Green’s Dictionary of Slang

lush v.

[lush n.1 (1)]

1. to ply with drink, to make drunk.

[UK]D. Haggart Autobiog. 38: We had lushed the coachman so neatly, that Barney was obliged to drive.
[UK] ‘Kiss My Duff’ in Secret Songster 20: They knows to any thing I’m game, / And lushes me vith quarts o’ max.
[Ire]W.H. Maxwell Rambling Recollections of a Soldier of Fortune 52: Don’t lush too heavy.
[UK] ‘The Groggy Horse’ in Diprose’s Comic Song Book 7: Once stopping at a brew-house, / The steam of the strong beer / Induced the doctor’s horse to lush, / Which made him rather queer.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 38/1: He oughtn’t to ‘lush’ my wife as he has done. She’s lying in the bar-room now as drunk as blazes. [Ibid.] 93/1: We were warmly welcomed by those of the assemblage who knew us, and of course had to ‘lush’ the whole party.
[UK] ‘’Arry’s Christmas in the Country’ in Punch 25 Dec. in P. Marks (2006) 30: They lushed us on [...] ’ot coffee.
[UK]J. Newman Scamping Tricks 94: I had a lot of militia chaps, and well paid and lushed them.
[UK]E. Pugh Spoilers 88: Look how you lush her.

2. to drink.

[UK]Caledonian Mercury 14 Oct. 4/2: Here the Champion made his debut as an orator, and after lushing a bit, by way of clearing his pipes, he gave a bit of a stave.
[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 259: I say, come lush, Jem, and let us toddle.
[UK]‘The Juniper Bough’ in Fal-Lal Songster in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) III 13: The juniper flowed in the cobbler’s room, / [...] / The kiddies all wolfed and lushed away, / Because ’twas Bob’s and old Sarah’s wedding day.
[UK]New Swell’s Night Guide to the Bowers of Venus 23: Admission – patience – in turn to wade through the throng of costermongers, porters, doxies, high and low pads, who stand lushing.
[US] ‘Scene in a London Flash-Panny’ Matsell Vocabulum 100: Come, Bell, let us track the dancers and rumble the flats, for I’m tired of pattering flash and lushing jackey.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor I 179/2: I certainly lushed too much.
[UK]J. Greenwood In Strange Company 339: I mean to lush well along the road.
[NZ]N.Z. Observer (Auckland) 5 Feb. 208/3: The amount of lovemaking, lying, and lushing that was carried on was really something awfully awful.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘The Bush Undertaker’ in Roderick (1972) 53: Yer cud earn mor’n any man in the colony, but yer’d lush it all away.
[US]P.L. Dunbar Jest Of Fate (1903) 215: Been lushin’ a bit, eh?
[US]A.H. Lewis Boss 150: You might get to lushin’, an’ disgrace yourself with th’ warden.
[NZ]N.Z. Truth 22 Feb. 2/2: An Act designed to prevent too frequent lushing on the part of disreputable citizens.
[US]J. Lait Put on the Spot 23: He lushes his own stuff. He don’ handle the real McCoy.
[US]Pittsburgh Courier (PA) 26 June 20/1: Don Byas is about to lush himself out of a good sax-blowing job.
[Can]R. Service ‘McClusky’s Nell’ in Rhymes of a Roughneck 13: It’s Dud McClusky’s orphen Nell a-lookin’ for her dad. / An’ him in back, a-lushin’ wine wi’ Violet de Vere-.
[US]M. Braly Shake Him Till He Rattles (1964) 102: I don’t lush.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 91: Why don’t you stop [...] lushing and bullshitting with the tricks?
[US]O. Hawkins Chili 56: We smoked and lushed our way back down into the city.

In compounds

lushing ken (n.)

a public house, a tavern.

[UK]New Sprees of London 7: When at any of these pegging cribs and lushing kens, be careful not to allow sleep to overpower you, or, on waking, you may find that some kind friend has borrowed the contents of your pockets.

In phrases

lush (it) up (v.)

1. (also lush around) to drink, usu. alcohol; to become drunk.

[UK]Dundee Courier (Scot.) 18 Mar, 7/4: Dick had promised the parson [...] it should all be spent on victuals; the parsion being afraid we’d lush it.
[US]W.K. Post Harvard Stories 290: Let’s go lush up with the rest of the crowd.
[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 55: When I’m lushing up on water while the rest hit ‘private stock’.
[US]H. Simon ‘Prison Dict.’ in AS VIII:3 (1933) 29/2: LUSH UP. To get drunk.
[US]Maines & Grant Wise-crack Dict.
[US]Southern & Hoffenberg Candy (1970) 111: Jack Katt and Tom Smart were there, at a front table, lushing it up and keen for puss.
[UK](con. 1920s) J. Sparks Burglar to the Nobility 23: None of them gave heed [...] to young Delaney lushing it up through the West End.
[UK]J. Sparks Burglar to the Nobility 165: A group of very highly though-of villains who’d been lushing it a bit.
[US]T. Southern Blue Movie (1974) 203: By the time he’d finished lushing it up and got back to the hospital, his ‘patient’ had flown the coop.
[US]J. Olsen Secret of Fire Five 29: I was lushing it up after the divorce.
Adam Bittel Archive Wasted Life [Internet] Thanksgiving is the shiznits. There is nothing better than eating and lushing around watching football.

2. to ply with drink.

[UK]Wild Boys of London I 149/2: ‘How shall we get ’old of him?’ asked the Spike. ‘By going for him. First lush him hup a little, and he’ll be good for anything.’.
[UK]‘Career of a Scapegrace’ in Leicester Chron. 3 May 1/1: His pockets having been rifled by some of those he had been ‘lushing up’.
[UK]Western Mail 14 Dec. 6/5: Never touched a drop for three years [...] They don’t lush us up in Pentonville.
[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak 95: Lush up – to stand a drink.