1. the vagina [a play on SE grind/grind v. (1)].
|Play of Weather in Farmer Dramatic Writings (1905) 118: She would have the mill pecked, pecked, pecked, every day!|
|Grim The Collier of Croydon I iv: You may do as other Millers do, grind your grist at home, knock your coggs into your own Mill, you shall not cogg with her.|
|Maid in the Mill V ii: I have oft been found-a Thrown on my back, on a well-fill’d sack, while the Mill has still gone round-a.|
|Parliament of Women B4: Rachael Rattle-a-pace [said] so I hope that I bringing my sack to the mill, it may be ground among the rest.|
|‘I Cannott Bee Contented’ in Bishop Percy’s Folio Manuscript of Loose and Humorous Songs (1868) 95: Looke in the dam, & you may spye / heere is soe much that some runs by; / that neuer came a yeere soe drye / cold keep the Mill ffrom grindinge.|
|Whores Rhetorick A5: He that would grind with you, must pay the Toll before hand, even before he is permitted to bring his Grist to the Mill.|
|‘Bonny Peggy Ramsey’ in Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) II 151: And square is her Wethergig made like a Mill [...] For Peggy is a bonny Lass and grinds well her Mill.|
|in Pills to Purge Melancholy II 24: She said his Corn was musty, nor should her Toll-dish fill, / His Measure too so scanty, she fear’d t’would burn her Mill.|
|‘The Lady’s Water Mill’ Frisky Vocalist 15: Her mill’s surrounded thick with moss!|
|‘Fanny’s Mill’ Gentleman’s Spicey Songster 13: For Roger knew well how to grind / Her mill, for it, was new and clean, / A neater mill could ne’er be seen.|
2. in (UK Und.) use [SE mill, covering a variety of engines and tools].
(a) a housebreaker.
|Wandring-Whores Complaint title: A full discovery of the whole Trade of [...] Bawds, Whores, Fyles, Culls, Mobs, Budges, Shop-lifts, Glasiers, Mills, Bulkers, [...] and all other Artists, who are, and have been, Students of Whittington Colledge.|
|A Warning for House-Keepers 3: Those that go upon the Mill, which are house-breakers, they are the most dangerous of all sorts, they have an instrument [...] which they call a Betty.|
|Lives of Most Noted Highway-men, etc. I 242: Upon the Mill, which is breaking open Houses in the Night.|
(c) a chisel.
|Hell Upon Earth 5: Mill, a Chizel.|
|Memoirs (1714) 13: Mill, a Chizel.|
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Mill, a Chizzle.|
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (3rd edn).|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
3. a fist-fight [mill v.1 (3)].
(a) a prize-fight.
|Caledonian Mercury 14 Oct. 4/2: Bob Gregson tipped his customers a rum chaunt about the late mill.|
|Boxiana I 477: Come list ye all ye fighting Gills, / And Coves of boxing note, sirs, / Whilst I relate some bloody Mills, / In our time have been fought, sirs.‘Chaunt’ in Egan|
|Real Life in London I 83: There was a most excellent mill at Moulsey Hurst on Thursday last, between the Gas-light man, who appears to be a game chicken, and a prime hammerer — he can give and take with any man — and Oliver — Gas beat him hollow, it was all Lombard-street to a china orange.|
|New South Wales II 64: Scientific mills often take place, also, between lads of the fancy, for prize purses.|
|Bk of Sports 8: His rattler was sure to be full, both inside and out on the road to a prize mill.|
|Paul Pry 4 Dec. n.p.: Mark you that short, slight, well-dressed young man, eagerly devouring the contents of Bell’s Life. [...] Do you want the result of the last ‘mill,’ or the probable issue of the next?—he is your man.|
|Gaslight and Daylight 97: The ‘mill’ between Lurky Snaggs and Dan Pepper (the ‘Kiddy’) for one hundred pounds a side.|
|Melbourne Punch 9 Aug. 7/1: ‘Slangiana’ [...] A serious fight why style a mill?|
|Seven Curses of London 379: Some brief account of a ‘mill’ that has recently taken place between those once highly-popular gentlemen — the members of the ‘P.R.’.|
|Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 27 Apr. 6/4: The Washington Market roughs swore by Boss Harrington and were always ready for a mill.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 22 Jan. 5/2: A ‘mill’ took place in Essex on the 10th instant, between Taylor and Longen.|
|Sporting Times 13 Feb. 5/5: After a merry mill [...] a ‘Corinthian’ took him for a ‘bung’.|
|Fifty Years (2nd edn) I 143: I used now and again to go and see a merry mill.|
|W.A. Sun. Times (Perth) 3 Nov. 1/1: His amazement at the mildness of the ‘mills’ upset the equilibrium of his well-waxed whiskers.|
|Pitcher in Paradise 215: Nothing to be seen in the boxing world today can be compared to the merry mills of yesteryear.|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 29 May 2nd sect. 10/4: Hawkes [...] is in pretty good fix for a mill with any of the heavyweight crowd.|
|Day By Day in New York 19 May [synd. col.] He’s been in many mills. He is use to the grind.|
|N.Z. Truth 2 Aug. 8/6: [headline] Good Bare-Knuckled Mill.|
|Fighting Blood 344: Eleven people in all at a battle for the heavyweight championship of the world and ten of the low-voiced eleven is connected with the mill as principals or officials.|
|Classics in Sl. 62: As twenty-four hours’ notice is much more than I usually get for a mill, I cheered up considerably.|
(b) a fight, a brawl. sometimes a battle.
|Tom Crib’s Memorial to Congress 6: Just think, please your Majesties, how you’d prefer it / To mills such as Waterloo, here all the merit / To vulgar, red-coated rapscallions must fall.|
|‘The Drummer’s Stick’ in Frisky Vocalist 5: So he laid them all upon the grass, / Brought forth the magic stick, alas! / They look’d at it till fit to burst, / They had a mill which should have it first.|
|Scamps of London III ii: Lor, I had two or three mills, was thrown out of the house like a dog.|
|Adventures of Mr Verdant Green (1982) I 6: The jolly mills they used to have with the town cads.|
|‘The County Jail’ inComic and Sentimental Song Bk 55: At ten we raised a glorious mill / And smathered each other with right good will.|
|Slaver’s Adventures 248: Of all things I like to see a gallant mill.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 7 Mar. 14/3: Our long stay at the Quay was rather enlivened by a couple of rounds between two amateur pugs [...] and their mill continued till an old gentleman stepped in.|
|George’s Mother (2001) 104: Zeusentell an’ O’Connor had a great old mill. They were scrappin’ all over the place.|
|Fact’ry ’Ands 198: Hot ’n’ willin’ was ther mills he had up under ther roof.|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 23 Feb. 1/1: The threatened mill between the hairy theatrical clerk and the Grate-polisher is hoff.|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 23 Jan. 2nd sect. 1/1: They Say [...] That the inevitable mill between the males will be painfully one-sided.|
|Harrovians 191: To be hauled up by a boy you could knock into a cocked hat in a mill, to be warned, then dismissed like the veriest fag.|
|Dict. Amer. Sl.|
|Nightmare Town (2001) 172: Boy, was that a mill!‘His Brother’s Keeper’ in|
(c) a blow, a punch.
|Gale Middleton 1 148: That crack upon the temple is a favourite mill of mine.|
4. in sense of going or passing or putting through the mill.
(a) (UK Und.) the Insolvent Debtors’ Court.
|, ,||Sl. Dict. 179: Mill the old Insolvent Debtors’ Court. To go through themill is equivalent to being whitewashed.|
(b) any institution that acts to process its affairs by rote, rather than deal with them on their individual merits.
|Fables in Sl. (1902) 93: A Modern Solomon, who had been chosen to preside as a Judge in a Divorce Mill, climbed to his Perch and unbuttoned his vest for the Wearisome Grind.|
|Indian Advocate (Sacred Heart, OK) 1 Apr. 99: The divorce courts are so busy that they are generally referred to as ‘mills’.|
|Haunch Paunch and Jowl 69: I began to haunt the entrance to Essex Market Magistrates’ Court, the East Side’s police tribunal ... It was a busy mill of agonized humanity.|
|Pulp Fiction (2006) 42: Graves [...] told me her’d let me cop a minimum sentence if I’d rush her through the mill and make a plea.‘Honest Money’ in Penzler|
|High Sierra in Four Novels (1984) 332: I got a couple of diploma-mill doctors that I wouldn’t let work on my own dog.|
|Rally Round the Flag, Boys! (1959) 48: Doc [...] had received his M.D. from a Boston diploma mill.|
|Panzram (2002) 95: A pain-and-punishment mill of almost legendary repute, Clinton Prison had virtually lost its name [...] in favor of Dannemora.|
|Destination: Morgue! (2004) 208: Those places were abortion mills back in the ’50s.‘Hollywood Fuck Pad’ in|
(c) (US drugs) anywhere that pure narcotics (e.g. heroin, crack cocaine), purchased in bulk, is diluted and packaged for street sales.
|(con. 1950s) Addicts Who Survived 66: Dope is maybe 97 or 98 percent pure [...] The big boys, they’ll sell it to somebody who’s damn near as big, somebody who’ll buy a quarter of a million dollars’ worth of dope. They’ll take the dope – they call the place where they cut up the dope ‘mills’ – they’ll take it and put twice as much on it as there is dope.|
|Random Family 43: He set up a processing mill. He bought heroin, mannitol (a dilutant), a glass table, six chairs, a triple-beam scale, and glassine envelopes.|
|The Force [ebook] Malone’s crew has been watching the heroin mill on the second floor.|
|The Force [ebook] It was a crack mill [...] You hit it by the book, a warrant and everything, and the dealer didn’t run—he just sat there calmly and said, ‘Take it’.|
5. in context of imprisonment.
(a) a treadmill.
|‘The Cly-Pecker’ in Swell!!! or, Slap-Up Chaunter 39: And the next day the beaks made her grind at the mill.|
|‘The Mill! The Mill!’ Dublin Comic Songster 104: I’m on the mill, I’m on the mill.|
|in upsetvictorians.blogspot.com [Internet] ‘[I] was quodded for prigging and had twelve-pennorth at the mill’.|
|Paul Pry (London 15 Aug. n.p.: The ugly Jew and bully [is] not to decoy young girls [...] or perhaps he will get what he richly deserves — twelve months on the mill.|
|Pauper, Thief and Convict 162: The tread-wheel, which was first brought into use at Brixton prison in 1817 [...] has been the terror of idle scoundrels ever since, and is generally known among them as ‘the mill.’.|
|Chequers 143: At one you mount the mill again.|
|[perf. Marie Lloyd] G’arn Away [lyrics] ‘Who cut all yer ’air orff? why, you’ve been upon the mill’.|
|[perf. Vesta Tilley] A Nice, Quiet Week [lyrics] How stern - how sharp Mr Justice was ‘As you came to seek, my friends, just a quiet week my friends / You shall have one each upon our mill’.|
(b) a prison; thus attrib (see cite 1838).
|‘The Covey Of The Mill’ in Regular Thing, And No Mistake 64: He’s gone to Brixton Mill for the prigging he has done.|
|Oddities of London Life II 229: ‘I know the “mill-cut” too well to make a mistake.’ The magistrate was informed that the practice of cutting the hair close of those bad characters who were sent to hard labour, had the good effect for at least a month after they were discharged of showing that the party had been under the hands of the ‘Brixton barber’.|
|‘Pat And His Leather Breeches’ Dublin Comic Songster 155: The justice spoke his will, / And with upbraiding speeches, / He sent me to the mill.|
|Digby Grand Ch. x: The latter worthy... gave a policeman such a licking the other night, that he was within an ace of getting a month at the mill.|
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor I 15/1: One day he got rather lumpy / And got sent seven days to the mill.|
|‘9009’ (1909) 4: You’ll wish that more’n once before ye’ve croaked in this mill!|
|diary 10 Dec. [Internet] Patton and Finke turned loose. Peine put in mill.|
|AS VIII:3 (1933) 29/2: MILL. A prison or jail.‘Prison Dict.’ in|
|DAUL 138/2: Mill. (Chiefly Central and mid-Western) A prison; a jail; reformatory; penitentiary.et al.|
(c) a military prison or guardhouse.
|‘O’Reilly’ [US army poem] They ran him in the mill, they’ve got him in there still, / His bob-tail’s coming back by mail, / O’Reilly’s gone to Hell.|
|Tales of the Ex-Tanks 104: Jack Fahey [...] had been busted from post Sergeant-Major [...] and he had been running mate of mine in the mill off and on.|
|Sarjint Larry an’ Frinds n.p.: mill:— Guardhouse.‘Soldier Sl.’ in|
|Doughboy Dope 45: J is the Jug, otherwise known as the can, the pen or the mill.|
|(con. 1918) Sergeant Eadie 78: Put ’em in the mill!|
|You Chirped a Chinful!! n.p.: Jail [...] Mill.|
6. (US) a bar.
|More Ex-Tank Tales 47: There were products of France all that day [...] at the mills ’way over on the South Side.|
7. as a machine.
(a) (US) a typewriter [it ‘grinds out’ the words].
|Pacific Mthly Aug. 29/1: Plenty of time was left before the front page went down [...] andI hammered the story off on my ‘mill’ .|
|Sel. Letters (1981) 321: My typewriter, slang for mill, battered key board etc.letter 3 Mar. in Baker|
|Put on the Spot 107: He had learned to operate the ‘mill’ overseas in a machine gun unit.|
|Amer. Lang. Supplement II 717: Writers’ cramp was cured [...] on the advent of the mill, i.e., the typewriter.|
|One to Count Cadence (1987) 47: We recorded the messages – Morse Code groups by typewriter (mill) and voice on tape. [Ibid.] 52: I saw him resting his head on his mill.|
(b) (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].
|Atlantic Monthly Sept. 414: Motor is ‘moulin’ — to start it, one ‘turns the mill.’.|
|You Chirped a Chinful!! n.p.: Mill: Airplane motor.|
|‘Hot Rod Lexicon’ in Hepster’s Dict. 5: Mill – Automobile engine.|
|Go, Man, Go! 16: How many carbs on your mill?|
8. (US) by metonymy from sense 1 above, a woman.
|Coll. Stories (1990) 165: She was the kind of mill who was ready-made for him, notorious, single, attractive.‘Prison Mass’ in|
see separate entries.
(UK Und.) a spell of hard labour in prison.
a lodging house.
|Account 31 July [Internet] From thence I proposed to go Home to our ‖ Mill Ken. [...] ‖ Lodging.|
breaking and entering for the purpose of robbery; thus mill-layer, a housebreaker.
|Hell Upon Earth 4: The Mill-Lay; which is breaking into Houses by forcing Doors or Windows open with Betties and Chizels.|
|Memoirs (1714) 5: Mill-Layers, Such as break into Houses, by forcing Doors or Shutters open with Betties or Chizels.|
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Mill-Lay, to force open the Doors of a house in order to Rob it.|
|,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd, 3rd edn).|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|‘Grinding’ in Flash Minstrel! in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) I 102: I grind most famously, I owns, / And all admire my fine mill stones! [...] If you’re so inclin’d, and in want of a grind, / There’s nought like a miller and his mill stones.|
engaged in sexual intercourse.
|Red-Haired Suke‘’ in Flash Olio in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) III 187: I bends to her vill, tho’ she’s often at the mill, / But I’m blow’d if I’ll tell you h[e]r name.|
(W.I.) to walk on the prison treadmill.
|Narrative of Events Since the First of August, 1834 (2001) 10: Two young women was sent in [...] to dance the mill, and put in dungeons.|
|Voyage to Jamaica 53: To work in chains and dance the treadmill.|
see wigs on the green under wig n.2
SE in slang uses
a (woman’s) tongue.
|[||Fancies Act III: His tongue troules like a Mill-clack].|
|Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Mill-clapper, a (Woman’s) Tongue.|
|New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].|
|, , ,||Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].|
|Polite Conversation 22: Her Tongue runs like the Clapper of a Mill; she talks enough for herself and all the Company.|
|Life and Adventures.|
|New Dict. Cant (1795).|
|Dict. Sl. and Cant.|
|Modern Flash Dict.|
|Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.|
|New and Improved Flash Dict. Millclacker a woman’s tongue.n.p.:|
see under soak v.1