Green’s Dictionary of Slang

flesh n.

a horse, i.e. SE horseflesh.

‘Viator Junior’ in Sporting Mag. in Malet Annals of the Road (1876) 120: [E]very night after the coach comes in he draws the ‘blunt,’ or no ‘flesh’ is forthcoming the next morning.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

fleshbag (n.)

1. a shirt.

[Ire] ‘Larry’s Stiff’ Luke Caffrey’s Gost 7: Both of dem took of dir flesh-bags.
[UK]Proc. Old Bailey 11 May 588/2: He got me intoxicated, and damned me, and asked if I could not get something to get some money; he took hold of my shirt, and said, a flesh-bag, I did not know what he meant; he then said some shirts, damn you.
[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang.
[Ire]Spirit of Irish Wit 102: My Gossop was [...] just taking off his flesh-bag.
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 66: Vhy I’ve got as good a flesh-bag as ever stuck to a cove’s prat; but you know they am no use in the shallow fake.
[UK]Kendal Mercury 17 Apr. 6/1: I nearly shook my flesh, bag and trousers off with hactual faiking the dodge to a rhino point.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Victoria (Melbourne) 25 July 3/3: Directly the men had doffed their flesh bags there was a universal buzz of admiration at their splendid condition.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 110/1: Upon examining Artful’s ‘flesh-bag,’ sure enough there was the torn collar.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[Aus]Sydney Sl. Dict. (2 edn) 4: Flesh-bag - A shirt.
[UK]Clarkson & Richardson Police! 320: A shirt ... A mill-tog, flesh-bag, skin-cover etc.

2. the human body.

[UK]Pierce Egan’s Life in London 3 Dec. 773/1: A tremendous cross-buttock, which shook all the bones in his flesh-bag.
flesh-broker (n.)

a madame, a procuress; a match-maker; a pimp.

[UK]Second Maiden’s Tragedy II ii: Are white hairs A colour fit for panders and flesh brokers.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Flesh-broker, a Match-maker; also a Bawd.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK] Newgate Calendar 🌐 He employed an old bawd in the affair, who was intimately acquainted with our hostess, and by this flesh-broker’s mediation things had like to have come to an issue.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Flesh broker. a match-maker, a bawd.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[US]Whip & Satirist of NY & Brooklyn (NY) 2 Apr. n.p.: What ought to be done with nuisance Sid the flesh broker.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.
[US]Trumble Sl. Dict. (1890).
[Aus]Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 29: Flesh Broker, a procuress.
flesh-dresser (n.) [SE flesh-dresser, a butcher]

an official who punishes prostitutes with flogging.

[UK]J. Melton Astrologaster 32: If Tom Todd and his fellow flesh-dressers had not quencht those inflamations, many three-chin’d Bawd, dry-fisted Punke, and biskit-handed Pandar would haue had all their hayre burnt off long ere this.
[UK]Crete Wonders foretold by her crete Prophet of Wales in E. Ashbee Facsimile Reprints n.p.: [as written] Tat [that] there shall also tis present yesre be [be] many crete [great] fires in . . . pick-hatch, Turnbull-street, the Myneries, Coven-Garden, te Strand, Holborne, and poth [both] te Friers, and other such religious places, where Venus Nunnes are cloystered, and Tom Tod and his fellow flesh-dressers do not quench those inflammations, many . . . shall have all their haire burnt off.
flesh factory (n.)

(US) a brothel.

Actionable Offenses ‘Slim Hadley on a Racket’ (2007) [cylinder recording ENMS 30184] ‘Is this the flesh factory?’ ‘What?’ ‘I said is this a — pecker shop?’ ‘What d’you want?’ ‘I want a fuck, what the hell d’you s’pose?’.
[US]C. Stoker Thicker ’n Thieves 95: That evening with twenty dollars of city money in his pocket and in his big red convertible coupe, he pulled up in front of Brenda’s flesh factory.
flesh-fly (n.)

1. (also fly-flesh) a lecher, a womanizer.

[UK]T. More Confutation of Tyndale Answer VIII Pt II 789: What can men call them by ryght but Ishmaelys, & Esaues, & reprobates, and very carnall fleshflyes?
[UK]Middleton Michaelmas Term I ii: Thou art fair and fresh; The gilded flies will light upon thy flesh.
[UK]Fletcher Loyal Subject III iv: (Exeunt Gentlemen). burris: You have frightened off these flesh-flies. theodore: Flesh-flies indeed my Lord. And it must be verie stinking flesh they will not seize on.
J. Day Parliament of Bees 10: [A] fleshe-fly, takes up all petticoats he meets.
[UK] ‘Of Women’s Naked Breasts’ in Wardroper (1969) 252: They but invite flesh-flies, whose full-spread pips Like roadways lie between their lips and laps.
[UK]J. Shirley Honoria and Mammon II i: These Courtiers are another sort of flesh-flies, That haunt our City dames.
[T. Betterton] Amorous Widow 19: Love. Was there ever such a Piece of Fly-Flesh? Cun. The Rogue acted it to the Life.
[UK]‘Verses on an amorous old Man’ in Covent Garden Mag. Dec. 234/2: Still hov’ring round the fair, at sixty-four, / Unfit to love, unfit to give o’er, / A flesh-fly, that just flutters on the wing, / Awake to buz, but not alive to sting.
Sun. Flash (NY) 17 Oct. n.p.: To follow and insult ladies in the street is his constant and daily practice. [. . . .] Such flesh-flies are [. . .] annoying and [. . .] great offenders contra bonos mores.

2. a prostitute.

[UK]Middleton & Dekker Roaring Girle I i: A fleshfly, that can vex any man.
[UK]Middleton Women Beware Women (1887) II ii: No spider’s web Made of a daintier thread than are now practis’d To catch love’s flesh-fly by the silver wing.

3. a madame, a bawd; occas. a pander.

J. Mason Turke II iii: The flesh-fly ... will neuer linne sucking at me so long as I haue any matter for her to worke vpon.
[UK]T. Heywood Captives I i: [of a ‘hee bawde’] [A] flesh-fly whome as soone as the butchers wyves sawe comminge throwghe the shambles, they ... stood with theire flapps in theire hands ... to keepe away his infectious breath least it should fill theire meate with fly-blowes.
[UK]T. Killigrew Thomaso Pt II IV v: These flesh flies how they haunt the shambles.
flesh hooks (n.)

the hands.

[UK]Trial of Treasure Dii: If ye chaunce to tell any tales of these gentlewomen, With fleshe hokes and nayles, you are like to be rent.
[UK]G. Wilkins Miseries of an Enforced Marriage Act IV: Good! I have met my flesh-hooks together.
[UK]R. Armin Nest of Ninnies 33: Good hold for flesh hookes.
[UK]Dekker A Strange Horse-Race in Grosart Works (1885) 348: He therefore being tossed [...] vpon their glowing flesh-hookes, from one to one.
[UK]R. Davenport A New Tricke to Cheat the Divell V i: I am arm’d, yes, [...] with Flesh hookes, and with Fire-brands.
flesh market (n.)

1. any street or urban area, e.g. Cheapside, the Strand, Covent Garden, that is home to parading prostitutes.

[UK]John F---g Epistle of a Reformed Rake 10: Seeing Plays in the Flesh-market, hearing Rakes and [...] reading a Bawdy-novel.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Aug. II 307/2: Mother Johnson, the King’s-place abbess, and one of the most notorious purveyors of that celebrated flesh-market.
[UK]W. Perry London Guide.
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 81: Flesh-market—any walk, or run for females who carry the broom up, is the flesh-market ― so and so, as of the Piazzas, Cheapside, Strand, &c.
[UK]Reynold’s Newspaper (London) 12 Dec. 2/2: The night of the West-end — the shambles of Regent’s-street, Piccadilly, and the Haymarket opens [...] the flesh market [is] held nightly [...] There are young women [...] a number of them expensively dressed, the bawd who shows off the wares marching within eyeshot.
[US]C. Stoker Thicker ’n Thieves 67: ‘He sneaks prostitutes into this hotel, top flight gals from the Hollywood flesh mart, gals who won’t lay the body down for less than fifty-dollars, and who generally get a hundred’.

2. a brothel.

[UK]Nocturnal Revels 2 252: She soon recovered most of her customers; as [...] her’s [sic] was now one of the best Flesh-Markets in town.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
fleshpot (n.)

1. the vagina.

[UK]Farmer Vocabula Amatoria (1966) 61: Charnier, m. The female pudendum; ‘the flesh-pot’.

2. a brothel.

[US]R.P. Robinson Life and Conversations 6: I sigh for the Manhattan fleshpots.
[US]A.A. Hayes New Colorado 67: If you sigh for the flesh-pots of Delmonico, you ought to have stayed in New York.
[Aus](con. WWII) E. Lambert Long White Night 151: The fleshpots. Bints, beer, sleep.
[US](con. 1916) G. Swarthout Tin Lizzie Troop (1978) 144: It happens at the only one where the CO’s off to the fleshpots.
[US]Maledicta IX 148: The compilers ought to have looked farther afield and found: […] fancy house, fleshpot, gaff.
[Ire]J. O’Connor Secret World of the Irish Male (1995) 74: I was half-plastered at three a.m. in some subterranean fleshpot.

3. (US) a woman, viewed strictly (and thus offensively) as a sex object.

[US]J. Conroy World to Win 323: I’ve been muzzled away from the flesh pots so long, it’s a mighty temptation.
[Aus]L. Glassop We Were the Rats 98: Lined up on the deck, impatient to get at the fleshpots of a new capital.
[UK]A. Garve Murder in Moscow (1994) 144: I’ve never seen anyone who seemed to care so little for the fleshpots.
[Aus](con. 1940s) T.A.G. Hungerford Sowers of the Wind 119: Having a lash at the flesh-pots?
[US]R. Klein Jailhouse Jargon and Street Sl. [unpub. ms.].
flesh-presser (n.)

1. (orig. US) a politician who attempts to curry favour with the voters by shaking as many hands, kissing as many babies and patting as many backs as possible during a campaign.

[US] 17 June 🌐 Clinton – the flesh-presser, the eternal campaigner, the leaper out of the limousine into the crowd. 6 Dec. 🌐 Hubert H. Humphrey – Old School barnstormer and flesh-presser.

2. (US) a porn star. 2 Dec. 🌐 Now either someone at the Times has a crush on the curvy flesh presser or this is yet another example on [sic] how pornography is slowly but surely seeping into mainstream consciousness.
flesh receiver (n.)

(UK und.) a sheet.

[UK]Flash Mirror 4: The Flea Trap [...] Very good dabbs may be had here [...] consisting of an upper slasher, a pair of flesh receivers, and a straw swetter.
flesh shambles (n.) [SE shambles, a slaughterhouse]

a brothel.

[UK]J. Day Humour out of Breath Act II: I Asp.: She may bee well discended; if shee be, Shee’s fit for love, and why not then for me. Boy: And you be not fitted in Venice ’tis straunge, for ’tis counted the best flesh-shambles in Italie [F&H].

In phrases

flesh (it) (v.) (also flesh one’s will) [SE flesh, to plunge one’s weapon into flesh, to gratify one’s lusts]

of a man, to have sexual intercourse; modern use is by both sexes.

Florio New Worlde of Wordes n.p.: Andar in Carnafau, to go a fleshing or a wenching.
[UK]Shakespeare All’s Well That Ends Well IV iii: He hath perverted a young gentlewoman here in Florence, of a most chaste renown; and this night fleshes his will in the spoil of her honour.
[UK]W. Goddard Mastif Whelp D4: [He] Took armes to joyne in battell with a wenche [and] soe flesht hir, as that he, Shee’d ne’re endure, to come off quite Scott-free.
[UK]Beaumont & Fletcher Wild-Goose-Chase I ii: ’Tis but fleshing, But standing one good brunt or two.
[US]A. Rodriguez Spidertown (1994) 165: Yo bro’ [...] long time I don’t flesh it up with my piece.
give some flesh (v.)

(W.I.) to perform the ritual palm slapping that is a greeting between blacks, or between blacks and knowledgeable whites.

[WI]Allsopp Dict. Carib. Eng. Usage.