Green’s Dictionary of Slang

roll n.

1. in sexual senses.

(a) the penis.

[UK] ‘Peggy’s Triumph’ in Lummy Chaunter 91: Not even the composer with thick and long roll, / True time to her movements, could keep for his soul.
[UK]London Life 2 Aug. 4/2: They tell me Helen Barry is not so fond of rolls for breakfast as she used to be [...] Possibly she has found one a little too ‘crusty’ [...] old rolls usually are.
[US](con. 1944) N. Mailer Naked and Dead 67: Oh, what a roll you got, Joolie.

(b) (US) the vagina [abbr. jelly roll n.].

[US]Bessie Smith ‘I Need a Little Sugar in my Bowl’ 🎵 I need a little sugar in my bowl, I need a little hot dog on my roll.
[US]R. Sykes ‘Dirty Mother For You’ in Oliver Screening the Blues (1968) 234: Mama, I got a hot dog and it ain’t cold, / It’s just right for to fit your roll.
[US](con. 1944) N. Mailer Naked and Dead 5: She had one of the meanest rolls a man could want.

(c) (orig. US) sexual intercourse; thus roll ass v., to have sexual intercourse [abbr. roll in the hay n. (1)].

‘Sheldon Lord’ Born to Be Bad 6: Around the Flagler Street docks, sex goes for one or two bucks a roll. But the roll is as likely to take place in an alley as in a bed.
‘Lord & Marshall’ Girl Called Honey 10: No loose women walk the streets--this is strictly forbidden to eliminate amateur competition which would harass houses that charge five to twenty dollars for a quick roll.
[US]Trimble 5000 Adult Sex Words and Phrases.

(d) (US gay) in pl., the buttocks.

[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular.
[US]R.O. Scott Gay Sl. Dict. 🌐.

2. a bankroll.

[US]W. Dunlap Memoirs of a Water Drinker I 65: His father took him apart, and bestowed on him a roll of hard dollars, and a lecture.
[US]C. Mathews Career of Puffer Hopkins 10: [He] engages in a whispered conversation [...] (enforced by the thrusting of a roll at the same time into the open hand of the scraggy gentleman) ‘There’s a current ten — make me a vice, will ye?’.
[US]Ashtabula Wkly Teleg. (OH) 28 Jan. 1/4: Drawing a huge roll from the pocket of his well-worn panatloons [etc.].
[US]H.L. Williams Black-Eyed Beauty 46: ‘Another man pays,’ he used to say as he saw his roll of fives swept away, and planked down another bundle.
[US]A. Pinkerton Reminiscences 199: Bill [...] arranged a ‘road roll,’ or a showy pile of bills.
[US]G. Devol Forty Years a Gambler 22: The man then got out his big roll and put up $100. [Ibid.] 296: I would pull out a roll that would make everybody look wild.
[US]W.J. Kountz Billy Baxter’s Letters 83: ‘Dick sends best. Chickens has a roll.’ I wired Johnny as follows: ‘If you see a safety pin anywhere around Chickens, that roll belongs to me.’.
[US]‘O. Henry’ ‘From Each According to his Ability’ in Voice of the City (1915) 224: I’ve got a roll as big around as a barrel of black-eyed peas.
[UK]Wodehouse Psmith Journalist (1993) 321: He’ll have to strip off a few from his roll to pay for this.
[US]H.C. Witwer Kid Scanlon 306: Now we git the chance of a lifetime to grab a roll.
[Aus]Smith’s Wkly (Sydney) 2 Dec. 18/3: His faith in tight pants as a safe deposit for his ‘roll’ was shattered for ever.
[Aus]L. Lower Here’s Luck 102: He jerked off his boot. ‘Me feet ain’t really as big as this,’ he remarked. ‘I got me roll in here’.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Young Manhood in Studs Lonigan (1936) 206: Bowl ’em over by flashing his roll.
[UK]Thieves Slang ms list from District Police Training Centre, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Warwicks 9: Roll of scratch: Packet of bank notes.
[US]W.R. Burnett High Sierra in Four Novels (1984) 385: I’ll turn the glass over to Mac and he’ll hand me a big roll.
[US]Kerouac On The Road (1972) 163: She stepped out [...] with her girlfriend, the nightclub owner and a greasy old man with a roll.
[Aus]J. Wynnum I’m a Jack, All Right 10: If you can place any reliance on the buzzes flashing round this hooker [...] the Jimmie has also dropped a roll.
[US](con. 1920s) J. Thompson South of Heaven (1994) 6: I was sure he was carrying a big roll.
[US]G.V. Higgins Digger’s Game (1981) 9: I don’t see anybody with the big roll, nothing.
[US]J. Ellroy Brown’s Requiem 23: Fat Dog whipped out his fat old Mexican wallet again, and this time pulled out his roll.
[US]R. Campbell Sweet La-La Land (1999) 126: Good-for-nothing little twats trying to clip him for his roll.
[US]J. Ellroy ‘Stephanie’ in Destination: Morgue! (2004) 68: I forged my dad’s last three Social Security checks. I had a roll.

3. (US) a drive.

[US]C.T. Clark diary 11 Dec. in Soldier Letters (1919) 58: Just got back from another long roll. It takes five hours to make the round trip.

4. (US black) a suit jacket.

L. Hughes ‘The Trumpet Player’ in Coll. Poems (1996) 338: The Negro / With the trumpet at his lips / Whose jacket / Has a fine one-button roll.
[US]Clarence Bassett ‘Trickle Trickle’ 🎵 Ronnie please dig my clothes here, boy, / a one button roll, / well you know I’m sharp as a tack.
[US]B. Jackson Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 162: Say deep down in the jungle in the coconut grove / lay the Signifying Monkey in his one-button roll.
[US]B. Jackson Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 177: He wore a double-breast suit and a two-button roll.
(ref. to 1955) S. Gotlieb An Inappropriate Life 🌐 I had just bought my graduation suit, a beige flannel one-button roll which I wore with a pale yellow shirt with a ‘Mr. B’ wide button-down collar and a black knit orlon tie done up in a windsor knot.

5. in drug uses.

(a) (US drugs) a roll of benzedrine tablets.

[US]Cressey & Ward Delinquency, Crime, and Social Process 812: A lot of dudes on the set will drop a roll of them reds (seconal).
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 173: roll (fr narc sl) a roll of ten wrapped benzedrine tablets.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 227: Tinfoil Benzedrine. He swallowed a roll dry.

(b) (UK drugs) a small measure of hashish.

[UK]K. Orvis Damned and Destroyed 36: Loaded. Full of heroin. Carrying a roll, too.
[UK]Oz 2 13/3: Hash which, for a good roll, they sell at about 3/- to 6/- a joint.

(c) (US black) a month’s supply of contraceptive pills.

[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 197: There are expressions related to pregnancy, menstruation, birth control, and female hygiene: [...] rack, roll (month’s supply of birth control pills).

(d) three barbiturates, as sold by a dealer.

[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 168: One young woman dealer [...] got prescriptions for Seconal, and sold the capsules for a street price of $5.00 a ‘roll’ (three capsules).

(e) (US campus) a tablet of MDMA.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Fall 9: ROLL [...] Unit of the illegal substance ecstasy: ‘I knew a guy who bought a bad ROLL and became very sick.’.

(f) a rolled up note used to inhale a powdered drug; also used of a straw.

Twitter 22 Aug. 🌐 Odd that Right Said Fred are so against a regulated lab created vaccine, what with their history of sharing needles for steroids and rolls for coke.

6. (UK black) a fight.

[UK](con. 1979–80) A. Wheatle Brixton Rock (2004) 34: After that roll we had in the blues dance [...] I saw him on a 109 bus.

7. (US black) a way of conducting one’s life, a modus vivendi.

W.D. Myers Dope Sick 103: My roll was different [to that of an addict]. I was correct and knew where I was going.

8. see roll-up n.2 (1)

In compounds

fat roll (n.)

(US Und.) a substantial bank roll.

[US]Little Falls Herald (MN) 31 Mar. 3/3: How to Operate the Shell Game with Profit [...] If the ‘gee’ springs a fat roll, tip the ollie a finif to vamp until the blow off.
[US]Day Book (Chicago) 9 Feb. 21/1: The man with the fat roll is making it fatter, / Foflashr Money’s a good thing.
S. Quinn Sound and Furry 23: Vannah opened her purse again, handed Bernie a fat roll. Not the fattest in my experience, but it was always nice to see a fat roll coming our way.
roll of tarpaper (n.)

(US) a black man’s penis.

[US]L. Bruce ‘How to relax your colored friends at parties’ [stand-up] I always heard that you guys, well, I heard you really got a big wang-on, like a baby’s arm with an apple in its fist. Could I see it? Aw, c’mon – let’s whip out that roll of tarpaper and see whatcha got there, Chonga.
[US]J. Wambaugh Choirboys (1976) 285: You gonna slip old Carolina a roll of tarpaper tonight, Calvin?

In phrases

flash (up) a/one’s roll (v.)

to display one’s money.

[US]McCook Trib. (NE) 8 Oct. 2/1: The old man [...] returned and ‘flashed up’ his roll.
[US]Democratic North-West (Napoleon, OH) 31 Jan. 8/1: A travelling quack who remakred as he flashed his roll, ‘that two suckers were born every time one died’.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ Down the Line 21: I simply had to have a roll to flash on the way home.
[US]Dly Public Ledger (Maysville, KY) 12 Feb. 1/1: ‘Man fom Maysville’ Flashed his Roll an made Old Home Darkey’s Eyes Stare Some.
[US]Bridgeport Times (CT) 28 Apr. 2/2: The soldier flahsed his roll.
[US]‘Paul Cain’ ‘One, Two, Three’ in Penzler Pulp Fiction (2006) 6: The roll he’d flashed on me was gone.
[US]D. Lamson We Who Are About to Die 205: You make a habit of hangin’ around clip joints, and flashin’ a big roll in hot spots.
[US](con. 1950s) D. Goines Whoreson 41: I stuffed the five dollar bill down into my pocket without flashing my roll .
[WI](con. 1950s) M. Thelwell Harder They Come 128: He resisted the impulse to flash his roll.
gambler’s roll (n.)

(US) a roll of money with a high-value note visible on the outside, hiding only small denominations.

G.W. Ogden Claim Number One [e-book] With six small bills and some paper, he made up as handsome a gambler’s roll as could have been met with in all Comanche that night.
[US]R. Campbell In La-La Land We Trust (1999) 79: Whistler took out his gambler’s roll. A fifty was on top. You’d think he was carrying big money if you didn’t know the rest was ones.
pimp roll (n.)

a large roll of money.

D. Demicoli A Field of Wild Flowers 117: The purse is filled with a vial of coke for the night, cigarettes in a leopard print case, twelve ribbed condoms, and a pimp-roll the size of my fist.
roll Jack Rice couldn’t jump over (n.) (also roll a cheetah couldn’t jump over, ...a greyhound..., ...a kangaroo...) [proper name of the racehorse Jack Rice, Aus. champion hurdler]

(Aus./US) a large quantity of money.

[US]T.A. Dorgan Silk Hat Harry’s Divorce Suit 9 Oct. [synd. cartoon strip] That’s funny. I had a roll that a greyhound couldn’t jump over this morning. It’s gone.
[US]O.O. McIntyre New York Day by Day 12 June [synd. col.] A bankroll that would trip up a leaping greyhound.
[Aus]Baker Aus. Lang. 107: He may even be fortunate enough to have a roll Jack Rice couldn’t jump over. Jack Rice was a racehorse noted for his performances over hurdles.
[US]A.J. Liebling Honest Rainmaker (1991) 132: The Millionaire Kid drew from his black pocket a roll of bills a cheetah couldn’t jump over.
[Aus]B. Humphries Barry McKenzie [comic strip] in Complete Barry McKenzie (1988) 37: They tell me some of these T.V. stars can earn a roll a kangaroo couldn’t jump over.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett You Wouldn’t Be Dead for Quids (1989) 17: Counting a stack of $50 Evel Knievel couldn’t have jumped over.
roll that would choke a mule (n.) (also bundle that would choke a cow, roll big enough to choke a bullock, ...billygoat, ...a hippopotamus, ...a horse, an army mule, ...a wolf, ...Big Mouth Annie, ...the tunnel, roll that would block the subway, roll that would choke a dog )

(Aus./US) a large quantity of money.

[US]F. Hutcheson Barkeep Stories 73: ‘He has a roil o’ bills dat ’ud choke a dog’.
[US]A.H. Lewis Wolfville 13: Cherokee lugs out a roll of bills big enough to choke a cow.
[US]A.H. Lewis ‘Joe Dubuque’s Luck’ in Sandburrs 152: Was it a wad? D’ roll Joe gets is big enough to choke a cow.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ Down the Line 23: Satisfied that in a few minutes I’d have a roll big enough to choke the tunnel.
Rock Is. Argus 8 Oct. 5/3: There was a roll of dollar bills that would choke a mule.
[US]F. Hutchison Philosophy of Johnny the Gent 25: Windy is there wit a bank roll that’d choke a hippopotamus.
[US]H. Green Mr. Jackson 124: He’s there with a bundle of fall money to choke a cow right now.
[US]S.F. Call 17 Feb. 11/1: He will be up on the block, with a bank roll fat enough to choke an army mule.
[US]Jackson & Hellyer Vocab. Criminal Sl. 52: He’s got a bundle of kale that would choke a cow.
[US]News Scimiter (Memphis, TN) 27 Mar. 12/3: He will never fight again unless he gets a roll of jack that would choke a mule.
B.M. Bower Thunder Bird [e-book] Went and left me in the lurch after me helping him to a roll of kale that would choke an elephant!
[US]R.J. Brown ‘Thirty Days on the Island’ in Argosy 3 Jan. 🌐 Takin’ out a roll that would have blocked the Subway.
W.C. Witwer No Base Like Home 21: He always had a roll on him which would choke a whole stable full of horses.
[Aus]Smith’s Wkly (Sydney) 2 Dec. 18/3: He had a ‘roll’ that would choke the winner of a pie-eating competition.
[Aus]Smith’s Wkly (Sydney) 2 June 21/2: He was exploring the contents of a purse that was bigger than Jumbo’s ear. It. contained a roll that would choke a wolf!
[Aus]Smith’s Wkly (Sydney) 11 Aug. 15/4: A roll thick enough to choke Big Mouth Annie.
[US]R. Crane Wash Tubbs [comic strip] A roll o’ bills fitte to choke a billygoat.
[Aus]L. Glassop Lucky Palmer 95: He’s got it all right [...] Yeah. A roll big enough to choke a bullock.
[US]Boys’ Life Oct. 12: They had a roll big enough to choke a cow.
F. Kane Real Gone Guy [e-book] He always went around with a roll big enough to choke a horse.
[US]V.E. Smith Jones Men 6: Hoe would throw down a roll that would choke a Goddamn mule.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett You Wouldn’t Be Dead for Quids (1989) 143: Lawrie pulled out his wallet which was thick enough to choke a hippotamus.
E. Izzi Prime Roll 29: The kid, he brings out a roll of hundreds, choke a horse.
E. Cashman Tyson 162: Thirty-three-year-old King lived large, always traveling by Cadillac and never without a roll thick enough to choke a racehorse.
T. Kennedy More Dark Drink 108: His hand emerges with a roll of notes in fifties, large enough to choke a horse, a tall well-built horse.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

roll-in (n.)

see separate entry.

rollover (n.)

see separate entry.

roll-up (n.)

see separate entries.

In phrases

get one’s roll on (v.)

to get into one’s stride, e.g. in a speech.

[Aus]R.G. Barrett White Shoes 76: I’d like to be around when Crystal baby gets a roll on.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Mud Crab Boogie (2013) [ebook] ‘Gee your mate can talk though.’ ‘Yeah. He’s not bad when he gets a roll on’.
have a roll on (v.)

(UK teen) to swagger to put on airs.

C.E. Pascoe Everyday Life in Public Schools n.p.: Anything approaching swagger is severely rebuked... ‘He’s got such a horrid roll on’ [F&H].
on a roll [SE roll, the roll of a dice]

(orig. US gambling) on a winning streak, enjoying a period of success, sustained activity or speech whether lit. or fig.

[US]Tucson Mag. Jan. 26/1: Now she is 26 and on a roll [OED].
[US]Ice-T ‘Radio Suckers’ 🎵 Hustlers on a roll, like they got a million.
[UK]Indep. 5 June 11: When they stick to the past the Stones are certainly on a roll.
[Ire]F. Mac Anna Cartoon City 55: He was on a roll. This was turning into an interesting night.
[UK]Indep. 5 Feb. 5: When it comes to ticket sales, the Eye is on a roll.
[Aus]L. Redhead Cherry Pie [ebook] Patsy was on a roll so he didn’t notice my change in posture.
[US]P. Beatty Sellout (2016) 276: ‘Excuse me, Mr Fiske, I have a question...’ ‘Not now, motherfucker, I’m on a roll’.
roll in the hay (n.)

see separate entry.

slow your roll (v.)

(US black) to slow down whatever one is doing.

[US]Salt-N-Pepa ‘Negro Wit An Ego’ 🎵 Slow your roll, you don’t even know me.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Nov. 6: slow your roll – calm down.
[US]Gang Starr ‘Gotta Get Over’ 🎵 So you should slow your roll, that’s my advice to you, bro.
[US]‘Touré’ Portable Promised Land (ms.) 158: We Words (My Favorite Things) [...] Ace boon coon. Slow your roll. Set it off. Shit on you.
Flo Rida ‘Run’ 🎵 Slow your roll, stop actin like you don’t know.
[US]D. Winslow ‘The San Diego Zoo’ in Broken 142: When he comes home? Slow your roll, girl.

In exclamations

go and have a roll!

go away! get lost!

[Aus]Truth (Melbourne) 12 Aug. 5/3: Mr. Rice (for the defendant): Didn't you tell Mrs. Sims to ‘Go and have a roll’? His Honor (puzzled); What does that mean? Mr. Rice: It has no dirty meaning. His Honor (reassured): Oh, that’s all right. Mr. Rice: It means ‘GO AND CHASE YOURSELF’.
Prahran Teleg. (Vic.) 19 Feb. 6/1: Did you say, ‘Go and have a roll?’ —No. Did you say, ‘Go and have a sleep?’ — No.
Narromine News NSW) 24 Dec. 2/5: ‘He told me to bag my head, to go and have a jump at myself and to go and have a roll,’ witness said. ‘I told him I wouldn't stand that at my table’.
[Aus]Baker Popular Dict. Aus. Sl. 34: Have a roll!, go and, go to the devil!
[UK]I. & P. Opie Lore and Lang. of Schoolchildren (1977) 192: Juvenile language is well stocked [...] with expressions inviting a person’s departure, for instance: [...] go and have a roll.
[NZ] McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.