Green’s Dictionary of Slang

gripe n.1

[SE gripe, the act of grasping]

1. (UK Und.) any cheating gamester, spec. the member of a team who makes bets with the victim.

[UK]G. Whetstone Mirrour for Magestrates of Citties (2nd edn) H2: He (perhaps) in a Greene Thycket getteth a Masked face, a Pystoll, and a Whypcorde, and have Inheritance in the Ile of Snatch: Aduentreth to Cape Gripe: I know not by what conning shiftes.
[UK]Greene Second Part of Conny-Catching in Grosart (1881–3) X 83: Amongst these are certaine old sokers, which are lookers on, and listen for bets, either euen or odde, and these are called grypes.
[UK]Dekker Belman of London F3: I take six to one saies the Gripe, I lay it cryes the Vincent, and so they make a bet of six crownes, shillings, or pence, as the Vincent is of ability to lay.

2. (UK Und., also gripe-all, gripe-man-all, gripe-money, griper) a miser.

[UK]Recreation for Ingenious Head-peeces (3rd) Epigram No. 4: Gripe keeps his coin well, and his heaps are great.
[UK]Mennis & Smith ‘On Usuring Gripe’ Epigrams in Facetiae II (1817) 99: Gripe feels no lameness of his knotty gout, His money travell for him in and out.
[UK]Motteux (trans.) Gargantua and Pantagruel (1927) II Bk V 543: The cups or scales of the balance were a pair of velvet pouches; the one full of bullion [...] I am of the opinion it was the true effigies of Justice Gripe-men-all.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Gripe or Griper, an old Covetous Wretch: also a Banker, Money Scrivener, or Usurer.
[UK]Penkethman’s Jests 53: Old Gripeall sending his Son to court a Lady of Fortune.
[UK]Oxford Jrnl 27 Sept. 2/2: Sir Giles Gripe assures him he is no Miser, though he starves himself and lends Money at Twenty per cent.
[UK]A. Tucker Light of Nature I (1831) 312: As old Gripe said to his son, my boy get money.
[UK]Mr Thompson Female Amazon 6: The report of her beauty had now reached the ears of a certain libidinous old gentleman [...] most famous for oeconomy [...] Fanny lived with that son of Gripus.
[UK]C. Dibdin Yngr Song Smith 30: I was called by a miser in wonderful trouble, / His head swam so much that poor Gripe-all saw double.
[UK]Reynold’s Newspaper 29 July n.p.: Is there on earth no greater enemy [...] than a gripe-money and usurer?
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.

3. (Irish) a hand.

[Ire] ‘De Kilmainham Minit’ in Luke Caffrey’s Gost 5: When to see Luke’s last gig we agreed, / We tip’d him our Gripes in a Tangle.
[US]W.G. Simms Forayers 380: I went down under his fist like a great bullock under the axe of a butcher. He’s a most powerful fellow in the gripe.

In compounds

gripe-all (n.)

see sense 2 above.

gripe-fist (n.) (also gripe-penny, gripe-well)

a money-lender, a miser.

[[UK]J. Taylor ‘Great Eater of Kent’ in Hindley Works (1872) 8: Many like moles lives by the Earth, as griping Userers, racking Landlords].
[UK]‘Whipping-Tom’ Democritus III 21: At the End of Gutter-Lane, I saw old Gripewell the Userer.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum 39: Gripe-fist. A broker, a miser.
[UK]G.A. Sala My Diary in America I 158: You hear of no gripe-fists, no pinch-pennies. [...] They have no time to be miserly.
[US]Dly Dispatch (Richmond, VA) 1 Nov. 3/3: A ‘gripe-fist’ is a broker.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues III 218/2: Gripe-fist, subs. (common). – A miser, a grasping broker [...] Also Gripe-penny.
gripe-man-all (n.)

see sense 2 above.