Green’s Dictionary of Slang

yap n.1

[SE yap, a yelping dog; or its bark]

1. pertaining to speech.

(a) (US, also yapper, yop) the mouth, usu. in derog. sense, e.g. shut your yap! etc.

[US]J. Neal Down-Easters I 78: You shet your yop, an’ mind your own business.
[US]‘Jonathan Slick’ High Life in N.Y. I 40: Hold your yop, you tarnal Frenchman!
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 10 Jan. 20/1: Thy yap is now silent, thy bed is stone-cold, / Where thy smile and thy welcome met us of old.
Herald (Los Angeles) 28 Oct. 9/1: They don’t dare open their yap.
[US]E.H. Babbitt ‘College Words & Phrases’ in DN II:i 70: yap, n. The mouth.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 15 Dec. 35/1: An’ ’old yer yap, Sam, for five minutes, if yer possibly ken, while I finish this ’ere interestin’ story I’m readin’ of.
[US]C.E. Mulford Bar-20 Days 24: You shut your yap!
[US]F. Packard White Moll 174: It’s just a couple of crooks that won’t dare open their yaps to the bulls.
[US]C. Coe Me – Gangster 201: Keep yer yap shut.
[US] in Botkin Sidewalks of America (1954) 400: When day is dawning, / Our yappers are yawning / For ‘Oh! you ham and eggs.’.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Baseball Hattie’ Runyon on Broadway (1954) 644: She sits there very quiet all afternoon, never once opening her yap.
[US]R.L. Bellem ‘Dead Don’t Dream’ in Hollywood Detective July [Internet] I seized the bourbon bottle [...], tilted it to my yapper and let a generous jorum run down my alimentary tract.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 35: Before I had a chance to open my yap, [he] said, ‘Shut up or I’ll bust you in the nose.’.
[US]M. Spillane One Lonely Night 151: He waited until we were in the car before he opened his yap.
[US]H. Ellison ‘Sally in Our Alley’ Gentleman Junkie (1961) 118: Aggie never could keep her yap shut.
[US]T.I. Rubin In the Life 93: My yapper keeps doing a big sales pitch. [Ibid.] 80: I dig enough to keep my yap shut.
[UK](con. 1920s) J. Sparks Burglar to the Nobility 23: The first thought which occurs to the Law is — who among the servants has opened their big yap?
[US]G.V. Higgins Digger’s Game (1981) 33: Shut your goddamned yap.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 429: The yap that is a person’s mouth, as in ‘Shut your big yap.’.
[Can]O.D. Brooks Legs 5: Yuh been on my ass since yuh first opened yur yap.
[US]‘Randy Everhard’ Tattoo of a Naked Lady 114: He opened his yap and started talking.
[US]C. Hiaasen Nature Girl 147: Shut your fat yap.
[UK]T. Black Gutted 258: Shut yer fucking yap!

(b) (orig. US, also yop) idle, trivial chatter; an act of speaking (see cit. 1940).

[US]‘Jonathan Slick’ High Life in N.Y. II 59: It took nigh upon three minutes afore the consarned fellers would stop their yop.
[UK]Marvel 22 May 15: Come and [...] listen to my musical yap, while I unfolds my ideas.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 3 June 9/5: [from McClure’s Mag.] No, the master ‘didn’t get no yap out-a The Snitcher’ .
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 1 May 2nd sect. 9/1: They Say [...] That the foul language horror is still prevalent in Perth. That three particularly obscene words seem to be indispensable to street yap.
[UK]T. Burke Limehouse Nights 302: Cut yer blasted yap, cancher, yer rotten old nuisance!
[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘A Woman’s Way’ in Chisholm (1951) 89: Me yap’s a dud [...] My conversation ain’t the dinkum brand.
[US]O. Strange Sudden 8: Another yap outa yu an’ I’ll serve the other two the same.
[US]O. Strange Sudden Takes the Trail 110: ‘One yap’ll be yore last,’ he warned.
[US]A.I. Bezzerides Thieves’ Market 81: You and your yap.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 2 Apr. Proud Highway (1997) 114: Some wild yap about jail and court and lawyers.
[US]T.I. Rubin In the Life 61: She should talk, with her lousy yap.
[Aus]D. Ireland Burn 45: Let ’em go on with their yap.
[US]C. Heath A-Team 2 (1984) 126: Shut up! [...] I’m not in the mood for your yap.
[UK]Guardian G2 22 July 22: Bags of yap.
OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. [Internet] yap v. incessant chatter.
[UK]K. Richards Life 484: [He] tried to tell me how to improve the track. Yap, yap, yap.

(c) (Irish, also yerp) a whining, complaining person.

[Ire]Share Slanguage.

(d) (US, also yapper, yap yap) a chatterer.

[US]D.S. Crumb ‘Dialect of Southeastern Missouri’ in DN II:v 337: yap, n. A noisy, worthless fellow. Don’t mind him; he’s nothing but a yap.
[SA]P. Fitzpatrick Jock of the Bushveld 31: The questions sprung briskly, as only a ‘yapper’ puts them.
[US]Sun (NY) 18 July 29/1: ‘By Judas!’ he continued, ‘mebby that’s what’s the matter with them yaps’.
[US]Broadway Brevities Dec 28: Horrors of a Month. The election night yaps.
[UK](con. WWI) Fraser & Gibbons Soldier and Sailor Words 311: Yapper, A: A windbag. A chatterer.
[US]J. Tully Jarnegan (1928) 100: I’m divorced from that slick-headed yap.
[Aus]T. Davies More Aus. Nicknames 80: The Yapper She can talk even when drinking.
[Aus]R. Aven-Bray Ridgey-Didge Oz Jack Lang 53: Yap Yap Talkative person.

(e) (US, also yapper) a tell-tale, an informer.

[US]A. Berkman Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist (1926) 199: He’s the rottenest sneak in the dump, a swell-head yap.
[US]J. Callahan Man’s Grim Justice in Hamilton Men of the Und. 269: What a sucker I was to trust that yap.
[US] in Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) II 619: Y stands for Yaps with the rotten town guard.
[Aus] (ref. to 1928) in Lowenstein & Hills Under Hook 65: If I’d had my way I’d have blabbed the lot of them. Because I was a yapper.

(f) a sound.

[US]C.E. Mulford Bar-20 Days [Internet] Ch. ii: You make any more yaps like that an’ I’ll wing you for keeps with yore own gun!
[US]F. Paley Rumble on the Docks (1955) 86: The next guy who makes a yap takes off alone.

(g) (orig. US) a chat, a conversation.

[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 270: As soon as I finished my yap with Dave Lambert I was off to see Pat Regan.
[UK]Brummagem Dict. [Internet] : yap vi. to talk idly; [...] ‘We ’ad a good ’ole yap.’.

(h) a petty swindler.

[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak.

2. fig., derog. uses .

(a) (US, also yappo) a contemptible person, irrespective of class or background.

[US]Donaldsville Chief (LA) 26 Sept. 1/3: That’s the way to give it to them yaps out there.
S. Crane in Plumbers’ Trade Journal 1 Jan. in Stallman (1966) 123: Get outa th’ way, you yap.
[US]K. McGaffey Sorrows of a Show Girl Ch. xii: All the yaps out in that neighborhood are lining out for the spring plowing now while the yaps here are lining out for the spring millinery openings.
[US]J. London Valley of the Moon (1914) 221: He rounded up a lot of college fellows [...] yaps that live off their fathers’ money.
[US]Sun (NY) 10 May 8/2: The cheapest bunch of commercial yappos this side of South Bend, Ind.
[US]J. Callahan Man’s Grim Justice in Hamilton Men of the Und. 271: I’ll make those yaps sweat blood when I get out.
[US]J. Tully Bruiser 104: Them big yaps are duck soup for me.
[US]W. Winchell 12 Feb. [synd. col.] Playing stage-door Johnny and all-around yap.

(b) (US, also yawp) a derog. term for a peasant, a rustic simpleton; also attrib.

[US]C.H. Hoyt Texas Steer n.p.: Instead of his being the only ‘yap’, as he calls it, in Congress, there were about two hundred other members [R].
[US]Ade Fables in Sl. (1902) 76: The elderly Man was a Yap. He wore a Hickory Shirt, a discouraged Straw Hat, a pair of Barn-Door Pants clinging to one lonely Gallus.
[US]Inter Ocean (Chicago) 25 Jan. 34/6: Yap-like I asked who the something or other Eddie Glennon was.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 222: As unsuspecting a yap as one could wish to find.
[US]S. Ford Torchy 283: A big, overgrown, tow haired yawp that’s trailin’ along in the rear luggin’ a canvas valise.
[US]‘Sing Sing No. 57,700’ My View on Books in N.Y. Times Mag. 30 Apr. 5/2: Eben Holden [...] Irving Bacheller. Yap yarn. There's no kick coming from this one. It’s straight dope from the drop of the hat.
[US] in Columbia Press Yank Talk 11: What shall I buy when I’ve need of a tie? [...] Would a touch of sky blue and a green check or two Be suggestive of yeggs or of yaps?
[US]H.L. Wilson Professor How Could You! 120: If any of these yaps (hicks) tries to get funny, just give him a dirty look and clam up.
[US]G. Milburn ‘The Hobo’s Warning’ Hobo’s Hornbook 256: So all you flip yaps ease up on your traps.
[US]J. Lait Gangster Girl 4: She wasn’t yap enough not to know that Silk Freeman was a big shot. And he was.
[US]T. Thursday ‘Billy the Kidder’ Blue Ribbon Western Nov. [Internet] Let the yap yoop his brains out.
[US]C. Hamilton Men of the Und. 326: Yap, A stupid person.
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 823: yap – A farmer; newcomer; greenhorn.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 429: yap. A dolt or other person easy to dupe; especially a country sucker, an inhabitant of yap town, a.k.a. dog town.

(c) (also yap-yap) attrib. use of sense 2b.

[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ Back to the Woods 63: The yap policeman was for taking Bunch right back to the donjon cell in the rear.
[US]J. Breslin World of Jimmy Breslin (1968) 45: They put me in the yap-yap class, the one that got all the dunces in it.

(d) (US Und.) a criminal’s victim.

[US]J. Flynt World of Graft 42: The citizens are the jayest push o’ yaps in this country.
[US]‘O. Henry’ ‘The Man Higher Up’ in Gentle Grafter (1915) 152: I stand on a street corner and sell a solid gold diamond ring to a yap for $3.00.
[US]Sun (NY) 11 Feb. 11/2: This here yap can’t git away fr’m Arkansas City afo’ to-morrow.
[US]W.R. Burnett Little Caesar (1932) 13: Let the yaps keep their money.
[US]J. Lait Gangster Girl 164: Soon as we clean up this Yale yap.
[US]Howsley Argot: Dict. of Und. Sl.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 242/1: Yap. A stupid person of no consequence; a seemingly gullible prospective victim of thieves, especially swindlers.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 429: yap. A dolt or other person easy to dupe; especially a country sucker.

(e) (US tramp) a novice within the hobo community.

[US]V.W. Saul ‘Vocab. of Bums’ in AS IV:5 346: Yap — A new, untutored arrival.

In compounds

yap asylum (n.)

a night club.

[US]W. Winchell ‘On Broadway’ 31 Mar. [synd. col.] It happened in one of the 52nd Street yap asylums, acording to Henny Youngman.
yap-bean (n.) [bean n.1 (4)]

(US) a rustic.

[US]T. Thursday ‘Hail the Professor’ Top-Notch 1 Sept. [Internet] The first yap-bean who tried to spear the prize was a bird who owned a goatee and a suit that would have made a hit during the times of Robert E. Lee.
yap wagon (n.)

(US) a vehicle taking tourists on sightseeing tours.

[US]Wash. Herald (DC) 27 Apr. 6/5: In the old days before Chinatown became a side show for yap wagons.
[US]O.O. McIntyre ‘New York Day by Day’ 31 May [synd. col.] Yokels waiting for yap wagons to go to Chinatown.
[US]O.O. McIntyre ‘New York Day by Day’ 15 Sept. [synd. col.] The yap wagon barkers have a difficult time these dog days.

In phrases

clap one’s yap (v.)

(US) to be quiet.

[US]H. Ellison ‘Look Me in the Eye, Boy!’ Deadly Streets (1983) 159: I thought I told you to clap your yap?