Green’s Dictionary of Slang

lush n.1

also lusho
[? Ger. Loschen, strong beer, Shelta lush, to eat and drink]

1. alcohol, esp. beer; also attrib.

[UK] ‘A Satire upon the Court-Mistresses’ in Ebsworth Roxburghe Ballads (1885) V:1 131: Each Idol which they find they burn and [crush], / But those devoted to lewd Joys, [or Lush].
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (3rd edn) n.p.: Lush. Strong beer.
[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang.
[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 221: Squinting Nan, full of lush, jealousy, and indignation.
[UK] ‘The Shickster’s Chaunt’ in Bang-Up Songster 16: Of lush we take our nightly fill, / Nice young shicksters!
[Ire] ‘Ax My Eye’ Dublin Comic Songster 101: As for lush, I gollop in, / Like fun, the gatter – that’s the way.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 25 Jan. 2/4: The B. mob mustered strong on this occasion. The lush went round in all directions.
[UK]Paul Pry 11 Dec. n.p.: We advise ‘Ugly Buck,’ of Wilmington-place [...] not to drink so much gin and water [...] We sincerely wish he would save his money in ‘lush,’ and with it, buy a new tile.
[US]‘Ned Buntline’ Mysteries and Miseries of N.Y. III 60: I don’t know what kind o’ lush that is, but it’s made a fool o’ you.
[UK] ‘Dear Bill, This Stone-Jug’ Punch 31 Jan. n.p.: There’s your peck and your lush, hot and reg’lar each day. / All the same if you work, all the same if you play.
[UK]T. Taylor Ticket-Of-Leave Man Act III: Lark, lush, and a latch-key — a swell rig-out, and lots of ready in the pockets — a drag at Epsom and a champagne lunch on the hill!
[Aus]Hamilton Spectator (Vic.) 7 Jan. 1/7: His food is his ‘grub;’ his drink, his ‘lush;’ his cigar, his ‘weed’.
[UK]Five Years’ Penal Servitude 236: All we wanted was some lush to make us happy.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 25 Dec. 7/1: ‘Bring the lush into the back room, Mike’ she commanded.
[UK]Sporting Times 27 Dec. 2/2: Plain fare, roaring music hall choruses, common lush, and ballyragging.
[Aus]J.S. Borlase Blue Cap, the Bushranger 4/1: We’re near out o’ grub, and as for lush, why, that’s all a chance.
[UK] ‘The Rocks Push Eisteddfod’ in Bird o’ Freedom (Sydney) in J. Murray Larrikins (1973) 87: Just to raise a quid or two to find the ‘lush’ and ‘prog’, / A few strolled out with ‘flimsies,’ or went ‘dipping’.
[Aus]W.A. Sun. Times (Perth) 16 Mar. 1/1: The opaque Peeping Tom now wallows in unlimited ‘lush’ in return for silence.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘Mother’s Duplicate’ Sporting Times 7 Jan. 1/4: Handing over the ‘wet’ / For his lush-loving pal to imbibe.
[US]F. Hutchison Philosophy of Johnny the Gent 13: ‘Ain’t it rich how all your friends sic themselves onto you wit a booze proposition the minute it’s noised about that you’ve cut out the lush thing?’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 24 Nov. 11/3: When the William returns from the trip they sit round ladling the lush out in Jimmie Pannkins, amusing themselves with filthy yarns, using foul language and quarrelling and fighting amongst themselves, to the annoyance of everyone in the neighborhood.
[NZ]‘Anzac’ On the Anzac Trail 77: [T]he kind of lush that gives you a sixty-horse dose of the jim-jams while you wait.
[UK](con. 1835–40) P. Herring Bold Bendigo 138: Eckersley engaged Tom Scrutton and his trainer [...] on fiddler’s fare, which he described as ‘meat, drink, lush-money and lodging’.
[UK]‘William Juniper’ True Drunkard’s Delight.
[US]A. Lomax Mister Jelly Roll (1952) 51: And there was the Game Kid playing the blues and just swilling all the lush in the world.
[US](con. 1948) G. Mandel Flee the Angry Strangers 247: If hashish don’ put you on, lady, like-you better stick to lusho.
[US]E. Gilbert Vice Trap 14: We had a couple of swigs apiece. ‘We need something to chase this lush.’.
[US](con. 1958) R. Farina Been Down So Long (1972) 24: Careful, play the game, he smells the lush.
[UK]D. Powis Signs of Crime 192: Lush Alcoholic drink itself.
[US]Rebennack & Rummel Under A Hoodoo Moon 197: Spector kept trying to keep hidden a bottle of lush John had brought with him.

2. a drink.

[UK] ‘Old Randy Moll’ in Sparkling Songster 35: I’d go out for a lush, with my flashman on a spree.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 6/1: After a ‘lush’ or two we started for the Boar’s Head Tavern.
[UK]H. Nisbet Bushranger’s Sweetheart 201: Stand me a lush.

3. (also Mr Lush) a drunkard.

[Ire]Tom And Jerry; Musical Extravaganza II iv: As sure as my name’s Pat. M’Lush – tho’ they call me Paddy sometimes for shortness.
[US]G. Thompson Jack Harold 60: The lushes had to suffer when I caught them on the snooze.
[US]Calif. Police Gazette 23 Jan. 2/3: Once more at liberty, he renewed his former habits, consisting of ‘cly faking,’ ‘going through lushes,’ and not staying in one place more than eight days, to avoid prosecution for ‘vagrancy.’.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 13 Dec. 14/1: Sallie Evans [...] rapidly degenerated into a ‘lush’ [and] fell to the grade of street walker.
[US]A. Trumble Mysteries of N.Y. 16: If it wasn’t for the lushes, we might as well chop up the hacks to cook the hosses.
[US]Jacob A Riis How the Other Half Lives 221: The first long step in crime taken by the half-grown boy, fired with ambition to earn a standing in his gang, is usually to rob a ‘lush’ i.e., a drunken man who has strayed his way.
[US]Number 1500 Life In Sing Sing 256: Lush Touch. A person who robs intoxicated people.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 86: The Swede, being a lush, was rather looked down upon.
[US]NY Tribune 13 Mar. 6/1: You mustn’t tear off the notion that Clifford’s a Mr Lush, that goes and gets himself all lit up like a birthday cake.
[US]Ade Knocking the Neighbors 142: One whom they had long regarded as a reliable bench-working Union Lush had turned in his Card.
[US]C.S. Montanye ‘White as Snow’ Detective Story 18 Feb. [Internet] Bender, it seemed, was a Philadelphia lush who had lately taken to dope.
[US]D. Hammett ‘Corkscrew’ Story Omnibus (1966) 232: Clio Landes was waiting for me, sitting there [...] with a bottle of whisky. She was about three-quarters lit up — one of those melancholy lushes.
[US]R. Chandler Big Sleep 218: Do I have to become a gentleman, like that lush that passed out in his car the other night.
[US]N. Algren ‘Depend on Aunt Elly’ in Texas Stories (1995) 101: Wilma met this flat-face clown, this Cherokee lush called Baby Needles.
[US]B. Spicer Blues for the Prince (1989) 178: He used to hit the bottle awful hard. That’s why most people thought he was such a lush.
[US]C. Himes Big Gold Dream 137: She liked to drink, but she weren’t no lush.
[US]B. Malamud Tenants (1972) 185: The mother is a lush, smelly, wasted, unable to stay sober for an hour a day.
[UK]Flame: a Life on the Game 92: The manager was a lush [...] because he drank and drank all day.
[UK]D. Farson Never a Normal Man 105: Describing the friendship of an ageing ‘lush’ called Cora and Billy, a balding ‘queen’.
[US]W. Shaw Westsiders 91: He feels that Cash must have [...] told Josiah that he said Silas was a total lush.

4. a drinking spree.

[UK]P. Hawker Diary (1893) II 214: We ended the day with a lush at Véry’s .
[UK]Fast Man 6:1 n.p.: Charlie, (Liverpool).—The best thing ‘after a severe lush,’ is our restorative; it costs a few pence, and has cured thousands.
[UK] ‘’Arry on Law and Order’ in Punch 26 Nov. 249/1: But supposing that game interferes with my larks, or my lush, or my gal?
[UK]‘Walter’ My Secret Life (1966) VIII 1522: She giggled in the way girls are often affected, at the beginning of a lush and before the stupid stage comes on.
[UK]Licensed Victuallers’ Gazette 16 Jan. n.p.: To have a supper and a good lush [F&H].

5. drunkenness, inebriation.

[UK]Sam Sly 12 May 2/3: [W]e met him a few evenings since, near the Queen’s Head, is a state of lush.

6. (US) in fig. use of sense 3, a victim or fool.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 130/2: Lush...One easily victimized; a gullible person; a stupid fellow.
[US]S. Longstreet Flesh Peddlers (1964) 48: At COK there were various ways of labeling clients [...] nudnik, kibitzer, slob, freeloader, lush, laughing-farm-bait and weirdo.
[US]K. Brasselle Cannibals 194: I also collared Dan Talbot of UBC about Kent’s remarks on the air and warned him [...] to stop the lush, or I would.

7. in fig. use, an addict.

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8. see lush roll

In derivatives

In compounds

lush cove (n.) [cove n. (3)]

a publican.

[UK] ‘Charley The Buzzman and Mot!’ in Flash Casket 67: Why are you sneaking up here, you jade? [...] To the lush cove’s crib to get some beer, / Charley, says she.
lush crib (n.) (also lushing crib) [crib n.1 (6)]

a saloon, public house or bar.

[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang.
[UK] ‘Memoirs of Dan Donnelly’ in Fancy I XVI 375: Donnelly had a lushing Crib in Pill-lane, which was in a flourishing state and well attended by the amateurs.
[UK]Pierce Egan’s Wkly Courier 22 Mar. 4/1: Tom Reedy [...] had called in to take a whiff and a whet at this lush-crib.
[UK]Egan Bk of Sports 44: He had also completely shaken-off all the up-all-night appearances of a Lush-crib in the heart of the metropolis.
[UK]Western Times 28 Sept. 3/3: Having paid his respects to [...] several of the fancy at Harry Harmer’s lush crib.
[UK]New Sprees of London 3: I’ll introduce you to the [...] Lushing, Chanting, and Night-cribs, Bawdikens, Hells, Boosing, and Lightning-cribs, Mum- ming Caseys where you may doss, lush, or feed.
[Aus]Satirist and Sporting Chronicle (Sydney) 11 Mar. 3/4: Crosby (the trap) might find employment on his beat without taking tip from young Tom and Jerry’s to hunt up lush cribs and knocking shops, for their accommodation at the late hour.
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 68: [They] made their pitch at the Kings Arms [...] of which lush crib, we shall speak more.
[US]Ladies’ Repository (N.Y.) Oct. VIII:37 316/2: Lush Crib, a liquor store.
[UK]‘Ducange Anglicus’ Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]R. Nicholson Rogue’s Progress (1966) 212: [stage direction] A Well-known Lush-Crib in the Haymarket.
[Aus]Melbourne Punch ‘City Police Court’ 3 Oct. 234/1: The Mayor. – What’s the name of the lug chovey in which you lumbered the prop? Prisoner. – It wasn’t lumbered at all, your honor’s lordship. She sold it for a madza caroon in a lush crib, and got lumpy with the dibbs.
[UK]Exeter & Plymouth Gaz. 31 Mar. 4/3: Close the lush-crib of the berry; Shut the drunkard’s boozing ken.
[UK]Clarkson & Richardson Police! 320: A drinking shop ... A boozing ken, lushing crib.
[UK]F.W. Carew Autobiog. of a Gipsey 418: We’d our reg’lar tradesmen, prattin’-kens, and lush-cribs.
[UK](con. 1835–40) P. Herring Bold Bendigo 259: I kept as far away as I could from lush cribs when I was a young man.
lush foundry (n.)

(Aus.) a public house.

[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 15 Nov. 5/3: [headline] Criminal Court Confessions / A Loco. Man’s Liush Foundry.
lush-head (n.) [-head sfx (4)]

(US) a drunkard.

[US]N.Y. Amsterdam News 2 Apr. 17: The thousands of lushheads and ‘tea’ worms that are being hatched daily [...] are a peril.
[US] ‘Jiver’s Bible’ in D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues [dedication] To all the junkies and lushheads in two-bit scratch-pads, and the flophouse grads in morgue iceboxes. (R.I.P.).
[US]M. Richler Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1964) 223: Remember the time that lush-head MacPherson accused me of killinng his wife?
P. Roth Great Amer. Novel 36: I count it a miracle that the lady didn’t latch on to a lushhead as well.
lush hound (n.) [-hound sfx]

a drunkard.

[US] ‘Hectic Harlem’ in N.Y. Amsterdam News 8 Feb. Section 2 n.p.: LUSH HOUND. – A person who overimbibes liquor.
[US]Flash! (Wash., D.C.) 21 Feb. 11/1: lush—Meaning liquor, thus a lush hound is the same a habitual inebriate.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 94: The scowling chin-out tension of the lushhounds with their false courage.
[US]M.H. Boulware Jive and Sl. n.p.: Lush hound ... Whiskey drinker.
[US]W.L. Alderson ‘Carnie Talk’ in AS XXVIII:2 117: lush, lushhound, n. Drunkard, ‘wino.’ ‘To get on the lush,’ to go on an extended drunk.
lush-house (n.)

a bar or saloon.

W. Bennett Owain Goch 265: Her dad kept a lush house on the quay.
[UK]N. O’Donoghue Knave of Clubs I 12: What’s puttin’ you in such a tarnal bad humour to-night ? You're sometimes jolly enough, and ready for a swill with any one as asks you to have one. Come on to the lush-house, and have a dandy, do.
G.T. Ferris Complete History of the Johnstown and Conemaugh Valley Flood 470: Men waited in rows five or six deep in front of the bars of the two public houses, the Lush House and the Concordia.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
lush-jerker (n.)

(Aus.) a bartender.

[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 11 Dec. 1/1: The leave-taking of a billowy Perth lush-jerker was one vast circumstantial cuddle [and] the blowsy bar-lady bear-hugged the score of friends who farewelled her.
lush joint (n.) (also lush dive) [joint n. (3b)/dive n.2 (1)]

a saloon, a bar.

[US] ‘Hectic Harlem’ in N.Y. Amsterdam News 8 Feb. Section 2 n.p.: LUSH JOINT. – A liquor emporium or gin mill.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 131/1: Lush-dive, n. A drinking establishment or district frequented by drunkards, especially by those who drink the cheapest alcohol, as smoke, skee, etc.
lush ken (n.) (also lushing ken, lushy ken) [ken n.1 (1)]

(UK/US Und.) an alehouse, saloon or bar.

[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang.
[UK]J. Catnach Tom and Jerry’s Rambles Through Paris 1: One night into a lushy ken they chanced to come.
[UK]Sussex Advertiser 14 Apr. 4/3: The lush-kens were crowded.
[UK] ‘Smith’s Frolic’ in Holloway & Black II (1979) 61: But first to a lush ken together we went.
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 74: This is a lush ken in the neighbourhood of Southwark. The Rum Cul – a downey card, is patronised by the leary and slang schools, in winter, his long room, or ‘slanging lumber’ is the scene of many choice spree and downey movements.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 26 Feb. 1/4: The Toggers or lower down at the Lush kens will do.
[UK]Kendal Mercury 3 Apr. 6/2: Here we find the modest dodger, having more than restored the equilibrium of his spirits at a neighbouring lushing ken.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 89/2: I’m tired o’ th’ ‘lush ken lay,’ so az thau sez ’f we ken find anny ‘bloke’ wi’ a few ‘quids’ [...] we’ll ‘namase’ from here t’ ‘start’.
[US]N.Y. Times 18 July 3/1: Pickpockets have their ‘lushing-kens,’ or saloons, where they congregate to drink their liquor and talk business.
[US]Phila. Eve. Bulletin 5 Oct. 40/4: Here are a few more terms and definitions from the ‘Racket’ vocabulary: [...] ‘lushken,’ a saloon.
lush kick (n.) [kick n.5 (1)]

(US) a sense of drunkenness; the positive effect of alcohol.

[US]‘William Lee’ Junkie (1966) 112: I went into a bar and drank four whisky sodas and a got a good lush kick.
lush merchant (n.) [merchant n.]

1. (Aus.) a seller of alcohol; a publican.

[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 15 Nov. 5/3: The Times has a bit more to say about Mr. Donald M’Swann, railway foreman and lush merchant. Its last (and first) concerning this engaging individual was that he [...] had secured a license for a pub. at Cottesloe.

2. (Aus.) a drunkard.

[Aus]Baker Popular Dict. Aus. Sl.
[Aus]N. Pulliam I Travelled a Lonely Land (1957) 235/2: lush merchant – a drunk.
lush roll (v.) (also lush, lush dip, roll a lush) [roll v. (3a) ]

(orig. US) to rob a drunk; thus lushrolling n.

[US]H. Asbury Gangs of N.Y. 328: He had deserted Fagin and was operating with great success on his own account, rolling lushes and deftly lifting pocket-books and jewelry from the crowds.
[US]W.F. Whyte Street Corner Society (1955) 6: We didn’t lush (steal from a drunk).
[US]Murtagh & Harris Cast the First Stone 34: She learned how to ‘roll lushes’ and the technique of ‘boosting’ merchandise out of department stores.
[US]W. Burroughs Naked Lunch (1968) 200: He pulled out his Razorback card, a memo of his lush-rolling youth.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn (1966) 67: The guys had what she wanted. Especially when they lushed a drunk.
[US] in S. Harris Hellhole 83: The girls have classes in lushrolling and shoplifting.
[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak.
lush roller (n.)

(US) one who specializes in robbing sleeping or passed-out drunks, esp. in subways.

[US]C.H. Darling Jargon Book 21: Lush Roller — One who robs drunken men.
[US]A.J. Liebling Back Where I Came From (1990) 221: Just lush rollers and moll buzzers and patch pocket workers.
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 11 Nov. [synd. col.] Their broadcasters sound like lush-rollers in police corurt — explaining how the victim’s wallet gave them such a surprise when they found it in their hands.
[US]O. Ferguson ‘Vocabulary for Lakes, [etc.]’ AS XIX:2 109: Rolling is also general, for going through a man’s pockets when he is drunk; and from that the practice of lush-rolling and the noun lush-roller.
[US]‘William Lee’ Junkie (1966) 45: He always dressed well [...] No one could have looked less like a lush-roller.
[UK]J. Sparks Burglar to the Nobility 155: He being what we call a ‘lush-roller’ which is a sinner who lurks around pubs [...] looking for a solitary citizen who is getting drunk [...] what he ends up doing is he takes the poor mug’s wallet.
[US] in S. Harris Hellhole 84: Jerry was [...] one of the best lushrollers in Harlem.
lush-toucher (n.)

(US) a person who robs a drunk.

[US]Number 1500 Life In Sing Sing 256: Lush-toucher – A scamp who robs intoxicated people.
[US]J. Sullivan ‘Criminal Sl.’ in Amer. Law Rev. LII (1918) 890: The thief who robs drunken men is called a ‘lush toucher.’.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
lush trap (n.)

(Irish) the mouth.

Drogheda Jrnl 12 June n.p.: Langan rallied, and threw Spring cleverly [...] Langan received on his lush trap, but apparently recovered.
lush trotter (n.)

(orig. US) a boy or girl who is sent to the saloon to bring back beer either for their parents or for working men who cannot leave their jobs.

[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 129/2: Mary Ann was ‘lush-trotter’ for the occasion. ‘Max’ was sent for, again and again.
lush wallower (n.)

(Aus.) a heavy drinker.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 16 May 12/3: Nothing occurred within the hall to mar the pleasantness of the evening, the obtrusive lush-wallower being an individual with a patch over his eye, and who gained admittance as ’Star reporter.’ Of course, he was sailing under false colours.
lushwell (n.)

(US) a heavy drinker.

[UK]D. MacCuish Do Not Go Gentle 235: He glanced at Norman and motioned to the bottle, ‘Go ahead, slop it up, Lushwell.’ [HDAS].
[US]J. Wambaugh Glitter Dome (1982) 14: He’s such a lushwell his liver’s probably big as his ass.
lush worker (n.) (also lush diver, ...grafter, lusher) [ + worker n.1 (1)/diver n. (3)/grafter n.1 (1)]

1. (US) in fig. use, one who drinks heavily and/or associates with drunks; thus lush-working n. and adj.

[US]K. McGaffey Sorrows of a Show Girl Ch. vii: Take it from me I’ll never again gallop around the juniper bowl. I wouldn’t be a lush worker like that Alla McCune for another $10,000 legacy. [Ibid.] Ch. xv: I lost that hot-air shooting, lush-working, expense-account-grubbing wah of a Wilbur.

2. (US) one who specializes in robbing sleeping or passed-out drunks, esp. in subways; thus lush-graft n., such robbery.

[US]A.H. Lewis Apaches of N.Y. 206: The men were thieves of the cheap grade known as lush-workers.
[US]H. Asbury Gangs of N.Y. 250: Pickpockets, footpads, and lush workers, all testified that they gave the police or politicians a percentage of their stealings.
[US]G. Milburn ‘The Dealer Gets It All’ in Hobo’s Hornbook 152: I’ve done some niftik moochin’ with the best bums on the road. / I’ve been out on the lush-graft – and cracked a pete or two.
[US](con. late 19C) H. Asbury Barbary Coast 289: Buzzard Maloney, a well-known sneak-thief and lush-worker of the eighteen-nineties.
[US]C.W. Willemse Cop Remembers 289: ‘Lush grafters’ robbing drunks.
[US](con. 1880s) H. Asbury Barbary Coast 120: It was the particular rendezvous of the macks, or pimps, and of the lush-workers who thronged the Devil’s Acre.
[US]D. Fuchs Low Company 313: The detectives believed that the murder was committed by lush workers whose habit it was to rob late travelers.
[US]N.Y. Times 15 Dec. SM16: Lush workers: one who ‘rolls’ drunks for their money.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 131/1: Lush dive, v. To rob drunkards. Lush-diver. One who robs drunkards. [Ibid.] 131/2: Lusher. See Lush-diver. Lush roll. See Lush dive. Lush-roller. See Lush-diver. Lush up. See Lush, v. Lush-worker. See Lush-diver.
[US]‘William Lee’ Junkie (1966) 44: ‘The Fag’ was a brilliantly successful ‘lush-worker’.