Green’s Dictionary of Slang

tightener n.

also skin-tightener, tightner

a large, heavy meal.

[Aus]Satirist & Sporting Chron. (Sydney) 4 Feb. 2/1: The worthy member [...] was observed taking what is termed a ‘tightener’ at an oyster stall.
[UK]J. Lindridge Sixteen-String Jack 148: They are all busy down below cooking up the vittels; Oh my eyes, such a tightener!
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 71: They took their tightener, – viz., a bag of brown lap, a brace of pickled deserters, a dab of smeerums, a nob o’pannum, a wedge of beeswax, and a go of blue, which they copped on the cross of the slavey donna.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 17 Feb. 3/1: If Mir Mottram had not bin so werry impeterous that splendaclous tightner would have bin paid for.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 12 Jan. 3/1: [He] has heen in the habit of dropping into take ‘pot luck’ with Mrs Lees, when the state of his exchequer rendered it problematical whether he could obtain ‘a tightener’ elsewhere.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 109: TIGHTNER, a dinner, or hearty meal.
[Aus]Melbourne Punch 12 Mar. 88/1: She alludes to meals as a ‘feed,’ and I think I once heard her speak of a dinner as a ‘blow-out,’ and a supper as a ‘tightener’.
[UK]Leicester Chron. 4 Sept. 9/6: It’s worth doing fourteen days to get the Christmas dinner they gets here. It’s a regular tightener.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 27 June 10/2: The mate murmured something about going on together, and chopping wood for a tightener, but the parson wouldn’t hear of it.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 15 Feb. 2/4: There lives not the man whose remembrances of the deceased founder of that feast will not be mellowed and perpetuated by association with a jolly good skin-tightener.
[UK]F.W. Carew Autobiog. of a Gipsey 109: I didn’t feel over and above grand through havin’ had a tightener the night before.
[UK]J. Curtis Gilt Kid 40: Two eggs and chips is a lousy tightener when you’re good and hungry. Have a plate of spaghetti.
[US]J. O’Connor Come Day – Go Day (1984) 10: Many’s the time he had seen the two of them over in her house, drinking her aleplant, and sitting down to a tightener of potatoes and brown-gravy.
[UK]S. Murphy Stone Mad (1966) 14: Ye can’t beat a good tightener in the middle of the day. I’m twice the man after a feed.

In phrases

do a/the tightener (v.) (also …tightner) [its effects on one’s stomach]

(costermonger) to have dinner.

[UK]H. Mayhew Great World of London I 6: I’m going to do the tightner (have my dinner).
[UK]J.E. Ritchie Night Side of London 193: Curly: Nommus (be off), I am going to do the tightener (have my dinner) .
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor I 24/1: Do the tightner ... Go to dinner. [Ibid.] 356/2: Another proposed going to Covent-garden to do a ‘tightener’ of rotten oranges.
[UK]J. Diprose London Life 43: [as cit. 1856].