Green’s Dictionary of Slang

slab n.

1. a milestone.

[UK] ‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[UK]H. Baumann Londinismen (2nd edn).

2. a tough(-looking) person or creature [SAusE slab, ‘a coarse, axe-hewn plank, two or three inches in thickness’ (OED)].

[UK]Crim.-Con. Gaz. 8 Dec. 128/2: A knifey long slab cut and run sort of cove.
[UK]Sam Sly 6 Jan. 3/2: He advises the ‘Long Slab’ who works at Ader——s's Coach Factory, B——w, to discharge his reckoning.
[US]‘Mark Twain’ Screamers (1875) 146: He hired a wooden-headed old slab to play the piano for him.
[UK]Sporting Times 2 Aug. 1/3: Only noticable [at the races] a gardenia worn by a disoyal slab.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 12 July 13/3: ‘Do you know who that tall slab is?’ asked the swearer of the potman. ‘Know him, I should think I did; he’s the Bishop of Sydney.’ ‘Run after him, my boy, and tell him I’m sorry for swearing, and if he’ll come back I’ll stand a bottle of port.’.
[Aus]Stephens & O’Brien Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 143: SLAB: Aust. a tall spare person, a tall slab of a fellow.
[Aus]B. Espinasse ‘Dunno‘ in Bulletin Reciter n.p.: ’Member Jim? Long, lanky slab.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 27 Jan. 4/7: Take five-per-cent from a citizen short / And a slab who raps the roof.
[UK]B. Cronin Timber Wolves 326: Me run away? Why, you tea-swilling slab, I don’t run from nobody.
[Aus]K.S. Prichard Coonardoo 285: He had that long slab of prospector from the Bluff with him.
[NZ](con. 1930s) H. Anderson Men of the Milford Road 197: What a fish! It was a rainbow and it was a ‘slab’.

3. a sandwich or bread.

[UK]Kipling ‘Slaves of the Lamp Pt I’ Complete Stalky & Co. (1987) 70: ‘Well, that’s pretty average cool,’ said Abanazar behind a slab of cream and jam.
[US]G. Henderson Keys to Crookdom 417: Slab. Slice of bread.
[UK]F. Jennings Tramping with Tramps 147: Rasher and fingers, a slab and a pint of thick!
[Aus] ABC Radio in S.J. Baker Aus. Lang. 83: For the uninitiated it may be explained that torpedoes and time bombs are pasties and pies; hot islands are hot potatoes in gravy; and splinters in fat with slabs and grease, are potato chips with bread and butter.
[US] in ‘Jiver’s Bible’ in D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive.
[Aus]N. Keesing Lily on the Dustbin 121: Australian sandwiches, if made of thick bread, are ‘doorsteps’ or ‘slabs’.

4. (US Und.) a shop display tray.

[US]Number 1500 Life In Sing Sing 259: Hoisting a slab of stones. Stealing a tray of diamonds.

5. (US) a restaurant.

[US]‘Lord Ballyrot in Slangland’ in Tacoma Times (WA) 8 Jan. 4/4: You ain’t the only starvin’ maniac in the slab what needs my gentle aid.

6. (US) a stretcher, an undertaker’s table.

[US]G. Henderson Keys to Crookdom 417: Slab. [...] Undertaker’s table.
[US]‘Toney Betts’ Across the Board 219: Captain Grogan had asked The Champ to leave the grounds and got a blunt answer, ‘You’ll have to take me out on a slab.’.
[US]C. Loken Come Monday Morning 120: His hands crossed over his belly like he was already on the slab.

7. (US) a small town.

[US]T. Thursday ‘Wild Whampoo of the Whampolo’ Blue Ribbon Sports Dec. [Internet] The blow-off came in a slab named Winford City, Arizona. [...] We are booked to play this slab for three days, see.
[US]T. Thursday ‘There’s Hicks In All Trades’ All Sports Feb. [Internet] I get a very welcome letter from my Uncle Ebenezer Merrifellow, up in a slab named Yipp Center, N.Y.

8. (US black) a bed.

[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS 484/2: slab [...] a bed. Early jive use c.1935.
[US]D. Lypchuk ‘A dirty little story’ in eye mag. 8 July [Internet] Of course, she had no idea that his shag slab was such a buttonhole factory.

9. (US) a highway.

[US]R.P. Warren Flood 227: We’ll give you a ninety-mile-an-hour ride out on the state slab to cool you off.

10. (US black) $1.

[US]R. Klein Jailhouse Jargon and Street Sl. [unpub. ms.].

11. in drug uses.

(a) weak or impure crack cocaine [? SE (mortuary) slab, i.e. it is ‘dead’].

[US]T. Williams Crackhouse 151: slab overly adulterated crack.

(b) a large piece of crack cocaine, the approximate dimensions of a piece of chewing gum.

Tampa Trib. (FL) 29 June 40/1: The suspect had his stomach pumped after he told police he had swallowed several ‘slabs’ of cocaine. [...] Q ‘slab’ is about the size of a half-dollar and weighs about five grams.
[US]UGK ‘Pocket Full of Stones’ [lyrics] Fiends used to smoke twenties, now they smokin slabs.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 19: Slab — A large piece of crack cocaine the size of a stick of chewing gum.
[US]UGK ‘Life Is 2009’ [lyrics] I bought me a slab and now I’m a pop trunker.
Young Jeezy ‘Quarter Block’ [lyrics] Started with the rocks in a slab / Then I moved up on the Ave.

12. (Aus.) a case of 24 bottles or tins of beer.

[Aus]Canberra Times (ACT) 30 Apr. 14/2: Allegations have been made to me that the Young Libs [...] took away slabs of Fosters from the non-members bar.
[Aus]B. Moore Lex. of Cadet Lang. 347: slab a carton of two dozen cans of beer.
[Aus]P. Temple Black Tide (2012) [ebook] Two slabs of Vic Bitter buys off the whole field.
[UK]Indep. Traveller 27 Nov. 12: Five refer to beer: coldie, quickie, slab, stubbie and tinnie.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Mystery Bay Blues 18: How much did you get out of her bag, Les? Enough for a slab of piss?
[NZ] D. McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.
[Aus] L. Redhead ‘Grassed’ in Crime Factory: Hard Labour [ebook] Kyle spent all of the next morning shopping [...] wine and slabs of beer.

13. (US black) an automobile.

[US]UGK ‘That’s Why I Carry’ [lyrics] Shit I seen a slab get stripped / The discs seats and sound gone.
Jadakiss ‘What You Ride For?’ [lyrics] We call ‘em slabs, in New York they call ‘em whips, nigga.
Big K.R.I.T. ‘Rotation’ [lyrics] The wheels on the slab go round and round.

14. (UK black) a block of flats.

[UK]A. Wheatle Crongton Knights 6: ‘Tell them to remove their grimy, money-sucking asses from our slab!’.

In compounds

slab-dabber (n.)

see separate entry.

slab-sides (n.)

(US) a large, stupid person; thus slab-sided adj.

[US] ‘The Blacksmith of the Mountain Pass’ in Burke Polly Peablossom’s Wedding 83: How are you old slab-sides? [...] Your name is Stubbleworth, and you are the hypocrite the Methodists have sent here.
[UK]Worcester Jrnl 23 Sept. 4/1: A gentleman [...] observed in a seat before him a lean slab-sided Yankee.
[UK]Globe (London) 30 Sept. 1/3: Only the half-developed Yankee who is ‘slab-sided’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 19 June 3/2: A weak-kneed, slab-sided, undergrown, off-shoot of humanity with a strong admixture of idiocy and cunning marked on his frontispiece has of late been exercising the knowing ones of Brisbane.
[US]Dly Astorian (OR) 18 Oct. 2/1: You mean, big-jawed, slab-sided, knock-kneed [...] pup.
[US]J. Harrison ‘Negro English’ in Anglia VII 274: To be slab-sided = to be awkward.
[US]Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA) 31 May 6/3: This was a tall awkward fellow we called ‘Slabsides’.
[US]G. Davis Recoll. Sea-Wanderer 98: An opportunity to square yards with [...] 'that slab-sided, lantern-jawed sneak of a Huntington'.
[UK]‘R. Andom’ Martha and I 85: He is a big, square, slab-sided, energetic individual.
[Aus]W.A. Sun. Times (Perth) 25 Aug. 1/1: The slab-sided snob was avenging the Press comments on his unfitness for the W.A.T.C. secretaryship.
[US]East Oregonian (Pendleton, OR) 23 Aug. 3/5: ‘Slabsides’ Kalem. A story of a good-hearted Indian.
[US]Times (Shreveport, LA) 29 Oct. 39/3: Them bow-legged, slab-sided, pie-face society chromos.
[UK](con. WW1) P. MacDonald Patrol 22: ‘You sawn-off, chirpy, slab-sided dumble!’.

In phrases

put on a slab (v.)

(US prison) to fight in private to settle a score.

[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 91: Take It in the Blind Refers to inmates settling an argument or fight out of view of prison guards. […] (Archaic: put on a slab).
whip the slab (v.)

to sell crack cocaine.

[US]UGK ‘Life Is 2009’ [lyrics] While I’m livin my life, don’t fuck with me / (Life is...) too short, whippin the slab.