1. the female genitals.
|Araignment of Lewd, Idle, Froward, and unconstant Women 29: She haue [...] every mans fingers as deep in the dish, as thine are in the Platter, and euery man to angle, where thou castest thy hooke, holding vp to all that come [...] that so soone as one knaue is out, another is in.|
|Meretriciad 26: The coronation causes want of fish, / And flesh, nay ev’ry common dish.|
2. something one likes, something suited to one’s taste.
|TAD Lex. (1993) 32: A scribe. That’s the dish for me.in Zwilling|
|A. Mutt in Blackbeard Compilation (1977) 47: This makes an awful boob out of Beany, and that’s my dish.|
|Silk Hat Harry’s Divorce Suit 8 June [synd. cartoon strip] A talk to a young man, eh. That’s my dish.|
|One Basket (1947) 536: That’s just my dish.‘You’re Not the Type’ in|
|Riverslake 138: Not my dish, thanks.|
|Walk on the Wild Side 34: Actually they didn’t give a hoot for any city of gold. Desolation here and now, that was their dish.|
|Much Obliged, Jeeves 12: I wouldn’t have thought it was his dish at all.|
3. (orig. US) an attractive woman.
|[||Life of Jonathan Wild (1784) II 185: When first Wild conducted his flame (or rather his dish, to continue our metaphor) [...] he had projected a design of conveying her to one of those eating-houses in Covent-Garden].|
|in Variety 25 Nov. 26 7: She ought to be a swell-lookin’ dish in tights.|
|They Drive by Night 263: So you’re Queenie, are you? And a nice little dish you are.|
|(con. 1944) Naked and Dead 484: ‘Look at the knockers on her.’ [...] ‘A dish.’.|
|Joyful Condemned 26: To him all girls were collectively ‘the brush’; some were ‘hot dishes’, and others ‘“drak” sorts’.|
|Mad mag. Summer 41: As the saucer said to the teacup: I’m your dish.|
|Teachers (1962) 90: Richie was a nice piece in her own way [...] could be a dish if only she’d take the trouble.|
|Hazell and the Three-card Trick (1977) 18: I say, she’s quite a dish, isn’t she?|
|Homesickness (1999) 143: She was fresh-faced, long, a dish.|
|(con. 1920s) Legs 171: Why wouldn’t you want a dish like that?|
|Observer 30 Jan. 27: She was a vision of blondeness and a dish.|
4. an attractive person of either sex.
|There Ain’t No Justice 174: You’re a lovely dish and all, I’ll lay. You look a well-built sort of a lad.|
|On Broadway 31 Mar. [synd. col.] They rate [Rita Hayworth] the ‘nicest dish of all’.|
|Homosexual Society Appendix 3, 167: Dish, attractive male.|
|Queens’ Vernacular 64: dish [...] 3. sexually attractive man.|
|Maledicta IV:2 (Winter) 229: Dish can also mean a show-stopper attractive man (the concept of eat = fellate).|
|Observer Rev. 18 July 1: Massow is such a dish.|
|Indep. on Sun. Culture 13 Feb. 1: I did want to meet Michael Douglas, cos he’s a dish.|
SE in slang uses
see separate entry.
|DSUE (1984).Words and Idioms in|
|You Should Worry Ch. 5: Stevie rubbered acrobatically with the result that he upset a glass of ice water down the waiter’s neck [...] It cost me a dollar to bring the dish-dragger back to earth.|
see pie-faced adj.
(Aus.) a dog.
|Canberra Times (ACT) 6 Aug. 20/2: [headline] Where the desperates bet on moth-eaten dishlickers.|
|How to Shoot Friends 50: Tony agreed to keep training the dishlicker while I am inside.|
|More You Bet 11: He would follow his ‘pan-lickers’ or ‘dish-lickers’ from dog-track to dog-track.|
a person who is exploited, treated poorly; note mis-defined as a v. in cit. 1967–8.
|Battlers 117: She could manage this frayed, old dish-rag of a woman, she had no doubts of that.|
|CUSS 106: Dishrag Be excessively submissive to your girl friend.et al.|
|Always Running (1996) 61: I went home in a wheelchair [...] Pancho [...] called me a ‘dish rag’.|
|Observer Rev. 14 Nov. 5: I was a dish rag.|
|Guardian G2 2 Apr. 16/5: He thought the movie ‘misoginistic’ for presenting Wendy Torrance ‘as a screaming dishrag’.|
(Aus.) a dishwasher in a restaurant.
|Bulletin (Sydney) 24 Mar. 24/1: Besides, suave specialists are luxuries beyond the purses of improvident dish-wallopers.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 24 Jan. 13/2: This splendid legend […] probably evolved by a lately emancipated boiler baronet, who got a passage home by ‘dish-walloping.’.|
(US) a woman, or man, with ash-blonde hair.
|Gun Molls Sept. [Internet] ‘It was that dish-water blonde!’ cried Carmen suddenly.‘Gats in the Hat’ in|
|Vice Trap 39: She was a dishwater blonde, with these cow eyes, but a sexy mouth.|
|Let No Man Write My Epitaph (1960) 304: He was quite a big guy, tall, a dishwater blond.|
|Frank Sinatra in a Blender [ebook] He pointed with an ink pen to a dishwater blonde on the floor.|
|Crime Factory: Hard Labour [ebook] A dishwater blonde in her forties, tonight she wore black cotton pants.‘Chasing Atlantis’ in|
a restaurant dish-washer; thus wrestle dishes v., to wash dishes.
|Gilt Kid 56: Was that lousy dish-wrestler still arguing the toss?|
|Teen-Age Mafia 74: Not even the crummy kind [of job] like wrestling dishes in a greasy spoon.|
a talk, a conversation.
|Morn. Chron. 14 Aug. 4/1: That would afford him a much greater gratification than even a dish of chat with the Ex-Emperor.|
|Kentish Gaz. 1 Feb. 3/3: Mrs Surmise [...] dearly loves a little dish of chat.|
|Kentuckian in N.Y. I 97: I thought I would take a dish of chat, for that was the most I expected to get.|
|Jeffersonian Republican (PA) 29 Feb. 4/1: Vot vill them ladies do, Jim, / Vot like their dish of chat.|
|Morn. Chron. 10 Nov. 1/7: I might as well finish my letter by giving you a dish of chit-chat of the day.|
|Berks. Chron. 14 June 6/5: Every guest who entered [...] to partake of a cup of tea, or dish of chat became [...] a member of the family.|
|N. Devon Jrnl 26 Jan. 7/3: By way of dessert, we treated ourselves to a ‘disgh of chat’ with ‘mine host’.|
|Pulaski Citizen (TN) 3 Apr. 3/8: They think no more of asking a young Miss to indulge ina dish of chat than an old maid would.|
|Newberry herald (SC) 22 May 2/4: As the saying is ‘Maurice does not kill a cow every day,’ so we are not able to give you a readable dish of chat every week.|
|Breckenridge News (Cloverport, KY) 20 Jan. 1/3: I met him in the road; had er nice dish er chat with him, too.|
|L.A. Herald 19 Feb. 3/2: The women dropping in [...] for a dish of chat and a cup of tea.|
|Lexington Gaz. (VA) 26 July 1/6: Aside from furnishing gossip [...] and who does not like his dish of chat — the country paper [etc.] .|
a scolding from a wife to her husband.
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Anecdotes of the Turf, the Chase etc. 184: She tipped the party such a dish of ‘red rag’ as almost to create a riot in the street.|
(US) a mistress.
|Broadway Brevities Aug. 36/2: He’d take his side-dish Tillie Zinc, living on the same street, and walk her right past his wife, emitting cat-calls, laughing loudly and occasionally flipping a roll of bills right across his wife's nose!|
to scold or tease someone about their actions.
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: To throw a thing in ones Dish. To Reproach or twit one with any particular matter.|