Green’s Dictionary of Slang

tumble v.1

[SE tumble, to cause to fall]

1. [early 16C+] to seduce, to have sexual intercourse; thus tumbling n., sexual intercourse.

2. [1960s] to murder.

3. [1960s+] (Aus.) to confuse, to throw off balance.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

tumble-a-bed (n.) [her stereotypical availability]

[late 18C–19C] a chambermaid.

tumble-turd (n.) [18C US regional dial. tumble-turd, a large black beetle that rolls and buries pieces of dung]

[1940s–50s] (W.I.) a short, stocky person.

In phrases

tumble down (to grass) (v.) [the image of once cultivated fields returning to grass]

[late 19C–1900s] to go to rack and ruin.

tumble to pieces (v.) [the pieces are the mother and newborn child]

[mid–late 19C] to go successfully through childbirth.

tumble up (v.) [19C] (orig. naut.)

1. to rush, to hurry.

2. to rise from bed.