Green’s Dictionary of Slang

fox v.1

[SE fox, to confuse]

1. to drink (and become drunk).

[UK]J. Taylor Crabtree Lectures 136: I would you had but a looking-glasse to see how you looke now you have been a foxing.
[UK]J. Wade Vinegar and Mustard A3r: And where you say that I a Foxing go, / I’d have you knowI use not to do so.

2. to make drunk.

[UK]J. Taylor ‘This Summers Travels’ in Hindley Works (1872) 8: The power of it [i.e. ale] being of such potentie, that it would fox a dry traveller, before he had half quencht his thirst.
[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy I 194: Come, let’s trudge it to Kirkham Fair: / There’s stout liquor enough to Fox me.
[UK]Swift Polite Conversation 73: lady sm.: Sir John, your Ale is terrible strong and heady in Derbyshire; and will soon make one drunk and sick. sir john: Why, indeed, it is apt to Fox one.
[UK]‘Bumper Allnight. Esquire’ Honest Fellow 103: Theer’s stout liquor enough to fox ye, / And young cullies to buy thy ware.

3. (UK Und.) of prisoners, to practise a trick on a visitor to the jail.

[UK]G. Parker View of Society II 177: Fox the Cull [...] As you venture among them they will fox you; which is, one of them comes behind you, puts a handkerchief over your eyes, and hustles you in amongst the thick of them, your pockets are turned inside out, and you are done out and out, as they call it.

4. (Aus.) to approach, to ‘chat up’.

[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 22 Feb. 12/2: They Say [...] Onion S [...] was seen foxing two dark-haired tarts at the Semaphore last holiday.

5. to act in a deceptive, duplicitous manner.

[UK]Operator 1384 Scourge of the Desert 258: [I]t was always dangerous to assume that an Arab was dead; he might merely be foxing, waiting until I was near enough for him to be certain of getting me with his next shot .
[US]J.F. Powers ‘the trouble’ in Prince of Darkness 13: The next time we were real sure she wasn’t foxing us before we went to the window and lifted the shade.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Wind & Monkey (2013) [ebook] Eddie definitely wasn’t being fair dinkum [...] he seemed to be foxing about something. Les could always tell when he was being conned.
[Aus]D. Whish-Wilson Old Scores [ebook] But again, Swann was foxing. The very thing he’d been looking for had landed in his lap.

6. (Aus.) to tease through assuming an aggressive posture.

[[Aus]Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 30: Foxing, one actor criticising another’s performance].
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Goodoo Goodoo 194: I still reckon she’s foxing a bit though. The look on her face soon as I mentioned Jade.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Mystery Bay Blues 19: He was only foxing, but it was fun watching Frank sweat.

In phrases

on the fox

(Aus.) behaving in a duplicitous manner.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 14 Feb. 14/4: ‘Wait till you see him “scratching,”’ remarked, on the way up, an alderman belonging to the ‘clever’ party, thereby inferring that Clifford had been on the fox during his training; and now that we saw him ‘scratch,’ we liked him less than ever.