Green’s Dictionary of Slang

oil n.

1. as a bodily fluid.

(a) [17C] vaginal secretions.

(b) [17C–1900s] semen.

2. in fig. senses, i.e. that which ‘greases the wheels’.

(a) [mid-19C; 1910s+] (US) flattery, sweet talk.

(b) [late 19C+] graft, bribery, and the money for paying it.

(c) [20C+] (Aus./N.Z.) information, which oils the wheels of communication.

(d) [1910s] facility, ability.

(e) [1930s] lies, misinformation.

3. in senses of drink or drugs.

(a) [mid-19C+] (later US black) alcohol, esp. wine.

(b) [1920s–40s] (Irish) a drink.

(c) [1940s–70s] (US) coffee.

(d) [1960s+] (drugs) hashish oil or purified hashish.

(e) [1980s+] (drugs) heroin.

(f) [1980s+] (drugs) phencyclidine.

4. [1900s–40s] (US Und.) nitroglycerin; gelignite.

5. see oiler n.2 (1)

In compounds

oil merchant (n.) [merchant n.]

[1930s–60s] (US) a flatterer or a swindler.

In phrases

know one’s oil (v.)

[1920s] (US tramp) to be aware, to know what is going on.

oiled (up) (adj.)

[18C+] (orig. US) drunk.

oil of... (n.)

see separate entry.

old oil (n.) [sense 2a]

1. [1910s+] (US) flattery, insincere charm.

2. [1910s] (US) nonsense.

on the oil

[1910s–20s] on a drinking bout.

pour on the oil (v.)

[1930s+] to flatter.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

oil bags (n.)

[1960s] (US black) the buttocks.

oil can (n.)

1. [1920s–30s] (US) a useless person, a good-for-nothing.

2. [1940s] (US) a derog. term for an automobile.

In phrases

put the oil act on (v.)

[1940s] (US black) to beat up; to kill.