Green’s Dictionary of Slang

handle n.

1. [16C–early 18C; 1960s+] (later use US) the penis.

2. [late 17C–1940s] the nose.

3. [early 19C+] a name, a nickname, a title (esp. as spoken rather than written); thus a handle to one’s name, a title, an honorific.

4. [mid-19C] a fool.

5. [late 19C; 1960s+] (US) an influence on; a role in.

6. [1910s] (US Und.) in pl., side-whiskers.

7. [20C+] (Aus./N.Z.) a pint glass of beer with a handle (as opposed to a ‘straight’ glass); thus half-handle half a pint.

8. [1980s+] (US campus) a ring of excess fat around one’s stomach, a ‘spare tyre’.

9. [1980s+] (US) in pl., the female breasts.

In phrases

get a handle (v.) [? abbr. phr. get a handle and turn yourself off or synon. colloq. get a grip]

1. [1960s+] (US) to get an understanding of, to find a reference or clue to something.

2. [1990s+] (US) to calm down, to control oneself.