Green’s Dictionary of Slang

shack up (with) v.

[shack v.; note all senses can be used both transitively (usu. constr. with with) and intransitively]
(orig. US)

1. to live with a sexual partner.

[US]Z.N. Hurston Jonah’s Gourd Vine (1995) 73: She was shacked up with somebody in a tie-camp on the Alabama River.
[US](con. 1944) N. Mailer Naked and Dead 290: In six mont’s you’ll be shackin’ up again.
[UK]I. Fleming Diamonds Are Forever (1958) 99: Probably shacks up with Wint. Some of these homos make the worst killers.
[US]‘Paul Merchant’ ‘Sex Gang’ in Pulling a Train’ (2012) [ebook] Pinchy was shacked with a working broad who didn’t like any of the coolsters around.
[UK]F. Norman Guntz 184: Run to ground on the borders of Scotland shacked up in a country pub.
[US]M. Braly Shake Him Till He Rattles (1964) 120: I don’t see how Ann can put up with him. It’s about like shacking up with someone who’s got sleeping sickness.
[UK]Galton & Simpson ‘Cuckoo in the Nest’ Steptoe and Son [TV script] She shacked up with some Eyetie plonk grower when I was seven.
[US](con. 1960s) D. Goines Black Gangster (1991) 238: The rest of them just shacked up when the mood hit them.
[US]J. Ellroy Brown’s Requiem 91: Susan, a hard line San Francisco leftist eight years my senior, who I shacked up with.
[UK]D. Jarman letter 2 Feb. Smiling in Slow Motion (2000) 75: He shacked up with a New York model girl and that was the last I heard.
[UK]B. Hare Urban Grimshaw 77: Dad wasn’t there any more. Mum shacked up with someone new.
[Aus]P. Temple Broken Shore (2007) [ebook] You think you can shack up with a swaggie out there and nobody knows? You can let your arsefucker punch out innocent citizens and you look the other way?
[US]Codella and Bennett Alphaville (2011) 270: I never shacked up with any project broads.
[Aus]L. Redhead Thrill City [ebook] Christ’s sake, you’re shacked up with a serving member of the state police.
[UK]I. Welsh Decent Ride 291: She’ll be shacked up wi somebody else now!

2. to have sex with someone.

[US]T. Heggen Mister Roberts 150: Booksie, were you shacked up with her?
[US]M. Spillane Long Wait (1954) 149: The usual thing, a dame and a small-town playboy shacked up in a hotel room with a blackmail aftermath.
[US]L. Hansberry Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window in Three Negro Plays (1969) I ii: Shacking up with any poor sick bastard in the world with a hundred bucks.
[US]M. Puzo Godfather 97: ‘Maybe he’s shacked up.’ ‘No,’ Hagen said. ‘He never sleeps over with a broad.’.
[US]G.V. Higgins Digger’s Game (1981) 76: Mikey-Mike, shacked up all day, hundred and a half.
[US](con. 1960s) D. Goines Black Gangster (1991) 229: The sonofabitch was in his room shacking up with some bitch.
[UK]W. Russell Educating Rita Iv: I said to him, y’ soft get, even if I was havin’ an affair there’s no point burnin’ me books. I’m not havin’ it off with Anton Chekhov. He said, ‘I wouldn’t put it past you to shack up with a foreigner.’.
[UK]K. Sampson Powder 130: We all shack up with one each.
[US]G. Pelecanos Night Gardener 52: Watches his wife shack up with an asshole.

3. to pick up, for sexual purposes.

[Aus]K. Tennant Joyful Condemned 195: Don’t be discouraged, George. We’ll shack up with a couple of dolls.
[US]‘Ed Lacy’ Lead With Your Left (1958) 6: This is you and me talking in bed, not a couple of strangers shacking up for the night.

4. to live or reside, usu. temporarily.

[US] ‘Jargon of the Und.’ in DN V 462: Shack up, To put up for the night.
[US]T. Thursday ‘You Gotta Have Luck’ in Popular Sports Jan. [Internet] The Nitro Kid had warned him against shacking up in cheap flop houses.
[UK]C. MacInnes Absolute Beginners 48: A drab and shady [...] part called Bayswater, which I would rather lie in my coffin [...] than spend a night in, were it not for Suze, who’s shacked up there.
[UK]G. Lambert Inside Daisy Clover (1966) 53: Maybe The Dealer and I could shack up there.
[US]B. Davidson Collura (1978) 109: At night, he’d shack up in an abandoned building with some equally hapless female addict.
[SA]M. Melamu Children of Twilight 99: Babsy had to shack up with me for the night.
[US]R. Campbell Wizard of La-La Land (1999) 201: He’s shacked up with a woman not his wife or girlfriend.