Green’s Dictionary of Slang

cold n.

1. unheated spirits; usu. as cold without

2. (US black) a cigarette end [? it is no longer alight].

Harris & Weingrod Trading Places [film script] Who’s been puttin’ out their colds on my floor? [HDAS].

In compounds

cold without (n.)

spirits, unheated and without an additive, e.g. sugar (cf. hot with under hot n.).

[UK] ‘The Execution’ in Bentley’s Misc. June 562: There is ‘punch,’ ‘cold without,’ ‘hot with,’ ‘heavy wet’.
[Ire]Roscommon Jrnl 16 Sept. 2/3: Jack finished his ‘cold without’.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 25 Dec. 2/4: After taking a little cold without, an adjournment to Kitty Wright’s was suggested.
[UK]Man of Pleasure’s Illus. Pocket-book n.p.: This room at night boasts the occupancy of leading men about town [...] doing their weed, and sipping their frigidum sine with infinite gout.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 2 Feb. 5/5: A declination of standing ‘cold without’ secured a shower of stones .
[UK]R.S. Surtees Plain or Ringlets? (1926) 89: [Drinks] in their various forms of hot with and cold without [and] cold with and hot without.
[Ind]Hills & Plains I 121: [H]e might smoke his cheroot and drink his midday brandy-and-water (‘cold without’) .
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 6 Apr. 4/5: The waiter in a tavern who has to call fifty times a day at the bar for a glass of brandy and water cold without sugar, is justified in reducing it to its smallest demonination, ‘cold without’.
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Little Mr. Bouncer 66: ‘What did you mean [...] by saying that you gave the wet men callidum-cum and had frigidum sine yourselves?’ ‘It’s the short for hot-with and cold-without.’.
[UK]Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday 14 June 55/1: Say I smoked five penny pickwicks, / Say I drank four colds without.
[UK]Music Hall & Theatre Rev. 2 Aug. 11/2: Cold without is the best way, but tastes vary.
[UK]Harrington & LeBrunn [perf. Vesta Tilley] ’Ere the Lamps Are lit 🎵 Never mind, two of unsweetened cold / ’Ere the lamps are lit.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

have a cold (v.) [euph.]

1. to have a venereal disease.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (1984) 237: [...] C.19–20.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 92/2: Head cold. A case of gonorrhea.

2. to be in debt; thus have a very bad cold, to leave one’s lodgings without paying the rent.

[Scot]Chambers’s Journal XX 5: [...] having a bad cold means, in Camden Town, being in debt, while a very bad cold implies that the sufferer has taken clandestine departure from his lodgings [F&H].
[UK]Partridge DSUE (1984) 237: [...] 1850–1920.