Green’s Dictionary of Slang

front n.1

1. [19C+] (orig. UK society, also frontage) cheek, audacity.

2. in senses of disguise or subterfuge.

(a) [mid-19C+] one’s external appearance or style, a pose, esp. one that masks one’s failings, whether financial or otherwise.

(b) [mid-19C+] a respectable cover or appearance, esp. as a mask for illegal activities.

(c) [20C+] a person who is employed or a place that is designated to maintain a respectable appearance behind which third parties, e.g. organised criminals, can hide; e.g. the ‘innocent’ manager and/or purported owner of what is in fact a Mafia-controlled casino.

(d) [late 19C+] (UK Und.) anything one needs – smart clothes, a clever line of speech, a personal style, a mental attitude – for the successful promotion of one’s schemes.

3. [late 19C–1970s] (US) a suit.

4. [1900s-1950s] (US Und.) a watch and chain; jewellery.

5. [1910s] (US Und.) a shop window.

6. [1910s] (US Und.) an assistant, usu. for purposes of diversion, in a criminal act.

7. [1920s] (US Und.) a high bail bond.

8. [1940s] in pl., a woman’s breasts.

9. [1950s+] (US black) in pl., clothes.

10. [1980s] (US drugs) a payment for drugs, i.e. not on consignment.

11. [2000s] (US black) in pl., the teeth.

12. see front money n.

In phrases

get in front of (v.)

[late 19C] to outwit.

get one’s front uptight (v.)

[1970s] (US black) to assemble the ‘props’ required to present oneself in a desired manner, usu. expensive material possessions.

give a front (v.)

[late 19C] (US) to pose as better off than one actually is.

go to (the) front (v.)

(US Und.) to provide a criminal with a respectable image.

more front than Brighton (beach) [pun on SE (sea-)front]

[1930s+] a phr. used of one who is very cheeky, daring or outspoken.

more front than Buckingham Palace

[1980s+] a phr. used of one who is very cheeky, daring or outspoken.

more front than Harrods (also more front than Selfridges) [Harrods and Selfridges, very large London department stores]

[1950s+] a phr. used of one who is very cheeky, daring or outspoken.

more front than Milne’s [Milne’s, once a large department store in Auckland] [2000s] (N.Z.)

1. extremely cheeky.

2. of a woman, large-breasted.

more front than Myers (also more front than Foy and Gibson’s, ...Mark Foy’s, ...the National Bank) [names of retailers are large department stores in respectively Melbourne and Adelaide] (Aus.)

1. [1950s+] a phr. used of one who is very cheeky, daring or outspoken.

2. [1960s] a phr. used to describe a woman with large breasts.