1. a bullet.
|[||Trial of Charles Drew 7: Then and there with the Piece of Lead aforesaid, so as aforesaid discharged and shot, in and upon the said left Side of him the said Charles John Drew].|
|It Is Never Too Late to Mend III 110: He has got off but he carries some of our lead in him.|
|Dagonet Ballads 82: Wasn’t Regan’s sister ruined by the blackguard lying dead, Who was paid his rint last Monday, not in silver, but in lead?|
|On a Mexican Mustang, Through Texas 247: It’s hellamile when you come to tradin’ lead with the Indians.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 7 Feb. 5/4: A Deadwood (Dakota) husband published this note: ‘My wife Sarah has shot my ranche. […] [A]ny man that takes her in […] will get himself pumped so Full of lead that some tenderfoot will locate him fur a Mineral clame.’.|
|Wolfville 14: Gents of experience stands ready to go to duckin’ lead an’ dodgin’ bullets instanter.|
|Log Of A Cowboy 34: A squad of men arose in the court room, and the next moment the judge fell riddled with lead.|
|Brand Blotters (1912) 239: I’m awful careless about spilling lead, when I get excited.|
|‘Snowbound’ in Gangster Stories Oct. n.p.: ‘You’re walking out of here like good little boys, unless you want a skinful of lead’.|
|Dan Turner - Hollywood Detective Jan. [Internet] A masked bozo was [...] squeezing lead out of a smoking roscoe as fast as he could throw it.‘Million Buck Snatch!’|
|Dead Ringer 75: If they get a report on a loose monkey they should call you instead of getting excited and spraying lead.|
|Jungle Kids (1967) 104: Ferdy tells her Django’s in the apartment across the way and maybe we’ll see some lead soon.‘See Him Die’ in|
|Down All the Days 76: ‘I stopped a bit of Black-and-Tan lead too!’ he went on, drawing up the leg of his uniform and displaying a scarred indented shin. ‘A British bullet was stuck in that leg for months.’.|
|Last Toke 88: You tell that jive white boy I gon’ put me some lead where I put my knee to his nature if he come sniffin’ on trouble again.|
|Wire ser. 3 ep. 3 [TV script] We hit that one girl, but after that, I ain’t seen nobody catch no lead.‘Dead Soldiers’|
2. a collection of money, e.g. by a street performer; thus money in general (see cite 1940).
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor III 154/1: We went to a public-house where they were having ‘a lead,’ that is a collection for a friend who is ill.|
|‘Autobiog. of a Thief’ in Macmillan’s Mag. (London) XL 502: I was landed (was all right) this time without them getting me up a lead (collection).|
|Soul Market 148: A costermonger came up to me and asked me to take a ticket for a ‘lead’ that was being got up for poor old ‘Boss ’Ooker’.|
|Pittsburgh Courier (PA) 10 Feb. 7/1: A skin (drummer) shower who was supposed to be pickin’ up on more lead than any other tub beater in the universe.|
3. a gun.
|Cincinnati Enquirer 30 May 12/1: I ain’t gon’t’ let no gun-fannin’ ombrey in this camp stick me up and poke lead into my frame [DA].|
(US) a bullet.
|Blackwood’s Edin. Mag. Apr. 441/2: Level low, and send him to bed with a lead pill in his stomach.|
|Highland Smugglers I 116: Come quietly down, unless you'd rather taste a lead pill to cool your courage.|
|N.Y. Mirror 6 June 396/2: I no more nor raised me head [...] when phiz ! came a lead pill so close to me ear, that me head went under wather.|
|Reformed Gambler 110: ‘Well, then, if you must know,’ said he, surlily, ‘I went on board on purpose to give Sumpter a lead pill,’ (meaning a bullet.).|
|Out Back 189: I’ll put a lead pill between the teeth of the first man who dares to open his mouth.|
|Tales of the Ex-Tanks 152: Here [...] is where I either become the depository for sundry and divers leaden capsules or acquire a stake.|
|Bushman All 297: A lead pill in ’is bloomin’ cobra ’ill stop ’is blessed yabba.|
|letter inLetters Home (1990) 29: [...] if they don’t give me a lead pill.|
|Spicy Detective Stories Nov. [Internet] When he sees her address [...] he’ll go there all primed to feed her a lead pill.‘Live Bait’ in|
|Cool Customer 256: When Clem reached for the gun close to him this bird let him have it between the eyes with a lead pill.|
|Dan Turner - Hollywood Detective Jan. [Internet] He came here ahead of us and fed her a lead pill!‘Million Buck Snatch!’|
1. (US teen) an unpopular individual.
|Chicago Trib. Graphic Section 26 Dec. 7/1: Jive Talk [...] Drips. Sad Sam (or Sal). Cold potatoes. Junior jerk. Junior mess. Jerk of all trades. Dracula’s daughter. Sad specimen. Zombie. Black widow. Lead pipe. Light operator.|
2. (US prison) prison-cooked spaghetti.
|DAUL 123/1: Lead pipe. (N. Y. Catholic Protectory) Spaghetti.et al.|
(US) a bullet.
|Cowboy 77: A ‘lead plum’ was a bullet.|
|Cowboy Lingo 168: A bullet was slangily referred to as a ‘lead plum’.|
(orig. US) shotgun shells, revolver bullets, esp. when lodged in a victim’s body.
|Daily News 27 Mar. in (1909) 166/1: Very recently a gentleman who was at once editor of a local newspaper and town constable found it necessary to relinquish the latter post in consequence of a disease which he euphemistically termed ‘lead-poisoning’, the result of being shot through part of the lungs by a desperado of the township under his care.|
|Indep. Dly Reporter (KS) 24 Feb. 2/7: ‘I am passionately fond of music, but my passion sometimes crystallizes in the form of a shotgun, especially after midnight, So if you will just move around the corner [...] you will [...] possibly escape an epidemic of lead poisoning’.|
|Tommy Cornstalk 97: There is also, of course, considerable danger of what a certain member of the much-quoted Canadians termed ’darned lead-poisoning’ – meaning thereby, the chance of going under to a bullet.|
|First Hundred Thousand (1918) 267: Not many of the boys has gotten a dose of lead-poisoning yet.|
|Missing Link [Internet] Ch. xi: The first of you, man, woman or child, that stirs a finger or utters a yelp gets lead poisonin’.|
|Green Ice (1988) 16: ‘Lead poisoning,’ he explained. ‘Too bad, eh?’.|
|Cowboy Lingo 171: A person who was shot had a case of ‘lead poisoning’.|
|Spicy Detective Sept. [Internet] Listen, snoop. This cannon ain’t stuffed with feathers, see? Make just one wrong move and I’ll feed you a lead supper.‘Falling Star’ in|
|‘One More Murder’ Five Novels Monthly Mar. [Internet] I heard you were sick with lead poison, Barney.|
|Rebellion of Leo McGuire (1953) 87: Maybe someday [...] they’ll pass a national Sullivan law so a guy isn’t running the risk of lead poisoning on the job.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 143: lead cocktail Gunfire [...] bullet [...] lead medicine Bullets [...] lead poisoning A bullet wound.|
|Homeboy 3: Sugarfoot was croaked from lead poisoning.|
|Chopper 4 131: In the end they found that keeping bad company can give you lead poisoning.|
|Orlando Sentinel (FL) 15 Oct. A15/4: He made caasual references to a ‘.45 calibre lead cocktail’.|
(US) a gun.
|Dly Notes (Canonsburg, PA) 11 June 2/3: ‘Don’t endeavor to be frivolous with a man that’s ot the edge on you with a 45 calibre lead-spitter’.|
|Bar-20 Days 16: If this man will [...] drop that lead-sprayer long enough to take our good money, we’ll wear ’em.|
|L.A. Times 11 Dec. 25/2: ‘I jes’ gets that ole lead spitter of mine in action’.|
|Cowboy 148: The affronted citizen [...] ‘dug for’ his own ‘lead pusher’.|
|Chicago Trib. 22 July 4/3: [of a machine gun] Rat-at-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t as the Fokker sweeps the ground with a lead spitter.|
|‘Jargon of the Und.’ in DN V 453: Lead-spitter; A revolver.|
|Phila. Inquirier (PA) 1 Nov. Mag. 9/1: Buck had the drop. he had his big-bore lead-spitter under Jim’s nose.|
|Cowboy Lingo 166: The cowboy’s names for his gun were legion [...] ‘lead-pusher,’ ‘lead-chucker.’.|
|Sheboygan Press (WI) 28 May 2/5: This 20-year-old private shoots such a deadly gun that [...] he was ordered to [...] teach the others how to handle the lead spitters.|
|Advocate-Messeneger (Danville, KY) 12 Mar. 2/4: The main types of [...] lead sprayers in one of America’s ‘blitz’ divisions.|
|(con. 1896) Voyage (1977) 533: Bring that lead spitter aft an’ point it the other way.|
(US) a bullet.
|Stand (1990) 149: Have a lead sandwich, ya lousy copper.|
|‘George Barnwell Travestie’ in Rejected Addresses 120: Make Nunky surrender his dibs, / Rub his pate with a pair of lead towels.|
|Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc.|
|DA].Pills, Political, Poetical and Philosophical 32: Our spouting democrats [...] / When they can’t reason with a Fed, / In logick substitute cold lead [|
|Gay Girls of N.Y. 29: The first person who attempts to molest us in any way, shall breakfast on cold lead.|
|Peck’s Bad Boy and His Pa (1893) 296: They had to hide about a week, for fear that Ma’s father would fill Pa so full of cold lead that he would sink if he fell in the water.|
|DA].Told in Hills 332: [The message] belongs to the command, and I may get a dose of cold lead before I could deliver it [|
|Somewhere in Red Gap 89: Some of these days Little Sure Shot’ll put a dose of cold lead through that Chink’s heart.|
|Coll. Stories (1990) 299: A few minutes later he had taken hot lead in the guts from a Tommy gun wielded by a squad of coppers.‘His Last Day’ in|
|(con. 1920s) Studs Lonigan (1936) 515: That was the kind of guy Studs Lonigan wanted to be, really hard and tough [...] giving cold lead as his answer to every rat who stepped in his way.Judgement Day in|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 73: dose of hot lead Shooting.|
|Mad mag. Apr. 5: Now you eat hot lead!|
|Burn, Killer, Burn! 261: The hot lead of two shiny .38 Magnums.|
(orig. US) to be shot, usu. fatally.
|Harper’s Mag. 100 464: [p[pic. caption] You’ll eat them words or you’ll eat lead pudding.|
|Circle in the Square 15: You’ll either marry that girl or you’ll eat lead, if I swing for it.|
|in Sport USA (1961) 120: Her pa having been knocked off by a low-down skunk [...] whom someday she hoped to make eat lead.|
|Men from the Boys [Internet] It seems he dropped completely out of sight for at least a week before he ate lead.|
|St Vith 183: Now turn your platoon around or you’ll eat lead! [HDAS].|
|(con. 1981) East of Acre Lane 121: When I sight dem faces again, there’ll be yamming lead.|
(US) to shoot, usu. to shoot dead.
|Oh Boy! No. 20 9: You’re lucky I don’t feed yuh lead, Pop. I want yuh to live to tell ’em I’m plenty tough. Yeah!|
to be shot.
|Black Mask Aug. III 11: He wasn’t no gunman – not him. That was the how of his taking the lead so easily, not being a quick shooter.|
|DSUE (8th edn) 671/1: late C.19–early 20.|
to hurry up, to stop dawdling; usu. as imper.
|Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen’s Mag. 38 288/1: Our lodge has been growing slowly, but we still have plenty of good material to work on, so get the lead out of your feet, boys.|
|Insurance Press 171 53/2: Don’t get ‘cold feet’ and go around the corner to a loafing place and kill time, but — Right now, Mr. Agent, is the time to get the lead out of your shoes and get ‘on the job’.|
|Racket Act I: You better tell the men out back to ditch their cards and get the lead out o’ their pants.|
|(con. 1920s) Studs Lonigan (1936) 617: All right, Cal, get the lead out of your tail.Judgement Day in|
|Dead End Act I: Come on, git duh lead outa yuh pants!|
|Men in Battle 110: Pick up your feet; get the lead outta your ass.|
|Rebellion of Leo McGuire (1953) 16: Come on, kids, lay it on. For God’s sake, get the lead out of your pants.|
|Cry Tough! 95: ‘Karpel!’ he screamed at the head salesman, ‘get the lead outa your ass and come here!’.|
|(con. 1943–5) To Hell and Back (1950) 15: Son [...] get the lead out of your shoes.|
|From Here to Eternity (1998) 917: Go find Sgt Karelson and tell him I want to see him. And get the lead out of your ass!|
|Web of the City (1983) 80: Okay you guys, get the goddamn lead out!|
|Scene (1996) 169: C’mon now, lazybones, get the lead out!|
|(con. WWII) And Then We Heard The Thunder (1964) 13: You, soldier, you, get the lead out your ass.|
|Murder in Mount Holly (1999) 57: This is the real thing, boy. Get the lead out of your pants.|
|Go-Boy! 52: C’mon, get the lead out of your ass and get those buggies on the road!|
|Somebody Down Here Likes Me, Too 97: Get the fuckin’ lead outa your ass!|
|(con. 1920s) Emerald Square 60: Get the lead out a’ yer arse an’ start runnin’ or the school master ’ill kill yeh.|
|Legs 21: Twelve-thirty if the goddamn hogger’ll get the lead out of his ass and we get this train made up on time.|
|Cotton Patch Gospel 158: Get the lead out of your britches and stand yourself up before God.|
see under pencil n.
(US black) to shoot.
(US) to fire a gun.
|Letters from the Southwest (1989) 110: I’ll pump enough lead into you to patch a mile of hell!letter 25 Nov. in Byrkit|
|Lin McLean 69: Pumped lead into the red sons-of-guns.|
|Bucky O’Connor (1910) 240: See that they come to time or pump lead into them.|
|Psmith Journalist (1993) 281: Sam’ll pump dem full of lead.|
|Little Caesar (1932) 251: The man in the derby hat raised his arm and Rico rushed him, pumping lead.|
|Green Ice (1988) 131: A lot of guys had squeezed lead on the red-haired one [...] She was through.|
|Sudden 95: Whitey could pump lead quicker’n anyone I ever see.|
|Und. Speaks n.p.: Squeezing lead, to shoot.|
|(con. 1920s) Legs 216: I got you now, you son of a bitch! Turn around and do it slow, or I’ll pump you full of lead.|
|‘Danger Overhead Junkie’ [poem] at cgsng.com [Internet] His contacts for his drugs / ‘No warra meen?’ They can pump him full of lead / Bullets and/or injections.|
(orig. US) to make an effort, to ‘get a move on’, to stop being lazy.
|‘The Bold Aviator’ in Airman’s Song Book (1945) 3: Shake the lead from your feet and get busy.|
|Gas-House McGinty 44: Now shake the lead out of your tail.|
|Iceman Cometh Act IV: Shake de lead outa your pants, Pimp! A little soivice!|
|Bloods 179: Get a move on. Shake the lead out of your boots.|
|(con. 1930s) The Avenue, Clayton City (1996) 89: Shake the lead out and get that milk on up there to Miz McCoy! [...] we ain’t got all day!|
|(con. 1940s–60s) Straight from the Fridge Dad 163: Shake the lead out of your shorts Get moving, hurry up.|
(US) to fire a gun; to shoot.
|Wkly Arkansas Gaz. (Little Rock, AR) 1 June 2/4: Mr Callaway [...] had cautioned prisoner that ‘Gillespie carried first-rate pistols’ [...] ‘always carried the bull-dogs about him’ [...] if prisoner tried to stop him from selling goods, he would ‘sling lead at him — he would kill the damned rascal’.|
|Petaluma Wkly Argus (CA) 29 July 3/3: Every few days a party of hunters [...] sling lead at a tremendous rate, but as yet no one has brought down the animal.|
|Inter Ocean (IL) 9 Mar. 1/4: Members of O’Hooligan Combination Sling Lead with Fatal Effect [...] [B]oth revolvers were emptied, ten shots being fired in all. Lang was hit in four places, and is not expected to live.|
|British Printer 14 291/2: No less than twenty have left the firm's employ to help to settle the question of ‘Briton or Boer?’ That the printers can ‘sling lead’ from a rifle as well as to a gun-metal stick is a demonstrated fact,.|
|Boy’s Life Sept. 48: [advt.] And when you sling lead at him [i.e. a fox] with your old slow-as-molasses 30-30, he knows you're guessing.|
|Little Caesar (1932) 164: They slung some lead, didn’t they, Rico?|
|Mammoth Detective May [Internet] He pulled a rod and started to sling lead at the cops.‘Tea Party Frame-Up’ in|
|Oh Boy! No. 18 10: Slinging lead now, stead of rocks.|
see under swap v.
see under swing v.
see get the lead
(US) to shoot a gun.
|Boys of England 1 Apr. 285/1: Bill rode on more cautiously now, for [...] he knew from experience that soldiers throw lead as if it cost nothing when they fancy Indians are about.|
|Dodge City Times 10 May in Why the West was Wild 392: Another one of the party told his chum to ‘throw lead,’ and endeavoured to resist the officer.|
|Dly Yellowstone Jrnl (Miles City, MO) 18 Nov. 3/2: [...] not liking the idea of being at the mercy of any drinken outfit that may be disposed to throw lead about promiscuously.|
|Eve. Star (DC) 27 Oct. 4/2: He waited [...] until the desperado commenced to throw lead in his direction.|
|Log of a Cowboy 37: They threw lead close around me.|
|N.Y. Tribune 23 Aug. 5/3: Four were reckless enough to throw lead.|
|Tacoma Times (WA) 24 May 4/4: If some of those red hombres don’t can this rough stuff I am going to throw lead some promiscuous.|
|N. Platte Semi-Wkly Tribune (NE) 25 Aug. 2/1: I’m no gun sharp, but no man who can’t empty a revolver in a shade better than two seconds [...] wants to throw lead at me.|
|Big Sleep 145: Neither of them would have hesitated to throw lead at me.|
|Sudden Takes the Trail 22: Them cowboys can throw lead.|
|Hot Dames on Cold Slabs n.p.: Maybe tomorrow, the day after, some other finger man’ll be up here throwin’ lead around.|
|Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 79: That’s when he fell to his knees throwin’ steel and lead, / they found thirty-two coppers on the roadside dead.|
|(con. 1920s) Emerald Square 43: The unfortunate gentleman from Rathgar [...] made a run for it as the cowboy threw lead, ‘bang ... bang’.|
|Hurricane Punch 20: You needed to lean on a twist, throw hopheads a yard, throw lead, no one snooped.|
see eat lead
SE in slang uses
(US) a failure; usu. in phr. go over like a lead balloon.
|,||DAS 314/2: Fig. a failure; a plan, joke, action or the like that elicits no favorable response; a flop; anything that lays an egg [...] Since c1950.|
|Guardian 27 Sept. [Internet] ‘Bournemouth’s lead balloon’ ‘A glum, corrosively tedious exhibition of control-freakery’.|
see separate entries.
(US) an idiot; also as adj.
|(con. 1948) Flee the Angry Strangers 371: He’s a leadhead cat I used to know.|
|Captain Planet [ABC-TV] Hey, leadhead! [HDAS].|
1. a firm grip.
|Amer. Sl. Dict.|
2. (also lead pipe, lead pipe trick, pipe, pipe cinch) an absolute certainty, an easy task; thus as adj., certain, easy.
|N.Y. Trib. 4 Oct. 4/1: In his third race, when intrusted by with thousands of dollars [...] and looked upon as a ‘lead-pipe cinch’ of the best manufacture [...] his dickey leg gives way.|
|Chimmie Fadden Explains 94: De game couldn’t suit de widdy better if it was a lead-pipe cinch.|
|Barkeep Stories 122: ‘[I]f I don’t get crazy an’ bet the works on the lead-pipe trick in the third’.|
|Checkers 19: The owner himself is going to ‘put me next’ [...] it’ll be a ‘lead pipe.’.|
|More Gal’s Gossip 45: It is not necessary for the married Jap who has got a ‘lead pipe cinch’ on his erring mate to appeal to any tribunal whatsoever.|
|Philosophy of Johnny the Gent 15: I knew it was a lead pipe if I stayed up that day I was gone again.|
|Philosophy of Johnny the Gent 37: ‘[Y]ou can peg it for a pipe that the old sayin’ about once a sucker, always a sucker, is the correct dope’.|
|N.Y. Eve. Journal 25 Aug. in Unforgettable Season (1981) 183: After Doyle banged a safe hit [...] the game looked lead-pipe to a certainty.|
|Taking the Count 158: The impression prevailed that Isidore could not lose – wouldn’t be allowed to lose. In short, a lead pipe.‘No Business’ in|
|From Coast to Coast with Jack London 101: I’ve got a regular ‘lead pipe cinch’ on the grabbing of the onery scamps.|
|Midnight 17: [This] isn’t any lead-pipe cinch, I’d say!|
|‘Harlem Magic’ Broadway Follies Sept. [Internet] Ding Dang Dong! might have ‘made’ Teddy — but it was a lead-pipe cinch that Teddy had made Ding Dang Dong!|
|Popular Detective Mar. [Internet] This is sure a lead-pipe cinch, Arky [...] we won’t need to leave it lookin’ like a punch job now.‘Dying to See Willie’ in|
|Deadly Streets (1983) 114: How easy it had been to shoot Snake. It had been a pipe cinch.‘Kid Killer’ in|
|Scrambled Yeggs 83: This Judy’s Dream looks like a lead-pipe cinch.|
|Marion Star (OH) 12 jan. 6/2: It’s a lead pipe cinch that some of the decisions are going to be unpopular.|
|After Hours 205: It’s not going to be a lead-pipe cinch.|
|Pensacola News-Jrnl (FL) 3 Feb. 10B/2: It’s almost a lead-pipe cinch that the plan will be accepted.|
|(con. 1949) Big Blowdown (1999) 286: It’s a lead-pipe cinch that Stefanos and the rest of them buried Bender. So now we’ve got to save face and bury the Greeks.|
|Richie Ashburn Remembered 4: A Lead-Pipe Cinch: Ashburn’s love for the Phillies and his listeners was a certainty.|
|Pacific Dly News (Agana, Guam) 11 June A13/2: A prosecutor should never seek to impeach a president absent a lead-pipe cinch of a case.|
see under sled n.
see separate entries.