1. a joker, a clown.
|Songs Comic and Satyrical 187: A Card flew to Pan, who was skill’d in these matters, / To model some Masks from the Portraits of Satyrs; / Of Proserpine ask’d Merry Andrew’s Shade, / Without a Buffoon there is no Masquerade.‘The Masquerade’|
|Pop. 1280 in Four Novels (1983) 470: That was the way I was, a real card.|
|(con. 1949) True Confessions (1979) 78: ‘Jery Bang Bang,’ Tom Spellacy said. ‘He was a shooter.’ ‘Fucking card is what he was,’ Crotty said.|
|Breaks 103: You’re quite a card, Mr. Keller.|
|Whores for Gloria 118: I’m such a card I shuffle when I walk!|
2. a character, a noticeable person, a likeable eccentric [? one who stands out from the ‘pack’].
|Momus Elenticus 3: Next Roberts of Jesus that doubty good Card.|
|Dickens’ Journalism I (1994) 267: Mr. Thomas Potter, whose great aim it was to be considered as a ‘knowing card’, a ‘fastgoer’ and so forth.‘Making a Night of It’ in Slater|
|Musa Pedestris (1896) 124: ‘Smash my glim,’ cries the reg’lar card.‘The Faking Boy to the Crap is Gone’ in Farmer|
|Bleak House (1991) 280: Such an old card as this; so deep, so sly, and so secret.|
|Trail of the Serpent 27: I’ve seen a many knowing cards.|
|Wilds of London (1881) 139: An earnestness [...] calculated to impress the two young ladies that though young they are lads of mettle and knowing cards.|
|My Secret Life (1966) VIII 1625: ‘Get out and wash, always — I do.’ said the knowing old card.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 19 July 7/3: This E.T. Smith was the Drury-lane manager, a most remarkable card. He once hired a thousand-pound note from Genuse, the West-end money lender, just to flash about and inspire confidence.|
|Marvel III:62 18: He’s a deep card, this! [...] But I’ll track him down!|
|Card (1974) 280: ‘What a card!’ said one, laughing joyously. ‘He’s a rare ’un, no mistake.’.|
|Coll. Poems 123: You won’t get rid of that Old Card, / Leastways till you’ve got rid of sin.‘A Rhyme of Gaffer D—’|
|Ulysses 85: Great card he was. Waltzing in Stamer Street with Ignatius Gallagher on a Sunday morning, the landlady’s two hats pinned on his head.|
|Call It Sleep (1977) 408: They guffawed. ‘Yer a card!’ said the coal heaver. ‘Yer a good lad.’.|
|Malachi Horan Remembers 103: There was one of these men in it as was the comicalest card ever you clapt an eye on.|
|Blackboard Jungle 176: It was okay for Miller to ride the teacher ’cause he was a card that way.|
|Maori Girl 180: He’s a card, isn’t he?|
|Start in Life (1979) 105: It was hard to say whether he was the greatest card of them all, or just plain stupid.|
|Decadence in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 15: Bless him, he’s a card.|
|Donkey’s Years 168: The Dodo was a card.|
|Layer Cake 56: Oh yeah, very good, you’re a card, son.|
|Untold Stories (2006) 118: She is a real card is Lily. We always have a laugh.|
3. an attraction, a ‘drawing card’.
|Wkly Varieties (Boston, MA) 29 Oct. 3/1: While he had money he proved a ‘big card’ among the ’boys’ about town.|
|Wilkes’ Spirit of the Times (N.Y.) 16 June 246/1: The chief card of the week, in the base-ball line, was a game between the famous Eckfords and the equally well-known Union Club [DA].|
|Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY) 1 May 21/1: The festival of last year was quite a card for Louisville [DA].|
|Fables in Sl. (1902) 138: Marie was a Strong card. The Male patrons of the Establishment hovered around the desk long after paying their Checks.|
|Runyon on Broadway (1954) 550: He will be a wonderful card.‘The Big Umbrella’|
|Westerners’ Brand Book 94: It was a great card and all San Francisco turned out [DA].|
4. (US) an amusing thing or circumstance.
|(con. 1925) My Days of Anger 325: That’s a card. That’s your democracy for you.|
5. a fool.
|Burn 69: Listen to him, isn’t he a card? Thinks I made a joke of everything. I ask you, do I look the type?|
6. (US) in drug uses.
(a) pieces of opium weighed out onto a (playing) card; the usual ration of prepared opium used in a single smoking session.
|Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 127: He tried to think out a plan to get just enough for one little card.|
|God’s Man 278: They don’t ever seem to let him have enough to blow a round of drinks or a card of stuff.|
|Hop-Heads 111: A card of opium is sold in the dens for $1. There are four smoking pills to a card.|
|Mister Jelly Roll (1952) 25: I was personally sent to Chinatown many times with a sealed note and a small amount of money and would bring back several cards of hop.|
(b) a means of selling opium in which pills of the drug are stuck to a playing card.
|Black Candle 45: ‘Card-opium’ [...] opium is made into cakes about the size of a fifty-cent piece. This is placed on the centre of a playing card, and the card is bent in half, the opium adhering to the inside like a wad of chewing gum.|
|AS XI:2 119/2: card. A bindle of opium peddled by sticking small pills of the gum on the under side of a card.‘Argot of the Und. Narcotic Addict’ Pt 1 in|
see under dead adj.
see draw caad/card under draw v.4
to allow someone else an advantage.
|St Paul Dly Globe (MN)30 June 6/1: Mr Barnes’ black legged players can give cards and spades to bad luck and beat it out.|
|Grip (Toronto) May n.p.: You know that Artie found a Chinaman out in ’Frisco who could give him cards and spades and beat him out [F&H].|
|Little Stories of Married Life 105: A girl always knows what a man ought to do — she can give him cards and spades and beat him every time.|
|Boss 191: There’s other games, like Tammany Hall for instance, where I could give you cards an’ spades.|
|Valley of the Moon (Internet edn) 187: Billy [...] had said that she was built like a French woman, and that in the matter of lines and form she could give Annette Kellerman cards and spades.|
|Sing-Sing Nights (2010) n.p.: You can give ’em all cards and spades when you want to.|
|Rotarian Oct. 57/3: This amateur criminal can give cards and spades to professionals, and he does.|
|Billboard 14 Nov. 15/2: Current show is headed by Hinda Wausau, who will give cards and spades to any peeler in this theater.|
|Rogue Moon (Internet edn) n.p.: I can give Connington cards and spades, Doctor – cards and spades – and still beat him out.|
see hand in one’s checks under check n.1
(US) a provocative, lively person.
|Tales of the Ex-Tanks 97: We [...] met all the hot cards, including the member of Congress from the district.|
|Wash. Times (DC) 28 July 13/5: He was a good-looker all right [...] One morning a big delegation of girls came down [...] and it wasn’t twenty minutes before this hot card was calling ’em Lulu and Minnie and Blanche, and they liked it.|
(US) less than wholly mentally stable, eccentric.
|Dain Curse 256: ‘How do you figure her--only fifty cards to her deck?’.|
1. to attack, to beat up, to kill.
|‘Together Forever’ [lyrics] My rock is hard, you can’t pull my card.|
|‘Let Yourself Go’ [lyrics] When you get to Detroit, the real thugs gon’ pull your card.|
|Portable Promised Land (ms.) 158: We Words (My Favorite Things) [...] Bust a cap. Peel your cap. Pull your card. Protect ya neck.|
|‘Shit Don’t Change’ [lyrics] It ain’t never been nuttin to pull a nigga’s card.|
2. (US prison) to find out information about another inmate [the image is of file cards; the records are now computerized].
|Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July [Internet] Pulling Someone’s Card: Finding out about another prisoner.|
a safe plan, a trustworthy person.
|Thersytes (1550) E i: Now this is a sure carde, nowe I may well saye That a cowarde crakinge here I dyd fynde.|
|Euphues (1916) 107: A cleere conscience is a sure card.|
|Titus Andronicus V i: As sure a card as ever won the set.|
|ralph: O yee are a trustie squire. nic.: It had bin better and he had said, a sure carde.The Two Angry Women of Abington K3:|
|Captain I ii: for.: You know the juggling captain? clown: Ay; there’s a sure card .|
|Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: A sure Card, a trusty Tool, or Confiding Man.|
|She Would and She Would Not III i: I’ve just thought of a sure Card to win the lady into our Party.|
|Wooden World 52: His Phiz is a Beacon to all Fresh-water Sailors in bad Weather [...] he’s their sure Card at a dead Lift.|
|Erasmus’ Colloquies 31: Then to be sure, that Christopher the Collier was a sure Card to trust to.(trans.)|
|Joseph Andrews (1954) IV 290: We have one sure card, which is to carry him before Justice Frolick.|
|The Minor 55: This is doing business. This Pinch is a sure card.|
|Morn. Post (London) 12 Oct. 3/2: Jack considered himself a sure card, but he has since had reason to alter his opinion!|
|Examiner 3 Nov. 7/2: A taste for domestic comedy is reviving; [...] whatever can assist it is to be encouraged [...] Mrs Davison is a sure card.|
|Bristol Mercury 8 Sept. 3/6: Auber’s magnificnet aria [...] is a sure card in Templeton’s hands.|
|Natural History of the Gent 56: His surest card is Buckstone.|
|Won in a Canter I 18: One fellow of ours said his father was a Turkey merchant. He had no end of tin, and we really thought he was the ‘correct card’.|
|Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday 8 May 5: [caption] In pronouncing this [a pretty woman] a little darling, may Ally not be allowed to be a correct card.|