Green’s Dictionary of Slang

muck n.1

[SE muck, anything filthy, dirty, esp. when part liquid]

1. in fig. use, money; wealth [the equation of money and dirt].

[UK]Sarmun xx in E.E.P. (1862) 3: Þe wrecchis wringit þe mok so fast up ham silf hi nul nʒt spened [OED].
[UK]J. Gower Confessio Amantis v: For to pinche, and for to spare, Of worlds mucke to gette encres [F&H].
[UK]‘Bashe Libel’ in May & Bryson Verse Libel 78: In few yeares he scrapt such muck, / And grew so riche.
G. Turbervile Tragicall Tales 13: Not one in all Rauenna might compare With him for wealth, or matcht him for his muck.
[UK]Passionate Morrice (1876) 63: They would then rather respect the man then money. [...] For, followed she not the greedie desire of adding muck to muck.
Davies of Hereford Microcosmos 70: This make vs make the hand of the distrest Our Mucke and Earthly Mammon’s continent.
[UK]Davies of Hereford Scourge of Folly 55: He married her for Mucke, she him for lust, The Motives fowle, then fowly liue they must.
[UK]Massinger Bondman I iii: Doe you prize your mucke Aboue your liberties?
[UK]Rowley Match at Midnight I i: I tell ’em I haue given over Brokering, moyling for mucke and trash.
[UK]The Wandering Jew 36: Thou art Master to thy Money, and a slave to thy Muck.
[UK]Laughing Mercury 29 Sept.-6 Oct. 201: A little muck, or earthly wealth.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Muck Money, Wealth.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Dyche & Pardon New General Eng. Dict. (5th edn).
[UK]B.Martin Eng. Dict. (2nd edn).
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]W. Carr Dialect of Craven I 333: Muck. A contemptuous name for money. ‘What’s all his muck good tul?’.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]D. Jerrold Men of Character II 45: John hurried away with the suit of the solemn black to the disconsolate heir of the muckthrift.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.

2. a general term covering anything or anyone seen as disgusting, worthless or abhorrent.

[UK]H. Brooke Fool of Quality I iii: [dedication] Your Respectableness, perhaps, hath not duly perpended the Travail, the Toil, the marvellous Drudgery, the Muck, that Dedicators are obliged to pass through, and the Fences of Truth over which they must break.
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 121: Muck [...] by easy transition ― dirty female persons are the same.
[UK]Suffolk Chron. 2 Sept. 1/6: The prisoner said that [...] she was a ‘rig’lar old muck’ and kept a bad house [and] that her husband was transported.
[UK]W. Carr Dialect of Craven I 333: ‘To throw muck at a person,’ to scandalize and vilify him.
[UK]G.A. Sala Gaslight and Daylight 41: ‘Go thy ways, thou fool,’ she exclaims; ‘Go thy ways and be hanged, thou Plump Muck!’.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor III 280/1: Drinking bad beer; but it wasn’t beer – muck, I call it.
[UK] ‘’Arry on the River’ in Punch 9 Aug. 57/1: Up to now it’s bin muck and no error.
[UK]Henley & Stevenson Deacon Brodie I tab.III i: Muck: that’s my opinion of him: muck.
[UK]E. Pugh Tony Drum 90: I’ll make ye laugh t’other side o’ your mouth, you bit o’ London muck.
[US]N. Davis Northerner 165: ‘This is a nice bit of moral muck I’m about to drag you through, Falls!’ [...] ‘Well,’ – he loosened his tie with a savage jerk, as though it choked him, – ‘that girl – that colored girl – is my daughter.’.
[UK]E. Pound letter 15 Dec. in Read Letters to James Joyce (1968) 18: They pay 2 bob a line and get most of the best people (and one hell of a lot of muck).
[UK]D.L. Sayers Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1977) 176: I don’t do any of that muck now. It was just a passing craze.
[UK]‘George Orwell’ Keep The Aspidistra Flying (1962) 250: Christ, what muck! But of course it was an American paper. The Americans always go one better on any kinds of beastliness.
[UK]‘Henry Green’ Loving (1978) 178: Just imagine me smarming that muck over my face and chest.
[UK]J. Curtis Look Long Upon a Monkey 112: Think we’re muck because we ain’t had the education to talk posh.
[UK]K. Williams Diaries 5 Oct. 164: To The Visit at Royalty to see George Rose. It was the most appalling muck I’ve seen for some time.
[UK](con. 1950s) Nicholson & Smith Spend, Spend, Spend (1978) 45: These letters are filth, muck, rubbish!
[UK]P. Barker Blow Your House Down 7: And he treats her like muck.
[UK]T. Hill Underground 6: You’re trainee muck now, but one day all this could be yours.

3. rubbish, nonsense.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 17 Jan. 6/4: ‘Muck’ is not a very elegant word, we admit, but it is intensely expressive – especially at electioneering times; and, in fact, it is the only one […] which appropriately fits a statement recently made in some London newspapers, to the effect that the late Duke of Brunswick ‘languished all his life under a hopeless passion for Queen Victoria.’.
[UK]G.R. Sims ‘The Collaborators’ Dagonet Ditties 99: A notion fluttered in Whims’s brain; / He got to the middle, and there he stuck, / For Fidgitt declared the plot was ‘muck’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 25 Oct. 29/1: ‘The average muck produced in Australia as a famous London success is probably unknown to any part of the metropolis’ – which is just what I said.
[US]E. Pound letter 9 Nov. in Paige (1971) 45: The exhibition of Modern Spanish Art at the Grafton is a fit exhibit to hang where the show of the Royal Society of portrait painters hung recently. muck. If it weren’t in ‘aid of the Prince of Wales fund’ one would be inclined to sue for one’s shilling.
[US]J. Weidman What’s In It For Me? 13: I’m not [...] giving you a lot of muck about your own business.
[UK]W. Hall Long and the Short and the Tall Act I: Marauding bedouins! You’ll lap up any old muck.
[UK]G. Lambert Inside Daisy Clover (1966) 229: He was my devoted fan [...] wouldn’t listen to the muck that was going around.
[US]L. Kramer Faggots 204: A sinking foundation of insecure, heartful muck.
[UK]Guardian G2 19 Jan. 14: Sharing the charts with ‘commercialised muck like S Club 7’.

4. semen; esp. in phr. spill one’s muck.

[UK]‘Walter’ My Secret Life (1966) III 537: She [...] often wished she were dead rather than have to come out and let men pull her about, and put their nasty muck into her, — ‘nasty muck’ was always the pleasant way in which she spoke of a man’s sperm.
[UK]P. Barker Blow Your House Down 46: Always remember your mouth’s your own. When he’s shot his muck you’ve got to go back and kiss them bairns.
[UK]Roger’s Profanisaurus in Viz 87 Dec. n.p.: muck n. Mess (qv). As in ‘Shoot your muck’.

5. food or drink, not necessarily unpleasant.

[UK]B. Hemyng Eton School Days 32: ‘Tarts, cakes, and buns to-day, sir?’ [...] ‘Not to-day, Spankey. I have only just left home, and your muck might not exactly agree with me.’.
[UK]R. Whiteing Mr Sprouts, His Opinions 9: And if he didn’t give me a dose of the sourest muck I ever put to my lips, I’m a Dutchman.
[UK]D. Cotsford Society Snapshots 39: I haven’t had a thing fit to eat yet. I wonder where on earth Maria gets all this muck from.
[UK]O.C. Malvery Soul Market 87: Lor, what muck — I ain’t goin’ to eat none o’ that.
[Aus]L. Stone Jonah 169: ‘Bah!!’ he cried in disgust [...] ‘only kids eat that muck.’.
[UK]Kipling ‘Satisfaction of a Gentleman’ in Complete Stalky & Co. (1987) 253: He knows we can’t live on the muck they give us.
[Aus](con. 1830s–60s) ‘Miles Franklin’ All That Swagger 379: This resulted in Lola’s suggestion to escape before he was again poisoned by the Duchess’s ‘muck’.
[UK] in T. Harrisson Mass-Observation War Factory: Report 8: A woman who is accustomed to making her dinner off a couple of slices of bread-and-margarine with a taste of pickles or German sausage, does not know quite what to make of a plate of steamed fish with a strange sauce over it, and some dark-coloured beans that she has never seen before in her life. The line of least resistance when confronted by this apparition, is to call it ‘muck’.
[UK]A. Buckeridge Jennings Goes To School 20: Of course, all school food’s muck, but usually it’s pretty decent, so that makes it wizard muck.
[US]M. Braly Felony Tank (1962) 19: Look at that muck. How do they expect a man to eat stuff like that?
[UK]P. Theroux Family Arsenal 118: Good English food after all that Spanish muck.
[Aus]M. Bail Homesickness (1999) 167: I didn’t come here for the beer. Have you ever tasted such pissy muck?
[UK]J. Cameron Vinnie Got Blown Away 50: Ask for tea and get all kinds of muck, big old leaves, probably better you smoked it.
[UK]K. Waterhouse Soho 175: They’d get pissed off with serving that fancy muck all night and would want something plain when it was their turn to eat.

6. as a euph. for shit n.

[UK]F. Dunham diary 10 Sept. Long Carry (1970) 211: In the centre of all this was the farmhouse midden, where all the animals’ muck, straw, and rubbish was deposited.
[UK]G. Kersh They Die with Their Boots Clean 86: You land me in the muck if you don’t watch out.
[US]Lait & Mortimer USA Confidential ix: The muck is there, deep and dirty; the rake digs into it and turns it up.
[Aus]W. Dick Bunch of Ratbags 43: They found him lying on his side unconscous in the toilet gutter, with urine and muck all over him.
[UK]F. Pitt-Kethley Sky Ray Lolly 32: And the hedgehog said, ‘Keep your filthy / cow-muck, I haven’t got stomach ulcers.’.
[UK]R. Rendell Keys to the Street 134: A bit of muck on the pavement.

7. rudeness, insults.

[Aus](con. 1941) E. Lambert Twenty Thousand Thieves 141: Reckon I might get me leave cancelled for slingin’ muck at crane.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 116: I got a big kick out of the way the boys poked muck at me about Henry.

In compounds

muck-bucket (n.)

a very unattractive woman.

[UK]I. Welsh Decent Ride 138: Ah’ve hud a loat ay fuckin barry rides fae some quality fanny [...] a few muck-buckets n aw, ah’ll gie ye that, but ah widnae change a fuckin minute ay it!
muckhill (n.)

a pile of money ; thus have a good muckhill at one’s doorstep, to be well-off.

[UK]J. Ray Proverbs (2nd edn) 77: You make a muckhill on my trencher, quoth the Bride. i.e. You carve me a great heap. I suppose some bride at first, thinking to speak elegantly and finely might use that expression; and so it was taken up in drollery; or else it’s onely a droll, made to abuse countrey brides, affecting fine language.
muckhole (n.)

1. a filthy, unappetizing place or room.

[US](con. 1900s–10s) Dos Passos 42nd Parallel in USA (1966) 142: I might have known there wouldn’t be a woman in this muck hole with a human spark in her.
[UK]J. Burke Till Death Us Do Part 8: Forty years of flogging your guts out and all you’ve done is end up in a muckhole.

2. the anus.

[US]‘J.M. Hall’ Anecdota Americana II 14: Now you wants to fuck up me muckhole.
[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 243: He mucked up her fuck-hole / And fucked up her muck-hole, / And charged her two dollars beside.

3. (Aus.) the vagina.

[UK]K. Lette Llama Parlour 91: I’d come from a country where the blokes called a vagina a ‘muckhole’ and the labia majora ‘piss flaps’.
muck savage (n.)

a peasant.

[Ire]Irish Times 25 Sept. n.p.: While some ‘Dubs’ consider provincials less than the full civilised shilling – ‘muck-savages’ is a phrase which comes to mind – some provincials appear to consider Dubliners less than fully Irish [BS].
[UK]Roger’s Profanisaurus 3 in Viz 98 Oct. 21: muck savage n. A bumpkin; a buffle; a cabbagehead. See joskin.
[UK]Guardian 25 Oct. [Internet] [‘Culchie’] has morphed, say the culchies, into an insult, shorthand for thick ‘muck savage’, or ‘bogman’ - the opposite to the sly city boys of Dublin. 18 Feb. [Internet] I have to say, as a Dub [...] I could never stand the sight of that dirty sleveen looking inbred muck savage that is Páidí O'Geebag.
muck-shoveller (n.)

(Aus.) a tin-miner.

[Aus]Newcastle Morn. Herald (NSW) 13 Sept. 3/1: I wonder whether he means spud digger or muck-shoveller, for, by his caricature of the field, he knows little about mining.
Sun (Kalgoorlie, WA) 26 Oct. 1/1: They say [...] That a certain muck shoveller [...] is looking for promotion. [...] That running round with wondrous tales of ‘Look what I’ve found!’ is getting him disliked.
[Aus]Baker Aus. Lang. 98: muck-shoveller, a tin miner.
muckspout (n.)

one who uses a good deal of obscene language or has a ‘smutty’ mentality.

[US]M.G. Hayden ‘Terms Of Disparagement’ in DN IV:iii 209: muck-spout, a foul-mouthed person. ‘Nothing taints boys’ minds like the muck-spouts on the street corners.’.
[UK]D.H. Lawrence letter 15 Dec. Letters (2006) 53: And [John Middleton] Murry, not being an artist, but only a little ego, is a little muckspout, and there is an end of it.
muckstick (n.)

1. (US) a long-handled shovel; thus muck-sticker, muckstick man, a manual labourer.

[US]Morn. Tulsa Dly World (OK) 13 June 19/3: Shovel flirts — Laborers, known also as ‘muck-stickers’.
[US]Sat. Eve. Post 1 Jan. 28/3: I was a mucker; my shovel, a muckstick.
[US]C. Samolar ‘Argot of the Vagabond’ in AS II:9 392: A long-handled shovel is a muckstick and a short-handled one is a clam-gun.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 132: Muck Stick. – A long-handled shovel, one in general use by ditch-diggers and others working in the earth, as opposed to ‘banjo’ or short-handled ‘scoop’ shovel for coal, grain, etc.
[US]J. Steinbeck Grapes of Wrath (1951) 272: We got here a first grade muck-stick man.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 142/1: Muckstick. A shovel.
[US](con. 1920s) J. Thompson South of Heaven (1994) 41: Just give us [...] some mucksticks, and Tommy and I’ll bury him.
[US]Mers & Grieder Ups and Downs of a Rebel Longshoreman 5: Armed with a shovel apiece — the old ‘idiot spoon,’ ‘Mexican dragline,’ the muckstick [etc.].

2. (N.Z.) a shotgun.

[NZ]R. Helmer Stag Party 53: ‘How do you ever shoot one then?’ ‘I stopped and looked for the little bugger [...] and upped with me muck-stick and waited [...] Bang! I nailed him right between the eyes.’.

see separate entries.

muck-worm (n.)

see separate entry.

In phrases

as muck (adv.)

extremely, utterly; either succeeding a pej., e.g. as sick as muck, or implying one, e.g. as rich as muck.

[UK]Badminton Mag. 26 198: Not to put too fine a point on it, the dons are as sick as muck with me.
[UK]‘Ian Hay’ First Hundred Thousand (1918) 293: ‘He’s as sick as muck!’ comments Bobby.
[UK]R. Graves Goodbye to All That (1995) 97: They allowed the work we’d done in the trench to go to ruin and left the whole place like a sewage farm for us to take over again. We were sick as muck.
A.C. Train Jacob’s Ladder 254: It was not that she was after money at all, for she was rich as muck.
‘Neville Shute’ Stephen Morris 104: Poor old man — he must be feeling sick as muck at having crashed it.
blow one’s muck (v.)

of a man, to ejaculate, to reach orgasm.

[UK]I. Welsh ‘A Smart Cunt’ in Acid House 266: I thought about her daughter and blew my muck inside her.
[UK]I. Welsh Filth 161: The spacedyke imagery is still vivid in my head and I blow my muck quickly.
[UK]I. Welsh Glue 42: Nae cunt’s gaun naewhaire till ah’ve blawn ma muck.
[UK](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 87: Maybe it’s the gear [...] ah cannae seem tae blaw ma muck.
Lord Muck (n.) (also King Muck, Lord Muk)

a hypothetical aristocrat, snobbish and conspicuous in his contempt for lesser mortals, but since he is lord of ‘muck’ he is, in fact, no better than they are.

[UK]Huddersfield Chron. 12 June 8/2: When he (complainant) came down, he was addressed as ‘Lord Muck’.
[UK]Bristol Mercury 28 July 7/5: The prisoner’s wife put her head out of the window and called me ‘Lord Muck’.
[UK]Western Dly Press 26 Jan. 3/2: When you had your great coat on you thought yourself Lord muck from no-where.
Bury & Norwich Post (Suffolk) 7 Sept. 6/2: Witness: Defendant called me Lord Muck.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 7 Dec. 20/1: Our schoolmaster he maiks his livin ritin to your paipir. He thinks he’s the Lord Muck does our school master because he rites to a papir.
[US]N.Y. Tribune 21 May 19/3: You’ll find out, whether you’re Brogger or Juggins or lord Muck from Bog Island, that I’m Captain here.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 3 Sept. 48/1: I caught the fish, and I seized a duck, / I pushed them to him with either hand, / And I said: ‘Here, tell me, my good Lord Muck, / Which one of them carries the station brand?’.
[Aus]N. Lindsay Saturdee 107: Yer must think your old man’s King Muck.
[UK]G. Ingram Cockney Cavalcade 197: You look like Lord Muck!
[Aus]Albury Banner (NSW) 30 Aug. 30/2: Yer jus’ ort ‘ave seen the girl Roddy las’ Saturdee night at the pitchers, all laired up, and the guy, swot me, a regular Lord Muck.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 82: The kid was sitting at his table and looking as important as King Muck.
[UK]K. Waterhouse Billy Liar (1962) 48: Oo, hark at Lord Muck.
[US]E. De Roo Big Rumble 86: Big Tony’s rep as boss or as Twitch put it, ‘Lord High Pile of Muck’.
[NZ]R. Morrieson Pallet on the Floor 59: Bring Lord Muck too.
[Aus]N. Keesing Lily on the Dustbin 82: Who do you think you are? Lord Muck of Turd Island.
[Ire]J. O’Connor Salesman 28: Oh, can I? Is that right? God Almighty, thanks for the bloody permission, Lord Muck.
[SA]A. Lovejoy Acid Alex 45: You’re that little Lord Muk on toast, aren’t you?
[UK]Guardian Guide 17-23 June 11/1: British people having tea and carrying on like Lord and Lady Muck.
muck and a halfpenny afters (n.)

(middle-class) a pretentious, unpleasant dinner ‘spotted at the corners with custard powder preparations, and half dozens of stewed prunes, etc, etc’ (Ware).

[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.
up to muck (adj.)

(Aus.) inclined to cause trouble.

[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 18 Aug. 4/7: Quoth the festive lady punter to snowy Long Odds Bill, / ‘I want a little with you on Siesta’ / [...] / ‘Who is she?’ whispered William. ‘Up to muck,’ said Mick M’D.