Green’s Dictionary of Slang

see v.

1. in sexual senses.

(a) [19C] to have sexual intercourse.

(b) [1990s+] to have a sexual relationship with.

2. as interrog., do you understand?

3. in senses of SE see to.

(a) [mid-19C+] (orig. US) to visit a person, esp. a politician, in order to influence them, either legally or, more likely, illegally.

(b) [1900s] to take care of.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

have seen the French king (v.)

[17C–mid-18C] to be drunk.

see a dog about a man (v.) [joc. var. on next] [1920s+]

1. to go out for a drink.

2. to urinate.

see a man about a dog (v.) (also see a man)

1. [mid-19C–1940s] (orig. US) to go for a drink; usu. in the form of an excuse before going out for a drink; cit. 1885 refers to an excuse for absenting oneself in order to visit one’s mistress.

2. [20C+] (also see a man about a bow-wow, ...a duck, ...a horse, ...a rose, see a cat about a horse) a euph. used to disguise one’s need or desire to visit the lavatory.

3. [1910s+] (also feed the dog, have a date about a dog, write a letter to a man about a dog) an excuse to leave.

see a sick friend (v.)

[late 19C+] an excuse used by a married man slipping out to consummate an illicit affair.

see company (v.) [euph.]

[mid-18C–early 19C] to live as a prostitute.

see foot (v.)

[1990s+] (W.I.) to see how fast a person runs away.

see France (v.) (also see your days, ...your nennen, ...your skin, ...your tail) [France n./SE days/nennen n.1 /SE skin/tail n. (1)]

[1990s+] (W.I.) to endure hardships, esp. in the hope of ultimate success.

see how the land lies (v.)

[late 17C–early 19C] to check the state of one’s tavern bill.

see if it fucks (v.) [fig. use of fuck v. (1)]

[1980s+] to see if something works or runs.

seeing double (adj.)

[late 18C] drunk.

seeing-to (n.) [SE see to, to be solicitous towards; note see to , a backform. f. this n.] [1960s+]

1. referring to a woman, sexual intercourse; also of homosexuals (see cite 1958).

2. referring to a man, a beating up, violence.

see Mrs Murray (v.) (also see Mrs Murphy) [ult. ref. is to the Murray River, Australia’s longest]

[1930s–50s] (Aus.) to visit the lavatory.

see ning-ning (v.) [Carib.E. ning-ning, dizziness]

[1990s+] (W.I.) to reel from shock, to suffer a spell of dizziness.

see off (v.)

1. [1930s+] to consume.

2. [1970s+] to deal with, to dismiss, to send away, to defeat.

3. [1980s+] (Aus. prison) to murder.

see royal (v.) [fig. use of royal n.1 ]

[1990s+] (W.I.) to find it hard to make enough money to live, to subsist, to suffer great hardship.

In phrases

see snakes (v.)

1. [late 19C+] (US) to have delirium tremens.

2. [late 19C+] (US, also study snakes) to be very drunk.

3. [1900s] to be in a state of shock.

see someone coming (v.) [the implication is that the swindler saw a ‘soft touch’ coming before putting the price up or similar ‘extortion’]

[late 19C+] to take advantage of someone.

see stars (v.) (also see candles) [SE; var. candles in mid-18C–mid-19C]

[mid-18C+] ‘to have a sensation as of flashes of light, produced by a sudden jarring of the head, as by a direct blow’ (Century Dict., 1891).

see Steve (v.)

[1940s] (US drugs) to take cocaine to the extent that one hallucinates.

see the lions (v.)

1. [late 16C] to have some experience of life.

2. [mid-17C] to be drunk.

3. [19C] to see the fashionable ‘sights’.

see the nose-cheese first (v.) [ety. unknown]

[mid-18C–1900s] to make a refusal rudely or contemptuously.

see the stars lying upon one’s back (v.)

[19C] of a woman, to have sexual intercourse.

see through a brick wall (v.) (also see through a stone wall)

[mid-19C+] to be particularly perceptive, to be intelligent, to be aware; sometimes ext. as see further through a brick wall than most.

see through a millstone (v.) (also see (as) far into a millstone)

[late 16C; 18C] to be aware, to understand what is going on.

see to (v.) [backform. f. seeing-to ]

[1980s+] to have sexual intercourse.

see two moons (v.)

[mid-18C; 1920s] (US) to be drunk.

see which way the cat jumps (v.)

see under cat n.1

see ya later alligator (also later alligator, later gator) [according to DARE f. alligator n. (9); given that alligator is essentially (if not invariably) derog., the phr. certainly began as a dismissal, even if its popular use among those who had no idea of its origin rendered it neutral; popularized by the 1956 Bill Haley and the Comets’ pop hit of the same name and the by then widely publicized use of the phr. by Princess Margaret (1930–2002)]

[1950s+] an all-purpose synon. for ‘goodbye’; almost always followed by the response in/after a while crocodile; an alternative response is on the Nile crocodile.

see you (also see ya)

[1940s+] goodbye.

see you around, like a donut

[1950s+] (US) a general phr. of farewell, ‘see you again’.

see you in court

[1930s+] used as a synon. for goodbye.

see you in the funny papers (also see you in the funny sheet)

[1920s+] (US) goodbye, see you later.

see you some more

[1940s] (N.Z.) goodbye.

In exclamations

see ya!

[1980s] (orig. US campus) a general excl. of dismissal, shut up! leave me alone!

seeyabye! [see you + SE goodbye]

[2000s] (US teen) goodbye!