Green’s Dictionary of Slang

inside adj.

1. (also on the inside) in prison.

[UK]Egan Finish to the Adventures of Tom and Jerry (1889) 282: Several persons who have been sent to this College [i.e. King’s Bench prison], destitute of the smallest coin [...] have, in a short time, procured a decent living inside, who would have been totally at a loss to have obtained half a maintenance outside Banco Regis.
[UK]Referee 14 Oct. in Ware (1909) 157/2: Beaufort’s duke trots by, and then dashes past a once member of the dangerous classes, who has been ‘inside’ many a time and oft, but who, having run into a bit of ready, will now go straight while straightness pays.
[UK]J. Bent Criminal Life 198: I will send you inside here.
[US]B. Fisher A. Mutt in Blackbeard Compilation (1977) 34: Oatmeal says that had he not been canned from office Mutt would be on the inside now.
[US]Day Book (Chicago) 27 Nov. 2/2: He asserts the defense is trying to get an ‘inside’ line on his case.
[US]P. & T. Casey Gay-cat 61: They only held me on the inside for six months.
[UK]E. Raymond Marsh 125: ‘Stretcher’ they called him; perhaps because he had done a ‘stretch or two inside’.
[UK]S. Jackson Indiscreet Guide to Soho 116: He had been ‘inside’ twice.
[US]C. Himes Crazy Kill 36: While he was inside his ma ran off with another man.
[UK]F. Norman Guntz 20: I thought you was inside.
[Aus](con. 1930s) F. Huelin ‘Keep Moving’ 14: No lip from yous either, or you’ll be inside on a vag. charge.
[US]J. Ellroy Brown’s Requiem 157: Henry had gone to jail and she had hustled to keep him on dope while he was inside.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 151: I hope I make it inside.
[UK]J. Hoskison Inside 75: I had now spent two weeks ‘inside’.
[US]J. Lethem Fortress of Solitude 427: Just a bullshit Five Percenter out on the street, the dude had actually taken to study of Islam when he got inside.
[UK]T. Black Gutted 30: You know Rab’s inside [...] Facing a ten-stretch for counterfeiting.
[Aus] D. Whish-Wilson ‘In Savage Freedom’ in Crime Factory: Hard Labour [ebook] He made sure I went inside, for the five stretch.

2. of information, privileged, intimate.

[US]Bradstreet’s 19 Nov. 8/1: Some people who claim to have the ‘inside cut’ of the iron trade, prophesy a decline in prices [DA].
[UK]Daily Inter-Ocean (Chicago) n.p.: A secret service officer [...] claims to have inside information as to the facts in the case [F&H].
[US]Ade Artie (1963) 88: I’ve had five or six chances to get inside prices.
[US]B. Fisher A. Mutt in Blackbeard Compilation (1977) 23: He was well under way on the briny drink when a piece of ‘inside info’ came his way.
[UK]Chillicothe (MO) Constitution 14 Nov. 1/7: The book purporting to give what is known in American slang as ‘inside stuff’ is certain to cause a sensation.
[UK]N. Lucas Autobiog. of a Thief 23: My friend the groom put this money ‘on a horse’ about which he had ‘inside information.’.
[US]R. Chandler Big Sleep 159: All inside stuff, straight from the cook-house.
[US]R. Chandler Farewell, My Lovely (1949) 86: Here is an organized mob with inside information on jewels and the movements of the women who wear them.
[US]Green & Laurie Show Biz from Vaude to Video 569: Inside stuff – the real lowdown.
[UK]‘Charles Raven’ Und. Nights 16: This particular job was an example of the big country-house jewel robbery, which always depends on inside information.
[UK]F. Norman Dead Butler Caper 55: A born tealeaf ain’t gonna turn up ’is hooter at inside information like that is ’e?
[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.
[US]G. Pelecanos Night Gardener 111: Addicts, testers, cutters, and prostitutes were inside to the extreme.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 180: I’ll give you a little inside info.

3. in a psychiatric hospital.

[UK]‘Henry Green’ Caught (2001) 122: She’s inside, in one o’ them places, right out of ’er mind.

In compounds

inside dope (n.)

privileged or intimate information.

[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 48: Same old inside dope.
[US]H.C. Witwer Smile A Minute 32: He wanted some inside dope for his paper.
[US]R.J. Brown ‘Thirty Days on the Island’ in Argosy 3 Jan. [Internet] At least four thousand people had called to get the inside dope on Thorndyke.
[UK]Eve. Teleg (Dundee) 14 Nov. 8/4: Sounds good to me [...] But give me the inside dope.
(con. 1920s) Farrell Studs Lonigan (Young Manhood, 1934) 230: When did you get all that inside dope?
[UK]W. Watson Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day (2000) 159: Miss Pettigrew would grow so enthralled at hearing this inside dope on ‘How the other half lives’ she would be momentarily sidetracked.
[US]R.L. Bellem ‘Killer’s Cure’ Hollywood Detective Mar. [Internet] What’s the inside dope? [...] Who gets pinched and why?
[UK]B. Hill Boss of Britain’s Underworld 155: Crime columnists [...] had no ‘inside dope’ to stick into their columns.
[US]I. Reed Free-Lance Pallbearers 15: Fannie Mae knew the inside dope on everybody in Soulsville.
[US](con. 1940s) C. Bram Hold Tight (1990) 116: I guess you people already have all kinds of [...] inside dope you can use to find this guy.
[UK]Guardian Guide 12–18 June 81: The inside dope on the inside returns for a new series, showcasing [...] top security prison HMP Whitemoor.
inside job (n.) (also inside work) [job n.2 (1)]

a crime that has been committed with the aid or cognizance of an employee of the company or servant of the house in question.

G.W. Walling Recollections of NY Chief of Police 121: Some of the able detectives engaged on the case insisted that it was what is known as an ‘inside job’.
[US]G.W. Walling Recollections 262: It was an ‘inside’ job from the start, and was managed chiefly by ‘Shang’ Draper and Leslie. In thieves’ slang it was a ‘pudding’.
[US]D. Runyon ‘The Informal Execution of Soupbone Pew’ in From First to Last (1954) 67: One reason I took to inside work was to keep from having to kill anyone.
[US]J. Tully Shadows of Men 77: It was considered an ‘inside job.’ An employee was arrested.
[US]W.R. Burnett High Sierra in Four Novels (1984) 373: It was an inside job. They’d pinch Louis and he’d sing.
[US]E. De Roo Go, Man, Go! 125: They got in there last night. Cleaned us out of Vonoline. Took about twenty-five gallons of Flash-140. [...] Boss thinks it’s an inside job.
[UK]G.F. Newman You Flash Bastard 30: If there’s a robbery going off, it’s got to be an inside job; so we’ve got to be very discreet if we’re going to capture anyone.
[US]N. Pileggi Wiseguy (2001) 186: McDonald knew from the start that Lufthansa had been an inside job.
[UK]K. Sampson Outlaws (ms.) 8: Most of them are inside jobs from the top down.
inside kid (n.) [kid n.1 (6)]

one who has privileged information or knowledge .

[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Judgement Day in Studs Lonigan (1936) 504: You’re one of the original inside kids.
inside man (n.)

1. (UK Und.) a police spy.

[UK]J. Caminada Twenty-Five Years of Detective Life I 53: I compared notes with the ‘inside man.’ [...] He had got on very familiar terms with the inmates, who were under the impression that he worked on the railway.

2. (orig. UK Und., also inside, insider) anyone involved in a crime, usu. a large-scale robbery of a firm or private house, who is employed on site and helps the robbers with information etc.

[US]D. Runyon ‘The Informal Execution of Soupbone Pew’ in From First to Last (1954) 68: Honey Grove laid a plan for a big spring — a get-away [...] but just as they were about ready, Soupbone got cold feet and gave up his insides.
[US]W.R. Burnett Little Caesar (1932) 14: As an inside man you couldn’t beat him.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 107/1: Inside man. 1. An accomplice who is in the confidence of a victim or victims whom he betrays, usually a trusted employee.
[US]M. Puzo Godfather 130: Sonny has an inside man, that Detective Phillips who tried to protect you. He gave us the scoop.
[US]N. Pileggi Wiseguy (2001) 187: The amateur inside man would eventually lead to Burke and the men who actually carried out the robbery.
[US]G. Pelecanos Shame the Devil 288: Hope he takes it better than that other inside man T.W. had.
[US]C. Stella Eddie’s World 11: I still don’t see why she’d give you this kind of a score [...] Especially when she’s the insider.

3. (orig. UK Und.) a tipster who locates prospects for robbers or safe-blowers.

[UK](con. 1982) N. ‘Razor’ Smith A Few Kind Words and a Loaded Gun 269: The inside-man who put the job up in the first place had to make do with £2,500 as his whack.

4. (US Und.) in any confidence trick, that member of the team who takes the lead role in tricking the victim; the roper or outside man brings the victim to the inside man.

[US]D. Maurer Big Con 125: An insideman is like your mother. Mother knows best.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]J. Scarne Complete Guide to Gambling.
[UK]R. Fabian Anatomy of Crime 193: Inside Man: The member of the gang to whom the trickster’s victim is bought.
[US]E. Bunker Mr Blue 111: The conversation that ensued was essentially a scripted dialogue between the inside and outside man, with an occasional nudge or whisper to the mooch by the inside man.
inside track (n.) [late 20C use is SE; note racing jargon inside track, the truth]

exclusive information; an advantageous position.

[US]Richmond (VA) W. Whig 5 Sept. 2/1: In a word, ‘Gizzard-Foot’ has the inside track for the Senatorship, and means to keep it [DA].
[US]L.H. Bagg Four Years at Yale 48: To have a soft thing on, or the dead wood on, any object, is to hold the ‘inside track,’ the best opportunity for gaining it.
[US]‘Old Sleuth’ Dock Rats of N.Y. (2006) 113: ‘Why are you so anxious to deal with Vance?’ ‘I’ve been told he has got the inside track with the Government, and that he is a square man.’.
[US]G.F. Atherton Perch of Devil ii 361: When a woman knows where she stands, and has the inside track, [...] the man has no show whatever [DA].
[US]Dos Passos Three Soldiers 271: It ain’t the same with an’ edicated guy like Andrews or Sergeant Coffin or them. They can suck around after ‘Y’ men, an’ officers an’ get on the inside track.
J.E. O’Donnell ‘Overcoat Bennie’ in Mss. from the Federal Writers’ Project [Internet] Bennie frequently planned robberies for the boys. He knew who was who in the city and he knew what they owned in the line of jewels. There was a rumor abroad that he had an inside track with several crooked insurance company dicks.
[US]Steamboat Pilot 19 July 2/3: There is a general feeling that labor has had the inside track for the past five or six years [DA].
[US]W. Brown Teen-Age Mafia 74: The guy was [...] sure that he had the inside track to some hot stuff.
inside wire (n.)

privileged, ‘inside’ information, esp. in the context of a crime [wire n.1 (3)].

[US]E. Hunter ‘See Him Die’ in Jungle Kids (1967) 99: Aiello [...] starts making like a man with an inside wire.
[US]C. Cooper Jr Syndicate (1998) 20: How they got the plans, no one knows, but it had to be on the inside wire.