Green’s Dictionary of Slang

soak v.2

also soak it to
[var. on sock v.1 (1)]

1. (US) to hit.

[US]F.P. Dunne in Schaaf Mr Dooley’s Chicago (1977) 45: The worst he ever got was some friend of McElliott’s soaking him with a brick.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ I Need The Money 55: Vy doan’d dem burgugulars make a cameing so I soak dem mit dis egg-slapper!
[US]Van Loan ‘“Butterfly” Boggs: Pitcher’ in Lucky Seventh (2004) 243: He got into a jam in North Platte, and somebody soaked a constable.
[US]Bud Fisher ‘Mutt and Jeff’ [comic strip] Gee, it’s great to be a six-footer. I feel like soaking every guy I meet!
[US]W. Edge Main Stem 94: I soaked him so damn’ hard he can’t walk.
[US]E. Caldwell Poor Fool 29: He got soaked the last two or three times.
[US]N. Algren Never Come Morning (1988) 109: Come on now! There! Soak him!

2. (US) in fig. use, to give, to punish, to criticize.

[US]W. Norr Stories of Chinatown 51: It was a clear case against me, and I got soaked for fourteen years and two months.
[US]J. London Road 165: I had just come out of jail [...] and I knew that if the police ‘pinched’ me again, I’d get good and ‘soaked.’.
[US]Ade Knocking the Neighbors 196: We have rounded up a tough bunch of Ginks. [...] I shall ask your Honor to Soak them good and proper.
[UK](con. WWI) N&Q 12 Ser. IX 417: What of the man who had been ‘soaked’ for a fatigue, but who by ‘working his head’ had managed to ‘touch out’ for ‘a soft job’.
[US]Joe Hill ‘The Portland County Jail’ in Anderson Hobo 211: I had no money to pay my fine, / No friends to go my bail, / So I got soaked for ninety days / In the Portland County Jail.
[US](con. 1918) J. Stevens Mattock 248: We’ll soak you for fair.
[US]D. Lamson We Who Are About to Die 137: They can’t soak you with a prison sentence for a county-jail offence.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 201/2: Soak, v. 1. (Rare) To sentence to prison or county jail. 2. To sentence to an excessive term in prison.

3. (orig. US) to overcharge or charge a high price, to tax heavily, to extort money from, to cheat; thus soaking n.; soak on v., to increase a price.

[US]N.Y. Dramatic News 23 Nov. 2/2: This little scheme sometimes [...] enables the photographer to ‘soak’ them [DA].
[US]Wkly Messenger (St Martinsville, LA) 5 Aug. 1/3: It was a put-up job to soak me .
[US]Ade More Fables in Sl. (1960) 122: He soaked the Colonel for $32.75 in Fines and Costs.
[US]G. Bronson-Howard Enemy to Society 38: They ain’t got any right to git any franchise that soaks the citizens of New York City five cents for every telephone call.
[US]S. Ford Shorty McCabe on the Job 97: Didn’t we soak the price on when that Moulin Rouge guy came after us, though?
A. Baer [no title] 10 Aug. [synd. col.] On the Fourth of July the heirs of Jesse James soaked the poor two bills a throw.
[UK]Wodehouse Inimitable Jeeves 40: She would be jolly well advised [...] to soak you for substantial damages.
[US]L. Berg Prison Nurse (1964) 95: What are you soaking them for rye?
[US]T. Thursday ‘Sing Sing Sweeney’ in Crack Detective Jan. [Internet] Seven Sure Systems for Soaking Suckers.
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit 67: A woman who fears she is going to be soaked for another couple of bob.
[UK]R. Cook Crust on its Uppers 115: I had been dying to give them a good soaking for years.
[UK]R. Rendell Best Man To Die (1981) 161: No one would have been any the wiser if Hatton hadn’t been greedy and started soaking Jay.
[NZ]F.A. Cleary A Pocketful of Years 37: With Lizzie and the girls soaking him dry for new outfits and things he hasn’t a cent to bless himself with.
[US]S. King It (1987) 238: Mrs Kaspbrak, Mr Keene knew, was one of those people who believed nothing cheap could do a person much good. He could really have soaked her for her son’s HydOx Mist.
[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak 131: Soak – to obtain a quantity of money from a victim.

4. (orig. US) to win money from; thus in passive, to be beaten, to lose.

[US]H. Blossom Checkers 45: We might get soaked in doubling up before we win.
[US]C.L. Cullen Tales of the Ex-Tanks 236: I had soaked ’em for $5,200 up to that third day before the [race] meeting closed.
[US]C.L. Cullen More Ex-Tank Tales 57: Senator Ed Wolcott had soaked one of the Long Branch faro banks to the tune of $25,000.
[UK]J. Curtis Look Long Upon a Monkey 43: Now we can go and soak the bookies for our money.

5. to cheat in non-financial contexts.

[US]Chicago Journal 26 May in Fleming Unforgettable Season (1981) 77: The umpiring was hideous. Both teams were well soaked, umpirical errors being pretty evenly divided.