Green’s Dictionary of Slang

jaw v.1

[jaw n.]

1. to talk, to argue.

[UK]R. Steele Tatler 26: I never Jaw above the First Act of a Play.
[UK]Smollett Roderick Random (1979) 141: They jawed together fore and aft a good spell.
[UK]Smollett Sir Launcelot Greaves II 9: An once we fall a-jawing, d’ye see, I can heave out as much bilge-water as another.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 73: Whilst thus the noisy varlets chat, / And jaw about they know not what.
[UK] ‘Diary of a Sporting Etonian’ in Sporting Mag. Dec. XV 111/1: Dame, jawed – spewed in her face.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Sept. XXII 324/1: [He] replied, ‘He was ready to jaw him dead!’.
[UK] ‘L.A.W — LAW!’ in London Songster 10: While the counsel loudly jaw, J,A,W — Jaw / Is a very great thing in the Law.
[UK] ‘Chapter of Cheats’ in Holloway & Black (1979) II 301: The first is the Lawyer to bother and jaw.
[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker I 167: Don’t stand starin and jawin there all night.
[UK]R. Barham ‘The Dead Drummer’ in Ingoldsby Legends (1842) 200: One of us two has good reason for fear – / You to jaw about drummers, with nobody near us!
[UK]Mrs. Cuddle’s Bed-Room Lectures (10–15) 6: Jawing away all night she keeps [...] She will at him jaw and roar and ball.
R.H. Newell Orpheus C. Kerr I 75: Some kind friend would take the job of [...] finding my beloved wife in subjects to jaw about.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 97/2: I [...] said no more, for I knew he would ‘jaw’ for a week if I answered back.
[US]B. Harte Luck of Roaring Camp (1873) 15: There they was, just as free and sociable as anything you please, a jawin’ at each other just like two cherry-bums.
[UK]Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday 8 May 7/2: [title] One day we was drinkin’ and jawin’ / Round Haggarty’s bar.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (1922) 273: Dash it, man, what’s the use of us wasting time jawing here?
[US]E. Townsend Chimmie Fadden Explains 81: His Whiskers and Mr. Burton and Mr. Paul used t’ jaw and jaw so much bout politics.
[US]Ade More Fables in Sl. (1960) 138: They Jawed back and forth and finally made a Bet.
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper 16 Mar. 376: Gibbering, ‘jawing,’ and interchanging their opinions for all the world.
[UK]Murray, Leigh & LeBrunn [perf. Marie Lloyd] Sleep! Sleep! [lyrics] It’s no good me a-jawing, the bounder’s always snoring.
[UK]C. Holme Lonely Plough (1931) 119: It’s no use my jawing; he won’t take anything from me.
[UK]P. Macgill Amateur Army 38: Grease the paper along as quick as you know ’ow, and keep the picket jorin’ till I’m safe.
[US]C. McKay Home to Harlem 166: Quit jawing with me, nigger waiter, or I’ll jab this heah ice-pick in you’ mouf.
[US]J. Weidman I Can Get It For You Wholesale 219: Twenty girls were jammed into the small space, dressing, undressing, smoking, and [...] jawing away at each other.
[US]R.L. Bellem ‘Feature Snatch!’ Dan Turner - Hollywood Detective Feb. [Internet] He and the cop went into a questions-and-answers act with the harried nephew [...] left them jawing there.
[US]R. Prather Always Leave ’Em Dying 77: The rear of the stage where I’d jawed with the Guardians.
[US]Batman No. 251 3: C’mon ... Let’s jaw while I work out!
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 395: He’d just jaw at me like I some kind of dog you talk to.
[US](con. 1964–8) J. Ellroy Cold Six Thousand 439: Let’s jaw first. We discuss the nigger problem, and I show you my correspondence file from the Missouri State Pen.
[US](con. 1990s) in J. Miller One of the Guys 113: ‘We go to the park and play basketball, come back here and sit, just chill all day jawing’.

2. to address censoriously or abusively, to scold or lecture.

[UK]Sporting Mag. XXXVI. 262: He was then very abusive and noisy; he kept jawing us .
[UK]‘Bill Truck’ Man o’ War’s Man (1843) 322: We have no meeting at present for hearing you and Turner jaw one another.
[UK]Marryat Peter Simple (1911) 66: I Have been jawed for letting you go.
[UK]Carlisle Patriot 8 Feb. 4/1: They jaw‘d us so cruel, / And fixed us to gruel.
[US]‘Jonathan Slick’ High Life in N.Y. I 215: If you and marm want to jaw any body, haul our Sam over the coals.
[UK]A. Mayhew Paved with Gold 283: I never saw such a woman [...] Jawed at me for half an hour, and then asked me to read a cussed ‘fakement’.
[US]‘Artemus Ward’ Artemus Ward, His Book 115: Otheller jaws him a spell & then cuts a small hole in his stummick with his sword.
[UK]G.R. Sims Dagonet Ballads 36: Let them as jawed so save him; why, it was death to go!
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 14 Feb. 9/1: So, while Beatrix is jawing the robber chieftain into an early grave, her mercurial school-fellow, Manola, is turning Brasiero’s head with love, and doubling Miguel up with jealousy.
[UK]Dundee Courier 28 Apr. 3/6: A decently-dressed working man [...] stepped into the witness-box and said to the magistrate, ‘ I want to summons my wife [...] she is always jawing me.’ (Laughter).
[US]E. Townsend Chimmie Fadden Explains 37: Miss Fannie said it was me what was de wicked mug, and den I near had a fit wid de Duchess jawin so.
[UK]Derby Dly Teleg. 6 Apr. 3/6: She was always jawing me and her mother jawed me too. She was always chipping me about being out of work.
[US]H. Green Maison De Shine 205: He was goin’ to git another before he beat it home, ’cause you’d jaw the life outa him anyway.
[UK]‘Ian Hay’ Lighter Side of School Life 53: He didn’t jaw me, but said I could take an hour off school and go and telegraph home.
[UK]D.L. Sayers Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1977) 181: The old man called him up and started jawing him about his conduct.
[US]S. King Stand (1990) 175: You still jawing this poor boy?
[US]T. Jones Pugilist at Rest 79: He came over to the corner and started jawing at me.

3. (US) to yell.

[US]‘Mark Twain’ Life on the Mississippi (1914) 26: Whooping and jawing like Injuns.

4. to tell, e.g., a lie.

[UK] ‘My Sally’ in Baumann (1902) cxix: Else yer couldn’t jaw me sech fibs!

In derivatives

jawer (n.)

1. an empty chatterer.

[UK]R.S. Surtees Mr Sponge’s Sporting Tour 152: ‘I know a man who’s rayther s—s—s—sweet on the b—b—br—brown,’ observed Jack. [...] ’Is he a buyer or just a jawer?’.

2. (Aus.) one who nags.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 4 Aug. 16/1: ‘Fancy not knowing that,’ hissed the informing husband between his clenched teeth. ‘It means a nagger, a jawer, a, a, what you are.’.

In compounds

jaw-ass (v.) [-ass sfx]

(US) to talk at length.

[US]B. Garfield Last Bridge 43: You do have shovels down there, don’t you, Lieutenant? Then God damn it, quit jaw-assing over this telephone and get your balls in gear [HDAS].
jaw-tackle (n.)

(US) the mouth, the tongue, as used in talking; also attrib.

Life on Board a Man-of-War 107: Belay that jaw tackle of yours, or else it may get you into a confounded scrape.
J. Scott Recollections of a Naval Life I 269: Clap a stopper upon your jaw tackle, and give me my money.
[US]Knickerbocker Aug. 166: ‘Clap a stopper on your jaw-tackle, youngster,’ says he.
[UK]Jack Ashore 90: Poll, keep your distance just now, or stand clear;-—belay with your jaw tackle. Come, sit on my knee, Susan. Not a word, Poll.
[US]‘Ned Buntline’ Mysteries and Miseries of N.Y. IV 95: We’ll have to clap a stopper on her jaw-tackle, or she’ll blow the gaff!
[US](con. 1843) Melville White-Jacket (1990) 239: ‘Clap a stopper on your jaw-tackle, will you?’ cried Ringbolt, the sailor on the other side of him. ‘You’ll be getting us all into darbies.’.
‘Oliver Optic’ Brave Old Salt 207: The cordial indorsement of the admiral was enough to silence all opposition, and to ‘put a stopper on the jaw-tackle of all croakers’.
[UK]S. Watson How They Met – Wops and his Wife 2/1: Jaw-tackle Jemmy [...] was the ship’s barber, used long words, had a smattering of languages.
[UK]Southern Reporter 9 Nov. 4/4: Salute him, buillies, He’s the charley-pitcher for to handle this butter-box [...] Let Swallow man the jaw-tackle, boys.
G. Moore Coming Of Gabrielle 54: You pay out your jaw- tackle all right, young fellow, and them fine names come mighty easy off your tongue,.
[US]Boy’s Life Mar. 6/3: Jo slacks off his jaw tackle and calls ’em all the dirty names he ever learnt.

In phrases