Green’s Dictionary of Slang

down adv.1

[the lowering of one’s spirits]

1. [17C+] (also downed, down on it) depressed.

2. [1950s+] depressing.

3. [1960s] in a state unassisted by any drug.

In phrases

drop down on oneself (v.)

[early–mid-19C] to feel depressed, esp. at the prospect of prison or judicially sanctioned death, to sink beneath one’s problems.

get someone down (v.)

[late 19C+] to make someone depressed.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

down front (adj.) [var. on up front adj. (1)]

[1950s+] (US black) open, honest, candid.

In phrases


see also separate entries.

down buttock and sham file (n.) (also downright buttock and sham file) [SE down(right) + buttock and file under buttock n., modified by SE sham, fake]

[19C] a prostitute who does not resort to thieving.

down there (also down low) [euph.]

[20C+] a coy ref. to the vagina; occas. the penis.

down to cases

1. [late 19C+] (US) down to the hard facts; to a final reckoning.

2. [1940s] (US Und.) down to one’s last pennies.

down to one’s seams

see under seam n.

In exclamations

down with his apple-cart! (also up goes his apple-cart!) [northern dial.; SE phr. down with + apple-cart under apple n.1 ]

[mid-19C] knock him down!