Green’s Dictionary of Slang

root n.1

1. in sexual contexts.

(a) [mid-16C+] (also old root) the penis.

(b) [mid-18C] the female genitals.

(c) [late 19C+] an erection; thus the phr. get/have the root, to get an erection.

(d) [1950s+] (Aus.) the act of sexual intercourse.

(e) [1970s+] (orig. Aus.) the person with whom one has intercourse, usu. the woman; thus a weekend root, a casual sexual partner.

(f) [1990s+] (Aus. teen) a good-looking (and thus sexually attractive) male.

2. [mid-19C] a person, a man.

3. [late 19C–1900s] money. [the ‘root of all evil’].

4. [20C+] a kick [root v. (1a)].

5. [1910s] (US) a nose.

In compounds

root rat (n.)

(Aus.) a promiscuous male.

In phrases

root, hog or die (n.)

see separate entry.