A Hardboiled Slang Glossary for Something More Than Night

Introduction & Table of Contents
Drinking / Drugs / Drug Use
Weapons / Violence
Greetings / Goodbyes / Get Losts / Generic Addresses
Police Work / Jail / Crime
Money / Valuables / Estimations of Value
Body Parts / Bodies / Health
Sex / Sexuality
Generic Actions & Activities


bite an egg: take breakfast; eat with me

"Morning, Sam. Set down and bite an egg." (TMF, p135.)

how's tricks?: a greeting, akin to "How's it going?"

He clapped Spade on the shoulder with a freckled hand, asked, "How's tricks?" (TMF, p 144.)

sister: girl, in the sense of "my friend"; very casual and informal address to a woman

"You're a damned good man, sister." (TMF, p160.)

"Boydie-boy to you, sister." (PB, p67)

(go) jump in a (the) lake: get lost; take a hike; etc.

"...the D.A. will tell you to go jump in the lake..." (TTM, p133)

blow: leave

I touched her arm. "Let's blow." (TTM, p148)

"Have to blow," he said. "Sorry. I'm kind of behind schedule." (PB, p39)

drift/take the air/scram/beat it/push off: get lost

"Beat it," he said. "Drift." He started to close the door. He opened it again to say: "Take the air. Scram. Push off." (THW, p76)

what's the damage: what's going on? what's happening?

A man grabbed me by the arm and asked: "What's the damage, Jack?" (THW, p95)

Jack: buddy; pal; hey-you


"Cop?" "Private." He grinned. "My meat, Jack." (TBS, p53)

Mac: buddy/pal/hey you/generic monniker

"I say suicide, Mac. None of my business, but you ask me, I say suicide." (TBS, p47)

"Shove it, Mac. When I want to get told how to talk English I won't go to no beat-up California peeper." (PB, p95)

dust: take a hike/get lost/drift/etc.

"The girl can dust. I'd like to talk to you a little, soldier." (TBS, p69)

soldier: buddy/pal/hey you/Mac/etc.


brother: buddy/Mac/hey you/etc.

"We've done all we could, brother." (TBS, p125)

go climb up your thumb: beat it; shove it; move along

"Go climb up your thumb, wise guy. You'd have to prove I paid the freight, or it wouldn't mean anything." (TLL, p23)

beat it: get lost; scram; dust; etc.

"You're a pretty level guy, Marlowe." "Go on, beat it," I said. "Go away. Go far away." (TLL, p198)

breeze (off): take off; leave quickly; scram; etc...

"She had to breeze and that meant she had something to breeze from, such as murder." (TLL, p225)

"Breeze off. You bore me. Mudheads always bore me." (PB, p35)

take off: (take off)

"Take off, buster," he said coldly. "You annoy me." (PB, p149)

What's the score?: what's going on; what's up; etc.

"Say, what is the score anyway?" (TTM-F)

beat it: get lost; leave; dust; scram

"Beat it while you can still walk," he sneered at me.

dangle: beat it; get lost; leave; dust; scram

"Dangle, before I knock your teeth down your throat." (TMB, p18)

He put his glass down empty. "Let's dangle." (TMB, p136)

pal: buddy; friend (pal)

"Miss Huntress gave me a bottle. We're pals." (TMB, p43)

"Next time, pal, I'll think of something original-- but you did all right. You really did." (PB, p140)

pally: same as "pal", but with connotation of sarcasm

"You can quite stalling now." I opened my eyes and sat up. "Out in the other room, pally." ... "Sit here, pally." ... "You got fun, pally?" (FML, p158)

beat it: leave; get lost; dust; etc.

"Yeah, O.K., you can beat it for now." (TMB, p58)

nuts to you: go to hell (mild)

"Thanks for the ride, and apart from that, nuts to you." (TMB, p59)

toots: guy; lady; generic address for either gender

"Damn you," I mumbled. "I believe you would." "Right as rain, toots." (TMB, p132)

bo: generic address; guy; jack; pal; etc.

"But don't make no error, bo. It's goin' to take pressure." (TMB, p139)

hot shot: jack; pal; etc.

"Okey, hot shot," she said dryly. "Ceiling zero. See if you can reach it." (TMB, p140)

chum: pal; buddy; etc.

"Price tag? There's always a price, chum. You think I'm not happy, maybe?" (TLG, p19)

He smiled faintly. "Just because I can't print it don't mean I didn't know it, chum. So long. See you around." (TLG, p69)

"Very limited. Get the idea, chum?" (TLS, p88)

"Listen, chum. You were hired to do a job. Better do it and do it right." (PB, p12)

doll: girl; dame; dish; etc.

"Who's the doll?" he sneered. (TLG, p168)

turn blue: get lost; beat it; dust; etc.

"Beat it! Turn blue. You want a knife in the belly?" (TLG, p297)

bub: guy; jack; pal; etc.

"You ain't getting no place with that breezy manner, bub." (TLS, p28)

make with the feet: get lost; scram; beat it; dust; breeze; etc.

"On your way, dreamboat. Make with the feet." (TLS, p73)

park the body: sit down

"What's on the thinker, pal? Park the body. Cigarette?" (TLS, p109)

go spit in your hat: get lost; go jump in a lake; breeze; dust; etc.

Mitchell laughed angrily. "Why don't you go spit in your hat, mister?" (PB, p47)

go fry a stale egg: get lost; go jump in a lake; etc.

I lit a cigarette and blew smoke in his face. "Go fry a stale egg." (PB, p94)

shove it: (shove it)

"Shove it, Mac. When I want to get told how to talk English I won't go to no beat-up California peeper." (PB, p95)

go kiss a duck: get lost; go to hell; go jump in a lake; etc.

"I have a suggestion for you, Mr. Umney. Why don't you go kiss a duck?" There were sounds of strangled fury as I hung up on him. (PB, p166)

(the) scram: get lost; beat it; etc.

"No Velma heah, bother. No hooch, no gals, no nothing. Jes' the scram, white boy, jes' the scram." (FML, p8)

baby: bub/Jack/doll/pal/sister etc. (male or female)

"Why as me, baby?" (FML, p236)

go climb a tree: get lost; beat it; go jump in a lake; etc.

"He can go climb trees for all I care, the lousy little runt." (RH, p81)

chief: pal; buddy; jack; etc.

"Give me a chance, chief." ... "Thanks, chief. Thanks, thanks." (RH, p176)

so long: (so long)

"So long, Miss." "So long." (PRT, p25)

kid: (kid) pal; jack; buddy; etc.

"You're on, kid." (PRT, p66)

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