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90s Slang You Should Know

high sign

a gesture, glance, or facial expression used as a surreptitious signal to warn, admonish, or inform.
Origin of high sign
First recorded in 1900-05 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for high sign
Historical Examples
  • Why doesn't some gay little lady just looking for a good time give us the high sign, the way they do in books.

    Rough-Hewn Dorothy Canfield
  • I'll give Weatherby the high sign an' make it back as quick as I can.

    Ride Proud, Rebel! Andre Alice Norton
  • As soon as the Indian guide gives us the high sign, replied Mr. Gilroy.

    Girl Scouts in the Rockies Lillian Elizabeth Roy
  • He passed the high sign to me, which I understood to mean "Let him talk."

  • I'm going to stay until you give me the high sign to crawl out on the bank.

  • Again did Elmer give the "high sign," and the others took heed.

    Great Hike Alan Douglas
  • I shake hands with the night watchman when he comes on duty and I'm here to give the milkman the high sign in the morning.

    Old Man Curry Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan
  • It was the high sign that in matters of terrible vengeance the Black Hand never muffs.

    The Shriek Charles Somerville
  • His high sign to her was peremptory and unmistakable—Mr. Crowley had business with her!

  • Herschenrother is now my middle name, and if it's not convenient to talk, you can give me the high sign.

    Affinities and Other Stories Mary Roberts Rinehard
Idioms and Phrases with high sign

high sign

A secret signal intended to warn or inform, as in Dad gave us the high sign when it was time to leave. This expression presumably alludes to a gesture such as a hand wave. [ c. 1900 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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