Green’s Dictionary of Slang

sock v.1

[ety. unknown]

1. to hit, to punch; thus sock into/up v., to assault, to beat.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Sock [...] to Beat [...] I’ll Sock ye, c. I’ll Drub ye tightly.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict. 240: ‘sock into him’ i.e., give him a good drubbing.
[UK]Mansfield School-Life at Winchester College (1870) 234: Sock – To hit hard at cricket.
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[US]C.A. Siringo Texas Cow Boy (1950) 54: I socked spurs to my pony.
[UK]Marvel XIII:323 Jan. 10: Well, sock him, Jack! Go for him.
[US]Number 1500 Life In Sing Sing 252: Sock. To assault.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 22 May 2nd sect. 10/3: He socked the ancient (and greatest gladiator of his day) in the vicinity of his bingie, causing him [...] to grunt audibly. Tommy is a man who shows little chivalry.
[UK]Marvel 3 Mar. 15: Sock him! [...] Lam in like mad!
[US]W.R. Burnett Little Caesar (1932) 85: You ain’t sore at me because I socked you, are you?
C.B. Yorke ‘Snowbound’ in Gangster Stories Oct. n.p.: ‘Sock him once, Francis [...] and toss the rat out into the alley’.
[UK]G. Kersh Night and the City 124: You shove off, or I’ll sock yer.
A.P. Herbert Let Us Be Glum (1941) 14: Sock the Wops and knock their blocks / Sock the Wop until he crocks.
[UK]J. Maclaren-Ross Of Love And Hunger 49: Banged the door on me she did. The bitch, I could’ve socked her.
[US]J.D. Salinger Catcher in the Rye (1958) 47: Then I tried to sock him, with all my might, right smack in the toothbrush.
[UK]G. Lambert Inside Daisy Clover (1966) 85: Gloria nearly socked her.
[UK]Sun. Times Mag. 16 Sept. 44: Stop calling me a Nazi or I’ll sock you in your goddamn face.
[US]News-Record (Neenah, WI) 22 July 4/3: Kuehne socked a homer to top the offense.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 8: He [...] started sockin me up.
[UK]Guardian Rev. 24 Sept. 17: I was too much of a wuss to get up and sock her.
[UK]L. Theroux Call of the Weird (2006) 164: Why don’t you come here so I can sock you!

2. (US) to knock someone’s hat over their head.

[US]Bartlett Dict. Americanisms 320: to sock. To press by a hard blow a man’s hat over his head and face. Used in Rhode Island. I have never heard it elsewhere. The New York term is, to crown.

3. (US) to throw.

[US]J.H. Beadle Western Wilds 37: They put me in jail – socked me right in with them two Hodges.
[US]F. Francis Jr Saddle and Mocassin 145: They came near to socking him in the cooler the other day.

4. (US) to pay; to treat someone to something.

[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[UK]‘Pot’ & ‘Swears’ Scarlet City 77: I must sock you and Larkhall at Bryan’s.
[Aus]Bulletin Reciter 1880–1901 181: Den I socked me bit upon ’er— / Ev’ry tray-bit I could bring.
[US]Number 1500 Life In Sing Sing 252: Sock. to pledge.
[UK]E. Waugh Handful of Dust 80: ‘Oh come on,’ said Brenda, ‘I’ll sock you a movie.’.
[US]J. McCourt ‘Vilja de Tanquay Exults’ in Queer Street 300: It wouldn’t occur to a single / One of them [...] to sock a girl / To a meal once in a way.

5. to thrust an object.

[US]D. Crockett Sketches and Eccentricities 93: I socked my knife into the old bear.
[US]T.J. Green Journal of the Texian Expedition 321: In popped the corporal [...] with a shoemaker’s awl in his hand, and, not waiting for an explanation, ran furiously at Ike, [...] and ‘socked’ it in the thick of his back ‘smack up to the handle’.
[US]S. Crane in N.-Y. Trib. 10 July in Stallman (1966) 7: Sock that pole under the axle and we’ll h’ist ’er up.
[US]Sun (NY) 15 May 17/5: He socked a good, stiff load o’ that in his gun and come out on the front stoop.
[US]Sun (NY) 15 May 17/5: I socked a handful o’ lead in [the bear] as he was sneakin’ by my house.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 6 May 3/2: I am told we’re soon to have ’em [i.e. women] / Socked in Parliament as well.
[US]‘Oh I Met Miss Malone’ in Immortalia 3: And I laid Miss Malone on a stone; / And when I socked each stroke to her, / You could hear all the dead people moan.

6. in fig. use, to ‘hit’.

[UK]A. Binstead Mop Fair 88: The speculation into which she has already heroically socked about three thousand pounds.
[Aus]E. Dyson Spats’ Fact’ry (1922) 24: Sweet innocence done up in pure white crepe at two-n’-eleven the piece [...] has socked him a few in her time.
[US]M.C. Sharpe Chicago May (1929) 209: Burns and Tom Moore were my favourite poets. The one socked Church, State and hypocrites.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Judgement Day in Studs Lonigan (1936) 551: I’ll be giving plenty of people who’ve been socked by the depression a chance to keep their heads a little above water.
[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 129: There was a young Nubian prince / Whose cock would make elephants wince. / Once, while socking the sperm / To a large pachyderm, / He slipped, and he’s not been seen since.
[US]B. Hecht Sensualists (1961) 96: He started socking himself with the junk. Mostly heroin or cocaine.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 6 Jan. in Proud Highway (1997) 249: I [...] was called in to sock the deal home.
[US]R. Price Breaks 92: I felt socked with its finality.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 204: What do you think is going to become of the Coldwater Cold Cuts now that you’ve socked their leader [...] in the Hole.

7. (US) to give.

[US]C. M’Govern Sarjint Larry an’ Frinds 127: Socka me one Sedgwick and water. [Ibid.] 128: Caramaba! [...] what for you no socka me elong proper whisky?
[NZ]G. Johnston Fish Factory 73: He sought the attention of the barman. ‘Sock me with a jug, will you, Alby?’.

8. (Aus., also sock away, sock back, sock down) to drink (alcohol).

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 3 Nov. 28/1: After much buffeting he found himself wedged tight against the dripping counters. ‘Socking another bloke’s beer’ and ‘closing on the change’ were the main charges levelled against him.
[Aus]Euripides Ensign: on Board ‘Euripides’ 2 June I: Is a soldier less a soldier ’Cause he socks a pint of beer? [AND].
[Aus]North. Standard (Darwin, NT) 29 Jan. 2/4: When I get to Hannah I’ll bet a even tanner / That I sock the blooming boose just once again.
[US]J.M. Cain Serenade (1985) 86: I socked about a pint in the pot.
[NZ]B. Crump Odd Spot of Bother 96: If I had that kind of money I wouldn’t be socking back gins in a dump like this.
[Aus]J. Hibberd White with Wire Wheels (1973) 217: I’ll dash down to the milk bar and sock away a pint or so before I head off to the office.
[Aus]J. Hibberd Dimboola (1974) 23: Cheer up Reen, it’ll seem beaut tomorrow. Sock another one down.
Dystonia Medical Research Foundation [Internet] I used to sock down a couple glasses of wine and be able to make it through a very short interview.
[US]J. Blanchard ‘Going Straight’ [Internet] I used to sock away some beer or better everyday, and never got fat.

9. to demand, to extort; to fine; often as sock for.

[US]H.C. Witwer Fighting Blood 19: Each one of them babies is socked for a thousand apiece.
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 10 Dec. [synd. col.] Alfred DeLacey [...] was socked $800 and 4-months in the local gaol for peddling [...] ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’.
[US]Hostetter & Beesley It’s a Racket! 238: sock—To force someone to give up something.
[US]W. Winchell ‘On Broadway’ 11 Nov. [synd. col.] The passing of the Pari-Mutuel bills socks the phone firm for about a million or so nickels a day.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 207: When I get my bus permits through I’ll tell you how much you’ll have to fork out for the shares. I’ve told you I won’t sock you too much.
[NZ]B. Crump Hang On a Minute, Mate (1963) 89: They’ll get you for income tax and sock you a hundred quid right off.

In phrases

sock in (v.)

to present, to put forward.

[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 25 Dec. 1/1: The maligned tide-waiter is preparing to sock in a writ for slander.
sock it on (v.)

to wager money.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 5 Oct. 24/1: I’d have won £25 on him, and socked it on San Fran.
sock it to (v.)

see separate entry.

sock the clock (v.)

to register on the time clock.

[US]L.A. Times 24 Mar. II 3/2: SOCK THE CLOCK: Punch a time-clock.