Green’s Dictionary of Slang

fake v.1

[prob. fig. uses of SE feague + Ger. fegen, to furbish up, to clean, to sweep; or Ital. faccio, I make]

1. [mid-19C+] (also fake up) to cheat, to deceive, to swindle, to counterfeit; thus faked (up) adj., counterfeit, spurious.

2. [19C] to shoot, to wound, to hit or cut; to poison.

3. [early 19C–1940s] (Ling. Fr./Polari) to make, to do.

4. [early 19C+] to steal, to rob.

5. [late 19C] (US) to malinger by feigning illness .

6. [late 19C–1900s] to dress the hair, to make up the face.

7. [late 19C+] to pretend, to make up.

8. [1990s+] to fail to meet someone.

In compounds


see separate entries.

fake-man (n.)

[1900s] (Aus.) a confidence trickster.

fake-up (n.)

[1900s] (UK Und.) a disguise.

In phrases

fake a cly (v.) [cly n. (2)]

[19C] to pick or search a pocket.

fake a pin (v.) [pin n. (2)]

[early 19C] (UK Und.) to injure one’s own leg in order to obtain some kind of medical discharge or support.

fake a poke (v.) [poke n.2 (2)]

[late 19C] (UK Und.) to pick a pocket.

fake down (v.)

[mid-19C] (N.Z.) to carry out a crime.

fake it (v.)

[1920s+] to pretend.

fake oneself (v.)

[19C] to injure or harm oneself for a criminal purpose.

fake one’s slangs (v.) [slang n.2 (1)]

[19C] to cut off one’s chains or irons to make an escape from prison.

fake on someone (v.) [1970s+]

(US black, west coast) to ignore.

fake out

see separate entries.

fake the duck (v.) [SE (decoy) duck]

[mid–late 19C] to adulterate drink, to cheat, to swindle.

fake the funk (v.) [funk n.1 (5)]

[1970s+] (US black) to pose as more sophisticated than one actually is.

fake up (v.)

see sense 1 above.

In exclamations

fake away (there’s no down)!

[19C] carry on! don’t stop!