Green’s Dictionary of Slang

side n.

1. 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].

[UK]Dover Exp. 20 Aug. 3/5: He walks erect, he strokes his sleek skin, he adjusts his caleçons, he ‘puts on side’.
[UK]J. Hatton Cruel London III 170: Cool, downy cove, who puts side on.
[NZ]N.Z. Observer (Auckland) 25 Sept. 9/3: What a lot of ‘side’ the amateur scientists put on.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 15 Jan. 9/2: It is amusing to watch the ‘side’ put on by some foolish young men.
[UK]H. Newton ‘Bai Jove’ [lyrics] I belong to the tribe they call ‘Chappie’ [...] We in fact cut a deuce of a figure, / For we glory in putting on Side.
[UK]Le Brunn ‘The Coster’s Muvver’ [lyrics] As far as me and ’eaven’s concerned, I don’t put on no side.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 23 Dec. 5/3: Inglishmen [...] put on such a horful lot of side, and that is very takin’, espeshelly with the ladies.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘You Can’t Go By Looks’ Sporting Times 31 Mar. 1/4: Bein’ a ‘pro,’ she’s inclined to put side on.
[UK]Sporting Times 27 Jan. 2/2: It is true that some of the Newmarket trainers used to smile at the polish, or ‘side’ of the late James Jewitt.
[UK]Harrington & LeBrunn [perf. Marie Lloyd] The Coster’s Christening [lyrics] All the aristocracy in Befnal Green there was seen, / [...] / An’ I couldn’t ’elp a-puttin’ on some side.
[UK]Marvel III:53 3: They puts on no end of side ’cos they’ve sprung ninepence fer a seat.
[US]G. Bronson-Howard Enemy to Society 291: Why, then, dear old chaps, we may as well ‘swank.’ Rag, you’re in very proper livery, old chap. Let’s go through it with a bit of ‘side.’ Will you answer the bally bell?
[UK]‘Ian Hay’ Lighter Side of School Life 107: The smoker puts on no side about his achievements, whereas the ‘highbrow’ does.
[NZ]‘Anzac’ On the Anzac Trail 159: Officers (Navy) very fine fellows [...] No side or laddy-da .
[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘Langwidge’ in Backblock Ballads 15: She’s allus that stuck-up an’ full o’ side.
[UK]Marvel 8 May 5: My old dad’s one of the best in the world. There’s not a scrap of side about him.
[UK]Lawrence & Skinner Boy in Bush 249: ‘Jam and dog both mean “side”?’ ‘Verily.’.
[Aus]K.S. Prichard Haxby’s Circus 85: Oh, he’s all right [...] Never puts on side.
[UK]Wodehouse Right Ho, Jeeves 138: A frightful oik, and a mass of side to boot.
[UK]F.D. Sharpe Sharpe of the Flying Squad 332: Putting on side.
[UK]‘Henry Green’ Loving (1978) 63: If I ’ave any more of that side from you there’s one thing you can bet your life.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 30: She lived at Mosman and put on a bit of side when she talked.
[NZ]G. Slatter Gun in My Hand 155: Much more fun than in the forward lounge with the toffs putting on side.
[Aus]F.J. Hardy Yarns of Billy Borker 48: I wore herring tins for shoes once. And my wife Clara—who always liked to put on side—wore condensed milk tins for high heels.
[Aus]J. Alard He who Shoots Last 205: Ya puttin’ on more side dan a rat wif a gold tooth.
[NZ]G. Newbold Big Huey 253: side (n) Pretension, exaggeration. British, since the 1870s.
[Aus]R. Beckett Dinkum Aussie Dict. 12: Bunging it on: To ‘stack on side’. More or less to act out of one’s own class in the upwardly mobile sense.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Rev. 15 Aug. 35: There’s no side to him. He’s an incredibly genuine person.
[UK]K. Richards Life 345: I respond instinctively to kindness with no side attached.

2. in geog. senses.

(a) (US) America, as opposed to England.

[US]J. Spenser Limey 13: I’m English, but I’ve been on this side for quite a while now.

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

[US]D. Claerbaut Black Jargon in White America 79: side n. area or side of town usually where the black community is located.
[UK]A. Wheatle Dirty South 73: I don’t know no other black couple living on these sides who have been together for so long.

(c) 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.

[UK]‘Q’ Deadmeat 256: The south-side was a die hard area.
[UK](con. 1979–80) A. Wheatle Brixton Rock (2004) 76: Finnley did check some piece of beef up dem sides two weeks ago [...] it’s about time I was dealing with them fit steaks from north side.
[UK](con. 1981) A. Wheatle East of Acre Lane 168: Him an’ Lizard gone up north east sides to dat club dat Shaka play at.

3. (US black) a gramophone record.

[US]N.Y. Times 25 May X8/2: Columbia has re-pressed two sides from Boris Godunoff, recorded as part of a comprehensive set by the Paris Opera.
[US]Metronome Mar. 31: It’s the wonder that Victor is issuing so many sides by his band.
[US]N.Y. Age 18 Dec. 2: We expect ‘Skiffle Blues’ to be one of our big sides in the coming weeks [OED].
[US] ‘Bop Dict.’ Mad mag. Oct. 20: Bop records – [...] sides.
[US]E. Gilbert Vice Trap 42: He put on a Shorty Rogers side and we had another beer.
[US]Hughes & Bontemps Book of Negro Folklore 484: Put a dime in the git-box and play a side.
J. Baldwin Another Country (1962) 310: ‘How about some sides?’[...] Lorenzo put on something...by the Modern Jazz Quartet .
[US]J.A. Williams Night Song (1962) 13: Play some of my sides for the man.
[US]M. Braly Shake Him Till He Rattles (1964) 16: We could turn on and play some sides?
[US]C. Brown Manchild in the Promised Land (1969) 191: We went on up to my place and started playing some sides.
[US]A. Young Snakes (1971) 56: I know they got some tough sides round here.
[US]Grandmaster Flash ‘Superrappin’ [lyrics] He’s a disco dream of a mean machine / And when he cuts the sides you see what we mean.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 254: sides Records.
[US] (con. late 1960s) R. Crumb Zap Comix 13 in Coffee Table Art Book (1997) 32: Man, this new side by the ‘Stones’ is a funky get down stone groove!!

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

[US]H.E. Roberts Third Ear n.p.: side n. a female.

In derivatives

sidey (adj.) (also sidy)

conceited.

[UK]Woman at Home Oct. 57/1: Tommy wasn't half a bad fellow once: he got a study at Soundbergh before me [...] I never counted him sidey, did you.
[UK]C. Mackenzie Sinister Street I 205: ‘All right, sidey Fane,’ they burbled.
[UK]A. Lunn Harrovians 19: Well, you needn’t be so sidy about it.
[UK]Union Jack 5 May 17: Do you hear, you sidey snob?
[UK]Hastings & St Leonards Obs. 31 Oct. 11/4: Speaking of Kipling [...] People said he had a swelled head, that he was ‘sidey.’ He was not a bit ‘sidey’.
[UK](con. 1912) B. Marshall George Brown’s Schooldays 115: He couldn’t very well put himself in first because people might think it rather sidey.

In phrases

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

(Aus.) to show off.

[Aus]K. Tennant Joyful Condemned 25: You don’t think I’m going to get ten years, just so you can bung on side?
[Aus]A. Buzo Norm and Ahmed (1973) 14: If they ever bung on side with me, mate, they know what they can expect. I don’t take no crap from no one.
[Aus]R. Aven-Bray Ridgey-Didge Oz Jack Lang 19: Bung On Side Exaggerated behaviour.
more side than a billiard ball

(Aus.) very arrogant, snobbish.

‘Thirty-Five’ Argot 32/1: bung on side [...] to affect airs [...] hence, more side than a billiard ball.

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.)

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

[UK]V. Davis Gentlemen of the Broad Arrows 197: Dem as I knows as ain’t in stir, would go off the bleeding side wiv the money.
[UK]V. Davis Phenomena in Crime 153: Rarely does the hirer ‘go off the side’ with the ‘fixer’s’ property.
on the side (adv.)

1. quietly, in secret.

[US]Ade Fables in Sl. (1902) 100: Has he any Ambition on the Side?
[US]Flynt & Walton Powers That Prey 30: They say you don’t take in nothing on the side.
[US]Van Loan ‘For the Pictures’ in Taking the Count 323: He can clean up fifty thousand dollars on the side.
[US]M.C. Sharpe Chicago May (1929) 43: It used to make me laugh when I drew my wages and compared them with what I made on the side.
[US]N. Algren Man with the Golden Arm 73: Hospitals where doctors competed with nurses for the chance of making a ten-spot on the side.
[US]‘William Lee’ Junkie (1966) 121: Lupita fences on the side.
[UK]T. Keyes All Night Stand 14: Two fellers started to batter each other quietly on the side.
[US]Milner & Milner Black Players 247: A man who works in a straight job (cab driver, hotel employee) and pimps women on the side.
[UK]J. Cameron Vinnie Got Blown Away 108: Anyone you know bought a new video? Course not, too dear. Everyone knew some geezer get one on the side.
[US] M. McBride Frank Sinatra in a Blender [ebook] What if we blame on that bloke, Valentine? Say the guiard had something going on the side with him.

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

[UK](con. WW1) P. MacDonald Patrol 140: [of visiting brothels] ‘Queer ’ow folks looks at this goin’ on the side . . . I wouldn’t do at ’ome, o’ course’.
[US]C. Himes ‘A Nigger’ in Coll. Stories (1990) 29: Mr Shelton, the old white man she went with on the side.
[US]J.T. Farrell ‘Omar James’ in To Whom It May Concern 132: Casey asked him if he were seeing a cutie on the side.
[UK]R. Hauser Homosexual Society 73: He knows that I love him only so he doesn’t mind when I go out and get a bit of excitement on the side.
[UK]A. Bennett Habeus Corpus Act II: She wasn’t just something on the side.
[UK]‘Derek Raymond’ He Died with His Eyes Open 19: The people upstairs have never been divorced, whatever they may have done on the side.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett You Wouldn’t Be Dead for Quids (1989) 166: For all the sex he could have got on the side he very rarely played up behind Louise’s back.
[US]W. Shaw Westsiders 165: He’s got another girl whom he’s seeing on the side right now.
D. Shaw ‘Dead Beard’ at www.asstr.org [Internet] Dionne was very partial to being melvyn bragged by everything in strides, a hobby she didn’t dare indulge in with Lingers around, what with him being [...] likely to cut her to pieces if she got caught having it away on the side.
[US]A. Steinberg Running the Books 330: The kind of guy who also gets some on the side.
[US]D. Winslow The Force [ebook] The good doc [...] had a little something on the side.
over the side

away from one’s home or place of work.

[UK](con. WWI) Fraser & Gibbons Soldier and Sailor Words 257: Side, Over The: Absent without leave.
[UK] ‘Metropolitan Police Sl.’ in P. Laurie Scotland Yard (1972) 325: over the side, to be: to be about one’s own affairs, usually sexual, during time on duty.
[UK]D. Powis Signs of Crime 201: Side, over the Absent from place of duty, or home.
side of a funeral (n.)

(US) pork chops.

[US]L.A. Times 9 Apr. 5: ‘Wake up,’ he cried, ‘one brown stone front, side of a funeral; two Irish lemons with all clothes on; plate of punk; an easy smear of axle grease and draw one in the dark, cap it all off with a farmer’s alliance.’.

In exclamations

my sides!

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

[US]Eble UNC-CH Campus Sl. Spring 2014 Fall 4: MY SIDES — <my sides are splitting with laughter response to something extremely funny.