Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bang adv.

[SE bang, meaning a sudden action or shock]

1. absolutely, directly, exactly, e.g. bang in the middle, bang up to date.

[UK]‘A Blow-Out Among The Blowen’ in Secret Songster 17: The nasty old whore / Squatted down on her a--- and s--t bang on the floor.
[UK] ‘The Periwinkle’ in Cuckold’s Nest 7: And down fell his breeches, right bang before her, / And showed all his Wickey icky, &c.
True Flash (NY) 4 Dec. n.p.: [N]apping it in return bang on the mug.
[UK]Mrs. Cuddle’s Bed-Room Lectures (10–15) 6: As soon as he got in the door, / Bang she would send him on the floor.
[UK]Bucks Herald 26 Nov. 3/3: In the terrible fog of last week, Viscount Williams [...] ran bang up against a pump.
[US]Night Side of N.Y. 80: I work now [...] at a Broadway saloon bang up on the square, and no private boxes.
[UK]J. Greenwood Wilds of London (1881) 94: She shoved me right bang into a dish of fried Dutch plaice.
[UK] ‘’Arry on Ochre’ in Punch 15 Oct. 169/1: If you ’aven’t the ha’pence you’re nothink; bang out of it, slap up a tree.
[UK]Bird o’ Freedom 15 Jan. 1/4: The other day the Jerker waltzed bang into the arms of his tame tailer.
[UK]J. Conrad Lord Jim 101: ‘As good as a gold-mine,’ he would exclaim. ‘Right bang in the middle of the Walpole Reefs.’.
[US]D. St John Memoirs of Madge Buford 106: ‘You’ll make fun of us, will you?’ said Ralph, and he bang groped me.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 3 Sept. 36/1: Bill Jones said there was a slashing little girl at the Royal in Lawlers who would come out [...] But we told them both that we weren’t taking any second-hand girls from Lawlers, and Murphy would have to get something bang up-to-date from below.
[UK]Sporting Times 1 Apr. 11/2: The other tried to queer his pitch by sitting bang opposite. [Ibid.] 15 Apr. 2/4: Daddy Mills slipped in his right and then his left, bang on the kisser!
[UK]Sheffield Eve. Teleg. 22 July 2/6: Bang Up to Date! A Reliable guide to Poultry Keeping for Pleasure or Profit.
[UK]W. Pett Ridge Madame Prince 52: Wish I could go straight bang into literary work.
[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘The Vision’ in Chisholm (1951) 115: An’ then the one with sunlit hair comes right bang up to me.
[UK]Western Times 20 Nov. 2/4: A steam roller was allowed to go bang up against a wall [...] and down it went.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 44: Mind you don’t get one bang on the ear.
[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘The Knight’s Return’ in Chisholm (1951) 87: If you can’t look ’er fair bang in the eye / An’ feel you’ve earned that trust frum first to last, / You’re ‘eadin’ downward fast.
[Scot]Aberdeen Jrnl 29 Oct. 6/3: Food production to-day brings you bang up against political economies.
[US]C.W. Willemse A Cop Remembers 284: That was a good arrest, Officer [...] Got him dead bang with the goods.
[UK]J. Maclaren-Ross ‘The Dark Diceman’ in Bitten by the Tarantula (2005) 205: Trégi stepped bang in his path.
[UK]Yorks. Eve. Post 19 May 1/1: The point at which we do get concerned is if members get bang up against the Government.
[UK]F. Norman Bang To Rights 22: Don’t have nothing to do with that c . . . other wise you’ll wind up bang in trouble.
[US]M. Braly Felony Tank (1962) 49: For God’s sake, they got you dead bang with the money in your pocket.
[UK]G.F. Newman You Flash Bastard 23: ‘Does it put you in trouble ?’ ‘Depends [...] Could put me bang in trouble. You know what a slippery bastard he is.’.
[UK]P. Theroux London Embassy 49: Bang on Prince of Wales Drive.
[UK]M. Amis London Fields 228: Isn’t it amazing, the way he always gets you bang on the nipple?
[UK]Guardian G2 25 Aug. 4: ‘Porn,’ she giggles to Malcolm, bang on cue.
[UK]K. Sampson Killing Pool 97: Billy, you’re bang out of order freelancing like it like this.

2. very, extremely.

[UK] in D. Campbell That Was Business, This Is Personal 23: My probation officer was a nice geezer [...] I was bang lucky to get him.
[UK]K. Sampson Awaydays 10: They’re bang up for this one. If you think it’s going to be a doddle, you can fucken think again.
[UK]K. Sampson Outlaws (ms.) 64: She’s so fucking bang up for it that she looks like she’ll pass out.
[Ire]P. Howard Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightdress 88: You’re like Grant Mitchell’s phone – bang out of awder.
[UK]Eve. Standard 13 Apr. 32/1: Morally she’s bang out of order.
R. Rideal on Twitter 20 Nov. 🌐 This is bang out of order.

In compounds

bang off (adv.)


[UK]A. Smith Medical Student 92: I twisted its neck bang off.
[UK]G. Meredith Evan Harrington I 35: I drank a pint of ale bang off.
[US]E. Hemingway letter 12 Dec. in Baker Sel. Letters (1981) 106: I’ve found it fatal to delay letters. And I want to write to you bang off.
[UK]J. Maclaren-Ross ‘Welsh Rabbit of Soap’ in Nine Men of Soho 7: She said bang off: ‘I don’t like what you write.’.
bang on (adj.) [orig. RAF jargon bang on the target]

exactly right, extremely apposite, excellent; often as excl.

[UK]G. Gibson Enemy Coast Ahead (1955) 245: At the same time your air-speed’s got to be bang on.
[UK]A. Buckeridge Jennings Goes To School 56: Bang-on! I can see how to ... Oh, blow!
[UK]K. Amis letter 16 Oct. in Leader (2000) 485: Thought your Encounter report was bang-on.
[UK]I. Fleming For Your Eyes Only (1962) 34: Time for a haircut soon, I’d say, but the uniform’s bang on.
[Aus](con. 1941) R. Beilby Gunner 174: They’ve got to get out of aircraft range by daylight and that means oh two hundred hours – bang on!
[UK]Indep. Rev. 17 Mar. 14: I think they were trying to slag us off, but again, absolutely bang on.
[SA]IOL News 9 Nov. 🌐 AKA is bang-on for his place in the sun [...] he has made it to the final nominee list of Metro FM Music Awards.
[US]Village Voice 9 Apr. 🌐 I read [the artiocle] yesterday and though to myself, ‘bang on!’.
[US]S. Hart Once Upon a Prime 41: In statistics, a data point can be higher than the mean, lower than the mean, or bang-on average.
bang up (adv.)

see separate entry.

In phrases

bang to rights (adv.) (also banged to rights) [SE to rights, fairly, according to the law]

1. (orig. US) caught in the act, caught red-handed, esp. in Und. use.

[US]Number 1500 Life In Sing Sing 255: Bang to Rights. Caught in the act.
[UK]Birmingham Mail 3 Nov. 5/: When charged at the lock-up the accused said ‘Why didn’t you catch me “bang to rights”’ a Cockney expression, explained Mr. Hill, which signified why didn’t they catch her with stolen property in her possession.
[US]G. Henderson Keys to Crookdom 397: Bang to rights (or ‘dead to rights’). Caught with stolen property.
[UK]Sunderland Echo 17 Aug. 4/1: [headline] Bad Man Language in Dictionary / ‘Bang to Rights’ Nearly Respectable.
[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks 29/2: Dead bang and [sic] rights, unmistakable evidence against the arrested prisoner.
[UK]V. Davis Phenomena in Crime 88: The Yard Dope Squad caught Eddie ‘bang to rights’.
[US]A. Hynd We Are the Public Enemies 124: Hoover’s organization has always made it a point not to nail people until they have them bang to rights.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 22/2: Banged to rights. Caught red-handed. ‘The bulls (police) had me banged to rights, heeled (armed) and swagged up (laden with stolen goods).’.
[UK]F. Norman Bang To Rights 57: A screw would creep round the landings and try and catch some one bang to rights.
[UK]R. Hauser Homosexual Society 164: Illicit love is rarely hunted out by the officers; they act only when the participants are discovered ‘bang-to-rights’.
[UK]G.F. Newman Sir, You Bastard 7: A blatant denial [...] was standard when caught bang to rights.
[UK]J. McClure Spike Island (1981) 359: If you start playin’ away with a bird — and you’re dealing with a big-time villain — forget it. He’s got you bang to rights.
[Ire]J. Healy Streets Above Us (1991) 89: Oh, yes. They’re at it, all right. But you’ve got to catch them bang to rights.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Rev. 21 Feb. 6: She had me bang to rights.
D. Shaw ‘Dead Beard’ at 🌐 Anyway, Dionne has decided by now that I’ve got her bang to rights and she’s trying to work out the next move.
[Scot]L. McIlvanney All the Colours 261: [T]he universal who-me shrug of the bang-to-rights busted.
[UK]K. Sampson Killing Pool 9: We’ve got the sooty bang to rights.
[Scot]I. Welsh Dead Man’s Trousers [15]: [H]e rumbles you rifling one of his Roger Moores in the sauna. Bang to rights.
[Ire]Breen & Conlon Hitmen 255: He had been caught so bang to rights.

2. in weak use of sense 1, correctly, unarguably.

[Scot]T. Black Gutted 230: ‘Ah, ex-wife, not good.’ ‘you got that bang to rights’.
bang up against (adv.)

see separate entry.

go bang (v.)

(Aus.) to lose one’s temper.

[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 2 Oct. 5/1: S S went bang because his name was in Sport.