Green’s Dictionary of Slang

string (along) v.

1. in senses of persuasion [the image of dragging someone along on the end of a string].

(a) to fool, to deceive someone, esp. over a drawn-out period of time; to tease; thus stringing n.

[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang. in McLachlan (1964) 251: To banter or jest with a man by amusing him with false assurances or professions, is also termed stringing him, or getting him in tow.
[UK]W.T. Moncrieff Heart of London II i: A very soft move his coming here, considering how he’s been strung by our Nottingham merchant here.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict. 32: String, to – to impose on a person’s belief by some joke or lie.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open [as cit. 1835].
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[US]Ade Artie (1963) 21: She was so square I could n’t string her no more, so I told her who I was.
[US]J. London Road 119: The hall-men drove him mad with their stringing. His fictitious wrongs preyed upon his mind, and at last he became a dangerous and homicidal lunatic.
[UK]Sporting Times 27 June 1/5: You can’t string me with your Lemoine alchemy!
[US]H.G. van Campen ‘Our Theatrical Boarding House’ in L.A. Herald 26 Nov. 6/5: ‘An’ you stringin’ me into believin’ they [i.e. letters] must be meant for another guy named Banana?’.
[US] in F.O. Braynard World’s Greatest Ship (1972) I 176: A member of this ship’s company, has distinguished himself in the art of stringing the newspaper reporters, and it is believed that he should be awarded some sort of medal [...] It is suggested that there be engraved on the face of this medal, ‘Champion Bull Thrower’.
[UK]P. Marks Plastic Age 206: Jimmie Henley says it is n’t so bad for a sophomore, but I ’m afraid that he ’s just stringing me along, trying to encourage me.
[US]D. Hammett ‘Assistant Murderer’ in Nightmare Town (2001) 147: Maybe the lad was stringing me, maybe he wasn’t.
[US]G. Milburn ‘The Stew-Bum’ in Hobo’s Hornbook 137: Pal, I ain’t a-stringin’ you.
[US]B. Appel Brain Guy (1937) 58: And you thought you were stringing me, didn’t you, Paddy?
[UK]J. Curtis They Drive by Night 62: He looked the sort of bloke a girl could string along.
[NZ]N. Marsh Died in the Wool (1963) 132: We strung him along quite nicely.
[US]N. Algren Man with the Golden Arm 64: She would grasp his throat in exasperation after he’d strung her along awhile like that.
[Aus]D. Niland Shiralee 96: All they could do was [...] string him a line of heifer dust as long as your arm.
[US]A. Zugsmith Beat Generation 85: ‘They’re the best,’ Georgia said, stringing her companion along.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Mama Black Widow 186: She could be lying [...] to string stray guys like me along.
[UK]F. Norman Too Many Crooks Spoil the Caper 187: I wasn’t sure what game she was playing but it did cross my mind that she might be stringing the old girl along.
[UK]S. Gee Never in My Lifetime in Best Radio Plays (1984) 80: Act nice, dance a bit, string them along, you know.
[UK]K. Lette Llama Parlour 189: Meanwhile you’re stringing me along and pretending you like me.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Mag. 21 Jan. 54: A record label had been stringing me along for six months and I thought this stuff was not going to work out for me.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 287: It had been a mistake [...] but now she’d done it, she’d have to string John along.

(b) (Aus./N.Z./US) to encourage, to egg on.

[US]Ade More Fables in Sl. (1960) 174: It was a Shame to String these Jay Amateurs.
[US]J. London Road 119: I couldn’t keep the hall-men away from him, and they continued to string him worse than ever.
[US]‘Max Brand’ ‘Fixed’ in Coll. Stories (1994 ) 244: She had a kind of look for a second. Maybe she’s stringing me.
[Aus]K. Tennant Foveaux 168: [He] had a refined and alleviating line of conversation with skirts. He could always string the feminine.

2. in senses of movement.

(a) (US) to progress, to walk along.

[US]S. Robinson Hot Corn 20: Just as good dress as them opera gals had on, that went stringing along down Broadway a while ago.

(b) to accompany.

implied in string (along) with
[US]D. Hammett ‘The Big Knockover’ Story Omnibus (1966) 285: The goose in the glad rags — tail him. I’ll string behind you.
[Aus]D. Niland Big Smoke 38: She wants to string along. Not half an hour ago she come in here and says I got to take her away with me.

In phrases

string (along) with (v.) (orig. US)

1. to accompany; to associate with.

[US]H. Green Maison De Shine 217: I’ll string with you.
[US]Van Loan ‘The Last Chance’ in Old Man Curry 105: All I want is a chance to string with this fellow as long as he lasts.
[US]D. Hammett ‘$106,000 Blood Money’ Story Omnibus (1966) 324: You know what’ll happen if she learns you’re stringing along with me?
[US]M. Harris ‘Facing the Mob’ in Gangland Stories Feb. [Internet] I’m sticking [...] I string with Smooth.
[US]H. McCoy They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? in Four Novels (1983) 23: I’ll string along with James and Ruby.
[US]J. Weidman I Can Get It For You Wholesale 5: As long as you string along with me, your cafeteria days are over.
[UK]K. Howard Small Time Crooks 50: Just a dumb kid stringing along with her smart guy boss.
[UK]J. Osborne Epitaph for George Dillon Act III: You string along with me, George, I’ll see you’re all right.
[US](con. 1930s) R. Wright Lawd Today 197: ‘Yeah, but I’m looking for a steady daddy.’ ‘String along with me, Babe.’.
[US]B. Jackson Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 127: If eatin’ pussy is all I got to do, / shit, I guess I’ll string along with you.

2. to agree with.

[US]J. Lait Gangster Girl 94: String along with him. Ask him to let you in on what other marvelous deeds he’s going to put across.
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves in the Offing 63: I string along with that school of thought.

3. to support.

[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 79: I strung with the Bull Moose last election and stand like a guy with a broken leg now.
[US]C.E. Mulford Hopalong Cassidy and the Eagle’s Brood 38: ‘I vote for Cassidy.’ [...] ‘I’m stringin’ along with Dave an’ Wyatt.’.
[US]D. Runyon Runyon à la Carte 106: Many citizens are eager to string with her to hit.
[US]R. Prather Scrambled Yeggs 34: Kelly’s stringing along with us on this; nothing breaks till we say go. Turnabout, he gets some of the inside from us.
string on (v.)

(Aus./N.Z.) to deceive; in a relationship, to lead someone on; to encourage with deceitful intent.

[NZ]A. Bathgate Waitaruna 142: A barmaid in one of its hotels [...] is popularly known as ‘Goodall’s stringer’ [...] She makes herself agreeable to those who frequent the house, and so she ‘strings them on’ and induces them to spend their money there .
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery under Arms (2006) 466: Mr. Hamilton waited for about an hour, so as to be sure they weren’t stringing him on to go into the open, to be potted at.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Remailed’ in Roderick (1972) 197: Perhaps she loved neither [suitor], and was only ‘stringing them on’.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 29 July 3/1: The British Government seems inclined to ‘string on’ the Australias and other dependencies to endorse the utterly irresponsible acts [etc.].
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘“Buckolt’s Gate”’ in Roderick (1972) 444: You’re only stringing him on [...] You helped him to deceive me.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 15 Oct. 15/2: ‘Nice girl your daughter is, goin’ ’n’ marryin’ Cooper after the way she strung me on!’ Then Justin understood. Poole had been courting Annie in his own quaint way, and no one had dreamt of it, least of all Annie.
[Aus]W.H. Downing Digger Dialects 48: string on (vb.) — Deceive.
[Aus](con. WWI) A.G. Pretty Gloss. Sl. [...] in the A.I.F. 1921–1924 (rev. t/s) n.p.: string-on. Deceive.
string (someone) out (v.)

1. to keep someone in suspense.

[US]D. Goines Dopefiend (1991) 41: He wasn’t stringing Terry out for the sake of another customer.

2. to deceive someone over a period of time.

[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 139: Maybe I can string her out and get all that scratch she’s got.