Green’s Dictionary of Slang

piece n.

1. as an individual.

(a) [mid-16C+] a woman, esp. when appraised sexually [i.e. a ‘piece of meat’].

(b) [late 18C+] a man.

(c) [1950s+] (gay) a man, in a sexual context.

(d) [1960s+] one’s body, in the context of violence.

2. in financial or commercial senses.

(a) [17C+] (also peece, pieces) a sum of money, a coin worth £1 and 2 shillings.

(b) [late 19C+] a share, esp. of profits, e.g. from a musical show.

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

(d) [1920s+] a commission, a percentage.

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

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

(b) [late-18C+] (also fowling piece) the penis.

(c) [1910s] (US) a hypodermic syringe [play on gun n.1 (6)].

(d) [1970s+] a knife.

4. abbr. SE masterpiece.

(a) [late 19C] a tattoo.

(b) [1980s+] (orig. US) a major work of graffiti, typically as displayed on a New York City subway train; also as v.

5. [20C+] (Irish/Scot.) as food.

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

(b) a piece of bread and butter.

6. [1920s+] an act of sexual intercourse.

7. in drug uses.

(a) [1920s+] (also piece of stuff) a quantity of heroin, cocaine or morphine, approx. 28g (1oz).

(b) [1960s+] (also piece of stuff) an unspecified quantity of drugs.

(c) [1980s+] a marijuana pipe.

8. [1960s+] something or someone undesirable [abbr. piece of shit n.].

9. [1970s] (US black) an automobile.

10. [1970s+] (US black) in pl., clothes [? SE piece of goods].

11. [1980s+] (US campus) a hairdo [abbr. SE hairpiece].

12. [1990s+] (US prison) a jail sentence.

In derivatives

pieced (adj.)

[1990s+] deflowered.

In compounds

piece man (n.)

[1970s] (US) a gunman, an armed bodyguard.

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

In phrases

piece of cancer (n.)

[1980s+] (US) a despicable person.

piece of chickenshit (n.) (also piece of camelshit) [chickenshit n. (2)]

[1980s+] (US campus) a coward, a weakling.

piece of entire (n.) [they are ‘entirely’ excellent]

[mid–late 19C] an admirable person.

piece of garbage (n.) (also piece of rot)

[1960s+] (US) a despicable person.

piece of goods (n.)

[late 18C+] a person, inference usu. derog. or as a ‘character’.

piece of jab (n.) [SE jabber]

[1930s] a talkative person.

piece of meat (n.) [meat n.]

1. [late 19C+] (also hunk of meat, piece of pie-meat) anyone regarded as no more than a physical object, esp. in a sexual context.

2. [1920s] (US gay) a penis.

piece of one’s ass (n.) [ass n. (2)]

[1950s+] (US) a beating, a thrashing, a punishment.

piece of piss (n.)

1. [1920s] a term of contempt.

2. [1940s+] (orig. RAF) anything seen as supremely easy.

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

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

[1980s+] (Aus.) a term of contempt.

piece of shit

see separate entries.

piece of stockfish (n.)

[early 17C] a contemptible person.

piece of wag (n.)

[mid-18C] a worthless person.

piece of work (n.)

1. [late 18C+] a person; usu. qualified by an adj., e.g. nasty piece of work, an unpleasant person.

2. [20C+] an attractive woman.

3. [1960s+] a formidable person.

4. [1970s+] one who is considered odd or eccentric by the speaker.

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)

[1930s+] anything seen as simple, lucky, easily achieved, no bother; cite 2010 refers to a woman.

piece of piss (n.) [piss n. (1)]

1. [1940s+] (orig. RAF) anything seen as supremely easy.

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

piece of pudding (n.)

[late 19C] an example of good luck; a welcome change in circumstances.

piece of resistance (n.) [a pun on SE resistance/Fr. pièce de résistance, the supreme example, esp. the best dish in a meal]

[1930s+] (Aus.) constipation.

piece of seven (n.)

[1970s] (US black) any one of the seven days of the week.

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)]

[1960s+] (orig. US) a share in what is going on, usu. monetary, criminal or gambling.

piece of thick (n.)

[late 19C] a cake of pressed tobacco.

piece of work (n.)

1. [mid-18C-late 19C] a fuss, a ‘to-do’.

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. [20C+] a woman, not necessarily derog. but invariably from a sexual point of view and usu. dismissive; occas. a man.

2. [1930s+] heterosexual sexual intercourse.

3. [1930s+] hetero- or homosexual anal intercourse [ass n. (2)/arse n. (1)].

4. [1950s] (US Und.) a passive male homosexual [ass n. (2)/arse n. (1)].

piece of business (n.)

[1920s] a woman.

piece of calico (n.) [calico n.1 ]

[mid–late 19C] an attractive woman.

piece of femme (n.) [femme n. (1)]

[1930s] (US) sexual intercourse with a woman.

piece of flesh (n.) (also piece of skin, piece of mortality)

[mid-16C–17C; 20C+] (20C+ use is US black/W.I.) a woman, esp. an attractive woman; cite 1652 ref. to young man.

piece of frillery (n.)

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

piece of fruit (n.)

[20C+] a male homosexual.

piece of furniture (n.) (also bedroom furniture, house furniture)

[mid-19C; 1930s+] (orig. US black) a woman or girl (in sexual context).

piece of goods (n.) (also bale of goods, piece of trade goods)

[late 18C+] a young woman; a flighty young woman who has ‘abandoned the proprieties’ (Ware).

In compounds

piece of iniquity (n.)

(mid-17C) a prostitute.

piece of magnolia (n.) [1960s+] (Can.)

sexual intercourse; thus a sexually available woman.

piece of property (n.)

[mid-19C] a woman.

piece of sin (n.) (also lump of sin)

[early 17C] a young and sexually appealing woman.

piece of skirt (n.) [metonymy]

[20C+] a woman, seen as a sex object.

piece of strange (n.) [strange n.]

[1970s+] an unknown woman, usu. in a sexual context.

piece of stuff (n.)

1. [17C–18C] a young woman.

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

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

1. [1920s+] a woman, a girl, not necessarily derog. but invariably from a sexual point of view and usu. dismissive.

2. [1920s+] an act of sexual intercourse.

3. [1960s] (US gay) a sexual partner [tail n. (1)].

piece of the town (n.)

[mid-19C] a street-walker, a prostitute.

piece of trade (n.) [trade n. (1)] [1930s+]

1. a prostitute.

2. (gay) a sexual partner.

Pertaining to sexual intercourse

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

[1940s+] of a man, to seduce a girl or woman, to have sexual intercourse.

have a piece (of) (v.)

[1940s+] of a man, to seduce a woman, to have sexual intercourse.

house piece (n.)

[mid-19C–1910s] a servant who doubles as a lover.

ill piece (n.)

[1950s+] (gay) an unattractive and therefore unpopular homosexual.

knock (off) a piece (v.)

[1940s] (US black) to have sexual intercourse.

Pertaining to money

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

[late 19C–1920s] (US tramp) a dime (10 cents) or quarter (25 cents).

piece off (v.)

[1920s+] (US) to bribe, to pay off, to give out a ‘piece’ of cash.

piece up (v.)

[1990s+] to give someone a share.

pull in the pieces (v.)

[mid-19C–1920s] to make a good wage.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

do a piece of work (v.)

[20C+] (US) to murder, to kill.

have a piece of (v.) (Aus.)

1. [1940s+] to tease.

2. [1970s] to attack physically.

take a piece out of (v.) [20C+] (Aus.)

to scold, to reprimand severely.

this piece (n.)

[2000s] (US teen) a place.