Green’s Dictionary of Slang

tats n.

also tatts
[ety. unknown; ? the rattle of dice as they hit the table]

1. dice, esp. crooked dice.

[UK]T. Shadwell Squire of Alsatia I i: Pox o’ th tatts for me!
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Tatts, c. false Dice.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Tats, false dice.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang.
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 170: Tatts — dice.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict. 33: Tatt, queer – bad dice.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open [as cit. 1835].
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]W.E. Henley ‘Villon’s Straight Tip’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 176: Bonnet, or tout, or mump and gag; / Rattle the tats, or mark the spot.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 14 Jul. 10/4: The only one who kept his head was a man who simply cleared the table of the cards and ‘tats,’ thus removing the incriminating evidence.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 8 Mar. 4/8: The push who never keep a loaded tat / Or cast a piggish eye upon a girlie.
[US]Ersine Und. and Prison Sl.
[US]D. Maurer Big Con 258: The tat is a crooked die with fives on four sides and sixes on two sides. It has a mate which is an exact replica in size and weight, but which is numbered in the usual manner.
[UK]D. Powis Signs of Crime 204: Tatts Dice.
[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 147: tats were loaded dice.

2. (Aus./N.Z.) teeth [refers to the ivory in dice and teeth].

[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 19 Mar. 4/7: She had placed her ‘tats’ in a tumbler, hung her locally-prepared curls on a chair back, and reposed her mosquito-netted anatomy on top of the quilt.
[Aus]W.H. Downing Digger Dialects 49: tats — Teeth.
[Aus](con. WWI) A.G. Pretty Gloss. Sl. [...] in the A.I.F. 1921–1924 (rev. t/s) n.p.: tats. Teeth.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 17 Mar. 2/4: You can bet your false tats that Ned will nod the nut plenty.
[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks.
[US]Sun (Sydney) 13 Oct. : 15/1.
[Aus]Those coots always talk like that, even with their tats inR. Aven-Bray Ridgey-Didge Oz Jack Lang 14: She had a north and south full of broken tatts and a loaf of bread like a robber’s dog.

3. (Aus./N.Z.) a set of false teeth [refers to the ivory in dice and teeth].

[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 22 Oct. 4/8: The tart over the way with a mouthful of false tats, and baddies at that.
[Aus]R. Park Poor Man’s Orange 254: Hey, you forgot yer tats! Don’t you want yer teeth?
[Aus] ‘Whisper All Aussie Dict.’ in Kings Cross Whisper (Sydney) xli 4/2: tatts: False teeth.
[Aus]R. Aven-Bray Ridgey-Didge Oz Jack Lang 47: Tatts False teeth.

In compounds

tat-man (n.) (also tatsman, tatt-man)

a professional dice cheat.

[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795) n.p.: tatman one who gets his living by playing or cheating at dice.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant n.p.: tatt man fellows who get their living by attending at the gaming-houses, and playing the dice.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Tat’s Man One who lives by gambling with dice.
[UK]C.M. Westmacott Eng. Spy I 240: ‘A nibble,’ said Transit, ‘from an ivory turner’ [note] A tats man, a proficient with the bones.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict. [as cit. 1809].
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
tat-monger (n.) (also tattmonger) [-monger sfx]

a professional dice-cheat.

[UK]T. Shadwell Squire of Alsatia I i: He was but a sharper, a tatmonger.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: tat-monger c. a Sharper, or Cheat, using fase [sic] Dice.
[UK]New Canting Dict. n.p.: tat-monger a Sharper, or Cheat, using false Dice. The Thirty-sixth Order of Villains.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Tatmonger, One that uses false dice.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.

In phrases

In exclamations