Green’s Dictionary of Slang

night n.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

nightbird (n.) (also bird of the night, night fowl) [they ‘fly at night’; note SE night bird, one who goes about at night, esp. a thief]

1. [17C; mid-19C+] a prostitute.

2. [early 19C] a wandering vagabond.

nightcap (n.)

see separate entries.

night clothes (n.)

[20C+] (US Und.) dark, close-fitting clothes used when committing a burglary at night.

night crawler (n.)

1. [1950s+] (US) someone who socializes or works late at night.

2. [1950s+] (US Und.) a prisoner who steals from other inmates.

3. [1960s] (US gay) a homophobic thug.

4. [1970s] (US) the penis.

night crib (n.)

[mid-19C] a public house or place (of entertainment) that stays open late.

night fighter (n.) [SE night fighter planes are painted black]

[1940s+] (US) a black person.

night glass (n.)

[1940s] (W.I.) a euph. for a chamberpot.

nightgown lady (n.) [euph.]

[late 17C] a prostitute.

night hack (n.) [hack n.3 (1)]

[1910s–30s] (US Und.) a night watchman.


see separate entries.

night hunter (n.)

1. [19C–1910s] (also night-rogue) a thief who prefers to work at night.

2. [19C–1910s] a prostitute.

nightliner (n.)

[late 19C–1900s] (US) a street robber who works at night.

night magistrate (n.)

[late 17C–early 19C] a constable.

nightman (n.)

1. [late 17C–mid-19C] a collector of nightsoil, i.e. the contents of cesspools, removed at night.

2. [1920s+] a thief who prefers to work at night, rather than in the daytime.


see separate entries.

night physic (n.)

[late 16C–early 18C] sexual intercourse.

night poacher (n.) [19C]

1. a prostitute.

2. a thief who works at night.

nightshade (n.)

[17C–9C] a prostitute.

night stick (n.)

1. [1910s+] (US) the penis [play on SE nightstick/stick n. (1a)].

2. [1950s+] (US black) anyone who lives their life in clubs and bars and generally indulges themselves as a ‘night person’.

night trader (n.)

[17C–19C] a prostitute.

night walker (n.)

see separate entry.

night work (n.)

[late 16C–mid-19C; 1950s+] sexual intercourse.

In phrases

night on the rainbow (n.)

[1940s+] (drugs) a night spent under the influence of drugs.