1. a euph. for a variety of obscenities, e.g. bugger n.1 , shit n., bastard n. etc.
|Dublin Morn. Register 1 Oct. 3/2: The verses from Magdalen are very maudlin productions indeed; they are blank blank, nothing but blank.|
|Adventures of Mr Verdant Green (1982) II 163: I wouldn’t give a blank for such a blank blank, I’m blank, if he don’t look as though he’d swaller a blank codfish.|
|Maidstone Teleg. 19 May 3/6: Here you are plenty for eating and drinking without (blanking) about and slaving yourself to death, and who the (blank’s) going to pay for lodgings, when the (blanked) guardians are paid to look after us.|
|Term of His Natural Life (1897) 270: ‘My blank!’ cried Burgess. ‘You blank blank, is that your blank game? I’ll blank soon cure you of that!’.|
|Bill Nye and Boomerang 81: He called upon blank to everlastingly blank such a blankety blank blank, idiotic blank as the young man was.|
|World (N.Y.) 15 Aug. 1/1: Why, you long, lean blankety blank blank . . . you ought to be strung up by the thumbs, you big, ugly ham.|
|‘The Drover’s Wife’ in Roderick (1972) 48: But they don’t hurt us, the little blanks.|
|Aberdeen Eve. Express 21 Mar 3/2: We have got a blank blank old general here who’s mad on it, and we are here on fatigue duty.|
|Punch 4 Apr. 251/2: The man had asked me why the blank, blank I didn’t let my blank self out at so much a blank hour for a blank steam-roller.|
|‘Billy of Queensland’ in Roderick (1967–9) II 300: A Blank he knows as a Gory Scamp.|
|Bar-20 Days 29: What th’ blank are you doing?|
|Nights in Town 306: If I find the blank blank blank what trod on my blank blank ’and, I’ll —!|
|London Town 52: Why the crimson, blue-black Hades don’t you send down the carmine rope, you blank, blank, blank?|
|Cobbers 85: My — oath! We had a blank here once with one o’ them blanks.|
|Anything For a Laugh 58: Catch him! Catch the blank blank blank!|
|Aus. First and Last 73: Those N.C.O.s were blanky blanks.‘39–45 Star, Aus. Model’|
|Unsinkable Molly Brown 142: I sure as blank wasn’t ready for a blankety-blank watery grave, so I just blank well took the others along with me.|
|(con. 1950s) Unit Pride (1981) 83: It beats a blank.|
|Rogue Warrior (1993) 187: What the blank are you gonna blanking do when you’re blanking sitting fifty blanking feet underwater [...] ?|
2. (Aus. Und.) the victim of a street robbery who proves to have no possessions or money to steal.
|Sydney Morn. Herald 16 Aug. 2/3: [S]hould the victim of these marauders make resistance, or [...] should he prove a ‘blank,’ and no plunder be found upon him, woe betide the unlucky wight.|
3. (US prison) an aspirin.
|Bounty of Texas (1990) 198: blanks, n. – aspirin tablets (1950s).‘Catheads [...] and Cho-Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy|
4. a bad or insignificant, worthless person.
|[||Hants. Advertiser 13 June 2/4: [of one from whom a street seller will get no money] Instead of taking turn and turn about, he picks out all the ‘capitals,’ and leaves [...] the ‘blanks’].|
|DAUL 29/1: Blank. 1. A zero; a loser [...] 3. A dolt; a worthless fellow.et al.|
|Joint (1972) 219: He was such a fearful blank.letter 7 Sept. in|
|Down These Mean Streets (1970) 317: ‘God,’ I concluded, ‘maybe I won’t be an angel, but I do know I’ll try not to be a blank.’.|
5. (orig. prison) a rejection, esp. of a parole application.
|‘The Crusaders’ in Chisholm (1951) 81: ‘Blank number one,’ I sez. The parson sighed.|
|Coll. Stories (1990) 247: He didn’t think it [i.e. a job offer] was so hot but it beat a blank, anyway.‘Every Opportunity’ in|
|Bang To Rights 85: If he’s in a bad mood or he doesn’t like your face [...] you get a big blank.|
|Guntz 11: All I had got was a right blank.|
|Villain’s Tale 27: He preferred a straight blank; then he knew it wasn’t anything to do with [...] him personally.|
|(con. 1979–80) Brixton Rock (2004) 174: I’ll set you up [...] You won’t get no blank.|
6. a halt, a stop.
|Down These Mean Streets (1970) 60: Then the police siren is heard. [...] A blank is put on the rumble and everybody puts the law into effect.|
7. a fault, a bad characteristic.
|Down These Mean Streets (1970) 317: I asked the Big Man to overlook my blanks and to make a cool way for me.|
8. (drugs, also blanks) any powder sold as a narcotic but absolutely without effect; thus generic for second-rate drugs.
|Panic in Needle Park (1971) 93–4: If a junkie tastes some stuff before he uses it and it’s real sweet he figures he’s bought a blank and gets upset. So we put in the quinine to make it bitter.|
|Drugs from A to Z (1970) 47: blank [...] A container filled with a non-narcotic powder, such as talcum powder, baking soda, or cleanser, and sold to the addict as heroin. Also called lemonade.|
|Underground Dict. (1972).|
|Bk of Jargon 325: Also H, big H, blanks, [...] dope, doojee, hard stuff, junk, horse, smack, skag, schmeck.|
|ONDCP Street Terms 3: Blank — Container of non-narcotic powder that is sold as heroin. [...] Blanks — Low quality drugs.|
SE in slang uses
to fail, to be disappointed, frustrated.
|Adventures of Gil Blas (1822) I 211: As for me, less grieved at having drawn a blank in the lottery of love, than rejoiced at getting my neck out of an halter, I returned to my master’s.(trans.)|
|Sporting Times 15 Mar. 1/4: Shifter having returned from Charley’s Mount, attired himself gorgeously, and sallied forth on Wednesday, brimful of expectation, to have a good time with his long-lost pals. He got to the office, and drew it blank.|
|‘The Windy hills o’ Wellington’ in Roderick (1967–9) I 262: Perhaps it ain’t New Zealand’s fault I’ve drawn New Zealand blank.|
|Truth (Sydney) 17 Feb. 3/4: But we draws a blooming blank, / For the strong-room held — a nixey!|
|‘Joseph’s Dreams and Reuben’s Brethren’ in Roderick (1967–9) II 97: He drew a blank on Chek-’em run — / Got bushed, too, you’ll be bound.|
|Torchy 8: But you ain’t drawn any blank. I’ll shinny on your side, Mr. Pepper, as long’s you’ll let me.|
|Moods of Ginger Mick 118: I’ve took me gamble; an’ there’s none to blame / Becos I drew a blank.‘A Gallant Gentleman’ in|
|Clicking of Cuthbert 15: Mrs Smethhurst rolled her eyes about the room searching for someone capable of coming to the rescue. She drew blank.|
|Argot: Dict. of Und. Sl. 16: drew a blank—failed to get loot; lost out.|
|Big Clock (2002) 158: We’ve drawn a blank so far.|
|Jimmy Brockett 243: The private detectives, Herb, Harry Phillips, the Mantis had all drawn blanks.|
|They’re a Weird Mob (1958) 165: You drew a blank with me, because of Charlie, drat him.|
|Reinhart in Love (1963) 194: Try as he would to get at least some of the old snottiness from her in lieu of sex, he drew a blank.|
|Hy Lit’s Unbelievable Dict. of Hip Words 49: draw a blank – To forget; unable to remember.|
|Night People 96: You’ve drawn a blank with a chick.|
|Skeletons 37: I draw a blank there.|
of a man, to be infertile, to ejaculate infertile semen.
|,||DAS 183/2: fire blanks To have sexual intercourse without impregnating the woman, when the couple wishes to have children; for a man to have sexual intercourse when he is physically unable to father a child.|
|Ridgey-Didge Oz Jack Lang 19: Blanks (Firing) Impotence.|
|Roger’s Profanisaurus in Viz 87 Dec. n.p.: firing blanks v. Post snip ejaculation. e.g. ‘You can put the ribticklers away love, I’m firing blanks.’.|
|BBC Radio 5 [radio] I need to get home to make sure I’m not firing blanks.|
(US) to be rejected; cit. 1936 refers to sexual rejection.
|(con. 1920s) USA (1966) 980: I never used to pull a blank when I drank.Big Money in|
|Shorty McCabe 138: When it comes to doing the hair-trigger friendship act, Pinckney’s the real skookum preferred. But this was once when he slipped me a blank.|
1. (US) to fail, to have no luck.
|Long Good-Bye 186: I [...] called the phone answering service. I shot a blank.|
|Felony Tank (1962) 103: Let’s not shoot any more blanks.|
|CUSS 195: Shoot a blank Turned down when asking for a date.et al.|
|Pimp 171: You musta shot a blank the rest of the night.|
|Animal Factory 33: We shot a blank, then?|
2. (US black, also shoot blanks) to attempt sophisticated conversation but to fail in so doing; to use words that have no ‘target’.
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines 91: Sometiems dude jus’ shoot a blank. His shit jus’ off th wall — jus’ falls off.|
|Body of Evidence (1992) 54: Maybe I’m shooting blanks, Pete.|
1. to ejaculate infertile semen; thus blank shooter n.
|(con. 1950) Band of Brothers 307: ‘I got ten bucks says Firesteen shot blanks,’ Goober said.|
|It (1987) 518: I’m telling you that you aren’t shooting blanks.|
|(con. 1980s) Pictures in my Head 153: When I told my brother I was to become a father, he said, ‘Well, you’re not shooting blanks anyway’.|
|OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. [Internet] shoots blanks (he...) n. Term often used for ejaculate ejected by a man who has had a vasectomy, i.e. ejaculate from a sterile male.|
|Kirsten’s Collection [Internet] My married WAF clerk wanted to get pregnant and have a baby. Her husband, was a blank shooter, but she didn’t know that I was as sterile as he was so when she asked me to be the daddy of her babies, I said hell ya!|
|Acid Alex 62: I found I had started sprouting ball hairs and underarm fluff. I finally stopped shooting blanks and my voice broke.|
2. of a man, to fail to achieve an erection, to be impotent.
|5000 Adult Sex Words and Phrases.|
|Carlito’s Way 26: He dug that young poontang — even though at his age I knew he was shooting blanks.|
|Foetal Attraction (1994) 161: More and more men are shooting blanks, you know.|
|(con. 1970s) King Suckerman (1998) 129: His friends told him it would radiate his nuts and make him shoot blanks.|