1. something (or someone) unbearable, extremely difficult or infuriating.
|Paris Sketch Book I 113: I say, that when Raphael painted this picture, two years before his death, the spirit of painting had gone out of him [...] it was time he should die!! There — the murder is out!|
|Handy Andy 281: She’s a fine lump of a girl, but her breath is murdher intirely – phew!|
|Paul Foster’s Daughter I 231: I’m in love, Ned — that’s what I mean. There! — the murder’s out now!|
|Girl in the Brown Habit II 162: There, the murder is out.|
|Boy’s Own Paper 31 Dec. 210: Down comes the rain like murdher.|
|Sporting Times 4 July 1/3: Though he looked plurry murder, he said nix.|
|Grimhaven 41: It’s murder just to breathe to anybody that you’re thinking about it.|
|Busman’s Honeymoon (1974) 37: ‘All right,’ he said with a groan, ‘The murder’s out. Entailed. – I admit it.’.|
|Texas Stories (1995) 104: For a hundred [dollars], it developed suddenly [...] he was murder.‘Depend on Aunt Elly’ in|
|Long Good-Bye 180: Then she threshed about and moaned. This was murder. I was as erotic as a stallion. I was losing control.|
|Apprentices (1970) I iv: The train journey is murder.|
|Scully 23: What he did was kiss walls and sing to them. It was murder, he’s got a voice like a cat on heat.|
|London Fields 403: Worst double on the board. Never go near it less you’ve fucked double 12 and then come inside on double 6. Murder.|
|Guardian 21 Oct. 4: They are murder to peel, take ages to cook and are, well, just a little boring.|
|Everyday Eng. and Sl. [Internet] Murder (n): tough going/difficult.|
2. (orig. US black) an excellent or marvellous person or thing.
|Wash. Times (DC) 14 Sept. 10/5: Murder — A big gathering; excitement.|
|How I Became a Detective 93: Murder – A big gathering; excitement.|
|N.Y. Times 30 Oct. n.p.: It’s Murder [...] There is a terrific amount of theatrical business [OED].|
|Vile Bodies 186: It’s sheer murder the way that Marino drives – a fair treat to see ’im.|
|Really the Blues 230: Right quick another cat spoke up real loud, saying, ‘That’s murder man, really murder’.|
|West Side Story I i: Listen I was a smash in that fight. Oh, Riff, Riff, I was murder!|
|(con. 1930s) Lawd Today 203: That’s murder, Papa.|
|Official Dancehall Dict. 35: Murdah an expression to describe something eye-catching or great, a wicked piece of music, etc.|
to be severely chastised or punished.
|It Was An Accident 41: If Rafiq’s mum got hurt and I stood by I was going to get murders off my mum.|
SE in slang uses
(N.Z. juv.) a school dental clinic.
|DNZE].in Reid Book N.Z. 240: ‘Missed writing to-day. Had to go to the Murder House instead.’ ‘The Murder House?’ My hand falters to my throat. ‘You mean the Headmaster’s Study?’ ‘No, the Dental Clinic. See?’ [|
|Kiwi-Yankee Dict. 68: murder house: At most large schools, and for each collection of small ones, there is a small prefabricated building set slightly apart... The children..consider a visit to the school dental clinic an unpleasant necessity, at best. Hence the name.|
|DNZE].Lovely Day Tomorrow 24: She has an appointment that day at the school’s ‘Murder House’ – the dental clinic, with its treadle drill ably wielded by the dental nurse [|
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.|
1. to make threats that one couldn’t or wouldn’t ever back up with action; thus as n.
|Seize the Time 158: Some dudes were high, and wanted to be murder-mouthing – ‘Yeah, I’m going to get a gun.’.|
|Animal Factory 12: Some people do get through with murder-mouth and nothing behind it.|
|Blood in My Eye xii: Many inmates ‘murder mouth’ and ‘sell wolf tickets’; they do a lot of heavy talking, but when it comes down to the point of action, they disappear.|
2. attrib. use of sense 1.
|Sea Birds Are Still Alive 172: If you ain’t some bronze Barbie doll type or the big fro murder-mouth militant sister, you Aunt Jemima.|
|Kente Cloth 45: Before I went to the joint I would have been all over that nigga talking that murder mouth shit.|
see separate entries.
(orig. US) a charge of murder.
|Vice Squad Detective [Internet] While you’re about it, Swannie, you might as well make the murder rap stick.‘The Nudist Gym Death Riddle’ in|
|You Can Always Duck (1959) 75: You can’t hang any murder rap on me.|
|Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye in Four Novels (1983) 123: There’s a murder rap staring us in the face.|
|Crazy Kill 109: That means a murder rap for one of you.|
|Fields of Fire (1980) 1: Don’t need no murder rap from a junkie dead inside a toilet.|
see separate entry.
see blue murder n.
to flout all proprieties with absolute success, to achieve the otherwise unacceptable; occas. with blue.
|TAD Lex. (1993) 58: He’s been getting away with murder he has — it’s a wonder they don’t tumble to that fathead.in Zwilling|
|Kid Scanlon 168: If he had discovered anything, he could actually do even half way decent, he would have got away with murder.|
|Shearer’s Colt 117: They let that stable get away with murder.|
|Really the Blues 66: Johnny could get away with murder if he wanted to.|
|Alcoholics (1993) 99: No wonder they thought they could get away with murder.|
|Saved Scene xi: When someone carries on like ’er, they ’ave t’ pay for it. People can’t get away with murder.|
|After Hours 9: You’d think I was gettin’ away with murder the way he carried on.|
|Traveller’s Tool 34: A man can get away with blue murder.|
|Guardian Weekend 11 Sept. 24: They have five years of being [...] allowed to get away with murder, turning up late.|
|Robbers (2001) 182: Big corporations could get away with murder.|
(US) to raise an outcry, to make a fuss.
|Behind the Bars 161: The childers hollered murther and set up a big howl.|
|Bird o’ Freedom 8 Jan. 5/3: She stayed in her room yelling every kind of murder.|
|Negro and His Songs (1964) 155: An’ the girls all holler murder.|
|Runyon on Broadway (1954) 120: Their mammas are sure to go running around hollering bloody murder.‘The Snatching of Bookie Bob’ in|
|Pal Joey 56: He yelled bloody murder.|
|An Only Child (1970) 23: I hid under the kitchen table, yelling bloody murder.|
see death on adj. (2)
see scream blue murder under blue murder n.
see separate entry.