he wanted to tip me a wink


Senior Member
Brutal came on the block at quarter to seven, Dean at ten ‘til. I asked Dean if he would go over to the infirmary and see if they had a heating pad for my back, which I seemed to have strained that early morning, helping to carry Delacroix’s body down into the tunnel. Dean said he’d be happy to. I believe he wanted to tip me a wink, but restrained himself.
Source: The Green Mile by Stephen King
Contex: This scene is taking place at Cold Mountain penitentiary.

What does the phrase in bold mean?

Thank you.
  • PaulQ

    English - England
    to tip [someone] a wink -> to give someone [secretly or confidentially] a hint or a warning [about what will happen and/or how to react to this future experience.]

    (Usually, to tip [someone] the wink = to tell someone [secretly or confidentially] what is about to happen and/or how to behave/react.)
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