Green’s Dictionary of Slang

ab n.1


1. (Aus.) an Aboriginal; the predecessor of the modern abo n. (1)

[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 10: Far more derogatory expressions persist in Lingo, including nigger, boong, abo (now often shortened to ab), coon and gin.

2. (US) an Abolitionist.

[US] Elias R. Boles letter 28 Feb. The Abs came toward us and we showed fight to them and they backed off. [...] Good gracious the Abs does run.
[US]Peticolas diary 21 Feb. in Alberts (ed.) Rebels on the Rio Grande 1984 43: The Ab’s had gotten in 30 yards of us, and I began to load and shoot as fast as I could. [Ibid.] 22 Feb. 49: We took supper last night on provisions abandoned by the Abs in their flight.
[US] (con. 1862) G.H. Pettis The California Column [online] The rebels, before they left, had publicly announced that the ‘Abs’ (abolitionists ?) would soon take the fair city, which would then be given over to the ravages of a brutal soldiery.
[US] (ref. to 1861) Jay W. Sharp A Soldier of the Trails at 🌐 On October 1, 1861, only some three months after his 17th birthday, Thomas Edwin Jackson, fired by patriotism, enlisted as a private [...] In his heart, he probably yearned to fight the Abolitionists, or ‘Abs,’ in glorious battles in the east.

3. an abdominal muscle, usu. in the context of a flat stomach; often in pl.

[US]J. Rechy Numbers (1968) 66: The relative merits of ‘frog kicks’ for the ‘abs’ as opposed to regular situps.
[US]G. Indiana Rent Boy 38: At the gym, pumping lats and abs and pecs.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Mud Crab Boogie (2013) [ebook] Billy suggested they [...] paddle four laps of Bondi, do a few rounds on the heavy bag, then finish with some ab-work.
[UK]Indep. Real Life 25 July 3: Being slim with small boobs, flat abs.
[US]J. Franzen Corrections 95: He repositioned it against his abs and tucked in the sweater.
[Aus]L. Redhead Rubdown [ebook] Spent the rest of the time lifting free weights and working on my abs.
[Aus]Sydney Morning Herald 27 Dec. 🌐 Everyone wants great skin and flat abs.
[US]L. Berney Gutshot Straight [ebook] Good abs, she suspected.
[US]F. Bill Donnybrook [ebook] The muscles of his abs and legs rang tight.
[UK]A. Wheatle Crongton Knights 227: ‘Queen Belly Blender can stir up her abs like a roundabout full of hot-wheeling cabs!’.

4. attrib. use of sense 3.

[US]C. Goffard Snitch Jacket 165: What you need is some ab work [...] some military presses, quads, lats, and glutes.

5. (Aus.) abalone.

[Aus]S. Maloney Something Fishy (2006) 33: Some desperado with several grand of illegal ab in one hand and a diving knife in the other.