Green’s Dictionary of Slang

pony n.

1. in monetary senses [? relatively small sums, as a pony is a small horse; Bee claims ‘the one [i.e. the bet] being derived from the other [i.e. the horse]’].

(a) [late 18C–mid-19C] money in general.

(b) [late 18C+] £25, orig. 25 guineas.

(c) [late 19C+] a double-headed coin.

(d) [1910s] (N.Z.) one pound sterling; occas. £5.

(e) [1960s+] (Aus.) A$25; A$50.

2. [19C] a bailiff, esp. one who accompanies a debtor on a day out from prison [? he carries people off].

3. US campus uses.

(a) [early 19C+] (also automobile) a literal translation of a classical text, a ‘crib’ [‘So called, it may be, from the fleetness and ease with which a skilful rider is enabled to pass over places which to a common plodder present many obstacles’ (Hall, College Words and Customs, 1856)].

(b) [mid-19C; 1950s] one who offers illicit help with an examination.

4. fig. use of SE pony in its sense of a small horse.

(a) [mid-19C+] (orig. US) a small glass of beer or other liquor; thus pony-glass, a small glass, with a capacity of approx. 6ml (2fl oz).

(b) [1900s–50s] (US) a (small) dancer or chorus girl.

(c) [1940s–50s] (US drugs) a weak measure of heroin [play on horse n. (7)].

5. [late 19C+] (US) a racehorse; thus the ponies n., horseracing.

6. in attrib. use of sense 5.

7. one who is ‘ridden’.

(a) [1940s] (US black) a young woman, a lover.

(b) [1960s+] (also pony girl) a prostitute or promiscuous woman.

8. [1980s+] (drugs) crack cocaine.

9. [1990s+] a ponytail hairstyle.

In compounds

pony-bag (n.) [sense 1b above; such bags are insured up to £25,000]

[2000s] (UK Und.) a small box of cash carried into a bank by a security guard.

pony boy (n.)

1. [1980s] (US) in sadomasochistic use, a submissive male used as a ‘horse’.

2. [2000s] (US) a young male homosexual [sense 6a above].

pony girl (n.)

1. see sense 6b above.

2. [1980s] (US) in sadomasochism, a female slave who is subjected to ‘equestrian training’.

In phrases

play the ponies (v.) (also play the horse(s))

[20C+] to bet on horseracing.

push ponies (v.)

[1960s+] of a pimp, to promote prostitutes.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

feeding the pony (n.) [? the shape/movement of the hands]

[1990s+] the digital stimulation of a woman’s genitals.

off one’s pony [i.e. fallen over]

[1960s] (US) in a state of collapse from excessive drinking.

ride the white pony (v.) (also ride the baloney pony)

[1980s+] (US) of a woman, to have sexual intercourse astride the man.