1. credit; thus strike a light, to open a line of credit; get a light, to obtain credit; have one’s light put out, to have one’s credit stopped.
|Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 59: ‘To be able to get a light at a house’ is to get credit.|
|, ,||Sl. Dict. [as cit. 1859].|
|Sl. Dict. 215: Light credit, trust; ‘to get a light at a house’ is to get credit. When a man’s credit is stopped, his light is said to be put out.|
|London’s Und. 141: He was extremely anxious to pull his weight, receive a flattering encomium concerning his knowledge, and justify his beer-shifting — in short, an honest knave after his lights.|
2. in pl., the eyes [20C+ usage is usu. US black].
|Fancy 72: She knew a smart blow, from a handsome giver, / Could darken lights, and much abuse the liver.‘The Fields of Tothill’ in|
|Life in the Far West (1849) 55: From that moment he was ‘gone beaver;’ ‘he felt queer,’ he said, all over like a buffalo shot in the lights.|
|,||Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 111/2: Keep thau ‘lyghts’ open, wilt thau? an’ iv thau ‘pypes’ any bloody ‘faikin’’ at wurk ‘sling’ mi t’ ‘office’.|
|DN III:ii 144: light, n. Eye. ‘Stand back, or I’ll shoot your damn lights out.’.‘Words from Northwest Arkansas’ in|
|Dakota Co. Herald (NE) 12 Dec. 3/2: He, youse, pipe yer lights over dere!|
|Dict. of Aus. Words And Terms [Internet] LIGHTS — The eyes.|
|Pimp 119: Preson might have made it if ‘Sweet’ hadn’t turned those lights on him.|
|Glass Canoe (1982) 167: My lights failed; left, then right. I wanted to see, but the eyes refused to open.|
|Financial Times 18 Dec. 4/5: Mr Khan hands over his mobile again so another business partner can tell Mr Hines he plans to ‘come down and punch your effing lights out’.|
3. a small amount of money.
|[||Hist. of the Two Orphans IV 100: The shilling is but a light one].|
|DN II:i 45: light, n. Money put on a collection plate on Sunday.‘College Words and Phrases’ in|
|Gilt Kid 136: He nicks the steamer’s wallet in the taxi and there were ninety pounds in there, there were. [...] He didn’t give me a light of it.|
|Fings I i: No, no-one comes up ’ere no more. No, the birds ain’t earning a light, neither.|
4. (W.I.) insanity, craziness; thus have a light, to be crazy [? SE light-headed].
|Dict. Carib. Eng. Usage.|
5. (US campus) a bright, clever person.
|DN II:i 45: light, n. A very bright man.‘College Words and Phrases’ in|
6. (UK black/drugs) crack cocaine.
|‘Money & Beef’ [lyrics] Eastenders with a 4 and a half of the light.|
SE in slang uses
(UK Und.) the day; thus bene lightmans ‘good day’.
|Caveat for Common Cursetours in Viles & Furnivall (1907) 84: the lightmans the daye.|
|Groundworke of Conny-catching n.p.: Bene Lightmans to thy quarromes.|
|Lanthorne and Candle-Light Ch. 1: Or els he sweares by the Light-mans, / To put our stampes in the Harman [...] Then to the quier Ken to scowre the Cramp-ring, And then to be Tryn’d on the Chates, in the lightmans.|
|Roaring Girle V i: O I wud lib all the lightmans,/ O I wud lib all the darkmans.|
|Crabtree Lectures 191: Mort. Ile tell thee queere Cove, thou must [...] lib in the Strummel, al the darkmans, and budge a beake in the light mans.|
|Eng. Villainies (9th edn).‘Canters Dict.’|
|Eng. Rogue I 50: Lightmans, Morning or Day.|
|‘The Beggars Curse’ Canting Academy (1674) 14: Or else he boldly swears by the Lightmans.|
|Academy of Armory Ch. iii item 68c: Canting Terms used by Beggars, Vagabonds, Cheaters, Cripples and Bedlams. [...] Light-mans, the day.|
|Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Lightmans c. the Day or Day-break.|
|‘Maunder’s Praise of His Strowling Mort’ in Musa Pedestris (1896) 34: When the lightman up does call Margery prater from her nest.|
|‘Retoure My Dear Dell’ in Musa Pedestris (1896) 44: Each darkmans I pass in an old shady grove, / And live not the lightmans I toute not my love.|
|, , ,||Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].|
|Life and Adventures.|
|Scoundrel’s Dict. 16: Day, or Day-break – Lightmans.|
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Pelham III 298: Why, you would not be boosing till lightman’s in a square crib like mine, as if you were in a flash panny.|
|Modern Flash Dict. 21: Lightments – the day.|
|Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open [as cit. 1835].|
|Sun (NY) 10 July 29/4: Here is a genuine letter written in thieves’ slang, recently found by the English police [...] I met owt old men of the world tray lightmans ago.|
see separate entry.
of a thief, to produce stolen property in order to claim a reward or quash a prosecution.
|Vocab. of the Flash Lang. in McLachlan (1964) 250: light: to inform of any robbery, &c., which has been some time executed and concealed, is termed bringing the affair to light; to produce any thing to view, or to give up any stolen property for the sake of a reward, to quash a prosecution, is also called bringing it to light A thief, urging his associates to a division of any booty they have lately made, will desire them to bring the swag to light.|
insane, mentally deficient, vacant.
|Absolute Sound 4 360/1: all I had to say concerning this disc was, ‘The lights are on, but nobody’s home.’ Musically, I was ready to totally dismiss Crime of the Century as a piece of trash.|
|Campus Sl. Spring 4: out to lunch [...] synonym: The lights were on, but there was nobody home.|
|‘Swamp’ [lyrics] Lights on, nobody home.|
|How to Kiss a Crocodile 24: It was a bit like my mate, Lou Richards, on a Sunday, the lights were on but there was no one home.|
|Street Talk 2 94: He’s okay but as for her, the lights are on but nobody’s home.|
|[advert for Berocca Vitamins Apr. on London Underground] When the lights are on make sure somone’s at home.|
|OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. [Internet] mentalist n. someone considered to be a bit lacking in the brain department: i.e. ‘the lights are on but no-one’s home.’.|
|Decent Ride 77: She’s jist sittin thaire, starin oaf intae space [...] The lights ur oan but thaire’s nae cunt hame.|
|Adventures of the Honey Badger [ebook] Dopey bastard: The lights are on but there’s no one home. The engine is running but there’s no one behind the wheel.|
|[||Powers That Prey 185: His light went out without a flicker].|
|Story Omnibus (1966) 307: Everyody in town knows you bunk there, and if you go back it’s lights out for yours.‘The Big Knockover’|
|Homeboy 11: Lights out for Glorioski.|
|Adventures of the Honey Badger [ebook] VITAL AUSSIE VERNACULAR Dead: 1. Carked it 2. Kissed the concrete 3. Lights out 4. Wheels up 5. Bit the dust 6. Cashed in her chips 7. Curled up the toes 8. Pulled the pin.|
|Whistle in the Dark Act I: And I got this. (Bruise) And stars for a minute and then, well, lights out.|
|Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightdress 244: Poison went into her blood and it was, like, lights out, Baby.|
|Drawing Dead [ebook] It was a good punch, and if it had connected it would have been lights out Jacky.|
3. in fig. use, the end.
|Blood Posse 30: When those budi-bandits on Rikers Island get hold of you it’s lights.|
1. to kill, to murder; thus rarely, intransitive use, to die; see 1906 cit.
|evad.: You will not murder me? mel.: No ’tis a justice, and a noble one, To put out the light out of such base offenders.Maid’s Tragedy IV i:|
|Temple Bar xxiv 539: Hocussing is putting a chap to sleep with chloroform, and bellowing is putting his light out [F&H].|
|Proc. Old Bailey 15 Sept. 795: [I] heard the prisoner and his wife quarrelling upstairs; he said, ‘I will put your b——light out before the night is over,’ after that I heard a thumping noise—.|
|Stockton Rev. (KS) 7 Apr. 4/1: ‘He was slow on the draw’ and ‘Old Hall and his gun’ blew his light out.|
|Graphic 27 Sept. 315/2: So now, the malefactor does not murder, he ‘pops a man off’, or puts his lights out [F&H].|
|Leaves from a Prison Diary I 126: A bloke who has a private churchyard of his own outside where he buries all whose lights he puts out.|
|Truth (Sydney) 7 Apr. 6/3: [of suicide] His honour will never overwhelm him to such an extent that he will go and ‘blow his light out’.|
|Hooligan Nights 14: He had a difference with a constable, put his light out, and threw the body into a dust-cart.|
|Cattle Brands [Internet] Yes, tangled his feet in some vines in a sunken treetop, and the poor fellow’s light went out.‘The Double Trail’|
|Bucky O’Connor (1910) 25: I didn’t know he was on the train. Lucky for him I didn’t or mebbe I’d a-put his light out for good and all.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 31 Oct. 44/2: Sam Whittaker, who recently blew his light out with a gun in Westralia, scored heavily as a descriptive writer at the time of the great mining disaster at Creswick.|
|Over the Top 222: You won’t get another chance to disgrace us. They’ll put your lights out in the mornin’.|
|Gangster Girl 187: If the Statue of Liberty had keeled over and her light gone out.|
|Und. Speaks n.p.: Put his lights out, to kill.|
|Sudden Takes the Trail 223: I’m stayin’ near you an’ at the first sign o’ crooked work, out goes yore light. Sabe?|
|Vision Splendid 94: Well, if I can beat the liver and lights out of you first I’ll swing happy.|
|Mama Black Widow 166: I’m gonna’ put her light out.|
|Family Arsenal 195: I thought you were going to put his lights out.|
|Animal Factory 107: He had to get off the yard or my partners would turn his lights out.|
|Fields of Fire (1980) 21: She leaned forward in anticipation. ‘So you punched his lights out.’.|
|Airtight Willie and Me 138: Pa cancelled his hatred when he shot out Binnie’s lights.|
|Nam (1982) 139: You knew he wasn’t going to live [...] It would have been better to just put his lights out.|
|Alice in La-La Land (1999) 190: I came back to kill the sonofabitch that punched out our mother’s lights.|
|(con. 1949) Big Blowdown (1999) 152: You gotta figure this guy that turned out their lights has something against fat hookers.|
|Brooklyn Noir 311: Clip. Whack. Pop. Burn. All the great terms Americans have for putting your lights out.‘Fade To . . . Brooklyn’ in|
|Old Scores [ebook] ‘You don’t run from scum like that, Frank. You invite ’em in for a friendly cuppa, say “sugar”, and blow their fucken lights out’.|
2. to knock unconscious.
|Manchester Courier 30 Sept. 6/5: Chorlton threatened to ‘put her light out for carrying on so’. He did not say what ‘carrying on’ meant, but witness thought he meant his wife getting drunk.|
|Savage London 52: Blast yer! I’ll put your light out! I’ll break your pretty neck.|
|World of Graft 28: I nearly had my ‘light’ put out on one of my night expeditions in the city.|
|Fact’ry ’Ands 234: Silly Dodd’s light was put out with er junk iv er castin’.|
|Sun. Times (Perth) Aug. 1st sect. 1/1: He awakens the neighbors at 5 a.m. agitating the punching ball [and] the aforesaid neighbors are offering a reward for the pug who blows his light out.|
|(con. 1940s) Borstal Boy 267: I’ll put your bloody lights out.|
|Ringolevio 271: The last thing he saw before a blackjack put out his lights [etc.].|
|Stark Raving Elvis 64: Anybody else comes up here and I’m gonna punch their fuckin’ lights out!|
|White Shoes 6: The boy friend got wind, and came round to punch Warren’s lights out.|
|N.O. Beat 251: You say one word about my daughter and I punch your lights out.|
|Curvy Lovebox 180: I could punch his lights out.|
|PS, I Scored the Bridesmaids 92: I get this urge to basically punch the focker’s lights out.|
|Pulp Ink [ebook] He gets into an arguiment with a business colleague. I watch as he punches the guy’s lights out.‘Threshold Woman’ in|
(UK Und.) to inform, to betray a comrade to the police.
|Wild Boys of London I 46/1: I believe he’d rather have his tongue cut out than put the light on.* [...] (* Betray a comrade).|
see under strike v.