Green’s Dictionary of Slang

geezer n.1

also geeser
[dial. pron. of 15C guiser, a mummer (OED); Partridge wonders if Wellington’s troops might not have picked it up from the Basque giza, a man, during the Peninsular War (1808–14)]

1. (also geaser, geeser, geyser, gezer, gheeser) a man, a ‘bloke’; occas. a woman.

[UK]D.W. Barrett Life and Work Among Navvies 51: I should be greatly obliged if they would [...] tell me why an old-fashioned youth generally gets styled ‘Gezer’.
[UK]Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday 21 June 57: Geesers are gals. That is to say, sort of gals. They wear improvers and are commonly supposed to be of the feminine persuasion, but they are not nice.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 22 Oct. 8/4: And when I asked him for whom he was a grafting the old cat-headed geyser sed ‘you’.
[UK] ‘’Arry on the Battle of Life’ in Punch 21 Sept. in P. Marks (2006) 136: Wy [sic], the geesers might just as well ask / If Drink is worth Drinking!
[UK] ‘’Arry on the ’Oliday Season’ in Punch 16 Aug. 74/1: I was innercent then, a young geeser.
[US]E. Townsend Chimmie Fadden Explains 112: He told me dat dey was two geezers he had given de Mitchell tip to dat afternoon.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 27 Jan. 5/5: We want young Australians in the City Council [...] We’ve had too many old geesers [sic] up till now.
[UK]C. Rook Hooligan Nights 40: ‘I’ve ’ad one like it afore to-day,’ she says — the old geezer.
[UK]Hants Teleg. 21 Apr. 11/3: But best of all is a ‘geezer,’ I follows ’er up an’ down. / Declarain’ as ’ow I’m desprit an’ she forks out ’arf-a-crown .
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 21 Dec. 15/1: ’Ere! I say, you silly old gheeser, why don’t you lean on your bloomin’ breath?
[US]‘Billy Burgundy’ Toothsome Tales Told in Sl. 125: There was a geezer with a bell-metal vocal plant.
[UK]Marvel III:54 8: Bust that aunt! [...] Can’t you let the old geyser rest?
[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 187/1: Old geyser (Street). Elderly man.
[UK]H.G. Wells Hist. of Mr Polly (1946) 214: You gold-eyed Geezer, you!
[US]‘Sing Sing No. 57,700’ My View on Books in N.Y. Times Mag. 30 Apr. 5/2: Don Quixote [...] The geezer that went with him was a fall-guy for fair.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 7 Sept. 12/4: Girls left on the streets to wander, / Meeting of the Tempter there; / Usually some old geaser, / With a bob or two to spare.
[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 3 July 4/1: They Say [...] That The old geyser ought to support local industry.
[UK]E. Pugh Cockney At Home 162: I told one old geeser [...] as I was the father o’ five.
[UK]‘Sapper’ Human Touch 112: The old geyser’s taken root.
[UK]‘Sapper’ Third Round 539: Just because he wants to spout out his footling discovery to a bunch of old geysers at the Royal Society.
[Scot]Aberdeen Jrnl 10 Sept. 6/3: One of them is a rather decent old geeser as geesers go.
[US]E. Booth Stealing Through Life 296: Kick the big fat geezer there in the face if you have to.
[Aus]L. Lower Here’s Luck 77: When he does break out and seek to make himself heard, the family merely shrugs its shoulders and murmurs, ‘What’s bitten the old geezer?’ .
[Aus](con. WWI) L. Mann Flesh in Armour 195: [of a woman] ‘Oh, we don’t mind going to see the old geezer’.
[Scot]Dundee Courier 23 Aug. 3/4: The geeser talking to the plain clothes copper is a mouthpiece.
[UK]J. Curtis They Drive by Night 13: They always seemed to be topping geezers who’d never seen the inside of a nick before.
[UK] (con. 1920s) C. Fluck ‘Bubbles’ of the Old Kent Road 22: The lads meant no offence when they referred to God as the ‘Geyser upstairs’.
[UK]J. Maclaren-Ross Swag, the Spy and the Soldier in Lehmann Penguin New Writing No. 26 44: The letter was from a mate of his, geezer called Cohen.
[UK]P. Hoskins No Hiding Place! 160: Twas a marvellous fight – while it lasted; / The hopes of the ‘geesers’ truly blasted.
[UK]Willans & Searle Complete Molesworth (1985) 364: Constructed by the romans and julius ceasar the silly old geyser.
[UK]C. MacInnes Absolute Beginners 158: The next thing we saw the Hoplite with a cheery old geezer who’d obviously had four or five too many.
[UK]J. Orton Entertaining Mr Sloane Act II: I thumbs a lift from a geyser who promises me a bed.
[UK]P. Willmott Adolescent Boys of East London (1969) 54: I walked into the toilets one day and there were two geezers in there doing it.
[UK]T. Parker Frying-Pan 44: Ah, here’s a big geyser, he’ll keep them in line.
[UK]D. Nobbs Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (1976) 63: Who’s the geyser with the boozer’s conk?
[US]J. Roe The Same Old Grind 43: ‘You mean it took the old geezer all the time i was taking a leak to get that far?’.
[UK]P. Theroux Family Arsenal 24: The geezer’s offering drinks and all.
[UK]A. Burgess 1985 (1980) 148: Get this geezer’s testiculars from CR.
[Aus]Benjamin & Pearl Limericks Down Under 22: A circus performer of Breeza / Was a notably nimble old geeza.
[US]C. Hiaasen Skin Tight 46: You know how old that geezer is?
[Aus]G. Disher Paydirt [ebook] ‘[S]ome old geezer’s feeding his sheep’.
[UK]J. Cameron It Was An Accident 98: He was a good geezer the doc. The nurse was a good geezer. The lady in reception was a good geezer.
[UK] in D. Seabrook Jack of Jumps (2007) 76: She was frightened of the two geezers.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Viva La Madness 20: It’s more to do with having heavy geezers look down [...] so as to avoid your gaze.
[Aus] A. McKinty ‘The Dutch Book’ in Crime Factory: Hard Labour [ebook] A geezer called Harry Parker, an old school mob guy from the ’50s.
[UK]Vanity Fair 16 Mar. 🌐 I said, ‘’ere, how does this fucking Bill know about anything?’ recalled Perkins. ‘Bill,’ [Reader] said. ‘[Who’s] Bill?’ I said, ‘the fucking geezer round Kenny’s’.
[UK]J. Meades Empty Wigs (t/s) 114: [T]his group of geezers blokes - right? A chapter of The Smiths and Tinkers of The Shining Beztine.

2. (US) an old man, occas. a woman; usu. as old geezer (cf. old geezer ).

[UK]J.F. Mitchell ‘Jimmy Johnson’s Holiday’ 🎵 He’d flirt and boat, but never wrote / A note to his old Geezer.
‘Corin’ Truth about Stage 16: If we wake up the old geezers we shall get notice to quit without compensation. The two geezers, as Sandy styled the landlord and his wife.
[UK]E.V. Page ‘The Magistrate’ 🎵 It’s nice to be called by him in the dock, / ‘A blooming old geezer’, or perhaps it’s ‘old cock’.
[UK]Albert Chevalier ‘Wot Cher!’ 🎵 Last week down our alley come a toff, Nice old geezer with a nasty cough.
[Aus]Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 32: Geeser, the old man or mistress.
[US]J. London Valley of the Moon (1914) 330: The old geezer’s like his orchard – covered with moss.
[US]Wood & Goddard Dict. Amer. Sl. 20: geezer, old. Antique bozo; a dodo; an old dud.
[Scot]Aberdeen Jrnl 8 May 6/5: What is the difference between an old buffer, an old josser and an old geezer?
[US]R. Brister ‘Rock-a-Bye Booby’ in Ten Detective Aces Sept. 🌐 The old geezer’s dancing was definitely dated.
[UK]A. Buckeridge Jennings’ Diary 105: Short-sighted professors and fossilised old geezers.
[Aus]‘Nino Culotta’ Gone Fishin’ 193: This old geezer conned me.
[US]L. Bangs in Psychotic Reactions (1988) 5: Run here, my towhead grandchillen, and let this geezer dandle you upon his knee.
[US]B. Hamper Rivethead (1992) 82: Even the geezers and the bag ladies got up and pranced.
[US]G. Pelecanos Shame the Devil 233: He nodded to an ancient geezer with a flowing gray beard.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 291: Billy wasn’t sure of the old man had survived being hit [...] If the geezer woke up suffocating [...] it’d be his own fault for being so nosey.
[US]C. Hiaasen Squeeze Me 29: Some of the town’s richest geezers were avid kleptos.

3. a victim, e.g. of a tramp’s begging or a confidence trickster’s hoax.

[US]Times (Shreveport, LA) 12 May 3/5: The word ‘geezer’ is a term of contempt, the same as [...] ‘guy’.
[US]Little Falls Herald (MN) 31 Mar. 3/3: How to Operate the Shell Game with Profit [...] When the steerer gets the geezer in the push, let the boosters stall until the main plugger cops.
[US]Maledicta IX 143: The dolly boys of The Dilly (Piccadilly Circus) who are [...] trolling (U.S. cruising) for customers (geezers, steamers, from rhyming slang ‘steamer tug’ = mug, which is to say victim, or mark).
[Scot]Dandy Comic Library No. 205 12: A strong easy-to-hypnotise geezer.

4. a term of address.

[US]O. Johnson Varmint 347: Good-by, old geezer!
[UK]C. Newland Scholar 139: ‘If you see ’im tell him Sean come to check ’im.’ ‘No problem geezer.’.
[US]Hip-Hop Connection Jan. 74: Their Speeka project on Ultimate Dilemma is wicked, geeza.

5. in fig. use of sense 2, staleness, tiredness.

[US]B. Schulberg Harder They Fall (1971) 105: You look good as ever [...] and it’s not that you’ve got any geezer in you when you climb through the ropes.
[US]B. Schulberg Waterfront (1966) 204: He could feel all their eyes watching him for sign of geezer. How tough was the tough kid now?

6. a well-dressed, stylish man.

[UK]K. Howard Small Time Crooks 66: I saw him ’smornin’ an’ what a geezer! He’s gotta curl-brim hat an’ soft white shoes an’ a suit like a railroad executive.

7. (Und.) a prostitute’s client.

[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 118: the client; the one who pays for it. Syn: geezer (Brit pros sl).

8. (UK gay) a young male prostitute’s older client.

[US]Maledicta II:1+2 (Summer/Winter) 118: Elsewhere Aylwin lists a few more ‘Vulgarities’: [...] geezer (ice cream freezer, a geezer being an old man in common parlance but a client to a rent boy).

9. an authority figure.

[US]L. Rosten Dear ‘Herm’ 99: We might of still gotten the Old Geezer to relax a little.
[UK]N. Barlay Curvy Lovebox 101: The Geezer standin’ well pissed off.

10. (UK black) one who fails to achieve the standards of the ‘street’ lifestyle.

[UK]N. Barlay Crumple Zone 32: Bruvvers an’ Geezers yeah, dey’s different. Dey even die different defs. High-speed, low-speed innit. Bruvvers die high speed. Geezers get chibbed. Iss all about who can and who can’t innit.

In phrases

old geezer (n.) [ext. sense 1 above]

1. one’s husband.

[UK]Bateman & LeBrunn [perf. Marie Lloyd] Folkestone for the Day 🎵 My old geezer went a-waddling like a porpoise ’aving a wash.

2. an old woman, esp. one’s wife; often as the old geezer.

[Scot]Eve. Teleg. (Dundee) 17 Sept. 8/2: ‘You keep clear of the girls, young man,’ she says to me [...] I laughed at the old geezer.
[UK]Western Gaz. 30 Sept. 16/6: He [i.e. her husband] called me an ‘old hag’ and an ‘old geeser’ after having all the best of my life.
[WI]S. Selvon Lonely Londoners 148: [of a woman] The old geezer call me a cruel monster [...] If you did see she face, you would think I commit a murder.
J.R. Ackerley We Think the World of You (1971) 126: The good-hearted old geezer was a bit browned off.
[US] ‘Oh! My! You’re a Dandy for Nineteen Years Old’ in G. Logsdon Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing (1995) 192: So come all you young fellers when you courtin’ to go, / Inspect your true love from her head to her toe, / Or else you’ll be ruined like me and be sold / To a patched-up old geezer who’s ninety years old.
[UK]R. Dahl George’s Marvellous Medicine 28: [of a woman] They will no doubt cause some splendid explosions inside the old geezer.