Green’s Dictionary of Slang

moon n.

1. the moon’s circularity.

(a) [mid-18C; late 19C+] the buttocks, the anus, the rectum; thus full moon

(b) [mid–late 19C] (US) a large, round biscuit.

(c) [1910s] (US) a silver dollar.

(d) a sovereign, thus half-moon, half-a-sovereign.

(e) [1960s+] (also moonie) the purposeful exposure of the buttocks in a provocative way.

2. in senses of time, as defined by lunar passage.

(a) [early 19C+] a month’s imprisonment, or multiples thereof, e.g. nine moon.

(b) [17C+] a month.

(c) [late 19C–1930s] (US tramp) a night; thus cover with the moon v., sleep in the open air.

3. [1920s+] (US, also mooney) illicitly distilled liquor, abbr. moonshine n.

4. [1960s+] (drugs, also full moon) a piece of peyote cactus, eaten for the mescaline it contains [? its half-moon shape].

In compounds

moon pie (n.) [fig. use of pie n. (1a)]

[1970s+] (US) anal intercourse.

moon-queerer (n.)

[mid-19C] (UK Und.) a link-boy.

In phrases

full moon (n.)

[1970s+] the bared buttocks, deliberately exhibited in public.

on the moon (adj.)

[1980s] (US) secured to a punishment frame, known as a ‘horse’, with the head down and buttocks raised.

shoot a moon (v.) (also shoot moon, shoot the moon)

[1960s+] to bare one’s buttocks in public.

shoot the moon (v.)

1. [1940s] to have sexual intercourse; thus of a man, to ejaculate.

2. see shoot a moon

3. see also SE phrs. below.

In exclamations

my moon!

[late 17C+] a general excl. of disdain, dismissal, arrogant contempt.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

moon cricket (n.) [ety. unknown; ? a cricket that emerges at night will appear to be black]

[20C+] (US) a black person.

moon-curser (n.) [dial. moon-curser, a ship-wrecker. Urban moon-cursers specialized in working the area near Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London]

[late 17C–mid-19C] (UK Und.) a link-boy who either robs those for whom he provides a light, or who guides his charges towards some villainous confederates who do the job for him.

moon-eyed (adj.) [the drunkard’s seeing double, and thus two moons]

[mid-17C+] drunk.

moon-eyed hen (n.) [SE moon-eyed, squinting, orig. used of horses]

[late 18C–early 19C] ‘a squinting wench’ (Grose).

moon-face (n.)

[late 19C+] (US) an Asian person; thus moon-faced, moon-eyed, having Japanese or Asian features.

moonfeed (n.)

[1980s] (drugs) heroin.

moon-glow (n.)

[1950s] (W.I.) a light-brown complexion.

moon juice (n.) [1970s+]

1. (US drugs) cough syrup laced with amphetamine.

2. (drugs) heroin.


see separate entries.

moonman (n.)

see separate entry.

moon-raker/-raking (n.)

see separate entries.

moon rock (n.) [rock n. (4c)]

[1980s+] (drugs) a mixture of crack cocaine and heroin.


see separate entries.

moon stick (n.) [SE moon, i.e. the ‘yellow’ colour + stick n.]

[2000s] (US black) a white man’s penis.

moontan (v.)

see separate entriy.

moon time (n.)

[1930s-40s] (US black) night-time.

moontrotter (n.)

[mid-19C] a prostitute.

In phrases

go between the moon and the milkman (v.) [i.e. to leave the house at or just prior to dawn]

[late 19C] to abscond from a house or flat, taking one’s furniture and possessions, but avoiding payment of any outstanding rent, utility bills etc.

go to the moon (v.) (also go in the moon)

[1930s] (Ulster) to lose one’s temper.

over the moon (adj.) [DSUE adds a single mid-19C citation, in a private letter; OED cites earlier 19C examples of phr. jump over the moon]

[late 19C; 1930s+] extremely cheerful, delighted, esp. as a clichéd response attributed to sportspeople, particularly professional football players, when interviewed about a successful game or competition.

shoot the moon (v.) (also bolt the moon) [it is done during the night]

1. [early 19C–1950s] (also bolt the moon) to abscond from a house or flat, taking one’s furniture and possessions but avoiding payment of any outstanding rent, utility bills etc; thus moon-shooter, one who absconds with their possessions but without paying the rent.

2. [1920s–30s] (US) to take a major gamble [ext. of sense 1 above].

3. see also sl. phrs. above.