1. [late 19C–1950s] (US) a detective, a policeman [pun on the ‘long arm of the law’; note Casey, The Gay-cat (1921): ‘“Elbow” comes from the detective’s way of elbowing through a crowd’].
2. [20C+] (also El Bow) rejection, dismissal.
3. [1920s–30s] (UK Und.) a pickpocket’s assistant [he elbows the victim to distract their attention from the pickpocketing].
4. [1940s] (US Und.) a general term of abuse [the victim is elbowed out of the way].
SE in slang uses
1. a heavy drinker; thus elbow-bending, drinking.
2. a drinking party.
[1910s] (US) drinking.
see separate entry.
[mid-19C] a fiddle-player.
[late 19C] (US) a beggar, who lit. or fig. ‘nudges’ one for a handout.
see elbow grease n.
[mid-19C] (UK Und.) a violinist.
1. [18C–mid-19C] a dice-player; thus elbow-shaking adj. [the action of shaking the dice cup].
2. by ext. of sense 1, an effete individual.
3. [1950s+] (US black) one who reminds others of a forgotten or overlooked fact or event by (fig.) digging them in the ribs.
[1960s] (US) a game whereby a man accosts an unknown woman and rubs his elbows against her breasts before running off – or getting hit or shouted at.
1. [1980s+] a brush-off, a rejection.
2. [1990s+] dismissal from a job.
[late 18C–1940s] to drink; thus elbow-crooking, drinking.
[mid-18C] a gesture used to emphasise the veracity of one’s statement.
see eat one’s head under eat v.
[1940s] (US) to get angry.
[1970s+] to be rejected, to be dismissed.
to resist drinking alcohol.
see under power n.
[late 19C+] on the scrounge.
1. [17C–19C] to play dice, to gamble; thus elbow-shaking n.
2. [mid–late 19C] to play cards.
[19C+] (orig. US) consumed by, overwhelmed by.
[1910s+] (Irish) a general excl. of incredulity, dismissal.
[20C+] excl. of surprise or disbelief.