Green’s Dictionary of Slang

pitch v.

[fig. use of SE pitch, to throw]

1. (also pitch in) to tell a tale, to speak persuasively.

Lex. Balatroncum.
[US]News (London) 15 Nov. 383: Vy, I von’t pitch no gammon, but this here’s the pint.
[UK]J. Lindridge Sixteen-String Jack 147: But vy’ll you’re pitching them the blarneys what shall I be at, can’t I do nuffen.
[Aus]Age (Melbourne) 13 Dec. 5/2: John Price [...] amuses himself by ‘pitching’ to them (i.e. having long yarns with them about old times and scenes).
[UK]A. Mayhew Paved with Gold 281: He pitches it into her most uncommon powerful [...] but she seems close and stubborn.
[US]Calif. Police Gazette 17 Apr. 1/2: I’ll see you d---d first before I ‘pitch’ any more, unless you ‘cheese’ your ‘gabs’.
[UK]Morn. Post (London) 18 Dec. 3/3: Pitch in pious fudge and fable, / He will swallow all you say.
[UK]J. Greenwood Low-Life Deeps 37: That’s a stale story [...] if I was to let it pass with everybody who pitches it to me, the seats would be like a common lodging-house.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 6 Nov. 4/4: And vow they’ll try our souls to save, / By ‘pitching’ in a nasal tone.
[UK]J. Greenwood Odd People in Odd Places 135: We had nothing but crusts and cold taters for dinner on Christmas day, which was the gammon my old lady pitched ’em.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘We Called Him “Ally”’ in Roderick (1972) 20: He [...] commenced in a doleful voice to pitch his confounded old yarn.
[UK]Lytton & LeBrunn [perf. Marie Lloyd] The Chili Widow 🎵 She pitched him such a doleful tale, about the ‘late lamented’.
[Aus]‘Dads Wayback’ in Sun. Times (Sydney) 26 Oct. 5/1: ‘I sez: “Why don’t cher come out ter Dingo Flat [...] an’ hear ther old man pitch” “I’d like ter see meself,” sez Cock-eye, “wastin’ me time listenin’ ter that old blatherskite as thinks he knows everythin”’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 6 Sept. 29/1: The missus pitched a cryin’ yarn – ‘This place don’t make us fat.’ / Sez I, ‘But don’t you lamb ’em down, an’ make a bit like that?’ / ‘Oh,’ she sez, ‘we’ve Bukley’s show; / Lambing down went long ago.’.
[UK]G.M. Hewett Rat 159: I did not particularly mind their abuse, though they pitched it pretty strong.
[UK]Gem 16 Sept. 6: By skilfully pitching a yarn to the Housemaster it was possible that they might get off scott-free.
[Aus]E. Dyson ‘Sister Ann’ in ‘Hello, Soldier!’ 29: She chats you in a ’Ighland botch; / But if our Sis saw fit / To pitch Hindoo instead of Scotch / I’d get the hang of it.
[NZ]N.Z. Truth 4 Feb. 5/4: he had accused her of misconduct with another man. This was due to a story ‘somebody had pitched into him’.
[US]M.C. Sharpe Chicago May (1929) 148: My new friend gave me a thousand dollars in English money when I pitched him the deserted-lady tale.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Dream Street Rose’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 50: Guys who are always doing a little pitching, and trying to make dates.
[UK]G. Fairlie Capt. Bulldog Drummond 109: Something made me pitch it hot and strong.
[US]M. Spillane One Lonely Night 59: After the way I’ve been pitching with you [...] you’ll be taking me with you.
[Aus]J.M. Hosking ‘Move On Please!’ Aus. First and Last 41: Once walking in the ’Loo, / Having nothing else to do / We pitched a bit of woo.
[US]M. Braly Shake Him Till He Rattles (1964) 34: She had the sure instinct that the girl would pitch at Lee in some way.
[US]A. Young Snakes (1971) 51: Now, can we come in and behave like gentlemen or am I gon have to pitch one and get all yall cussed out?
[UK]K. Lette Llama Parlour 235: This is, like, how I pitched it: two naïve, young girls, out on their first hooking assignment.
[US]W. Shaw Westsiders 27: Ghetto Pass boast that they’re planning on pitching their servives to both the Republican and Democratic parties.
[US]J. Ellroy Hilliker Curse 7: The Main Blonde pitched some boo-hoo.
[US](con. 1962) J. Ellroy Enchanters 39: She’s pitching a sob story.

2. (UK Und.) to follow a given begging speciality.

[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 66: Ven I pitches, and they count me the best flag pitcher of all the shallows; I never gets copped by the Bobbies [...] but yet I nails the browns.

3. (UK Und.) to pass counterfeit coins.

[UK]A. Mayhew Paved with Gold 363: There is one who swags — that is, carries the coin; there is another who pitches or passes it.
[UK]Sl. Dict. 255: Pitch to utter base coin. [...] The confederacy is divided into makers, buyers, holders, and pitchers. The maker probably never sees the actual passers of base money, [...] while the pitcher, often a woman ? indeed, more often than not ? runs the actual risk.
[Aus]C. Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 59: Pitch, to utter base coin.
[UK](con. 1910) C.G. Gordon Crooks of the Und. 221: Bill, I can’t come aht and pitch (change counterfeit) for yer this afternoon. I’ve got the rottenest ’eadache.

4. (drugs) to sell drugs.

[US]D. Maurer ‘Lang. of the Und. Narcotic Addict’ Pt 2 in Lang. Und. (1981) 107/1: To pitch. To retail narcotics in small quantities.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]J.E. Schmidt Narcotics Lingo and Lore.
[US]L. Stringer Grand Central Winter (1999) 144: I’m standing by the subway [...] trying to make out who among the stragglers there might be pitching.
[US]C. Stella Rough Riders 135: They were pitching for the hard guys [...] omebody in Vegas.

5. in sexual uses [baseball imagery; ult. fig. use of SE pitch, to throw].

(a) (gay) to be the active partner in anal or oral sex or in sado-masochism.

[US]M. Braly On the Yard (2002) 150: I’ve been known to pitch, but I’m no catcher.
[US]C. Shafer ‘Catheads [...] and Cho-Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy Bounty of Texas (1990) 211: pitch and catch, v. – to engage in unnatural sex acts.
[US]J. Ellroy Blood on the Moon 119: The young man walked over [...] ‘It's thirty; head only, pitch or catch’.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 192: Billy Skaggs would like you to believe that he just pitches and Maggie catches.
[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 59: Flip Flop […] used to indicate a homosexual who engages in both the active and passive roles in a homosexual relationship. A homosexual who flip flops will ‘pitch’ and ‘catch.’. 12 Oct. 🌐 Curious Wife Wants Women: She will pitch or catch or both.
[US]Simon & Price ‘All Due Respect’ Wire ser. 3 ep. 2 [TV script] ‘All you gotta do is name a guy.’ ‘Am I catching or pitching?’.
[US]T. Pluck Bad Boy Boogie [ebook] ‘First you go for suck jobs [...] Then you pitch. Maybe give ’em a reach-around’.

(b) (Aus. prison) to act in an ostentatiously homosexual manner.

[Aus]B. Ellem Doing Time 194: pitch: refers to a person who walks around preening himself and pitching his behind in a sexual way.
[Aus]Tupper & Wortley Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. 🌐 Pitch. To act or strut in a homosexually provocative manner.

(c) (Aus.) to approach in the hope of a seduction.

[Aus]R.G. Barrett Between the Devlin 21: ‘So [...] you pitched for every other tart at the turn, they all gave you the arse as well’.

(d) (US campus) to ejaculate.

[US]College Sl. Research Project (Cal. State Poly. Uni., Pomona) 🌐 Pitch (verb) To ejaculate.

In phrases

pitch a fork (v.) (also pitch the fork) [sense 2 above + ? play on SE pitch, throw / pitchfork]

to tell a story, esp. a sad or romantic one.

[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[UK]Story of a Lancashire Thief 8: Brummagem Joe (a cove as could patter and pitch the fork with any one).
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[UK]W. Newton Secrets of Tramp Life Revealed 15: ‘Pitching the Fork’ [...] is a very common practice with this class to the great annoyance of shopkeepers. They [i.e. beggars] will go into a shop with perhaps twopence in hand, and will say to the man in charge, ‘Do as well as you can with this, as it is all we have got.’ They will talk it, may be, of four or five of them who have not had any food for a couple of days, or perhaps longer. If they do not get as much as they expected, they will turn round and abuse the man.
[UK]Leamington Spa Courier 20 Sept. 7/1: ‘Warty’ is [...] a past master at the art of ‘telling the tale’ and ‘pitching the fork,’ which latter term signifies yarning to shopkeepers with a view to getting a shilling’s worth of value for two-pence.
[US]W.A. Gape Half a Million Tramps 192: Begging, gagging, telling-the-tale or pitching the fork, it’s all the same.
pitch a yarn (v.)

see under yarn n.

pitch boogie (v.) [boogie n.4 (3)]

(US) of a man, to seduce a woman.

[UK]Traill & Lascelles Just Jazz 13: A ‘boogie,’ of course, is a ‘bad girl.’ Brothels were called ‘boogie houses’ in many parts of the old South. ‘Pitchin’ boogie’ was a raw term for ‘makin’ a chick’.
pitch honey (v.)

(Can.) campus to hug and kiss.

[Can]Dly Atheneum in McGill Dly 19 Dec. 4: Hugging and kissing [...] Lollygagging, necking, pitching honey, smooching, tonsil swabbing, pawing, muzzling, flinging woo and rotten logging are other names applied to the same activity.
pitch it strong (v.) (also pitch it hard,, ...into) [strong adv. (1)/hot adv. (1)]

to speak forcefully, to state a case with feeling or enthusiasm, to exaggerate.

Guards 70: ‘[S]ome better-born greenhorn pitching it strong to court notoriety’.
[UK]Devizes & Wilts Gaz. 22 Mar 3/3: Two others swore that they had heard the prosecutor say he would ‘pitch it hard’ against one of the prisoners [...] and that he would ‘do for him’.
[UK]Satirist (London) 9 Dec. 398/4: Second Elector (aside)—That’s right, pitch it into him.
[UK]Dickens Pickwick Papers (1999) 536: I must have a stimulant, or I shan’t be able to pitch it strong enough into the old boy.
[US]A. Greene Glance at N.Y. II iii: Now, Major, mind my instructions; pitch it strong; come the dodge well.
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Adventures of Mr Verdant Green (1982) I 79: A party who [...] has pitched it so uncommon strong in the vocal line.
North British Rev. Nov. in Schele De Vere (1872) 624: Pitching it strong is the most obvious characteristic of American humor.
[UK]H. Kingsley Hillyars and Burtons (1870) 181: My girl Emma has been pitching it into Master Erne like one o’clock.
[UK]J. Greenwood Dick Temple I 7: You did not pitch it strong enough.
[US]Sun (NY) 15 May 17/5: Cyrus’s wife she pitched in to him and declared up and down that it was all his fault.
[Aus]Bulletin Reciter 1880–1901 79: Then the parson pitched it strong about our sisters’ rights.
[UK]Wodehouse Leave it to Psmith (1993) 387: I should write to him, Phyl. Pitch it strong.
[UK]‘Charles Raven’ Und. Nights 175: Harry pitched it in hot and strong.
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves in the Offing 100: ‘The situation is one fraught with anxiety,’ which is pitching it strong for Jeeves, he as a rule coming through with a mere ‘Most disturbing, sir.’.
[UK]P. Theroux London Embassy 14: That’s pitching it a bit strongly, isn’t it?
pitch on (v.)

1. to target; identify.

[Ire]Head Art of Wheedling 177: First he pitches on that Tavern in which he never drank before.
[UK]J. Dunton Night-Walker Nov. 14: Instead of a Spark I find I have pitched upon a Preacher.
[UK]S. Centlivre Gamester Act I: Ay, my Master pitch’d upon you.
[UK]Trial of Elizabeth Canning in Howell State Trials (1816) 513: She said also, there were two girls in the room when her stays were cut off. We [...] brought them in one by one, and she pitched upon Virtue Hall and Lucy Squires.
[UK]A. Smith Comic Tales 136: Why have you pitched upon me, above all others, to give this advice to?
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 11 Mar. 7/4: She was almoat the first one them women pitched on and her brother told me [...] she's been in a place up-town [i.e. a brothel] [...] and won't come borne.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 18 Apr. 22/4: When a widow wants to marry, she goes and does it, and the man she pitches on may as well go civilly as not.
[US]C.F. Lummis A New Mexico David 84: Cain’t yo’ never mind yo’r own self ’thought pitchin’ onto somebody smaller’n yo’ be?

2. (Aus.) to nag, to attack verbally, to tell off.

[UK]E. Waugh Vile Bodies 98: Why shouldn’t I ride with a friend [...] without all you girls pitching on me like this?
[Aus]Baker Popular Dict. Aus. Sl.
pitch the crack (v.) (also crack the pitch) [SE crack, a break / to break]

(UK Und.) to stop doing something.

[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor I 416/2: They had to crack the pitch (discontinue) through that.
[US]G.A. Brine letter 12 Apr. in Ribton-Turner (1887) 643: This was about nine o’clock, when I was taking money fast; and I was compelled to ‘pitch the crack’ (discontinue the game) and to ‘make tracks’ the same evening towards Durham, with only seven or eight shillings, which I fully expected to have doubled, and perhaps trebled.
[UK]Newcastle Courant 2 Sept. 6/5: Where’s Sam? We cannot do without him, and will have to pitch the crack if he’s got lagged.
pitch the cuffer (v.) [SE cuffer, a yarn or story; ult. cuff, to discuss, to tell a story]

to tell exaggerated stories, esp. as a confidence trickster.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 892/2: late C.19–early 20.
pitch the dirt (v.) [dirt n. (6)]

(US) to gossip (maliciously), to slander.

[US]J. Thompson Criminal (1993) 81: No more pitching the dirt to or about anyone.
pitch in the pot (v.)

a drinking game, whereby the company throw pennies into a tankard, the winner — taking the pence of their rivals — being the person who is most accurate.

[UK]London Mag. Mar. 104/1: [T]he party amused themselves with what they termed ‘pitching in the pot,’ viz. placing a pewter-pot upon a table [...] and shying a penny-piece towards the interior of the pot, the successful caster pocketing all the other pence.
pitch the tale (v.)

to tell exaggerated stories, esp. as a confidence trickster.

London Herald 23 March, 222/2: If he had had the sense to appeal for help, and pitch them a tale, he might have got off [F&H].
[UK]Mirror of Life 15 Dec. 14/3: It is certainly amusing to hear them ‘pitch the tale’ about who they have beaten, or how they would take their death before they would cry ‘Enough’.
[UK]J. Worby Other Half 278: Pitch the tale, using your brains to concoct a tale so that the other person will believe it.
[UK](con. 1910s) J.B. Booth Sporting Times 257: Then, to my great embarrassment, William began to ‘pitch the tale’.
pitch (the) woo (v.)

(Aus./US) to utter affectionate pleasantries.

[US]AS XII:3 Oct. 242: Another pastime is pitchin’ the woo, explained as ‘anything from holding hands [...] to talking things over lip to lip with a dash of bitters and a maraschino cherry.’.
J. Archibald ‘Jail, Jail, the Gang’s All Here’ in 10 Detectives Aces Apr. 🌐 She is more refined than all the other cupcakes I have pitched woo to.
[US]Cole Porter ‘Too Darn Hot’ 🎵 I’d like to coo with my baby tonight, / And pitch the woo with my baby tonight.
H. Williams ‘I Won’t Be Home No More’ 🎵 I stood around a month or two / And waited for your call / Now I’m too busy pitchin’ woo / So come around next fall.
[US]M. Ferguson ‘Unstoppable Sl.’ in Columbia Missourian 19 Oct. 1A; 8A: pitching woo – sex.
[US]J. Stahl Plainclothes Naked (2002) 47: He was late to Seventh Heaven because he was pitching woo to a hot murder suspect.
straight pitching (n.)

(UK Und.) working without accomplices.

[UK]A. Mayhew Paved with Gold 363: The only safe plan is ‘straight pitching’ — always be alone at your work.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

pitch a ball (v.) (also pitch a party) [ball n.3 (1)/play on SE]

(US black) to host or enjoy oneself at a party.

[US]H. Sebastian ‘Negro Sl. in Lincoln University’ in AS IX:4 289: pitch a ball. To have a riotous time at any social gathering.
[US]M.H. Boulware Jive and Sl.
[US]B. Jackson Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 119: Say, dad, I heard about you just before your little old fall. / Say, that C-note I sent you, you didn’t lose in a crap game at all. / [They] tell me you pitched a party with some punk named Bess, / tell me you bought that no-good whore a dress.
pitch a tent (in one’s shorts) (v.)

(orig. US) to get an erection.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Fall 4: Omar the tentmaker – one who has an erection. Alludes to Pitch a tent ‘have an erection’.
[UK]Roger’s Profanisaurus in Viz 87 Dec. n.p.: pitch a tent v. To get wood (qv) beneath the bed linen, or conspicuously in ones trousers.
[US]Alt. Eng. Dict. 🌐 pitch a tent in your shorts (phrase) To get an erection. When John saw Mary naked he pitched a tent in his shorts.
[Aus] 🌐 After a rub of the nipple hidden underneath it wasn’t long before I had pitched a marquee in my boxers.
[US] M. McBride Frank Sinatra in a Blender [ebook] I felt her hand on the outside of my jeans, compelling me to pitch a tent in my boxers.
[Aus]me-stepmums-too-fuckin-hot-mate at 🌐 if you’re pitching a tent like that, fuck knows you’re not gonna be doin’ anything other battin’ off.
B . Maher [TV show] 2 June 🌐 So naturally when you [college demonstrators] learned that Israel was an ‘apartheid state’ it gave you such a boner, you luterally pitched a tent .