Green’s Dictionary of Slang

mill n.1

1. [mid-16C–mid-19C] the vagina [a play on SE grind/grind v. (1)].

2. in (UK Und.) use [SE mill, covering a variety of engines and tools].

(a) [17C] a housebreaker.

(b) [late 17C–early 18C] housebreaking.

(c) [17C–mid-19C] a chisel.

3. [early 19C–1930s] a fist-fight [mill v.1 (3)].

(a) a prize-fight.

(b) a fight, a brawl. sometimes a battle.

(c) a blow, a punch.

4. in sense of going or passing or putting through the mill.

(a) [mid-19C] (UK Und.) the Insolvent Debtors’ Court.

(b) [late 19C+] any institution that acts to process its affairs by rote, rather than deal with them on their individual merits.

(c) [1950s+] (US drugs) anywhere that pure narcotics (e.g. heroin, crack cocaine), purchased in bulk, is diluted and packaged for street sales.

5. in context of imprisonment.

(a) [mid–late 19C] a treadmill.

(b) [mid-19C–1940s] a prison; thus attrib (see cite 1838).

(c) [late 19C–1940s] a military prison or guardhouse.

6. [1900s] (US) a bar.

7. as a machine.

(a) [1910s+] (US) a typewriter [it ‘grinds out’ the words].

(b) [1910s+] (US) an engine of an aircraft or ‘souped up’ car; thus turn the mill, start the engine [note WWI Fr. sl. moulin à café, ‘coffee-grinder’, i.e. a machine gun, operated by a crank handle].

8. [1930s] (US) by metonymy from sense 1 above, a woman.

In compounds

mill doll

see separate entries.

mill-dose (n.)

[mid-19C] (UK Und.) a spell of hard labour in prison.

mill-ken (n.)

[mid-18C] a lodging house.

mill-lay (n.) [lay n.3 (1)]

[late 17C–early 19C] breaking and entering for the purpose of robbery; thus mill-layer, a housebreaker.

millstones (n.)

[mid-19C] the testicles.

In phrases

at the mill

engaged in sexual intercourse.

dance the mill (v.)

[mid-19C] (W.I.) to walk on the prison treadmill.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

mill-clapper (n.) (also mill-clacker) [SE mill-clapper, an instrument which by striking the hopper causes the corn to be shaken into the mill-stones]

[late 17C–19C] a (woman’s) tongue.

In phrases