Green’s Dictionary of Slang

tumble n.

1. in senses of understanding, apprehension.

(a) [mid-19C–1930s] (UK Und.) an act of discovery.

(b) [late 19C+] (US) a sign of recognition, a response.

(c) [20C+] (US Und.) an arrest.

2. [late 19C+] an act of sexual intercourse.

3. [1920s] (US Und.) a chance, an opportunity.

In phrases

do a tumble (v.)

[1900s] of a woman, to have sexual intercourse with a man.

give someone a tumble (v.)

1. [late 19C+] to have sexual intercourse.

2. [1920s] in fig. use of sense 1, to do someone a favour, to give a present.

3. [1920s+] (US) to recognize, to acknowledge.

smack a tumble (v.)

[1940s] to recognise.

take a tumble (v.)

1. [late 19C+] to come to a realization, to work something out; thus take a tumble to oneself v., to become aware of one’s own character (usu. its negatives).

2. to be sexually attracted towards.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

give it a tumble (v.)

[1910s+] to try out, to experiment.

take a tumble (v.)

1. [1900s] (US Und.) to ‘fall for’ a confidence trick.

2. [1930s–50s] (US Und.) to be arrested and jailed.