Green’s Dictionary of Slang

roll v.

1. [mid-19C; 1920s+] to have sexual intercourse [orig. meaning work, it was extended in blues songs to mean intercourse, i.e. the physical effort involved].

2. in drug uses.

(a) [late 19C; 1960s+] (drugs, also roll up) to roll a marijuana cigarette.

(b) [1990s+] to take MDMA; thus roll face, to exhibit the signs of having taken MDMA.

(c) [1990s+] of a vein, to move away from the syringe when one is attempting to inject oneself with narcotics.

3. to assault [one rolls the victim over].

(a) [late 19C+] to rob, usu. a drunk or any helpless person; thus roll a stiff v.; lush roll under lush n.1

(b) [20C+] to attack.

(c) in fig. use of sense 1, to defraud.

4. in senses of movement.

(a) [late 19C–1920s; 1990s+] (US) to walk.

(b) [1910s+] (US, also roll off) to start moving, lit. or fig., thus phr. let’s roll, let’s go, let’s leave.

(c) [1920s] (US) to drive a car.

(d) [1980s+] (US campus) to leave, to avoid a class.

(e) [1990s+] (US) to leave home.

(f) [2000s] in fig. use, to exist, to conduct one’s life.

(g) [2000s] (US black) to perform, e.g. as a rapper.

5. in fig. uses [‘roll with the punches’].

(a) [1950s+] (US, also roll high) to prosper, to do well, to succeed.

(b) [1980s+] (US black) to survive, to live, to conduct oneself.

6. [1980s+] in context of laughter [abbr. SE rolling in the aisles].

(a) to laugh hysterically.

(b) to make someone laugh.

7. see roll in v. (1)

In compounds

roll dog (n.) [dog n.2 (2c)]

[1990s+] (US black) someone with whom one drives around.

roll job (n.) [job n.2 (2)]

[1950s] (US Und.) a street robbery, a mugging.

roll right (n.)

[2000s] (US prison) a generically branded cigarette.

In phrases

get one’s roll on (v.)

[2000s] (US teen) to drive an expensive car.

roll back on (v.)

[2000s] (US) to betray, to inform on.

roll hard (v.) [hard adv. (2)]

[2000s] (US black) to be very aggressive, fearless.

roll high (v.)

see sense 5a above.

roll in (v.)

see separate entry.

roll in one’s ivories (v.)

see under ivory n.

roll in the hay (v.)

see separate entry.

roll into (v.) [ext. of roll in v.]

1. [19C+] to arrive.

2. [late 19C–1900s] (Aus.) to attack.

roll it (v.)

to stay out all night on the spree.

roll off (v.)

see sense 4b above.

roll on (v.)

see separate entry.

roll one’s bones (v.) (also roll one’s trail)

[20C+] (US) to get into action, to move oneself.

roll one’s hoop (v.)

1. [late 19C–1920s] to do well, to succeed.

2. [1900s–40s] (US, also roll one’s tail) to leave.

(also roll one’s tail)
roll out (v.)

1. [late 19C+] (also US) to get out of bed, to get up.

2. [mid-19C+] (US) to leave, to depart, also excl.

3. [1990s+] (US prison) to release from jail.

4. [2000s] (US prison) to move to a new cell.

roll over (v.)

see separate entry.

roll stuff (v.) [stuff n. (5b)]

[1930s] (US drugs) to move around wholesale quantities of narcotics.

roll the bars (v.)

[1990s+] (US prison) to open a row of cell doors using a remote mechanism that opens every door simultaneously.

roll the log (v.) (also roll the boy)

[1930s–40s] (drugs) to smoke opium.

roll through (v.)

[2010s] (UK black) to attend an event.

roll up (v.)

1. see sense 2a above.

2. see also separate entry.

roll up on (v.) [1980s+] (orig. US black)

1. to approach.

2. to approach sexually.

3. to attack.

roll with (v.) [1960s+] (US black)

1. to agree with, to accept.

2. to associate with.

3. to adopt a role or position.

In exclamations

go roll in it! [abbr. of go roll in the shit!]

[1970s] (US) a dismissive retort.

go roll your hoop! [abbr. of go roll in the shit!]

[1970s] (US) a dismissive retort.

roll on!

see separate entry.