Green’s Dictionary of Slang

walk v.

1. to die.

[UK]Trollope Dr. Thorne 49: If the governor were to walk, I think Porlock would console himself with the thirty thousand a year.

2. (US campus) to take an examination without using any form of cheating aid.

[US]W.C. Gore Student Sl. in Cohen (1997) 22: walk v. To take an examination without using a ‘pony.’.
[US]E.H. Babbitt ‘College Words and Phrases’ in DN II:i 69: walk, v. To go through a recitation without aid.

3. of objects, to go missing (presumed stolen) (also go walkies) [SE walk off].

[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 5 Aug. 3/1: A cap anmd two pair of bonts were also found on him; and, doubtless in a short time longer, the coat and unmentionables needed to complete the turn-out would have ‘walked’ along with the appropriator.
[UK]J.D. Brayshaw Slum Silhouettes 125: A sack o’ taters, or a sieve o’ cherries sometimes goes awalkin’ if yer don’t keep yer eyes skinned.
[UK]J. Cameron Vinnie Got Blown Away 121: Rum a nicker a tumbler or six a bottle probably went walkies off some container down Tilbury.
[UK]Observer Rev. 2 Apr. 1: He’s gone walkies, they say, with five (very) big ones.
[UK]I. Rankin Fleshmarket Close (2005) 73: ‘You’re really hoping it’ll go walkies, aren’t you?’.

4. (US tramp) to banish, to eject from a place [SE walk away, walk off].

[US]W. Guthrie Bound for Glory (1969) 318: ‘Cops walk you?’ he asked me.

5. (US) to beat up [i.e. to ‘walk all over’].

[UK]J. Heywood A Merry Play in Farmer (1905) 68: Walk her coat, John John, and beat her hardly.
[US]H. Simmons Corner Boy 119: The Cootas walked him.

6. in senses of ‘walking away’ .

(a) (UK Und.) to be found not guilty, or evade proven association with a crime (see cite 2016).

[US]M. Braly On the Yard (2002) 205: The captain had let him walk on some beefs where he should have been sloughed.
[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 69: No case. The man’s got to walk.
[US]T. Philbin Under Cover 2348: That Fishman ain’t going to walk.
[UK]J. Cameron Vinnie Got Blown Away 178: They never got me walking, tall order maybe. Still I got the slaughter not murder, means you do few years instead of life.
[Aus]P. Temple Black Tide (2012) [ebook] Anyway, Bren walks on the Frank thing, it’s not over.
[US]G. Pelecanos Shame the Devil 36: ‘The kid’ll walk, then.’ ‘It depends on who I draw behind the bench and what their temperature’s like that day.’.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Mystery Bay Blues 267: She walked last time. Why not have another go?
[UK]Vanity Fair 16 Mar. [Internet] Reader had generally managed to ‘walk’ away until the Brinks-Mat Job, named for the high-security warehouse at Heathrow Airport hit by a group of bandits on November 26, 1983.

(b) (US prison/Und.) to be released from prison or arrest.

[US]M. Braly On the Yard (2002) 39: He’ll walk some day, but it’s going to be awhile.
[US]T. Thackrey Thief 338: I had been starting to worry [...] about when these bastards were going to go through with their end of the deal and let me walk.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 112: When arrested [...] he may need to rapidly flip the pages of his score card (address book) to come up with the bail necessary to enable him to walk (be bail bonded).
[US]C. Stroud Close Pursuit (1988) 223: They took his gun and they shot him; he died, and they walked.
[US]L. Stringer Grand Central Winter (1999) 67: Most of us in that cell knew we could expect to walk.
[US]G.V. Higgins At End of Day (2001) 93: Jerry’s delicate, and that means he can’t do time — Jerry has to walk.
[UK]J. Cameron Hell on Hoe Street 191: Half the security was ex-cons anyhow so you only had to tip them a freeman’s and you walked.
[US]C. Stella Rough Riders 9: He has half a brain, he’ll take it on the chin and they’ll let him walk.

(c) (US prison) to release someone from prison.

[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 287: Once you get Maas the dough, he’ll walk you in three, four months.

7. to leave, to walk off; to resign.

[UK]Exeter & Plymouth Gaz. 28 Dec. 4/1: When the Simon Pure is discovered as leader, Mr Macdonald will be invited to walk.
[US]S. Longstreet Flesh Peddlers (1964) 219: She’ll walk if I show again this way. I ain’t a pretty sight.
[US]T. Southern Blue Movie (1974) 155: I thought you were about to walk.
[US]E. Weiner Howard the Duck 69: Your boss is a goon and his business is a sleazehole. So you walk.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 3 Aug. 8: He packed up his instruments and walked.
[UK]Guardian 15 Dec. 51/4: ‘You’re dead, pal. That’s plumb: tell your story walkin’, mate’.
[US]D.H. Sterry Chicken (2003) 39: The voice that’s never wrong is screaming at me to walk and never look back.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

walk-about (money) (n.)

see separate entries.

walkalone (n.)

(US prison) a prisoner who has to exercise alone.

[US]Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July [Internet] Walkalone: A prisoner who cannot exercise on a yard with other prisoners. San Quentin’s death row has a yard for ‘walkalones’ to exercise together.
walkaway (n.)

(US und.) in an assassination, the shooter’s companion who is handed the gun after the killing and immediately leaves the scene.

[US]D. Winslow The Force [ebook] ‘I didn’t shoot him. I was just the walkaway.’ The shooter passes the weapon to a junior member, who walks away.
walkback (n.)

(US black) an apartment at the rear of the block.

[US]D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 17: The banter [...] went to stash in the skull’s walk-back on the topside of the rockpile on the heavy lump.
walkboy (n.) [they walk together]

(US black) a close male friend.

[US]Eble Sl. and Sociability 80: Compounding is shown by crumbsnatcher ‘baby’ and walk-boy ‘good male friend.’.
walk-by (n.) [on model of drive-by n.]

(US black gang) a shooting in which the attacker walks past the victim or their home and fires.

[US]G. Sikes 8 Ball Chicks (1998) 74: We heard a lot of shots. Suspect is in black jacket and pants, black beanie, slim physique [...] Fucker did a walk-by.
[US]C. Stella Charlie Opera 122: Drive-by, walk-by, what’s the difference?
walk-up fuck (v.)

see separate entry.

In phrases

walk... (v.)

see also under relevant n.

walk on (v.)

(US drugs) to adulterate a drug.

[US]Simon & Burns ‘Undertow’ Wire ser. 2 ep. 5 [TV script] Everything we get [...] been walked on. Each one weaker than the other.
walk (all) over (v.)

1. (also walk on) to treat someone with contempt .

[US]J. Burgoyne Heiress II ii: My Lady looks over me; my Lord walks over me; and sets me in a little tottering cane chair, at the cold corner of the table .
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 189: ‘To walk over’ another, is to domineer or assume the upper hand, swellishly; also, to set him at naught, as a racer which is so vastly superior to other cattle that none dare start, and he walks over the course.
[UK]Sherborne Mercury 16 Dec. 2/6: He should think it ‘unjust to himself’, to allow himself to be so ‘walked over’.
[US]‘Mark Twain’ Huckleberry Finn 219: In the North he lets anybody walk over him that wants to, and goes home and prays for a humble spirit to bear it.
[US]W.C. Gore Student Sl. in Cohen (1997) 15: walk all over one To censure severely; to ridicule; to reprimand.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 26 May 31/1: The speakers were mostly spineless and vapid, but the assembled men wished to hear them, and the latter’s grinning apathy as the larrikin patriots walked all over them was shockingly sheep-like.
[US]P. Kyne Cappy Ricks 171: ‘Door Mat,’ he replied. ‘Your daddy has just walked all over me at any rate.’.
[US]J. Thompson Criminal (1993) 14: I’ll let them walk all over me.
[US]Baker et al. CUSS 218: Walked on Be excessively submissive to your girl friend.

2. to defeat someone comprehensively.

[US]H.B. Stowe Uncle Tom 16: St Clare wouldn’t raise his hand, if every one of them walked over him.
[UK]A. Morrison Tales of Mean Streets (1983) 91: You can walk over ’im!
[US]S.E. White Riverman 10: Are you going to let that old high-banker walk all over you?
[US]R. Chandler Long Good-Bye 68: A tough guy. Lets me come in here and walk all over him.
walk and nyam (n.) [nyam v. (1)]

(W.I.) a poor white; thus a sponger of any race.

Colonial Policy of Great Britain 178: That miserable race of beings, known in Jamaica by the opprobrious negro epithet of ‘Walk and Nyam Buchras,’ or white men who only walk and eat, afford a striking example of this truth. These abject wretches are for the most part those who were once industrious and desxcended from good families.
R.R. Madden Twelvemonth’s Residence in the West Indies I 121: The negro who attended me from an adjoining estate looked upon me as no better than a miserable ‘walk and nyam,’ for sitting so long in the house of the old brown washerwoman of Annotto Bay.
[US]M. Beckwith Jamaica Proverbs (1970) 112: Walk an’ nyam. [...] a sponger.
walked off (adj.) [the condemned person is escorted from court]

taken off to prison.

[UK]J. Manchon Le Slang.
walk in(to)

see separate entries.

walk it (v.) (also walk in) [the relative lack of effort put out]

to win easily, usu. in a sporting context.

[UK]D. Boucicault London Assurance in London Assurance and other Victorian Comedies (2001) Act III: Walked the steeple, eight miles in thirty minutes, and scarcely turned a hair.
[Aus]‘Banjo’ Paterson Shearer’s Colt 214: With beautiful effortless strides he drew away and opened up a gap of half a dozen lengths and the roar went up ‘the favourite walks in.’.
[Aus]Headley ‘Values’ in Mann Coast to Coast 59: He reached down and patted one of the dogs. ’E oughter walk it in.
[UK]T. Driberg Best of Both Worlds (diary) 14 Oct. (1953) 80: You’re all right, boy you’re all right —you’ll walk it.
[UK]C. Lee diary 6 Mar. in Eight Bells & Top Masts (2001) 75: [He] started to test me. I walked it. Friggin’ hell, he says.
[Ire]H. Leonard A Life (1981) Act II: drumm: Presumably the horse won. kearns: Dezzie, it walked it. Fifty quid put into me fist.
[UK]R. Hewitt White Talk Black Talk 147: B: Who d’you reckon’ll win the cup? [...] A: Sir Coxsone could walk it.
[UK]Observer Rev 2 Apr. 5: You don’t stand a chance of winning – Buena Vista Social Club’s gonna walk it.
walk like she can’t mash ants (v.) [note SE phr. butter wouldn’t melt in their mouth]

(W.I.) used of a woman who poses as an innocent, but lives a less restrained life.

H.D. Campbell Woman’s Tongue 38: Them walk like them can’t mash ants, but I bet you everyone of them is as sinful as Satan.
[WI]Allsopp Dict. Carib. Eng. Usage.
E. Slade Tithe of Blood 28: That innocent little gal who used to walk like she can’t mash ants?
Kon-shens ‘Bad Girl’ [lyrics] If you cyan mash ants mi nuh like you.
walk of shame (n.)

1. (orig. US campus) a woman’s public appearance after spending the night with a new lover.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Nov.
[US]Harvard Crimson 19 Mar. [Internet] And at 5 a.m. on a Sunday morning, there’s nothing better than a friendly face to welcome you back home as you take your ‘walk of shame’ past the BD [i.e. Bell’s Desk].
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Nov.

2. of a man, the walk back to one’s friends, e.g. in a bar, after failing to pick up a woman.

[Ire]P. Howard Miseducation of Ross O’Carroll-Kelly (2004) 99: She turns her back to me and [...] I have to face the old walk of shame back to the table, where everyone’s been watching me.
walk on rocky socks (v.)

(US) to walk unsteadily owing to an excess of drink.

[US]Lewin & Lewin Thes. Sl. 123/2: Drunk [...] walking on rocky socks.
[UK]Daily News 1 Apr. [Internet] One such is the ‘Thesaurus of Slang’, a rather rare publication by Esther and Albert E. Lewin. [...] It is a rather large book and is very interesting and revealing. For instance, a bartender is described as a fizzical culturist, blood as people juice, death as a dirt nap, to be drunk to walk on rocky socks, gasoline as motion lotion.
walk round (v.)

1. (US) to cheat.

[US]Edinburgh Journal (US) I 302: Her husband [...] gave an account of how he had ‘walked round’ — alias cheated — another gentleman in the matter of a cord of wood [DA].
[US]T. Haliburton Sam Slick’s Wise Saws II 40: My ambassadors may not dance as elegantly as European courtiers, but they can walk round them in a treaty.

2. to defeat easily.

Westminster Gaz. 29 June 9/3: To use a colloquial expression, they ‘walked round’ Gamble and Davies .
walk someone’s log (v.)

(US campus) to hurt someone.

[US]W.C. Gore Student Sl. in Cohen (1997) 18: walk some one’s log To do personal injuries to someone.
walk the carpet (v.) [such errant servants were summoned into the carpeted parlour to be told off by the master or mistress]

to receive a reprimand, esp. of household servants.

[UK]J. Galt Entail III 278: The necessity she was often under of making [...] her servants ‘walk the carpet;’ or, in other words, submit to receive those kind of benedictions to which servants are [...] so often and so justly entitled.
walk the chalk (v.)

see separate entry.

walk the check (v.) [abbr. SE walk away from the check]

(US campus) to walk deliberately out of a restaurant without paying the bill.

[US]G. Underwood ‘Razorback Sl.’ in AS L:1/2 68: We got caught trying to walk the check at Pat O’Brian’s.
walk the dog (v.)

(US) to show off by driving or walking at speed.

[US]Noble Sissle ‘How Ya Gonna Keep ’Em Down on the Farm?’ [lyrics] The Walk the Dog and Ball the Jack that cause all the talk, / Is just a copy of the way I naturally walk.
[US](con. 1918) J.J. Niles Singing Soldiers 136: I went with a couple of frog friends o’ mine [...] And did we walk de dog? Cut my throat! Did we walk de dog!
[UK]Guardian Weekend 19 June 22: As the musicians whip through their blues-flavoured hard rock, he walks the dog.
walk the piazzas (v.) [the piazzas of Covent Garden were popular among prostitutes]

to (start) work as a prostitute.

[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 134: ‘Piazzas, to walk the’ — is the first indication of a girl’s turning loose upon the wide world; a-while ’tis all sunshine, but briars and brambles soon spring up.
walk the plank (v.) [the trad. (if mythical) punishment of Caribbean pirates]

(US) to be dismissed from a job.

[UK]J. Mair Hbk of Phrases 32: Walk the Plank. To be rid of.
[UK]Guardian Guide 22–28 Jan. 28: You sneery I-Tie Frappaccino poncebad o’shite who’s gonna walk the plank.
walk the way of a trollop (v.) [a play on the more usu. walk the way of the warrior, much loved by martial arts films etc.]

(US campus) of a woman, to signal sexual availability.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar.
[US]Eble Sl. and Sociability 93: Babes [...] who, Wayne and Garth hope, walk the way of a trollop ‘signal sexual availability.’.
walk up (against) the wall (v.) [the landlord chalks one’s running debts on the wall]

to run up credit at a public house (cf. crawl up the wall under crawl v.2 ).

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Wall, to walk, or crawl up the wall, to be scored up at a public house.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (3rd edn) n.p.: Walking up against the Wall. To run up a score, which in alehouses is commonly recorded with chalk on the walls of the bar. [Ibid.] To walk or crawl up the wall; to be scored up at a public-house.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1796].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
walk up ladder Lane and down Hemp Street (v.) [orig. naut. jargon]

to be hanged.

[US]N. Ames Mariner’s Sketches 223: Hanging, or as sailors call it, ‘taking a walk up Ladder lane and down Hemp street’.
Melville Redburn 82: When a man is hung at sea [...] they say he ‘takes a walk up Ladder Lane, and down Hemp Street’.
[UK]Burnley Exp. 8 Aug. 4/8: Other phrases now almost [...] obsolete were ‘to dance upon nothing’ [...] to walk up Ladder-lane and down Hemp-street’.
Master 161: You git on the high ropes here an’ you’ll take a walk up Ladder Lane an’ down Hemp Street.
[UK]Partridge DSUE (1984) 1305/1: C.19.
Hampton & Moore Peter In Wonderland [Internet] He’s gonna go all decky with the whippersnapper. Cork his deadlights. Cut his painter. Board him in the smoke. Coil up his cables, give him the deep six, walk him up ladder lane and down hamp [sic] street. He’s gonna kill him, you stupid lummox!