1. a state of drunkenness [drive turkeys to market ; ? one walks like the bird].
|Stray Subjects (1848) 116: ‘It’s a turkey I’ve got on,’ hiccuped Tom Links, as he noticed a singular disposition on the part of the pavé to rise up and impede his progress.|
|‘Last Bloody Duel Fought in Ohio’ in Polly Peablossom’s Wedding 177: Others who carried lesser sized ‘turkies,’ were toddling about the room in groups of two and upwards, muttering delightful sentiments, and swearing their friendship to each other.|
2. (Aus./US) a vagrant’s pack, a lumberman’s kit pack [resemblance to the bulky bird which has been ‘stuffed’].
|Blazed Trail 18: Shearer reached over his head and took from the rack a heavy canvas bag, which he handed to the conductor. ‘That’s his ‘turkey’,’ he explained, ‘his war bag.’.|
|DN IV:i 12: turkey, n. A lumberman’s pack or kit. ‘He carried his turkey on his back.’.‘A Word-List From Minnesota’ in|
|AS I:12 653: Turkey — a canvas bag.‘Hobo Lingo’ in|
|Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 192: Turkey.– A canvas tool bag ; a bed roll.|
|Aus. Lang. 102: A drum, of course, is the equivalent of swag, [...] turkey, [...] or bluey as the tramp’s rolled blanket is variously called.|
|DAUL 228/1: Turkey. [...] 3. (Hobo) The handkerchief-wrapped roll of belongings carried by hobos and tramps.et al.|
3. (US Und.) a suitcase; a large traveling bag [resemblance to the bulky bird which has been ‘stuffed’] .
|Vocab. Criminal Sl.|
|DAUL 228/1: Turkey. 1. A suitcase; satchel; any piece of luggage.et al.|
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) a failure, an incompetent, a dull person.
|[||in Tarheel Talk (1956) 302: You ‘Turkey with a surname’! Why have you not written to me?].|
|On Broadway 17 Sept. [synd. col.] The Craig theater management [...] says it prefers a dark house to a turkey show.|
|(con. 1920s) Studs Lonigan (1936) 337: Jesus, them turkeys down there would ride the pants off me.Young Manhood in|
|Duke 109: After almost bumping into that turkey [....] The more I thought of that the more I knew it was that stupid-looking guy that followed me that other time.|
|Deadly Streets (1983) 41: Don’t let that turkey bother you.‘I’ll Bet You a Death’ in|
|CUSS 214: Turkey A person who always fools around. A person who always does the wrong thing. [...] A person without much social or academic ability.et al.|
|(con. 1960s) Wanderers 37: Turkey was a real turkey. He was in all the honor classes [...] but the other smart kids would have nothing to do with him because he was such a creep.|
|G’DAY 7: MACKA: Wooden mine givin that one. She's with some turkey. SHANE: The smooth bastard with the mo?|
|Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In 18: Joe Bob also said Gus Simpson is a turkey ‘and you can print that.’.|
|Human Torpedo 108: If you went on what every turkey said, you’d be at my funeral.|
|Sl. and Sociability 69: A turkey is ‘a person who acts stupid or never seems to do things right.’.|
|Kill Your Friends (2009) 14: Schneider has signed one too many turkeys on the bounce and his position [...] is increasingly shaky.|
|Leather Maiden 76: ‘Some turkey called in that her car was up there’.|
|Cherry 45: He’d start talking about this punk and that peckerhead and the other turkey.|
(b) (drugs) inferior quality or even fake drugs.
|AS XI:2 127/1: turkey. A bindle of bad dope, or a fake capsule found to contain only sugar or chalk.‘Argot of the Und. Narcotic Addict’ Pt 1 in|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 244: turkey [...] a fake capsule containing sugar or chalk, instead of the real narcotic.|
|Traffic In Narcotics 316: Turkey. A substance which does not contain narcotics or marihuana.|
|Dict. of Invective (1991) 394: A turkey may be a [...] fake capsule of narcotics.|
(c) (US gang) a gang member who won’t or can’t fight, but runs messages etc.
|Duke 31: If you’re a Jap or a turkey [...] it’s going to be bad stuff for you. [Ibid.] 50: We sent a turkey ahead.|
(d) an unappealing or worthless thing, a disappointment.
|Mildred Pierce 176: The beach..was studded with rocks and was therefore unsuitable to swimming. For all ordinary purposes it was simply a turkey .|
|Hollywood Detective Dec. [Internet] Bonham [...] had made a smash success in a couple of Grade-B turkeys.‘Coffin for a Coward’ in|
|DAUL 228/1: Turkey. [...] 2. Anything worthless, especially a package of valueless substitute for narcotics sold to addicts; a failure; a profitless crime; a criminal victim with no money or valuables.et al.|
|Reinhart in Love (1963) 103: I don’t think we’ll even bother to get out for this turkey [i.e. a house for sale].|
|Family Arsenal 47: I think we should burn this turkey right now.|
|N.Y. Times 23 Feb. n.p.: The Shoreham [nuclear plant] is a $4 billion turkey [R].|
|Hilliker Curse 12: We [...] went to a movie. It was a seagoing turkey called Fire Down Below.|
(e) a general derog. term of address.
|Tomboy (1952) 101: What’s the delay, turkey?|
|Down These Mean Streets (1970) 140: ‘Later, turkey. Be good.’ ‘Yeah, baby, take it slow.’.|
|Animal Factory 4: ‘Save that shit for the judge, turkey,’ someone said.|
|More Tales of the City (1984) 107: The gynecologist grinned. ‘A convention, turkey.’.|
(f) an unattractive man or woman.
|Jimmy Brockett 137: If I’d suddenly looked at my mother and seen her just like any other turkey I passed in the street.|
|Rock 81: The big turkey looks disgusted.|
|Campus Sl. Oct. 6: turkey – person, particularly female, who is physically unattractive.|
|Roger’s Profanisaurus in Viz 98 Oct. 29: turkey n. The cracker you think you’ve pulled whilst drunk at the office Christmas party who turns out to be a rough old bird who only gets stuffed once a year.|
(g) (US Und./teen, also turkeymeat) a victim, e.g. of a mugging or shooting.
|S.R.O. (1998) 48: ‘And what is our turkey’s profession?’.|
|Boston Blitz (1974) 132: He had lived with the constant vision of Mafia turkeymeat lurking at the threshold of his thinking mind.|
|‘Bop with Smoke’ [lyrics] Free K-Sav the judge done him dirty / Gave man 8 for soakin' up turkeys.|
see sense 4g above.
|Homeboy 16: ‘Like old turkey necks,’ is how they [i.e. penises] looked to this bulldagger fitted with boobs bigger than her head.|
|Get Your Cock Out 60: She couldn’t understand why other girls her age were so freaked out by these underground turkey spankers.|
|DSUE (8th edn) 93/1: since ca. 1925.|
(US) to get drunk.
|N.O. Picayune 20 Apr. 2/3: A chap [...] caught the largest kind of a ‘turkey’ while visiting the different bar-rooms [DA].|
|Guild Dict. Homosexual Terms 9: come your turkey (v.): To masturbate the male member.|
|5000 Adult Sex Words and Phrases.|
to be in a state of drunkenness.
|Burlington Sentinel in (1856) 461: We give a list of a few of the various words and phrases which have been in use, at one time or another, to signify some stage of inebriation: [...] got a turkey on his back.|
|‘Little Old Caboose Behind the Train’ in Long Steel Rail (1981) 383: They get out upon the track with their turkeys on their backs.|
|‘The Little Red Caboose behind the Train (II)’ in Long Steel Rail (1981) 382: They will get up on that track with a (turkey) on their back.|
(US) to say nothing, to stay silent.
|in DA].Amer. Humour 319: ‘Bet two to one old splinter-legs thar,’ nodding at one of the ministers — ‘won’t git a chance to say turkey to a good-lookin gal today!’ [|
|DN III 356: She never said pea-turkey to me about it [DA].|
(US black) one who is infatuated and thus easily led and controlled.
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines 126: Expressions like [...] to have a ring through your nose, or to be a turkey on a string mean to be deeply infatuated or in love with another.|
(US) to run off, to act in a cowardly manner.
|Jungle Kids (1967) 153: Tigo would not turkey out of this particular rumble.‘The Last Spin’ in|
SE in slang uses
a rich person.
|Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.|
1. (US black) a white man, usu. derog.
|Drylongso 60: There was this sorry little cracker that we used to call Turk [...] He didn’t know that when we were talking about him, ‘turk’ was short for turkey buzzard. We used to laugh about that a lot.|
2. see buzzard n. (6)
(US black) Thanksgiving.
|E. Riedel ‘New Orleans Word-List’ in DN IV:iv 270: Turkey Day. Thanksgiving Day.|
|Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 90: If I was booted, truly booted, I’d lay a solid beg on my righteous scribe, and knock a scoff on the zoom on Turkey Day.|
(Aus. prison) fellatio; thus turkey gobbler, a fellator/fellatrix.
|Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. [Internet] Turkey gobble. Fellatio. Thus a turkey gobbler is one who fellates.|
1. 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].
|Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Turky-Merchants drivers of Turkies.|
|New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].|
|, , ,||Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].|
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Spirit of Irish Wit 32: Conner is a turkey merchant, and drinks his mahagony tea every morning.|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Modern Flash Dict.|
|Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.|
|Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 112: Poulterers are sometimes termed turkey merchants in remembrance of Horne Tooke’s answer to the boys at Eton, who wished in an aristocratic way to know what his father was ― a turkey merchant, replied Tooke; ― his father was a poulterer.|
|Letters by an Odd Boy 165: Some of the slang expressions, also, are simply funny; as, for example, when you call [...] a poulterer ‘a turkey merchant’.|
|Won in a Canter I 18: One fellow of ours said his father was a Turkey merchant. He had no end of tin, and we really thought he was the ‘correct card;’ but he was always finding fault with the poultry and game at mess [...] Well, at last it oozed out he was the son of a poulterer in Leadenhall Market.|
2. (UK Und.) a dealer in smuggled silk [the play was on merchant, i.e. a legitimate dealer].
|Dict. of the Flash or Cant Lang. 166/1: Turkey Merchants – purchasers of plundered silk.|
|Vocabulum 93: turkey-merchants Purchasers of stolen silk.|
|Story of a Lancashire Thief 9: There was Downy, a Turkey merchant in a small way, who had such a feeling for tusheroons that he was always changing his tanners and stags, and aldermen, into them.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
3. a street-seller of rhubarb.
|Birmingham Jrnl 1 June 8/2: An antient ‘Turkey merchant,’ one of those turbaned fellows you see going about with little lumps of rhubarb, and who offer to revolutionise your whole intestinal economy therewith for sixpence.|
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.
|Rumble on the Docks (1955) 200: Fuller suspected that Gotham was setting her up for a turkey shoot and held his head in his hands, waiting for the slow explosion.|
|If I Die in a Combat Zone (1980) 91: The artillery officer got busy [...] preparing the big guns for a turkey shoot.|
|Nam (1982) 105: It turned into a turkey shoot. They were defenceless.|
|Hooky Gear 33: She commit a turkey shoot. Which is to say she hit them with textbooks they never even heard of an turns their big ideas of the law into pork scratchins.|
|(con. 1954) Tomato Can Comeback [ebook] If their first fight was Pearl Harbor, then this was Midway. The outcome was in doubt for much of the battle, but the matter was ultimately settled in a matter of minutes. Now it was a turkey shoot.|
2. anything exceptionally easy.
|Clockers 398: It’s [i.e. a police surveillance] like a turkey shoot, a sniper’s dream.|
(US) a term of abuse.
|Gardens of Stone (1985) 35: Listen, turkey turd.|
|in Sex Work (1988) 80: Keep your hands off her, turkey tail!|
(US) very quickly.
|Day Book (Chicago) 23 Nov. 17/1: The little cuss whirled before you could say ‘Turkey!’ and lammed loose at me with my own gun.|
to walk in a drunken, unsteady manner.
|Dict. of Sl., Jargon and Cant.|
|Sl. and Its Analogues.|
|DSUE (8th edn) 342/1: –1869.|
1. to suffer humiliation and insult without reciprocating.
2. to take second best, to accept an inferior role.
|Fact’ry ’Ands 234: One as dumped down two flights, ’ead over tuck.|
|Moods of Ginger Mick 64: Tho’ their ’ope o’ life grew murky, wiv the ship ’ead over turkey, / Dread o’ death an’ fear o’ drownin’ wus jist trifles they ignored.‘The Singing Soldiers’ in|
|axel-and-alice [Internet] He jumped aside and fell through a native cherry tree, head-over-turkey into a sag of sword grass.|
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.|
(Aus./N.Z.) to leave in a hurry, to run off.
|(con. WWI) Sl. Today and Yesterday 287: I was so stiff I nearly turkeyed off from the line.in Partridge|
|Courtship of Uncle Henry 74: Thompson threw the knife down with a bang and turkeyed off after her.|
|I Travelled a Lonely Land (1957) 241/1: turkey off – move on, go away.|
|(ref. to WWI) Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 115/2: turkey off absent without leave; WWI.|
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 218: turkey off A sudden departure, ANZ 1930s.|