Green’s Dictionary of Slang

wipe n.

1. the act of drinking [? one ‘wipes’ the glass with one’s lips].

[UK]Rowlands Letting of Humours Blood 76: We gaue the Brewers Diet-drinke a wipe.

2. (UK Und.) a blow, also in fig. use, a reflection, a pause for thought.

[UK]Guevara Letters (Hellowes) 235: Since you were the first that layde hand to weapon, the fault is not mine if I have happened to give you a wype [F&H].
[UK]Nashe Pasquils Apologie in Works (1883–4) I 232: The Welch-man had bestowed vpon us [...] a wipe ouer the shinnes.
[UK]E. Gayton Wil Bagnals Ghost 4: Brasier [...] in the stocks, / Repents with both leggs under locks, / But his foul’d friends with wipes and mockes / Do fit him.
[UK]Congreve Love for Love IV i: Gad, says I, an you play the fool and marry at these years [...] He was woundy angry when I gav’n that wipe.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Wipe c. a Blow, also a Reflection He tipt him a rum Wipe, c. he gave him a swinging Blow. I gave him a Wipe, I spoke something that cut him, or gaul’d him.
[UK]Vanbrugh Confederacy V ii: So, thats a wipe for me now, because I did not give her a New-Years-Gift.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Swift ‘On Poetry’ Miscellanies V (1751) 249: To Statesmen would you give a Wipe, You print it in Italic Type.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 16: I shall make a shrift / To keep it from your Jewish gripe, / Or else your jaws may get a wipe.
[Ind]Hicky’s Bengal Gaz. 6-12 May n.p.: Friend HICKY, sore gall’d at the trick of the Types, / Gave this German Apostle some cutting hard wipes.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: wipe c. a Blow or reproach; I’ll give you a wipe on the chops; that story gave him a fine wipe.
[UK]‘T.B. Junr.’ Pettyfogger Dramatized I i: His damned ill natured and ungentleman like animadversions upon some of us practisers, gave me an infernal wipe.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK](con. 18C) W. Scott Guy Mannering (1999) 193: I gave her a wipe with my hanger in the heat of the matter, and cut her arm.
[UK] ‘Widow Waddle, of Chickabiddy Lane’ in Merry Melodist 6: They’d words, and with a large cow-heel she gave him such a wipe.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Navy at Home II 293: ‘Look after it, and see as how she got the pay and prize money, and no gammoning a poor feller!’ [...] ‘if a feller should get a wipe’ .
[US]T. Haliburton Sam Slick in England II 168: He jist up with the flat of his hand, and gave me a wipe with it on the side of my face.
[UK]‘Epistle from Joe Muggins’s Dog’ in Era (London) 7 Nov. 3/3: Those who got a wipe [...] said as how it wasn’t right; and t’other chaps, who were dropt down heasy, larfed and henjoyed the fun.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 2 Aug. 3/1: She catches me a wipe on my face and leaves the print of her nails.
N.Y. Pick (NY) 29 Apr. n.p.: They have cooly determined to wipe them ‘all out’. This may be different from a wipe ‘in the eye’.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 7 Mar. 14/3: Goaded to madness, the local George Robins at last called the editor a contemptible sanguinary alderman; upon which the latter […] made a round-arm wipe at the enemy’s head and knocked a parlour-screen half way across the road.
[UK]Kipling ‘The Last Term’ in Complete Stalky & Co. (1987) 263: She gave me an awful wipe on the head last time — Mary.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 3 Feb. 3/4: ‘That’s Starlight, the fighting man and he'd think nothing of giving you a wipe across the jaw if you rouse him’.
[Ire]Joyce Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man 211: One of the Crokes made a woeful wipe at him one time with his caman.
[UK](con. 1914–18) Brophy & Partridge Songs and Sl. of the British Soldier 134: I’ll give you a wipe (i.e. blow) right acrost yer kisser.
[UK]C. Harris Three-Ha’Pence to the Angel 74: Now then, who wants a wipe round the chops?

3. (also wipes) a handkerchief; thus the wipe lay/line, stealing handkerchiefs.

[UK]Hell Upon Earth 6: Wipe, a Handkerchief.
[UK]C. Hitchin Regulator 20: A Wipe or Clout, alias Handkerchief.
[UK]Harlot’s Progress 61: And of his Wipe she bit the Blockhead.
[UK]J. Poulter Discoveries (1774) 42: In your Wipe; in your Handkerchief.
[UK] ‘Come All You Buffers Gay’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 53: But if you should slape his staunch wipe/ Then away to the fence you may go.
[UK]G. Parker Life’s Painter 136: I was wipe-priging, we made a regular stall for a tick and reader, but the cull was up to us, and we couldn’t do him.
[UK] ‘The Flash Man of St. Giles’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 74: She pick’d up the flats as they pass’d by /And I mill’d their wipes from their side clye.
[UK] ‘Drunk in the Night’ No. 26 Papers of Francis Place (1819) n.p.: The gallus young huzzey while I felt her tuzzy, was down with her gropers to maul my wipe.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]‘An Amateur’ Real Life in London I 131: That was the man that nibbled the Jontleman’s dive and must have ding’d away the wipe, or else what should he bolt for?
[UK]Egan Finish to the Adventures of Tom and Jerry (1889) 309: I press upon Jerry Hawthorn, Esq., his acceptance of my fogle, my wipe [...] politely termed a silk handkerchief.
[UK]‘A Kivaurnten of Hodges’ Best’ in Rummy Cove’s Delight in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) III 96: A Heast Hingy [i.e. East Indies] wipe the cove display’d.
[US]A. Greene Glance at N.Y. I v: His watch ain’t worth lifting [...] you must prig his wipe.
[UK]Dickens Oliver Twist (1966) 103: ‘Is Fagin up stairs?’ ‘Yes, he’s a sortin’ the wipes.’.
[UK]‘Bon Gaultier’ ‘My Mother’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 130: Who, when she met a heavy swell, / Would ease him of his wipe so well.
[US]Flash (NY) 3 Oct. n.p.: He employed the first three years [...] in the pocket book and ‘wipe’ line with considerable success.
[Aus]Satirist & Sporting Chron. (Sydney) 8 Apr. 3/1: He actually sneezed, pulled out his vipe, and said [etc].
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 14 Feb. 2/5: The waist of the former [fighter] was adorned with a bird's eye fogle, whilst the old un presented a spotted green wipe.
[UK] ‘Leary Man’ ‘Ducange Anglicus’ Vulgar Tongue (1857) 43: And you must sport a blue billy, / Or a yellow wipe tied loosily / Round your scrag for bloaks to see / That you’re a Leary Man.
[UK]J.A. Hardwick ‘The Browns Ruralising’ Prince of Wales’ Own Song Book 41: Bill Brown he sported a short pipe, / With round his neck a flashy ‘wipe.’.
[US]Criminal Life (NY) 19 Dec. n.p.: [I]nstead of bumming round Moses for his Medford, hash, and chance to fish wipes out of his customers’ pockets.
[Aus]M. Clarke Term of His Natural Life (1897) 58: I don’t see no wipe.
[US]St Louis Globe-Democrat 19 Jan. n.p.: The thieves’ ‘fly cops,’ ‘pulled his leather,’ ‘got his boodle,’ ‘lifted his spark,’ ‘shoving the queer,’ ‘crossmen,’ ‘give him the flip,’ ‘wring his super,’ ‘collar his wipe,’ etc.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 19 Jan. 7/1: Paddy is now awaiting trial [...] for pocket-picking. As a professor of the art of nipping a ‘wipe’ or a ‘leather’ he is among the most accomplished.
[UK]W.E. Henley ‘Villon’s Straight Tip’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 177: It’s up-the-spout and Charley-Wag / With wipes and tickers and what not!
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 4 Nov. 5/5: And he handles ‘wipes’ and ‘tickers till a charge they ’gainst him prove.
[UK]Kipling ‘The Moral Reformers’ Complete Stalky & Co. (1987) 126: Lend us your wipe.
[US]E.W. Townsend Sure 42: ‘I’ll sink a clean wipe in me jeans every day’.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Their Mate’s Honour’ in Roderick (1972) 761: They say there were some dozens of blood-soaked handkerchiefs buried in a hole in the scrub [...] but Mitchell doesn’t believe it. He says there couldn’t have been more than half a dozen ‘wipes’ amongst them.
[UK]E. Pugh City Of The World 272: You [...] put down your portmanter while you mop your head wi’ your pantomime wipe.
[US]Cincinnati Enquirer (OH) 12 May 12/2: ‘I [...] put the B.R. (bank roll) in me wipe’.
[UK](con. 1835–40) P. Herring Bold Bendigo 141: Oh, demn it all, Duke, you are going the pace. When you flash that with your gold tattler and silk wipe you’ll be a regular out-and-outer.
[US]Ersine Und. and Prison Sl.
[US]R.F. Adams Cowboy Lingo 38: His neckerchief was often dubbed a ‘wipes.’.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).

4. (US Und.) a form of confidence trick based on persuading the victim that money can be raised to higher denomination; it is first secreted in a handkerchief.

[US](con. 1905–25) E.H. Sutherland Professional Thief (1956) 74: The wipe is a racket which is generally used on foreigners by foreign-born thieves.
[US]D. Maurer Big Con 311: The wipe. A short-con game worked largely with Negroes, Italians or Gypsies. The victim is induced to put a large sum of money into a handkerchief, which is tied up and put away. The switch is put in and the mark finds that his money has turned into newspaper cuttings. 2. See the switch.

5. see ass-wipe n.

In compounds

In phrases