Green’s Dictionary of Slang

nick v.1

[Rom., thus note Caló nicabar, to steal; ? underpinned by SE nick, to catch, to seize, to take advantage of an opportunity; ult. ety. fig. use of SE nick, to mark, i.e. to mark for oneself]

1. [mid-16C–19C] to win at gambling, orig. dice or cards (esp. by cheating).

2. [17C+] to catch, take unawares.

3. [17C+] (UK Und., also do a nick) to rob, to steal.

4. [late 17C+] to cheat, to swindle.

5. [early 18C-early 19C] to comprehend.

6. [mid-18C+] to apprehend, to arrest; thus nicked adj.1

7. [late 18C] in fig. use of sense 1, to win other than in gambling.

8. [late 19C] to appeal to, to capture one’s interest.

9. [late 19C–1960s] (orig. US) to demand, to beg.

10. to earn, the implication is of undeservedly.

11. [1910s–30s] a weak use of the senses of to rob and to cheat above, to charge, with implication of excessive price.

12. to deprive of, to cost.

13. [1970s] (US) to find fault with someone.

14. (UK Und.) to seduce.

In derivatives

nickable (adj.)

[1990s+] worth stealing.

nickings (n.)

[1970s] (US) criticisms.

In phrases

nick it (v.)

1. [early 17C–19C] to win, usu. by good fortune or cheating.

2. [mid-17C–early 18C] (also nick the pin) to drink fairly, i.e. not taking more than one’s share of the tankard (which was marked by pins).

out on the nick

[1970s] going stealing.