Green’s Dictionary of Slang

road n.

1. in sexual senses, playing on ride v. (1a)

(a) a prostitute.

[UK]Shakespeare Henry IV Pt 2 II ii: This Doll Tearsheet should be some road.

(b) the vagina.

[UK]T. Killigrew Parson’s Wedding (1664) II vii: It is a dull sin to travel, like a Carrier’s-horse, always one Road.
[UK] ‘Prodigal Son’ in Chappell Roxburghe Ballads (1880) III 188: [My] chief delight was in vice all-a-mode, / And I often was riding in that pleasant Road.
[UK]Whores Rhetorick 135: One honest Whore [...] Who refused the Son entrance because the Father had already travelled that Road.
[US]D. St John Memoirs of Madge Buford 105: In a jiffy I was on the bed with a nice, young cock working in me. Then fire, bang, and another was promenading in my Rue-Rouge [anglice Red Road].
[US]W.T. Vollmann You Bright and Risen Angels (1988) 71: She would sure [...] strike at you if you didn’t pay her toll after riding her road.

2. (UK black) the ‘real world’, which exists on the streets, rather than in the protected environments of home, office, family etc.; thus roadboy, a friend or ally [var. on street, the n.].

[UK]C. Newland Scholar 40: Soon you won’t even wanna be seen on road with me, innit!
[UK]Dizzee Rascal in Vice Mag. at 🌐 There’s just so many talented people but road gets a hold of them, bare people I know could have made it. [...] But road got us, road got all of us. We’d start doing anything, smoking, jacking pizzas from a pizza delivery man. [...] But at the same time they had to realise that I was from road. [...] I know things are different, definitely different: road wasn’t as grimey when we were younger.
[UK]A. Wheatle Dirty South 84: I didn’t do dates. No self-respecting road brother did dates.
[UK]G. Knight Hood Rat 108: You’re in prison, I’m on road, you’re on road, I’m in prison.
[UK]Independent 5 Jan. 🌐 Gangs and cliques are often territorial, so terms such as endz, bitz, yard (meaning neighborhood), or road and roadboy (someone accepted as local), are especially important.
Young M.A. ‘Eat’ 🎵 Man, they gotta understand this is some road shit.
[UK]Eve. Standard 4 July 8/4: ‘If you wanna understand blade culture, you got to get into the head of how people on road think’.
[UK]G. Krauze What They Was 46: [T]he worst bit about what fucked up her life [...] was that it didn’t come from the roads. It came from [...] home.

SE in slang uses

In derivatives

roadster (n.)

(Aus.) a tramp, someone who has no fixed abode.

N.P. Langford Vigilante Days (1912) 315: Henry Plummer was chief of the band: [...] Cyrus Skinner, fence, spy, and roadster .
[UK]Bird o’ Freedom 22 Jan. 3: He [began] wondering if his old friends, Shorty, and Puddin’ Foot, and Beaut, and other well-known roadsters, were shivering over a fire of old rails.
[US]J. Flynt Tramping with Tramps 99: I do not know of a town or village in the Keystone State where a decently clad roadster cannot get all that he cares to eat without doing a stroke of work in payment.
Derbys. Advertiser 2 Dec. 25/4: On reaching the ‘big house’ I found [...] a crowd of about a dozen roadsters.
[UK]M. Marshall Tramp-Royal on the Toby 135: Pessimism is rare on the Toby [...] Roadsters, in the main, must of necessity be incorrigible optimists.
[US]W.A. Gape Half a Million Tramps 128: When I got to the wash-house I found six other men there. They were all of the ‘Old Roadster’ type.
[UK]‘Charles Raven’ Und. Nights 198: The other had spike (casual ward) written all over him, a real roadster.
[UK]P. Terson Apprentices (1970) I iv: Boy, we’re roadsters. I’d even pick peas.

In compounds

road-agent (n.)

1. (US, Western) a highway robber; also attrib.

W.H. Dixon New America 122: Road-agent is the name applied in the mountains to a ruffian who has given up honest work in the store, in the mine, in the ranch, for the perils and profits of the highway.
[UK]All the Year Round 27 Jan. 61/2: Road Agent is the polite name in the Rocky Mountains for a highwayman.
[US]Nashville Union & American (TN) 18 Nov. 1/6: Fellows who have committed murders [...] ‘road agents’ (i.e. highway robbers) [...] and desperados.
[US]E.L. Wheeler Deadwood Dick in Beadle’s Half Dime Library I:1 89/3: Deadwood, the road-agent chief rode out of the chaparral [...] He was still masked, well armed, and looking every inch the Prince of the Road.
[US]T.C. Harbaugh [bk title] Midnight Jack, Or the Road-Agent.
[US]Sun (NY) 10 July 2/1: The matured road agent of the highway of State, proud in the impunity with which he has carried off his booty.
[US]Omaha Dly Bee (NE) 28 Feb. 4/3: Men are liable to turn road agents and highway-men to get even after they have staked and lost at faro.
[US]C.L. Canfield Diary of a Forty-Niner (1906) 193: [footnote] He associated himself with Rattlesnake Dick and three others and started out as a full-fledged ‘road agent.’ The band held together until 1853.
D. Belasco Girl of Golden West 59: He was an outlaw, a road agent going from one robbery to another, likely at any time to stain his hand with the life-blood of a fellow man.
(con. 1788) H.W. Shoemaker Allegheny Episodes 252: He turned ‘road agent.’ He evidently had a low grade of morals at that time, for he robbed old as well as young.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. [title] ‘Old Mother Osborne’: ‘the Female Road Agent’: Dies Destitute in a Lonely Cabin in the Yellowstone Country, After a Stirring Life of Outlawry in the Black Hills.

2. (Aus.) a bushranger.

[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 8 July 2/3: The road agents are still gathered together at the picture gallery in the basement of the Strand [...] all who take an interest in [...] Australia’s bushrangers [...] should call round and see them.
road apple (n.) [horse apple under horse n.]

horse manure.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 21 Sept. 40/1: Next day she come to where I was workin’ ’n’ starts abusin’ me like ’ell for not settlin’ Podgie with a road apple.
[US] joke cited in G. Legman Rationale of the Dirty Joke (1972) I 96: ‘What’s that?’ asks the little city girl. ‘That’s, er, road-apples,’ he explains. ‘Where I come from we call it horse-shit’.
[US]M. Spillane One Lonely Night 71: Smart? Sure, just like road apples that happen behind horses.
[US]F. Salas Tattoo the Wicked Cross (1981) 74: I’ll put him to work shovelling road apples.
[US]P. Conroy Great Santini (1977) 102: Horse turds, or as you civilized southerners call them ‘road apples’.
roadblock (n.)

a particularly crowded event.

[UK]D.S. Mitchell Killer Tune (2008) 34: It’s gonna be a roadblock, so make sure you’re there well before the clock strikes three.
road brew (n.) (also road sauce) [brew n. (4)/dimin. sfx -ies/sauce n.1 (7)]

(US campus) beer.

L. Birnbach Preppy Handbk 217: 7 words for beer Beevos Brew Brewski Greenie (Heineken) Road brew Roadies Road sauce.
Probert Encyc. 🌐 Road brew is American slang for beer. [...] Road sauce is American slang for beer.
road dog (n.) (also roadie) [dog n.2 (2c)]

(US black/prison) an extremely intimate friend.

[US]R. Klein Jailhouse Jargon and Street Sl. [unpub. ms.].
[US]L. Bing Do or Die (1992) 47: Crazy Dee was known to be Monster Kody’s ‘tight,’ his ‘road dog.’.
[US]E. Little Another Day in Paradise 113: Ben and Jimbo are road dogs.
[US]C. Goffard Snitch Jacket 127: All my old road dogs are dead or locked up.
[UK]K. Koke ‘Lay Down Your Weapons’ 🎵 My bro died, he got hit up like lighting / My road dawg killing me in prison with the lifers.
roadhog (n.) [SE roadhog, a careless, selfish driver]

1. (US tramp) a tramp who is perpetually riding the trains.

[US] ‘Jargon of the Und.’ in DN V 435: The roadhog has a veritable mania for riding fast trains.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 159: road hog.–A tramp who is always on the move, riding fast trains and seemingly unable to get enough of train riding.

2. a girl or young woman who follows rock bands and offers herself for sex.

[UK]M. Manning Get Your Cock Out 52: There had been the odd blowjob and group fisting sessions with the more persistent roadhogs.

3. (US) a large and ostentatious automobile.

[US]J. Ellroy Hilliker Curse 10: The new Buick was a full-dress road hog. It had wide whites and more chrome than the Plunder Road death sled.
road kid (n.)

(US) a young tramp; the (catamitic) companion of an older jocker n.1 (2)

[US]J. London ‘The Road’ in Hendricks & Shepherd Jack London Reports (1970) 311–21: Boy tramps or ‘Road-kids’ abound in our land.
[US]J. London Road 161: No kid is a road-kid until he has gone over ‘the hill’ – such was the law of The Road.
[US]‘A-No. 1’ Snare of the Road 24: The going down in defeat of a jocker at the hands of his road kid is considered in hobodom a conclusive proof that the kid has outlived his usefulness as a producer of alms.
[US]N. Anderson Hobo 101: [From A No. 1, The Famous Tramp] 44. Jocker. Taught minors to beg and crook. 45. Road Kid or Preshun. Boy held in bondage by jocker.
[US]‘Dean Stiff’ Milk and Honey Route 34: Not all road kids become hobos but all hobos were once road kids.
[US]S. Longstreet Decade 252: Chris [...] sang Blow the Man Down with road kids and wobblies and hobos.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 179/2: Road kid. (Hobo) A youthful transient bum, occasionally passively pederastic.
[US](con. 1930s–40s) B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 108: Hobo slang (kwn ’30s & ’40s) [...] The adolescent who usually doubled as cook/lover to a homosexual hobo was called a [...] road kid.
[US]N.Y. Times 25 Jan. n.p.: When Lexy Lovell and Michael Uys started making their 1997 documentary film, ‘Riding the Rails,’ they solicited responses from the former ‘road kids.’.
roadkill (n.) (also road kill, road pizza)(orig. US)

1. any form of creature (usu. small animals or birds) killed by a vehicle on the roads and used for food.

[US]Field & Stream May 30/3: The most sporting aspect of salvaging road kills is that your harvest is always unexpected.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 9: road pizza – any small animal which has been run over by a car.
[US]C. Hiaasen Skin Tight 67: The thing on his head looked a lot like fresh road kill.
[UK]Guardian Editor 14 Sept. 3: Common victims include skunks, cats and URPs – ‘unidentified road pizzas’.
[UK]H. Mantel Beyond Black 237: Magpies toddle among the roadkill.
[Aus]L. Redhead Cherry Pie [ebook] ‘Word on the street is that you were almost roadkill’.

2. a person or object that is considered absolutely useless, i.e. ‘dead meat’.

[US]M. Myers et al. Wayne’s World II [film script] She dropped me like a bad habit and left me for roadkill.
[UK]J. Hawes Dead Long Enough 101: You cross him, you’re dead. You cross him, you’re roadkill.

3. attrib. use of sense 2.

[US]D.H. Sterry Chicken (2003) 176: The old roadkill door I found and transfomed into a desk by propping it up on plastic milk crates. [Ibid.] 177: I pick up my shitty granddad roadkill chair.

4. a recently shaved vagina.

[UK]Roger’s Profanisaurus in Viz 98 Oct. 24: road-killn. A rather flat, dry, hedgehog (qv).
road making (adj.) (also road up for repairs)

used of a woman who is menstruating.

[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues VI 37/1: road-making (or road up for repairs) = menstruation.
[UK]Farmer Vocabula Amatoria (1966) 14: Les anglais ont débarqué = the menstrual flux is on; ‘the road is up for repairs’.
road man (n.)

1. (US) an itinerant thief.

[US]PADS XXIV 84: Because of the stresses and strains of road work, he [i.e. the road man] is usually a sharp, alert thief.

2. (UK black) a street-level drug dealer.

[UK]Eve. Standard 4 July 8/4: ‘The public just see “gang member”, there there are different levels. The lowest is roadman. He’s the guy with the handbag, always on road, dealing drugs’.
[UK]G. Krauze What They Was 155: Some ex-roadman who ain’t got nuttin going for him.

3. (UK black) a popular, fashionable male. ‘Roadman Slang 10 Jan. 🌐 Roadman - a popular guy who wears brands like Supreme, Adidas and Palace.
road maps (n.)

(Aus.) the red lines within a bloodshot eye, thus the eye itself.

[Aus]M. Walker How to Kiss a Crocodile 98: ‘How do me eyes look?’ Colin quizzed. ‘Dreadful! Road maps everywhere’.
[Aus]Aus. Word Map 🌐 road maps. bloodshot eyes.
road rash (n.)

(orig. US) cuts, scratches and grazes resulting from a fall off a motor-cycle, bicycle or skateboard.

[US]N.Y. Times 2 Apr. 38: You pray that the board slows enough so you can get off [...] If you get off prematurely, you get a road rash.
[US]Amer. Motorcyclist Oct. 4/2: They both crashed, and [...] the guy in the back got a pretty good case of road rash. He was bleeding from his arms and legs, and hollering about his foot being broken.
[US](con. 1970s) G. Pelecanos King Suckerman (1998) 99: Where’d you get the road rash?
D.D. Barry et al. Fitness Cycling 66: Road rash refers to abrasions and wounds that occur when you crash and your skin scrapes along the ground.
J. Howard Mastering Cycling 155: Eventually all cyclists will deal with road rash, or the flaying of flesh by asphalt, concrete, or dirt. Ouch!
road rat (n.)

(UK black/teen) one who lives their life in the street, prob. as a gang member.

[UK]Observer (London) New Rev. 19 Feb. 9/1: ‘I was a road rat’.
road sister (n.)

(US tramp) a female tramp.

[US] ‘Jargon of the Und.’ in DN V 461: Road sister, A female hobo.
roadsman (n.)

(UK Und.) a thief who works in the street, e.g. a pickpocket.

[UK]Rambler’s Mag. Jan. 36/1: Though biddies and doxies may queer, / And roadsmen go out scamp and buz.
road smart (adj.)

(US tramp) experienced as a tramp.

[Can]O.D. Brooks Legs 2: I’m not a brainy guy. I’m just road smart. I’ve been traveling enough to be able to tell the pisspot from the handle, and I know a jungle buzzard when I see one.
road stake (n.)

(US tramp) money.

[US]Out West 22 207: A little job that I had just finished afforded me a ‘road stake’—— $8.00.
P. Kyne Parson of Panamint (1929) 32: Parson, be a good feller an’ give me a job slingin’ hash [...] till I can get a road stake together.
[US]P. & T. Casey Gay-cat 54: We’ll go in and chow first [...] and then we’ll talk about earning that road-stake.
[US]C. Samolar ‘Argot of the Vagabond’ in AS II:9 391: A road-stake is a small amount of money earned to enable one to live on the road without begging.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 159: Road Stake.–Money to live on while travelling, or with which to secure transportation. [Ibid.] 190: Trail Stake.–See ‘road stake.’.
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 815: road stake – Money to live on while travelling, or with which to secure transportation.
M. Calhoun Medicine Show 106: That kind of work was done only to get a road stake — traveling money.
J. Einarson There’s Something Happening Here 81: The money provided a road stake as well as furnishing their mode of transportation.
C. Williams One More Train to Ride 136: As soon as I got a road stake, I wanted to bum my way out west again and jungle out.
road starver (n.) [the pockets would be used to hold food for a journey]

(UK tramp) a long coat made without pockets.

[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 210/1: Road-starver (Mendicants, 1881). Long coat made without pockets, especially without a fob for money. Road meaning generally the mass of beggars – the starver is that which deprives the road of food.
road surveyor (n.)

a tramp, a vagrant.

[UK]‘Tramps: Their Ways & Means’ in Wellington Jrnl 17 Sept. 2/6: I am myself a ‘road surveyor,’ better known by the term traveller.
road whore (n.)

(US campus) a promiscuous woman.

[US]P. Munro Sl. U. 160: Laura is a total roadwhore; she slept with three different guys in one week.
roadwise (n.) [-wise sfx]

(US) of a tramp, ‘wise’ in the ways of travelling.

[US]‘Goat’ Laven Rough Stuff 57: He knew I was roadwise, and he wanted to get back home which was a few hundred miles away.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
B. Targan Kingdoms 254: He would turn back down to Raleigh [...] I would find him. I was roadwise, even at sixteen.
road work (n.) [work n. (1)]

(US) crimes committed by an itinerant thief.

[US]H. Leverage ‘Dict. Und.’ in Flynn’s mag. cited in Partridge DU (1949) 572/1: Road work,...pocket picking, etc., done while traveling.
[US]PADS XXIV 84: Because of the stresses and strains of road work, he [i.e. the road man] is usually a sharp, alert thief.

In phrases

down the road (adj.) [Mile End Road, London, a favoured costermongers’ market]

1. stylish, fashionable.

[UK]G.A. Sala ‘Slang’ in Household Words 24 Sept. 76/2: Lord Bobby Robbins’s great coat, which he admires, is ‘down the road’.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. (2nd edn).
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[UK]G.A. Sala in Living London (1883) June 208: Our whip (and genial host) ‘handled the ribbons’ (that must be correct) in the most approved and ‘down the road’ style.
[NZ]Truth (London) 18 June 1678/3: Slang terms: [...] cheese, clipper, crack, crushing, down-the-road, extensive [etc] .

2. vulgar, showy.

[UK]G.A. Sala Twice Round the Clock 191: A knot of medical students, who should properly [...] in this sporting locality, have a racing and ‘down-the-road’ look.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. (2nd edn).
[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 116/2: Down the Road (E. London Streets). Showy, flashy. The road is the Mile End Road, which to frequent on a Sunday, in a good cart or ‘shay’, is the ambition of every costermonger and small trader in that district.
give someone the road (v.)

(US/US black) to avoid, to ignore.

[US]Princeton Union (MN) 20 Feb. 10/1: M. Lionheart is the mail carrier and you want to give him the road when you meet him. He is loaded for bear.
Guthrie Dly Leader 21 Sept. 3/3: He fears neither man nor beast, and most of the animals of the forest give him the road.
[US]Monroe City Democrat 31 Mar. 3/4: When you meet an old despised four footed hog now, take off your hat to him and give him the road.
[US]Odum & Johnson Negro and His Songs (1964) 291: Stagolee was a bully man’ an ev’rybody knowed / When dey seed Stagolee a comin’ to give Stagolee de road.
hit the road (v.)

see separate entry.

on road (adj.)

(UK black/gang) world of involved in activities pertaining to ‘the street’, e.g. drug dealing.

[UK]T. Thorne (ed.) ‘Drill Slang Glossary’ at Forensic Linguistic Databank 🌐 On road - outdoors, active in the streets/neighbourhood(s), e.g engaged in selling drugs.
over the road

in prison, thus go over the road, to be imprisoned.

[US]Ledger (Noblesville, IN) 14 Aug. 6/2: ‘I traded the “dice” with an old chum who went “over the road” for Pete’s work’.
[US]Worthington Advance (MN) 31 May 6/2: Some of the biggest criminals [...] nod and smile when they meet some man who helped send them over the road.
[US]C.L. Cullen Tales of the Ex-Tanks 196: They’ve nabbed me for a job of ship-swiping [...] I’ll do my little three or five trick over the road for it.
[US]J. Flynt World of Graft 14: I get out and take my chances like a man an’ ’f I’m caught, I take my trip over the road.
[US]Hobo News June n.p.: I’ll put you over the road if I have to frame you.
[US]Ersine Und. and Prison Sl.
[UK]E. Raymond Marsh 230: Bird is quod, stir, clink, jug, up the road, in the country – well, prison.
road-bums’ Coronas (n.) [a Corona is an expensive Cuban cigar]

tobacco that is extracted from discarded ‘fag-ends’ and recycled in a pipe or ‘roll-up’.

[UK]V. Davis Gentlemen of the Broad Arrows 90: We had to rely on ‘Kerbstone-Mixture’ and ‘Road-bums’ Coronas,’ names given to cast-away cigarette-ends retrieved from ash-bins [...] and on the roadside. [Ibid.] 92: Tailor-made Road-bums’ Coronas, as the lags term fags made from dross.
road less travelled (n.) [play on new age book title The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck (1979)]

the female anus as a hosting place for a penis.

[US]Harvard Indep. 14 Oct. 🌐 A widespread myth about taking the road less traveled by is that it’s simply unhygienic.
road to a christening (n.) (also road to heaven, way to heaven)

the vagina.

[UK]Bacchanalian Mag. 26: Original and selected Toasts and sentiments [...] The High Road to a Christening.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[UK]Farmer Vocabula Amatoria (1966) 63: Chemin du paradis, m. The female pudendum; ‘the way to heaven’ [Ibid.] 136: Fournaise, f. The female pudendum; ‘the road to a christening’.
up the road

1. (UK Und.) committed for trial.

[UK]D. Powis Signs of Crime 206: Up the road Committed for trial before a judge and jury.

2. elsewhere, e.g. Scotland viewed from London.

[Scot](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 238: Apparently there’s still a bit of a drought up the road, skag-wise.