1. a derog. term for a black person, esp. dark-skinned and/or a woman; also attrib.
|Novels and Stories (1995) 1004: Who, me? Man, I don’t deal in no coal. Know what I tell ’em? If they’s white, they’s right! If they’s yellow, they’s mellow! If they’s brown they can stick around. But if they come black they better git way back!‘Story in Harlem Sl.’ in|
|(con. 1952) Boys of Summer 106: ‘Say, you guys goin’ out to see the coal? [...] The coal is taking over. [...] We got to stop these cannibals ‘fore they eat us. Gonna be a lotta cannibals out today, see that nigger [Jackie] Robinson’ .|
|Lang. of Ethnic Conflict 46: Color Allusions, Other than ‘Black’ and ‘Negro’: [...] coal [fem.].|
|Destination: Morgue! (2004) 327: Cops call it the ‘Coal Chute.’ It’s a jungle-bunny juggernaut.‘Jungletown Jihad’ in|
2. (US) the lit end or glowing ash of a cigarette.
|New Girls (1982) 191: Oh, God, the coal’s gone from the end of your cigarette. Where is it? I think your pants are on fire.|
(US) Humboldt Avenue in the African-American area of Roxbury, a suburb of Boston, MA.
|Afro-American (Baltimore, MD) 18 May 15/1: Did you high-brows know that Humboldt Avenue haas been tagged ‘Coal Bag Avenue’?|
(US black) a derog. term describing a dark-complexioned black person.
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines 30: Expressions like coal bin, black bird, midnight [...] are used both playfully and pointedly to characterize extreme blackness.|
a white man or woman who enjoys sexual relations with a black man or woman.
|Bounty of Texas (1990) 201: coalburner, n. – a homosexual who prefers Blacks.‘Catheads [...] and Cho-Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy|
|Maledicta VI:1+2 (Summer/Winter) 147: From them she might pick up and more to startle than identify with her sisters use words and expressions such as [...] coal burner (a white who has relations with a dinge, or black).|
(US black) a derog. term for a dark-complexioned black person.
|Tucker’s People (1944) 209: He leaned forward and chucked Delilah under the chin. ‘Wasn’t it, my little coal mine?’ he asked.|
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines 30: In Chicago, they be callin’ me ‘coal mine’ [...] when I’z comin’ up, ’cause I was dark.|
(US) a black woman with a blonde wig.
|[||Rich Hill Trib. (MO) 24 Nov. 7/3: A Hartville paper calls women with hair ‘coal scuttle blondes’].|
|AS XIII:2 151/1: coal-scuttle blonde: a dark Negro girl.‘Some Negro Terms’ in|
|Novels and Stories (1995) 1003: She was one of them coal-scuttle blondes with hair just as close to her head as ninety-nine is to a hundred.‘Story in Harlem Sl.’ in|
(US) a derog. term for a black person.
|Mr Dooley’s Opinions 102: First they was Hobson. He kissed a girl an’ ivrybody says: ‘Hang him. Kill th’ coal-scuttler.’.|
(US) a very dark-complexioned black person.
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
|Lang. of Ethnic Conflict 46: Color Allusions, Other than ‘Black’ and ‘Negro’: [...] coal-shutes-blackie.|
see black tar under tar n.1
of a white person, to have sex with a black person.
|Coll. Stories (1990) 406: When I left you I was through burning coal.‘The Something in a Colored Man’ in|
|Blind Man with a Pistol (1971) 121: Ain’t gonna get none either. She don’t burn no coal.|
|Bounty of Texas (1990) 199: burn coal, v. – to have sexual relations with a Black.‘Catheads [...] and Cho-Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy|
|Homeboy 155: Antoine, my contract says no nigras. I dont . . . burn . . . coal.|
|Prison Sl. 58: Burning Coal A sexual relationship between a white and black man.|
1. (US black) to prefer dark-skinned women.
|AS XIII:2 151/1: deal in coal: associate with one of a darker hue.‘Some Negro Terms’ in|
2. (US) of a white man, to have sex with a black woman.
|,||DAS 143/2: deal in coal To mix with Negroes; said of whites.|
a gathering of black people.
|Lang. of Ethnic Conflict 46: Color Allusions, Other than ‘Black’ and ‘Negro’: load-of-coal [used for any gathering of blacks].|
SE in slang uses
(US black) the vagina.
|🎵 I’ll take your order / and fill your bin, / Go get it cleaned out / And I’ll put it right in, / Cause I’m a coal man / Sellin’ the hottest stuff in town!‘The Hottest Stuff in Town’|
see black joke n.
1. the chorus (of a song); cit. 1774 may refer to the carried violin.
|Tony Lumpkin in Town (1780) 20: Enter Tim with a violin Here’s the coal-box.|
|Up and Down London Streets n.p.: The slang word for coal box, if we might mention anything so ungenteel [F&H].|
|Real Life in London I 408: He should not be at a loss for a good coal-box.|
|Navy at Home II 279: After which, he gave them a song or two, calling out at every verse for ‘coal box,’ or chorus.|
|Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 8 May 3/3: There is an old song, very popular at Bacchanalian parties, with a ‘coal-box’ at the end of each verse, thrice repealed, viz:-‘Oh! the joys of wedlock’,- ditto-ditto.|
|‘The Musical Party’ in My Young Wife and I Songster 67: He said ‘he would give us a comical ditty, / If we’d join in the coal-box,’ that was his slang.|
|Scarlet City 280: A cruel shame, for nobody joined in the coalbox afterwards.|
|Essex Newsman 27 Aug. 1/7: Garn [...] That ’ere be joining in the coal-box.|
|Pete’s Aussie Sl. Home Page 🌐 coalbox: the chorus (of a song).|
2. a music-hall.
|Ulysses 715: I hate those ruck of Mary Ann coalboxes out for the day.|
(US Und.) a cell in which drunks are imprisoned.
|N.-Y. National Advocate 22 Aug. 2/2: A strapping negro [is noisy in court]. The magistrate ordered him to be locked in the coal hole until he was quiet.|
|Morning Courier and N.-Y. Enquirer 18 Nov. 2/5: The midnight brawlers, [...] well acquainted with all the disgusting recesses of the ‘Coal Hole’.|
(US black) a pipe.
|Novels and Stories (1995) 1001: Wait till I light up my coal-pot and I’ll tell you about this Zigaboo called Jelly.‘Story in Harlem Sl.’ in|
1. (UK Und.) the punishment cell.
|Low-Life Deeps 254: You come to see me that evenin’ when I was in the coal-scuttle.|
2. (also coal-scuttle bonnet) a poke bonnet, which it supposedly resembled.
|Modern Flash Dict. 10: Coal-scuttle – a large bonnet.|
|Nicholas Nickleby (1982) 309: That young lady herself, attired in the coal-scuttle bonnet and walking-dress complete, tripped into the room.|
|Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.|
|Plain or Ringlets? (1926) 20: [T]he saucy little hat, so different to the coal-scuttle bonnets of former days.|
|Polynesian (HI) 16 May 5/3: Her mother’s coal-scuttle bonnet.|
|Mohun 17: Beside him sat an old woman, as fat as himself, wearing a faded calico gown, a ‘coal-scuttle’ bonnet, and a huge ruffled cap beneath.|
|Judy XXII 271: The coal-scuttle bonnet is of all others the most provoking and prettiest.|
|Trip Around Cape Cod 171: A ‘coal-scuttle bonnet’, of yellow straw, adorned only with black, velvet strings, and noticeable for its great size.|
|Sporting Times 23 May 1/2: The ‘coal-scuttle’ bonnet is the latest feminine fashion for motoring; but surely the ‘petrol can’ would be more suitable.|
|Eve. World (NY) 1 Sept. 12/5: Her prim little gold curls bobbed from under a huge, coal scuttle bonnet of satin, baby blue.|
|Proceedings at Sessions (City of London) Feb. 90/2: beck.: Boys, says he, Here’s a Smallcoal-man; let us stop him, for they wear the best of hats. court: A Smallcoal-man, what did he mean by that? beck.: A Parson. We always call a Parson a Smallcoal-man because their Dresses are pretty much alike.|