1. the highway or street as the home of tramps, prostitutes, pickpockets etc.
|Down the Line 36: I’ll back these three boys to dream longer than any other drummers on the track.|
|Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 211: I knew plenty of men at the track, along Broadway or among the grafters, who would be glad to lend Duke Merrill, topliner among the ‘con’ men.|
|Pimp 83: Bitch, the track closes at two.|
|Street Players 9: If it wasn’t for them bitches Earl got out on the track, he couldn’t borrow five dollars.|
2. (Aus.) any outback road; also attrib.
|Bushranger’s Sweetheart 137: I don’t think a regular sundowner would have easy lines on this track.|
|Rio Grande’s Last Race (1904) 78: Then slowly, looking coyly back, / She went along the Sydney track.‘The Road to Gundagai’ in|
|(?)‘The Green Lady’ in Roderick (1972) 897: They sung ‘For He’s a Jolly Good feller’ as we took the track.|
|Battlers 17: His track name was Duke, and he had been ‘busking’ — singing his way from town to town.|
|I Travelled a Lonely Land (1957) 241/1: track – any road in the bush or outback.|
|I’m a Jack, All Right 56: The only tree within a bull’s roar of the track for five miles.|
|Scrublands [ebook] ‘There’s an army vet and his sheila down the track’ .|
3. (US black) a dancehall, a ballroom, esp. the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem.
|‘Jiver’s Bible’ in Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive.|
|Really the Blues 216: Pick you up at The Track when the kitchen mechanics romp.|
|Hear Me Talking to Ya 194: When they opened at the ‘track’ they were just a band without any particular leader.|
|Rappin’ and Stylin’ Out 163: The place where the movement can occur is appropriately termed the ‘track,’ whether the place is a dance hall […].‘The Kinetic Element in Black Idiom’ in Kochman|
4. (US black) the world of pimping, hustling, confidence tricks etc; the Eastern cities are the fast track, California and the West are the slow track or soft track.
|Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 102: Putting down her broom on the main track in the Big Red with the Long Green Stem.|
|Rappin’ and Stylin’ Out 163: The place where the movement can occur is appropriately termed the ‘track,’ whether the place is a dance hall [...], the street.‘The Kinetic Element in Black Idiom’ in Kochman|
5. (US black) that area of a street where a prostitute works.
|‘The Fall’ in Life (1976) 87: ’Cause my money’s low, and I need me a whore / Who can run that speedy track.et al.|
|Airtight Willie and Me 76: The track was lousy slow all night.|
|‘The Game Belongs To Me’ [lyrics] Bitch ain’t gotta hit the track, ain’t gotta give no tricks no head.|
(Aus.) an itinerant.
|Battlers 17: The track men come in to have their cards stamped at the police station and get their rations to carry them to the next ‘dole town.’.|
|AND].Sydney and the Bush i: ‘Track dolies’ — swaggies or baggies, who had given up their homes to go on the road — were compelled to keep moving to collect their rations [|
(US) one who throws themselves in front of a subway train.
|‘London Underground Guide’ at victorian.fortunecity.com [Internet] He learns why green grapes, are more deadly than banana skins, though not as lethal as suicidal ‘one-unders’ (or ‘track pizza’, to use a ‘lovely’ piece of New York Slang).|
1. in fig. use.
|Inter Ocean (Chicago) 13 May 33/3: After 30 there is a red lantern on love’s track, and at 35 itias track thirteen an’ a washout.|
2. (US Und.) a life sentence.
|Amer. Law Rev. LII (1918) 891: ‘Track 13’ and ‘washout’ is a life sentence in a Western pentitentiary.‘Criminal Sl.’ in|
|Pittsburgh Sun-Teleg. (PA) 14 July 58/3: With somewhat more than a hundred thousand dollars’ worth of potential dynamite in his pocket to blow him back to a cell for ‘track thirteen and a washout’.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
(being) experienced, usu. spec. sexually experienced; if used of a woman (the usu. form) derog.
|Redneck Mothers 13: The New Belle is a bit older, then, than the average coed; she’s been around the track a time or two (though the mileage doesn’t show).|
|Zurich Numbers 44: Listen, she’s been around the track. We’re not talking about high school.|
|Guardian 11 Nov. [Internet] Labour will choose from a trio of middle-aged professional politicians who have all been around the track a fair while.|
|‘Naughty College School Girls 7’ Rev. on Excalibur Films [Internet] The cast here are all attractive fresh faces including Vanda (a cutie) edgy Capri, hard-driving Keki and Caroline (our foreign fucker). Only Felecia, who looks like she’s been around the track, doesn’t quite fit.|
|Highly Effective Detective 67: You’ve lived a lot longer than I have and been around the track a few more times.|
|Muscle for the Wing 82: She was ten years or so further down the track than Wanda.|
2. referring to the passage of time.
|About Face (1991) 38: He said there’d be another stripe in it for me somewhere down the track.|
|Candy 157: A few months down the track, we’d do it all again, try and stop.|
|Kill Shot [ebook] Not that she cared, but it might come in useful down the track.|
(US) to abandon one’s duties, to depart from an expected course of action.
|Congressional Globe 4 Feb. 322/2: I had been accused of flying the track on the creed of the Democratic party [DA].|
|‘Losing Game of Poker’ in Polly Peablossom’s Wedding 47: That derned fool flew the track after I got a good hand.|
|Black Man of the South 390L: Lizzy made a third trial for a husband with whom she managed to ‘jog along’ in the matrimonial course, until this her last lover ‘flew the track,’ and again was she left comfortless.|
|More Fables in Sl. [title] The Fable of Why Sweetie Flew the Track.|
|DA].Eve’s Husband 85: No man ever gets too old to fly the track in some way [|
the search for food.
|Shorty McCabe 7: I’m generally on the move, but it’s just along the grub track, and that ain’t excitin’.|
behaving badly, making mistakes, being inconsistent.
|Anglia VII 262: To run plum orf de track = to be entirely wrong.‘Negro English’ in|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 14 Nov. 13/2: [They] are all off the track in their vaporings anent the uses and uselessnesses of war-bikes against cavalry.|
|Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye in Four Novels (1983) 131: ‘No,’ Ben said. ‘This thing’s off the track some place.’ You can bet it’s off the track some place, I wanted to tell him.|
|K. Small Time Crooks 21: All right, Marc. I was off the track that time.|
|Crumple Zone 142: You’re way off track babes.|
the world of the outback, thus used of a person to imply a vagrant’s life.
|Bulletin (Sydney) 28 Mar. 11/3: ‘Now, Dubbo Kate, you shall be let alone if you tell me what has become of Rorty Johnson. We want him for a super and slang!’ This is when they are ‘on the track.’ When they’ve got a clue, they sit in a pub. all day, and gaze attentively up at the wrong house.|
|‘Some Day’ in Roderick (1972) 138: I’ve been knocking around for five years, and the last two years constant on the track.|
|Duke Tritton’s Letter n.p.: And I can come home now after a hard day’s yakka, [...] wade through half a dozen dishes of scran that we used to dream of when we were on the track, then finish up with Uncle Ned and Roll Me In The Gutter.|
|Timely Tips For New Australians 22: TO BE ‘ON THE TRACK.’ — To be tramping from place to place.|
|in Australian in Baker (1945) n.p.: In their place is a new vocabulary of the Bush – [...] never-never, outback, backblocks. One is ‘on the track’, ‘on the wallaby.’.|
|Battlers 9: He was thinking that life ‘on the track’ was not so bad, with good places to camp and ‘cockies’ sheep to knock over.’.|
|Caddie 255: He told me his plans. He was going on the track* [...] *On the track — Tramping the back country in search of work.|
|Yarns of Billy Borker 48: Easy to see you weren’t on the track during the Depression.|
|(con. 1930s) ‘Keep Moving’ 1: ‘New on the track?’ my companion asked.|
(N.Z.) to be dismissed from a job; thus put down the track, to dismiss.
|Maoriland Worker 7 July 14: And a ‘drummer’ is the man with the lowest tally – perhaps because he is likeliest to take and keep the track with his ‘load’ [DNZE].|
|DNZE].Off the Sheep’s Back 98: The lamb would have to be killed. I felt embarrassed and upset because I was sure I would be ‘put down the track’ [|