1. (US) a surprise or unpleasant event, a sensational development.
|Inimitable Jeeves 58: I had just ben saying to myself ‘Death, where is thy jolly old sting?’ when she hove the bomb.|
|Kingsblood Royal (2001) 238: That evening, Clem had a few other bombs.|
|‘Mattress’ Casey and Co. (1978) 19: He throws the bomb I’ve been expecting right in my face. When do I think I’m going to pay my last month’s rent, he wants to know.|
|Jones Men 133: When the man dropped the bomb, they just sort of eased away. I guess they didn’t want to hear no more.|
|‘Crazy Summer’ [Internet] The five days from when mom laid this bomb on me, and the following Tuesday, went by quickly.|
2. (US prison) an egg, usu. boiled.
|Amer. Lang. (4th edn) 580: In virtually all American prisons [...] eggs are bombs.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
3. (US teen) verbal aggression.
|Web of the City (1983) 76: But it was too neat an evening for bombs so they all waved and gave him the eye.|
4. (US) a very sexy woman.
|Punk 110: She’s a bomb ... a great, big wonderful bomb [HDAS].|
5. a large sum of money; often in make a bomb
|Boss of Britain’s Underworld 4: From the race-tracks alone they earned bombs in dough.|
|Fings I i: I feel dead lucky – reckon I could earn meself a bomb.|
|Crust on its Uppers 32: He’s sitting on a bomb.|
|Botanist at Bay 128: The venison alone must sell for a bomb.|
|Fixx 159: Her notebooks would fetch a bomb.|
|(con. 1970) Dazzling Dark (1996) I iv: Would you say the Topaz suite at the airport would charge a bomb for the reception?Danti-Dan in McGuinness|
|Panopticon (2013) 225: You remember Mark [...] He owes the troll a bomb.|
6. as a vehicle or gadget.
(a) (orig. Aus./N.Z./US) a dilapidated, run-down old car.
|Gun in My Hand 14: Racing back to town in a Beat-up Bomb.|
|Storms of Summer 341: That’s their joint with the old bomb outside. That old ute of theirs.|
|Rooted I iii: It’s a wonder you haven’t got a defect notice for that old bomb of yours.|
|Living Black 62: I wound my old blue bomb up and started to drive across those plains.|
|Real Thing 108: He just drove old bombs — for the time being anyway.|
|Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 17/2: bomb old dilapidated car or motorbike; c.1945.|
|Always Running (1996) 62: He had just bought a ‘bomb,’ a 1950s car cut low and sleek.|
|Candy 46: We jumped in the car, an old bomb Len had given us.|
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].|
(b) (US) a fast car or motorcycle.
|‘Hot Rod Lexicon’ in Hepster’s Dict. 1: Bomb – A car that goes fast.|
|Where the Boys Are 16: I bought a car, a year-old Porsche, a real bomb.|
|Essential Lenny Bruce 139: A ’36 Terraplane. They’re bombs. Good roadability.|
|Chopper Mag. Mar. 15/2: All you got was a few quick glances, possibly sufficient to qualify your ‘bomb’ as a ‘real hot scoot’.|
(c) (US prison) toilet paper rolled in a certain way so that it continues to burn for a long time when set alight .
|Bounty of Texas (1990) 198: bomb, n. – toilet paper rolled in such a manner that it will burn for several minutes; used to heat water or food.‘Catheads [...] and Cho-Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy|
(d) (Aus./N.Z. prison) an illicit gadget used to heat water (for brewing tea etc).
|Big Huey 85: Every smoko time, at about 20, Junk or Baine would pull their bombs out of snooker and brew up a cup of tea or cocoa.|
|Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. [Internet] Boiler. A home-made implement usually comprising two razor blades separated by matches used for boiling water. This practice is illegal because dangerous voltage fluctuations occur. Kits of this sort appear to have wide usage. In New Zealand they are referred to as ‘bombs’.|
(e) (S.Afr. prison) solitary confinement .
|Acid Alex 206: I’ve been to the bomb for three weeks for being caught with sarmies that a Welfare worker threw away in a bin.|
7. in the context of drug use.
(a) a very large and potent cannabis cigarette.
|letter 27 May in Charters I (1995) 358: I am of course indulging in a perfect orgy of Miss Green & can hardly see straight right at this minute, whoo! 3 bombs a day.|
|Addict in the Street (1966) 27: A bomb is about as big as a Pall Mall and as fat as a Pall Mall.|
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines 171: You kin roll it real fat. One o’ dem bombs.|
|Straight Outta Compton 52: LeRoy saw a man put a bomb in his mouth and light it [...] It was a Bob Marley bigger-than-life joint.|
|ONDCP Street Terms 4: Bomb — [...] large marijuana cigarette.|
(b) any form of pill containing sleep-inducing or depressant drugs.
|inVietnam Voices 239: I had two or three of our ‘red bomb’ sleeping pills.|
|Case of Need 185: Bombs [...] Speed. Lifts. Jets. Bennies [HDAS].|
|Life Its Ownself 122: Dexatrim and Vivarin, the caffeine bombs.|
(c) (Aus.) an illegal stimulant given to a racing animal.
|Morn. Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld) 3 June 6/4: The administration of the dope is often carried out in the crudest possible manner, and to the permanent injury of a horse. There is a type of trainer only too ready to listen to suggestions that all his horse needs is a ‘bomb’ to make him win several races on end.|
|‘Whisper All Aussie Dict.’ in Kings Cross Whisper (Sydney) xxxii 7/1: bomb: A stimulant given to a greyhound or a racehorse.|
(d) heroin or other narcotics of well-above-average purity.
|Scene (1996) 8: I got a bomb to knock your nuts out.|
|Dopefiend (1991) 104: He knows where to cop the bomb at.|
|Bk of Jargon 337: bomb: High-potency heroin.|
|Corner (1998) 7: Man, that shit’s a bomb.|
|ONDCP Street Terms 4: Bomb — [...] high potency heroin.|
|Wire ser. 3 ep. 5 [TV script] [of crack] They say the WND is the bomb.‘Straight and True’|
(e) crack cocaine.
|ONDCP Street Terms 4: Bomb — Crack.|
(f) phencyclidine mixed with formaldehyde.
|Prison Sl. 51: Squeeze also Mr. Whipple and Bomb Expressions used in reference to the drug PCP that has been mixed with embalming fluid.|
(g) (US) a package of drugs.
|In The Cut 63: I have many more words for the dictionary [...] bomb, drug package.|
(h) amphetamine, mixed into a drink and swallowed.
|Grits 291: Fuck snortin, fuck bombs, fuck dabbin.|
(i) swallowing a package of otherwise unpleasantly tasting drugs.
|Urban Grimshaw vii: Bomb The practice of wrapping noxious-tasting drugs in Rizla paper and swallowing.|
8. (orig. UK theatre) a major success; esp. in phr. go down a bomb.
|implied in like a bomb|
|Pink 12 May n.p.: The gig was fantastic – we went down a bomb [KH].|
|Only Fools and Horses [TV script] You wouldn’t go down a bomb at the Ram Jam Club, would yer?‘The Longest Night’|
|Observer Rev. 11 July 9: Bet it goes down a bomb in Seattle.|
|Guardian 14 Jan. 32: It went down a bomb with a group of under-10s.|
9. (orig. US theatre) a disaster, a flop.
|Mad mag. May–June 32: Saw ‘Our American Cousin’ when it played Chicago. It is a bomb. [...] Stay home.|
|How to Talk Dirty 35: The Club Charles in Baltimore was my last bomb.|
|Faggots 281: This stinker, loser, bomb, meant twenty-three million dollars of P-P’s money down the toilet.|
|Da Bomb [Internet] 3: Bomb: 1. A bad production, The play was a bomb.|
|mail to ADS-L [Internet] 29 May I hope an ADS-member dialect coach didn’t work on this ‘bomb’.|
10. (US) in pl., the female breasts.
|CUSS 85: Bombs The female breasts.et al.|
|et al. Scream Blacula [film script] Come on, come on, let me get a good feel of those bombs [HDAS].|
11. (US black/campus, also da bomb, bombness) constr. with the, the best.
|Scene (1996) 160: I got the bomb, baby, the bomb!|
|Flyboy in the Buttermilk (1992) 92: Even when that boy’s music ain’t the shit his album covers always been the bomb.‘Santana’ in|
|‘Bitches Ain’t Shit’ [lyrics] The pussy was the bomb, had a nigga on sprung.|
|Campus Sl. Apr. 2: the/da bomb – the best, amazingly good or admirable [...] ‘When it comes to basketball, Michael Jordan is da bomb.’.|
|Guardian Guide 22–28 Jan. 28: This Justin Future is Da Bomb.|
|Westsiders 22: ‘That was the bomb,’ he says enthusiastically.|
|Campus Sl. Apr. 1: the bombness – very cool or fun: Last night was the bombness.|
|Snitch Jacket 198: ‘That’s the bomb,’ the crowd cried, and ‘Awesome!’.|
|2 fast Going Nowhere 86: Da’ Bomb Birthday ‘La come on out,’ shouted Derek.|
|Crongton Knights 138: ‘Those cheesecakes are the bomb!’.|
|Good Girl Stripped Bare 169: It’s Aarah-Marie. Do the Bum Dance! You’re the Bomb!!!|
12. (US campus) the grade of B.
13. (US campus) a difficult examination.
14. (US) a hard blow (with a fist).
|To Walk the Line 146: He just wants to prove he can punch out – drop his ‘bombs’ on them, as he puts it – absolutely anybody in the world [HDAS].|
|Somebody Down Here Likes Me, Too 41: I hit him with one of my bombs in the first round.|
|Rope Burns 54: Fifth round and Dashiki make his run. He come out throwing bombs.|
|(con. 1954) Tomato Can Comeback [ebook] He puffs hard right before he unleashes one of those bombs.|
to cost a great deal.
|in Sun. Graphic 20 July n.p.: Every time I go to Soho it costs me a bomb.|
|Scully 166: It must be costin’ Florrie a bomb. All the drinks are on her.|
|Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 126: I hurtled through a quick time for . . . don’t ask / it cost a bomb.West in|
|Indep. Rev. 26 Aug. 7: The Cleopatra costs a bomb.|
|Dead Point (2008) [ebook] ’Must be good to live on the water.’ ‘The best. Cost a fucken bomb’.|
|Guardian G2 4 June 5: It costs a bomb.|
|Thrill City [ebook] I smelled aftershave that must have cost a bomb but was way too sweet and musky.|
(Aus.) of individuals, to fail, to be rejected; of machinery to break down (irrevocably).
|Bush Contractors 265: The old winch has about had the bomb though it’s at its maximum pull.|
|G’DAY! 9: MACKA: What about we try an con up those two tarts inner corner? SHANE: Nar, I’ve ad the bomb.|
to be very keen on, enthusiastic for.
|Fill the Stage With Happy Hours (1967) Act III: Go a bomb.|
|(con. 1960s) Spend, Spend, Spend (1978) 129: She’s gone a bomb for my husband, she just didn’t stop staring at him.|
1. very successfully.
|Darling Buds of May (1985) 108: The thing positively went like a bomb.|
|Guntz 78: Any old how, the show went like a bomb.|
2. (orig. US) very fast.
|Und. Nights 184: Toby, who was a highly-skilled mechanic, had given it a V8 engine that could go like a bomb.|
|Trust Jennings (1989) 5: Sometimes the lesson went like a bomb.|
|Start in Life (1979) 81: It ain’t so bad. She’ll go like a bomb again.|
|Guardian 12 Sept. [Internet] The combination of strong interims and a clutch of positive announcements has made it hot property in the City. As one analyst put it: ‘If results are anything in line with what people are expecting, it is going to go like a bomb.’.|
to speak or act in a decisively negative manner.
|(con. 1950s) Whoreson 177: Then he finally lowered the bomb.|
to make a great deal of money.
|Bang To Rights 79: Most of them [i.e. prison warders] are [...] too scared to do any trafficing, but the ones that do make a bomb.|
|Crust on its Uppers 30: He [...] had made a bomb out of most of them and charvered them into the bargain.|
|Times 14 Sept. 8: I’d put my granny’s savings in it, not to make a bomb, but as a secure blue chip for a steady income.|
|Inside the Und. 49: I made a bomb.|
(US) in fine condition.
|Day Book (Chicago) 17 June 26/2: ‘How do you feel?’ the blackhand man asked of his bosom chum. ‘Well, comrade,’ he replied, ‘today I’m feeling on the bomb.’.|
SE in slang uses
see sense 11
see separate entry.
(orig. US milit.) untouchable, absolutely secure and safe.
|Lingo of No Man’s Land 15: BOMB-PROOF A safe job; same as ‘cushy’.|
|Argot: Dict. of Und. Sl.|
see separate entry.
(Aus.) used to announce an act of defecation.
|Tharunka (Sydney) 3 Sep. 17/5: I can remember not so long ago, when one could plant their feet firmly on a toilet seat, of being able to gaze at my members gently rocking to and fro, and listen to that cry of ‘bombs away’.|