Green’s Dictionary of Slang

works n.

[SE works, the internal parts of a machine]

1. (Aus./US) the intestines of an animal.

[Aus]E. Dyson Fact’ry ’Ands 197: ’Ceptin fer er hun-expected wail he jerked out iv ’is works now ’n ’again, that cat was just er livin’ silence.

2. (Aus./US) the brain.

[US]H.L. Wilson Somewhere in Red Gap 123: The old one had a scar [...] It’s where his old man laid into him once, when he was a kid, with a stovelifter. It seemed to stop his works.

3. (Aus./US) the human stomach or its contents.

[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Enter Previous’ in Roderick (1972) 883: The first whiff of that cigar would have made him throw up his works!
[Aus]R. Park Poor Man’s Orange 63: A reproachful rumble like distant thunder sounded under Hughie’s breastbone, and he smote himself petulantly. ‘My God, I woulda thought the beer would keep the works quiet for a while.’.
[US](con. 1940s) E. Thompson Tattoo (1977) 138: She [...] gave a scootch and a twist to her works.

4. in drug uses.

(a) (drugs) the equipment used by a narcotics user for injecting themself.

[US]L. Berg Prison Nurse (1964) 79: The pock-marked one drew ‘the works’ from beneath his blanket. With trembling hands he struck a match and heated a spoonful of water.
[US]W. Guthrie Bound for Glory (1969) 217: He [...] run in while they was trying to take dope. He grabbed the works away from the one-eyed girl.
[US]H. Ellson Golden Spike 158: I’m particular, anyhow, I keep the works clean.
[UK]T. Taylor Baron’s Court All Change (2011) 71: His works were neatly arranged [...] complete with spoon and a candle stuck to a saucer to heat his jacks up with.
[US]J. Mills Panic in Needle Park (1971) 10: When he awakes in the morning, he reaches instantly for this ‘works’ — eyedropper, needle (‘spike,’ he calls it), and bottle top (‘cooker’). He dissolves heroin in water in the cooker and injects the mixture.
[US]H. Selby Jr Requiem for a Dream (1987) 55: Marion got her works [...] She put the cooker on the sink and Harry tapped some heroin in.
[US](con. late 1940s) Courtwright & Des Jarlais Addicts Who Survived 113: A lot of people who couldn’t support their habit would lend out their works for a few drops to get high.
[US] Tarantino & Avery Pulp Fiction [film script] 33: Vincent takes out his case of works (utensils for shooting up).
[Ire]P. Howard The Joy (2015) [ebook] [...] sucking the liquid into the barrel of me works and then attaching the spike.
[NZ]Crown Public Health 33: IV drug use is the most effective method of transmitting HIV / AIDS and Hepatitis B+C. Don’t share your needle, syringe, or works (spoons, tourniquets, benchtops, filters, water).
[UK]N. Griffiths Grits 22: Ee must still be usin then, if ee carries is wirks around with im.
[NZ]D. Looser Boobslang [U. Canterbury D.Phil. thesis] 204/1: works n pl. a hypodermic syringe, needle and associated equipment for injecting drugs.
[US]Codella and Bennett Alphaville (2011) 75: An endless cycle of scoring dope, getting works to shoot it with, safe place to do it [etc.].
[UK]K. Sampson Killing Pool 72: While in Wolverhampton [...] I availed myself of a batch of gear and some new works to boot.
email to 9 May 🌐 The only time I actually got caught with dope on me it was by a black officer who took the bags and my works.
[UK]J. Meades Empty Wigs (t/s) 704: I have a clean works, the pills, the artisan gin from Alsop’s Botanicals.

(b) the equipment used for smoking crack cocaine, heroin etc.

[US]E. Richards Cocaine True 64: Syringes, toys, gizmos, guns, works, call ’em what you want.
[UK]N. Griffiths Grits 4: Roger nods again, smiling, and offers Colm his works.
[UK]Headie One ‘Both’ 🎵 Feds draw me out for a works and smoke / Tryna do me for both.

In phrases

get on someone’s works (v.)

(Aus.) to annoy.

[Aus]Baker Popular Dict. Aus. Sl.
[Aus]Singleton Argus (NSW) 7 Aug. 2/2: It gets on my works to think that we again have to turn round and do our work in the dark when we have the opportunity of light at an earlier hour.
[Aus]D. Stivens Courtship of Uncle Henry 54: You get on my nerves with your ‘you-ain’t-been-this-way-before Veras’ and ‘who’s-been-getting-at-you-Veras.’ You get on my works.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 50: This morning on the tram I wasn’t letting Bill get on my works any.