Green’s Dictionary of Slang

crawl n.

(orig. US)

1. a promenade, a street used for parading and socializing by the local youth.

[US](con. 1850s) I.L. Allen City in Sl. (1995) 41: The Bowery was a famous promenade or crawl for ‘Bowery B’hoys’ and their ‘G’hals.’.

2. visiting a number of public houses, bars etc in succession.

[UK] ‘’Arry on Crutches’ Punch 3 May 201/1: I wish we wos chums on the crawl, and I’d show yer, old flick, ’ow to carry / The swell stick.
[UK]Sporting Times 4 Oct. 3/4: How are we to celebrate the death of Dr Johnson [...] in an organised gin and bitters’ crawl down Fleet Street.
[UK]Albert Chevalier ‘Our Little Nipper’ [lyrics] I used to do a gin crawl e’vry night, / An’ very, very often come ’ome tight.
[UK](con. 1970s) G. Byrne Pictures in my Head 66: Now lads, the crawl is yer only man. From Guiney’s to the Half Way House.
[UK]K. Waterhouse Soho 216: Bloke in wunner them boozers last night, out on that pub crawl with James.

3. a walk.

[UK]Marvel XV:377 Jan. 9: She’s out for her early crawl.

4. (US Und.) a trick.

[US]F. Packard Adventures of Jimmie Dale (1918) I viii: Aw [...] youse can’t work dat crawl on—.

5. a dance.

[US] in E. Cray Erotic Muse (1992) 142: [She] went down to the nickel crawl, / She was looking for her man.
[US]Maines & Grant Wise-crack Dict. 8: Give us a crawl – May I have the pleasure of the next dance.