Green’s Dictionary of Slang

brown n.

1. as the colour of drinks.

(a) [19C] porter, stout.

(b) [19C] attrib. use of sense 1a.

(c) [mid-19C] brandy.

(d) [late 19C–1910s] two pennyworth of whisky, esp. as sold in Mooney’s Tavern in the Strand, London.

(e) [1920s–30s] (US Und.) whisky.

(f) [1950s+] brown ale.

(g) [2010s] (Aus.) spec. Tooth’s Kent Old Brown Ale.

2. as the colour of coins or notes.

(a) [early 19C] (UK Und.) counterfeit halfpennies.

(b) [early 19C–1930s] (also brown broad, browny) a halfpenny; a penny; thus browns, copper coins.

(c) [1980s] (UK black) a £10 note.

3. pertaining to the anus.

(a) [mid-19C+] (also round brown) the anus.

(b) [late 19C+] sodomy, anal intercourse.

(c) an act of defecation.

4. the colour of drugs, also in pl. browns.

(a) [1900s] (drugs) opium.

(b) [1900s] tobacco.

(c) [1960s+] (drugs, also B, brown boy, ...dope, …lady) heroin.

(d) attrib. use of sense 4c.

(e) [1960s+] (US drugs) usu. in pl., amphetamines.

(f) [1990s+] (also brown bob) a cigarette or cigar.

5. [late 19C] (US) hot cakes.

6. the colour of one’s skin.

(a) [1910s+] (US black) a young, brown-skinned person, esp. as a boy- or girlfriend.

(b) [1960s] (S.Afr.) a black South African.

(c) [2000s] a Mexican; also attrib.

Pertaining to money

In phrases

brown paper men (n.)

see separate entry.

browns and whistlers (n.)

[early 19C] (UK Und.) counterfeit halfpence and farthings.

head browns (v.)

[1910s] (Aus.) to play ‘two-up’.

Pertaining to the anus

In compounds

brown-dirt cowboy (n.) [SE dirt, cowboy]

[1970s+] a male homosexual.

brown-diver (n.) [SE diver]

[2000s] (US black) a male homosexual.

brown job (n.)

see separate entries.

In phrases

brown out (v.)

see separate entry.

do it up brown (v.)

[1950s+] (gay) to have anal intercourse.

flash the brown (v.)

[2000s] (N.Z.) to expose the buttocks.

go in the brown (v.)

[1930s] (US Und.) to sodomize.

hawk one’s brown (v.)

[1960s+] to work as a male prostitute.

hit the round brown (v.)

[1970s+] (US gay) to sodomize.

in one’s brown

[1980s+] (Irish) a phr. of dismissal or general negation, e.g. ‘I mean it, I really do’, ‘Bollocks! you do in your brown!’.

when the red is over the pink, go for the brown [snooker imagery]

[1990s+] when a woman is menstruating, opt for anal intercourse.

In exclamations

up your brown! (also up your rusty!)

[1910s+] a general excl. of abuse, dismissal; var. on up your arse! excl.

Pertaining to drugs

In compounds