to dissemble; to feign sickness; thus possum trick n., a feigning of injury to lure an intended robbery victim.
|F&H].Geography of the Mississippi Valley n.p.: As one who counterfeits, or dissembles strongly for a particular purpose is said to be possuming [|
|Echoes from the Backwoods II 32: ’Possuming is become an idiom; a term signifying any one who is humbugging or deceiving.|
|Autobiog. of a Female Slave 140: She ain’t crazy, only ’possuming so as to shuffle outen the work.|
|Knickerbocker (N.Y.) lvii (June) 627: This last looked like affectation, or, as the negroes call it, possuming.|
|Dict. Americanisms (4th edn) 485: Possum. To feign, dissemble. An expression alluding to the habit of the opossum, which throws itself on its back, and feigns death on the approach of an enemy.|
|Chicago Inter-Ocean 6 Feb. n.p.: A possibility of possuming among those [i.e. grizzlies] stretched out below.|
|Shorty McCabe 35: The Lamb only lasted half-way through the seventh, and ’possumed the count at that.|
|‘Jargon of the Und.’ in DN V 459: Possum trick, Highway robbery as follows. A man lies on the side of the highway pretending to be injured. A kind-hearted motorist stops, puts him in the back seat and goes for a doctor. The man, seeing his opportunity, strikes his benefactor over the head with a blackjack.|
|Entry E (1961) 155: Gordy was back—lying stretched out asleep or dead or possum near the door.|
to tread quietly.
|Full Cycle 153: The men were drifting off to the camps, [...] or possum-footing across to the women’s dormitory.|
to be quiet.
|Teen-Age Mafia 129: There was nothing to do but possum up.|