Green’s Dictionary of Slang

dust n.

[lit. and fig. uses of SE dust; NB ‘Sl. Terms & the Gypsy Tongue’ in Baily’s Mag. Nov. 1871 suggests origin in Rom. / Hindi duster, money]

1. money; often as down with one’s dust [? SE gold-dust, but note the religious equation of money with dirt; note Egan, Book of Sports (1832): ‘Sovereigns were golden dust, which blew about in the breath of his opinion’].

[UK]Dekker Wonderful Yeare 23: Imagine now a mighty man of dust / Stands in a doubt what servant he may trust / With plate worth thousands, jewels worth far more.
[UK]Yorkshire Tragedy I ii: Shall I want dust / And like a slave wear nothing in my pockets / But my hands, to fill them up with nails?
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Dust, money.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Dyche & Pardon New General Eng. Dict. (5th edn).
‘Dick the Dustman’ in Bullfinch 7: And so d’ye see men bustle, / To see who’s dirty first, / And one another hustle, / And all to raise the dust.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[Scot]Scots Mag. 1 July 45/2: To wit, a fine collection of bright dust; / [...] / It might be gold, or silver too, and I know / That this man lov’d both old and modern rhino.
[UK]Paul Pry 20 Sept. 178/7: When a man has no dust [...] the leeches that used to suck him daily, turned him up and left him to shift for himself.
Boston Satirist (Boston, MA) 17 Mar. n.p.: New Bedford Wants to Know [...] If that gentleman that engaged the widow to procure him a young girl of 14 did not get sucked in my handing over the dust before hand?
[UK]Taunton Courier 17 Jan. 8/2: Catawampus prices here, that’s a fact; but everybody’s got more dust than he knows what to do with.
[UK]Dickens ‘Slang’ in Household Words 24 Sept. 75/2: Money – the bare, plain, simple word itself [...] might have sufficed, yet we substitute for it – tin, rhino, blunt, rowdy, stumpy, dibbs, browns, stuff, ready, mopusses, shiners, dust [etc.].
[US] ‘Prospecting Dream’ in Lingenfelter et al. Songs of the Amer. West (1968) 93: John Chinaman he bought me out, and pungled down the dust.
[UK]E. de la Bédollière Londres et les Anglais 314/1: dust, [...] argent. Down with your dust, déposez votre argent.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 22 Nov. 15/3: The contracting parties [...] failing to find the ‘dust’ according to agreement.
[US]Lantern (New Orleans, LA) 15 Jan. 3: He sold the beer for one dollar and pocketed the dust.
[Aus]Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 26: Dust, money.
[US]A.H. Lewis Wolfville 14: Straighten up your dust [...] Don’t leave it all spraddled over the scene.
[US]Flynt & Walton Powers That Prey 87: Mrs. Minick ‘learnt’ her man the virtues of diligence and self-denial; she put the screws on; in his own colloquialism, she made him ‘hustle for the dust’.
[Can]R. Service ‘The Baldness of Chewed-Ear’ in Rhymes of a Rolling Stone 136: The boys wuz on, an’ soon chipped in the necessary dust.
[Aus]C.M. Russell Trails Plowed Under 14: I guess the dust’s ours.
[US]H. Asbury Sucker’s Progress 30: I’ll take care of the dust, if you please [from John F.B. Lillard’s Poker Stories].
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[Ire]T. Murphy Whistle in the Dark Act II: How are you fixed for dust? [...] Here’s a few quid anyway.
[US]G. Scott-Heron Vulture (1996) 10: Yeah, man [...] thass a good pile a dus’ you makin’.
[US]R. De Christoforo Grease 145: He’d slip Danny a little dust.

2. a blow.

[UK]J. Phillips Maronides (1678) V 61: Salias got up, mad as Weesel, / Dings a good dust at Nisus muzzle.

3. a fight, an argument, a disturbance; often as kick up (a) dust [the dust kicked up].

implied in kick up (a) dust
Z.M. Pike Sources of the Mississippi 203: My men [...] wished to have a little dust (as they expressed it) and were likewise fearful of treachery [DA].
[Ire]Tom and Jerry; Musical Extravaganza II iv: As prime a gay old dust as ever I came across.
[UK] ‘Poor Little Caleb The Small’ Bang-Up Songster 40: Having both agreed to this, they neither made a dust.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. (2nd edn).
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (1922) 341: The next dust we got into was all along of a Mr. Knightley.
[UK]E. Pugh Cockney At Home 69: A bit of a dust in the Gray’s Inn-road, and Billy bein’ frog’s-marched off to the station.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 288: So I saw there was going to be a bit of a dust Bob’s a queer chap when the porter’s up in him.
[US]W. Edge Main Stem 63: All about us was the bay; there were no dusts; there was no danger.

4. as powdery substances.

(a) (Aus./N.Z.) gunpowder.

Bolton Chron. 7 June 4/2: [of NZ] Every article of trading had its slang term [...] Thus pigs and potatoes were respectively represented by ‘grunters’ and ‘spuds,’ guns, powder, blankets, pipes, and tobacco, by shooting-sticks, dust, spreaders, steamers, and weed.
[Aus]Baker Popular Dict. Aus. Sl.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 71: dust Gunpowder, usage noted among whalers here by E.J. Wakefield before it was recorded elsewhere.

(b) (Aus.) flour; thus as v., to fill (a bag) with flour [note S. & O’B.: ‘Overground flour is said to be killed and known as dust [...] No doubt unscrupulous squatters were not above buying and keeping inferior flour for travellers, who gave it the nicknames of dust, and by transference it has become general for all flour’].

[Aus]Sth Bourke & Mornington Jrnl (Richmond, Vic.) 18 May 1s/2: He slops his pannikin of damper-dust, stirs things around [...] thumps it twice [...] and there you are! The cake is ready for roasting.
[UK]Traveller’s Note 12 Dec. in E.E. Morris Austral Eng. (1898) 132: A bush cook said to me to-day, we gave each sundowner a pannikin of dust.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 5 May 14/2: At Blunt’s station you get a deener (shilling) but no tucker. At Smith’s you get a pannikin of dust (flour).
[Aus]Stephens & O’Brien Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 67: DUST: a bush slang for flour.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 8 Nov. 3/2: The squatters dust his ration-bags, / Remark he’s going gray, / And ask about some station wags / Five hundred miles away.
Northern Territory & Gazette (Darwin, NT) 5 Apr. 3/4: ‘Mac.’ had to confine his scale of diet to the proverbial ‘pannikin of dust’.
[Aus]Worker (Brisbane) 2 Feb. 5/4: Jacky Dow passed a pannikin of dust to the whaler.
[Aus]Baker Popular Dict. Aus. Sl.
[Aus]Baker Aus. Lang. 82: Here are a few general terms: dust, flour.

(c) (Aus./US) tobacco.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 13 Aug. 14/2: ‘Dust,’ in the Emperor Edward’s free hotel, means the tobacco dust accumulated in the pocket. Remand prisoners, who wear their own clothes, are, on admittance, often requested to feel their pockets for ‘dust.’.
[Aus]J. Furphy Such is Life 93: Smokin’s about the on’y pleasure a man’s got in this world; an’ I jist used up the dust out o’ my pockets this mornin’; so this’ll go high.
[US]H. Simon ‘Prison Dict.’ in AS VIII:3 (1933) 26/2: DUST. Smoking tobacco, particularly the brand rationed to prisoners.
[US]D. Clemmer Prison Community (1940) 331/2: dust, n. [...] 2. Tobacco.
[US]Weseen Dict. Amer. Sl. 11: [Crooks and Criminals] Dust – Smoking tobacco.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 64/1: Dust, n. [...] 2. (P) Fine tobacco for hand-rolled cigarettes.
[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS.
[US]M. Braly On the Yard (2002) 47: There were two types available — a fine powdery rolling tobacco, called ‘dust’— and a pipe cut.
[US]C. Shafer ‘Catheads [...] and Cho-Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy Bounty of Texas (1990) 203: dust, n. – a cheap cigarette tobacco given free to prisoners.
[US]T.R. Houser Central Sl. 20: dust Tobacco.

(d) (US Navy) salt.

[US]Lima (OH) News 5 June 6/3: Bread is ‘punk,’ sugar is ‘sand,’ salt is ‘sea dust.’.

5. in drug uses [all these drugs (except marijuana) come in powdered form].

(a) (also Jesus dust) heroin.

[US]New Republic VI 22 Apr. 314–6: Once the habit is acquired, the addict will not try to work without ‘dope.’ He will, as he expresses it, ‘do almost anything to get the “dust”’.
[US]Berrey & Van den Bark Amer. Thes. Sl.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Anslinger & Tompkins Traffic In Narcotics 308: dust. [...] heroin.
[US]H. Gold Man Who Was Not With It (1965) 23: Whose white dust on my lips? Fever’s! Mr. Fever’s dust!
[US]H. Ellison Web of the City (1983) 176: Like all I want is some dust.
[US]G. Scott-Heron Vulture (1996) 10: yeah man! zinari iz aw ri’; no trubble at all. less you try in mess wit’ his dus’.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Airtight Willie and Me 100: She stared down at the heroin [...] ‘Beautiful, you all right? That’s a nice dust score.’.
[US]Simon & Burns Corner (1998) 19: All the while hoping she won’t see the dust in his eyes.
[UK]G. Iles Turning Angel 395: ‘Don’t fight it,’ urges Cyrus [...] ‘What . . .?’ ‘Jesus Dust,’ says Cyrus. [Ibid.] 401: And don’t even think about not taking the dust.

(b) cocaine; thus dusted adj.

[US]D. Clemmer Prison Community (1940) 331/2: dust, n. 1. Cocaine.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Anslinger & Tompkins Traffic In Narcotics 308: dust. [...] cocaine.
[US]L. Kramer Faggots 293: Dust was a hundred and fifty dollars a gram by the rock.
[US]Grandmaster & Mellie Mel ‘White Lines’ 🎵 Dust, flake or rock?
[US]T. Dorsey Florida Roadkill 33: Nigel with his Chivas and dusted upper lip.
1011 ‘Next Up?’ 🎵 4 and a half, got bags of ball [i.e crack cocaine] and dust, man slap it in 10s.

(c) morphine.

[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Anslinger & Tompkins Traffic In Narcotics 308: dust. [...] morphine.

(d) marijuana; also attrib.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 64/1: Dust, n. 1. Marijuana.
[US]Anslinger & Tompkins Traffic In Narcotics 308: dust. Marihuana.
[UK]A. Burgess ‘Rosetalk’ in Oz 6 22: dustbowl: A pipe used for smoking marijuana.

(e) phencyclidine; also attrib.

[US]L. Kramer Faggots 144: His supplies of dust and dope were running low.
[US]J. Wambaugh Glitter Dome (1982) 132: The carpeted lobby was littered with fallen rainbows, dexies, bennies [...] even some dust.
[UK]J. Mowry Six Out Seven (1994) 391: Dis look like dust, man. Some ole dude gimme dat shit one time an it fuck me up for a week!
[US](con. 1986) G. Pelecanos Sweet Forever 11: His dust days were over, though; he’d lost too many amigos to that stuff.
[US]T.I. ‘Doin My Job’ 🎵 But in the mean time were forced to slang dust / ’Dro or crack cocaine, Penicillin to Rogaine / Ecstacy, Viagra, whatever’ll get the dough mayne.
[US]J. Díaz This Is How You Lose Her 10: I must have been smoking dust, because I thought we were fine.

(f) marijuana mixed with phencyclidine, cocaine or any other powdered drug.

[US]ONDCP Street Terms 8: Dust — Marijuana mixed with various chemicals; cocaine; heroin; PCP.

(g) (N.Z. prison) amphetamine.

[NZ]D. Looser Boobslang [U. Canterbury D.Phil. thesis] 63/1: dust n. = speed sense 1.

In compounds

dust-hole (n.)

(UK milit.) the guard-room.

[UK]‘Army Slang’ in Regiment 11 Apr. 31/1: The guard-room (prisoners’ room) is [...] the ‘net,’ ‘trap,’ ‘clink,’ ‘dust-hole,’ ‘cage,’ ‘digger,’ ‘dog’s-home, ’ ‘marble-arch’.

In compounds

dustbag (n.)

(US) a wallet.

[US]C.L. Cullen Tales of the Ex-Tanks 234: You come to [...] and find that you’ve got your front and your dustbag practically unimpaired.
dust bunny (n.)

(US drugs) a user of phencyclidine.

[US]‘Jennifer Blowdryer’ Modern English 79: dust bunny (n): Someone who is a walking (?) testimony to the effects of angel dust.
[US]G. Pelecanos Right As Rain 50: He claimed the dust bunny had attacked him.
dusthead (n.) [-head sfx (4)]

a phencyclidine user or addict.

[UK]Daily News 24 Feb. 29: ‘Dust heads,’ as users are called, say that $3 for a marijuana cigaret laced with the hallucinogenic-like drug is a pretty cheap high.
dust-whopper (n.) [SE dust + whop v. (1)]

a carpet-beater.

[UK]J. Wight Mornings in Bow St. 184: Mr. Daniel Butcher, ‘a jolly young waterman,’ was charged with assaulting Mr. Robert Wingrove, a carpet beater — commonly called ‘Bob Wingrove, the dust-whopper’ .

In phrases

douse one’s dust (v.)

to pay a debt.

[UK]Navy at Home II 196: My good Soundings, [...] you must I fear, douse your dust without more ado.
[UK]Navy at Home II 224: Weazel had long since dowsed his dust, that is to say, paid scot and lot.
down with one’s dust (v.) (also down with the dust)

to lay down one’s money, esp. as imper.

[UK]Fuller Church Hist. of Britain Bk VI 299: My Lord, (quoth the King) presently deposit your hundred pounds in gold, or else no going hence all the daies of your life. [...] The Abbot down with his dust, and glad he escaped so, returned to Reading.
J. Eachard Observations n.p.: If they did intend to trade with Christ, they must down with the dust instantly [...] [F&H].
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: [...] down with your Dust, deposit your Money, pay your Reckoning.
[Scot]A. Ramsay Tea-table Misc. (1733) IV 373: Love without money Will vanish like smoke [...] Down with your dust, A portion there must; Poor girls wou’d be glad To jump at a crust, Cou’d ye get it.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[Ire]J. O’Keeffe Fontainebleau in Dramatic Works (1798) II 244: Come, your debts of honor fifty pounds here down with your dust.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]‘T.B. Jr’ Pettyfogger Dramatized I iii: So down with the dust — or I declare war!
[UK]R. Anderson ‘Burgh Races’ Cumberland Ballads (1805) 96: Done! come, down wi’ the dust!
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]W.T. Moncrieff Tom and Jerry I iv: It’s every thing now o’days – to be able to flash the screens – sport the rhino – shew the needful – post the pony – nap the rent – stump the pewter – tip the brads – and down with the dust.
[US]National Advocate (N.Y.) 17 Apr. 2/5: [Ash men] should always down with the dust before they get the ashes.
[UK] ‘The Soho Bazaar’ in C. Hindley James Catnach (1878) 194: Bazaars never trust — so down with your dust.
[UK] ‘The Devil and Johnny Dixon’ in Bentley’s Misc. Mar. 257: ‘Come, down with the dust!’ and he pulled from his breast-pocket a parcel of notes.
[UK]Egan ‘The Bould Yeoman’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 137: Down with the dust, and save your life, / Your consent will end our strife.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 23 Oct. 2/3: He, Solomon, to ‘down with the dust’ and the barber to ‘stump up’ afterwards.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Young Tom Hall (1926) 111: They always want me to come down with the dust [...] and, by Jove! I can’t — I’ve nothing to give.
[US]J.H. Green Reformed Gambler 128: ‘Down with your dust,’ said Mc–, ‘before the dealer turns trump.’ ‘Patch-coat’ drew from his pocket the money, and placed it on the table.
[US]‘Artemus Ward’ Artemus Ward, His Book 107: I objectid to payin, but they sed ef I didn’t down with the dust thay’d wipe my Show from the face of the earth!
[UK]Broad Arrow Jack 8: ‘Done with you – quick! I hear the Ogre. Down with the dust.’ The money was put down upon the table.
[US]H.A. Stuart in Bird o’ Freedom (Sydney) 7 Mar. 6/2: ‘I’ll snake yer put, I said, / Plank down yer dust’.
[US]Record-Union (Sacramento, CA) 7 Dec. 6/5: Now my beloved brethren, you hear the terms of this loan [...] down with your dist!
[US]Wenatchee Dly World (WA) 24 Nov. 3/3: Then down with your dust; / In frolics dispose your pounds, shillings and pence.
[US]Dly Capital Jrnl (Salem, OR) 27 Mar. 1/2: He that giveth unto the poor, lendeth unto the Lord, and all you who like the security come down with your dust.
Jesus dust (n.)

see sense 6a above.

kick up (a) dust (v.) (also raise a dust)

to cause a commotion; to perform in an energetic manner (see cite 1838).

[UK]A. Murphy Gray’s-Inn Journal No. 50 n.p.: Mr. Buck [...] will [...] then adjourn to kick up a Dust [OED].
[UK]H. Brooke Fool of Quality (1860) 110: Our lay and ecclesiastical champions for arbitrary power [...] have raised such a dust.
[UK]G. Colman Oxonian in Town I ii: Ten to one but there’s a riot – we’ll kick up a dust, I warrant you.
[UK]G. Stevens ‘Love and Wine’s Partnership’ in Songs Comic and Satyrical 144: The Patron of Vines saw ’twou’d go for the Wench, / Unless that a Dust he cou’d kick up.
[UK]Morris et al. ‘Pat-Riot’ in Festival of Anacreon (1810) 32: To kick up a dust, by my soul, I delight in.
[Ire] ‘Larry’s Stiff’ Luke Caffrey’s Gost 6: As de Pole-lice was coming among us; / Dey taught for to kick up a dust.
[UK] ‘The Tight Little Island’ in Jovial Songster 54: He kick’d up a dust in the island.
[UK]D. Humphreys Yankey in England 49: Let’s try now to tune my pipes and kick up a dust, to git my foot in.
[US]N.-Y. Eve. Post 5 Aug. 2/2: Some unruly butcher’s boys intruded themselves into the ball-room, and raised such a dust, that it became necessary for the Police-officers to interfere, to preserve the peace.
[UK] ‘West-Country Bumpkin’s Description’ Universal Songster I 230: I wo’n’t be such a vool / As to kick up a dust.
[US]Commercial Advertiser (N.Y.) 11 Jan. 2/3: Thirty or forty men [...] brawling and quarrelling among themselves, smashing the chairs, glasses, decanters and bottles — in plain English, kicking up a dust.
[US]S. Smith Major Downing (1834) 119: That, or something else has kicked up a monstrous dust amongst other folks.
[UK]Crim.-Con. Gaz. 17 Nov. 99/3: Ned Gomersall [...] being asked by his companions in the theatre whether he could not contrive to ‘kick up a dust’ [etc].
[UK]R. Barham ‘The Lord of Thoulouse’ in Ingoldsby Legends (1847) 203: Don’t be cross when you come home at night to your spouse, / Nor be noisy, nor kick up a dust in the house!
[Ire] ‘Donnybrook Jig’ Dublin Comic Songster 260: He went to the fair, / And kicked up a dust there, / In dancing the Donnybrook jig.
[US]Bartlett Dict. Americanisms.
[UK]F.E. Smedley Frank Fairlegh (1878) 75: March, having come in like a lion, appeared determined [...] and to kick up a thorough dust ere he would condescend to go out like a lamb.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 35: ‘To raise a dust,’ to make a row.
[UK]R. Nicholson Rogue’s Progress (1966) 95: You used to kick up a dust about that d--d pawnbroker.
[UK]C. Reade Hard Cash I 287: Goramighty he reared all white men to kick up a dust.
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 12 Apr. 5/3: She said she’d got one side flap left / An’ kicked up a dist again.
[Aus]‘Miles Franklin’ My Brilliant Career 163: Bad-tempered is a tame name for it. You should have seen the dust he raised the other day with old Benson.
[UK]Sporting Times 11 Feb. 4/1: They are kicking up an awful dust about the education of the young.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 19 Dec. 18/1: O lor, ’e’s a savage! ’E’ll plunder an’ ravage / An’ knock lor-an’-order sky-high. / Ho, ’e kicks up a dust when ’e goes for the Trust, / While the people ejaculate ‘My!’.
[UK]Marvel 10 Apr. 4: There’s a party of tramps just come in, boss, and they’re kicking up a dust!
[NZ]I. Hamilton Till Human Voices Wake Us 26: [Y]ou landed in the boob and kicked up a dust about conditions.
[US]B. Jackson Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 56: You ought to seen the Negroes kickin’ up dust.
[UK]M. Anthony Midnight Come 173: Not unless, of course, our friend the wing commander had started kicking up dust about Jonathan carrying on with his daughter.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

dust-cutter (n.)

(US) a drink, esp. as a ‘pick-me-up’ or ‘reviver’.

[US]C. King ‘Cut-Off Copple’s’ in Atlantic Monthly Nov. 574: Many went to the bar and partook of a ‘dust-cutter’.
[US]W.M. Raine Wyoming (1908) 84: Have a dust-cutter, Mac, before she grows warm.
(con. 1919) Howard Hickson’s Histories 🌐 Out here in the wild and wooly West where bug juice, corn, dust cutter, and fire water were everyday words, alcohol sellers went underground. You could still get forty rod, gut warmer, and scamper juice, it just took a little more time and lot more money.
Nebraska State Hist. Society newsletter July–Aug. 🌐 You didn’t dare get stalled in one of downtown Lincoln’s many night spots and expect to solve all the clues, though a goodly number of the participants did indulge in a dust cutter before getting back on trail.
dustman (n.)

see separate entries.

In phrases

bite the dust (v.) [popularized as US ‘Wild West’ cliché]

1. to die.

[UK]Smollett (trans.) Adventures of Gil Blas I 188: We made two of them bite the dust.
[UK]A. Pasquin Shrove Tuesday 28: My brother [...] Was struck upon the pegs and bit the dust.
[UK]B.H. Malkin (trans.) Adventures of Gil Blas (1822) I 241: Two of his people we made to bite the dust, and the other two ran away.
[UK]C.M. Westmacott Eng. Spy I 217: Marr’s mighty pines have bit the dust.
[UK]Dorset Co. Chron. 7 Sept. 2/1: Here whiggery bites the dust! / I rave in vain — Let the sky fall and chaos come again.
[UK]R. Barham ‘The Black Mousquetaire’ in Ingoldsby Legends (1842) 8: After making some scores of his foes ‘bite the dust’.
[Ire]Cork Examiner 19 Sept. 4: Grim death is stalking about among us [...] 800 have been swept off by cholera, and still upwards of sixty a day bite the dust.
F.B. Wilkie Davenport Past and Present 43: Willow Island, where-upon the shot gun hero bit the dust.
[US]M.D. Landon Eli Perkins 111: Half a dozen of Pinkerton’s men had ‘bit the dust’ hunting him down.
[Ind]H. Hartigan Stray Leaves (2nd ser.) 250: Another grand soldier, Cure- ton, also bit the dust in this engagement.
[US]Golden Gate Gazette (S.F.) 26 Oct. 1: So far as we know, only one Indian — the medicine man — has bitten the dust.
[US]C.F. Lummis letter 10 Jan. in Byrkit Letters from the Southwest (1989) 251: He had made 37 of their number bite the dust.
[UK]Regiment 2 May 4/3: Blow for blow and thrust for thrust: / For every Englishman that died / A dozen Frenchmen bit the dust.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 23 June 14/3: He said, ‘My blade shall never rust,’ / But down he went and bit the dust.
Deseret Eve, News (UT) 20 Nov. n.p.: It is said of him that his deadly aim caused many a warrior to bite the dust.
[UK]Sheffield Eve. Teleg. 25 Oct. 2/1: If he should fall, then he’ll bite the dust.
[UK]Cornishman 5 Nov. 7/4: To give grim battle and thrust for thrust [...] We batter the beast till he bites the dust.
[US]Wood & Goddard Dict. Amer. Sl.
[US]‘F. Bonnamy’ Death on a Dude Ranch (1953) 163: Anybody bite the dust while I was away, Mr. Shane?
[US]J. O’Connor Come Day – Go Day (1984) 56: So poor old Buck Jones has bit the dust.
[UK]Willans & Searle Complete Molesworth (1985) 29: He then go ah-ah-ah-ah-ah with machine guns and sixteen chickens and skool dog bite the dust.
[UK]Manchester Guardian Weekly 17 Oct. 19: The drop-outs have copped out, the redskins have bitten the dust, the way-outs have faced the nitty-gritty (truth).
[US]R. De Christoforo Grease 172: You’ll never know who’ll bite the dust or live to tell about it.
[US]S. King It (1987) 84: Someone died. He ain’t married but every man’s got a fambly, and someone in his just bit the dust.
[US]E. Bunker Mr Blue 363: Someone gave a very terse eulogy: ‘Another tough motherfucker bites the dust’.
[US]Charlotte (NC) Observer 2 Apr. 🌐 [heading] Make household filth bite the dust.
[Aus]N. Cummins Adventures of the Honey Badger [ebook] VITAL AUSSIE VERNACULAR Dead: 1. Carked it 2. Kissed the concrete 3. Lights out 4. Wheels up 5. Bit the dust 6. Cashed in her chips 7. Curled up the toes 8. Pulled the pin.

2. to fall over.

[US]J.C. Neal Charcoal Sketches (1865) 101: Berry Huckel can never bite the dust. He cannot fall on his nose – that glorious privilege has been denied to men of his periphery.
[UK]H.C. Pennell Puck on Pegasus 111: And long they sparr’d and counter’d / Till Heenan sped a thrust [...] And for the second time that day / The Champion bit the dust.
[UK]M.E. Kennard Girl in the Brown Habit II 57: I too bit the dust.
[[NZ]N.Z. Truth 16 Jan. 6/4: Kearney [...] gave Peter a Johnsonian hook on the boko, and Peter [...] bit the grass].
[Aus](con. WWI) L. Mann Flesh in Armour 240: Johnny had bitten the dust and his false teeth had fallen out.
[US]in B. Dempski et al. Dalko 31: Steve [...] reportedly has had batsmen biting the dust fairly regularly to avoid his erratic tosses in practice games.

3. (Aus./US, also chew dust, lick the dust) to be defeated or prevailed over [note Psalm LXXII: ‘They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust’].

[US]Lantern (N.O.) 5 Mar. 3: Rube claims to be a tout, and gets around the greenies saying he has a sinch but if he ain’t careful, he’ll bite the dust.
[US]Kansas Agitator (Garnett, KS) 1 Dec. 5: The New York panic [...] is now making proud financial houses that have stood the storms for decades lick the dust.
[US]C.F. Lummis A New Mexico David 70: In the wrestling matches, which were part of the sport, Pablo made all comers bite the dust.
[US]J.A. Riis Battle with the Slum 110: Negro, Italian, and Jew, biting the dust with many a bruised head under the Hibernian’s stalwart fist, resistlessly drive him before them nevertheless.
[US]Minneapolis Jrnl (MN) 12 Nov. 36/3: His enemies shall lick the dist.
[Aus]R.H. Knyvett ‘Over There’ with the Australians 73: And some polite merchants were sorely puzzled when the effect of their well-chosen words and bow was an unintentional biting of the dust.
[Aus](con. WWI) A.G. Pretty Gloss. of Sl. [...] in the A.I.F. 1921–1924 (rev. t/s) n.p.: bite the dust. (1) Suffer humiliation.
[US]Wood & Goddard Dict. Amer. Sl. 30: lick the dust. To be defeated.
[US]Dly News (NY) 6 May 52/1: Kilcullen was not the only New York entry to bite the dust.
[UK]Tamworth Herald 20 Nov. 2/1: Coventry City ‘A’ Bite the Dust. Tamworth ‘Come Back’ with Smashing Win.
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 11 Nov. [synd. col.] There’s something very beautiful about those bragging squareheads biting the dust. They yell uncle so sincerely.
[Scot]Aberdeen Jrnl 21 Sept. 3/8: There seems to be some doubt among the herrenvolk whether Hitler really bites the carpet or not, but there is no doubt that he now is well on the way to biting the dust .
[UK]J. Gosling Ghost Squad 70: It was the end of Stringy. he bit the dust with a thump.
[UK]J. Quirk No Red Ribbons (1968) 219: He wants a son to go into the Naval Academy. He’s got to bite the dust sooner or later.
[UK]A. Bleasdale It’s a Madhouse (1986) 152: Man. United thrashed again! [...] Atkinson’s Army bite the dust.
[US]J. Wambaugh Glitter Dome (1982) 129: But now the judge was senile and another of Schultz’s heroes had bitten the dust.
[Aus]Smith & Noble Neddy (1998) 131: Rex came undone over the early release scheme and he hit the nick. Abo still got out, even though Rex had bitten the dust.
Economic Times (India) 16 Nov. 🌐 [headline] MS vs Google: Who’ll Bite the Dust?
no dust on [the image of dust gathering on a conservative or old-fashioned person]

(US) up to the minute, highly fashionable.

[US]W.D. Howells Hazard of New Fortunes 115: ‘But what’s the matter with the young lady in young lady’s clothes? Any dust on her?’ ‘What expressions! [...] Really, Alma, for a refined girl you are the most unrefined!’.
take the dust (v.) (also chew dust) [the dust emanating from the passing vehicle]

(US) to be overtaken in a car.

[US]‘O. Henry’ Cabbages and Kings 55: The Rambler — that’s her name — don’t take the dust of anything afloat.
[US]E. De Roo Go, Man, Go! 41: He made them chew dust all the way as he showed them the color of his tail lights.