Green’s Dictionary of Slang

side n.

1. [late 19C+] pretentiousness, swagger, conceit; usu. in put on side, to give oneself airs [? play on billiards jargon side, spin or dial. side, proud; post-1940s use tends to be consciously archaic].

2. in geog. senses.

(a) [1930s] (US) America, as opposed to England.

(b) [1960s] (orig. US black) the black area of town; the original was Chicago’s South Side.

(c) [1970s+] an area of a town or city; used (in London) as North Side, South Side, meaning Shepherd’s Bush or Brixton – somewhat romanticized analogies with areas of US cities.

3. [1930s–80s] (US black) a gramophone record.

4. [1960s+] (US black) a woman [ideally she is on or at one’s side in all circumstances].

In derivatives

sidey (adj.) (also sidy)

[late 19C–1940s] conceited.

In phrases

bung on side (v.) (also bung on swerve) [bung v.1 (3) + sense 1 above/SE swerve + pun on billiards/snooker use]

[1950s+] (Aus.) to show off.

more side than a billiard ball

[1950s+] (Aus.) very arrogant, snobbish.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

side-splitter/-splitting

see separate entries.

In phrases

drive on the other side of the road (v.)

see under drive v.1

go off the side (v.)

[1930s–40s] (UK Und.) to abscond, e.g. when a criminal runs off with a gang’s spoils.

on the side (adv.)

1. [late 19C+] quietly, in secret.

2. of a sexual relationship, illicitly, clandestinely; also as adj.; thus bit on the side under bit n.1

over the side

[1910s+] away from one’s home or place of work.

side of a funeral (n.)

[late 19C] (US) pork chops.

In exclamations

my sides!

[2010s] (US campus) an excl. denoting that one is being overwhlemed by laughter, ie. ‘my sides are splitting!’.