Green’s Dictionary of Slang

sweat v.1

[fig. uses of SE]

1. [late 16C] to spend money.

2. [late 18C–late 1900s] (UK Und.) to lighten gold coins by immersing them in acid; thus sweater n., one who practises such deception; sweating n., this practice.

3. [early 19C] to pawn.

4. [early 19C] to remove some of the contents of.

5. [early 19C–1930s] to deprive someone of something; thus sweating n. and adj.

6. [mid-19C] (UK Und.) of pickpockets etc., to subject a person or place to criminal activities; thus sweating n.

7. [mid–late 19C] to extract money, usu. through menaces or violence.

8. [mid–late 19C] to squander money, whether one’s own or someone else’s.

9. [mid-19C+] (Aus.) to borrow (usu. a horse) without its owner’s permission.

10. [late 19C] (UK Und.) to melt down the solder that holds together an otherwise impenetrable strong-box.

11. [1950s] (US Und.) to break up stolen high denomination notes into smaller, legal bills.

In compounds

sweating-crib (n.)

[mid-19C] a place where stolen gold and silver is melted down.

In phrases

sweat a cheque (v.)

[late 19C] (Aus./N.Z.) to spend all one’s pay on drink.