Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bloke n.

also blokey, blokie
[either Shelta or Rom., although there is also a case for the Du. blok, a fool]

1. (UK Und.) the owner, the master.

[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 13/2: The ‘bloke’ of the ‘drum’ was in the habit of staying out until 10 or 11 o’clock, smoking his pipe over his glass, in a favorite resort of his.

2. (UK Und., also bloak) constr. with the, a judge; similarly for a prisoner governor or a ship’s Captain.

[UK]County Chron., Surrey Herald 26 Oct. 3/4: The ‘old bloke’ had seen him before at this Court, but had forgotten him.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 26 Feb. 1/4: That ere Bloke was nigh Bellusing us.
[UK]Sussex Advertiser 17 July 3/3: ‘Mind what you’re about, and don’t come here again,’ said the portly governor of a prison which a juvenile delinquent was leaving. [...] ‘Hold you tongue, old bloak!’ cried the young rascal.
[UK]J. Greenwood Wilds of London (1881) 104: All the fun consisted in Caseley calling the judge ‘old bloak’ and the counsel ‘rummy codgers’.
[Aus]Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 9: Bloke [...] ‘the bloke with the jasey’; a judge.
[UK]‘Bartimeus’ ‘In the Dog-Watches’ in Seaways 17: Did you spin all this yarn to the Bloke when you come up at Defaulters?
[UK]S. Scott Human Side of Crook and Convict Life 20: Then half the vanload [...] became involved in a discussion on the best methods of handling the judge. ‘Look the bloke straight between ’is eyeballs,’ exclaimed a quick-mannered sharper.

3. (also bloak, bloque) a man; thus blokeish adj.; also nouns blokette (Aus.), blokess (N.Z.), a woman who fits in with the blokes.

[UK]‘A Sporting Surgeon’ Waterfordiana 6: A nightly resort for all the coves who are in the habit of ranging about town after the ‘witching hour of night,’ bloaks of all sorts, sizes, and description.
[UK]R. Nicholson Cockney Adventures 10 Feb. 115: There niver vos such a old devil after the gals, as that old bloak is.
[UK] ‘Bet Farrell’ in Gentleman’s Spicey Songster 40: Bet called him a hard hearted fellow, / Which made the bloke for to laugh.
[UK]Leicester Chron. 17 June 4/6: Here’s a chance; here’s a bloak with plenty of ‘oaker’.
[Aus][Alexander Harris Emigrant Family 47: [Y]ou can write I wish you'd write us a bit of a scrawl to the [o]ld bloke, to tell him he's what I call a trump.
[UK]Hants. Chron. 22 Nov. 4/5: She had an old ‘bloke’ in tow all day.
[Aus]H. Mayhew Great World of London I 5: I wanted to ask a codger to come and have a glass of rum with me, and smoke a pipe of baccer over a game of cards with some blokes.
[UK]A. Mayhew Paved with Gold 253: Billy Fortune [...] wished he had ‘that old bloak’s tin’.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict. 77: bloak or bloke, a man.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 21 Sept. n.p.: I also, having a lady in tow, could not put the ‘blokey’ on to the ‘right track’.
[UK]J. Greenwood Seven Curses of London 202: If the bloke is in town he could easily be squared.
[UK]Five Years’ Penal Servitude 222: The Spaniards would always ’elp a bloke if he was once over the lines.
[Aus]Sydney Sl. Dict. 9/2: Kino, the macing cove, kidded on a dollymop where the bloak’s got a swag of sheen. Kino’s cocum, and he’s stagging to crack the crib. Kino, the housebreaker, enticed a servant-girl (to keep his company) where the master has a quantity of plate. Kino’s wary, and he is watching to break into the house.
[UK] ‘Blooming Aesthetic’ in Rag 30 Sept. n.p.: Make-a-bloke-a-choke young girl, / Love-a-gin-soak young girl.
Ledger (Nobelesville, IN) 14 Aug. 6/2: ‘A “bloak” has lost his “yellow super”’.
[US]G. Devol Forty Years a Gambler 37: He [...] did not know much about beating a sucker out of his money. I had to teach him how to handle the blokes.
[US]S. Crane Maggie, a Girl of the Streets (2001) 5: Ah, we blokies kin luck deh hull damn Row.
Times (Phila., PA) 13 Aug. 23/1: If you know a bloke wot can swim an’ ain’t swell-headed, bring him along.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 18 Mar. 2/6: All the ladies, or ‘donnas’, were seated on forms on one side of the room, and all the gentlemen — ‘blokes‘ [...] — remained at the other.
[US]Ade Artie (1963) 64: Even if he does sandbag a few o’ them rich blokies what’s the diff?
[UK]C. Rook Hooligan Nights 9: The uvver boys didn’t want asking more’n once to do a poor bloke a good turn.
[US]‘Billy Burgundy’ Toothsome Tales Told in Sl. 121: A bloke with bum duds.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 30: An’ what does them blokies talk about when they’re havin’ their chuck?
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 8 Jan. 1/1: But, mid the blokeys, William stands, / A man.
[UK]Wodehouse ‘The Mixer’ in Man with Two Left Feet 61: It isn’t like as if these blokes was ordinary blokes.
[Aus]S. Bourke & Mornington Jrnl (Richmond, Vic.) 11 July 2/8: A bloque comes into a game of chance, which sounds rite for darnce.
[US]Ade Hand-made Fables 88: The famous Wall Street Blokie, Jimmy Hooper, dressed up like a Horse.
[UK]‘Sapper’ Bulldog Drummond 87: The bloke’s sitting up in ’is bed swearing awful.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Young Manhood in Studs Lonigan (1936) 209: He watched a big bloke at the rail spitting into a spittoon.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Baseball Hattie’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 647: I am in love with this big bloke.
[US]W. Winchell ‘On Broadway’ [synd. col.] 17 Jan. Joe McW’s bodyguard, a bloke name Sheridan, was arrested.
[UK]R. Llewellyn None But the Lonely Heart 103: Give that there hokey pokey blokey a nice French kiss for me, will you?
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[UK]Wodehouse Mating Season 46: A youngish bloke in a well-cut dinner jacket.
[Aus](con. 1941) E. Lambert Twenty Thousand Thieves 45: One of the Second N jokers was telling me how he was showing a Ninth Divvy bloke how to prime a grenade.
[US]L. Uris Battle Cry (1964) 283: What kind of a bloke do you think I’d be.
[UK]E. Bond Saved Scene i: ’Ow many blokes yer ’ad this week?
[UK]S. Berkoff East in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 60: Let me be a bloke and wear trousers stuffed.
[UK] (ref. to 1960s) D. Hebdige Subculture 51: Trad depended on a beery ‘blokeish’ ambience.
[UK]Smiley Culture ‘Cockney Translation’ 🎵 Cockney say blokes. We say guys.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Godson 10: ‘[H]e just wants me to look after some young pommy bloke’.
[UK]G. Burn Happy Like Murderers 54: The time she had brought a black bloke to Cromwell Street.
[UK]Guardian G2 10 Jan. 14: He’s a plump bloke, quietly spoken.
[UK]N. Griffiths Grits 27: Blokey finishes speakin with an apologetic cough.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 25: blokess A female bloke or acceptable mixer among ordinary working folk Mid C20.
[Aus]Bug (Aus.) July 🌐 Manly FC, the initials not only telling you what sort of sport they like but the general calibre of the blokes and odd blokette who run things down Manly way.
[Ire]Breen & Conlon Hitmen 225: ‘There’s a bloke shooting people’.
[Aus]P. Papathanasiou Stoning 91: ‘You even mentioned that one bloke who carried a torch for her?’.

4. (orig. Aus.) a person in authority or of superior status.

[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 26 Feb. 1/4: I tips half Bull to the Bloke [i.e. market inspector] on Saturday. It's a new Bloke at the Market now, so you must tip up.
[Aus]Sydney Sl. Dict. (2 edn) 1: Bloak - Gentleman. Fancy Bloak - Fancy man.
[Aus]Worker (Brisbane) 4 Sept. 8/3: His boss he gives some funny names, when he can’t hear the joke. / He calls him ‘joint’ and ‘finger,’ and he sometimes calls him ‘bloke’.
[UK]Sketch (London) 22 Feb. 18: ‘We pay a bob (shilling) a week fer bein’ members [of a thieves’ club], an’ the “bloke” gives us the tip when there’s any oof ter be made on a job’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 22 Oct. 35/2: Nowadays the first question a new man on a job asks is not ‘What sort of bloke is ‘the bloke’?’ but ‘What sort of poisoner have you got?’ [...] It may be remarked here that ‘the bloke’ is generic for ‘boss’.
[Aus]E. Dyson Fact’ry ’Ands 162: I’m slingin’ it, blokey. Goin’ back ter ther trade.
[Aus]L. Esson Woman Tamer in Ballades of Old Bohemia (1980) 74: You’re the bloke, Bongo!
[UK]R. Tressell Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (1955) 15: He was generally regarded as a sneak who carried tales to the foreman and the ‘Bloke’.
[UK]‘New Church’ Times 29 May (2006) 89/1: 1.5 a.m. – People rush in to remind me that I am orderly ‘bloke’.
[UK]B. Adams Nothing of Importance (1988) 198: We were each, by the way, ‘my bloke’ to our respective retainers.

5. as a term of address.

[Aus]Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser 22 Feb. 4/1: [H]e had lain ten minutes on the bank when prisoner came up and said, ‘Oh you are here, old bloke,’ and prisoner put his hand in his pockets, and took out his money.
[Aus]‘John Miller’ Workingman’s Paradise 43: Hello, you blokes!
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 29 Nov. 31/1: ‘Out of quod, blokey!’ / ‘Yes, Josser! Lend us a few bob.’.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Will Yer Write It Down For Me?’ in Roderick (1967–9) II 26: That’s the truth, bloke! Sling it at ’em! O Gorbli’me, that was grand!
[Aus]E. Dyson Spats’ Fact’ry (1922) 59: Don’t be sudden, blokie.
[US]P. & T. Casey Gay-cat 59: Stand up, blokey, an’ let Slim look youse over!
[Aus]E. Dyson Missing Link 🌐 Ch. i: You’re in fer it all right, blokie.
[US]‘Digg Mee’ ‘Observation Post’ in N.Y. Age 26 Apr. 9/7: Solid, now, bloke; forget your ‘coke’. Put out that ‘roach’ and dig me.
[US]Jenkins & Shrake Limo 275: Hank handled all of the surprises we were confronted with in his usual professional manner. ‘It’s just experience, old bloke,’ he said.

6. (US Und.) a detective, a police-officer, or a minor judge.

[US]G.P. Burnham Memoirs of the US Secret Service 89: Bill was convicted, though he boasted his ability to beat the Chief ‘bloke’ of the Secret Service.

7. (UK juv.) a hard worker.

[UK]Times 1 Feb. 12/2: Remember the many epithets applied to those who, not content with doing their work, commit the heinous offence of being absorbed in it. Every school, every college has had its choice nickname for this unfortunate class... such as a ‘sap’, a ‘smug’, a ‘swot’, a ‘bloke’, a mugster .

8. a public house or tavern landlord.

[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 27/1: It was during one of those trips that the ‘bloke’ came in and found his ‘drum’ in the hands of a company of London ‘gonnoffs’.
[UK]H.G. Wells Hist. of Mr Polly (1946) 197: You the noo bloke at the Potwell Inn?

9. (US, also bloak) a fool, thus the victim of crime; an unlikeable person.

[US]Memphis Dly Appeal (TN) 12 Mar. 3/3: A victim is styled a ‘bloke’ [...] ‘the bloke cried beef’ signifies [...] ‘the victim cried police’.
[US]Cincinnati Enquirer 7 Sept. 10/7: Bloke – A person not liked by the speaker.
[UK]‘The Jargon of Thieves’ in Derry Jrnl 8 Sept. 6/5: The victim of a confidence operation is [...] a ‘bloke’ .
[US]Lantern (N.O.) 29 Oct. 3: Louis Sass, the bloke, thought he was flip.
[US]Day Book (Chicago) 6 Apr. 10/2: Is ‘guy’ a slang word? you ask me. Why sure [...] It means the same as ‘geke’ or ‘bloke’. Or ‘dub’ or ‘gink’.
[US]M.G. Hayden ‘Terms Of Disparagement’ in DN IV:iii 198: bloak, bloke, [...] a simpleton.
[US]J.L. Kuethe ‘Johns Hopkins Jargon’ in AS VII:5 329: bloke—a stupid or disagreeable person.
[US](con. 1950-1960) R.A. Freeman Dict. Inmate Sl. (Walla Walla, WA) 12: Bloke – a yokel.

10. a lover, a boyfriend.

[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 89/1: It was often observed that while other ‘picking-up molls’ and their ‘blokes’ got occasionally ‘run in,’ neither Shad nor his ‘moll’ got ‘shown up’.
[UK]Daily News in Ware (1909) 35/1: Master Edward Graham, aged eight, and Miss Sarah King, aged nine, appeared at Bow Street as inseparable and incorrigible beggars [...] ‘Sally and her bloke’ is said to be the unpoetical designation of the pair.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 16 Nov. 2/2: A business man [...] tried to frighten his servant girl by playing burglars. He got through her window, but her ‘bloke’ was near and spanked him.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 9 Feb. n.p.: Oh she’s a good iron, is my little clinah; / She’s my cobber an’ I’m ’er bloke.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 27 Jan. 3/4: The poor wretches must have a ‘bloke,’ even a vile brute like this one's, or else they're ‘no ‘class,' and earn the contempt of every other moll in the lane.
[UK]R.A. Norton Through Beatnik Eyeballs 28: Got you no bloke [...] Poor you, nothing to do in the evenings.

11. (US) a streetcar conductor.

[US]Semi-Wkly Citizen (Asheville, NC) 13 July 3/5: I was t’rowed off a street car by a bloke [...] Dey calls ’em conductors but dey is blokes and won’t give a kid a show.

12. (Aus. Und.) a pimp.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 26 May 10/4: She was the only one who pleaded guilty to being a ‘professional’ and indignantly repudiated the insinuation that she had a ‘bloke,’ boastfully showing me her earnings for the evening.

13. constr. with a, oneself, e.g. a bloke ought to get drunk once in a while.

[US]Rising Sun 25 Dec. 8/1: The jawin’ of the sergeant nearly drives a bloke insane / It’s pick this up, and bury that, and shift yer bloomin’ pins.

In derivatives

blokedom (n.)

(Aus.) the world of men (only).

[Aus]T. Spicer Good Girl Stripped Bare 240: That bastion of blokedom — talkback radio — where ‘an enlarged prostate is still a requirement of the job’.
blokey (adj.) (also blokie)


C. Connolly Enemies of Promise xxiii. 300: A dark green tablecloth...a blokey armchair, and a cold bedroom.
[UK]Times Literary Supplement 31 July 882/2: Traditional, blokey, commonsensical structuralists (not to be confused with our latter day structuralistes).
[Aus]T. Winton Lockie Leonard: Scumbuster (1995) 161: He [was] stinking up the room with his unwashed blokie smell.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 1 June 2: The companionship of a blokey circle of old friends.
[UK]Guardian Rev. 28 Jan. 14: The Manics’ blokey singer, James Dean Bradfield.
[Aus]L. Redhead Cherry Pie [ebook] ‘Sorry, it’s such a blokey storey’.
[UK]Observer Rev. 26 Jan. 7/2: The blokey men’s club perception of Ukip is incorrect.
[Aus]T. Spicer Good Girl Stripped Bare 216: ‘It’s not only mothers, or older women [...] It’s gay guys, like me. We only get so far in these blokey environments before we hit the pink ceiling’.
[Aus]P. Papathanasiou Stoning 124: Taking crap from a woman was a sign of weakness, a cardinal blokey sin.

In compounds

bloke-buzzer (n.) [buzzer n.1 (1)]

(UK Und.) a pickpocket specializing in stealing from men.

[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 83/2: Between the latter two [women] sat Squib Dixon, the cleverest ‘bloke-buzzer’ in Yorkshire.
[UK]J. Caminada Twenty-Five Years of Detective Life I 152: These thieves, as a rule, work in gangs. It is not unusual for one of the ‘bloke-buzzers,’ as they are called [...] to push off some person’s hat. The innocent one puts up his hands to save the hat; the rest of the group gather round.

In phrases

little bloke (n.)

(Aus.) the penis.

[Aus]D. Ireland Glass Canoe (1982) 123: I had my pee. I even turned round and gave the little bloke a look — his first look — at a dead man.
[Aus] 21 Mar. 🌐 A lot of blokes are scared about other blokes seeing their little bloke while in the dunny.