A Glossary of Hardboiled Slang

Compiled by William Denton © 1993


Ameche - telephone (e-mail submission)

babe - woman (Vengeance, 37)

baby - a person, can be said to either a man or a woman (Art, 52)

bangtails - racehorses (Op, 74; Partridge's)

barbering - talking (Knockover, 70)

be on the nut, to - to be broke (Pick-Up, 3)

bean-shooter - gun (Art, 156)

bent cars - stolen cars (Sleep, 154)

berries - dollars (Knockover, 402; Thin, 148)

big house - jail (Knockover, 354; Op, 59)

big one, the - death (Falcon, 44)

big sleep, the - death (a term coined by Chandler) (Speaking, 88)

bim - woman (Lake, 191)

bindle punk - ?? a bindle is a bedroll, but it's not clear if that is

relevant here (Pick-Up, 116)

bindles (of heroin) - little folded-up pieces of paper (with heroin inside)

(Art, 54)

bing - crazy ?? (Thin, 148)

bird - guy (Op, 52)

blip off - to kill (Knockover, 366)

blow - leave (Knockover, 49; Playback, 39; Key, 164)

blow one down - kill someone (Sleep, 123)

blower - telephone (e-mail submission)

bo - pal, buster, fellow, as in "Hey, bo" (Sleep, 172; Farewell, 8)

boiler - car (Knockover, 69)

boob - dumb guy (Lake, 154)

boozehound - drunkard (Night, 3)

bop - to kill (Sleep, 76)

box job - a safecracking (Art, 180)

brace (somebody) - grab, shake up (Art, 182)

bracelets - handcuffs (Op, 80)

break it up - stop that, quit the nonsense (Art, 133)

breeze - to leave, go (Pick-Up, 26), also breeze off - get lost (Playback, 35)

broad - woman (passim)

bulge, as in "The kid had the bulge there" - the advantage (Op, 220)

bulls - cops (Knockover, 380)

bump - kill (Night, 35)

bump off - kill (Pick-Up, 32); also, bump-off - a killing (Sleep, 161)

buncoing some (people) - defrauding some people (Knockover, 205)

bunk - 1) as in "That's the bunk" - that's false, untrue (Op, 98); 2) as

in "to bunk" - to sleep (Knockover, 395)

bunny, as in "Don't be a bunny" - don't be stupid (Pick-Up, 32)

burn powder - fire a gun (Knockover, 425)

bus - big car (Pick-Up, 72)

butter and egg man - ?? (Playback, 55)

button - face, as in "a poke in the button" (Farewell, 217)

buttons - police (Pick-Up, 29; Sleep, 66)

butts - cigarettes (Vengeance, 25)

buy a drink - to pour a drink (Art, 139)

buzz, as in "I'm in the dump an hour and the house copper gives me the

buzz" - looks me up, comes to my door (Art, 90)

buzzer - policeman's badge (Playback, 103)

C - $100, also a pair of C's = $200 (Vengeance, 27; Sleep, 157)

cabbage - money (Shoot, 14)

caboose - jail (Farewell, 8)

call copper - inform the police (Pick-Up, 156)

can - jail (Knockover, 203; Op, 268)

can-opener - safecracker who forces open cheap safes (Speaking, 89)

case dough - "nest egg ... the theoretically untouchable reserve for

emergencies" (Speaking, 88)

cat - guy (Shoot, 16)

century - $100 (Pick-Up, 32; Sleep, 162)

chew - eat (Op, 186)

Chicago overcoat - death, in some form (Sleep, 163)

chick - woman (Vengeance, 33)

chilled off - killed (Sleep, 78)

chin - a conversation (Art, 190); also chinning = talking (Sleep, 85)

Chinese angle, as in "You're not trying to find a Chinese angle on it,

are you?" - seems to mean a strange twist, not that Chinese people

are actually involved (Thin, 125)

chippy - woman of easy virtue (Lake, 48)

chisel - to swindle or cheat (Pick-Up, 157)

chiv, chive - knife, "a stabbing or cutting weapon" (Speaking, 87;

Dain, 188)

chopper squad - guys with big guns, maybe machine guns (Pick-Up, 88)

clammed - close-mouthed (as in clammed up) (Pick-Up, 188)

clean sneak - an escape with no clues left behind (Knockover, 436)

clip joint - in some cases, a night-club where the prices are high and

the patrons are fleeced (Partridge's), but here, a casino where the

tables are fixed (Pick-Up, 174)

clipped - shot (Pick-Up, 81)

close your head - shut up (Shoot, 16)

clubhouse - police station (Lake, 24)

coffee-and-doughnut, as in "These coffee-and-doughnut guns are ..."

- ?? (Knockover, 400)

conk - head (Postman, 33)

cool, as in "He cooled me" - to knock out ?? (Playback, 140)

cooler, the - jail (Op, 55)

cop - 1) detective, even a private one (Vengeance, 140); 2) to win, as

in a bet (Key, 23)

copped - grabbed by the cops (Op, 57)

copper - 1) policeman (Op, 190; Key, 65); 2) as in "All time served

except his copper" - ?? (Farewell, 29)

corn - bourbon (as in corn liquor) (Pick-Up, 186)

crab - figure out (Sleep, 161)

crate - car (Art, 39)

creep joint - ?? can mean a whorehouse where the girls are pickpockets,

but that doesn't fit here (Pick-Up, 8)

croak - to kill (Key, 84; Pick-Up, 86)

croaker - doctor (Knockover, 69)

crushed out - escaped (from jail) (Knockover, 372; Op, 54)

cush - money (misspelling of cash?) (Knockover, 410)

cut down - killed (esp shot?) (Knockover, 210)

daisy - none-too-masculine (Art, 201)

dame - woman (passim)

dangle - leave, get lost (Pick-Up, 3)

darb, as in "You're a darb" - ?? (Dain, 181)

dark meat - black person (Dain, 37)

deck, as in "deck of Luckies" - pack of cigarettes (Vengeance, 36; Op, 203)

diapers, as in "Pin your diapers on" - clothes, get dressed (Key, 74)

dib - share (of the proceeds) (Knockover, 400)

dick - detective (usually qualified with "private" if not a

policeman) (passim)

dingus - thing (Falcon, 147; Op, 11)

dip - pickpocket (Knockover, 377)

dip the bill - have a drink (Sleep, 163; Art, 212)

dive - a low-down, cheap sort of place (Knockover, 199)

dizzy with a dame, to be - to be crazy for a woman (Art, 217)

do the dance - to be hanged (Knockover, 446)

dogs - feet (Pick-Up, 17)

doll - woman (Pick-Up, 11), also dolly (Op, 224)

dope - 1) drugs, of any sort (Farewell, 82, 143); 2) information

(Dain, 30; Op, 146; Sleep, 161); 3) as a verb, as in "I had him

doped as" - to have figured for (Op, 233)

dope fiend - drug addict (Dain, 119)

dope peddler - drug dealer (Op, 52)

dormy - dormant, quiet, as in "Why didn't you lie dormy in the place

you climbed to?" (Lake, 184)

dough - money (passim)

drift - go, leave (Pick-Up, 53; Sleep, 69)

drill - shoot (Knockover, 410)

drink out of the same bottle, as in "We used to d.o.o.t.s.b." - we were

close friends (Dain, 15)

drum - speakeasy (Knockover, 357)

dry-gulch - knock out, hit on head (Farewell, 63)

ducat - ticket (Key, 73)

duck soup - easy, a piece of cake (Knockover, 44)

dummerer - somebody who pretends to be (deaf and?) dumb in order to

appear a more deserving beggar (Knockover, 198)

dump, as in "We did the dumps" - roadhouse, club (Knockover, 431);

or, more generally, any place (Art, 90)

dust - 1) nothing, as in "Tinhorns are dust to me" (Pick-Up, 3);

2) leave, depart, as in "Let's dust" (Pick-Up, 13) (also Art, 52;

Sleep, 64); 3) a look, as in "Let's give it the dust" (Pick-Up, 28)

dust out - leave, depart (Op, 81)

Dutch - 1) as in "in dutch" - trouble (Postman, 56); 2) as in "A girl

pulled the Dutch act" - committed suicide (Vengeance, 122);

3) as in "They don't make me happy neither. I get a bump once'n

a while. Mostly a Dutch." - ?? relates to the police (Art, 119)

egg - fellow (Knockover, 395)

eggs in the coffee - easy, a piece of cake, okay, all right

(Knockover, 44; Dain, 192)

elbows, as in "And there's no elbows tagging along" - police?

(Knockover, 180)

electric cure - electrocution (Key, 153)

fade - get lost (Shoot, 103)

fakeloo artist - con man (Farewell, 87)

fin - $5 bill (Playback, 11; Vengeance, 40)

finder - finger man (Speaking, 87)

finger, as in put the finger on - identify (Knockover, 380)

flat - 1) broke (Knockover, 413); 2) as in "That's flat" - that's for

sure (Op, 99)

flattie - flatfoot, cop (Art, 58)

flimflamm - swindle (Op, 23, 251)

flippers - hands? (Lake, 139)

flivver - a Ford automobile (Speaking, 87; Knockover, 436)

flogger - overcoat (Op, 219)

flop - 1) go to bed (Speaking, 87); 2) as in "The racket's flopped" -

fallen through, not worked out (Op, 268)

flophouse - "a cheap transient hotel where a lot of men sleep in large

rooms" (Speaking, 87)

fog - to shoot (Falcon, 212)

frail - woman (Sleep, 127)

frau - wife (Pick-Up, 195)

from nothing, as in "I know from nothing" - I don't know anything

(Shoot, 65)

gashouse, as in "getting gashouse" - rough (Pick-Up, 17)

gat - gun (passim)

gate, as in "Give her the gate" - the door, as in leave (Dain, 195)

gaycat - "a young punk who runs with an older tramp and there is

always a connotation of homosexuality" (Speaking, 87)

gee - guy (Art, 105)

gink - guy (Knockover, 433)

girlie - woman (Vengeance, 34)

give a third - as in degree, interrogate (Pick-Up, 70)

glad rags - fancy clothes (Knockover, 366)

glaum - steal (Knockover, 46; Dain, 17)

glomming - stealing (Art, 217)

go climb up your thumb - leave (Lake, 17)

go over the edge with the rams - to get far too drunk (Night, 25)

go to read and write - rhyming slang for take flight (Op, 80)

gonif - thief (Yiddish) (Knockover, 364)

goofy - crazy (Knockover, 112)

goon - thug (Vengeance, 49)

goose - guy (Knockover, 366)

gowed-up - on dope, high (Farewell, 81)

grab (a little) air - put your hands up (Sleep, 72; Pick-Up, 178)

graft, the - 1) con jobs (Op, 170); 2) cut of the take (Lake, 76)

grand - $1000 (Pick-Up, 33)

greasers - ?? (Pick-Up, 171)

grift, as in "What's the grift?" - What are you trying to pull? (Art, 39)

grifter - con man (Knockover, 354)

grilled - questioned (Op, 36)

gum, as in "Don't ... gum every play I make" - gum up, interfere with

(Op, 224)

gum-shoe - detective (Op, 36), also gumshoeing = detective work

(Knockover, 197)

gun for - look for, be after (Op, 98)

guns - hoodlums (Knockover, 400)

hack - taxi (Farewell, 35; Vengeance, 35)

half, a - 50 cents (Shoot, 28)

hammer and saws - police (rhyming slang for laws) (Knockover, 70)

hard - tough (Art, 119)

Harlem sunset - some sort fatal injury caused by knife (Farewell, 14)

hash house - a cheap restaurant (Shoot, 9)

hatchetmen - killers, gunmen (Knockover, 202)

have the bees - to be rich (Knockover, 62)

head doctors - psychiatrists (Night, 193)

heap - car (Knockover, 400; Dain, 194)

heat - a gun (Sleep, 73), also heater (Knockover, 160)

high pillow - person at the top, in charge (Farewell, 165)

highbinders - ?? (Knockover, 242)

hittin' the pipe - smoking opium (Op, 62)

hitting on all eight - as in cylinders, in good shape, going well

(Dain, 182)

hock shop - pawnshop (Dain, 63)

hogs - engines (Art, 175)

hombre - man, fellow (Sleep, 209; Knockover, 413)

hooch - liquor (Art, 206; Knockover, 383)

hood - criminal (Pick-Up, 141)

hooker, as in "It took a stiff hooker of whiskey" (Knockover, 408) -

a drink of strong liquor (Partridge's)

hoosegow - jail (Knockover, 354)

hop - 1) drugs, mostly heroin or derivatives like morphine (Farewell,

143); 2) bell-hop (Lake, 73)

hop-head - drug addict, esp. heroin (Op, 52)

hot - stolen (Knockover, 70)

house dick - house detective (Vengeance, 25)

house peeper - house detective (Playback, 118)

ice - diamonds (Dain, 17)

in stir - in jail (Knockover, 380)

ing-bing, as in to throw an - a fit (Key, 8)

iron - a car (Key, 115)

jack - money (Op, 265; Sleep, 114; Art, 104)

jake - okay (Pick-Up, 29; Sleep, 108)

jakeloo - okay (Sleep, 163)

jam - trouble, as in "in a jam" (Shoot, 8)

jasper - a man (of a certain type?) (Lake, 77)

jaw - talk (Op, 99)

jingle-brained - addled (Knockover, 365)

jobbie - guy (Knockover, 439)

johns - police (Sleep, 69)

joint - place, as in "my joint" (Knockover, 199)

joss house - temple or house of worship for a Chinese religion

(Knockover, 207)

jujus - marijuana cigarettes (Farewell, 62)

jump, the - a hanging (Dain, 203)

kale - money (Art, 180)

keister - suitcase (Pick-Up, 11), also spelt keyster (Key, 72)

kick, as in "I got no kick" - I have nothing to complain about (Thin, 103)

kick off - die (Knockover, 69)

kisser - mouth (Sleep, 173; Playback, 38)

knock off - kill (Knockover, 197)

knockover - heist, theft (Knockover, 399)

lammed off - ran away, escaped (Lake, 37)

law, the - the police (Shoot, 121; Pick-Up, 29)

lay - 1) job, as in Marlowe saying he's on "a confidential lay"

(Farewell, 17); or more generally, what someone does, as in "The

hotel-sneak used to be my lay" (Op, 86); 2) as in "I gave him the

lay" - I told him where things stood (as in lay of the of land)

(Op, 70)

lit, to be - to be drunk (Art, 149)

loogan - Marlowe defines this as "a guy with a gun" (Sleep, 138)

look-out - outside man (Speaking, 87)

lousy with - to have lots of (Knockover, 363)

lug - 1) bullet (Lake, 193); 2) ear (Thin, 107)

made - recognized (Knockover, 99)

map - face (Art, 175)

marbles - pearls (Art, 176)

mazuma - money (Art, 206)

meat, as in "He's your meat" - there's your man, in this case,

there's the guy you'll follow (Knockover, 368)

meat wagon - ambulance (Lake, 94)

mesca - marijuana (Playback, 126)

Mickey Finn, take a - take off, leave (Op, 229)

mill - typewriter (Vengeance, 81)

mitt - hand (Art, 182; Farewell, 5)

mob - gang (not Mafia) (Op, 118)

moll - girlfriend (Knockover, 382; Playback, 55)

monicker - name (Knockover, 356; Vengeance, 75)

mouthpiece - lawyer (Pick-Up, 183)

mud-pipe - opium pipe (Op, 62)

mug - face (Op, 98)

mugs - guys (esp. dumb) (Knockover, 401; Key, 87; Art, 92)

mush - face (Art, 191)

nailed - caught by the police (Thin, 109)

nance - an effeminate man (Pick-Up, 188)

Nevada gas - cyanide (Pick-Up, 172)

newshawk - reporter (Pick-Up, 17)

newsie - newspaper vendor (Knockover, 357)

nibble one - to have a drink (Farewell, 6)

nicked - stole (Knockover, 205)

nippers - handcuffs (Pick-Up, 18)

nix on (something) - no to (something) (Pick-Up, 30)

noodle - head (Op, 23; Playback, 14)

nose-candy - heroin in some cases (Knockover, 199)

number - a person, can be either a man or a woman (Art, 33, 84)

off the track, as in "He was too far off the track. Strictly

section eight" - said about a man who becomes insanely violent

(Shoot, 117)

op - detective (esp private) (Playback, 109)

orphan paper - bad cheques (Dain, 109)

out on the roof, to be - to drink a lot (Lake, 30)

oyster fruit - pearls (Art, 180)

pack - to carry, esp. a gun (Knockover, 60; Op, 228)

palooka - guy, probably a little stupid (Knockover, 392)

pan - face (Art, 201)

paste - punch (Knockover, 66, 392)

paw - hand (Knockover, 246; Op, 82)

peaching - informing (Op, 85)

peeper - detective (Playback, 96; Sleep, 161)

pen - jail, penitentiary (Farewell, 29)

peterman - safecracker who uses nitroglycerin (Speaking, 89)

pigeon - stool-pigeon (Pick-Up, 156)

pill - 1) bullet (Falcon, 13); 2) cigarette (Knockover, 398; Playback, 38)

pinch - an arrest, capture (Art, 118)

pipe - see or notice (Speaking, 87)

pipe that - get that, listen to that (Shoot, 55)

pipes - the throat (Thin, 110)

plant - someone on the scene but in hiding (Lake, 183)

plugs - people (Op, 222)

poke - 1) bankroll, stake (Pick-Up, 32); 2) punch (Farewell, 217)

pooped - killed (Key, 147)

pop - kill (Op, 42)

pro skirt - prostitute (Night, 12)

puffing - mugging (Knockover, 46)

pug - boxer (Vengeance, 83)

pump - heart (Falcon, 13)

pump metal - shoot bullets (Op, 230)

punk - hood, thug (Vengeance, 28)

puss - face (Art, 27; Pick-Up, 37)

put down - drink (Postman, 56)

put the screws on - question, get tough with (Dain, 34)

queer - 1) counterfeit (Speaking, 88); 2) sexually abnormal (Speaking, 88)

rags - clothes (Knockover, 429)

ranked, as in "Being ranked again by a watchman there" - recognized?

accosted? (Knockover, 70)

rap - 1) criminal charge (Knockover, 47); 2) information, as in "He gave

us the rap" (Op, 51); 2) hit (Postman, 33)

rappers, as in "There were a couple solved for the record, but they were

just rappers" - fakes, set-ups (Farewell, 165)

rat - inform (Key, 78; Night, 5)

rate - to be good, to count for something (Art, 55)

rats and mice - dice, i.e. craps (Dain, 29)

rattler - train (Dain, 158; Op, 51)

redhot - some sort of criminal (Pick-Up, 114)

reefers - marijuana cigarettes (Farewell, 172)

rhino - money (Knockover, 401)

ribbed up, as in "I got a Chink ribbed up to get the dope" - set up,

arranged for? "I have arranged for a Chinese person to get the

information"? (Knockover, 203)

right - adjective indicating quality (Pick-Up, 21)

right gee - a good fellow (Sleep, 157)

right guy - a good fellow (Knockover, 111)

ringers - fakes (Art, 176)

rod - gun (Op, 80, 219, 242; Vengeance, 11)

roscoe - gun (Key, 182)

rub-out - a death (Knockover, 416)

rube - bumpkin, easy mark (Pick-Up, 127)

rumble, the - the news (Knockover, 372)

run-out, as in to take the - leave, escape (Falcon, 164; Key, 18)

sap - 1) a dumb guy (passim); 2) a blackjack (passim)

sap poison - getting hit with a sap (Art, 188)

savvy? - get me? understand? (Farewell, 120)

sawbuck - $10 (Night, 33)

scatter - as in "And don't bother to call your house peeper and send

him up to the scatter" - ?? (Lake, 188)

schnozzle - nose (Art, 190)

scram out - leave (Lake, 76)

scratch - money (Art, 56)

scratcher - ?? (Op, 49)

screw - leave, as in "Let's screw before anybody pops in" (Op, 183)

send over - send to jail (Knockover, 353; Dain, 124)

shamus - (private) detective (Playback, 41; Lake, 37; Sleep, 68)

sharper - a kind of person (Op, 75)

shatting on your uppers - to be broke (Sleep, 161)

shells - bullets (Pick-Up, 3)

shine box - bar for blacks (Farewell, 5)

shine Indian - ?? (Knockover, 89)

shiv - knife (Speaking, 87)

shyster - lawyer (Farewell, 111)

silk, as in "all silk so far" - all okay so far (Knockover, 393)

sister - woman (Knockover, 44)

skate around, as in "She skates around plenty" - to be of easy virtue

(Sleep, 83)

skipout - leave a hotel without paying, or a person who does so

(Playback, 108)

slant, get a - take a look (Key, 31)

sleuth - detective (Sleep, 65)

slug - 1) as a noun, bullet (passim); 2) as a verb, to knock unconscious

(Lake, 191)

smell from the barrel, have a - have a drink (Art, 205)

smoke - a black person (Farewell, 14; Pick-Up, 111)

smoked - drunk (Key, 182)

snap a cap - shout (Op, 84)

snatch - kidnap (Pick-Up, 156)

sneak - 1) leave, get lost, as in "If you're not a waiter, sneak"

(Op, 73); 2) type of burglary, as in as in "The hotel-sneak used to

be my lay" (Op, 86)

sneeze - take (Pick-Up, 102)

snooper - detective (Lake, 18)

snort (as in of gin) - a drink (Art, 56)

snow-bird - (cocaine) addict (Pick-Up, 78; Knockover, 202)

snowed - to be on drugs (heroin? cocaine?) (Pick-Up, 97); also snowed

up (Op, 149)

soak - to pawn (Knockover, 92)

sock - punch (Knockover, 66; Sleep, 173; Art, 153)

spill - talk, inform (Pick-Up, 43; Sleep, 99), spill it = tell me (Shoot, 96)

spinach - money (Knockover, 385)

spitting - talking (Knockover, 70)

square - honest (Art, 130), "on the square" = telling the truth

(Knockover, 379)

squirt metal - shoot bullets (Knockover, 67)

step off - to be hanged (Knockover, 446)

sticks of tea - marijuana cigarettes (Farewell, 62)

stiff - a corpse (Pick-Up, 195; Sleep, 99)

stool-pigeon - informer (Op, 148; Knockover, 199)

stoolie - stool-pigeon (Art, 53)

stringin' - as in along (Knockover, 356)

sucker - simpleton (Knockover, 203)

sugar - money (Pick-Up, 50; Op, 71)

swift, to have plenty of - to be fast (on the draw) (Lake, 201)

swing - hang (Op, 42)

tail - shadow, follow (Pick-Up, 67)

take a powder - leave (Pick-Up, 29)

take it on the heel and toe - leave (Knockover, 70)

take on - eat (Op, 183)

take the air - leave (Sleep, 85)

take the bounce - to get kicked out (here, of a hotel) (Art, 102)

take the fall for - accept punishment for (Dain, 56)

tea - marijuana (Playback, 126)

that's the crop - that's all of it (Dain, 158)

three-spot - three-year term in jail (Art, 85)

throw a joe - pass out ?? (Key, 86)

throw lead - shoot bullets (Sleep, 139; Op, 216)

ticket - P.I. license (Vengeance, 15)

tiger milk - some sort of liquor (Thin, 110)

tighten the screws - put pressure on somebody (Knockover, 81)

tip a few - to have a few drinks (Pick-Up, 21)

tip your mitt - show your hand, reveal something (Knockover, 98)

tooting the wrong ringer - asking the wrong guy (Knockover, 68)

torcher - torch singer (Sleep, 116)

torpedoes - gunmen (Farewell, 215)

trap - mouth (Vengeance, 13)

trigger man - guy who does the shooting on a job (Sleep, 209)

trip for biscuits, as in "You get there fast and you get there alone -

or you got a trip for biscuits" - ?? (Art, 209)

trouble boys - gangsters (Art, 85)

turn up - to turn in (to the cops) (Falcon, 164)

twist - woman (Falcon, 164; Knockover, 46; Sleep, 163)

two bits - $25 (Key, 3)

up-and-down, as in "to give something the up-and-down" - a look

(Knockover, 97)

uppers, as in "I've been shatting on my uppers for a couple of months

now" - broke (Knockover, 54)

vag, as in vag charge, vag law - vagrancy (Op, 52)

weak sister - a push-over (Op, 42)

wear iron - carry a gun (Sleep, 67)

wheats, as in "a stack of wheats" - pancakes (Op, 183)

white - 1) good, okay, as in "white dick" (Knockover, 379); 2) as in

a gallon of - gin (Dain, 175)

wire, as in "What's the wire on them?" - news, "What information do

you have about them?" (Shoot, 24)

wise, to be - to be knowledgeable of (Pick-Up, 32), "put us wise"

- tell us (Lake, 81)

wise head - a smart person (Thin, 106)

worker, as in "She sizes up as a worker" - a woman who takes a guy

for his money (Op, 139)

wrong gee - not a good fellow (Sleep, 184)

wrong number - not a good fellow (Art, 84)

yap - mouth (Vengeance, 12)

yard - $100 (Pick-Up, 103; Art, 54)

yegg - safecracker, "who can only open a rather cheap and vulnerable

safe" (Op, 51, 146; Speaking, 89)

Bibliography

Key:

Abbreviation = Full title (year of first publication) by Author (Publisher and year of publication for the copy I used)

Probably no-one will care about exact page references, but they were included for the sake of completeness.

(* = not as yet analyzed for slang, ss = short stories collected years after first publication)

Art = The Simple Art of Murder (ss) by Raymond Chandler (Ballantine, 1972)
Dain = The Dain Curse (1929) by Dashiell Hammett (Vintage, 1972)
Falcon = The Maltese Falcon (1930) by Dashiell Hammet (Vintage, 1984)
Farewell = Farewell, My Lovely (1940) by Raymond Chandler (Vintage, 1976)
Goodbye = The Long Goodbye (1953) by Raymond Chandler *
Harvest = Red Harvest (1929) by Dashiell Hammett *
Key = The Glass Key (1931) by Dashiell Hammett (Vintage, 1972)
Killer = Killer in the Rain (ss) by Raymond Chandler *
Knockover = The Big Knockover (ss) by Dashiell Hammett (Vintage, 1972)
Lake = The Lady in the Lake (1943) by Raymond Chandler (Vintage, 1976)
Night = Night Squad (1961) by David Goodis (Vintage, 1992)
Op = The Continental Op (ss) by Dashiell Hammett (Vintage, 1975)
Partridge's = Partridge's Concise Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English edited by Partridge and Beal (Collier Macmillan, 1989?)
Pick-Up = Pick-Up on Noon Street (ss) by Raymond Chandler (Pocket Books, 1952)
Playback = Playback (1958) by Raymond Chandler (Ballantine, 1977)
Postman = The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934) by James M. Cain (Vintage, 1978)
Shoot = Shoot the Piano Player (1956) by David Goodis (Vintage, 1990)
Sister = The Little Sister (1949) by Raymond Chandler *
Sleep = The Big Sleep (1939) by Raymond Chandler (Ballantine, 1971)
Speaking = Raymond Chandler Speaking edited by Gardiner and Walker (Allison & Busby, 1984)
Thin = The Thin Man (1934) by Dashiell Hammett (Vintage, 1972)
Vengeance = Vengeance is Mine (1950) by Mickey Spillane (Signet, 1951)
Window = The High Window (1942) by Raymond Chandler *

I intend to go through the remaining works of Chandler and Hammett looking for more slang terms, and then move on to other hardboiled authors. Interestingly, some of the toughest of the hardboiled writers (like Mickey Spillane) don't use that much slang, but occasionally words do crop up that aren't used by anyone else.

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Suggestions, additions, corrections and comments should be directed to William Denton (buff@io.org).