1. a bed; also in the context of a place for sexual intercourse; thus great in the hay, an above-average sexual performer [the use of hay for stuffing mattresses].
|[||Flash (NY) 18 Sept. n.p.: Mr Plumb [...] nightly converts his receptacle for hay into something between an assignation house and a shindy shop. U..... D.., [...] goes there nightly after some of the girls, and he being very heavy, does great injury to the hay].|
|People You Know 13: He crawled into the Hay at 9.30 P.M.|
|Ten-Thousand-Dollar Arm 125: The doc says if you stay in the hay this afternoon you can get out to-morrow.‘Little Sunset’|
|Leave it to Psmith (1993) 563: Do not [...] let me keep you from the hay if you wish to retire.|
|Runyon on Broadway (1954) 87: She may just get out of the hay.‘Blood Pressure’|
|Iceman Cometh Act I: She woke up Chuck and dragged him outa de hay.|
|(con. 1943–5) To Hell and Back (1950) 137: She was first-class in the hay.|
|Little Men, Big World 123: I’ll finish this one [game], then try the hay again.|
|Long Good-Bye 37: ‘How about the other guy?’ I asked, ignoring him. ‘What other guy was that?’ ‘In the hay, in the guest house. No clothes on. You’re not saying she had to go down there to play solitaire.’.|
|Gang Girl (2011) 19: The ugly cripple would probably have given his one good leg for half an hour in the hay with her.|
|(con. 1940s) Dark Sea Running 196: You’re just a failure in the hay. You need monkey glands.|
|Thief 117: She was a real emotional kind of woman, old Nola. Especially in the hay.|
|Pugilist at Rest 134: My mother always said he was pretty good in the hay.|
2. as a metaphor for insignificance.
(a) a small sum of money; usu. in phr. that ain’t hay, remarking on a substantial sum.
|Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 10 Apr. 1/6: Sent his prads across to Sydney / For to earn a bit of hay.|
|Hobo 210: You will eat bye and bye / In that glorious land above the sky; / Work and pray, live on hay, / You’ll get pie in the sky when you die.‘The Preacher & Slave’ in Anderson|
|Runyon on Broadway (1954) 201: Three hundred G’s is by no means hay.‘Broadway Financier’|
|What Makes Sammy Run? (1992) 127: A hundred bucks a week! [...] That isn’t hay.|
|We Were the Rats 84: ‘Smash, dough, fiddlies, coin, tin, hay, oot, shekels, sponduliks,’ said Gordon. ‘I’m still the highest paid member of this company’.|
|Lucky Palmer 101: Can you let us have some hay, ‘Lucky’?|
|Scrambled Yeggs 8: Okay. So I’m out a bundle anyway. A twelve-grand bundle. ‘Not exactly hay.’.|
|Teen-Age Mafia 128: Dum Dum wasn’t rolling in hay but he was managing.|
|Best of Barry Crump (1974) 141: ‘I’m a starter,’ says I, ‘but we’ll have to pick up a bit of hay from somewhere. I’ve only got a quid left.’.‘One of Us’|
|Dead Long Enough 270: I made some hay.|
|ThugLit Sept. [ebook] ‘Getting fatter and making hay’.‘Grandpa’s Place’ in|
(b) in fig. use, something worthy of notice.
|‘Whitman College Sl.’ in AS XVIII:2 Apr. 155/1: that ain’t hay. ‘That is worthy of recognition.’.|
3. as something smokeable [note Kipling ‘The Taking of Lungtungpen’ (1880): ‘’Tis no good [...] fillin’ my pouch wid your chopped hay. Canteen baccy’s like the Army. It shpoils a man’s taste for moilder things’].
(a) (US) tobacco; cigarettes.
|[||More Ex-Tank Tales 125: I had [...] a clay pipe and two ounces of hay tobacco].|
|‘Smokers’ Sl.’ in AS XV:3 Oct. 335/2: Tobacco is [...] hay, alfalfa, corn-shucks, coffee, cabbage, or rope.|
|Queens’ Vernacular 156: He offers to suck cock or proffers an upturned fanny in exchange for [...] hay (Calif. prison sl, ’71: cigarettes).|
(b) (US drugs) marijuana.
|N.Y. Times 3 Dec. n.p.: About $7,275 worth of the weed, which is called ‘hay’ in the vernacular, was seized.|
|letter 19 Feb. in Harris (1993) 11: I would like some of that hay. Enclose $20 [...] and send along all the seed.|
|Scrambled Yeggs 32: Maybe they dope the victims; we’ve picked up dead hay smokers, hop-heads, drunks, a little of everything.|
|Shake Him Till He Rattles (1964) 126: ’Cause I’m takin’ a toke / of hay, hay, hay.|
|Queens’ Vernacular 104: hay [...] 2. (late ’60s) any inferior, low-grade marijuana.|
|🎵 I’m puffin’ spliffs of hay.‘Diamonds against Wood’|
|Source Nov. 206: The hay-smokin, barnyard b-boys, Crucial Conflict [...] have returned.|
|ONDCP Street Terms 11: Hay — Marijuana.|
(drugs) a marijuana cigarette.
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
|Narcotics Lingo and Lore.|
|ONDCP Street Terms 11: Hay butt — Marijuana cigarette.|
(US) a smoker of marijuana.
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
|Narcotics Lingo and Lore.|
|Underground Dict. (1972).|
a stock of money.
|Venetian Blonde (2006) 146: I had lost $125,00 of Charlie Braque’s bale of hay.|
1. to go to bed; thus in the hay, asleep.
|Ten-Thousand-Dollar Arm 257: He hits the hay too early for a healthy man.‘McCluskey’s Prodigal’|
|Fort Wayne Sentinel 4 June 8/6: Down in New Orleans they say ‘I think I’ll take a little dodo,’ meaning they’re going to hunt the hay or go to sleep.|
|DN IV:iii 244: flop, v. To go to bed [...] Also hit the slats.‘A Word List From Montana’ in|
|West Broadway 96: We hit the hay of a standardized mattress in a standardized hotel.|
|Broadway Brevities Dec 14/2: The little ladies of leisure who sleep until 1 p. m. and seldom hit the hay before 5 a. m.|
|Runyon on Broadway (1954) 66: He comes to see her after her papa goes to the hay.‘The Old Doll’s House’|
|🎵 She gave you eight for lovin’, and eight for workin,’ / The other eight is for hittin’ the hay.‘Try Getting a Good Night’s Sleep’|
|Sudden Takes the Trail 182: Better hit the hay – to-morrow may be a long day.|
|Aus. Women’s Wkly 26 July 22/2: When your soldier, home on leave, yawns and says he’s going to hit the ‘hay-bag’ it’s [...] his way of saying he’s going to bed.|
|Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit 92: A breath of fresh air before hitting the hay would bring relief.|
|Early Havoc 41: Only two hundred hours have been danced so far and already many couples have hit the hay.|
|Barry McKenzie [comic strip] in Complete Barry McKenzie (1988) 77: Pigs I haven’t!!! I can crack a fat with a flamin’ skinful. Let’s hit the hay.|
|Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (1976) 37: I’m tired. I think I’ll hit the hay.|
|Pretty in Pink 136: I’d better hit the hay myself.|
|Curious Incident of the Dog 55: She said lots of things I didn’t understand, e.g. ‘I’m going to hit the hay’.|
|Sucked In 239: By the time I got home [...] Red had hit the hay.|
|Gutshot Straight [ebook] ‘We can hit the hay early’.|
|Hard Bounce [ebook] ‘You want to hit the hay?’ I asked. ‘Yeah,’ she said drowsily.|
|Glorious Heresies 209: Joseph very mildly says he’s going to hit the hay.|
2. (also beat the hay) to sleep.
|Sorrows of a Show Girl Ch. x: The next morning while she was yet beating the hay, I [...] took it on the run away from there.|
|To You I Tell It 20 Mar. [synd. col.] Rip van Winkles who would rather hit the hay than make it.|
|Dict. Amer. Sl.|
3. (also go into the hay) to have sexual intercourse, to ‘go to bed with’.
|in Erotic Muse (1992) 264: Oh, I had a girl friend, she liked to sport and play, / Cutest little girl friend that ever hit the hay.|
|Sensualists (1961) 86: I don’t see how a girl like Ann can go into the hay with such a drip.|
|(con. 1950s) Unit Pride (1981) 272: We ain’t gonna be gettin’ any pussy when we get back. So we better hit the hay while the sun shines.|
|Llama Parlour 112: She was now also hitting the hay with an ad executive, another entire rock band and some married bloke called Brendon.|
4. (drugs) to smoke marijuana.
|Narcotics Lingo and Lore.|
|(con. 1940s–60s) Straight from the Fridge Dad.|
|ONDCP Street Terms 12: Hit the hay — To smoke marijuana.|
(US short order) a portion of shredded wheat.
|🎵 You can hear her calling orders like this [...] ‘Give me a triple beef on a load of hay / Combo rye and a bottle of aye’.‘Boogie Woogie Blue Plate’|
(US black) to gossip.
|‘Back Door Stuff’ 16 Apr. [synd. col.] [T]he women [...] were pitching hay with a six-pronged fork.|
(US) to sleep.
|Indoor Sports 11 May [synd. cartoon] Gee! I mighta pounded the hay an hour longer Ida known Hawkins was in there.|
(US) a phr. used to mean that something is a large and/or significant amount.
|‘How Sally Hooter Got Snake-Bit’ in Polly Peablossom’s Wedding 68: If you didn’t think all the peas in my corn field was er spillin in the floor, thar ain’t no ’simmons!|
|Eight Bailed Out (1954) 8 Aug. 51: Fifty thousand bucks ain’t hay even in Texas.diary|
|Madball (2019) 76: ‘Two thousand dollars isn’t hay’.|
|World of Paul Slickey Act II: Well, there’s a thousand pounds a week from record sales alone [...] well, it ain’t peanuts.|
|Sneaky People (1980) 91: He had a hundred and eleven dollars in the bank, and that ain’t hay.|
SE in slang uses
a second-rate cigar.
|Hillyars and Burtons (1870) 314: They tossed for a go of turps and a hayband [...] that means a glass of gin and a cigar.|
see separate entries.
(US black) a white person.
|Juba to Jive 227: Hay-eater (1880s–1930s) any white person.|
(US) a farmer; also as a term of derision, a peasant, a rustic.
|Jargon Book 16: Hay-foot – a farmer.|
(US) rustic, unsophisticated.
|Writings 386: Fought pretty well for a hay-footed man from Gil-e-ad.|
|Works 69: But it ’s easy to see she ’s got hold of some hay-footed fellow up there in the mountains with straws in his hair.|
see haymaker n.1 (2)
see separate entries.
see hay burner n.1
see hayseed n.
(US) a bed or mattress.
|TAD Lex. 108: Kind of bad just before hitting up the haypile.in|
|Gullible’s Travels 138: And oh, how grand that old hay-pile felt when I finally bounced into it!|
|Rustlers of Beacon Creek (1935) 4: Lead me to that hay pile, sheriff, will you?|
(Aus.) a racehorse, presumably displaying piratical characteristics.
|Up the Cross 39: D‘on’t [...] even say that name in front of us. The friggin’ hay pirate’.(con. 1959)|
|Lairs, Urgers & Coat-Tuggers 71: ‘Keep goin’ yer lovely old New Zealand hay-pirate’ [ibid.] 84: James ‘Grafter’ Kingsley who would later earn a certain reputation in the racing game as a daring lurk merchant and owner/breeder of some handy hay pirates.|
(US) a farmer, a peasant.
|N.Y. World n.p.: ‘I wouldn’t hev come into his shop if I had known it,’ protested the imitation hay-pitcher [F&H].|
|Amer. Thes. Sl. §391.3: rustic, bumpkin, haypitcher.|
see separate entries.
(Aus./N.Z./US) a farmer, a simple peasant; also as adj.
|Burlington Wkly Free Press (VT) 16 Jan. 14/5: Snap out of your hop, you hay-shaker.|
|Top-Notch 1 Sept. 🌐 We had the sum total of all the hayshakers and six-day sock wearers in front of the bally.‘Hail the Professor’ in|
|in DARE 930/1: hay pounder = hayseed.|
|Amer. Thes. Sl. §391.3: rustic, bumpkin [...] hay shaker.|
|Popular Detective June 🌐 Willie did look like a hayshaker who had swallowed three fingers of straight rye for the first time in his life.‘Knife Thrower’ in|
|AS XXXIII:4 265: [...] hayshaker.‘Pejorative Terms for Midwest Farmers’ in|
|Death of Anger 89: He wasn’t dressed as swanky as you are but you come from the country, your family, and he looked like one of your hayshaker cousins all right.|
|Stand On It (1979) 154: Man, those humpties and hayshakers all over the South just love demolition derbies.|
|Patriot Game (1985) 83: He looks like some hayshaker, just come down from Bangor, see his first tall buildings.|
|Dict. of Invective (1991) 193: Those who live close to the land can be demeaned in terms of what they grow upon it. For example: [...] hay-shaker.|
|Badger Bars and Tavern Tales 11: One of them called Harvey a big hayshaker and the other one made some wisecrack.|
(US) a farmer.
|Michaelmas Term III i: Who would think now this fine sophisticated squall came out of the bosom of a barn and the loins of a hay-tosser?|
|Susan Lenox I 209: As her voice died away he beat his hands together enthusiastically. [...] ‘She’ll set the hay-tossers crazy!’.|
|Door of Dread 53: I’m hep to this burg [...] I ain’t been hibernatin’ up-state wit’ the hay-tossers, son.|
see donkey n. (6)
see in (the) straw under straw n.
used to state that one is not naive, foolish.
|Mr. Jackson 80: ‘How do you know, Henry?’ ‘They ain’t no hay on me, is they?’.|
not an insignificant amount.
|N.Y. Amsterdam News 17 June 12A: I have a job earning over $75 a week and that isn’t hay.|
|Hoodlums (2021) 131: ‘Two hundred dollars a week is not hay’.|