Green’s Dictionary of Slang

whack n.1

also wack
[ext. uses of whack v.1 (1)]

1. (also whack in) a share, a portion.

[UK]G. Parker View of Society II 83: Your third rate class of sharpers, when they have won a sum of money, if they should happen to refuse a brother sharper who is flash to the rig, and has been a by-stander, his whack, are instantly snitched upon; that is, the Snitcher follows the loser, and asks him what he will give him (the Snitcher) if he puts him in the way of recovering his money?
H. Lemoine ‘Education’ in Attic Misc. 117: [of a group of condemned men] The dolman sounding, while the sheriff's nod, / Prepare the snitcher to dead hook the whack.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]‘A. Burton’ Adventures of Johnny Newcome IV 203: She’ll have a pretty whack of money!
[UK] ‘Sonnets for the Fancy’ Egan Boxiana III 622: The dolman sounding, while the sheriff’s nod / Prepare the switcher to dead book the whack.
[UK] ‘Battle of the Pigs’ in Quid 170: Each young grunter guzzled up his whack.
[UK]Egan ‘By-Blow of the Jug’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 145: And ever anxious to get his whack – / When scarcely ripe, he went on the crack.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 22 Nov. 105/2: With a praiseworthy generosity of disposition, they both agreed to let him have a ‘whack in’.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 18 Sept. 3: James Tait [...] was to receive one guinea as his whack.
[UK]Kendal Mercury 17 Apr. 6/1: The coves says there’s a good time coming, and ven it does come, ve vill likely cop our whacks of it.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[Aus]letter in Bendigo Advertiser (Vic.) 12 Oct. 2/6: [T]he girls can come down and see the sweet stuff tucked in. I suppose the fellows would have the decency to give the petticoats their whack.
[Aus] ‘Convict Phelosiphy’ in Stewart & Keesing (1957) 4: My name is poor Jack. / I done my whack / In sin and disepation.
[UK]S.O. Addy Sheffield Gloss. 279: Whack, a share.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 16 Nov. 4/3: Takin’ it all through I ain’t done moren my wack [i.e in prison].
[UK]Derby Mercury 9 Jan. 8/3: Well we goes into a pub, and Selby gives me my whack.
[UK]C.J.C. Hyne Further Adventures of Captain Kettle 297: You go and do your whack at getting the people off that packet.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 31 Jan. 11/4: [He] will probably cut up for a bigger whack than his deceased friend.
[UK]Sporting Times 4 Mar. 2/3: In these days, Alf, I notice you’ve got to be satisfied with yer proper whack, whether you’re a Great White Czar or only a pleadin’ cat.
[UK]‘Sapper’ Mufti 64: I say, old Side-whiskers hasn’t given me my fair whack of beer.
[US]D. Hammett ‘The Big Knockover’ Story Omnibus (1966) 310: When we find the pay-off’s a bust, I said to the kid I was training with, ‘Never mind, Kid, we’ll get our whack.’.
[UK]J. Curtis There Ain’t No Justice 37: ‘I never give you your whack, did I?’ He handed the old man a couple of half-crowns.
[Aus]X. Herbert Capricornia (1939) 88–9: But O’Cannon’s a taxpayer. He pays his whack towards the upkeep of the State School.
[UK]S. Lister Mistral Hotel (1951) 208: I shall take up a gun and do my whack.
[Aus]‘Neville Shute’ Town Like Alice 225: All right, Mrs. Boong, we’ll each pay our own whack.
[UK]T. Keyes All Night Stand 178: Just doing a half-hour show and getting some fat whack of money for it.
[UK]G.F. Newman Sir, You Bastard 101: He wondered what [...] Scotty’s whack was.
[Aus]R. Aven-Bray Ridgey-Didge Oz Jack Lang 41: Right Whack Just deserts.
[UK]K. Sampson Powder 487: Guy had promised substantial financial emoluments for the Grams – a great big whack of dough.
[Aus]S. Maloney Something Fishy (2006) 140: You’ll get your fair whack of the profits.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Viva La Madness 12: I skimmed my whack off the top.
[US]D. Winslow The Force [ebook] If I gave her Billy’s full share in one whack, she’d blow it.

2. a swig of a drink, a gulp of food.

[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 246: [note] The vulgar phrase of ‘I’ll have my whack, if it makes me sick!’ is in most of the above instances completely verified.
[UK] ‘Funny He-She Ladies!’ in C. Hindley Curiosities of Street Lit. (1871) 157: On skilly and whack they might regale, / Those beautiful he-she ladies.
[UK]Besant & Rice Golden Butterfly I 95: He was accustomed to call at the house every day about noon, accompanied by two gentlemen, who had their little whack. [...] ‘Little whack!’ thought Phyllis. ‘Little glass!’.
[UK]W.S. Maugham Liza of Lambeth (1966) 36: ’Urry up an’ ’ave your whack.
[US]J. London Smoke Bellew (1926) 209: If you don’t mind, Mrs Peabody, I’ll have another whack at that steak. Make it thick and not so well done.
[UK]‘Sapper’ Black Gang 291: I was beginning to feel I could do with another whack myself.
[US]O. Ferguson ‘Vocabulary for Lakes, [etc.]’ AS XIX:2 105: On whack means on rations, particularly the rations prescribed as minimum in the shipping articles.
[US]D. Ponicsan Cinderella Liberty 159: Forshay guzzles another whack of it.
[UK]N. Cohn Yes We Have No 99: She [...] takes a whack at the rum.
[UK]K. Sampson Killing Pool 43: I light up and drag down a whole whack of thick spicy cigar smoke and hold it in.

3. (US) a bargain.

[US]J. Hay Bread-Winners (1884) 142: Say the word and it’s a whack.

4. (US) a try, an attempt.

[US]Ade Fables in Sl. (1902) 118: He looked to her to be a Coming Congressman and she wanted to get a Whack at Washington Society.
[US]S. Ford Torchy, Private Sec. 11: Much obliged to you, Mr. Rowley, for givin’ us first whack at it.
[US]San Diego Sailor 54: I wanted to get some rest so that I’d been in shape for another whack at it [i.e. intercourse] later on.
[UK]Wodehouse Much Obliged, Jeeves 35: I was in merry mood [...] as always when about to get another whack at Anatole’s cooking.
[US]C. Hiaasen Stormy Weather 5: Not that Edie wouldn’t have crawled nude across broken glass for a whack at John Jr.

5. a ‘go’, a time.

[US]F.H. Hart Sazerac Lying Club 59: Pard, it’s a whack!
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 6 June 26/2: St. Peter: […] ‘Why, just look, Michael, here’s a go! / Our luck is coming back; / Geewilikins! why this is good – / Two bishops at a whack!’.
[UK]Sporting Times 8 Mar. 2/1: We perceived that our stake was ‘a sleeper,’ that is, the croupier had been too occupied to collect it, and so it was left down for the next whack, which was to be the last.
[US]Century mag. (N.Y.) Nov. 60: Lucky whack it was for me that I got here to-day, and in time to save the mine! [DA].
[US]O. Johnson Varmint 183: We thought we’d give you first whack at it.
A. Baer Metropolitan Hotels 1 Jan. [synd. col.] Rip [van Winkle] knocked his snooze marathon off at one whack.
[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 193: For two-bits a whack / She’d lay on her back, / And let the cowboys ram it up her crack.
[US] in E. Cray Erotic Muse (1992) 215: There once was an Indian maid / Who was a whore by trade. / For a dime at a whack, / She’d lie on her back / And let the cowboys shove it up her crack.
[US]R. Chandler Long Good-Bye 272: ‘Prescribed dose would be one or two fifty-milligram tablets. Three or four during a twenty-four period would be the most I’d permit.’ ‘But you gave her fifty at a whack,’ Captain Hernandez said.
[US](con. 1950s) McAleer & Dickson Unit Pride (1981) 71: I’ll take first whack at her.
[UK](con. 1980) N. ‘Razor’ Smith A Few Kind Words and a Loaded Gun 235: Harry got sentenced to a fresh whack of borstal.

6. (US) an aspect.

[US]‘Ed Lacy’ Lead With Your Left (1958) 89: I’ve never been able to figure if the slang name [i.e. ‘rabbi’ = influential individual] has an anti-Semitic wack or not.

7. (W.I.) a large sum of money.

[Ire]R. Doyle Commitments 25: Five pounds, three and six pence. A fair whack in those days.
[WI]Francis-Jackson Official Dancehall Dict. 54: Wack a large sum of money.

8. (drugs) a portion of a drug, e.g. a ‘line’ of a narcotic, a puff of cannabis.

[UK]I. Welsh Filth 86: I take a whack, and it is good stuff [...] a surge of power flowing through me.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 22: Whack — Crack Cocaine; heroin and PCP; Crack/PCP mixture or marijuana laced with insecticides.
D. Vrij ‘Tying Off’ on Inter-zone.org [Internet] By day, and into the evening, heroin and powder cocaine were cheap and abundant, the $15 smack quarters, were fatter than the downtown 20s, all night long the flailers, could pick up on whacks of speed.

9. (Aus.) a bet.

[Aus]P. Temple Bad Debts (2012) [ebook] It’s getting hard to find someone in the bush’ll take a decent-size whack.

10. income.

[UK]J. Cameron Hell on Hoe Street 107: Got to be reckoning it just a faint possibility he never got his Volvo [...] off his inspector’s whack.

11. see whacker n.1

In phrases

cop one’s whack (v.)

to get or take a share.

[UK]F. Norman Stand on Me 47: I had just knocked off work in the joint and had copped my whack off Joe.
get a whack at (v.)

(US) to gain access to.

[US]Ade ‘The Fable of What Horace Stood For’ in True Bills 36: Horace often suspected that some of them hooked up merely to get a Whack at the Finery. But then, Horace was a regular old Cynic.
go whacks (v.)

to take or offer a share.

[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 68: She touched a cully of his skin and ticker; and went whacks in crib-cracking; and she vos pinched by the crushers.
[UK]J. Greenwood Little Ragamuffin 133: ‘You agreed that we should go whacks in everything,’ I pleaded, appealing to his sense of justice.
[UK]J. Greenwood In Strange Company 74: We’ll go fair whacks in all we get.
Sth Bourke & Mornington Jrnl (Vic.) 6 June 1s/2: We all went ‘whacks’ in this, each one had an equal voice in obtaining whatever delicacy might be desired.
[Aus]W.A. Sun. Times (Perth) 16 Jan. 3/3: The expenditure upon a wedding, in which the bridegroom pleaded that the father-in-law had agreed to ‘go whacks’.
[UK]F.W. Hume Hagar of the Pawn-Shop 163: He said we’d go whacks if I’d steal them for him.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 23 June 14/4: If yer don’t go whacks in that apple I’ll rub this ’ere rat in your mug an’ give yer the blue-bonnet plague.
[Aus]L.M. Palmer-Archer Bush Honeymoon 169: Wisht I could sling this bloomin’ mail contract and go whacks with yer.
[US]P. Kendall Dict. Service Sl. n.p.: go whacks . . . Dutch treat.
[Aus]T. Ronan Vision Splendid 269: Me and old Hanson are going whacks in one next pay day.
have a whack at (v.) (also take a whack at, ...whang at)

(orig. US) to make an attempt or attack upon.

[UK]Monthly Rev. Apr. 326: Thus Daniel Burges (whose aversion to the whore of Babylon was always uppermost, whatever was the subject of his pulpit- discourses) seldom or never concluded a sermon till he had taken ‘a whack at the pope’ as he himself expressed it .
[US] ‘English Sl.’ in Eve. Telegram (N.Y.) 9 Dec. 1/5: Let us present a few specimens:– [...] ‘We’ll take a whack at it.’.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 22 July 1/8: Easy boys [...] don’t leave off yet. We must have a whack at the pictures.
[US]C.L. Cullen Tales of the Ex-Tanks 194: I concluded to have one more whack at the ring on an air-tight good thing.
[US]Congressional Record 5 Feb. 1522/1: Senator Carter of Montana took a whack at this business not long ago [DA].
[US]J. London ‘All Gold Canyon’ Complete Short Stories (1993) II 1023: Guess I’ll take another whack at her.
[UK]E. Pound letter 1–2 Jan. in Read Letters to James Joyce (1968) 82: Lady Cunard is having another whack at *****, on the strength of the govt. recognition of your work.
[US]F.S. Fitzgerald This Side of Paradise in Bodley Head Scott Fitzgerald III (1960) 48: I’m going to take a whack at freshman football.
[UK]P. MacGill Moleskin Joe 39: I’m goin’ to have a whack at the Hun!
[UK]M. Allingham Mystery Mile (2004) 29: Mr Campion hesitated. ‘I’d like to have a whack at Sinister,’ he said.
[UK]Wodehouse Right Ho, Jeeves 67: I had another whack at it.
[US](con. 1944) N. Mailer Naked and Dead 466: I’ll take a whack at it, Sergeant.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 235/2: Whack, n. 1. [...] 2. A trial effort; attempt. ‘Did you ever take a whack at boosting (shoplifting)?’.
[US]J. Steinbeck Sweet Thursday (1955) 127: Take a whang at her, will you, Doc?
have one’s whack (v.) (also take one’s whack)

to have or take one’s share.

[UK]W.T. Moncrieff Tom and Jerry III iii: Likes to have my vack for my groat and half-penny.
[UK]Vidocq Memoirs (trans. W. McGinn) III 65: It is a good haul, and you shall have your whack.
[UK]Marryat Snarleyyow I 109: So drink, and call for what you please, / Until you’ve had your whack, boys.
[UK]Thackeray Pendennis I 378: I don’t care about much wine afterwards – I take my whack at dinner – I mean my share, you know.
[UK]T. Taylor Ticket-Of-Leave Man Act I: I’ve had my whack already.
[UK] ‘Autobiog. of a Thief’ in Macmillan’s Mag. (London) XL 505: If we touch you will take your whack (share) just the same.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (1922) 82: We shall have our whack of that [i.e. money] according to what they fetched today.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 6 Oct. 13/4: Beer, he estimated to be the inspiration for a report of an execution or flogging. [...] All the same, he used to take his whack of the brutaliser, on the plea that a man ought to know himself.
[UK]J. Buchan Greenmantle (1930) 434: ‘We’re lucky fellows,’ said Sandy; ‘we’ve all had our whack.’.
into whack [SE whack, to hit a blow, i.e. ref. to that which has been knocked home properly]

into order.

[US]H. Miller Tropic of Cancer (1963) 160: I hear the front page being hammered into whack.
put (someone) in the whack (v.)

to give (someone) a share.

[Aus]R.G. Barrett Real Thing 153: There’s at least fifteen grand’s worth of pot there. I’ll put you in the whack when I flog it back in Sydney.