Green’s Dictionary of Slang

ring v.

1. in senses of change, alteration [fig. use of abbr. SE phr. ring the changes].

(a) [mid-18C] (UK Und.) to change a good coin for a counterfeit.

(b) [mid-18C+] (also ringer) to change, to alter; thus ringing castors, changing hats, typically by going to some public place, stealing an expensive hat from where it has been deposited and leaving a cheap one; ring togs, to change clothes.

(c) [mid-19C] to desert, i.e. a lover.

(d) [mid-19C] (UK Und.) used of individuals or groups, to substitute, to swap.

(e) [mid-19C] to substitute cards.

(f) [mid–late 19C] (UK Und.) to be disturbed in the act of a robbery, and thus having to flee without the goods.

(g) [late 19C+] to cheat.

(h) [1900s-40s] (US) to illegally substitute a horse for another in a horserace.

(i) [1900s] to substitute crooked dice.

(j) [1910s] (US Und.) as ring up, to assume a disguise.

(k) [1940s+] to alter a car for the purposes of using it as a getaway vehicle, hold-up van etc, or for reselling it to an unsuspecting customer.

(l) (UK Und.) to pretend.

2. [late 19C+] (Aus.) to be the most successful shearer in a shed. [ringer n. (1a); ult. SE ring the bell, to win a victory].

3. [late 19C] (Aus.) to be sucessful in non-shearing contexts.

4. [1960s] to open and then steal the contents of a cash register [the ring of the ‘no change’ key on an old-fashioned till].

In compounds

ring job (n.) [job n.2 (2)]

[1990s+] (UK Und.) a car that has been ‘ringed’, i.e. has had its identification changed for illicit resale.

In phrases

ring in

see separate entries.

ring it on (v.)

see separate entry.

ring the changes (v.)

see separate entry.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

In phrases

ring a peal (in a man’s ears) (v.)

[late 18C–early 19C] to scold, usu. of a wife scolding her husband.

ring a tatt into (v.)

see under tat n.2

ring one’s chimes (v.) [1970s+] (orig. US)

1. to excite one’s attention, to enthuse.

2. to have or give an orgasm.

3. to pressurize.

ring one’s tail (v.) [ringtail n.2 (2)]

[20C+] (Aus.) in a game, to surrender, to give in .

ring someone’s bell (v.)

see under bell n.1