Green’s Dictionary of Slang

napper n.2

1. a hat [? nab n.1 (3)].

[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]Sl. Dict.

2. (also knapper, napper box, napper tandy, nopper) the head.

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[Ire] ‘De Night before Larry was Stretch’d’ Irish Songster 5: Den Larry found one of dem cheated. / A dart at his napper he med.
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK] ‘The Exciseman’ in Holloway & Black II (1979) 95: A cask on his napper he bore, / With six gallons of brandy, or nigh.
[UK] ‘Crib and the Black’ Egan Boxiana I 480: Like light’ning ’bout Crib’s napper the blows came left and right.
‘The Richmond Excursion’ Primrose Hill Collection 5: The brandy in their nappers, / Let’s loose the ladies clappers.
[Ire]‘A Real Paddy’ Real Life in Ireland 19: Phil Shemingshaugh [...] fetched him a crack on his Napper Tandy.
[UK] ‘Her Ladyship’s Daisey’ Flash Chaunter 33: Now his napper he scratch’d.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]Kendal Mercury 3 Apr. 6/2: Vy, blow me, if he dident turn up his blinkers (eyes) like a croaking quacker (dying duck), and said, ‘if you doesn’t give hover, I’ll get my mother to mill your napper (punch your head).
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.
[UK] ‘The Holy Friar’ Rakish Rhymer (1917) 80: With his bald-headed napper and penis so long.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 21 May 2/5: Abe got a tap on Jack’s ‘napper’.
[UK]S.O. Addy Sheffield Gloss. 155: Napper, the head.
[UK]P.H. Emerson Signor Lippo 55: One day he walked straight into this kitchen clobbered in a pair of rounds, tight to his legs, a black frock isleim [...] and a long sleeve cadi on his napper.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘Out for the Day & In for the Night’, in Sporting Times 9 June 1/4: On his napper he sported a ‘Trilby,’ which came / Very nearly all over his thatch.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 18 Feb. 4/7: Once I get a cobber or a clyner, it never dawns on me napper box that they could ever be anything but a terrible good fellow.
[Aus]E. Dyson Fact’ry ’Ands 233: When I saw him next he had his napper plunged in er tub iv dough.
[UK]Powell & Arthurs [perf. Marie Lloyd] Three Ages of Women [lyrics] What is a woman’s opinion of man / When she’s first seventeen and a flapper? / She wears baby hats and her hair is in plaits / Still, she’s got big ideas in her napper.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 3 Aug. 12/4: It’s a game made for a fool, / With no sense set in his napper.
[UK]N. Douglas London Street Games 37: Yer wos on the grahnd when I crahned yer napper.
L.N. Smith Lingo of No Man’s Land 58: NAPPER Tommy's word for head. You duck your ‘napper’ when passing a bad place in the parapet.
[UK]P. MacGill Moleskin Joe 76: Are you off your napper, trying to make your fortune by pinchin’ from buck-navvies?
[UK](con. 1914–18) Brophy & Partridge Songs and Sl. of the British Soldier 134: Knapper.—The head.
[Aus]Smith’s Wkly (Sydney) 26 Feb. 3/5: [T]wo notorious desperadoes, one of whom thoughtfully tapped the pugilistic gent on the napper with an iron bar.
[UK]B. Bennett ‘The Drummer Boy’ Billy Bennett’s Fifth Budget 25: I was stroking the sergeant’s bald napper.
[UK]Wodehouse Mating Season 138: This one I would have gladly socked on the napper with a brick.
[UK]A. Sillitoe ‘The Disgrace of Jim Scarfedale’ Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner (1960) 127: The last time he came he had a bandage round his napper.
[Ire]B. Behan Brendan Behan’s Island (1984) 100: Tell that peeler there to get offside if he does not want a hundredweight of lead to come crashing down on his napper.
[Ire]E. Brady All in! All in! 15: Pity, too, the child who has the misfortune to have his head shaved [...] It is no fun to be called baldy-sconce, baldy-conscience, baldy-nopper, baldy-peelo.
[UK](con. 1940s) D. Nobbs Second From Last in the Sack Race 37: It wouldn’t matter if a bomb fell on my napper tomorrow.
[UK]Guardian Sport 25 Sept. 16: It smacks him full on the napper and of course he’s spark out.
[UK]I. Rankin Set in Darkness 151: Nothing wrong with the napper.
[US]T. Black Ringer [ebook] n.p.: Dungarees is the slippery slope. Next is the Doc Martens and the Number 1 to the napper.

3. a nose.

[UK]D. Carey Life in Paris 65: ‘The only way to teach them manners [...] is to pull their nose.’ The hint to be revenged on Button’s napper was not, however acted upon by the injured party.

4. a face.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 20 July 31/1: You haven’t shaved your napper this morning, Johnny. Stand still while I strike a match on it.

5. the mouth.

[UK]J. Manchon Le Slang.

In compounds

napper-case (n.)

1. a wig.

[UK]Navy at Home II 133: Small-nouse [...] having carefully wrapped his late napper-case up, and put it in his pocket.

2. the head.

[UK]Navy at Home II 294: If an unlucky four-and-twenty [i.e. a cannonball] should make free with your napper case, is it not terrific? [...] having to confront the shades of all those poor fellows who you have given slops to.

In phrases

go off one’s napper (v.)

to go mad.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 778/2: go off (one’s) napper, go mad.
have a napper (v.)

to be intelligent, to ‘have a head on one’s shoulders’.

[Aus]W.T. Goodge ‘Great Aus. Slanguage’ in Baker Aus. Lang. (1945) 117: When he’s bright he’s got a napper, / But he’s ratty when he’s daft.