This word was apparently popular in polite society during the English Regency period, as Georgette Heyer (a British novelist very popular in the middle of the 20th century for mysteries and historical fiction) showed upper class individuals (male, not female) using it during that era.
The only use I can recall from her works at the moment is "stap me", but the one cited is not one familiar to me. Heyer was noted for her research into the Regency period; two of her novels contained extensive sections set in the Napoleonic wars, one featuring Lt. (later Captain) Harry Smith who eventually became a Crown official in South Africa. Ladysmith, SA is named after his wife, Juana.--Tygerbryght 05:35, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
- Used in the phrase "Stap Me!" This phrase was used by the character Captain A.R.P. Reilly-Ffoull in the WWII era cartoon strip Just Jake, published in the British daily The Daily Mirror. This phrase found its way into the RAF -- painted on Spitfires in the 603rd in deference to their Squadron Leader Basil Gerald "Stapme" Stapleton, a fighter pilot hero of the Battle of Britain. "Stap Me!" was not only an expression he used due to his love of the comic strip Just Jake, but it became his nickname and a battle cry of his squadron. [moved from usage notes DCDuring TALK 12:52, 23 November 2011 (UTC)]