Green’s Dictionary of Slang

push v.

1. [late 17C+] to have sexual intercourse [push n. (1a)].

2. [1910s+] to go, to leave [abbr. push off ].

3. in commercial senses [SE push, ‘to advance or try to advance or promote’ (OED)].

(a) [20C+] (orig. US) to sell, to promote, to advertise.

(b) [1930s–50s] to distribute counterfeit money.

(c) [1930s+] (drugs) to sell drugs.

(d) [1940s+] to sell any item.

4. (US black) of a man, to accompany a woman.

5. [1960s+] (US black) to drive a vehicle [one pushes the accelerator].

In phrases

push along (v.)

[1910s+] to leave.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

push-foot (n.) [on this car low gear was engaged by pressing a foot-pedal]

[1920s–40s] (W.I.) a Ford Model T automobile.

pushover (n.)

see separate entry.

push-up (adj.)

see separate entry.

In phrases

push a pike (n.) [SE push of pike, close combat, fighting at close quarters]

[early 18C] sexual intercourse.

push clouds (v.) [one’s ascent to heaven]

[late 19C–1930s] (US) to die; to be dead.

push fire (v.) [one ‘fans the flames’]

[20C+] (W.I.) to urge others into a fight, with no intention of participating oneself.

push in one’s cut-off (v.)

[1910s] (Aus.) to stop talking.

push it (v.)

[1950s+] to approach a limit, often in one’s conduct; esp. as don’t push it, don’t go too far (or you will face the consequences).

push off (v.)

1. [mid-18C+] to leave; esp. as imper. push off! go away!

2. [20C+] to start, esp. to start a game [SE push off, to push a boat off from its mooring].

3. [late 19C+] to go somewhere.

4. [1920s–30s] to kill.

push on (v.)

1. to continue on one’s way, to take the next step of a journey; the underlying sense is often one of reluctance or weariness.

2. to depart, to commence a journey.

3. to accompany on a journey.

push one’s... (v.)

see also under relevant nouns.

push one’s own barrow (v.) [1910s+] (Aus.)

1. to brag.

2. to look out for one’s own interests first.

push shit up a hill (v.)

[1920s-30s] to engage in homosexual anal intercourse.

push (someone) back (v.)

[1940s] (US) to cost.

push someone’s face (in) (v.)

[20C+] to hit someone in the face.

push someone’s key (v.)

[1990s+] (US prison) to irritate someone, to tease someone.

push the... (v.)

see also under relevant nouns.

push the boat out (v.)

1. [1910s+] to spend heavily, usu. on pleasure, eating, drinking etc, often treating others.

2. [1910s+] to do something to excess.

3. [1960s] to exaggerate.

push the bottle (v.) (also push the glass about)

[mid-18C-19C] to drink.

push up (v.) [1980s+] (US black/W.I.)

1. to make romantic moves towards someone, usu. in the hope of seduction.

2. to frighten, to intimidate.

push up (the) daisies (v.)

see separate entry.

what are you pushing?

[1970s] (US black) what sort of car do you drive?

In exclamations

push me pink!

[1930s] (Aus.) a dismissive retort.