Green’s Dictionary of Slang

sham v.1

[sham n.1 (1)]

to deceive, to hoax, to fool; to pretend to be or do something.

[UK]T. Shadwell Squire of Alsatia III i: Mr. Cheatly in the first place shall Sham and Banter with you.
[UK]Humours of a Coffee-House 22 Jan. 95: It is one of D--- F--- old Tricks: He’s come out of Scotland to Sham us again.
[UK]Sham Beggar Epilogue: Now I’ve done with shamming Beggar.
[UK]G. Parker View of Society II 179: One of the prisoners pretended to be very much concerned for, and condoled with her, shamm’d a bit of a cry.
[UK]Marryat Peter Simple (1911) 23: The captain tells me in this note that you have been shamming stupid.
[UK]W.J. Neale Paul Periwinkle 438: He at first shammed not to know anything about a horse.
[UK]T. Hughes Tom Brown’s School-Days (1896) 276: I wasn’t going to sham religious to curry favour with the Doctor.
[UK]W. Collins Moonstone (1966) 369: How I spent the night, after shamming ill again at tea-time, and having been sent up to bed, there is no need to tell you.
‘All among the Hay’ India-Rubber Face Song Bk 4: Still for all that I could see, She was shamming cold; / ‘Bought off’ she should never be, / I would not be ‘sold’.
[UK]‘Thormanby’ Famous Racing Men 18: Zounds! Joe has jockeyed us after all. Drunk as a lord at three o’clock, and riding the great race ten hours after. Do you think he shammed drunk, Smith?
[UK]A. Day Mysterious Beggar 209: Those who make a ‘regular thing,’ a ‘professional business’ of shaming a misery for the purpose of getting ‘alms-money’.
[Aus]J. Furphy Such is Life 55: ‘Curious combination of a fool and a well-informed man,’ remarked Ward. ‘Is he either of the two?’ asked Broome. ‘My belief, he shams both.’.
[US]H. Hapgood Types From City Streets 44: He is quick to detect insincerity and shamming.
[US]P.A. Crutch Queen of Sheba 35: He’s just shamming.
[UK]D.L. Sayers Nine Tailors (1984) 197: The man’s not shamming – he’s really ill.
[UK]J. Phelan Tramp at Anchor 120: Men had tried [...] shamming sick.
[UK]R. Rendell Best Man To Die (1981) 104: Had he really been ill or had he been shamming, crafty sick to give himself extra time in Leeds?
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 98: A number of the terms, to sham, to slick, to run a game, and to gigolo, imply pulling the wool over another’s eyes.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 9: sham – betray, treat shabbily.

In phrases