Green’s Dictionary of Slang

tart n.

[Aus./N.Z. uses remain positive or neutral in spite of earlier shift to derog. meaning]

1. [mid-19C+] a woman, a girlfriend; thus dimin. tartlet [usu. only in dialect].

2. [late 19C+] a promiscuous woman, a prostitute; also of homo-/heterosexual men since 1960s; also attrib. [dominant use since early 20C].

3. [1920s] (Aus.) an attractive young woman.

4. [1930s+] (gay) an older man’s young male lover.

5. [1930s+] (gay) a gay prostitute.

6. [1990s+] a promiscuous homosexual.

7. [2000s] a fool, irrespective of gender.

8. used as a term of address, irrespective of gender.

9. see tartar n. (2)

In compounds

tart fuel (n.)

[2000s] alcopops.

In phrases

queen of tarts (n.) [queen n. (2)]

[1970s] (US gay) a pimp for homosexuals.