Green’s Dictionary of Slang

dip n.1

1. a dip-candle; a tallow-chandler.

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions .
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd, 3rd edn).
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK] in Flash Chaunter 27: [song title] Dip, The Tallow Chandler.
[UK] ‘’Arry’s Christmas in the Country’ in Punch 25 Dec. in P. Marks (2006) 30: Tip me my ‘dip,’ and I’ll toddle.
[UK]H. King Savage London 140: Mrs. Doo [...] departed leaving the dip in a black bottle on the table. [Ibid.] 145: The light of a farthing dip did not admit of any observation of a change of colour.

2. foods that are dipped or have something dipped into them.

(a) (Aus.) a boiled flour dumpling.

[Aus]D. Bunce Travels with Dr Leichhardt 161: Dr. Leichhardt gave the party a quantity of dough-boys, or, as we called them, dips. [Ibid.] 171: Dr. Leichhardt ordered the cook to mix up a lot of flour, and treated us all to a feed of dips.

(b) (Ulster) fried bread.

[UK]J. Pepper Illus. Encyc. Ulster Knowledge n.p.: When we were in Malta last year I asked the waitress could we have dip and she gave me a look [BS].

(c) (Ulster) hot gravy or an egg to dip in.

[Ire]Share Slanguage.

3. (US/UK Und.) a pickpocket; also attrib.

[US]Matsell Vocabulum.
[UK]Barrère & Leland Dict. of Sl., Jargon and Cant.
[UK]Whitstable Times 16 July 5/3: He told them it was a ‘mug’s game’ for dips to work on their own .
[US]J. Flynt Tramping with Tramps 387: The person flagged seldom knows what has taken place, and every day in city streets people are thus favoured by gracious ‘dips,’ or pickpockets.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 85: This young woman was a ‘dip’; she could abstract the contents of a wallet, replace it, minus the bills, while one waited, conversing brightly.
[US]Ogden Standard (UT) 7 Mar. 12/2: Hundreds of the ‘dip’ family are able to pose as reputable and respectable citizens.
[US]J. Lait ‘Canada Kid’ in Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 162: The Canada Kid was a ‘dip’ of parts and of class.
[US]C. Sandburg ‘Cahoots’ in Smoke and Steel 45: Ain’t it fifty-fifty all down the line, / Petemen, dips, boosters, stick-ups and guns — what’s to hinder?
[US]F. Williams Hop-Heads 76: Penny Meade is one of the famous ‘dips’ (pick-pockets) of the New York underworld.
[US]R.E. Howard ‘Pit of the Serpent’ Fight Stories July [Internet] I [...] recognized a pickpocket I used to know [...] ‘This house used to be owned by a crazy Spaniard with more mazuma than brains,’ said the dip.
[Aus]Sun. Mail (Brisbane) 13 Nov. 20/7: The pick-pocket is more commonly known as a ‘Dip’ or ‘Hook’ and stands at the head of the petty thieving class.
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 22 June [synd. col.] A dip, hired for the job, lifted the pass from the messenger’s pocket.
[Aus]K. Tennant Battlers 264: ‘So you’re a dip.’ He ruefully places his possessions in his pocket. [...] It was humiliating to have his pocket picked.
[US]D. Dressler Parole Chief 247: I have never known an affluent pickpocket. [...] The average dip is penny ante.
[UK]B. Hill Boss of Britain’s Underworld 16: He was a dip, a fair pickpocket. He used to work the bus stops and did well at it.
[US]C. Himes Blind Man with a Pistol (1971) 179: Take your hands off me, you mother-raping dip! [...] I’m on to that pickpocket shit!
[UK]G.F. Newman You Flash Bastard 12: What was one more cheque-fraudsman, hoister, dip, or whatever?
[US]L.A. Times 8 Mar. n.p.: Sam is not like the sleazy dunnigans who work toilets, or the dips who grift with squealers.
[UK]N. Barlay Curvy Lovebox 123: Ringers burglars teefs filches dips and deedees.

4. (US/UK Und., also the dip) an act of pickpocketing.

[UK]R. Nicholson Rogue’s Progress (1966) 16: He never could be persuaded personally to go to the ‘dip’, not even on a civic show day, when such things were considered gifts.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 9/2: As it was, he was obliged to depend upon a ‘trick’ or two on market days, or a chance ‘dip’ in the auction stores.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 28 Sept. n.p.: Allan Taylor’s ‘moll’ and Tommy McIntyre [...] were ‘pinched’ for the ‘dip’ week before last.
[UK]Aberdeen Eve. Exp. 23 Oct. 2/2: I once got £573 in one dip [...] out of a gentleman’s pocket.
[US]Flynt & Walton Powers That Prey 81: If you’ll stand for the dip.
[US]J. McCree ‘Types’ Variety Stage Eng. Plays [Internet] Then I blew the kale and trailed the boob to make another dip.
[US]Black Mask Aug. III 99: His ‘dip’ into the mailbag had been a real prize package after all.
[UK]K. Lette Mad Cows 16: What’s the name of your gang leader? How many dips are you doing a day?
[UK]K. Sampson Outlaws (ms.) 3: Dips, snatches, cameras, purses, the odd Barbour jacket.

5. (US Und.) a burglary.

[US] ‘Lady Kate, the Dashing Female Detective’ in Roberts et al. Old Sleuth’s Freaky Female Detectives (1990) 33/2: ‘A bad “dip in” for the lads, that’ [...] The expression ‘a bad dip in,’ meant the attempted burglary had turned out a disastrous failure.

6. (US) a hat.

[US]C. M’Govern Sarjint Larry an’ Frinds 64: The fun he and his butty had last Fourth of July in Arizona with some Greaser feller who wouldn’t take off his ‘dip’ when he passed the Stars and Stripes.
[US]H.A. White ‘A Word-List From Central New York’ in DN III:viii 567: dip, n. Derby or stiff hat.
[US]Indiana Messenger 29 Mar. 2/2: Mr. Lewis certainly meant to have his character exclaim that he would tip his hat [...] He should have said, ‘I tip my kelly – or lid – or dip – to him.’.
[US] ‘Jiver’s Bible’ in D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive.

7. (UK und.) in the context of pickpocketing, a hand.

[UK]Framlingham Wkly News 8 Dec. 3/7: Thieves’ Dialect [...] A pickpocket’s hands are his ‘daddlers’ or ‘dips’.

8. (US black) a pocket.

[US]G. Pelecanos Way Home (2009) 270: What about a shoulder rig for this one? I can’t be putting this monster down in my dip.

In derivatives

In compounds

In phrases

on the dip

(UK Und.) working as a pickpocket; resulting from pickpocketing.

[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 5/1: Doncaster races were ‘coming off,’ so our ‘mob’ made up their mind to ‘nam’ down there on the ‘dip’.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 7 Sept. n.p.: Dan Noble [...] sloped to England some time ago with several ‘centuries’ belonging to ‘guns,’ got on the ‘graft’ [and] first made his appearance [...] on the ‘dip’.
[US] in ‘Mark Twain’ Life on the Mississippi (1914) 460: [as spelt] ‘i felt pretty rough & was thinking i would have to go on the dipe (picking pockets) again.
[US]Flynt & Walton Powers That Prey 65: Fifteen per cent. goes with some of ’em if you ain’t on the dip, an’ are jus’ doin’ the sure thing act.
[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks.
[US]D. Maurer Big Con 202: Maxie F – and Greenie – were [...] looking for a score on the dip.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 59/1: Dip, on the. (Obsolete) Engaged in, or by means of, pocket-picking.
[UK]N. Griffiths Stump 11: Shite. Could earn fifty notes on the fuckin dip down Ally dock.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

dig the dip on the two and four (v.)

see under dig v.3

off one’s dip (adj.) (also off one’s dipper) [SE dip, a sauce]

mad, eccentric.

[US]W.J. Kountz Billy Baxter’s Letters 17: You see, Jim, that’s where I go off my dip. That wine affair is an awful stunt for a fellow who makes not over two thousand a year [...] and rooms in a flat that’s fifteen a month stronger than he can stand.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ John Henry 19: Before the second act was half through I went off my dip.
[US]H. Green Maison De Shine 1: With meat’n vegitabbles high an’ aigs at the prices now prevailin’, it’s enough to drive a party off their dip.
[US]Columbus Jrnl (NE) 15 Feb. 6/4: I fo’got for the moment that he is off his dip, sur, and I plugged him one.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 22 Aug. 8/1: It was as quiet as the fall of a leaf, and it took place in the Friends’ Meeting House [...] where people said ‘Thou’ and ‘Thee’ in a subdued whisper, even when the relief of Mafeking had sent the city off what it calls its ‘dipper.’.
[US]Ade Hand-made Fables 256: Either the Orchestra had forgotten to tune up or he was going off his Dip.