Green’s Dictionary of Slang

block n.1

1. [mid-16C–18C] a fool, an idiot.

2. [17C+] the head; 20C+ use mainly in knock someone’s block off

3. in drug packaging.

(a) [1930s–40s] (US drugs) a cube of morphine.

(b) [1970s+] (drugs) compressed hashish or marijuana.

(c) a kilo of cocaine; thus quarter-block, a quarter kilo (9 oz).

In derivatives

blockish (adj.)

[late 16C–mid-19C] stupid; thus blockishness n., stupidity.

In compounds

blockbuster (n.)

see separate entry.

blockhead (n.)

see separate entry.

In phrases

do one’s block (v.) (also do one’s block in, do the block) [20C+] (Aus.)

1. to fall in love; to become obsessed with.

2. to lose emotional control, to lose one’s temper.

3. to go mad, to become irrational.

keep one’s block (v.) [antonym of lose one’s block ] [20C+] (Aus.)

to remain calm, to keep one’s head.

knock someone’s block off (v.) (also beat someone’s block off, blow…, punch…, wallop...)

[20C+] to injure someone physically; usu. in the form of a threat, I’ll knock….

lose one’s block (v.) [20C+] (Aus.)

to lose emotional control, to lose one’s temper.

off one’s block (adj.) [1910s+] (orig. milit.)

1. angry.

2. insane.

use one’s block (v.)

[1980s] (N.Z.) to act sensibly.

SE in slang uses

In compounds


see separate entries.

block ornament (n.) [SE block ornament, a small piece of meat displayed on a butcher’s block]

[mid–late 19C-1910s] an eccentric-looking person.

In phrases

put the blocks to (v.) (also slip someone on the blocks)

1. [1910s+] (US) of a man, to have sexual intercourse with.

2. see also under block n.6

up on (the) blocks [automobile imagery, i.e. ‘out of action’]

[1990s+] menstruating.