Green’s Dictionary of Slang

see v.

1. in sexual senses.

(a) to have sexual intercourse.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (1984) 1031/2: C.19–20(?).

(b) to have a sexual relationship with.

[UK]J. Cameron Vinnie Got Blown Away 16: You still seeing that little Kelly?
[UK]D. Lodge Therapy (1996) 30: She had recently split up with a partner and ‘wasn’t seeing anybody’.

2. as interrog., do you understand?

[UK]H.G. Wells Hist. of Mr Polly (1946) 197: I want a word with you, mister. See?
[US]W.R. Burnett Iron Man 14: I’m putting you wise, see?
[Aus]K. Gilbert Living Black 28: Apparently the old girls, the old gins, used to go out with the Chinamen, see?
[UK]Observer Mag. 15 Aug. 8: See, I got more cheese.

3. in senses of SE see to.

(a) (orig. US) to visit a person, esp. a politician, in order to influence them, either legally or, more likely, illegally.

Ball Players’ Chronicle 12 Dec. 4/2: This, that or the other ‘professional’ is ‘seen’—that is the professional term for bribery—and lo and behold! the second game between the rival clubs is marked by a signal defeat [DA].
[US]N.Y. Eve. Post 8 Jan. 7: When a corporation desires legislation, that is, legislation that requires that legislators should be ‘seen,’ it sends its bill to Albany, not infrequently in charge of an ex-member [DA].
[US]Scribner’s Mag. Mar. 269/2: It was found that most of the State’s witnesses who could identify them [...] had been ‘seen,’ which means being bought off [DA].
[US]Ersine Und. and Prison Sl.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 188/1: See. To pay a bribe, or obligation, or tribute, especially under coercion; (loosely) to make any payment.

(b) to take care of (financially).

[UK]Punch 11 Apr. 261/2: Suppose a tenner would see the porter?
[US]G. Radano Walking the Beat 179: ‘They’re not looking to break this up. They only want to be seen.’ ‘Seen?’ ‘Yeah: seen. They want a taste of the sugar’ .

SE in slang uses

In compounds

In phrases

have seen the French king (v.)

to be drunk.

[UK]Eighth Liberal Science n.p.: No man must call a Good-fellow Drunkard [...] But if at any time they spie that defect in another, they may without any forfeit or just exceptions taken, say, [...] He hath seen the French King.
[Ire]Head Canting Academy (2nd edn) n.p.: No man ought to call a Good-fellow a Drunkard; but [...] he may without a forfeit say he [...] hath seen the French King, or his Mother.
[US]B. Franklin ‘Drinkers Dict.’ Pennsylvania Gazette 6 Jan. in AS XII:2 91: They come to be well understood to signify plainly that A MAN IS DRUNK. [...] Seen the French King.
see a dog about a man (v.) [joc. var. on next]

1. to go out for a drink.

[US]Berrey & Van den Bark Amer. Thes. Sl. §102.24: go for a drink, go see a dog, – a dog about a man or a man about a dog.

2. to urinate.

[UK]Sketch (London) 24 May 20/1: Phillip said [...] ‘got to see a dog about a man,’ and then vanished.
[UK]Tatler 2 Dec. 20/1: [pic caption: dog goling out into a garden] ‘I’m just going to see a dog about man’.
[US]W.K. Zinsser Paradise Bit 191: ‘You're gonna see a dog about a man.’ [...] he walked slowly toward the men’s room.
[US]E. White Tour de Force n.p.: You will please excuse me [...] but I must see a dog about a man.
[US]S. Palmer Puzzle of Pepper Tree [ebook] Miss Withers coughed and lowered her voice. ‘I think he’s—er—’ ‘You mean gone to see a dog about a man?’.
see a man about a dog (v.) (also see a man)

1. (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.

Ball Players’ Chronicle 12 Sept. 3/1: Although they were all out, at the bases, and the rest of our nine having gone to see a man there was nobody to take the bat [DA].
[Aus]Maitland Mercury (NSW) 28 Feb. 14/6: [I]t should be [...] a rule for [ladies] to leave their top-loftical head gear in that room [...] as it is for the mal3 part of the assemblage to be bare-headed, when they resume their seats after going out to see a man.
[UK]Referee 6 Sept. in Ware (1909) 144/1: A young fellow, who had a pretty young woman in tow, got up after each act and went out. When he came back the second time his companion asked ‘Did you see him?’ ‘See whom?’ he demanded. ‘The man you went to see.’ ‘I didn’t go out to see a man; I wanted to get a drink,’ was the candid rejoinder.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 10 May 2/1: ‘If we go to Now a-Days to-night, darling,’ softly cooed Mrs Early Bird, ‘shall you have to go out to see a man directly after the first act ?’.
[UK]Music Hall & Theatre Rev. 1 Feb. 7/2: I don’t like impersonations of drunken women so I stroll up to the bar ‘to see a man’.
Photographic News 40 59/2: He slipped out of the studio, and around the corner to ‘see a man about a dog’.
People (London) 22 Dec. 9/3: They, like the audience of a theatre, have [...] to go ‘see a man about a dog’ in the [...] bar.
[US]Randolph & Pingry ‘Kansas University Sl.’ AS III:3 221: See a man about a dog, v.phr.—To go out and buy liquor.
[US]A. Hardin ‘Volstead Eng.’ AS VII:2 86: Terms used in securing liquor: See a man about a dog.
[US]Berrey & Van den Bark Amer. Thes. Sl. §102.24: go for a drink, go see a dog, – a dog about a man or a man about a dog.

2. (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; note female var. in cit. 1957 is the result of a female speaker.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 25 Aug. 30/2: In the interval went out to ‘see a man’ and heard a young Australian of about 18 years going up street exclaim ‘[...] Ned Kelly was the best blanky man that Australia ever saw’.
[UK]Norfolk News 17 Dec. 2/1: We can easily forgive the men who slip out of their boxes between acts in [...] theatres. They may whisper to their wives that they are only going to see a man about a dog, but they are really going to imbibe.
[UK]L. Ortzen Down Donkey Row 52: ‘Hang on a minute,’ said Charlie, ‘I’m going to see a man about dog.’.
[UK]B. Bennett ‘The Street of a Thousand Lanterns’ Billy Bennett’s Third Budget 30: If the tiddley Chinks had too many drinks, They’d go out to see a man about a bow-wow.
[UK]J. Cary Horse’s Mouth (1948) 329: ‘Just a minute, Sall,’ I said, ‘while I see a man about a rose.’.
[Aus]Baker Aus. Lang. 89: To go and catch a horse, or kill a snake, to see a man about a dog.
[Aus]R. Raven-Hart Canoe in Aus. 41: He has heard ‘to see a man about a dog’, but preferred the Australian ‘to go and kill a snake’.
[UK]K. Horne Aunt Clara [film script] Excuse me, Miss Clara, do you mind if I go see a man about a dog?
[US]C. Himes ‘Spanish Gin’ Coll. Stories (1990) 396: Want to hold her, Petey [...] while I go and see a lady bout a —.
[US]K. Kolb Getting Straight 93: Let’s go see a cat about a horse.
[US]Baker et al. CUSS 191: See a man about a horse Urinate.
[US]C. Himes Blind Man with a Pistol (1971) 144: Excuse me [...] I got to see a man about a dog.
[US]D. Lebofsky Lex. of Phila. Metropolitan Area n.p.: See a man about a duck [...] to go to the bathroom.
[US]Maledicta III:1+2 24: When Nature is calling, plain speaking is out, / When ladies, God bless ’em, are milling about / [...] / Shake the dew off the lily; see a man ’bout a dog; / Or when everyone’s soused, it’s condensing the fog.
[UK]T. Lewis GBH 210: ‘Excuse me,’ Eddie says. ‘I got to see a man about a dog.’ He [...] makes his way towards the toilets.
[UK]M. Frayn Now You Know 61: ‘Had to see a man about a dog,’ I tell her.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr. 8: see a man about a horse – urinate.
OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. 🌐 see a man about a dog (got to... ) v. am on my way to urinate.

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

[Anti-Teapot Rev. 15 Nov. 135: The husband will meekly excuse himself from offering an explanation; feel himself henpecked; and twice a week, at least, will find that he has to absent himself by going to London, to ‘see a man about a dog’ ].
[UK]E.E. Rogers [perf. Vesta Tilley] Don’t it do your eyesight good! 🎵 When it win, off to the bookie for your cash at once you jog, / When you ?nd out that, ‘He’s gone to see a man about a dog’.
[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘Duck an’ Fowl’ in Moods of Ginger Mick 18: But Mick an’ Rose, O where are they? Arst uv the silent night! / They ’ad a date about a dawg, an’ vanished out o’ sight.
[US]J.L. Kuethe ‘Johns Hopkins Jargon’ AS VII:5 336: see a man about a dog—expression used as an excuse to leave. (‘I’m sorry to leave you, but I have to see a man about a dog.’).
[US]W. Smitter F.O.B. Detroit 305: I guess I’ll get me a drink and go into my room. I’ve gotta write a letter to a man about a dog.
[Aus]D. Cusack Caddie 204: S’pose I’d better be orf now; gotta see a man about a dog.
[UK](con. c.1928) D. Holman-Hunt My Grandmothers and I (1987) 172: Toodle-oo, I must go and see a man about a dog.
[US]T. Burns Haber ‘Canine Terms Applied to Human Beings’ AS XL:2 96: feed the dog, see a man about a dog. Excuses for a sudden departure.
[UK]T. Lewis GBH 267: ‘Not stopping?’ Howard says. ‘Got to see a man about a dog’.
[US]W.T. Vollmann Royal Family 306: I’ve got to go outside for a minute and see a man about a dog.

4. (Aus.) used to deflect a question that one has no wish to answer truthfully.

[Aus]G. Gilmore Base Nature [ebook] ‘Dare I ask again where you are?’ said Natalie. ‘Seeing a man about a dog’.
see a sick friend (v.)

an excuse used by a married man slipping out to consummate an illicit affair.

[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[UK]Farmer Vocabula Amatoria (1966) 60: Chanter la messe. To copulate; ‘to go and see a sick friend’.
see company (v.) [euph.]

to live as a prostitute.

[UK]Cleland Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (1985) 55: Pain and confusion [...] all the marks of which he still explained to be my bashfulness and not being used to see company.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Company. To see company; to enter into a course of prostitution.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd, 3rd edn).
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 56: Company (to see) — said of a highflyer lass.
[US]G. Thompson Venus in Boston 21: [T]he fashionable courtezan who [...] ‘sees company’ at a splendidly furnished brothel can perceive not the slightest resemblance between her position in society and that of the wretched troll who practises indiscriminate prostitution in some low ‘crib’.
see if it fucks (v.) [fig. use of fuck v. (1)]

to see if something works or runs.

[US]Maledicta IX 194: This article and series devoted to sexual slang would be incomplete without some notice of catch phrases, both British and American: […] see if it fucks (works).
seeing double (adj.)


[UK]Gent.’s Mag. 559: Besides these modes of expressing drunkenness by what a man is, what he has, and what he has had, the following express it by what he does— [...] 71 Sees double.
seeing-to (n.) [SE see to, to be solicitous towards; note see to , a backform. f. this n.]

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

[UK]C. Lee diary 10 June in Eight Bells & Top Masts (2001) 133: Anyway, he’s giving one of the greasers a seeing to.
in Plays & Players 69 62/1: She looks a right darling don't she [...] I wouldn’t mind giving her a seeing to meself.
[UK]‘P.B. Yuill’ Hazell Plays Solomon (1976) 30: I gave her a terrific seeing-to — six times by her count.
[UK]T. Blacker Fixx 184: Having given Celia or Venetia a brisk seeing-to back at her place.
[UK]G. Burn Happy Like Murderers 68: And then there had been the sailor who’d been and given her a good seeing-to just a few weeks before.
[UK]M. Manning Get Your Cock Out 132: The dirty bastard had obviously given her a serious seeing-to up the tradesman’s entrance.
[Scot]I. Welsh Decent Ride 7: Kin find thum n gie thum a guid seein-tae awright, that part’s never been a bother.
[UK]J. Meades Empty Wigs (t/s) 375: [W]hat livid telltales of a good seeing-to by hubbies Osman and Faisal?

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

[UK]Sun. Times Mag. 12 Oct. 32: Look at those sods [...] They want a bleedin’ good seein-to.
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘Wanted’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] If that Brendan wasn’t so big, I’d give him a right seeing to!
[UK]M. Coles More Bible in Cockney 71: Moses gave the Egyptian a real good seeing to.
[Scot]L. McIlvanney All the Colours 102: ‘I think they gave him a seeing-to. And maybe something worse’.
see off (v.)

1. to consume.

[UK]Jennings & Madge May the Twelfth: Mass-Observation Day-Surveys 1:123: ‘Don’t you drink beer?’ asked Henry, who was swinging his can of tea round. The boy giggled and said: ‘Nee-ow.’ ‘Your father’ll see your lot off for you,’ said Henry.
[UK]D. Lodge Therapy (1996) 119: We saw off two bottles of Beaujolais Villages.

2. to deal with, to dismiss, to send away, to defeat.

[Glasgow Eve. Post 29 July 1/2: [advert] One Lot We Must See Off Is a Bulkly Line of Colonial Skirts.
[UK]‘P.B. Yuill’ Hazell and the Three-card Trick (1977) 118: You must be quite a capable chap, old boy, seein’ off the boys like that.
[Aus]B. Ellem Doing Time 195: see someone off: To get rid of him.
[UK]A. Payne ‘Minder on the Orient Express’ Minder [TV script] 48: A widow who’s already seen off a couple of millionaires.
[UK]D. Jarman diary 8 Aug. Smiling in Slow Motion (2000) 186: Derek arrives, hyper, after seeing off a schoolteacher with her roaming terrier dog which had killed his gorgeous cat Baby.
[UK]Guardian 8 Jan. 11: Women dominate the top of the list, with [...] JK Rowling’s second installment of Harry Potter seeing off Nick Hornby’s About A Boy.

3. (Aus./UK) to murder.

[UK]T. Lewis GBH 241: ‘So who saw off Mickey?’ [...] ‘Who do you think?’.
[Aus]Tupper & Wortley Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. 🌐 See off. [...] May mean to murder that person.

In phrases

see snakes (v.)

1. (US) to have delirium tremens.

[US]A. Garcia Tough Trip Through Paradise (1977) 66: Beaver Tom lashed in his saddle half dead and seeing snakes.
[US]St Paul Daily Globe (MN) 18 Nov. 7/5: The next time you see snakes after a three days’ celebration console yourself that they are all in your eye.
Coconino Wkly Sun (Flagstaff, AZ) 8 Oct. 4/1: People with ‘jags’ occasionally ‘see snakes’ [...] in delirium tremens.
Eve. Teleg. (London) 27 Nov. 3/5: ‘Seeing Snakes’. Persons suffering from delirium tremens usually imagine that they are surrounded by snakes.
[US]Albuquerque Citizen (NM) 8 Mar. 3/6: A physician engaged a nurse [...] for a case of delirium tremens. The physician [...] left some medicine, instructing the nurse to administer it if he ‘began to see snakes again’.
[US]Wood & Goddard Dict. Amer. Sl.
[UK]Bath Chron. (Somerset) 4 June 22/5: He was a bit of a drinker and sometimes saw snakes.
[US]Berrey & Van den Bark Amer. Thes. Sl. §130.27: have delerium tremens, see snakes, have snakes in the boots.
[US]E. Thompson Garden of Sand (1981) 315: He’s got the shivers, got the shakes, seein little green men, seein snakes.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 362: Seeing snakes, which is what happens to those who drink too much of it and suffer delirium tremens.

2. (US, also study snakes) to be very drunk.

[US]Daily Trib. (Bismarck, ND) 23 Oct. 4/1: When a man is drunk he is [...] ‘hitting the ruby,’ ‘biting off more than he can chew,’ ‘hoisting the elegant,’ ‘studying snakes’ or ‘tampering with the booze.’.
[US]L. Axley ‘Drunk’ Again’ AS IV:6 440: seeing snakes.
[US]A. Hardin ‘Volstead Eng.’ AS VII:2 87: Terms referring to the state of intoxication: Seeing snakes.

3. to be in a state of shock.

[UK]Marvel 22 Oct. 5: Are you seeing snakes, Pete?
see someone coming (v.) [the implication is that the swindler saw a ‘soft touch’ coming before putting the price up or similar ‘extortion’]

to take advantage of someone.

[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[UK]W. Hall Long and the Short and the Tall Act II: Twenty-eight! For a watch? They saw you coming, and no mistake.
[US]M. Braly On the Yard (2002) 157: ‘Think she’s worth three packs? I gave two.’ ‘Old buddy,’ Nunn said, ‘they saw you coming.’.
[Aus]Penguin Bk of More Aus. Jokes 255: ‘How much did you pay for it?’ [...] ‘Two thousand pounds.’ ‘Christ, [...] somebody saw you coming!’.
[UK]K. Waterhouse Soho 35: Jumping Jesus, they knew how to charge for lager down in London, didn’t they? They muster seen Alex coming.
see stars (v.) (also see candles) [SE; var. candles in mid-18C–mid-19C]

‘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).

[UK]Smollett (trans.) Adventures of Gil Blas IV 72: Falling into a passion he gave me half-a-dozen boxes on the face, so rudely, that made me see more candles than ever burnt in Solomon’s temple.
[UK]London Eve. Standard 12 Nov. 4/4: Yankee Courtship [...] She fetched me a slap in the face that made me see stars.
[US]J.C. Neal Charcoal Sketches (1865) 74: A hyst of itself is bad enough, without being sniggered at: first your sconce gets a crack; then, you see all sorts of stars.
[US] ‘How Sally Hooter Got Snake-Bit’ in T.A. Burke Polly Peablossom’s Wedding 70: She didn’t say nare a word, but she turned ’round an’ took me kerbim right ’tween the eyes! I tell you what it made me see stars.
[Ire]Skibereen & West Carbery Eagle (Ireland) 18 Jan. 4/5: A strong right hand [...] knocked Mr Sim Blix down. With suc force, too, that he saw stars.
[US]Arizona Sentinel (Yuma, AZ) 7 Nov. 1/2: I heard a yelling [...] and the office door came in on me. I saw stars, comets [...] and ‘came to’ in the next town.
[UK]Leicester Chron. 4 Sept. 9/5: In a twinkling ‘Spanish Jim’ had a blow right between the eyes that made him see stars.
[US]Sun (NY) 3 Mar. 4/1: A punch on the jaw that made McCoy see stars.
[US]W. Irwin Love Sonnets of a Hoodlum IV n.p.: We take a tumble and the cog-wheels stop, Leaving the patient seeing stars.
[Aus]Warwick Examiner & Times (St Lucia, Qld) 16 May 8/2: The champion female walloper of the world is Miss Heston, a school madam in Ohio [...] Two of her biggest pupils hit her, whereupon she knocked their heads together until they saw constellations.
[US]J. London Valley of the Moon (1914) 78: He lands bingo on the side of my head [...] it’s that heavy I see some stars.
[Aus]M. Garahan Stiffs 296: It is a fleshy smack, some stars, and afterwards a rainbow-hued bruise.
[NZ]N.Z. Truth 13 May 5/5: [headline] When Darkie Saw Stars.
[US]J. Conroy World to Win 137: He felt blows on his body, he staggered against a wall and saw stars blossoming and floating away.
[UK]P. Cheyney Dames Don’t Care (1960) 120: She waddles over to me an’ she lifts up her foot an’ she kicks me in the face [...] I just see a lot more stars an’ I go sick as hell an’ I go out again.
[US]J. Yount Trapper’s Last Shot (1974) 181: He’d often heard that people saw stars when they were hit in the head.
[US]S. King Dead Zone (1980) 158: Johnny fell over, striking his head on the floor, hard. He saw stars.
[UK]P. Barker Union Street 190: He belted her across the ear, hard enough to make her see stars.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr. 4: I drank so many beers last night [...] I even saw stars.
[US]C. Cook Robbers (2001) 244: His vision was lousy, still seeing stars.
[UK](con. 1982) N. ‘Razor’ Smith A Few Kind Words and a Loaded Gun 280: Someone hit me from behind and I saw stars. When people say they ‘saw stars’ when hit with a headshot, they really mean it. It’s like a sudden flash of burning lights inside your head.
[UK]S. Kelman Pigeon English 160: It slid off and hit me right on the nose [...] I saw stars.
see Steve (v.)

(US drugs) to take cocaine to the extent that one hallucinates.

[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Lannoy & Masterson ‘Teen-age Hophead Jargon’ AS XXVII:1 26: seeing steve, phr. using cocaine.
see the lions (v.)

1. to have some experience of life.

[UK]Greene Neuer Too Late in Grosart Works (1881–3) 68: This country Franceso was no other but a meere nouice, & that so newly, that to vse the old prouerb, he had scarce seen the lions.

2. to be drunk.

[UK]J. Taylor ‘A Brood of Cormorants’ Works (1869) III 5: For though he be as drunke as any Rat, / He hath but catcht a Foxe, or whipt the Cat. / Or some say hee’s bewitcht, or scratcht, or blinde, / [...] / Or seene the Lyons, or his nose is dirty, / Or hee’s pot-shaken, or out, two and thirty.
[UK]‘Mary Tattle-well’ Womens sharpe revenge 175: The first Health is call’d a Whiffe, the second a Slash, the third a Hunch, the fourth Thrust, the fift is call’d Pot-shaken, the sixth is seeing the Lions, the seventh he is scratch’d, the eighth, his Nose is dirty, the ninth he hath whipt the Catt, the tenth, he is fox’d, the eleventh, he is Bewitch’d, the twelfth, he is Blinde, and the thirteenth, and last, he is drunke.

3. to see the fashionable ‘sights’.

[UK]P. Hawker Diary (1893) I 25 Aug. 38: Having spent an hour in seing the ‘lions’ of that place [i.e. Bristol].
[UK]‘Bill Truck’ Man o’ War’s Man (1843) 338: So you were wearying to see the lions again [...] and to have a dash at the sprees and jollities of London.
[UK]C. Lamb Elia Ser. 1 (1835) 266: The Mendicants of this great city were so many of her sights, her lions. I can no more spare them than I could the Cries of London.
[US]N.Y. Times 24 June 2/4: One of the pleasantest excursions that can be made is by the rail road to Paterson and Passaic Falls. The scenery is interesting, and lots of cascades, cotton mills and other nice lions, reward the trouble of the tourist.
[UK]New Sprees of London 4: Such was the style of chaff that the fly, spreeish Harry Flashton pattered to his yokel of a cousin, who had come up to Lun’non to see the lions.
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Adventures of Mr Verdant Green (1982) I 40: Mr Green said that they would go and look at the Oxford lions.
[UK]Kentish Gaz. 17 July 6/4: The Japanese were being vigorously fêted at New York, and dragged about to see the ‘lions’.
[US]W.W. Fowler Ten Years In Wall Street 82: He [...] offered with the greatest cheerfulness to show me the lions, or rather the bulls and bears of the street.
Reading Mercury (Berks) 11 Dec. 4/7: The Empress Eugénie, before quitting the city, went to see the lions of Turin.
[UK]E.S. Mott Mingled Yarn 74: We stayed here [i.e. Cairo] nearly a week, by which time we had seen all the ‘lions.’ Never shall I forget that execrable climb up the big Pyramid.
see the nose-cheese first (v.) [ety. unknown]

to make a refusal rudely or contemptuously.

[UK]W. Toldervy Hist. of the Two Orphans II 36: ‘I leave the room for yoe! that would’d be very fine, o’ my conscience!’ answered the aunt, ‘I’ll see your nose cheese, and all the dogs in the town a eatin o’t first.’.
[UK]Partridge DSUE (1984) 803/2: late C.19–20.
see through a brick wall (v.) (also see through a stone wall)

to be particularly perceptive, to be intelligent, to be aware; sometimes ext. as see further through a brick wall than most.

[UK]H. Kingsley Ravenshoe II 80: He could see through a brick wall as well as most men.
[UK]Leeds Mercury 18 Oct. 4/2: Those who delude themselves are certainly giving him credit for the capacity to see through a brick wall.
[UK]Sketch (London) 26 Feb. 22/1: She and her father always made me feel as they could see through a brick wall.
[UK]‘Sapper’ Bulldog Drummond 127: He could see farther into a brick wall than most of the people who called him a fool.
[US]M.C. Sharpe Chicago May (1929) 246: This is a smear case. She has robbed nobody. I can see through a stone wall.
see through a millstone (v.) (also see (as) far into a millstone)

to be aware, to understand what is going on.

[UK]Lyly Euphues and His England (2009) 584: Your eies are so sharp that you cannot onely looke through a milstone, but cleane through the minde, and so cunning that you can levell at the dispositions of women whom you never knew .
[UK]S. Centlivre Bold Stroke for a Wife III i: We old Fellows can see far into a Millstone as them that pick it.
[UK]Swift Polite Conversation 25: I believe, I can see as far into a Mill-stone as another Man.
see to (v.) [backform. f. seeing-to ]

to have sexual intercourse.

[UK]M. Amis London Fields 93: ‘I thought she might want seeing to.’ ‘The flat?’ ‘No. Her.’.
[UK]N. Barlay Hooky Gear 99: A feelin I cant put my finger on of her bein shagged all over the shop, stuffed floor to ceilin, wheelbarrowed along the hall an back, seen to upstairs, downstairs an over my ladys chamber pot.
see two moons (v.)

(US) to be drunk.

[US]B. Franklin ‘Drinkers Dict.’ Pennsylvania Gazette 6 Jan. in AS XII:2 91: They come to be well understood to signify plainly that A MAN IS DRUNK. [...] He sees two Moons.
Ohio Organ (Cincinnati, OH) 28 Jan. 13/2: Dr Franklin speaking of the intemperate drinker says [...] he may be boozy, cozy, foxed [...] groatable [...] may see two moons [...] pretty well entered, but never drunk.
[UK]Suffolk Chron. 4 Aug. 4/5: ‘You did not see two moons, did you?’ [...] ‘If I had I should think I was drunk’.
[US]Morn. Herald (Wilmington, DE) 8 Sept. 1/6: Anman [...] thinks it astonishing that he has not been able to see two moons saince the night of the election — he mixed whiskey and beer that night.
[UK]Brechin Advertiser 8 Mar. 3/6: Too much drink makes a man see two moons.
[US]Helena Indep. (MT) 22 July 4/3: A man came staggering down Main Street [...] so full of fire-water that he could see two moons [...] although it was the middle of the day.
Waren Sheaf (MN) 12 Apr. 10/4: Mr Gaylush — ‘Officer, I can — hic! — see two moons up zhere and — hic!’.
[US]Guthrie Dly Leader (OK) 26 Jan. 2/3: They had eaten and drunken to the full [...] One said, ‘I see three moons,’ and another said, ‘I see two moons’.
[Ire]L. Doyle Dear Ducks 13: There’ll be two moons up by then [...] Did you ever taste Miss Armytage’s port wine?
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)]

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.

[US]Bobby Charles ‘See You later Alligator’ 🎵 See you lat-er, al-li-ga-tor, / Aft-er ’while, croc-o-dile, / Can’t you see you’re in my way, now, / Don’t you know you cramp my style?
[US]L.P. Boone ‘Gator Sl.’ AS XXXIV:2 154: Farewells like later gator and see ya round echo from all sides.
[Ire]L. Daiken Out Goes She 8: I’m game to lay a bet [...] that there’s more of See you later, alligator, or Bad news, yourself, than of relics like ‘Yer eyes, duckie’.
[US](con. 1950s) H. Junker ‘The Fifties’ in Eisen Age of Rock 2 (1970) 104: See you later, alligator.
[US]Spoonie G ‘Love Rap’ 🎵 Then it’s see you later, alligator, when you’re broke.
[UK]A. Payne ‘Minder on the Orient Express’ Minder [TV script] 27: See you later, alligator.
[US]S. King It (1987) 246: Seeya, alligator. [...] When I say that you’re supposed to say, ‘After a while, crocodile’.
[US]E. Little Another Day in Paradise 195: Later, alligator.
[US]E. White My Lives 191: He said lots of things like ‘Later, alligator’ – not what one expected from a middle-class guy from Brittany.
see you (also see ya)


[US]B. Schulberg Harder They Fall (1971) 15: Take it easy, Eddie, see ya, Charley.
[US]H. Simmons Corner Boy 31: Take it slow, Jake. See you, man.
[UK]G.W. Target Teachers (1962) 280: ‘See you,’ said Steve.
[Aus](con. 1941) R. Beilby Gunner 161: See ya, mate. See ya.
[UK]S. Berkoff East in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 66: mike: Can you hear me? . . . les: Only just . . . see ya.
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘No Greater Love’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] See yer Rodders ... See yer Zoe.
[UK](con. 1950s) J. Byrne Slab Boys [film script] 39: Aw, naw! See you!
[Scot]I. Welsh Glue 96: See yis, eh goes, headin away.
see you around, like a donut

(US) a general phr. of farewell, ‘see you again’.

[US](con. 1950s) McAleer & Dickson Unit Pride (1981) 246: We’ve got some important things to do right now [...] We’ll see you around, like a donut.
posting on ‘Broken Land Bum’ at 🌐 I don’t see you at Target pushing the carts in the store or at Border’s reading the paper...UPSIDE DOWN! See you around like a donut!
see you in the funny papers (also see you in the funny sheet)

(US) goodbye, see you later.

[US]Maines & Grant Wise-crack Dict. 14/2: See you in the funny sheet – A humorous way of saying good-bye.
Prairie Schooner (University of Nebraska mag.) 189: ‘I’ve got to meet some guys,’ Ben said. ‘See you in the funny papers,’ the judge called after him.
C. Odets Paradise Lost 63: (ben slaps his statue as he passes it and exits.) libby: See you in the funny papers, Pop!
H.A. Smith Low Man on the Totem Pole 225: See you in the funny papers.
J. Stafford Catherine Wheel 182: When he got out of the boat all he said was ‘See you in the funny papers.’.
N. Benchley Welcome to Xanadu 130: Then he looked back, said, ‘See you in the funny papers,’ and left.
M. Costello Murphy Stories 7: So long, he says, and messes up my hair, I’ll see you in the funny papers.
[US](con. 1940s) C. Bram Hold Tight (1990) 198: See you in the funny papers, ladies.
[US]D. Pinckney High Cotton (1993) 26: We were sent to bed. ‘See you in the funny papers,’ my mother said.
[US]‘Randy Everhard’ Tattoo of a Naked Lady 55: She’s all yours, Tiger [...] See you in the funny papers.
see you some more

(N.Z.) goodbye.

[US]J.A.W. Bennett ‘Eng. as it is Spoken in N.Z.’ AS XVIII:2 Apr. 91: ‘See you some more’ is the common phrase of casual farewell, the alternative being ‘hooray’ (the New Zealand modification of ‘hurrah.’).

In exclamations

see ya!

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

[US]P. Munro Sl. U. 166: See ya!/C ya! Shut up! You’re weird! Enough of that!
seeyabye! [see you + SE goodbye]

(US teen) goodbye!

‘The Overheard Page’ on 🌐 ‘Seeyabye!’—Jake, after the door slams and I’m locked out in the hall.