1. in senses of SE tap, to hit + tap, a valve.
(a) [mid-18C–19C] to hit and thus draw blood from a victim’s nose; spec. to throw stones at (see cite 1866).
(b) [late 17C–early 19C] to deflower a woman; often as tap a girl v. [note sense 1e].
(c) [late 18C] to obtain change.
(d) [1910s] (US) to exhaust one’s finances.
(e) [1920s+] (US Und.) to hit on the head.
(f) [1940s+] to have sexual intercourse [note sense 1b].
(g) [1960s–70s] (drugs) to inject oneself with a hypodermic syringe.
(h) [2000s] to shoot (dead).
2. [mid-19C+] (US Und.) to rob, to steal from; esp in phr. tap a till ; thus tapping n.
3. in senses of the lit. or fig. tap on the shoulder.
(a) [mid-19C–1940s] to arrest; cite 1860 refers to the arrest of a debtor by a bailiff.
(b) [late 19C+] (also tap for, tap up) to beg for, to accost someone for something, to ask for a loan, whether of money or fig.; often in phr. tap someone for; thus tapping adj.
(c) [20C+] to obtain money (other than as a loan).
(d) [1910s] (US) to interrogate, esp. using the ‘third degree’.
(e) [1920s+] (US) to select for a college fraternity or society; thus tapping n.
(f) [1920s+] to select, to ‘line up’.
4. [1920s+] (also tap up) to defraud, to cheat.
(US Und.) a cheat, a swindler.
1. [1930s+] attempting to beg money.
2. attempting to obtain something other than money.
see under judy n.1
[mid-19C+] to rob, to steal, usu. from a cash register; thus till-tapper under till n.; till-tapping n. and adj.
see sense 3b above.
[1990s+] to pick up or seduce.
see under claret n.
1. see sense 3b above.
2. see sense 4 above.
one who forges deeds.
SE in slang uses
1. [17C–early 19C] inferior liquor, esp. its dregs.
2. [mid-17C–early 18C] a publican.
3. attrib. use of sense 2.
[early–mid-19C] the Morning Advertiser newspaper, also known as the Gin and Gospel Gazette.
[late 19C] to burgle a house.
[1970s+] (US) to urinate.
[mid–late 19C] to suck liquor through a straw from the ship’s barrel which has been bored with a gimlet.
[2000s] (drugs) to tap a vein in order to make it stand out from the surrounding flesh preparatory to an injection of narcotics.