Green’s Dictionary of Slang

prat n.1

also pratt
[? echoic of the buttocks hitting a hard surface; subseq. senses are fig. uses of sense 1]

1. (orig. UK Und.) a buttock, the buttocks; thus praty adj., full or heavy-buttocked.

[UK]Hickscorner Avii: I kepte a fayre shoppe of baudrye I had three wenches that were full praty .
[UK]Harman Caveat for Common Cursetours in Viles & Furnivall (1907) 82: prat a buttocke.
[UK]Groundworke of Conny-catching [as cit. c.1566].
[UK]Dekker Lanthorne and Candle-Light Ch. 1: The Canters Dictionary Pratt, a Buttock.
[UK]Dekker O per se O N3: Their female furies come hotly and smoaking from thence, carrying about them Glymmar in the Prat [...] oftentimes there is Glymmar in the Jocky.
[UK]Dekker Canting Song in Eng. Villainies (8th edn) O2: No Gentry Mort hath Prats like thine.
[UK]R. Brome Jovial Crew II i: First set me down here on both my Prats.
[Ire]Head Eng. Rogue I 51: Prats, Thighs.
[Ire]Head Canting Academy (2nd edn) [as cit. 1665].
[UK]R. Holme Academy of Armory Ch. iii item 68c: Canting Terms used by Beggars, Vagabonds, Cheaters, Cripples and Bedlams. [...] Prat, a Buttock, Thighs.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Pratts, c. Buttocks.
[UK]‘Maunder’s Praise of His Strowling Mort’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 33: [as cit. 1637].
[UK]A. Smith Lives of Most Noted Highway-men, etc. I 209: He taught his Pupil a deal of canting Words, telling him [...] Prat, a thigh.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Pratts, buttocks.
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]‘Two Penn’orth of Shag’ in Fanny Hill’s New Friskey Chanterr in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) III 350: He was smoking his pipe, in one hand very pat, / And with the other was rubbing his prat.
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 73: I pipes her stall to the glaze, and flashed her prat over the sill, and lagged on the pave.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 67/1: Wat way’s this to live, I’d lyke to knoah, wi’ a ‘copper’ runnin’ at a feller’s ‘pratt’ all t’ time he’s out.
[US]H.B. Marriott-Watson in New Rev. 8 July n.p.: We ain’t to do nothing, [...] but to set down upon our prats [F&H].
[US]Jackson & Hellyer Vocab. Criminal Sl. 66: pratt [...] the human rear.
[US](con. 1880–1924) F.J. Wilstach Anecdota erótica 41: Low as a snake’s prat.
[US]E. Dahlberg Bottom Dogs 233: His devil of an old man had driven the horse when he had a rusty nail in his hoof and wouldn’t even move his pratt from his wagonseat to see what was the trouble with the sufferin’ beast.
[US]J. Conroy World to Win 61: Then spake a hard-faced pauper, / Springing up from where he sat: / ‘Ye kin take yer Christmans pudding, sir, / And go stick it up yer pratt!’.
[US]E. Anderson Thieves Like Us (1999) 39: You can shoot a man through the prat with one.
[US]H.A. Smith Life in a Putty Knife Factory (1948) 211: As Pratt’s pratt disappears through various doors.
[US]N. Algren Man with the Golden Arm 335: What was he doing here lying flat on his pratt.
‘On the Street of the Nine Black bastards’ in Banglestien’s Bar n.p.: She scratched her itchy pratt.
[US]‘Ed Lacy’ Men from the Boys (1967) 76: You have a burr up your prat about the kid, I understand that, but...
[US]C. Himes Imabelle 125: It was all he could do to keep from blowing off some chunks of her fancy yellow pratt.
[US]I. Freeman Out of the Burning (1961) 197: Those trying to wax the floor fell on their pratts, giggling.
[US]S. Longstreet Flesh Peddlers (1964) 146: Sid [...] came down howling, tearing at is burning prat.
[US]C. Himes Rage in Harlem (1969) 128: It was all he could do to keep from blowing off some chunks of her fancy yellow prat.
[US](con. 1940s) E. Thompson Tattoo (1977) 193: He again addressed the slop jar, leisurely relieving himself, yawning, scratching his hairy prat through the gap in the back of his long johns.
[US]S. King It (1987) 716: There was a woman who had fallen on her prat in a mudpuddle.
[US]R.O. Scott Gay Sl. Dict. 🌐.
[Can](con. 1920s) O.D. Brooks Legs 215: When he followed I hightailed it for the bush with him at my prat.

2. the vagina.

H. Neville Newes from the New Exchange 3: Her Daughter my Lady Prat […] is resolved to keep up the Trade.
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 107/1: Agility, see prat, quim, and c--t.
[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 124: The Mahatma on Mt. Himavat / Opined as he diddled a cat: / ‘She’s a far better piece / Than the Viceroy’s niece, / Who has also more fur on her prat’.
[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 919/1: C.19–20.
[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak.

3. a tinder-box.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Prat [...] a Tinder-box or Touch-box.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.

4. a young woman.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 919/1: C.20.

5. a general term of abuse; mainly a fool, an idiot.

[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 4 Sept. 3/3: Prats of boys wot backs an ’oss / For half a crown or so; / Wen they should be a singin’ hims / Amd prayin’ doncherknown.
[US]S. Sterling ‘Ten Carats of Lead’ in Black Mask Stories (2010) 236/2: We have to [...] make sure no pratt of a lawyer can beat a conviction.
[UK]J. Orton Entertaining Mr Sloane Act I: Go on, you superannuated old prat!
[UK]G.F. Newman Sir, You Bastard 55: The old prat, she means to please.
[UK]A. Bennett Habeus Corpus Act I: You little pratt.
[UK]P. Reading 5x5x5x5x5 3v: Bleedin college prat.
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘The Longest Night’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] Come on now, don’t be a prat sir!
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Godson 120: ‘So may I offer you a glass of champagne to make up for me being such a prat?’.
[Aus]T. Winton Lockie Leonard, Legend (1998) 47: He was a prat. [...] His mum was having some kind of a meltdown and he was stamping his foot like a complete buttface.
[UK]D. Mitchell Black Swan Green 125: Mrs Thatcher frazzled this twerpy prat in a bow tie on BBC1.
[UK]J. Meades Empty Wigs (t/s) 293: Staff was trying to choreograph this little tableau [...] Prat.

6. (US) a hip pocket; thus prat-digger, a pickpocket; prat frisk, the theft of a wallet from a hip pocket; prat leather, a wallet kept in the hip pocket; prat poke, a wallet stolen from the hip pocket.

[US]Jackson & Hellyer Vocab. Criminal Sl. 66: Pratt, [...] a hip pocket.
[US]G. Henderson Keys to Crookdom 414: Pratt poke. Purse kept in hip pocket. Pratt frisk – stealing such a purse.
[US](con. 1905–25) E.H. Sutherland Professional Thief (1956) 11: I was riding in a streetcar in Chicago when I felt someone put his hand in my prat [hip pocket]. [Ibid.] 17: The word ‘prat’ originally meant ‘buttock’ but has been used by thieves for several centuries to refer to the hip pocket.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 162/2: Pratt, n. [...] 2. (Among pickpockets) The rear trousers pocket area.

7. (US) a young homosexual man.

[US]Maledicta III:2 232: Still more words of this fucking vocabulary are pegboy, per anus, possesh = ‘possession’ of a hobo, pratt, prune pusher (pile driver, etc.).

In derivatives

pratful (n.)

a tiny or insignificant amount.

[UK]G.F. Newman Sir, You Bastard 122: Who d’you reckon’s going to worry a pratful about you?
prattish (adj.)


[UK]Guardian G2 29 Sept. 22: It is full of annoying, prattish human beings who can’t string two sentences together.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 18 June 5: The prattish Twinkle, her latest recruit.

In compounds

prat-boy (n.) (also pratt-boy)

1. (US) a catamite.

[US]B. Appel Power-House 253: Murph’s his pratt boy.
[US](con. 1948) G. Mandel Flee the Angry Strangers 358: He was becoming a pratt boy for her.
[US]F. Paley Rumble on the Docks (1955) 65: Who the hell’s the kid [...] his prat boy?
[US] in T.I. Rubin Sweet Daddy 31: [He] wants the kid to be his pratt boy.
[US](con. 1944) E.M. Nathanson Dirty Dozen (2002) 149: That weasel who liked somebody’s pratboy.
[[US]W. Keyser ‘Carny Lingo’ in 🌐 Prat Boy — (British) Crude term for a paid hand who does odd jobs for the joints [...] Runaways or kids yet too young to work a joint or make a pitch].

2. (US) one who takes the punishment for another’s crime, a fall guy n. (1)

[US](con. 1940s) G. Mandel Wax Boom 286: We died for it and got trapped in it for senile old men. And you were their pratt boy to make us do it, sir.
[US]A.E. Morgan Six-Eleven (1966) 207: You’re a pratboy, bottom man on the totem pole.
[US]G.V. Higgins At End of Day (2001) 45: His henchmen and lackeys, disgruntled prat-boys and spiteful ex-girlfriends.
pratface (n.)

a fool, an incompetent.

[UK]C. Jennings Mouthful of Rocks 93: ‘So what are we going to call him, then?’ [...] ‘I think pratface would be fine,’ said Mick, ‘till he’s proved himself’ .
pratfall (n.) [orig. theatre jargon pratfall, a fall onto the buttocks, usu. as part of a slapstick routine] (orig. US)

a humiliating defeat, a sudden failure.

[US]P. Wylie Generation of Vipers 138: Pride goeth before a pratfall.
[US]A.S. Fleischman Venetian Blonde (2006) 254: If I take any pratfalls, partner, the scenery is coming down with me.
prat-kick (n.) [kick n.4 ]

(US Und.) the back pocket of one’s trousers.

[US]Wash. Post 3 July 3/1: If the rube hadn’t been fixed to stay away and Hoppy had got a finif fer dippin’ inter his prat-kick, he’d had plenty of time ter saw off his habit.
[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks n.p.: Pratt kick, a pocket in the rear of trousers.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 163/1: Pratt-kick. (Among pickpockets) Rear trousers pocket.
prat man (n.)

(US Und.) that member of a pickpocket gang who deliberately jostles the victim in order to ascertain the presence of a wallet in the back trouser pocket .

[US]L. Block ‘Badger Game’ in One Night Stands (2008) 23: He let one of the prat men bump him gently.

In phrases

break one’s prat (v.)

(US) to make every endeavour.

[US]‘John Eagle’ Hoodlums (2021) 132: [H]e was breaking his prat to keep Jeannie comfortable.
get someone’s pratt (v.)

(US prison) to annoy someone, to drive someone to lose their temper.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 79/2: Get one’s pratt. To arouse one’s anger.
[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 90: Push Someone’s Key To cause someone to become extremely irritated and angry […] (Archaic: get one’s pratt).
prat over nut (adv.)

a version of head over heels as arse over ...

[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 76: Vhy, she’s getting groggy on her pins, and if you don’t pipe rumbo, she’ll go prat over nut.

In exclamations