Green’s Dictionary of Slang

suds n.1

also sudski
[the product’s intense soap-suds-like fizziness and (to UK palates) taste. The 18C phr. little in the suds, drunk, is presumably coincidental]

1. (US) beer.

[US]W.J. Kountz Billy Baxter’s Letters 75: Brandy and soda being fifty a throw and beer five a copy, we told her to behave, and ordered the waiter to back her up a tub of suds, Texas size.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 39: I got three corned beef sandwiches an’ a kittle of suds.
[US]H.A. Franck Zone Policeman 88 47: Shiny-haired bartenders gave up their biographies in nasal monosyllables amid the slop of ‘suds’ and the scrape of celluloid froth-eradicators.
[US]P. & T. Casey Gay-cat 213: We was havin’ the second schooner o’ suds.
[US]Mt Sterling Advocate (KY) 24 Oct. 6/6: If old Pil has the coin to fill the proletariat with enough of the sudski to get them seeing things his way he will beat Paderewski by a moonlight sonata.
[Aus]Smith’s Wkly (Sydney) 20 Aug. 11/2: Slanguage [...] Arithy. [...] A bloke pads the ’oof ’tween Melbin and Sydney and dips ’is lid [to] every third tabbie ’e dekkos, ’ow far would he be from, Bourke before he does ’is block? Answer to nearest ’arf tin o’ suds .
[US]Ade Old-Time Saloon 43: You would naturally believe that about a gallon of beer in combination with apple, huckleberry or cocoa-nut pie might form a dangerous explosive. Nevertheless, many of the boys liked pastry with their suds.
[US]Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ) 15 Aug. 3/2: He dipped his spacious nose into a glass of suds.
[US]Lait & Mortimer USA Confidential 193: The biggest brewer in the state is Howard Hughes, whose income from suds is perhaps even larger than his return from the fabulous Hughes Tool Company.
[NZ]G. Slatter Gun in My Hand 91: All those busy mouths slopping back the suds.
[[UK](con. 1920s) J. Sparks Burglar to the Nobility 16: [He’d] wipe the beer-suds off his big black moustache].
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 86: I sat sipping on a bottle of suds.
[US]R. De Christoforo Grease 35: The T-Birds would bring the sixes-of-suds along.
[US]D. Woodrell Muscle for the Wing 99: Shade [...] sucked down some suds.
[US]J. Wambaugh Finnegan’s Week 156: I was kinda lying about the beer [...] Actually their suds is the kinda stuff they use in Germany to kill potato bugs with.
[US]F. Kellerman Stalker (2001) 37: Cindy took another sip of suds, then licked the foam off her lips.
[US] M. McBride Frank Sinatra in a Blender [ebook] I dropped the empty bottle into my aluminum wastebasket and the unfinished suds spewed out.

2. drink in general.

[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ Down the Line 103: When the suds rolled up I gave the Vichy stuff the sad eye and Lionel caught the gaze.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ Get Next 89: Cornelius Sudslifter, the well known inventor of the patent chowless chow chow.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ You Should Worry cap. 1: ‘A quart of Happysuds,’ Bunch ordered.

3. coffee.

[US]F. Walter Pollock ‘The Current Expansion of Sl.’ in AS II:3 146: Doughnuts and coffee, ‘sinkers and suds’.
[US]H.W. Bentley ‘Linguistic Concoctions of the Soda Jerker’ in AS XI:1 45: SINKERS AND SUDS. Doughnuts and coffee.

In compounds

French suds (n.)

(US) champagne.

[US]Inter Ocean (Chicago) 25 Jan. 34/7: I couldn’t see anything but the French suds, and I dropped into John L’s [where] I met a bundle of booze grafters [...] and executed the Rube stunt of purchasing a few quarts for them.
suds jerker (n.) (also suds slinger)

a barman; a waiter.

[US]S. Ford Side-stepping with Shorty 33: I felt sorry for them suds slingers that travels around the deck singin’ out, ‘Who wants the waiter?’.
Buffalo Courier (NY) 16 Feb. 47/4: He got the two ‘ex-suds slingers’ to purchase things.
[US]Howsley Argot: Dict. of Und. Sl. 50: suds slinger, suds jerker – a bartender.

In phrases

in the suds

1. in trouble, in a disagreeable situation [SE suds, filth, muck].

[UK]Jonson Bartholomew Fair IV iv: Why, where are you, zurs? Do you vlinch, and leave us i’ the zuds, now?
[UK]Rowlands Good Newes and Bad Newes 12: Now land is sold and money gone in goods, / He cals out, Andrew, I am in the suddes.
[UK]C. Cotton Virgil Travestie (1765) Bk IV 97: For nought more vexes Womens Bloods, / Than to be left so in the Suds.
[UK] ‘The Forsaken Maid’s Frolick’ in Ebsworth Roxburghe Ballads (1891) VII:2 381: The flattering fauning Elf, when he had got all my pelf, / And squand’red my goods, he left me i’ th’ sudds.
[UK]N. Ward Wooden World 7: He makes no tiresome stay with her. Farewell, he leaves her in the suds.
[UK]A. Smith Lives of Most Noted Highway-men, etc. I 206: Tom Sharp, being in the Suds again [...] was oblig’d to employ all the Powers of his Wit and Invention.
[UK]Swift Death and Daphne n.p.: Away the frighted spectre scuds, And leaves my lady in the suds [F&H].
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Aug. VIII 252/2: Remember that your country is at war, and if you do not ‘war [sic] hawk,’ you will find yourselves in the suds.
[UK]C.L. Lewes Comic Sketches 26: A Barber would say he was ‘In the suds,’ or ‘Terribly cut’.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[US]W. Otter Hist. of My Own Times (1995) 78: Let me inform all those [who may think otherwise] that they are in the suds.
[UK]Comic Almanack Jan. 302: West Middlesex Assurance bubble burst. Creditors in the suds.
[UK]A. Mayhew Paved with Gold 343: I never see an old pal in the suds but my spirit’s willing to give him a hist up’ards.

2. tipsy.

[US]B. Franklin ‘Drinkers Dict.’ in Pennsylvania Gazette 6 Jan. in AS XII:2 92: They come to be well understood to signify plainly that A MAN IS DRUNK. [...] In the Sudds.
[UK] Gent.’s Mag. Dec. 559/2: To express the condition of an Honest Fellow [...] under the Effects of good Fellowship, it is said that he is [...] 46. A little in the suds.
[UK] ‘Jack Oakum in the Suds’ in Holloway & Black I (1975) [title].
suck suds (v.) (also slop suds)

(US) to drink beer.

[US]Pittsburgh Courier (PA) 22 Aug. 7/7: Sucking suds — (drinking beer).
[US]L.P. Boone ‘Gator Sl.’ AS XXXIV:2 156: Gators never merely drink; instead, they sop or slop suds, [etc.].
[US]Current Sl. III:4.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

bust suds (v.)

(US black) to work as a washer-up.

[US]‘Ed Lacy’ Room to Swing 20: She was cooking and busting suds in a white house.
[US](con. 1945) M. Angelou Gather Together In My Name 13: ‘Busting some goddam suds.’ Disgust wrinkled his face.
[US]J.L. Gwaltney Drylongso 144: He could see me busting the white man’s suds and mopping the white man’s floors.
lost in the suds (adj.)

(US black) unaware, unsophisticated.

[US] ‘Idioms of the Present-Day American Negro’ in AS XIII:4 Dec. 314/1: LOST IN THE SUDS. Unhipped.