1. (US Und.) a dupe, a victim of a confidence trickster; a prospective victim; a ‘steered’ prospect.
|Near a Whole City Full 172: Then he was tried at other work; piloting ‘come-ons’ to the city, steering them to the turning joint.‘The Reward of Merit’ in|
|Down the Line 31: Tod’s main hold is to creep into the ‘reading room’ of a Rube hotel after the chores are done of an evening and throw salve at the come-ons.|
|Shorty McCabe 39: ‘And how did he guess you were a come-on?’ ‘Every American is a come-on, Shorty,’ says the Boss.|
|‘Song of the Ironworker’ in Morn. News (Willmington, DE) 23 Nov. 4/3: The half of them are come-ons, an’ the other half’s a scream.|
|Racket Act II: You used to stall – tease along the come-ons – for Beauty Parker’s mob.|
|Coll. Stories (1990) 120: He didn’t mind being a come-on for that night.‘A Modern Marriage’ in|
|Big Con 292: come-on 1. See mark. 2. A mark who has been put on the send and is returning to be fleeced.|
|DAUL 47/1: Come-on. 1. A gullible prospect for swindling.et al.|
|Crime in S. Afr. 107: A ‘sap’, a ‘cluck’, a ‘boob’, a ‘come-on’, or a ‘chump’ is a dupe or a victim.|
2. (US Und., also come-on ghee) a con-man, a swindler; also attrib.
|Chimmie Fadden and Mr Paul 95: De con man and come-on.|
|Strictly Business (1915) 78: One of McAdoo’s come-on squad, I guess.‘The Poet and the Peasant’ in|
|Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 139: He will have the concentrated shady knowledge of all the bloods, pikers, come-ons, roisterers, gamblers, cheaters, beaux, rich men’s sons, and poor men’s daughters.‘Taxi, Mister!’ in|
|Speeches of Fuller Durham 25 July [synd. col.] They are the finest organized gang of come-ons in the country.|
|Sat. Eve. Post 13 April; list extracted in AS VI:2 1930 132: come-on, n. Confidence man.‘Chatter of Guns’ in|
|Sheepmates 172: He’s a dirty ‘come-on’ for that speelerin’ Fritz.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
|DAUL 47/1: Come-on ghee. A swindler.et al.|
|Hazell and the Three-card Trick (1977) 61: Big Blondie and the other two come-ons started nudging and geeing up Gannex.|
3. (US) a snare, an inducement, a lure; also attrib.
|Forty Modern Fables 67: He is a Come-On for any Bunco Game in the List.|
|Keys to Crookdom 401: Come-on game – trick devised to rob victim of his money.|
|(ref. to 1898) Amer. Madam (1981) 270: She could chatter the artistic comeon to a john.|
|On Broadway 15 Mar. [synd. col.] Fannie Brice and Judy Garland should be enough of a come-on for ‘Everybody Sing’.|
|‘I’ll Gyp You Every Time’ in Men of the Und. 180: He wants to give out a prize as a come-on to the crowd.|
|On the Waterfront (1964) 211: A come-on absolutely irresistible to an Irishman fond of his whisky.|
|Gambling Secrets of Nick The Greek 236: The come-on [...] is that the wager seems to occur to the guy right on the spot.|
|(con. 1940s) Tattoo (1977) 127: You know that’s just a come-on to get you to buy the effing candy.|
|Lingo 50: the come on is the method used to entice a potential bunny.|
|Dead Long Enough 32: Difficult, Brainy, Tall and Skinny, as a come-on in the virtual Personal Columns of life, appreciates over the years.|
4. (US) patter or sales talk, a line; also attrib.
|It’s Up to You 65: I handed back to Clara J. the come-on speech she had given me earlier.|
|Big Sleep 109: I guess these [notes] were just a come-on.|
|Really the Blues 182: If I resisted their come-on even a little, it was only because of my obsession with the music.|
|Junkie (1966) 156: Come on . . . The way someone acts, his general manner and way of approaching others.|
|Three Negro Plays (1969) I i: With hoked-up come-ons.Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window in|
|Ladies’ Man (1985) 182: Guys [...] opened their come-ons with questions about the chemical properties of phosphorescent paint.|
|Yes We have No 137: Some of the come-ons are oddly seductive.|
5. a gullible fool.
|Shorty McCabe 182: You’re a regular come-on. I guess the adorable Sadie has handed you a josh.|
6. (also come-in) a sexual invitation, either through a look or through words.
|Spicy Adventure Stories Aug. [Internet] I wasn’t quite sure whether she was giving me the come-on stuff.‘Black 13’ in|
|Amer. Thes. Sl.|
|Brother Man (1966) 65: Course she never meant anything at all ... was jus’ handin’ him the ole come-on.|
|(con. WWII) Barren Beaches of Hell 170: You gave me plenty of come-on at the dance.|
|Psychotic Reactions (1988) 62: Many of the Troggs’ songs [...] were immediate come-ons and male self-aggrandisement.in|
|London Fields 136: I’m not interested. Which is always a come-on.|
|Filth 297: I’m getting the come-on here big-time.|
|Guardian Rev. 15 Jan. 2: There was no aftermath to this gentle, entirely verbal little come-on.|
|Call of the Weird (2006) 62: Summer did her best to be enthusiastic, issuing bawdy come-ons.|
7. the personification of sense 6, a sexually alluring woman.
|Vice Squad Detective [Internet] She was the big come-on in this racket, but he wanted her to himself.‘The Nudist Gym Death Riddle’ in|
|Lively Commerce 171: A B-girl (also called a ‘come-on’ or ‘percentage girl’ or ‘drink rustler’) often spends six to seven hours in a bar.|
|Tattoo of a Naked Lady 6: I can’t remember which one of them I saw first: the blonde come-on dressed like she had an exhibitionist streak a mile wide or the square in the coke bottle glasses who was eyeballing her like she was nothing but something to look at.|
8. a dare.
|Somebody Up There Likes Me 237: It’s about time I got a come-on for a fight in this joint.|
a male prostitute who entices a client and then, instead of sex, has him beaten and robbed by a confederate.
|Sex Variants.‘Lang. of Homosexuality’ Appendix VII in Henry|
|Guild Dict. Homosexual Terms 8: come-on boy (n.): A young boy who lures a homosexual into a remote place where an accomplice is waiting to rob him or to extort money from him.|
|Maledicta IX 146: Many of his [i.e. G. Legman’s] other terms (boy or come-on boy, peg house and show house, dick-peddler, floater, handgig, live one, muscle in, trade) prove he used to know the words and music of gay prostitute slang but is now out of date.|
see sense 2 above .
(US) a promiscuous woman; a prostitute.
|Amer. Thes. Sl.|
|(con. late 19C) Shady Ladies of the Old West [Internet] Other names [for prostitutes] were [...] ‘come-on girls’, [etc.].|
1. (US) the member of a confidence trickster team who lures the victim into the circle.
|Jarnegan (1928) 150: When you were the come-on guy with the medicine-faker.|
|Und. and Prison Sl. 28: come-on man. One who brings suckers to a con game, a shill.|
|Gilt Kid 20: Come on guy for a con gang, ain’t you?|
2. (US tramp) a hard worker, who encourages others.
|Milk and Honey Route 202: Come-on guy – A fellow who boosts things along on the job, for which the boss gives him on the sly a little more pay.|