Green’s Dictionary of Slang

squirrel n.

1. in senses pertaining to a woman.

(a) [early 17C–early 19C] a prostitute [‘like that animal she covers her back with her tail’ (Grose, 1788)].

(b) [early 18C] the vagina [the pubic ‘fur’; coined independently of sense 1a].

(c) [1910s+] a woman, usu. as a sex object [coined independently of sense 1a].

(d) [1970s] (US campus) the female pubic hair [coined independently of sense 1a].

2. [mid-19C–1930s] (US) used attrib. to describe a var. of illicitly distilled liquors [the woodland orgins].

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

(a) [1910s+] (US) an eccentric person.

(b) [1930s] a psychoanalyst.

(c) [1940s] (US) a stupid, shortsighted person.

(d) [1940s] mental illness.

(e) [1970s] (US campus) one who is slow on the uptake.

(f) [1970s+] a mentally ill person, a psychopath.

(g) [2000s] (US prison) a mentally ill prisoner.

4. [1950s] (US drugs) a careful heroin user, who always hides away some drugs for an emergency [i.e. he ‘squirrels it away’].

5. [1970s+] (drugs) a mixture of LSD and some other drug, or of cocaine, marijuana and phencyclidine [the effects are to make one squirrely adj.].

6. (US) a suspect, a criminal.

In compounds

squirrel cage (n.) (also squirrel ranch)

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

2. [1930s–40s] (US) a hospital for the criminally insane; thus an institutional mental ward.

squirrel covers (n.)

[1990s+] knickers, panties.

squirrel-dodger (n.)

[1920s] (US) an eccentric.

squirrel fodder (n.)

[1920s] (US) one who is crazy or eccentric.

squirrel food (n.)

[1910s–60s] (US) one who appeals to women.


see separate entries.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

squirrel grip (n.)

grasping the victim’s/opponent’s testicles.

squirrel-kisser (n.)

[1990s+] (US campus) an environmentalist.

squirrel-shooter (n.) (also squirrel hunter, squirrel-popper)

[1900s–40s] (US) a farmer, a rustic; thus a novice or inexperienced person.