Green’s Dictionary of Slang

sharp v.

1. to obtain through trickery.

[UK]Cibber Woman’s Wit I i: Let him [...] bilk his Lodging, – and now and then sharp a Play in the Side Box.
[UK]A. Smith Lives of Most Noted Highway-men, etc. I 201: A curious Gold Medal, which he had sharp’d somewhere.

2. to trick, to defraud; thus sharping adj.; sharping n.

[UK]Whores Rhetorick 84: She or he that intends to sharp a Bawd [...] must get up before Lucifer.
[US]Dryden King Arthur Prol. 38 n.p.: Among the rest there are a sharping set That pray for us, and yet against us bet [F&H].
[UK]N. Ward Wooden World 13: Should a half-starv’d Sailor sharp a Pair of old Shoes from him, he would surely drub the pilfering Cur to Death for it.
[UK]N. Ward Compleat and Humorous Account of Remarkable Clubs (1756) 261: He was forced to make use of the wicked Wit he had learn’d, and turn as sharping a Town-Shift.
[UK]O. Goldsmith Life of Richard Nash in Coll. Works (1966) III 348: He was gaming just now with a sharping fellow, and lost forty shillings.
[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang.
[UK]Wild Boys of London I 292/2: He was determined to sharp the sharpers. And he did to rights.
Besant & Rice Ready-Money Mortiboy 148: It is not usual to see men play in your fashion. You have sharped us, sir – sharped us.
[UK]Binstead & Wells Pink ’Un and Pelican 26: The dirty little pothouse clubs — where ‘stay-at-home sportsmen’ sate and sharped each other.
[UK]B. Cronin Timber Wolves 221: From the boss down, you’re a set of sharping blackguards.