Green’s Dictionary of Slang

sleaze n.

also sleeze
[backform. f. sleazy adj.]

1. (US, also sleez, sleazebitchlet) a sexually promiscuous woman.

[US]Current Sl. VI 9: Sleez, n. A girl of uncertain virtue; a slut.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 6: sleaze – a female who does not resist sexual advances.
[US](con. 1970) J.M. Del Vecchio 13th Valley (1983) 405: He got it fuckin a sleeze in the ville at the height of orgasm.
[US]‘Joe Bob Briggs’ Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In 185: They’re all sleazes, but we got the best-looking sleazes.
[US]G. Sikes 8 Ball Chicks (1998) 107: They were just skanks, bitches, sleazes, easy lays. Hos.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr. 9: sleeze – sexually promiscuous female.
[UK]Observer Rev. 7 May 18: Then there’s Flora Montgomery as a Tory sleazebitchlet on the make.

2. (also sleazster) an unappealing, seedy person.

Tel. (Brisbane) 3 Aug. 10/3: When I made the mistake of calling them ‘sleazy’ to their faces, their reaction was outrage. ‘Don’t call me a sleaze,’ said Miss Currie.
[UK]Rolling Stones ‘Sad, Sad, Sad’ 🎵 Fools aren’t going to follow / You don’t need the sleaze about.
[US]B. McCarthy Vice Cop 160: ‘The sleaze left. We’re all in on it for a C-note a week’.
[UK]Sun. Times News Rev. 12 Mar. 1: At first glance the affair looked like a high-handed sleazster being brought to book.
[NZ]D. Looser Boobslang [U. Canterbury D.Phil. thesis] 169/2: sleaze n. 2 a scab, a bludger.
[Aus]T. Winton ‘Defender’ in Turning (2005) 307: I mean it’s just so grotty. The bloke was [...] such a sleaze.
[Aus]L. Redhead Thrill City [ebook] He was always a bit of a sleaze so I wasn’t terribly sorry to hear he was dead.

3. (US, also sleazo) anything considered disgusting, shabby or offensive; also attrib.

News Jrnl (Wilmington, DE) 30 Aug. 19/3: His movies were pure sleaze.
News Jrnl (Wilmington, DE) 30 Aug. 19/3: The sleazos are coming [...] but probably not to your town.
[UK]Kirk & Madsen After The Ball 304: Not all sleaze addicts choose to advertise the fact in newspapers.
[US](con. 1950) B. Helgeland L.A. Confidential [film script] The essence of sleaze, Sid is the publisher-photographer-writer of Hush-Hush magazine and keeper of inside dirt supreme.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Leaving Bondi (2013) [ebook] [N]ow there was a noticeable sleaze. Head shops, disposal stores, adult book shops, triple-X videos, video games arcades [etc].
Anniston Star (AL) 8 Aug. 9A/4: New Orleans is my favorite sleaze town.
[US]H. Ellison Introduction in Pulling a Train’ [ebook] [of softcore pornography] The first of these (now referred to as) ‘sleaze’ (or, sometimes, ‘zilch’) paperbacks were from imprimaturs such as Beacon Books, Bedside Books [etc].

4. corruption, esp. in business or politics.

Herald & Rev. (Decatur, IL) 28 Dec. 34/3: The unctuous ‘sleaze’ oozing meretriciously from every pore. My chosen headline: ‘The Politics of Sleaze’.
[UK]Indep. 22 July 3: The publicity will scupper the party’s attempts to dispel the image of ‘Tory sleaze’.
[NZ]D. Looser Boobslang [U. Canterbury D.Phil. thesis] 169/2: sleaze n. 1 a bribe.
(ref. to 1984) Dly Record (Morristown, NJ) 10 May AA5/1: Clinton’s troubles bring to mind the ‘sleaze factor,’ an expression used by Walter Mondale [...] in the 1984 [...] campaign to describe what he called ‘a tawdry record or unethical conduct’.

In derivatives

sleazo (n.) (also el sleazo, sleazoid, sleezoid) [-o sfx (1)]

1. (US) a disgusting, obnoxious person.

[US]C. McFadden Serial 78: You still seeing El Sleazo these days?
[US]J. Ellroy Suicide Hill 239: [T]he rock sleazos she might have run to.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 359: Other sleazy constructions include [...] sleazo, and sleazoid.

2. attrib. use of sense 3.

[US]T. Harris Silence of the Lambs (1991) 5: Didn’t a sleazo magazine offer him fifty thousand dollars for some recipes?
[US]J. Stahl Plainclothes Naked (2002) 112: The doors of the 7-Eleven blew open and a trio of sleazoid white guys swaggered out.
[US](con. 1962) J. Ellroy Enchanters 41: The California State Assembly probed sleazoid scandal rags.

3. a sexually promiscuous woman.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Nov. 4: sleezoid – sexually aggressive female.
[US]Eble Sl. and Sociability 79: Among the slang items that seem to derive their humor from the polysyllabic Latin- and Greek-based elements of the vocabulary are sleazoid ‘a promiscuous female’.

4. see sense 3

In compounds

sleazebag (n.) (also sleazeball, sleazyball, sleezebag) [-bag sfx/-ball sfx]

1. a distasteful person, with overtones of dirtiness, criminality and sexual excess.

[US]J. Wambaugh Glitter Dome (1982) 81: The listing party’s description could have fit a thousand sleazeballs from the boulevard.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Oct. 10: sleezebag – a female with questionable morality.
[US]P. Munro Sl. U. 3: Ronnie’s a total sleazebag; he spits on people when he talks to them.
Sth Florida Sun Sentinel (Ft Lauderdale, FL) 20 Dec. 17/1: She is basically a sleazebal.
[UK]K. Lette Llama Parlour 69: The salesman, a sleazebag in cowboy chaps.
[Aus]P. Temple Bad Debts (2012) [ebook] Here comes exactly the kind of rumpled, predatory, middle-aged sleazebag I always end up fucking.
Montana Standard (Butte, MT) 5 July 4/5: The sleazyballs that make up part of the Clinton family.
[UK]Observer Rev. 11 Oct. 3: Tracking down hookers or the elusive sleazeballs who ran them.
[UK]Guardian Guide 5–11 Feb. 55: The trail leading past a baffling, bruising collection of sleazeballs and sociopaths.
[UK]I. McDowall A Study in Death 278: To Jacobson’s complete delight, she continually referred to his wife’s lover as old sleazyballs.
[Aus]S. Maloney Big Ask 242: He was an oppressor of women. A sexual harasser and serial sleazebag.
[US]J. Stahl Pain Killers 108: I could [...] pass as drug dealer, seller, hit man, porn purveyor, every breed of sleazebag.
[Aus]L. Redhead Thrill City [ebook] The friend of Victoria Hitchens’ sleaze-bag husband.
[Scot](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 303: He’s a sleazebag [...] Ye cannae let a wanker like that put ye off.
[US]Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ) 19 Jan. A2/3: Sextrafficking involves exploitation of people [...] for some sleazeball’s commercial gain.
[US]Paducah Sun (KY) 14 Oct. A7/5: He called a reporter ‘a sleazebag’.
[Scot]I. Welsh Dead Man’s Trousers [22]: — You fucking sleazebag! Did you set your own son up with a prostitute when he was below the age of consent?!

2. attrib. use of sense 1.

[US]Orlando Sentinel (FL) 14 Jan. 1-C/1: I you care about freedom [...] get excited about the people in communist prisons instead of some sleaze-bag mobster.
[US]Baltimore Sun (MD) 25 Sept. 24/4: ‘This is sleazy-ball politics’.
[US]‘Joe Bob Briggs’ Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In 105: There are some sleazeball liars in other parts of the South who advertise B-B-Q17.
[US] S. S. Morgan Homeboy 292: The sleazeball agent screamed for twenty minutes.
[UK]G. Malkani Londonstani (2007) 14: Greasy sleazebag bullshit merchant.
[Aus]J.J. DeCeglie Drawing Dead [ebook] He was the sleazebag fuck looking for his runaway daughter.
[US]Chicago Trib. 26 Sept. 4/2: The rest of the movie concerns the Russian sleazeball, higher up the sleazeball management.
sleazebitchlet (n.)

see sense 3 above.


see separate entries.

sleazehole (n.) [hole n.1 ]

a seedy, run-down place, a down-market bar or club.

[US]E. Weiner Howard the Duck 69: Your boss is a goon and his business is a sleazehole.
[Ire]Patrick McCabe Mondo Desperado 14: Wrong is two little babies sleeping upstairs while their mother sneaks out to some forsaken sleazehole to feed her habit.
Post Star (Glen Falls, NY) 29 Jan. 23/4: They are nothing like [...] the violent sleaze-holes portrayed in voyeuristic trash TV.
sleazemonger (n.) [-monger sfx]

(US) a producer or seller of inferior, trashy or pornographic entertainment.

State (London) 20 June 17/4: Bradford as her pompous father being interviewed by Holcroft-Page’s tabloid sleazemonger.
‘You Are Tony Blair’ on Brains Trust 🌐 Tabloid sleazemonger, extraordinaire and world-class spinner, Clifford makes heroes out of working class nobodies and superstars out of the wealthy and talentless.
[US]J. Ellroy ‘Jungletown Jihad’ in Destination: Morgue! (2004) 343: Slick sleazemonger. Ripe-rumored extortionist.