Green’s Dictionary of Slang

squirrel n.

1. in senses pertaining to a woman.

(a) a prostitute [‘like that animal she covers her back with her tail’ (Grose, 1788)].

[UK]Dekker Satiromastix IV ii: A Gentleman, or an honest Cittizen, shall not sit in your pennie-bench Theaters, with his Squirrell, by his side cracking nuttes.
[UK]Davies of Hereford Wits Bedlam 187: Of Flauias paynting; and playing the Squirell [...] she goes (like a Countess) in her Vaile; So, (Squirrell-like) she’s couer’d with her Taile.
[UK]H. Glapthorne Hollander I i: The three Squirrels in the towne.
[UK]Head Nugae Venales 85: She [a whore] was like a Squirel [...] for she covers her whole Body with her Tail.
[UK]Congreve Old Bachelor V iv: bell.: You have an opportunity now, madam, to revenge yourself upon Heartwell for affronting your squirrel. belin.: O, the filthy rude beast!
[UK]N. Ward ‘The Infallible Predictor’ in Writings (1704) 352: Many Inns of Court Squirrels will be seen walking, who cover their Backs with their Tails, and have no other Business there than to crack a penniworth of Nuts.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd, 3rd edn) n.p.: Squirrel. A prostitute: because she, like the animal, covers her back with her tail.
[UK]Banquet of Wit 22: A gentleman speaking of Nancy Parsons, the famous courtezan, who always had an abundance of fine cloaths, said she was like a squirrel, ‘for she covered her back with her tail’.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1788].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.

(b) the vagina [the pubic ‘fur’; coined independently of sense 1a].

[UK]N. Ward ‘A Walk to Islington’ in Writings (1704) 76: Another Chaste Damsel turn’d into a Lawrel, / To hinder Apollo from handling her Squirrel.
[US]R. Tyler Contrast II 2: I know how to play hunt the squirrel, but I can’t play anything with the girls; I am as good as married.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 372: squirrel. A woman or her genitals.

(c) a woman, usu. as a sex object [coined independently of sense 1a].

implied in squirrel food
[US] in Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) II 769: Chase that rabbit, chase that squirrel, / Pay that fiddler and diddle that girl.
[US]G. Underwood ‘Razorback Sl.’ in AS L:1/2 67: squirrel n [...] 2: Girl (male use).
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 372: squirrel. A woman or her genitals.
[US] ‘The Cooter Monologues’ at 20 Jan. [Internet] Squirrel. There’s this scene in Bring It On where a rival football player says, ‘While you’re out here losing, your male cheerleaders are out there stealing all your squirrel.’.

(d) (US campus) the female pubic hair [coined independently of sense 1a].

[US]G. Underwood ‘Razorback Sl.’ in AS L:1/2 67: squirrel n 1: Vulva, female pubic hair (male use).

2. (US) used attrib. to describe a var. of illicitly distilled liquors [the woodland orgins].

[US]Witchita Dly Eagle (KS) 12 Sept. 4/4: There is a new name for the whiskey [...] ‘coyote milk’ [...] It has been known as ‘pizen,’ ‘sheep-dip,’ ‘squirrel whiskey,’ ‘white mule’ and ‘groundhog juice’.
[US]J. Lait ‘Omaha Slim’ Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 112: Within him [...] raged the half-pint of squirrel whisky (it makes you climb a tree).
[UK]E. Murphy Black Candle 21: Sleeping off the results of ‘squirrel’ whiskey.
[US]C. Sandburg ‘Alice B.’ Amer. Songbag 29: You may go out some night, get filled with squirrel rum.
[US]A. Hardin ‘Volstead Eng.’ in AS VII:2 87: Terms used for intoxicating liquor: Squirrel dew.
[US] (ref. to 1870s) S. Longstreet Pedlocks (1971) 58: Joseph had bought the broncs for forty dollars and a jug of squirrel whisky (‘two toots – stranger – and you climb trees’).

3. in senses punning on nuts adj. (2)

(a) (US) an eccentric person.

[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 107: Half the world are squirrels and the other half are nuts.
[US]H.A. Smith Life in a Putty Knife Factory (1948) 46: I’ve seen some squirrels in my life, but you got ’em all beat.
[US]E. De Roo Go, Man, Go! 49: He kept thinking of the wild ride and called himself a god-damned yo-yo, a squirrel, a nut, a shot-rodder.
[US](con. 1945) G. Forbes Goodbye to Some (1963) 71: He’s a real squirrel.
[US]C. McFadden Serial 84: Safe from his total squirrel of secretary.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 372: A squirrel may be an odd person of either sex.

(b) a psychoanalyst.

[US]L.W. Merryweather ‘Argot of an Orphans’ Home’ in AS VII:6 403: squirrel, n. A psychologist or psychiatrist.

(c) (US) a stupid, shortsighted person.

[US](con. 1944) J.H. Burns Gallery (1948) 73: He couldn’t bear to hear them jabbering at him, opaque to another reality more bitter than their own. They were enmeshed in their own tyranny of fact, insensitive to the dreadfulness of their own natures and to the position in which they happened to be – squirrels of fate in a slimy North African town, having the time of their lives.

(d) mental illness.

[US]J. Archibald ‘Skip Tracer Bullets’ in Popular Detective June [Internet] We’ll lock him up an’ let a dome expert examine him for squirrels, sister.

(e) (US campus) one who is slow on the uptake.

[US]Current Sl. IV:2.

(f) a mentally ill person, a psychopath.

[US]J. Wambaugh Blue Knight 285: That cat’s a squirrel [...] A lucky looney.
[US]J. Wambaugh Glitter Dome (1982) 152: All theirs because the squirrel is suddenly transformed into a dope dealer by an ‘anonymous informant’.
[US]D. Simon Homicide (1993) 584: Squirrel No. 1 [...] brain-dead and guilty.
[US]P. Cornwell Last Precinct 251: Some squirrel playing a sick joke.

(g) (US prison) a mentally ill prisoner.

[US]Texas Lawyer [journal] Gloss. of Texas Prison Sl. 8 Feb.: Squirrel — A mentally ill inmate.

4. (US drugs) a careful heroin user, who always hides away some drugs for an emergency [i.e. he ‘squirrels it away’].

[US]W. Burroughs Naked Lunch (1968) 27: Provident junkies, known as squirrels, keep stashes against a bust.

5. (drugs) a mixture of LSD and some other drug, or of cocaine, marijuana and phencyclidine [the effects are to make one squirrely adj.].

[US]S.N. Pradhan Drug Abuse.
[US] AS LVII:4 290: When LSD is mixed with other drugs [...] [s]uch mixtures are today called [...] squirrels.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 20: Squirrel — Combination of PCP and marijuana, sprinkled with cocaine and smoked; marijuana, PCP, and crack combined and smoked; LSD.

6. (US) a suspect, a criminal.

[US]Simon & Burns ‘Old Cases’ Wire ser. 1 ep. 4 [TV script] Worked it for a couple of weeks, caught the name of two squirrels over in Curtis Bay.

In compounds

squirrel cage (n.) (also squirrel ranch)

1. (US, also squirrel pen, squirrel tank) a psychiatric institution.

[US]J. Archibald ‘Skip Tracer Bullets’ Popular Detective June [Internet] Willie [...] wondered if the pate probers shouldn’t have kept him longer in the squirrel pen.
[US]J. Archibald ‘Meat Bawl’ in Popular Detective Aug. [Internet] He tol’ me Klump was a mail-order manhunter livin’ on borrowed time from a squirrel cage.
[US]J. Wambaugh Choirboys (1976) 339: The perpetrator went nuts after the accident and is now in the squirrel tank getting his head shocked.
London Theatre Record VI:14–25 1273: If she doesn’t want to end up in the squirrel cage, she’d better stop playing nuts.
T. Szasz Lexicon of Lunacy 79: Squirrel cage Squirrel pen Squirrel ranch.

2. (US) a hospital for the criminally insane; thus an institutional mental ward.

[US]C. Himes ‘Prison Mass’ Coll. Stories (1990) 163: He caught himself muttering curses aloud. Just like the nuts in the ‘squirrel ranch’ cutting out paper dolls, he thought with self derision.
[US]‘Bill O. Lading’ You Chirped a Chinful!! n.p.: Squirrel Cage: Consultation room of army psychoanalyst.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 222: squirrel cage [...] squirrel ranch The hospital for the criminally insane.
squirrel-dodger (n.)

(US) an eccentric.

[US]T. Thursday ‘Score Another One for Barnum’ in Argosy All-Story 11 Sept. [Internet] We got answers from every squirrel-dodger in the world, including Greenwich Village, where they tell you that a pretzel is human.
squirrel fodder (n.)

(US) one who is crazy or eccentric.

[US]R. Fisher Walls Of Jericho 90: Listen, squirrel-fodder. When you git a letter in yo’ mail what somebody write y’, it’s wrote, ain’t it?
squirrel food (n.)

(US) one who appeals to women.

[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 77: (IS: Watching a movie star act for two hicks in the back room of a merry mucilage parlor) He’s squirrel food sure.
[US]S. Longstreet Flesh Peddlers (1964) 179: Egos, misfits, neurotics, fanatics, messiahs, squirrel food.

see separate entries.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

squirrel grip (n.)

grasping the victim’s/opponent’s testicles; also as v.

[Aus]Sydney Morning Herald 13 Oct. 45: ‘Hit him with yer handbag yer cream puff’ . . . ‘give him the squirrel grip’.
[Aus]P. Temple Bad Debts (2012) [ebook] Wooton tells me you put the squirrel grip on one of his commissioners.
[Aus]Sydney Morning Herald 17 Sept. [Internet] The NRL boast the game is clean of [...] testicle grabs and the incidence is certainly less than in the AFL where [...] the Christmas hold is called the squirrel grip. 15 Jan. [Internet] There was nothing cute about the squirrel grip that the first one applied to my nether regions the moment I opened the door.
Brisbane Times 28 May [Internet] Titan denies using ‘squirrel grip’ Gold Coast centre Brett Delaney yesterday angrily rejected suggestions that he deliberately grabbed Jaiman Lowe’s testicles.
[Aus]N. Cummins Tales of the Honey Badger [ebook] It was like being squirrel-gripped by Richie McCaw during a charity fun run.
squirrel-kisser (n.)

(US campus) an environmentalist.

[US]Eble Sl. and Sociability 13: Sometimes a new slang form either replaces an earlier one or provides another synonym for a notion already named in slang, like [...] squirrel kisser and tree nymph for ‘someone concerned with the environment’.
squirrel-shooter (n.) (also squirrel hunter, squirrel-popper)

(US) a farmer, a rustic; thus a novice or inexperienced person.

[US]J.W. Carr ‘Words from Northwest Arkansas’ in DN III:iii 158: squirrel-shooter, n. An uncouth rustic.
[US]J. Lait Put on the Spot 112: It’ll take more’n that bunch o’ squirrel poppers to—.
[US]Berrey & Van den Bark Amer. Thes. Sl. §391.4: backwoodsman, squirrel shooter.
[US](con. 1945) E. Thompson Tattoo (1977) 377: You know how to keep from mashing your thumb in one of these, squirrel hunter?