Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bitch v.

1. to go whoring; thus bitchery, working as a whore; bitching, whoring.

[UK]Harman Caveat for Common Cursetours in Viles & Furnivall (1907) 61: By report, she [i.e. ‘this harlot’] would be wekely worth vi or seuen shyllinges with her begging and bychery.
[UK]Groundworke of Conny-catching [as cit. c.1566].
[UK]C. Cotton Scoffer Scoff’d (1765) 177: Jove, thou now art going a Bitching.
[UK]N. Ward ‘A Walk to Islington’ Writings (1704) 63: When Whores have a more than ord’nary Itching / To the Fields, and so Ramble a Bitching.
[UK]N. Ward Hudibras Redivivus II:2 17: One Dose will make a Fool despise / A vertuous Wife, that by him lies, / And give him a lascivious Itching / To ramble o’er the Town a Bitching.
[UK]C. Walker Authentick Memoirs of Sally Salisbury 98: The first lac’d Smock she [had] upon her Skin was mine, and I lent it to her to go a Bitching in.
[[UK]J. Dalton Narrative of Street-Robberies 48: Together with Mother Bitchington’s crying out, Why you pocky Toad, do you think the Gentleman came here without Breeches?].
[UK]Farmer Vocabula Amatoria (1966) 264: vétiller. To copulate; ‘to bitch’.
[UK]W. Eyster Far from the Customary Skies 324: When I go bitchin’ I hang out a sign.

2. to act in a promiscuous manner; thus bitching, acting promiscuously.

[UK]T. Brown Letters from the Dead to the Living in Works (1760) II 184: If ever I catch the strumpet in these territories, I’ll tear up the bung-hole of her filthy firkin, but I’ll reward her for her bitching.
[UK]N. Ward Hudibras Redivivus I:4 2: One Sempstress in her Hut a stitching, Another just strol’d out a bitching.
[US]‘Hal Ellson’ Tomboy (1952) 100: She was bitching around Times Square with him last night.
[US]B. Jackson Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 146: The Wolf Man was in the kitchen, bitchin’ / with a hundred zombie whores. / Say, he tickled and sucked them whores to death.
[UK]Guardian G2 28 Jan. 5: She was a lazy woman [...] I think she makes money by bitching.

3. (orig. US) to complain.

[UK]N. Ward Compleat and Humorous Account of Remarkable Clubs (1756) 64: A Leadenhall Butcher would be bitching his Wife, for not only opening her Placket, but her Pocket Apron to his Rogue of a Journeyman.
[US]J.L. Kuethe ‘Johns Hopkins Jargon’ in AS VII:5 329: bitch—v.—to complain; to wrangle; to ‘bull.’.
[US]B. Appel Brain Guy (1937) 69: The sore bastards. Forty-five ain’t enough. They got guts bitchin’. We could’ve borrowed a couple of Duffy’s kids for half the dough.
[US] ‘Citadel Gloss.’ in AS XIV:1 Feb. 25/1: bitch v. To complain fervently and enthusiastically.
[US](con. 1944) N. Mailer Naked and Dead 86: Private Gallagher is bitching, men.
[US]L. Uris Battle Cry (1964) 292: I know you hear a lot of Marines bitch.
[Ire](con. 1940s) B. Behan Borstal Boy 346: What’s ’e bitching on about now.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn (1966) 27: Just sit, and bitch about the heat like tired johns.
[US]D. Goines Dopefiend (1991) 219: If you ain’t bitchin’ about one thing, it’s something else.
[US](con. 1960s) D. Goines Black Gangster (1991) 16: Fox bitched about anything and everything.
[US]R. Price Ladies’ Man (1985) 49: I bitched about cats and crazies.
[UK]A. Sayle Train to Hell 49: They were now sulking in a corner [...] doing each other’s hair and bitching about Sound.
[US]S. King Misery (1988) 271: I only bitched about it once [...] one bitch.
[US]J. Wambaugh Golden Orange (1991) 34: Bitching about the yesteryear music on the jukebox.
Online Sl. Dict. [Internet] bitch v 1. to complain. […] (‘Oh, he’s just bitching about his boss.’).
[UK]Observer 3 Oct. 28: Sorry. I bitch.
[US]J. Stahl Plainclothes Naked (2002) 124: It was all he could do to issue a parade permit without bitching about having to lift a pencil.
[Aus]L. Redhead Thrill City [ebook] Chloe’d had plenty of time to bitch furiously to me under her breath.
[US] M. McBride Frank Sinatra in a Blender [ebook] No Nuts could bitch about whatever he wanted.
[Aus]T. Spicer Good Girl Stripped Bare 222: Mums’ clubs are criticised as chicks-sitting-around-bitching-about-their-blokes.

4. (UK Und.) to give in, esp. through cowardice.

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: to bitch, to yield, or give up an attempt through fear.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict. 5: Bitch, to – to yield, to give up an attempt thro’ fear.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open [as cit. 1835].
[UK]Duncombe New and Improved Flash Dict. n.p.: Bitch, to, to yield, to give up an attempt thro’ fear.

5. (UK campus) to drink tea.

[UK]J.M.F. Wright Alma Mater I 30: I followed, and having bitched (that is, taken a dish of tea) arranged my books and boxes.
[US]B.H. Hall College Words (rev. edn) 28: bitch. At Cambridge, Eng. to take or drink a dish of tea.

6. to spoil, to ruin.

[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 11: To bitch a business, to spoil it.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict. 5: Bitch, to, a character – or to perform anything badly.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Handley Cross (1854) 360: If by any chance you bitch the thing, if all does not go smoothly and well on your part [etc.].
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open 98: Bitch, to, [...] or to perform any thing badly.
[US]E. Pound letter 12 Mar. in Paige (1971) 132: No, I did not write it, Eliot wrote it, but it would be extremely unwise for him, at this stage of his career, with the hope of sometime getting paid by elder reviews, and published by the godly, and in general of not utterly bitching his chances in various quarters, for him to have signed it.
[US]E. Pound letter 17 Apr. in Paige (1971) 188: I know that he started in correct ambition to make the page good as a whole. But it has in this case bitched the original idea.
[UK](con. WW1) P. MacDonald Patrol 55: ‘We’re done [...] Bitched!’.
[UK]E. Waugh Handful of Dust 80: I’m afraid I rather bitched your evening.
[US] in Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) I 508: So Phillip of France usurped the throne, / His scepter was the royal bone, With which he bitched / The Bastard King of England.
[UK]I. Fleming Diamonds Are Forever (1958) 100: ‘Shy Smile didn’t pay off.’ ‘I know. The jockey bitched it. So what?’.
[US]E. Hemingway letter 31 Jan. in Baker Sel. Letters (1981) 881: We are back in the bastardly income tax epoch that comes to interrupt and bitch work.
[UK]A. Garve Boomerang 145: That’s bitched us [...] We can’t get the vans down to the bitumen.
[US]R.A. Wilson Playboy’s Book of Forbidden Words 37: He bitched the job (did it poorly).

7. (US) to cheat, to swindle; thus bitched, swindled.

[US]E. Hemingway letter 19 July in Baker Sel. Letters (1981) 119: Having been bitched financially and in a literary way by my friends.
[UK]G. Blake Shipbuilders (1954) 71: Good old Alan! [...] Ye’ve got the suckers bitched!

8. to treat badly; thus bitched, treated badly.

[US]E. Hemingway letter 5 Dec. in Baker Sel. Letters (1981) 332: The French are always bitched in foreign politics and invariably outwitted by any statesman.
[UK]J. Curtis They Drive by Night 82: Now I’m messed and bitched about from pillar to bloody post.
[US]M. Braly False Starts 127: One more bust and they’ll bitch me.
[US] S. Morgan Homeboy 122: While you wuz on Sick Bay I got bitched [...] Life Without for being a habitchual offender.

9. (orig. US) to criticize, to attack verbally, to nag, to gossip harshly; thus bitched, criticized, nagged.

[UK]M.F. Caulfield Black City 156: They’re delighted the way you bitched the police.
[UK]F. Norman Guntz 69: A couple of queers [...] bitching it up about every one under the sun.
[UK]N. Cohn Awopbop. (1970) 70: He [...] refused to bitch back when they were rude about him.
[US]D. Jenkins Semi-Tough 209: It took me a while to figure out that I’d rather starve to death than get bitched to death.
[Aus]Lette & Carey Puberty Blues 63: When there were no boys that we fancied [...] we bitched about our girlfriends.
[US]S. King Misery (1988) 271: I only bitched about it that once.
[Ire]R. Doyle Van (1998) 615: Wha’ are youse two bitchin’ abou’? she asked them.
[UK]Guardian Rev. 12 Nov. 3: I bitch, yeah. I have a fairly salty relationship with women.

In derivatives

bitcher (n.)

a complainer, a whinger.

[US]A.E. Morgan Six-Eleven (1966) 216: They’d just think I was a bitcher.
[US]Baker et al. CUSS 81: Bitcher Constantly complaining and irritable.
[US]O. Hawkins Ghetto Sketches 10: Go ’head and play! That’s one o’ them habitual bitchers! Don’t nobody never complain about us playin’ down here but him!

In compounds

bitch box (n.)

a public address system; a loudspeaker.

[US]T. Shibutani Derelicts of Company K (1978) 258: Someone yelled over the ‘bitchbox’ that ‘the CO wants fifteen more guys’.
[US]D.W. Hamilton ‘Pacific War Lang.’ in AS XXII:1 54: bitch box. A public address system.
[US]D. Simmons ‘Terms Used in a Men’s Dormitory’ in AS XLII:4 228: bitch box, n. phr. A generic name for the main control panel of the intercommunication announcement system.
[US]B. Seale Seize the Time 23: I got a call on the bitch box [...] I just ripped the bitch box out of the wall.
[US]A. Brooke Last Toke 171: He noted your license plate number, fed it to DMV when the broadcast about two blacks taking off Simon came over the bitch box.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 45: Common current forms include [...] bitch box (a loudspeaker).
bitch fest (n.) [-fest sfx]

collective denigration of an absentee third party.

[Aus]ntnews.com.au 12 Apr. [Internet] How did this article turn into a bitch fest about barking dogs?
bitch session (n.) (also bitching session)

(orig. US milit.) a conversation in which one airs one’s complaints.

[US]D.W. Hamilton ‘Pacific War Lang.’ in AS XXII:1 Feb. 54: Bitch session. A bull session, gripe session.
[US]Lay & Bartlett Twelve O’clock High! (1975) 208: I want there to be plenty of squawks. A real bitching session.
[US]L. Uris Battle Cry (1964) 48: The bitching session faded.
[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 45: Common current forms include [...] bitch session (a group of complainers in the act thereof).

In phrases

bitch and moan (v.)

to complain all the time; also as adj., complaining constantly.

[US]Story vols. 29-30 11: The bitching and moaning was immediately loud and long.
[US]G.L. Coon Meanwhile, Back at the Front (1962) 219: They bitched and moaned and bellyached.
[US]Baker et al. CUSS.
[US]G.V. Higgins Cogan’s Trade (1975) 158: For a guy that’s been having himself a regular party for three days or so [...] you sure bitch and moan a lot.
[US]D. Gaines Teenage Wasteland 201: For years, the fanzines were filled with bitch-and-moan manifestos about the dreaded alloy invasion.
Online Sl. Dict. [Internet] bitch v 1. to complain. Also bitch and moan. (‘Oh, he’s just bitching about his boss.’).
bitched off (adj.)

(US) furious.

[US]W.P. McGivern Big Heat 105: He’s bitched-off about the Bannion business.
bitched (up) (adj.)

1. ruined, spoilt.

[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 31/1: Bitched (Printers’) Spoilt, ruined, in reference to type.
[US](con. 1917) ‘W.W. Windstaff’ ‘A Flier’s War’ in Longstreet Canvas Falcons (1970) 278: It’s a bitched-up war, isn’t it?
[US]E. Hemingway letter 28 May in Baker Sel. Letters (1981) 408: Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start.
[UK]J. Curtis There Ain’t No Justice 214: I’ll be bitched if I do it.
[US]J.D. Macdonald Slam the Big Door (1961) 57: Should Twin Keys fall through, the results of the four careful years of practice would be bitched.
[UK]B. Kops Dream of Peter Mann Act II: Bitched by myself. That’s something to tell the looking-glass.

2. confused.

[UK]E. Pound letter 12 Dec. in Read Letters to James Joyce (1968) 148: ‘Bitched mess of modernity’ is no reflection on the innocents Giorgio and Lucia.
J. Thompson Killer Inside Me n.p.: ‘It’s a screwed up, bitched up world, and I’m afraid it's going to stay that way’.
[Ire](con. 1940s) B. Behan Borstal Boy 375: I have him bitched, balloxed and bewildered.
[US]M. Braly Shake Him Till He Rattles (1964) 34: She was all bitched up behind Lee. She knew he occasionally balled other chicks on the side, but he was the only one who could turn her on.
[US]R.A. Wilson Playboy’s Book of Forbidden Words 38: Bitched, Buggered and Bewildered. [...] a simple metaphor for one who is confused and suspects a swindle.

3. of a woman, very unpleasant.

[US] in T.I. Rubin Sweet Daddy 83: That lousy bitched up broad, that finking god-damned twat. [...] My mother.

4. (US) angry.

Linn & Pearl Masque of Honor 187: She’s all bitched up about her and Lester not being on the platform with the mayor at City Hall tomorrow.
Go Ask Alice 101: I feel really bitched and pissed off at everybody.

5. (US gay) dressed up, esp. in a blatant homosexual manner.

[US]G. Indiana Rent Boy 80: He’s all bitched up for some reason in a burnt orange Thierry Mugler number, like a Dean and DeLuca carrot.
bitch off (v.)

1. (S.Afr.) to run away, to escape.

[SA]H. Bloom Transvaal Episode 274: ‘Where’s that dirty, stinking son of a pig?’ he muttered. [...] ‘He’s bitched off,’ Roberts said.

2. (US campus) to annoy, to irritate.

[US]G. Underwood ‘Razorback Sl.’ in AS L:1/2 56: bitch off vt Irritate, irk, or annoy.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 45: Common current forms include [...] bitch off (to annoy, as in ‘That bitches me off’).
bitch out (v.)

to act in a cowardly manner, to turn informer.

[US]R. Price Lush Life 292: ‘I want that whistle back.’ [...] ‘Hell no. I told you that’s my insurance against you bitching out’ .
bitch someone out (v.)

(US campus) to tell someone off; to attack verbally.

[US]‘Hal Ellson’ Rock 99: She bitches him out forty different ways.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Nov. 1: bitch out – criticise in an unkind way.
Online Sl. Dict. [Internet] bitch out v 1. to complain to; yell at. (‘She got bitched out by her boss.’).
[Aus]L. Redhead Thrill City [ebook] I heard the relationship ended because you started bitching her out. You were jealous of her talent.
[Aus]J.J. DeCeglie Drawing Dead [ebook] She was about ten minutes late. I bitched her out about it straight up but really I didn’t care.
bitch someone up (v.)

(US) of a woman, to irritate or cause trouble for a man, e.g. a boyfriend, by flirting or playing ‘feminine’ games.

[US]‘Hal Ellson’ Jailbait Street (1963) 21: Don’t let Rose bitch you up [...] But she can’t help it. She still goes for you.
bitch up (v.)

see separate entry.