1. (UK Und.) a hat (but not a ‘top hat’).
|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.|
|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.|
|Modern Flash Dict.|
|Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.|
|(con. 1963) November Road 122: And, for the topper, a gray wool fedora with a clashing houndstooth pattern.|
2. a top hat.
|‘Pickpocket’s Chaunt’ (trans. of ‘En roulant de vergne en vergne’ in1829) IV 261: Next slipt off his bottom clo’ing, [...] And his gingerbread topper gay.|
|in Trek in the Transvaal (1878) 139: An unmitigated ‘topper,’ stove-pipe, [...] crowns him.|
|‘’Arry in Parry’ in ’Arry Ballads (2006) 93: It’s a bloominger sky-scraping Topper.|
|Yorks Gaz. 9 Sept. 11/5: The High topper [...] The tall hat which rises o’er / The silly head of a man.|
|Marvel III:60 31: ‘And here’s a nice tall-hat!’ said Marah, pulling Mr. Watkins’s topper off.|
|Magnet 27 Aug. 17: D’Arcy’s handsome silk topper was on the ground.|
|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.|
|Coll. Stories (1990) 119: He bowed with his silk topper to his heart.‘A Modern Marriage’|
|Right Ho, Jeeves 33: I ask him to put on lavender gloves and a topper and distribute the prizes.|
|Phenomena in Crime 219: Sometimes the ‘boys’ have to put on their toppers for Ascot.|
|Complete Molesworth (1985) 145: Imagine me in a topper eh gosh.|
|Best Man To Die (1981) 115: Pertwee’s wedding, and Hatton all got up in a topper.|
|Too Many Crooks Spoil the Caper 204: A mountainous doorman, [...] immaculately got up in brocaided livery, black topper and white gloves.|
|London Fields 425: Big Chick patrolled his coin-op store, appeared at the races in morning-suit and topper.|
|Smiling in Slow Motion (2000) 18: Two men in toppers brought their dogs as bridesmaids.letter 12 June|
|Indep. on Sun. 23 Jan. 10: There are toppers but they’re hired.|
3. a cigar or cigarette end.
|🎵 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.[perf. Jennie Hill] Thereby Hangs a Tale|
|🎵 There ’e stands outside the front street door / Smoking a topper what ’e’s found.[perf. Wilkie Bard] ‘All Becos ’e’s Minding a ’ouse’|
4. a tall, thin person.
|Sl. and Its Analogues.|
5. (usu. US) a loosely cut jacket or coat, generally worn by women and children.
|Daily Trib. (Bismarck, ND) 23 Oct. 4/1: A coat is a ‘topper;’ an overcoat is a ‘ben.’.|
|‘Solid Meddlin’’ in People’s Voice (NY) 4 Apr. 30/1: Diamond’s new persian lamb topper is the most stylish one yet.|
|Blackboard Jungle 113: He went to his closet at the back of the room, [...] and took out his topper.|
|(con. 1946) Big Blowdown (1999) 73: Lois wore a muskrat topper.|