Green’s Dictionary of Slang

lose v.

1. (US) to vomit; usu. in phrs. below.

[US]J.A. Hazen Five Years before the Mast 61: Part of my supper’s lost, and I’s come to lay in a fresh cargo.
[US]E. Wilson ‘Death of a Soldier’ in A Prelude (1967) 194: Jesus Christ! I loses my own lunch right in the cracked ice-pail.

2. (US) to kill.

G.A. Crofutt Tourist’s Guide 98: A ‘Gentile’ can now engage in business without fear of being ‘lost’ by a ‘danite pill.’.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl.
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 808: lost – Murdered. Anyone who has been ‘put on the spot’ or disposed of by gang justice.
[US]C. Stella Eddie’s World 175: ‘What do you wanna do?’ [...] Sharpetti lit a short thick cigar. ‘Lose him [...] And make sure he stays lost’.

3. to evade.

[W. Dampier New Voyage Round the World 190: At last Morton went aboard of Captain Eaton, and persuaded him to lose Captain Bond in the night, which Captain Eaton did, Morton continuing aboard of Captain Eaton, as finding his the better ship].
[US]F. Remington letter in Splete (1988) 10: I received your letter to day and you can’t lose me.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ It’s Up to You 63: We can hurry out some other way, get a cab, and lose them.
[US]W.R. Burnett High Sierra in Four Novels (1984) 364: It might not be a bad idea to forget all about Velma till he could lose the taxi.
[UK]F. Norman Guntz 107: I managed to lose him by pretending that I was going to go home.
[Aus]B. Humphries Barry McKenzie [comic strip] in Complete Barry McKenzie (1988) 120: Hang you lot, I’m gunna lose the bastards.
[US]T. Wolff This Boy’s Life 197: Only then did I slow down and look behind me. [...] She wasn’t there. I had lost her.

4. (orig. US) to get rid of, to dispose of.

[US]P. & T. Casey Gay-cat 25: Goin’ to keep the dorg, Kid? [...] I told yuh to lose him, didn’t I.
[US]M.C. Sharpe Chicago May (1929) 31: I generally took my suckers there to lose them.
[US]B. Schulberg Harder They Fall (1971) 168: Tell him I want to lose this Acosta bird.
[US]Mad mag. June 49: I should pledge off all this boozing [...] lose this frantic guzzling.
[US]T. Southern Blue Movie (1974) 75: For Chrissake, let’s lose that fucking crucifix!
[US]Kid ’N’ Play ‘Last Night’ 🎵 He wanted to lose her / We got in the car he began to abuse her.
[US]R. Price Clockers 16: Lose the Caddy [....] the only monied nigger left in creation to drive a big-body Cadillac.
[US]C. Hiaasen Nature Girl 192: How ’bout losin’ those hoods?

5. (US) of a CD, radio etc, to turn off.

[US]M. Myers et al. Wayne’s World [film script] Voice Off: Cut! Lose the playback!
[UK]J. Mowry Six Out Seven (1994) 149: Yo, Tam. Lose Ice-brain, huh? There some ole Bobby B in that pile somewheres.

In phrases

lose (a/one’s) dinner (v.)

(Aus./US) to vomit.

[US](con. 1969) N.L. Russell Suicide Charlie 90: That Pepsi was tasting mighty good when I was struck by an irresistible urge to regurgitate. I made it out of the pit and off into the bushes before I lost dinner.
Sara & Michael Johnson Voyages of Pelican Oct. log 🌐 Billy had put on his anti-nausea patch too late and spent the evening hanging his head over the side of the boat, losing his dinner.
lose a meal (v.)

(Aus.) a genteel euph., to vomit.

[Aus]Eve. Jrnl (Adelaide) 18 Mar. 2/1: The whole voyage was so pleasant that a lady passenger was heard to exclaim she had never lost a meal, the sea was so beautifully calm.
[Aus]Sth Aus. Advertiser (Adelaide) 13 July 3/7: I have crossed the Atlantic without losing a meal, either by loss of appetite or surrender of food actually taken.
[Aus]Indep. (Footscray, Vic.) 4 Apr. 2/7: There was enough motion to keep a good many below, but as far as I was concerned I had not lost a meal, and already felt better.
[Aus]Capricornian (Rockhampton, Qld) 5 May 38/2: There is an enormous amount of men sick [...] but your humble servant has never lost a meal.
[Aus]Maldon News (Vic.) 4 July 2/7: With a lot of others he had been sick but had not lost a meal.
Queensland Times (Ipswich) 20 Feb. 6/4: Lovely weather and very calm sea — so calm that I have not lost a meal yet. Am beginning to think that I am a good sailor.
Aus. Christian Commonwealth (SA) 4 oct. 6/2: A good number of the passengers were sick, but with a continuous application of Coueism, I held out, and [...] never missed or lost a meal.
[Aus]Western Mail (Perth) 13 May 40/2: Crossing the Tasman Sea we ran into a storm and I consequently lost a meal.
[Aus]Baker Popular Dict. Aus. Sl. 44: Lose a meal, to vomit up food.
lose one’s doughnuts [var. on blow doughnuts under blow v.1 ]

(US campus) to vomit.

Ritch Christopher Whence Cometh My Help 🌐 You’re taught at the Academy to hold your breath and blot out offensive orders such as puke, week-old shit, decayed bodies and the like. But when Ray and John walked into the cordoned-off apartment, John took one look and ran to the sink and lost his doughnuts.
lose one’s load (v.)

(Aus.) to vomit.

[Aus]J. Hibberd White with Wire Wheels (1973) 154: The man who can count the number of times he’s chundered on one hand. The man who loses his load but once a decade.
lose (one’s) lunch (v.) (also drop one’s lunch, lose one’s breakfast, park one’s lunch, shoot one’s lunch)

1. (Aus./US) to vomit (cf. blow lunch under blow v.1 ).

[US]A.C. Inman 2 Mar. diary in Aaron (1985) 297: Severe treatment [...] Cried and bawled and lost lunch and made a row generally.
[US]J.H. O’Hara Appointment in Samarra (2008) 185: I feel sick and I would like to shoot my lunch and I would like indeed to shoot my lunch but I will be damned if I want to move out of this bed.
[US]J. Blake letter 26 Dec. in Joint (1972) 111: The reaction [...] was neatly epitomized by one old lady having to be hustled up the aisle to the toilet, where I’m told she lost her lunch.
12 TAC FTR WG Song Book 20: Flak always makes me park my lunch.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 4: lose lunch – vomit.
[Aus]B. Humphries Traveller’s Tool 62: There’s nothing worse than casually dropping your lunch at a business function.
[US]‘Joe Bob Briggs’ Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In 192: Cherry Dilday [...] lost her lunch in the first half-hour, [...] ended up so trashed she forgot to take her clothes off.
[Aus](con. 1964-65) B. Thorpe Sex and Thugs and Rock ’n’ Roll 190: He pulled back the zipper [of the body bag] and my lunch hit the floor.
[US]T. Dorsey Stingray Shuffle 212: I had six cops lose their lunches back there when we found ’em [i.e. corpses].
[US]T. Dorsey Hurricane Punch 49: A lone reporter stood on the far side of the parking lot, losing his breakfast in a storm-water ditch.

2. to lose one’s temper.

[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 53: Down, boyo [...] It was a play slap, for Jesus sake. No need to lose your lunch.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

lose one’s...

see also under relevant n.

lose one’s britches (v.) (also lose one’s breeches) [var. on lose one’s shirt under shirt n.]

to lose a good deal of money, usu. through betting.

[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 8 Feb. 2/3: l am sorry to see that Mansfield, as Richard III., didn't please the Gothamites. He is said to have lost his breeches at Palmer’s [Theatre].
Minnesota Daily 24 June 🌐 I placed four sacks of gold coins in Marathon Oil only days before the government’s recent anti-trust ruling and only three weeks later I lost my britches, so to speak, in a deal.
lose one’s gender (v.)

(gay) to abandon homosexuality to become a heterosexual.

[US]G. Legman ‘Lang. of Homosexuality’ Appendix VII in Henry Sex Variants.
[US]Guild Dict. Homosexual Terms 18: gender, to lose (v.): To revert to an earlier sexual inclination.
lose one’s rudder (v.)

to be drunk and thus lose one’s sense of direction.

[US]B. Franklin ‘Drinkers Dictionary’ in Pennsylvania Gazette 6 Jan. in AS XII:2 92: They come to be well understood to signify plainly that A MAN IS DRUNK. [...] Lost his Rudder.
lose one’s stopper (v.)

to lose one’s temper.

[Aus]L. Glassop Lucky Palmer 215: Ah knoo Kavandras was going to lose his stopper.
lose one’s Tampax (v.) (also lose one’s douche bag)

(US) to become hysterical.

[US]K. Brasselle Cannibals 314: He was now a bit hysterical [...] I had to calm him before he lost his Tampax. [Ibid.] 314: He’s in a trauma; I think he lost his douche bag.
lose the match and pocket the stakes (v.) [the male is seen as the ‘winner’; the stakes are his ejaculated semen]

of a woman, to have sexual intercourse.

[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[UK]Farmer Vocabula Amatoria (1966) 143: Gage, m. The act of kind; ‘to lose the match and pocket the stakes’.
lose the number of one’s mess (v.) (also lose one’s number, settle the number of one’s mess) [naut. imagery]

1. (also get put out of mess) to die; thus keep the number of one’s mess, to avoid death.

Palmer Diary 10 Apr. n.p.: I very much fear that if they Keep us here through the Summer that the magority [sic] of us will lose the number of our mess [HDAS].
[UK]‘Bill Truck’ Man o’ War’s Man (1843) 183: He’s down, sir [...] lost his number completely [...] it was given to him slap through the head, sir.
[UK]Marryat Peter Simple (1911) 267: I have an idea that some of us will lose the number of our mess.
[UK]T. Hood ‘Confessions of a Phoenix’ Works (1862) VI 233: What, hopped the twig? – kicked the bucket? – bowled out? – gone to pot? – mizzled? – ticked off? – struck off the roster? – slipped your cable? – lost the number of your mess?
[US](con. 1843) Melville White-Jacket (1990) 342: They lose the number of their mess, and their messmates sticks their spoons in the rack; but no good – no good, old Ringrope; they ar’n’t dead yet.
[US]W.H. Thomas Goldhunters’ Adventures 17: ‘’Mericans, I suppose,’ he inquired. ‘Yes.’ ‘Then don’t go if you want to keep the number of your mess,’ the boatman said. ‘Why not?’ Fred ventured to inquire. ‘’Cos they kill Yankees at the mines. Jim.’.
[UK]Sl. Dict.
T.F.Keane Six Months in Meccah 60: Another followed, fetching me one on the skull, that would have ‘settled the number of my mess’ but for the thickness of my too attractive head-dress [F&H].
[Aus]Riverina Recorder (Moulamein, NSW) 13 Nov. 4/4: Several dogs lost the number of their mess.
[UK]J. Hargrave At Suvla Bay Ch. ix: Some of us would get ‘put out of mess,’ no doubt, but this waiting about to get killed was much worse than plunging into the thick of it.
[UK](con. WWI) Fraser & Gibbons Soldier and Sailor Words 148: Lose The Number Of One’s Mess, To: To die.
[US] (ref. to WWII) L. Cleveland Dark Laughter 115: For most World War 2 soldiers the concept of death was masked by euphemisms like [...] lost the number of his mess.

2. to lose one’s position; to fall from social or professional grace.

[US]A. Adams ‘Around the Spade Wagon’ Cattle Brands 🌐 ‘So you think I’ve lost my number, do you?’ commented Edwards.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 24 Oct. 18/2: The habit of tottering about the edge of things has become chronic with Richard Denis Meagher, M.L.A. – the solicitor who lost the number of his legal mess through the blunder he made over the Dean case very long ago.
lose the run of (v.) [Irish ná bí ag rith leat féin mar sin, lit. ‘don’t be running with yourself like that’]

1. (Aus.) to lose control of someone else.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 20 Sept. 13/1: The story was, briefly, that Ann Green had lost the run of her husband, Bill, for 14 years.

2. (Irish) to lose one’s self-control.

[Ire]Radio advert for Power City Oct. Youse are losing the run of yourselves, seems to me [BS].
[SA]Sun. Indep. (Dublin) 3 Dec. n.p.: Chairing a debate [...] he lost the run of himself entirely.

In exclamations

go and lose yourself!

(Aus.) a general excl. of dismissal or disdain.

[[Aus]Queensland Times (Ipswich, Qld) 12 Apr. 2/3: They Say [...] That the said subaltern subsequently went to head-quarters and reported that he had lost all trace of the aforesaid party. That the officer [...] replied, ‘Umph Hadn’t you better go and lose yourself, now?’].
N. Queensland Register (Townsville, Qld) 8 Dec. 49/3: Mr O'Brien: He says I can buy a newspaper. I accuse Mr Drake of being flippant. A Voice: Go and lose yourself. (Laughter).
[Aus]Eve. News (Sydney) 26 July 5/2: ‘Go And Lose Yourself.’ Lady Inspector And Butcher. An Early Closing Prosecution [...] [The] witness said one of the defendants told her to go and lose herself, also he said, ‘I wish I had a shilling for every sergeant I've thrown out of this shop’.
W. Coast Sentinel (Streaky Bay, SA) 23 May 6/3: No. 1: ‘Did you hear 'Hulloa, Hulloa, Hulloa.’ Another Voice: ‘Is that City 0000?’ No 1: ‘No, it isn’t, go and lose yourself.’ Another Voice: ‘All right—don’t do your block’.
[Aus]Advertiser (Adelaide) 7 Oct. 9/1: On one occasion she was playing while I was talking to Princess Elizabeth. ‘Oh, go and lose yourself, Margaret,’ re- marked her sister.
[Aus]Advertiser (Adelaide) 19 Feb. 7/5: Now go and lose yourself until I finish this letter.