Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bacon n.1

[SE bacon; the role of bacon as the staple meat of peasant England]

1. human flesh, a human being.

[UK]Langland Piers Plowman (B) V line 191: As a lethern purs lolled his chekes [...] And as a bondeman his bacon his berd was unshaue.
[UK]Shakespeare Henry IV Pt 1 II ii: On, bacons, on! What, ye knaves? Young men must live.
[UK]Urquhart (trans.) Gargantua and Pantagruel (1927) I Bk II 358: How happy shall be that man to whom you will grant the favour to embrace her, to kiss her, and to rub his bacon with hers.
[UK]Hogan-Moganides 31: Guddy Allgut did engage At Battabum, the Cornish Hugg, A Buxom Wench, and Jolly Pug, Who oft together scraping Bacon At length they found that she had taken.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew.
[UK]Swift ‘Horace B II Ode I’ in Chalmers Eng. Poets XI (1810) 399/1: Believe me, what thou’st undertaken / May bring in jeopardy thy bacon.
[UK]Smollett Peregrine Pickle (1964) 138: But this condescension was misinterpreted by the other, who [...] asked if Perry was afraid of his bacon.
[UK]‘Peter Pindar’ ‘Peter’s Pension’ Works (1794) II 163: I tremble for his badger’d bacon.
[UK]W. Combe Doctor Syntax, Picturesque (1868) 15/2: Dolly is well disposed, I trow, / To trim her husband’s bacon.
[UK]Lytton Paul Clifford I 157: ‘’T is a market proper for pigs, dear dame,’ said Paul, who [...] did not refuse a joke as bitter as it was inelegant; ‘for, of all others, it [i.e. prison] is the spot where a man learns to take care of his bacon.’.

2. a rustic, a clown; also attrib.

[UK]T. Jordan ‘The Cheaters Cheated’ A Royal Arbor 40: [Stay, prethe who comes here? A gaping countrey Clown] nim.: Ne’re men till now / Were gull’d by such a Costard. fil.: If we meet, I vow / Wee’l bang the bacon bastard black and blew.

3. the genitals.

[UK]Jonson Gypsies Metamorphosed 41: [The Devill] shifted his trencher as soone as he spies the Baud and Bacon By which you may note the Devills a wencher.
[UK]J. Shirley Witty Fair One IV iv: I am untrussing as fast as I can [...] have at your bacon.
[UK]T. Randolph Hey for Honesty III iii: There were many country lobs that, having surfeited on the glory-bacon of their milkmaids’ favours, were fain to repair to the next alehouse for purgations.
[UK]A. Radcliffe ‘Call to the Guard’ in Dryden Miscellaneous Poems (1716) 106: Though their Mouths are poor Pimps / (Whore and Bacon being all / Their chief Food).
[UK]Motteux (trans.) Gargantua and Pantagruel (1927) II Bk IV 271: Those, said Friar John, must needs stink damnably of fish when they have rubbed their bacon one with the other.
[UK]N. Ward Wooden World Dissected 11: He is a great Admirer of a fleet Sailor, and had rather have a good Runner, than a ship of great Force; for if he can’t take, he can leave, and there is no Honour lost, if he can come off with his Bacon.

4. money [the rich fattiness of the meat is a metaphor for wealth].

[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 15: Friend Mr Claus Please gimme one swipe at that Canuck. I need the bacon.
[US]Van Loan ‘A Morning Workout’ Old Man Curry 198: How we goin’ lay up any bacon agin such odds as that?
[US]K. Mullen ‘Westernisms’ in AS I:3 150: One who rustles doesn’t wait to write to his pastor, nor to go back to the hotel for a hankie, but he gets out and ‘throws his legs’ and ‘humps his tail,’ and ‘gets the bacon’.
[US] ‘Jargon of the Und.’ in DN V 437: Bacon, Plunder.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 84: Butter-and-egg men with plenty of bacon.
[US](con. 1950-1960) R.A. Freeman Dict. Inmate Sl. (Walla Walla, WA) 4: Bacon – the plunder garnered from capers.

5. the penis.

[US]Bessie Smith ‘Empty Bed Blues’ 🎵 He poured my first cabbage and he made it awful hot / When he put in the bacon, it overflowed the pot.
[Scot]I. Welsh Filth 234: Come taste the bacon baby, come taste that muthafuckin bacon!
Twitter 20 Nov. 🌐 Bitches Love Bacon.

6. (US) prey, synon. with meat n. (5)

[US]W.C. Scott ‘Take ’Im Alive’ Und. Mag. May 🌐 This here cashier, Cyrus Rathbone [...] who ducked outta th’ Citizens National Bank with twenty grand in currency is our bacon.

7. (US campus) a woman.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr. 1: bacon – good-looking, sexy woman.
[US]Eble Sl. and Sociability 50: Most all groups that cultivate slang, even female college students, create or acquire derogatory words for ‘women’ picturing them as objects (bacon, box, hosebag, slampiece) or as animals (bitch, chick, dog, fox).

8. (US black) the good life, material success [the rich fattiness of the meat is a metaphor for wealth].

[US]T. Thursday ‘Stroke of Genius’ in Top-Notch 1 Apr. 🌐 ‘I’ll bet it’s a contract,’ said I, enthusiastically. ‘Oh, boy! It’s the bacon, all right.’.
[US]R.F. Adams Cowboy Lingo 206: To succeed in one’s efforts of whatever kind was to ‘get the bacon’.
[US]Da Bomb Summer Supplement 1: Bacon 1. (adj.) Something real good.

In compounds

bacon bonce (n.)

see separate entry.

bacon-brained (adj.)


[US]Knickerbocker Gallery 401: [T]he ‘bacon-brained’ boors of the middle ages.
[US]P. Wrede Magician’s Ward : Well, of all the bacon-brained, sapskulled, squirish, buffle-headed nodcocks!
Twitter 27 Apr. 🌐 ‘[B]acon-brained’ is a new one on me.
bacon-faced (adj.)

fat-faced, heavily jowled; thus bacon-face n., a term of abuse.

[UK]J. Day Blind Beggar of Bednall-Green Act II: I’de hang this bacon-fac’d slave orethwart his shanks.
[UK]Middleton More Dissemblers Besides Women IV ii: Faith, then there’s a company of bacon-faces.
[UK] ‘Saint George and the Dragon’ in Rump Poems and Songs (1662) II 181: And take in that Bull-headed, splay-footed Member of Circumcision, / You Bacon-fac’d Jew, Corbet: that Son of Perdition.
[UK]Penkethman’s Jests 94: A strammelling two-handed Harlot, Grenadier-height, and limb’d like a Bacon-fac’d Dutchman.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Aug. VI 269/2: ‘What have you got to say, old Bacon-face?’ said a counsellor to a farmer.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]W.T. Moncrieff Tom and Jerry II ii: But good night, for I suppose as how you won’t stand a drop o’ nothing, old Bacon-face?
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 5: Bacon face — fat chops, full and brawney.
[UK]H.M. Milner Turpin’s Ride to York II vi: He, he – I were thinking that my bacon face and thy calf’s head would make a capital dish.
A.A. Park Book of Jests 11: ‘What have you got to say old Bacon-face?’ [...] ‘Why,’ answered the farmer, ‘I am thinking my bacon-face and your calf’s-head would make a very good dish!’.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]Duncombe New and Improved Flash Dict.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 3 Feb. 3/3: The professional skill of a Peggy-bacon-faced sort of old woman.
[UK]C. Hindley Life and Adventures of a Cheap Jack 24: What do you say, old Bacon-face, that I never got it?
bacon sandwich (n.) [coarse fig. use of SE]

the vagina; one of a number of terms that equate the vagina with raw meat. 🌐 bacon sandwich. female genitalia.
bacon slicer (n.) [the occupation]

a rustic, a yokel.

[UK]Urquhart (trans.) Gargantua and Pantagruel (1927) I Bk I [note]: Bacon-slicer is as much as to say, a worthless fellow, though strictly a braggadochio, a vapourer, a beater of a fast-tied cow, a breaker-down of open doors.
bacon strips (n.)

the labia majora.

[UK]Roger’s Profanisaurus 3 in Viz 98 Oct. 3: bacon stripsn. Female external genitalia, presumably with the word ‘danish’ printed on in blue ink; a ragman’s coat (qv).

In phrases

bring home the bacon (v.) (also bring home the gravy, bring in the bacon, transfer...) [fig. use of sense 4 above/SE]

to deliver whatever is requested and required.

Santa Fe Employees Mag. 354: Dykes says next time he will use his dark ball, which they can’t see, and will bring home the bacon.
[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 15: He will have to go a long way to land him, but he’ll bring home the bacon as sure as you’re wearing a hat.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 11 July 26/1: Thousands of people trained from all parts of the United States to New Mexico, in the cheerful hope that the fireman might by one lucky wallop transfer the bacon from the camp of the black race to that of the white.
[UK]A. Conan Doyle His Last Bow in Baring-Gould (1968) II 796: The man waved a small brown-paper parcel triumphantly above his head. ‘You can give me the glad hand to-night, mister,’ he cried. ‘I’m bringin’ home the bacon at last.’.
[US]C.S. Montanye ‘The Dizzy Dumb-Bell’ in Top Notch 1 Aug. 🌐 He’s an egg that’s brought home the bacon!
[UK]Wodehouse Right Ho, Jeeves 76: It cannot fail to bring home the gravy.
[UK]J. Curtis There Ain’t No Justice 46: I know big blokes, real gamblers. Blokes what’ll speculate a thousand pound on a good chance and you can meet ’em, see. Just so long as you bring home the bacon.
[UK]C. Day Lewis Otterbury Incident 89: Johnny Sharp stopped me and said, ‘Brought home the bacon?’.
[US]Murtagh & Harris Cast the First Stone 163: She does her job, which is to keep our home running smoothly, and I do mine of bringing home the bacon.
[US]I. Rosenthal Sheeper 118: Tall Gary Cooper dikes are comely and well hung. I wish I had a tall G.C. dike to bring home the bacon. Yummy.
[US]J. Ciardi A Second Browser’s Dict. 13: Bring home the bacon [...] 2. To succeed. To triumph.
[Aus]J. Tapp in J. Byrell Lairs, Urgers & Coat-Tuggers xii: [T]he kind of unbridled happiness you’ll get only on the faces of battling owners whose dreams have all just come true inside of the minute or so it took for their neddy to bring home the bacon.
[Aus]G. Disher Kill Shot [ebook] ‘Lazar’s business is failing [...] it isn’t bringing in the bacon’.
cook someone’s bacon (v.) (also fry someone’s bacon)

(US) to ruin, to cause difficulties or unhappiness for someone else.

[US] ‘Richard the Third’ in Rootle-Tum Songster 50: De Duck of Buckingham am taken, / Quickly let us cook his bacon.
[Can]R. Service ‘The Black Sheep’ in Ballads of a Cheechako 101: But the one that cooked my bacon was Grubbe, of the City Patrol.
long bacon (n.)

the gesture of ‘thumbing one’s nose’; thus make/pull long bacon.

[UK]M. Edgar ‘Three Ha’pence a Foot’ 🎵 But neither would budge in the bargain; / When whole daft thing were kind of a jam, / So Sam put ’is tongue out at Noah, / And Noah made ‘Long Bacon’ at Sam.
[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 932/1: pull long bacon. To ‘cock snooks’.
Nelson Almanac 163/1: The Austrians [...] teased their victors with the news, as did prisoners of war in France, who made long bacon at their captors.
R. Giedroyc PCGS (Collectors Universe mag.) 🌐 How many collectors with some experience in the hobby have encountered coins that [...] are down right counterfeits, only to have the guy selling them make long bacon at you when you try to explain to him there is a serious problem with his wares.
make bacon (v.)

1. (Irish) to guarantee.

[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 169: – He doesn’t buy cream on the ads he picks up. You can make bacon on that.

2. (US) to have sexual intercourse [the first recorded ‘citation’ (HDAS) in 1973 is of a T-shirt picturing copulating pigs, captioned ‘Making Bacon’, but note pork v. (2); pork sword under pork n. etc].

[US] oral testimony in Lighter HDAS I.
Simpsons [Fox-TV] She liked makin’ bacon on the beach [HDAS].
pull bacon (v.) (also show bacon)

to thumb one’s nose.

[UK]Household Words 2 Oct. 453: [This] peculiar action has, I believe, almost invariably been described as taking a sight. A solicitor, however, in a recent police case at Manchester, described it as pulling bacon [F&H].
[UK]J. Caminada Twenty-Five Years of Detective Life I 369: Showing me bacon, they placed themselves in all kinds of ignoble attitudes.
[UK]M. Marples Public School Slang 163: To cock (1702) or more usually today to pull a snook ( =nose), to make a gesture of derision by applying the thumb to the nose and extending the fingers [...] known also ( [...] as taking a sight, working the coffee-mill, taking a grinder, pulling bacon, making a long nose and making Queen Anne’s fan.
W.H. Canaway My Feet upon a Rock 197: ‘He did it as you might put your fingers to your nose and pull bacon.’ ‘Pull bacon?’ said the magistrate. ‘Oh, I see. What a revolting expression!’.
Armstrong & Wagner Field Guide to Gestures 132: Some of its most common English monikers are cock a snook [...] make a long nose, take a sight, Queen Anne's fan, Japanese fan, Spanish fan, pull bacon, coffee-mill, and the five-fingered salute.
save one’s bacon (v.) (also save one’s beef) [lit./fig. use of sense 1 above]

to escape safely from a place or situation; thus anton. lose one’s bacon, to fail to escape safely.

[UK]T. Ireland Momus Elenticus 5: Some fellowes there [...] To save their bacon penn’d many a smooth song .
[UK]M. Stevenson Wits Paraphras’d 79: If you shou’d on nice scruples reckon, / I’ll find a way to save your Bacon.
[UK]Motteux (trans.) Rabelais V iv: Your gaol-birds, who [...] warily scour off and come here to save their bacon.
[UK]Hell Upon Earth 10: Such as can read [...] are forc’d (upon the account of clearing the land of Villains) to save their Bacon by Lifting too.
[UK]N. Ward Hudibras Redivivus I:2 21: Before, a Man may be mistaken, / And ’stead of saving, lose his Bacon.
[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy I 161: Then whilst my Capital’s my own, / I’ll make Peace, and save my Bacon.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. II n.p.: bacon, the Prize, or whatever kind which Robbers make in their Enterprizes. He has saved his Bacon; i.e. He has himself escaped with the Prize, whence it is commonly used for any narrow Escape.
[UK] in H. Walpole ballad Letters I (1891) 86: ‘O, ho!’ says Nol Bluff, ‘I have saved my own bacon.’.
[Scot]Robertson of Struan ‘The Careless Good-Fellow’ Poems (1752) 238: Let the poor Herd of German Princes / Their Bacon save.
[US] in F. Moore Songs and Ballads of the Amer. Revolution (1855) 276: We found ourselves mistaken, / And were glad to save our bacon.
[UK]Hereford Jrnl 16 Aug. 4/2: I must here meet my grave. / For my bacon I fancy I never shall save.
[UK] ‘A Pembrochian’ Ode to the unambitious & undistinguished Bachelors’ Gradus ad Cantabrigiam 97: I fear, full many of you must confess, / That ye have barely sav’d your bacon.
[Ire]Southern Reporter (Cork) 14 Apr. 4/1: We [...] contriv’d to save our bacon.
‘Lag’s Lament’ (trans. of an untitled cant poem) in Vidocq Memoirs (1829) IV 265: ‘Stop thief’ vas the cry, and she vas taken, / I cuts and runs and saves my bacon.
[UK]W.T. Moncrieff Heart of London II i: Hasn’t been able to save his bacon for all that.
[US]A. Greene Glance at N.Y. I iv: Ha! ha! ha! we escaped just in time to save our bacon!
[Ire] ‘The New Policemen Of Dublin’ Dublin Comic Songster 51: For nought on earth will save your bacon.
[US]Flash (NY) 26 Sept. n.p.: His wit did not save his bacon.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 6 Jan. 2/4: The pig het my greens and now I’ve cooked his tater and you’ll be hoff too Murphy if you want to save your bacon.
[UK]F.E. Smedley Frank Fairlegh (1878) 130: Well, I thought it was to be a regular case of Herod, and that there would be at least half-a-dozen of them spifflicated, but they all managed to save their bacon.
[Ind]Delhi Sketch Bk 1 Apr. 39/2: And now to save my bacon, I some bouncing fib must tell!
[US]Wkly Varieties (Boston, MA) 3 Sept. 7/1: Prayers won’t save his foul bacon.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 9 June 3/3: Jack, to ‘save his bacon,’ dropped the pork .
[UK]E. de la Bédollière Londres et les Anglais 312/2: bacon, [...] D’un voleur qui a évité les poursuites, on dit : He has saved his bacon (il a sauvé son lard), pour dire : il s’est sauvé.
[US]Schele De Vere Americanisms 630: Save one’s bacon, to, a slang phrase very frequently heard in spite of its objectionable character — for bacon does not mean smoked meat in this case — suggests a lucky escape from danger.
[Ind]H. Hartigan Stray Leaves (1st ser.) 131: There are many men yet alive [...] whose ‘bacon has been saved’ by the old fellow.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 26 Mar. 9/3: We’re afraid that your offer your bacon won’t save, / It is really, dear David, too thin!
[UK]M.V. Fuller Mrs Rasher’s Curtain Lectures 94: I tried hard, but I couldn’t ‘save my bacon’.
[UK]C.J.C. Hyne Further Adventures of Captain Kettle 287: By Jove! Skipper, we’ve saved our bacon.
[UK]E.W. Hornung Black Mask (1992) 142: You’ve saved your bacon.
[Ire]P.W. Joyce Eng. As We Speak It In Ireland.
[UK]G. Formby Sr. [perf.] ‘Animal Language’ 🎵 Though we all thought he was dead / For the farmer cured him - saved his bacon now.
[UK]M. Forrest Hibiscus Heart 234: If he saves his bacon he won’t care whether he’s cooped up or not.
[US]J.D. MacDonald All These Condemned (2001) 140: I might have been able to wriggle things around so as to save my own bacon.
save someone’s bacon (v.) (also save the bacon)

to rescue someone from difficulties; to rescue a situation from disaster.

[UK]T. Brown in Works (1720) I 150: E’en get your Friends, the Jews, to save your bacon.
[UK]A. Smith Lives of Most Noted Highway-men, etc. I 37: I was going to say the same to you, would never save his Bacon again.
[UK]C. Johnson Hist. of Highwaymen &c. 127: That, says Jack, is a common Thread-bare Excuse, and will not save your Bacon.
[UK]H. Howard Choice Spirits Museum 76: And the Pit sav’d the Old Lion’s Bacon.
[UK]‘Geoffrey Wildgoose’ Spiritual Quixote II Bk viii 243: ‘What the Devil do you mean by saving my bacon,’ says Tugwell.
[UK]‘Peter Pindar’ ‘The Lousiad’ Works (1794) I 253: I’ve cook’d up a Petition: This carries weight with it, or I’m mistaken, Shall shake the Monarch’s soul, and save our bacon.
[UK]‘Peter Pindar’ ‘Subjects for Painters’ Works (1794) II 285: They plumply damn’d him for a liar, And said such stories should not save his beef.
[UK]J.G. Holman Abroad and At Home II iv: ’Tis heaven’s mercy I was a likely lad. My beauty has sav’d my bacon.
[UK]W. Combe Doctor Syntax, Picturesque (1868) 54/2: The rascal, if I’m not mistaken, / Will ask his legs to save his bacon.
[UK] ‘The Good Old Days of Adam & Eve’ in Holloway & Black II (1979) 218: Get in rows and have long parleys, / And to save their bacon floor the Charleys.
[UK]M. Scott Tom Cringle’s Log (1862) 105: You know I saved your bacon in that awkward affair.
[US]Southern Literary Messenger Apr. 56 2: His client, who seems to be pretty well up to the business of saving other people’s bacon.
[UK]Wild Boys of London I 331/2: You’ve saved my bacon and I’m your chum.
[Ire]C.J. Kickham Knocknagow 94: Bob never writes letters; and perhaps, as he would say himself, that saves his bacon.
[US]F.E. Daniel Recollections of a Rebel Surgeon 101: He soon decided that if taken by our hands we’d save his bacon.
[UK]Marvel XIV:344 June 12: Just saved their bacon by the skin of their teeth!
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper XL:3 148: Yoo’ sho’ saved my bacon that time, kid. Why, that thar Slashah dawg – he’d of et me alive.
[UK]B. Lubbock Bully Hayes 199: What’s all this about Godeffroy’s traders being chased outer the Line Islands an’ Bully Hayes savin’ their bacon?
[UK]Whizzbang Comics 29: ‘You’ve saved my bacon, boys!’ he cried.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 81: I was down ten quid until the last race, when Firefly came home and saved the bacon, and I went home twelve notes up.
[US]N. Spinrad Bug Jack Barron 29: You finally spat it out, saved the bacon.
[UK]F. Norman Too Many Crooks Spoil the Caper 17: He remembered that I owed him one for the time he saved my bacon.
[UK]T. Blacker Fixx 144: She saved your bacon, God knows why.
[Ire]S. McAughtry Touch and Go 5: Johnny had saved my bacon a good few times on the HQ campus after piss-up balls-ups.
[US]S. King Dreamcatcher 252: You saved our bacon, boss. Thanks.
[UK]Financial Times Weekend Mag. 10–11 Jan. 44/1: All the touring bikes share a new, stiffer frame, and all have anti-lock braking – which saved my bacon when I saw, very late, a speed bump.
[US]L. Berney Whiplash River [ebook] ‘You saved my bacon back there, Shake’.
[UK]J. Meades Empty Wigs (t/s) 618: ‘You don’t know me... but you saved my bacon. Captain Sir. Can’t tell you how grateful I am’.
vertical bacon sandwich (n.)

(US) the labia majora.

[UK]Roger’s Profanisaurus in Viz 87 Dec. n.p.: vertical bacon sandwich n. That which is clearly visible in hamburger shots (qv). Also vertical smile, vertical taco.
[US]Alt. Eng. Dict. 🌐 vertical bacon sandwich labia. Used to describe a particularly hanging vagina.
rtw132 Maureen’s Lusty Confessions 🌐 Won’t you munch of my vertical bacon sandwich... part my beef curtains and have your way with me like a frenzied riding of my hobby horse.