Green’s Dictionary of Slang

lurk n.

[SE lurk, to hide oneself, to lie in ambush, to remain furtively or unobserved about one spot]

1. [19C] (UK Und.) a form of fraud in which one pretends some form of distress in order to raise money from the credulous; thus go on a lurk, get money through false pretences.

2. [mid-19C+] a hideaway, a meeting place; thus servant lurk, a public house where duplicitous servants meet criminals to plan mutually beneficial robberies.

3. [mid-19C+] (Aus./N.Z.) a dodge, racket or scheme; thus up to all lurks, wide-awake, cunning.

4. [late 19C+] (Aus./N.Z.) a job.

5. [20C+] (Aus.) a hanger-on, an eavesdropper.

6. [1950s–60s] (Aus.) the best place to meet someone or find some product or whatever.

7. [2000s] (S.Afr.) cheap white wine, ‘rotgut’.

In derivatives

lurkola (n.) [+ -ola sfx]

[1950s+] (Aus.) the practice (ostensibly illegal and generally denied by its practitioners) of bribing (with cash or kind) those with access to the public to tout a product.

lurky (adj.)

[1970s+] (US campus) seedy, untrustworthy, weird.

In compounds

lurkman (n.)

[mid-19C+] (Aus.) a confidence trickster, a petty criminal.

lurk merchant (n.)

[1970s] (Aus.) an untrustworthy individual, poss. criminal; one who dodges work.

In phrases

accident lurk (n.)

[mid-19C] those who beg on the basis of having suffered a bad accident.

dark lurk (n.)

[late 19C] (UK Und.) the ensnaring of a prostitute’s client, who is then beaten and robbed by her accomplice.

lurks and purks (n.)

[1970s] tricks and bonuses.

ring the lurk (v.)

[mid-19C] to swap one confidence trick for another when the first is suspected.