1. (also dumbie, dumby) a dumb (i.e. mute) person.
|Scot. Proverbs (1785) 10: (Jam.) Dummie canna lie.|
|Last Battell of Soule (1629) 1049: (Jam.) All men are lyers, but Dummie cannot lye.|
|Proverbs 268: Dummie (a dumb man) cannot lie.|
|Whiggs Supplication Pt II 22: And in the end these furious Cryers Stood silent [...] like to Dumbies making Signs.|
|Poetical Vagaries 12: Though he had’nt been too hoarse to speak, He was too ugly, even, for a dumby.‘Low Ambition’|
|Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc.|
|Finish to the Adventures of Tom and Jerry (1889) 133: The Duchesses become dummies, and the Countesses do pout.|
|Clockmaker III 135: Says the old Governor, – Mine hears, (which means my dummies, or fellers that hear but don’t speak).|
|Memoirs of a Griffin I 272: I, being a stranger, was inefficient and dummy.|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 17 Mar. 3/3: The two of the force reinforced by a night watchman, ran as hard as two corpses trussed in blue and a dumby could.|
|Dundee Courier 18 Aug. 7/4: Then I put on the dummy dodge, made signs, and wrote on a piece of paper that I was deaf and dumb.|
|(con. c.1840) Huckleberry Finn 251: So him and the new dummy started off; and the king he laughs.|
|DA].New England Nun 172: There, she took that little dumbie out of the poor-house [|
|Philosophy of Johnny the Gent 81: ‘[T]here’s a bug prize fighter around Clancy’s that's deaf an' dumb. [...] They call him “Dummy McGuire”’.|
|‘Dummy’ in Jam. Song and Story 84: There was a man couldn’ talk, called Dummy.|
|Cincinnati Enquirer (OH) 12 May 12/1: ‘’E [...] writes down wich ’e’s deef an’ dumb [...] Thim darn dummies make ut hard pickins fer a guy, don’t they?’.|
|You Can’t Win (2000) 66: What do you do if you bump into a natural dummy when you’re D.D.ing?|
|Deadly Streets (1983) 51: He was the dummy of the gang, the guy everyone trusted because he couldn’t talk.‘We Take Care of Our Dead’ in|
|Pimp 47: The creep was called ‘Fog Horn’ [...] before his trouble made him a dummy.|
|(con. 1962) Stark 14: Dummy, a mute who everyone had avoided in the joint.|
2. attrib. use of sense 1.
|‘Bail Up!’ 151: He had learnt the dummy alphabet, and so could talk to his sweetheart with his fingers.|
|Prison Days and Nights 33: They don’t seem to be able to tell a good guy from a dummy head.|
3. a fool, an idiot.
|Vocab. of the Flash Lang. in McLachlan (1964) 238: dummy [...] a silly half-witted person.|
|Life in London in Bk of Sports (1832) 6: bill put-’em-along, who was every thing but a dummy.|
|Sydney Gaz. 30 Oct. 4/2: That saucy minx, Fan Flirt, whose skits about the ‘dummies’ of the Colony be only sheer envy because she hasn’t the dumps.|
|Bk of Sports 263: [note] In no situation of life to appear like a dummy, and be insensible to the surrounding scene.|
|Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.|
|Scalp-Hunters II 137: I would think less o’ these other dummies not seein’ at a glimp how we kin do it.|
|‘High Low Jacky’ in My Young Wife and I Songster 33: I play the ‘deuce’ with ‘dummies,’ there I have such winning ways.|
|Americanisms 144: The first part of the compound, the adjective dumm, is often used as dummy, not only to represent the absent partner at cards, but also any stupid, silent person.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 25 Apr. 9/3: Among the crowd of performers, who stands out most prominently? We think the acrobats, but our ‘kids’ think differently [...] It is the ‘dummy’ that keeps our ‘darlings’ in a perpetual simmer. He is described on the bills as an ‘idiot,’ but the description doesn’t cover the case.|
|Fables in Sl. (1902) 28: The Dummy at Right needed an Automobile, and the New Man couldn’t jump out of a Boat and hit the Water.|
|Gem 23 Jan. 12: ‘Dummy, then,’ said Mr. Finn grimly. ‘Silly idiot! Dude!’.|
|Smile A Minute 40: Of course, I ain’t exactly a dummy at that, Joe; I know a few odd words of the French.|
|Little Caesar (1932) 66: The damn dummy said the guys that did the job were Poles.|
|Spanish Blood (1946) 190: Lay off, dummy.‘Trouble Is My Business’ in|
|Man with the Golden Arm 132: I married the biggest dummy ever walked in shoeleather.|
|One Lonely Night 31: How simple can people get? Did they take everybody for dummies like themselves?|
|There Must Be a Pony! 67: Sweet Jesus, what could you do with a dummy like that?|
|Sun. Times Mag. 12 Oct. 25: Nobby grew up like any other Manchester kid: a ‘dummy’ at school.|
|Bonfire of the Vanities 248: You’re a couple of real dummies.|
|Workin’ It 209: You’re not a dummy [...] You’re smart and real intelligent.|
|Goodoo Goodoo 259: You’ve been conned, dummy.|
|Random Family 247: There are a lot of dummies up here [...] In the city, they ain’t playing that.|
|(con. 1973) Johnny Porno 16: It’ll go a long way to keeping the dummies run that film around for the wiseguys honest.|
|New Yorker 11-18 July [Internet] So, yes, there are bigots in the Trump movement, and wackos, and dummies.|
4. a dumb animal.
|Morn. Chron. (London) 6 June 1/5: [US source] Though he [i.e. a dog] was only a dumby, all were sad enough at thoughts o’ parting.|
5. a deaf mute, or a tramp or beggar who pretends to be deaf and dumb.
|Mother of the Hoboes 43: The Rating Of The Tramps. 5. Dummy: pretended to be deaf and dumb.|
|Hobo 102: Peggy is a one-legged man. Stumpy is a legless man. Wingy is a man with one or both arms off. Blinky is a man with one or both eyes defected. A Dummy is a man who is dumb or deaf and dumb.|
|Sister of the Road (1975) 301: Beggars [...] may be further sub-divided into groups: a. Blinkey (blind) b. Deafey (deaf) c. Dummy (dumb) d. D & D (deaf and dumb).|
|Great Magoo 59: Next to him is dummy dolan, an undersized, pock-marked bus boy of forty, unable to hear or speak [...] dummy has the dice.|
|Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1986) 53: Singer looked very carefully at his lips when he spoke – he had noticed that before. But a dummy!|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
|Signs of Crime 182: Dummy, a Deaf and dumb person.|
|Stand (1990) 1224: I figured the dummy must be with him [...] and this deaf-and-dumb pulls a gun on me!|
6. (US Und.) a detective.
|Sat. Eve. Post 13 Apr.; list extracted in AS VI:2 (1930) 132: dummy, n. Detective.‘Chatter of Guns’ in|
|Postman Always Rings Twice (1985) 131: He’s my gumshoe man now. She thought she was talking to a dick, but she really was talking to a dummy.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
7. (UK Und.) one who poses (or is unwittingly exploited) as the law-abiding owner of an establishment, e.g. a nightclub, to shield the criminal who is the actual owner.
|Enter the Saint 29: He had discovered quite early in life that there was a comfortable living to be made in the profession of ‘dummy.’.|
|Wkly Times (Melbourne) 7 May 21/5: Referring to his wife, Mortimer said, ‘I used her only as a dummy. She would not stand for anything like this’.|
|Godfather 309: I know the score, you’re just one of the dummies, Vegas is full of them.|
8. (also dummie) a retarded person.
|Jack-Roller 59: Everybody thought there was something wrong with me. They had my head examined to see if I was a ‘dummie’.|
|Riverslake 27: ‘The Dummy,’ Murdoch replied shortly [...] ‘For God’s sake, Dummy, shut up that flaming row in a man’s ear!’.|
|Pop. 1280 in Four Novels (1983) 393: A woman still might have a dummy pour it on her than a normal fella.|
|Choirboys (1976) 137: The old cocksucker probably wanted to go back to Camarillo in the first place just to molest the little dummies.|
|Sweet La-La Land (1999) 138: I asked you to take the dummy for a pee.|
|White Trash 65: Nobody did it better than a dummy.|
9. (N.Z. Und.) solitary confinement; the solitary confinement/punishment cell in a prison (the inmate is forced to be silent).
|Till Human Voices Wake Us 57: He’d think nothing of snooping into the cell of a man doing dummy. [Ibid.] 126: It always ended up in a spell of dummy for abuse.|
|Big Huey 248: dummy (n) Detention unit.|
|Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 41/1: dummy punishment cell in prison.|
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].|
(US tramp) posing as a deaf mute to elicit alms.
|Morn. Tulsa Dly World (OK) 13 June 19/1: Dummy dodge — To pretend you are deaf and dumb for begging purposes.|
|Angel Dust 124: The large number of street names it has been accorded over the years: [...] dummy dust. [Ibid.] 168: ‘dummy dust’ has [...] the worst street reputation because of the small quantities needed to produce stunning reactions that render the user dumbfounded.et al.|
|Campus Sl. Apr.|
|ONDCP Street Terms 8: Dummy dust — PCP.|
(US prison) to refuse to talk.
|Bounty of Texas (1990) 200: ‘Catch a dummy!’ v. – refuse to talk.‘Catheads [...] and Cho-Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy|
(drugs) to lose awareness and coordination through drug use.
|Angel Dust 206: The freaks most frequently reported stumbling or motor impairness, disassociation, ‘dummying out,’ or loss of normal cognitive faculties [...] as major features of the high.et al.|
(US) to stop talking, to be quiet.
|Pimp 169: I’m not feeling worth a damn, so go on the dummy.|