Green’s Dictionary of Slang

piece n.

1. as an individual.

(a) a woman, esp. when appraised sexually [i.e. a ‘piece of meat’].

[UK]J. Bale Comedye Concernyng Three Lawes (1550) Act IV: infidelitas: At her purse or arse, tell me good fryre fuccage? hypocrifis: My the Messe at both [...] Tush, I am the popes owne vycar If thou lackest a pece, I knowe where thou mayst be sped.
[UK]Udall Ralph Roister Doister I iii: Well, mock much of her, and keep her well, I ’vise ye. / I will take no charge of such a fair piece keeping.
[UK]Appius and Virginia in Farmer (1908) 17: O peerless dame! O passing piece! O face of such a feature!
[UK]Shakespeare Troilus and Cressida IV i: He, like a puling cuckold, would drink up The lees and dregs of a flat tamed piece.
[UK]Beaumont & Fletcher Coxcomb IV iii: Pray God, he have not cast away himself / Upon some snout-fair piece!
[UK]R. Burton Anatomy of Melancholy 3.3.4.2: If thou wilt avoid them [...] marry a course peece.
[UK]R. Davenport City-Night-Cap (1661) IV 39: Came this nice piece from Naples, with a pox to her?
[UK]J. Taylor ‘Anagrams and Satyrs’ in Works (1869) II 257: This beauteous peece, whose feature radiant blaze, / Made Menelaus horne-mad warre to wage.
[UK]R. Brome New Academy II i: Doest see yond pretty mumping peece i’th’ shop there?
[UK]T. Jordan Walks of Islington and Hogsdon II i: Why thou foole, is not better to have such a Greasy piece as I am, than to have a curious fine wife, and cannot come neer her.
[UK]Wandring Whore I 8: Pray take to task Julietta the most beautiful piece in City, Court, or County.
[UK]C. Cotton Scoffer Scoff’d (1765) 235: She such a very lovely Piece is.
[UK]Behn Rover II ii: Morett. Abominable Fellow, I tell thee, we only sell by the whole piece.
Behn Feign’d Curtizans 2: And yet this rare piece is but a Curtezan, in coarse plain English a very Whore.
H. Killigrew Epigrams No. 92: There’s not a gaz’d at Piece in all the Town, / Shal equal you in Glory and Renown.
[UK] ‘Joan to her Lady’ in Playford Pills to Purge Melancholy II 81: Joan’s a Piece for Man to bore / With his Wimble, your’s no more.
[UK]C. Johnson Hist. of Highwaymen &c. 83: All the old Sages of Greece, / Themselves could dispense with a Score, / Tho’ others had but one Piece.
[UK]Cleland Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (1985) 38: He was sure I was a fresh piece — I look’d so country, so innocent.
[UK]John F---g Epistle of a Reformed Rake 17: [addressing a pimp] Have you nothing new – not one Piece – What’s become of Bet Legg, and Nancy Welch?
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 464: They came to fetch that precious piece, / That Madam helen.
[UK]Harris’s List of Covent-Garden Ladies 36: She is remarkably fond of the gin bottle [...] her teeth are but indifferent, but the smell of the juniper takes off every offence that the teeth may occasion, and makes her a desirable piece.
[UK]Banquet of Wit 15: I conceived somebody had laid violent hands upon my daughter, and that she was the piece they meant.
[UK]M. Leeson Memoirs (1995) III 179: She was still what the men call a damn’d good piece.
[UK] ‘The Frolicsome Spark’ No. 31 Papers of Francis Place (1819) n.p.: At length to a bawdy house come [...] Bring me a flashy young piece.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum n.p.: Piece. A wench. A damned good or bad piece; a girl who is more or less active and skilful in the amorous congress. [...] Hence the (Cambridge) toast, May we never have a piece (peace) that will injure the constitution.
[UK]‘An Amateur’ Real Life in London II 340: Which piece do you mean, the one beside you or the one before you?
[UK]Egan Finish to the Adventures of Tom and Jerry (1889) 133: The ‘Gay Pieces’ full of envy .
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 68: She vos rather a tidy piece at that time, and could go a stunner at her trade.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 18 July 3/1: The Bench-considered there was no grounds for binding . Langley over to keep the ‘piece,’ and told Charlotte that if she . wanted due maintenance, she must make the application.
Man of Pleasure’s Illus. Pocket-book n.p.: She is a charming piece, and when the skipper is absent on a cruize she often flashes her figure .
[US]S. Northup Twelve Years A Slave 87: There were men enough in New-Orleans who would give five thousand dollars for such an extra, handsome, fancy piece as Emily.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 37/1: The other was occupied by the ‘flats,’ one of whom had alongside of him the little piece Joe had his eye upon.
[US]F.H. Sheppard Love Afloat 233: I leave it to you if I’m likely to come across as pretty a piece, and as rich, too, as Mary.
[UK]‘Walter’ My Secret Life (1966) IV 694: I was not man enough [...] to make me continue without withdrawing (as I often did with a fresh piece).
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 16 Nov. 4/4: Brother Buster was there with a little piece about sixteen. She was settin’ on ’is I knee, ’n he was cuddlin’ her ’n tellin’ her to be a good girl.
[Aus]G. Boothby On the Wallaby 236: ‘And phat might ye mean by that?’ she asked [...] ‘Don’t you be taking me for one of your flighty pieces; d’ye mind me now!’.
[UK] ‘’Arry and the [...] Lady Cyclists’ in Punch 15 June 285/2: One young piece in grey knicks and cream cloth, and a sort of soft tile called a toke.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 24 Mar. 14/4: Micko: ‘I don’t think much o’ that piece. Seen her goin’ down the street smokin’ a cigarette.’ / Biffer: ‘Well, yer can’t blame the girl, Micko. I ’eard she was blind drunk at the time.’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 24 Oct. 13/3: There dwelt with her an unmarried daughter of 50 and a religious turn of mind, and a piece. The latter, being an ordinary woman or more-or-less heathen tendency, was immediately suspected, and metaphorically turned inside out – to no purpose.
[UK]B.E.F. Times 25 Dec. (2006) 256/2: On the street / Near the hippodrome in Brighton with a piece of something sweet.
[US]Van Vechten Nigger Heaven 9: A pretty a piece, he reflected, as he had seen around these parts for some time.
[UK]D.L. Sayers Have His Carcase 117: There’s that Leila Garland—a hard-boiled little piece if ever there was one.
[UK]J. Curtis They Drive by Night 19: He stepped into a cigarette shop. There was a smashing piece behind the counter.
[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 124: The Mahatma on Mt. Himavat / Opined as he diddled a cat: / ‘She’s a far better piece / Than the Viceroy’s niece, / Who has also more fur on her prat’.
[US]A. Zugsmith Beat Generation 50: I told her she was much too good a piece for you, fuzz.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn (1966) 194: That’s what he needed. A strange piece.
[US]D. Goines Dopefiend (1991) 152: If I’d had me a sassy little piece like that.
[US]L. Heinemann Paco’s Story (1987) 154: Get a couple of nice juicy pieces to jump into that sack of yours.
[UK]I. Welsh Filth 21: This new civvy blonde piece is handing out the notes.
[US]G. Pelecanos Right As Rain 62: Goddam if she wasn’t a beautiful piece.
[UK]K. Richards Life 181: This black chick called Flo, who was my piece at the time.
[Aus] J.J. DeCeglie ‘Death Cannot Be Delegated’ in Crime Factory: Hard Labour [ebook] She was a right piece [...] Skin like fresh cream.

(b) a man.

[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (4th edn) II 234: Trembling he stood a dev’lish odd piece, / While his teeth chatter’d in his c--piece.
[UK]J. Maclaren-Ross Of Love And Hunger 129: This chap Matey was a grim looking piece.

(c) (gay) a man, in a sexual context.

[UK]K. Williams Diaries 12 Jan. 139: Their other guests were Stanley Hall and a grey-haired piece called Noel.
[US]Current Sl. I:3 2/2: Fine piece, n. A handome fellow; one who is ‘good looking.’.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 148: piece sexual object; by extension any person.
[SA]K. Cage Gayle.

(d) one’s body, in the context of violence.

[US]H. Rap Brown Die Nigger Die! 88: The judge in Virginia decided that he wanted a piece of me, too.
[US]D. Jenkins Semi-Tough 186: If Puddin and Euger can start gettin’ a piece of somebody.
[US](con. 1946) G. Pelecanos Big Blowdown (1999) 96: Why th bat, Reed? If you been wantin’ a piece of me for so long, why don’t we do it right?
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 66: He wanted a piece of you, miy friend.

2. in financial or commercial senses.

(a) (also peece, pieces) a sum of money, a coin worth £1 and 2 shillings.

[UK]Jonson Bartholomew Fair IV iv: Can you lend me a piece, a Jacobus, in circle?
[UK]J. Shirley Witty Fair One IV ii: Here is twenty pieces, you shall fribble them away at The Exchange presently.
[UK]R. Brome Northern Lasse II iii: Here’s half a Peece to buy thee Complection, Sack, or Aqua-vitae.
[UK]R. Brome Jovial Crew Act III: Furnish me with a small parcel of Money – five or six peeces.
[UK]Wandring Whore II 14: There’s ten pieces to cleer all charges and expenses, does it please old Matron?
[UK]Wycherley Love in a Wood III i: gripe.: Take a Crown then, an Angel, a Piece.
‘The Unconscionable Gallant’ [ballad] Half a piece [i.e. ten shillings] is too much for a poor single touch / [...] / To give more than a Crown for a bit of the Brown / I can have it for less of the Girls of the Town.
[UK]Farquhar Love and a Bottle I i: Here are some Pieces.
[UK]S. Centlivre Gamester Act IV: There’s your two Pieces, Sir.
[UK]J. Addison Drummer V i: You know what your word cost Sir George, a purse of broad pieces.
[UK]C. Walker Authentick Memoirs of Sally Salisbury 121: The dangerous Hell-Cat had secur’d the five Pieces.
[UK]J. Dalton Narrative of Street-Robberies 38: Sukey to be in the Way of the Trade, made the Taylor give him a broad Piece.
[UK]Cleland Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (1985) 26: The old lady having first made him a present [...] of three or four pieces.
[UK]J. Townley High Life Below Stairs I ii: Sir Har. I picked up fifteen Pieces. Duke. Pshaw! a Trifle!
[Ire]K. O’Hara Two Misers I i: I’m fetching him a supply: two hundred pieces.
[UK]Harris’s List of Covent-Garden Ladies 65: By [...] giving her one or two of his all-powerful pieces, her brow will be rendered placid.
[UK]A Fortnight’s Ramble through London 25: I told him that I could advance no more than nine guineas for the present. [...] ‘Hand me the nine pieces,’ replied the man.
[UK]‘T.B. Junr.’ Pettyfogger Dramatized I iii: Come, hand us over five pieces,— a five pounder, and a dollar will do.
[UK]R. Nicholson Rogue’s Progress (1966) 79: Just think of those few pieces† I lent you the other night [note]† Counters used as money, in change, to gamble with.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 29/2: In order to gain time, he ‘slung’ the landlord a heavy piece of ‘sugar’.
[UK] ‘Autobiog. of a Thief’ in Macmillan’s Mag. (London) XL 501: I kept on at the old game, only with this difference, that I got more pieces (money) for the wedge.
[UK] ‘’Arry at the Sea-Side’ in Punch 10 Sept. 111/1: And I never mind blueing the pieces purwided I gets a good spree.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 14 Dec. 4/1: ‘We've got to whack the pieces every night or else there's no bazaar’.
[UK]Sporting Times 1 Feb. 3/1: I was going for peace (and pieces).
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 28 Oct. 1/4: And preached with power and prayed with zest / And gaily raked the ‘pieces’ in.
[Aus]Stephens & O’Brien Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 151: SUGAR: slang for money. syns. – rhyno, brass, spons, spondulix, brass, dibs, beans. gilt, glitter, oot, oof, ooftish, pieces.
[UK]H. Baumann Londinismen (2nd edn) V: Rum coves that relieve us / Of chinkers and pieces, / Is gin’rally lagged, / Or, wuss luck, gits scragged.
[US]Van Loan ‘The Comeback’ in Ten-Thousand-Dollar Arm 214: I’d give a nice piece of money to know that you could pitch.
[Aus]Smith’s Wkly (Sydney) 7 June 9/6: Slang of Money [...] It has been called ‘the actual, the blunt, hard, dirt, evil, flimsy, gilt, iron, John Davis, lurries, moss, oil of angels, pieces, rowdy, spondulicks, tin, wad’ .
[US]E. O’Neill Hairy Ape V: Say, dem tings is pretty, huh? Bet yuh dey’d hock for a piece of change aw right.
[US]E. Anderson Thieves Like Us (1999) 50: I hope that Morehead bank will go for a nice piece.
[US]Chronicle-Telegram (Elyria, OH) 13 Dec. 4/4: I do not drive my car from New York to Connecticut unless you have five nice pieces in your bag for me.
[US]R. Campbell Alice in La-La Land (1999) 41: Letters dunning her for a piece of the money strangers knew would be settled on her.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Culture 21 May 12: Now it’s Channel 4’s turn for a piece.

(b) a share, esp. of profits, e.g. from a musical show.

[US]J.F. Lillard Poker Stories 197: The latter naively sugested that it was time to ‘cut up the coin.’ ‘What do you mean?’ asked the offical. ‘Why, I want my piece,’ was the reply.
[US]R. Lardner ‘Champion’ in Coll. Short Stories (1941) 123: You give me a piece o’ money and I’ll go.
[US]J. Lait Broadway Melody 8: A music house will do anything from giving her a car to offering her a ‘piece’ of (interest in) the song.
[US]W. Winchell ‘On Broadway’ 6 Dec. [synd. col.] I saw the DuBarry show in Philly – and there’s only one thing wrong [...] I haven’t got a piece of it!
[US]I. Wolfert Tucker’s People (1944) 59: Everybody had a chance to get a piece of it.
[US]‘Blackie’ Audett Rap Sheet 212: If I hadn’t turned down their offer to cut me in on a piece of it [i.e. a robbery], the odds are about ten thousand to one against me being able to tell about it to-day.
[US]J. Mills Panic in Needle Park (1971) 137: The fellow you met steered you wrong because he’s getting a piece of it.
[UK]S. Berkoff East in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 81: We’ll get our piece.
[US]Pileggi & Scorsese Goodfellas [film script] 20: Everybody got a piece.
[US]C. Hiaasen Stormy Weather 33: Cut us a piece and we call it even.
[UK]Guardian 6 Jan. 24: If I’m going to bust my butt out there, I want a piece of it.
[US]A. Steinberg Running the Books 60: Everyone’s gonna want a piece of you in here.

(c) a share in ownership, e.g. of a nightclub.

[US]D. Runyon ‘The Old Doll’s House’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 62: He has a piece of the joint.
[US](con. 1926) G. Fowler Schnozzola 104: I don’t want ever to have a piece of a night club again as long as I live.
[US]J. Mills Panic in Needle Park (1971) 162: Little Tony’s going to Frederick’s, the discothèque. He goes there every Wednesday night, he owns a piece of it.
[US]N. Pileggi Wiseguy (2001) 97: We gave Paulie a piece because he was our boss.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Layer Cake 23: Nobby, who’s got a piece of the gaff and runs its for the other partners.

(d) a commission, a percentage.

[US]D. Runyon ‘Situation Wanted’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 663: I ask him what he calls a piece, he says 65 per cent. is what his American managers always slice him.
[US]G.V. Higgins Cogan’s Trade (1975) 21: He just sits back there and takes his piece without doing nothing.
[US]D. Woodrell Muscle for the Wing 109: He gives me a piece, a small percentage, out of respect.
[US]F.X. Toole Pound for Pound 59: Trini [...] took the comfortable top piece of a 75-25 split.

3. as a lit. or fig. weapon or tool.

(a) a gun [SE late 16C–mid-19C, then sl.].

[[UK]T. Tomkis Albumazar I iii: Sure this some nouvice of th’ Artillery, That winkes and shootes: sir, prime your piece anew: The powder’s wet].
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 134: A soldier calls his musket his piece, and so he calls his trull.
[US]R.M. Bird Nick of the Woods I 23: Well! as soon as I jumped out of his way, bang went his piece.
[Aus]J. Syme Nine Years in Van Diemen’s Land 263: On asking Howe if he had killed Slambow, he replied, ‘Yes; and I’ll serve you the same as soon as I can load the piece’.
[US]E.K. Wightman letter 3 May in Longacre From Antietam to Fort Fisher (1985) 132: I [...] had quite a confab with a ‘Johnny Reb’ who had laid aside his piece.
[Aus]C. Money Knocking About in N.Z. 149: A few ugly boys lounging about the wharves with old-fashioned pieces, some with fixed bayonets and some without.
[US]G.W. Bagby Old Virginia Gentleman (1910) 137: What the deuce did I care abourt learning how to ‘hold my piece,’ to ‘load in nine times,’ and all that?
[Aus]‘Banjo’ Paterson ‘How Gilbert Died’ Man from Snowy River (1902) 131: For the water ran from the rifle breech — / It was drenched while the outlaws slept. / Then he dropped the piece with a bitter oath.
[US]W. Edge Main Stem 106: He [...] carried a doubled barreled shotgun instead of a revolver. He was continually aiming the piece at some imaginary Hun.
[US]W. Blair Tall Tale America 55: Blaze away, and take care you don’t elevate your piece too low.
[US]Kramer & Karr Teen-Age Gangs 158: You don’t mean to say he’s buying another piece? The man has a pearl-handled .32 to go with his blue suit and a dark Smith and Weston [sic] for his brown.
[US]C. Brown Manchild in the Promised Land (1969) 184: I got to get me a piece, baby.
[US]G.V. Higgins Friends of Eddie Coyle 5: Jackie Brown [...] said that he could get some guns. ‘I can get your pieces, probably by tomorrow night.’.
[US]Ice-T ‘Drama’ [lyrics] Copped another piece, hit the dark streets.
[UK]N. Barlay Curvy Lovebox 137: Wicked fuckin’ piece. Handgun.
[US]J. Ellroy ‘Hollywood Fuck Pad’ in Destination: Morgue! (2004) 209: He tucked his piece and badge in his pimp boots.
[US]C.W. Ford Deuce’s Wild 17: Biggy carried a piece.
[UK]Guardian 25 Aug. [Internet] Like if I told someone ‘I’ve got a piece stashed round in my back garden’ and he goes and tells someone from another firm.
[Aus]P. Temple Truth 143: ‘Could be a piece,’ said Villani. ‘Inside-pants holster’.

(b) (also fowling piece) the penis.

[UK]Harris’s List of Covent-Garden Ladies 82: The regions of the Elysian bower are well tufted with the fringe of Nature, and no sportsman will think a guinea an object for the liberty of [...] discharging his piece in so delectable a spot.
[UK] ‘Some Love To Push’ in Cockchafer 48: Our deer we mark in the midnight dark, / And our loaded piece is there, / Our aim we take ere our dear can wake, / And oft we shoot the hair (hare).
[UK]‘’ in Rum Ti Tum! in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) III 161: I scarce could stop from her [i.e. a whore] a day, / Her charms had stole my peace away.
[US]Mencken letter 8 Nov. in Riggio Dreiser-Mencken Letters II (1986) 360: I hear all the old maids [...] flock to the town in the hope of being debauched. I surely hope you don’t risk your old fowling piece on any such game.
[US] ‘The Iceman and the Cook’ [comic strip] in B. Adelman Tijuana Bibles (1997) 48: Hello Bertha old keed, here’s a piece for your box.
[UK]A. Sillitoe Start in Life (1979) 200: Of its own accord my piece found its way there.
[US]R. Price Blood Brothers 39: Butler, you gotta be dead not to feel my piece.
[US]H. Roth From Bondage 331: He armed his piece. ‘Bend over,’ he pressed compliant shoulders.
[US]‘Randy Everhard’ Tattoo of a Naked Lady 181: She’d found my piece [...] a fully loaded, double ball-barreled ladykiller.
[UK]D.S. Mitchell Killer Tune (2008) 40: The day your lady’s touch don’t make your piece get high, it’s time to whisper bye-bye.

(c) (US) a hypodermic syringe [play on gun n.1 (6)].

[US]Van Loan ‘The Spotted Sheep’ in Taking the Count 94: All right, doc [...] shoot the piece.

(d) a knife.

[US]E. Bunker Animal Factory 81: I can’t give you a piece if I don’t know who it’s for.
[US]Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July [Internet] Shank: Handmade prison weapon — generally a stabbing instrument. Also called a shiv or a piece.

4. abbr. SE masterpiece.

(a) a tattoo.

[US]J. Flynt Tramping with Tramps 329: I was awakened by [...] a hand passing over a tattoo mark on my right arm. I started up, and saw Mary kneeling beside me and inspecting the ‘piece’ very closely.

(b) (orig. US) a major work of graffiti, typically as displayed on a New York City subway train; also as v.

[US]C. Castleman Getting Up: Subway Graffiti In N.Y. 31: Pieces, short for ‘masterpieces,’ are the names, usually consisting of four or more letters, that are painted on the outsides of subway trains.
[US](con. 1985–90) P. Bourjois In Search of Respect 71: On an abandoned building around the corner from my tenement, a two-story graffiti ‘piece’ advertised the famous mafia hit squad Murder Inc.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 3 Sept. 5: They graduate to ‘piecing’ (short for masterpiecing). Here the name is the focal point of a complex design that might involve the whole side of a subway car.

5. (Irish/Scot.) as food.

(a) a sandwich, a schoolchild or worker’s packed lunch; thus piece-plate, a sandwich plate; piece-time, lunchtime.

[UK]Londonderry Standard 7 May 4/1: He remebered to have left part of his school ‘piece’, or luncheon, and he drew forth about half a scon — a kind of tough cake, made of oatmeal and potatoes.
[UK](con. mid-1960s) J. Patrick Glasgow Gang Observed 234: Piece – sandwich.
[Ire]J. Morrow Confessions of Proinsias O’Toole 126: Who stole the cheese outa the gravedigger’s piece? / Francie O’Toole, Francie O’Toole, Francie O’Toole!
[UK]I. Welsh Filth 49: I usually get [...] something from the bakers for my piece.
[UK]I. Welsh Glue 93: Muh Ma eywis gies ays a row fir takin the heel fae the boatum ay the breed packet, but ye huv tae if ye want tae make a right piece.
[UK](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 42: The canteen is pretty basic [...] maist ay the boys still brought their ain pieces.

(b) a piece of bread and butter.

[UK]Kipling ‘Friendly Brook’ in Diversity of Creatures (1917) 59: ‘It spiled my day to think of it,’ he ses, when we was eatin’ our pieces.
[UK]N. Mitchison Among You Taking Notes 7–8 Apr. 241: We had tea at five, milk for me, and ‘pieces’ (*Thick sandwiches) and pancakes.
[UK]I. & P. Opie Lore and Lang. of Schoolchildren (1977) 131: Mickey Mouse came into my house, / I asked what he wanted. / A piece an’ jam / A slice of ham / And that was all he wanted.
[Ire] (ref. to 1930s) R. Greacen Even without Irene 63: I went into the scullery, poured myself a cup of buttermilk and made myself a big ‘piece’.
[Aus]R. Beckett Dinkum Aussie Dict. 40: Piece: [...] The literal translation is ‘a piece of bread, jam and butter’. A young child was normally given a piece when he or she came home from school.
[UK]I. Welsh ‘The Granton Star Cause’ in Acid House 126: Bob was given his cup of stewed tea and jam roll for breakfast [...] He couldn’t touch the piece.
[UK]Brummagem Dict. [Internet] : piece n. a slice of bread.

6. an act of sexual intercourse.

[US] in P. Smith Letter from My Father (1978) 132: She herself had met me for a quick piece on the grass.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Judgement Day in Studs Lonigan (1936) 658: Looks like it’s going to be a good little piece.
[US]R. Chandler Farewell, My Lovely (1949) 37: Cute enough. I could have used a piece of that once.
[US](con. 1944) N. Mailer Naked and Dead 120: How many times have I picked up a piece from a married woman.
[US]E. Hunter Blackboard Jungle 89: He had planned on a quick piece on a deserted stairwell.
[US]C. Himes Rage in Harlem (1969) 113: All the cops had ever wanted from her was a piece.
[US]D. Goines Swamp Man 108: For a minute, he was tempted to paddle over and get another piece.
[US]Kid ’N’ Play ‘Last Night’ [lyrics] All right kid, I’m gonna do this for you / But make sure I get a piece too.
[US]N. McCall Makes Me Wanna Holler (1995) 341: You sure you don’t wanna get a piece a’ that?
Online Sl. Dict. [Internet] want a piece of (someone) v 1. to be attracted to someone, usually in a physical sense. (‘I want a piece of him.’).
[US]Simon & Burns ‘Straight and True’ Wire ser. 3 ep. 5 [TV script] Man, I’d like a piece of that.

7. in drug uses.

(a) (also piece of stuff) a quantity of heroin, cocaine or morphine, approx. 28g (1oz).

[US]J. Black You Can’t Win (2000) 135: Just think, Georgie [...] what a four-bit piece would do for us. What a life-saver!
[US]D. Maurer ‘Argot of the Und. Narcotic Addict’ Pt 1 in AS XI:2 125/1: piece. An ‘ounce’ of narcotics, especially of morphine.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Lannoy & Masterson ‘Teen-age Hophead Jargon’ AS XXVII:1 28: PIECE, n. One ounce of drug.
[US]J. Mills Panic in Needle Park (1971) 20: He bought heroin in pieces (ounces), cut it, bagged it, and handed it over on consignment to a handful of pushers.
[US]R. Sabbag Snowblind (1978) 97: There are four ‘spoons’ to a ‘piece’, which is just over an ounce.
[US]N. Heard House of Slammers 87: If you got eyes to cop king-size I’ll git a piece for you.
[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 75: Paper refers to a unit of measure of drugs in powder form, usually heroin or cocaine. […] (Archaic: piece).
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 17: Piece — Cocaine; Crack Cocaine; 1 ounce.
[US]G. Pelecanos (con. 1972) What It Was 80: You woulda made more, you sold it [i.e. heroin] by the piece.

(b) (also piece of stuff) an unspecified quantity of drugs.

[US] ‘Konky Mohair’ in D. Wepman et al. Life (1976) 105: Now Konky Mohair, the poor man’s square, / Bought a large piece of cocaine.
[US]R. Shell Iced 69: It will cost him, say twenty-five dollars and a piece (of rock) for my trouble.
[US]Mack 10 ‘Based on a True Story’ [lyrics] Ten piece for a ten, base pipe come free.

(c) a marijuana pipe.

Urban Dict. [Internet] piece A device for smoking marijuana. Usually a glass piece. Did you grab the piece?

8. something or someone undesirable [abbr. piece of shit n.].

[US]Current Sl. I:1 3/2: Piece A person of low calibre, or an insignificant person.
[US]P. Munro Sl. U.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Fall 8: PIECE – (from piece of shit) old or broken down object, usually an automobile.

9. (US black) an automobile.

[US]M.S. Brookins ‘Aspiration’ in Kochman Rappin’ and Stylin’ Out (1972) 383: Through my rose-tinted shades I could see Big Time’s piece. A 1968 Eldorado.
[US]V.E. Smith Jones Men 7: There was one hundred fifty big pieces lined up for blocks.

10. (US black) in pl., clothes [? SE piece of goods].

[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 110: There is a large vocabulary that defines clothes in general – drapes, rags, pieces, threads, fronts, styles.

11. (US campus) a hairdo [abbr. SE hairpiece].

[US]P. Munro Sl. U. 146: Dave’s got a rad piece. It’s fuschia.

12. (US prison) a jail sentence.

[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 24: Stretch Time spent in prison [...] (Archaic: piece, ride, trick).

In derivatives

In compounds

piece man (n.)

(US) a gunman, an armed bodyguard.

[US]V.E. Smith Jones Men 23: You figure at least two piece men beside the driver.

Referring to people in general, as ‘piece of...’

In phrases

piece of cancer (n.)

(US) a despicable person.

[US]J. Wambaugh Glitter Dome (1982) 14: Yeah, that piece of cancer. I hate him.
piece of goods (n.)

a person, inference usu. derog. or as a ‘character’.

[UK]W. Godwin Caleb Williams (1966) 35: It was impossible that people could seriously feel any liking for such a ridiculous piece of goods.
[UK]Aberdeen Jrnl 18 Feb. 2/6: It is the study of a noted defence lawyer, his wife [...] and a nasty piece of goods [...] a little actress, utterly devoid of morals.
Hawick News 22 Feb. 7/5: The general opinion is that he’s a nasty piece of goods.
[US]S. Lewis Kingsblood Royal (2001) 158: The liveliest topic tonight was the Reverend Dr. Jat Snood, who was probably the nastiest piece of goods in Grand Republic.
[UK]Stage (London) 1 Jan. 12/3: Joy Robins depicts a nasty piece of goods as Discordia the witch.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Mystery Bay Blues 57: He sounds like a nasty piece of goods this bloke.
piece of meat (n.) [meat n.]

1. (also hunk of meat, piece of pie-meat) anyone regarded as no more than a physical object, esp. in a sexual context.

[UK]Fletcher Chances IV iii: What are you? Bawd to this Piece of Pye-meat.
[UK]C. Deveureux Venus in India I 91: As I keep a pretty little piece of brown meat, and have my regular greens twice a week, I might not be able to do as good a turn now, as I did then, but I had that woman eight solid times, sir.
[US]Z.N. Hurston Mules and Men (1995) 145: ‘Dat li’l narrer contracted piece uh meatskin gointer make me stomp her right now!’ Big Sweet exploded.
[US]H.A. Smith Rhubarb 41: ‘What a hunk!’ breathed Myra. ‘What a hunka meat!’.
[US]M. Puzo Godfather 157: Johnny hated the Hollywood ‘piece of meat’ approach. He never slept with any girl unless there was something about her he really liked.
[US]L. Kramer Faggots 81: Christopher Street, over-run this late afternoon with thousands, bodies on the prowl, pieces of meat.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 4: hunk of meat – good-looking, well-built male.
[UK]M. Amis London Fields 342: He told her what Keith and his kind were really like, how they thought of women as chunks of meat.
[UK]Observer Screen 25 July 7: Just like a model, an actress auditioning, or a piece of meat.

2. (US gay) a penis.

[US]R. McAlmon Miss Knight (1963) 59: He would sit with his right hand in the left pocket of his policeman when they were in queer cafés, and would babble, ‘My god, Mary, I’ve got my hand on a real piece of meat at last, oh Mary’.
[US]‘J.M. Hall’ Anecdota Americana II 14: You have a very beautiful piece of meat and I should like very much to taste of it.
[US]K. Vacha Quiet Fire 173: He did have a lovely piece of meat.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read Chopper 4 139: Put it away [...] I’ve seen better bits of meat hanging off the butcher’s pencil.
piece of one’s ass (n.) [ass n. (2)]

(US) a beating, a thrashing, a punishment.

[US]O. Hawkins Ghetto Sketches 27: Let them niggers gon’ ’n fight. They been tryin’ t’ get a piece of each other’s ass since last week!
piece of piss (n.)

1. a term of contempt.

[UK]‘J.H. Ross’ Mint (1955) 121: If that long spunking piece of piss pokes his head in here after us, I’ll knock seven different sorts of shit out of him.

2. (orig. RAF) anything seen as supremely easy.

[UK]A. Sayle Train to Hell 111: ‘It’s a piece of piss,’ said Abdul. ‘All you do is draw something stupid and it’s gets printed in the Observer Colour Supplement.’.
[Ire]P. Howard The Joy (2015) [ebook] ‘Just got in his way, to give her enough time to mingle in with the crowds and hop into an auld Jo. Piece of piss, it was’.
[UK]N. Barlay Curvy Lovebox 129: I woulda [...] sorted it. No problem. Piece o’ piss. Piece o’ fuckin’ piss.
[Aus]L. Redhead Rubdown [ebook] ‘I don’t know. I’ve never done anything like — ’ ‘Piece of piss. You’ve had a fuck before, haven’t you?’.
[UK]D. Mitchell Black Swan Green 51: The answer’s a piece of piss.
[UK]I. Welsh Decent Ride 31: Piece ay pish, bud. Ken it well.

3. see also sl. compounds referring to objects below.

piece of poop (n.) [poop n.2 (3)]

(Aus.) a term of contempt.

[Aus]T. Winton That Eye, The Sky 39: I hate yer big flubbery guts and yer pig face and yer crybaby old man [...] and yer scrawney plucked-chook-piece-of-poop old lady. I hate yez! [Ibid.] 71: ‘You’re a piece of poop, Mr Cherry!’ I yell.
piece of shit

see separate entries.

piece of stockfish (n.)

a contemptible person.

[UK]S. Marmion A Fine Companion II iii: aemi.: O master Carelesse here has beene your Vncle A woing to me. car.: What that peece of stockfish.
piece of wag (n.)

a worthless person.

[UK]H. Mackenzie Man of Feeling 33: I was reckoned a piece of a wag, and your wags, I take it, are seldom rich.
piece of work (n.)

1. a person; usu. qualified by an adj., e.g. nasty piece of work, an unpleasant person.

[Ire]K. O’Hara Midas I v: mys.: Rivals forsooth! pan.: What, for a straggling goatherd! mys.: For this fine piece of work.
[UK]A. Shirrefs Jamie and Bess II i: Gae from my sight, ye worthless piece of wark!
[US]Ade People You Know 210: He [...] was paying a lot of Attention to a wonderful Piece of Work sitting opposite.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 280: This clothes business simply showed what a foxy piece of work she was.
[US]M. Glass Potash And Perlmutter 158: You’re a fine piece of work, I must say.
[UK]‘Bartimeus’ Seaways 110: Nasty Bit of Work. I’d go and bash his head for two pins.
[UK]N. Marsh Death in Ecstasy 32: ‘Nasty little bit of work,’ thought Nigel.
[Aus]L. Glassop Lucky Palmer 42: She’s a nasty piece of work, the old girl.
[Aus]F.B. Vickers Mirage (1958) 165: I bet he’s a nasty piece of work.
[US]G.V. Higgins Patriot Game (1985) 35: He’s a piece of work, Peter. A day without him is like steak for breakfast.
[US](con. 1968) Bunch & Cole Reckoning for Kings (1989) 254: Grubb? Cat’s a real piece of work.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read Chopper From The Inside 49: The drag queen was the roughest-looking piece of work God ever shovelled guts into.
[UK]Guardian Guide 12–18 June 9: She has become a right nasty piece of work.
[UK]N. Griffiths Grits 181: Never liked that one, I yavunt. Nasty loody piece uv work aye.
[UK]K. Richards Life 168: Reg was a very nasty piece of work.
[Aus] J.J. DeCeglie ‘Death Cannot Be Delegated’ in Crime Factory: Hard Labour [ebook] I’d been hired by a bona fide piece of work to kill his slice-of-pie wife.

2. an attractive woman.

Courier (Waterloo, IA) 3 Apr. 8/3: ‘You’re a mighty fine piece of work, you are, an’ I’ve got an awful yearnin’ to [etc]’.
[UK]J. Cameron Hell on Hoe Street 40: Plenty of the birds were pieces of work only they never hugged or kissed me.

3. a formidable person.

[US]C. Hiaasen Native Tongue 68: ‘You’re a piece of work,’ he said to Molly McNamara. ‘I gotta admit.’.
[US](con. 1964–8) J. Ellroy Cold Six Thousand 116: Junior’s a piece of work. Don’t underestimate him.
[Aus]P. Temple Broken Shore (2007) [ebook] There’s a Ray Piggot that’s a piece of work.
[US]Simon & Burns ‘Alliances’ Wire ser. 4 ep. 5 [TV script] ‘He’s a piece of work.’ ‘Valchek? Comes with the territory’.
[UK]K. Richards Life 212: Deborah [Dixon] was a piece of work, a beauty from Texas who’d been on every magazine cover.

4. one who is considered odd or eccentric by the speaker.

[US]R. Campbell Sweet La-La Land (1999) 93: You’re a real piece of work [...] Worrying about the mistress you share will say about any side dishes you care to taste, but not worrying a bit about the feelings of the wife-to-be.
[US]T. Dorsey Triggerfish Twist (2002) 172: His rap sheet goes way back [...] A real piece of work.

5. see also sl. compounds referring to objects below.

Referring to objects, as ‘piece of...’

piece of cake (n.) (also piece of meat, lump of cake, ...duff, slice of cake)

anything seen as simple, lucky, easily achieved, no bother; cite 2010 refers to a woman.

[UK]J. Curtis You’re in the Racket, Too 217: What a slice of cake. I touched lucky if ever I did.
[UK]J. Worby Other Half 184: Drive away as fast as you can where the Boys tell you and the job will be a piece of cake.
[UK]R. Llewellyn None But the Lonely Heart 34: It would have been a piece of cake to put a brick through them. [Ibid.] 151: It was a lump of cake, all round. It was toffee. [Ibid.] 170: It’s a piece of meat [...] Easy as eating your breakfast. [Ibid.] 245: ‘Lump of duff,’ says Cosh.
[UK]N. Streatfeild Grass in Piccadilly 32: Piece of cake he had married Jenny before that happened.
[UK]‘Charles Raven’ Und. Nights 76: It was an absolute piece of cake.
[UK]G.W. Target Teachers (1962) 91: ‘How are you coping with ’em?’ ‘Piece of cake,’ he said.
[UK]P. Fordham Inside the Und. 28: Safes that had been guaranteed ‘pieces of cake’ failed to respond.
[US]T. Wolfe Bonfire of the Vanities 508: Piece a cake for a guy like me.
[UK]N. Cohn Yes We Have No 352: Don’t let anyone fool you that London’s a piece of cake.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Real Life 9 Jan. 5: Exploring the pole is a piece of cake compared to being married.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 24: John’s mother, the bitch, she’s no piece of cake either.
piece of piss (n.) [piss n. (1)]

1. (orig. RAF) anything seen as supremely easy.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (3rd edn) Add. 1134/2: Piece of piss, a ‘piece of cake’... R.A.F.
[UK]A. Sayle Train to Hell 111: ‘It’s a piece of piss,’ said Abdul. ‘All you do is draw something stupid and it’s gets printed in the Observer Colour Supplement.’.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett You Wouldn’t Be Dead for Quids (1989) 225: Sounds like a piece of piss if you ask me.
[SA]P. Slabolepszy ‘Boo to the Moon’ in Mooi Street (1994) 118: Army’s a piece a’ piss, man.
[UK]S. Armitage ‘All Bee and Skittles’ in Zoom 17: This job, he assured me, / was a piece of piss and we’d sew it up tomorrow / Chaps, I’ve got a vote for Hughie—but it ain’t no monte yet.
[NZ]A. Duff One Night Out Stealing 41: Yeah, a breeze, a cinch, a piece of piss, an easy-meat bowl over.
[Aus]L. Redhead Peepshow [ebook] So far this inquiry agent business was a piece of piss.
[UK]D. Mitchell Black Swan Green 51: The answer’s a piece of piss.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Viva La Madness 148: They jiggled open the combination locks — piece-a-piss — popped open the cases and — fuckin result!

2. see also sl. compounds referring to people above.

piece of seven (n.)

(US black) any one of the seven days of the week.

[US](con. 1940s) Deuce Ofay Productions ‘The Jive Bible’ at JiveOn.com [Internet] Cop and blow [...] You slap yo’self a good, long peep at Kenny, boy [...] he gots a fly crutch, a diff’rent zoot suit fo’ every piece o’ seven an’ a rep dat come through de slammer trey hours befo’ he slide in.
piece of stuff (n.)

1. see senses 7a and 7b above.

2. see also sl. compounds meaning a woman below.

piece of the action (n.) (also piece) [action n. (4)]

(orig. US) a share in what is going on, usu. monetary, criminal or gambling.

[US]H. Ellison Rockabilly (1963) 138: You’ve got a piece of the action.
[UK]F. Norman Too Many Crooks Spoil the Caper 58: I ain’t gonna let Louie use ’im unless I get a piece of the action.
[Aus]B. Humphries Traveller’s Tool 102: Old grandpa would be arriving at any tick of the clock for his piece of the action.
[WI]M. Montague Dread Culture 10: Wah! Business a gwaan pon Benbow Street and me no inna it? Since when money a mek and mi nah get a piece of di action?
[UK]Guardian G2 26 Apr. 24: Should we be surprised that the 22-year-old [...] wants a piece of the action?
piece of work (n.)

1. a fuss, a ‘to-do’.

[UK]Derby Mercury 8 Feb. 2/1: ‘What Cheer Finch?’ ‘Prety [sic] Cheer indeed,’ says I, ‘You have made a fine piece of Work of it! your boy is dead’.
[UK]J. Davis Post Captain (1813) 183: What would my papa and mamma say? There would be such a piece of work!
[UK]Dickens Martin Chuzzlewit (1995) 61: What are you making all this piece of work for?
[US]G. Thompson Gay Girls of N.Y. 85: Here’s a pretty piece of work!
[UK]G.A. Sala Quite Alone I 237: Here was a fine piece of work!
‘Ouida’ Fitz’s Election (1867) 392: How do you expect to get along with your election when it’s such a piece of work to make you shake hands?

2. see work n. (1)

3. see also sl. compounds referring to people above.

Meaning a woman, usu. promiscuous, as ‘piece of...’

In phrases

piece of ass (n.) (also piece of arse, ...butt, ...cock, ...cooch, ...cuddle, ...cunt, ...gash, ...honey, ...hump, ...pratt, ...pussy, ...snatch, ...trim, chunk of fanny, hunk of hat, ...pork, ...quiff, ...skin, ...snatch, ...work) [ass n. (5)/arse n. (2b)/butt n.1 (1d)/cock n.4 (3)/ cooch n. (2)/cunt n. (2)/gash n.1 (4)/hump n.1 (3c)/pussy n. (2)/snatch n. (1d)/trim n. (2)/fanny n.1 (5)]

1. a woman, not necessarily derog. but invariably from a sexual point of view and usu. dismissive; occas. a man.

[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 11 Nov. n.p.: The Frog likewise threw his fancy piece of cuddle from the sulky.
[US]Committee of Fourteen in K. White First Sexual Revolution (1993) 88: Twenty cunts hanging around here. I said last year there was always a chance of picking up a piece of gash in here.
[US] in Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) I 413: ‘A dollar gold for a piece of cock, / Pop! goes the weasel!’ [...] She learned it near Pineville, Missouri, before 1910.
[US]J.T. Farrell ‘Clyde’ Short Stories (1937) 151: Git yourself a piece of honey that’s plump and willing and nice.
[US]J.T. Farrell Gas-House McGinty 191: Your hunk of pork ain’t nothin’ to write home about, neither!
[US]H. Miller Tropic of Capricorn (1964) 163: Wasn’t that a nice piece of ass to turn over to a friend?
[US](con. 1944) J.H. Burns Gallery (1948) 212: Wanna nice signorina? Wanna piecea arse?
[US]H. Miller Sexus (1969) 184: She really was a bewitching piece of cunt. [Ibid.] 256: Too bad, because she certainly was a good piece of hump.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 104/2: Hunk of quiff, skin, or snatch. See Hunk of hat. [Ibid.] 157/1: Piece of pratt. [...] Piece of snatch. 1. A loose woman.
[US]J. Jones From Here to Eternity (1998) 37: I guess thats why all these guys get tired of her. Anyway, I never seen a piece of ass yet was worth twenty years in Leavenworth.
[US]A. Anderson ‘Schooldays in North Carolina’ in Lover Man 92: A piece o’ trim [...] would kill that boy deader than John Wilkes Booth.
[NZ]B. Crump Hang On a Minute, Mate (1963) 159: She’s not the tidiest hunk of work I’ve come across, but the old gal’s got a heart of gold.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn (1966) 30: She didnt look like no freak. She looked like a real fine piecea ass. [Ibid.] 211: I could use a little nookie. Thats what I need, a good piece of ass.
‘Amos Peeper’ Teen Swap n.p.: ‘I got a date with a lovely piece of kootch’.
[US]T. Thackrey Thief 38: She was a few years older than me, and the hottest piece of butt in those parts.
[US]P. Hamill Flesh and Blood (1978) 243: Thirty million large. We don’t want that fucked up over a piece of gash.
[US]L.K. Truscott IV Dress Gray (1979) 286: The best piece of ass I ever fucked was your sister. [Ibid.] 382: The little woman [...] Finest little chunk-a-fanny this side of the Hudson.
[UK]S. Berkoff Decadence in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 15: My super wondrous piece of dolly arse.
[US]C. Hiaasen Tourist Season (1987) 364: I take it you don’t think of yourself as a precious piece of ass.
[US](con. 1932) Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore I 160: ‘When I was young and in my prime, / I could get a piece of cock any time, / But now I’m old, my balls are cold, / I can’t get a bit to save my soul.’ [...] Sung as above by Mr. R.T., Joplin, Missouri, December 24, 1932. [Ibid.] 402: [From Mr. W.B., Harrison, Arkansas, Apr. 16, 1949] [...] The piece of cock the singer is searching for is the vagina, not penis. ‘Rode into Hockeytown, ’bout four o’clock, / Two bottles beer an’ one piece of cock. – / Molly, pull your pants down quick as you can, / Jump into bed with the hog-eye man’.
[US]R.C. Cruz Straight Outta Compton 68: ‘I thought I was different,’ she said. ‘You are [...] No piece of pussy is the same.’.
[US]T. Jones Pugilist at Rest 93: When you go out with an alpha, they think they’re screwing you; they think the guy is the piece of ass.
[UK]Guardian Weekend 8 Jan. 3: And no way would you be in the sack with a prime piece of Gentile ass like me.
[UK]G. Iles Turning Angel 123: They only care about one thing [...] Dipping their wick in a piece of ass.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 55: She’s a prized piece of ass all of my concerned friends pro’bly jerked off to a half-dozen times each.

2. heterosexual sexual intercourse.

[US] (ref. to 1868) N. Kimball Amer. Madam (1981) 47: I soon saw clear we’d both end up being shooting galleries for the drummers and tinhorns looking for a quick piece of ass.
[US] ‘Peter Pullin’ Blues’ G. Logsdon Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing (1995) 273: This is my son, and this bastard’s twenty-one, / Annabelle, it’s time he had a piece of ass.
[US](con. 1944) N. Mailer Naked and Dead 184: You think you can give her a better piece of ass than anybody else?
[US]W. Burroughs Naked Lunch (1968) 140: Father decide it is time the boy have his first piece of ass.
[US]Larner & Tefferteller Addict in the Street (1966) 120: Come on, baby, give me a good time – give me a piece of your ass! [Ibid.] 121: Ten dollars for a piece of pussy?
[US]C. Bukowski Erections, Ejaculations etc. 349: You got to ruin your life over a piece of snatch? It ain’t sensible.
[US]D. Goines Swamp Man 65: Anybody else want another piece of ass before we go?
[US]R. Campbell In La-La Land We Trust (1999) 37: Well, thought Tillman, somebody would’ve gotten a little piece of ass.
[US](con. 1960s) G. Washington Blood Brothers 101: After getting a quick piece of ass from the girls, I dashed back to the general’s quarters.

3. hetero- or homosexual anal intercourse [ass n. (2)/arse n. (1)].

[US]‘J.M. Hall’ Anecdota Americana II 14: ‘Come on, Nell, how’s about it for a lay tonight?’ ‘Can’t John,’ she answered, ‘Me cunt is in no condition for fucking tonight.’ ‘How about a piece of ass then?’ said he.
[US]P. Hamill Flesh and Blood (1978) 27: Remember, you’re valuable, babe. A piece of fresh white ass.

4. (US Und.) a passive male homosexual [ass n. (2)/arse n. (1)].

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 157/1: Piece of pratt. [...] Piece of snatch. 1. [...] an epicene. 2. A male pederast; a male oral sodomist.
piece of calico (n.) [calico n.1 ]

an attractive woman.

[US]A. Greene Glance at N.Y. II v: Come up to-night, and I’ll show you as gallus a piece of calico as any on de floor.
[US]W.H. Thomes Bushrangers 54: ‘But his girl is a good looker,’ muttered Doland. ‘I never saw a handsomer piece of calico in my life.’.
[US]G.W. Peck Peck’s Bad Boy and His Pa (1887) 83: I shall never allow my affections to become entwined about another piece of calico.
piece of flesh (n.) (also piece of skin, piece of mortality)

(20C+ use is US black/W.I.) a woman, esp. an attractive woman; cite 1652 ref. to young man.

[UK]Jacke Juggler Bi: A great pleasure she hath [...] To gette poore me, now and then by the pate For she is an angrye pece of fleshe.
[UK]Tell-Trothes New-Yeares Gift (1876) 30: Ioane, communis omnibus, that could play at bucklers so soone as she was past her cradell. Oh she is a tall peece of flesh, and will stand to her tackling so stoutly.
[UK]Middleton & Rowley Old Law (1656) IV i: What an old peece of flesh of fifty nine eleven months and upwards, she must needs be flieblown.
1652 Laughing Mercury 8-16 Sept. 178: An old, very old Woamn [...] having a desire to dress a young piece of flesh, married Turk under twenty.
[UK]Mercurius Fumigosus 24 8–15 Nov. 206: If any man or Woman [...] can give me any notice or knowledge of a pittifull ugly immodest impudent, vicious and confident Piece of Shee-Mortallity, whose Christian name begins with E.
[UK]Mercurius Democritus 3-10 May 6: In Moor-fields last night, a piece of mortality walking [...] in the old walk of iniquity; meeting a young Dick [and] discovering him a person fit for her occupation [etc.].
[UK]Man in the Moon 5 May 14: An Impudent piece of Mortality, coming from Dover [etc.]'.
[UK]R. L’Estrange Counterfeit Bridegroom III i: See there, Sweet heart, what a piece of flesh they have brought me, that is the creature would be my supposed Daughter.
[UK]Whipping Tom – Brought to Light 2: Scouting about Whetstones Park, [he] met with an old piece of Mortality.
[UK]T. Walker The Quaker’s Opera I i: Verily thou billest most salaciously, and art a most delightful Piece of Flesh.
[UK]Navy at Home III 52: The landlady, a perfect she-dragon in virtue, ever since she had kept the Dolphin, however loose a piece of flesh she might have been.
[US]L. Hughes Mulatto in Three Negro Plays (1969) II ii: Thirty years ago, you put your hands on me to feel my breasts, and you say, ‘You a pretty little piece of flesh, ain’t you?’.
[UK]S. Selvon Lonely Londoners 91: I meeting that piece of skin tonight, you know.
[UK]S. Selvon Ways of Sunlight 84: Who should I see but Little One, doing a window-shop with a sharp piece of skin.
[UK]S. Selvon Housing Lark 95: Which part you get that piece of skin, Syl?
[Aus]B. Moore Lex. of Cadet Lang. 266: piece of flesh a woman, especially a woman seen as sexual object.
piece of frillery (n.)

(N.Z.) an attractive (young) woman.

[NZ]Truth (Wellington) 22 May 7: A very nice piece of frillery named Ettie May.
piece of furniture (n.) (also bedroom furniture, house furniture)

(orig. US black) a woman or girl (in sexual context).

[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker I 64: She’s not a bad-lookin piece of furniture.
[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker III 212: A real right down, scrumptious-lookin’ piece of furniture.
[Aus]Satirist & Sporting Chron. (Sydney) 1 Apr. 3/3: That D****, the broker, ought to be careful the next time he gets lushy, what piece of furniture he picks up with — the chance is he may get something he wont easily get rid of.
[US]‘Edmund Kirke’ Down in Tennessee 176: She’s [...] the snuggest piece uv house furniture as uver wus grow’d.
[US] ‘Sl. among Nebraska Negroes’ in AS XIII:4 Dec. 317/1: A nice little piece of furniture is a pretty girl.
[US](con. 1940s–60s) Décharné Straight from the Fridge Dad 10: Bedroom furniture Dame, doll, gasser.
piece of goods (n.) (also bale of goods, piece of trade goods)

a young woman; a flighty young woman who has ‘abandoned the proprieties’ (Ware).

[UK]F. Pilon He Would be a Soldier II i: I think her as plain a piece of goods, as a man could meet between Temple-Bar and Whitechapel.
[UK]B.H. Malkin (trans.) Adventures of Gil Blas (1822) I 14: She seemed a pretty piece of goods.
[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) xiiv: While a chance remains [...] to have a pretty ‘piece of goods’ by your side, just to show the world what a gay fellow you are.
[UK]W.J. Neale Paul Periwinkle 360: Such an old ugly piece of goods as Mrs. Archbishop.
Northants Mercury 16 May 3/5: Susannah Bandy [...] assaulted Sarah Tomkins of the same place, a woman much older than herself. The defendant appeared to be a firy piece of goods.
[UK]A.C. Mowatt Fashion I i: What a Jezebel! These women always play the very devil with a man, and yet I don’t believe such a damaged bale of goods as that (looking at Mrs. tiffany) has smothered the heart of little Antony!
[UK]G.J. Whyte-Melville White Rose 27: To use the master-bricklayer’s expression, such a ‘choice piece of goods’.
[Aus]M. Clarke Term of His Natural Life (1897) 21: ‘She’s a fine piece of goods, eh?’ asked Blunt.
[UK]Newcastle Courant 25 Nov. 6/6: ‘Quite a spicy piece of goods,’ though Mr Ezekiel Smith.
[Aus]‘Price Warung’ Tales of the Early Days 217: They ain’t goin’ ter let a purty piece o’ goods like yer slip through their ’ands.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘Causerie’ Sporting Times 11 Aug. 1/4: She’s as good as gold, but when she sets her mind on anything / She’s a wilful piece of goods.
[US]G. Bronson-Howard God’s Man 364: He’s stuck on the star turkey-trotter – a pretty little piece of goods.
[UK]P. MacGill Moleskin Joe 33: He knew [...] that priests married nuns and that one escaped nun was a ‘hot piece of goods’.
[US]O. Strange Law O’ The Lariat 97: Yo’re a pretty piece o’ goods.
[UK]A. Christie Murder in the Mews (1954) 41: Pretty heartless piece of goods. Gone off to play golf.
[US]J.M. Cain Serenade (1985) 16: It hadn’t occured to me up to that second that she could be a downright piece of trade goods.
[NZ]F. Sargeson ‘That Summer’ in Coll. Stories (1965) 151: I’d seen a smart-looking piece of goods drying her face and having a bo-peep out the bathroom window.
[Aus]J. Cleary Sundowners 120: You’re a well-padded piece of goods.
[US]W. Brown Teen-Age Mafia 8: Norma. She was a nice frilly piece of goods.
[UK]B. Aldiss Hand-Reared Boy 42: What a nasty, back-biting, insincere little piece-of-goods Molly Hadfield was.
[UK]A. Burgess 1985 (1980) 201: Sorry old boy, nice piece of goods, daughter or not.

In compounds

piece of iniquity (n.)

(mid-17C) a prostitute.

[UK]Mercurius Democraticus 31 May-7 June 38: An old Fisherman living at the Bankside, meeting an old piece of iniquity which he had often made use of [...] would needs go drink with her at the Three Tuns.
piece of magnolia (n.) (Can.)

sexual intercourse; thus a sexually available woman.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 794/1: ca.1960.
[UK]Amatory Ink [Internet].
piece of property (n.)

a woman.

[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 14 Mar. 2/5: Mary M’Cann, a natty little piece of property, made her bow for taking ‘her malt above the meal’.
piece of sin (n.) (also lump of sin)

a young and sexually appealing woman.

[UK]Middleton Michaelmas Term II i: Young, beautiful, and plump, a delicate piece of sin.
[UK]Rowlands Night Raven 13: I haue married late, a lumpe of sin which is his sister.
piece of skirt (n.) [metonymy]

a woman, seen as a sex object.

[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 23 Jan. 3/6: By & by / A little piece of skirt I see.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 27 Nov. 1/1: An amorous Avon agriculturist mizzled to Melbourne recently with his buxom servant [...] the guilty chunk of skirt belonged to a toiler who was looking for work.
A.H. Adams Galahad Jones in Three Plays for Aus. Stage (1914) 57: I can't waste time on every bit of skirt that falls in love with me [Ibid.] 76: I'm seein' a piece of skirt in that there garden meself.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 31 Dec. 3/6: A interesting / Tidy little piece of skirt, / Will Induce a sporting josser / For to go and pop his shirt.
J.C. Snaith Cousin Beryl 316: I’m not a kind of cove who ever takes no from any piece of skirt.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 144: PIECE.– [...] a woman or girl who will listen to reason. Amplified and frequently used in this latter sense, as ‘a piece of tail,’ or ‘a piece of skirt.’.
[US]J. Spenser Limey 43: And now what’re we gonna do about a piece o’ skirt for Limey?
[UK]A. Sillitoe Sat. Night and Sun. Morning 159: Plenty of work and plenty of booze and a piece of skirt every month till I’m ninety.
piece of strange (n.) [strange n.]

an unknown woman, usu. in a sexual context.

[[UK]‘Walter’ My Secret Life (1966) IX 1880: Widows, wives or others, who hot arsed only get a bit of strange cock on the sly].
R. Boston Thorn for the Flesh 66: It was the first piece of strange ass he'd had since his wedding. The captain's wife said she was in love with him and was going to divorce her husband.
G.G. Forrest Alcoholism 12: Soon the patient's drinking acquaintances were able to ‘fix him up’ with a ‘piece of strange.’ This pattern eventually entailed staying out all night, involvements with other women, and rather chronic intoxication.
piece of stuff (n.)

1. a young woman.

[UK]Middleton Michaelmas Term III i: (Enter Mother Gruel) sho: How now? What piece of stuff comes here?
[UK]Beaumont Woman Hater III iii: Shee’s a piece of dainty stuffe my rogue, smooth, and soft as new Satten.
[UK]‘R.M.’ Scarronides 75: I know thee old Toft well enough, A stinking piece of Stigian stuff; In vain thy self doest toss and tumble With mens.
C. Dibdon Waterman in Coll. Farces & Entertainment VI (1788) 103: I hope I shan’t have such a crank and humoursome piece of stuff to deal with as you have here .
[UK]Young Coalman’s Courtship 15: Wode I think ye’re a cumstrarie piece o’ stuff, it’s true enough your mither said o’ ye, that ye’re no for a poor man.
[UK]‘Peter Pindar’ ‘Odes of Condolence’ Works (1794) III 258: But Betty was not a bad piece of stuff.

2. see also sl. compounds referring to objects above.

piece of tail (n.) (also hunk of tail) [tail n. (7)] (US)

1. a woman, a girl, not necessarily derog. but invariably from a sexual point of view and usu. dismissive.

[US]E. Dahlberg Bottom Dogs 122: 12th street was still a live-wire hangout for the prohibition kansanites who came [...] to get their camels, saturdaynite booze, and a piece of tail.
[US]J.T. Farrell Gas-House McGinty 38: Porky talks like a guy who never had a decent hunk of tail in his life.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Judgement Day in Studs Lonigan (1936) 682: What these college boys needed was a good piece of tail to educate them.
[US]H. Miller Sexus (1969) 30: You wonder if she’s a good piece of tail. Yes, magnificent.
[US]C. Himes Crazy Kill 137: You guys’ll be out there chasing the hottest piece of tail in Harlem.
[US]G.V. Higgins Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973) 103: Him and four buddies want a little dough to get a high-class piece of tail.
[US]J. Ellroy Brown’s Requiem 112: Taco wagons are my speciality. Also foxy Chicanas. Everytime I do a repo in Hollenbeck, I stop for a jumbo burrito and a piece of Mexican tail.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 380: tail. A woman considered as a sex object, a piece of tail.
M.E. Dassad ‘Chickenhawk’ at www.cultdeadcow.com [Internet] I knew I’d have to force some food into the piece of tail I had waiting for me back in the hotel room in Times Square.
[US]C. Stella Jimmy Bench-Press 126: Larry’s piece of tail and Jimmy Bench-Press [...] Don’t that make for interesting comversation.

2. an act of sexual intercourse.

[US] in P. Smith Letter from My Father (1978) 43: I didn’t get my first ‘piece of tail’ until quite a few years later.
[US]A.C. Inman 28 Feb. diary in Aaron (1985) 296: He’ll put down the paper an’ growl at me, ‘Hassie, let’s have a piece a’ tail.’ Then I get mad. ‘A piece of tail,’ I says to him, ‘An’ is that what you call it an’ how you ask for it?’.
[US]‘J.M. Hall’ Anecdota Americana II 79: I had my first piece of tail today!
[US]H. Miller Sexus (1969) 123: Her husband was away on a trip and she was just itching for a piece of tail.
[US]J.T. Farrell ‘Milly and the Porker’ in Amer. Dream Girl (1950) 203: I only get a hunk of tail once a month.
C. Brossard Redemption in G. Feldman (ed.) Protest (1960) 105: She was a fat, thick-witted broad and he was sure he could get [...] a piece of tail.
[US]B. Jackson Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 213: D is for diddle, it never grows stale, / there’s nothing so good as a nice piece a tail.
[US]D. Goines Street Players 54: I just want to buy a piece of tail.
[US](con. 1942) J. Lee Ninth Man 123: I haven’t had a piece of tail since our overnight stop in Paris.
[Can](con. 1920s) O.D. Brooks Legs 92: A piece of tail’s more than climbing on and banging until you blow your load.

3. (US gay) a sexual partner [tail n. (1)].

[US] Transcript Dunn Inquiry in L.R. Murphy Perverts by Official Order (1989) 27: He was seeking ‘a piece of tale’ [sic] provoked Brunelle’s suggestion that he get together with one of the ‘pipe blowers’.
[US]A. James America’s Homosexual Underground 139: They have to make it. They have to bring home a piece of tail.
piece of the town (n.)

a street-walker, a prostitute.

[UK]Crim.-Con. Gaz. 21 Dec. 311/1: I saw Jack Everard [...] with a dashing piece of the town [...] [W] ere your wife to see you, she would very soon comb your hair.
piece of trade (n.) [trade n. (1)]

1. a prostitute.

[US]N. Algren Man with the Golden Arm 63: He’d been promenading down Augusta Boulevard with some good-natured piece of trade.
[US]N. Algren ‘Watch Out for Daddy’ in Entrapment (2009) 146: Never give that piece of trade he left on the courthouse steps another thought.
[US]A. James America’s Homosexual Underground 14: Making it with a ‘hustler’ or a ‘piece of trade’ fills this need.
[US]Trimble 5000 Adult Sex Words and Phrases.

2. (gay) a sexual partner.

[US]‘R. Scully’ Scarlet Pansy 200: One piece of trade should be good for luncheon, another for tickets to the matinee, another for dinner.
[US]‘Lou Rand’ Gay Detective (2003) 79: You can get anything in that joint from a piece of trade to a main line shot.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn (1966) 36: A handsome piece of trade beside her; wonderful girl friends; and a beautiful bennie connection in the corner drugstore.
[US]R. Shell Iced 197: Then off you’d go in search of another ‘piece of trade’.

Pertaining to sexual intercourse

get a piece (v.) (also get a piece of ass, ...of tail) [piece of ass /piece of tail ]

of a man, to seduce a girl or woman, to have sexual intercourse.

[US](con. 1944) N. Mailer Naked and Dead 93: If one of your biddies gets a piece, he lets you know about it.
[US]Randolph & Wilson Down in the Holler 111: When a hillman says that he got him a piece, he means that he has had sexual intercourse.
[US]H. Rap Brown Die Nigger Die! 31: You weren’t a man if you hadn’t gotten yourself a little piece by the time you were seven.
[US]J. Sayles Union Dues (1978) 336: So’s you could go round thinkin you not a racist as the rest of them and gettin your piece at the same time.
[US]J.L. Gwaltney Drylongso 163: Old Chahlie rushes out there [...] while the big shot gets a little piece from his wife and daughters.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 151: Expressions for intercourse – to get a piece, to get a piece of ass/tail.
[US](con. 1910s) F.M. Davis Livin’ the Blues 41: You mean you actually got a piece?
[UK]Guardian Guide 28 Aug.–3 Sept. 69: But things really start to spice up around ovulation, with the fellas getting a piece from every passing female (ref. to monkeys).
have a piece (of) (v.)

of a man, to seduce a woman, to have sexual intercourse.

[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 71: An old couple just at Shrovetide / Were having a piece—when he died.
[SA]L. Nkosi Rhythm of Violence II iii: I get drunk, maybe get myself a nice soft bottom. [...] Why can’t nobody just sit down and have himself a nice piece of bottom?
[US]P. Munro Sl. U.
[UK]Daily Mail 30 Aug. 27: Did ya ever have a piece of Cuban ass?
ill piece (n.)

(gay) an unattractive and therefore unpopular homosexual.

[US]J.P. Stanley ‘Homosexual Sl.’ in AS XLV:1/2 57: ill piece n Male homosexual held in contempt by his peers; unattractive person.

Pertaining to money

light piece (n.) [the silver, i.e. light colour, of the coins]

(US tramp) a dime (10 cents) or quarter (25 cents).

[US]J. London ‘The Road’ in Hendricks & Shepherd Jack London Reports (1970) 311–21: Attempt to translate this : – Hit a fly on the main-drag for a light piece [...] On the main street I begged a policeman in citizen’s clothes for a small sum.
[US]J. London Road 1: I could ‘throw my feet’ with the next one when it came to ‘slamming a gate’ for a poke out [...] or ‘hitting for a light piece’ on the street.
[US]N. Klein ‘Hobo Lingo’ in AS I:12 652: Light pieces—quarter of a dollar.
piece off (v.)

(US) to bribe, to pay off, to give out a ‘piece’ of cash.

[Can](con. 1920s) O.D. Brooks Legs 102: When I piece off the foreman we’ll line up again using a different monicker.
[US]F.X. Toole Pound for Pound 144: He’d piece Eloy off with 20 milliliters [of morphine].
piece up (v.)

to give someone a share.

R. Glenn ‘In Your Arms’ Phase 3 on Britney Press [Internet] When he got back to New York Nick pieced up Freeze and they fell up in Some Joint in Queens, glad that they were both heavily armed.
pull in the pieces (v.)

to make a good wage.

[UK]Barrère & Leland Dict. of Sl., Jargon and Cant II. 156/2: A man earning good wages, or getting a high salary, or who is successful in speculation, is said to be pulling in the pieces.
[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 932/1: ca.1860–1930.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

do a piece of work (v.)

(US) to murder, to kill.

‘Mobspeak Gloss.’ on University of Tampere FAST Area Studies Program [Internet] Is your shylock (who brags about being a big earner for the borgata) threatening to do a piece of work because you haven’t paid your vig, and you don’t know what the hell he’s talking about? You’ve come to the right place.
have a piece of (v.) (Aus.)

1. to tease.

[Aus]T.A.G. Hungerford Riverslake 105: ‘You’re having a piece of me, you bastard,’ Paramor said. He looked up with a grin.

2. to attack physically.

[Aus]A. Chipper Aussie Swearers Guide 77: Have a Piece of You. A malicious promise of hostile action.
take a piece out of (v.) (Aus.)

to scold, to reprimand severely.

[Aus]Cumberland Argus (Parramatta, NSW) 24 Sept. 10/4: He (witness) was in the library, when he heard a few voices saying, ‘Get at him. Take a piece out of him.’ Defendant then [...] asked witness to stand up, saying, [...] ‘What right had you to stop the dance?’.
Recorder (Port Pirie, SA) 19 Mar. 1/7: Witness declined an invitation to cross the fence while informant ‘took a piece out of him,’ stating that he would tackle a young fellow, but not an old man.
[Aus]Baker Popular Dict. Aus. Sl.
[Aus]Dly News (Perth) 16 May 2/5: McKenzie threatened to ‘take a piece’ out of him when he went home.