Green’s Dictionary of Slang

wall n.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

wall-banger/-banging (n.)

see separate entries.

Wall City (n.) [the prison wall + -city sfx]

(US Und.) San Quentin prison, California.

[US]J. Spenser Limey 260: He’s the king of Wall City (San Quentin) and he knows it.
wall-eyed (adj.) [SE wall-eyed, squinting]

1. of any work badly done.

[UK]Halliwell Dict. Archaic and Provincial Words II 914/2: Any work irregularly or ill done is called a wall-eyed job.

2. of any odd or irregular action.

[US]‘O. Henry’ ‘The Rathskeller and the Rose’ in Voice of the City (1915) 183: The wall-eyed thing!
[US]W. Guthrie Bound for Glory (1969) 240: She bawls an’ squawls an’ throws wall-eyed fits.
[US] ‘Old Zebra Dun’ in G. Logsdon Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing (1995) 81: Old Dunny bucked and bawled, he had those wall-eyed fits, / His hind feet perpendicular, his forefeet in the bits.

3. (US) drunk.

[UK]Hall & Niles One Man’s War (1929) 294: Another American bozo came up and asked the Yale graduate who the Ninniesniffer was – meaning me, of course. So I said: ‘Why you wall-eyed dragon strangler, I’ll swing you a good sock on the jaw and you’ll know who I am.’.
[US] ‘Sl. Expressions for Drunk’ in New Republic 9 Mar. in AS XVI:1 (1941) 70: [...] wall-eyed.
[US]L. Hughes Mulatto in Three Negro Plays (1969) Act I: Said his name was Norwood – not Lewis, like the rest of his family [...] and all that kind of stuff, boasting to the wall-eyed coons listening to him.
[US]J. Jones From Here to Eternity (1998) 825: He would lay off the liquor – at least to the point of getting wall-eyed.
[Aus]‘Nino Culotta’ Cop This Lot 217: Yer useless bloody wall-eyed old bastard.
[US]Baker et al. CUSS.
[Aus]A. Weller Day of the Dog 90: That little wall-eyed prick.
[UK]M. Amis Experience 88: Freeman was the wall-eyed DJ on Thank Your Lucky Stars.

4. under the influence of marijuana.

[UK]Guardian Rev. 12 May 6: His hellish descent into a world of perverts, sex-criminals and wall-eyed tea-heads.
wallflower(s) (n.)

see separate entries.

wall fruit (n.)

sex, whether kissing or intercourse, against a wall.

[UK]‘Wall Fruit’ in Randy Songster in Spedding & Watt (eds) I 213: No more I’ll require, keep my nose from the fire, / And never go seeking for wall fruit!
[UK] ‘The Rakish Gentleman’ in Knowing Chaunter 45: And it costs me a mint of money, sure – / Just only for wall-fruit.
[UK] ‘Lamentation Of The Bawds Of London’ in Cuckold’s Nest 17: He pays the young mot, who is not at all mute, / Then they go up a gateway, and there they have wall fruit.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[US]Life in Boston & N.Y. (Boston, MA) 14 Apr. n.p.: Wonder what she and C—y S—e were doing up against the laboratory fence [...] Does wall fruit agree with her?
wall-hugging (adj.)

crazed, esp. through intake of drink or drugs.

[US]T. Dorsey Triggerfish Twist (2002) 87: ‘How do you feel?’ asked Bernie. Coleman looked slowly around the room. ‘[...] knee-walking, wall-hugging, [...].’.
wall job (n.)

(US gay) anal entry done in a standing position.

[US] (ref. to 1950s) B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 90: stand up job (’50s) anal entry done in a standing position. Syn: wall job.
wall queen (n.) (US gay)

1. a man who leans against a wall while he has sex.

[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular.

2. (N.Z. gay) a man who stands in a public lavatory in the hope of meeting someone who has written an advertisement on the wall.

[NZ]W. Ings ‘Trolling the Beat to Working the Soob’ in Int’l Jrnl Lexicog. 23:1 65: He might be called a wall queen if he was known to wait for hours in anticipation of meeting someone who had written an advertisement in a stall.

3. a gay man who enjoys reading the inscriptions on public lavatory walls.

[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular.

In phrases

go over the wall (v.) [lit. and fig. uses of SE]

1. to go to prison.

[UK]W. Muir Observations of Orderly 228: If his guilt were established, he would be observed ‘going over the wall’ or ‘going to stir.’.

2. (orig. US) to escape from prison.

[US]H. Simon ‘Prison Dict.’ in AS VIII:3 (1933) 27/1: GO OVER THE WALL. Escape.
[US]Mencken Amer. Lang. (4th edn) 581: In virtually all American prisons [...] To escape is to crash, to blow, to cop a mope, or to go over the wall.
[US]J. Archibald ‘Dying to See Willie’ in Popular Detective Mar. 🌐 Melvin had worked out a rap back in Joliet and had once gone over the wall out in Kansas.
[US]‘Blackie’ Audett Rap Sheet 23: The other prisoners was always talking about ways to get out. Quite a few did. They would go over the wall and take shelter in Spain, which was neutral.
[US]F. Elli Riot (1967) 16: I ain’t nuts enough to go over the wall at nine in the morning.
[US]‘Red’ Rudensky Gonif 21: I asked him why he didn’t try to go over the wall.
[UK]‘P.B. Yuill’ Hazell Plays Solomon (1976) 59: You really think Mancini would’ve tried to go over the wall?
[UK]F. Taylor Auf Wiedersehen Pet Two 71: ‘You’ve gone over the wall?’ said Neville dramatically.
[US]A. Vachss Hard Candy (1990) 154: When I was in prison, I never thought of going over the wall.
J.L. Coleman Crimes and Punishments 163: He sought help from the prison guards; they ignored his pleas. [...] As you or I would have done under the circumstances, Green went over the wall.
[NZ]D. Looser Boobslang [U. Canterbury D.Phil. thesis] 200/2: go over the wall v. to escape from prison.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read Chopper 4 21: It was [...] the biggest escape in Victorian history [...] That’s if you don’t count a few hundred Nips going over the wall at Corowa.
R. DeArment Deadly Dozen II 258: After entering the prison, Ed Scarborough went over the wall with two other convicts.
[Aus]D. Whish-Wilson Old Scores [ebook] ‘Blakey was a week shy of being transferred out of juvie into Freo Prison. Went over the wall a few nights ago. Nobody’s heard from ’im since’.

3. to leave a religious order; also as jump over the wall, leap over the wall; in army context, go over the wire; also in fig. use, to gain sexual experience.

[US]F. Kohner Gidget Goes Hawaiian 110: Girls of my age just don’t stay all pure as a rose. Most of them go over the wall, if you know what I mean.
[US]M. Petit Peacekeepers 89: You all know there’s a whorehouse just outside the compound [...] Two boys from Alpha Company got caught going over the wire last night.

4. to go mad.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 842/1: late C.20.
go up the wall (v.) (also run up the wall)

1. to lose one’s temper.

[US]S. Kaye-Smith Mrs. Gailey 160: You’ll only be speaking the truth [...] if you tell him your mother’s running up the wall because he came to dinner .
[Aus]F.J. Hardy Yarns of Billy Borker 117: By this time the young copper is ready to go up the wall.
[UK]G. Burn Happy Like Murderers 232: Fred went up the wall and gave her hell for a week.
[UK]J. Baker Shooting in the Dark (2002) 95: If I’d told her about it, she’d’ve gone up the wall.

2. to be terrified.

[UK]W. Hall Long and the Short and the Tall Act I: Scared stiff. He’s going up the wall.
hang someone to the wall (v.) [SE hang, the victim is tied against a wall for a beating; also hang v.6 (2)]

to punish severely.

[US]G. Underwood ‘Razorback Sl.’ in AS L 1/2 60: hang one to the wall v phr Punish severely.
hit the wall (v.) (also hit the hump)

1. (US prison) to make an escape.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 98/1: Hit the wall. See Hit the hump.
[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 108: Goin’ Over the Wall […] escape […] (Archaic: hit the wall, hit the hump).

2. (Aus. prison) to make an unsuccessful escape.

[Aus]Tupper & Wortley Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. 🌐 Hit the wall. An unsuccessful escape attempt.
off the wall

see separate entries.

over the wall

1. escaped from prison.

[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks n.p.: Over the wall, escaped from prison.
[Aus]F.J. Hardy Four-Legged Lottery 86: A prisoner known as ‘Over-the-wall’ because he was twice escaped, was standing in the centre.
[UK]T. Lewis Billy Rags [ebook] [I]t was all the grief of not being over the wall twisting him up inside.
[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak.

2. stolen.

[UK]‘Charles Raven’ Und. Nights 90: A lorry load of Scotch which was supposed to be over the wall.

3. in prison.

[UK]G.F. Newman You Flash Bastard 188: The grass had been weighed off with two years over the wall; in other circumstances with his previous it would have been a result.
up the wall (adj.) (also up the walls)

(US) crazy, eccentric or over-excited, anxious.

[UK]R. Llewellyn None But the Lonely Heart 200: I’m soppy about you [...] Straight up. I can’t see nobody else. I’m up the wall.
[US]J. O’Connor Come Day – Go Day (1984) 28: Shemie, you better go home with your Uncle Tommy. Your mother will be up the walls .
[UK]J. Curtis Look Long Upon a Monkey 39: As if to send Rosamund straight up the wall, Valerie was dressed for Longchamps rather than for Wayton Ducis.
[Aus]F.J. Hardy Yarns of Billy Borker 130: They never caught him. Fair sent them up the wall, it did. Be an annoying thing that.
[US]N. McCall Makes Me Wanna Holler (1995) 182: Cincinnati was doing a hard forty, and it drove him up a wall at least twice a week.
[Ire](con. 1970) G. Moxley Danti-Dan in McGuinness Dazzling Dark (1996) I ix: I’m up the fecking wall girls. I swear I’ll give every bob I have to Concern if I get my friend.
wall-to-wall (adj.) [abbr. SE wall-to-wall carpet]

1. everywhere, all over.

E. Wilson Show Business Laid Bare 165: [T]hey were met by a surge of people. It was wall-to-wall bodies.
[US](con. 1949) J.G. Dunne True Confessions (1979) 109: ‘Wall-to-wall nigger in 77th Street,’ Crotty said.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 27: Like you fall by dis little ol’ party and dey be wall-to-walI-niggas-gettin’ down to the ground!
H. Ward q. in Firestone Swing, Swing, Swing 197: ‘Out on the Coast there were wall-to-wall people, and nobody could dance. They just stood there and yelled and hollered and screamed’.
[UK]Guardian Guide 10–16 July 10: This guarantees wall-to-wall coverage on a rolling campaign.
[US]‘Grandmaster Flash’ Adventures 24: ‘Nearly every kid my age was running with a gang [...] They were wall-to-wall hardrocks, lookin’like black and Puerto Rican Hell’s Angels’.

2. inaccessible.

[UK]M. Amis London Fields 35: His life, he found, was sewn-up, was wall-to-wall. It was closed.