1. in intransitive senses pertaining to speech.
(a) to curse.
|Second Part of Conny-Catching in Grosart (1881–3) X 99: He began to chafe, and to sweare, and to rap out goggs Nownes.|
|Sir John Oldcastle I ii: O, but you must not swear; it ill becomes One of your coat to rap out bloody oaths.|
|Familiar Letters (1737) I 1 Aug. 207: It is a humour of Swearing in all your discourses; and they are not slight, but deep, far-fetch’d Oaths that you are wont to rap out.|
|Falstaff’s Wedding (1766) II i: Swearing indeed he knew: for, tho’ but a king’s son, he would, as thou say’st, rap out an oath like an emperor.|
|Lame Lover in Coll. Farces & Entertainment VI (1788) 17: You know how angry your mother is at their rapping, and littering the house.|
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Rap [...] to curse.|
|Heart of Mid-Lothian (1883) 219: It’s d---d hard, when three words of your mouth would not give the girl the chance to nick Moll Blood, that you make such scruple about rapping to them.|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Works III (1898) 570: I rapped out a good number of oaths.Fatal Boots in|
|Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open 121: Rap out, to swear, to blow up, be in a passion.|
|Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. (2nd edn) 198: He rapped out a volley of oaths.|
|Pink ’Un and Pelican 72: Now the strong point about George William Brudenell Bruce always was his command of ‘language’ [...] and ‘Ducks’ could ‘rap it out’ in a way that would have made a Billingsgate porter turn green with envy.|
|Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit 129: She turned bright mauve, and I think was about to rap out something in the nature of a Quorn-and-Pytchley expletive.|
(b) to swear a false oath, to perjure oneself; thus as n. a false oath.
|Select Trials ‘Thomas Beck for Robberies’ Apr. 356: Prisoner. this Evidence is a very scandalous Fellow, my lord. He’ll rap anything for the sake of the cole.|
|Amelia (1926) I 56: Though I never saw the lady in my life, she need not be shy of us: d--n me! I scorn to rap* against any lady. [* A cant word meaning to swear, or rather perjure yourself].|
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|New Dict. Cant (1795).|
|Dict. Sl. and Cant.|
|Life and Trial of James Mackcoull 299: She believed he had ne’er a loge; and was sure, unless he rapp’d, he could not post it that the tatler nim’d was his’ne.|
|Modern Flash Dict.|
|Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.|
(c) (UK Und.) to stand accused, to appear guilty.
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 33/1: They can’t find anything on him, and all he can ‘rap’ to is that he had a coat over his arm just like the Scotch boy’s.|
(d) to inform, esp. to the police.
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 34/1: Any one or all of the hotel keepers and landlords of the ‘lush drums’ [...] might ‘come it’ on us, and if we were ‘pinched’ they were sure to ‘rap’ on both of us.|
|Sun (NY) 27 July 40/2: Does he rap to the police?|
|Let Tomorrow Come 141: I’ll rap you to the warden for any more of your gab.|
|Real Bohemia 167: I couldn’t rap, trying to gain time for a story. [Ibid.] 175: The police get little cooperation; ‘squealing,’ now called ‘rapping’ or ‘finking,’ is taboo.|
(e) to talk, to converse.
|Macmillan’s Mag. (London) ‘Autobiog. of a Thief’ XL 501: A reeler came up to me and rapped (said) ‘Now — , you had better go away, or I shall give you a drag (three months in prison’.|
|Referee 12 Feb. n.p.: I saw as a reeler was roasting me brown, / And he rapped, ‘I shall just turn you over.’.‘A Plank Bed Ballad ’ in|
|Girl Proposition 131: A lot of Gilbert’s Friends went around to see her and they began to Rap.|
|How I Became a Detective 88: ‘Rap’ means to speak.|
|Grimhaven 226: ‘Don’t rap to me any more!’ I ordered.|
|Runyon on Broadway (1954) 171: I do not rap to these old friends of mine from Philly at once.‘Gentlemen, the King!’ in|
|Big Con 168: Don’t rap to me.|
|Jive and Sl. n.p.: Got to rap at four ... Have a date.|
|Joint (1972) 47: Let’s walk and rap.Ex Post Facto in|
|Farm (1968) 241: He came in to rap and fart around in general.|
|Semi-Tough 20: She said she wanted to ‘rap with me’ about the ‘underside’ of the athlete’s mind.|
|(con. 1964–73) Bloods (1985) 29: We’d just sit down and just rap. Rap about music, the girls, what was happening in the world.|
|Iced 47: Smoke reefer, rap to whoever you wanted to, or whoever would listen.|
|ONDCP Street Terms 17: Rap — Criminally charged; to talk with someone.|
|This Is How You Lose Her 16: Some Mediterranean Messenger of Love starts rapping to her.|
(f) to have any form of impromptu dialogue.
|Ladies’ Man (1985) 24: I like to rap to my audience, you know, set up a rapport.|
|Indep. Information 14–20 Aug. 12: Kesey doing spoken word and rapping with Ken Babbs.|
(g) (US black) to speak lines in the dozens n. (1)
|Die Nigger Die! 28–29: Signifying is more humane [than the Dozens]. Instead of coming down on somebody’s mother, you come down on them. But, before you can signify you got to be able to rap.|
2. in transitive senses pertaining to speech.
(a) to swear (evidence) against someone; or for someone.
|Narrative of Street-Robberies 11: The Whores are our Safeguard; for when we fling for a Cly, if we are taken on Suspicion, they’ll rap for us.|
|New Dict. Cant (1795) n.p.: rap to swear, to give evidence.|
|Dict. Sl. and Cant.|
|Heart of Mid-Lothian (1883) 220: I hope you’ll think better on it, and rap an oath for her – deil a hair ill there is in it, if ye are rapping again the crown.|
|Modern Flash Dict. 27: Rap – give evidence, take false oath.|
|Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open [as cit. 1835].|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 135/2: It’s best tu moove neowt till thau’s reddy tu ‘namase,’ then thau saves a chance gin thau gits ‘copped,’ fur theiy kant ‘rap’ that eowt ar touched.|
|Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 10 Oct. 1/1: I’ve been trying to unedarth a self-admitted cronk ’un, but they will all persist in cracking dead squares, and are willing to rap to it as well.|
|Confessions of a Detective 17: Not one would rap. It isn’t honor; it’s fear.|
|How I Became a Detective 94: Rap to him – Testify against him.|
(b) to attack verbally, to criticize, to say sharply.
|Macmillan’s Mag. (London) ‘Autobiog. of a Thief’ XL 501: I said, ‘All right,’ but he rapped, ‘It is not all right.’ .|
|Fables in Sl. (1902) 63: A certain Preacher became wise to the fact that he was not making a Hit with his Congregation [...] He suspected they were Rapping him on the Quiet.|
|N.Y. Eve. Post 23 Nov. 5: Football was sharply rapped and rowing was highly praised [DA].|
|Wash. Herald (DC) 10 Sept. 10/5: [headline] Senator thomas Raps Police Union Stand.|
|Hand-made Fables 73: Did the Poker Players and their Friends circulate quietly and do any Rapping? Possibly they influenced only about 10 per cent of the Electors.|
|Free To Love 146: I won’t have you or anybody else rapping Neil.|
|Man with the Golden Arm 277: The Republican precinct captains are handin’ out handbills rappin’ the super.|
|Rally Round the Flag, Boys! (1959) 15: ‘Mine are fine parents too [...].’ ‘So what are you rapping ’em for?’.|
|Essential Lenny Bruce 105: They can rap ya [...] but I’m on your side.|
|Sign of Fool 64: Frank was rapping shit behind my back.|
|Guardian G2 28 June 4: He can be funny and persuasive rapping against the old Club 30–50.|
(c) (US Und.) to recognize.
|Sun (NY) 13 May 14/6: I can rap to a man in a minute if he’s a stranger in this city, just be his talk.|
|S.F. Chron. 6 June 11/5: An unharnessed flatty steps up and raps to me.|
|Wash. Times (DC) 14 Sept. 10/4: Rap to him — Testify against him; Identify.|
|‘Blacklisted’ in Wash. Post 21 Mar. 8/3: Rapped to the way that I stood to the pan? Rapped to the way that I wung?|
|Keys to Crookdom 415: Rap to – to recognize, as ‘I rapped him’.|
|Chicago May (1929) 261: Rap—to put wise.|
(d) (US) to charge; to prosecute, to arrest with a view to prosecution.
|Life In Sing Sing 252: Rap. to prosecute.|
|Jackson Dly News (MS) 1 Apr. 7/1: Crook Chatter [...] ‘I just been tipped that you want to rap me for a South Side job’.|
|Gangster Girl 180: No punk copper or rube sheriff looking for a quick rep was going to put over on him an unexpected frisk and rap him on the concealed weapon joke.|
|Room to Swing 30: Rap him, send him up.|
|(con. 1920s) Legs 162: The judge rapped him with a twenty-five-dollar fine or thirty days.|
|ONDCP Street Terms 17: Rap — Criminally charged; to talk with someone.|
(e) (US) to persuade, to trick out of.
|‘Don’t Give Your Right Name’ in Goulart (1967) 24: Some sharpshooter is always rapping suckers for their nickels.|
|Chili 70: I rapped my way into an invitation.|
(f) (Aus., also rap up) to praise, esp. to praise to excess.
|Call Me When the Cross Turns Over (1958) 138: ‘You dream and feel hopeless, I don’t.’ ‘Rapping yourself up a bit, aren’t you?’ [Ibid.] 174: They couldn’t rap him up enough then. Everywhere they went they spread the story.|
|Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. [Internet] Rap. 3. To praise. As in ‘giving it a rap’.|
|Sun-Herald (Sydney) 8 Mar. 84: After leaving the room, Cassidy was still rapping Quinton. ‘You would have thought he was 22 years old the way he pushed his way through the gap.’ [GAW4].|
(g) to indulge in repartee, street-talk, to have a rapport with.
|Drugs from A to Z (1970) 219: rap [...] (1) to talk, especially to talk the jargon of the addict’s life. (2) to gossip, converse.|
|Airtight Willie and Me 14: His face was booby-trapped with pearly con as he rapped his opener.|
|(con. 1982–6) Cocaine Kids (1990) 90: All the Kids would rap, charm (talk to), or game to impress girlfriends; hang it up (insult) or fresh (compliment) male friends by using special words.|
(h) (US black) to talk with the aim of seduction.
|Third Ear n.p.: rap v. […] 3. to talk to a girl with romance in mind.|
|Union Dues (1978) 185: Most the men in the world, they see you walkin down the street, they rap with you, they get you down in bed even, they thinkin bout just one thing.|
3. (orig. Aus.) to knock out, to kill.
|Robbery Under Arms (1922) 168: If he tries to draw a weapon, or move ever so little, he’s rapped at that second.|
|Classics in Sl. 82: His broad was out in front to see him get rapped for a row of stewpans, too.|
|Last Exit to Brooklyn (1966) 73: If he dont pass out I’ll just rapim with somethin.|
(orig. US) to malign, to criticize unfairly.
|Hiparama of the Classics 29: They bad rapped the poo’ Car [i.e. the Marquis de Sade] every step of the way.|
|Hippie Trip 190: I’d rant and rave [...] and shout and bad-rap people.|
|Requiem for a Dream (1987) 245: Ah aint bad rappin ya.|
|(con. 1960) Straight Life 226: If someone bad-rapped you to a friend of yours, he’d say, ‘Hey, man don’t talk about him like that’.|
|(con. 1998–2000) You Got Nothing Coming 118: This is the first time [...] I have heard one C.O. ‘bad-rap’ another to an inmate.|
(US black) to speak sincerely, honestly.
|Jailhouse Jargon and Street Sl. [unpub. ms.].|
1. to own up to; to declare.
|N.Y. Times 7 Mar. 10/5: A store has been robbed of goods worth $10,000, and the detectives manage in some way to discover $100, which is ‘rapped to,’ that is, identified by the owner beyond all question.|
2. to recognize; to work out; to discover.
|From First to Last (1954) 76: I took one flash at his map, and I knew him. It was Pew. [...] The Shine rapped to him as quick as I did.‘The Informal Execution of Soupbone Pew’ in|
|Story Omnibus (1966) 148: ‘How’d you rap to it?’ Quayle asked me, politely.‘The Gatewood Caper’|
see sense 2f above.