Green’s Dictionary of Slang

lap n.2

[SE lap, to drink]
(UK Und.)

1. buttermilk or whey or any thin, non-alcoholic drink.

[UK]Harman Caveat for Common Cursetours in Viles & Furnivall (1907) 83: lap, butter milke or whey.
[UK]Groundworke of Conny-catching n.p.: [as cit. c.1566].
[UK]Dekker Lanthorne and Candle-Light Ch. 1: If we mawnd Pannam, lap, or Ruff-peck.
[UK]Middleton & Dekker Roaring Girle V i: A gage of ben rom-bouse [...] Is benar then a caster, / Peck, pennam, lap, or popler.
[UK]R. Brome Jovial Crew II i: Here’s Pannam and Lap, and good Poplars of Yarrum, / To fill up the Crib, and to comfort the Quarron.
[UK]Head Eng. Rogue I 50: Lap, Pottage.
[UK] ‘The Beggars Curse’ Head Canting Academy (1674) 14: If we maund Pannam, lap, or ruff peck.
[UK]R. Holme Academy of Armory Ch. iii item 68c: Canting Terms used by Beggars, Vagabonds, Cheaters, Cripples and Bedlams. [...] Lap, Butter-Milk or Whay.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Lap c. Pottage, Butter-milk, or Whey.
[UK]Rum-Mort’s Praise of Her Faithless Maunder in Dodsley (1826) 36: Grannam ever fill’d my sack / With lap and poplars held I tack.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK](con. 18C) W. Scott Guy Mannering (1999) 148: And the gentry had kind hearts, and would have given both lap and pannel to ony poor gipsy.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]‘The Christening of Little Joey’ in Corinthian in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) IV 45: They back again soon pik’d it, / To have a dish of lap.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.

2. liquor in general.

[UK]Beaumont & Fletcher Bonduca I i: A pretty valiant fellow, Die for a little lap and lechery?
[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy V 63: He call’d so fast for Lap and Smoak.
[UK]New Canting Dict. n.p.: lap [...] strong Drink of any Sort.
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Flash Mirror 19: G. Guttle [...] has just opened a slap up grub and bub shop [...] (for ready rag only), where he sells panum, lap and peck of every sort.
[UK]Era (London) 3 June 3/4: It was smokin’ hot, and the rush for lap of any kind and all kinds was tremenduous [sic].
[UK]A. Mayhew Paved with Gold 353: Instead of getting to some libb-ken, on the main toper, where a drop of lap could be had, you’re sticking to the back drums.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]Sl. Dict. 212: Lap liquor, drink. lap is the term invariably used in the ballet girl’s dressing-room for gin.
[UK] ‘’Arry on the Ice’ in Punch 23 Feb. 85: Who wants light when you’re out for a lap and a lark?
[UK]R. Whiteing No. 5 John Street 229: She is prepared, I think, to accept [...] I was once a shop-walker, and fell through ‘lap,’ for which read ‘liquor’.
[US]N.Y. Sun. News 3 Nov. in AS VI:2 159: lap is liquor.
[UK]‘William Juniper’ True Drunkard’s Delight.
[US]H. Sebastian ‘Negro Sl. in Lincoln University’ in AS IX:4 288: lap (also juice). General name for alcoholic liquor.

3. soup.

[UK] in R. Head Eng. Rogue (1874) Pt 1 Ch. v 50: Lap, Pottage [F&H].
[UK]Defoe Street Robberies Considered 33: Lap, Spoon-meat.
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict. 18: Pottage – Lap.

4. (also brown lap) tea.

‘Whipping-Tom’ Universal Poison, or the Dismal Effects of Tea II 12: Our Exchange Girls, [...] are Devils at this Sort of Lap, guzzling it down as fast as a drunken Tarpaulin will a Can of Flip.
[UK]G. Parker Life’s Painter 139: The christ’ning being o’er, / They back again soon pik’t it, / To have a dish of lap, / Prepar’d for those who lik’t it.
[UK]W.H. Smith ‘The Thieves’s Chaunt’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 121: For she never lushes dog’s-soup or lap, / But she loves my cousin the bluffer’s tap.
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 65: ’Spose I can have some hot pawney, and crack slums to fake a bag o’sweet lap? [Ibid.] 71: They took their tightener, – viz., a bag of brown lap, a brace of pickled deserters, a dab of smeerums, a nob o’pannum.
[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.

In compounds

lap-feeder (n.)

a silver tablespoon.

[UK]G. Parker Life’s Painter 142: If any of us was to come in by ourselves and should happen to take a rum snooze, you’d snitch upon us, and soon have the traps and fix us, in putting a lap-feeder in our sack, that you or your blowen had prig’d yourselves, though we should stand the frisk for it.
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.

In phrases

go on the lap (v.)

to go out drinking.

[UK] ‘’Arry on Commercial Education’ in Punch 26 Sept. in P. Marks (2006) 124: Grinds ’ard, never goes on the lap / Reads Shakespeare intead of the Pink ’Un.