Green’s Dictionary of Slang

spill v.

[fig. uses of SE]

1. [late 18C–1910s] to drink.

2. in the context of falling or knocking.

(a) [late 18C+] to cause to fall; thus spilled/spilt adj.

(b) [mid-19C–1920s] to knock down in a fight.

(c) [1910s] to crash.

(d) [1930s] (US Und.) to take advantage of, to ‘knock over’.

(e) [1980s+] (US campus) to fall.

3. (also spill it) in the context of speech.

(a) [early 19C] (UK Und.) to betray a confederate.

(b) [20C+] (orig. US , also spill out) to admit, to confess.

(c) [20C+] (also spill off) to tell, to recount.

4. [1920s] (US Und.) to release from prison.

In phrases

spill a line (v.) (also spill a bibful) [line n.1 (2b)]

[1920s+] to concoct a smooth patter with the specific aim of seduction; also ironic use.

spill one’s guts (v.) (also open up one’s guts, spill (out) one’s insides) [gut n. (1b)]

1. [1910s+] (orig. US) to confess one’s crimes in full; to tell all.

2. [1940s+] (also spill it) to vomit, esp. as the result of drinking.

3. [1950s+] to speak out, forcefully; to lose one’s temper.

4. [1950s+] to divulge intimacies of one’s personal life.

spill one’s nut (v.) (also spill one’s brains) [nut n.1 (1b)]

[1930s+] to confess, to make an admission.

spill off (v.)

see sense 3c above.

spill out (v.)

see sense 3b above.

spill someone’s guts (v.) [gut n. (1b)]

[1940s] (US) to shoot dead.

spill the beans (v.) (also spill the cherries, …the dice, ...the dirt, ...the dope, ...the gravy, ...the works, ...someone’s tea) [fig. use of SE]

1. [1900s–10s] to cause a disaster.

2. [1910s+] (orig. US) to confess, to let out a secret, to talk unguardedly.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

spill skull (n.)

[mid-19C] (US) illicitly distilled whiskey.

In phrases