Green’s Dictionary of Slang

soup n.

1. (Aus./UK Und.) melted plate metal; usu. as white soup under white adj.; thus soup shop n., a place where silver plate is melted down and disposed of.

[US]J.F. Smith Fred Vernon 246/1: By the term soup-shops, the speaker meant those convenient houses where burglars and thieves dispose of any silver or gold plate which may fall into their hands. In such establishments the melting-pots are always kept ready .

2. (orig. US Und.) gelignite, nitroglycerine, as used in the blowing open of a safe; also as v., to use the above.

[US]S.F. Chronicle 6 Mar. 3: William Rudolph [...] was known as the man who boiled and carried ‘soup.’ In other words, he would procure half a dozen sticks of dynamite [...] and boil them in water. After much stirring and apparently reckless crushing a thin oil would exude and float to the top.
Winnipeg Trib. (Manitoba) 9 Dec. 19/1: ‘Soup’ — [...] used in connection safe-blowing and the liquid form, nitro-glycerine and gun cotton.
[US]F. Packard Adventures of Jimmie Dale (1918) I viii: This is nitro-glycerin’, an’ we opens it fer you with this [...] We ties you up and sets you against the door of the safe before we touches off the ‘soup,’ an’ mabbe if yer a good guesser you can guess the rest.
[UK]‘Sapper’ Bulldog Drummond 218: ‘I’ve got the soup here — gelignite,’ he explained.
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 23 May [synd. col.] I was loaded with nose-paint caressing a box dat had more locks on it den Hoodeenee! But I gave it too much soup — and blew 200 Gs into a lotta confetti.
[US]J.E. Hoover Persons in Hiding 173: At first he worked [...] with old-timers, learning all his comrades knew about the ‘souping’ or dynamiting of safes.
[UK]V. Davis Phenomena in Crime 146: ‘Soup’ [...] has to be carried in a rubber water-bottle — but it will explode if dropped.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 202/1: Soup. 1. Crude nitroglycerine.
[US]Mad mag. May–June 10: First we drill a few holes... like so...Then we pack in the ‘soup’, like so...
[Aus]J. Alard He who Shoots Last 77: Da best way ta git ’em ’d be fer me ta throw a few sticks of soup inta da dam.
[US] in ‘Red’ Rudensky Gonif 7: I decided to use every trick in the drilling business I had ever heard of to sieve it for the soup.
[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak.

3. (US) insecticide.

[US]J.M. Cain Moth (1950) 208: Dope. Soup. To kill the bugs [...] we put it in the tank and squirt it on the trees.

4. (US) gasoline, petrol, esp. high-performance fuel used in customized cars.

[US]E. De Roo Go, Man, Go! 25: Tell nobody about our soup.
[US](con. 1940s–60s) Décharné Straight from the Fridge Dad.

5. (US gay) bodily excretions, such as sweat or anal juices.

[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 187: soup 1. sweat 2. anal oil 3. broadly, fecal matter.

6. (Aus.) electricity.

[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read Chopper From The Inside 13: With the shock treatment they put a big bit in your mouth and hold you down and give you a big charge of the soup.

7. see super n.1 (5) .

8. see super n.2

In compounds

soup man (n.)

1. a professional villain who specializes in handling nitroglycerine to blow open safes.

[US]Wash. Post 11 Nov. Misc. 3/5: The boxman has a string of monachers such as ‘peterman,’ ‘yeggman,’ ‘blaster,’ ‘heavyman’ and ‘soup man.’.
[US]D. Dressler Parole Chief 78: In New York [...] there was a great safe blower. He was one of the last of the ‘soup men,’ who crack safes by blowing them open.

2. a person who mixes their own high-performance petrol for customized cars.

[US]E. De Roo Go, Man, Go! 24: ‘I’m a soup-man.’ ‘Huh?’ ‘Fuel mixture. Ya know Ethyl ain’t enough.’.

In phrases

cook soup (v.)

to dissolve a stick of dynamite in hot water to extract crude nitroglycerine.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 49/1: Cook soup. To dissolve a stick of dynamite in hot water to extract crude nitroglycerine, or picric, for safe-blowing.
[UK]G. Kersh Fowlers End (2001) 235: They was cooking soup—I mean, home-made, and that’s tricky stuff.
on the soup

(Aus.) drinking.

[Aus]Bug (Aus.) 24 Feb. [Internet] [A] drinking problem [...] Too pissed to put the glass to your mouth. Too broke to afford another drink after six hours on the soup.
thrash out the soup (v.) (also thresh out the soup)

to extract nitro-glycerine from sticks of dynamite.

[US]J. Black You Can’t Win (2000) 96: From black powder he turned to dynamite and afterward was one of the first to ‘thrash out the soup’ — a process used by the bums and yeggs for extracting the explosive oil, nitro glycerine, from sticks of ‘dan’ or dynamite. [Ibid.] 111: The yeggs threshed out their ‘soup’ and prepared for the road.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

soup and fish (n.) (also soup and fish clothes, ...outfit) [the food one eats when wearing it]

1. a dinner jacket.

[US]G. Bronson-Howard Enemy to Society 232: Ain’t you dining out? What’ll I git you — the ‘soup-and-fish’ or the ‘thirteen-and-the-odd?’ Stephen disclaimed any desire for the dinner coat first mentioned, declaring his preference for the more formal tailed garment.
[US]T. Thursday ‘Art for Artie’ in Argosy All-Story 30 Dec. [Internet] He’s wearing one of them soup-and-fish outfits.
[US]S. Lewis Babbitt (1974) 15: He doesn’t want to go and hustle his head off getting into the soup-and-fish.
[US](con. 1910s) J.T. Farrell Young Lonigan in Studs Lonigan (1936) 15: He’d get a soup-and-fish outfit, and go to the dinners all rigged out.
[UK]P. Cheyney Dames Don’t Care (1960) 31: I put on a very swell ‘soup-an’-fish’ that I have got, dinner pants an’ a white serge tuxedo that makes me look like the King of Japan.
[US]J. Archibald ‘Dog Collared’ in Popular Detective Oct. [Internet] Look, Fancy Pants. Why don’t you do something around here to earn that soup and fish I bought for you, huh?
P. Rabe Shroud for Jesso (2008) 259: Not a hair out of place, soup and fish as if they had been invented for him.
[US]S. Longstreet Flesh Peddlers (1964) 57: Get your soup-and-fish clothes, Garry.
[UK]F. Norman Too Many Crooks Spoil the Caper 205: Al, also in soup and fish, appeared from behind the door.

2. in attrib. use of sense 1.

[US]Sun (NY) 6 Jan. 55/6: Why’re you all dresssed up like a sore finger? [...] You’re not figuring on crashing the gate at the movies in that soup and fish scenery, are you?

3. in fig. use of sense 1, upper-class; smartly, in an upper-class manner.

[US]A. Baer Two & Three 3 Jan. [synd. col.] The soup-and-fish hotels turned out their champagne-drenched crowds.
[UK]A. Burgess Doctor Is Sick (1972) 197: Doesn’t he speak posh? Ever so soup-and-fish.
soup catcher (n.)

(Aus.) a narrow beard running just below the jawline.

[Aus]Truth (Brisbane) 1 Aug. 20/4: The William Goat— this natty whisker goes around under the chin, and Iooks as though it were tied on with a string. Slang names for these beautiful hair trims are donegals, soup catchers, and whisk brooms.
soup house (n.)

(US tramp) a cheap restaurant.

[[US] ‘English Sl.’ in Eve. Telegram (N.Y.) 9 Dec. 1/5: Let us present a few specimens:– [...] ‘When the soup house moves away.’].
[US]V.W. Saul ‘Vocab. of Bums’ in AS IV:5 345: Soup house—A third class restaurant.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 177: Soup House.–A cheap restaurant, one in which the only article of food at all palatable is soup.
soup jockey (n.) [see jockey n.2 (3b)]

(US) a waiter or waitress.

[US]Chronicle-Telegram (Elyria, OH) 25 Aug. sect. 2 1/4: Head waiters should never employ the old-fashioned trick of speeding up service by shouting: ‘Get a move on, you soup jockeys.’.
soup-plate (n.) [it is fig. no bigger than the circumference of a soup-plate] (Aus.)

1. (also soup-plate track) a small racecourse.

[Aus]Stephens & O’Brien Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 147: SOUP-PLATE racing applied to racecourses of small circumferences: soup-plate tracks.
[Aus]Baker Popular Dict. Aus. Sl.
[Aus]N. Pulliam I Travelled a Lonely Land (1957) 36: Horse racing is their favourite sporting activity. Every township has a track, all the way from a little soup-plate on up.

2. a soldier’s round hat.

[US]Rising Sun 4 Jan. 1/1: A regulation ‘soup plate’ at the ‘erase’ angle partially concealed a mop of hair.
soup strainer (n.)

a large moustache.

[US]H.L. Williams Ticket-of-Leave Man 9: Hullo! the devil, ‘Tiger!’ How your ‘soup-strainer’ being off has altered you!
[US]T.A. Dorgan Indoor Sports 23 June [synd. cartoon] Hy-hy there. Say Schroeder. You don’t call that thing a soup strainer do you? [...] Why don’t you trim it, stupid.
[US]M.E. Smith Adventures of a Boomer Op. 62: He also wears a bunch of brush on his upper lip that would make a good soup strainer.
[Aus]Smith’s Wkly (Sydney) 2 June 21/1: The carpet-bag, flowing soup strainers, and ’lastic-side boots which were once the hall-marks, of rural respectability.
[UK]Western Times (Devon) 13 Dec. 3/3: Moustache: A soup strainer.
[UK]Eve. Teleg. (Angus, Scot.) 22 Feb. 3/7: When a heavy moustache is an added adornment it has been called a soup strainer.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 181: With that waxed soup-strainer of his and that slick hair, Johnny took on some grotesque features in my hot mind.
[UK]Western Times (Devon) 13 Jan. 3/6: Moustache: A soup strainer.
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves in the Offing 31: I wouldn’t say the moustache softened his face, but being of the walrus or soup-strainer type it hid some of it.
[US]A. Pearl Dict. Popular Sl.
[US]J. Ciardi Good Words 267: Soup strainer. A moustache, especially a bushy one.
[UK]K. Bonfiglioli Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery 129: If you like having a soup-strainer hanging from your moosh.
[US] M. McBride Frank Sinatra in a Blender [ebook] ‘Did that cocksucker with the flames tattoos rat me out?’ ‘No, that cocksucker with the thirty-pound mustache did.’ [...] then it hit me. That prick with the king-sized soup strainer.

In phrases

drink soup off someone’s head (v.) (also drink soup over someone’s head)

(W.I.) to be taller than someone.

[WI]Allsopp Dict. Carib. Eng. Usage 203/2: drink soup/water off/over (sb’s head) [...] To be much taller than (sb).
scare the soup out of (v.)

to terrify.

[US]M. Levin Reporter 123: Sticking up somebody’s uncle just to scare the soup out of him.