Green’s Dictionary of Slang

nap v.1

[nab v.1 or related to Swedish/Norwegian nappa or Danish nappe, to snatch, snap; cf. knap v.]

1. (UK Und., also nap on) to cheat at dice.

[UK]Dekker Canters Dict. Eng. Villainies (9th edn) n.p.: Nap, Nip, to Cheat.
[UK]Behn Sir Patient Fancy V i: Pray, how long is’t since you left Toping and Napping, for Quacking, good Brother Cater-tray?
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Nap c. by Cheating with the Dice to secure one Chance.
[UK]T. Brown Amusements Serious and Comical in Works (1744) III 60: [They] practise the old trade of cross-biting cullies, assisting the frail square dye with high and low fullams, and other napping tricks.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.

2. to steal.

[UK]‘L.B.’ New Academy of Complements 204: The twelth a Trapan, if a Cull he doth meet, / He naps all his Cole, and turns him i’th street.
[UK]Head Eng. Rogue IV 152: Which Arts are divided into that of High-Padding, Low-Padding, Cloy-Filing, Bung-Nipping, Prancers Prigging, Duds-Lifting, Rhum-Napping, Cove-Cuffing, Mort-Trapping, Stamp-Flashing, Ken-Milling, Jerk the Naskin.
[UK]J. Poulter Discoveries (1774) 17: A great deal of it will be in Halfpence, and it is easy to be napt, that is, taken. [Ibid.] 29: They will open a Piece of Stuff and hold it up between the Owner and their Partner that sits down with her Petticoats half up ready for the Word nap it; then she puts it between her Carriers [...] and so walks off.
‘On Newgate Steps Jack Chance was Found’ [song] His daddle clean he’d slip between, / In a crowd he’d nap a clout unseen.
[UK]G. Parker Life’s Painter 136: I only napt a couple of bird’s eye wipes, which I have just fenc’d to the Cove at that there Ken.
[UK] ‘A Song, How a Flat became a Prigg’ in Confessions of Thomas Mount 21: His daddles clean, he’ll slip between / A croud, a clout he’ll nap unseen.
[UK] ‘Jolly Butcher’ No. 26 Papers of Francis Place (1819) n.p.: Three Bailiffs took him napping. [Ibid.] ‘Tom the Drover’ No. 30 n.p.: Sal Squiney ’tother night nap’d a tatler.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]D. Haggart Autobiog. 27: I see a cove with a rum lil, I’ll nap it.
[US]T. Haliburton Letter-bag of the Great Western (1873) 106: I ope to nap many a reader yet.
[UK]Egan ‘Jack Flashman’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 141: Jack long was on the town, a teazer; / A spicy blade for wedge or sneezer; / Could turn his fives to anything / Nap a reader, or filch a ring.
[Aus]Melbourne Courier 2 July 3/4: The prisoner pressed them to drink, but he refused to serve them with any, and conceiving all was not right, he took Watson’s money amounting, to 18s 9d from him, the moment he did so the prisoner said to another man, (his mate,) ‘that the bloke had napped it; it is a shiser’ .
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]W. Hooe Sharping London 35: Nap the swag, to divide the plunder.
[UK]‘Charles Raven’ Und. Nights 42: Napping a friend’s tame field-mouse.
[UK]A. Wheatle Crongton Knights 75: Venetia should step to the feds and report that this Sergio bruv napped her phone .

3. to take into custody.

[UK] ‘Of the Budge’ Head Canting Academy (1674) 11: But if the cully nap us, / An the lurries from us take, / O then they rub us to the Whitt / And it is hardly worth a make.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew.
[UK]J. Shirley Triumph of Wit 187: Nor are they wanting if the Cove nap ’em; that is, if they are taxed with it, to make horrid Imprecations that they are innocent; yet the Whipping-post has such a powerful Spell attending it, that it many times obliges them to recant their Cant, in making Restitution. [Ibid.] 195: The Napping Cove is hoodwink’d [The Hue and Cry is belated].
[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy IV 320: When Tally-men had no Faith, / With Strumpets and Whores; / But nap’d them in the Streets, / By Dozens and Scores.
[UK]T. Walker The Quaker’s Opera II i: The Bum who has the Writ against you, swears he’ll nap you.
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict. 30: The Eighth is a Bulk that can bulk any hick, / If the Master be napp’d, then the Bulk he is sick.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 17 Aug. 11/4: As he’s living somewhere handy / Where he can be easy snapped / On some other faked-up charge / Then in chokey he are napped.

4. to consume.

[UK]G. Parker View of Society II 107: He had put a whole bottle of rum into the tea-kettle; from which she poured out a quantity [...] and continued pouring and tasting alternately, until she had completely napt the suck.
[UK] ‘Rolling Blossom’ in Festival of Anacreon in Wardroper Lovers, Rakers and Rogues (1995) 178: At the New Drop I napped my bub.

5. to suffer punishment; to receive a blow.

[UK]J. Poulter Discoveries (1774) 42: I napt the Flog at the Tumbler; I was whipt at the Cart’s Tail.
[UK]W.T. Moncrieff Tom and Jerry II iv: I’ve nobb’d him on the canister; he napp’d it under the lug, too.
[UK]Egan Bk of Sports 25: The left Peeper of Perkins napt it, and the claret followed.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 20 Sept. 3/1: Billy napped it with the right on the listener very heavy.
[UK]Era 10 Aug. 4/2: He, ther downey bird, waz won ov ther victims, and I thout how he’d nap it wen he got home. O, crikey!
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 66: ‘You’ll nap it,’ you will catch a beating!
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 11 Feb. 4/1: A man gets ‘his claret tapped’ and ‘his peepres bunged’ and ‘naps it on the conk’.
(con. 1852) Miles Tom Sayers 17: Grant went in to mill, but napped it on the left ear and nose with severity.
[UK] ‘’Arry on the River’ in Punch 9 Aug. 57/1: It ain’t nice when a feller naps one in the eye.

6. (also nap on) to seize, to catch, to lay hold of (a person or thing).

[UK]New Canting Dict. n.p.: To Nap, signifies also to seize, apprehend, lay hold or, or arrest.
[UK]Sporting Mag. June IV 180/1: Those downish means to thrive, by which you nap’d the quids.
[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 313: You are a pretty Cove, — , an’t you?To nap a prime stake and then to ding it.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.

In phrases

nap a winder (v.) (also nap the winder) [winder n.1 ]

1. (also knap a winder, nap the winding post) to be transported for life.

[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang. in McLachlan (1964) 279: A man transported for his natural life is said to be lag’d for his wind, or to have knap’d a winder, or a bellowser.
[UK]Jack Randall’s Diary 26: A fellow, who was fit at most, To scrag, or nap the winding post.
[UK]Metropolitan Mag. 14 330: Damn a hulker, especially if he’s knap’d a winder.
[US] ‘Hundred Stretches Hence’ in Matsell Vocabulum 124: Some rubbed to whit had napped a winder, / And some were scragged and took a blinder.

2. to be hanged.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (1984) 778/1: —1859.

3. to receive an unpleasant shock.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (1984) 778/1: ca.1860–1935.
nap it (v.) (also knap it)

to receive severe punishment, esp. in a boxing-match.

[UK] ‘Battle’ in Fancy I XVII 406: Poor John Bull has napt it.
[US]Emerald (N.Y.) 16 Oct. 109/1–2: Round 23. – Facers of some weight on both sides. Hammond napped it on the right ogle.
[UK]C. Dance Alive and Merry II iii: And here comes my missus; if she catches me with you, I shall nap it.
[UK]J. Lindridge Sixteen-String Jack 88: I bobbed and the landlord got a bob in the eye, for pon my soul he just exactly napped it.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict. 186: Nap, or NAB ‘you’ll NAP it,’ i.e., you will catch a beating!
[UK]Sl. Dict. 209: Knap to receive, to take. Generally applied to the receipt of punishments; ‘oh, my! wont he just knap it when he gets home!’.
[UK]J. Greenwood Dick Temple I 71: Is that what you call fair play [...] You’ll nap it for that.
[UK]Bell’s Life in London 3 Jan. 8, 4: Johnny led off with his left, but napped it in return from Bungaree’s left on the temple, which raised a bump [F&H].
nap one’s bib (v.) (also nab one’s bib, nab the bib, nap..., nob...) [nap v.1 /nab v.1 + SE bib, to weep]

to weep, esp. for effect, i.e. to get one’s way, to put across one’s point.

[UK]G. Parker Life’s Painter 138: The melting pot receiver, proved his selling the clink to him (naps the bib) and that’s what did him over.
[UK] ‘Flash Lang.’ in Confessions of Thomas Mount 19: I’m napping my bib, I’m crying.
[US]H. Tufts Autobiog. (1930) 293: Napping his bib signifies crying.
[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang.
[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 264: Dirty Suke [...] began now to nap her bib, but the tears could not roll down her cheeks for the dirt.
[UK]Comic Almanack Apr. 132: Don’t nab the bib, my Bet, this chance must happen soon or later.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open 116: Nob the bib, to cry and wipe the eyes.
[UK]Kendal Mercury 3 Apr. 6/2: Tell mother that we can’t do with Ned tomorrow, cause he’s a regular squeaker (cross child) and willent nab the bib (cry).
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 67: NAPPING ONE’S BIB, to cry, shed tears, or carry one’s point.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.