1. to corrupt, to bribe; to benefit from such corruption (see cite 1851).
|Magnyfycence line 438: Wyth golde and grotes they grease my hande.|
|Erasmus’ Apophthegms (1564) Bk II 195: That persone [...] that cometh first to anoincte or greace the handes of him that giueth the office, or biddeth most mony.(trans.)|
|Five Hundred Pointes of Good Husbandrie (1878) 159: How husbandrie easeth, to huswiferie pleaseth, And manie purse greaseth with siluer and gold.|
|Tryall of a Man’s owne Selfe 117: Whether being greased in the hande with giftes and rewardes, he hath overmuch cockered, dandeled and wincked at some of his scholars.|
|Essayes of Prison n.p.: Next after this comes (Mistress Deceipt) the head Cooke, who protesteth thou shalt commaund her, who hauing no sooner greased her fingers with thy siluer, but euer after will haue a hand in thy dish.|
|Visions of Quevedo 324: How many Atturneys that would give ye Dispatch or Delay thereafter as they were greas’d!(trans.)|
|London Jilt pt 1 72: First of all my Maid [...] was to be greased in the Fist.|
|Juvenal VI 91: Ev’ry gapeing Heir Wou’d gladly Grease the Rich Old Bachelour.|
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (3rd edn).|
|Manchester Spy (NH) 17 May n.p.: There is some enquiry among the boys, to know by what hocus pocus means some two or three slid out, after being taken [...] for rioting [...] Some think they were ‘stool pigeons’ and others, that they were greased.|
|Vocabulum 39: grease A bribe. ‘Grease the copper in the fist, and he’ll be as blind as your mother,’ put money in the officer’s hand, and he will not watch you.|
|Season Ticket 251: The Whigs use the Radicals to get into power, and then, in their turn, forget who greased their wheels for them.|
|Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 5 Oct. n.p.: Bob Bruce, the ‘fly-cop’ [...] did remarkably well. I heard quite a number of the ‘guns’ remark that they had ‘greased’ him.|
|Letters by an Odd Boy 162: Why, if I bribe a man [let me say a man in blue], should I be said to ‘grease’ him, while all my flattery is so much ‘soap ?’.|
|Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 2 Oct. 14/3: We do not intimate that the sheriff was greased because we know he was not, but we think it was very kind in him [etc].|
|Confessions of Convict 213: They railroaded me [,...] because I couldn’t grease the wheels.|
|Pitcher in Paradise 217: Somebody who had already greased the police had been sandbagged in error.|
|Philosophy of Johnny the Gent 27: All you’ve got to do is to grease a bull’s fin wit a two-case note an’ he'll sidestep the joint.|
|Keys to Crookdom 314: Contractors building highways and public structures frequently find it advisable to ‘grease’ the hand of a political boss or of a governor.|
|They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? in Four Novels (1983) 57: ‘Does this mean we’ll have to close up?’ ‘I don’t think so [...] It just means we’ll have to try to grease somebody.’.|
|Harder They Fall (1971) 215: Do you want the whole town to know what round we got it greased for?|
|Joint (1972) 14: One of the guards will grease for twenty-five bucks.letter 25 Feb. in|
|Entrapment (2009) 215: Loot is heavy and the risks are light, grift is fast and the Nab greases easy.Land of the Strange Light Sleep’ in|
|Pimp 237: Here she can grease a mitt and see me.|
|Too Many Crooks Spoil the Caper 192: What about the sergeant you grease in exchange for your hotline to what’s buzzing at the Yard?|
|Fort Apache, The Bronx 98: You try to grease me again, and I’ll turn your head like a doorknob.|
|Homeboy 98: It takes a lot of pictures to pay off attorneys and grease the boys downtown.|
|Boobslang [U. Canterbury D.Phil. thesis] 81/1: grease (also grease a palm) v. to bribe, to pay off.|
|A Steady Rain I i: A dozen or so hookers, he looked after them and they greased him.|
|(con. 1973) Johnny Porno 13: I’ll talk to the guy runs this place, grease him a few.|
|Widespread Panic 17: Joi greased Hollyweird with my handouts.|
2. to cheat, to deceive.
|Wild-Goose-Chase IV ii: Am I greas’d once again?|
3. to curry favour with, to toady to; thus greasing n.
|Rover Epilogue. For all their greasing will not buy ’em Britches.|
|Sheffield Gloss. 95: Grease, to flatter.|
|Truth (Sydney) 7 Oct. 3/2: Haynes greased the people of Wellington [...] in the course of his speech on the butter question. He couldn’t help buttering them but there was no necessity to ‘rub it in’.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 13 Oct. 28/1: Premier Lyne wants to immortalise his reign by making a road round the foreshore of Sydney Botanic Gardens, to be called Hopetoun Avenue by way of greasing the new Gov.-General.|
|Dict. Service Sl. n.p.: grease . . . to give present [sic] to superiors.|
|real people and not the lardmouths who grease you good with words and then slip away.‘Back Door Stuff’ 23 Apr. [synd. col.] I mean the|
|Plender [ebook] ‘Greasing bastard,’ said Croft.|
|Carlito’s Way 133: You grease your way into one ear and then you connive your way out the other.|
|Glitter Dome (1982) 42: He greased Sacramento lobbyists.|
|Lex. of Cadet Lang. 173: usage: ‘He greases to people in authority all the time’.|
|Guardian 2 Mar. 2: Good greasing, but not quite great greasing.|
4. to smooth over problems, esp. from authorities.
|Powers That Prey 206: I even think that I could ’a’ got the Kid out o’ the Pen through that copper. I might ’a’ had to put up a little cash to grease things.|
|Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 180: She has this framed, greased, and laid out for days. So it’s cold.‘Canada Kid’ in|
|Black Mask Stories (2010) 349/1: He greased me so that I could get the Big Boy away from the little lake town where I found him.‘Murder in the Ring’ in|
|Really the Blues 288: Oh, everything was greased for us.|
|Long and the Short and the Tall Act II: You show where it says I have to grease up to an N.C.O. before I hand out fags.|
|After Hours 172: I just greased you for sixty big ones.|
|(con. early 1950s) L.A. Confidential 226: I’m going to ask some key people [...] to come in for some friendly questioning. You can help grease things.|
5. (Aus. und.) to pay (for participating in a crime).
|Truth (Sydney) 29 Sept. 7/3: Only them wot’s fly is greased, & / Not too well by any means; / Never get a bloak to work, sir, / If you tips him 2 much beans.|
6. to embellish, to add to.
|Boss 177: There’s highbinders up to your end of th’ alley who’ll want to be greased.|
|(con. 1964–8) Cold Six Thousand 68: Wayne Senior greased the hit fund.|
1. to give money to a rich man or woman.
|Proverbs I Ch. xi: What should we (quoth I) grease the fat sow in th’ars.|
|‘Bum-Fodder’ in Rump Poems & Songs II (1662) 56: Old Martin and Scot have all such an itch, / That they will with the Rump try t’other twitch, / And Lenthal can grease a fat Sow in the Britch.|
|Proverbs 178: To grease a fat sow on the A---.|
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 135: ‘To stuff a fat pig in the tail,’ to give unnecessarily.|
|Truth (Sydney) 3 June 1/1: It is hardly fair to issue free passes to the highly-paid [railway] officers - except on the good old Eddifying principle of ‘greasing the fat sow’.|
2. in fig. use of sense 1, to toady to.
|Sportsman (London) 22 Dec. 2/1: Notes on News [...] [A]ll the while [he] greases the fat sow of Conservatism.|
see under mitt n.
SE in slang uses
see separate entry.
1. (also do a grease) to slip away.
|in Crockett Alamanac n.p.: Now what would you do – keep the tree from the bear [...] or grease and slope?|
|Hooligan Nights 60: I ’ad a chance to grease off.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 4 Aug. 14/2: I happened to forget me weed, so I canters back to the waggon for it. A big Chow, who must have watched us leaving, was just doing a grease with our tucker-bag and billycan. I jumped off, grabbed a bit of rope, copped the Chink and tied up his hands and legs.|
|Kitchener’s Mob 23: ‘I’m a-go’n’ to grease off out o’ this mob!’ [...] We felt we would all like to ‘grease off’.|
|Framlingham Wkly News 8 Dec. 3/7: Thieves’ Dialect [...] To ‘grease’ is to take hasty flight.|
2. (also grease out) to go away.
|The Great Push 107: ‘Get yer ’ipes,’ he yelled. ‘Quick! Grease out of it and get into the scrap.’.|
|Marvel 3 Mar. 7: Grease off, you beast!|
|Sporting Times 10 Jan. 1/3: ‘Oh, I get you,’ he coughed, in a hurry to grease / Off to other and pleasanter quarters.‘Magisterial Mammas’|
to drink alcohol.
|Satirist (London) 6 May 147/1: Now our coppers began for to rattle, / And we longed for a grease of the chin. / Says I, ‘Moll, there’ll be moonshine in plenty, / And a skinfull of porter and gin’.|
see under chops n.1
see under gills n.1
(US) to drink alcohol.
|Dly Gaz. for Middlesborough 8 May 3/5: Ratepayers were paying for whisky to grease the throat of somebody else.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 10 Oct. 48/2: Presen’ly bits o’ th’ beers will grease ’is swaller all th’ way down, an’ he’ll come in fa th’ fourth beer.|
|inIrish Street Ballads 129: So take off your coat and grease your throat / With the real old mountain dew [HDAS].|
|(con. 1900s) Shootist 92: From a pocket he slipped a pint bottle, offered it to Books. ‘Time to grease your tonsils, too.’.|
to bribe someone.
|Quip for an Upstart Courtier F4: Let me whisper one thing in your eare, you will play the goodfellow too much if you be well greased in the fist.|
|Ordinary I iv: slic.: You must oil it first. cred.: I understand you: / Grease him i’th’ fist, you mean. There’s just ten pieces, / ’Tis but an earnest: If he bring’t about.|
|Virgin Widow IV i: Greaze my fist with a Tester or two, and ye shall find it in your penny-worths.|
|Virgil Travestie (1765) Bk IV 74: Him she conjures, intreats, and prays, / With all the Cunning that she has, / Greases his Fist; nay more, engages / Thenceforth to mend his Quarters-Wages.|
|Gargantua and Pantagruel (1927) II Bk V 556: The scabby slabberdegullions still waited for us at the port, expecting to be greased in the fist.(trans.)|
|Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 3: I’ve therefore brought you something handsome, / To grease your fists by way of ransome.|
|Life’s Painter 133: Cease greasing their fists and they’ll soon cease their jaw.|
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (3rd edn).|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
see under duke n.3
see under gash n.1
(US) to be run over by a train; to commit suicide by throwing oneself on the tracks.
|in Americanisms (S.F.) No. 19 9: I came to the conclusion that Overland Slim [...] had ‘greased the rails’.|
|‘Jargon of the Und.’ in DN V 448: Grease the track, To be run over by a train.|
|Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 91: Grease the Track. — To commit suicide by leaping in front of a train; to be run over.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 107: grease the track To fall under a moving train.|
see under weasel n.
to have sexual intercourse.
|Sl. and Its Analogues.|
|Maledicta IV:2 (Winter) 182: The tendency [for vaginal fluid to flow] is also remembered in the phrase to grease the wheel.|
(Aus. prison/US gay) to prepare with a lubricant for anal sex.
|Queens’ Vernacular 99: greased up having some form of lubricant smeared, about the anus to insure an easy intromission.|
|Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. 🌐 Grease up. Prepare with a lubricant for anal sex.|
(US) a non-specific expression of approval.
|Red Harvest (1965) 16: ‘Grease us twice!’ His greenish eyes glittered happily. ‘Are you telling me the Whisper was there?’.|
|Jive and Sl. n.p.: Grease me, babe ... I like it, girl.|