Green’s Dictionary of Slang

high adj.1

1. [17C+] intoxicated with drink or poss. religious/spiritual enthusiasm.

2. [late 19C] (US) unfettered by social rules.

3. [1930s+] intoxicated with drugs.

4. [1930s+] very enthusiastic about or taken with something; often as high on

5. [1930s+] exhilarated; experiencing the sensation of drugs but without having taken any.

6. [2000s] in fig. use, successful [on the pattern of dope adj.1 ].

In phrases

get high (v.)

1. [mid-19C+] to drink, to be drunk.

2. [1930s+] (drugs) to experience a drug.

get high behind (v.)

[1950s+] (drugs) to experience a drug.

half-high (adj.)

[1960s–70s] (US) tipsy, mildly drunk.

high as a Georgia pine (adj.) (also higher than a Georgia pine)

[1920s+] (US black) very drunk.

high as a kite (adj.)

1. [20C+] in fig. use, emotionally stimulated, e.g. very happy or shocked; thus kite-high adj.

2. [late 19C+] a general intensifier.

3. [1930s+] very drunk [+ addition of rhy. sl. high as a kite = tight adj. (5)].

4. [1930s+] intoxicated by a drug.

high as ninety (adj.)

[mid-19C] (US) drunk [the use of ninety may be ext. of trad. image of nine as a lucky number].

high on [1930s+] (orig. US)

1. enthusiastic about.

2. in ample possession of.

SE in slang uses

Pertaining to the UK Und., implying superior

In compounds

high cape (n.)

[mid-19C] (UK Und.) a dashing swindler.

high gammon (n.) [gammon n.2 (2)]

[mid-19C] (UK Und.) adopting an aristocratic persona for the purposes of swindling.

high-gloak (n.)

[mid-19C] (UK Und.) a well-dressed highwayman.

high-go (n.) [go n.1 (3)]

[early 19C] a frolic, a spree.

high-grade (n.)

[2000s+] (US drugs) top quality marijuana.

high heel game (n.)

[1900s] (US) a form of confidence trick.

high mob (n.) (also high mobsmen)

[late 19C] (UK Und.) leading criminals.

high pad (n.) [pad n.1 (3)] (UK Und.)

1. [mid-16C–early 17C] the highway.

2. [mid-17C–mid-19C] (also high-padsman) a highwayman; also as n., high-padding, highway robbery.

3. (mid-17C) a horse thief.

high spicer (n.)

[late 18C–mid-19C] (UK Und.) a highwayman.

high tober (n.) [note EP suggests a mis-reading of high-toby n. and thus mis-definition]

[late 18C–mid-19C] (UK Und., an elite highwayman; US Und.) a superior thief.

General uses

highball/baller

see separate entries.

highbeams (n.) [SE highbeams, automobile headlights when they are not dipped] [1980s+]

1. (drugs) the wide eyes of a person on crack cocaine.

2. (US campus) prominent nipples.

highbinder/binding (n.)

see separate entries.

high blower (n.) [its heavy breathing]

[late 18C–mid-19C] a broken-down horse.

high boy (n.)

1. [18C] a High Churchman, and thus usu. a supporter of Jacobitism.

2. see highball n.1

highbrow

see separate entries.

high brown

see separate entries.

high-cap (v.)

[1990s+] (US black) to show off.

high class (n.)

[2000s] (US prison) hepatitis C.

high cockalorum

see separate entries.

high cotton (n.)

see separate entry.

high-daddy (adj.) [daddy n. (6)]

[late 19C+] (US) slick, deceptive, excellent, pleasing.

high dice (n.)

fixed dice that will always show high numbers.

high diver (n.) [dive v.]

1. [1930s+] (US) a pickpocket.

2. [1930s+] one who performs cunnilingus.

high drag (n.) [drag n.1 (8b)]

[1960s] (US gay) formal clothing of the opposite sex.

high Dutch (n.) [presumably fig. use not of ‘Dutch’ but Hochdeutsch, High German, the German spoken in the southern part of the country]

[17C–mid-19C] nonsense, unintelligible gibberish.

high-end (adj.) [orig. commercial use]

[1960s+] (US) expensive or first-class.

highfalutin

see separate entries.

high fence (n.)

[1910s] (US tramp) a detachable white shirt collar.

high five

see separate entries.

high fly/-flyer/-flying/

see separate entries.

high guy (n.) [guy n.2 (1)]

[late 19C+] (US) an important person.

high hard yard (n.)

[1940s] (US black) a high stuff collar.

high hat/hatted/hatter/hatty

see separate entries.

high-headed (adj.) [orig. used of horses, referring to the way a horse carries its head high]

[20C+] (US) arrogant, haughty, self-important.

high-heeled/-heeler

see separate entries.

high iron (n.)

[1930s–60s] (US tramp) the railroad, esp. as regards the main rather than branch lines.

highjacker (n.) [hijack v. (1)]

[1930s] (US Und.) a criminal or tramp who robs other criminals or tramps.

high jinks (n.) [SE high jinks, any form of game, usu. involving some form of forfeit, that is played by drinkers]

[late 17C–mid-19C] a gambler who drinks with his victim in order to render the latter more malleable.

high jump (n.)

see separate entry.

high-kicker (n.)

1. [late 19C+] (US) a dissolute person [image of a troublesome horse that kicks out].

2. [1900s] (Aus.) a chorus girl [the focal point of her performance].

high law/lawyer

see separate entries.

high living (n.) [pun]

[late 18C–early 19C] esp. of a thief, living in a garret or cockloft, i.e. a very small room immediately above the garret; thus high-liver, one who occupies a garret.

highlow (n.)

[1990s+] (US black) a variety of hairstyle, similar to the fade n. (4)

highlows (n.) [such footwear stands between low shoes and high boots]

[19C] laced boots that reach the ankles.

high maintenance (adj.)

[1980s+] (US) emotionally (or otherwise) demanding; thus low maintenance, easy-going.

high men (n.)

[mid-16C–early 18C] crooked dice that will always produce a high number.

high muck-a-muck (n.)

see separate entry.

high nation (n.) [-nation sfx]

[20C+] (W.I.) a high-caste East Indian.

high nellie (n.) (also high maggie)

[20C+] (Irish) an old-fashioned ladies’ bicycle.

high nose/nosed

see separate entries.

high octane

see separate entries.

high pike (n.) [SE pike, the toll paid at a turnpike]

[mid-19C] an exorbitantly high price.

high-post (adj.)

1. [1980s+] (US black) sophisticated, classy.

2. [1980s] (US black) in neg. use of sense 1, pretentious.

3. [1990s+] (US black) arrogant, supercilious.

high-play (v.)

[1960s] (US Und.) to act in an ostentatious manner.

highpockets (n.) (also high pocket, man with the high pockets)

[1910s+] (orig. US) a tall man; thus a nickname.

high-post (v.)

[1990s+] (US black) to show off.

high power (n.)

1. [1940s+] (US prison) the maximum security section; also attrib.

2. [1970s] a trusty n.2

high pressure

see separate entries.

high queen (n.)

[2000s] (S.Afr. gay) an active homosexual man, as opposed to a passive one, a top man under top adj.

high-rent/-rented

see separate entries.

high roll/roller/rolling

see separate entries.

high-season(ed) brown (n.)

[1900s–60s] (US black) a beautiful, brown-skinned woman.

high-shoe/-shoed

see separate entries.

high shot (n.) [var. on big shot n. (1)]

[1920s+] (orig. US) a superior person or one who claims to be superior; also attrib.

highside/sider/-siding

see separate entries.

high sign

see separate entries.

high-steam (adj.) [? SE high esteem]

[1940s] (W.I.) very good, superior.

high-step/-stepper/-stepping

see separate entries.

hightail (v.)

see separate entry.

high tec (n.) [play on SE high tec(hnology)]

[2000s] (drugs) alkyl nitrites.

high tide (n.)

1. [late 17C–mid-19C] a state of financial security.

2. a state of drunkenness.

high-toby (n.)

see separate entry.

high-tone

see separate entries.

high-top fade (n.) [fade n. (4)]

[1980s+] a style of haircut favoured by young blacks.

high-up

see separate entries.

highwater/waters

see separate entries.

high yellow

see separate entries.

In phrases

high and dry

see separate entries.

high collar and short shirt (n.)

[late 19C] an imitation dandy.

high-cut (adj.)

[early 19C] of wagering, high-stakes.

higher than...

see separate entries.

high on the hog (also high off the hog) [that area of the animal from which come the choicest cuts of pork and its by-products]

[1940s+] living a comfortable, secure and well-off life; esp. in phrs. eat/live high on/off the hog (cf. live high ).

high-school harry (n.) (also harry high school)

[1930s+] (US campus) generic for any male high school student; .

live high (v.)

[mid-18C+] to live a comfortable, secure and well-off life (cf. high on the hog ).