Green’s Dictionary of Slang

root n.1

1. in sexual contexts.

(a) (also old root) the penis.

[UK]J. Heywood Play of Love in Farmer (1905) 176: What pleasures have we in coming together! / Each tap on the ground toward me with her foot / Doth bath in delight my very heart root.
[UK]Shakespeare Merry Wives of Windsor IV i: eva: Remember, William; focative is caret. quick: And that’s a good root.
[UK] Shakespeare, Pericles IV vi: Why, your herb-woman [i.e. a bawd]; she that sets seeds and roots of shame and iniquity.
[UK]T. Duffet Psyche Debauch’d Act I: Adzboars Prince Nick, chain yours. If None-zo-vair zay do’t, chill buss thy root.
[UK]Supplement to the Profund 15: The Ducke sore tickleth his Erse Roote.
[UK]Ladies Delight 1: A Tuft of Moss keeps warm the Root.
[UK]Teague-Root Display’d 10: At the Bottom of the Root issue two round Globes, that are pendulous in a Bag.
[UK]Gentleman’s Bottle-Companion 16: Here’s the wonderful root, fit for ladies to span, / That grows ’twixt two stones in the fam’d Isle of Man.
[UK]Harris’s List of Covent-Garden Ladies 93: The pleasing Mount of Venus [...] which twining round the ruby portals of Cupid’s grotto forms a delightful bed for the root of the tree of life.
[UK] ‘Johnny’s Lump’ Frisky Vocalist 9: The root he planted in his wife.
[UK]‘The Sick Lady Cured’ in Facetious Songster in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) III 254: ’Tis a famed root which ladies use, / [...] / Between two precious stones it grows, / Upon the famous Isle of Man.
[UK]Sam Sly 3 Mar. 2/1: Sam saw you the other night teaching Miss E—a L—t the use of the cube root; leave off those ways.
[UK]Pearl 1 July in Bold (1979) 169: But when Mrs Eve did taste of the fruit / It was then that her eyes first beheld Adam’s root.
[UK]Randiana 114: ‘Then you’ve had the root before, Zoe.’ ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘once, with a young captain in my Pa’s regiment.’.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[US]Bawdy N.Y. State MS. n.p.: The old man grabbed his root in his hand.
[US] in P. Smith Letter from My Father (1978) 135: I slipped my root into her small cunt.
[US]Walter Davis ‘Root Man Blues’ [lyrics] There is one thing baby: you want the root all by yourself [...] the root I’m selling: from it you get lots of juice.
[US] in Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) I 185: I got a gal at the forks of Sandy, / Hi di di di, diddle all-a day, / Grabbed my root, she says it’s dandy, / Hi di di di, diddle all-a day.
[US] in Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) II 635: I’ve fucked and I’ve fucked / Till my root it is raw.
[UK]Auden ‘The Platonic Blow’ in Mills (1983) 325: I grasped his root between left forefinger and thumb.
‘Troy Conway’ Cunning Linguist (1973) 74: His whole body strained forward, his attitude was one living root.
[UK] ‘Abdul Abul Bul Amir’ in Bold (1979) 1: And the spray from his root spattered on the left boot / Of Abdul Abul Bul Amir.
[US]S. King It (1987) 34: Nobody suggested he sucked the root. Nobody.
[US]Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore I 428: jackass root, a very large penis (root), since the donkey or jackass has a much larger penis, proportional to its size, than does a horse.
[UK]J. Niven Kill Your Friends (2009) 67: ‘You fluky cunt,’ I say. ‘Suck my root,’ he says.

(b) the female genitals.

[UK]Teague-Root Display’d 10: There are two Kinds of this Root, the Male and Female [...] the Female is not so beautiful a Root; it’s a broad Root with a Hole perforated thro’ it.

(c) an erection; thus the phr. get/have the root, to get an erection.

[US] in E. Cray Erotic Muse (1992) 292: So come all you young lovers, and listen to me, / Don’t waste your erection on a long-winded she. / For your root will just wither and your passion will die.
[UK]I. Welsh Trainspotting 311: Ah hud some root oan us the other day thair.
[UK]I. Welsh Glue 47: It wisnae easy tae git oot ay bed in the mornin but, the root ah’ve goat oan.
[UK]I. Welsh Decent Ride 71: Gittin another fuckin root oan awready . . . could gie you another fuckin seein-tae.

(d) (Aus.) the act of sexual intercourse.

in R. Chamberlain Stuart Affair (1973) 11: He heard Moir ask Stuart, ‘Did you have a root?’ and Stuart reply, ‘I had a tight one.’.
[Aus]A. Buzo Rooted I iii: Do you remember the time he got pissed out of his mind and fronted up to this old duck and asked her for a root?
[Aus](con. 1930s) F. Huelin ‘Keep Moving’ 44: I’m hoggin’ for a root.
[Aus]Lette & Carey Puberty Blues 24: After a few weeks, he’d ask you for a root, and if you wanted to keep him, you’d do it.
[Aus]B. Humphries Traveller’s Tool 8: The old credit card has revolutionised the extra-marital root.
[Aus]Penguin Bk of Aus. Jokes 331: You’re not only a great root, you’re also a good sport!
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read Chopper 4 77: By the time I get out of here, a good root [...] would probably kill me.
[Aus]me-stepmums-too-fuckin-hot-mate at www.fakku.net [Internet] I’ll give ya’ a root whenever y’want.

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

[Aus]A. Buzo Norm and Ahmed (1973) 24: Find yourself a good woman, something more than just a weekend root.
[Aus]F.J. Hardy Outcasts of Foolgarah (1975) 202: You’re not only the best root in Foolgarah but good-natured as well.
[Aus]Lette & Carey Puberty Blues 5: She walked everywhere in her bikini. That meant she was showing off her body and was an easy root.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett White Shoes 5: Being a dud root didn’t help her much [...] she was probably the worst root Les had ever had.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 174: root Sex, the doing verb or the done noun, eg, [...] ‘He/She was a good root.’ ANZ from early C20.
[Aus]L. Redhead Peepshow [ebook] Why’d you call me? [...] Was I the root that got away?
[Aus]L. Redhead Thrill City [ebook] ‘You’ve had about five boyfriends since you broke up.’ [...] ‘Not boyfriends. Roots. Big difference’.

(f) (Aus. teen) a good-looking (and thus sexually attractive) male.

[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 104: An attractive boy might be referred to as cute, a root or, reflecting the gender-bending creeping into Lingo, a babe.

2. a person, a man.

[US]W. Otter Hist. of My Own Times (1995) 106: Mr. Ickes [...] a tavern-keeper in Abbotstown, and a very inquisitive kind of an old root.

3. money. [the ‘root of all evil’].

[UK]Daily Tel. 7 Apr. 8/3: All the week they do their little bit o’ graft... an’ take home the root on Sat’days to the missus or the mam [F&H].
[US]Bluefield Daily Tel. (WV) 11 Mar. 4/2: In addition [...] the following [names for money] are given: [...] Root.

4. a kick [root v. (1a)].

Farmer Public School Word-Bk 169: Root-about [...] (The Leys), promiscuous football practice.
[NZ]N. Scanlan Winds of Heaven 46: Matt gave him ‘a root in the gear’ and told him not to talk like a stable boy [OED].
B. Marshall Yellow Tapers for Paris 114: Caught him a great root with his boot on the backside.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 180/2: Root in the keister. A kick in the pants.
[Ire]F. Kelly Annals of Ballykilferret 39: ‘Under me shaggin’ feet all day, ye little snot ye,’ and ‘root in the arse if I trip over ye again.’.
[UK]K. Bonfiglioli Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery 144: If some jack from Thame came clumping into our manor [...] he’d get a root up the sump.

5. (US) a nose.

[US]M.G. Hayden ‘A Word List From Montana’ in DN IV:iii 245: root, n. Nose. ‘Jane, how came that scale on your root?’.

In compounds

root rat (n.)

(Aus.) a promiscuous male.

[Aus](con. 1950s) in P. Doyle Get Rich Quick (2004) 25: ‘But he was a root rat?’ ‘That’s right. He used to force the tarts he was extorting to come across.’.

In phrases

root, hog or die (n.)

see separate entry.