Green’s Dictionary of Slang

potato n.

1. [mid-19C] constr. with the, the right thing, the apposite thing; usu. as quite the potato; thus negative, not quite the potato.

2. [mid-19C+] (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].

3. [late 19C+] a person, often as an insult with a negative adj.

4. senses based on the shape.

(a) [late 19C-1950s] (US) the head; cite 1892 is fig. use, the mind.

(b) [1930s] (US) a bump, a swelling.

5. [1920s+] (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].

6. [1950s] (Can.) a native of New Brunswick [the province grows many potatoes; the implication is one of rural stolidness and stupidity].

7. [1970s] (US) a severely disabled person.

8. [2000s] (N.Z.) a Polynesian (regarded as being brown on the outside but white on the inside).

SE in slang uses

In compounds

potato bag (n.)

[early 19C] (Anglo-Irish) the stomach.

potato-box (n.)

[late 19C] the mouth.

potato chip (n.)

see sense 5 above.

potato-face (n.) (also tater face, spud face) [spud n.3 (1)]

[mid-18-mid-9C; 1980s] (US) a mild term of abuse; thus potato-faced adj.

potato-finger (n.) [the shape + the supposed aphrodisiac quality of the sweet potato] [17C]

1. the penis.

2. a dildo.

potato-fingered Irishman (n.) [negative stereotyping]

[20C+] a clumsy person.

potato-grabber (n.)

[mid-late 19C] (US) a finger, a hand.

potato-grabler (n.) [grabble v.]

[mid-19C] (US) the hand.

potato-head (n.)

see separate entry.

potato jack (n.) [jack n.14 (1)]

[1920s+] (US) illicit liquor distilled from potatoes.

potato jaw (n.) [its use in consuming the vegetable]

[late 18C] the mouth.

potato masher (n.) [resemblance]

[1920s] a drum stick.

potato nigger (n.)

[2010s] an Irishman.

potato queen (n.) [? the SE potato as a quintessential Western food + -queen sfx (2)]

[1980s+] (US gay) an East Asian gay man who prefers Western partners.

potato-stealer (n.)

[mid-19C] (US) a hand.

In phrases

have one’s potatoes (v.)

[2000s] (N.Z.) to be ruined.

smooth potato (n.)

[1940s] (US teen) an attractive female.

In exclamations