Green’s Dictionary of Slang

jug n.1

1. the buttocks, the posterior [abbr. double jugg(s) under double adj.].

[UK]Art of Meditating over an House of Office 3: He must know why my Lady Squitter does nothing but Water, while Country Jug leaves something at the bottom of a Hay Stack as hard as a Stone.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.

2. as a lit. or fig. container, often as a place.

(a) prison; thus as the jug, solitary confinement.

[UK](con. 1737–9) W.H. Ainsworth Rookwood (1857) 179: And thus was I bowled out at last, / And into the jug for a lag was cast.
[UK]Egan ‘Jack Flashman’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 142: Jack left the jug right mer-ri-ly, / And vent and black’d his doxy’s eye!
[UK]W. Phillips Wild Tribes of London 86: The jug’s better than the vurkus anyhow; lot’s o’ grub.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 12 May 3/4: He said he had just come out of ‘the jug;’ by ‘a jug,’ he meant either one of the banks or the gaol.
[Aus]Melbourne Punch ‘City Police Court’ 3 Oct. n.p.: Prisoner. A cakey-pannum-fencer, as ought to know better, peached on her, and she was nabbed by the sharping omee, and the queer-cuffen shut her up in the jug for a moll tooler.
[US]C.G. Leland ‘Breitmann at a Picnic’ in Hans Breitmann in Europe 283: Dey al cot poonish differs cays, / Some vent to jug for dirty tays.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 7 May. 9/3: Close-shaven, and close-cropped, inside / Her Majesty’s grim jug, sirs.
[UK]A. Griffiths Fast and Loose III 225: Which way, now, I wonder! Not that; it leads back to the ‘jug’, I know.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (1922) 162: It was no use sending it to you, old man, while you was in the jug.
[US]J.S. Wood Yale Yarns 71: Don’t put me into one o’ them jugs without no windys to ’em, will ye?
[Aus]W.T. Goodge ‘Great Aus. Slanguage’ in Baker Aus. Lang. (1945) 117: A conviction’s known as trouble, / And a gaol is called a jug.
[UK]New Boys’ World 29 Dec. 100: You are sure to go to the ‘big jug’ for a few years.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘A Derby Bet’ Sporting Times 28 May 1/2: The judge dished me out all those ‘stretches,’ and I was cooped up in the ‘jug’.
[Aus]Truth (Perth) 1 Oct. 4/7: And he’s ‘tucked up nice and snug’ / In the ‘booby-hatch’ or ‘jug’.
[US]D.G. Rowse Doughboy Dope 45: J is the Jug, otherwise known as the can, the pen or the mill.
[UK]‘Henry Green’ Living (1978) 223: They put publicans in jug if so ’appen they give yer a smell over the pint.
[US]V.G. Burns Female Convict (1960) 20: I can’t feel that it’s justice to put you in that jug over there.
[UK]J. Maclaren-Ross Swag, the Spy and the Soldier in Lehmann Penguin New Writing No. 26 44: The letter was from a mate of his, geezer called Cohen, who’d been a ponce and was just out of jug.
[UK]P. Hoskins No Hiding Place! 191/1: In the Jug. In prison.
[US]P. Rabe Benny Muscles In (2004) 283: What’s smart about giving you the run-around while I’m stuck in your lousy jug, copper?
[US]B. Jackson Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 124: But before you get out of that old jug you’ll find your friends are few.
[Aus]D. Ireland Glass Canoe (1982) 87: ‘Just saw me mate off.’ ‘The jug?’ ‘Nothing like that. New Guinea.’.
[UK]A. Burgess 1985 (1980) 213: Consider yourself bleeding lucky to be here and not in the bleeding jug.
[UK](con. 1900–30) A. Harding in Samuel East End Und. 282: Jug – Prison.
[Aus]B. Ellem Doing Time 191: jug: prison.
[Can](con. 1920s) O.D. Brooks Legs 161: I think he must have got nabbed by a yard bull and got a stretch in some country jug.
[US]G.V. Higgins At End of Day (2001) 2: I go in and say ‘It’s mine,’ I go to the jug.
[US]J. McCourt ‘Vilja de Tanquay Exults’ in Queer Street 395: Purposes that can land you in the jug / If the filth’s feelin’ exuberant that day.

(b) the mouth, esp. as a receptacle for alcoholic drink.

[UK]R.S. Surtees Young Tom Hall 9: Little Mister Jug, the junior cornet, who was very industrious in the drinking way, and generally got too much wine.

(c) a bank.

[Aus]Sydney Morn. Herald 12 May 4/4: [H]e offered witness ‘a score’ to allow him to ‘work the jug’ without molestation [...] it was an offer of £20 to be allowed to pick pockets at the Commercial Bank.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 61/1: The Westminster ‘guns’ [...] engaged him to sham a fit opposite a ‘jug’ they wished to ‘graft’.
[US]S. Bailey Ups and Downs of a Crook’s Life 65: They said that Bartlett had a paper on a jug over on Eighth Avenue.
[US]‘Number 1500’ Life In Sing Sing 261: We got a country jug on our first touch, but the box wasn’t heavy enough for five.
[US]Wash. Post 11 Nov. Miscellany 3/4: No longer do ‘yeggs’ come to New York to spend ‘white’ money obtained from country ‘P.Os’ and ‘jugs’ as postoffices and banks are called in unregenerate circles.
[US]E. Booth Stealing Through Life 284: Here’s the way the jug is laid out. There’s four cages that are ‘Receiving’.
[UK]G. Ingram Cockney Cavalcade 121: Give me time to go to the ‘jug’.
[UK]Thieves Slang ms list from District Police Training Centre, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Warwicks 6: Jug: Bank.
[US]A. Hynd We Are the Public Enemies 101: Suppose the Pretty Boy Floyds and the John Dillingers and the Bloody Barrows did stick up jugs. It served the banks damned good and right.
[US]C. Hamilton Men of the Und. 145: Booth agreed to join them in sticking up a jug.
[Can]R. Caron Go-Boy! 220: Three man police force was less than a block away from the bank, a hazard which we seriously considered rendering harmless before entering the jug.
[US]E. Bunker Mr Blue 296: I’d gotten away with heisting a jug!
[UK]N. ‘Razor’ Smith Raiders 6: When you’ve had a nice touch from a jug you always keep it in mind to rob again.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Viva La Madness 55: Sonny showed me a balance statement outta that jug showing almost fifteen million dollars.

(d) (US) a safe.

[US]N.Y. Times 7 Mar. 10/5: My burglar, however, qualified his remark by adding that it often required considerable time to ‘crack a jug’ — by which he meant a safe.
[US]Flynn’s 11 July n.p.: This a seven-plate jug [...] I’ll shoot her from the outside [DU].
[US]Clark & Eubank Lockstep and Corridor 174: Jug — [...] 2. a safe in a country bank.
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 805: jug – A safe.

(e) (US) a post office.

H. Craigie ‘Reverse English’ Detective Nov. 🌐 His name and description [...] had been posted conspicuously in a string of country jugs (post offices).

3. in the context of liquor.

(a) (US) a bottle of whisky or wine.

[US]Mencken in Bode New Mencken Letters (1977) 188: Subscribers began to show up with jugs under their coats.
[US]Ersine Und. and Prison Sl.
[US]W. Faulkner Go Down Moses 107: Gimme that jug. You don’t need no gallon, I’m going to give you that pint.
[US]E. Hunter ‘The Beatings’ Jungle Kids (1967) 134: I got a jug, you know? Some cheap stuff, but what the hell, all wine tastes the same.
[US]A.S. Fleischman Venetian Blonde (2006) 245: There wasn’t a bar or liquor store left open, but jamie had had plenty of time to buy a jug.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 103: Cop a jug and let’s go freak off.

(b) a drink, esp. a pint of beer.

[US](con. 1960s) D. Wells Night People 106: Go get the band a jug.
[NZ]G. Johnston Fish Factory 123: ‘Jug, please, mate.’ [...] A good slow steady pull on the glass to dampen the fire and he was ready for company.
[NZ]A. Duff One Night Out Stealing 7: I asked for a jug.
[NZ]P. Shannon Davey Darling 66: He always had to stop off for a quick one. [...] The quick one became a jug, and then another.

4. (UK Und.) a forged cheque.

[UK]R.T. Hopkins Life and Death at the Old Bailey 116: How did you doctor a ‘jug’ (i.e., alter a cheque) when you worked with your gang?

5. (US) a dilapidated old vehicle.

[US]J. Steinbeck Grapes of Wrath (1951) 109: ’F we can on’y get to California [...] before this here ol’ jug blows up.

6. (US) a carburettor; also attrib.

[US]ATS 84: Carburetor...jug.
[US] in M. Daly Profile of Youth 49: Carburetors are ‘jugs’.
[US]Sat. Eve. Post 8 Mar. 122: Looks like a jug change. It was rough on the check comin in, remember? [HDAS].
[US]G. Forbes Goodbye to Some 126: He’s losing a jug, poor guy [HDAS].
[US]Boyne & Thompson Wild Blue 492: Here he was hands-on changing jugs, troubleshooting, swapping engines.

7. (orig. US, also juggs) in pl., the female breasts, esp. when large.

[US]F. Kohner Gidget (2001) 54: Some jugs!
[US]L. Bruce Essential Lenny Bruce 297: She got her jugs stickin out, man.
[US]E. Thompson Garden of Sand (1981) 523: He looked at Busty LeGrand. Man, that Mrs. Weefer had to have some pair of jugs.
[US]T. Wolfe Bonfire of the Vanities 70: She must allow him the precious currency he has earned, which is youth and beauty and juicy jugs and loamy loins.
[Scot]I. Welsh Filth 22: The blonde piece is standing in a light which makes her top look almost see-through and these jugs are fuckin well prominent.
[UK]Guardian G2 16 Mar. 2: Les lolos is French for knockers, jugs, melons, what you will.
[Aus]L. Redhead Rubdown [ebook] Why’s Picture covering a funeral? Nobody got their jugs out.
[US]‘Randy Everhard’ Tattoo of a Naked Lady 11: She peeled off her T-shirt and out bounced those giant, all-natural juggs.
[Aus]L. Redhead Thrill City [ebook] I’d flaunted my modest jugs in most of the titty bars in the greater Melbourne area.
[UK]Skepta ‘Tour Bus Massacre’ 🎵 With Kirsty, she’s from Purley / I told her to get her jugs out, I’m thirsty.
[Aus]T. Spicer Good Girl Stripped Bare 31: Woodsy from the footy team, who calls out ‘jugs!’ and ‘slut!’ to the girls he likes and ‘fat cunt!’ to the ones he doesn’t.
[US]S.M. Jones Lives Laid Away [ebook] ‘Speaking of tits, that chick who gave you the lap dance and motorboat jug job? You get off on that or what?’.
Twitter 22 June 🌐 And verily the Lord did decree ‘thou canst have spectacular jugs and wobblest on thy belly, or thou canst firm up thy buttocks and gut but lose thy wazzoos.
[US]J. Ellroy Widespread Panic 265: ‘I want Elizabeth Tayllor to play the Meza bitch. She’s got bigger jugs’.

8. (drugs) vials of amphetamine and later of crack cocaine.

[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972).
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 13: Jugs — Amphetamine.


In compounds


see separate entry.


(US Und.) a safecracker; also attrib.

[[US]J. Black You Can’t Win (2000) 143: A burglar with some humor fell into Pinkerton’s hands and when asked who was breaking open the country ‘jugs’ he whispered to the detective that it was the yeggs. [...] The word went into a series of magazine articles Pinkerton was writing at the time and was fastened upon the ‘box’ men. Its meaning has since widened until now the term ‘yegg’ includes all criminals whose work is ‘heavy’].
[US]N. Kimball Amer. Madam (1981) 174: Cream of the crime world are the safe crackers, the box men [...] called jug heavies.
[US]N. Algren Man with the Golden Arm 213: They were the sullen jug-heavies and the loudmouthed torpedoes.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 112/1: Jug-heavy. A specialist in blowing or ripping open bank safes or vaults.
A. Burgess ‘But Do Blondes Prefer Gentlemen?’ in Homage to Qwert Yuiop 167: Yet who could deny the nobility of his vocation or do other than praise the results of his inquiries among the jug-heavy, forgers, [and] faro bank men.
jug-heel [heel n. (2)]

(US Und.) a bank robber.

[US](con. 1905–25) E.H. Sutherland Professional Thief (1956) 52: The jug heel is a special type of stealing from banks. One group of jug heels specializes in raising bundles of money from the counters inside the cages up over the glass partitions by means of a stick and string, with a hook or gum or other sticky substance at the end. In many large banks a thief can get in behind the cages, put his cap in his pocket, put on a green eyeshade, stick a pencil behind his ear, and wander around as though he were an employee, thus having relatively free access to the cages.
Crime in the U.S. 124: In the class of thieving without violence, some of the lines of activity are: the ‘cannon’ (picking pockets), the ‘heel’ (sneak thievery), the ‘jug heel’ (sneak thieving from banks) [etc.].
jug touch [touch n.1 (4)]

(US Und.) the robbery of people as they come out of banks.

[US](con. 1905–25) E.H. Sutherland Professional Thief (1956) 47: Some cannons prefer the jug touch, which is picking pockets of suckers who are in or coming out of banks with money which they have just secured.


jug-bitten (also bitten)


[UK]J. Taylor ‘An Armado’ in Works (1869) I 83: When any of them are wounded, pot-shot, jug-bitten or cup-shaken.
[UK]O. Goldsmith Life of Richard Nash in Coll. Works (1966) III 298: He took his bottle with freedom. But he soon found, to use the expression then in fashion, that he was absolutely bitten.
[US]Wkly World News 12 Sept. 37/5: Magistrate Andrew Clarkson ruled that the jug-bitten defendant had provoked the pooch and banned the booze- hound from owning a dog for three years.
E. Burns Spirits of America 91: The Union occasionally punishing its jug-bitten warriors by making them stand on a box for two or three days with a log on each shoulder.


[UK]J. Cleveland ‘Against Ale’ in Poems (1668) 30: The Jug-broke Pate doth owe to thee Its bloody Line and Pedigree / Now murther, and anon the Gallow-tree.

(US) drunk.

[US]Kalida Venture (OH) 11 Apr. 2/4: Drunk [...] jug-steemed [sic].
[US]Burlington Sentinel in Hall (1856) 461: We give a list of a few of the various words and phrases which have been in use, at one time or another, to signify some stage of inebriation: [...] jug-steamed.

In phrases

knock a jug (v.)

1. (US black) to get drunk.

[US]Frankie Jaxon [song title] Let’s Knock A Jug.
[US]Lil Johnson ‘Rug Cutter’s Function’ 🎵 Let’s all get together and knock a jug! Get all high and cut some rug!

2. (US black) to buy a drink.

[US]D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 78: ‘Knock a jug’ means to buy a drink.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

jugfuck (n.)

see separate entry.


see separate entries.

In phrases

by a jugful (also by a jugfull)

(US) by a great deal, ‘by a long chalk’, usu. in negative.

[US]A. Greene Life and Adventures of Dr Dodimus Duckworth II 39: ‘Are you crazy, young man?’ ‘No, Deacon, not by a jug full.’.
[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker III 248: The last mile, as he said, ‘tho’ the shortest one of the whole bilin’, took the longest to do it by a jug-full’.
[US]J.G. Baldwin Flush Times of Alabama and Mississippi 149: Blass, did you ever hear of my telling a lie? No, not by a jug-full. Blass, ain’t I an hones’ man?
[UK]Reade & Boucicault Foul Play III 204: I reckon I’ll deal with you and not with that old cuss; not by a jugful!
[US]Hartford Herald (KY) 3 Oct. 6/1: I wish you would give up that very unlady-like habit [...] of using such slang expressions as [...] ‘Not by a jug full’.
[US]H. Frederic Seth’s Brother’s Wife 5: He ain’t the boss here, by a jug-full!
[UK]Kipling Captains Courageous 121: ‘One day he will be your master, Danny.’ [...] ‘He wun’t — not by a jugful.’.
E.L. Wheeler Deadwood Dick’s Doom in Deadwood Dick Library 3 Ch. ii 39: ‘Aha! I have you now, though, and now for my kiss!’ ‘Not by a jugful, stranger!’ a stern voice cried.
[UK]Star (Canterbury) 24 Feb. 3: ‘Reckon that shook Hardacre’s belief in horseshoes?’ ‘Not by a jugful!’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 17 Dec. 16/1: Spirit that parades as Brandy haunts the dosser over there; / Brandy? Not by many jugs full! That’s the demon’s ‘nom de guerre.’.
[UK]Sporting Times 4 Feb. 2/2: ‘No, no, no, not by a jugful!’ shouted the affrighted traveller.
[US]L.A. Herald 19 Dec. 145/1: All those fast men that take big cars at record speed [...] aren’t the only flies in the automobile teacup - not by a jugful.
[US]B.L. Bowen ‘Word-List From Western New York’ in DN III:vi 444: jug full, n. In the expression ‘not by a jug full,’ not by any means.
[US]P. Kyne Cappy Ricks 347: Not by a jugful! I quit to-morrow.
[US]O.O. McIntyre White Light Nights 3: Not by a jugful!
[US]Wood & Goddard Dict. Amer. Sl. 27: jugful, not by a. Not by a good deal.
[US](con. 1900s) F. Riesenberg Log of the Sea 145: This ain’t a bad ship, no, not by a jugful.
[US] Wash. Post 26 Jan. 🌐 ‘I am not the only person in this situation, not by a jugful,’ said Jennings.
jug up

see separate entries.