Green’s Dictionary of Slang

snow n.1

[the colour and consistency]

1. in senses of colour, i.e. whiteness.

(a) (UK Und., also snowdrop) (wet) linen [it ‘falls’ on the hedges where it is left to dry].

[UK]Lex. Balatronicum n.p.: Snow. Linen hung out to dry or bleach. Spice the snow; to steal the linen.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Worcester Herald 26 Dec. 4/3: Snow drops, linen out to dry.
[UK]H. Brandon Dict. of the Flash or Cant Lang. 165/1: Roll of Snow – piece of Irish linen.
[UK]G.W.M. Reynolds Mysteries of London III 85/1: A Stranger—looked like a shallow cove. Roll of snow, six snooze cases .
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 82: ROLL OF SNOW, a piece of Irish linen. [Ibid.] 97: SNOW, wet linen.
[Aus] gloss. in Occurence Book of York River Lockup in Seal (1999) 37: I pulled down a fan and a roll of snow.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 108/1: The parents [...] disposed of the ‘snow’ in the villages they tramped through.
[UK]Derbyshire Courier 12 Dec. 7/1: Local Flash language [...] roll of snow — web of Irish linen.
[UK]Newcastle Courant 2 Dec. 6/6: ‘I’ll take the snow up as a stall off .’ [...] He took a basket of clean clothes.
[UK]Clarkson & Richardson Police! 321: Lines ... Snow.
[Aus]C. Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 67: Roll of Snow, a roll of linen.
[Aus]Argus (Melbourne) 20 Sept. 6/4: Amongst these small fry of the profession [are] the Lily prigger, snow dropper or robber of clothes lines , who gets away with a roll of snow or milky duds.
[UK]R.T. Hopkins Life and Death at the Old Bailey 63: The following crook’s words and phrases date from the days of the old Old Bailey: [...] a stolen piece of linen – a roll of snow.

(b) (Aus., also snowy) a blond-haired person, often as nickname.

[Aus]Coburg Leader (Vic.) 7 Sept. 4/1: As snowie can get no work he is helping mother with the housework.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 13 Apr. 6/3: Jack Thompson, twice conqueror of Snowy Sturgeon, the reputedly unbeatable.
[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 7 Sept. 14/1: They Say [...] That Snow T. and Dick have made a new rule for Parkside. Boys must leave school at 15 years, and are not to work until 18.
[Aus]K. Tennant Battlers 9: A growth of straw-coloured hair which had earned him the usual bush name for fairhaired men: ‘Snow’.
[Aus]J. Holledge Great Aust. Gamble 151: [T]he subsequent rise of the violent ‘Snowy’ Cutmore.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 195: snow Dismissive term for a blond lad, or a Polynesian. From mid 1930s, ANZ.

(c) money, silver coins, small silver change.

[UK](con. WWI) Fraser & Gibbons Soldier and Sailor Words 263: Snow: Money. Silver.
[UK]Wiltshire Times 24 Sept. 7/3: The accused, seeing the money, [...] said that ‘snow’ meaning silver, was of no use.
[UK]J. Curtis Gilt Kid 94: There’s over £400 there in small notes and snow.
[UK](con. 1930s) J. Wolveridge He Don’t Know ‘A’ from a Bull’s Foot 2: Silver collectively was snow.

(d) (US black, also Snow White) a white woman; a black woman quitting/attempting to quit street life and supposedly 'rise' socially.

[US](con. 1960s) D. Goines Black Gangster (1991) 287: I thought the only thing you liked was snow.
[US]R. Klein Jailhouse Jargon and Street Sl. [unpub. ms.].
[US]W.D. Myers ‘A Story in Three Parts’ in 145th Street 124: ‘You should check out these Snow Whites on the tube, man. They each got two boyfriends and they messing with both of them’.
[US]W.D. Myers ‘A Story in Three Parts’ in 145th Street 126: ‘She’s doing her Snow White thing [...] walking away from the ‘hood and the good’.

(e) any white person.

[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 186: snow 1. (black gay sl) white people in general.

(f) (Aus. juv.) a blond-haired weakling.

[Aus]B. Humphries Nice Night’s Entertainment (1981) gloss.

2. in drug uses.

(a) (also joyful snow, the snowy stuff) cocaine; thus snow party n., a party where the guests take cocaine.

[US]S.F. Call 27 Nov. 3/2: We found an 18 year old boy who was a victim of the ‘coke’ habit. He had a package of ‘snow’ in his pocket.
[UK]A.B. Reeve Constance Dunlap 294: Constance could just catch the greeting of one of the girls: ‘Hello, Sleighbells! Got any snow?’.
[UK]‘Sax Rohmer’ Dope 288: You sniffee plenty too muchee ‘white snow,’ hoi, hoi!
[UK]N. Lucas Autobiog. of a Thief 54: Presently she suggested taking me to [...] a ‘snow party.’ [Ibid.] 71: My game is any game [...] as long as I can raise enough money to buy ‘snow’ [...] I can’t live without cocaine.
[Aus]Burrowa News (NSW) 24 June 7/4: She regained her senses, jumped out of the car, and cried, ‘Give me ‘snow’! For God’s sake give me ‘snow’! Oh, won’t you give me some!’.
[US]W.R. Burnett Little Caesar (1932) 193: There’s a guy in 18 that’d give me a hundred berries for some snow.
[UK]E. Glyn Flirt and Flapper 49; also attrib: Flapper: We sniff snow, we don’t make balls of it.
[Ire]Eve. Herald (Dublin) 9 Dec. 4/6: Other [underworld] terms include : — ‘Flatty’ (policeman), ‘peach’ (to give away), ‘Peter’ (safe), ‘monkey’ (padlock), ‘stick’ (jemmy), ‘van dragger’ (motor thief), ‘snow’ (cocaine), ‘madam’ (misleading conversation) ‘stir’ (prison).
[US]C.B. Yorke ‘Snowbound’ in Gangster Stories Oct. n.p.: Queen Sue was the toughest moll that ever pulled a gat this side of Hades [...] But peddlin’ snow was entirely out of her line.
[Aus]New Call (Perth, WA) 17 Dec. 1/1: Most of them took to the ‘coke’ or ‘snow’ racket.
[US]Florence Desmond ‘Cigarettes, Cigars’ 🎵 Now I’ve learned what smoking coke and snow means.
‘My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean’ in With the Diggers [online] My Father sells snow to the snowbirds, / My Mother sells synthetic gin.
[US]R. Chandler ‘Goldfish’ in Red Wind (1946) 160: A crazy little number, full of snow.
[UK]V. Davis Phenomena in Crime 86: The basis of his [...] ‘snow peddling’ racket.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 170: [I] bought me twenty capsules of cocaine [...] Some of us had taken to sniffing snow not long before.
[Aus]S.J. Baker in Sun. Herald (Sydney) 8 June 9/4: Among American borrowings recorded in Detective Doyle's list are: [...] ‘stiff,’ a corpse; ‘spring,’ to bail out; ‘snow,’ cocaine; ‘sticks,’ country districts.
[US]Kramer & Karr Teen-Age Gangs 35: Once in a while I’ll take a cap of the snowy stuff.
[UK]‘Raymond Thorp’ Viper 49: Wallace loves a drop of snow now and then [...] Sniffing, taking cocaine.
[US]H. Simmons Corner Boy 45: There was pod for the light heads [...] and now snow for the sniffers.
[UK]Guardian 4 Apr. n.p.: I make about £300 a week out of ‘purple hearts’ [...] And an occasional parcel of ‘snow,’ for very special customers.
[US](con. 1940s) Malcolm X Autobiog. (1968) 225: It took me only a little while to locate a peddler of ‘snow’ – cocaine.
[US]E. Droge Patrolman 167: Whether you call it snow, sugar, dust, coke, C, candy, girl, or Charlie, it’s still cocaine.
Florida Today (Cocoa, FL) 12 Mar. 12A/1: Some of [cocaine’s] users call it ‘snow’.
[UK]J. Milne Daddy’s Girl (1999) 124: He is Mr Import-Export Columbian Snow for Italy.
[US](con. 1970s) G. Pelecanos King Suckerman (1998) 93: Deborah had just done a line of uncut snow.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 19: Snow — Cocaine.
[UK]L. Theroux Call of the Weird (2006) 179: Snow is cocaine.
[US]C. Goffard Snitch Jacket 38: Want some blow . . . Wanna take a dive in the snow.
[US]T. Dorsey Riptide Ultra-Glide 8: Coke, blow, flake, fluff, snow [etc].

(b) heroin; thus snowey n., a heroin addict.

[US]C. Sandburg Smoke and Steel 206: Six bits got us snow and stopped the yen.
[UK]D. Ahearn Confessions of a Gunman 124: A fellow that smokes a pipe will always wind up a snowey. [...] They usually take morphine or heroin.
[US]E. Hoffman Price ‘Revolt of the Damned’ in Double-Action Gang June 🌐 Packets of snow, and several tins of opium were half trampled in the grime.
[US](con. 1948) G. Mandel Flee the Angry Strangers 197: I think the snow is here to stay. I got a pound of it [...] I make all the schmeckers happy.
[Aus]‘Geoffrey Tolhurst’ Flat 4 King’s Cross (1966) 111: ‘It’s ‘H’,’ he said. ‘‘H’?’ I asked stupidly. ‘Heroin. Snow. Whatever you like to call it’.
[US]C. Brown Manchild in the Promised Land (1969) 110: He said that they called it ‘snow’ but that the real name of it was heroin.
[US]Encyc. Science Supplement 281: Snow, junk, smack (heroin); cough medicine (codeine); sleeping pills, dolls (barbiturates); downers (tranquilizers); drink, booze (alcohol).
[US]D.E. Miller Bk of Jargon 338: snow: [...] heroin.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 19: Snow — [...] heroin.

(c) morphine.

[US]Great Falls Trib. (MT) 21 Apr. 2/1: Donovan was arrested [...] whenhe presented an allged forged prescription [...] to get some of the so-called ‘snow’ or morphine.
[US]El Paso Herald (TX) 15 Oct. 16/3: Dope fiends experience but little difficulty in securing their ‘snow’ [...] as morphine is called.
[US]Orlando Eve. Star (FL) 4 Mar. 27/3: Many connoisseurs of such drugs [...] like to mix ‘coke’ and ‘snow, cocaine’ and morphine.
[US]Howsley Argot: Dict. of Und. Sl.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
N. Lucas C.I.D. 135: Luckier still not to have graduated from pep pills to ‘Snow’ [...] —morphine.
[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak.

(d) (also snow coke) crack cocaine.

[US]N. McCall Makes Me Wanna Holler (1995) 369: He gave me enough snow to use [...] then [I] ended up puttin’ it in a pipe and smokin’ it all up.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 20: Snow coke — Crack.

(e) amphetamine.

[US]ONDCP Street Terms 19: Snow — [...] amphetamine.

In derivatives

snowy (adj.)

(Aus.) blond-haired.

[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 25 Oct. 8/1: They Say [...] That Joseph A is known as the snowiest youngster on earth .

Pertaining to linen

In compounds

snow-birding (n.)

(Aus./N.Z.) stealing washing, usu. women’s underwear, from clothes-lines.

L. Mantell Murder Or Three 34: They kick up a stink if washing’s left out overnight [...] There’s been a few cases of snowbirding in that area lately. And if the girls lost washing from the lines, the hostel could be culpable [DNZE].
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.

see separate entries.

snow-gatherer (n.)

(UK Und.) one who who steals clean clothes off the hedges; thus snow-gathering, the stealing of washing from hedges.

[UK]‘Adventures of Mr and Mrs Sandboys’ in Bells New Wkly Messenger 9 Mar. 6/2: I may mention not only the snooozers or railway sleepers, as we call them, and the dead-lurkers, or those who steal coats, etc. out of passages, but also those who go snow-gathering, or stealing clean linen off the hedges.
[UK]A. Mayhew Paved with Gold 252: They relate laughable incidents of stealing linen off hedges — ‘snow-gathering’ and ‘turning a white hedge green’.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
snow lay (n.) [lay n.3 (1)]

(UK Und.) the practice of stealing laundry that is hanging out to dry.

[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 127/2: She had been at ‘graft’ on the ‘snow lay’ until the early morning, and from the size of the heap peeping from under the ‘doss,’ it was evident that she had ‘brought it off to rights’.
snow party (n.)

(US drugs) a party where narcotics, usu. heroin, are consumed.

Times Signal (Zanesville, OH) 8 Jan. 9/2: ‘Snow Parties’ — Morphine, cocaine and heroin [...] Both [sic] are called ‘snow’ but heroin predominates now, so that ‘snow parties’ usually refer to heroin.

Pertaining to drugs

In compounds

snowball (n.)

see separate entries.

snow bird (n.)

see separate entry.

snow-cap (n.) [SE cap]

(drugs) cocaine sprinkled onto a pipe of marijuana and smoked.

[US] ‘Drug Sl. Vault’ on 🌐 Snow Cap adding powder Cocaine to a bowl of Cannabis to smoke.
snow coke (n.)

see sense 2d above.

snowflake (n.)

see separate entry.

snow flower (n.) [literary synon. for woman]

(US drugs) a female cocaine addict.

[US]H. Leverage ‘Dict. Und.’ in Flynn’s mag. cited in Partridge DU (1949).
[US]Anslinger & Tompkins Traffic In Narcotics 315: snow flower. A girl addicted to morphine.
snowman (n.)

see separate entry.

snow merchant (n.)

a narcotics dealer.

F.R. Adams ‘There Are No Crooks’ in Munsey’s Mag. Nov. n.p.: I couldn’t earn enough, even by bootlegging. So I became a snow merchant.
snow party (n.)

(Aus. drugs) a party where the primary aim is taking cocaine.

[Aus]Burrowa News (NSW) 24 June 7/4: Wild ‘snow’ parties are stated to be almost nightly occurrences in one block.
snow ride (n.)

(US) the act of taking cocaine.

[US]S.F. Call 27 Nov. 3/1: A cocaine fiend, referring to his practice [...] is always ‘taking a show ride’, or having a ‘snow storm’.
snow seals (n.)

1. a kind of waterproof packet used to package cocaine.

[US](con. 1982–6) T. Williams Cocaine Kids (1990) 47: Customers complained that the aluminium foil packets caused the drug to melt [...] Max, hearing this, found waterproof packets, called snowseals, to replace the foil.

2. (drugs) a mix of cocaine and amphetamine.

[US]ONDCP Street Terms 20: Snow seals — Cocaine and amphetamine.
snowstorm (n.)

see separate entry.

snow white (n.)

(drugs) cocaine.

[US]H. Gold Man Who Was Not With It (1965) 106: ‘Grack got himself a habit?’ ‘I see snow white as sugar – ’ ‘Cocaine? Heroin?’ ‘I see snow white as pain...’.
[US]R. Sabbag Snowblind (1978) 192: Moses had the rock – one-quarter ounce of snow-white.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 20: Snow white — Cocaine.

In phrases

in a (snow) drift

under the influence of cocaine.

[US]C.S. Montanye ‘Perfect Crime’ in Penzler Pulp Fiction (2007) 357: The dark man took a deliberate sniff of snow [...] ‘I’m in a drift. But don’t dig me out.’.
snowed under (adj.)

intoxicated by cocaine.

[US]C. Martinez ‘Gats in the Hat’ in Gun Molls Sept. 🌐 I’ll kill you if you get snowed under before you do the job.

Based on colour

In compounds


see separate entries.

snowdrop (n.)

see separate entry.

snowflake (n.)

see separate entry.

snow job (n.)

see separate entry.

snow queen (n.) (also snow shoveller) [queen n. (2)]

(US black/gay) a black homosexual man who prefers white partners.

[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 63: black man who prefers white sex partners [...] snow-shoveler (prison sl).
[US]H. Max Gay (S)language 40: Snow Queen—non-white gay who seeks fair, blond males.
[US] Queer Sl. in the Gay 90s 🌐 Snow Queen – A black man who only dates white men.
snow top (n.)

(US) a white-haired person.

[US]W.P. McGivern Big Heat 112: Cranston [...] The old snow-top in the Hall?

In phrases

SE in slang uses

In compounds

snowball (v.)

see separate entry.

snow bird (n.)

see separate entry.

snow broth (n.) [SE snow-broth, water produced or obtained by the melting of snow, esp. from natural causes]

cold tea.

[US]S. Judd Margaret (1851) I 40: ‘This is none of your snow-broth, Peggy,’ said the mother; ‘it’s warming.’.
snow bunny (n.) [bunny n.1 (1b)]

1. (orig. US) a woman who frequents the ski slopes as much for the sex as for the sport [note WWII US milit. snow bunny, a novice skier].

[UK]SKI (mag.) Nov. 42: Just who these gals were isn’t clear but they may have a connection with the local ballad, ‘I Met a Snow-bunny at Aspen, Colorado, and She Made a Ski Bum out of Me’.
S. Aus. Ski Club Song Bk 4: If you’re looking for adventure of a plain old-fashioned kind, / And you meet a nice snow-bunnie who is similarly inclined.
[US]Current Sl. V:4 20: Snow bunny, n. A fashionably dressed, female novice skier.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Real Thing 85: Drinking piss, smoking plenty of hot ones and chasing snow bunnies.

2. (US black) a white woman (with a preference for black sexual partners).

St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) 2 June 6A/3: Snow bunny — white girl.
[US]Ebonics Primer at 🌐 snow bunny Definition: a fine ass white prostitute Example: Man I added 3 new snow bunnies to my stable this week.
[US]C. Eble (ed.) UNC-CH Campus Sl. Spring 2014 Fall . 31 July 🌐 The sex itself happens in a number of ways, and the white women involved come in many different characters. Some of them are taunting and caricatural ‘snow bunny’ white women whose appetite for Black men seems insatiable.
snow job

see separate entries.

snowman (n.)

see separate entry.

In phrases

roast snow in a furnace (v.)

to attempt the impossible.

[UK]J. Ray Proverbs (4th edn) in Bohn (1855) 65: Proverbial Phrases Adopted From the Greeks, Applicable to Human Follies, Absurdities or Pursuits [...] He roasts snow in a furnace.
snow again [pun]

a phr. used to request someone to repeat an ill-heard statement; often ext. as snow again, I didn’t catch your drift.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 1106: [...] since ca. 1930; by 1959, ob.