1. trickery, fraud; usu. as understand trap ; up to trap
|implied in understand trap|
|Examen 549: Some cunning Persons, that had found out his Foible, and Ignorance of Trap, first put him in great Fright.|
2. one who blackmails a prostitute’s client.
|Regulator 21: Martin’s Brandy shop [...] is used by the Traps Buttocks and Files, the Man himself goes on the Trap.|
|Lives of Most Notorious Highway-men, etc. (1926).|
|Thief-Catcher 22: There is another Set of Rogues, in and about London, known and distinguished by the Name of Trapps.|
|(con. 1710–25) Tyburn Chronicle II in (1999) xxviii: A Trap He that after a Buttock and file, has bit a Cull of his Pocket-Book, makes it his Business to find out where the Man lives, and extort Money from him to prevent his being exposed.|
|Real Life in London I 45: He found himself considerably in debt, and was compelled to seek refuge in an obscure lodging, somewhere in the neighbourhood of Kilburn, in order to avoid the traps.|
|Modern Flash Dict. 5: Beau traps – genteel dressed sharpers, fortune hunters.|
3. (also trapsman) usu. in pl., a policeman or similar agent of the law [metonymy].
|Hudibras Redivivus I:4 8: All girt with Chaps, men, Boys and Women, / Traps, Divers, Punks, and Serjeants, Yeomen.|
|View of Society II 148: It is very common to hear them say, that the Traps are after Such-a-one.|
|‘Mount’s Flash Song Upon Himself’ in Confessions of Thomas Mount 22: I was surrounded by the traps, / And to the quod they did me steer.|
|‘The Blue Lion’ inI (1975) 32: Into his room the Traps they come.|
|Vocab. of the Flash Lang.|
|Tom Crib’s Memorial to Congress xxvi: As a means of eluding the vigilance of a certain class of persons, called flashice, Traps, or in common language, Bow-street-Officers.|
|Real Life in London I 550: Why, the traps have nibbled him. He is arrested, and gone to a lock-up shop, a place of mere accommodation for gentlemen to take up their abode.|
|‘The Slap-Up Cracksman’ Swell!!! or, Slap-Up Chaunter 42: The traps are snoozed – so we can swig / Without fear of touch or pig.|
|‘Cock-Eyed Sukey’ in Cove in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) IV 219: Tho’ trapsmen roar, yet free from harms, / William shall sneak home to his punk.|
|Colonial Times (Hobart) 26 Apr. 3/2: [T]he prisoner said he did not know what they (the traps) wanted him fo.|
|Sixteen-String Jack 107: Are we to have the blessed traps on our heels before we start?|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 1 Feb 3/3: Mary [...] transferred her anger on the instant to the ‘trap,’ on whose countenance she planted her ‘bunch of fives’.|
|Paved with Gold 252: I know every d—d ‘trap’ — that’s a constable — in the place.|
|Seven Curses of London 86: They can discover the detective in his innocent-looking smock-frock or bricklayer jacket. [...] They know him by his step, or by his clumsy affectation of unofficial loutishness. They recognise the stiff neck in the loose neckerchief. They smell ‘trap,’ and are superior to it.|
|Bushrangers 21: The bushrangers can kill and rob, and nothing is done towards rooting them out. They don’t care for us ‘traps,’ and laugh if we talk of hunting them.|
|Blue Cap, the Bushranger 4/2: I’ll steer him clear of trap, judge and Jack Ketch, too.|
|Robbery Under Arms (1922) 2: .Our ‘bush telegraphs’ were safe to let us know when the ‘traps’ were closing in on us.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 23 Aug. 19/2: For my pockets now were empty, so ’twas entered on the sheet / By the trap who found me lying in a stupor on his beat.|
|In Bad Company 250: D--n you and the pleece too! A pore man gets no show between the traps and squatters in this bloomin’ country.|
|N.Z. Truth 22 jan. 7/1: Trap Roach told his version first [...] The trap looked through the window and saw Mackay and McIndoe bending over something.|
|Jonah 32: The police, variously named ‘Johns, cops, and traps’ were the natural enemies.|
|(con. 1835–40) Bold Bendigo 109: We don’t want any of the traps in here.|
|Shearer’s Colt 27: If she thinks that you and me are just a shearer and a trap [policeman] she’ll tell us to come into the kitchen for our grub.|
|Aus. Lang. 95: It was a natural development that police troopers should come to be called joes [...] although this use is not found often, demons and traps (1853) being more widely used.|
|Jimmy Brockett 94: Then the traps came along and got stuck into us with their batons.|
|Shake Him Till He Rattles (1964) 42: How’d you slip that trap?|
|Exploring Aus. Eng. 13: One enterprising convict, James Hardy Vaux, put together a vocabulary of the criminal slang of the colony – the ‘flash’ language – in 1812. His list includes [...] shake in the sense of ‘steal’, lag for a convict and trap for policeman.|
|Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. 🌐 Trap. 2. A policeman, especially a mounted policeman.|
|Leaving Bondi (2013) [ebook] ‘Everybody around the traps is going to know who it is’.|
4. attrib. use of sense 3.
|Bulletin (Sydney) 30 July 14/2: Late that night Ratto Parker chucked me th’ w’isper that th’ fancy was up at the trap-stronghold, sighin’ f’r ’er ’ero t’ bump along with a five-quid bail ’n’ freedim.|
5. the mouth; esp. in phrs. keep one’s trap shut , shut one’s trap [it is a ‘trap’ for food, often used in combs., e.g. bread trap under bread n.1 , meat trap under meat n.].
|implied in shut one’s trap|
|Wanderings of a Vagabond 295: Don’t let me hear any more wind from that trap o’ yourn, or I’ll bust it.|
|Stray Leaves (2nd ser.) 138: As for potatoes [...] They disappeared down his trap as fast almost as they could be counted.|
|Times-Democrat (New Orleans, LA) 9 July 3/6: Prize Ring Slang [...] ‘kisser,’ ‘grubber,’ ‘trap,’ ‘whistler,’ ‘ivory-box,’ the mouth.|
|Marvel 15 May 15: One of the sailors [...] after a few minutes’ rubbing managed to loosen their talking-traps.|
|Adventures of Jimmie Dale (1918) I ii: You two ginks open your traps, and I’ll run you both in!|
|Haunch Paunch and Jowl 261: Don’t open your trap till they have talked themselves out.|
|Put on the Spot 18: If you open that kissy trap o’ your’n, I’ll run you into the lake.|
|(con. 1910s) Studs Lonigan (1936) 66 : You better clamp that trap of yours tight!Young Lonigan in|
|Spicy Detective Sept. 🌐 She was afraid I’d open my trap and spill my guts about the blackmail stuff.‘Sleeping Dogs’ in|
|Tropic of Capricorn (1964) 35: Still he didn’t know enough to hold his trap.|
|‘The Heavy Bombers’ in Airman’s Song Book (1945) 144: They ask you for your flimsies, your pass and target maps, / You take the ruddy issue and stuff it down their traps.|
|Bound for Glory (1969) 84: Hush your trap!|
|Really the Blues 301: He lies every time he opens his trap.|
|Scene (1996) 225: You keep that trap of yours going and you’re going to be in real hot water.|
|Bunch of Ratbags 236: I could have killed him for saying that. He always opened his trap at the wrong time.|
|Digger’s Game (1981) 45: Now you got that trap of yours working every minute.|
|Sun. Times Mag. 12 Oct. 82: The best thing I’ve learnt is not to open my trap about things I know nothing about.|
|Mad mag. Jan. 40: The controversial right-wing yakker opened up his big fat trap.|
|🎵 Should’ve thought twice before you opened your trap.‘Scary’|
6. (US) a brothel.
|Life in Boston & N.Y. (Boston, MA) 11 Apr. n.p.: Nancy, you had better close up that low trap, or the police will pay you a visit.|
7. the vagina.
|Nocturnal Meeting 75: Her splendid trap continued opening and shutting after my cock was withdrawn.|
|Cunning Linguist (1973) 131: Her trap remained ungreased, unopened all the way and - unhappy.|
|Tattoo of a Naked Lady 64: I pushed her down on her back and slid into her trap.|
8. a place, a house or apartment.
|Fighting Blood 240: Rags and his dizzy pals used to hang out in this trap.|
|Runyon à la Carte 22: [of a hotel] Marie is strictly the boss of the trap.|
|Naked Lunch (1968) 140: [of a flat] We go up to her trap.|
|Pimp 89: I walked with him through the door of the craps trap.|
|(con. 1970) 13th Valley (1983) 241: ‘This is a filthy trap.’ [...] There wasn’t even a shower in the bath.|
|Traveller’s Tool 19: All I can say is that I’ve knocked around the traps.|
9. (US tramp) a hiding-place for liquor or other illegal goods.
|Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 191: Trap. – A place of concealment for liquor or other contraband, especially in the body of an automobile or truck or in the hull of a boat.|
|World’s Toughest Prison 822: trap – A place of concealment.|
10. (US) a nightclub.
|Just Enough Liebling (2004) 248: I booked a man with a trained dog into one trap in Astoria.‘The Jollity Building’ in|
|Runyon à la Carte 78: She takes to visiting this same Canary Club and similar traps.|
|On the Waterfront (1964) 60: He could spread money on the bar in a dozen traps and be a big man among cronies and freeloaders.|
|Jocks 256: [A] suburban trap in Mt. Vernon called the Studio Club.|
|Close Pursuit (1988) 105: An older white couple [...] coming out of that dago trap called Mamma Leone’s.|
|🎵 Trap house bumpin’ like he dancin' with Kemo.‘Cappin’|
11. (US black) the military draft during WWII.
|‘Jiver’s Bible’ in Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive.|
12. (drugs) a hiding place for contraband, e.g. drugs, guns.
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
|Drugs from A to Z (1970).|
|Prince of the City 302: ‘I had a trap. That was built into my house in Kings Park to put my guns in, Counselor [...] and there was also money in there, but it was a very tiny little trap.’.|
|Crime Fighter 159: [C]ops should also be trained to spot traps inside the cars—behind the dashboard vents, under the accelerator pedal [...] where guns or drugs are often hidden.|
|ONDCP Street Terms 21: Trap — Hiding place for drugs.|
|The Force [ebook] La caja—the trap—a large hole carved into the wall, is open. Stacked, floor to ceiling, with bricks of heroin.|
13. a cubicle or stall in a public lavatory.
|New Centurions 197: [W]e sit in the trap, as we call it, and peek through into the restroom. [...] Sometimes we [...] let one guy sit in the trap with a radio and if he sees some fruit action in the john, he whispers to us over the radio and in we come.|
|Choirboys (1976) 232: You’re in the trap, peeking through the screen and some dude walks in the john.|
|Making of a Legionnaire 23: I found the showers, found where to pee, but where were the traps? Where could I have a dump?|
14. (US black) the number of customers a prostitute is assigned as a daily tally by her pimp to reach a financial target; thus the many she earns each night[i.e. those whom she SE traps].
|Street Players 33: She’ll end up bullshitting the rest of the night because she’ll think she done made enough for her night’s trap.|
|On the Stroll 110: For the first time in the week since she’d been hooking she hadn’t made her trap.|
|🎵 Smack the fucking hoe unconscious if my trap ain’t fat.‘Pimp or Die’|
15. (US black) money.
|🎵 I waits to start packin the trap back in the suitcase.‘Live & Let Die’|
|🎵 Ain’t no mistakin, we takin your trap.‘Street Shit’|
|🎵 Heads get clapped for trap, don’t fuck with my mind, I’m strapped.‘Cold Outside’|
|Gospel of the Game 21: Two muscular blonde detectives [...] greedily counted a young renegade whore’s trap.|
16. (UK/US black / drugs) a place where drugs are processed and dealt; also the local neighbourhood.
|🎵 Folks that hang with me when I was out in the trap.‘Thought Process’|
|Tinged Valor 32: Friday nights were the times that the perps (or Dope Boys, as we called them) made the majority of their sales and their traps (selling locations) were most busy.|
|🎵 All night in the trap, whipping bricks and bagging packs.‘Still Push’n’|
|🎵 Stackin pape when I rap, shit get flipped, and I’m back to the trap.‘Check This Dig That’|
|🎵 674’s tryna get rich in those traps.‘Live Corn’|
|Forensic Linguistic Databank 🌐 Trap - neighbourhood, ‘ghetto’.(ed.) ‘Drill Slang Glossary’ at|
|What They Was 282: Man’s in the trap day and night.|
17. see wolf-trap under wolf n.
(US black) a bar or nightclub that carries on illegal activities.
|N.Y. Amsterdam News 6 Feb. 11: It was a ‘trap joint’ [...] where one had to be known to gain admittance .|
to be quiet.
|Star of Hope 12 Aug. 1/1: Why in h— don’t those recruits [...] keep their traps shut? [OED].|
|More Gal’s Gossip 59: I [...] should ‘pull through if only I kept my fly-trap shut.’.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 29 Nov. 31/1: Blokes, here’s a sanguinary cow for you! You know, coves, how his cobber, Mick the Mule, kept his trap shut when he might have got this ’ere crimson Josser two years. Mick took his whack, and now he comes out without a caser to get a beer – [...] And this blanky cow wouldn’t give him a bob.|
|Sorrows of a Show Girl Ch. xviii: Give them a pike at the inside of the show business so that they would either keep their trap shut or know what they are talking about.|
|Taking the Count 334: If you want to get out of this place alive you’ll keep your trap shut.‘For the Pictures’ in|
|Score by Innings (2004) 388: Shut up! [...] You keep your trap closed.‘His Own Stuff’ in|
|Pleasure Man (1997) II i: From now on you keep your trap shut about this.|
|(con. 1920s) Studs Lonigan (1936) 263: Say, keep your trap shut.Young Manhood in|
|Sister of the Road (1975) 33: Keep your traps closed and your legs crossed.|
|What’s In It For Me? 261: That’s for your memory and for keeping your trap shut.|
|Groucho Letters (1967) 182: It only goes to prove that a man can make a fortune just keeping his trap shut.Letter 14 June in|
|Boy’s Book of Cricket 96: Then, [...] keep thy silly trap shoot. The game’s nowt to do wi’ thee.|
|Long Wait (1954) 81: Now sit down and keep your trap closed.|
|Look Long Upon a Monkey 29: You’re a bloke as can keep his trap shut.|
|At Night All Cats Are Grey 65: He was hardly likely to keep his trap shut about Kreuger’s.|
|Inner City Hoodlum 198: If you keep that trap of yours shut, we’ll nail you on a conspiracy charge.|
|(con. 1950s–60s) in Little Legs 125: You told them what you were planning, and then kept your trap shut.|
|(con. 1920s) Legs 204: I kept my trap shut.|
|Dying of the Light 41: Just as long as you keep your trap shut.|
|Crosskill [ebook] [G]iving Hami a look that said he was hired help and should keep his trap shut.|
|Birthday 50: It was always best to keep your trap shut, only let people know what you wanted them to know.|
|Crime Factory: Hard Labour [ebook] Low profile, Mikey-boy. Remember you gotta keep that trap shut.‘The Dutch Book’ in|
|Braywatch 240: ‘Just keep your trap shut for now’.|
to talk injudiciously, to boast.
|Georgie May 87: Do it then and stop shooting youah trap.|
|Don’t Get Me Wrong (1956) 9: I am wonderin’ if he is easin’ through that side door to go shootin’ off his trap to the fat boss.|
|Amboy Dukes 80: I’m worried about you shooting off your big trap.|
|Room to Swing 151: He’d love to shoot off his trap in front of her.|
to be quiet; usu. as imper. shut your trap!
|letter 19 Dec. in Autobiographies (1896) I 298: You may say in general in the family (if any should bark) that you are satisfied with my conduct, and order them to shut their trap .|
|Rays fro’ Loominary 90: Shut thy trap, fayther [EDD].|
|in N.Y. Press 6 Jan. in Stallman (1966) 126: Close that trap now, or I’ll put’che off!|
|N.-Y. American 12 Sept. in Unforgettable Season (1981) 218: There was an air of ‘Don’t try to repeat!’ [...] that made Frederick close his trap.|
|Gem 23 Jan. 28: Well, then shut your bully-beef trap.|
|Mansfield (OH) News 7 Dec. 10(?)/3: Only pie-trimmers and hash-slingers would ever condescend to come across with such rough stuff as ‘Aw, nix on that,’ ‘Cheese it,’ and ‘Shut your trap.’.|
|Adventures of Jimmie Dale (1918) I v: ‘Close yer trap, Mose!’ came a fierce response.|
|White Moll 176: Youse close yer trap, an’ let Pinkie talk!|
|Leave it to Psmith (1993) 594: Ed [...] shut your trap!|
|Manhattan Transfer 239: Shut yer traps both of ye, always cursing and fightin round the house.|
|(con. WW1) Patrol 51: ‘Close that belching trap of yours, J.C.!’.|
|(con. 1920s) Studs Lonigan (1936) 287: If you don’t close that trap of yours, I will.Young Manhood in|
|Big Sleep 83: Shut your trap and keep it shut.|
|George Spelvin Chats 154: You shut your dumb Dutch trap—.|
|(con. 1912) George Brown’s Schooldays 93: Shut your rotten trap and don’t talk as if you had a roast potato in your mouth.|
|Whelks and the Chromium (1968) 113: Oh, shut your trap!|
|Saved Scene vi: Listen, mate, shut yer trap an’ give us a snout.|
|Ghetto Sketches 36: ‘Shut your trap,’ he screams.|
|Dreamers 75: Shut yer trap both of yer.|
|🎵 And if yo’ ass get cracked, bitch shut yo’ trap.‘The Next Episode’|
|Oz ser. 4 ep. 14 [TV script] Clayton [...] shut your trap!‘Orpheus Descending’|
|Birthday 248: I told him to shut his trap or I’d punch his head in.|
|Case of Exploding Mangoes (2009) 38: ‘Shut your trap,’ he barks.|
|Long & Faraway Gone [ebook] Shut your trap for two seconds, will you?|
|Didn’t Nobody Give a Shit 16: She felt like some kind of monkey-mouth, even before she’d shut her trap.|
used by a potential victim, the trick has failed.
|Dict. of Sl., Jargon and Cant.|
to be aware, to know what is in one’s interest.
|Heraclitus Ridens No. 5 (1713) I 30: Well, Brother, I understand Trap [OED].|
|Amusements Serious and Comical in Works (1744) III 61: A bully of the blade [...] crying out, Split my Wind Pipe, Sir, you are a Fool, and don’t understand trap, the whole world’s a Cheat.|
|in Pills to Purge Melancholy IV 218: [Gamesters] that made their addresses in hopes of a snap, / But young as I was, I understood Trap.|
|Dict. n.p.: You do not understand trap, ‘vous n’y entendez pas finesse’ [F&H].|
|The Minor 53: He did not understand trap, knows nothing of the game.|
|Letters I (2008) 15 Dec. 406: He understands book-sellers’ trap as well as any man.|
|Lex. Balatronicum n.p.: Trap, To understand trap; to know one’s own interest.|
|‘My Thing Is My Own’ in Fake Away Songster in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) III 284: [as 1719] .|
|Whip & Satirist of NY & Brooklyn (NY) 29 Oct. n.p.: You are a very clever fellow, and moreover, understand trap.|
|Metropolis II 197: A papa too much up to trap to allow his offspring thus to be had .|
|Life in Paris 335: How long the gemmen kept it up, in this both low and lofty ken, the females of which were up to trap, is not in our record.|
|N.Y. Eve. Post 13 Aug. 2/6: The captain not being exactly Yorkshire, but being up to trap [had the cases opened.] The jokers, finding it ‘no go,’ made off.|
|Rattlin the Reefer (2008) 439: Enough — you’re up to trap — so lend us a hand, and let us take the swag to the shay.|
|Clockmaker III 109: Phrenology is [...] a little bit dangerous. It’s only fit for an old hand like me, that’s up to trap.|
|Handy Andy (2007) 37: A clever, ready-witted fellow, up to all sorts of trap.|
|General Bounce (1891) 223: Tom prided himself, above all things, on being ‘up to trap.’ [...] He was considered a ‘knowing hand’ amongst his disreputable associates.|
|Vocabulum 92: trap Shrewd, smart.|
|Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. (2nd edn) 239: ‘Up to trap,’ knowing, wide awake.|
|Jericho Rd 170: You needn’t come any of your infernal high moral tricks on me — I’m up to trap.|
|‘’Arry at a Radical Reception’ Punch 12 May 219/1: An awfully ‘earnest’ young mug, and not the least mite up to trap.|
|Fifty Years on the Old Frontier 22: There were other methods used in catching wild cattle, when they had become [...] so smart or ‘up to trap’ that a decoy herd would not hold them.|
SE in slang uses
(US Und.) a brothel where clients are robbed while in flagrante by an accomplice who reaches in through a concealed panel.
|N.Y. Daily Trib. 27 Aug. 2/3: Theft at a Trap house. [headline] [...] while in bed he saw a secret panel of the room open, and a huge black fellow thrust his head in, take the pocket-book and money from his pantaloons’ pocket, and then withdraw, closing the panel after him.|
|N.Y. Daily Express 3 Aug. 2/5: Being a man of bad character and a keeper of a ‘trap house,’ Justice Barker ordered him to be arrested.|
(US black) a prostitute’s daily earnings.
|Street Players 9: You sure in the hell ain’t impressing nobody with that A-D-C trap money.|
the anus; thus take it up trap two, to submit to anal intercourse.
|🌐 Now, Im no prude, nor an anal virgin, BUT, why does anal etiquette insist that the best way to get your partner to allow you up trap two, is by going up trap three, getting it all moist, and then pulling the ‘accidental entry’ stunt? OOH I SLIPPED?posting 28 Mar. on ‘Gentlemen. Can I have your attention please’ at dogbomb.co.uk|
1. to monitor a given situation, to oversee one’s business, esp. when it is illicit.
2. to spend time with a lover, esp. one with whom one is having an affair.
(Aus.) to make a tour of inspection.
|Where Plain Begins 224: Reuben and his brother were ‘going round the traps.’ They carried no lantern; as the traps belonged to somebody else, that would have been an unwise procedure [AND].|
|Follow That Horse 105: Mrs Goldstone was [...] the owner of a string of dress shops [...] Mrs Goldstone had been away in Queensland going around her traps [AND].|
(US) at work.
|[song title] Beez in the Trap.|
|UNC-CH Campus Sl. Spring 2014 8: IN THE TRAP — at one’s workplace: ‘I’m so broke I really need to get in the trap right now’.|