1. a gambler, on cards, dice, horses, dogs etc.
|New World of Words (6th edn) n.p.: Punter, a Term us’d at the Game of Cards call’d Basset.|
|Lives of the Gamesters (1930) 240: Punter, a Term for every one of the Gamesters that play.|
|Sporting Mag. Mar. III 321/1: Ponte, French. Punter, English, from punto, Italian for a point. The player at Faro [...] is called so from punting, or staking his money on the number of points a card contains.|
|Vanity Fair III 263: She was at home with everybody in the place, pedlars, punters, tumblers, students and all.|
|Bell’s Life in Victoria (Melbourne) 4 July 4/4: [T]here is no more integrity among ‘punters’ than compassion in a hungry tiger.|
|Gaslight and Daylight 175: The poor little ‘punters’ one sees at Hombourg and Baden-Baden – men with ‘systems’ [...] who would have always won fifty thousand florins to a dead certainty.|
|Sl. Dict. 262: Punter a small professional backer of horses.|
|Sporting Times 1 Nov. 2/5: I’m a backer — nicknamed punter — and of fortune I’m a hunter.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 22 Oct. 14/1: In spite of the well-known fact that early two-year-old form is more reliable than any other, punters generally let Lady Betty alone for the Nursery Handicap on Saturday.|
|Truth (Sydney) 19 Aug. 6/3: Quite a little army of silver punters seem to be under the impression that ‘Maori’ still carries on business.|
|Round London 139: The hard part of the case is that the punter has not brought his misfortune upon himself.|
|Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 14 Dec. 1/7: The word 'punter' was originally applied to one who played against the banker or dealer, as in baccarat .|
|Sporting Times 25 Mar. 1/5: ‘A Punter——Holloway!’ Punts with the warders, in dumplings, we suppose?|
|Salt Lake Herald (UT) 26 Mar. 5/1: Hardy Downing [...] translates the Australian slang in the above as follows: ‘Ikeys’ are bookmakers; a ‘punter’ is a small better; ‘magging’ is eqivalent to the term ‘kidding’.|
|Three Elephant Power 136: Among the throng the heaviest punter is a fat lady with diamond earrings.‘Done for the Double’ in|
|Crooks of the Und. 68: One wide-awake punter [...] realised I was knocking, he gave the alarm.|
|Red Wind (1946) 211: Maybe it’s some Spring Street punter’s idea of how to make himself a little easy dough.‘Guns At Cyrano’s’ in|
|Lucky Palmer 3: Usually a few punters went across to the Grand for a drink after each race.|
|Fings I i: An’ you find some punters, or we’ve ’ad it.|
|Crust on its Uppers 23: He really could [...] stick a fork (he did this once) into the hand of a moody punter at a chemmy game.|
|Family Arsenal 165: He was a heavy punter – always showing off with his money and talking about his connections.|
|Real Thing 9: The club was locked up [...] and the punters had drfited away.|
|Zoom 68: One punter surfaced in the ship-canal / having shed a pair of concrete-slippers.‘The Stuff’ in|
|Deathdeal [ebook] [T]he gawking five-dollar punters, pensioners and loudmouths.|
|Indep. Mag. 6 Aug. 18: Danny’s a big punter.|
|Chopper 4 57: It seems Mike Alexander is still a keen punter.|
2. (Aus.) a small-time, cautious gambler.
|Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 118: PUNTER: betting slang a small cautious better [...] In contradistinction to a ‘plunger’.|
3. (N.Z.) a pickpocket’s assistant.
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 164: punter A pickpocket’s assistant with the job of distracting the target.|
4. the victim of a confidence trickster’s schemes.
|Cheapjack 187: But when the grafter decides that it is time for him to get the punter’s money, he leans casually against the stall. [Ibid.] 320: Punter, a grafter’s customer, client or victim.|
|Crust on its Uppers 21: The real morries [...] flying dodgy kites with each other at bent spielers till the punter [...] outs his kiting-book too and scribbles a straight one.|
|Price viii 253: They were three card tricksters. Their patter never changed, but still punters stood for it.|
5. a generic term for a member of the general public, particularly when in the role of customer, esp. of a prostitute, a casino and other slightly ‘shady’ enterprises.
|Romany Life 203: They were fairly good ‘punters’ for my pills.|
|Indiscreet Guide to Soho 65: The professional tarts [...] rarely pay for a drink and some club proprietors encourage them to bring in their ‘punters’ or clients.|
|Yarns of Billy Borker 102: Mad punters, they were, that’s when they had any money.|
|You Flash Bastard 15: There had been rumours that Manso in his time had put money into that judge for various favours. While a lot of punters would doubt the corruptibility of a judge [...] Sneed knew just how well-founded those rumours were.|
|Flame: a Life on the Game 80: That was part of the psychology. When the punters get there, they find it’s nicer than they had imagined.|
|Hip-Hop Connection Dec. 28: The diverse range of punters who bought that massive international hit.|
|Guardian 27 Jan. 19: They have insulted the punters, the ordinary gay people who bought their tickets and simply wanted a day out without being abused.|
|Crime Factory: Hard Labour [ebook] The Sydney punters couldn’t get enough of [...] the dakka.‘Grassed’ in|
6. (Scot. gang) a gang member.
|(con. mid-1960s) Glasgow Gang Observed 235: Punter – a gang member.|