crimp (n.) (1) An unscrupulous recruiter for ships’ companies. In 1758 John Blake wrote,
“a crimp … who makes it his business to seduce the men belonging to another ship.”
(2) An agent for a shipping company. In Franklin’s Autobiography, first published in 1791, he reported that:
“a crimp’s bill was put into his hand.”
–Colonial American English. by Richard M. Lederer, Jr.