Green’s Dictionary of Slang

pink adj.

1. [early 19C; 1910s] fashionable, exclusive [SE in 16C].

2. [mid-19C+] left-wing, socialist (rather than Communist, ie. red adj. (2)).

3. [late 19C–1940s] a general intensifier, extreme, absolute; esp. as (not) a pink thing.

4. [late 19C+] slightly indecent, violent or vulgar, mildly ‘blue’.

5. dissipated.

6. [20C+] homosexual [use predates Gay Liberation days].

7. [1920s+] (US black) white.

In compounds

pink finger (n.)

[1900s] (US) an effeminate, poss. homosexual man.

pink pretty (n.)

a socialist, a left-winger.


see separate entries.

pink whoogie (n.) [whoogie n.]

[20C+] (US) a derog. term for a white person.

In phrases

pinked up (adj.)

[late 19C–1900s] (US) fashionably dressed.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

pink champagne (n.) [1990s+] (drugs)

1. a mixture of cocaine and heroin.

2. amphetamine sulphate [the colour of the powder].

pink-eye (n.)

see separate entry.

pink lady (n.) [the colour of the capsules]

[1950s+] (drugs) a barbiturate, usu. Seconal/Darvon.

pinkmail (n.) (also pink, pink kite)

[1960s+] (US prison) secret notes of a romantic or sexual nature passed between inmates.

pink oboe (n.)

see separate entry.

pink owsley (n.) (also pink panther, ...robot) [Owsley acid n./SE panther/robot; ? the colour of the capsules + play on Pink Panther films (1964–78)]

[1960s+] (drugs) LSD.

Pink Palace, the (n.)

see separate entry.

pink panatella (n.) (also pink cigar) [resemblance (if white)]

[1990s+] the penis.

pink slip (n.) [also note the pink slip that, in the US, proves ownership of a car] [1910s+] (US)

1. a notice of dismissal [the pink paper on which it is written/printed].

2. a brush-off, a rejection [fig. use of sense 1].

3. in prison, the notice that permits one’s parole.

pink spiders (n.) (also pink monkeys) [one supposedly ‘sees’ them]

[late 19C] delirium tremens.

pinktoe (n.)

see separate entry.

pink-tongue (n.)

[1980s] (US) a derog. term for a black person.

pink torpedo (n.)

[2000s] a penis.

pink trumpet (n.)

[2000s] the penis.

Pink ’Un (n.)

see separate entry.

In phrases

go for pink slips (v.) [the pink slip that is proof of ownership]

[1950s+] (US) to race cars with the winner gaining the loser’s vehicle.

on one’s pink (adj.)

[late 19C-1900s] (Aus.) drunk.

see pink elephants (v.)

[1910s+] to have hallucinations from alcoholism.