1. usu. in pl., the hand, esp. the fist.
|Vocab. of the Flash Lang. in McLachlan (1964) 252: mittens the hands.|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 63: MITTENS, fists.|
|, ,||Sl. Dict. [as cit. 1859].|
|(con. 1940s) Admiral (1968) 152: A hell of a lot of good it does a guy with mittens like these.|
2. (US) a rejection or dismissal; usu. in phrs. below.
|Clockmaker III 156: Cuss them bad shillin’s, they are always a-comin’ back to you [...] for they won’t take the mitten if you do try to cut them.|
|Hoosier School-Master (1892) 86: Young men were timidly asking girls if ‘they could see them safe home,’ [...] and were trembling in mortal fear of ‘the mitten’.|
|DN III:iv 293: bounce, the (grand), n. phr. Summary dismissal; in love or matrimonial affairs, ‘the mitten’.‘Word-List From East Alabama’ in|
3. a boxing glove; usu. in pl.; thus mitten-mill n., a prize-fight.
|[||Maronides (1678) V 80: Quo he, now let him look to his hittings, / By Jove, I’le handle him without mittins].|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 18 Oct. 2/4: Haddygaddy and the big-un put on the mittens.|
|Vocabulum 127: mittens. Boxing-gloves. mitten-mill. A glove fight.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 14 Mar. 14/2: While Donald Dinnie and Graham were on the war-path in the back-blocks, rumours by the score used to reach Sydney as to the manner in which the pair said they could chaw up Larry Foley, either with or without the ‘mittens;’ Graham going so far, it was alleged, as to state that he could put our champion through with one hand only.|
|W. Aus. Sun. Times 24 Sept. 7/2: Bill Bludger was the games bloke / That ever donned a mitten.|
|Sl. and Its Analogues.|
|Sporting Times 28 Feb. 7/4: After the banging of the mittens, the merry joanna will resound [and] several skilled folks will smite the ivories.|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 24 Jan. 2/6: Mick Murphy again intends donning the mittens. He is billed to meet Paddy M’Mahon.|
|Marvel 3 Mar. 7: Fight it out with the mittens.|
|(con. 1835–40) Bold Bendigo 207: I am ready to make up for it by a bout with the mittens.|
|In This Corner (1974) 148: Took my mittens and I hung ’em up.in Heller|
4. a handcuff; usu. in pl.
|DSUE (8th edn) 743/1: –1933.|
5. (US Und.) a knuckle duster.
|(con. 1920s) Schnozzola 49: The callers were nasty-tempered fellows, expert in the use of ‘Tammany mittens,’ as the boys say when speaking of brass knuckles.|
(US gay) a man who masturbates other men.
|Queer Sl. in the Gay 90s [Internet] Mitten Queen – A gay man who likes to masturbate others.|
1. (US) to be turned down as a suitor, to be rejected.
|Ladies’ Museum 1 Oct. 38/1: HE’S GOT THE MITTEN. Much is expressed in this short sentence. It tells of hopes withered, and dreams of happiness fled and gone, perhaps forever.|
|New Yorker 2 July 227/1: The conversation turned upon courting. ‘Well,’ said honest Jack, ’ I never got the mitten but once in my life’.|
|Peter Ploddy and Other Oddities 14: Young gentlemen that have got the mitten, or young gentlemen who think they are going to get the mitten.|
|Autocrat of the Breakfast Table 339: A cheaply got-up youth [...] laughed at by the girls in his village [...] ‘got the mitten’.|
|Ariz. Citizen (Tucson, AZ) 13 May 1/2: Not braver he that leaps the wall / [...] / Than I, who stepped before them all / Who longed to see me get the mitten. / But no, she blushed and took my arm!|
|Dodge City Times (KS) 12 Apr. 3/3: Now I shall have to do it all over again, and may be get the mitten.|
|Lippincott’s Monthly Mag. (Phila.) Aug. 241: Popped the question, and got the mitten [F&H].|
|Ohio Democrat (Logan, OH) 15 Apr. 6/3: An old-time New England expression, ‘getting the mitten’, meaning getting your offer of marriage rejected by your ‘best girl’.|
|St Louis Republican (MO) 2 Mar. 48/4: I makes a bid for two or three but gets the mitten.|
|Ocala Eve. Star (FL) 21 Jan. 1/4: Marconi Gets the Mitten [...] Mrs M.E. Holman announced this morning the breaking of the engagement of Miss J. Holman to Marconi.|
|Four Million (1915) 193: I’ve got the mitten instead of the scarf.‘The Caliph, Cupid and the Clock’ in|
|DN III:vi 445: mitten, n. ‘To get the mitten,’ to have one’s suit rejected.‘Word-List From Western New York’ in|
|Day Book (Chicago) 27 Mar. 25/1: Harry Farnham has got ‘yes’ from Miss Viola Truman, after sparking her for eleven years and getting the mitten 1,000 times.|
|Dict. Amer. Sl.|
|AS II:8 360: The boys all got the mitten at Three Poplars last night.‘Dialect Words and Phrases from West-Central West Virginia’ in|
2. (US campus) to be expelled from a college.
|College Words (rev. edn) 324: mitten. [...] a student who is expelled is said to get the mitten.|
3. to be dismissed from employment.
|Punch 1 Mar. 108/2: Lifeboat hands who are found shrinking, Or with fear of danger smitten, Get, not medals, but the mitten [F&H].|
(US) to reject a proposal of marriage, to end a relationship.
|Insurgents 99: If I was in her place, I guess I’d give him the mitten ’bout the quickest.|
|Life and Adventures 39: The girl, on hearing of this, gave me the mitten [...] It did not suit me very well but it did not hinder my going with another girl within the next twenty-four hours.|
|Dict. Americanisms 156: to give him the mitten. This phrase is used of a girl who discards her sweetheart. She gave him the mitten means that she gave her lover his dismissal or discarded him.|
|Diary of a Forty-Niner (1906) 95: She is telling everybody that she has given me the mitten.|
|Well Mary, Civil War Letters 20: Too bad for Elsie [...] she had no business to give me the mitten then.letter in Brobst|
|Guardian Angel 370: Some said that Susan had given her young man the mitten, meaning thereby that she had signified that his services as a suitor were dispensed with.|
|‘’Arry on the ’Igher Education of Women’ in Punch 5 Apr. in (2006) 151: Yus, she gave me the mitten.|
|Dead Bird (Sydney) 16 Nov. 2/4: I want you to understand that [...] my daughter has given you the mitten.|
|Elder Conklin and Other Stories (1895) 4: ‘What does “giving the mitten” mean?’ he questioned [...] ‘Why, jest the plainest kind of refusal, I guess.’.|
|Variety Stage Eng. Plays [Internet] The beautiful Lady Immerset has given Billy Smith the mitten.‘A Long Shot’|
|More Gal’s Gossip 74: I told you in my last how she gave the athletic stockbroker at Hove the mitten.|
|Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 176/2: Mitten (Amer., Hist.). Refusal of marriage by a lady. ‘She gave him the mitten.’.|
to dismiss from a job.
|‘’Arry on Commercial Education’ in Punch 26 Sept. in (2006) 123: The Boss tipped me the mitten next day.|