Green’s Dictionary of Slang

mouldy adj.

also blue mouldy, moldy

1. useless, second-rate, out-of-date.

[UK]A. Fleming Panoplie of Epistles 399: Very many obseruations out of rustie and mouldie antiquaries [OED].
[UK]Fletcher Chances V iii: A Hog’s pox o’ your mouldy Chaps, what makes you Tumbling and juggling here?
[UK]T. May Heir II i: See how th’ old ape smugs up his mouldy chaps / To seize the bit?
[UK]Fletcher Night-Walker I i: Why should that mouldy Cobler Marry his daughter to a wealthy Merchant [...] is this good justice?
[UK]Massinger A Very Woman III i: You mouldy chops, know you crib, I would wish you, And get from whence you came.
[UK]Dryden Sir Martin Mar-all II i: Pox of her old mouldy Chops.
[UK]Wycherley Love in a Wood I i: But why shou’d you force your chaw’d jests, your damn’d ends of your mouldy Lampoones, and last years Sonnets upon us.
[UK]Motteux (trans.) Gargantua and Pantagruel (1927) II Bk V 496: I will prove, in the teeth of a parcel of brokers and retailers of ancient rhapsodies, and such mouldy trash, that our vulgar tongue is not so mean, silly, [...] and contemptible as they pretend.
[Aus]P. de Marivaux Agreeable Surprise (translation) I i: Ha, ha, ha! this mouldy old widow will have him in spite of her teeth.
[UK]W. Cowper Letters and Prose (1979) I 374: It is to be hoped that the present Century has nothing to do with the Mouldy Opinions of the last.
[UK]J. Galt Entail III 128: It’s no for a courtesy o’ causey clash that he’s birling his mouldy pennies in sic firlots.
[UK]Brighton Patriot 24 Apr. 2/4: You have a great aversion to old and mouldy adages.
[US]C. Mathews Career of Puffer Hopkins 11: A decoction of mouldy jokes from the newspapers.
[UK]Reynolds’s Newspaper 28 Aug. 7/1: The mouldy and worn-out red-tapists of the cabinet.
[UK]R. Broughton Cometh up as a Flower 130: Agincourt a fiddle! Does the knowledge that one lot of mouldy old men poked another mouldy old lot in the ribs [...] make me feel the draughts less, or you look less like a scarecrow.
[UK]Reynolds’s Newspaper 16 Feb. 3/3: This, of course, cannot be realized by mouldy old statesmen.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 11 Apr. 17/2: The fact is Larry is blue mouldy for want of a beating, and made up his mind to meet Farnan on any terms, after all the talk there has been. ‘If he won’t or can’t find the “ready,” I’ll fight him for love, and give him £50 to do it,’ said Larry.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 30 Dec. 1/1: ‘Truth’ Thinks That the unemployed agitation is becoming blue mouldy.
[UK]E. Pugh Tony Drum 85: I’m not soap, to be shunned by you, or ole mouldy long-crop either.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ You Can Search Me 112: I’m going out and pull a few mouldy tricks till Skinski gets here.
[NZ]‘Anzac’ On the Anzac Trail 110: The French craft struck me as being a bit mouldy-looking, not so up-to-date as the British.
[UK]Union Jack 5 May 17: You mouldy sweeps!
[Aus]T.E. Spencer ‘Molony, J.P.’ in Budgeree Ballads 51: ’Tis blue-mouldy she is, when she looks at your hat, / Which is knockin’ the shine out of Billygoat Flat.
[UK]M. Arlen May Fair (1947) 202: ‘You’re a gent,’ [...] ‘And gents,’ said the policemen, ‘know nothing. And what they do know is mouldy.’.
[Aus]N. Lindsay Age Of Consent 26: Bloke goes blue mouldy trying to keep alive in these country towns.
[UK]J. Maclaren-Ross Of Love And Hunger 102: I looked round at the other fellows. Pretty mouldy bunch, all told.
[US]Asbury Park Press (NJ) 15 Mar. 6/3: In Chicago a person behind the times is called ‘moldy’.
[NZ]G. Slatter Gun in My Hand 233: Bloody mistake ever coming down to this mouldy dump.
[US]H. Rap Brown Die Nigger Die! 108: James O. Eastland, a red-neck camel-breath moldy old cracker from Mississippi, subjected Thurgood to a level of questioning that was unheard of before.
[UK]A. Buckeridge Speaking of Jennings (1989) 50: Coo! Mouldy old confidence trick!
[UK]Flame : a Life on the Game 62: I’d tell him that Jesus Christ must have been a weirdo, hanging around the desert with twelve mouldy hippies.
[Ire]G. Coughlan Everyday Eng. and Sl. [Internet] Mouldy (n): lousy/rotten.

2. grey-haired.

[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.

3. boring, gloomy, sick.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 28 Feb. 12/1: It’s lucky this war’s come on; for you was getting pretty mouldy this trip.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ Down the Line 92: Sybil did a lot of mouldy tricks with cards.
[UK]G. De S. Wentworth-James Purple Passion 39: It’s mouldy living alone. Besides, I could go and dig with Chrissie and make a bit on letting the flat.
[UK]Wodehouse Inimitable Jeeves 169: When it comes to finding chappies collaring your bed, the thing becomes a trifle too mouldy.
[Aus]N. Lindsay Age Of Consent 26: Bloke goes blue mouldy trying to keep alive in these country towns.
[UK]A. Buckeridge Jennings’ Diary 67: Gosh, how mouldy!

4. (also mowldy) very drunk.

[Ire]B. Duffy Rocky Road 121: When he comes home a bit mouldy on Saturday nights he does be as cross as a bag of weasels.
[Ire]Joyce Finnegans Wake (1959) 381: Haubernea’s Livliest vintage on the brain, the unimportant Parthalonians with the mouldy Firbolgs and the Tuatha de Danaan googs .
[Ire]‘Myles na gCopaleen’ Best of Myles (1968) 338: Drunk; jarred; [...] tight; mouldy; maggoty.
[UK]P. Boyle All Looks Yellow to the Jaundiced Eye 32: By this time we were all getting a bit mouldy, but poor bloody Joe was properly fluthered.
[Ire]W. Burrowes Riordans 79: We move to Benny McDonnell’s pub in Clonee and get mowldy.
[Ire]P. Crosbie Your Dinner’s Poured Out! 23: It was common local knowledge that Edward VII [...] was found ‘maggoty mouldy’ drunk in O’Connell Street by an innocent policeman.
[Ire]J. O’Connor Secret World of the Irish Male (1995) 85: I seen him ownee the other night outside Lillie’s Bordildo and him being lurried into a joe maxi blue mowldy with the dhrink.

In compounds

mouldy one (n.) (also mouldy, mouldy coin, mouldy ’un, moulie) [the colour]

1. a copper coin.

[UK]Wild Boys of London I 259/2: I shall take care of the family plate; you don’t spend a mouldy coin in waste.
[UK]Sporting Times n.d.: The chief verger informed him that the fee waz eighteen mouldy ’uns for maimed ladies [B&L].
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[UK]J. Franklyn Cockney 260: At first it referred only to coins of small value (pennies, halfpennies and farthings), and it retained that meaning [...] up to about 1910 when the word mouldy for penny seems to have expired.
[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 757/2: from ca. 1850–1900. [...] moulies. Copper coins.: low Cockney: late C.19–20. I.e. mouldies.
[UK](con. 1910s) M. McGrath Silvertown 37: Frenchie lifts the youngest two onto the Woolwich Free Ferry to gawp at the pauper children shouting ‘throw out your mouldies’ to passengers on the steamers tied up at Woolwich pier and watch the scattering of coins from ship to shore.

2. (Aus.) a punch, a blow.

[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 6 Feb. 1/3: This riled Stebbings, who promptly landed Baldwin a mouldy one on the listener .
mouldy pate (n.) [SE pate]

a servant wearing a grey powdered wig.

[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict. 181: Mouldy gray-headed. Servants wearing hair-powder are usually termed mouldy-pates by street boys.

In phrases

blue mouldy (adj.) (also ...for a fight)

(Irish) stale, out of condition; thus phr. blue mouldy for want of a beating, looking for a fight, win or lose.

Scot. Guardian 11 Jan. n.p.: A correspondent [...] spoke of an Irishman who complained bitterly that he had grown ‘blue mouldy for want of a bating,’ and who would neither take nor give any rest till he had been beaten to his heart’s content.
[Ire]Waterford Mail 4 Aug. 2/1: Our transatlantic brother Jonathan is growing restless. He is [...] ‘getting blue mouldy for want of a beating’.
[Ire]Dublin Eve. Mail 11 May 3/2: He certainly must be more than ‘blue mouldy for want of a beating’ who would now think Ireland worth one blow.
[UK]Newry Examiner 10 July 2/4: Mr kennedy [...] escorted by an imported mob from the County Monaghan, all of whom were armed with sticks and bludgeons [...] and blue-mouldy for the want of a batin’’.
Teesdale Mercury 7 Mar. 4/5: Am Irishman, probably akin to his countryman who was ‘going blue-mouldy for want of a b’ating’, made appearance on the banks of the Tyne, seeking someone to fight him.
[UK]Huddersfield Chron. 12 Sept. 2/6: The typical Irishman who fear he might grow ‘blue mouldy for want of a bating’ [sic] might have easily found many coadjutors among the Afreedees, who [...] are regularly turning their hands against every man’s.
Dly Gaz. for Middlesbrough 10 Oct. 3/3: It’s not so much invoitin’ / We naded to foightin’ / ’twas blue mouldy we were for the want of a shine; / So with pikes and with banners / We marched to tache manners, / To Ribbonmen, Croppies, and — Papists, in fine.
[UK]Hartlepool Mail 24 May 4/3: Mr Rooney [...] with his faithful shillelagh, casts about for a reasonable pretext for a quarrel, for indeed her was just ‘blue-mouldy for a fight’.
[UK]Hull Dly Mail 1 Sept. 3/2: Now we have another scrapper in this seafaring town grtting blue mouldy for want of a beating.