main stem n.
1. [late 19C–1930s] (US) a person of importance, the boss.
2. [late 19C+] (also big stem) the main street of a town.
3. [20C+] (US black) attrib. use of sense 2, stylish, sophisticated.
4. [1920s–30s] (US tramp) the most important street of a town in the context of tramp society and standards.
5. [1920s–50s] Broadway, New York City.
6. attrib. use of sense 5.
[1920s] to beg along a town’s main street.
[20C+] (US tramp) walking the main street of a town, begging for subsistence.