1. (also deadly) a general intensifier, very, extremely, absolutely, completely.
|Almond for a Parrat 18: Oh he is olde dogge at expounding, and deade sure at a Catechisme.|
|Familiar Letters I (1737) 20 Nov. 186: Many hundreds of them being surprized, and found dead-drunk, the Spaniards came and tore off their Ears and Noses.|
|Night-Walker IV i: Ile ring when I am dead drunke.|
|Church Hist. of Britain VI 268: This Quaternion of Subscribers, have stick’n the point dead with me that all antient English Monks were Benedictines.|
|Eng. Rogue I 345: By accustoming them to be dead-drunk [he] shewed them the way to contemn death.|
|Wooden World 94: It’s a fortunate Day indeed, if he gets him dead drunk.|
|Narrative of Street-Robberies 47: He being dead drunk, when he hid them, he had quite forgot his cautiously putting them on the Bed’s-Head.|
|Ipswich Jrnl 21 Feb. 3/2: A Strong Water Shop [...] opened in Southwark, with this inscription on the Sign: Drunk for a Penny, Dead Drunk for Two pence.|
|Life of Jonathan Wild (1784) IV 281: Our crew were all dead drunk with the brandy.|
|‘Whiskey Friskey’ in Songs n.p.: For a man when dead drunk is as great as a King.|
|Burlesque Homer (4th edn) II 54: A round dozen pipes they sunk, / And then return to town dead drunk.|
|Adventures of Gil Blas (1822) II 89: Both of them overtaken in their cups, and not dead, but dead drunk.(trans.)|
|Life of an Actor I i: I am dead perfect in the part.|
|Old Booty! 36: The crew and I were dead – dead drunk!|
|Leeds Times 3 Oct. 7/6: Some get dead drunk, blind drunk, aye, in the gutter.|
|Big Bear of Arkansas (1847) 77: You’ve got to look me right dead in the eye.|
|Swell’s Night Guide 77: You is dead nuts on the chummy’s date; and she gives you turnips.|
|Diary of a Forty-Niner (1906) 175: That settled it. He had his hat off, and ‘he’ was a woman dead sure.|
|Curry & Rice (3 edn) n.p.: Then we are told of the hop last night [...] which was pronounced to be ‘deadly lively’.|
|‘Irish Church Question’ in Curiosities of Street Lit. (1871) 84: The place-loving Tories [...] were dead licked.|
|Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 11 Oct. 6/4: ‘I’m dead gone on the darling duck’.|
|Omaha Dly Bee (NE) 28 Oct. 14/5: The ‘ruffian’ was a ‘dead hard man’.|
|Civil & Military Gaz. 19 Sept. (1909) 15: ‘Say, were you ever mashed on a girl? [...] dead, clean gone, head over ears’.‘Her Little Responsibility’ in|
|Independent (Footscray, Vic.) 7 Jan. 2/8: I’m bettin’ on a dead-sure thing.|
|Chimmie Fadden Explains 85: Say, I never knowed de Duchess was such a dead game sport.|
|Pink ’Un and Pelican 167: A dead smooth duck, in the shape of an enterprising company promoter, strolled along.|
|Fables in Sl. (1902) 38: She was going to be Benevolent and be Dead Swell at the Same Time.|
|Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 259: Sam is dead wise to all sorts of stuff.|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 16 Sept. 4/7: The Miners’ Institute [...] What a dead crook joint it was.|
|Sport (Adelaide) 3 Aug. 14/3: They Say [...] That A dead flash dance class is run on Saturday nights in a local hall with a bit of scran thrown in.|
|London Street Games 142: It’s bound to end in trouble of some kind, for dead certain.|
|Little Caesar (1932) 17: Anyway, he was dead scared of Rico.|
|They Drive by Night 57: You’re dead out of luck, Kiddo.|
|Observer 11 June 2: Dead on the dot of D-Day.|
|Really the Blues 151: He was a strict Catholic and was dead against the muta.|
|Death of a Barrow Boy 142: Export Only. Flawed. Let you ’ave it dead cheap.|
|Madball (2019) 80: ‘Use your head, Mack, that’d be a dead giveaway’.|
|Adolescent Boys of East London (1969) 87: It was the same thing every day – dead boring, dead dull.|
|Dress Gray (1979) 247: In any squad, it would be three or four good beans, three or four take ’em or leave ’em beans, and a couple of dead-ahead fuck-ups.IV|
|Educating Rita I i: Look, I know I take the piss an’ that but I’m dead serious really.|
|Powder 296: Just when I’m dead, dead, dead excited an’ that, you know.|
|Dreamcatcher 75: Supposing he kept pretty much headed dead east.|
|Rubdown [ebook] ‘Suzy was pissed and punched me out.’ ‘Scrag fight? Dead sexy’.|
|Case of Exploding Mangoes (2009) 70: I’m dead tired.|
|Finders Keepers (2016) 281: I’ll tell something you can take as a hundred percent dead-red certainty.|
2. (Aus.) of a human or animal competitor, unable or unwilling to challenge for victory.
|Herald (Melbourne) 23 Apr. 3/3: After he had done so they would get the betting tickets from him and take them to the bookmakers and get from them commissions to run the ponies ‘dead’ .|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 18 Feb. 6/8: ‘At Kenso. I’ve seen ’em run dead’.in|
|Four-Legged Lottery 181: The second thing is that stewards must be forced to act against the practice of racing horses dead.|
|Billy Borker Yarns Again 49: Being a smartie, he decides to run it dead and lay it to the Darwin mugs, see.|
|Amaze Your Friends (2019) 23: The dance game was running deasd but his cabaret show was firing.(con. late 1950s)|
see separate entry.
see separate entries.
(Aus.) a certainty.
|Truth (Sydney) 25 Nov. 6/2: The know-alls assert that Oxide is a dead hook for one of the big events of the coming Randwick meeting.|
(Aus. gambling) of a racehorse, unable to run due to illness.
|Australian (Sydney) 28 Jan. 3/3: Would it be too much to ask, where so much money depends, that a confident committee should be appointed to examine ‘dead amiss’ nags.|
|Bell’s Life in Victoria (Melbourne) 18 Dec. 3/4: Pioneer had gradually got worse from the time he reached Ballaarat, and was in fact ‘dead amiss’ on the day of the race.|
|Aus. Sl. Dict. 23: Dead Amiss, said of a horse that from illness can’t run.|
|Eve. News (Sydney) 15 Oct. 6/4: J. Brown, his trainer, informed me that he was ‘dead amiss’ this morning, and there was no hope of his starting.|
|Dly News (Perth) 25 June 8/4: [H]e was able to keep at work whilst nearly every other horse in the stable was dead amiss.|
|Sun (Sydney) 13 Sept. 51/7: [T]he lad [...] said that when they were walking round the paddock, someone poked the colt with a stick [...] when the colt got home a few days later he was dead amiss.|
(orig. US) completely without funds; also as v. to impoverish.
|Trip Across Plains in California (1955) 29: They are passionately fond of gambling, and never quit the game, until one of the parties is dead broke.|
|‘The Old Shipyard’ in Fred Shaw’s Champion Comic Melodist 58: I’m dead broke to-day, in the old Shipyard.|
|Night Side of N.Y. 37: When any of the others come down upon him for their plunder, he declares himself ‘dead broke’.|
|Galaxy (N.Y.) July 57: ‘Who’s payin’? I’m dead broke?’ ‘What! Cleaned out?’ ‘You bet. But if that dealer hadn’t railroaded, I’d a got square copperin’ the ace.’.|
|Sporting Gaz. (London) 14 Sept. 877/2: [M]en that plunge, buy yearlings and race horses [...] without the faintest idea of paying [...] and when the final pressure is put upon them it is discovered that they are, in their own slang, ‘dead broke’.|
|Letters from the Southwest (1989) 52: He ‘grubstaked’ a dead-broke miner, advancing him about $7 worth of provisions from his little grocery.letter 30 Oct. in Byrkit|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 22 Oct. 18/3: The formation of companies with capitals of a cool million appears to be Queensland’s present fashion of publishing her prosperity, and telling the world she isn’t dead-broke.|
|Forty Years a Gambler 53: He was crippled up with the rheumatism so he could hardly walk, and he was ‘dead broke’.|
|On the Wallaby 293: I’m old Jim Collins—poor old Jim, gone dead broke.|
|Student Sl. in Cohen (1997) 19: dead-broke. Out of money.|
|Boss 291: He’s dead broke; th’ only difference between him an’ a hobo, right now, is a trunk full of clothes.|
|Enemy to Society 46: He had been dead-broke for a year now and drunk most of the time.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 11 Dec. 17/4: ‘Courtin’ Harriet dead-broke me, after all.’.|
|‘The Knight’s Return’ in Chisholm (1951) 86: ‘I ain’t dead broke,’ ’e sez. ‘That night, yeh know, / I was cleaned out uv dough, / An’ – well-so-so.’.|
|K.C. Star 29 Sept. n.p.: Chet Shore came back from his honeymoon dead broke [DA].|
|Come in Spinner (1960) 328: I’m dead motherless broke.|
|letter 29 June in Charters I (1995) 489: Dead broke, crazy in New York.|
|Lucky You 137: What cash? Chub had wondered. They were dead fucking broke.|
|Bad Boy Boogie [ebook] ‘I’d be designing cities instead of convincing dead-broke towns to give us tax credits’.|
(orig. milit.) very bored.
|DSUE (8th edn) 294/1: Services coll., ca. 1950–70; [...] teenagers 1955–9.|
see chuffed adj. (2)
(US) many, a great quantity.
|Innocents Abroad 616: Oh, certainly; the old man’s got dead loads of books .|
|West Point Scrap-Book 234: There is ‘dead-loads’ of smoking tobacco.|
|Aberdeen Eve. Exp. 27 June 4/5: Now, there’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’. There’s dead loads of good chances in that.|
|(con. c.1840) Tom Sawyer 218: She’ll have ice-cream! She has it most every day – dead loads of it.|
|Lincs. Chron. 11 Apr. 4/6: A Detroiter who has just returned from Florida [...] was asked [...] if he any fun with the alligators down there. ‘Yes sir — dead loads of fun,’ he replied.|
|L.A. Dly Herald 10 Dec. 8/2: We have dead loads of them, of all kinds.|
|Ranch (N. Yakima, WA) 14 Apr. 9/2: The boys and the tramps will have dead loads of cherries.|
|DN II:iii 138: dead-load, n. Very much; great quantity. ‘It was dead-loads of fun.’.‘College Words and Phrases’ in|
|New Dict. Americanisms.|
|Seattle Repub. (WA) 19 Aug. 4/2: The numerous campaign speakers have dead loads of hot air that they are giving away.|
|Day Book (Chicago) 11 July 20/1: People will come to Hopeville next season, dead loads of them.|
|Wash. Times (DC) 18 Apr. 8/4: There has been thought, thought and dead loads of thought, to make the building right.|
|Aberdeen Jrnl 24 July 2/3: Dead loads of German casualties.|
see separate entry.
see separate entry.
|(con. 1905–25) Professional Thief (1956) 83: If the copper has made a dead-right pinch, it is hard to square it with him, for there may be witnesses who will make trouble.|
|Bruiser 39: He’s a dead right kid – got all the right instincts.|
|Thicker ’n Thieves 30: If you ever got a dead right steer, you got one tonight, kiddo.|
see separate entries.
(UK, Glasgow) very clever.
|(con. 1920s) No Mean City 218: It amused her that the younger girl should think herself so ‘dead thick’ (wide awake and knowing).|
see separate entry.
(US black) completely, utterly, comprehensively.
|Jives of Dr. Hepcat (1989) 7: The little number will pull you dead to the curb.|