1. (also taker-up) the member of a criminal gang who keeps watch or entices a victim into a crooked gambling game; spec. part of a barnard’s law team see under barnard n.
|Detection of Vyle and Detestable Use of Dice Play 37: The first is the taker-up, of a skilful man in all things, who hath, by long travail, conned, without the book, a hundred reasons to insinuate himself into a man’s acquaintance.|
|‘Bashe Libel’ in May & Bryson Verse Libel 77: Privy promoters and paravayers, / Pollers, takers, and pilferers.|
|Notable Discovery of Coosnage in Grosart (1881–3) X 10: The Taker up seemeth a skilful man in al things, who hath by long trauell learned without Booke a thousand pollicies to insinuate himself into a mans acquaintance. [Ibid.] 38: In Barnards lawe. He that fetcheth the man, the Taker He that is taken, the Coofin The landed man, the Verser The dronken man, the Barnard And he that makes the fray, the Rutter.|
|Belman of London F: The Verser, is a fellow more Graue in speech and habite, and seems to be a Landed man; his part is to second what the Taker begins, and to giue countenace to the Act.|
2. (US) a person who accepts an offer or challenge.
|It Is Never Too Late to Mend II 295: ‘I have a bet to propose. I’ll bet you fifty pounds I find the man you two hunted down the road on Monday night.’ ‘No takers’ replied Mr. Hazeltine.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 17 Oct. 5/2: There’ll be no takers for a kiss.|
|Clicking of Cuthbert 12: Down in the cellar with no takers.|
|Yarns of Billy Borker 39: They drop the price to a hundred quid [...] still no takers.|
|Viz June–July 33: Now, let’s see if there are any takers.|
|Penguin Bk of More Aus. Jokes 451: No takers. No surprise – the Masked Monster was built like a brick dunny.|
3. (UK Und.) a receiver of stolen goods.
|Phenomena in Crime 253: A buyer or taker. A ‘fence.’.|
|DAUL 219/1: Taker. 1. Buyer of stolen goods.et al.|
|Brown’s Requiem 16: I would have to watch my personal morality, but stay on the side of the takers.|
4. (US gay/prison) a passive prison homosexual.
|DAUL 219/1: Taker. [...] 2. (P) A passive pederast; a male oral copulator.et al.|
|Queens’ Vernacular 155: If a stray lamb finds himself surrounded by a pack of givers (as opposed to takers, ie those who ‘take it up the ass’), he will be given a gang-splash.|