Green’s Dictionary of Slang

velvet n.

1. the tongue.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Velvet c. a Tongue.
[UK]A. Smith Lives of Most Notorious Highway-men, etc. (1926) II [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]J. Burrowes Life in St George’s Fields 14: Dick and the Barber gave play to their Velvets.
[UK] ‘Her Muns with a Grin’ in Swell!!! or, Slap-Up Chaunter 50: Her muns vith a grin, vhich no velvet could vin.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.

2. in fig. use, gain, profit, winnings; money [see Asbury, Sucker’s Progress (1938) 17: An extraordinary number of the terms, technical and otherwise, which were employed by Faro players in the palmy days of the game have passed into the language [...] Velvet — The bank’s money].

[US]Daily Trib. (Bismarck, ND) 11 June 2/3: I’ll just rake off three of the fivers for velvet.
[US]Ade ‘Lonesome Trolley-Riders’ in True Bills 6: She had $13.50 in Velvet thrown up in front of her. Gillespie had Tabs against all the others.
[US]S. Ford Torchy 11: There we was givin’ ’em a private hunch on a proposition that was all velvet.
[US]A. Baer Two and Three 21 Feb. [synd. col.] ‘There’s only fifteen thousand here. Where’s the rest of the velvet?’.
[US]Ade Hand-made Fables 198: The Employees wanted in on the Velvet.
[US]A. Baer Two & Three 4 Jan. [synd. col.] All those foreigners have nicked us for pin money [...] Yank has a tough time borrowing velvet from his own government.
[US]J. Lait Gangster Girl 18: Not every buck we take in is velvet.
[UK]S. Lister Mistral Hotel (1951) 187: A trading profit would be made sufficient to meet all commitments and still show something in excess of a million francs of ‘velvet.’.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 247: velvet Money that is easily gotten.
[US]J. Scarne Complete Guide to Gambling.
[US]J. Ciardi A Second Browser’s Dict. 285: Pure velvet. Pure profit. Easy money.

3. (Aus./N.Z.) any dark-skinned woman; thus a bit of velvet [abbr. black velvet under black adj.].

[Aus]T. Ronan Moleskin Midas 106: This bitchin’ country is going to the dogs. You got to pay so much for a bit of velvet that it’d be nearly as cheap to get married.
[Aus]K. Gilbert Cherry Pickers I i: No wonder that them fellahs all reckon ‘black velvet’ is hot — stuff!

4. the female pubic hair.

[US]Maledicta VI:1+2 (Summer/Winter) 131: Pubes […] velvet, wig, wool.

5. see black velvet under black adj.

In compounds

In phrases

on velvet (adj.) (also on the velvet)

secure, cheerful, enjoying a life without problems.

[Plain & Easy Road to the Land of Bliss 157: Most wonderful man! most surprizing discoveries! is not this marching to bliss upon velvet?].
Wkly Entertainer 5 Jan. 18: That [i.e the successive deaths of nine rich wives] established him perfectly, and in point of fortune left him upon velvet.
A. Young Annals of Agriculture 2 359: Respecting sheep he is always upon velvet.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Hedge, to make a hedge, to secure a bet, or wager [...] so that let what will happen, a certain gain is secured, or hedged by the person who makes this precaution, who is then said to be upon velvet.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: To be upon velvet; to have the best of a bet or match.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 27 July 7/1: When the Duke of Portland’s crack won [...] he stood on velvet , as turfites say.
[US]Canton Times (MS) 29 Sept. 2/4: As nature had deal him a ghood hand, he lived ‘on velvet’.
[US]A.H. Lewis Wolfville 114: I’ll be on velvet ag’in in a second.
[Aus]E. Dyson Fact’ry ’Ands 132: ‘It’s rybuck, girls,’ said Feathers. ‘Yer on velvet. Ther firm’s willin’ t’ accept responsibility fer ther actions iv it’s dooly accredited cat, ’n’ pays compensation.’.
[US]Ade ‘The New Fable of the Aerial Performer’ in Ade’s Fables 196: A couple of lucky shots and he would be on Velvet again and whanging away like a Demon.
[US]O.O. McIntyre New York Day by Day 31 Jan. [synd. col.] As one movie magnate [...] said: ‘The stars have been living too long on the velvet.’.
[UK]J. Curtis They Drive by Night 60: If a girl could get two rides a day and each one stand her a feed and drop a dollar she’d be on velvet.
[UK](con. 1941) R. Westerby Mad in Pursuit 243: We’re on velvet, and that kid’s got a real hate because she feels she’s been let down.
[US]B. Schulberg On the Waterfront (1964) 138: So y’see, I’m on velvet, Father.
[US]N.Y. Times 27 June n.p.: There are multiple terms for success (including ‘winnage,’ ‘winnitude,’ having an ‘Elvis year,’ being ‘golden’ or ‘on velvet’) and an equally large number of terms for failure (’lossage,’ ‘lossity,’ ‘Big Lose’) and stupidity.
stand on velvet (v.)

1. to be in a financially advantageous position, esp. following successful gambling.

W. Scott Journal (1890) II 23 Feb. 130: Cadell [...] has made between £3000 and £4000, lodged in ban [...] Thus we stand on velvet as to finance .
[UK]Era (London) 9 Nov. 3/1: If you have got on the horse at fifties, hedge to your stake at twenty, and then you will stand on velvet about him.
[UK]Cheshire Obs. 18 Mar. 6/1: Those who took my hint last week will soon stand on velvet.
[UK]Sl. Dict. 334: Men who have succeeded in their speculations, especially on the turf, are said to stand on velvet.
[UK]Leeds Times 26 June 6/2: Tom had a betting book of his own and he hedged so beautifully that he always told you that [he] ‘stood on velvet,’ and [...] stood to win three hundred and forty pounds, sure.
[UK]Derbyshire Times 3 Mar. 8/7: Those who have acted upon it will now stand on velvet.
[UK]Sporting Times 7 Jan. 1/5: Explain the following terms: — ‘Leg,’ ‘Mug,’ ‘Sharp,’ ‘Dead’un,’ ‘He stands on velvet,’ and ‘The Aristocratic Tout.’.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 17 Feb. 2/7: It’s Big Thing, I tell you. I’m in it, and we are all Standing on Velvet.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 8 Sept. 26/1: Vocalist has been genuinely backed for Caulfield Cup and as he will probably be returned a winner [...] his astute backer may be able to ‘stand on velvet.’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 7 Nov. 9/2: The State couldn’t help standing on velvet in a financial way, by making the experiment.
[UK]N&Q 12 Ser. IX 379: ‘To stand on velvet,’ to have arranged your bets so that you win whatever horse comes in first.

2. in weak use of sense, to be in an advantageous position.

[UK]Hull Dly Mail 25 July 6/4: Sixty-five for one was a happy start for England, and when the hundred was signalled still with only one man out, England seemed to stand on velvet.
tap the velvet (v.)

to talk in an affected manner.

[UK]Kendal Mercury 17 Apr. 6/1: Not as there’s anything swellish about hus, nor not as ve’s good at tapping the velvit (using flowery language).
to the velvet

lit. or fig., in profit.

[US]S. Ford Shorty McCabe 286: He showed me his ad. in the Sunday personal column, and it was all to the velvet.
[US]K. McGaffey Sorrows of a Show Girl Ch. xx: Before the whistle blew for dinner I was several hundred to the velvet.
[US]Mansfield (OH) News 7 Dec. 10(?)/3: Quite a considerable bunch of language bugs took the splurge and the enthusiasm was all to the velvet.
velvet-lined meat grinder (n.) (also velvet cone)

(US) the vagina.

[US]N. Algren Man with the Golden Arm 155: All I think about, I guess, is that velvet-lined meat grinder?
[US]E. Thompson Garden of Sand (1981) 543: His fingers went in so easily he could feel the curious velvet cone way in the back.
wallow in velvet (v.)

to be wealthy.

[US]R.F. Adams Cowboy Lingo 220: To have plenty of wealth was to ‘wallow in velvet.’.