Green’s Dictionary of Slang

collar v.

[SE collar, to get hold of]

1. [mid-17C+] (also collar up) to arrest.

2. [early 18C+] to grab, to appropriate.

3. [mid–late 19C] (orig. UK Und.) to catch out.

4. [mid-19C+] (orig. UK Und.) to understand, to work out.

5. in prize-fighting, to hit.

6. [late 19C] in fig. use, to delight, to overwhelm.

7. [late 19C–1900s] to receive in punishment.

8. [1900s–40s] (orig. US black) to get hold of, to obtain.

9. [1910s] (US) to master, to deal with.

In phrases

collar a duster up the ladder (v.)

[1930s–40s] (US black) to climb the stairs.