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[heel-tap] /ˈhilˌtæp/
a layer of leather, metal, or the like in a shoe heel; a lift.
a small portion of liquor remaining in a glass after drinking or in a bottle after decanting.
dregs, sediment, or residue.
Origin of heeltap
1680-90; heel1 + tap1, tap2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for heel-tap
Historical Examples
  • My summons came when we had shared the heel-tap of the bottle.

    The Master of Appleby Francis Lynde
  • I think we are somewhere in the Atlantic; but your finding that heel-tap does puzzle me.

    The Land of the Changing Sun William N. Harben
  • “A great loss,” he would say, with a sad shake of his head, as he turned off the heel-tap.

    Dealings with the Dead, Volume I (of 2) A Sexton of the Old School
  • Little Fay nodded, for her heart was full again, and the heel-tap of a sob would have been behind her words.

    Perlycross R. D. Blackmore
  • Zack was teeming with mirth—abetted, no doubt, by a heel-tap or two from the Colonel's retiring goblet.

    Sunlight Patch Credo Fitch Harris
British Dictionary definitions for heel-tap


Also called lift. a layer of leather, etc, in the heel of a shoe
a small amount of alcoholic drink left at the bottom of a glass after drinking
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for heel-tap

also heeltap, 1680s, "one of the bits of leather that are stacked up to make a shoe heel" (see heel (n.1)); meaning "bit of liquor left in a glass or bottle" first recorded 1780s; the exact connection is uncertain unless it be "the last or final part."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for heel-tap



A few drops of liquor left in a glass: drink three martinis, absolutely no heeltaps

[1780+; origin uncertain; a heeltap glass was one without a flat base, so that it could not be set down until entirely empty (such was presumably also a tumbler), and probably so called because the narrow bottom resembled the narrow tap of a shoe heel]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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