Green’s Dictionary of Slang

dicey adj.

[gambling imagery]

(orig. RAF jargon) usu. of situations, occas. individuals, risky, dangerous, dubious.

[[UK]R.S. Surtees Plain or Ringlets? (1926) 55: Any one, however — any one on the sunny side of thirty — might be fairly excused for being duped by Johnny O’Dicey [...] the inexperienced would think he was the noblest-hearted fellow [...] a victim instead of a shark].
[Aus]‘Neville Shute’ Town Like Alice 303: He [...] made a tight, dicey turn round in the gorge with about a hundred feet to spare.
[UK]C. MacInnes Absolute Beginners 68: At the same, he does like you to say you’re glad to see him once again, so it’s all a trifle dicey.
[US]K. Cook Wake in Fright [ebook] ‘Joe,’ he said, ‘your rifle’s more or less pointing at me.’ ‘Yeah.’ Joe was polite, but not concerned. ‘You’re sure it’s not loaded?’ ‘Yeah, it’s loaded.’ ‘Well— ah— isn’t it a little dicey?’.
[UK]J.P. Carstairs Concrete Kimono 188: I blinked [...] trying to read what was going on in that highly dazzling but highly dicey mind.
[Aus](con. 1941) R. Beilby Gunner 15: He wasn’t keen to have Yorgo with him in a dicey situation.
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘Christmas Crackers’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] No the belly’s a bit dicey. Sort of burning pains!
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Boys from Binjiwunyawunya 11: Having to order a hit, chase up a defaulting punter or sort out a dicey cop or politician.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 318: Ellis Loew has an injunction prepared should things get dicey.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Between the Devlin 149: The dicey scam with the bikies had gone over.
[UK]K. Sampson Awaydays 110: We turn and head back the way we’ve just come [...] It’s a bit dicey.
[US]J. Stahl I, Fatty 122: To know how spooked Zukor was, you have to know how dicey the whole film business was looking.
[US]A. Steinberg Running the Books 78: I did learn an important lesson during one particularly dicey seagulling session.
[US]S.M. Jones Lives Laid Away [ebook] Humid funk. A sickly stew of sweat, farts, mold, dicey food, flat beer and premature ejaculation.
[Aus]D. Whish-Wilson Shore Leave 121: It would be dicey but he relied on the fact that he was white and they were black.
[US]J. Ellroy Widespread Panic 15: I’d head to Reno for a quickie [divorce], but it might not work. We got hitched in T.J., so the paperwork could get dicey.
[US](con. 1962) J. Ellroy Enchanters 149: Cater waiters were by nature dicey. They were all fly-by-nights.
[UK]J. Meades Empty Wigs (t/s) 148: ‘He got himself into a bit of a pickle over a business scheme – all a bit dicey’.