Green’s Dictionary of Slang

short arm n.

also short-arm tail
[similar to third leg under third adj. but note G. Williams (1994) who makes a link to 17C milit. metaphor arms, the genitals]

the penis, usu. found in compounds below.

[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 207: short-arm tail The penis.
[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972) 169: short arm [...] penis.
[Aus]P. Temple Black Tide (2012) [ebook] He was wearing a T-shirt saying Even the Short Arm of the Law is Long.

In compounds

short-arm bandit (n.) [-bandit sfx (2)]

1. (gay) a male homosexual.

[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 155: The sexually dominant prisoner [...] is called short-arm bandit.
[US]Maledicta III:2 233: Still more words of this fucking vocabulary are [...] shortarm bandit (modelled on slot-machine one-armed bandit and Army shortarm inspection, I think).

2. see short-arm heister

short-arm heister (n.) (also short-arm bandit) [heister n.]

(US Und.) a rapist; thus short-arm heist, rape.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 192/2: Short-arm bandit. See Short-arm heister. [...] Short-arm heist. A criminal assault; rape [...] Short-arm heister. A rapist.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 155: The act of rape is a [...] short-arm heist.
short-arm inspection (n.) (also short arm, short arm drill, short arm physical)

(orig. milit.) medical inspection of the genitals; thus short-arm inspect v.

[US]H. Simon ‘Prison Dict.’ in AS VIII:3 (1933) 31/2: SHORT ARM DRILL. Venereal inspection.
[US]W.J. Schira diary 9 July [Internet] Had a short arm inspection on the train. [Ibid.] 10 July Had a short arm this a.m.
[US]H.V. O’Brien diary 13 Jan. in Wine, Women and War (1926) 307: Short arm inspection between vomits. Doctor sicker than patients.
[Aus](con. WWI) A.G. Pretty Gloss. Sl. [...] in the A.I.F. 1921–1924 (rev. t/s) n.p.: short-arm. A medical inspection of the penis.
[US](con. WWI) H. Odum Wings on My Feet 111: Then after ’treat call out for short arm inspection.
[UK](con. 1914–18) Brophy & Partridge Songs and Sl. of the British Soldier 161: ‘Short Arm’ Inspection.—Conducted periodically by the M.O. to detect symptoms of venereal disease.
[US]C.R. Bond 18 Nov. in A Flying Tiger’s Diary (1984) 45: All of us were scheduled for our ‘short arm’ physical today.
[US]N. Algren Never Come Morning (1988) 175: I learned how to short-arm inspect from doctors too.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 10: After the fingerprinting routine and short-arm inspection [...] we were given numbers.
[UK]D. Davin For the Rest of Our Lives 51: ‘Old Sexy just got out of hospital to-day. Remember him?’ ‘The bloke that got it in the tool at Galatos?’ ‘That’s the bloke. And a humdinger he had too. At shortarm inspection the M.O. used to go green with envy.’.
[US](con. 1943–5) A. Murphy To Hell and Back (1950) 60: The first phase of our examination is a short arm.
[US] ‘Ball of the Freaks’ in D. Wepman et al. Life (1976) 110: There was a crowd in the kitchen, a mob in the hall, / A short-arm inspection by the shithouse wall.
[NZ]G. Slatter Gun in My Hand 225: The Blue Light and the doc sourly on the short-arm inspection.
[US](con. 1930s) R. Wright Lawd Today 152: I couldn’t pass the shortarm inspection.
[US](con. 1944) E.M. Nathanson Dirty Dozen (2002) 79: Strip down to your bare asses for a shortarm.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 46: [He] directed us [...] to undress for ‘short arm’ inspection.
[US] in P.R. Runkel Law Unto Themselves 257: Shortarm ’spection is when everybody takes his prick outa your pants and lets ’em check it.
[Aus]D. Ireland Burn 5: The funniest thing was having to stand there on our first short-arm parade right out in the open.
[US]J.L. Dillard Lex. Black Eng. 33: Other Black terms for the penis include arm (compare armed services shortarm inspection ‘examination for veneral disease’).
[US]T. Shibutani Derelicts of Company K 177: Referring to the medical examination of genitals – commonly called the ‘short-arm’ inspection.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 153: GI’s short-arm inspection, i.e., a medical check for VD.
[UK]D. Farson Never a Normal Man 89: At my first monthly ‘short arm’ inspection [...] I dropped my trousers and rolled back my foreskin to reveal a quantity of dried-up semen.