1. [late 16C+] things or activities in general, varying as to context.
2. [17C+] semen.
3. [mid-17C+] anything that has no proper name, things that one cannot be bothered to describe properly.
4. [late 17C+] nonsense; lies.
5. as euph. for drink or drugs.
(a) [18C+] (also liquid stuff) alcohol, esp. bootleg liquor.
(b) [late 19C] (US) a ‘knock-out drop’.
(c) [late 19C+] (drugs, also needle stuff) opiate drugs, esp. heroin, morphine [‘William Lee’, Junkie (1953): ‘General terms for opium and all derivatives of opium: morphine, heroin, Delaudid [sic], pantopon, codeine, dionine’].
(d) [1940s] marijuana.
6. [mid-18C+] money.
7. [mid-19C] (US Und.) a copper watch which has been galvanized and is sold as ‘gold’.
8. in sexual contexts [20C+ use is usu. US black].
(a) [mid-19C+] the vagina, the buttocks; fig. used as female sexuality.
(b) [late 19C+] a woman, usu. attractive and often out, enjoying herself.
(c) [1960s+] (US prison) a male homosexual.
9. [late 19C+] arguments.
10. [late 19C+] a person.
11. [late 19C+] personality, character; ability.
12. [20C+] (US) something important, meaningful.
13. [20C+] (US prison) someone, or something, of value.
14. [1900s] (US Und.) an unappealing person.
15. [1900s–30s] stolen goods.
16. [1960s+] (US prison) a knife or gun.
17. [1980s] a term of address.
18. [1980s] constr. with the, a euph. for hell, the phr. etc.
[1900s] (Aus.) a bettor, one who wagers money.
[1910s-60s] (US) nonsense, verbiage, deceptive chatter.
[1980s+] nothing at all.
1. [mid-17C+] to perform as one is expected to.
2. [1920s–70s] to show off a speciality.
[1930s–50s] (US black) to base one’s actions or speech on one’s most intense and sincere emotions.
[1990s+] (Aus./N.Z.) to care; usu. in negative use, e.g. who gives a stuff?
1. [20C+] (US) to drink alcohol.
2. [1930s–50s] (drugs) to smoke opium.
3. [1950s] to use narcotics.
see sense 5a above.
see sense 5b above.
[1920s–60s] (US black) no fooling, no lies, absolutely honest and sincere.
[1960s+] to not care whatsoever.
[1920s+] (drugs) using a narcotic drug, esp. heroin.
see peddle one’s ass under peddle v.
[1960s+] (US black) to deceive or defraud by a smart line of verbal patter; thus stuff-player n.
[1970s+] (US black) to disparage, to ridicule.
[1970s] (US black) to work as a prostitute.
see under sweet adj.1
see take shit under shit n.
SE in slang uses
[late 17C+] a meaningless addition to the end of a sentence, the implication is that the ‘stuff’ is essentially meaningless, irrelevant.
[1900s–40s] (US black) to act with caution, e.g., when playing cards; esp. to act carefully when conducting a love affair.