1. to steal, to embezzle.
|DA].Men and Manners II 387: One member of Congress [...] was charged with selling franks at twopence apiece, and thus coppering his pocket at the expense of the public [|
|(US newspaper ) Aug. n.p.: He’s been in office for a long while an’ never coppered a d——n cent [DA].|
2. to kill.
|Wolfville 55: Still Enright’s all-wise enough to copper the Greaser.|
3. to outwit, to spoil.
|Western Wilds 46: He staked a pile of ‘chips’ and won; then made and lost, and made and lost alternately, selling his stock when ‘broke,’ [...] till the tail of his last mule was ‘coppered on the jack’.|
|Life on the Mississippi (1914) 268: The safe way [...] is to copper the operation, and at the same time buy enough property in Vicksburg to square you up in case they win.|
|Wolfville 99: The victim [...] don’t copper the play by makin’ vain remarks, but brings his gatlin’ into play surprisin’. [Ibid.] 330: Of course, I’m heap interested in this yere snake knowledge [...] But it sorter coppers my appetite.|
|Pardners (1912) 57: I’d sure copper this move and play her to lose.|
|Lucky Seventh (2004) 206: Your wrist was cut, but I’ve got that bet coppered.‘The Good Old Wagon’|
|Cowboy 80: Faro’s terms permitted one puncher to ‘keep cases’ on another man [...] and further permitted this puncher, if dissatisfied with these actions or plans, to ‘copper’ them by initiating a diametrically opposite sort of performance or scheme.|
|Gangland Stories Feb. [Internet] You’ll have a sweet time explaining to the other gangs how come you wasn’t bumped off when Bad News coppered your bet.‘Facing the Mob’ in|
|Robbers’ Roost 218: Wal, you coppered it with the ace.|
4. to obtain, to make sure of getting.
|Galaxy (N.Y.) July 57: ‘Who’s payin’? I’m dead broke?’ ‘What! Cleaned out?’ ‘You bet. But if that dealer hadn’t railroaded, I’d a got square copperin’ the ace.’.|
|Mysterious Beggar 264: If you’re a bit skeery, then ’till the thing’s well coppered, you can nark ’round on the sly.|
|Love Sonnets of a Hoodlum XX n.p.: All the chronic glad hand-claspers came To copper invites for the wedding day.|
|Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 151: A lotta judges is tryin’ to copper the lowdown on the bad boy problem.‘Canada Kid’|
|Hooch! 49: He won’t waste any time gettin’ to Swinnerton an’ that’s the little bet I’ll copper!|
|Red Wind (1946) 237: He tried to copper his bet on your blackmail racket.‘Guns At Cyrano’s’|
|Sugarfoot [film script] In this game you can’t copper no bets [W&F].|
|(con. mid–late 19C) Wilder Shore 34: Coppering your bet (a six-sided black chip on top) is a no bet.|