Green’s Dictionary of Slang

drag v.1

1. in the context of theft; usu. as dragging n.

(a) [early 19C–1970s] (UK Und.) to rob from vehicles.

(b) [1970s] (UK Und.) to steal a car.

2. [mid-19C] (UK Und.) to sentence to three months’ imprisonment.

3. [late 19C] (US) to search for contraband.

4. [late 19C+] (US campus) to escort to a dance.

5. [1910s] (Aus./UK) to arrest and imprison.

6. (also drag it) to move, to ‘drag oneself away’.

(a) [20C+] to leave quickly.

(b) [1920s+] (US) to resign from a job, or participation in a betting game.

7. [1900s] (US campus) to toady to, to curry favour with a superior.

8. to ‘drag along’.

(a) [1920s+] to force someone to go to a place against their will.

(b) [1950s+] (US black/prison) to lead someone on, to persuade, to trick.

9. [1910s–70s] (US) to irritate, to bore, to ‘bring down’.

10. [1950s+] to use the drag, i.e. street.

(a) to drive up and down, chatting to one’s friends and displaying one’s car.

(b) (US campus) to race a car.

11. [1960s+] to waste time, to idle, to move slowly.

12. [2000s] (Aus. drugs) to inhale a powdered drug.

In phrases

drag it (v.)

see sense 5 above.

drag the gut (v.) [gut n. (6)]

[1960s+] (US teen) to drive up and down the main street.

drag up (v.)

[1920s] (US) to leave one’s job, to resign.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

drag-out (n.)

see separate entry.

In phrases


see separate entries.

drag down (v.) [note drag n.1 (11)]

[1920s+] (US) to earn a salary, wages.

drag in (v.)

[20C+] (US) to arrive, to appear.

drag it through the garden (v.)

[1970s+] (US) to add salad etc. to a portion of meat/fish.

drag on (v.) [1910s+] (Aus.)

1. to marry a woman.

2. to perform a task.

drag one’s ass (v.)

see separate entry.

drag (one’s) heels (v.)

[1970s] (US campus) to walk, to stroll.

drag one’s hook (v.) [naut. hook, an anchor]

[1960s] (N.Z.) to leave.

drag the chain (v.) [sheep-shearing jargon]

[1930s+] (Aus./N.Z.) to be slow, to be inferior, to be last in any work or contest, to be the slowest drinker of a group.

drag through the sheet (v.)

[late 18C] to rescue someone from financial difficulties, spec. to loan money.