Green’s Dictionary of Slang

lug n.1

[Scot./northern dial.]

an ear .

[UK]Skelton ‘How the Douty Duke of Albany’ in Henderson Complete Poems (1948) 406: I shrewe thy Scottishe lugges, Thy munpynnys, and thy crag.
[UK]Polwart Invectiues Capitane Allexander Montgomeree and Pollvart in Parkinson (Poems) (2000) VI line 37: His luggis baith lang and lasie.
[UK]Greene Defence of Conny-Catching 23: Then the gentlewoman let loose his eares, and let slip his head, and away went he home with his bloody lugges.
[UK]Rowlands Martin Mark-all 39: Lugges, eares.
[UK]Jonson Staple of News V i: A fine round head when those two lugs are off.
[UK]Urquhart (trans.) Gargantua and Pantagruel (1927) I Bk II 390: Those knives which they call cut-lugs or ear-cutters.
[UK]J. Phillips Maronides (1678) V 54: Lend me your leathern Lugs I pray.
[UK]C. Cotton Scoffer Scoff’d (1765) 154: Those large Lugs of yours will crack for’t.
[Ire]‘Mac O Bonniclabbero of Drogheda’ Bog Witticisms LIV 51: I vill e’ne rayse, and tauke dee in by de Luggs.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Luggs Ears.
[UK]E. Hickeringill Priest-Craft II (1716) 111: Jannis Gaddis [...] flung a little folding Stool [...] at the Dean’s head saying, Out thou false Thief, dost thou say the Mass at my Lug?
[UK]J. Lacey Sauny the Scot III i: Ye’ve aw twa Luggs apiece o’your Head.
[UK]A. Ramsey Tale of Three Bonnets (1785) 14: I have a secret to impart [...] It will set baith your lugs a tinkling.
[UK]C. Coffey Devil to Pay I ii: Take that lusty Lug, you sanctify’d Rogue, with Pound of Ear on each side.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Foote Orators in Works (1799) I 207: Satan [...] whispers a fast speech in her lug.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 19: pelides turn’d about to see / What saucy baggage it could be / That with such furious strokes and tugs, / Pelted his nob and pull’d his lugs.
[UK] Burns ‘Sing, Up Wi’t, Aily’ Merry Muses of Caledonia (1965) 83: Deil ram their lugs, quo’ Willie, / But I hae scour’d her dock!
[Ire] ‘Patrick’s Day in the Morning’ Luke Caffrey’s Gost 4: They hung their lugs and look’d quite silly.
[UK]R. Anderson ‘The Village Gang’ Cumberland Ballads (1805) 74: The teyney, greasy wobster; / He’s got a gob frae lug to lug, / And neb like onie lobster.
[UK]‘One of the Fancy’ Tom Crib’s Memorial to Congress 51: With roving aim, but aim rarely miss’d, / Round lugs and ogles flew the frequent fist.
[UK]Comical Hist. of the King and the Cobbler 35: For Lord’s sake, prime the gun [...] or our throats will be cut frae lug to lug before we can cry Jack Robinson!
[UK]Marryat Peter Simple (1911) 48: Had I minded all they whispered in my lug as I came along, I had need been made of money – sax-pence here, sax-pence there, sax-pence everywhere.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 23 May 2/5: Tom once more drawing the cork from a cut on Aaron’s sniffer, and receiving on the left lug.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.
[UK]Cheshire Obs. 18 Aug. 8/3: Grasshopper’s left went and got home on Panfish’s lug.
[UK]Fetter Lane to Gravesend in Darkey Drama 5 I: You’ll get hit under de left lug if you leff your luggage round like dat!
[UK]R.L. Stevenson Kidnapped 287: He rode from public house to public house and shouted his sorrows into the lug of Tom, Dick, and Harry.
[UK]G.R. Sims ‘Pickpocket Poems’, Dagonet Ditties 93: Whack came a couple of stingers— / Two beauties—and right on my lug.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘The Bulletin Hotel’ in Roderick (1967–9) II 7: And he leans across the counter and he breathes in Charlie’s lug.
[US]Eve. Star (Wash., DC) 14 Dec. 23/2: Australian English [...] An ear is a ‘lug’.
[Ire]J.M. Synge Playboy of the Western World Act III: One time I seen rats as big as badgers sucking the life blood from the butt of my lug.
[UK]D. Stewart Vultures of the City in Illus. Police News 12 Jan. 12/4: ‘Now open yer lugs all of yer!’.
[UK]E. Pugh Cockney At Home 283: I’ll fetch you sich a lick in the lug you’ll think it’s your bloomin’ birthday.
[US]‘Lord Ballyrot in Slangland’ in Tacoma Times (WA) 13 Jan. 4/4: Plow across like a firehorse whenever one of them gongs hits you in the lug .
[NZ]Truth (Wellington) 22 May 7: The first damsel with a tale to pitch into S’onor’s lug was Ellen Mackenzie.
[UK]J.B. Priestley Good Companions 350: Mr. Oakroyd told himself he would like to give him ‘a bat on t’lug’.
[Aus]K. Tennant Foveaux 290: If I ’it ’im, your honour, he wouldn’t be talkin’ about lacerations. ’E’d taken ’ome something more than a scrape on the lug.
[Ire](con. 1890s) S. O’Casey Pictures in the Hallway 293: That was a glorious prod you gave th’ helmeted bowsey, said Ayamonn – right undher th’ lug!
[UK]S.H. Bell December Bride 237: ‘Buy him new lugs?’ Little Martha giggled.
[UK]L. Dunne Goodbye to The Hill (1966) 40: She’d give you a box in the lug as quick as look at you.
[UK]S. Berkoff East in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 65: Hungry ears attend, you do not know whose flappy lugs may bring a fate.
[UK]P. Redmond Tucker and Co 46: Oi, deaf lugs. I’m talking to you!
[UK]J. Cameron Hell on Hoe Street 135: His hooter went red. His lugs started moving up and down.

In derivatives

lugful (n.)

an ‘earful’, a sufficiency in being talked to, or in overhearing.

[UK]P. Barker Union Street 183: Let ’em listen. They’ll have a proper lugful by the time I’m finished.

In compounds

lug-bashing (n.)

(Aus.) talking effusively, preaching.

[Aus] (con. 1940s) T.A.G. Hungerford Sowers of the Wind 176: He blew the tripes outa me for nothing at all, and then he kicks a Nip in the coit, and then he gives me a lug-bashing about drinking and wogging.
[Aus]D. Niland Call Me When the Cross Turns Over (1958) 173: Old Resurrection’s lug-bashing tonight. Coming down to hear him?
lug-bite (v.)

(Aus.) to cadge, to ask for a loan; thus lug-biter, a cadger; lug-biting, cadging.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 21 Jul. 24/1: Mo., fearing that the ‘skinner’ was slipping from his grasp, started howling as he only can howl for the mistake to be rectified. His big retinue of ‘guns,’ ‘whisperers,’ ‘lug-biters,’ &c., &c., joined in, and things were very hot until the change was made.
[Aus]Stephens & O’Brien Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 16: Lug-biters – spongers, cadgers.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 8 Jan. 1/1: A well-dressed Terrace lugbiter turned the fall of Port Arthur to profit.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 27 Aug. 1/4: The latter has bitten the department’s collective lug in gratifying her expensive tastes.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 8 Oct. 1/3: Last week witnessed an alarming outbreak of lugbiting [...] the closing of the ’Moscows’ induced the impecunious to bite friends’ ears.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 18 Aug. 4/8: He swagged it down to lugbite Jimmy Nicholas once again.
[NZ]N.Z. Truth 30 Jan. 5/3: The word of the lug-biting ‘expert’.
[Aus]L. Stone Jonah 218: The boxer cried out, ‘No one to leave for five minutes,’ following the custom when a big winner left the room to prevent a swarm of cadgers, lug-biters, and spielers begging a tram fare, a bed, a cup of coffee from the winner. [Ibid.] 223: Joe Grant, a loafer by trade and a lug-biter by circumstance.
[Aus]L. Stone Larrikin 307: Lug-biter – a panhandler.

In phrases

bite someone’s lug (v.)

to borrow money.

[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 21 Dec. 8/4: I’ll try and bite some joker’s lug.
[Aus]W.T. Goodge ‘Great Aus. Slanguage’ in Baker Aus. Lang. (1945) 117: If he borrows money from you / He will say he bit your lug.
[Aus]Stephens & O’Brien Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 16: BITE HIS LUG: [...] to accost a person for a loan or alms [...] ‘Biting a bit out of his lug’ is a variant.
[Aus]Smith’s Wkly (Sydney) 10 May 20/3: Or if yer goes out racein’ / An’ a spieler ‘bites yer lug,’ / An' puts yer on a ‘stiff-'un,’ / Well, yer calls yerself a ‘mug’.
[Aus]G.H. Lawson Dict. of Aus. Words And Terms [Internet] BITE HIS LUG — To cadge.
[Aus]S. Gore Holy Smoke 26: He manages to bite Joe senior’s lug for a few bob outa what’s coming to him when the old boy kicks the bucket.
blow down someone’s lug (v.)

(Aus.) to nag.

[Aus]K. Tennant Joyful Condemned 341: She blows down my lug, see? Gets me to shift her things in the truck.
chew someone’s lug (v.)

to beg.

[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Stiffner and Jim’ in Roderick (1972) 124: We’ll have to sharpen our teeth, that’s all, and chew somebody’s lug.
drop lugs on (v.)

(US black) to confront someone either as to their character or actions, to criticize, both seriously and in fun.

[US] ‘The Fall’ in D. Wepman et al. Life (1976) 86: I’m hip to the way you pimps try to play / And the lugs you drop on a frail.
[US]D. Goines Street Players 10: It always ends with both of you trying to drop lugs on each other.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 92: The terms to [...] drop lugs on someone generally refer to cracking jokes at someone else’s expense.
throw on the lug (v.)

(US) to ask for or spend someone’s money.

[US]Ade ‘The Fable of What Horace Stood For’ in True Bills 36: Those who never had been strong enough to throw on the Lugs while they were living at Home, were the very ones who put Crimps into the Bank Account before the Honeymoon played out.