Green’s Dictionary of Slang

lizard n.

also lizzard

1. an inhabitant of Alabama [lizards are common in the state].

St Louis (MO) Reveille 14 May 2/4: The inhabitants of [...] Alabama [are called] Lizards [DA].
[US]Jeffersonian (Stroudsburg, PA) 14 Sept. 1/4: Alabama Lizards.
[US]Somerset Herald (Somerset, PA) 12 July 1/7: The inhabitants of Alabama are Lizards.
[US]North Amer. Rev. Nov. 433: Among the rank and file, both armies, it was very general to speak of the different States they came from by their slang names. Those from [...] Alabama, Lizzards.
[US]Roanoke Times (VA) 18 June 3/2: Natives of Alabama are called ‘Lizards’ from the abundance of these creatures along the streams.
[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.
Daily Ardmoreite 11 July 21/5: The residents of Alabama have been called ‘Lizards’ [DA].

2. (Aus./N.Z.) a shepherd, a musterer, a mender of boundary fences.

[Aus]Worker (Brisbane) 4 Sept. 8/4: By ‘lizards’ he means musterers, sometimes he calls them ‘snails’.
[Aus]G. Seagram Bushmen All 127: One of the ‘lizards,’ [...] offered them the dregs of a pannikin. The term ‘lizard’ was one rather contemptuously applied to the shepherds by the horsemen.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 23 Jan. 2nd sect. 1/3: Did coy cocotte ever coo and cluck so sweetly in the hairy auricular organ of a well-silvered lizard down from the bush for a jag?
[NZ] (ref. to 1890–1910) L.G.D. Acland Early Canterbury Runs (1951) 385: Lizard – Slang for musterer.
[Aus]Baker Aus. Lang. 63: Shepherds have been known variously as lizards, crawlers, snails and motherers.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 70/1: lizard sheep musterer, by association with shearing handpiece of same name.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].

3. (US) an old or useless racehorse, any horse.

[US]S.E. White Arizona Nights 120: You want back that lizard you sold me. Well, wait.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 13 Sept. 1/1: The street bettors comment gloomily on the unprecedented lack of ‘lizards’.
[US]Van Loan ‘The Last Chance’ in Old Man Curry 102: Trying to horn his way into the Jungle Circuit with one lonely lizard.
[US]D. Runyon ‘That Ever-Loving Wife of Hymie’s’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 592: It is some broken-down lizard that he buys.
[US]D. Runyon Runyon à la Carte 43: No owner with any brains wants such a lizard as old Em in his barn.

4. a smooth and highly plausible fortune-hunter or womanizer who works his charms in the lounges of hotels, an adventurer.

[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 15 Apr. 4/8: No lizards come in to buy me wine / No suppers there are to scoff.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 28 Feb. 4s/9: He’s a lizard, he admits it [...] He flirts with maidens modest, maidens white and maidens brown.
[US]Ade Knocking the Neighbors 126: They effected the usual Compromise, falling gracefully into the awkward Embraces of two cornfed Lizards.
[US]Ade Hand-made Fables 16: She had played out her String with a certain Lizard.
[US]E. Pound letter Feb. in Paige (1971) 269: Alas, as you are writing English, you can’t call them there bloody gallants, ‘cake-eaters’ or ‘lizards,’ ‘dudes,’ ‘gigolos,’ ‘young scum’ (I suppose my native tongue is still more flexible than English: ‘good for nothing young sprigs,’ ‘fils à papa,’, ‘spooners,’ ‘saps’).
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 70/1: lizard [...] idler; short for ‘lounge lizard’, a lounge bar idler after women.
[US]J. Wambaugh Golden Orange (1991) 67: Look at the lizards slithering in [...] Here to ferret out some lonely old broad.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].
[US](con. 1962) J. Ellroy Enchanters 122: He has personally fucked fourteen thousand women and is widely known as the ‘Lizard of Love’.

5. (US, also lizard-breath, lizard teeth) a contemptible or unlikeable person.

[US]W.G. Simms Guy Rivers I 72: Answer to that, Jared Bunce, you white-livered lizard.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 17 May 4/7: The umpire’s still in the horspittle — good enough for the lizard.
[US]G. Bronson-Howard God’s Man 52: ‘Cut it out, Arnold,’ he said; ‘call her mother a “lizard” and her friends “lizards,” but let her alone.’.
[UK]Wodehouse Right Ho, Jeeves 44: ‘By Jove, Bertie,’ said the poor lizard devoutly.
[NZ](con. 1940s) G. Slatter Gun in My Hand 55: Those lizards in the bottom of the German slit trench at the gate. You don’t smash at each other with mortars. You lizards got more sense.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 1: blizzard – a female lizard (nerd) who is cold, not compassionate. [Ibid.] 2: lizard – a loser.
[US]C. Heath A-Team 2 (1984) 143: Take it easy, Lizard teeth. [Ibid.] 186: Catch me if you can, lizard-breath!
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Mud Crab Boogie (2013) [ebook] Journalists swaerming [...] in a maze of TV cameras, sound crews and other media lizards.

6. (US black) in pl., lizard-skin shoes.

[US]Kramer & Karr Teen-Age Gangs 166: Show me your best lizards.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 110: Some terms that talk primarily about specific clothing items, such as [...] lizards (lizard-skin shoes), leather pieces (leather jackets), and so on.
[US]R.C. Cruz Straight Outta Compton 25: This man with black lizards looked at me and laughed as they went out the door.
[US]‘The Master Pimp’ Pimp’s Rap 90: He kicked it off with a pair of black lizards.

7. (Aus./US) the penis.

in Girodias New Olympia Reader 794: It was almost as if I was adding a new coat of cadmium hue to Larry’s lovely lizard with each new thrust [HDAS].
[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972).
[US]P. Dexter God’s Pocket 222: ‘Can you smell it? It’s medicinal, like a hospital.’ [...] McKenna said, ‘It’s medicinal smell, like you cut off your fuckin’ lizard for a necklace.’.
[US](con. 1970s) G. Pelecanos King Suckerman (1998) 20: Slide shows of bright, toothy guys with lizards hanging down to their knees.

8. (Aus. / US black) a young woman.

[NZ]N.Z. Truth 30 Nov. 2/3: ‘I see you with lizard o’ yours.’ ‘Lizard be damned [...] wish you’d hooked the cow instead o’ me’.
[US]Too $hort ‘Freaky Tales’ 🎵 Gave me a lizard, said her name was Laverne.

In compounds

lizard-breath/-teeth (n.)

see sense 5 above .

lot lizard (n.)

a prostitute who works truck stops, parking lots, etc.

[US]W. Keyser ‘Carny Lingo’ in 🌐 Lot Lizard — A prostitute who works truck stops or rest-area parking lots.

In phrases

bleed the lizard (v.)

1. to urinate.

P. Straub Hellfire Club 221: Dandy, he’d go with her, fact was, he had to bleed the lizard.
J. Rich Warm Up the Snake 195: Another coinage I often heard on Western locations was someone excusing themselves to ‘bleed the lizard,’ that is, leave the set briefly to urinate.

2. to masturbate.

[US] 🌐 ‘Words for Masturbation’ [...] 17. Bleed the lizard.
choke one’s lizard (v.) (also whip one’s...)

to masturbate.

[US]Nat. Lampoon Dec. 37: You know, whipping your lizard.
[US](con. c.1970) G. Hasford Phantom Blooper 13: Inside the only guard bunker still standing in our area, our New Guy is busy choking his lizard.
drain the lizard (v.)

to urinate.

[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 68: drain the lizard to urinate, said of men.
[Aus]Gav CX Mag. Jun. 🌐 I need to drain the lizard upon arrival. When I’m in the toilet, flanked by guys with sleeveless white t-shirts and dodgy ’taches, I note that there can’t be a worse place to have your boxers on the wrong way round than in the Gents at a STEPS concert.
[Ire]P. Howard Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightdress 270: I storm out [...] stopping off on the way to drain the lizard.
flog the lizard (v.)

(Aus.) to urinate.

[Aus]B. Humphries Barry McKenzie [comic strip] in Complete Barry McKenzie (1988) 23: Do you reckon there’s time to flog the lizard before me item!
[Aus]Age (Melbourne) 7 Dec. 130/5: Australia has much of which to be proud [...] sink the sausage, exercise the ferret and flog the lizard.
gallop the (old) lizard (v.)

to masturbate.

[Aus]B. Humphries Traveller’s Tool 61: They’re lucky if they’ve got the energy to buy Playboy and gallop the lizard.
give the lizard a run (v.)

(Aus.) of a man, to have sexual intercourse.

S. Finnane Game They Play in Heaven 86: Most conversations are about women [...] ‘Did you give the lizard a run, mate.’.
lizard of the law (n.)

(Aus.) a policeman.

[Aus]‘A “Push” Story’ in Bulletin (Sydney) 2 Sept. 17/1: Sargint Casey ’n’ two lizards uv th’ law ’ad climbed th’ stairs ’n’ pranced inter th’ room.
milk the lizard (v.)

to urinate.

M. Pilcher Banana Skin Tango 9: ‘Well, if you’ll excuse me,’ he said, ‘I’m just going to milk the lizard.’.
pet the lizard (v.)

to masturbate.

‘xpi3’ ‘Male & Female Masturbation Terms’ at 22 Oct. 🌐 Petting the lizard.

SE in slang uses

In derivatives

lizarding (n.) [the way a lizard basks in the sun]

(Aus.) lazing.

[Aus]Sun (Sydney) 16 May 13/2: He likes his golf and just lizarding in the sun [AND].

In phrases

flat out like a lizard drinking (also flat out as a drinking lizard)

1. (Aus.) moving or working at great speed [play on SE flat out, recumbent].

[Aus]F. Clune Free and Easy Land 227: Dirty Dora was as flat out as a drinking lizard.
[Aus]Baker Aus. Lang. 87: Here are a few more similes snatched from our environment: [...] flat out like a lizard drinking.
[Aus]Mail (Adelaide) 1 Dec. 2s/5: Australians have bult up a vocabulary of some 7,000 slang words [...] ‘flat out like a lizard drinking’.
[Aus]J. Cleary Sundowners 213: You’ve been flat out like a lizard drinking, but this cove is right with you all the time.
[Aus]S. Gore Holy Smoke 80: Away they go for their quoits – flat out like a lizard drinking.
[US]Hartford Courant (CT) sect. D 5 Sept. 27/4: G’Day from Down Under [...] Learn Aussie Lingo Flat Out Like a Lizard Drinking.
[Aus]J. Lambert personal communication 1 Aug. Yes all is well, though I am flat out like a lizard drinking. L2 phonology course is keeping me up at nights.

2. utterly impoverished [play on flat adj.2 (1)].

R. O’Neill ‘Ocker’ in The Drover’s Wives (2019) 181: What with looking after the kids and the farm, she was flat out like a lizard drinking.
what’s on the rail for the lizard? [predates sense 7 above, but poss. link]

(US black) what have you got to offer? esp. in the context of money, sexual favours and other exciting, if unrespectable, pleasures.

[US]Z.N. Hurston Dust Tracks On a Road (1995) 600: Some woman or girl would come switching past the store porch and some man would call out to her, ‘Hey, Sugar! What’s on de rail for de lizard?’.
[US]Z.N. Hurston ‘Story in Harlem Sl.’ in Novels and Stories (1995) 1005: ‘Baby,’ he crooned, ‘what’s on de rail for de lizard?’.

In exclamations