Green’s Dictionary of Slang

hand n.1


[19C+] a person; often as cool hand, loose hand.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

hand and pocket shop (n.) [one must put one’s hand in one’s pocket]

[late 18C–mid-19C] an eating house where one must pay cash and credit is not available.

hand artillery (n.) (also hand cannon)

[1920s+] (US) a pistol.

handbag (n.)

1. [1960s+] (Aus.) a woman’s male escort.

2. [2000s] (UK black) of a man, one’s wife or girlfriend.

3. see abo’s handbag under abo n.

handball (n.)

see separate entries.

hand-basket portion (n.) [note 16C SE handbasket sloy, an unpleasant term for a woman]

[late 18C–mid-19C] a woman whose family continually gives money to her husband.

hand book (n.) [book n. (3b)]

1. [late 19C–1970s] (US) a small bookmaker or illegal betting establishment.

2. attrib. use of sense 1.

handbrake (n.)

[1980s] (S.Afr. campus) a regular girlfriend.

handcuff (n.) [a negative view of marriage]

1. [1920s–40s] (US) an engagement (ring), a wedding (ring).

2. [1960s] (US teen) a parent.

hand gallop

see separate entries.

hand gig (n.) [1940s+] (gay)

1. a homosexual prostitute who specializes in masturbating his clients or joining in mutual masturbation with them.

2. (also hand game) mutual masturbation.

hand grenade (n.)

1. [1970s] (US black) an amorous letter or note.

2. [1980s] (Aus.) a hamburger.

hand jig

see separate entries.

hand jive

see separate entries.

hand job

see separate entries.

handmade (adj.) (also hand-raised, hand-reared) [the idea that masturbation has changed its shape]

[1960s–70s] (US) of the penis, bent noticeably in one direction or another or particularly large.

hand queen (n.) [-queen sfx (2)]

[1960s+] (US gay) someone who prefers masturbating a partner or being masturbated to other forms of sex.


see separate entries.

hand shandy

see separate entries.

hand solo (n.) (also han solo) [pun on the character Han Solo in the Star Wars films of the 1970s–80s]

[1990s+] masturbation.

hands up (n.) [the bottle has the Red Hand of Ulster on its label]

[1920s] (Irish) a bottle of Allsop ale.

handsupper (n.) (also hand upper) [those Boers who surrendered, i.e. put their hands up, at the end of the Anglo-Boer Wars (1880–1, 1899–1902)]

[1940s+] (S.Afr.) a traitor.

In phrases

down hand on someone (v.)

see under down v.2

hands off (your) cocks, feet in (your) socks (also drop one’s cock and grab one’s socks, drop one’s rocks and grab one’s socks)

[1910s+] a joc. wake-up cry, orig. RAF, but general in the services, institutions and similar sites of dormitory accommodation.

hand-to-fist (adv.)

[mid-17C–early 19C] intimately, right up close to each other.

have one’s hand out (v.) (also have one’s mit out)

1. [late 19C+] to beg, to scrounge.

2. [20C+] to be amenable to a bribe.

make a hand of (v.) (also take a hand of)

[20C+] (Irish) to tease, to mock, to make fun of.

on one’s own hands

[mid-19C] looking after oneself, taking responsibility for one’s own life.

put one’s hand down (v.) [i.e. down into one’s trouser pocket]

[20C+] to pay, to stand one’s turn.

put one’s hand out (v.)

[1950s+] to go through a drunk person’s pockets looking for cash and/or valuables.

put one’s hand up (v.) (also stick one’s hand up) [classroom practice]

[1970s+] to confess.

throw hands (v.) (also throw ’em)

[1970s+] (orig. US black) to punch, to hit; to fight.

with one hand (tied behind one’s back) (also with one’s shoes on, on one leg)

[20C+] (orig. US) very easily, with minimal effort; usu. as do something...