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).
R. Charles Brother Ray 161: Show me a guy who can’t play the blues and I’m through with him before he can get started. If you can’t get nasty and grovel in the gutter, something’s missing.
[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 .
[UK]‘Ramrod’ Family Connections 39: Harry, I must suck your nasty arse before I go any further.
[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’ 🎵 She’s nasty, she’s nasty, she digs it in bed.
[US]Too $hort ‘Cusswords’ 🎵 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 16: 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.
[US]T. Pluck Boy from County Hell 139: [A] rusty old jukebox playing a nasty Johnny Rebel tune.

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

[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.
[US]S.A. Crosby Blacktop Wasteland 82: ‘Don’t tell me you’re falling for her. She can’t be that good at eating pussy.’ ‘You so damn nasty’.

5. dirty.

[US]A. Anderson ‘The Checker Board’ in Lover Man 6: Git up and wash your hands, Thomas, ‘fore you salt God’s food with your nasty fingers.
[WI]Francis-Jackson Official Dancehall Dict. 36: Nahsi dirty; filthy: N. yuh too nahsi/you’re too dirty.
[US]W.D. Myers Handbook for Boys 178: When they had chewed all the flavor out of the tobacco or snuff, they’d spit it out.’ ‘And nobody told them that was nasty?’.
[US]Rayman & Blau Riker’s 6: There was this little crackhead lady falling asleep on my shoulder [...] She was nasty.

6. (orig. US) difficult.

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

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.
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