put lead in one's pencil

Idioms & Phrases

put lead in one's pencil

Enhance or restore sexual vigor, as in Try one of these hot peppers; that'll put lead in your pencil. This phrase, a euphemism for causing an erection, is considered far more vulgar than the contemporary synonym put hair on one's chest, alluding to a secondary male sex characteristic. [Colloquial; c. 1900]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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