1. to drink.
|Memoirs (1995) III 144: He and I [...] drank and spilled three or four flasks of sparkling Champagne.|
2. in the context of falling or knocking.
(a) to cause to fall; thus spilled/spilt adj.
|Polite Conversation 33: I was jolted to Death, and the Road was so bad that I [...] call’d to the Coachman, pray, Friend, don’t spill us.|
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Spilt. Thrown from a horse, or overturned in a carriage; pray, coachee, don’t spill us.|
|Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].|
|Military Adventures of Johnny Newcome II 69: Oh, mind the rascal, Teague, don’t let him spill me.|
|Modern Flash Dict. 31: Spilt – overturned in a carriage.|
|Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open [as cit. 1835].|
|G’hals of N.Y. 74: Him and me shall have another meetin’. When it comes, it strikes me somebody’ll be spilled.|
|Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. (2nd edn) 223: SPILT, thrown from a horse or chaise.|
|, ,||Sl. Dict.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 18 Apr. 16/3: Does she ever get ‘spilled’ by a yelping pup? / And who picks her dust-covered highness up? / In fact, does she ever ‘come down a cropper?’ / Of ever do anything else improper?|
|Marvel 3 Mar. 4: You’d be dead right enough if I spilled you in the road.|
|Runyon on Broadway (1954) 468: Calvin Colby’s automobiles can spill dolls up against telegraph poles [...] and the dolls are always suing Calvin Colby for breaking their legs.‘Tight Shoes’ in|
(b) to knock down in a fight.
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 133/2: He knoas moor’n goa in tu t’ ‘slog’ ovir a ‘moll’ an’ git e’s sen spilled.|
|Fighting Blood 99: I’ll spill you in a minute, you big hick.|
(c) to crash.
|High Adventure 57: If you do spill, make it a good one. There hasn’t been a decent smash-up to-day.|
(d) (US Und.) to take advantage of, to ‘knock over’.
|‘Tight Spot’ in Complete Stories 15 Sept. [Internet] You’ve been having too good a time romping around and spilling the suckers.|
(e) (US campus) to fall.
3. (also spill it) in the context of speech.
(a) (UK Und.) to betray a confederate.
|London Guide 120: Old whores [...] are remorseless in spilling the man whom they have, perhaps, themselves seduced into the commission of some offence.|
|Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 163: Spill (to) to capsize, overturn, or betray a person. One who is suspended at the drop is spilled completely.|
(b) (orig. US , also spill out) to admit, to confess.
|More Ex-Tank Tales 46: I didn’t spill out the glad tidings that I was next to him.|
|L.A. Herald 10 Dec. 10/5: ‘Learn not to be allus spillin’ private business, Minnie, an’ yuh’ll be jest as pop’lar’.‘Our Theatrical Boarding House’ in|
|Taking the Count 139: If you’re going to spill it in the paper it ain’t my fault.‘On Account of a Lady’ in|
|One Basket (1947) 48: Just spill it, hon. Just spill it to Daddy. And you’ll feel better.‘That’s Marriage’ in|
|Story Omnibus (1966) 149: The card she beat him with was a threat of spilling everything she knew about him to the newspapers.‘The Gatewood Caper’|
|‘Snowbound’ in Gangster Stories Oct. n.p.: ‘Want me to — tip your play to the cops?’ ‘Spill and be damned!’.|
|‘A Nose for News’ in Goulart (1967) 210: I spilled it, the whole damn thing.|
|High Window 212: Uh-huh. If they get you where you need the blackmail dope, you’ll use it all right. Your old lady will make you. If it’s her neck or yours, she’ll spill.|
|Crazy Kill 114: All right, spill it [...] And it’d better be straight.|
|Blue Movie (1974) 197: His first thought being that Lips had spilled, and they had followed him to the dope connection.|
|A-Team Storybook 47: It’ll go better for you if you spill.|
|(con. early 1950s) L.A. Confidential 116: Then who’d you lend your 12-gauge pump shotgun to? Boy, you spill on that.|
|Guardian Guide 9–15 Oct. 8: Who needed to pick up a book to thrill to a star spilling their secrets?|
|Pain Killers 345: ‘Come on Doc,’ Zell badgered, ‘Spill. How many?’.|
|Thrill City [ebook] She also had a big mouth; if she spilled to someone like Curtis, news of my clandestine job would be all over town.|
|Bad Sex on Speed 41: Tonk wouldn’t talk. Mot even when they buzz-sawed his thumb. Nothing would make him spill.|
|Crongton Knights 14: ‘Don’t spill a drop to Dad’.|
(c) (also spill off) to tell, to recount.
|Northerner 199: But de niggers, dey ain’t spiling none ’bouten hit.|
|Cowboy Songs 191: But I never spilled a cuss word and I never spilled a squeal.|
|‘Troubles of Two Girls’ in S.F. Chron. 8 June 31/2: Do yuh think the disparity in our ages’d get people to gassin’ an’ mebbe make some of my ex’s spill my past to his trustess.|
|West Broadway 12: ‘All right, Al [...] Spill the story— I hope it’s a good one’.|
|Leave it to Psmith (1993) 364: I’m game to spill it.|
|Iron Man 13: If that nigger looks like laying down, I’ll take it up with the Commision, by God. I’ll spill the whole story.|
|There Ain’t No Justice 205: You’d have probably won a bit of dough, got yourself boozed up and then spilled the whole story.|
|Farewell, My Lovely (1949) 169: I don’t promise to spill all my ideas.|
|Jimmy Brockett 204: Then he starts spilling the usual bull, with that smarty grin of his all over his mug.|
|Slam the Big Door (1961) 63: Now I feel ashamed of spilling my problems.|
|Third Ear n.p.: spill off v. to relate all of one’s personal problems.|
|Glass Canoe (1982) 88: Women like to talk. When they spill, they spill.|
|Eng. Madam 84: She was bloody wonderful, Dolores was, at spilling a sob story.|
|Wayne’s World [film script] OK, Garth. Spill. What’s happening?et al.|
|Dirty South 3: It always fucks me off when these brothers don’t wanna spill the shit about him.|
|Drawing Dead [ebook] Well what old man. Spill it will ya.|
4. (US Und.) to release from prison.
|Keys to Crookdom 418: Spill. To release.|
to concoct a smooth patter with the specific aim of seduction; also ironic use.
|AS II:6 278: spill a line of patter—talk.‘Stanford Expressions’ in|
|Cockney Cavalcade 238: Sister, you sure spilled a bibful!|
1. see sense 3 above.
2. see spill one’s guts
1. (orig. US) to confess one’s crimes in full; to tell all.
|God’s Man 379: You just tell us how you found out about this. Smugglers don’t go spilling their insides out to girls.|
|Me – Gangster 78: Throw him out and have him spill his guts about the whole gang?|
|One-Way Ride 298: Knowing Zuta for a turncoat who, in gangland parlance, would ‘spill his guts’ if the occasion arose.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
|I, Mobster 122: Spilling his guts the way the D.A. told him was part of the deal to spring him.|
|Call Me When the Cross Turns Over (1958) 228: When I got back that dope Edna spilt her guts.|
|In the Life 1: I got to open up my guts to you?|
|(con. 1950s) Unit Pride (1981) 34: Look at that sonofobitch spilling out his insides.|
|Pimp 292: The doctor spilled his guts.|
|Digger’s Game (1981) 123: He’s gonna spill his guts.|
|Fort Apache, The Bronx 134: We’ve got to get some people in here to spill their guts.|
|G’DAY 113: If the jury accepts the verbals he’ll end up getting the rough end of the pineapple. He's thinking of spilling his guts and dobbing them both in.|
|Finnegan’s Week 310: I’m more convinced than ever he’ll spill his guts.|
|Scholar 295: I heard two minor Rads talkin’ about how, ‘the long-haired coon has spilt his guts, no problem’.|
|OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. [Internet] spill-yer-guts v. [...] to tell tales, confess.|
|Peepshow [ebook] You don’t fuck on the first date and I don’t spill my guts.|
2. (also spill it) to vomit, esp. as the result of drinking.
|(con. 1943–5) To Hell and Back (1950) 18: ‘Are you sick, soldier?’ [...] ‘Nosir. I’m just spilling my guts for the hell of it.’.|
|Bachman Books (1995) 348: You just spilled your guts.Roadwork in|
|Campus Sl. Apr. 7: spill it – vomit because of alcohol.|
|My Own Medicine 97: I immediately feel better (especially when I see that I haven’t ‘spilled my guts’) and hope that there will be no more vomiting.|
|Diary of Pain 54: I got sick from drinking too much Martini Rossi red, spilled my guts and flaked out.|
3. to speak out, forcefully; to lose one’s temper.
|World I Never Made 318: All right, go ahead! Turn the kitchen into the Stockyards and spill everybody’s guts all over the floor.|
|Monkey On My Back (1954) 62: I bet she spilled her guts about the Puerto Rican Gents.|
|Bunch of Ratbags 318: I don’t want yuh to spill yuh guts to anyone about what I’m telling yuh.|
|Living Black 54: You’ve really got to spill your guts, and let them know just what you think and let them know that you’re not going to stand back.|
|Stand (1990) 841: He would open his mouth and spill his guts about this place.|
|Mad Cows 97: Just get me into the Crown Court. I’ll spill my guts to the judge.|
4. to divulge intimacies of one’s personal life.
|Spicy Detective Sept. [Internet] Leneta must have spilled her guts to somebody.‘Sleeping Dogs’ in|
|Jimmy Brockett 224: I sat back and waited for him to spill his guts.|
|Proud Highway (1997) 434: The Mailer ethic is to make it very plain beforehand that he is ‘about to spill his guts’.letter 29 Jan. in|
|Property Of (1978) 21: Anything you want to know. I can spill my guts.|
|(con. 1985–90) In Search of Respect 125: When I’m under the influence it’s like ‘fuck that.’ Maybe I spill my guts out.|
|Guardian Guide 22–28 Jan. 6: So eager are they to spill their guts, it’s as though they’ve just heard that fame is about to go out of fashion.|
|Thrill City [ebook] I had pretty much spilled my guts in the day spent in the car [...] it made the day go faster.|
to confess, to make an admission.
|(con. 1918) Rise and Fall of Carol Banks 18: I can make a drink that will open the lips of the Sphinx [...] If I don’t out that squarehead under the table and make him spill his brains, just leave me on the beach.|
see sense 3c above.
see sense 3b above.
(US) to shoot dead.
|(ref. to Civil War) Hist. of Rome Hanks 181: Jud pulled his musket up and aimed it pint [sic] blank at Lacey’s belly. Lacey, he said, you git away from him or I’ll spill your guts.|
1. to cause a disaster.
|Big League (2004) 53: I like Ben Daly [...] but we’ve got to spill the beans for him if we can.‘The Cast-Off’ in|
|Ten-Thousand-Dollar Arm 114: You’ve done it now! [...] You’ve spilled the beans for fair! You gave Bergstrom the excuse he was looking for [...] and now he’s quit!‘Little Sunset’ in|
2. (orig. US) to confess, to let out a secret, to talk unguardedly.
|TAD Lex. (1993) 77: No matter how honest a fellow is someone is bound to spill the beans.in Zwilling|
|Adventures of Jimmie Dale (1918) 191: You’ve blown the whole game—savvy? You’ve spilled the gravy—understand?|
|White Moll 28: I’m just spilling the dice.|
|(con. WWI) Somme Mud 207: Some Fritz [...] spilt the beans and told that the attack is going to be put over tomorrow.|
|A Hasty Bunch 853: Well – I suppose I might as well spill the dope now. I was married this afternoon.‘Elsie’ in|
|Manhattan Transfer 155: Go ahead, spill the dirt.|
|Broadway Racketeers 65: He spits up his guts and spills the works.|
|Flirt and Flapper 50: Flapper: And who spilled the beans? [...] Who put you wise about the French maid?|
|Nine Tailors (1984) 227: Go on, Super. Spill the beans.|
|Argot: Dict. of Und. Sl. 48: spilled the beans, spilled the works – confessed, told all.|
|Whizzbang Comics 93: Where’s he at now? Spill the beans, Injun man!|
|Little Sister 112: Spill the dirt to little Spinky, huh?|
|Show Biz from Vaude to Video 151: The king’s ghost spills the dirt to the son.|
|Rap Sheet 35: We denied everything, in spite of them telling each of us that the other one had spilled the works and we might as well come clean.|
|Look Back in Anger Act II: We knew he’d spill the beans to the Colonel like a shot.|
|Web of the City (1983) 151: He had spilled the cherries on what had prompted the Cherokee raid that night. Dope.|
|Homosexual Society 107: They would be frightened of his ‘spilling the beans’ and involving others if he were to be caught.|
|Good As Gold (1979) 371: ‘How did he find out?’ ‘Someone must have spilled the beans.’.|
|Judas Tree (1983) 111: Find the man and squeeze him, and he’ll spill the beans.|
|Campus Sl. Mar. 9: spill someone’s tea – reveal inadvertently that someone is homosexual.|
|Guardian G2 7 Oct. 5: Royal butler who spilled the beans.|
|Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightdress 110: I actually didn’t think Jessica would spill the beans.|
|Thrill City [ebook] I’d been worried Alex’s scumbag cousin would spill the beans.|
|Killing Pool 179: If anyone would spill the beans at the first time of asking it’d be you, you nervous little castrato.|
SE in slang uses
(US) illicitly distilled whiskey.
|(con. 1861–5) Life of Johnny Reb 43: Rebs referred to contraband liquor as ‘bust-head,’ ‘pop-skull,’ ‘old red eye,’ ‘spill skull,’ and ‘rifle knock-knee’.|
see sling ink under ink n.