Green’s Dictionary of Slang

salt n.3

[SE salt]

1. money [generic use of salt as a necessity of life, as is money].

[UK] ‘Hurrah! For the Life of a Soldier’ in Songs for the Army 25: A fig for the man who would fag all the day [...] Earning his ‘salt’ in a hum-drumming way.
[UK]M. Williams Leaves of a Life 8: All the money that was taken, under the short and peculiar name of ‘salt,’ passed into his pockets.
[US]Bluefield Daily Tel. (WV) 11 Mar. 4/2: In addition [...] the following [names for money] are given: [...] Salt.

2. (US black/W.I.) trouble, annoyance, difficulties [the image of oversalting one’s food].

[US]C. Major Juba to Jive.
[WI]Francis-Jackson Official Dancehall Dict. 46: Salt ill fortune; spate of hard luck; time when nothing seems to go right: u. t’ings well salt.

3. (drugs) heroin.

[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972).
[US]S.N. Pradhan Drug Abuse.
[US](con. 1967) Bunch & Cole Reckoning for Kings (1989) 21: I’d palmed some salts. He [...] shook his head, and right under his nose I took a honk. Two seconds, and I was a clear-eyed Clarabelle.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 18: Salt — Heroin.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

salt bomb (n.)

(US black) personal vilification.

[US]Ebonics Primer at [Internet] salt bomb Definition: a person that plotted on ya ass badly and fucked up yo rep. Example: Man whole ever drop that salt bomb on me tell my bitch that I was cheatin on her is gonna get a foot in they ass.
salt-box (n.) [? its dimension; the salt tears shed within it]

1. the condemned cell at Newgate prison.

[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang.
[UK]London Mag. I, 29: Leaving the stone-jug after a miserable residence in the salt-boxes, to be topp’d in front of the debtor’s door [F&H].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[UK]J. Greenwood Seven Curses of London 89: The condemned cell – the salt box.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[Aus]D.V. Lucas Aus. and Homeward 335: Some of their slang may be interesting [...] the condemned cell, the salt-box.
[UK]R.T. Hopkins Life and Death at the Old Bailey 64: The following crook’s words and phrases date from the days of the old Old Bailey: [...] the condemned cell – salt-box.

2. (UK Und.) an outside flap-pocket of a coat or jacket.

[UK]H. Smith Gale Middleton 1 149: I prigged this here fogle out of his saltbox.
salt creek (n.) [var. on up shit(’s) creek under shit creek n.]

(US Und.) execution in the electric chair; often in phr. up salt creek.

[US]J. Sullivan ‘Criminal Sl.’ in Amer. Law Rev. LII (1918) 891: ‘Salt Creek’ means death in the electric chair.
[US]G. Henderson Keys to Crookdom 416: Salt creek. Jail. Up salt creek – to the electric chair.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 184/1: Salt creek, up. [...] in prison; awaiting execution.
salt eel (n.)

a rope’s end, as used for flogging.

[UK]J. Mabbe (trans.) Life of Guzman Pt II Bk III 342: A good Ropes end, (which your Sea-faring men call a salt Eele) gaue euery one of them fifty sound blows.
[UK]Mercurius Fumigosus 20 11–18 Oct. 176: The doating old Car-man, for his offence, is to be imprisoned 9 days in a Water-tankard; and afterwards to be devoured with fresh Herrings and Salt Eles.
[UK]Pepys Diary 24 Apr. (1876) II. 188: Up betimes, and with my salt eele went down in the parler and there got my boy and did beat him.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Salt-cel [sic] a Rope’s end used to Drub the Boies and Sailors on baord [sic] of Ship.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Salt eel; a rope’s end.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
salt horse (n.)

salt beef.

[UK]Marryat Mr Midshipman Easy III 11: Why you stay in Midshipman berth eat hard biscuit, salt pig, salt horse?
[UK]F.D. Bennett Whaling Voy. I. 189: note, A return [...] to the ‘salt horse’, which no one is more ready to abuse than an old sailor [OED].
[US](con. 1843) Melville White-Jacket (1990) 60: The business of dining became a bore, and digestion was seriously impaired by the unamiable discourse we had over our salt horse.
[US] in R.G. Carter Four Brothers in Blue (1978) 24 Oct. 146: Pepper [...] makes our salt horse very palatable.
C.M. Scammon Marine Mammals 123: That substantial fare called ‘salt-horse’ and ‘hard-tack’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 14 Feb. 7/4: After the race, the Press was hospitably entertained by the gallant captain upon very old ‘salt horse,’ and very new rum.
[US]G. Davis Recoll. Sea-Wanderer 289: There are other terms in common use in the cabin and cook's galley [...] Beef is generally salt-horse, at least in my day what appeared in the fo'castle, had earned its dignity after several long voyages at sea.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 11 Feb. 4/6: Our War Department could supply each yeoman with at least a ‘salt-horse’ sandwich and a pint of ‘wallop’.
[US]H.H. Lewis A Gunner Aboard the ‘Yankee’ 42: Jack gets ‘salt-horse,’ rice, and hard-tack.
[US]C. M’Govern By Bolo and Krag 25: The dusty stuff that was [...] interfering with our proper digesting of the toothsome salthorse slum.
[UK]‘Taffrail’ Sub 115: ‘Salt horse’ was the name given by old-time seamen to their salt beef in casks.
[US] in W.C. Fields By Himself (1974) 340: I’m an Epicurean, gourmet and sybarite when it comes to salt-horse and beans.
[Aus]R.S. Close Love me Sailor 144: In the pan he saw his share of salt horse hash.
[UK]S. Hugill Shanties from the Seven Seas 595: Salt Horse. Salted beef.
salt water (n.)

see separate entry.

In phrases

give someone a salt eel for supper (v.)

to flog someone.

[UK]Congreve Love for Love III vii: An’ he comes near me, may hap I may giv’n a salt eel for’s supper for all that.
[UK]Smollett Peregrine Pickle in Works (1835) 165: If so be as how you have a mind to give him a salt eel for his supper.
[Ire]K. O’Hara Midas I v: He, with kicks o’ th’ crupper, Will make Pol dance – He’ll gi’n salt eel to’s supper.
row someone up salt creek (v.)

(US) to cause somene trouble.

[US]Ripley Transcript (MS) 30 Nov. 2/4: Take notice, all ye [...] Corn crackers, Yankees, Flat Heads [...] Land Pirates or what not, that if anyone has squatted on my improvements [...] I will row you up salt creek.
salt and pepper

see separate entries.

suck salt (v.)

(W.I.) to suffer hardship.

[WI]H. De Lisser Jane’s Career (1971) 4: If y’u don’t have a job, or somebody to help y’u, you may suck salt through a wooden spoon!
want salt (v.) [SE salt, that which enhances flavour]

(US) to be a weakling, to be lacking strength of character.

Bad Boy’s Diary in Ware (1909) 258/2: Oh, thunder, you want salt on you. A super is an adjunct to the stage.