Green’s Dictionary of Slang

prick n.

[SE prick, a pointed weapon or implement. Although the OED, with its first citation in 1592, labels it unequivocally as ‘coarse slang’, Partridge suggests that prick was SE before becoming taboo c.1700. The OED’s citation – ‘The pissing Boye lift up his pricke’ (‘R.D.’, Hypnerotomachia) – may appear coarse to modern ears, but it should be noted that piss, certainly, was still SE at the time. In 1540, prick denoted ‘a pert, forward, saucy boy or youth; a conceited young fellow’, thus sense 2. The term is defined as ‘humorous or contemptuous’, but not indecent; it might have referred simply to the lad’s ‘sharpness’. That said, a sexual interpretation is possible]

1. [mid-16C+] (also pricker) the penis.

2. [late 16C–17C] a woman’s term of endearment for a man.

3. [1920s+] (orig. US, also pricker) a general derog. term: an idiot, a fool, an incompetent.

4. [1950s] (US drugs) a hypodermic syringe.

5. [1970s] anything phallic, e.g. a flagpole.

6. [1970s] aggression, attacks.

7. in fig. use of sense 3, applied to experiences.

In derivatives

pricknic (n.) [pun on SE picnic + eat v. (4)]

[1980s+] (US gay) fellatio.

pricky (adj.) (also prickish)

[1960s+] (US) obnoxious, thus n. prickishness.

In compounds

prick-arsed (adj.) (also prick-nosed) [-arsed sfx/SE nose]

[1980s] a term of abuse.

prick-chinking (n.) [chink n.2 ]

[18C] having sexual intercourse.


see separate entries.

prick-eating (adj.)

a general derog. term.

prickface (n.)

[1960s+] a general term of abuse, lit. ‘penis face’.

prickhead (n.) [-head sfx (1)]

1. [1960s+] a fool, a simpleton; used both derog. and affectionately.

2. [1990s+] a bald-headed man.

prick-holder (n.) (also prick-purse, -scourer, -skinner)

[19C] the vagina.

prick hole (n.)

[late 19C] the vagina.

prick-lick (v.)

1. [1920s+] (US) to perform fellatio; thus prick-lick(er) n., a fellator.

2. as an insult, irrespective of sex.

prick office (n.) [note office n. (1)]

[mid-17C] either a brothel staffed by heterosexual male prostitutes or a group of regular brothel patrons.

prick-pride (n.)

[late 19C] an erect penis.

prick-puller (n.)

[1970s] a masturbator.

prick sucker (n.)

[mid-19C+] one who performs fellatio, whether male or female.

pricksucking (adj.)

[1960s] of a man or woman, performing oral sex on a man.


see separate entries.

In phrases

act the prick (v.)

[1980s+] to behave foolishly.

all prick and breeches (n.)

[1920s+] a phr. describing a man who is all talk and no action, a braggart, a fake.

all prick and no pence (n.)

[1920s] a phr. describing a man who is all talk and no action, a braggart, a fake; also in fig,. use.

all prick and ribs like a drover’s dog (adj.) (also all prick and ribs like a shearer’s dog, a swaggie’s dog) [swaggie n.]

[1960s+] (Aus.) lean and eager.

go prick scouring (v.) [scour v.2 (4)]

[late 19C] of a man, to have sexual intercourse.

like a spare prick at a wedding (adv.) (also like a spare dick on a honeymoon) [the assumption is that only the bridegroom is necessary]

[1930s+] absolutely uselessly; often preceded by standing around.

may your prick and purse never fail you (also may the two Ps never fail you, may your purse never fail you )

[early 18C–mid-19C] a popular toast.

more pricks than a pin-cushion (also more pricks than a (second-hand) dartboard, ...than a second-hand primus)

[1940s+] used of a promiscuous woman or gay man; usu. as she’s had more pricks...

pour the prick (v.)

[1930s] (US) of a man, to have sexual intercourse.

pricksuck (v.)

[mid-19C] to fellate.

pull one’s prick (v.)

1. [1960s–70s] to masturbate [pull v. (7)].

2. [1980s] (US) to promote oneself.

pull someone’s prick (v.)

[1970s] to tease, to deceive.

put some flick in one’s prick (v.)

[1940s–60s] (Aus.) of a man, to increase one’s potency.