Green’s Dictionary of Slang

deuce n.1

also deucie, duce
[SE deuce, the two in dice or cards]

1. [late 15C+] two, a pair, of objects and occas. individuals.

2. [late 17C–1960s] twopence.

3. [mid-19C] two cents.

4. [late 19C–1960s] a useless gambler, a worthless individual [the deuce is the lowest card in the deck].

5. [20C+] (Aus., also deucer) a champion shearer capable of shearing 200 sheep in a day.

6. [1910s+] (US, also deucer, deuce-spot) two dollars; a two-dollar bill.

7. [1920s+] (prison, also deuce-burger) a two-year sentence; occas. two months (see cite 1950).

8. in drug uses.

(a) [1930s] (drugs) two marijuana cigarettes, sold together.

(b) [1960s–70s] (US drugs) a $2 package of heroin.

(c) [1970s] (US drugs) two pills.

(d) [1990s+] a $2 vial of crack cocaine.

9. [1940s] (Aus.) two shillings (10p).

10. [1950s] £2.

11. [1960s] (Scot. prison) a two-month prison sentence.

12. [1970s] (also deucer) a two-hour shift.

13. [1990s+] (US black) an unattractive young woman, i.e. one considered second-rate.

14. in pl. deuces, goodbye [from two fingers raised in V for Victory sign].

In compounds

deuce-burger (n.)

see sense 7 above.

deuce-deuce (n.)

1. [1980s+] a .22 revolver or pistol.

2. [1990s+] a 22fl.oz beer.

deuce-five (n.)

[1980s+] a .25 pistol.

deuce wins (n.) (also deux wins, dews wins) [win n.]

[late 17C–mid-19C] (UK Und.) twopence.

In phrases

deuce and a quarter (n.)

1. [1960s+] (US black/teen) a Buick Electra 225.

2. [1980s] (US black, also deuce-25) any car with a 225 h.p. engine.

3. [1990s+] (US prison) a sentence of 2 to 25 years.

deuce of benders (n.) [bender n.2 (1)]

[1930s–40s] (US black/Harlem) the knees.

deuce of boxcars (n.) [boxcars n. (1)]

[1940s] (US black) one day, i.e. 24 hours.

deuce of clubs (n.) [pun on cards/weapons]

[1940s] (US) the fists, used for violent assaults; thus play the deuce of clubs, to beat someone up.

deuce of haircuts (n.) [a fortnightly haircut]

[1940s] (US black/Harlem) two weeks.

deuce of nods on the backbeat (n.) [nod n.1 + SE backbeat]

[1940s] (US black/Harlem) two days ago.

deuce of peekers (n.) [peeker n.]

[1940s] (US black/Harlem) a pair of eyes.

deuce of ruffs (n.) [ruff n.]

[1940s] (US black/Harlem) 20 cents.

deuce of ticks (n.) [tick n.4 (2)]

[1940s] (US black/Harlem) two minutes.

deuce (out) (v.) [the weakness of the deuce in a pack of cards]

[1940s+] (US) to back down, to act the coward.

double-deuce (n.)

[1990s+] (US black) a .22 calibre handgun.