supplied with ready cash.
[US]‘Soulful Spider’ ‘Pimp in a Clothing Store’ in Milner & Milner (1972) 287: I’m holding, heavy, freeze, just bring them on down.
[US]J. Ellroy Brown’s Requiem 21: I may not look like no millionaire, but I’m holding heavy.
hold light (v.)

to have only a little money, to be out of pocket.

[US]J. Thompson Texas by the Tail (1994) 54: I’m holding light, Frank [...] I need to hit.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

hold-door trade (n.) [whores standing around brothel doorways in the hope of attracting passing trade]

the world of prostitution.

[UK]Shakespeare Troilus and Cressida V x: Brethren and sisters of the hold-door trade.

In phrases

hold... (v.)

see also under relevant n.

hold a tangi (v.) [Maori tangi, a formal lamentation, a dirge]

(N.Z.) to analyse, to hold a ‘post mortem’, to have a feast or party.

[Aus]Baker N.Z. Sl.
[NZ]P.L. Soljak N.Z. 116: New Zealand colloquialisms which are of Maori origin include: [...] hold a tangi over: to hold a feast, party of meeting.
hold out

see separate entries.

hold the bag (v.)

see separate entry.

hold up

see separate entries.

In exclamations

hold it!

see separate entry.

hold your kitties!

be patient! remain calm!

‘Road Test: 2000 BMW 328Ci’ [Internet] When I bite into a York Peppermint Patty, I get the sensation of cool, frosty air tousling my hair as I race through the serpentine roadways of the Black Forests of Bavaria...hey, hold your kitties there, Jimmy; I don’t have a York Peppermint Patty! Will a BMW 328Ci suffice?