Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bull n.1

[the images of the animal]

1. in the context of aggressive sexuality.

(a) [late 16C+] a womanizer, a successful philanderer.

(b) [1930s+] an aggressively masculine lesbian.

(c) [1950s+] (US/W.I., also buller) a macho male homosexual.

2. [late 17C–early 19C] false hair, worn by a woman [? resembling the hair between a bull’s horns].

3. in the context of the animal’s strength and power.

(a) [mid-19C] (US) a railway locomotive.

(b) [1920s+] (Aus.) a casual wharf labourer who is given preferential treatment by the foreman; thus bull system, employment practices on the docks whereby the men line up for work every morning and the foremen pick them for a day’s work.

(c) [1960s–70s] (US campus) an academically successful person.

(d) [1970s+] (US Und.) a veteran, a long-term convict.

(e) [1980s] a self-assured, poised person.

4. [mid-19C+] (also bull-meat) any form of meat as served in an institution, e.g., prison, the US Army.

5. [late 19C] (US) an ox.

6. [1920s–30s] (US) a buffalo nickel (on which the animal is engraved).

In compounds

bull-dagger (n.) (also dagger) [bull-dyke n.]

1. [1920s+] a masculine lesbian; thus bull-dagging n. and adj., engaging in lesbian love-making.

2. [1990s+] an effeminate male homosexual.

bull-dyke/-dyker/-dyking (n.)

see separate entries.

bull queer (n.)

see sense 1c above.

SE in slang uses

In compounds


see separate entries.

bull-bucka (n.) [18C US dial. buck, to butt; thus one who thinks he is strong enough to butt a bull or ? bull adj.1 + backra n.]

[1940s+] (W.I.) a thug, a bully, an aggressive man; thus bull-bucking adj.

bull butter (n.) [its innate fakeness + coarse ref. to bull semen]

1. [late 19C–1940s] (US) margarine.

2. [1990s+] (US campus) nonsense.

bull calf (n.)

see separate entries.

bull camp (n.) [image of SE bull or bull adj.1 (2)]

[late 19C–1930s] (US) a camp of outdoor workers, e.g. on an oil pipeline.

bull-catcher (n.)

[1960s] (S.Afr.) a mugger.


see separate entries.

bull-dragging (adj.)

[20C+] (Irish) tedious, laborious.

bull-driver (n.)

[mid-19C-1910s] (US) a peasant, a farmer.

bullfighter (n.)

[1930s] (US tramp) an empty passenger coach, either when standing in the yards or attached to a freight train.

bull-flesh (n.) [the innate bulkiness of the animal]

[late 19C] swagger, boastfulness, arrogance.

bull fuck (n.) [fuck n. (1c), in fig. meaning of semen thus cognate with gravy n. (1b)] [1910s+] (US/Can.)

1. cream gravy.

2. custard.

3. vanilla pudding.

bull gander (n.)

[mid-19C] (UK Und.) a very credulous individual; thus bull-gander trap, a cardsharp.

bull gang (n.) [SE bull, generic for tough, masculine + gang]

1. [20C+] (US) a team of manual labourers; also attrib.

2. [20C+] (Can./US prison) a gang of hardened, dangerous prisoners, used for manual labour.

3. [1920s+] (US) members of an institution, e.g. a club or college, who perform odd jobs to supplement their income.

4. [1950s+] (W.I.) plantation labourers who perform odd jobs.

bull-goose (n.) [SE bull-goose, the goose which maintains order among the rest of the flock]

[1950s+] (US) the leader, the boss; thus bull goose loony, the maddest person.

bull gravy (n.) [pun on synon. bull fuck ]

[1940s+] (US) cream gravy.


see separate entries.

bull moose (n.)

see separate entries.

bull party (n.)

[late 19C–1900s] a men-only party.

bullpen (n.)

see separate entry.

bull piss (n.) [piss n. (1)]

[1910s+] (US) very low quality, cheap liquor.

bull point (n.) [the image of a bull’s strength]

[mid-19C+] (US) a point of advantage or superiority.

bull-puncher (n.) (also bull-prodder, puncher) [on model of cow-puncher n.]

[late 19C+] (Aus./US) a bullock-driver (Aus.) or the driver of an ox-team (US); thus bull-punching.

bull pup (n.) [it ‘barks’ or ‘growls’]

[mid–late 19C] (US) a pistol.

bull-pusher (n.)

[mid-19C] (US) the driver of an ox-team.

bull-riding (n.)

[2000s] (US black) sexual intercourse in the rear-entry position.

bull-ring (n.)

see separate entries.

bull’s breakfast (n.)

[20C+] (Aus.) a drink of water and an act of urination.

bull’s eye (n.)

see separate entry.

bull’s feather (n.) (also feather) [pun on the bull’s ‘feather’, i.e. its SE horn/horn n.1 ]

[mid-16C–early 19C] a fig. symbol of cuckoldry; usu. as wear a/the bull’s feather, to be a cuckold; to be cuckolded.

bull-shiner (n.) [? the shininess of the wood or the bull n.5 (1), which gives one a shiner n.1 (3)]

[1920s] (US) a police truncheon.

bull’s look (n.)

[1960s] (Irish) a hostile glare.

bull’s wool (n.)

see separate entries.

bull-tour (n.) [var. on bull-head n.2 ]

[early 18C] a mass of curled or frizzled hair worn over the forehead by a woman.


see separate entries.

In phrases

bull of the woods (n.) [logging jargon bull of the woods, the foreman]

[late 19C+] (US) the boss, the leader, or someone who poses as such.

out where the bull feeds

1. [1910s] (Aus.) used of a fight in the open air, or elsewhere than an official venue.

2. [1930s-40s] (Aus.) in the Outback.

In exclamations

in a bull’s arse!

an excl. of disbelief.