Green’s Dictionary of Slang

one n.1

(orig. US)

1. terms pertaining to violence.

(a) [mid-19C+] a blow with the fist; occas. ext. to two, three, four, etc.

(b) [1900s] an unpleasant look.

(c) [1910s+] a bullet, a gunshot.

2. terms pertaining to communication.

(a) [mid-19C+] a joke on, an act of teasing; a hoax.

(b) [late 19C] a derog. name, a word of abuse.

(c) [late 19C+] an anecdote, an amusing story, a joke, e.g. have you heard the one about ?

(d) [late 19C+] a ‘line’, a persuasive if mendacious story, a lie.

(e) [1950s+] an excuse.

3. terms pertaining to the body and sexual intercourse.

(a) [late 19C+] the penis.

(b) [late 19C+] any act of bodily eructation; see let one go

(c) [1940s+] an act of sexual intercourse.

(d) [1960s] an act of defecation.

(e) [1970s] the vagina.

4. terms pertaining to consumption.

(a) [mid-19C+] a drink; usu. in the phr. come and have one, join me for a drink; often in comb., e.g. big one, stiff one, etc.

(b) [1920s] (US) an inhalation of cocaine.

(c) [1940s+] a state of drunkenness.

(d) [1960s+] a cannabis cigarette.

(e) [1970s+] constr. with the, cannabis oil, THC.

(f) [1980s+] a hangover.

(g) [1990s+] a heroin injection.

(h) [1990s+] an adventure, a time, a spree.

5. terms pertaining to individuals.

(a) [late 19C+] an eccentric, amusing or outstanding person.

(b) [late 19C+] one who stands out in some way, either for impudence, expertise etc, esp. as a one for.

(c) [1930s–60s] a male homosexual [? old US Army joke, Sergeant, counting off, ‘Are you one?’ Soldier, ‘Yeth, are you one too?’; Trimble labels this as ‘Conv.(entional)’].

(d) [1960s] an unpleasant person, i.e. a cunt n.

(e) [1980s] a fool, a dupe.

(f) [1990s+] a friend.

6. [1910s+] (UK Und.) a crime.

7. see one on

Pertaining to violence

In phrases

deal someone one (v.) [1980s+] (N.Z.)

to attack someone, to give someone a blow or a beating.

give someone one (v.) (also give someone a one-er, hand someone one, pass someone one)

1. [mid-19C+] to hit; thus give him two/three etc.

2. see also phrs. under Pertaining to the body below.

hang one on (v.)

1. [20C+] to hit someone, to have a fight; also in fig. use.

2. [1910s] to impose a task or burden.

3. [1970s] (US) to have an affair.

lay one on someone (v.)

[1930s+] (US) to hit or beat someone.

pass someone one (v.)

[1900s–10s] (Aus.) to hit someone.

put one on (v.) (also put one in, ...over) [the one is a blow]

1. [1910s+] (orig. Aus.) to hit.

2. [2000s] (N.Z.) to confront (without violence).

stick one on (v.) (also stick one into)

[1910s+] to hit.

Pertaining to communication

go into one (v.) (also off on one) [1980s+]

1. to lose one’s temper, to lose emotional control.

2. to launch into a speech or diatribe.

put one over (on) (v.) (also get one over (on), put all over on, put something over on, slip one over, sneak one over on)

[late 19C+] (orig. US) to cheat, to deceive.

throw one (v.)

[1990s+] to lose one’s temper, to have an emotional outburst.

Pertaining to the body

get one on (v.) (US)

1. [1910s] to become very excited.

2. [1970s] of a man, to have an erection.

give someone one (v.)

1. [late 19C+] to have sexual intercourse, to kiss etc; thus the common male phr. I’d give her one.

2. see also phrs. under Pertaining to violence above.

have one up (v.)

[1960s] of a woman, to be pregnant.

knock one out (v.)

[1990s+] to masturbate.

let one go (v.) (also let one fly,,

[mid-17C; late 19C+] to break wind; to burp.

one off the wrist (n.)

[1960s+] the act of masturbation.

throw one into (v.)

[1970s] of a man, to have sexual intercourse.

Pertaining to consumption

get one in (v.) (also get them, get them in)

[20C+] to order and pay for a round of drinks, esp. as excl. get them in!

hang one on (v.)

[1940s+] to be drunk.

have one on the city (v.) [the city-run water supply]

[19C+] (US) to have a drink of water.

have one or two (v.)

[late 19C+] to be drunk.

high one (n.)

[late 19C–1910s] (US) a large drink.

make one (v.)

1. [1970s] to join in with, e.g. for a drink.

2. see also phrs. under General uses below.

one for the bitumen (n.) (also one for the street) [the bitumen, a tarred road, esp. the road from Darwin to Alice Springs]

[1940s+] (Aus.) a last drink, before starting a journey or leaving.

one for the ditch (n.)

[1960s+] (US) a final drink, but, rather than the trad. one for the road, this var. acknowledges the perils of drunken driving.

one for the road (n.) (also off-setter) [virtually SE by 1950]

1. [20C+] a final drink before departure; ext. to a measure of drugs, i.e. cocaine.

2. [1990s+] in fig. use.

stop one (v.)

1. [1900s–30s] (Aus.) to have a drink.

2. see also phrs. under General uses below.

General uses

make one (v.) [‘one’ is either an escape, a plan, a drink or a murder]

1. [1970s] (UK prison) to plan and effect an escape.

2. [1970s] (UK Und.) to put together plans for a crime, esp. a robbery, and then carry out that crime.

3. [2000s] to commit a murder.

4. see also phrs. under Pertaining to consumption above.

put one in (v.) [the one is a bullet]

[1980s] (US) to shoot (dead).

put one together (v.)

[1970s+] (UK Und.) to plan a crime.

stop one (v.)

1. [mid-19C+] (also stop it) to be wounded.

2. [1910s] (Aus.) to receive a blow.

3. see also phrs. under Pertaining to consumption above.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

one-a-man (n.) [one of these dumplings will satisfy a man’s appetite]

[1950s] (W.I.) a large, round dumpling, using a pound of flour.

one-and-a-half (n.)

[1980s] £150.

one-away (adv.)

[1990s+] (W.I.) intimately, on a one-to-one.

one-fifty-one (n.) (also 151) [ety. unknown; ? Calif. or NY penal code number]

1. [1980s+] (drugs) crack cocaine.

2. (also one-five-o) heroin.

one-off (n.)

[1980s] (US) an act of (casual) sexual intercourse (with a stranger).

one on (n.) (also one)

[late 19C] (US) a portion of oyster stew.

one-two-seven (n.) [fig. use of horse-racing term]

[late 19C] (US) somethat is is equal to, on a par with.

In phrases

do one (v.)

[1910s+] to leave, to run away; often as imper. meaning go away!

go up one (v.) [school use, whereby the successful pupil goes up a place or class]

[late 19C] to be praised, to be applauded.

make someone one (v.) [the image of the woman and the embryo being ‘two’ people]

[1960s] (US) to give someone an abortion.

one for the book (n.) [the record book]

[1920s+] (US) anything noteworthy, remarkable or incredible, something worthy of long-term record.

one in ten (n.) [the tithes paid by his parishioners]

[late 17C–mid-19C] a parson.

one in the dark (n.) [opposite of one in the light ]

[1900–30s] (US) a cup of black coffee.

one in the light (n.) [opposite of one in the dark ]

[1900s] (US) a white coffee, a coffee with cream.

one of ’em (n.)

[mid–late 19C] (US) a remarkable or admirable person.

one over the eight (also one over the nine, two over the eight) [the eight being pints, a supposed ‘safe’ amount of beer]

[1910s+] (orig. UK milit.) drunk.

one-percenter (n.) [the supposed 1% of motorcycle users who refuse to abide by legal and societal rules]

[1950s+] (orig. US) an outlaw bike rider.