Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bleat v.

[SE bleat, of a sheep, to cry; note mid-19C SE use bleat, to propose]

1. (orig. milit.) to complain, to whinge.

[UK]R. Brathwait Barnabees Journal (1778) 61: Where I heard a wofull bleating, A curst wife her husband beating.
[UK]C. Heavysege Saul 312: If she bleats now, Why, ’tis her nature, and the gift of women [OED].
[UK]J. Conrad Lord Jim 30: The little chap with his arm in a sling started to run after the carriage, bleating, ‘Captain! I say, captain! I sa-a-ay!’.
[US]‘O. Henry’ ‘A Tempered Wind’ in Gentle Grafter (1915) 191: Lady, will you please stop bleating. Your money’s waiting for you.
[UK]C. Holme Lonely Plough (1931) 252: Folks that don’t bleat aren’t wanted any on Bluecaster.
[US]Ade Hand-made Fables 113: The Life Dream of every Coin Collector is to go back to his original P.O. Address and bleat at those who never could see anything in him.
[UK]N. Scanlan Tides of Youth 214: Came bleating to you for sympathy, I suppose.
[US]R. Chandler High Window 16: ‘You know I never talk about your affairs, Mrs Murdock,’ she bleated.
[US]M. Spillane Return of the Hood 53: I don’t have to go along with the sheep who cry and bleat about the way things are.
[UK]I. Welsh Filth 140: He started bleating to me this morning aboot being stretched on this hippy stalk.
[UK]Observer Screen 9 Apr. 3: We don’t bleat. We talk the way women really talk.
[Aus](con. 1943) G.S. Manson Irish Fandango [ebook] ‘I can’t remember who owes who what between us, so I’m not gunna start bleating’.

2. to inform on someone.

[US]J.W. Carr ‘Words from Northwest Arkansas’ in DN III:i 70: Bleat, v. To tattle ‘He bleated on me’.
[US]J. Lait Gangster Girl 194: Silk would never bleat.
[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks.
[NZ]H. Beaton Outside In I i: Y’wouldn’t fucken bleat on us, would you, Ma?
[UK]Indep. Rev. 18 May 3: When David Shayler started bleating in Paris about the plot we had supposedly hatched to murder Colonel Gaddafi.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

bleating cheat (n.) (also bleating chete, blaring cheat) [cheat n. (1)]

(UK Und.) a sheep.

[UK]Harman Caveat for Common Cursetours in Viles & Furnivall (1907) 83: A bleting chete, a calfe or sheepe.
[UK]Groundworke of Conny-catching n.p.: [as cit. 1566].
[UK]Dekker Lanthorne and Candle-Light Ch. 1: Which word Cheate, beeing coupled to other wordes, stands in very good stead, and does excellent service: [...] A Bleating chete, a Calfe, or a Sheepe: and so may that word be marryed to many others besides.
[UK]Dekker O per se O L3: This killer brings to the slaughter-house of the Diuell (viz. a Bowsing Kenne) a Bleating Chete, (a Sheepe).
[UK]Dekker Canters Dict. Eng. Villainies (9th edn).
[UK]Head Eng. Rogue I 47: Bleating cheat, A Sheep.
[UK]Head Canting Academy (2nd edn).
[UK]W. Nevison in Newgate Calendar I (1926) 291: ‘Now,’ saith he, ‘that thou art entered into our fraternity, thou must not scruple to act any villainies which thou shalt be able to perform, whether it be to nip a bung, bite the Peter Cloy, the lurries crash, either a bleating cheat, cackling cheat, grunting cheat, quacking cheat, Tib-oth-buttery, Margery Prater.’.
[UK]R. Holme Academy of Armory Ch. iii item 68c: Canting Terms used by Beggars, Vagabonds, Cheaters, Cripples and Bedlams. [...] Bleating Cheat, a Sheep.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew.
[UK]C. Johnson Hist. of Highwaymen &c. 105: [as cit. 1684].
[UK]Canting Academy, or the Pedlar’s-French Dict. 114: Sheep-stealer Napper of Blaring Cheats.
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict. 19: Sheep – Bleating-cheats.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1797).
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
bleating marching (n.)

(UK Und.) sheep-stealing.

[UK]Clarkson & Richardson Police! 322: Sheep-stealing ... Fleecy claiming, May gathering, bleating marching.
bleating rig (n.) (also bleatem rig) [rig n.2 (1)]

(UK Und.) sheep-stealing.

[UK]G. Parker View of Society II 162: Bleating Rig is the stealing of sheep.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions .
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd, 3rd edn) n.p.: bleating rig sheep stealing.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]B.M. Carew Life and Adventures.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Duncombe New and Improved Flash Dict. n.p.: Bleatem rig sheep stealing.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.