Green’s Dictionary of Slang

ticket n.1

1. a blow, a punch.

[UK]‘Bill Truck’ Man o’ War’s Man (1843) 28: If my own daylights could come over the spalpeens [...] I wouldn’t be after sarving them a ticket or two in the bread-basket.

2. in lit. senses.

(a) (UK Und.) a ticket of leave, parole; thus ticketer n., a person on parole.

[UK]Morn. Post 18 Dec. 3/3: Terrors of the jug have ceased / [...] / And on tickets we’re released [...] Here’s to Jebb and his leave-tickets / That when a cove a rest has ta’en / [...] / Sets ’em on the loose again.
[UK] ‘Six Years in the Prisons of England’ in Temple Bar Mag. Dec. 80: All healthy and sound prisoners of my age, who had received the same sentence, were about due for their ‘ticket’.
[UK]J. Greenwood Dick Temple I 220: Out on a ticket – leave ticket – conwict – five year.
[Ind]Civil & Milit. Gaz. (Lahore) 18 Oct. 4/3: [of a soldier on leave] ’E won’t get a dib bar deferred, Bill — / Jest ’is ticket — an’ Blighty.
[UK]Lawrence & Skinner Boy in Bush 249: An’ a lag is a ticketer: one who is out on lease.

(b) (US) a playing card, as used in three-card monte.

W.F. Rae Westward by Rail 187: The card-dealer calls upon him to return the ‘ticket’ [DA].
[US]G. Devol Forty Years a Gambler 184: He got out his three tickets and began to throw them on the seat.
[US]‘Penny Ante’ in Wash. Times 27 Jan. 17: [cartoon] Well, I guess I’ll take two tickets. I’m staying just for the percentage.
[US]H. Asbury Sucker’s Progress 54: The operator of the game [i.e. three-card monte] [...] took three playing cards, known in the vernacular as ‘the tickets.’.
[US]R. Starnes Another Mug for the Bier 9: I dealt six tickets to all hands. [...] ‘The trump suit will be puppy-dog feet’.

(c) (N.Z. prison/UK milit.) a disciplinary charge.

[UK]Regiment 22 Aug. 314/3: But when for uselessness he got his ‘ticket’ just to-day, / He jumped about, and skipped about, and trilled this different lay— [etc] .
[NZ]D. Looser Boobslang [U. Canterbury D.Phil. thesis] 189/2: give (someone) a ticket v. (of an officer) to catch an inmate engaging in an illegal activity and to put him on a charge.

(d) a prescription.

[UK]Sporting Times 18 Mar. 1/5: Why the Mister Funny-cuts that made my ticket out tumbled somehow that I was on in the ballet at the Lane, an’ he goes an’ puts it down that I’m suffering from ‘pantomime poisonin,’ that’s all.

(e) (UK Und.) probation.

[UK]E. Pugh City Of The World 258: It was after I had done my bit, and was out on the ticket.

(f) (US, a betting slip; thus Aus.) the bet.

[Aus]F. Kenna ‘Confidential Jockey’ in Bulletin Reciter n.p.: He’s say: ‘She’s worth a ticket,’ / With a leery kinder grin, / And I’d know ’is stuff was on ’er, / And I’d got to try and win.
[US]H.C. Witwer Kid Scanlon 307: Dan looked like a guy with a ticket on a hundred to one shot, watchin’ it breeze into the stretch leadin’ by a city block.
[US]N. Algren Never Come Morning (1988) 212: Where [...] yesterday’s horse tickets and yesterday’s relief stamps lay.

(g) (US Und.) a prison sentence.

[US] in ‘Jargon of the Und.’ in DN V.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 189: Ticket.– A prison sentence.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]L. Berney Gutshot Straight [ebook] It wasn’t smart to start a beef with sixty-eight hours left on your ticket.

(h) a track record, a history.

[Aus]X. Herbert Capricornia (1939) 364: You oughter get even more as a fitter, with your ticket.

(i) (US prison) a disciplinary record.

[US]J. Lait Put on the Spot 35: You get a ticket, but you don’t pay for it.
[UK]J. Curtis You’re in the Racket, Too 206: I bin on to the C.R.O. again and I got his ticket all ready for you.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 223/1: Ticket. 1. (P) A formal report for rule violation; a warning to comply with a rule or be formally reported.
[US]H. Williamson Hustler 182: So [the captain] saw us sittin’ down and he told the officer down in the hole to write us a ticket. [...] Next day we went to bat, and got four days [solitary confinement] apiece.
[US]Maledicta V:1+2 (Summer + Winter) 266: The prisoner seeks to avoid a ticket, a disciplinary report.
[US]R. Campbell Sweet La-La Land (1999) 168: What a good prisoner he’s been [...] Never got any tickets — maybe only a few tickets — for infractions.
[US]Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July 🌐 Ticket: A transfer order; disciplinary report.

(j) a certificate of demobilization from the armed forces [note WWI Aus. milit. ticket, a discharge from the Army].

[UK]Gibbons Truth About the Legion 204: I was getting my Discharge. [...] we were formed up into a sort of cripple parade; and a bored sergeant awaiting his own ‘ticket’ tried to march us down to Litherland Station .
[UK]J. MacLaren-Ross ‘Y List’ in Memoirs of the Forties (1984) 250: He’d been recommended for discharge [...] ‘How’ll you like getting your ticket?’ I asked him.
[US]P. Kendall Dict. Service Sl. n.p.: got my ticket . . . discharge.

(k) (US prison) a certificate of release.

[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).

(l) (UK Und.) an arrest warrant.

[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 223/1: Ticket. [...] 3. A warrant for one’s arrest.
[UK]D. Powis Signs of Crime 204: Ticket Warrant to arrest or search.

(m) (US) a licence.

[US]M. Spillane One Lonely Night 76: There’s a ticket for that rod in my wallet.
[US](con. 1917) S. Woodward Paper Tiger 61: I couldn’t get an able seaman’s ticket, let alone a deck officer’s license.
[US]R. Campbell In La-La Land We Trust (1999) 143: ‘I’m private.’ ‘Let me see your ticket.’.

(n) a pass or passport, whether valid or counterfeit.

[UK]R. Airth Snatch! 23: A small but select stock of tickets – Ziggy sold only the best, no London-issued Lithuanians for him [OED].
(con. 1850s) G.M. Fraser Flashman at the Charge 164: Russia – where everyone has to show his damned ticket every few miles.

(o) a union card.

[US]Buerkle & Barker Bourbon Street Black 80: This young jazzman is about to become a member of [...] The American Federation of Musicians [...] and his ticket (card) will be good everywhere in the United States.

(p) in fig use, death [from buy a ticket ].

[UK]S. Murray Legionnaire 162: The unfortunate Arab had given Hirschfeld both barrels in the back but both cartridges had failed him [...] Nobody had ever come closer to his ticket than Hirschfeld .

(q) (US black) a lottery ticket, usu. in pl.

[US]Ebonics Primer at 🌐 tickets Definition: slang for the Lottery Example: As soon as I pick the right tickets yo, I’m buying me every copy of the Jerry Springer Show.

(r) (US) a bill, an account.

[US]D. Jenkins Money-Whipped Steer-Job 51: J. Rodney insisted I join them for dinner three straight nights in the Lodge, his tickets.
[US]T. Piccirilli Last Kind Words 32: When I turned fourteen, Big Dan had invited me in and shown me the delights of that back room, all on his ticket.

3. in fig. use, as an ideal [? SE winning ticket or Fr. etiquette (suggested by Hotten, 1867) ].

(a) the right, proper, best or fashionable thing to do; esp. as that’s the ticket!

implied in that’s the ticket!
[UK]A. Smith Natural History of the Gent 17: The Gents usually speak of their get-up as the ticket.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Young Tom Hall (1926) 82: Tom, having taken a good front view, side view and back view of himself in the glass, receiving the assurance of Corns that he was quite ‘the ticket’.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 19 Nov. 2/2: Having condescended to inform us that it was ‘the ticket and no mistake’.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 20 Apr. 3/2: Mr Pugh politely stating that cash was the ‘ticket’.
[UK]‘Old Calabar’ Won in a Canter I 155: ‘[T]his is more the ticket, is it not, Filcher? — that infernal old ball gave me the shivers’.
Cumberland Mercury (NSW) 14 May 5/2: [T]he return to cash tram fares is the right ‘ticket’.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Judgement Day in Studs Lonigan (1936) 516: She was his, laying only for him, and oh, Goddamn it, this was the real ticket.
[UK](con. 1923) R. Westerby Mad in Pursuit 78: You come up here at night like a fox, because you like to – because it’s furtive and quiet – and that’s your ticket. That’s you.
[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 108: I figured this was the ticket.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 9: ticket – something very desirable [...] ‘My family is flying to Europe over Spring Break.’ ‘Ticket!’.
[US]J. Stahl I, Fatty 202: You want to get zombified, jailhouse hooch is your ticket.
[UK]J. Meades Empty Wigs (t/s) 561: De Foucauld was also not quite the ticket as a messiah: he did not lead them, he did not read their future in patterns of pebbles.

(b) the task in hand, the relevant procedure.

[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor II 375/2: That’s just the ticket of it.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘A Disciple of Roosevelt’ Sporting Times 11 June 1/4: In this ‘home sweet’ I am pulling all the strings, / And the ticket is, ‘I rule, and you — get out!’.
[US]S. King Stand (1990) 1347: Slow and easy does it [...] That’s the ticket.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 166: You wanna fly high in d’ sky? O.C. got d’ ticket for you.

4. the facts, the truth [? Fr. etiquette (suggested by Hotten, 1867) or SE ticket, a bill or invoice].

[US]T. Haliburton Sam Slick’s Wise Saws I 119: Oh, that’s the ticket, is it?
[UK]A.N. Lyons Hookey 87: Ain’t that the ticket – pretty near it? Eh?

5. a person (as used derog. esp. by a mod n.2 (1) in the early 1960s).

[UK]G. Blake Shipbuilders (1954) 26: ‘Ye dirty wee ticket!’ she snarled at the infant.
[UK]The Who ‘I’m the Face’ 🎵 I’m the face if you want it, dear, / All the others are third class tickets by me baby, is that clear.
The Who ‘Sea and Sand’ 🎵 on Quadrophrenia [album] So how come the other tickets look much better? / Without a penny to spend they dress to the letter.
[UK]R. Milward Man-Eating Typewriter 229: ‘I thought you was a bit of a ticket [...] Riding on the back of the Mod craze’ [ibid.] 345: ‘You’re a ticket, you’re plastic. A mogue Mod’.

6. (UK und.) parole.

[UK]Thieves Slang ms list from District Police Training Centre, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Warwicks 8: On ticket: Convict on license.

7. (Aus. drugs) a single dose of LSD, dripped onto a small piece of absorbent paper; also attrib. [resemblance to a SE ticket or sense 3, i.e. its positive effects; note Beatles title ‘Ticket To Ride’].

[US]R.R. Lingeman Drugs from A to Z (1970).
[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972).
[Aus]Tupper & Wortley Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. 🌐 Ticket lolly. Lysergic acid available in tabs of blotting paper.

8. (US) the ideal person [? SE winning ticket].

[US]Simon & Burns Corner (1998) 123: A corner warrior come in from the cold, House seemed the ticket.

9. (Irish) an amusing person, an eccentric [abbr. hard ticket under hard adj.].

[Ire]P. McCabe Butcher Boy (1993) 15: Dear dear aren’t you a ticket Francie? they said.

10. (US black / drugs) $1,000,000, thus half a ticket, $500,000.

Urban Dict. 31 Mar. 🌐 o man I just spent a ticket on this house.
Young Jeezy ‘What You Say’ 🎵 One time I re’d up with a half a ticket / Nigga fucked my order up, bout a half a chicken.

In compounds

ticket-skinner (n.) [play on SE mule-skinner, a mule-driver]

(US) a ticket tout.

[US]N.Y. Mercury in Ware (1909) 245/2: Innocent people regard the high rates announced by the managers as final, and only discover at the entrance that the advertised price for seats is a ruse to lure them to the merciful treatment of middle men, called ticket-skinners, who, having temporary possession of nearly all the tickets, exact just what they please for a seat.
[US]Dial 47 104: We are not quite so sure about ‘Ticket-skinner,’' said to hail from New York; it may be as expressive as ‘Ticket scalper,’ but we have never heard it used on this side of the ocean.

In phrases

buy a ticket (v.) (US)

1. (also get one’s ticket) to die.

[UK]Adcock ‘At the Dock Gates’ in Keating Working Class Stories of the 1890s (1971) 125: He’s got his ticket [...] an’ he ain’t had long to wait for it. Jolly little chap, though, he was.
[US]J. Lansdale Bad Chili 201: I didn’t even know he knew you two until, after Horse bought his ticket.

2. (also take a tiicket) to trust, to tolerate, to accept someone’s statements.

[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 68: He wasn’t buying no tickets off’n me. He looked at me like I was the devil himself.
[US]W.D. Myers Slam! 76: I took the ticket about the car being his friend’s but I didn’t go for the show. People don’t just lend you a Benz.

3. to call someone’s bluff.

[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 3: I’m gonna buy his ticket, for sure!
cancel someone’s ticket (v.)

to murder, to assassinate.

[US]J. Wambaugh New Centurions 11: ‘If he uses a knife you use a gun and cancel his ticket then and there’.
[US]A. Vachss Hard Candy (1990) 95: Anytime we wanted, Max would cancel the undertaker’s ticket.
[Aus]G. Disher Paydirt [ebook] ‘But if I hear you’ve been sounding your mouth off about me or the job, I’ll cancel your ticket’.
HuskerFan posting 3 Apr. at 🌐 [referring to Joseph Wambaugh] The ex LAPD detective turned writer (The Blue Knight, New Centurions, Choir Boys) created a character Bumper Morgan. He was a training officer and told his rookie ‘If he (BG) uses his fist use your stick, if he uses a knife use your gun – cancel his ticket right there and then.’.
come in on a sparrow’s ticket (v.) (also get in on a sparrow’s ticket) [one has ‘flown over the wall’]

(Aus.) to gain admission to a sporting event or other entertainment without paying.

[Aus]Baker Popular Dict. Aus. Sl.
T. Boydell My Luck was In 15: A friend and I climbed the foundation pillars from the sands and got in with a sparrow’s ticket.
[Aus]N. Pulliam I Travelled a Lonely Land (1957) 239/2: sparrow’s ticket – no ticket. get in on a sparrow’s ticket – crawl through a hole in the fence or sneak in.
draw a good ticket (v.) [lottery imagery]

to have good luck, to be successful.

[UK]Wodehouse Psmith in the City (1993) 138: You have drawn a good ticket, Comrade Gregory.
get one’s ticket punched (sfx)

1. to enjoy oneself, usu. in a sexual context.

[UK]Cotes & Scott [perf. Marie Lloyd] What did she know about railways 🎵 But when she got to the wicket there / Someone wanted to punch her ticket / The guards and porters came round by the score / And she told them all she’d never had her ticket punched before.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Viva La Madness 330: Too busy thinking about flash clobber, wet pussy and getting his ticket punched down the Monarch [Club].

2. (US, also card punched) to get credit for a particular job or achievement.

[US]B. McCarthy Vice Cop 37: ‘If you want to get a preferred assignment later on, as part of your career path, you can accelerate the movement if you have had your dance card punched at an ‘A’ house’.
[US]B. McCarthy Vice Cop 52: McCarthy’s preference then was Narcotics, where plenty of smart cops were looking to get their career tickets punched.
hand in one’s ticket (v.)

to die.

[UK]J. Harvey French Foreign Legion in Syria (1995) 206: I lay gripping my rifle. At any rate, I would finish off a few more of the enemies of France before I handed in my ticket .
have tickets on (v.) (also have a ticket on) [i.e. one would pay to see them/oneself]

(Aus.) to be very fond of someone; thus have tickets on oneself, to be vain, to be conceited; thus put tickets on, to trust, to depend on.

[NZ]Wanganui Herald (NZ) 4 Dec. 4: On the other hand, it is impossible to find a more suitable Minister among the North Island representatives. Therefore, to use a colloquialism, I have ‘tickets’ on the member for Masterton.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 14 May 4/7: Of battles we’ve read quite enough, / On war on this sphere we’ve no tickets.
[Aus]Sun (Kalgoorlie, WA) 2 Aug. 1/1: They Say [...] That an Arrow magpie has tickets on a local lolly-legged ganger.
[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 31 May 12/3: Why does old Joe G. call the missus at the boarding house, Annie? He must have a ticket on her.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 10 Dec. 14/1: Go slow on the other chaps, Kiddie, / Just wait till I get my V.C. / But I swear from the last night you kissed me / One girl has got tickets on me!
[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 1 May 4/2: Put all your tickets on him, girls. He’s the one with the lolly legs.
[Aus]K.S. Prichard Working Bullocks 206: ‘Never had tickets on Red Burke,’ Bob Connolly confided.
[Aus]K. Tennant Battlers 20: ‘Arr,’ the busker said disgustedly, ‘you’ve got tickets all over yourself.’.
[Aus](con. 1936–46) K.S. Prichard Winged Seeds (1984) 368: But I’ve had tickets on Rosy Ann since she was a barmaid at the Reward in the early days.
[Aus]Cusack & James Come in Spinner (1960) 38: If people have got any tickets on themselves, Blue don’t get nowhere with them.
[Aus]J. Wynnum I’m a Jack, All Right 83: That sheila is acting as though she’s got tickets on you.
[Aus]A. Chipper Aussie Swearers Guide 26: Big Noter. Thje big note the Big Noter sounds is on his own glorfication [...] In basic Australian, he’s got tickets on himself.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 113/1: tickets on oneself, have to be conceited.
[Aus]T. Winton Human Torpedo 79: What’s the difference between believing in yourself and having tickets on yourself.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read Chopper From The Inside 108: Many of the Italian gangsters around town have big tickets on themselves.
[UK]K. Lette Llama Parlour 23: Like all good-looking blokes he had tickets.
[Aus] 🌐 It’s hard to describe without sounding like I’ve got tickets on myself, you just had to be there.
[Aus]L. Redhead Thrill City [ebook] ‘She probably won‘t even know you’ve gone.’ Maybe I had tickets on myself, but I doubted that.
[Aus]G. Gilmore Base Nature [ebook] ‘I had serious tickets on myself when I bought that thing’ [i.e. a flashy car].
just the ticket (also just the job, that’s the ticket) [? a winning lottery ticket, or SE ticket, the list of candidates put forward by a political party/SE job]

perfect, ideal, exactly as desired and required [see also that’s the ticket! below].

Wilson's Tales of the Borders 21 Feb. 125/1: ‘Capital!’cried two or three of the conclave; ‘that’s just the ticket, Ned!’ ‘Nonsense!’ interrupted Harry, ‘it’s nae such thing’.
[UK] ‘Uncle Sam’s Peculiarities’ in Bentley’s Misc. IV 41: Yes, two to one is just the ticket for us.
[Ind]J.W. Kaye Peregrine Pultuney I 238: ‘No, Drawlincourt, that’s not the ticket — upon my soul, that’s not the ticket’.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Mr Sponge’s Sporting Tour 8: To a young beman, you know, it’s well to have ’em [i.e. horses for sale] smart, and the ticket.
[US]F. St. Clair Six Days in the Metropolis 73: That’ll do. It’s just the ticket.
[UK] ‘The Water-Spout’ in Rakish Rhymer (1917) 74: A country bumpkin, Bob by name, / Seemed just the very ticket.
[UK]D. Stewart Shadows of the Night in Illus. Police News 22 June 12/1: ‘Tanner a head [...] to hear the converted cracksman preach [...] That’s the ticket’.
[US]‘Old Sleuth’ Dock Rats of N.Y. (2006) 54: ‘If you want to take a rake in with us you’re welcome.’ ‘That’s just the ticket for me!’ answered Spencer Vance.
Illus. Sporting & Dramaatic News 22 Jan. 9/1: [pic. caption] New ‘Rail Ways’ Just the Ticket.
[NZ]D. Davin For the Rest of Our Lives 99: ‘Well, boss, how do you like being an invader?’ ‘She’s just the job, Shorty.’.
[UK]K. Amis letter 23 Jan. in Leader (2000) 420: His earlier stuff struck me as a bit dried-up, but more recently I’ve seen a couple of things that seem just the job.
Picture Post (ad for Pepsodent) 23 July 27: A busy travel agent’s day is fully booked. He can’t brush his teeth after lunch – so Pepsodent is just the ticket.
[UK]P. Barnes Ruling Class I vi: Is that tea? Just the job, Tucker.
[US]C. Himes ‘Headwaiter’ in Black on Black 152: ‘This will be just the ticket for you,’ he purred smoothly.
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘Yesterday Never Comes’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] I think that sounds just the ticket Miranda.
[UK]Beano Comic Library No. 121 65: Well done, Gnasher! Just the job!
T. Wolff ‘The Life of the Body’ in The Night in Question 39: Wiley looked in encouragingly. ‘That’s the ticket,’ Wiley said.
[UK](con. 1940s) P. Cumper One Bright Child 152: It took me about five minutes to decide that you were just the ticket.
[UK]Indep. Mag. 11 Sept. 48: A hot cup of cocoa could be just the ticket.
Green bay Press-Gaz. (WI) 29 June 21/5: As you might imagine, ‘that’s the ticket’ and ‘just the ticket’ are favorite puns of political writers.
[UK]J. Meades Empty Wigs (t/s) 415: But further down the pile he found Reynolds News, Tribune, the Daily Worker [...] Hah, just the ticket, he said to himself.
not the ticket (adj.)

physically or more usu. mentally ‘below par’.

[UK]Thackeray Newcomes I 66: She’s very handsome and she’s very finely dressed, only somehow she’s not – she’s not the ticket.
[Scot] ‘My Wife She Wasn’t The Ticket ’ Jolly Old Boys Comic Song Book 335: [song title].
[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 1229: [...] C.20.
private ticket (n.)

(US) a private detective.

[US]R. Campbell In La-La Land We Trust (1999) 141: I’m a private ticket from L.A. looking into a killing that might have started here.
put paid to someone’s ticket (v.)

to kill, to murder.

[UK]‘Ex-Légionnaire 1384 Hell Hounds of France 15: He went cafard. He had wrenched out his bayonet and had put paid to the corporal’s ticket before any of us had time to realise what was happening.
speeding ticket (n.)

(US prison) a rules violation notice for inappropriate behaviour in the visiting room.

[US]Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July 🌐 Speeding Ticket: A rules violation notice for inappropriate behavior in the visiting room, such as kissing or touching.
ticket for soup (n.)

anything, lit. or fig., that will gain its holder an entrée; a letter of introduction.

[UK]R.S. Surtees Handley Cross (1854) 249: These [i.e. smart phrases], and sich as these, are your tickets for soup.
[UK]Censor (London) 25 Jan. 5/2: Ambition's Delilah eut off my love locks, / And gave me my ticket for soup.
[UK](con. 1860s) E.S. Mott Mingled Yarn 82: I had been furnished with letters of introduction (then known as 'tickets for soup') to heads of departments and others.
ticket of leave (n.) [SE ticket of leave, a parole licence]

a holiday.

[UK]Daily News 27 Oct. in Ware (1909) 245/2: The expression, ‘ Ticket o’ leave’, is probably the invention of the criminal intellect, which, as everybody knows, delights in giving utterance to its own ideas in its own peculiar way.
universal ticket (n.)

(US tramp) a notched board cut to fit on the iron bars that support a passenger coach and which can thus be used to support a tramp.

[UK]M. Roberts Western Avernus (1924) 185: The ‘universal ticket,’ a board with notches in it to fit on the iron stays under the passenger coaches.
walking ticket (n.)

1. (US) a notice of dismissal.

‘Nobody’ Nothing 70: If you play the fool any more, blow me, if I don’t give you a walking ticket, as we used to say at college.
[US] in N.E. Eliason Tarheel Talk (1956) 124: I heard . . . she had given Henry a walking ticket.
[US]D. Crockett Col. Crockett’s Tour to North and Down East 30: In a few hours he got his walking ticket that his services were no longer wanted.
[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker III 73: These asses of travellers will get a walkin’ ticket, and men of sense will take their place.
[US]F.M. Whitcher Widow Bedott Papers (1883) 30: He’s got his walkin’ ticket now – I hope he’ll lemme alone in futur.
[US]T. Haliburton Nature and Human Nature I 220: He must tell unpleasant truths, and then he gets his walkin’ ticket.
[UK]‘G.B. Lancaster’ Sons O’ Men 80: Reckon that fancy cutter ’ll git ’is walkin’-ticket over it.
[Aus](con. 1940s) ‘David Forrest’ Last Blue Sea 163: I got meself a walking ticket.
[Aus]F.J. Hardy Outcasts of Foolgarah (1975) 68: This strike isn’t over me and Tich here getting our walking tickets.

2. (Aus./US prison) an official notice to inform a prisoner that they have finished their sentence.

[Aus]D. Niland Call Me When the Cross Turns Over (1958) 253: I don’t know what I’ll turn out like when they give me my walking ticket.
work (for) one’s ticket (v.) [orig. Br. Army use, obtaining a discharge through faking illness]

to malinger, to escape onerous duties by shamming illness or similar unsuitability.

[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. & Its Analogues.
P.B. Bull God & Our Soldiers 33: When a man is ‘fed up’ with ‘soldiering’ he sometimes decides to ‘work his ticket,’ get his discharge. Perhaps he tries the hospital first. If you eat a certain quantity of Sunlight soap it sets up disorderly action of the heart.
[UK](con. 1916) F. Manning Her Privates We (1986) 24: ’E’s due for ’is pension, and ’e’s tryin’ to work ’is ticket.
[UK](con. 1914–18) Brophy & Partridge Songs and Sl. of the British Soldier.
[UK]M. Harrison Reported Safe Arrival 62: Blokes workin’ their tickets summin’ shameless, an’ the ole Sky-Artist a-fallin’ fer it every time.
[Ire]J. Phelan Tramp at Anchor 155: To work a ticket south, to reach the Isle of Wight, was almost impossible.
[Ire](con. 1940s) B. Behan Confessions 105: ’Twas the only thing that I could do | To work me ticket home to you | And leave the British Army.
[UK](con. WW2) T. Jones Heart of Oak [ebook] He [...] had gone barmy. ‘Either that or he was working his ticket,’ as Slinger Woods put it. ‘Anyway, they carted him off to the funny farm’.
write one’s (own) ticket (v.)

to be able to stipulate one’s own conditions, to be in an advantageous position.

[US]C.L. Cullen Tales of the Ex-Tanks 223: You could write your own ticket on the rest.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 10 Dec. 25/3: Next day was a snorter. ’Bout 112 in the shade an’ write yer own ticket in the sun.
[US]D. Hammett ‘Ruffian’s Wife’ in Nightmare Town (2001) 67: I’ll let him write his own ticket. If he wants to see me, he knows the way. It’s up to him.
[US]J. Lait Gangster Girl 31: You don’t want a menu — write your ticket.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 263: If we went over, we could maybe write our own ticket about the personnel.
[US]Murtagh & Harris Cast the First Stone 21: A colored girl who plays her cards right and isn’t too bad-looking can practically write her own tickets with them [i.e. white men].
[Aus]J. Holledge Great Aust. Gamble 52: Avaunt started at 5/4 and Eudromius at 6/4, with ‘write your own ticket’ about all the other runners.
[US]N.C. Heard When Shadows Fall 134: ‘When Booker’s mayor, you’ll be able to write your own ticket—captain, inspector, who knows?’.
[UK]N. Cohn Yes We have No 278: Anyone that [...] has a bit of nerve, they can write their own ticket.

In exclamations

that’s the ticket!

just what is wanted, the ideal thing; occas. as that’s the ticket for soup.

[UK]Egan Finish to the Adventures of Tom and Jerry (1889) 104: That’s the ticket!
[UK]‘Conger Nell & the Clerkenwell Porkman’ in Rummy Cove’s Delight in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) III 96: O, she got a ‘ticket for soup’, / For she got by him a baby .
[Ire] ‘Catalani Joe’ Dublin Comic Songster 67: My wife she is a wonder quite; / I cannot love another; / That’s the ticket; take a sight.
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 134/1: That’s the ticket just the thing.
[UK]A.C. Mowatt Fashion II i: Enough said! That’s the ticket!
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Adventures of Mr Verdant Green (1982) I 80: Genelum anladies (cheers) — I meangenelum (‘That’s about the ticket, old feller!’).
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. (2nd edn) 236: This phrase is sometimes extended into ‘that’s the ticket for soup,’ in allusion to the card given to beggars for immediate relief at soup kitchens.
Inquirer (Perth, WA) 28 Nov. 3/6: Betting slang — we read Bell’s Life: / That’s the ticket for a wife.
[US]Scenes in the Studio in Darkey Drama 1 I: Now, dat’s de ticket!
[UK]J. Greenwood Little Ragamuffin 200: That’s the ticket; that’s warm and comfortable.
[UK]Sl. Dict. 322: Ticket ‘that’s the ticket,’ i.e., what was wanted, or what is best. Corruption of ‘that’s etiquette,’ or, perhaps, from ticket, a bill or invoice.
[US]New Ulm Wkly (MN) 25 Sept. 6/2: That’s the ticket [...] You’re a trump.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 12 Mar. 4/1: The Inverell Times has an essay (original) on pawnbrokers. That’s the ticket.
[UK] ‘’Arry on Song and Sentiment’ in Punch 14 Nov. 229/1: That’s Life, and that’s Music ’All Song, mate, and that’s the true ticket for ’Arry.
[UK]S. Watson Wops the Waif 3/1: That’s jist the very ticket, that’s jist what I’ll do.
[UK] ‘The Little Crossing-Sweeper’ in ‘F. Anstey’ Mr Punch’s Model Music Hall 83: ’Ere, you sit down on this gilded cheer – that’s the ticket.
[Aus]Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 85: Ticket,‘that is the ticket’ just the thing required.
[US]‘Mark Twain’ Tom Sawyer, Detective Ch. IV: He said that’s the ticket.
[UK]Marvel XIV:357 13: You’re footpads, that’s the ticket! Ye sha’n’t pass!
[US]H. Green Maison De Shine 280: Make ’em come in, that’s the ticket.
[UK]D. Stewart Tragedy of the White House in Illus. Police News 13 Aug. 12/4: ‘I’m off, leg bail for me! That’s the ticket for soup this time’.
[US]A. Irvine My Lady of the Chimney Corner 24: That’s th’ ticket, now kape yez eye on him!
[US]E. O’Neill Hairy Ape Act I: Whiskey, that’s the ticket!
[UK]E. Glyn Flirt and Flapper 122: Flirt: And if you married Bruce, you would have to give up your hunt [...] Flapper: That’s about the ticket.
[Ire]‘Flann O’Brien’ At Swim-Two-Birds 121: That’s the ticket, said Lamont.
[US]O. Strange Sudden Takes the Trail 58: A chorus of savage oaths, and cries of ‘That’s the ticket’.
[Aus]K. Tennant Battlers 20: That’s the ticket! Make up my own songs. Sing ’em round picture-shows, got up in a cowboy suit.
[UK](con. 1928) R. Westerby Mad in Pursuit 103: Showed everybody. Champion of the lot. That’s the ticket.
[US]K. Vonnegut ‘Any Reasonable Offer’ in Bagombo Snuff Box (1999) 41: ‘I’m treating them just like Hellbrunners,’ she said craftily. ‘That’s the ticket.’.
[US]E. De Roo Young Wolves 25: Good boy! Manager! That’s the ticket, old toppie.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 13 Mar. in Proud Highway (1997) 327: If you can’t buy them, squash them. That’s the ticket.
[UK]A. Wesker Chips with Everything I vii: Data! That’s the ticket – the sum total of everything.
[UK]A. Ayckbourn Ten Times Table II ii: donald: Like this? tim: That’s the ticket.
[UK](con. 1940s) D. Nobbs Second From Last in the Sack Race 40: Travelling light, eh? That’s the ticket.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Nov. 8: that’s the ticket – expression of mock agreement.
[US]C. Hiaasen Lucky You 305: I think that’s the ticket.
[Scot]I. Welsh Filth 27: Good thinking, Bruce. That’s the ticket.
[US]S. King Dreamcatcher 69: I’ll lie down. That’s the ticket, all right.
Green Bay Press-Gaz. (WI) 29 June 21/5: As you might imagine, ‘that’s the ticket’ and ‘just the ticket’ are favorite puns of political writers.