Green’s Dictionary of Slang

masher n.

[mash v. (2); senses 2 and 3 are often elided]

1. an individual, of either gender, who uses charm and beauty to succeed.

[US]Cincinnati Enquirer 7 Sept. 10/7: The masher can be either male or female, traveling on their beauty, shape or talent, and sometimes on all three.
[UK] ‘’Arry’s Spring Thoughts’ in Punch 17 Apr. 185: No Millionaire Mashers, no Sportsmen, no moddles for chappies like me?

2. (orig. US) a man who forces his unwanted attentions on women, a ‘lady-killer’; also attrib.

[UK]Dundee Courier (Scot.) 22 July 3/6: The ‘masher’ was delighted [...] He was kissed by a dozen or so.
[US]Funny Fatherland 56: The soldiers are great ‘mashers’ among the dienst madchens [DA].
[US]University (U. Michigan) 12 Mar. 7/1: In his conceit he [‘the hobbledehoy’] often considers himself a masher among the ladies, but O, how green!
[US]G.W. Peck Peck’s Sunshine 130: There has been a great deal of talk in the papers about arresting ‘mashers,’ that is, young men who stand on corners and pulverize women.
[UK]Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday 10 May2/2: There are usually mashers too, of all ages and sizes, the longest-legged being generally the shortest sighted.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 18 Apr. 22/1: At a certain hotel up north two slaveys were imported from this colony, and being a welcome change from the old identity belles of the place, their company was much sought after by the bulk of the local mashers.
[NZ]N.Z. Observer and Free Lance (Auckland) 20 Mar. 23/3: S.Mc. is quite a masher now [...] C. the masher should learn better manners.
Bay of Plenty Times (NZ) Issue 2368 2: William Adams, a masher-like young man, was today sentenced to one day’s imprisonment.
[UK]Manchester Courier 3 Dec. 14/5: Alphonso Green (a masher) [...] Although the name is slightly verdant, there was no green in his eye.
E.W. Rogers [perf. Marie Lloyd] The Barmaid [lyrics] And the mashers say when e'er they come along / Awfully jolly girl don't you think so.
[UK]Observer (NZ) 26 Jan. n.p.: ‘Masher’ Rogers gives Constable finnerty a ‘striking proof’ of his regard. Fines 10s.
[Aus]Argus (Melbourne) 2 Jan. 3/4: ‘Dude’ - The term desiderated by the professor as expressing the ‘masher’ up to date.
[UK]Binstead & Wells Pink ’Un and Pelican 11: We all know what a fickle, flighty, unreliable lover the barmaid-masher makes.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 14 Feb. 1/1: The masher member for of the Hebrew Club has a keen eye for shicksers.
[US]‘O. Henry’ ‘The Cop and the Anthem’ in Four Million (1915) 95: It was Soapy’s design to assume the rôle of the despicable and execrated ‘masher’.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 8 Jan. 12/4: Both of them them they had their mashers / Who a bob or two had spent.
[US]T.A. Dorgan Silk Hat Harry’s Divorce Suit 14 Dec. [synd. cartoon strip] Do you know young masher that you’re annoying my wife.
[UK]W. Pett Ridge Madame Prince 32: Jim Lambert were a bit of a masher with the gals in those times.
[US]M.C. Sharpe Chicago May (1929) 15: Once in a while I ran into a masher or a suggestive woman, but I either bawled them out or beat it. They weren’t going to take me for a greenhorn!
[US]J. Lait Gangster Girl 165: She crossed through Peacock Alley, ignoring the glances and smirks of ambitious mashers.
[US]C.S. Montanye ‘Frozen Stiff’ in Popular Detective Mar. [Internet] His big, flat feet slapping down on the tiles like a hand on a masher’s face.
[UK]C. MacInnes Absolute Beginners 168: It was the top hip rendezvous for the dudes and toffs and mashers, and their birds.
[US]L. Bruce How to Talk Dirty 23: I yelled, ‘Masher!’.
[US]T. Berger Sneaky People (1980) 141: Ken Canning winking at me? He was doing it all night [...] He’s a real masher.
[US]I.L. Allen City in Sl. (1995) 44: In this century corner boys who met on street corners, gossiped, and ogled women became known as corner cowboys [...] a low variety of street masher.
[US]J. Ellroy Hilliker Curse 13: Rita’s father hired him to watchdog Rita and deter mashers.

3. a dandy, occas. masheress, the female version; thus masher blue, a shade of blue favoured by such men for their waistcoats.

[UK]G.A. Sala in Living London (1883) Nov. 529: The ‘society masher’ is merely a good-looking and rather foppish ‘ladies’ man’.
[UK]Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday 10 May16/1: [caption to drawing of female and male dandies] Masheress. Masher.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 14 Jan. 1/4: ‘He called me an ass,’ exclaimed an over-dressed, excited masher. ‘Well you ain’t one,’ soothingly replied a kindly companion, ‘you are only a clothes-horse’.
[UK]Marvel 8 Dec. 3: Eyeing the masher from top to bottom.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘You Can’t Go By Looks’ Sporting Times 31 Mar. 1/4: You can’t go by looks, look at Biffy, the masher, / You would think ’im a out-and-out sooper-fine dasher / If you looked at ’is ’owlin’ get-up.
[UK]H.G. Wells Kipps (1952) 49: Pearce [...] was by way of being what was called a Masher and [...] discussions about collars, ties, the cut of trouser-legs [...] were held.
[UK]H.E. Bates My Uncle Silas 66: He carried a saucy silver-topped walking stick and smoked cigars and looked exactly what he was: a masher.
D. Exp. 23 Sept. 2/3-4: [headline] Ronnie-the-Masher gets 9 Months. Leader of the ‘Edwardians’ cleared of murder.

4. (US black) a hard, committed worker.

[US]Source Nov. 112: Mck 10 is what we call out here a masher [...] He mashes, he rides, and he gets his paper. He stays down on the business end of this.

In derivatives

masherette (n.)

(Aus.) the female equivalent of sense 2.

[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 14 Apr. 5/5: Griffith, M.P. , is the best dressed man in town. [...] He knocks the block masherettes very time he tries.
masherdom (n.)

the world of mashers.

[UK]All the Year Round 33 542: Masherdom may exist somewhere, but if so it lies, like Bohemia, ‘in longitude rather uncertain, and in latitude certainly vague.’ Probably, both Masherdom and Bohemia have their most substantial existence in the pages of satirical journal.
[UK]Sporting Times 25 Jan. 5/5: She will be on at the Gaiety again precious soon, you bet, and meanwhile certain sections of masherdom are inconsolobabble.

In compounds

mashers corners (n.) [one could best ogle the chorus-girls from the front stalls]

(UK society) the opposite prompt (O.P.) and prompt side (P.S.) entrances to the stalls at the Gaiety Theatre, London.

[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.