1. light blond hair.
|[||Life in London (1869) 62: Sporting a toe [...] among the pretty straw damsels and dashing chippers].|
|Black-Eyed Beauty 62: You see the Olympic has been doing huge with the English blonde, ‘from the Haymarket London,’ woman of straw.|
|Advocate (Burnie, Tas.) 5 June 7/2: Look here, you big straw.|
|(con. 1949) Big Blowdown (1999) 184: ‘I wanna stay,’ said the blonde, tossing the orangeish mane of straw off her shoulder.|
2. (US black) a hat, although not necessarily a straw hat [note 19C SE use, a straw hat].
|People You Know 136: Hubby went up the street with his Straw dipped down in Front, same as the College Rakes wear them.|
|Eve. Dispatch 5 July 5/3: Turks Wear Straws [...] Turks [...] have discarded the fez for a British straw hat.|
|Men from the Boys (1967) 95: He saw a tall man, well dressed, in a coconut straw, leaving the house.|
|‘Duriella du Fontaine’ in Life (1976) 45: Van had a straw, a Corona Corona in his jaw / A beige suit looking real quilty.et al.|
3. in drug uses [senses a and b from the shape, sense c from the colour].
(a) an opium pipe.
|Narcotics Lingo and Lore.|
(b) a marijuana cigarette or marijuana.
|ONDCP Street Terms 20: Straw — Marijuana cigarette.|
(c) rolling papers.
|cited in Sl. and Jargon of Drugs and Drink (1986).|
4. see straw boss
a nickname for one who has light blonde hair.
|Gentle Grafter (1915) 160: By and by Straw-top comes down again.‘A Tempered Wind’ in|
SE in slang uses
1. (US) a person who is second-in-command, assistant to the boss.
|DA].Pullman Strike 117: These employees [...] [having suffered] the continued oppression of the ‘straw bosses,’ [...] were in no condition to be trifled with by the Company [|
|DN III:ii 159: straw boss, n. Assistant foreman. ‘The foreman’s away. You can speak with the straw boss.’.‘Words from Northwest Arkansas’ in|
|Zone Policeman 88 225: There are no contractor’s Irish straw-bosses to keep them on the move.|
|in Trail Drivers of Texas (1963) I 331: In a cattle outfit the owner is called the ‘big boss,’ [...] his first lieutenant is called the ‘straw boss’.|
|Law O’ The Lariat 28: I’m told yu been actin’ straw-boss since Stevens passed out.|
|Really the Blues 36: The prison hospital, where they had nice clean beds, good chow, and no straw bosses.|
|On the Waterfront (1964) 198: A gathering of the minor politicians and straw bosses of Bohegan.|
|Mama Black Widow 230: The straw boss was winking at me.|
|Night People 102: Some of the obstacles a straw may meet are jealousy, stubborness, revenge and too much ignorant oil.|
|Blood Brothers 18: I give him two years he’ll be straw boss ’cause he is one smart bastard.|
|Muscle for the Wing 73: A large, flat-topped man, with [...] the general expression of a natural-born straw boss.|
2. (US tramp) the foreman of a work crew.
|Main Stem 51: We went to the foreman and asked him to fire us [...] But the ‘goddam, whippersnapper straw boss’, as Slim called him, would not give us our time.|
|Mules and Men (1995) 69: Grab your dinner-bucket and hit the grit. Don’t keep the straw-boss waiting.|
|Railroad Avenue 363: Straw Boss – Foreman of a small gang or acting as foreman.|
|Teen-Age Mafia 74: The straw boss made a point of looking at your hand, and then he passed you over.|
|(con. 1920s) South of Heaven (1994) 69: The strawbosses rode with the truck-drivers.|
|Garden of Sand (1981) 187: It was the straw boss, though, who decided who worked and who did not.|
|Legs 13: I’d sit with him [...] listening to his tales about jungles, yard bulls, and straw bosses in camps where he’d worked.|
1. a barber.
|Tom and Jerry I v: Now you can make an assignation with some of our dashing straw-chippers and nob-thatchers in Burlington Arcade.|
|Tom and Jerry; A Musical Extravaganza I i: Quizzing the straw-chippers in Burlington Arcade.|
2. a straw bonnet maker.
|Modern Flash Dict.|
|Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.|
(Anglo-Irish) a debtor’s prison.
|Real Life in Ireland 186: When the hour of nine hath stricken, / Up the nine stairs slow we crawl; / Crowds of Pads the alleys thicken, / That convey them to straw hall. [Ibid.] 215 : He is an odd fellow, and full of humour, frequently giving balls to the natives of Straw Hall.|
1. a Billingsgate fish-wife.
|London Spy VI 131: A parcel of Trugmoldies, Straw-Hats and Flat-Caps, selling Socks and Furmity [etc.].|
2. (Aus., also straw-hatter) a dandy, a fashionable person; thus straw hat push, the social élite.
|Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 37: In fact, the quasi-rough or ‘respectable larrikin’ youths, who are the main army of ‘barrackers’ at sports and street corners, are often spoken and written of as the ‘straw-hat push.’.|
|In the Blood 103: There is nobody else but the ‘straw-hat push’ and their girls.|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 22 Oct. 4/8: I don’t know why yous gets your body in a not about the straw hat push. They’ve got, quit as much rite to prat their frames in if they like.|
|Truth (Sydney) 15 Apr. 9/4: Aspiring flappers and would-be straw-hatters [...] are a type I used to bump whilst in the police [AND].|
|AND].Yellow Cygnet 20: ‘There ain’t much of the “straw ’at”’- a slang phrase for dandy – ‘about that nipper.’ [|
(US) a derog. term for an immigrant, lit. one with straw in their hair, i.e. a peasant.
|Scene (1996) 72: G’wan back to the old country, you strawhead!|
(US) a home for destitute seamen.
|(con. 1875) Cruise of the ‘Cachalot’ 283: Of course a man may go to the ‘straw house,’ or, as it is grandiloquently termed, the ‘destitute seaman’s asylum,’ where for a season he will be fed [...] and sheltered from the weather.|
a night-shelter or casual ward, occupied by the impoverished street-dwellers.
|Morn. Chron. (London) 22 Jan. 5/6: There’s far more good people in the straw-yards than the casuals — the dodgers is less frequent there, considering the numbers.|
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor III 404/1: I’ve got tickets for the ‘straw-yards,’ or the ‘leather-houses,’ as some call them.|
a farm-worker, esp. a thresher.
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: bang straw. A nick name for a thresher, but applied to all the servants of a farmer.|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
to show signs of sleep; esp. as one’s eyes draw straw(s).
|Polite Conversation 94: Indeed my Eyes draw Straws (She’s almost asleep).|
|,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd, 3rd edn) n.p.: His eyes draw straw; his eyes are almost shut, or he is almost asleep: one eye draws straw, and t’other serves the thatcher.|
|Works V (1812) 78: Their eyelids did not once pick straws, / And wink and sink away; / No, no, they were as brisk as bees.‘Orson and Ellen’ Canto V in|
|Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1788].|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
1. pregnant, in labour, giving birth.
|Jovial Crew Act II: Now she is in the straw, it seems [...] The Bratling’s born; the Doxey’s in the Strummel, Laid by an Autum Mort of their own Crew, That served for Mid-wife.|
|Hogan-Moganides 41: In what Condition in the Straw, And through her Labour not so lusty To tug at Bottle, being thirsty, Cryes out ho, Gossips [...] reach me here some Brandy.|
|The Rambling Rakes 3: I was as Squeamish as Newly Marrried Woman, and lap’d more Mutton-Broth, than a Coutry Dame in the Straw does Oatmeal-Caudle.|
|Female Tatler (1992) (29) 71: The virtuous Imoinda being now down in the straw with her fourth and last child without any father for it.|
|Cunicularii in 18C Erotica V n.p.: The Lady in the Straw.|
|Spy on Mother Midnight 17: We all sat down [...] and entered a merry Conversation to keep the Woman in straw from Rest.|
|Rambler’s Mag. Jan. 39/2: The protruberance of one of the vis-a-vis Westons is of late so much encreated as to effect the springs of the carriage [...] it is feared that they will not be able to hold it up rill the demi-mistress of the equipage is in the straw.|
|Heiress I i: mrs blandish: This [letter] You take care to send to all the lying-in ladies? prompt: At their doors, Madam, before the first load of straw [...] (Reading his memorandum, as he goes out.) Ladies in the straw – Ministers, etc. – Old Maids, Cats, Sparrows, never had a better list.|
|Life’s Vagaries 49: The bishop’s lady was the good woman in the straw.|
|Journal of a West India Proprietor (1834) 82: Two women are in the straw already.8 Jan. in|
|‘Hackney Coachman’ in James Catnach (1878) 198: ’Twere crammed full of ladies, who were all in the straw.|
|‘Mutton’ in Out-and-Outer in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) IV 127: According to law, got into the straw, / And brought her spouse a son and heir.|
|Poems (1846) I 113: Although, by the vulgar popular saw, / All mothers are said to be ‘in the straw,’ / Some children are born in clover.‘Miss Kilmansegg and Her Precious Leg’ in|
|Recollections of G. Hamlyn (1891) 305: Having had his wife in the straw every thirteen months regularly for the last fifteen years, he prepared to assist.|
|Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 229: Married ladies are said to be ‘in the straw’ at their accouchements. The phrase is a coarse allusion to farm-yard animals in a similar condition.|
|, ,||Sl. Dict.|
|Sporting Times 1 Apr. 3/2: sal.: ‘The vicar have called with a subscription list’ gub.: ‘What for? A new organ, or is the sexton’s young wife in the straw again?’.|
|(con. 1900s) Sporting Times 251: His poor little missis about to be in the straw again.|
2. having sexual intercourse.
|‘Spoonin Rap’ [lyrics] And then I got in the straw, we start to do it to the beat.|
of a woman, to seek a new husband.
a countryman, a peasant.
|Village Minstrel I 36: The bumptious serjeant struts before his men, / And ‘clear the road, young whopstraws!’ will he say.|
|Court Jrnl 21 Mar. 188/2: The Haverford-Westrians have discovered a new source of amusement for the whopstraws.|
|Morn. Chron. (London) 25 Nov. 3/5: One of the farmers took off his top-boots, which were hoisted on a pole and paraded in triumph, whilst they allowed the ‘Johnny Whop-straw’ [...] to walk in his stockings.|
|Hillingdon Hall I 74: Wopstraw was a big, broad-shouldered, broad-faced, sensible, respectable man; but slow in his judgment, and cautious in his utterance.|
|London Eve. Standard 2 June 6/5: A volunteer (I mean a sailor, not a Johnny Wapstraw) leaves his monkey-jacket out of the bag, which the [...] mate [...] puts in the ‘scran-bag’.|
|Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. (2nd edn).|
|Salisbury & Winchester Jrnl 9 May 7/1: On the backs of the rich was the fleece that came from the farm of Johnny Whoptrsaw [Laughter].|
|Low-Life Deeps 309: They [card sharpers] may hang about the outside of the fair and try to catch a Johnny Wopstraw or two, but they never try it on the lads of our school.|
|N. Devon Jrnl 7 June 2/3: Johnny Whopstraw was inclined to be neighbourly with Charity, seeing that he lived next door.|
|Sl. and Its Analogues.|
|Warwickshire Word-Book 259: Whopstraw. A country clown. Often [...] as ‘Johnny Whopstraw.’ ‘Whipstraw’ is another term.|