1. (UK Und.) in the context of theft.
(a) a form of ‘rod’, whereby robbers ‘fish’ items from a shop window; then a tool for breaking the lock of a safe.
|Lives of Most Noted Highway-men, etc. I 255: The Drag, which is, having a Hook fasten’d to the end of a Stick, with which they drag any thing out of a Shop Window in a dark Evening.|
|Confessions of Convict 233: A simple tool, but very powerful and noiseless in its work, is the ‘drag’.|
|Life In Sing Sing 247: Drag. burglar’s tool.|
|Keys to Crookdom 403: Drag [...] Yegg’s tool used to pull out spindle of safe.|
(b) the robbery of vehicles, initially horse-drawn, subseq. motorized; also attrib.; thus done/lagged for a drag, convicted of robbing a wagon or cart; by ext. the actual robber.
|‘Flash Lang.’ in Confessions of Thomas Mount 19: A drag, one that robs a waggon on the high way.|
|Lex. Balatronicum n.p.: The cove was lagged for a drag. The man was transported for stealing something out of a waggon.|
|Vocab. of the Flash Lang. in McLachlan (1964) 237: The drag, is the game of robbing carts, waggons, or carriages, either in town or country, of trucks, bale-goods, or any other property. Done for a drag, signifies convicted for a robbery of the before-mentioned nature.|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 92: But since you’ve been out you’ve learned new names for the game, / such as till-tapping, the carpet, the rope, and the drag, [all con games] which all leads up to one thing.|
|Pimp 71: He was an old ‘Drag’ man, with his bit getting short.|
(c) (US Und.) a theft; also attrib.
|Adventures of Gil Blas (1822) II 205: The pirate seemed to chuckle at so successful a drag.(trans.)|
|N.-Y. Enquirer 30 May 2/4: Catherine Roff, who was implicated in an extensive robbery, last year, was brought up, charged with having made a wholesale drag, at the house of Mr. Jonathan Fay, 66 William-st., where she was a servant.|
|Autobiog. of a Thief 92: ‘Drag’ work is a rather complicated kind of stealing.|
2. as a vehicle, i.e. that which is dragged (by horses or an engine).
(a) a ferryboat.
|Proceedings Old Bailey 7 June 94/1: We helped the Ferry Man to pull up the Drag. [the Ferry-Boat] and we crossed the Water to Lambeth.|
(b) a one- or two-horse wagon or cart.
|New Dict. Cant (1795) n.p.: dragg a waggon, or cart.|
|Dict. Sl. and Cant.|
|Anecdotes of the Turf, the Chase etc. (1827) 220: Coster-mongers in drags went to witness the slaughter.‘A Modern Mill’|
|Harry Lorrequer 71: No sooner did he join that popinjay set of fellows [...] he turned out, what he calls, a four-in-hand drag.|
|Sixteen-String Jack 232: They had at least sixteen six-pounders, all loaded, and pointed at the drag [...] in the event of us refusing to give Jack a lift.|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 30 Sept. 2/4: A cab-driver [...] charging sixpence above his legitimate fare, to the great danger, detriment, and inconvenience of the purse and person of a live Magistrate of the Territory [...] who had condescended to patronise his ‘drag’.|
|Young Tom Hall (1926) 72: We must have the drag overhauled [...] and I vote we have the ballet-girl [...] painted out and a rattling Fox with a ‘tallyho’ painted in.|
|‘Scene in a London Flash-Panny’ Vocabulum 98: Jumping Jack, who was done last week, for heaving a peter from a drag.|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 121/2: Tom ’el cum wi’ a good ‘prad’ and ‘drag,’ an’ we’ll aul start off tugether.|
|Hamilton Spectator (Vic.) 7 Jan. 1/7: If he possesses a vehicle, it is invariably a ‘trap,’ or ‘drag;’ and he no longer drives: he ‘tools it’.|
|Life and Adventures of a Cheap Jack 63: Up one of these openings we drew the drag.|
|‘’Arry at the Sea-Side’ Punch 10 Sept. 111/2: Wots the hodds if yer rides in a kerredge, or drives in a double-’orse drag.|
|Truth (Sydney) 20 May 3/1: After listening to your ravings from the box-seat of a drag [etc.].|
|Liza of Lambeth (1966) 20: They’ve got drag startin’ from the ‘Red Lion’ that’s goin’ down ter Chingford.|
|My Brilliant Career 158: It was the drag, and not a sulky. Harold occupied the driver’s seat, and the other occupants were all ladies.|
|Spats’ Fact’ry (1922) 144: He was in the same drag with Bodio and Nettie Mulholland.|
(c) a type of stagecoach, drawn by four horses, with seats on top.
|Vocab. of the Flash Lang.|
|Tom Crib’s Memorial to Congress xiii: Thespis having first performed in a drag. [...] The Flash term for a cart.|
|Memoirs (trans. W. McGinn) III 75: You should have had a drag to whisk off the swag in.|
|Bell’s Life in London 7 Apr. 3/1: They were accompanied by a respectable train of ‘swell drags’.|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 1 Feb 2/6: [heading] A cheap commopdious and slap-up drag.|
|Pendennis I 180: So reckless was his driving and frequent the accidents and upsets out of his drag.|
|Adventures of Mr Verdant Green (1982) I 127: Verdant gave up his name and that of his college with a thrill of terror, and nearly fell off the drag from fright.|
|Ticket-Of-Leave Man Act III: Lark, lush, and a latch-key – a swell rig-out, and lots of ready in the pockets – a drag at Epsom and a champagne lunch on the hill!|
|Knocking About in N.Z. 10: That worthy professional [...] persisted in keeping his trap crawling at a slow pace exactly in front of the four-in-hand drag that Ramsey was driving.|
|‘’Arry on the Road’ Punch 9 Aug. 83/1: ’Twas a bit of a beanfeast, you see, and our lot tooled it down in a drag.|
|Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 29 Nov. 15/2: [A] lovely spring morning, with the sun tooling his golden ‘drag’ [...] o’erhead.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 14 Mar. 10/3: He starts for his scholastic class / Upon the Sydney shores; / When at the ferry he is met / All by a drag and four!|
|Sporting Times 30 Jan. 7/1: There are some very pretty champagne and chicken practice to be made at the numerous drags there [i.e. Ascot race course] assembled.|
|Trilby 232: On the box seat of a nobleman’s drag.|
|‘Sam Holt’ Old Bush Songs 72: They say you’ve ten thousand per annum, Sam Holt, / In England, a park and a drag.|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 8 Apr. 4/8: We started away from the worf in a four-’orse drag.|
|(con. 1830s–60s) All That Swagger 83: Young Butler was detaching the drag.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
(d) a hand-cart.
|Kendal Mercury 17 Apr. 6/1: Sooner than murder my carcass vith that there faik, I’d scrape about the streets vith a drag (hand cart).|
(e) a prison van, a Black Maria.
|(con. 1900–30) East End Und. 282: The drag – The Black Maria. Prison van. ‘The bleeding drag’s a long time coming,’ you might say when you were waiting in the cells to be taken to prison.in Samuel|
(f) a motorcar, thus vehicles in general.
|(con. 1910–20s) Hell’s Kitchen 118: Drag ... vehicle.|
|Life and Death at the Old Bailey 63: To-day smash and grab bandits call a stolen motor car a ‘crooked drag.’ A motor car genuinely owned by a raider is a ‘straight drag’ [...] A ‘bizzie drag’ is a flying squad car from Scotland Yard.|
|Bang To Rights 188: All I want is enough money to live on and a nice place to live and maybe a little drag.|
|Signs of Crime 181: ‘Get in the drag’ means get in the car.|
(g) (US tramp) a (slow) freight-train.
|AS II:9 388: A freight is called a drag. Dise-drag (merchandise), silk-drag, coal-drag, fruit-drag and slow drag result from this word.‘Argot of the Vagabond’ in|
|Milk and Honey Route 204: Drag – A long, slow-moving freight train.|
|DAUL 61/2: Drag. [...] 3. (Hobo) A slow freight train.et al.|
|(con. 1920s) Legs 13: I want to get into Saskatoon in time to catch a drag to Winnipeg in the afternoon.|
(h) a van.
|Sharpe of the Flying Squad 330: drag (a) : A van.|
|Signs of Crime 181: Drag [...] (b) a van.|
3. (US Und.) a prisoner.
|Autobiog. (1930) 292: Drag a prisoner.|
4. (Scot. Und.) a watch chain.
|Autobiog. 20: We observed a conish cove, who sported an elegant dross-scout, drag, and chats.|
5. a period of imprisonment lasting three months; but note cites 1835, 1894, 1941.
|‘The Slap-Up Cracksman’ in Swell!!! or, Slap-Up Chaunter 42: Who would / [...] / Stow a chum within a drag; / Or Norway neckcloth’s knot.|
|Worcester Herald 26 Dec. 4/3: a drag, twelve months.|
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor I 219/2: Sometimes they are detected, and get a ‘drag’ (three months in prison).|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 10/1: He thought himself very lucky to get off with a ‘drag’ (three months in ‘sturbin’).|
|‘Autobiog. of a Thief’ in Macmillan’s Mag. (London) XL 501: A reeler came up to me and rapped (said) ‘Now — , you had better go away, or I shall give you a drag (three months in prison)’.|
|Jottings from Jail 24: Kit, from 7 dials, remanded innocent on 2 charges of pokes, only out 2 weeks for a Drag, expects to get fullied or else chucked.|
|Tales of Mean Streets (1983) 151: The case was met with three months with hard labour, and for all that Scuddy Lond had so clearly pointed out the sole culpability of Drink, he had to do the drag himself.|
|Truth (Sydney) 18 Mar. 4/8: ‘I can give you six months,’ says he [i.e. the magistrate] and I thought what a terrible time I would have doing a ‘drag’ in a West Australian ‘jug’ .|
|Twenty-Five Years of Detective Life I 49: They had them at the Police Station where they locked me up for my ‘drag’.|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 16 Sept. 4/7: They parst me a drag for peltin’ it at ’im.|
|Illus. Police News 19 Jan. 12/4: ‘My pal Bond, the Butcher, who is now doing a drag (three months)’.Vultures of the City in|
|Truth (Brisbane) 22 Jan. 10/4: To the prisoner [...] a sentence of one month is a ‘moon’; of three months a ‘drag’; of six months, a ‘sixer’ or ‘zack’; twelve months a ‘stretch’; and five years a ‘fin.’.|
|World of Living Dead (1969) 83: ‘How long?’ I muttered [...] ‘Stretch — two-drags — coomyerlative. Three charges agin’ me — righteous, vag, an’ resistin’.’.|
|Advertiser (Adelaide) 12 Apr. 24/8: ‘Drag’ means three months imprisonment.in|
|(con. 1910–20s) Hell’s Kitchen 118: Drag ... three months’ imprisonment.|
|Foveaux 291: Jamieson had collected on aggregate charges what a more hardened gaol-bird would call a ‘drag’ or three months.|
|Phenomena in Crime 255: A drag. Six months’ imprisonment.|
|Joyful Condemned 19: Julie won’t be back for another two months. She got a drag — three months.|
|‘Whisper All Aussie Dict.’ in Kings Cross Whisper (Sydney) xxxiv 4/3: drag: A small prison sentence usually about three months.|
|He who Shoots Last 3: ‘Don’t mind a bit of corn myself. Look like doin a drag wen I front tomorrow,’ was the boastful reply.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 26 Apr. 44: ‘Whatyer get?’ ‘A drag.’.|
|Ridgey-Didge Oz Jack Lang 25: Drag Three months or less in gaol.|
|Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. [Internet] Drag. 1. A three month prison sentence.|
6. something along which one is ‘dragged’ or ‘drags oneself’.
(a) a street; also attrib.; thus main drag n. (1), the main street; back drag, back street.
|Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 33: DRAG, a street, or road; back-drag, back street.|
|, ,||Sl. Dict. [as cit. 1859].|
|Secrets of Tramp Life Revealed 8: Drag ... Name of a Street.|
|High School Aegis X (15 Feb.) 2–3: He wuz de swiftest scrapper on de drag.‘’Frisco Kid’s Story’ in|
|Complete Short Stories (1993) I 688: The drag, my dear fellow, is merely the street.‘Local Color’|
|AS II:9 390: A street is a drag (from the railroad term).‘Argot of the Vagabond’ in|
|‘Sl. among Nebraska Negroes’ in AS XIII:4 Dec. 316/2: Twenty-fourth Street in Omaha is known as the drag or the main stem.|
|Dead Ringer 103: Want a drink [...] At the tavern a block down the drag, where we were the other night?|
|DAUL 61/2: Drag. 1. A street, avenue, or road.et al.|
|Where the Boys Are 5: Build the loveliest drag strip in history and put our hot-rodders on it.|
|San Diego Sailor 28: After a while he told me we were on a drag they call the Strip.|
|Stand (1990) 1358: He parked on the main drag.|
|Always Running (1996) 63: A straight drag south on the San Gabriel River freeway.|
|Scotland on Sun. Mag. 7 Nov. 16: Friday night down the drag.|
(b) a long distance, which will make for tedious travelling.
|‘Jargon of the Und.’ in DN V 444: Drag, (2) A long, disagreeable ride.|
|Long Good-Bye 33: It’s a long drag from Tijuana and one of the dullest drives in the state.|
|Start in Life (1979) 100: To deaden the long drag back I bought a newspaper, sat up front on the top deck.|
(c) (US tramp) a railroad line.
|Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 66: Drag.- [...] a railroad line.|
|Living Rough 236: My clothes were clean, but shabby with riding the drag.|
|World’s Toughest Prison 797: drag – a railroad line.|
7. any person or object that fig. impedes progress.
(a) a disappointment, a pity, a nuisance, a task that one has no desire to perform; a bore.
|Annals of the Army of the Cumberland 61: ‘General, you are leading a hard life,’ we remarked [...] ‘Yes, rather hard, and if this life were all, it would be a wretched drag.’.|
|Bill Nye and Boomerang 168: Until women’s suffrage came among us, life was a drag – a monotonous sameness, and simultaneous continuousness.|
|Amateur Cracksman (1992) 9: What you want is a drag, my boy.|
|[||(?)‘Drifting Apart’ in Roderick (1972) 604: They [i.e. children] were an awful drag in the city].|
|Marvel 17 Apr. 14: ‘I’ve been a terrible drag on you.’ ‘You – a drag?’ he cried [...] ‘You’ve been a little angel to me!’.|
|Pittsburgh Courier (PA) 30 July 11/1: The trek here was a drag because we latched onto one of those [...] rattlers that stopped at every shack on the line.|
|Pittsburgh Courier (PA) 10 Feb. 7/1: Hi Billy — I hope you won’t dig me as being a drag in layin’ this line on you.|
|Really the Blues 31: Wham, I woke up to find myself in jail again. It was getting to be a drag.|
|Picture Post 15 Jan. 20: I didn’t want pregnancy to become a drag.|
|Pulling a Train’ (2012) [ebook] Who needs the Taj Mahal when it’s a drag to live at all?‘Sex Gang’ in|
|Felony Tank (1962) 125: When this gets to be a drag we’ll steal a car and cut out.|
|All Night Stand 15: It would be a drag to try and save one for Mick.|
|Requiem for a Dream (1987) 7: The neighborhood was absolutely [...] black [...] This was the only drag about copping from Brody.|
|London Fields 118: ‘It’s a nightmare sitting through that stuff. It’s dead, dead.’ ‘Is it necessarily such a drag?’.|
|Hip-Hop Connection Dec. 20: I didn’t want to stay in Queens, it would be a big drag.|
|Mystery Bay Blues 251: Move into a motel. That’s going to be a nice drag just for one night.|
|Nature Girl 72: School’s a drag.|
|Life 287: It was a reakl drag to wake up every day with these bluebottles around your door, these bobbies.|
|The Force [ebook] ‘Come on, baby, don’t be a drag. Dance with me’.|
(b) a lie, a deception.
|Hiparama of the Classics 17: Some claim that Brutus’s story was a drag, / But I dug the story was solid!|
(c) (also dragger) of a person, a disappointment, a hanger-on, a pest.
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 23 Feb. 3/1: Mr. Gough, a gentleman who is studying the Law, and a regular drag, was plaintiff.|
|Tea Table Talk I 106: I should like to have Mrs. Sheridan at my music on Tuesday, but then There’s that drag of a husband .|
|N.Y. Press 8 July in Stallman (1966) 64: Binks [...] replied with a look that called his wife a drag [...] the weight of his existence.in|
|DN II:i 32: drag, n. A bore.‘College Words and Phrases’ in|
|Foveaux 206: He says to tell you not to think we’ll ever be a drag on him.|
|Loving (1978) 85: Well I’ve got to take those little draggers out this afternoon.|
|Entrapment (2009) 143: What a drag a woman with a habit can be [...] what a day-to-day burden—.‘Watch Out for Daddy’ in|
|Junkie (1966) 29: If you get known to be a ‘drag’ [...] you can’t do business.|
|Viper 15: I had nothing aganst drugs [...] it would have been square to be antagonistic towards them [...] I should have been a ‘drag’.|
|All Night Stand 85: You’re a bleedin’ drag sometimes.|
|Faggots 162: Sleep was for lazies [...] and the plainly slags and drags.|
|Da Bomb Summer Supplement 5: Drag [...] (n.) 2. Someone who is boring, lazy and not fun to hang around with.|
(d) (US black campus) an old-fashioned person.
|Jive and Sl.|
(e) a depressing atmosphere.
|Naked Lunch (1968) 30: There is no drag like U.S. drag.|
|Last Exit to Brooklyn (1966) 63: The oldlady almost put a drag on the party by diggin up a record with some dame singin Because.|
(f) of drugs, second-rate.
|House of Slammers 88: I need the best I can find. / So you cop me a bag, and if it ain’t no drag, / I’ll let you cop some mo’e.|
8. in the context of clothing, which ‘drags along’ the ground, and ext. uses [orig. theatrical use, which stressed the drag of a long dress along the floor, as opposed to tight-fitting trousers. The first OED citations (1870) imply fancy dress; gay refs. not overt until 20C].
(a) female dress as worn by men, but not in a homosexual context, e.g. on stage.
|Reynold’s 29 May n.p.: ‘Police Proceedings.’ [...] We shall come in drag, which means wearing women’s costumes [F&H].|
|Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 117/1: Drag (Theat.) Petticoat or skirt used by actors when playing female parts. Derived from the drag of the dress, as distinct from the non-dragginess of the trouser.|
|Miss Knight (1963) 62: I wuz at the Y.M.C.A. – in drag you know – some outfit I had too, stars and spangles and jewels all over me.|
|Scarlet Pansy 136: Miss Savoy, the notorious impersonator came sailing by, in a grand drag.|
|Tambourines to Glory Prologue: I put on drag sometimes.|
|USA Confidential 93: [It] specializes in shows in drag with men made up as women.|
|Real Bohemia xi: He became known as [...] ‘Margaret Mead in drag’.|
|Mr Madam (1967) 31: I played ‘house’ with Connie and dolled up in my drags.|
|Semi-Tough 175: What’d he say? The Catholics were Baptists in drag?|
|Outside In I ii: They all looked like men. Even the screws. I thought they were men in drag.|
|(con. 1930s)Boots of Leather (2014) 41: ‘The boys were doing a drag show and someone tipped the police off [...] They let the show go on all the way right up to the end [...] with the girls [...] in their drag and everything.|
|Never a Normal Man 170: Plucked eyebrows, the black mascara and the scarlet gown worn on special occasions, the only sign of the ‘drag’ deplored by the Australians in the train.|
|Where Dead Voices Gather (ms.) 296: The song was being performed by the blackface vaudeville team of Baker and Farrell – one of them in proto-Jemima drag – when it was heard by Chris Rutt, a man in search of a name for his new self-rising pancake mix.|
(b) female dress as worn by homosexual males; also male dress as worn by lesbians.
|Worm in Bud (1969) 463: He tells me you are living in drag [...] the thought of you – Lais and Antinous in one – is ravishing.letter in Pearsall|
|Sl. Dict. 149: Drag feminine attire worn by men. A recent notorious impersonation case led to the publication of the word in that sense.|
|Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 117/1: Drag [...] Also [the name] given to feminine clothing by eccentric youths when dressing up in skirts.|
|Vocab. Criminal Sl. 30: drag [...] Amongst female impersonators on the stage and men of dual sex instincts ‘drag’ denotes female attire donned by a male. Example: ‘All the fagots (sissies) will be dressed in drag at the ball tonight’.|
|Drag (1997) Act II: I’ve got the most gorgeous new drag. Black satin, very tight, with a long train of rhinestones.|
|Scarlet Pansy 166: They visited Atlantic City in time to attend the famous Iceman’s Ball, noted far and wide for the fashionable drags displayed. [Ibid.] 186: Fay had decided to be brilliant and go as a queen. She had with her a drag – ‘Something gorgeous, simply devastating,’ Percy Chichi called it.|
|Diaries 31 Jan. 21: It was a very good show — quite gay in parts, with some lovely, oh luvly camping and drag!|
|Naked Lunch (1968) 218: Some of these girls [...] are really boys. In uh drag I believe is the word???|
|Up the Junction 83: ‘Drag’ they call that, you can get three years for it ...|
|Hellhole 234: In addition to ‘stud broads,’ who dress in ‘drag,’ there are others who [...] can ‘take or leave drag clothes, not have to depend on clothes to make the man, you know.’.|
|Dopefiend (1991) 266: Donna Jean, a sissy, who worked in drag.|
|Alice in La-La Land (1999) 214: Seventy, eighty per cent of the hookers are faggot transvestites or homos in drag.|
|Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. [Internet] Drag. 2. To dress ‘in drag’, i.e. for male to don women’s clothing.|
(c) a party held en travesti (cf. drag ball ).
|L.A. Times 14 Nov. II 8: He said that the members sometimes spent hundreds of dollars on silk gowns, hosiery, etc., in which they dressed at sessions of this club. He said that at these ‘drags’ the ‘queer’ people have a good time, but no one could get in without being introduced by a member in good standing.|
|Transcript Foster Inq. in Perverts by Official Order (1989) 42: A ‘big drag’ where Goldstein said liquor and ‘snow’ would be served.|
|Gay/Lesbian Almanac (1983) 440: A drag, a social gathering of homosexuals at which some are in female dress.Manual of Psychiatry in Katz|
|Scarlet Pansy 186: The Percival Beach-Bütsches gave a drag the next night under the protection of the people higher up.|
|Cecil Beaton’s N.Y. 174: Sometimes a ‘Drag’ (or costume ball) is announced.|
|Homosexual in America 129: O, I just don’t know what I’m going to wear to the drag!|
(d) (US/Aus.) a party (with no specific gay overtones).
|Broadway Brevities Dec 33: Dear Vesk: For God’s sake don’t forget there’s a drag on tonight.|
|Literary Digest 14 Mar. 65: College dances are often called ‘drags’ [HDAS].|
|Hist. Jazz 115: The cotillion orchestra and polite quartet that accompanied high society drags [OED].|
|DSUE (8th edn) 338/1: ca. 1925–30 . . . since ca. 1950.|
(e) (US gay) a homosexual man dressed in female clothing, a drag queen n. (1)
|Born to Be (1975) 218: Must I turn drag, eh?|
|Strange Brother (1932) 210: The Drag Ball [...] was a great masquerade party to which men went in fancy dress — went in the costumes of women. The men, so dressed, were called ‘drags’ [...] The men dressed in what Harlem calles ‘drag,’ men in the garb of women.|
|DAUL 61/2: Drag. [...] 4. A man in feminine attire; feminine attire worn by a fag.et al.|
|City of Night 286: My dear, the Most Fabulous Drags in the world go there [...] and the simply butchest numbers.|
|Quiet Fire 77: This bitch drag screwed me.|
|Boys from Binjiwunyawunya 194: He brings me in bottles of perfume and make-up [...] and I swap it with the drags for a polish.|
|Rent Boy 67: Big drags in sequins doing bad lip-sync.|
|Sydney 199/2: Women and drags shouldn’t bother.|
(f) (US) a bar that caters primarily to a gay clientele.
|Decade 317: The John Laws are knocking over cathouses, clip-joints, [...] call apartments, drags.|
|America’s Homosexual Underground 133: I’ll never forget those Harlem drags during prohibition.|
(g) clothing in general; a costume, a disguise.
|Absolute Beginners 32: I had precisely my full teenage drag [...] the gray pointed alligator casuals, the pink neon pair of ankle crêpe nylon-stretch, my Cambridge blue glove-fit jeans, a vertical-striped happy shirt.|
|Through Beatnik Eyeballs 19: Had me these three rag-dolls which I plainly brought to life. Gave them handles and ages, made them cute little drag.|
|‘5:15’ [lyrics] He-man drag in a glittering ballroom, greyly outrageous in my high-heeled shoes.|
|(con. 1940s) Hold Tight (1990) 189: Just because you’re in sailor drag [etc.].|
|Indep. on Sun. Culture 11 July 2: It’s also easy to see the Soho gangster’s posturing as a form of macho drag.|
|Destination: Morgue! (2004) 328: Tim rang the bell. A full-drag dune coon opened up.‘Jungletown Jihad’ in|
|Tag, Rag & Co. 241: Billy produced the creature from an inner pocket of his waistcoat [...] it was used merely as a draw, or ‘drag,’ to get a crowd about him before he commenced real business.|
|Billy Baxter’s Letters 68: At the hotel Johnny claimed I had a drag because I drew a room with a window in it.|
|Forty Modern Fables 40: He thought very well of his Drag.|
|Atlanta Constitution 29 Aug. 42/3: You are known to have a cast iron drag and no cop ever tries to get your place.|
|Broadway Melody 79: ‘I’ll see what I can do with Zannie,’ said Eddie, carrying on the bluff that he had a drag with the mighty glorifier.|
|(con. 1920s) Studs Lonigan (1936) 257: We can get drag through my old man, who’s sergeant down at Fiftieth.Young Manhood in|
|Look 18 Sept. 6: Have the Marines and th Army got ‘drag’ with you?|
|Little Men, Big World 92: With the Commissioner out, anybody with enough drag and money can operate, not just us.|
|(con. 1930s) Lawd Today 77: He got a drag with the Colonel.|
|Stand (1990) 239: You’ve got real drag.|
10. a draw, puff or drink.
(a) a puff of a marijuana cigarette; thus give a drag v., to pass a marijuana cigarette; take a drag v., to take a puff on the cigarette.
|TAD Lex. (1993) 33: With that the old sport took another drag on the dope stick and faded away in the darkness.in Zwilling|
|Sister of the Road (1975) 120: He lit one right there and [...] After a few short drags he handed it to me.|
|These Were Our Years (1959) 270: I’d take a last drag on the Sweet Caporal.‘Come Quick, Indians!’ in|
|‘Konky Mohair’ in Life (1976) 107: When hustlers are dealing in zeroes / And thoroughbreds treated unfair, / They all take a drag on their reefers / And say prayers to St. Konky Mohair.et al.|
|Street Players 8: Earl took a slow drag from his reefer before answering.|
|Native Tongue 22: He took another drag.|
|Indep. 25 Jan. 2: He had smoked cannabis but found it an unpleasant experience: ‘I’m not a smoker, you’d try a drag and all you’d do is cough’.|
(b) a puff of a cigarette; thus the cigarette itself; thus drag v., to smoke.
|Vocab. Criminal Sl. 30: drag [...] an inhalation of smoke, tobacco or opium.|
|This Side of Paradise 58: The ponies took last drags at their cigarettes and slumped into place.|
|(con. 1910s) Studs Lonigan (1936) 6: He took a last drag at his cigarette.Young Lonigan in|
|Farewell, My Lovely (1949) 167: I took another drag on the cigarette.|
|From Here to Eternity (1998) 153: ‘A drag,’ Clarke said. ‘Gimme a drag.’ [...] Clarke took it gingerly and sucked, burning his fingers.|
|Cannibals 24: I took another drag on the cigarette.|
|Puberty Blues 11: Give us a drag Sue.|
|Janey Mack, Me Shirt is Black 98: Craven A cigarettes were made specially to prevent sore throats and the David Allen bill boards had a picture of an opera singer having a few drags before going on stage to sing his final aria.|
|Pulp Fiction [film script] 2: The Young Man takes a drag off his smoke.|
|Experience 105: She was never a serious smoker [...] she takes a drag then puffs out quickly.|
|Acid Alex 103: All entjies were called drags.|
|Running the Books 154: He took an anguished drag of his cigarette.|
|Locked Ward (2013) 126: Later I was having a drag when Alfred came into the Smoke Room.|
(c) a gulp or mouthful of alcohol.
|I Like ’Em Tough (1958) 136: He [...] took a long drag at the beer can.‘Deadlier Than the Mail’ in|
(d) (UK prison) a cannabis or cannabis/tobacco cigarette.
|Whelks and the Chromium (1968) 126: She is indulging in a reefer or, put it another way, a drug-soaked drag.|
|One Day of the Year (1977) II iii: mum: What are y’doin’ in there? hughie: Smoking a reefer [...] Having a drag. Marijuana.|
|Crime in S. Afr. 82: The youths meet at cinemas to smoke their ‘drag’ or dagga cigarettes.|
|‘Prison Language’ in Michaels & Ricks (1980) 525: Cannabis indica [...] might be smoked in an African Woodbine, drag, reefer, stick, or sausage.|
|Juvenile Delinquency 290: The man popped a cap at cuzz while he laid a drag on a freak sitting on the benzo.|
11. (US) a share of money [what one ‘drags in’].
|Road 202: I had a sneaking idea that he got a ‘drag’ out of the constable fees.|
|Phila. Eve. Bulletin 5 Oct. 40/3: Here are a few more terms and definitions from the ‘Racket’ vocabulary: [...] ‘drag,’ a share, influence.|
|Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 66: Drag. – [...] loot.|
|World’s Toughest Prison 797: drag – Loot.|
12. one who ‘drags’ or is fig. ‘dragged along’.
(a) (US campus) a toady, a parasite, a flatterer.
|DN II:i 32: drag, n. One who tries to curry favor.‘College Words and Phrases’ in|
(b) (US) a young woman who is being taken to a party.
|Judge (NY) 91 July-Dec. 31: Drag - The girl you escort.|
|AS III:6 453: Drag — to escort; the girl being escorted.‘Midshipman Jargon’ in|
|AS VII:5 331: drag — n. —in fluence; a partner, usually at a dance.‘Johns Hopkins Jargon’ in|
|Dict. Service Sl. n.p.: drag . . . a date with a girl.|
|AS XXX:4 303: drag [...] 2. Girl taken on a date.‘Wayne University Sl.’|
|Current Sl. V:3 16: Drag, n. A young lady whom a Cadet is escorting.|
|Long Gray Line (1990) 108: The life of a ‘drag,’ as a cadet called his date, was an odd lot.|
(c) (US) a girlfriend, a young woman.
|Deadly Streets 181: In the Poppers, when a drag ties up with a stud, she carves his initials in her [...] arm.|
|Web of the City (1983) 35: You see my drag?|
13. pertaining to dancing.
(a) a slow dance or the music that accompanies it; occas. as verb (see cit. 2000).
|‘Walkin’ the Dog’ [lyrics] Do that slow drag ’round the hall.|
|‘The Chicago Gouge’ [lyrics] Down at a Chitlin rag, / They played a fiddlin’ drag.|
|Mules and Men (1995) 140: The piano was throbbing like a stringed drum and the couples show-dragging about the floor were urging the player on to new lows. [Ibid.] 173: Play some music, Jim, y’all over dere, and less dance some mo’. Nunkie wants tuh pick uh fight with Who Flung. Play us uh slow drag.|
|Big Book of Swing 124: drag: a dance.|
|Shake, Rattle and Rock [film script] Nothing braces me up like a good drag across the slag with a hag.|
|Jazz; Quarterly of Amer. Music Winter 25: By that name or other names (‘ditties,’ ‘slow drags’) blues were as basic to early jazz as brass bands.|
|Shame the Devil 191: They slow-dragged to Henderson’s ‘Be My Girl’.|
(b) a dance, a party.
|Deadly Streets (1983) 183: Now we had an apartment [...] and we could use it for drags.‘Made in Heaven’ in|
|Web of the City (1983) 16: Out there on a slab because someone had danced with his steady girl at a club drag.|
Pertaining to transvestism
a party held en travesti.
|Miss Knight (1963) 62: I’d been to a drag dance with earrings on.|
|Born to Be (1975) 228: They pay as high as $500 for their gowns to wear in the famous Harlem Drag Balls. These men are of all nations, white and black.|
|(ref. to 1920s) Being Geniuses Together 321: Those who have seen one of those negro ‘drag’ balls knows what they are like.|
|Gaedicker’s Sodom-on-the-Hudson 16: The present version [i.e. of a gay dancehall] is principally active [...] when a drag ball is thrown there.|
|America’s Homosexual Underground 86: The drag ball becomes the highlight of the social calendar [...] for many members of the homosexual underground.|
|(con. 1940s) Hold Tight (1990) 177: ‘What kind of a party is this, anyway?’ ‘A drag ball [...] Isn’t the dress a big enough hint?’.|
a ‘masculine’ lesbian who chooses to dress in male clothing.
|‘Women’s Suits’ on PyramidAtlantic.org [Internet] Another Drag dyke I knew was a woman I worked with at Informix. That particular company had a draconian dress code left over from the CEO’s neurotic childhood, and the program was that men were to dress in a shirt and tie, and women were to wear ‘business attire’ (which meant expensive dresses and womens suits). Candra wore her shirt and tie religiously, and to my knowledge was never given a hassle over how she was interpreting the dress code.|
(US gay) a bar or club that caters predominantly to transvestites.
|(ref. to late 19C) Amer. Madam (1981) 236: I lost some clients who raved about the balls and costumes of the drag joints.|
|Last Exit to Brooklyn (1966) 31: She had worked in some of the best drag joints and had been featured in the professional magazines.|
(gay) a woman who dresses as a man.
|(con. 1965) Mother Camp 100: A drag butch is a lesbian who often, or habitually, dresses in male attire.|
|Queer Sl. in the Gay 90s [Internet] Drag King – A woman dressed like a man.|
|Indep. Rev. 10 Mar. 11: An endless succession of butch lesbians, drag kings, transsexuals and starlets.|
|Sydney 199/2: Drag kings pack their crotches and hit the stage.|
see separate entry.
1. to get dressed (up).
|Through Beatnik Eyeballs 31: I did drag up smart for this guy.|
2. of a homosexual man, to put on women’s clothing and appear en travesti.
|Guardian G2 7 Apr. 5: A few friends suggested that I should drag up.|
(UK Und.) of a man, to wear female clothes for criminal purposes.
|Musa Pedestris (1896) 176: Fiddle, or fence, or mace, or mack; / Or moskeneer, or flash the drag.‘Villon’s Straight Tip’ in Farmer|
(US black) of a female prostitute, to dress as a man in order to attract clients.
|‘The Fall’ in Life (1976) 81: She was a good shot broad and a pro at fraud, / And drag she played like a vet.et al.|
|Vocab. of the Flash Lang.|
|Gale Middleton 1 161: Gammon! I tell ye vonce more; if it’s any thing it’s the drag cove; he ought to have been here afore now.|
the robbery of vehicles.
|Thieving Detected 13: The Drag Lay. It would be impossible to enumerate the many losses the proprietors of waggons have sustained.|
|Lex. Balatronicum n.p.: Drag lay Waiting in the streets to rob carts and wagons.|
|Life and Trial of James Mackcoull 10: In concert with Drake and Williams, committed some extensive depredations on the drag lay.*Cutting trunks or portmanteaux from coaches or carts.|
|Londinismen (2nd edn).|
1. a coachman; a cart or wagon driver; thus swell dragsman, a gentleman who drives a coach [20C+ use is SE].
|Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 70: Drag’s-man, a carman.|
|Anecdotes of the Turf, the Chase etc. 279: He had all the air of a swell dragsman of the first order.|
|Bk of Sports 1: the swell dragsman of ‘the age!’ Or, in plain English, a well-dressed Stage Coachman.|
|‘The New Flare up!’ in Flare-Up Songster in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) IV 279: Now bone and ragmen, sweeps and cabmen, / [...] With motts and culls and heavy dragsmen / [etc.].|
|New Sprees of London 21: [The] infamous Cadgers' Palace, the daily and nightly resort of the most daring cracksmen, dragsmen, schofel pitchers, grigs, pulletts, beggars, and impostors of every grade.|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 28 Mar. 3/1: The timely assistance afforded by the coachman and others [...] enabled the Royal dragsman to take off the wheels, and restoré his drag to its equilibrium.|
|Rogue’s Progress (1966) 37: He took to the whip as a means of living, and was [...] the crack dragsman of the day [i.e. 1830s].|
|, ,||Sl. Dict.|
|Life and Adventures.|
2. a thief who robs goods or trunks from the back of vans or carts.
|Vocab. of the Flash Lang.|
|Doings in London 102: Fellows who ply about theatres at night, called dragsmen [...] are very fond of helping gentlemen into coaches, and paying themselves for their trouble.|
|Dict. of the Flash or Cant Lang. 162/2: Dragsman – one who cuts trunks from the back of carriages. They have a quick horse and a little cart, and drive off with their booty in an opposite direction. They are mostly about New Cross, or any neighbourhood badly lighted, or where there are several cross-roads.|
|Bell’s New Wkly Messenger 9 Mar. 6/2: The several descriptions of London thieves are bludgers and stick slingers, or those who go out plundering with women; star-glazers, or those who cut out shop windows; snoozers, or those who sleep at railway hotels; [...] dragsmen, or those who rob carts.|
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor IV 332/1: This locality is very much infested with pickpockets and also with ‘dragsmen,’ i.e. those persons who steal goods or luggage from carts and coaches.|
|Seven Curses of London 87: A thief who robs cabs or carriages by climbing up behind, and cutting the straps that secure the luggage on the roof – a dragsman.|
|Life and Death at the Old Bailey 62: In Victorian days a man who cut trunks from the backs of cabs and carriages was known as a ‘dragsman’.|
|Spiv’s Progress 62: This was a meeting place of the underworld - screwsmen, conmen, dragmen, pimps, prostitutes, etc .|
a thief who specializes in the robbery of vehicles.
|Great World of London I 46: ‘Sneaksmen’ [...] who sneak off with goods, are ‘drag-sneaks’.|
|London Labour and London Poor IV 25: ‘Drag Sneaks,’ or those who steal goods or luggage from carts and coaches.|
(US drugs) marijuana.
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
|Traffic In Narcotics 307: drag-weed. Marihuana.|
|ONDCP Street Terms 8: Drag weed — Marijuana.|
(US Und.) to wander around or loiter in a town.
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
1. (also go upon the drag) to take up robbing vehicles as a profession.
|Proceedings Old Bailey 25 Apr. 248/1: He called me up, to go upon what they call the Drag.|
2. to follow a cart or wagon in order to rob it.
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
(Aus.) to ask someone for a loan.
|Aus. Lang. 107: Scrounging [...] to put the hard word on [...] to put the drags on, put the nips in, put the fangs in, put the weights on.|
(US black) to deceive, to trick, to hoax.
|Do or Die (1992) 23: He try to run a drag on me.|
(US Und.) to beg on the street.
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|