Green’s Dictionary of Slang

creep n.

[fig. uses of SE]

1. a stealthy robber, a sneak thief, esp. one who works in a brothel.

[US]Jackson & Hellyer Vocab. Criminal Sl. 26: creep [...] Current amongst crooked pimps. A creeper, a crawler. who searches the clothes of a victim while the latter is abed with the creep’s paramour.
[US]M.C. Sharpe Chicago May (1929) 255: I have been a badger, pay-off, note-layer, creep, panel, and blackmailer.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 52/2: Creep. [...] 2. A petty thief, especially a door-matter, one who steals clothing from clotheslines, etc.
[UK]‘Charles Raven’ Und. Nights 9: Sapphire Harris is generally acknowledged to be the finest Creep in the business.
[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS.
[UK] in G. Tremlett Little Legs 193: creep thief.

2. (also creep game) the profession of sneak-thieving, esp. when pursued in a brothel.

[US]M.C. Sharpe Chicago May: Her Story in Hamilton (1952) 130: Let me turn now to creeps. This branch, as its name implies, is pulled off by a confederate, who sneaks up to and robs the man’s clothes while he is otherwise engaged. [...] The creeping may be done from under the bed, from an adjoining room, from a closet, or even from a large trunk.
[UK]E. Raymond Marsh 258: It’ll have to be done at the creep when she’s in bed.
[US]B. Gonzales I Paid My Dues 97: ‘The Creep game’ where one girl actually does the physical work while another would rob the victims pockets.

3. an unpleasant person, with poss. implication of some physical peculiarity or of criminality [orig. dial.].

[UK]J. March Wild Party (1968) 111: Jesus Christ, what a stupid creep.
[US]C. Odets Golden Boy III iii: Listen, you creep! Why don’t you change your tune for a minute!
[US]B. Schulberg Harder They Fall (1971) 135: He [...] fell in with those creeps who have connections with the clubs.
[US]R. Prather Scrambled Yeggs 6: The little creep got on the other side of him.
[UK]W. Hall Long and the Short and the Tall Act I: The creep. The stupid nit!
[UK]M.K. Joseph Pound of Saffron 203: Jeez, what a creep.
[Aus]‘Charles Barrett’ Address: Kings Cross 38: ‘You are nothing but an egotistical creep who doesn’t know how to treat any girl’.
[US](con. 1960s) R. Price Wanderers 37: The other smart kids would nothing to do with him because he was such a creep.
[UK]F. Norman Dead Butler Caper 97: I snarled like a thirties movie gangster: ‘Leave off tapping my blower, yuh lousy creeps’.
[UK]P. Theroux London Embassy 15: I don’t care what you do [...] but you’re not taking this creep into my house.
[US]P. Corris ‘Marriages Are Made in Heaven’ in Heroin Annie [e-book] There seems to be some creep hanging around Selina’s flat.
[US]C. Hiaasen Skin Tight 31: Likes to model, but hates some of the creeps who take the pictures.
[UK]E. St Aubyn ‘Never Mind’ in Some Hope (1994) 92: I thought that Nicholas Pratt was a total creep.
[Aus]P. Temple Bad Debts (2012) [ebook] That creep in Sydney I told you about. The regional director?
[Aus]T. Winton ‘Cockleshell’ in Turning (2005) 131: What a lurker he must have been, what a creep!
[US]Codella and Bennett Alphaville (2011) 346: There will always be a certain echelon of street creep using drugs, gullibility [...] and a bullshit rap.
[UK](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 69: Daein ma airm the wey that Swanney creep showed us.

4. departure, esp. surreptitious.

[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks n.p.: Beating a creep around a slider, to escape from the law, especially when being trailed by the police.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 129: The Chicagoans [...] were pulling a creep in a dozen different directions, each one trailing his own personal rainbow.
[US]H. Simmons Corner Boy 177: Everybody loves and hates and has babies and pulls creeps.
[US]L. Bing Do or Die (1992) 206: They don’t catch us as much because we just got our little secret creeps.

5. (US black) a clandestine meeting.

[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS 129/2: creep n. A clandestine meeting or mission.

6. (drugs) an addict who begs or barters services for their narcotics rather than resorting to crime to obtain the funds to buy them.

[US]R.R. Lingeman Drugs from A to Z (1970) 72: creep An addict who, because of fear, incompetence, or isolation, does not engage in risky, criminal activities to raise money for drugs but rather begs them, does errands, or lends out a hypodermic needle in exchange for a taste of someone else’s drugs.

7. a spree.

[UK]Sporting Times 23 Aug. 5/3: E & the dokter ave gorn orf in a four-wheeler, on wot they corl a whisky creep.
[US]Grateful Dead ‘Good Lovin’’ [lyrics] I came home one morning / I’d been out on a four-day creep. / Drinking and gambling.

8. stealthiness; the ability to be unnoticed.

[US]Simon & Burns ‘Old Cases’ Wire ser. 1 ep. 4 [TV script] I got some creep to me. And my uncle he knows that.

9. see creep joint n. (1)

In derivatives

creepazoid (n.) (also creepaloid) [quasi SE sfx -azoid/-aloid]

(US) an unpleasant person.

[UK]D. Gram Foxes (1980) 16: The creep in the car, creepaloid.
[US]Hauser & DeCoteau [title] Creepazoids.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles [CBS-TV] That creepazoid is more of a rat than Splinter will ever be.
[US]J. Ellroy ‘Jungletown Jihad’ in Destination: Morgue! (2004) 364: He’s a creepazoid. He whipped it out on a friend of mine.
creepsville (n.)

see separate entry .

In compounds

creep game (n.)

see sense 2 above .

creepshot (n.)

a voyeuristic picture of an unsuspecting woman or girl, which is then disseminated on the Internet.

[UK]Independent (London) 19 Oct. [Internet] Posting ‘creepshots’ or sharing explicit photographs without the subject’s permission is abuse.

see separate entries .

In phrases

at/on the creep

working as a sneak-thief.

[UK] ‘English Und. Sl.’ in Variety 8 Apr. n.p.: At the creep — Picking lady’s skirt pocket while walking.
[UK]F. Norman Bang To Rights 120: When they are out they go screwing or on the creep or do a blag.
[UK]J. Healy Streets Above Us (1991) 156: Fuck him, if he goes on the creep here, thinks Mo dejectedly. He’ll spoil it for me.
[US]T.I. ‘Doin My Job’ [lyrics] Every time something up in the hood, it ain’t me / And I ain’t always up to no good and on the creep / [...] / accusations of stealing / And burglarizing your house, I mean you just hurting my feelings.
do a creep (v.)

to move quietly, surreptitiously.

[UK]B. Hill Boss of Britain’s Underworld 113: We’ll do a creep on him, nick his keys while’s asleep, and open his place during the night.
[UK]F. Norman Stand on Me 31: She reckoned we had better keep dead shtoom [...] so we did a creep up the stairs.
on the creep (adv.)

cheaply; in a second-rate manner.

[UK] ‘’Arry on the ’Oliday Season’ in Punch 16 Aug. 74/3: Though travelling’s cheap, / It do scatter the scamps jest a few, if you don’t care to go on the creep.