Green’s Dictionary of Slang

pink adj.

1. fashionable, exclusive [SE in 16C].

[UK]Lady Morgan Autobiog. (1859) 42: Although it was Lady Cork’s ‘Pink night’, the rendezvous of the fashionable exclusives, we got away as soon as Sir Charles came up.
[US](ref. to 1820) Wash. Times (DC) 31 Oct. 19/2: A century ago in London social circles [a] fashionable woman was called a ‘pink lady’ .

2. left-wing, socialist (rather than Communist, ie. red adj. (2)).

[UK] Times 4 Mar. 3/4: Monday night the flags of the Blues were paraded through the town [i.e. Boston] by torch-light; and the Pink party had a meeting .
[UK]Lytton What Will He Do With It? 9: I’m for the old times; my neighbour, Joe Spruce, is for the new, and says we are all a-progressing. But he’s a pink —I’m a blue. [...] I’m a Tory.—that’s blue; and Spruce is a Rad—that’s pink!
[US]J. Archibald ‘Dog Collared’ in Popular Detective Oct. [Internet] Leon Potsky had tagged a dozen Stalinites during his reign as editor of the more than pink weekly rag.
[US]R. Gover One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding 99: A debate between this dirty pink jerk who thought we should scrap the H bomb [,...] and an Air Force person.
[UK]C. Stead Cotters’ England (1980) 235: I just had to tick off that damn, pussy-footing, pale pink journalist, Robin Bramble!
[US](con. WWII) T. Sanchez Hollywoodland (1981) 201: It’s not just a question of whether or not the girl’s Pink.
[US](con. 1964–8) J. Ellroy Cold Six Thousand 33: Oswald’s pink. Oswald’s Red. Oswald loves Fidel.

3. a general intensifier, extreme, absolute; esp. as (not) a pink thing.

[US]W.C. Gore Student Sl. in Cohen (1997) 21: pink a. Used to intensify the negative. ‘He didn’t know a pink thing about the lesson.’.
[US]Ade More Fables in Sl. (1960) 126: The Lady President [...] began to read a few Pink Thoughts on ‘Women’s destiny — Why Not?’.
[Aus]E. Dyson ‘The Picnic’ in Benno and Some of the Push 8: Don’t I like yer pink cheek, polin’ in on ’er bloke’s ticket, ’n’ then doin’ the smoodge with his cobber.
Bystander (London) 17 Dec. 3/1: ‘England was merrie [...] when there wren’t no (pink) Lloyd Georges’.
[Aus]D. Maitland Breaking Out 196: You just suddenly collapse [...] and throw a pink fit.

4. slightly indecent, violent or vulgar, mildly ‘blue’.

[UK] ‘’Arry on ’Igh Life’ in Punch 20 July 24: I don’t often turn on the pink.
[UK] ‘’Arry on ’onesty’ in Punch 31 Jan. 60/1: The ’igh-flying crickits may splutter, the sleek soapboard crawlers may sniff / But gumptioners know that wot pays is the pink and the spicily spiff.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 12 Aug. 4/7: [This] recalls a pink yarn anent the visit of the sweet songstress to Kalgoorlie.
Bystander (London) 17 Dec. 3/1: ‘.
[UK]P. Allingham Cheapjack 81: With the pink clergyman, whom I should not have liked personally even had his publicity methods been less tasteless, were several earnest young men.
[UK]S. Berkoff Decadence in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 21: Kiss me you luscious dolly pink and bouncy.

5. dissipated.

[Aus]W.A. Sun. Times (Perth) 2 June 1/1: Many goldfielders returned from the Melbourne shivoo are having a pink time in Perth.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 16 July 30/3: It was never my habit to splash / In pink dissipation my cash; / With my pence as a child / I was modest and mild – / As a youthlet I never was flash.

6. homosexual [use predates Gay Liberation days].

implied in pink finger
[US]W. Winchell 8 Mar. [synd. col.] Is he a sissy? Say, when he gets mad – he sees pink!
[US]F. Hilaire Thanatos 293: A nutt-nuzzling, pink-assed pervert.
[UK]T. Blacker Fixx 203: The small regiment of officers in the pink army.
[UK]N. Cohn Yes We have No 150: All those pink Polyannas get up my nose.
[US]T. Udo Vatican Bloodbath 120: Their failure to turn Britain into a Fundamentalist Homosexual Republic [...] World War 3 had put pay to that particular little pink pipe dream.
[SA]K. Cage Gayle 88/1: pink ink n. something which is extremely camp (That outfit is camper than pink ink.) (cf. pink tents). Pink Rand n. South African version of the British Pink Pound and the American Pink Dollar – used to show the economic power of gay spending and how gay money contributes to the country’s economy. pink tents n. something which is extremely camp.
[SA]IOL News (S.Afr.) 14 Apr. [Internet] Farrell [...] said he planned to market Durban as a ‘pink paradise’.

7. (US black) white.

[US]C. McKay Banjo 16: ‘You pink sow!’ he cried.
[US]M. West Babe Gordon (1934) 161: Dis new pink gal o’ his ain’t gonna have Money long ef Big Ida gits a-hold o’ him.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 267: You know I ain’t pink, and I got two strikes against me now.
[US]P. Thomas Down These Mean Streets (1970) 120: A drop of Negro blood can make a black man out of a pink-asshole, blue-eyed white man.
[UK]A. Bleasdale Who’s Been Sleeping in my Bed 89: A massive big black hand got hold of me [...] ‘You heard me the first time, y’little pink gobshite.’.

In compounds

pink ceiling (n.)

(Aus. gay) a fig. limit to promotional propects caused by a man’s homosexuality.

[Aus]T. Spicer Good Girl Stripped Bare 216: ‘It’s not only mothers, or older women [...] It’s gay guys, like me. We only get so far in these blokey environments before we hit the pink ceiling’.
pink finger (n.)

(US) an effeminate, poss. homosexual man.

[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ Go To It 34: Buttermilk [...] such a drink is only for mollycoddles and pink fingers.
pink pretty (n.)

a socialist, a left-winger.

[US]J. Stevens ‘Logger Talk’ AS I:3 138/2: They returned to their jobs with a new name, ‘pink-pretties,’ for gentle Socialists.
[US]W. Edge Main Stem 54: Damn those S.P. pink-pretties. They’re nothing but liberal bourgeois.
pinktea

see separate entries.

In phrases

pinked up (adj.)

(US) fashionably dressed.

[US]C.L. Cullen Tales of the Ex-Tanks 69: I decided to prance in here, all pinked up, and daze ’em [...] with my [...] creased wardrobe.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

pink champagne (n.) (drugs)

1. a mixture of cocaine and heroin.

[US]cited in Dalzell & Victor New Partridge DSUE (2007).

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

[UK]N. Griffiths Grits 309: Ther’s arf a grammer Pink Champagne an nerly four pints uv scrumpy hertlin through me veins.
pink-eye (n.)

see separate entry.

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

(drugs) a barbiturate, usu. Seconal/Darvon.

[US] ‘Sl. of Watts’ in Current Sl. III:2.
[US]Illinois Legislative Investigating Committee Drug Crisis in Spears (1986).
[US]D.E. Miller Bk of Jargon 338: pink ladies, pinks: Seconal, a barbiturate.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 17: Pink ladies — Depressants.
pinkmail (n.) (also pink, pink kite)

(US prison) secret notes of a romantic or sexual nature passed between inmates.

[US]C. Cooper Jr Farm (1968) 45: We got hooked up. Every evening , she got a pink and I got one. [Ibid.] 68: I’ve seen a lot of pinkmail affairs. [Ibid.] 77: Guys get really serious sometimes about those God Damn Pink Kites.
pink oboe (n.)

see separate entry.

Pink Palace, the (n.)

see separate entry.

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

the penis.

[UK]Roger’s Profanisaurus 3 in Viz 98 Oct. 22: pink panatella euph. See whitehouse cigar.
I-94Bar 3:11 [Internet] When these guys duck out for a fag they don’t mean a smoke (well, they do mean a smoke – but in their case it’s a pink cigar).
pink slip (n.) [also note the pink slip that, in the US, proves ownership of a car] (US)

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

[US]Flash! (Wash., D.C.) 15 Feb. 25/1: That’s what we called it when we heard about the ‘pink slips’ party the lads threw up in Harlem who had received their (Form 403) pink slips, which meant the end of their project jobs.
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 4 Sept. [synd. col.] Nearly 100 staffers at Voice of America will get pink slips [...] in their next pay envelopes.
[US]A. James America’s Homosexual Underground 59: He’s surprised when the pink slip comes around at the end of the permissable number of excusable absences.
[US]B. Hamper Rivethead (1992) 99: Having spent a year on the pinup job, I was never so grateful to be handed another pink slip.
[US]E. Weiner Big Boat to Bye-Bye 53: ‘She’s being laid off’ [...] ‘That piece of white paper in her hand might have been the pink slip’.

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

[UK]Wodehouse Much Obliged, Jeeves 30: She handed Percy Gorringe the pink slip.
[UK]K. Richards Life 90: That was my final attempt to join society on their terms. The second pink slip.

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

[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 54: I had gone before the parole board and I was waiting for my pink slip.
pinktoe (n.)

see separate entry.

pink-tongue (n.)

(US) a derog. term for a black person.

[US]I.L. Allen Lang. of Ethnic Conflict 46: Color Allusions, Other than ‘Black’ and ‘Negro’: pink-tongue [also white-palms, etc.].
pink torpedo (n.)

a penis.

[US]T. Udo Vatican Bloodbath 85–6: You choking on a swabby’s fucken pink torpedo whilst being simultaneously shafted fucken senseless by a fucken beaner.
pink trumpet (n.)

the penis.

[UK]M. Manning Get Your Cock Out 83: There she was with this filthy drug monkey, hoovering his pink trumpet like a woman twice her age.
Pink ’Un (n.)

see separate entry.

In phrases

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

(US) to race cars with the winner gaining the loser’s vehicle.

[US]T. Wolfe Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (1966) 88: Or, if it was a real grudge match [...] he’d say, ‘You wanna go for pink slips?’ The registrations on the cars were pink; the winner got the other guy’s car.
40th Anniversary Corvette Registry Newsletter Apr. [Internet] If you come upon California plate ‘3EBH988,’ you may not want to go for pink slips. Unless ... You too have a blown California Ruby roadster with an attitude.
on one’s pink (adj.)

(Aus.) drunk.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 29 Oct. 3/3: A glass of beer is a ‘pot of wallop’, and the previous night he was ‘on his pink’, ‘juiced’, ‘wined’, or ‘shikkered.’.
[Aus]W.A. Sun. Times (Perth) 26 Jan. 1/1: One experienced ‘accoucheur’ having been caled last week at 4, arrived at midnight ‘on her pink’.
see pink elephants (v.)

to have hallucinations from alcoholism.

[US]Van Loan ‘The Phantom League’ in Ten-Thousand-Dollar Arm 178: He is now confined in the Bastile until such time as he ceases to see herds of red, white, and blue elephants, pink mice, and other peculiar animals.
[US]Eve. Public Ledger 9 Jan. n.p.: Are you sure it was a face you saw? They generally see pink elephants.
[US]H. Asbury Barbary Coast (2002) 116: They caught Happy Jack as he rebounded from the fearsome realms of the pink elephant and the purple crocodile.
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 17 Nov. [synd. col.] Sing near the bar in Tony’s on 52nd Street: ‘If our drinks make you see pink elephants, kindly pay cashier amusement tax.’.
[UK]P. Larkin Jill 77: Whiskey? Would it make him drunk, would he stagger about and see pink elephants?
[US]Mad mag. June 49: I [...] started seeing elephants and snakes that crawled along the floor.
[US]J. Stahl I, Fatty 115: I got DTs [...] trying to dodge the tiny red-eyed rhinos. I would have killed for a good old-fashioned pink elephant.