1. (orig. UK Und.) any job or plan that pays well, almost invariably criminal; often as nice little earner.
|‘Whisper All Aussie Dict.’ in Kings Cross Whisper (Sydney) xxxiv 4/4: earn: Any money earned by using the wits.|
|You Flash Bastard 106: He’d have thought a couple of poofs would have been able to come up with something more gentle for their earner.|
|Minder [TV script] 17: Thing is we could be onto a very nice little earner here.‘All Mod Cons’|
|Ridgey-Didge Oz Jack Lang 13: ‘I’m a shitkicker meself, what do youse do for an earn?’ ‘We are students of literature,’ the Charlie volunteered.|
|Chopper From The Inside 117: I made quite a nice little earn over the years by sending so-called hit men to see my enemies with offers to kill me.|
|Guardian Sport 2 Oct. 16: The vital little earners that make a pro’s life that little bit easier.|
|(con. 1945–6) Devil’s Jump (2008) 143: The boss asked me to [...] put a bit of a scare into you. There was to be an earn in it for me.|
|Chopper 4 175: It would be a fun night out an a good little earner.|
|Dirty South 157: If weed was legalised there’ll be no more shottas and I’d be out of a sweet little earner.|
|More You Bet 10: They would ‘emu’ the grounds [...] and my father assured me that there was a handy three-way earn there every week.|
2. (UK police) a bribe, esp. one paid as regularly as more legitimate wages.
|Sir, You Bastard 7: His earner had come on top.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 26 Apr. 44: No monkey, they say, and no way I get bail. So I told em that if I weren’t gonna get bail there’d be no earn for them out of it.|
|Curvy Lovebox 52: They got their earners.|
|Raiders 52: Bent Old Bill [...] had to be bunged an earner.|
intending to make money by illicit means.
|Thrilling Detective Dec. [Internet] They hadn’t gone to the airport as part of any welcoming committee. [...] They were definitely on the earn.‘Publicity for the Corpse’ in|