Green’s Dictionary of Slang

burn v.

1. (also scorch) to be infected with or to infect someone with a venereal disease; thus burned adj.1 (1)

[UK] in Beckett Philosophical Transactions V/384 in Williams I (1994) 175: A receipt for Brenning of the Pyntyl, yat Men clepe ye Apegalle.
[UK] in Beckett Bankside ordinance Philosophical Transactions V/382 in Williams (1994) I 175: No Stew-holder keep noo Woman withyn his Hous that hath any Sycknesse of brenning.
[UK]S. Fish Supplicacyon for the Beggers 6: [Rakes] that catche the pokkes of one woman, and here theym to an other; that be brent wyth one woman, and here it to an other, that catch the lepry of one woman, and here it to an other.
[UK]W. Bullein Bk of Compoundes fol. 47: Many men, women and children, now a daies, be greuiously bred with a shamefull disease, called the Frenche Pockes. [...] Eschue the cause of this infirmitie, and filthy, rotten, burning of harlottes.
[UK]G. Gascoigne (trans.) Supposes IV ii: A pox eat you, marry [...] thou wilt be burnt.
[UK]Shakespeare Comedy of Errors IV iii: They appear to men as angels of light; light is an effect of fire and fire will burn; ergo, light wenches will burn. Come not near her.
[UK]Dekker & Webster Northward Hoe IV i: Cockatrice : You, mistris Salamanders, that feare no burning.
[UK]R. Middleton Epigrams 15: Into a brothell house Conitus turned, / But he came home after his pricke was burned.
[UK]Davies of Hereford Scourge of Folly 15: Against Marcus his fire-worke. Marcus his Wifes great modesty doth hate; And swears hee loues the impudence of Kate [...] Well Marcus, if such Coolers thou dost loth, Thy Kate, perhaps, will coole, and burne thee both.
[UK]J. Taylor ‘Sculler’ in Works (1869) III 24: Lieutenant Puffe from Cleaueland is return’d, / Where entering of a breach was sorely burn’d: / And from reuenge hee’l neuer be perswaded, / Till the low Countries he hath quite inuaded. [Ibid.] 30: Raph puts the light out, sweares to haue about, / And yet Doll burn’d him, though the fire was out.
[UK]Brothers of the Blade 5: Pox on’t, the cause of my lying in there so long, was long [sic] of the pocky whore Petronella Burnyard, that insatiate sister of our scabard.
[UK]Man in the Moon 16-23 Apr. 11: Hannah Ienks, Ruth Turn up, Doll Burn-it, and sister Wag-tayle have petition’d the Supreame Authority.
[UK]Mercurius Fumigosus 6 5 July 45: Some that were washing at the sluice in seeking to quench the same, had their Members miserably burnt, being now under cure.
[UK]The Wandring Whore I 3: The cure of the French pox and perilous infirmity of burning remedyed.
[UK]‘Peter Aretine’ Strange Newes 4: Mol. They come in with their fowl Pipes, and I like an able Doctress clean them with a P—. I cleane the stem and also burn the bowle.
[UK]Rochester ‘Lampoone’ in Works (1999) 42: Is it just? that with death cruell Love should conspire, / And our Tayles be burnt by our hearts taking fire?
[UK]Whetstone’s Privateer Cruising abroad in the night [she] seiz’d on a rich Merchant-man, whom she tempted to board her, and then disabled his ship, took all his cargo, spoil’d his tackle, and burnt his rudder.
[UK]London-Bawd (1705) 1: She has formerly been one of Sampson’s Foxes, and has carried so much fire in her Tail, as has burnt all those that have had to do with her.
[UK]N. Ward Hudibras Redivivus I:9 6: Who had full Twenty Years in Town / Retail’d her Favours up and down, / ’Till she had burnt with Claps and P—xes, / More standing Ware than Sampson’s Foxes.
[UK]J. Dunton ‘The He-Strumpets’ in Athenianism – Project IV 94: Lewd Cracks repent, for ’tis the News, Your Tails have burnt so many Beaus, That now He-Whores are come in Use.
[UK]N. Ward Amorous Bugbears 41: I singl’d out a fine young Doe the last time I was here, and run my Puppy at her, but came off so like a Dog that had burnt his Tail, that I have cried out Fire ever since.
[UK]Laugh and Be Fat 27: He had more Wit in his Anger, than to revenge himself of an ill Tongue, by burning his Peace-maker. [Ibid.] 89: No sooner had he found that she had burnt his Pope, but he presently concluded [...] that instead of a Maiden-head, she had given him for his Five Guineas, a confounded Clap.
[UK] ‘The Cruel Mother in Law’ in Amorous Miller’s Garland 6: Did you hear of that great Whore, / That lately hath bought Tanfield Tower, [...] So to the Docotor she did go / For to be Fluxt for ought I know, / And home again she did return, / You may her touch, she will not burn.
[UK]E. Thompson Meretriciad 21: Well, dance on Nancy [i.e. Dawson], keep the beaten rout, / And burn your Rider, as you was burnt out.
[[US]song in Carey Sailor’s Songbag (1976) 24: And because she denied him a shove on the grass / It's good as his word he got flames to her A—e].
[UK]The only True LIST, of those celebrated SPORTING LADIES [broadsheet] Eliz. Hen-y must be guarded against, as she has not only set fire to many Farmers, but burnt several of their men.
[Ire]‘Sally Mac Gee’ in A. Carpenter Verse in Eng. in 18C Ireland (1998) 513: I scorch’d his quill [...] / Which makes him to think of Sally M’Gee.
[UK]R. Nares Gloss. (1888) I 120: burning, or brenning. One of the names for a disorder which has no decenter appellation.
[UK] ‘The Man That’s No Use At All’ in Secret Songster 40: Too soon he found out he was burnt very neatly.
[UK] ‘Put It Up’ in Rambler’s Flash Songster 31: The result from pleasure turns the scale, for their peculiar strut, / Tells plainly how they burnt their tails, when last they put it up.
[US]Whip & Satirist of NY & Brooklyn (NY) 9 Apr. n.p.: [He] was so burned that he did not walk at ease for a month.
[UK]Peeping Tom (London) 44 175/2: A young fellow being burnt by a nymph [...] saying he had lost all he had by fire!
[UK] ‘The Randy Wife’s Dream’ in Rakish Rhymer (1917) 20: So if with gals he should get bit, and get it burnt for life, / I hope hell keep away from home nor give it to his wife.
[UK]Cythera’s Hymnal 12: Pox that burned him grievously.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 146: Some chap with a dose burning him.
[US] in Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) II 619: K stands for Kitty by whom I was burned.
[US]T. Minehan Boy and Girl Tramps of America (1976) 139: But you gotta be careful of some women or you’ll get burned. I got a little bit singed myself once, but a doctor in Memphis cured me.
[US](con. 1944) J.H. Burns Gallery (1948) 275: So you got burned?
[US](con. 1930s) S. Longstreet Pedlocks (1971) 345: Keep away from the town chippies. Marry, young man, marry. Better to marry than to burn.
[Aus](con. 1940s) T.A.G. Hungerford Sowers of the Wind 3: ‘You be careful, cock, or you’ll get good and burnt!’ ‘Penicillin’ll take care of that.’.
[US]P. Thomas Down These Mean Streets (1970) 5: ‘Man, you got that stuff?’ ‘Yeah. Jesus, I’m burning up like with a puta’s fever.’.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 205: burn to infect someone with a venereal disease.
[US]A. Vachss Hard Candy (1990) 110: Let me look at you, baby [...] Can’t be gettin’ burned; I got me a big habit to support.
[US]L. Pettiway Workin’ It 8: He had the clap. And I did it and I got burnt.
[US]Big L ‘Ebonics’ 🎵 If a chick gave you a disease, then you got burned.
[US]Nasir Jones ‘Remember the Times’ 🎵 Was only scared of them STDs, syphilis, VD and herpes / Daffy Duck-lookin’ bitch burnt me.

2. to cheat; to rob.

(a) (also burn up) to cheat (esp. at cards), to defraud;thus adj. burn, fraudulent (see cite 2010).

implied in burn the town
implied in burn the ken under ken n.1
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.
[US]M. Thompson Hoosier Mosaics 35: It is quite probable that of all the unfortunate adventurers that day singed in the yellow fire of that expert gambler’s gold, Jack recognized himself as the most terribly burned.
[US]J. Black You Can’t Win 94: Kid, that’s what comes of bein’ on the square. If you’d burnt Shorty for his end of that coin [...] you’d have got a beatin’ instead of a lawyer.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 43: Burn Up: To defraud a partner.
[US](con. 1905–25) E.H. Sutherland Professional Thief (1956) 7: Friendly relations have been disrupted by things like burning (holding out part of the stolen goods), or turning in (informing). [Ibid.] 37: One of the most heinous crimes in the mob is for a member to burn the others.
[US]D. Maurer Big Con 204: I’ve burned you for thousands of bucks.
[US]C. Hamilton Men of the Und. 107: He [...] burned the other mob members.
[US]M. Braly Felony Tank (1962) 36: Can you borrow from someone? Someone you don’t mind burning?
[US]N. Heard Howard Street 120: It really irked him to let Cowboy get away with burning him.
[US]‘Hy Lit’ Hy Lit’s Unbelievable Dict. of Hip Words 7: burned – Bearded [i.e. ‘duped’ ‘tricked’].
[US]D. Goines Dopefiend (1991) 104: Another addict to come along and burn them for their money.
[UK]P. Theroux Family Arsenal 202: Our supplies dried up. I’ll be frank with you – we’ve been burned.
[US]T. Alibrandi Custody 232: We ever burned you before?
[WI]M. Thelwell Harder They Come 297: ’Im really did burn me.
[US]N. Pileggi Wiseguy (2001) 98: He had been betting heavy on something he had and got burned.
[UK]Indep. Mag. 9 Oct. 67: You can bet Vento and Jetta buyers [i.e. of car brands] won’t be burned twice.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Layer Cake 52: This geezer ain’t the type to be burnt twice.
[US]‘Randy Everhard’ Tattoo of a Naked Lady 20: The rube you burnt was some big-shot in town.
[US]Mad mag. July 35: You got some Doctor ID or somthing? I’ve been burned before.
[US]C. Goffard Snitch Jacket 137: Too risky to be packing [...] it’s just another excuse for the man to burn him.
[US]L. Berney Gutshot Straight [ebook] [H]e helped ther Armenians set up some burn companies.
[US]W. Keyser ‘Carny Lingo’ in http://goodmagic.com 🌐 Burn the Lot — To allow agents to cheat brazenly and leave the locals so outraged that they won't allow yours or any other carnival in their town for a long time.

(b) (US Und.) to work as a burner n.1 (3)

[US]N.Y. Daily Express 11 Aug. 2/5: The blacks commenced the usual preliminaries of the burning process, by offering an exchange of silver for bank notes.
[US]Morning Courier and N.-Y. Enquirer 2/4: [A man] was set upon by three noted burners, who by dint of practicing the usual burning process, diddled [him] out of $50 of his money.

(c) to rob, to steal.

Quad-City Times (Davenport, IA) 6 Apr. 2/1: I’ll crash a sugar-daddy / And I’ll take him plenty far [...] and burn him / For a red-green zippy car.
[US]W.R. Burnett Dark Hazard (1934) 184: You burn these guys for the price of a ride.
[US] ‘Sl. of Watts’ in Current Sl. III:2.
[US]H.E. Roberts Third Ear n.p.: burn v. [...] 3. to steal.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 94: Dude try to burn ’im for his stash.
[UK]J. Mowry Six Out Seven (1994) 452: Make me feel even worse, thinkin what that old sucka burn your ass for it.

(d) (drugs) to sell cut or second-rate drugs, or simply to take a buyer’s money and vanish without delivering the promised drugs; as burn for a stash, to steal a dealer’s cache of drugs.

[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks n.p.: Burned, when an addict gives a dope peddler the money for a purchase and the delivery of dope is not made.
[US]Kerouac letter 27 May in Charters I (1995) 359: I drank all day [...] also got burned for a fin (Mexican, 5 peso, 60 cents) by a connection.
[US]Rigney & Smith Real Bohemia xx: If the dealer then fails to show with the drug, the addict has been ‘burned’.
[US]N. Heard Howard Street 118: What you go’ do, Cowboy? [...] I don’t like bein’ burned, man.
[US]V.E. Smith Jones Men 102: Do not allow yourself to be burned by him again.
[US]H. Selby Jr Requiem for a Dream (1987) 115: How can we tell if we’re gettin burned? He doan burn nobody man.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 184: My cousin got burned [...] Arsenic.
[US]Simon & Burns Corner (1998) 18: Ronnie burned some Jamaicans for a stash and then put the thing on Gary.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 4: Burned — Purchase fake drugs.
[US]Simon & Burns ‘The Target’ Wire ep. 1 [TV script] ‘Why’re we using real money?’ ‘We’re not burning no Lemon Street chumps here’.
[US]Codella and Bennett Alphaville (2011) 253: Guys getting burned on dope deals (the old ‘give me your money and wait here’ act never went out of style).
[Aus]D. Whish-Wilson Shore Leave 153: [B]urning a drug dealer or ripping a fellow thief – just another transaction, just business.

(e) to betray sexually.

[US]‘Digg Mee’ ‘Observation Post’ in N.Y. Age 22 Nov. 9/6: It thrilled us [...] to run with fast women [...] But, we learned — after being burned.
[US]C. Bukowski Erections, Ejaculations etc. 224: Yeah, Bukowski was burned good by little Flo.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 134: Like man, he burns his own partner for his young lady.

(f) to fail to pay a debt or meet an obligation.

[US] ‘Sl. of Watts’ in Current Sl. III:2.

(g) (US drugs) to steal a fellow user’s drugs.

[US]A. Baraka Tales (1969) 61: Before he even looked at the bag Bob said, ‘O.K., which one of you faggots burned me?’.

(h) (drugs) to inform to the authorities; to betray an associate.

[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972).
[US]R. Daley Prince of the City 263: How can I burn Vinny Russo, who really broke me into narcotics? How can I do that to Vinny and to his wife and children?
[US]D.E. Miller Bk of Jargon 340: burn: [...] 2. To turn a drug user over to the authorities.
[US]W.D. Myers Game 121: ‘If I take the deal they [i.e. the authorities] want to hand down, I can burn both of them [i.e. his co-defendants].
[Aus] D. Whish-Wilson ‘In Savage Freedom’ in Crime Factory: Hard Labour [ebook] Once I’m no use they’ll burn me to trade up, part of the game.

(i) (US) to reveal some form of secret, e.g. an undercover police operation (after which it cannot be revived).

[US]M. McAlary Good Cop Bad Cop : [T]hese dopes from IAD [Internal Affairs Division] burned the place. The IAD cops were looking to arrest Chickie, the bartender. If they were smart, IAD would have arrested Chickie at home, but they rushed in and arrested him in front of the whole place. [...] The location was burned. [...] Bailey’s was ruined as a place for dirty cops and watchers.
[US](con. mid-1960s) J. Lardner Crusader 279: ‘We were burned—somebody tipped them off that we were coming!’ [Investigator] Stanton declared.
[US]D. Winslow The Force [ebook] So it tips Malone that Carter has something to gain from the meeting, if he’s willing to burn a location.

(j) (US) to disappoint.

E. Pruitt ‘Houston’ in ThugLit Mar. [ebook] [S]he'd been burned already and jammed a hand down my britches before we'd hit the hallway.

3. in emotional contexts.

(a) to annoy, to infuriate, to embarrass; thus burned (at) adj.

[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ Down the Line 63: Steve has been throwing keys at the wall for some time, and knows how to burn the beefers.
[US]R. Lardner ‘The Water Cure’ in Gullible’s Travels 164: Finally, after he’d went six days without submittin’ even circumstantial evidence that he’d ever had a dime, I burned him into sayin’ he’d give us a party.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Social Error’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 448: This crack burns Handsome Jack up quite some.
[US]I. Shulman Amboy Dukes 86: It really burned him to work a full day on Saturday.
[US]R. Chandler Playback 196: I laughed at him and that really burned him.
[US]H.S. Thompson Hell’s Angels (1967) 121: This is why we like to blow their minds. It just more or less burns ’em, that’s all.
[US]B. Greer Slammer (1977) 224: One spook burns the other, and the whole slammer goes up.
[US]W. Diehl Hooligans (2003) 46: What fuckin’ burns me is that these assholes have got themselves watertight alibis.
[US]C. Hiaasen Tourist Season (1987) 201: He said I burned one of his sources [...] I didn’t know the guy was off-the-record.
[UK]M. Amis London Fields 42: Yes, it still hurts. It still exquisitely burns.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Fall.
[Can] Toronto Sun 31 Dec. 82: What burns me is I took something that I really didn’t know too much about.
[US]T. Fey Mean Girls [movie script] [T]hey have this Burn Book where they write mean things - about all the girls in our grade.
[US]‘Jack Tunney’ Split Decision [ebook] It must have burned him more than anything to have Cardone beat him to the punch.
[UK]G. Krauze What They Was 293: What bunned Rex even more was that Jim Jones’ mother didn’t allow any of his bredrins to attend the funeral.

(b) to become angry, thus burn at, the be angry with.

[US]J. Lait Broadway Melody 86: [He] had burned not like a future in-law, but like a jealous lover.
[US]J.P. McEvoy Hollywood Girl 59: Did he burn when I showed him the contract! Said I would go to hell sure in Hollywood.
[US]J.H. O’Hara Pal Joey 2: I burned but went on singing and playing.
[US]E. Wilson 23 May [synd. col.] I was burning at the B.W. for making us miss the first part.
[US]R. Leveridge Walk on the Water 198: ‘Then why are you burning?’ ‘He made me mad.’.
[US]C. Cooper Jr Syndicate (1998) 39: I started to burn some.
[US]P. Thomas Down These Mean Streets (1970) 16: I was burning, making all kinds of promises to send that rubber ball smashing into his teeth whenever he decided to let it go.
[US]W. Burk Thief 175: He was hot. Man, what I mean, this cat was burning.

(c) to be sexually aroused, to be available.

[US]C. Willingham End as a Man (1952) 146: You see that old grandma over there? Well, she’s burning.
[US]R. Leveridge Walk on the Water 199: ‘About this man now.’ ‘Well, he really did burn my ass.’ ‘You lucky girl.’ And the giggles began.

(d) (US campus) as burn for, to focus on a given goal.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Oct. 1: burn for – to set all one’s energies towards one specific goal: He’ll begin to burn for exam after Thanksgiving.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Fall 1: burn – to study or work hard for a goal.

4. to set alight; to use fire.

(a) (US) to smoke a cigarette.

[US]C.E. Mulford Bar-20 xvi: ‘Want a smoke?’ [...] Mr. Hopalong Cassidy side-stepped and began to roll a cigarette: ‘Shore, but I’ll burn my own.’.
[US]D. Hammett ‘The Tenth Clew’ in Continental Op (1975) 13: We [...] sat back burning tobacco.
[US] ‘Smokers’ Sl.’ in AS XV:3 Oct. 335/2: To smoke is [...] to burn.
[UK]H. Brown Walk in Sun 55: ‘Can I smoke, corporal?’ Rivera asked. ‘Burn,’ Tyne said.
[US]A.S. Fleischman Venetian Blonde (2006) 174: We had been burning Pall Malls.
[UK]J. Mowry Six Out Seven (1994) 464: He pulled a Marlboro pack from his shorts. ‘Here, bro, burn one of mine.’.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr.

(b) (drugs, also bun, burn it down) to smoke a cannabis cigarette.

[US]J. Crumley One to Count Cadence (1987) 187: Morning and David [...] chatted about burning some grass if David could score.
[US]R.R. Lingeman Drugs from A to Z (1970) 54: burning Smoking marijuana.
[US]D. Claerbut Black Jargon in White America 59: burn v. […] 6. to smoke marijuana.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Fall 2: burn – smoke marijuana: ‘We burned one on the roof last night.’.
[US]College Sl. Research Project (Cal. State Poly. Uni., Pomona) 🌐 Burn (verb) 1. To smoke marijuana.
[UK]N. Barlay Crumple Zone 60: — Bunning, Ridgecroft? That’s a new one on me . . . — Gonna cane some skunk, sir. To celebrate, y’na mean.
[UK]A. Wheatle Dirty South 152: He was mercy-wokked by Shyanne Moore after a burning session at Blackie Norton’s gates.
[US]J. Bacharach Bend of World 107: You smoke weed? he asked. I shrugged. [...] Yeah man. You got that corporate look about you , but I can tell you burn it down.
[UK]T. Thorne (ed.) ‘Drill Slang Glossary’ at Forensic Linguistic Databank 🌐 bun - light up (a cannabis cigarette).
[US]N. Walker Cherry 28: We had burned a peach White Owl with Train Wreck in it, and so we were high as fuck.

(c) (US black) to prepare food, to cook, esp. to cook well.

[US] ‘Sl. of Watts’ in Current Sl. III:2.
[US]‘Hy Lit’ Hy Lit’s Unbelievable Dict. of Hip Words 7: burn one – [...] asking for a taste of the blue plate special.
[US](con. 1950s) D. Wells Night People 92: There’s no better food. Those chefs take great pride in their work [...] Boy, can they burn!
[US]T.R. Houser Central Sl. 13: burn [...] ‘Bitch really knows how to burn grub good.’.
[US]Simon & Burns Corner (1998) 385: She at the stove, making me a plate of chicken — and Mama could burn some chicken.
[US]College Sl. Research Project (Cal. State Poly. Uni., Pomona) 🌐 Burn (verb) [...] 2. To cook well.

(d) (Aus.) to have a barbecue.

[Aus]A. Weller Day of the Dog 157: This was going to be the night the three burned off. Danny has saved up some meat from the sheep he kills weekly.

5. to overcome, to treat badly, to punish; to have someone punished.

(a) to punish, often in passive as get burned; thus burn someone’s ass

[US](con. c.1912) G.H. Mullin Adventures of a Scholar Tramp 252: I’ll see that you get burnt good and plenty if I catch you loitering around the streets.
[US](con. 1918) L. Nason Sergeant Eadie 113: Won’t he burn yuh for beatin’ it?
[US](con. 1918) L. Nason Top Kick 9: I expected to get burned for leaving camp while I was on guard.
[US]S. Kingsley Dead End Act II: He’s fit to be tied! I never seen a guy so boined up!
[US]‘Hal Ellson’ Golden Spike 7: You’re trying to burn me, that’s why you dropped it.
[US]T. Runyon In For Life 115: They finally had a chance to show what they thought of guards without being burned for doing so.
[US] ‘Sl. of Watts’ in Current Sl. III:2 12: Burn, v. To discipline, to punish.
[US]J. Conaway Big Easy 205: The Negro raised his hand. ‘I gwine burn you.’.
[US]G. Underwood ‘Razorback Sl.’ in AS L:1/2 56: burn vt [...] 2: Punish severely.
[US]D. Simon Homicide (1993) 331: If the idea of burning Worden ever took solid form, they would have to go to war with the captain.
[US]Source Aug. 131: Every time you touch a mic, you need to burn everybody. If you go to a battle, you got to crush the competition.

(b) to be punished, to get into trouble.

[US]C.R. Bond 3 June in A Flying Tiger’s Diary (1984) 183: Someone should ‘burn’ for that mission.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 66: Some Bureau guys are gonna burn in this thing and you’re gonna have to work with friends of theirs.

(c) to execute or to be executed in the electric chair; thus burning party, judicial execution.

[US]J. Callahan Man’s Grim Justice 292: Give me another shot [...] I got to be all steamed up before I can look at one of these burning parties.
[US]C. Panzram Journal of Murder in Gaddis & Long (2002) 162: Let them hang me, burn me or anything they want.
[US]C. Himes ‘His Last Day’ in Coll. Stories (1990) 300: He had known that he wouldn’t beat that last rap, cop-killing [...] He had known he would burn.
[US]J. Archibald ‘Skip Tracer Bullets’ in Popular Detective June 🌐 Georgie could only burn once, no matter how many citizens he expunged.
[US]H. Ellison ‘We Take Care of Our Dead’ in Deadly Streets (1983) 68: They’ll fry me, Sammy, I’ll burn.
[US](con. 1930s) R. Wright Lawd Today 135: Aw, they ain’t going to burn her. They’ll pardon her just before her time’s up.
[US]E. Bunker Little Boy Blue (1995) 113: The po-leese said they was gonna burn if they didn’t tell everything they’d been doin’.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 121: Leroy and Tyrone are twenty, so they can’t burn on a capital charge.
[US]J. Ellroy ‘Grave Doubt’ in Destination: Morgue! (2004) 87: He don’t plan to get caught. He’ll burn if he does.

(d) (also burn up) to shoot dead.

[US]Ersine Und. and Prison Sl.
Hal Ellson Duke xi: Burn them – shoot them. [Ibid.] 7: Burn them.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 39: burn up [...] to shoot to death.
[US](con. 1953–7) L. Yablonsky Violent Gang (1967) 29: He said, ‘I’m gonna burn you.’ So he pulled out a gun.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn 279: The way he had everybody in the town shittin green until that bad bastard from Texas got on his ass and burnd im.
[US] (ref. to 1957) in R.L. Keiser Vice Lords 2: A boy got killed in that humbug. A Clover, a stud named Walker, got his head burned (shot) off with a shotgun.
[US]O. Hawkins Ghetto Sketches 216: Kwendi snatched his piece and burned ’im!
[US]H. Gould Fort Apache, The Bronx 334: If I don’t get what I want in thirty minutes I’m gonna burn everybody in here.
[US](con. 1967) E. Spencer Welcome to Vietnam (1989) 118: We [...] have good fields of fire laid out. We can burn ’em.
[US]L. Stavsky et al. A2Z.
1011 ‘Kill Confirmed’ 🎵 R9 got nicked for the dots / Big bro got nicked for the spinner / If you heard that suttin' got bun with the dots / It was probably done by Digga.
[UK]Central Cee ‘Day in the Life’ 🎵 Come burn a boy if you're bad, let's see.

(e) to kill, to murder.

‘Ed McBain’ Cop Hater 87: ‘[O]ne of the boys plugged him in self-defense.’ ‘Who?’ ‘Who knows?’ Santez said. ‘One of the boys burned him’.
[US](con. 1953–7) L. Yablonsky Violent Gang (1967) 109: We had a leader whose name I will not reveal. To do so – I might be burned tomorrow.
[US]D. Claerbut Black Jargon in White America 59: burn v. […] 4. to kill, often by shooting [...].
[UK]Observer Screen 1 Aug. 6: Whack: to murder; also clip, hit, pop, burn, put a contract on.
[US]K. Bruen ‘Fade To . . . Brooklyn’ in Brooklyn Noir 311: Clip. Whack. Pop. Burn. All the great terms Americans have for putting your lights out.

(f) (US black) to defeat.

[US]J.M. Cain Postman Always Rings Twice (1985) 134: That was when I burned Sackett. I got up and made a speech to the court.
[US]D. Claerbut Black Jargon in White America 59: burn v. […] 9. to defeat someone.

(g) (US) to cause trouble for someone, to treat someone badly, to take advantage of someone.

[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks 16/2: Burnt, cheated out of share of job.
[US]H.S. Thompson Hell’s Angels (1967) 60: The Frisco Angels had been severely burned after a series of articles in the Chronicle.
[US]Milner & Milner Black Players 128: When you play the middle, you’re on a rope. The only way you can keep from getting burned, like you always do, is keep the rope wet.
[US]J. Wambaugh Glitter Dome (1982) 167: Don’t go talk to Violet or Gloria’s gonna get burned.
[US]R. Campbell Alice in La-La Land (1999) 193: I can burn you right on the spot. I’ll say I came down here [...] and shot you when you pulled a gun on me.
[US]B. Hamper Rivethead (1992) 176: We just can’t be too careful. We’ve been burned on stuff like this before.
[US]Da Bomb 🌐 5: Burn: To harm [...] Burning: Telling on someone.
[US]J. Ridley Love Is a Racket 276: They’re doing it [i.e. a murder] ’cause they got burned.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 98: You can burn me with those tapes worse than with anything we recorded five minutes ago. Those’re federal property.
[US]J. Ellroy Widespread Panic 208: ‘You burned me, fucker [...] because you’re jealous of me’.

(h) (US campus) to turn down a request for a date.

[US]Baker et al. CUSS 91: Burned out Turned down when asking for a date.

(i) (orig. US) to be in trouble or out of luck; also trans. to cause ill luck.

[US]B. Seale Seize the Time 111: If he gets caught with a pistol he’s burned.
[UK]Observer Screen 11 July 6: All three got burnt when the series failed on their promise to be ‘the next X Files’.
[US]J. Ridley Love Is a Racket 361: No matter what you do you’re gonna get yourself burned.
[Scot]T. Black ‘Long Drop’ in Killing Time in Las Vegas [ebook] You burned our luck . . . You fucking burned us!

(j) to arrest.

[US]J.G. Dunne True Confessions (1979) 10: Then he got burned on a Murder One rap and he got life in San Quentin.

(k) to write a disciplinary report.

[US]Current Sl. II:2 7: Burn, v. To write up or report for violation; to be written up (Air Force Academy).
[UK]J. Cameron It Was An Accident 156: Jimmy Foley got burned on the videos.

(l) to attack, verbally or physically.

[US]Kramer & Karr Teen-Age Gangs 22: No killing. Just a nice burning.
[US]I. Freeman Out of the Burning (1961) 209: It’s Gent who got burned [...] So it’s up to him whether he wants to tell the cops who burned him.
[US](con. 1953–7) L. Yablonsky Violent Gang (1967) 93: I fuck everybody. They try to burn me, I got my blade, I’ll get ’em all but good.
[US]P. Munro Sl. U. 49: burn 1. to insult, point out (someone’s) shortcomings or past error or embarrassment.
[US]C. Eble (ed.) UNC-CH Campus Sl. Spring 2014 2: BURN — insult.

(m) to dismiss an employee, to jilt a lover; to be dismissed.

[UK]A. Salkey Come Home, Malcolm Heartland 198: Some of us could burn for this.

(n) (US campus) to grade harshly.

[US]G. Underwood ‘Razorback Sl.’ in AS L:1/2 56: burn vt [...] 3: Grade harshly.

6. (US teen) to shoot a weapon in order to frighten rather than to wound.

Beckley Post-Herald (WV) 1 Dec. 7/4: Burning — To graze someone with a gun, or making them dance without hitting them by shooting close to them.

7. (US police) to recognize.

[US]Murtagh & Harris Who Live in Shadow 154: The police may get rid of him by the practice known as ‘burning’—revealing him as a stool pigeon to other addicts and peddlers.
[US]G.V. Higgins Cogan’s Trade (1975) 35: They’d burn me the minute I came inna door.
[US]B. Davidson Collura (1978) 114: It was taking the minds of the crowd off their original objective of ‘burning the undercover’.
[US]H.C. Collins Street Gangs 222: Burn Expose identity unwillingly.
[US]G. Pelecanos Right As Rain 232: One of Coleman’s boys is gonna burn us soon for sure.
[US]G. Pelecanos Drama City 107: Rico Miller kept his distance [...] He didn’t want to get burned.

8. (US black) to do something well.

[US]‘Hy Lit’ Hy Lit’s Unbelievable Dict. of Hip Words 7: burn – [...] to be doing something very well.
[US]D. Claerbut Black Jargon in White America 59: burn v. […] 8. to perform in an outstanding fashion.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr. 1: burn – to display a high amount of intelligence. I burned the test.
[US]W.D. Myers Mouse Rap 42: Mrs. Jones could cook. I mean she could burn.
[US]W.D. Myers Slam! 80: It was me, burning on the court, doing the wild thing with the ball [...] Me.
[UK]N. Macdonald Graffiti Subculture xi: Burn: To paint [graffiti] exceptionally well.

9. (US black) to improvise; orig. in music, but latterly in any context.

[US]H.E. Roberts Third Ear n.p.: burn v. […] 5. to improvise superlatively in music or in life. note: ‘Burn, baby burn!’ was a form of encouragement shouted at singers, musicians, and orators long before the urban disturbances of the long hot summers at which time it became a pun.

10. (US) to photocopy [the heating involved in the process].

D. Cragg Lex. Militaris 56: Burn [...] To make a copy of a document [HDAS].

11. (drugs) to overdose or to give someone an overdose (e.g. with over-pure narcotics).

[US]H. Gould Fort Apache, The Bronx 313: ‘You’re gonna burn her, ain’t you man?’ ‘No, man [...] I’m gonna let her burn herself.’ He took a spoonful of heroin and dropped it in an envelope. Straight with no chaser.
[US]W.D. Myers Motown and Didi 156: It hadn’t been cut at all, not even once. There was a feeling of panic [...] He reached for his chest, felt his heart beating. He had been burned!

12. (US campus) to play truant.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr. 2: burn one – take a day off of work or school: ‘I’m going to burn one tomorrow.’.

13. (orig. computer) to record (information/music) onto a writable CD-Rom, DVD or compact disk [the heating involved in the process].

[UK]Guardian Rev. 29 Jan. 4: ‘I could always burn you a CDR off.’ Panic set in. ‘Burn’ me a compact disc recordable ‘off’? [...] Am I poised to be just another insignificant client in the distribution of some mother-of-all mix CDR which she ‘burns off’ for all her acquaintances?
W.D. Myers Dope Sick 100: [H]e burned a bunch of copies [of a song] on CDs and we passed them around .

14. (UK black ) a synon. for ‘to hell with’.

[UK]A. Wheatle Dirty South 1: The English tutor [...] offered her help. But burn her help. I don’t need it. Patronising bitch [...] Burn her!

15. see burn (up) v.

In compounds

burn artist (n.)

1. a police informer.

[US]R.R. Lingeman Drugs from A to Z (1970) 54: burn artist [...] (2) a police informer, a stool pigeon.

2. a con-man, a cheat, esp. in the drug world where they will either sell second-rate drugs or take a buyer’s money and vanish without delivering the goods [sense 2d + -artist sfx].

[US]Issues in Criminology 1-2 216: A dealer who is a ‘burn artist,’ is almost as contemptable as a snitch.
[US] ‘Sl. of Watts’ in Current Sl. III:2 12: Burn artist, n. An addict who specializes in cheating other addicts.
[Can]J. Mandelkau Buttons 147: I received some heavy complaints regarding burn artists and protection.
[US]Cardozo-Freeman & Deloreme Joint 427: A burn artist is someone that takes and sells you something that isn't marijuana, or takes aspirin and shaves it down and makes it look like Dilaudid.
[US]Simon & Burns Corner (1998) 61: Burn artists were driven deep into the shadows.
[US]W. Fietzer Penal Fires 29: ‘Do you know what a burn artist is, Mr. Hartway?’ ‘I-It's a con man. A seller of bad dope’.
burn-bag (n.) [bag n.1 (7)]

(US drugs) a bag of counterfeit or very weak drugs.

[US]D. Simon Homicide (1993) 283: He was selling burn bags [...] He was selling people shit.

In phrases

burn down (v.)

1. to shoot, to kill.

[US]F. Borden ‘Guns of Gangland’ in Gangster Stories Dec. 🌐 ‘Trip Kennedy got away—Burned down two of our boys an’ made a clean getaway.’.
[US]M. Harris ‘Facing the Mob’ in Gangland Stories Feb. 🌐 You know the law of our kind; you knock Jimmy off—I croak you. Suppose you’ve got a moll; then maybe she burns me down.
[US]E. Hoffman Price ‘Revolt of the Damned’ in Double-Action Gang June 🌐 If that hop-crazy spick ever makes another pass at you, burn him down.
[US]R.L. Bellem ‘Dissolve Shot’ Dan Turner – Hollywood Detective May 🌐 Each note was a terse promise to burn Michaelson down before the current week was out.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 37/1: Burn down. To shoot dead. ‘Connecticut Red had plenty of guts (courage). He came out throwing slugs (hooting), and the dicks (police) burned him down. But he took one with him.’.
[US]H. Ellison ‘At the Mountain of Blindness’ in Gentleman Junkie 66: Tómas got busted by the fuzz [...] he tried to split, and they burned him down.

2. to overdo, to use to excess.

[US]‘William Lee’ Junkie (1966) 33: Refugee doctors were a good field for a while, but the addicts burned them down.

3. to attack, verbally or physically.

[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS.
[US]J. Wambaugh Choirboys (1976) 100: That storm trooper is gonna burn you down.
[US]G. Tate ‘Atomic Dog’ in Flyboy in the Buttermilk (1992) 31: That chick who sings [...] When she opened up, it was Patti LaBelle all up and down. White chick, too. She burned that mother down.
[Scot]I. Welsh Trainspotting 23: Part ay me doesnae want to burn the fucker doon.

4. to ruin, to make a mess of.

[Scot]I. Welsh Dead Man’s Trousers 23: I tae fuc the cunt isnae burning this gig down.
burn one’s ass (v.)

to infuriate.

[US]J. Wambaugh Onion Field 94: ‘[I]t burned my ass that Billy understood the things Greg said and I couldn’t’ .
L.L. King Best Little Whorehouse in Texas [film script] You know what burns my ass?
burn one’s hump (v.)

to infuriate.

[US]N. Algren ‘Little Lester’ in Entrapment (2009) 95: Say — you know what burned my hump? [...] What burned me was after I shot him, then he says, ‘Don’t shoot me.’ After I done it.
burn someone’s ass (v.) (also burn someone’s ears) [ass n. (4)]

(US) to reprimand severely.

[US]L. Uris Battle Cry (1964) 186: Bryce knew he’d get his ass burned out by the Major if he fell out.
[US]A.E. Morgan Six-Eleven (1966) 217: I’ll burn their ears about it, Charlie.
[US]J. Kramer Instant Replay 124: Vince really burned my ass.
[US](con. 1945) E. Thompson Tattoo (1977) 323: If you get caught, they’ll burn your asses forever. You know what they do to a GI who rapes a nurse?
[US]H. Gould Fort Apache, The Bronx 47: Now go ahead you little cocksucker, run up that block, or I’ll burn your ass right here.
[US]B. Hamper Rivethead 221: Sanders was especially eager to burn my ass.
[US]J. Lerner You Got Nothing Coming 117: See you at the disciplinary hearing when they burn your ass sideways.
burn up (v.)

see separate entry.

to burn (adv.) [the size/dampness of the animal requires a large fire]

(US) in very large quantities; often ext. as to burn a wet dog/mule with; usu. money to burn.

[US]Fayetteville Obs. (TN) 27 June 1/2I: I is got more of that darned stuff on hands than would burn up ten thousand wet dogs.
[US]E. Townsend Chimmie Fadden Explains 20: De dude has money t’ burn a wet dog wid.
[US]Congressional Record 27 Mar. 400/1: You have plenty of time. [...] No I have not got time ‘to burn’ [DA].
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 8 Nov. 17/4: There was joy to burn, / They cheered like flames / For the safe return / Of Mister James.
[US]Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY) 2 July 5: She has already had [...] literary experience to burn [DA].
[UK]Wodehouse Gentleman of Leisure (2008) 45: Dis is where a widder-lady lives all alone, an’ has got silver mugs and t’ings to boin.
Wilson Times (NC) 22 Dec. 6/1: In two years he had lost enough money to burn a wet dog.
[US]J. Ellroy Because the Night 195: [He] checked the expended film cylinder. Film to burn.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

burn-crust (n.)

a baker.

[UK]Daily Courant 26 Dec. n.p.: [dramatis personae / actors for Coriolanus] Rob-Sack, the Miller - Bullock Sr.; Mend-foul, the Cobbler - Spiller; Nitt, the Tailor - Griffin; Burn-crust, the Baker - Pack.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Nottingham Rev. 9 Mar. 3/4: A well known kneader of dough [...] has been [...] exceedingly fond of pouring copious libations down his throat [...] Mrs Burncrust by no means approved.
[UK]Cobbett’s Wkly Political Register 12 Oct. 25/2: Mr Burn-Crust. Yes, my Lord, it is a great oppression.
[UK]Stamford Mercury 16 June 3/2: A race took place [...] between a respectable Burn-crust [...] and a large Farmer.
[UK]Sl. Dict.

In phrases

burn coal (v.) (US)

1. to have a lesbian or heterosexual relationship.

[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 58: Burning Coal [...] used to indicate a sexual relationship between women or a heterosexual relationship.

2. see under coal n.1

burn one

see separate entries.

burn one’s collar (v.) [SE colloq. get hot under the collar]

1. (US) to get very angry.

[US]A.I. Bezzerides Thieves’ Market 116: Don’t burn your collar. I’ll move it.

2. to make someone angry.

K.N. Llewellyn Bramble Bush 22: And there are words which he may call you which will burn your collar.
burn one’s foot (v.) (US)

1. to hurry.

[US]H. Wiley Wildcat 55: Wilecat, Cap’n says burn yo’ feet arrivin’ at his quarters.

2. to become pregnant [euph.].

[US] in DARE.
burn out

see separate entries.

burn powder (v.)

(US) to fire a gun.

T. O’Loghlen Marine Volunteer 2: So soon as Men are armed and accoutred [...] they should burn Powder every Day, for a Week at least,.
Maryland Hist. Mag. V 150: Atkinson said he intended to burn powder that day [DA].
Amer. Museum V 578/1: The principal officers [...] were employed in preparing and ordering an expensive entertainment, for spectators and officers, while the soldiers were left to burn powder to no purpose [DA].
[UK]Hants Chron. 13 Apr. 4/2: The Spaniards at present are wonderfully polite (and seldom burn powder except when chasing a vessel into their port).
[Scot]Fife Herald 24 Nov. 3/2: Although they were sorely temped to discharge their artillery, none of them ventured to burn powder.
Pilot 9 June 2/5: [of a duel] Now [...] if he’s a gentleman, he must burn powder after such a message as that.
[Ire]Galway Vindicator 11 Mar. 2/3: They have glory, national honour, contracts, commisariat, pay and promotion to burn powder for.
[UK]Coleraine Chron. 21 Mar. 4/2: It had always been customary in the country to burn powder in honour of a marriage.
[US]New Dly Appeal (Crson City, NV) 11 Sept. 2/3: It is useless to rely again upon the Liberal Dicks and Slippery Jims of the opposition to burn powder in honor of our latest victory.
[US]Saturday Press (HI) 8 Dec. 2/3: To wear [...] red feathers in one’s hat, to have foreign men of war burn powder in one’s honor [...] is the pomp and circumstance [...] of a governorship in the kingdom of Hawaii.
[US]Shiner Gaz. (TX) 26 Oct. 4/3: Henry Crepon [...] states that while he was resting peacefully in camp someone on horseback rode up and proceeded to burn powder at a great rate.
[Scot]Aberdeen jrnl 28 June 8/2: Veteran Mackie was also understood to be eager to burn powder first.
[US]Omaha Dly Bee (NE) A series of traps [...] has enabled a large number of men to participate in matches [...] every gets all the opportunity he desires to burn powder: .
[US]Central Record (Lancaster, KY) 4 July 3/5: The boys who today burn powder in its [i.e. independence] honor will not be slow should need arise to burn powder in its defense.
[US]Warren Sheaf (MN) 3 July 4/1: The United States is likely to burn powder enough this year without wasting any of it on Independence Day.
[US]D. Hammett ‘$106,000 Blood Money’ Story Omnibus (1966) 330: From the side of the building another gun coughed [...] Jack and Li began to burn powder back at them.
[US]R.F. Adams Cowboy Lingo 171: To start shooting was to [...] ‘burn powder’.
burn rubber (v.)

see separate entry.

burn smoke (v.)

(US) to go very fast.

[US]M. Casey ‘The Company Physical’ in Obscenities 3: He went inta the mile run / With a near four hundred / Burnt smoke for the first three laps.
burn someone’s arse (v.)

(Aus.) to infuriate.

[Aus]R.G. Barratt ‘Tall Poppies Deserve Short Shrift’ in What Do You Reckon (1997) [ebook] [I]t burns their arses to think that a wombat like me can be a successful writer.
burn the earth (v.) (also burn the ...prairie, ...road, ...street) [one’s acceleration causes the ground to catch fire]

(orig. US) to go very fast.

Romspert Western Echo 164: Of course, the first day the mustangs will burn the prairie [DA].
[US]Virginian Pilot (Norfolk, VA) 19 Feb. 13/1: They [i.e. racehorses] trotted a mile in 2:14. Now they began to burn the earth.
[US]O. Wister Jimmyjohn Boss and Other Stories 47: Quick now. Burn the earth.
[US]C.R. Wooldridge Hands Up! 49: They jumped into a carriage, and the driver was told to ‘burn the street.’.
[US]A. Adams Log of a Cowboy 37: I [...] put spurs to my horse, so that when they reached the brow of the hill, I was half a mile in the lead, burning the earth like a canned dog.
[US]Rich Hill Trib. (MO) 3 June 3/2: His new auto [...] run by high power engines, the kind that can burn the road.
[US]Glasgow Courier (MT) 15 Dec. 27/2: It’s the shock as much as the wound [...] Ride to town [...] Take the Guzzah and burn the road for Los and get a doctor.
[US]Eve. Current (Carlsbad, NM) 4 Aug. 4/3: Walter Tomlinson has invested his spare ‘spondulix’ [...] and expects to burn the earth at a profit.
[US]Arizona Republican (Phoenix, AZ) 6 Oct. n.p.: [advert] You can ‘burn up’ the road with a Horseshoe, but you can’t burn up the tyre.
[US]Oroville Wkly Gaz. (WA) 1 Oct. 4/2: The fire department demonstrated that the boys are strictly on the job [...] The boys always burn the earth when called out.
[UK]‘Leslie Charteris’ Enter the Saint 107: I’ll take the Desurio [...] and you take the Morris and the moll — and let’s burn the road.
[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS 77/2: burn the road To drive a car fast.
[US]W. Blevins Dict. of the Amer. West 39/1: To ride fast; also known as to burn the prairie, burn the earth.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Dec. 1: burn the road up – rush, drive fast.
burn the Thames (v.) [var. on SE colloq. set the Thames on fire; note synon. US regional use burn up someone’s millpond]

to accomplish a noteworthy feat.

[UK]‘Peter Pindar’ Sir J. Banks and Emp. of Mor. in Works (1812) 90: Whose modest wisdom [...] never aims / To find the longitude, or burn the Thames .
[UK]‘Oliver Oldschool’ Portfolio 6 Aug. 106/1: But Petty ne’er a prodigy will prove; Ne’er burn the Thames, or make the tide remove.
[UK]Suffolk Chron. 12 Sept. 2/5: This nobleman, better known as Lord Henry Petty [...] his hope having ben disappointed, add, ‘But Petty ne’er a prodigy will prove; / Ne’er burn the Thames, or make the tide remove’.
[UK]Morn. Advertiser (London) 18 Mar. 2/4: Russia [...] given some months since to seize Tilbury Fort, capture our fleet, and do everything but burn up the Thames, is abetted in her insidious manoeuvres in the East.
[UK]Wells Jrnl 7 Sept. 6/5: The enduring ones must reap the best rewards, unless in the very exceptional cases of those who canat the outset burn the Thames.
burn the water (v.) [late 19C+ use is SE]

to spear salmon by torchlight.

[UK]Skene in Lockhart Scott (1839) II. 265: This amusement of burning the water [...] was not without some hazard.
burn the wind (v.) (also burn the breeze) [fig. uses of breeze/wind]

(US) to go fast, orig. on horseback.

O. Thanet Otto the Knight 219: An’ we all ayfter ’m, hollerin’ with all the power [...] Didn’t he burn the wind, though! [DA].
[US]W.M. Raine Bucky O’Connor (1910) 20: So burn the wind, and go through the car on the jump.
[US]W.M. Raine Brand Blotters (1912) 62: Drive on, José. Burn the wind and keep a-rollin’ south.
[US]Odum & Johnson Negro and His Songs (1964) 177: Went down country to see my frien’, / In come yaller dog burnin’ the win’.
[UK]M. Marshall Tramp-Royal on the Toby 14: I burned the breeze as fast as my leg would let me.
[Scot]Eve. Teleg. (Dundee) 8 Nov. 13/3: I’d tell Haskell to burn the wind getting to our camp.
G. Wilson Fidelity Folks 180: When something went fast in the odler days, we said it ‘burned the wind’ [DA].
[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS 77/2: burn the breeze [...] To drive a car fast.
[US]W. Blevins Dict. of the Amer. West 39/1: burn the breeze To ride fast; also known as [...] burn the wind.
burn (up)

see separate entries.

burn wheels (v.) [one’s smoking wheels]

to drive a car very fast.

‘Skate Report’ 10 Mar. on Sydney Bladers 🌐 I could smell burning wheels, I could almost hear my wheels screaming ‘I’m melting... meeelltttiiinnnnggggggg...’.
burn with a low blue flame (v.) [the image of lighting the alcohol fumes pouring from one’s mouth]

to be extremely drunk.

[US] ‘Sl. Expressions for Drunk’ in New Republic in AS XVI:1 (1941) 9 Mar. 70: [...] burns with a low blue flame.
[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS.

In exclamations

burn my breeches!

a general excl.

[UK]‘One of the Fancy’ Tom Crib’s Memorial to Congress 46: BILL GIBBONS ne’er / In all his days was known to swear, / Except light oaths, to grace his speeches, / Like ‘dash my wig,’ or ‘burn my breeches!’.
[US]Jonathan Kentucky’s Jrnl July 30 in Spirit of the Eng. Mags 10 267/2: There was one who was continually exclaiming, — ‘Burn my breeches;’ another, with a higher reach of imagination, — ‘Thunder me dead’.
[UK]Egan Boxiana III (App.) 619: And when the fight began, Lord, how the claret ran, ‘Burn my breeches!’ cries Gibbons.
[UK]Leeds Times 29 May 7/3: Pacheco ne’er [...] was known to swear, / Except light oaths [...] Like ‘burn my breeches’.
burn my clothes!

(US) a general excl.

Dames [film script] Burn my clothes if it isn’t Romeo, our financial backer.
burn my liver!

a general excl.

[UK](ref. to early 18C) Sheffield Dly Teleg. 11 Sept. 7/2: In Colly Cibbr’s days the young beaux [...] invented wild oaths such as ‘Stap my vitals,’ ‘Burn my liver,’ and ‘Scorch me’.
burn my skin! (also burn my old wig!)

a general excl.

[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 283: Burn my old wig!
[UK]Dick and Sal 18: An burn my skin, if I diden grin, A’cause I see it pleas’d em.
burn you! [earlier dial. use; i.e. burn in the fires of hell]

go to hell!

[UK]Gem 16 Sept. 4: ‘You hound,’ said Tom Merry. ‘Burn you!’.