1. constr. with the, the right thing, the apposite thing; usu. as quite the potato; thus negative, not quite the potato.
|Noctes Ambrosianae May 175: Upon my honor, that's a most natty surtout—and your spatterdashes, why they are quite the potato.|
|London Lit. Gaz. 19 Jan. 35/2: Ravishing thy Russian ice; and thy new ‘Souffle’ quite the potato.|
|(con. 1737–9) Jack Sheppard (1917) xxxvi: Larry is quite ‘the potato’.|
2. (also spud) a large hole in a sock or stocking through which the flesh shows [? the shape + the dirt that accrues to the bare flesh].
|implied in tater n. (2)|
|F&H].Eng. Illus. Mag. June 616: ... potatoes, that is, holes in the fleshings perceptible in many places [|
|[perf. Vesta Tilley] Don’t it do your eyesight good! [lyrics] [Y]ou find she has potatoes in the heels of both her hose.|
|Dundee Eve. Exp. 12 Jan. 3: My husband would always walk about with potatoes in his socks [...] the polite name for holes.|
|South Riding (1988) 110: For goodness’ sake, during break, ask Miss Parsons for some wool and mend that stocking [...] Every time I look up I’m confronted by that terrible potato!|
|Dly Mirror 24 Jan. 4/4: That ‘potato.’ A soldier must not consider his socks unserviceable until the hole [is] one inch.|
|Thanks to Jennings (1988) 166: I’ve got a massive great potato in the heel and she said she’d mend it.|
|Maori Girl 231: She darned the holes in his working socks – spuds, she called them.|
|DSUE (8th edn) 1135/1: since late C.19.|
|Aus. Word Map [Internet] spud. Hole worn through a sock.|
3. a person, often as an insult with a negative adj.
|Bulletin (Sydney) 22 Oct. 9/3: As a closer of boot-uppers Frawncis Habigle is justly famous, but as a mining Minister he is a remarkably unobtrusive potato indeed.|
|Budgeree Ballads 85: I’m a clean pertater, Liza.‘Liza’ in|
|Nightmare Alley (1947) 264: Molly, the dumb little potato.|
|Call Me When the Cross Turns Over (1958) 69: That would be the day, Locky retorted, when some bloody potater [...] had him stringing along with her.|
|Fields of Fire (1980) 230: That fat potato looked me square in the face and called me a coward!|
4. senses based on the shape.
(a) (US) the head; cite 1892 is fig. use, the mind.
|Illus. Police News 24 Dec. 4/1: ‘I’ve cooked a yarn that will suit old Goggles’ potato to a T’.|
|TAD Lex. (1993) 65: When Dave Shade hit Jimmy Slattery on the potato at the Italian Hospital Fund fight, he gave the Shade family the biggest boost it ever had.in Zwilling|
|Just Enough Liebling (2004) 237: They just stick their potato in every office and say, ‘Anything for me today?’.‘The Jollity Building’ in|
|Honest Rainmaker (1991) 24: [I] took the boss’s green eyeshade [...] and placed it on my towish potato.|
(b) (US) a bump, a swelling.
|Christ in Concrete 219: Madonn, what a potato I Have! [Ibid.] 257: With a stone I raised a potato on his bull-head.|
5. (also potato chip) a dollar; money; usu. in pl. [on the ‘vegetable’ pattern of cabbage n.2 (3a), kale n., lettuce n.1 etc. although unlike them not green].
|TAD Lex. (1993) 65: An’ the guy charged him five potato chips for the tow.in Zwilling|
|Cecil Beaton’s N.Y. 25: The guy [...] must have more potatoes in his pocket than most guys who walk along Broadway these days.|
|Runyon à la Carte 93: The Sky [...] loses all his potatoes betting a guy St. Louis is the biggest town in the world.|
|On the Waterfront (1964) 262: A steady job. A couple extra potatoes, that’s all I want.|
|Flesh Peddlers (1964) 198: Nose, he swipes it, see, and changes it to ‘I’ll give you five hundred potatoes for your...’.|
|Gumshoe (1998) 122: A job. A few potatoes to earn. Like the next guy.|
|(con. 1949) True Confessions (1979) 94: It wasn’t as if Turd was a Bruno Hauptmann, pulling a kidnap for the potatoes.|
|Guardian G2 10 Sept. 13: Insuring the cream of British talent is small potatoes. ‘It was about a quarter of a million.’.|
|Outlaws (ms.) 29: That fact is that drugs is business. Big fucking potatoes.|
6. (Can.) a native of New Brunswick [the province grows many potatoes; the implication is one of rural stolidness and stupidity].
|Maledicta II:1+2 (Summer/Winter) 168: Potato Anyone from New Brunswick, a potato-growing province. Implies stupidity.|
7. (US) a severely disabled person.
|Paradise Alley (1978) 210: A vicious beating could leave you a breathing potato for the rest of your life.|
8. (N.Z.) a Polynesian (regarded as being brown on the outside but white on the inside).
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 163: potato A Polynesian, brown on the outside, white within.|
SE in slang uses
(Anglo-Irish) the stomach.
|Real Life in Ireland 54: You stood a prime chance of having a soldier’s bayonet passed through your potatoe bag.|
|Era (London) 21 Jan. 11/3: Charley made his right tell on Bob’s potato-box, and then letting fly with his right [etc].|
see sense 5 above.
|Man o’ War’s Man (1843) 80: You bog-trotting potato-eater.|
|Bradford Obs. 9 Mar. 5/3: The young potato eater is really boiling with rage, and offering the most frightful menaces.|
|Operative (London) 7 Apr. 16/1: Letters from London by the Irish Potato Eater.|
|Royal Cornwall Gaz. 13 Feb. 2/5: How the penniless potato eater is to be by remitting the duties on wheat, he did not explain.|
|N.Y. Times 14 Feb. 8/3: Relieved of [...] potato rot [...] we can enjoy [potatoes] to our heart’s content [...] without being ranked among ‘Irish potato eaters’.|
|Our Boys 239: Come, now, my red-headed Irish pratie-machine.|
|Sut Lovingood’s Yarns 110: That tater-eater hed a hole inter the sittin down part ove his britches.|
|Sporting Times 1 Mar. 1/5: Ballyhooly’s Rules of Football have proved a great success in Ireland. [...] ‘No, yer honour,’ said the potato consumer.|
|Star (Renoldsville, PA) 7 June 6/4: Now then, you old potato-eater.|
|Anaconda Standard (MO) 7 Feb. 3/2: Several of the spud-eaters affirm that green will be sported.|
|Stiffs 227: I make it a bob, you spud-eater.|
|On the Waterfront (1964) 152: Uh, I’m just a potato eater, but isn’t it as simple as one-two-three?|
|Maledicta II:1+2 (Summer/Winter) 168: Potato-eater Anyone from Ireland, or of Irish descent, after the Irish dietary staple.|
|Fort Apache, The Bronx 138: You scruffy Irish potato eater, what do you know about style?|
|Maledicta VII 24: The Irish were called potato eater, potato head, and spud.|
|Dict. of Invective (1991) 229: potato eater, an Irishman.|
|Oz ser. 4 ep. 14 [TV script] That’s all we need in this place: another spud-eating mick.‘Orpheus Descending’|
|Gazette (Montreal) 7 July W8/3: The poorer Irish, the spud eaters, were said to be larger, healthier [...] than other Europeans.|
(US) a mild term of abuse; thus potato-faced adj.
|Brave Irishman I i: Add to this [...] a Cumberland pinch to his hat, an old red coat, and a damn’d potatoe-face.|
|London Standard 14 Dec. 3/1: The four magistrates were Dean Mahon [...] and potato-faced M’Donough.|
|Sligo Champion 11 Mar. 1/3: Paddy Lambert, a thumping, potato-faced Irishman.|
|Oddities of London Life I 152: A regular potato-faced Irish witch came forward.|
|Jack Ashore I 294: The artfulness of her tater-faced dump of a daughter.|
|Pickings from N.O. Picayune (1847) 20: The other was a dumpy, potato-faced Irishman.|
|Revelations of Ireland 115: Why, you potato-faced pippin-sneezer.|
|Glasgow Herald 7 Apr. 3/6: A long potato-faced Milesian is bawling out the contents of the ‘sensation song book’.|
|Eve. Teleg. (Dundee) 17 Mar. 2/2: This ghostly adviser is a potato-faced jovial irishman.|
|Hartford Herald (KY) 21 June 2/2: A number of potato-faced specimens made spectacles of themselves.|
|S.F. Call 17 Oct. 2/2: The candidate referred to the non-union employers [...] as ‘piping, sneezing, potato faced [...] cowardly curs’.|
|Derby Dly Teleg. 29 Jan. 4/5: ‘Now then,’ shrieked Mrs Elias P. Hutchings, ‘Miss Smith, you fix on to that potato-faced one!’.|
|Gold in the Streets (1966) 139: What the hell’s he’s always got to be pushing his big spud face into other people’s business.|
|Christine 166: Off my case, potato-face.|
1. the penis.
|Troilus and Cressida V ii: How the devil Luxury, with his fat rump and potato-finger, tickles these together!|
|Loyal Subject II ii: ‘How fit ’tis [i.e. a ring] for my finger.’ [...] ‘No doubt you’l find too A finger fit for you.’.|
|Northern Lasse IV iv: I doubt your middle finger is too short, Mr. Widgine.|
|‘Sentimental Sprig’ Records of the [...] Beggar’s Benison 76: The middle finger’s favourite ring, That friction sets on fire.|
|Jane’s Bad Hare Day 81: Ask him why he sticks his potato finger down the drain. Ask him if it’s prost. (The entire family, uncles, aunts, cuz, all have this urethral phobia.).|
2. a dildo.
a clumsy person.
|Maledicta IX 57: Irishman, potato-fingered n Clumsy person; from the alleged predilection of the Irish for potatoes and the stereotype of their awkwardness.|
(US) a finger, a hand.
|Wkly Clarion (Jackson, MS) 3 Aug. 3/4: Merriman run his potato-grabbers around his windpipe and treated him to a good choking.|
|Wkly Democratic Statesman (Austin, TX) 12 Oct. 1/6: A soldier who had shaken hands with the grandfather [...] stretched out his [...] potato grabber to the grandson.|
|Clarkesville Wkly Chron. (TN) 16 Oct. 1/3: Slim Jim’s potato grabbers.|
|Sedalia Wkly Bazoo (MO) 29 Dec. 5/1: The dysapeptics are today walking around with [...] their right potato grabber on that part of their anatomy.|
(US) the hand.
|‘M’Cracken’s Experience’ in Polly Peablossom’s Wedding 60: I’d jest doubled up these pertater grablers, calculatin’ to plant one of ’em on the tip of his nose.|
see separate entry.
(US) illicit liquor distilled from potatoes.
|News-Jrnl (Mansfield, OH) 27 June 2/2: A posse [...] confiscated five gallons of potato jack whiskey and 40 gallons of mash.|
|News-Jrnl (Mansfield, OH) 3 July 14/3: Home brew, potato jack and the other jacks may be all right for Saturday nighters and week-end parties [etc].|
|Cogan’s Trade (1975) 169: He won’t get enough potato jack in the can to kill himself.|
|‘Gambit Reflex’ on John Rummel’s homepage [Internet] I don’t remember what happened next, what with oxygen loss and that rotgut potato jack and all, but I clearly remember waking up in Med Station 3.|
|Smoke King n.p.: The corporal was feeling confused suddenly, as if the potato jack he'd been drinking earlier had returned to disable him.|
|Diary (1891) III 333: Hold you your potato-jaw, my dear.|
|Manchester Times 26 Nov. 4/3: ‘Hold you your potato-jaw, my dear,’ cried the Duke.|
a drum stick.
|Other Side of the Circus 236: Well, there’s the big drumstick. It’s a potato masher or walloper.|
|Twitter 24 Jan. [Internet] tweet to @MrPaulDuane DONT TELL ME WHAT IS AND ISNT A DECENT ARGUMENT YOU FILTHY POTATO NIGGER.|
(US gay) an East Asian gay man who prefers Western partners.
|Queer Sl. in the Gay 90s [Internet] Potato Queen – (Asian) guys preferring white men.|
|Gayle 89/1: potato queen n. man who likes sex only with white men [American Gayspeak with limited usage in South Africa].|
|Rice Queen Spy 194: Now I laugh when I hear I am called a rice queen, and someone else is a potato queen because he likes whites.|
|(con. early 1960s) N.Y. Rev. Bks 25 Oct. [Internet] I would in effect teach them how to camp—[...] how to label a guy who likes blacks (‘a dinge queen’) or Asians (‘a rice queen’).in|
(US) a hand.
|Georgia Scenes (1848) 118: Let your Uncle Johnny put his potato stealer (hand) into that hat, and tickle the chins of them are shiners a little!|
|Wilmington Jrnl (MC) 6 Aug. 1/3: Johnny put his potato stealer (hand) into that hat.|
|Dly Phoenix (Columbia, SC) 16 June 2/2: He raised his hand in an imploring attitude [...] and one of them fired his pistol at the palm of the upraised potato stealer.|
the mouth (cf. tater-trap under tater n.).
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Don’t flash your ivory but shut your potatoe trap and give your guts a holiday, i.e. be silent.|
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: [as cite 1785] [...] Irish Wit. Thus expressed in England, Shut your mouth keep your guts warm, the Devil loves hot Tripes.|
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (3rd edn) n.p.: Shut your potatoe trap and give your tongue a holiday; i.e. be silent.|
|Dict. Sl. and Cant.|
|Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1796].|
|Salisbury & Winchester Jrnl 8 June 3: This here girl opened her potato trap upon me.|
|Man o’ War’s Man (1843) 37: Clap a stopper on that vile potato-trap o’ yours.|
|Tom and Jerry; A Musical Extravaganza II iv: Bad luck to de ha’porth passed my pratee-trap dis blessed night.|
|Jorrocks Jaunts (1874) 13: ‘Hold your jaw, Mr. J——,’ cries Tom, ‘you are always throwing that red rag of yours. I wish you would keep your potato-trap shut’.|
|Handley Cross (1854) 13: Shut up your potato trap! I see how it is.|
|Sam Slick in England II 7: Jist take my advice, and mind your potatoe-trap, or you will be in trouble.|
|Tipperary Free Press 29 June 2/6: Shut your pratie trap, you ignoramus.|
|Hillingdon Hall III 149: I’ll bring the ball into the Court of Exchequer, and let Baron Halderson have a look in his turnip trap.|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 27 Sept. 3/1: Getting clear, the native caught York slightly on the potatoe trap.|
|Adventures of Mr Verdant Green (1982) II 166: While to another he would mention as an interesting item of news [...] ‘That’ll damage your potato-trap!’.|
|(con. 1811) Fights for the Championship 47: The carmine distilled freely from his potatoe trap.|
|Chambers’s Journal xiii, 348: His mouth is his ‘potatoe trap’ – more shortly, ‘tatur trap’ – or kisser [F&H].|
|Sydney Morn. Herald 21 June 10/5: Hard drinking, and ignoble slang, constitute the entertainment. [...] It is know-ng to have a bet on the next fight, and to talk about a man's ‘peepers,’ and ‘potato-trap’.|
|Night Side of N.Y. 80: His nose is a ‘conk,’ his chest a ‘bread-basket,’ his mouth a ‘potato-trap’.|
|Belfast News Letter 4 Oct. 3/3: Shut up that ‘pratie’ trap there, and let us hear the speaker.|
|Carlson Advocate (Lehighton, PA) 12 Sept. 4/1: He [...] ordered the old man to open his potato trap.|
|Salt lake Herald (UT) 5 June 7/2: Garside [...] landed a few mosquito killers on Pierce’s bread basket and potato trap.|
|Out Back 237: ‘Lay yure hid back,’ says he, ‘and open yure potatee trap.’.|
|Vanguard Library 31 Mar. 1: Shouldn’t fill your potato-trap so full.|
|letter 26 May in Holmes-Pollock Letters I (1961) 14: With which I close my potato-trap — for speech — to open it again to take in luncheon.|
|DN V 238: potato trap, n. phr. Mouth. ‘Shut your potato trap’.|
(N.Z.) to be ruined.
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.|
(US teen) an attractive female.
|Chicago Trib. Graphic Section 26 Dec. 7/1: Jive Talk [...] Smooth Girl Slick chick. Sweet stuff. Wolf bait. Queen of hearts. P-38. Able Grable. A good deal. A doll. Smooth potato. Hot gingerbread. Pretty pigeon. 20-20 little squab.|
see sweet potato pie under sweet adj.1
see under sweet adj.1
see eggs are cooked!, the under egg n.1