1. [mid-19C] a state of drunkenness [drive turkeys to market ; ? one walks like the bird].
2. [1900s–40s] (Aus./US) a vagrant’s pack, a lumberman’s kit pack [resemblance to the bulky bird which has been ‘stuffed’].
3. [1910s–40s] (US Und.) a suitcase; a large traveling bag [resemblance to the bulky bird which has been ‘stuffed’] .
4. in senses of failure, weakness [according to Cohen (ed.) Studies in Slang IV (1995) pp.100–119, originating in the theatrical turkey show, a touring show, usu. burlesque, mounted at a moment’s notice and staffed by a third-rate cast, even stage-struck amateurs].
(a) [1920s+] a failure, an incompetent, a dull person.
(b) [1930s+] (drugs) inferior quality or even fake drugs.
(c) [1940s] (US gang) a gang member who won’t or can’t fight, but runs messages etc.
(d) [1940s+] an unappealing or worthless thing, a disappointment.
(e) [1950s+] a general derog. term of address.
(f) [1950s+] an unattractive man or woman.
(g) [1970s+] (US Und./teen, also turkeymeat) a victim, e.g. of a mugging or shooting.
see sense 4g above.
[1950s+] the penis.
[1920s+] to urinate.
[mid-19C] (US) to get drunk.
[late 19C+] to masturbate.
[mid-19C–early 20C] to be in a state of drunkenness.
[mid-19C–1900s] (US) to say nothing, to stay silent.
[1970s+] (US black) one who is infatuated and thus easily led and controlled.
[1950s] (US) to run off, to act in a cowardly manner.
SE in slang uses
[late 19C–1900s] a rich person.
1. [20C+] (US black) a white man, usu. derog.
2. see buzzard n. (5)
[1910s–40s] (US black) Thanksgiving.
[1980s+] (Aus. prison) fellatio; thus turkey gobbler, a fellator/fellatrix.
1. [late 17C–mid-19C] one who buys and sells turkeys, a poulterer [allegedly credited to Horne Tooke (1736–1812), when questioned by fellow Etonians as to his father’s occupation].
2. [mid-19C] (UK Und.) a dealer in smuggled silk [the play was on merchant, i.e. a legitimate dealer].
3. [mid-19C] a street-seller of rhubarb.
see bee’s knees n.
1. (US) a combat in which one’s own side wins without any difficulty, killing and destroying on a large scale; also in fig. use.
2. anything exceptionally easy.
[1980s] (US) a term of abuse.
[1910s] (US) very quickly.
[mid–late 19C] to walk in a drunken, unsteady manner.
1. to suffer humiliation and insult without reciprocating.
2. to take second best, to accept an inferior role.
[20C+] (Aus./N.Z.) head-over-heels.
[20C+] (Aus./N.Z.) to leave in a hurry, to run off.