Green’s Dictionary of Slang

take n.

1. (US) profits, e.g. the entrance money taken at a musical, sporting or gambling event.

[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 11 Nov. 3/1: He not onlv improved the business of the ‘star,’ but he assured her success. He brought her $12,500. There's a big ‘take’ for you, .
[Aus]Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 84: Take, ‘how much was the take,’ gate receipts.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 187: Take. – A collection, or the proceeds of an entertainment or show.
[US]W.L. Gresham Nightmare Alley (1947) 243: There had been eleven thousand – and the ‘take.’.
[US]R. Prather Scrambled Yeggs 8: They rig the pay-off on a phony slip and split the take.
[UK]G. Melly Owning Up (1974) 99: The men who owned the rehearsal room insisted on half the take.
[UK]K. Sampson Powder 272: Skimming the take would’ve been suicide.
[UK]K. Sampson Outlaws (ms.) 35: They’re trying to work out how that lad behind the bar is skimming two ton off’ve the take.
T.P. McCauley ‘Lady Madeline’s Dive’ in ThugLit Sept./Oct. [ebook] ‘We make plenty off what we take in, even with Archie gettin’ his cut.’ ‘The take says different’.

2. money acquired by theft or fraud.

Puck’s Library (N.Y.) May 25: This would make the labour so much lighter, that every time a girl went to set a pound of candy she would consider that she had a good fat take [F&H].
[US]D. Lamson We Who Are About to Die 197: We’re the boys that supply the steady take for the big shots.
[US]‘F. Bonnamy’ Self Portrait of Murder (1951) 117: He came back to O’Donnell to be cut in on the big take.
[US]W.R. Burnett Little Men, Big World 107: The take rose steadily week by week, bookie arrests fell sharply, and the big madams, with the exception of Mrs. Lansing, who was still in clink, operated unmolested.
[US]B. Hecht Gaily, Gaily 86: Indeed, all our public guardians of today, swanking around on their underworld takes, must pay homage to Jim Colosimo as the founding father of their corruption.
[US]D. Goines Inner City Hoodlum 149: It ain’t gonna be much of a take, bro.
[US]J. Ellroy ‘Jungletown Jihad’ in Destination: Morgue! (2004) 342: Three heists in ’01, chump change takes all.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 44: He would have to do more than promise her a cut of the take.
[US]J. Ellroy Widespread Panic 7: I’m corrosively corruptible and tempted by the take.

3. (US) a share of money that is deducted for tax or some other form of levy.

[US]R. Campbell Alice in La-La Land (1999) 169: Oh, I heard about you. What’s your take?

4. (US) a portion, an extract, a bit.

[US] ‘Und. “Lingo” Brought Up-to-Date’ L.A. Times 8 Nov. K16: TAKE: Share.

5. (orig. US) bribery.

[Aus](con. 1936–46) K.S. Prichard Winged Seeds (1984) 363: There’s some decent blokes among the dees, and some in ‘the take’, still, the boys tell me.
[US]L. Shecter On the Pad 362: [T]he kind of man who slips so easily into the tradition of the take.

6. (Aus.) a thief, a villain, esp. a cheat at cards.

[Aus]J. Holledge Great Aust. Gamble 145: People who had only known him as a ‘smartie’ and a ‘take’ were astounded when the racing world turned out in force to give him a slap-up funeral.
[Aus]J. Alard He who Shoots Last 48: It’s good ta see ya, ya bloody old take.

7. (Aus.) a swindle.

[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 147: A take-down was a swindle, living on as a take and i’ve been taken.

8. (Aus./US) a theft; a robbery.

[US](con. 1940s–60s) H. Huncke ‘Detroit Redhead’ in Eve. Sun Turned Crimson (1998) 111: Finally they made the take in Washington.

9. wages.

[UK]K. Sampson Powder 203: The summer take would need to be eked out until next May.

In compounds

take-artist (n.) [-artist sfx]

(US) one who regularly gains income from the taking of bribes, illicit ‘commissions’ etc.

[US]B. Schulberg On the Waterfront (1964) 43: With a take-artist like Donnelly as Commissioner you would just louse yourself up [...] if you didn’t play along.
take joint (n.)

an illegal place of entertainment that exists by paying off the police.

[US]J. Lait Gangster Girl 145: [It] houses more speakeasies, dope dens, take joints, badger apartments.

In phrases

on the take

of an official, typically a politician or police officer, accepting bribes.

[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 3 Jan. [synd. col.] Six gov’t agents [...] will be indicted in two weeks in connection with a nation-wide ring. They allegedly were ‘on the take.’.
[US]D. Runyon Runyon à la Carte 30: He is glad to learn that the Vasserkopf is on the take, only he thinks the half a C is enough.
[US]B. Schulberg On the Waterfront (1964) 73: That bunch of stiffs [...] letting the shippers chip our contract away because they’re on the take.
[UK]‘P.B. Yuill’ Hazell Plays Solomon (1976) 60: Minty had always believed I was on the take.
[US]N. Pileggi Wiseguy (2001) 140: The hacks in the honor dorm were almost all on the take.
[UK]K. Lette Llama Parlour 124: It seemed such an ordinary social cocktail: agency-types on the take, actors on the make, mixed in with the usual male and female Barbie dolls.
[US]L. Stringer Grand Central Winter (1999) 204: We encounter [...] cops on the take, bought-and-sold politicians.
[Aus]L. Redhead Peepshow [ebook] He wore an olive green shirt that lookd expensive for a cop who wasn’t on the take.
[US]G. Pelecanos Night Gardener 228: I wasn’t on the take and I wasn’t corrupt.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 91: So you’re not on the take, that it?