Green’s Dictionary of Slang

deal v.

[deal n.1 /SE deal, to hand out]

1. (US) to make a bargain, to conduct business; also as exp. of agreement, see cit. 1985.

[US]A.H. Lewis Boss 125: Do you think you’ll deal in again with the Chief and the machine?
[US]J. Lait Put on the Spot 14: He opened a joint that started to deal at three o’clock in the morning, when the suckers’ hang-outs closed.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 57/1: Deal, v. To give one a deal.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Oct. 3: deal – expression of approval or agreement. ‘We’re going to Florida for fall break.’ ‘Deal!’.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 188: She was helping her boyfriend deal drugs, then deaklt him away, she’s not some babe in the woods.

2. (US) to give, to hand over.

[US]Gleason & Taber Is Zat So? II i: The Army [was] only dealing him thirty a month.
[US]Da Bomb 🌐 8: Deal: To throw an object.

3. (US black) to cause trouble for, to treat harshly.

[US] in E. Cray Erotic Muse (1992) 142: The son of a bitch, / He was dealin’ it cold.
[US]P. Thomas Down These Mean Streets (1970) 49: Where I come from, the pres is president ’cause he got heart when it comes to dealing.
[US]H.E. Roberts Third Ear n.p.: deal v. 1. to make a situation uncomfortable; e.g. That prof dealt me one on that test (hard test).
[US]W.D. Myers Motown and Didi 56: ‘I’ll deal with your butt when the time is right. [...] When the time comes, I’m dealing and I’m dealing hard!’.
[US]W.D. Myers Somewhere in the Darkness 148: ‘I’ll deal with you, Rydell.’ Crab’s voice raised in anger. ‘I’ll deal with you!’.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Nov. 5: get dealt with – be handled or resolved in a negative way: ‘If she looks at me like that again, she is going to get dealt with.’.

4. to sell drugs, esp. marijuana.

[US]W. Motley Let No Man Write My Epitaph 122: I don’t know if they’re dealing now.
[US]P. Thomas Down These Mean Streets (1970) 5: Yeah, man, this is smooth, but we gotta do some better dealing; this five-cent bag ain’t enough. Like man, we is strung out.
[US]J. Wambaugh Choirboys (1976) 200: I’ll tell you where you can bring down a guy that deals in ounces.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 181: I dealin’ weed, pills, some coke.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 227: He was probably dealing shit in the men’s room.
[UK]Indep. 10 Jan. 6: I started dealing to support my habit.
[Aus]P. Temple Dead Point (2008) [ebook] He deals, everyone knows him. It’s safe.
see sense 1.

5. (US black) to manage a situation or circumstance.

[US]P. Thomas Down These Mean Streets (1970) 260: ‘Tired enough to fight your ass to the ground,’ I replied. ‘Okay, man, let’s go to the back of the paint room and we deal.’.
[US]H.E. Roberts Third Ear n.p.: deal v. […] 2. to take care of a situation through action or discussion.
[US]R.T. Sale Blackstone Rangers 162: As he bent down by the [police car] window, his whole manner changed. The arrogance, the heavy-lidded cool gaze [...] were gone. He was talking politely, helpfully, just like any nice kid. It was something to watch. He knew how to deal.
[US]T.R. Houser Central Sl. 18: deal with [...] To handle a matter. ‘That’s bull shit, man, I come back an’ I’ll deal with his ass.’.
[US](con. 1985–90) P. Bourjois In Search of Respect 99: Then they pull out the carts full of dead animals [...] But I’m trying to stand back, you know, because I can’t deal. I love animals.
[US]W.D. Myers Slam! 35: ‘It’s your life, do you care?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘Then deal with it’.
[US]W.D. Myers Handbook for Boys 120: ‘I either had to deal with [institutional racism] or let it deal with me. I chose to deal with it’.
[US]W.D. Myers All the Right Stuff 117: I could dig that, her not wanting to deal with my father’s life.

6. (UK black) to have sexual intercourse with.

[UK](con. 1979–80) A. Wheatle Brixton Rock (2004) 77: Sylvia is just an old school friend and I’m not dealing wid her.
[UK](con. 1981) A. Wheatle East of Acre Lane 10: I was gonna ask de girl back to my gates an’ deal wid it proper.

7. (US prison) to play the active role in a homosexual couple.

[US]N. Heard House of Slammers 8: Many of the confined dudes considered it a kind of unreal game [...] so they shuffled as easily as they dealt.

8. (US campus) to make dates frequently.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 2: deal – to date frequently. ‘Have you been dealing much lately?’.

In phrases

deal (in) dirt (v.)

see under dirt n.

deal in zeroes (v.)

(US black) to achieve nothing, to fail completely, to draw a blank.

[US] ‘Konky Mohair’ in D. Wepman et al. Life (1976) 107: When hustlers are dealing in zeroes / And throughbreds treated unfair, / They all take a drag on their reefers / And say prayers to St. Konky Mohair.
deal it out (v.)

(Aus.) to attack, esp. verbally, to punish.

[Aus] ‘Fanny Flukem’s Ball’ in Bird o’ Freedom (Sydney) in J. Murray Larrikins (1973) 40: I’m quiet, I am, till I’m narked, / My talent are the same, / But when we deal it out you’ll find / We are no mugs at the game.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 12 May 4/8: Oh, crypes [...] I thought they was dealin’ it out to a copper.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 10 Feb. 24/4: [N]o amount of illustration will persuade the average cricketer to ‘deal out’ to it.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 8 Aug. 17: The efficacy of prayer, or what may happen to a Rocks push when ‘dealing it out’ to a ‘converted’ bobby.
[Aus]G.H. Lawson Dict. of Aus. Words And Terms 🌐 DEAL IT OUT—Administer punishment.
deal on (v.)

(US black) to trick, to deceive, to take advantage.

[US]D. Claerbaut Black Jargon in White America 62: dealt on (you) v. to take advantage of by outsmarting or doublecrossing.
[US](con. 1970) J.M. Del Vecchio 13th Valley (1983) 88: ‘I got some dudes need dealin on,’ Jax scowled.
deal someone one (v.)

see under one n.1

deal to (v.) (N.Z.)

1. to beat up.

K. Berry First Offender 147: Jim talking of bread, grass, acid, boob, screws and dealing to people, while Ben spoke of money, marijuana, LSD, prison officers, and good hidings [DNZE].
[NZ]G. Newbold Big Huey 247: deal to (v) Assault, beat up, damage, destroy.
Dominion Sun. Times (Wellington) 5 Aug. 3: He [...] had gone to the-house to deliver some bush justice. He said he would ‘deal to’ the person involved [DNZE].
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.

2. to treat roughly.

TV1 (N.Z.) 30 May Rugby Commentator. Most of the team that dealt to Tonga are still with [the Canadian rugby team] [DNZE].
[NZ]Dominion (Wellington) 17 June 7: The bikies then dealt to the car by smashing windows [DNZE].

SE card-playing imagery, in slang uses

In phrases

deal from the south (v.)

(Aus.) to cheat, to defraud, to swindle.

[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 10 Jan. 3/8: That ole fool [...] was too busy getting in on me to notrice me ‘dealing from the south’ all the time.
deal off the bottom of the deck (v.) (also deal from the bottom of the deck/pack) [a classic method of cheating in cards]

(orig. US) to cheat, to defraud, to swindle.

[US]A. Bierce ‘A Cheating Preacher’ Black Beetles in Amber 148: When you ‘deal damnation round’ [...] Deal, and let all accept what you allot ’em. But, blast you! you are dealing from the bottom!
[US]Ade Knocking the Neighbors 78: He wanted to be remembered, 50 Years hence, as the Man who built the Library and not as the Guy who dealt from the Bottom of the Deck.
[US]Eve. Herald (Klamath Falls, OR) 29 Dec. 3/2: The only way to reform a man who has learned to deal off the bottom is to keep him good and scared.
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 19 Oct. [synd. col.] He is one of the nicer Broadway fellows — the sort who has never been known to deal from the bottom.
[US]P. Thomson ‘Five Men and a Horse’ in Botkin Folk-Say 286: Soon he’d be cashing in his chips. / Death had dealt an ace from bottom.
[US]D. Runyon Runyon à la Carte 195: Perhaps you are decorated for dealing the general a nice hand off the bottom?
[US](con. 1960s) D. Goines Whoreson 278: I was dealing them at her now from the bottom of the deck.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 286: Among them: [...] deal from the bottom of the deck; to deal [one] in or out; to double-deal and double-dealer.
[US]W. Blevins Dict. of the Amer. West : deal from the bottom of the pack [...] to cheat or take unjustified advantage in any situation.
deal one off the top (v.)

(US) to give someone a piece of good luck.

[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 280: Fate dealt me one off the top for a change.
deal someone in (v.)

(orig. US) to include in an undertaking, often a criminal one, to give someone a share; thus the reverse, deal someone out.

[US]W.R. Burnett Little Men, Big World 59: I have good reason to believe that Leon is trying to deal the Big City boys in.
[UK]J. Curtis Look Long Upon a Monkey 175: Leave off, copper. I told you. Deal her out of this.
[US]E. De Roo Young Wolves 11: They could look after her all they wanted to and deal him out of it.
deal them off the arm (v.)

see under arm n.

In exclamations

deal me out!

(US) a general excl. of rejection: I’m not interested, leave me out, etc.

M. Kantor Wicked Water 31: But when you start talking murder — well, you can deal me out.
[US]T. Runyon In For Life 270: Deal me out!
[US]T. Capote In Cold Blood (2000) 135: Then he heard Dick say, ‘Deal me out, baby. I'm a normal.’ Wasn’t that a horse’s laugh?
L. Barrett True-Blue Texan n.p.: ‘Then deal me out. Whatever it is, just deal me out.’ ‘You don’t understand, Sal. I can’t. You’re key to it all’.