Green’s Dictionary of Slang

nasty adj.

[on bad = good model or fig. use of SE nasty]

1. (orig. US) first-class, exciting, particularly enjoyable or admirable.

[US]Knickerbocker (N.Y.) III 37: [note] ‘Sling a nasty foot,’ means to dance exceedingly well.
Border Watch (Mt Gambier, SA) 31 Oct. 3/2: THE LATEST SLANG CREATION IN NEW YORK [...] A clever writer is said to ‘sling a nasty pen’.
C. Mathewson Pitching 68: Hoblitzell is a nasty hitter.
[US]R. Lardner Big Town 91: The meals is included in the rates, and they certainly set a nasty table.
[US]H.C. Witwer Classics in Sl. 56: K.O. Macbeth’s wife tunes in on WXYZ, begins shakin’ a nasty shoulder and fin’ly vamps the champ into stayin’ over the night at the challenger’s dump. [Ibid.] 69: Romeo is out on the floor shakin’ a nasty hoof with one of the janes.
[US]R.S. Gold Jazz Lex. xviii: The jazzman’s [...] deliberate and significant reversal of the conventional connotations of terms such as mean, dirty, and nasty (all current c. 1900).
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Oct. 5: nasty – good: What a nasty drink!
[US]Simon & Burns Corner (1998) 156: Come right here with that nasty shit.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Spring.
[US]C. Eble (ed.) UNC-CH Campus Sl. 2011.

2. (orig. US) attractive, sexy; often in negative sense, i.e. promiscuous, amoral.

[US]Knickerbocker (N.Y.) III 37: ‘She is a nasty-looking gal,’ implies she is a splendid woman .
[US] ‘Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck’ [comic strip] in B. Adelman Tijuana Bibles (1997) 41: Oh Mickey, I think you’re a nasty mans —.
[US]C. Brown Manchild in the Promised Land (1969) 174: She used to say I always brought nasty girls to the house.
[US]Frank Zappa ‘Brown Shoes don’t Make It’ [lyrics] She’s nasty, she’s nasty, she digs it in bed.
[US]Too $hort ‘Cusswords’ [lyrics] Nasty bitches, around the world / I wrote this rhyme for you.
[US]‘The Master Pimp’ Pimp’s Rap 55: Candy was nice and nasty. She enabled me to experience my most intimate sexual desires.
[US]J. Lerner You Got Nothing Coming 150: She be nasty, but that bitch got ass!
[US]J. Stahl OG Dad 70: Complete strangers [...] address you as ‘Daddy’. But not in a nasty Ride me, Daddy, right [sic] me right out of town! way.

3. (orig. US) aggressive, hostile, bad-tempered.

[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 21 Mar. 22/2: To our wives we’ve been bound in thraldom, / Like that which binds each Russian serf; / If we’ve ever grown ‘nasty’ and mauled ’em, / And ‘landed ’em out by the scruf’.
[Aus]D. Stivens Tramp and Other Stories 49: He’s real nasty when he’s drunk. If I had turned him down now he’d have gone drinking and getting nasty and then we’d have had some trouble.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 14: He gets ugly, gets into a fighting mood and comes out nasty.
[US]H. Simmons Corner Boy 80: Tree and Cage got real nasty.
[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 14: I wasn’t nasty or no troublemaker.
[US]C. White Life and Times of Little Richard 133: He’d get nasty and shout at me.
[UK]J. Cameron Vinnie Got Blown Away 65: He gave me the gaze like I was a Scouser or carried a dangerous disease. Slow and nasty.

4. with ref. to speech or writing, sexually suggestive (whether explicitly or not).

[US](con. 1910s) ‘Harry Grey’ Hoods (1953) 31: We smoked, whistled, and made nasty remarks to the girls passing by.
[US]‘Lou Rand’ Gay Detective (2003) 39: Parsons was arrested for writing a nasty invitation on the walls of the men’s room.
[US]Cab Calloway Of Minnie the Moocher and Me 93: The double-entendre nasty songs.
[US](con. 1930s) C.E. Lincoln The Avenue, Clayton City (1996) 4: Here they were under the streetlight [...] cutting the fool and talking that nasty talk. Nasty talk! It was a wonder God didn’t send down a thunderbolt and clean up the air.
H. Hughes Clit Notes 122: Nasty talk about my mother. But it didn’t hurt me none. Because it was all true. Every stinky last word of it, true.
(con. 1900s) Barker & Shipton Buddy Bolden 22: The way he would sing that nasty talk would make the skin on your flesh twitter. Many of the women would hold their ears and rush away from the band.

5. (orig. US) difficult.

[US]D. Burke Street Talk 2 32: The professor just gave us some nasty work to do.

6. (W.I./UK black) dirty.

[WI]Francis-Jackson Official Dancehall Dict. 36: Nahsi dirty; filthy: N. yuh too nahsi/you’re too dirty.

In compounds

nasty-ass (adj.) (also nasty-assed)(US)

1. of a person, unpleasant.

[US]T. Jones Pugilist at Rest 108: I knew that either Clendon would become so pissed that he would leave that nasty-ass bitch or he would weasel under.
[UK]Guardian Rev. 10 Mar. 27: Lotsa nasty-ass motherfuckers and bad, ig’nint, troublesome niggaz in this neighbourhood.
[US](con. 1998–2000) J. Lerner You Got Nothing Coming 33: That’s one nasty-ass white boy.

2. of a place, thing or animal, dirty, disgusting.

[UK]B. Beckham My Main Mother 116: That nasty-assed dog has been farting here all night.
[US] in Delacoste & Alexander Sex Work (1988) 56: She hated the rain. [...] This nasty ass, cold greyness pouring down.
[US]D.H. Sterry Chicken (2003) 60: I sure as hell don’t want her to see my nasty-ass hovel.
nasty-behind (adj.)

(US black) of a female, promiscuous.

[US]C. Brown Manchild in the Promised Land (1969) 139: I just can’t understand why you like those old nasty-behind girls who don’t wear no drawers.
nastygram (n.)

(US, orig. milit.) an unpleasant note or letter or a communication that brings bad news.

[US]F. Harvey Air War – Vietnam 6: If he has to send a ‘nastygram’—a curt reprimand—to anybody, on deck or aloft, he doesn’t hesitate.
[US]Murphy & Gentry Second in Command 75: Butcher had a habit of writing ‘nastygrams,’ reminders of incidents that he wanted to recall when he made his next fitness reports [HDAS].
[UK]D. Poyer Med 155: They had to be filled out by the book or you got a nastygram from the computer.
nastyman (n.)

1. the member of the garrotting team who actually does the choking.

[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).

2. (UK Und.) a thief’s assistant.

[UK]F.W. Carew Autobiog. of a Gipsey 419: He was forced to employ an assistant – suggestively termed a ‘nasty-man’ – whom he hired by the job to do the heavier work.

3. (US black) a sexual pervert.

[US]N. Heard Howard Street 85: He was a ‘nasty man’ who liked to have his women urinate in his face prior to lovemaking.
nasty nigger (adj.)

(W.I.) ill-mannered, boorish.

[WI]Francis-Jackson Official Dancehall Dict. 36: Nahsi-naygah relating to rudeness or coarseness in behaviour: u. mek de nahsi-naygah bwoy gwaan.

In phrases