Green’s Dictionary of Slang

mule n.

1. a fool, a stubborn person [on model of ass n.].

[UK]T. Killigrew Parson’s Wedding (1664) I iii: By this day, I never saw such a Mule as her husband is, to bear with her Madness.
[UK] ‘The Frolicsome Spark’ No. 31 Papers of Francis Place (1819) n.p.: You gallows old greasy arse’d mule.
[US]Gleaner (Manchester, NH) 11 Mar. n.p.: The lantern-jawed mule who took without leave [...] a pair of ladies gloves, is requested to return same forthwith.
[US]Melville Moby Dick (1907) 111: ‘I will not tamely be called a dog, sir.’ ‘Then be called ten times a donkey, and a mule, and an ass, and begone, or I’ll clear the world of thee!’.
[US]B. Harte Gabriel Conroy II 57: If thar ever was a blunderin’ mule, Gabe, it’s YOU!
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper 22 Apr. 473: You dunder-headed mule!
[US]M.G. Hayden ‘Terms Of Disparagement’ in DN IV:iii 197: mule, an obstinate person. ‘Mule that he is, he refused to take any part in the program.’.
[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 5 Mar. 2/6: T C, the mule, would be far better off if he minded his own business.
[US]O. Strange Law O’ The Lariat 194: I hold the cards, yu old mule.
P.C. Wren Uniform of Glory 247: Imbeciles! Goats! Asses! Mules!
[US]W.R. Burnett Little Men, Big World 198: All right. Be a mule. Then maybe you can come down to the morgue and see me.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Wind & Monkey (2013) [ebook] Les stared at the two federal police in disbelief. How could two people get anything so wrong. Even these two mules.

2. any small motor-powered vehicle.

Electrical World and Engineer 14 Nov. 795/2: The ‘electric mule’ [...] is a vehicle closely resembling a ‘hog-back’ mine locomotive [DA].
[US](con. 1960s) C.J. Anderson Grunts: US Infantry in Vietnam 32: Cases of C-rations are delivered by ‘mules’. Mules were small utility vehicles.

3. as a form of alcohol [the alcohol ‘kicks like a mule’].

(a) (US) homemade bourbon made from grain alcohol.

Morn. Tulsa Dly World 13 June 19/1: [headline] ‘Willie, the Rat’ Furnishes the World Hobo Dictionary for the Price of Half a Pint of ‘Mule’.
[US]N. Klein ‘Hobo Lingo’ in AS I:12 652: Mule — corn alcohol.
[US]A. Hardin ‘Volstead English’ in AS VII:2 87: Terms used for intoxicating liquor: Mule.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 809: mule – Corn liquor.

(b) (US drugs) marijuana soaked in bourbon.

[US]H. Braddy ‘Narcotic Argot Along the Mexican Border’ in AS XXX:2 87: MULE, n. Marijuana mixed in whisky.

4. in drug uses.

(a) (drugs) a carrier of drugs (occas. money), typically across international borders, and in many cases an otherwise ‘innocent’ person who has no other contact with the drugs trade.

[UK]E. Murphy Black Candle 128: The ‘mules’ and ‘joy shots’ are among the most vicious elements in the plague.
[US]R. Sabbag Snowblind (1978) 24: Most smugglers use mules, usually a girl.
[US]N. Pileggi Wiseguy (2001) 205: Hill had suggested that he start earning extra money as a ‘mule,’ or drug courier.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett White Shoes 260: Kramer’s got Crystal to come into Australia as a mule [...] Crystal’s smuggled a great swag of dope in.
[UK]G. Small Ruthless 181: Women are also deeply involved in the drugs world, especially as ‘mules’.
[NZ]D. Looser Boobslang [U. Canterbury D.Phil. thesis] 120/1: mule n. = donkey senses 1 and 2.
[UK]Guardian 12 June 4: Owen Clarke, 46, a Jamaican nicknamed The Father, ran dozens of ‘mules’.
[UK]Observer 9 Mar. 23: The cocaine [is] shipped to Europe [...] across land via Morocco on the old cannbis trail, or directly by air using ‘mules’.
[Aus]D. Whish-Wilson Old Scores [ebook] As a result, using mules was on the nose, for the time being. The arrest of Clifford and Welsh had seen to that.
[US]S.M. Jones Lives Laid Away [ebook] The girls, the drug mules, the coyotes—it’s all about to fall.
[US]D. Winslow Border [ebook] ‘Do you have a mule you can trust with that kind of cash?’.

(b) a drug runner, operating within a given city or prison; on a local scale, the runner who brings supplies from an adjacent hiding place to a street dealer as demand requires.

[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks 78/2: Mule, person who carries dope for a drug trafficker and passes [the] drug to [the] buyer after a sale has been made.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Q. Reynolds Police Headquarters (1956) 276: My boys have spotted several known schmeckers and a couple of mules.
[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972).
[US]R. Price Clockers 67: Giving the mules eight dollars out of the hundred sold to go upstairs and bring down another eight bottles.
[US](con. 1986) G. Pelecanos Sweet Forever 196: Tyrell Cleveland’s growing a business down there now. Got all sorts of mules around U.
[US]J. Lethem Fortress of Solitude 432: Dose was one of his several mules; the others dealt ‘trees’ — tight-rolled Chiba stick, cut with mentholated tobacco to stretch the ingredient.
[SA]IOL News Western Cape) 7 May 🌐 The Minister of State Security [...] and the woman who recruited Beetge as a drug mule, got 12 years in jail.
[Aus]T. Spicer Good Girl Stripped Bare 46: The 1965 Corolla I bought from Dad is being used as a drug mule. (Is the car the mule or am I? Where’s Escobar when you need him.).
[US]J. Hannaham Didn’t Nobody Give a Shit 119: [L]ike a kilo of cocaine taped to the crotch of a drug mule.

(c) (US prison, also packhorse) a smuggler, usu. a visitor or prison warder.

[US]F. Elli Riot (1967) 21: All wrapped in cellophane and sealed with scotch tape. Fisk must’ve busted a packhorse.
[US]E. Bunker Animal Factory 39: ‘When is that dope bag due?’ [...] ‘We’ll know when the mule gets a visit tomorrow.’.
[US]Maledicta V:1+2 (Summer + Winter) 264: Prisoners try to locate a horse or mule to smuggle contraband, usually drugs or cash, into prison.
[Aus]Tupper & Wortley Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. 🌐 Mule. One who smuggles.

(d) any form of carrier, e.g. of weapons for a gang.

[UK]A. Payne ‘You Need Hands’ Minder [TV script] 36: matthews: I was importing diamonds. I had somebody to walk them through customs. merrick: A mule.
[US]G. Sikes 8 Ball Chicks (1998) xiii: At best they [i.e. girls] serve as mules to carry the weapons and drugs boys pass them during police searches.

5. (US) the penis [earlier cits. are doubles entendres].

[US]Odum & Johnson Negro and His Songs (1964) 155: ‘Say, look here, Jane! / Don’t you want to take a ride?’ / ‘Well, I doan care if I do.’ / So he hitch up his mule an’ started out. / Well, it’s whoa, mule, git up an’ down, / Till I say whoa-er, mule. / Well it’s git up and down / Jus’ fas’ as you can, / Fer I goin’ to buy you / All of de oats an’ bran. / An’ it’s whoa-er mule, git up and down, / Till I say whoa-er, mule. / ‘Ain’t he a mule, Miss Jane?’ – ‘Um – huh.’.
[US]‘Big Bill’ Broonzy ‘Big Bill Blues’ 🎵 I had a dream last night baby, another mule in my doggone stall.
[US]‘Big Bill’ Broonzy ‘Getting Older Every Day’ 🎵 Because if your woman would check up on you, ooh Lord she put another mule in your stall.
[US]B. Hamper Rivethead (1992) 147: Gobblin’ each other up. strokin’ each other’s mules.
[US]E. Bunker Mr Blue 386: ‘Nobody was gonna hurt Mule.’ Veto was sometimes called mule because of his large penis.

6. as a derog. description.

(a) an unattractive woman.

[US]M.H. Boulware Jive and Sl. n.p.: She Mule ... Female.
[US]College Sl. Research Project (Cal. State Poly. Uni., Pomona) 🌐 Mule (offensive) (noun) A girl you only go out with to ‘ride’; most likely fat or ugly, or both.

(b) (US campus) an unattractive man.

[US]Baker et al. CUSS.

(c) an impotent man.

[US]E. Bunker Mr Blue 114: They told me they liked Filipino tricks because they weren’t mules. They were quick and they liked head.

(d) (W.I.) an infertile woman, who therefore suffers from mule-belly.

[UK]T. White Catch a Fire 102: If [girls] had not had a child by the time they were seventeen as proof of fertility, they were ostracized as ‘mules’ – barren, worthless women.
[WI]L. Goodison Baby Mother and King of Swords 50: She was childless, ‘a mule’, as really unkind people would say.
[WI]Francis-Jackson Official Dancehall Dict. 35: Mule female incapable of conceiving.

7. (US) vodka.

[US]S. Longstreet Flesh Peddlers (1964) 20: I swallowed a mouthful of my own Moscow mule.

In phrases

corn mule (n.)

(US) illicitly distilled corn whisky.

[US] ‘Wet Words in Kansas’ AS IV:5 385: A white distillate of corn or rye, variously known as corn, corn-mule, [etc.].
[US]A. Hardin ‘Volstead English’ in AS VII:2 86: Terms used for intoxicating liquor: Corn mule.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS.
gray mule (n.)

(US) corn whisky or gin.

[US]C. M’Govern Sarjint Larry an’ Frinds 34: The Chino [...] just t’other side of the out-post had laid in an uncommonly big supply of ‘gray mule’.
lope the mule (v.) (also lope, lope one’s mule, ...donkey, ...pony)

(US) to masturbate.

[US](con. early 1950s) J. Peacock Valhalla 272: ‘I ain’t lopin’ my mule,’ Giff grinned.
[US]C. Shafer ‘Catheads [...] and Cho-Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy Bounty of Texas (1990) 209: lope the mule, v. – to masturbate.
[US](con. 1945) E. Thompson Tattoo (1977) 293: Tompkins had such a peeny pecker he’d of had to lope it with forefinger and thumb.
[US]J. Wambaugh Choirboys (1976) 86: I’m tellin you she was lopin my mule under the table.
[US]J. Wambaugh Secrets of Harry Bright (1986) 171: I thought it was a panic [...] Old Chester going ‘Ain’t it wooooonderful’ while he’s lopin’ that old rubber donkey!
[US]G.V. Higgins At End of Day (2001) 101: You’re so fuckin’ hungry eight years of lopin’ your pony doesn’t bother you.
ride the mule (v.)

to have sexual intercourse.

[US]R. Campbell Sweet La-La Land (1999) 129: You can’t tease a man with your tits and ass, makin’ smart remarks, lickin’ your lips and starin’ at his crotch. You’re gonna ride the mule. Oh, yes, you are.
[US]College Sl. Research Project (Cal. State Poly. Uni., Pomona) 🌐 Mule {offensive} (noun) A girl you only go out with to ‘ride’; most likely fat or ugly, or both.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

mule breakfast (n.)

(US) a straw hat.

[US]E. Booth Stealing Through Life 306: The large and grotesquely shaped ‘mule breakfasts’ covering our heads gave no protection from the forge heat welling up about us.
mule whacker (n.) (also mule-puncher) [whack v.1 (1)]

(US) a mule-driver.

[UK]H. O’Reilly Fifty Years on the Trail 357: The town was full of cow-punchers, mule-whackers, soldiers, and all sorts.
[UK]Hants. Teleg. 11 July 9/5: Bill throcknorton, the well-known mule whacker.
[UK]R. Beach Pardners (1912) 66: You’re a pretty good mule-puncher, eh?
[UK]R.D. Paine Fighting Fleets 20: This dead American mule-whacker, Flinger, his name was, had been a good game lad.

In phrases

here’s your mule

(US) a nonsensical phr. used by troops during the US Civil War.

[US]C.D. Benson ‘Here’s Your Mule’ in B.L. Ridley Battles and Sketches of the Army of Tennessee 462: Old Stonewall Jackson’s in the field / Here’s your mule, Oh, here’s your mule.
W. Pittenger Daring and Sufffering 82: The cry of ‘Here’s your mule,’ and ‘Where’s my mule,’ have become national, and are generally heard when, on the one hand, no mule is about, and on the other when no one is hunting a mule. It seems not to be understood by any one.
C.C. Nott Sketches of the War 179: As the wagon drove in, a loud shout arose (couched in expressive Texan slang) of, ‘Here’s your mule! Here’s your mule!’ The runaways smiled feebly, as men do who are the victims of a joke.
[US](con. 1861-5) B.I. Wiley Life of Billy Yank 187: ‘Here’s your mule’ which was a nonsensical term used in much the same manner as soldiers of a later generation used the phrase ‘Kilroy was here’.

In exclamations

mule shit! [var. on bullshit n.]

(US) a mild oath, used to express disbelief or surprise.

[US] in Read Lexical Evidence 75: Mule shit.
J.P. Miller Race for Home 237: Did I say horse shit? I meant pig shit! Mule shit! Percheron piss! Now git outa here, you little limbertwig, and leave us alone! [HDAS].
[US]J. Sayles Union Dues (1978) 14: ‘Muleshit,’ said Luther.
L. Turner Day Before Tomorrow n.p.: ‘Mule shit!’ The proprietor grumbled.