sell wolf tickets

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Alternative forms[edit]


From wolf ticket/woof ticket, from woofing (idly boasting), from woofing ((emptily/harmlessly) barking like a dog).[1] Woof ticket/wolf ticket is attested since the 1960s.


sell wolf tickets (third-person singular simple present sells wolf tickets, present participle selling wolf tickets, simple past and past participle sold wolf tickets)

  1. (African-American Vernacular) To make threats or boasts, especially if empty and/or if made to intimidate someone.
    • 1974, Vernon E. Smith, The Jones Men, page 165, quoted in The Routledge Dictionary of Modern American Slang (2008):
      It's plenty people selling wolf tickets, you know.
    • 2007, Stanley Tookie Williams, Blue Rage, Black Redemption: A Memoir, page 59:
      I stood there in silence listening to Ollie build himself up by selling wolf tickets about what he planned to do to me.
    • 2009, Crystal Y. Dixon, Destiny's Time →ISBN, page 43:
      The two of them played about four hands of spades, each of which was close but as usual, Yvonne won. Of course, she had to sell wolf tickets after the win. "The next time you come over Mchael, I'll let you win." "Let me win?" he asked incredulously.
    • 2010, Theodore Dallas Ashford, A Lone Pine Traveler →ISBN, page 145:
      A lot of selling of wolf tickets but never any blood. I wish they would kill one of themselves so there would be some peace around here.
    • 2010, Donald Hall, Dock Ellis in the Country of Baseball →ISBN, page 164:
      Dock has never fired a gun at anyone. He may possibly have sold a reporter a handful of wolf tickets.
      2013, NICK DIAZ, UFC"You (St. Pierre) told the fans that I deserve to get beat down, that I chased you around. I got the fight, right? I'm working towards something, everybody knows that. Sorry I had to [say you were scared] to get the fight. They're selling you (fans and media) all wolf tickets people, you're eating them right up. Georges here is selling wolf tickets. Dana here is selling wolf tickets. The UFC is selling wolf tickets. You guys are eating them right up."

Usage notes[edit]

  • Various words may be inserted into the expression; for example, in the Donald Hall quotation above, someone is said to have "sold a reporter a handful of wolf tickets".

Coordinate terms[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Encyclopedia of African American Folklore (2006), page 1389