Green’s Dictionary of Slang

strong adj.

1. extreme, excessive.

R. Montagu in Buccleuch Mss. (Hist. Mss. Comm.) I 459: Five hundred is a very strong pension as things stand in our Court.
[UK]Thackeray Yellowplush Papers in Works III (1898) 243: Fourteen shillings a wick was a little too strong for two such rat-holes as he lived in.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor III 209/1: It was a little too strong.
[UK]J. Greenwood Dick Temple III 255: He thought it [i.e. a letter] was ‘rather strong.’ ‘But unmistakeable in its meaning?’.
[UK]E.J. Milliken ‘Cad’s Calendar’ in Punch Almanack n.p.: Prigs complain they’re spiteful, lor’ wot stuff! / I can’t ever get ’em strong enough.
[Aus]N.H. Kennard Diogenes’ Sandals 189: Please do not use strong language.
[Aus]Express & Teleg. (Adelaide) 17 June 3/8: A rough-looking scrub-cocky told a group of cronies, ‘My word, them blokes is dead strong. They’ll take yer money for a horse that ain't even startin’’.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘Language to a Lamp-Post’ Sporting Times 11 Jan. 1/3: Yet because one night he chanced to biff his bleary eye / And his ruddy nose against me, making lots of claret fly, / He used language which I daren’t repeat, though I’m not over shy, / And it must be strongish to upset a lamp-post!
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 24 Nov. 14/1: There’s no end to th’ buffaloes in th’ Territory, an’ wot ‘Vigilans’ sez about Laurie sendin’ away two er three thousan’ ’ides a year ain’t a bit too strong.
[US]Van Loan ‘Loosening Up of Hogan’ in Ten-Thousand-Dollar Arm 159: I’ve [...] learned to save money [...] I used to be pretty strong the other way.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Madame La Gimp’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 250: It seems to me they are getting too strong.
[Ire]‘Myles na gCopaleen’ Faustus Kelly in ‘Flann O’Brien’ Stories & Plays (1973) 159: Really, old man, that’s a bit strong, you know.
[UK]F. Norman Fings II i: When it comes to blades and on my manor, well that’s a bit strong, isn’t it?
[UK]L. Dunne Goodbye to The Hill (1966) 111: I thought she had everything that a woman should have. But going in after him seemed a bit strong.
[UK]Wodehouse Much Obliged, Jeeves 107: That’s strong stuff for him. ‘Most disturbing’ is as far as he usually goes.
[UK]F. Taylor Auf Wiedersehen Pet Two 162: Bit strong, Oz.
[UK]Indep. Mag. 26 June 22: We wanted something witty and strong.
[UK](con. c.1945) A. Wheatle Island Songs (2006) 40: Her father wanted a ‘strong word’ with her.

2. of people, uncompromising, zealous.

[US]Mrs. Stowe Minister’s Wooing 282: ‘Some folks say,’ said Candace, ‘that dreaming about white horses is a certain sign. Jinny Styles is very strong about that. Now she came down one morning crying , 'cause she had been dreaming about white’ horses .
[UK]M.E. Kennard Right Sort Ch. xxiv: I doubt very much if Mary, who is so strong on the proprieties, will consider you and Mr. McGrath sufficient chaperones [OED].
[UK]Wodehouse Psmith in the City (1993) 47: Is he strong on any particular team?
[US]N. Algren ‘Thundermug’ in Texas Stories (1995) 69: He is very strong on anythin’ black, just so long as it’s plenty stinky.
[US]O. Strange Sudden Takes the Trail 11: Yu got me wrong. I’m not strong on religion.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 232: If I’d had a pistol I’d have croaked the strong bastard.

3. competent, able, well-versed.

[US]Ade Artie (1963) 8: Not that I’m strong on the con talk, but I know I’d be in it with them fellows.
[US]C.L. Cullen Tales of the Ex-Tanks 235: I went back to the office to tell ’em I was too strong for pen-pushing any more.
[US]Ade More Fables in Sl. (1960) 124: The Club [...] was beginning to be Strong on Quotations and dates.

4. in funds, rich; thus phr. of enquiry: how strong are you? how much money do you have?

[US]F. Hutcheson Barkeep Stories 64: ‘Den he frisks hisself and finds dat he’s only t’irty cents strong’.
[US]B. Fisher A. Mutt in Blackbeard Compilation (1977) 29: I’m $40 strong today.
[UK]‘Ian Hay’ First Hundred Thousand (1918) 267: If you could make the next postal order a trifle stronger, I might be getting an egg to my tea.
[US]Van Loan ‘The Redemption Handicap’ in Old Man Curry 191: ‘How strong are you?’ ‘Just about two hundred bones.’.
[US]N. Klein ‘Hobo Lingo’ in AS I:12 651: How strong are you?—‘How much money have you?’.
[US]‘Dean Stiff’ Milk and Honey Route 208: How strong are you? – Meaning, How much money have you? If you have a pile you answer, ‘So strong, I stink’.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]E. De Roo Young Wolves 53: ‘Too expensive,’ Roy told him flatly. ‘I’m weak.’ ‘They’re on me.’ ‘No. I’d have to owe you.’ ‘So owe me, if that’s the way you want it, but I’m strong tonight. Got plenty of vitamins.’ He waved a couple of bills.

5. as strong for, keen on.

[US]Ade People You Know 119: He was not very strong for Romaine Salad or any Speckled Cheese.
[US]B. Fisher ‘A. Mutt’ [comic strip] Old Mutt is in the booby hatch. He got a great welcome from the boobs and says that he is strong for them.
[US]H.C. Witwer Smile A Minute 60: What I wanna say is this, lieutenant, I’m strong for you from now on.
[US]J. Black You Can’t Win (2000) 96: I’m strong for the government.
[US]‘Mae West in “The Hip Flipper”’ [comic strip] in B. Adelman Tijuana Bibles (1997) 99: She is strong for but two things and her peter is both of them.
[US]P. Crump Burn, Killer, Burn! 213: You’re strong for calypso.

6. (US) popular.

[US]Ade Girl Proposition 130: The Fable of the Roundabout Way in which Gilbert Made Himself Strong with Alice.
[US]G. Bronson-Howard Enemy to Society 295: That’s what makes this safe breakin’ so strong with her; she thinks he took all them chances jest fer her sake.
[US]Van Loan ‘Ten-Thousand-Dollar Arm’ in Ten-Thousand-Dollar Arm 10: He was ‘strong’ with the owner, who liked him better than all the other players.

SE in slang uses

In compounds


see separate entries.


see separate entries.

strong-mouth (n.)

see separate entry.


see separate entries.