hold up v.1
1. to commit an armed robbery.
|Oquawka (IL) Spectator 5 Feb. 1/7: At St. Louis he held up [...] several men and got more or less money [DA].|
|Chicago Trib. 9 May 2/2: Later they took a jug of whisky away from a granger, maltreated a yearling colt, and ‘held up’ two men for their money [DA].|
|Detroit Free Press 8 Dec. n.p.: One man held up six stage passengers in Arizona the other day and robbed them of $2,000 [...] [F&H].|
|Marvel 21 Dec. 10: Kennel [...] leant sideways in his saddle to peer into the face of the ruffian who was holding him up.|
|Sporting Times 26 Nov. 1/3: Some ‘nuts’ from Pincher’s Alley, out for trade, / Were just holding up a toff, and clearing his ‘skyrockets’ out.‘The Protean Policeman’|
|Chicago May (1929) 22: It was decided to hold up and rob a mail and express-train.|
|Red Wind (1946) 25: Oh! You think you’ll hold me up, I suppose!‘Red Wind’ in|
|Chicago Trib. 27 Dec. 13/4: Edgar Black [...] was shot and killed [...] by police who saw him holding up a man [DA].|
|On The Road (1972) 136: In Chicago he planned to hold up a Turkish bath.|
|(con. 1960s) Wanderers 62: Winston Knight and Raymond Firestone held up a sporting goods store last year and took everything.|
|Day of the Dog 154: All I need is someone else to hold it up, because the old codger there knows me.|
2. to cheat, to blackmail.
|Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 153/2: Hold up (Society, 1860 on). To be cheated or turned to account. From the American highway-man’s habit of calling upon his victim to ‘hold up’ his hands, that he may not fire.|
|DA].Here They Dug Gold 86: I was often ‘held up,’ but I never found it profitable to kick about it [|
|Go, Man, Go! 46: Now here it was—blackmail. No other word for it. Gil, his buddy, holding him up.|
3. (US) to demand, esp. to charge an exorbitant price.
|Dict. of Sl., Jargon and Cant.|
|Fables in Sl. (1902) 177: A Bazaar, the purpose of which was to Hold Up the Public for the Benefit of a Worthy Cause.|
|Smoke Bellew Pt 10 [Internet] He grumbled because the little restaurant across the street had held him up for two dollars and seventy-five cents for a paltry hundred and thirty-four eggs.|
|Coll. Short Stories (1941) 165: Fifteen hundred dollars! That’s a joke! Nobody’s going to hold me up!‘A Day with Conrad Green’ in|
|Pal Joey 4: I didn’t hold them up for too much of the ready.|
|Down These Mean Streets (1970) 39: I looked at the roller skates, and I felt a little bad about how I had held Poppa up for them.|
SE in slang uses
(W.I.) of a woman, to raise her skirts and expose her buttocks as a gesture of derision.
|Dict. Carib. Eng. Usage.|