1. alert, aware, au fait.
|[||Pandora Act I: Hold my Lord, you are out at first, one of us is very brown I assure you].|
|‘I Am A Blowen Togg’d Out So Gay’ in Flare-Up Songster 16: I am sure there is none on the town / Who can do the thing that is right half so brown.|
|‘The Frolicsome Methodist Parson’ in Knowing Chaunter 39: With toying he made her quite mute, / His vows lasted ten months, or nearly, / Till Miss Green found it was a BROWN suit, / And saw she was done very clearly.|
|Snarleyyow I 4: He was in a brown study, yet looked blue.|
|Dubliners (1956) 197: ‘Well, I hope, Miss Morkan,’ said Mr Browne, ‘that I’m brown enough for you because, you know, I’m all Brown.’.‘The Dead’|
2. (Aus.) cunning, corrupt.
|Truth (Sydney) 1 Jan. 8/3: By and by they tumbles on it: / (My word, too, the game were brown).|
(Aus.) to be ‘in the know’.
|Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 11 Sept. 2/5: Gives the gents a bogus password, / And they think they’re going brown.|