Green’s Dictionary of Slang

fix v.1

1. to prepare some form of trick.

[UK]Head Canting Academy (2nd edn) 73: Three parts of every nights dream is spent [...] with how to fix a Dye for any purpose.
[UK] ‘Plunder Creek’ in Bentley’s Misc. Feb. 128: If the devil had been the fisherman then, he would have fixed the Dutcher.
[US]A. Pinkerton Reminiscences 151: All right, my fine old snoozer! We’ll fix you!
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Story of Malachi’ in Roderick (1972) 10: We were not content with common jokes, such as [...] ‘fixing’ his bunk, or putting explosives in his pipe.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘The Rhyme of the Rusher’ in Sporting Times 29 Oct. n.p.: I fixed him at nap until / I had turned his skyrockets inside out, / And had managed my own to fill.
[US]O. Wister Jimmyjohn Boss and Other Stories 67: He once got my cash with his private poker deck that onced, and I’m fixing for to get his’n.
[UK]C. Williams A Master of Crime 170: My idea is to ‘fix’ her during the journey. Alice can travel with the detective and with a little dose of chloroform can keep him quiet. [...] The chloroform drug can then be blown into the compartment and the rest will be easy.
[US]P. & T. Casey Gay-cat 75: I’ve fixed his shooting-iron.
[US]T. Runyon In For Life 245: These days shoes were rarely ‘fixed’ with acid around the welt.
[UK]Indep. 10 Jan. 18: He would stifle the bell with a length of muslin cloth and say, ‘that’ll fix it’.

2. (also fix up) to bribe, to suborn, esp. in the context of sports or politics.

[US] in Journal William Macklay (1927) 248: We expected something political would be proposed by Fitzsimons, and out it came: ‘Gentlemen, it is expected of us that we should fix the Governor’ [DA].
[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker (1843) II 92: I had to bribe some Master Workmen to go out to America, and if I didn’t fix ’em it’s a pity.
[US]Galaxy (N.Y.) Mar. 193: This aid, he averred, would be most effective, as he had ‘fixed’ the clerk at the lace shawl counter, and that person would be conveniently blind at the moment chosen by the thieves to slip the costly articles from the counter into the immense pockets they all have suspended to the waist, under the dress.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 15 Oct. 12/4: Even the unvarying old bottle of ‘three-star’ fusel-oil was the same and seemed to have followed The Bulletin’s scribe round to ‘fix’ him.
[US]E. Townsend Chimmie Fadden Explains 35: De first ting de sporty boy says was t’ tell me to fix de cops, and he shoved a wad in my fist.
[US]Ade More Fables in Sl. (1960) 116: She knew Something was Doing. Else why should he try to Fix her?
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 22 May 1/6: How they fix and rig the jockeys.
Minn. Jrnl 10 June 1/6: Suspicions have been aroused that an attempt has been made to ‘fix’ the jury.
[US]G. Bronson-Howard Enemy to Society 41: If they can’t fix th’ mayor with dough, and they need him in the business, they promise to make him governor or senator or ambassador.
[Aus]Truth (Melbourne) 3 Jan. 5/2: It is well known that ‘fixing-up’ a race is one of common practices of the turf.
[US]S. Lewis Babbitt (1974) 42: ‘Fixing’ health inspectors and fire inspectors and a member of the State Transportation Commission.
[US](con. 1905–25) E.H. Sutherland Professional Thief (1956) 38: It is recognized as a responsibility of every member of the mob to do everything possible to fix a case for any member of the mob. [Ibid.] 86: A time when it was almost impossible to fix a case in New York City.
[Aus]L. Glassop We Were the Rats 3: [He] had been sent out for life by Nerridale Jockey Club for ‘fixing’ a field on Cup day.
[US]H. Simmons Corner Boy 92: And the elections. Hadn’t he fixed the elections?
[UK]C. MacInnes Mr Love and Justice (1964) 79: But if you fix a case, Edward, then don’t you commit a crime yourself?
[US](con. 1949) J.G. Dunne True Confessions (1979) 285: My God, Desmond Spellacy thought, I’m tired of fixing things.
[US]N. Pileggi Wiseguy (2001) 235: The stiffest sentence ever received by a college player convicted of fixing baseball scores.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read Chopper From The Inside 93: As for fixing a trial. If I could fix a horse race as quick and easily as a Crown witness then I’d be a millionaire.
P.E. Harmon Calico Starr 240: I have witnesses that can prove his deputies were trying to fix the race.

3. to take revenge upon, to get even with, to foil an antagonist’s plans.

[UK]G. Parker Life’s Painter 142: If any of us was to come in by ourselves and should happen to take a rum snooze, you’d snitch upon us, and soon have the traps and fix us, in putting a lap-feeder in our sack, that you or your blowen had prig’d yourselves, though we should stand the frisk for it.
[US]Aurora (Phila.) 8 Apr. n.p.: Having fix’d Randolphi,—wish the other house would fix Mason [DA].
[UK]York Herald 3 May 4/3: Damn my eyes (said Taylor) if I leave this blasted crib [...] You are governor, but I’ll fix you.
[US]W.G. Simms Sword and the Distaff 286: I reckon we’d ha’ fixed ’em all at last.
[US]T.F. Upson diary Apr. in Winther With Sherman to the Sea (1958) 9: The President will soon fix them. He has called for 75,000 men and is going to blockade thier [sic] ports.
[US]A.F. Hill Our Boys 347: The barefaced scoundrel! [...] O, I’ll fix him!
[US]C. White Magic Penny in Darkey Drama 5 Act I: Now, if he’s de only one dat seed me I’ll fix him berry quick.
[UK]‘Jack the Ripper’ letter 28 Sept. in Farson Jack the Ripper (1972) 39: Dear Boss, I keep hearing the police have caught me but they won’t fix me yet. [...] I am down on whores and I shan’t quit ripping them till I do get buckled. Grand work the last one was. I gave the lady no time to squeal.
[US]J.A. Riis How the Other Half Lives 53: The community hears [...] of another Italian affray, a man stabbed in a quarrel, dead or dying, and the police know that ‘he’ has been fixed, and the account squared.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 75: I’ll whip him. That’ll fix him!
[US]O. Johnson Varmint 107: You laughed at me, you miserable Rinky Dink. I’ll fix you for that.
[US]F. Packard White Moll 52: I’ll fix you for this!
[US]O. Strange Sudden 35: I reckon that’ll fix yu, my friend, fix yu good an’ plenty.
[UK]K. Williams Diaries 9 July 43: She’s a bitch but I’ll fix her tomorrow.
[UK]W. Hall Long and the Short and the Tall Act I: There’s half of you been shooting off your mouths for days on end on how you’d fix the Japs.
[US]B. Hecht Gaily, Gaily 20: The first thing I do is fix that prosecutor bastard.
[Aus](con. 1941) R. Beilby Gunner 53: Give ’em a good boot up the ring. That fixes ’em. They’ve all got kidney trouble, see.
[US]C. White Life and Times of Little Richard 164: A lot of people thought to themselves, well, we’ll fix him.
[US](con. 1960s) G. Washington Blood Brothers 181: Right, I’m gonna fix that bastard Baby Louie once and for all.
[UK]Observer Mag. 4 Jan. 18: He undertook to fix the great film-maker who made that movie.

4. (orig. US) to arrange, to prepare, to get ready.

[UK] ‘Plunder Creek’ in Bentley’s Misc. Feb. 128: The suitorers were awful earnest with ould Dykeman to fix for one of them.
[UK]Dickens Amer. Notes x 86: You call upon a gentleman in a country town, and his help informs you that he is fixing himself just now, but will be down directly: by which you are to understand that he is dressing. You inquire, on board a steamboat, of a fellow-passenger, whether breakfast will be ready soon, and he tells you he should think, for when he was last below, they were fixing the tables; in other words, laying the cloth. You beg a porter to collect your luggage, and he entreats you not to be uneasy, for he’ll fix it presently, and if you complain of indisposition, you are advised to have recourse to Doctor so and so who will fix you in no time.
[US]W.C. Hall ‘Mike Hooter’s Bar Story’ Spirit of the Times 26 Jan. (N.Y.) 581: When he found they wouldn’t hunt no how he could fix it, he began acussin’.
[US]‘Timothy Titcomb’ Letters to Young People 141: You might just as well ‘cave in,’ first as last, and ‘absquatulate,’ for you can’t ‘put it through,’ ‘any way you can fix it.’.
[US]C.H. Smith Bill Arp 43: Ding it all, I found him in a store buying a haversack, fixing to go.
[US]G.P. Burnham Memoirs of the US Secret Service 73: I wanted only time to fix up things again.
[US]Easley Messenger (SC) 11 Apr. 4/2: ‘You gals must be a fixin’ to get married.’ ‘Law, no [...] I’m gwine to be an old maid’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 14 Mar. 18/1: One evening we were more than usually pertinacious beside the boiler. We wanted her to fix it definitely, and let us ascend to the heaven of connubial bliss.
[US]‘Mark Twain’ Tom Sawyer, Detective Ch. II: Tom says that’s all right, he reckoned he could fix it with the head steward.
[UK]Gem 23 Sept. iv: I fixed it with Woodford just before he left.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 5 Aug. 47/1: Out at quod [...] there’s heaps of chanst for one bloke to chat another; an’ before you come out you’ve fixed it up to work some job with fellers who are in with you.
[UK]Boys’ Realm 16 Jan. 265: You get busy. I’ll fix the landlady.
[UK]P. Cheyney Dames Don’t Care (1960) 24: He has fixed to go out to a party.
[US] in E. Cray Erotic Muse (1992) 139: Frankie ran back to her crib-joint, / Fixin’ to do him some harm.
[UK]J. Osborne Look Back in Anger Act I: So I said she could come here until she fixes something else.
[UK]J.R. Ackerley We Think The World Of You (1971) 41: This is wonderful news! How did you fix it?
[UK]P. Theroux London Embassy 99: Tell them I’ll have this book fixed pretty soon.
[US]P. Beatty White Boy Shuffle 50: That’s my sister [...] and her bestest friend [...] They fixin’ to kick y’all’s ass.
[US]Teen Lingo: The Source for Youth Ministry [Internet] fi’n v. (derived from ‘fixin’) Getting ready to do something. ‘I’m fi’n to tell you waz down with sheila and snoopy.’.
[US]Simon & Burns ‘Collateral Damage’ Wire ser. 2 ep. 1 [TV script] He fixin’ to stay in my shit.
[US]G. Pelecanos Way Home (2009) 257: You know what you’re fixin to do? [...] are you up for it?

5. to prepare food or drink, to prepare a meal.

[US]J.H. Green Reformed Gambler 124: I say, Mister! how shall I fix them [i.e. medicines] so that they will do the most execution in the shortest time.
[US]N.Y. Tribune 13 Jan. 15/3: She was fixin’ red hot baked potatoes, white bread, bees’ honey.
[US]Ade Hand-made Fables 154: He said he could fix me a Collins except for the one Ingredient which made it a Collins.
[US]L. Hughes Mulatto in Three Negro Plays (1969) Act I: Can I fix you a cool drink, Colonel Tom?
[US]H. McCoy Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye in Four Novels (1983) 234: Will you please fix some toast or soup or something? I’m hungry.
[US]J. Thompson Savage Night (1991) 124: I’m going to fix you a cup of coffee.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Mama Black Widow 81: Next morning Carol didn’t fix breakfast.
[UK]‘Hergé’ Tintin and the Picaros 53: Time for you to fix breakfast.
[US]J. Wambaugh Golden Orange (1991) 140: I’ll fix dinner.
[UK]Guardian Media 16 Aug. 44: Fixing breakfast.

6. (also finna, fix off) to kill, to murder.

[US]D. Crockett Exploits and Adventures (1934) 254: A third came up to the cannon, my companion handed me another gun, and I fixed him off in like manner.
[US]W.T. Thompson Chronicles of Pineville 57: You’s fixed me off and made a widder of my wife and children. I’s a dead man!
[US] ‘The Jolly Tall Oysterman’ in Champagne Charley Songster 40: Get me my big harpoon, / I’ll get into the fishing boat and fix the fellow soon.
[US]C.G. Leland ‘Der Freischuetz’ in Hans Breitmann’s Party 43: ‘Potzblitz!’ says he, ‘dat dove I’ll fix!’.
Wkly Kansas Chief (Troy, KS) 30 Jan. 1/1: ‘There was but one and I fixed him,’ said Sneak when they asked him how many of the enemy were in view when he fired.
[US]St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) 27 Mar. 4/5: ‘I got in after fixin’ the dog with wienerwurst ’n strychnine’.
[US]F. Packard Adventures of Jimmie Dale (1918) I viii: Wot was ter stop him writin’ out another paper if we didn’t fix him fer keeps?
[US]D. Hammett ‘Fly Paper’ Story Omnibus (1966) 51: Babe got next and fixed the pair of them.
[US]O. Strange Sudden 129: Reckon I fixed yu, Mister Green.
[US]R. Chandler Farewell, My Lovely (1949) 23: Who done it? [...] Who fixed Sam?
[Aus]K. Tennant Joyful Condemned 9: It’d take more gas than you’ve got money to fix you.
[UK]G. Kersh Fowlers End (2001) 190: Give ’im a lovely great bubble of air in one of ’is fat old arteries. I’ll bet you that would fix ’im.
[US]R. Prather Scrambled Yeggs 32: They fix the guy – bang him over the head, beat him, tie him up, anything – then smack into him with a car.
[US](con. 1949) J.G. Dunne True Confessions (1979) 79: Jerry says, ‘I’ll fix that Polack fuck,’ and he takes out his Special.

7. (US) to look after.

[US]‘Mark Twain’ Innocents at Home 334: We’ll fix you all right. There’ll be a kerridge for you; and whatever you want.

8. to intend.

[UK]Boy’s Own Paper 7 Jan. 226: I’ve been fixin’ to climb that air hill many a time, and this is jist ’bout the last chance I’ll git to do it.
[US]R. Lardner You Know Me Al (1984) 74: I have got it all figured that Hazel is fixing to surprise me by dropping in on me.
[US]Thurman & Rapp Harlem in Coll. Writings (2003) 330: Marry! I ain’t fixing to marry nobody, nevah!
[US]C.G. Finney Circus of Dr Lao 87: Well, the Chinks they haul out the last guy, a great big bozo, an’ fixes to bump him off an’ call it a day.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 17: [We] hopped a freight to St Louis [...] fixing to pay our way by selling the pictures as we bummed around.
[US]H. Simmons Corner Boy 25: We ain’t fixing to rumba with the T’s.
[US]B. Jackson Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 168: If you got any young whores in the house you better start ’em walking, / ’cause you all done made me mad and I’m fixin’ to do some bad goddam talkin’!
[US]V.E. Smith Jones Men 17: Y’all fixing to make a big connect?
[US]D. Woodrell Muscle for the Wing 91: I was fixin’ to intrude an idea of my own on you.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 42: He was fixing to shatter spontaneously from heroin withdrawal.
[US]P. Beatty Tuff 55: I’m feeling scandalous, like Richard Widmark in Kiss of Death, fixing to push the old lady in the wheelchair down the stairs.
[US]T.I. ‘About the Money’ [lyrics] Nah I can't even hear what you say, I ain’t finna do shit / If it ain’t about the money.

9. to attack, to beat up; also in fig. use.

[US]W. Oliver Eight Months in Illinois 126: The way in which the mosquitos fix one is a caution.
[US]A.F. Pinkerton Dyke Darrel 85: Dyke Darrel sank a bleeding and insensible mass to the floor. [...] ‘I’ve fixed him, Professor,’ growled Nick Browser.
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper 15 Oct. 34: Phil was eager to ‘fix’ the ruffian who had all but killed him.
[US]‘Old Sleuth’ Dock Rats of N.Y. (2006) 17: ‘How about this Government officer who has been prowling around here?’ was the next question which fell from Garcia’s lips. ‘Well, that’s more than I can tell you, but he’ll be fixed to-night, whoever he is.’.
[US]E. O’Neill The Web in Ten ‘Lost’ Plays (1995) 58: If yuh bother this goil again I’ll fix yuh and fix yuh right. D’yuh get me?
[US]P. & T. Casey Gay-cat 81: Come — on in. I — fixed — those two guys.
[US]H. Roth Call It Sleep (1977) 241: Sonnomo bitzah you! I fix! [...] I’ll zebreak you het.
[US](con. 1948) G. Mandel Flee the Angry Strangers 450: He better watch out Dincher doesn’t fix him.
[US]Kerouac On The Road (1972) 66: You tell that Texas sonofabitch if my brother isn’t out of jail tomorrow night he’s going to get his ass fixed.
[UK]P. Theroux Murder in Mount Holly (1999) 30: ‘They fixed him up real good. Then he learned.’ ‘Fixed him up?’ [...] ‘Beat the living stuffings out of him.’.
[UK]‘Hergé’ Tintin and the Land of Black Gold 9: I’ll fix you right now, my friend.
[Aus]A. Weller Day of the Dog 83: Jenny has vowed to her mates that she will fix Doug’s slut properly, just wait and see.

10. to sort out.

[UK]Edinbury Gleaner 144: As soon as I get fixed in life, I’ll cease to think of war and strife; And take unto myself a wife.
[UK]Besant & Rice Golden Butterfly III 41: ‘I can’t fix it,’ he groaned. ‘I can’t fix it anyhow.’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 24 Jan. 11/1: If any prince over there wants something handy with a broom and with a 500 h.p. voice we think we can fix things.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 118: Leave it to me. I’m the fixin’ kid.
[US]G. Bronson-Howard God’s Man 153: It’s all fixed now, isn’t it?
O.O. McIntyre ‘New York Day by Day’ 26 Oct. [synd. col.] But the son has fixed the waiter and the cashier and the bills are sent to him.
[US]J. Spenser Limey 10: It ought to have been just about enough to hire a lawyer to fix the case.
[Ire]B. Behan Quare Fellow (1960) III:ii: That’s that bloody Mickser. I’ll fix him this time.
[US] in E. Cray Erotic Muse (1992) 329: We’ll take him down to Menlo and amputate his balls. / And then if that won’t fix him, I’ll tell you what we’ll do: / We’ll stuff his ass with broken glass, and seal it up with glue.
[US]A. Brooke Last Toke 5: ‘You jive-ass nigga! You sure is in need of some fixin’.’ Scowling, Redwood stared at his reflection in the bathroom mirror.

11. to pay.

[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 68: I’ll fix you Satiddy night, don’t you be scared o’ that.

In phrases

fix oneself (v.)

to get oneself into trouble.

[Aus]C.H. Thorp Handful of Ausseys 201: An’ yer might overdo the stunt an’ fix yerself fer life, or even peg out.
[US]Dos Passos Three Soldiers 16: ‘Some guy on trial for insubordination. Punched an officer in the jaw.’ ‘I’d a liked to have seen that.’ ‘Anyhow he’s fixed himself this time.’.
fix someone’s clock (v.) [ironic use of SE fix + clock; the image is that the clock will indeed be ‘fixed’, but not in the way its owner desires]

(US) to thwart another’s plans, to cause trouble for an enemy, to get even with.

[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 130: ‘Youse fixed me clock, ain’t youse?’ he shouted wildly.
[US]A. Berkman Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist (1926) 466: The officers openly avowed they would ‘fix his clock’.
[US]P. Kyne Cappy Ricks 251: ‘It’s all right, Matt,’ Cappy said with a cunning wink. ‘I’ve fixed Florry’s clock for her.’.
[US]N. Algren Never Come Morning (1988) 256: I was s’pose to get you drunk ’n the barber’s boys was s’pose to come in ’n fix your clock.
[US] in P.R. Runkel Law Unto Themselves 248: You tell him if he’s thinking of laying for me after, you’ll fix his clock good.
(con. 1930s) H. Kraus Heroes of Unwritten Story: The UAW, 1934-39 4: ‘Don’t worry, I’m going to fix his clock for him!’ The older man took hold of his arm. ‘No, Dick, it’ll do more harm that good.’.
fix someone’s flint (v.) [ironic use of SE fix + flint, the flint of a matchlock or musket]

(US) to thwart another’s plans, to cause trouble for an enemy, to get even with.

[US]W. Otter Hist. of My Own Times (1995) 93: The plastering was worth about twelve dollars, and I charged him thirty-one, and thirty-one half gallons of beer, so I thought I had fixed his flint pretty well.
Burton’s Gentleman’s Mag. (Phila.) Feb. 72: You thought to fix my flint by calling out your confounded big names, and I’ll be swizzled if Uncle Sam aint got the keownterparts on ’em in one state alone.
[US]T. Haliburton Sam Slick’’s Wise Saws II 94: I’m a dead shot; but perhaps you think you are a deader one, and make sartin you’ll fix my flint.
[UK]C. Reade Hard Cash I 287: Darn the critter; he’s fixed my flint eternally.
[US]Cultivator and Country Gentleman (US) 10 Dec. 799/2: We ‘take the shine out of’ a rival, and ‘fix his flint’ for him.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Colonial Reformer III 221: He always averred [...] that ‘his flint was fixed’.
[UK]Marvel 1 Mar. 11: I guess I can fix his flint.
fix someone’s wagon (v.) (also fix someone’s little red wagon)

to thwart someone’s plans.

[US]B. Appel Brain Guy 219: On the second floor, in the flat with the beds, a bunch got steamed up and were going to lizzy up one of the younger kids who had a girl’s complexion. They’da fixed his wagon.
[US]J. Archibald ‘Knife Thrower’ in Popular Detective June [Internet] But she ain’t goin’ to walk out on me. I’m goin’ to fix her wagon.
[US]B. Schulberg Harder They Fall (1971) 112: Whether it was a promise to do you a favour, or to fix your little red wagon, Nick always came through.
[US]Mad mag. Dec.–Jan. 15: Melvin, we gonna fix your wagon [...] Any last requests.
[US]S. Bellow Henderson The Rain King 298: ‘I’ll fix your wagon,’ I promised him in silence.
[US]‘Richard Hooker’ M*A*S*H (2004) 91: ‘I’m Colonel Cornwall...’ ‘Cornwallis? [...] I thought we fixed your wagon at Yorktown.’.
[UK]P. Theroux Picture Palace 72: If you won’t leave me alone I’ll call Mister Seltzer and he’ll come down here and fix your wagon.
[US]C. Hiaasen Nature Girl 59: Don’t worry – I fixed his sorry wagon.
posting at topix.net 6 Apr. [Internet] I am going to fix your little red wagon for this. I am going to make your life a living hell!!!!
fix the old gum-tree (v.)

(Aus.) of a former wanderer, to settle down at last.

H. Lawson ‘Jack Dunn of Nevertire’ in In Days When World Was Wide 62: 'But, spite of that, I'll find a way to fix the old gum-tree. / I’ve bought a station in the North—the best that could be had; / I want a man to pick the stock—I want a super bad.
[Aus]Baker Aus. Lang. 89: The gum-tree has found its way into Australian popular speech in numerous instances [...] To fix the old gum-tree, to settle down.