Green’s Dictionary of Slang

topper n.3

1. (UK Und.) a hat (but not a ‘top hat’).

[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 221: She is blowing up the nasty fellow for his imperance; and says she will smash his topper, if he attempts to take any more liberties with her person.
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 177: Topping the upper covering; and a topper is a hat, the head sometimes, and the roof of a house always.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[US](con. 1963) L. Berney November Road 122: And, for the topper, a gray wool fedora with a clashing houndstooth pattern.

2. a top hat.

[UK] ‘Pickpocket’s Chaunt’ (trans. of ‘En roulant de vergne en vergne’ in Vidocq 1829) IV 261: Next slipt off his bottom clo’ing, [...] And his gingerbread topper gay.
[SA] in H.A. Roche Trek in the Transvaal (1878) 139: An unmitigated ‘topper,’ stove-pipe, [...] crowns him.
[UK] ‘’Arry in Parry’ in Marks ’Arry Ballads (2006) 93: It’s a bloominger sky-scraping Topper.
[UK]Yorks Gaz. 9 Sept. 11/5: The High topper [...] The tall hat which rises o’er / The silly head of a man.
[UK]Marvel III:60 31: ‘And here’s a nice tall-hat!’ said Marah, pulling Mr. Watkins’s topper off.
[UK]Magnet 27 Aug. 17: D’Arcy’s handsome silk topper was on the ground.
[UK]Derby Dly Teleg. 13 Apr. 5/5: The popularity of motoring has done much to make the ‘topper’ unpopular. People like soft felts and caps.
[US]C. Himes ‘A Modern Marriage’ Coll. Stories (1990) 119: He bowed with his silk topper to his heart.
[UK]Wodehouse Right Ho, Jeeves 33: I ask him to put on lavender gloves and a topper and distribute the prizes.
[UK]V. Davis Phenomena in Crime 219: Sometimes the ‘boys’ have to put on their toppers for Ascot.
[UK]Willans & Searle Complete Molesworth (1985) 145: Imagine me in a topper eh gosh.
[UK]R. Rendell Best Man To Die (1981) 115: Pertwee’s wedding, and Hatton all got up in a topper.
[UK]F. Norman Too Many Crooks Spoil the Caper 204: A mountainous doorman, [...] immaculately got up in brocaided livery, black topper and white gloves.
[UK]M. Amis London Fields 425: Big Chick patrolled his coin-op store, appeared at the races in morning-suit and topper.
[UK]D. Jarman letter 12 June Smiling in Slow Motion (2000) 18: Two men in toppers brought their dogs as bridesmaids.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. 23 Jan. 10: There are toppers but they’re hired.

3. a cigar or cigarette end.

[UK]Bowyer & Baker [perf. Jennie Hill] Thereby Hangs a Tale 🎵 Who is this comes bounding three stairs at a time / ’Tis a London Arab born and bred in crime / Picking up the ‘toppers’ and ends of cigarettes.
[UK]F. Leo [perf. Wilkie Bard] ‘All Becos ’e’s Minding a ’ouse’ 🎵 There ’e stands outside the front street door / Smoking a topper what ’e’s found.

4. a tall, thin person.

[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.

5. (usu. US) a loosely cut jacket or coat, generally worn by women and children.

[US]Daily Trib. (Bismarck, ND) 23 Oct. 4/1: A coat is a ‘topper;’ an overcoat is a ‘ben.’.
‘Marienne’ ‘Solid Meddlin’’ in People’s Voice (NY) 4 Apr. 30/1: Diamond’s new persian lamb topper is the most stylish one yet.
[US]E. Hunter Blackboard Jungle 113: He went to his closet at the back of the room, [...] and took out his topper.
[US](con. 1946) G. Pelecanos Big Blowdown (1999) 73: Lois wore a muskrat topper.