1. (UK Und.) a wig.
|Accounts 8 Nov. [Internet] He told Dr. Fluellin, he had seen a Tale, (a Sword) a Scout, (a Watch) a Calm and Shade, (a Hat and Wig) a Brace of Wedges, (Silver Buckles) and an outside Toge, (a Cloak).|
2. (US Und.) an umbrella or sunshade.
|Ladies’ Repository (N.Y.) Oct. VIII:37 317/1: Shade, an umbrella.|
3. in pl., a variety of late-night music-halls and bars on or near the Strand, London; used generically in US [their opening during the ‘shady’ hours].
|Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 157: Shades (the) at London-bridge are under Fishmongers’ hall. [...] The Shades at Spring-gardens, is a subterranean ale-shop.|
|Flash Mirror 4: The Shades, Strand. [...] This house is called The Darkeys. Swell men, wide awake customers, and mechanics of all sorts nightly congregate here.|
|Night Side of London 118: Wine-shades attract us; we hear the clink of billiards.|
|Gaslight and Daylight 176: Where there are now cafés chantants with a Shades beneath. [Ibid.] 179: The Shades, a remnant of the old London night cellars, bringing to mind Tom King’s Coffee-house.|
|Americanisms 315: In the cities Shades are perhaps the most numerous, suggesting cozy retreats, secure from the bright light of day.|
|Words, Facts and Phrases 507: Shades. [...] The name originated at Brighton. [...] Numbers of other publicans, in London and elsewhere, adopted the name ‘Shades’, which is now fully established in the language as a synonym for wine vaults .|
|Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 110/1: Dive (Amer. Eng.). An underground drinking-bar. [...] Equivalent to the lost London word ‘Shades’ – from the underground darkness of these resorts. The last ‘shades’ were in Leicester Square. The first dive is scarcely more than a gun-shot away in Piccadilly.|
4. in racial contexts.
(a) (US) a derog. term for a black person.
|Harper’s Mag. 676/2: An eye-witness ran out and ordered the ‘shade’ to ‘get off the walk or he would have him fined.’.|
|Black Cat Club 25: As ef de souls ob dem two shades / Still struggled in de razah blades!|
|DN IV:ii 164: shade, n. A negro.‘Addenda – The Northwest’ in|
|Walls Of Jericho 297: Synonyms of Negro [...] : shade, shine, smoke.|
|‘Konky Mohair’ in Life (1976) 103: In no time at all Konky got on the ball / And had ten whores – nine pinks and a shade.et al.|
|Snakes (1971) 23: It’s a lotta shades, you know, that still go for these old corny publications.|
|(con. 1960s) Lang. of Ethnic Conflict 47: Color Allusions, Other than ‘Black’ and ‘Negro’: […] shade [1960s].|
(b) (US) a derog. term for a white person; occas. as adj.
|Bug Jack Barron 7: Die you shade mother!|
|Portable Promised Land (ms.) 161: We Words (My Favorite Things) [...] Phat. Shade. Shine.|
5. (US Und.) a receiver of stolen goods.
|Collier’s n.p.: If [the loot] is merchandise, it is sold to a ‘fence’ or ‘shade.’.|
6. (Irish) a police officer.
|Whistle in the Dark Act III: Mush’d bring the police awful fast. She’s a terror for the shades when she’s in trouble.|
|(con. 1930s) Death of an Irish Town 19: ‘The shades! Screw the shades,’ was the dialect to warn the combatants that the guards were here.|
|Everyday Eng. and Sl. [Internet] Shades (n): police.|
7. in pl., dark glasses, sunglasses [note 19C shades, goggles, e.g. for use during stone-breaking].
|Hepster’s Dict. 9: Shades – Eye glasses.|
|Corner Boy 30: A curly-haired [...] thin guy in beret and shades.|
|All Night Stand 7: He’s taken to wearing shades lately.|
|Shaft 11: Behind the reflecting glass of the shades they both wore, Shaft felt their eyes lock.|
|Tharunka (Sydney) 8 Nov 28/2: Exit lean streak of misery wearing shades and beer-stained Levis, unwashed dirty tee-shirt.|
|Harder They Come 243: He was busy with his shades.|
|Homeboy 18: The leader dropped his shades, shuttering the toxic stare.|
|Our Town 367: Here they cut to Thompson, wearing round blue-tinted shades.|
|in Life 178: ‘Wear shades and don’t say a thing’.|
(US Und.) in prison.
|Wash. Post 11 Nov. Misc. 3/4: At times a ‘subscription’ was raised for the brother ‘in the shade’ or ‘in Mexico.’.|
|Putting ’Em Over 2 Oct. [synd. col.] He tore off a two-year stretch in the shade.|