Green’s Dictionary of Slang

ass n.

[sense 1 SE ass, a donkey; subseq. senses see also arse n.]

1. [early 16C+] an unpleasant person, esp. a fool, an idiot.

2. [mid-16C; mid-18C+] (US) the buttocks, the anus.

3. [mid-19C+] (US) (in a sexual context) the vagina; occas. the penis.

4. [1940s+] (US) used generically to mean one’s person, one’s body.

5. [1940s+] (orig. US/Aus.) sexual conquests; thus generic for a woman when viewed purely as a sex object.

6. [1960s+] (US) sexual intercourse.

7. [1960s+] (US) of an object, the rear.

8. [1990s+] (US) an unpleasant or disgusting object.

9. [1990s+] (US drugs) the last, and thus least potent, puff on a marijuana cigarette or pipe.

10. [2000s] (US) mentality, character, personality.

11. [2000s] essence, being.

In derivatives

assdom (n.)

[late 19C] stupidity as shown by a group of individuals.

assways (adj.) (also arseways)

1. [20C+] of sexual intercourse, from the rear.

2. [1910s+] (US, also ass-to and every whichaway) skew-whiff, back-to-front.

3. [1920s] head-over-heels.

4. [1940s] (US) rear, as of a pocket.

assy (adj.)

1. [1980s+] (S.Afr./US gay) malicious, sarcastic.

2. [2000s] (US black) insignificant, second-rate, unimportant.

3. [2000s+] (US) having large or prominent buttocks.

Adjectival or adverbial uses

In compounds

ass-backwards (also arse-backwards, ass-backward)

[1920s+] (US) back-to-front; thus fig., in a mess, chaotic.


[2000s] totally impoverished.

ass deep [1940s+] (US)

1. very deep; usu. in such phrs. as ass deep to a tall moose.

2. totally involved with, with an excessive amount of.


[1970s+] (US) run-down, worn out.


1. [1960s] head-over-heels.

2. [1960s–70s] back-to-front.


[1960s] (US) irritating.


[1950s+] (US) an unspecified measure of height; usu. as ass-high to a tall Indian.


[2000s] (US) extremely stupid.

ass-out [1990s+] (US)

1. at the end of one’s tether; beyond effort, without luck (cf. assed out adj. (2)).

2. straighforward, easy.

3. without money.


1. [1960s] (US) in fig. use, very efficient.

2. of friends, very intimate.


[1990s+] (US) very unattractive.

General uses

ass-bag (n.)

[1960s+] (US) a derog. term of abuse.

ass-belly (n.)

[1970s+] (US) a grotesquely fat person.


see separate entries.

assbone (n.) (also )

[1970s+] (US) the buttocks; the coccyx; thus break one’s assbone v.

ass boy (n.)

[1980s+] (US) a male homosexual.

ass-breaker (n.) (US)

1. [1940s+] a difficult, boring or exasperating job, problem or situation.

2. [1960s] a dive in which the diver lands stomach down on the water, rather than cutting through it.

3. [1960s] (US prison) a severe, authoritarian guard.

4. [2000s] a thug.

5. [2000s] the penis.

ass-breath (n.)

[1990s+] (US) a derog. term of address.

ass-bucket (n.)

[1950s] (US black) an unpopular or unimportant person.

assbulb (n.)

[2000s] (US black) a lazy person.

ass burglar (n.)

[1970s+] a male homosexual.

ass business (n.)

[1960s+] (US gay) male homosexual prostitution.


see separate entries.

assface (n.)

[1990s+] (US campus) an unpleasant, stupid person.

ass-fault (n.) [SE fault, a crevice] [1990s+] (US campus)

the crease between one’s buttocks.


see separate entries.

ass games (n.)

[1980s+] (US gay) a variety of homosexual practices, including anal intercourse and sado-masochism.

ass gasket (n.) [SE gasket, a thin, flat ring used as a seal between two surfaces]

[1990s+] (US campus) the paper protector that is placed over a lavatory seat to indicate its sanitized state.

ass hammer (n.) [the battering one receives from its seat]

[1960s+] (US campus) a motorcycle.


see separate entries.


see separate entries.

ass-hound (n.) [-hound sfx]

1. [1950s+] (US) a womanizer, a ‘skirt chaser’.

2. [1980s+] (US gay) one who enjoys anal intercourse and is primarily sexually attracted by the buttocks.

asskash (n.)

see separate entry.


see separate entries.


see separate entries.

assload (n.)

[mid-19C; 1950s+] an excess.

ass magazine (n.)

[2000s] (US) a pornographic magazine.

ass-man (n.)

1. [late 18C; 1970s+] (later use US gay) a male homosexual.

2. [1960s+] (also arse-man) a man who finds a woman’s buttocks her most alluring feature.

3. [1960s] a pimp.

4. [1960s+] a successful seducer, a womanizer.

ass-master (n.)

[1990s+] (US campus) a general term of abuse.

ass-munch (n.)

[1990s+] (US) a term of abuse; also as a term of address.

ass-off (n.)

[1960s+] (US campus) a time-waster.

ass-out (n.)

[2000s] (US prison) an inmate who has neither advantages nor respect.

ass-pack (n.)

[1950s+] (US) a small pouch-like bag strapped around the wearer’s waist.

ass peddler (n.)

[1940s+] (US) anyone who sells their body as a prostitute, male or female.

ass pirate (n.) (also arse pirate) [var. on arse bandit n.]

[1990s+] a male homosexual.

ass-poots (n.) [poot n.2 , the propensity of beans to cause an excess of breaking wind]

[1960s] (US) beans.

ass pro (n.) (also aspro) [abbr. SE prostitute/professional; despite the apparent simplicity of the ety., Hancock, ‘Shelta and Polari’ (1984), suggests Ling. Fr. aspro, money]

[1960s+] (Aus./US) a male homosexual prostitute.

ass queen (n.) [-queen sfx (2)]

[1980s+] (US gay) one whose primary area of sexual interest is the buttocks.

ass raider (n.) [1980s+] (US gay)

1. a male homosexual.

2. the active partner in anal intercourse.

ass ranger (n.)

[2000s] (US) a homosexual.

ass-ripper (n.)

1. [1960s] (US campus) a difficult course or examination.

2. [1960s+] (US) a dive in which a swimmer jumps, holds his nose and hits the water buttocks-first; the aim – and the result – is to make a big splash.

ass-scratcher (n.) (US)

1. [1930s] a loafer, an idler.

2. [1970s] something that makes one think; thus ass-scratching adj., thoughtful, cleverly executed.

ass-sucker (n.)

[late 19C; 1960s+] (US) a sycophant, a toady.

ass-tickler (n.)

[1970s] (US) something amusing.

ass watcher (n.)

[1950s–70s] (gay) one who walks the streets looking for a potential sexual partner.

ass waxing (n.)

[1960s+] (US) a thrashing, a beating.


see separate entries.


see separate entries.

Adjectival or adverbial uses

In phrases

ass-end-backwards (also ass-end up)

[1960s+] in confusion; back-to-front; upside down; thus defeated.

ass-end-to (also ass end foremost)

[late 19C–1950s] (US) in confusion.

ass on backwards

[2000s] drunk.


[1960s] head-over-heels, in confusion.


[1980s] (US) extremely crowded.

in someone’s ass

[1960s–70s] (US) nagging.

off one’s ass

[1980s+] (US campus) to a very great extent, extremely, completely, usu. ref. to drunkenness.

on one’s ass (also on one’s arse)

1. [1910s+] (orig. US) facing serious problems, esp. financial ones.

2. [1960s] (US campus ) ill, sick.

on someone’s ass

[1940s+] (US) in hot pursuit (of someone); persecuting or harassing someone; thus the opposite off someone’s ass; see also get (on) someone’s ass

on the balls of one’s ass [synon. with SE balls of the feet; ext. of on one’s ass ]

[1970s] (US) at the nadir of one’s fortunes.

out on one’s ass (also out on one’s arse)

[1950s+] (orig. US) ejected unceremoniously, thrown out.

out the ass

[1980s+] (US) excessively.

up the ass

[1950s+] (US) to excess, in large amounts.

up to one’s ass [1960s+]

1. to an extreme extent.

2. totally involved in, overwhelmed by.

up to one’s ass in alligators [the saying when you’re up to one’s ass ears in alligators, you don’t worry about draining the swamp, often used to imply that one has no time for (long-term liberal) social action, when faced by the immediate threat of criminality]

[1980s+] (US) in very serious troubles, facing overwhelming problems.

General uses

hair across one’s ass (n.)

see under hair n.

how’s your ass?

[1950s+] (US) a general phr. of greeting.

more ass than a toilet seat

[1970s+] (orig. US) of a man, having an active sex life or conspicuous sexual prowess; usu. as he gets... or he has...

one’s ass is grass (also one’s ass is grassed) [onomat. redup.]

[1960s+] (orig. US) one is in severe trouble.

one’s ass is mud [var. on SE phr. one’s name is mud]

[1930s+] (US) one is in danger, one’s reputation has been destroyed.

one’s ass sucks wind [1950s+] (Aus./US)

1. (also one’s ass sucks blue mud) one is talking (hysterical) nonsense; esp. as a threat, your ass will suck wind when/unless...

2. (also one’s ass sucks putty, one’s butthole sucks wind) one is very angry or disgusted.

Verbs with one’s/someone’s

In phrases

bet one’s (sweet) ass

see separate entry.

carry one’s ass

[1970s+] (US/W.I., Bdos/Trin.) to leave, to run off.

carry someone’s ass

[1990s+] to beat someone.

chap someone’s ass (also chap someone’s rear) [SE chap, to crack the skin]

[1960s] (US) to annoy, to irritate.

climb up someone’s ass

[1980s] (US) to subject to pressure.

eat someone’s ass off/out

[1940s+] (US) to criticize severely, to punish heavily; thus ass-eating n.

fan one’s ass [1960s+] (US black)

1. to move one’s buttocks in an exaggerated manner with the deliberate intention of attracting one’s audience sexually; usu. of homosexuals.

2. to move, to walk.

fix someone’s ass

[1940s+] (US) to cause trouble for, to attack, to ‘do for’.

get deep in someone’s ass

[1980s] (US black) to fight; to beat up.

get in someone’s ass (also put oneself in someone’s face) [1950s+]

1. (US) to annoy, to irritate.

2. (US black) to hit.

get one’s ass handed to one (v.)

[1990s+] to be overcome; to be beaten severely.

get one’s ass in a crack (also get one’s tail in a crack, ...trap, have one’s tail in a crack)

[1940s+] (US) to get into difficulties, esp. in a criminal context.

get one’s ass in an uproar

see under uproar n.

get one’s ass in(to) gear

see under gear n.

get one’s ass on one’s shoulder(s) [the shrugging gesture, which raises one’s shoulders and thus, fig. one’s posterior + ? ext. of get one’s ass up ]

[1940s+] (US) to become haughty, angry or excited but with no proper cause, to put on airs.

get one’s ass out of joint

[1950s] (US) to lose one’s temper.

get one’s ass up

[late 19C; 1970s] (US) to annoy, to irritate, to infuriate.

get one’s head out (of one’s ass)

see under head n.

get (on) someone’s ass (also get (on) someone’s arse, ...tail)

1. [1930s+] to pressurize, to harass, to nag.

2. [1950s+] to annoy.

get up in someone’s ass

[1990s+] (US black) to assault.

hang someone’s ass [hang v.6 (2) ]

[1960s+] (US) to defeat thoroughly, to trounce.

have a bug up one’s ass (also have a roach up one’s ass) [1970s+]

to be in a bad temper.

have a foot up one’s ass

[1960s] (US black) to be treated unfairly, to be victimized.

have a stick up one’s ass (also have an oar up one’s ass, ...a pole...)

[1960s+] to be totally and irredeemably boring; such a stick would render one physically, and thus mentally, rigid.

have a (wild) hair up one’s ass

see under hair n.

have one’s ass hanging (out) (also have one’s arse hanging out)

[1940s+ ] (US) to run a risk, to risk one’s life (cf. hang one’s ass out ).

have one’s ass in the wind (also have one’s ass in the air, ...out on a wire)

[1960s+] (US) to be exposed to trouble or danger.

have one’s ass working buttonholes

[1960s] (US) to work extremely hard.

have one’s nose up someone’s ass/arse

see under nose n.

have someone’s ass (also have someone’s arse, ...rear)

1. [1950s+] to reprimand severely, to punish.

2. [2000s] to trick, to ‘get (someone) going’.

hold (on to) one’s ass

[1960s+] (US) to be patient.

jack it up someone’s ass

[1960s+] (US) to punish or victimize someone.

jump through one’s ass

[1960s+] (US) to panic, to lose control, to be terrified.

jump (up) someone’s ass (also jump on someone’s ass, jump up someone’s butt)

[1970s+] (US) to attack, verbally or physically.

keep one’s foot in someone’s ass

[1960s] (US black) to pressurize someone, to treat badly.

kick someone’s ass (also belt someone’s ass)

1. [1910s+] (orig. US) to give someone a beating, to defeat someone.

2. [1970s+] to exhaust, to wear out.

3. [1970s+] (US black) to defeat intellectually.

4. to render intoxicated.

lose one’s ass [1950s+] (US)

1. in gambling, to lose heavily.

2. to act irrationally, to lose control of one’s life (usu. through drug addiction).

pull something out of one’s ass

[1970s+] (US) to invent or produce something, apparently ‘by magic’.

put one’s foot in/up someone’s ass (also have one’s foot up someone’s ass, shove a foot up someone’s ass)

[1940s+] (US black) to attack someone physically; to treat someone unkindly.

put someone’s ass out

[1960s] to eject, to throw out, to send away.

run one’s ass off

[1960s–70s] to move at high speed, esp. in the context of searching.

save one’s ass

[1960s+] (orig. US) to take care of oneself, to save oneself; esp. in phr. couldn’t — to save one’s ass.

shake one’s ass (also shake ass) [1930s+]

1. (orig. US) to hurry up.

2. (US) to move vigorously as in sexual intercourse or dancing.

show one’s ass

[1950s+] (US black) to appear foolish; to show off, to make an exhibition of oneself.

sit there with one’s finger up one’s ass (also sit there with one’s thumb up one’s ass, stand around with one’s finger/thumb up (one’s ass))

[20C+] (US) to be passive, unresponsive, idle and useless; often abbr. to with one’s finger/thumb up one’s ass.

stick it up someone’s ass [1980s+]

1. (US) to betray, to let down.

2. to humiliate.

suck someone’s ass [the perceived humiliation of anilingus]

[1930s+] (orig. US black) to toady to, to be subservient to, to curry favour.

take the foot out of one’s ass

[1960s] (US black) to rid oneself of ill treatment, of victimization, exploitation.

think the sun shines out of someone’s ass (also ...arse, ...bum)

[1930s+] (orig. US) to worship someone, to act extremely sycophantically.

tuck it up someone’s ass [1980s+]

to humiliate.

wet someone’s ass [the wetness of blood]

[2000s] (US black) to shoot someone.

General verbs

In phrases

ass about [SE ass, donkey; note arse about under arse v., although the homonymity with US ass and arse is coincidental]

[late 19C–1930s] to play the fool.

ass around

[1940s–60s] (US) to play around, to wander around (in a foolish manner).

ass blow [blow v.2 (1c)]

[1960s+] (US gay) to lick or suck the anus.

ass out

1. [1990s+] (US black) to rush away.

2. [1990s+] (US campus) to make a fool of oneself.

3. [2000s] (US campus) to go to sleep.

ass up

[2000s] (US black) to take drugs.

ass up to

[1970s] (US) to toady to, to curry favour.

bring ass to get ass (also bring ass to whip ass) [fig. use of sense 2 above]

[1950s+] (US) to take a risk in order to make a gain.

bust ass [1960s+]

1. (US) to travel very fast.

2. (US) to work very hard.

3. (US black) to do well, to succeed.

bust in the ass

[1950s] (US) to kick, to harm; lit. and fig. uses.

get it in the ass (also get it in the arse, get it up the arse/ass)

[1940s+] (orig. US) to be attacked, victimized, killed; also in fig. use.

give up the ass

[1970s+] (US) to accede to seduction.

knock the ass off

[1960s+] (orig. US) to thrash severely, to defeat comprehensively.

play on ass

[2000s] (US prison) to gamble without money, but in the knowledge that the loser will earn a beating.

stack asses

[1970s] (US) to defeat heavily, to thrash.

throw some ass

[1950s+] (US black) of a woman, to walk in an exaggeratedly or deliberately sexy manner.

In exclamations

hang it in your ass!

[1950s+] (US) an excl. of contempt, often accompanied by a gesture, the right forefinger is hooked over the left thumb, which in turn makes a circle with the left forefinger.

it’s your ass!

[1960s+] (US) a threat.

jump up my ass!

[1970s+] (US) a coarse, derisive retort.

not on your ass!

[1960s+] no way! on no account!

suck my ass!/arse! (also take a suck out of my ass!) [suck someone’s ass ]

[1920s+] a general statement of contempt or dismissal.

your ass is mine!

[1950s+] a general threat, usu. following a conditional, e.g. if you don’t...your ass is mine.

your face and my ass!

see under face n.

SE, meaning donkey, in slang uses

In compounds

ass’s gallop (n.)

(Irish) short, used of time or distance, usu. in phr ‘short and sweet, like an ass’s gallop’.

In phrases

within an ass’s roar (of) (also within a bull’s roar, within an ass’s bawl, within the bawl of an ass) [20C+] (Irish)

very near.