1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Captain Grose et al. - HTML preview

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DAMPER. A luncheon, or snap before dinner: so called from its damping, or allaying, the appetite; eating and drinking, being, as the proverb wisely observes, apt to take away the appetite.



DANCERS. Stairs.

DANDY. That's the dandy; i.e. the ton, the clever thing; an expression of similar import to "That's the barber." See BARBER.

DANDY GREY RUSSET. A dirty brown. His coat's dandy grey russet, the colour of the Devil's nutting bag.


DANDY PRAT. An insignificant or trifling fellow.

To DANGLE. To follow a woman without asking the question. Also, to be hanged: I shall see you dangle in the sheriff's picture frame; I shall see you hanging on the gallows.

DANGLER. One who follows women in general, without any particular attachment


DAPPER FELLOW. A smart, well-made, little man.




DARBY. Ready money. CANT.


DARK CULLY. A married man that keeps a mistress, whom he visits only at night, for fear of discovery.

DARKEE. A dark lanthorn used by housebreakers. Stow the darkee, and bolt, the cove of the crib is fly; hide the dark lanthorn, and run away, the master of the house knows that we are here.

DARKMANS. The night. CANT.

DARKMAN'S BUDGE. One that slides into a house in the dark of the evening, and hides himself, in order to let some of the gang in at night to rob it.

DART. A straight-armed blow in boxing.


DASH. A tavern drawer. To cut a dash: to make a figure.

DAVID JONES. The devil, the spirit of the sea: called Necken in the north countries, such as Norway, Denmark, and Sweden.


DAVID'S SOW. As drunk as David's sow; a common
saying, which took its rise from the following circumstance: One David Lloyd, a Welchman, who kept an alehouse at Hereford, had a living sow with six legs, which was greatly resorted to by the curious; he had also a wife much addicted to drunkenness, for which he used sometimes to give her due correction. One day David's wife having taken a cup too much, and being fearful of the
consequences, turned out the sow, and lay down to sleep herself sober in the stye. A company coming in to see the sow, David ushered them into the stye, exclaiming, there is a sow for you! did any of you ever see such another? all the while supposing the sow had really been there; to which some of the company, seeing the state the woman was in, replied, it was the drunkenest sow they had ever beheld; whence the woman was ever after called David's sow.

DAVY. I'll take my davy of it; vulgar abbreviation of affidavit.

TO DAWB. To bribe. The cull was scragged because he could not dawb; the rogue was hanged because he could not bribe. All bedawbed with lace; all over lace.

DAY LIGHTS. Eyes. To darken his day lights, or sow up his sees; to close up a man's eyes in boxing.


DEAD CARGO. A term used by thieves, when they are disappointed in the value of their booty.


DEAD HORSE. To work for the dead horse; to work for wages already paid.


DEAD-LOUSE. Vulgar pronunciation of the Dedalus ship of war.

DEAD MEN. A cant word among journeymen bakers, for loaves falsely charged to their masters' customers; also empty bottles.

DEADLY NEVERGREEN, that bears fruit all the year round. The gallows, or three-legged mare. See THREE-LEGGEB MARE.

DEAR JOYS. Irishmen: from their frequently making use of that expression.


DEATH HUNTER. An undertaker, one who furnishes the necessary articles for funerals. See CARRION HUNTER.

DEATH'S HEAD UPON A MOP-STICK. A poor miserable, emaciated fellow; one quite an otomy. See OTOMY.-- He looked as pleasant as the pains of death.

DEEP-ONE. A thorough-paced rogue, a sly designing fellow: in opposition to a shallow or foolish one.


DEFT FELLOW. A neat little man.


DEGEN, or DAGEN. A sword. Nim the degen; steal the sword. Dagen is Dutch for a sword. CANT.

DELLS. Young buxom wenches, ripe and prone to venery, but who have not lost their virginity, which the UPRIGHT MAN claims by virtue of his prerogative; after which they become free for any of the fraternity. Also a common strumpet. CANT.

DEMURE. As demure as an old whore at a christening.


DEMY-REP. An abbreviation of demy-reputation; a woman of doubtful character.


DERBY. To come down with the derbies; to pay the money.

DERRICK. The name of the finisher of the law, or hangman about the year 1608.--'For he rides his circuit with the Devil, and Derrick must be his host, and Tiburne the inne at which he will lighte.' Vide Bellman of London, in art. PRIGGIN LAW.--'At the gallows, where I leave them, as to the haven at which they must all cast anchor, if Derrick's cables do but hold.' Ibid.

DEVIL. A printer's errand-boy. Also a small thread in the king's ropes and cables, whereby they may be
distinguished from all others. The Devil himself; a small streak of blue thread in the king's sails. The Devil may dance in his pocket; i.e. he has no money: the cross on our ancient coins being jocularly supposed to prevent him from visiting that place, for fear, as it is said, of breaking his shins against it. To hold a candle to the Devil; to be civil to any one out of fear: in allusion to the story of the old woman, who set a wax taper before the image of St. Michael, and another before the Devil, whom that saint is commonly represented as trampling under his feet: being reproved for paying such honour to Satan, she answered, as it was uncertain which place she should go
to, heaven or hell, she chose to secure a friend in both places. That will be when the Devil is blind, and he has not got sore eyes yet; said of any thing unlikely to happen. It rains whilst the sun shines, the Devil is beating
his wife with a shoulder of mutton: this phenomenon is also said to denote that cuckolds are going to heaven; on being informed of this, a loving wife cried out with great vehemence, 'Run, husband, run!'

The Devil was sick, the Devil a monk would be; The Devil was well, the Devil a monk was he.

a proverb signifying that we are apt to forget promises made in time of distress. To pull the Devil by the tail, to be reduced to one's shifts. The Devil go with you and sixpence, and then you will have both money and company.

DEVIL. The gizzard of a turkey or fowl, scored, peppered, salted and broiled: it derives its appellation from being hot in the mouth.




DEVIL'S DAUGHTER. It is said of one who has a termagant for his wife, that he has married the Devil's daughter, and lives with the old folks.


Deal, Dover, and Harwich,
The Devil gave with his daughter in marriage; And, by a codicil to his will,
He added Helvoet and the Brill;

a saying occasioned by the shameful impositions practised by the inhabitants of those places, on sailors and travellers.


DEVIL DRAWER. A miserable painter.


DEVIL'S DUNG. Assafoetida.

DEVIL'S GUTS. A surveyor's chain: so called by farmers, who do not like their land should be measured by their landlords.

DEVILISH. Very: an epithet which in the English vulgar language is made to agree with every quality or thing; as, devilish bad, devilish good; devilish sick, devilish well; devilish sweet, devilish sour; devilish hot, devilish cold, &c. &c.

DEUSEA VILLE. The country. Cant.


DEUSEA VILLE STAMPERS. Country carriers. Cant.


DEW BEATERS. Feet. Cant.


DEWS WINS, or DEUX WINS. Two-pence. Cant.


DEWITTED. Torn to pieces by a mob, as that great statesman John de Wit was in Holland, anno 1672.


DIAL PLATE. The face. To alter his dial plate; to disfigure his face.

DICE. The names of false dice:
A bale of bard cinque deuces
A bale of flat cinque deuces
A bale of flat sice aces
A bale of bard cater traes
A bale of flat cater traes
A bale of fulhams
A bale of light graniers
A bale of langrets contrary to the ventage A bale of gordes, with as many highmen as lowmen,

for passage
A bale of demies
A bale of long dice for even and odd
A bale of bristles
A bale of direct contraries.

DICK. That happened in the reign of queen Dick, i. e. never: said of any absurd old story. I am as queer as Dick's hatband; that is, out of spirits, or don't know what ails me.

DICKY. A woman's under-petticoat. It's all Dicky with him; i.e. it's all over with him.


DICKED IN THE NOB. Silly. Crazed.


DICKEY. A sham shirt.

DICKEY. An ass. Roll your dickey; drive your ass. Also a seat for servants to sit behind a carriage, when their master drives.

TO DIDDLE. To cheat. To defraud. The cull diddled me out of my dearee; the fellow robbed me of my sweetheart. See Jeremy Diddler In Raising The Wind.

DIDDEYS. A woman's breasts or bubbies.




DIGGERS. Spurs. Cant.


DILBERRIES. Small pieces of excrement adhering to the hairs near the fundament.


DILBERRY MAKER. The fundament.


DILDO. [From the Italian DILETTO, q. d. a woman's delight; or from our word DALLY, q. d. a thing to play withal.] Penis-succedaneus, called in Lombardy Passo Tempo. Bailey.


DILIGENT. Double diligent, like the Devil's apothecary; said of one affectedly diligent.

DILLY. (An abbreviation of the word DILIGENCE.) A public voiture or stage, commonly a post chaise, carrying three persons; the name is taken from the public stage vehicles in France and Flanders. The dillies first began to run in England about the year 1779.

DIMBER. Pretty. A dimber cove; a pretty fellow. Dimber mort; a pretty wench. CANT.

DIMBER DAMBER. A top man, or prince, among the canting crew: also the chief rogue of the gang, or the completest cheat. CANT.

DING. To knock down. To ding it in one's ears; to
reproach or tell one something one is not desirous of hearing. Also to throw away or hide: thus a highwayman who throws away or hides any thing with which he robbed, to prevent being known or detected, is, in the canting lingo, styled a Dinger.

DING BOY. A rogue, a hector, a bully, or sharper. CANT.


DING DONG. Helter skelter, in a hasty disorderly manner.

DINGEY CHRISTIAN. A mulatto; or any one who has, as the West-Indian term is, a lick of the tar-brush, that is, some negro blood in him.

DINING ROOM POST. A mode of stealing in houses that let lodgings, by rogues pretending to be postmen, who send up sham letters to the lodgers, and, whilst waiting in the entry for the postage, go into the first room they see open, and rob it.

DIP. To dip for a wig. Formerly, in Middle Row, Holborn, wigs of different sorts were, it is said, put into a close-stool box, into which, for three-pence, any one might dip, or thrust in his hand, and take out the first wig he laid hold of; if he was dissatisfied with his prize, he might, on paying three halfpence, return it and dip again.

THE DIP. A cook's shop, under Furnival's Inn, where many attornies clerks, and other inferior limbs of the law, take out the wrinkles from their bellies. DIP is also a punning name for a tallow-chandler.

DIPPERS. Anabaptists.


DIPT. Pawned or mortgaged.


DIRTY PUZZLE. A nasty slut.




DISGRUNTLED. Offended, disobliged.

DISHED UP. He is completely dished up; he is totally ruined. To throw a thing in one's dish; to reproach or twit one with any particular matter.

DISHCLOUT. A dirty, greasy woman. He has made a napkin of his dishclout; a saying of one who has married his cook maid. To pin a dishclout to a man's tail; a punishment often threatened by the female servants in a kitchen, to a man who pries too minutely into the secrets of that place.

DISMAL DITTY. The psalm sung by the felons at the gallows, just before they are turned off.


DISPATCHES. A mittimus, or justice of the peace's warrant, for the commitment of a rogue.


DITTO. A suit of ditto; coat, waistcoat, and breeches, all of one colour.


DISPATCHERS. Loaded or false dice.


DISTRACTED DIVISION. Husband and wife fighting.

DIVE. To dive; to pick a pocket. To dive for a dinner; to go down into a cellar to dinner. A dive, is a thief who stands ready to receive goods thrown out to him by a little boy put in at a window. Cant.

DIVER. A pickpocket; also one who lives in a cellar.

DIVIDE. To divide the house with one's wife; to give her the outside, and to keep all the inside to one's self, i.e. to turn her into the street.

DO. To do any one; to rob and cheat him. I have done him; I have robbed him. Also to overcome in a boxing match: witness those laconic lines written on the field of battle, by Humphreys to his patron.--'Sir, I have done the Jew.'

TO DO OVER. Carries the same meaning, but is not so briefly expressed: the former having received the polish of the present times.

DOASH. A cloak. Cant.

DOBIN RIG. Stealing ribbands from haberdashers early in the morning or late at night; generally practised by women in the disguise of maid servants.

TO DOCK. To lie with a woman. The cull docked the dell all the darkmans; the fellow laid with the wench all night. Docked smack smooth; one who has suffered an amputation of his penis from a venereal complaint. He must
go into dock; a sea phrase, signifying that the person spoken of must undergo a salivation. Docking is also a punishment inflicted by sailors on the prostitutes who have
infected them with the venereal disease; it consists in cutting off all their clothes, petticoats, shift and all, close to their stays, and then turning them into the street.

DOCTOR. Milk and water, with a little rum, and some nutmeg; also the name of a composition used by distillers, to make spirits appear stronger than they really are, or, in their phrase, better proof.

DOCTORS. Loaded dice, that will run but two or three chances. They put the doctors upon him; they cheated him with loaded dice.

DODSEY. A woman: perhaps a corruption of Doxey. CANT.

DOG BUFFERS. Dog stealers, who kill those dogs not advertised for, sell their skins, and feed the remaining dogs with their flesh.

DOG IN A DOUBLET. A daring, resolute fellow. In
Germany and Flanders the boldest dogs used to hunt the boar, having a kind of buff doublet buttoned on their bodies, Rubens has represented several so equipped, so has Sneyders.

DOG. An old dog at it; expert or accustomed to any thing. Dog in a manger; one who would prevent another from enjoying what he himself does not want: an allusion to the well-known fable. The dogs have not dined; a common saying to any one whose shirt hangs out behind. To dog, or dodge; to follow at a distance. To blush like a blue dog, i.e. not at all. To walk the black dog on any one; a punishment inflicted in the night on a fresh prisoner, by his comrades, in case of his refusal to pay the usual footing or garnish.

DOG LATIN. Barbarous Latin, such as was formerly used by the lawyers in their pleadings.

DOG'S PORTION. A lick and a smell. He comes in for only a dog's portion; a saying of one who is a distant admirer or dangler after women. See DANGLER.

DOG'S RIG. To copulate till you are tired, and then turn tail to it.


DOG'S SOUP. Rain water.


DOG VANE. A cockade. SEA TERM.


DOGGED. Surly.


DOGGESS, DOG'S WIFE or LADY, PUPPY'S MAMMA. Jocular ways of calling a woman a bitch.

DOLL. Bartholomew doll; a tawdry, over-drest woman, like one of the children's dolls at Bartholomew fair. To mill doll; to beat hemp at Bridewell, or any other house of correction.

DOLLY. A Yorkshire dolly; a contrivance for washing, by means of a kind of wheel fixed in a tub, which being turned about, agitates and cleanses the linen put into it, with soap and water.

DOMINE DO LITTLE. An impotent old fellow.

DOMINEER. To reprove or command in an insolent or haughty manner. Don't think as how you shall domineer here.

DOMMERER. A beggar pretending that his tongue has been cutout by the Algerines, or cruel and blood-thirsty Turks, or else that he yas born deaf and dumb. Cant.

DONE, or DONE OVER. Robbed: also, convicted or hanged. Cant.--See DO.


DONE UP. Ruined by gaming and extravagances. Modern Term.

DONKEY, DONKEY DICK. A he, or jack ass: called donkey, perhaps, from the Spanish or don-like gravity of that animal, intitled also the king of Spain's trumpeter.

DOODLE. A silly fellow, or noodle: see NOODLE. Also a child's penis. Doodle doo, or Cock a doodle doo; a childish appellation for a cock, in imitation of its note when crowing.

DOODLE SACK. A bagpipe. Dutch.--Also the private parts of a woman.


DOPEY. A beggar's trull.

DOT AND GO ONE. To waddle: generally applied to persons who have one leg shorter than the other, and who, as the sea phrase is, go upon an uneven keel. Also a jeering appellation for an inferior writing-master, or teacher of arithmetic.

DOUBLE. To tip any one the double; to run away in his or her debt.


DOUBLE JUGG. A man's backside. Cotton's Virgil.

DOVE-TAIL. A species of regular answer, which fits into the subject, like the contrivance whence it takes its name: Ex. Who owns this? The dovetail is, Not you by your asking.

DOUGLAS. Roby Douglas, with one eye and a stinking breath; the breech. Sea wit.


DOWDY. A coarse, vulgar-looking woman.


DOWN HILLS. Dice that run low.

DOWN. Aware of a thing. Knowing it. There is NO DOWN. A cant phrase used by house-breakers to signify that the persons belonging to any house are not on their guard, or that they are fast asleep, and have not heard any noise to alarm them.

TO DOWSE. To take down: as, Dowse the pendant. Dowse your dog vane; take the cockade out of your hat. Dowse the glim; put out the candle.

DOWSE ON THE CHOPS. A blow in the face.


DOWSER. Vulgar pronunciation of DOUCEUR. DOXIES. She beggars, wenches, whores.


DRAB. A nasty, sluttish whore.


DRAG. To go on the drag; to follow a cart or waggon, in order to rob it. CANT.


DRAG LAY. Waiting in the streets to rob carts or waggons.

DRAGGLETAIL or DAGGLETAIL. One whose garments are bespattered with dag or dew: generally applied to the female sex, to signify a slattern.

DRAGOONING IT. A man who occupies two branches of one profession, is said to dragoon it; because, like the soldier of that denomination, he serves in a double capacity. Such is a physician who furnishes the medicines, and compounds his own prescriptions.

DRAIN. Gin: so called from the diuretic qualities imputed to that liquor.

DRAM. A glass or small measure of any spirituous liquors, which, being originally sold by apothecaries, were estimated by drams, ounces, &c. Dog's dram; to spit in
his mouth, and clap his back.

DRAM-A-TICK. A dram served upon credit.


DRAPER. An ale draper; an alehouse keeper.


DRAUGHT, or BILL, ON THE PUMP AT ALDGATE. A bad or false bill of exchange. See ALDGATE.


DRAW LATCHES. Robbers of houses whose doors are only fastened with latches. CANT.

TO DRAW. To take any thing from a pocket. To draw a swell of a clout. To pick a gentleman's pocket of a handkerchief. To draw the long bow; to tell lies.

DRAWERS. Stockings. CANT.




TO DRESS. To beat. I'll dress his hide neatly; I'll beat him soundly.

DRIBBLE. A method of pouring out, as it were, the dice from the box, gently, by which an old practitioner is enabled to cog one of them with his fore-finger.

DRIPPER. A gleet.

DROMEDARY. A heavy, bungling thief or rogue. A purple dromedary; a bungler in the art and mystery of thieving. CANT.


DROP. The new drop; a contrivance for executing felons at Newgate, by means of a platform, which drops from under them: this is also called the last drop. See LEAF. See MORNING DROP.

DROP A COG. To let fall, with design, a piece of gold or silver, in order to draw in and cheat the person who sees it picked up; the piece so dropped is called a dropt cog.

DROP IN THE EYE. Almost drunk.


DROPPING MEMBER. A man's yard with a gonorrhoea.

DROP COVES. Persons who practice the fraud of dropping a ring or other article, and picking it up before the person intended to be defrauded, they pretend that the thing is very valuable to induce their gull to lend them money, or to purchase the article. See FAWNY RIG, and MONEY DROPPERS.

TO DROP DOWN. To be dispirited. This expression is used by thieves to signify that their companion did not die game, as the kiddy dropped down when he went to be twisted; the young fellow was very low spirited when he walked out to be hanged.

TO DRUB. To beat any one with a stick, or rope's end: perhaps a contraction of DRY RUB. It is also used to signify a good beating with any instrument.

DRUMMER. A jockey term for a horse that throws about his fore legs irregularly: the idea is taken from a kettle drummer, who in beating makes many flourishes with his drumsticks.

DRUNK. Drunk as a wheel-barrow. Drunk as David's sow. See DAVID'S SOW.

DRURY LANE AGUE. The venereal disorder. DRURY LANE VESTAL. A woman of the town, or prostitute; Drury-lane and its environs were formerly the residence

of many of those ladies.


DRY BOB. A smart repartee: also copulation without emission; in law Latin, siccus robertulus.


DRY BOOTS. A sly humorous fellow.


DUB. A picklock, or master-key. CANT.


DUB LAY. Robbing houses by picking the locks.


DUB THE JIGGER. Open the door. CANT.


DUB O' TH' HICK. A lick on the head.


DUBBER. A picker of locks. CANT.


DUCE. Two-pence.

DUCK. A lame duck; an Exchange-alley phrase for a stock-jobber, who either cannot or will not pay his losses, or, differences, in which case he is said to WADDLE OUT OF THE ALLEY, as he cannot appear there again till his debts are settled and paid; should he attempt it, he would be hustled out by the fraternity.

DUCKS AND DRAKES. To make ducks and drakes: a school-boy's amusement, practised with pieces of tile, oyster-shells, or flattish stones, which being skimmed along the surface of a pond, or still river, rebound many times. To make ducks and drakes of one's money; to throw it idly away.

DUCK F-CK-R. The man who has the care of the poultry on board a ship of war.


DUCK LEGS. Short legs.

DUDDERS, or WHISPERING DUDDERS. Cheats who travel the country, pretending to sell smuggled goods: they accost their intended dupes in a whisper. The goods they have for sale are old shop-keepers, or damaged; purchased by them of large manufactories. See DUFFER.

DUDDERING RAKE. A thundering rake, a buck of the first head, one extremely lewd.




DUDS. Clothes.

DUFFERS. Cheats who ply in different parts of the town, particularly about Water-lane, opposite St. Clement's church, in the Strand, and pretend to deal in smuggled goods, stopping all country people, or such as they think they can impose on; which they frequently do, by selling them Spital-fields goods at double their current price.

DUGS. A woman's breasts,


DUKE, or RUM DUKE. A queer unaccountable fellow.


DUKE OF LIMBS. A tall, awkward, ill-made fellow.

DUKE HUMPHREY. To dine with Duke Humphrey; to fast. In old St. Paul's church was an aisle called Duke Humphrey's walk (from a tomb vulgarly called his, but in reality belonging to John of Gaunt), and persons who walked there, while others were at dinner, were said to dine with Duke Humphrey.

DULL SWIFT. A stupid, sluggish fellow, one long going on an errand.


DUMB ARM. A lame arm.


DUMB-FOUNDED. Silenced, also soundly beaten.


DUMB GLUTTON. A woman's privities.


DUMB WATCH. A venereal bubo in the groin.

DUMMEE. A pocket book. A dummee hunter. A pick-pocket, who lurks about to steal pocket books out of
gentlemen's pockets. Frisk the dummee of the screens; take all the bank notes out of the pocket book, ding the dummee, and bolt, they sing out beef. Throw away the pocket book, and run off, as they call out "stop thief."

DUMPLIN. A short thick man or woman. Norfolk dumplin; a jeering appellation of a Norfolk man, dumplins being a favourite kind of food in that county.

DUMPS. Down in the dumps; low-spirited, melancholy: jocularly said to be derived from Dumpos, a king of Egypt, who died of melancholy. Dumps are also small pieces of lead, cast by schoolboys in the shape of money.

DUN. An importunate creditor. Dunny, in the provincial dialect of several counties, signifies DEAF; to dun, then, perhaps may mean to deafen with importunate demands: some derive it from the word DONNEZ, which signifies GIVE. But the true original meaning of the word, owes its birth to one Joe Dun, a famous bailiff of the town of Lincoln, so extremely active, and so dexterous in his business, that it became a proverb, when a man refused to pay, Why do not you DUN him? that is, Why do not you set Dun to attest him? Hence it became a cant word, and is now as old as since the days of Henry VII. Dun was also the general name for the hangman, before that of Jack Ketch.

And presently a halter got,
Made of the best strong hempen teer, And ere a cat could lick her ear, Had tied it up with as much art, As DUN himself could do for's heart.

Cotton's Virgil Trav. book iv.


DUNAKER. A stealer of cows and calves.


DUNEGAN. A privy. A water closet.

DUNGHILL. A coward: a cockpit phrase, all but gamecocks being styled dunghills. To die dunghill; to repent, or shew any signs of contrition at the gallows. Moving dunghill; a dirty, filthy man or woman. Dung, an abbreviation of dunghill, also means a journeyman taylor who submits to the law for regulating journeymen taylors' wages, therefore deemed by the flints a coward. See FLINTS.



TO DUP. To open a door: a contraction of DO OPE or OPEN. See DUB.


DURHAM MAN. Knocker kneed, he grinds mustard with his knees: Durham is famous for its mustard.

DUST. Money. Down with your dust; deposit the money. To raise or kick up a dust; to make a disturbance or riot: see BREEZE. Dust it away; drink about.

DUSTMAN. A dead man: your father is a dustman.


DUTCH COMFORT. Thank God it is no worse. DUTCH CONCERT. Where every one plays or signs a different tune.


DUTCH FEAST. Where the entertainer gets drunk before his guest.

DUTCH RECKONING, or ALLE-MAL. A verbal or lump account, without particulars, as brought at spungiug or bawdy houses.

DUTCHESS. A woman enjoyed with her pattens on, or by a man-in boots, is said to be made a dutchess.

DIE HARD, or GAME. To die hard, is to shew no signs of fear or contrition at the gallows; not to whiddle or squeak. This advice is frequently given to felons going to suffer the law, by their old comrades, anxious for the honour of the gang.

EARNEST. A deposit in part of payment, to bind a bargain.




EASY. Make the cull easy or quiet; gag or kill him. As easy as pissing the bed.


EASY VIRTUE. A lady of easy virtue: an impure or prostitute.

EAT. To eat like a beggar man, and wag his under jaw; a jocular reproach to a proud man. To eat one's words; to retract what one has said.

TO EDGE. To excite, stimulate, or provoke; or as it is vulgarly called, to egg a man on. Fall back, fall edge; i.e. let what will happen. Some derive to egg on, from the Latin word, AGE, AGE.

EIGHT EYES. I will knock out two of your eight eyes; a common Billingsgate threat from one fish nymph to another: every woman, according to the naturalists of that society, having eight eyes; viz. two seeing eyes, two bub-eyes, a bell-eye, two pope's eyes, and a ***-eye. He has fallen down and trod upon his eye; said of one who has a black eye.

ELBOW GREASE. Labour. Elbow grease will make an oak table shine.


ELBOW ROOM. Sufficient space to act in. Out at elbows; said of an estate that is mortgaged.


ELBOW SHAKER. A gamester, one who rattles Saint Hugh's bones, i.e. the dice.

ELLENBOROUGH LODGE. The King's Bench Prison. Lord Ellenborough's teeth; the chevaux de frize round the top of the wall of that prison.

ELF. A fairy or hobgoblin, a little man or woman.


EMPEROR. Drunk as an emperor, i.e. ten times as drunk as a lord.




ENSIGN BEARER. A drunken man, who looks red in the face, or hoists his colours in his drink.

EQUIPT. Rich; also, having new clothes. Well equipt; full of money, or well dressed. The cull equipped me with a brace of meggs; the gentleman furnished me with. a couple of guineas.

ESSEX LION. A calf; Essex being famous for calves, and chiefly supplying the London markets.


ESSEX STILE. A ditch; a great part of Essex is low marshy ground, in which there are more ditches than Stiles.


ETERNITY Box. A coffin.


EVES. Hen roosts.


EVE'S CUSTOM-HOUSE, where Adam made his first entry. The monosyllable.

EVES DROPPER. One that lurks about to rob hen-roosts; also a listener at doors and windows, to hear private conversation.

EVIL. A halter. Cant, Also a wife.


EWE. A white ewe; a beautiful woman. An old ewe, drest lamb fashion; an old woman, drest like a young girl.


EXECUTION DAY. Washing day.

EXPENDED. Killed: alluding to the gunner's accounts, wherein the articles consumed are charged under the title of expended. Sea phrase.

EYE. It's all my eye and Betty Martin. It's all nonsense, all mere stuff.

EYE-SORE. A disagreeable object. It will be an eye-sore as long as she lives, said by a limn whose wife was cut for a fistula in ano.

FACE-MAKING. Begetting children. To face it out; to persist in a falsity. No face but his own: a saying of one who has no money in his pocket or no court cards in his hand.

FACER. A bumper, a glass filled so full as to leave no room for the lip. Also a violent blow on the face.


FADGE. It won't fadge; it won't do. A farthing.

TO FAG. To beat. Fag the bloss; beat the wench; Cant. A fag also means a boy of an inferior form or class, who acts as a servant to one of a superior, who is said to fag him, he is my fag; whence, perhaps, fagged out, for jaded or tired. To stand a good fag; not to be soon tired.

FAGGER. A little boy put in at a window to rob the house.

FAGGOT. A man hired at a muster to appear as a soldier. To faggot in the canting sense, means to bind: an allusion to the faggots made up by the woodmen, which are all bound. Faggot the culls; bind the men.

FAITHFUL. One of the faithful; a taylor who gives long credit. His faith has made him unwhole; i.e. trusting too much, broke him.

FAIR. A set of subterraneous rooms in the Fleet Prison.

FAKEMENT. A counterfeit signature. A forgery. Tell the macers to mind their fakements; desire the swindlers to be careful not to forge another person's signature.

FALLALLS. Ornaments, chiefly women's, such as ribands, necklaces, &c.


FALLEN AWAY FROM A HORSE LOAD TO A CART LOAD. A saying on one grown fat.


FAMILY MAN. A thief or receiver of stolen goods.

FAM LAY. Going into a goldsmith's shop, under pretence of buying a wedding ring, and palming one or two, by daubing the hand with some viscous matter.

FAMS, or FAMBLES. Hands. Famble cheats; rings or gloves. CANT.

TO FAMGRASP. To shake bands: figuratively, to agree or make up a difference. Famgrasp the cove; shake hands with the fellow. CANT.

FAMILY OF LOVE. Lewd women; also, a religious sect.


FANCY MAN. A man kept by a lady for secret services.


TO FAN. To beat any one. I fanned him sweetly; I beat him heartily.


FANTASTICALLY DRESSED, with more rags than ribands.


FART. He has let a brewer's fart, grains and all; said of one who has bewrayed his breeches.

Piss and fart.
Sound at heart.
Mingere cum bumbis,
Res saluberrima est lumbis.

I dare not trust my a-se with a fart: said by a person troubled with a looseness.


FART CATCHER. A valet or footman from his walking behind his master or mistress.




FARTLEBERRIES. Excrement hanging about the anus.


FASTNER. A warrant.



FAT. The last landed, inned, or stowed, of any sort of merchandise: so called by the water-side porters, carmen, &c. All the fat is in the fire; that is, it is all over with us: a saying used in case of any miscarriage or disappointment in an undertaking; an allusion to overturning the frying pan into the fire. Fat, among printers, means void spaces.

AS FAT AS A HEN IN THE FOREHEAD. A saying of a meagre person. FAT CULL. A rich fellow.



FAULKNER. A tumbler, juggler, or shewer of tricks; perhaps because they lure the people, as a faulconer does his hawks. CANT.

FAYTORS, or FATORS. Fortune tellers.

FAWNEY RIG. A common fraud, thus practised: A fellow drops a brass ring, double gilt, which he picks up before the party meant to be cheated, and to whom he disposes of it for less than its supposed, and ten times more than its real, value. See MONEY DROPPER.

FAWNEY. A ring.

FEAGUE. To feague a horse; to put ginger up a horse's fundament, and formerly, as it is said, a live eel, to make him lively and carry his tail well; it is said, a forfeit is incurred by any horse-dealer's servant, who shall shew a horse without first feaguing him. Feague is used, figuratively, for encouraging or spiriting one up.

FEAK. The fundament.


To FEATHER ONE'S NEST. To enrich one's self.


FEATHER-BED LANE. A rough or stony lane.

FEE, FAW, FUM. Nonsensical words, supposed in childish story-books to be spoken by giants. I am not to be frighted by fee, faw, fum; I am not to be scared by nonsense.

FEEDER. A spoon. To nab the feeder; to steal a spoon.

FEET. To make feet for children's stockings; to beget children. An officer of feet; a jocular title for an officer of infantry.

FEINT. A sham attack on one part, when a real one is meant at another.

FELLOW COMMONER. An empty bottle: so called at the university of Cambridge, where fellow commoners are not in general considered as over full of learning. At Oxford an empty bottle is called a gentleman commoner for the same reason. They pay at Cambridge 250 l. a year for the privilege of wearing a gold or silver tassel to their caps. The younger branches of the nobility have the privilege of wearing a hat, and from thence are denominated HAT FELLOW COMMONERS.

FEN. A bawd, or common prostitute. CANT.

TO FENCE. To pawn or sell to a receiver of stolen goods. The kiddey fenced his thimble for three quids; the young fellow pawned his watch for three guineas. To fence invariably means to pawn or sell goods to a receiver.

FENCING KEN. The magazine, or warehouse, where stolen goods are secreted.


FERME. A hole. CANT.


FERMERDY BEGGARS. All those who have not the sham sores or clymes.

FERRARA. Andrea Ferrara; the name of a famous sword- cutler: most of the Highland broad-swords are marked with his name; whence an Andrea Ferrara has become the common name for the glaymore or Highland broadsword. See GLAYMORE.

FERRET. A tradesman who sells goods to youug unthrift heirs, at excessive rates, and then continually duns them for the debt. To ferret; to search out or expel any one from his hiding-place, as a ferret drives out rabbits; also to cheat. Ferret-eyed; red-eyed: ferrets have red eyes.

FETCH. A trick, wheedle, or invention to deceive.


FEUTERER. A dog-keeper: from the French vautrier, or vaultrier, one that leads a lime hound for the chase.

TO FIB. To beat. Fib the cove's quarron in the rumpad for the lour in his bung; beat the fellow in the highway for the money in his purse. CANT.--A fib is also a tiny lie.

FICE, or FOYSE. A small windy escape backwards, more obvious to the nose than ears; frequently by old ladies charged on their lap-dogs. See FIZZLE.

FID OF TOBACCO. A quid, from the small pieces of tow with which the vent or touch hole of a cannon is stopped. SEA TERM.

FIDDLE FADDLE. Trifling discourse, nonsense. A mere fiddle faddle fellow; a trifier.

FIDDLESTICK'S END. Nothing; the end of the ancient fiddlesticks ending in a point; hence metaphorically used to express a thing terminating in nothing.

FIDGETS. He has got the fidgets; said of one that cannot sit long in a place.


FIDLAM BEN. General thieves; called also St. Peter's sons, having every finger a fish-hook. CANT.

FIDDLERS MONEY. All sixpences: sixpence being the usual sum paid by each couple, for music at country wakes and hops. Fiddler's fare; meat, drink, and money. Fiddler's pay; thanks and wine.

FIELD LANE DUCK. A baked sheep's head.


FIERI FACIAS. A red-faced man is said to have been served with a writ of fieri facias.


FIGDEAN. To kill.


FIGGER. A little boy put in at a window to hand out goods to the diver. See DIVER.


FIGGING LAW. The art of picking pockets. CANT.


FIGURE DANCER. One who alters figures on bank notes, converting tens to hundreds.

FILCH, or FILEL. A beggar's staff, with an iron hook at the end, to pluck clothes from an hedge, or any thing out of a casement. Filcher; the same as angler. Filching cove; a man thief. Filching mort; a woman thief.

FILE, FILE CLOY, or BUNGNIPPER. A pick pocket. To file; to rob or cheat. The file, or bungnipper, goes generally in company with two assistants, the adam tiler, and another called the bulk or bulker, Whose business it is to jostle the person they intend to rob, and push him against the wall, while the file picks his pocket, and gives'the booty to the adam tiler, who scours off with it. CANT.

FIN. An arm. A one finned fellow; a man who has lost an arm. SEA PHRASE.


FINE. Fine as five pence. Fine as a cow-t--d stuck with primroses.


FINE. A man imprisoned for any offence. A fine of eighty- four months; a transportation for seven years.

FINGER IN EYE. To put finger in eye; to weep: commonly applied to women. The more you cry the less you'll p-ss; a consolatory speech used by sailors to their doxies. It is as great a pity to see a woman cry, as to see a goose walk barefoot; another of the same kind.

FINGER POST. A parson: so called, because he points out a way to others which he never goes himself. Like the finger post, he points out a way he has never been, and probably will never go, i.e. the way to heaven.

FINISH. The finish; a small coffee-house in Coven Garden, market, opposite Russel-street, open very early in the morning, and therefore resorted to by debauchees shut out of every other house: it is also called Carpenter's coffee- house.

FIRING A GUN. Introducing a story by head and shoulders. A man wanting to tell a particular story, said to the company, Hark! did you not hear a gun?--but now we are talking of a gun, I will tell you the story of one.

TO FIRE A SLUG. To drink a dram.


FIRE PRIGGERS. Villains who rob at fires under pretence of assisting in removing the goods.


FIRE SHIP. A wench who has the venereal disease.


FIRE SHOVEL. He or she when young, was fed with a fire shovel; a saying of persons with wide mouths.

FISH. A seaman. A scaly fish; a rough, blunt tar. To have other fish to fry; to have other matters to mind, something else to do.

FIT. Suitable. It won't fit; It will not suit or do.


FIVE SHILLINGS. The sign of five shillings, i.e. the crown. Fifteen shillings; the sign of the three crowns.


FIZZLE. An escape backward,


FLABAGASTED. Confounded.

FLABBY. Relaxed, flaccid, not firm or solid. FLAG. A groat. CANT.--The flag of defiance, or bloody flag is out; signifying the man is drunk, and alluding to the

redness of his face. SEA PHRASE.

FLAM. A lie, or sham story: also a single stroke on a drum. To flam; to hum, to amuse, to deceive. Flim flams; idle stories.

FLAP DRAGON. A clap, or pox.


To FLARE. To blaze, shine or glare.

FLASH. Knowing. Understanding another's meaning. The swell was flash, so I could not draw his fogle. The gentleman saw what I was about, and therefore I could not pick his pocket of his silk handkerchief. To patter flash, to speak the slang language. See PATTER.

FLASH PANNEYS. Houses to which thieves and prostitutes resort.

Next for his favourite MOT (Girl) the KIDDEY (Youth) looks about,
And if she's in a FLASH PANNEY (Brothel) he swears he'll have her out;
So he FENCES (Pawns) all his TOGS (Cloathes) to buy her DUDS, (Wearing Apparel) and then
He FRISKS (Robs) his master's LOB (Till) to take her from the bawdy KEN (House).



FLASH. A periwig. Rum flash; a fine long wig. Queer flash; a miserable weather-beaten caxon.

To FLASH. To shew ostentatiously. To flash one's ivory; to laugh and shew one's teeth. Don't flash your ivory, but shut your potatoe trap, and keep your guts warm; the Devil loves hot tripes.



FLASH KEN. A house that harbours thieves.


FLASH LINGO. The canting or slang language.


FLASH MAN. A bully to a bawdy house. A whore's bully.


FLAT. A bubble, gull, or silly fellow. FLAT COCK. A female.


FLAWD. Drunk.


FLAYBOTTOMIST. A bum-brusher, or schoolmaster.


To FLAY, or FLEA, THE FOX. To vomit.


FLEA BITE. A trifling injury. To send any one away with a flea in his ear; to give any one a hearty scolding.


To FLEECE. To rob, cheat, or plunder.


FLEMISH ACCOUNT. A losing, or bad account.


FLESH BROKER. A match-maker, a bawd.


FLICKER. A drinking glass. CANT.


FLICKERING. Grinning or laughing in a man's face.

FLICKING. Cutting. Flick me some panam and caffan; cut me some bread and cheese. Flick the peter; cut off the cloak-bag, or portmanteau.

To FLING. To trick or cheat. He flung me fairly out of it: he cheated me out of it.

FLINTS. Journeymen taylors, who on a late occasion refused to work for the wages settled by law. Those who submitted, were by the mutineers styled dungs, i.e. dunghills.

FLIP. Small beer, brandy, and sugar: this mixture, with the addition of a lemon, was by sailors, formerly called Sir Cloudsly, in memory of Sir Cloudsly Shovel, who used frequently to regale himself with it.





TO FLOG. To whip.


FLOGGER. A horsewhip. CANT.


FLOGGING CULLY. A debilitated lecher, commonly an old one.


FLOGGING COVE. The beadle, or whipper, in Bridewell. FLOGGING STAKE. The whipping-post.


TO FLOOR. To knock down. Floor the pig; knock down the officer.


FLOURISH. To take a flourish; to enjoy a woman in a hasty manner, to take a flyer. See FLYER.


TO FLOUT. To jeer, to ridicule.


FLUMMERY. Oatmeal and water boiled to a jelly; also compliments, neither of which are over-nourishing.


FLUSH IN THE POCKET. Full of money. The cull is flush in the fob. The fellow is full of money.




FLUTE. The recorder of a corporation; a recorder was an antient musical instrument.


TO FLUX. To cheat, cozen, or over-reach; also to salivate. To flux a wig; to put it up in curl, and bake it.

FLY. Knowing. Acquainted with another's meaning or proceeding. The rattling cove is fly; the coachman knows what we are about.

FLY. A waggon. CANT.

FLY-BY-NIGHT. You old fly-by-night; an ancient term of reproach to an old woman, signifying that she was a witch, and alluding to the nocturnal excursions attributed to witches, who were supposed to fly abroad to their meetings, mounted on brooms.

FLY SLICERS. Life-guard men, from their sitting on horseback, under an arch, where they are frequently observed to drive away flies with their swords.

FLYER. To take a flyer; to enjoy a woman with her clothes on, or without going to bed.


FLYERS. Shoes.


FLY-FLAPPED. Whipt in the stocks, or at the cart's tail.


FLYING CAMPS. Beggars plying in a body at funerals. FLYING GIGGERS. Turnpike gates.


FLYING HOUSE. A lock in wrestling, by which he who uses it throws his adversary over his head.


FLYING PASTY. Sirreverence wrapped in paper and thrown over a neighbour's wall.

FLYING PORTERS. Cheats who obtain money by pretending to persons who have been lately robbed, that they may come from a place or party where, and from whom, they may receive information respecting the goods stolen from them, and demand payment as porters.

FLYING STATIONERS. Ballad-singers and hawkers of penny histories.


FLYMSEY. A bank note.

FOB. A cheat, trick, or contrivance, I will not be fobbed off so; I will not be thus deceived with false pretences. The fob is also a small breeches pocket for holding a watch.

FOG. Smoke. CANT.


FOGEY. Old Fogey. A nickname for an invalid soldier: derived from the French word fougeux, fierce or fiery.


FOGLE. A silk handkerchief,


FOGRAM. An old fogram; a fusty old fellow.


FOGUS. Tobacco. Tip me a gage of fogus; give me a pipe of tobacco. CANT.


FOOL. A fool at the end of a stick; a fool at one end, and a maggot at the other; gibes on an angler.


FOOL FINDER. A bailiff.

FOOLISH. An expression among impures, signifying the cully who pays, in opposition to a flash man. Is he foolish or flash?

FOOT PADS, or LOW PADS. Rogues who rob on foot.


FOOT WABBLER. A contemptuous appellation for a foot soldier, commonly used by the cavalry.

FOOTMAN'S MAWND. An artificial sore made with unslaked lime, soap, and the rust of old iron, on the back of a beggar's hand, as if hurt by the bite or kick of a horse.

FOOTY DESPICABLE. A footy fellow, a despicable fellow; from the French foutue.


FOREFOOT, or PAW. Give us your fore foot; give us your hand.


FOREMAN OF THE JURY. One who engrosses all the talk to himself, or speaks for the rest of the company.

FORK. A pickpocket. Let us fork him; let us pick his pocket.--'The newest and most dexterous way, which is, to thrust the fingers strait, stiff, open, and very quick, into the pocket, and so closing them, hook what can be held between them.' N.B. This was taken from a book written many years ago: doubtless the art of picking pockets, like all others, must have been much improved since that time.

FORLORN HOPE. A gamester's last stake.


FORTUNE HUNTERS. Indigent men, seeking to enrich themselves by marrying a woman of fortune.

FORTUNE TELLER, or CUNNING MAN. A judge, who tells every prisoner his fortune, lot or doom. To go before the fortune teller, lambskin men, or conjuror; to be tried at an assize. See LAMBSKIN MEN.

FOUL. To foul a plate with a man, to take a dinner with him.




FOUNDLING. A child dropped in the streets, and found, and educated at the parish expence.


FOUSIL. The name of a public house, where the Eccentrics assemble in May's Buildings, St. Martin's Lane.

Fox. A sharp, cunning fellow. Also an old term for a sword, probably a rusty one, or else from its being dyed red with blood; some say this name alluded to certain swords of remarkable good temper, or metal, marked with the figure of a fox, probably the sign, or rebus, of the maker.

FOX'S PAW. The vulgar pronunciation of the French words faux pas. He made a confounded fox's paw.


FOXED. Intoxicated. FOXEY. Rank. Stinking.


FOXING A BOOT. Mending the foot by capping it.


FOYST. A pickpocket, cheat, or rogue. See WOTTON'S GANG.


TO FOYST. To pick a pocket.


FOYSTED IN. Words or passages surreptitiously interpolated or inserted into a book or writing.


FRATERS. Vagabonds who beg with sham patents, or briefs, for hospitals, fires, inundations, &c.


FREE. Free of fumblers hall; a saying of one who cannot get his wife with child.


FREE AND EASY JOHNS. A society which meet at the Hole in the Wall, Fleet-street, to tipple porter, and sing bawdry.

FREE BOOTERS. Lawless robbers and plunderers: originally soldiers who served without pay, for the privilege of plundering the enemy.

FREEHOLDER. He whose wife accompanies him to the alehouse.


FREEMAN'S QUAY. Free of expence. To lush at Freeman's Quay; to drink at another's cost.

FREEZE. A thin, small, hard cider, much used by vintners and coopers in parting their wines, to lower the price of them, and to advance their gain. A freezing vintner; a vintner who balderdashes his wine.

FRENCH CREAM. Brandy; so called by the old tabbies and dowagers when drank in their tea.

FRENCH DISEASE. The venereal disease, said to have been imported from France. French gout; the same. He suffered by a blow over the snout with a French faggot-stick; i.e. he lost his nose by the pox.

FRENCH LEAVE. To take French leave; to go off without taking leave of the company: a saying frequently applied to persons who have run away from their creditors.

FRENCHIFIED. Infected with the venereal disease. The mort is Frenchified: the wench is infected.


FRESH MILK. Cambridge new comers to the university.


FRESHMAN. One just entered a member of the university.

FRIBBLE. An effeminate fop; a name borrowed from a celebrated character of that kind, in the farce of Miss in her Teens, written by Mr. Garrick.

FRIDAY-FACE. A dismal countenance. Before, and even long after the Reformation, Friday was a day of abstinence, or jour maigre. Immediately after the restoration of king Charles II. a proclamation was issued, prohibiting all publicans from dressing any suppers on a Friday.

TO FRIG. Figuratively used for trifling.


FRIG PIG. A trifling, fiddle-faddle fellow.


FRIGATE. A well-rigged frigate; a well-dressed wench.


FRISK. To dance the Paddington frisk; to be hanged.


TO FRISK. Used by thieves to signify searching a person whom they have robbed. Blast his eyes! frisk him.

FROE, or VROE, A woman, wife, or mistress. Brush to your froe, or bloss, and wheedle for crop; run to your mistress, and sooth and coax her out of some money. DUTCH.



FROSTY FACE. One pitted with the small pox.




FRUITFUL VINE. A woman's private parts, i.e. that has FLOWERS every month, and bears fruit in nine months.


FRUMMAGEMMED. Choaked, strangled, suffocated, or hanged. CANT.


FUBSEY. Plump. A fubsey wench; a plump, healthy wench.


FUDDLE. Drunk. This is rum fuddle; this is excellent tipple, or drink. Fuddle; drunk. Fuddle cap; a drunkard.


FUDGE. Nonsense.

FULHAMS. Loaded dice are called high and lowmen, or high and low fulhams, by Ben Jonson and other writers of his time; either because they were made at Fulham, or from that place being the resort of sharpers.

FULL OF EMPTINESS. Jocular term for empty.


FULL MARCH. The Scotch greys are in full march by the crown office; the lice are crawling down his head.

FUMBLER. An old or impotent man. To fumble, also means to go awkwardly about any work, or manual operation.

FUN. A cheat, or trick. Do you think to fun me out of it? Do you think to cheat me?--Also the breech, perhaps from being the abbreviation of fundament. I'll kick your fun. CANT.

TO FUNK. To use an unfair motion of the hand in plumping at taw. SCHOOLBOY'S TERM.

FUNK. To smoke; figuratively, to smoke or stink through fear. I was in a cursed funk. To funk the cobler; a schoolboy's trick, performed with assafoettida and cotton,

are stuffed into a pipe: the cotton being lighted, and the bowl of the pipe covered with a coarse handkerchief, the smoke is blown out at the small end, through the crannies of a cobler's stall.

FURMEN. Aldermen.

FURMITY, or FROMENTY. Wheat boiled up to a jelly. To simper like a furmity kettle: to smile, or look merry about the gills.

FUSS. A confusion, a hurry, an unnecessary to do about trifles.


FUSSOCK. A lazy fat woman. An old fussock; a frowsy old woman.


FUSTIAN. Bombast language. Red fustian; port wine.


FUSTY LUGGS. A beastly, sluttish woman.


TO FUZZ. To shuffle cards minutely: also, to change the pack.

GAB, or GOB. The mouth. Gift of the gab; a facility of speech, nimble tongued eloquence. To blow the gab; to confess, or peach.

GAB, or GOB, STRING. A bridle.


GABBY. A foolish fellow.


GAD-SO. An exclamation said to be derived from the Italian word cazzo.


GAFF. A fair. The drop coves maced the joskins at the gaff; the ring-droppers cheated the countryman at the fair.


TO GAFF. To game by tossing up halfpence.

GAG. An instrument used chiefly by housebreakers and thieves, for propping open the mouth of a person robbed, thereby to prevent his calling out for assistance.

GAGE. A quart pot, or a pint; also a pipe. CANT.


GAGE, or FOGUS. A pipe of tobacco.

GAGGERS. High and Low. Cheats, who by sham
pretences, and wonderful stories of their sufferings, impose on the credulity of well meaning people. See RUM GAGGER.

GALIMAUFREY. A hodgepodge made up of the remnants and scraps of the larder.


GALL. His gall is not yet broken; a saying used in prisons of a man just brought in, who appears dejected.

GALLEY. Building the galley; a game formerly used at sea, in order to put a trick upon a landsman, or fresh- water sailor. It being agreed to play at that game, one sailor personates the builder, and another the merchant or contractor: the builder first begins by laying the keel, which consists of a number of men laid all along on their backs, one after another, that is, head to foot; he next puts in the ribs or knees, by making a number of men sit feet to feet, at right angles to, and on each side of, the keel: he now fixing on the person intended to be the object of the joke, observes he is a fierce-looking fellow, and fit for the lion; he accordingly places him at the head, his arms being held or locked in by the two persons next to him, representing the ribs. After several other dispositions, the builder delivers over the galley to the contractor as complete: but he, among other faults and objections, observes the lion is not gilt, on which the builder or one of his assistants, runs to the head, and dipping a mop in the excrement, thrusts it into the face of the lion.

GALLEY FOIST. A city barge, used formerly on the lord mayor's day, when he was sworn in at Westminster.


GALLIED. Hurried, vexed, over-fatigued, perhaps like a galley slave.




GALLIPOT. A nick namefor an apothecary,



GALLOPER. A blood horse. A hunter. The toby gill clapped his bleeders to his galloper and tipped the straps the double. The highwayman spurred his horse and got away from the officers.

GALLOWS BIRD. A grief, or pickpocket; also one that associates with them.


GAMES. Thin, ill-shapped legs: a corruption of the French word jambes. Fancy gambs; sore or swelled legs.

GAMBADOES. Leathern cases of stiff leather, used in Devonshire instead of boots; they are fastened to the saddle, and admit the leg, shoe and all: the .name was at first jocularly given.

GAMBLER. A sharper, of tricking, gamester.

GAME. Any mode of robbing. The toby is now a queer game; to rob on the highway is now a bad mode of acting. This observation is frequently made by thieves; the roads being now so well guarded by the horse patrole; and gentlemen travel with little cash in their pockets.

GAME. Bubbles or pigeons drawn in to be cheated. Also, at bawdy-houses, lewd women. Mother have you any game; mother, have you any girls? To die game; to suffer at the gallows without shewing any signs of fear or repentance. Game pullet; a young whore, or forward girl in the way of becoming one.

GAMON. To humbug. To deceive, To tell lies. What rum gamon the old file pitched to the flat; how finely the knowing old fellow humbugged the fool.

GAMON AND PATTER. Common place talk of any
profession; as the gamon and patter of a horse-dealer, sailor, &c.

GAN. The mouth or lips. Cant.

GANDER MONTH. That month in which a man's wife-lies in: wherefore, during that time, husbands plead a sort of indulgence in matters of gallantry.

GANG. A company of men, a body of sailors, a knot of thieves, pickpockets, &c. A gang of sheep trotters; the four feet of a sheep.

GAOLER'S COACH. A hurdle: traitors being usually conveyed from the gaol, to the place of execution, on a hurdle or sledge.

GAP STOPPER. A whoremaster.


GAPESEED. Sights; any thing to feed the eye. I am come abroad for a little gapeseed.


GARNISH. An entrance fee demanded by the old prisoners of one just committed to gaol.

GARRET, or UPPER STORY. The head. His garret, or upper story, is empty, or unfurnished; i.e. he has no brains, he is a fool.

GARRET ELECTION. A ludicrous ceremony, practised every new parliament: it consists of a mock election of two members to represent the borough of Garret (a few straggling cottages near Wandsworth in Surry); the qualification of a voter is, having enjoyed a woman in the open air within that district: the candidates are commonly fellows of low humour, who dress themselves up in a ridiculous manner. As this brings a prodigious concourse of
people to Wandsworth, the publicans of that place jointly contribute to the expence, which is sometimes considerable.

GAWKEY. A tall, thin, awkward young man or woman.




GAZEBO. An elevated observatory or summer-house.


GEE. It won't gee; it won't hit or do, it does not suit or fit.


GELDING. An eunuch.


GELT. Money, GERMAN.--Also, castrated.

GENTLE CRAFT. The art of shoeniaking. One of the gentle craft: a shoemaker: so called because once practised by St. Crispin.

GENTLEMAN COMMONER. An empty bottle; an university joke, gentlemen commoners not being deemed over full of learning.



GENTLEMAN'S MASTER. A highway robber, because he makes a gentleman obey his commands, i.e. stand and deliver.

GENTLEMAN OF THREE INS. In debt, in gaol, and in danger of remaining there for life: or, in gaol, indicted, and in danger of being hanged in chains.

GENTLEMAN OF THREE OUTS. That is, without money, without wit, and without manners: some add another out, i.e. without credit.

GENTRY COVE. A gentleman. CANT.


GENTRY COVE KEN. A gentleman's house. CANT.


GENTRY MORT. A gentlewoman.


GEORGE. Yellow George; a guinea. Brown George: an ammunition loaf.


GERMAN DUCK. Haifa sheep's head boiled with onions.


GET. One of his get; one of his offspring, or begetting.

GIB CAT. A northern name for a he cat, there commonly called Gilbert. As melancholy as a gib cat; as melancholy as a he cat who has been caterwauling, whence they always return scratched, hungry, and out of spirits. Aristotle says, Omne animal post coitum est triste; to which an anonymous author has given the following exception, preter gallum gallinaceum, et sucerdotem gratis fornicantem.

GIBBERISH. The cant language of thieves and gypsies, called Pedlars' French, and St. Giles's Greek: see ST. GILES'S GREEK. Also the mystic language of Geber, used by chymists. Gibberish likewise means a sort of disguised language, formed by inserting any consonant between each syllable of an English word; in which case it is called the gibberish of the letter inserted: if F, it is the F gibberish; if G, the G gibberish; as in the sentence How do you do? Howg dog youg dog.

GIBBE. A horse that shrinks from the collar and will not draw.

GIBLETS. To join giblets; said of a man and woman who cohabit as husband and wife, without being married; also to copulate.

GIBSON, or SIR JOHN GIBBON, A two-legged stool, used to support the body of a coach whilst finishing.

GIFTS. Small white specks under the finger nails, said to portend gifts or presents. A stingy man is said to be as full of gifts as a brazen horse of his farts.

GIFT OF THE GAB. A facility of speech.

GIGG. A nose. Snitchel his gigg; fillip his nose. Grunter's gigg; a hog's snout. Gigg is also a high one-horse chaise, and a woman's privities. To gigg a Smithfield hank; to hamstring an over-drove ox, vulgarly called a mad bullock.

GIGGER. A latch, or door. Dub the gigger; open the door. Gigger dubber; the turnkey of a jaol.


To GIGGLE. To suppress a laugh. Gigglers; wanton women.

GILES'S or ST. GILES'S BREED. Fat, ragged, and saucy; Newton and Dyot streets, the grand head-quarters-of most of the thieves and pickpockets about London, are in St. Giles's Giles's parish. St. Giles's Greek; the cant language, called also Slang, Pedlars' French, and Flash.

GILFLURT. A proud minks, a vain capricious woman,

GILL. The abbreviation of Gillian, figuratively used for woman. Every jack has his gill; i.e. every jack has his gillian, or female mate.

GILLS. The cheeks. To look rosy about the gills; to have a fresh complexion. To look merry about the gills: to appear cheerful.

GILLY GAUPUS. A Scotch term for a tall awkward fellow.

GILT, or RUM DUBBER. A thief who picks locks, so called from the gilt or picklock key: many of them are so expert, that, from the lock of a church door to that of the smallest cabinet, they will find means to open it; these go into reputable public houses, where, pretending business, they contrive to get into private rooms, up stairs, where they open any bureaus or trunks they happen to find there.

GIMBLET-EYED. Squinting, either in man or woman.

GIMCRACK, or JIMCRACK. A spruce wench; a gimcrack also means a person who has a turn for mechanical contrivances.

GIN SPINNER. A distiller.


GINGAMBOBS. Toys, bawbles; also a man's privities. See THINGAMBOBS.

GINGER-PATED, or GINGER-HACKLED. Red haired: a term borrowed from the cockpit, where red cocks are called gingers,

GINGERBREAD. A cake made of treacle, flour, and grated ginger; also money. He has the gingerbread; he is rich.

GINGERBREAD WORK. Gilding and carving: these terms are particularly applied by seamen on board Newcastle colliers, to the decorations of the sterns and quarters of West-Indiamen, which they have the greatest joy in defacing.

GINGERLY. Softly, gently, tenderly. To go gingerly to work: to attempt a thing gently, or cautiously.


GINNY. An instrument to lift up a great, in order to steal what is in the window. CANT.


GIP from gups a WOLF. A servant at college.


GIRDS. Quips, taunts, severe or biting reflections.


GIZZARD. To grumble in the gizzard; to be secretly displeased.


GLASS EYES. A nick name for one wearing spectacles. GLAYMORE. A Highland broad-sword; from the Erse GLAY, or GLAIVE, a sword; and MORE, great.


GLAZE. A window.

GLAZIER. One who breaks windows and shew-glasses, to steal goods exposed for sale. Glaziers; eyes. CANT.-- Is your father a glazier; a question asked of a lad or young man, who stands between the speaker and the candle, or fire. If it is answered in the negative, the rejoinder is-- I wish he was, that he might make a window through your body, to enable us to see the fire or light.

GLIB. Smooth, slippery. Glib tongued; talkative.


GLIM. A candle, or dark lantern, used in housebreaking; also fire. To glim; to burn in the hand. CANT.




GLIMFLASHY. Angry, or in a passion. CANT.


GLIM JACK. A link-boy. CANT.




GLIMMERERS. Persons begging with sham licences, pretending losses by fire.




GLIMSTICK. A candlestick. CANT.


GLOBE. Pewter. CANT.

GLOVES. To give any one a pair of gloves; to make them a present or bribe. To win a pair of gloves; to kiss a man whilst he sleeps: for this a pair of gloves is due to any lady who will thus earn them.

GLUEPOT. A parson: from joining men and women together in matrimony.


GLUM. Sullen.


GLUTTON. A term used by bruisers to signify a man who will bear a great deal of beating.


GNARLER. A little dog that by his barking alarms the family when any person is breaking into the house.

GO, THE. The dash. The mode. He is quite the go, he is quite varment, he is prime, he is bang up, are synonimous expressions.

GLYBE. A writing. CANT.


GO BETWEEN. A pimp or bawd.


GO BY THE GROUND. A little short person, man or woman.

GO SHOP. The Queen's Head in Duke's court, Bow street, Covent Garden; frequented by the under players: where gin and water was sold in three-halfpenny bowls, called Goes; the gin was called Arrack. The go, the fashion; as, large hats are all the go.

GOADS. Those who wheedle in chapmen for horse-dealers.


GOAT. A lascivious person. Goats jigg; making the beast with two backs, copulation.

GOB. The mouth; also a bit or morsel: whence gobbets. Gift of the gob; wide-mouthed, or one who speaks fluently, or sings well.

GOB STRING. A bridle.


GOBBLER. A turkey cock.

GODFATHER. He who pays the reckoning, or answers for the rest of thecompany: as, Will you stand godfather, and we will take care of the brat; i.e. repay you another time. Jurymen are also called godfathers, because they name the crime the prisoner before them has been guilty of, whether felony, petit larceny, &c.

GOG. All-a-gog; impatient, anxious, or desirous of a thing.

GOG AND MAGOG. Two giants, whose effigies stand on each side of the clock in Guildhall, London; of whom there is a tradition, that, when they hear the clock strike one, on the first of April, they will walk down from their places.

GOGGLES. Eyes: see OGLES. Goggle eyes; large prominent eyes. To goggle; to stare.


GOING UPON THE DUB. Going out to break open, or pick the locks of, houses.

GOLD DROPPERS. Sharpers who drop a piece of gold, which they pick up in the presence of some unexperienced person, for whom the trap is laid, this they pretend to have found, and, as he saw them pick it up, they invite him to a public house to partake of it: when there, two or three of their comrades drop in, as if by accident, and propose cards, or some other game, when they seldom fail of stripping their prey.

GOLD FINDER. One whose employment is to empty necessary houses; called also a tom-turd-man, and night-man: the latter, from that business being always performed in the night.

GOLDFINCH. One who has commonly a purse full of gold. Goldfinches; guineas.

GOLGOTHA OR THE PLACE OF SCULLS. Part of the Theatre at Oxford, where the heads of houses sit; those gentlemen being by the wits of the university called sculls.

GOLLUMPUS. A large, clumsy fellow.


GOLOSHES, i.e. Goliah's shoes. Large leathern clogs, worn by invalids over their ordinary shoes.

GOOD MAN. A word of various imports, according to the place where it is spoken: in the city it means a rich man; at Hockley in the Hole, or St. Giles's, an expert boxer; at a bagnio in Covent Garden, a vigorous fornicator; at an alehouse or tavern, one who loves his pot or bottle; and sometimes, though but rarely, a virtuous man

GOOD WOMAN. A nondescript, represented on a famous sign in St. Giles's, in the form of a common woman. but without a head.

GOODYER'S PIG. Like Goodyer's pig; never well but when in mischief.

GOOSE. A taylor's goose; a smoothing iron used to press down the seams, for which purpose it must be heated: hence it is a jocular saying, that a taylor, be he ever so poor, is always sure to have a goose at his fire. He cannot say boh to a goose; a saying of a bashful or sheepish fellow.

GOOSE RIDING. A goose, whose neck is greased, being suspended by the legs to a cord tied to two trees or high posts,
a number of men on horseback, riding full speed, attempt to pull off the head: which if they effect, the goose is their prize. This has been practised in Derbyshire within the memory of persons now living.

GOOSEBERRY. He played up old gooseberry among them; said of a person who. by force or threats, suddenly puts an end to a riot or disturbance.

GOOSEBERRY-EYED. One with dull grey eyes, like boiled gooseberries.


GOOSEBERRY WIG. A large frizzled wig: perhaps from a supposed likeness to a gooseberry bush.


GOOSECAP. A silly fellow or woman.


GORGER. A gentleman. A well dressed man. Mung kiddey. Mung the gorger; beg child beg, of the gentleman.


GOSPEL SHOP. A church.

GOREE. Money, chiefly gold: perhaps from the traffic carried on at that place, which is chiefly for gold dust. CANT.

GORMAGON. A monster with six eyes, three mouths, four arms, eight legs, live on one side and three on the other, three arses, two tarses, and a *** upon its back; a man on horseback, with a woman behind him.

GOTCH-GUTTED. Pot bellied: a gotch in Norfolk signifying a pitcher, or large round jug.


TO GOUGE. To squeeze out a man's eye with the thumb: a cruel practice used by the Bostonians in America.


To GRABBLE. To seize. To grabble the bit; to seize any one's money. CANT.


GRAFTED. Cuckolded, i.e. having horns grafted on his head.


To GRAB. To seize a man. The pigs grabbed the kiddey for a crack: the officers, seized the youth for a burglary.




GRANNUM'S GOLD. Hoarded money: supposed to have belonged to the grandmother of the possessor.

GRANNY. An abbreviation of grandmother; also the name of an idiot, famous for licking, her eye, who died Nov. 14, 1719. Go teach your granny to suck eggs; said to such as would instruct any one in a matter he knows better than themselves.

GRAPPLE THE RAILS. A cant name used in Ireland for whiskey.




GRAVE DIGGER. Like a grave digger; up to the a-se in business, and don't know which way to turn.


GRAVY-EYED. Blear-eyed, one whose eyes have a running humour.

TO GREASE. To bribe. To grease a man in the fist; to bribe him. To grease a fat sow in the a-se; to give to a rich man. Greasy chin; a treat given to parish officers in part of commutation for a bastard: called also, Eating a child.

GREAT INTIMATE. As great as shirt and shitten a-se.




GREEDY GUTS. A covetous or voracious person.


GREEK. St. Giles's Greek; the slang lingo, cant, or gibberish.

GREEN. Doctor Green; i.e. grass: a physician, or rather medicine, found very successful in curing most disorders to which horses are liable. My horse is not well, I shall send him to Doctor Green.

GREEN. Young, inexperienced, unacquainted; ignorant. How green the cull was not to stag how the old file planted the books. How ignorant the booby was not to perceive how the old sharper placed the cards in such a manner as to insure the game.

GREEN BAG. An attorney: those gentlemen carry their clients' deeds in a green bag; and, it is said, when they have no deeds to carry, frequently fill them with an old pair of breeches, or any other trumpery, to give themselves the appearance of business.

GREEN GOWN. To give a girl a green gown; to tumble her on the grass.


GREEN SICKNESS. The disease of maids occasioned by celibacy.


GREENHEAD. An inexperienced young man.


GREENHORN. A novice on the town, an undebauched young fellow, just initiated into the society of bucks and bloods.

GREENWICH BARBERS. Retailers of sand from the pits at and about Greenwich, in Kent: perhaps they are styled barbers, from their constant shaving the sandbanks.

GREENWICH GOOSE. A pensioner of Greenwich Hospital.

GREGORIAN TREE. The gallows: so named from Gregory Brandon, a famous finisher of the law; to whom Sir William Segar, garter king of arms (being imposed on by Brooke, a herald), granted a coat of arms.

GREY BEARD. Earthen jugs formerly used in public house for drawing ale: they had the figure of a man with a large beard stamped on them; whence probably they took the name: see BEN JONSON'S PLAYS, BARTHOLOMEW FAIR, &c. &c. Dutch earthen jugs, used for smuggling gin on the coasts of Essex and Suffolk, are at this time called grey beards.

GREY MARE. The grey mare is the better horse; said of a woman who governs her husband.


GREY PARSON. A farmer who rents the tithes of the rector or vicar.

GRIG. A farthing. A merry grig; a fellow as merry as a grig: an allusion to the apparent liveliness of a grig, or young eel.

GRIM. Old Mr. Grim; death.


GRIMALKIN. A cat: mawkin signifies a hare in Scotland.

GRIN. To grin in a glass case; to be anatomized for murder: the skeletons of many criminals are preserved in glass cases, at Surgeons' hall.

GRINAGOG, THE CAT'S UNCLE. A foolish grinning fellow, one who grins without reason.


GRINDERS. Teeth. Gooseberry grinder; the breech. Ask bogey, the gooseberry grinder; ask mine a-se.


TO GRIND. To have carnal knowledge of a woman.

GROATS. To save his groats; to come off handsomely: at the universities, nine groats are deposited in the hands of an academic officer, by every person standing for a degree; which if the depositor obtains with honour, the groats are returned to him.

GROG. Rum and water. Grog was first introduced into the navy about the year 1740, by Admiral Vernon, to prevent the sailors intoxicating themselves with their allowance of rum, or spirits. Groggy, or groggified; drunk.

GROG-BLOSSOM. A carbuncle, or pimple in the face, caused by drinking.


GROGGED. A grogged horse; a foundered horse.




GROPERS. Blind men; also midwives.






GRUB. Victuals. To grub; to dine.

GRUB STREET. A street near Moorfields, formerly the supposed habitation of many persons who wrote for the booksellers: hence a Grub-street writer means a hackney author, who manufactures booss for the booksellers.

GRUB STREET NEWS. Lying intelligence.


TO GRUBSHITE. To make foul or dirty.


GRUMBLE. To grumble in the gizzard; to murmur or repine. He grumbled like a bear with a sore head.


GRUMBLETONIAN. A discontented person; one who is always railing at the times or ministry.


GRUNTER. A hog; to grunt; to groan, or complain of sickness.


GRUNTER'S GIG. A smoaked hog's face. GRUNTING PECK. Pork, bacon, or any kind of hog's flesh.



GUDGEON. One easily imposed on. To gudgeon; to swallow the bait, or fall into a trap: from the fish of that name, which is easily taken.

GULL. A simple credulous fellow, easily cheated.


GULLED. Deceived, cheated, imposed on.


GULLGROPERS. Usurers who lend money to the gamesters.


GUM. Abusive language. Come, let us have no more of your gum.


GUMMY. Clumsy: particularly applied to the ancles of men or women, and the legs of horses.


GUMPTION, or RUM GUMPTION. Docility, comprehension, capacity.


GUN. He is in the gun; he is drunk: perhaps from an allusion to a vessel called a gun, used for ale in the universities.


GUNDIGUTS. A fat, pursy fellow.

GUNNER'S DAUGHTER. To kiss the gunner's daughter; to be tied to a gun and flogged on the posteriors; a mode of punishing boys on board a ship of war.

GUNPOWDER. An old Woman. CANT.

GUTS. My great guts are ready to eat my little ones; my guts begin to think my throat's cut; my guts curse my teeth: all expressions signifying the party is extremely hungry.

GUTS AND GARBAGE. A very fat man or woman. More guts than brains; a silly fellow. He has plenty of guts, but no bowels: said of a hard, merciless, unfeeling person.

GUTFOUNDERED. Exceeding hungry.




GUTTER LANE. The throat, the swallow, the red lane. See RED LANE.

GUTTING A QUART POT. Taking out the lining of it: i. e. drinking it off. Gutting an oyster; eating it. Gutting a house; clearing it of its furniture. See POULTERER.

GUY. A dark lanthorn: an allusion to Guy Faux, the principal actor in the gunpowder plot. Stow the guy: conceal the lanthorn.

GUZZLE. Liquor. To guzzle; to drink greedily.


GUZZLE GUTS. One greedy of liquor.


GYBE, or JYBE. Any writing or pass with a seal.


GYBING. Jeering or ridiculing.


GYLES, or GILES. Hopping Giles; a nick name for a lame person: St. Giles was the tutelar saint of cripples.


GYP. A college runner or errand-boy at Cambridge, called at Oxford a scout. See SCOUT.

GYPSIES. A set of vagrants, who, to the great disgrace of our police, are suffered to wander about the country. They pretend that they derive their origin from the ancient Egyptians, who were famous for their knowledge in astronomy and other sciences; and, under the pretence of fortune-telling, find means to rob or defraud the ignorant and superstitious. To colour their impostures, they artificially discolour their faces, and speak a kind of gibberish peculiar to themselves. They rove up and down the country in large companies, to the great terror of the farmers, from whose geese, turkeys, and fowls, they take very considerable contributions.

When a fresh recruit is admitted into the fraternity, he is to take the following oath, administered by the principal maunder, after going through the annexed forms:

First, a new name is given him by which he is ever after to be called; then standing up in the middle of the assembly, and directing his face to the dimber damber, or principal man of the gang, he repeats the following oath, which is dictated to him by some experienced member of the fraternity:

I, Crank Cuffin, do swear to be a true brother, and that I will in all things obey the commands of the great tawney prince, and keep his counsel and not divulge the secrets of my brethren.

I will never leave nor forsake the company, but observe and keep all the times of appointment, either by day or by night, in every place whatever.

I will not teach any one to cant, nor will I disclose any of our mysteries to them.

I will take my prince's part against all that shall oppose him, or any of us, according to the utmost of my ability; nor will I suffer him, or any one belongiug to us, to be abused by any strange abrams, rufflers, hookers, pailliards, swaddlers, Irish toyles, swigmen, whip jacks, jarkmen, bawdy baskets, dommerars, clapper dogeons, patricoes, or curtals; but will defend him, or them, as much as I can, against all other outliers whatever. I will not conceal aught I win out of libkins or from the ruffmans, but will preserve it for the use of the company. Lastly, I will cleave to my doxy wap stiffly, and will bring her duds, marjery praters, goblers, grunting cheats, or tibs of the buttery, or any thing else I can come at, as winnings for her weppings.

The canters have, it seems, a tradition, that from the three first articles of this oath, the first founders of a certain boastful, worshipful fraternity (who pretend to derive their origin from the earliest times) borrowed both the hint and form of their establishment; and that their pretended derivation from the first Adam is a forgery, it being only from the first Adam Tiler: see ADAM TILER. At the admission of a new brother, a general stock is raised for booze, or drink, to make themselves merry on the occasion. As for peckage or eatables, they can procure without money; for while some are sent to break the ruffmans, or woods and bushes, for firing, others are detached to filch geese, chickens, hens, ducks (or mallards), and pigs. Their morts are their butchers, who presently make bloody work with what living things are brought them; and having made holes in the ground under some remote hedge in an obscure place, they make a fire and boil or broil their food; and when it is enough, fall to work tooth and nail: and having eaten more like beasts than men, they drink more like swine than human creatures, entertaining one another all the time with songs in the canting dialect.

As they live, so they lie, together promiscuously, and know not how to claim a property either in their goods or children: and this general interest ties them more firmly together than if all their rags were twisted into ropes, to bind them indissolubly from a separation; which detestable union is farther consolidated by the above oath.

They stroll up and down all summer-time in droves, and Dexterously pick pockets, while they are telling of fortunes; and the money, rings, silver thirribles, &c. which they get, are instantly conveyed from one hand to another, till the remotest person of the gang (who is not suspected because they come not near the person robbed) gets possession of it; so that, in the strictest search, it is impossible to recover it; while the wretches with imprecations,
oaths, and protestations, disclaim the thievery.

That by which they are said to get the most money, is, when young gentlewomen of good families and reputation have happened to be with child before marriage, a round sum is often bestowed among the gypsies, for some one mort to take the child; and as that is never heard of more by the true mother and family, so the disgrace is kept concealed from the world; and, if the child lives, it never knows its parents.

HABERDASHER OF PRONOUNS. A schoolmaster, or usher.


HACKNEY WRITER. One who writes for attornies or booksellers.


HACKUM. Captain Hackum; a bravo, a slasher.


HAD'EM. He has been at Had'em, and came home by Clapham; said of one who has caught the venereal disease.


HAIR SPLITTER. A man's yard.

HALBERT. A weapon carried by a serjeant of foot. To get a halbert; to be appointed a serjeant. To be brought to the halberts; to be flogged a la militaire: soldiers of the infantry, when flogged, being commonly tied to three halberts, set up in a triangle, with a fourth fastened across them. He carries the halbert in his face; a saying of one promoted from a serjeant to a commission officer.

HALF A HOG. Sixpence.


HALF SEAS OVER. Almost drunk.


HAMLET. A high constable. Cant.


HAMS, or HAMCASES Breeches.

HAND. A sailor. We lost a hand; we lost a sailor. Bear a hand; make haste. Hand to fist; opposite: the same as tete-a-tete, or cheek by joul.

HAND AND POCKET SHOP. An eating house, where ready money is paid for what is called for.

HAND BASKET PORTION. A woman whose husband receives frequent presents from her father, or family, is
said to have a hand-basket portion.

HANDLE. To know how to handle one's fists; to be skilful in the art of boxing. The cove flashes a rare handle to his physog; the fellow has a large nose.

HANDSOME. He is a handsome-bodied man in the face; a jeering commendation of an ugly fellow. Handsome is that handsome does: a proverb frequently cited by ugly women.

HANDSOME REWARD. This, in advertisements, means a horse-whipping.


To HANG AN ARSE. To hang back, to hesitate.


HANG GALLOWS LOOK. A thievish, or villainous appearance.

HANG IN CHAINS. A vile, desperate fellow. Persons guilty of murder, or other atrocious crimes, are frequently, after execution, hanged on a gibbet, to which
they are fastened by iron bandages; the gibbet is commonly placed on or near the place where the crime was committed.

HANG IT UP. Score it up: speaking of a reckoning.


HANG OUT. The traps scavey where we hang out; the officers know where we live.


HANGER ON. A dependant.

HANGMAN'S WAGES. Thirteen pence halfpenny; which, according to the vulgar tradition, was thus allotted: one shilling for the executioner, and three halfpence for the rope,
--N. B. This refers to former times; the hangmen of the present day having, like other artificers, raised their prices. The true state of this matter is, that a Scottish mark was the fee allowed for an execution, and the value of that piece was settled by a proclamation of James I. at thirteen pence halfpenny.

HANK. He has a hank on him; i.e. an ascendancy over him, or a hold upon him. A Smithfield hank; an ox, rendered furious by overdriving and barbarous treatment. See BULL HANK.

HANKER. To hanker after any thing; to have a longing after or for it.

HANS IN KELDER. Jack in the cellar, i.e. the child in the womb: a health frequently drank to breeding women or their husbands.

HARD. Stale beer, nearly sour, is said to be hard. Hard also means severe: as, hard fate, a hard master.


HARD AT HIS A-SE. Close after him.


HARE. He has swallowed a hare; he is drunk; more probably a HAIR, which requires washing down,


HARK-YE-ING. Whispering on one side to borrow money.


HARMAN. A constable. CANT.




HARMANS. The stocks. CANT.

HARP. To harp upon; to dwell upon a subject. Have among you, my blind harpers; an expression used in throwing or shooting at random among the crowd. Harp is also the Irish expression for woman, or tail, used in tossing up in Ireland: from Hibernia, being represented with a harp on the reverse of the copper coins of that country; for which it is, in hoisting the copper, i.e. tossing up, sometimes likewise called music.

HARRIDAN. A hagged old woman; a miserable, scraggy, worn-out harlot, fit to take her bawd's degree: derived from the French word HARIDELLE, a worn-out jade of a horse or mare.

HARRY. A country fellow. CANT.--Old Harry; the Devil.

HARUM SCARUM. He was running harum scarum; said of any one running or walking hastily, and in a hurry, after they know not what.

HASH. To flash the hash; to vomit. CANT.


HASTY. Precipitate, passionate. He is none of the Hastings sort; a saying of a slow, loitering fellow: an allusion to the Hastings pea, which is the first in season.

HASTY PUDDING. Oatmeal and milk boiled to a moderate thickness, and eaten with sugar and butter. Figuratively, a wet, muddy road: as, The way through Wandsworth is quite a hasty pudding. To eat hot hasty pudding for a laced hat, or some other prize, is a common feat at wakes and fairs.

HAT. Old hat; a woman's privities: because frequently felt.


HATCHES. Under the hatches; in trouble, distress, or debt.


HATCHET FACE. A long thin face.


HAVIL. A sheep. CANT.


HAVY CAVY. Wavering, doubtful, shilly shally.

HAWK. Ware hawk; the word to look sharp, a bye-word when a bailiff passes. Hawk also signifies a sharper, in opposition to pigeon. See PIGEON. See WARE HAWK.

HAWKERS. Licensed itinerant retailers of different commodities, called also pedlars; likewise the sellers of news-papers. Hawking; an effort to spit up the thick phlegm, called OYSTERS: whence it is wit upon record, to ask the person so doing whether he has a licence; a punning allusion to the Act of hawkers and pedlars.

To HAZEL GILD. To beat any one with a hazel stick.

HEAD CULLY OF THE PASS, or PASSAGE BANK. The top tilter of that gang throughout the whole army, who demands and receives contribution from all the pass banks in the camp.







HEARTY CHOAK. He will have a hearty choak and caper sauce for breakfast; i.e. he will be hanged.

HEATHEN PHILOSOPHER. One whose breech may be seen through his pocket-hole: this saying arose from the old philosophers, many of whom depised the vanity of dress to such a point, as often to fall into the opposite extreme.

TO HEAVE. To rob. To heave a case; to rob a house. To heave a bough; to rob a booth. CANT.


HEAVER. The breast. CANT.


HEAVERS. Thieves who make it their business to steal tradesmen's shop-books. CANT.

HECTOR. bully, a swaggering coward. To hector; to bully, probably from such persons affecting the valour of Hector, the Trojan hero.

HEDGE. To make a hedge; to secure a bet, or wager, laid on one side, by taking the odds on the other, so that, let what will happen, a certain gain is secured, or hedged in, by the person who takes this precaution; who is then said to be on velvet.

HEDGE ALEHOUSE. A small obscure alehouse.


HEDGE CREEPER. A robber of hedges.


HEDGE PRIEST. An illiterate unbeneficed curate, a patrico.

HEDGE WHORE. An itinerant harlot, who bilks the bagnios and bawdy-houses, by disposing of her favours on the wayside, under a hedge; a low beggarly prostitute.

HEELS. To he laid by the heels; to be confined, or put in prison. Out at heels; worn, or diminished: his estate or affairs are out at heels. To turn up his heels; to turn up the knave of trumps at the game of all-fours.

HEEL TAP. A peg in the heel of a shoe, taken out when it is finished. A person leaving any liquor in his glass, is frequently called upon by the toast-master to take off his heel-tap.

HELL. A taylor's repository for his stolen goods, called cabbage: see CABBAGE. Little hell; a small dark covered passage, leading from London-wall to Bell-alley.

HELL-BORN BABE. A lewd graceless youth, one naturally of a wicked disposition.


HELL CAT. A termagant, a vixen, a furious scolding woman. See TERMAGANT and VIXEN.


HELL HOUND. A wicked abandoned fellow.

HELL FIRE DICK. The Cambridge driver of the Telegraph. The favorite companion of the University fashionables, and the only tutor to whose precepts they attend.

HELTER SKELTER. To run helter skelter, hand over head, in defiance of order.


HEMP. Young hemp; an appellation for a graceless boy.

HEMPEN FEVER. A man who was hanged is said to have died of a hempen fever; and, in Dorsetshire, to have been stabbed with a Bridport dagger; Bridport being a place famous for manufacturing hemp into cords.

HEMPEN WIDOW. One whose husband was hanged.


HEN-HEARTED. Cowardly.

HEN HOUSE. A house where the woman rules; called also a SHE HOUSE, and HEN FRIGATE: the latter a sea phrase, originally applied to a ship, the captain of which had his wife on board, supposed to command him.

HENPECKED. A husband governed by his wife, is said to be henpecked.


HEN. A woman. A cock and hen club; a club composed of men and women.


HERE AND THEREIAN. One who has no settled place of residence.


HERRING. The devil a barrel the better herring; all equally bad.


HERRING GUTTED. Thin, as a shotten hering.


HERRING POND. The sea. To cross the herring pond at the king's expence; to be transported.


HERTFORDSHIRE KINDNESS. Drinking twice to the same person.


HICK. A country hick; an ignorant clown. CANT.

HICKENBOTHOM. Mr. Hickenbothom; a ludicrous name for an unknown person, similar to that of Mr. Thingambob. Hickenbothom, i.e. a corruption of the German
word ickenbaum, i.e. oak tree.

HICKEY. Tipsey; quasi, hickupping.

HIDE AND SEEK. A childish game. He plays at hide and seek; a saying of one who is in fear of being arrested for debt, or apprehended for some crime, and therefore does not chuse to appear in public, but secretly skulks up and down. See SKULK.

HIDEBOUND. Stingy, hard of delivery; a poet poor in invention, is said to have a hidebound muse.


HIGGLEDY PIGGLEDY. Confusedly mixed.


HIGH EATING. To eat skylarks in a garret.


HIGH FLYERS. Tories, Jacobites.


HIGH JINKS. A gambler at dice, who, having a strong head, drinks to intoxicate his adversary, or pigeon.


HIGH LIVING. To lodge in a garret, or cockloft


HIGH PAD. A highwayman. CANT.


HIGH ROPES. To be on the high ropes; to be in a passion.


HIGH SHOON, or CLOUTED SHOON. A country clown.


HIGH WATER. It is high water, with him; he is full of money.

HIGHGATE. Sworn at Highgate--a ridiculous custom formerly prevailed at the public-houses in Highgate, to administer a ludicrous oath to all travellers of the middling
rank who stopped there. The party was sworn on a pair of horns, fastened on a stick: the substance of the oath was, never to kiss the maid when he could kiss the mistress, never to drink small beer when he could get strong, with many other injunctions of the like kind; to all which was added the saving cause of "unless you like it best." The person administering the oath was always to be called father by the juror; and he, in return, was to style him son, under the penalty of a bottle.

HIKE. To hike off; to run away. CANT.

HIND LEG. To kick out a hind leg; to make a rustic bow. HINNEY, MY HONEY. A north country hinney, particularly a Northumbrian: in that county, hinney is the general term of endearment.

HISTORY OF THE FOUR KINGS, or CHILD'S BEST GUIDE TO THE GALLOWS. A pack of cards. He studies the history of the four kings assiduously; he plays much at cards.

HOAXING. Bantering, ridiculing. Hoaxing a quiz; joking an odd fellow. UNIVERSITY WIT.


HOB, or HOBBINOL, a clown.

HOB OR NOB. Will you hob or nob with me? a question formerly in fashion at polite tables, signifying a request or challenge to drink a glass of wine with the proposer: if the party challenged answered Nob, they were to chuse whether white or red. This foolish custom is said to have originated in the days of good queen Bess, thus: when great chimnies were in fashion, there was at each corner of the hearth, or grate, a small elevated projection, called the hob; and behind it a seat. In winter time the beer was placed on the hob to warm: and the cold beer was set on a small table, said to have been called the nob; so that the question, Will you have hob or nob? seems only to have meant, Will you have warm or cold beer? i.e. beer from the hob, or beer from the nob.

HOBBERDEHOY. Half a man and half a boy, a lad between both.


HOBBLED. Impeded, interrupted, puzzled. To hobble; to walk lamely.


HOBBLEDYGEE. A pace between a walk and a run, a dog-trot.


HOBBY. Sir Posthumous's hobby; one nice or whimsical in his clothes.

HOBBY HORSE. A man's favourite amusement, or study, is called his hobby horse. It also means a particular kind of small Irish horse: and also a wooden one, such as is given to children.

HOBBY HORSICAL. A man who is a great keeper or rider of hobby horses; one that is apt to be strongly attached to his systems of amusement.

HOBNAIL. A country clodhopper: from the shoes of country farmers and ploughmen being commonly stuck full of hob-nails, and even often clouted, or tipped with iron. The Devil ran over his face with hobnails in his shoes; said of one pitted With the small pox.

HOBSON'S CHOICE. That or none; from old Hobson, a famous carrier of Cambridge, who used to let horses to the students; but never permitted them to chuse, always allotting each man the horse he thought properest for his manner of riding and treatment.

HOCKS. vulgar appellation for the feet. You have left the marks of your dirty hocks on my clean stairs; a frequent complaint from a mop squeezer to a footman.

HOCKEY. Drunk with strong stale beer, called old hock. See HICKEY.

HOCKING, or HOUGHING. A piece of cruelty practised by the butchers of Dublin, on soldiers, by cutting the tendon of Achilles; this has been by law made felony.

HOCUS POCUS. Nonsensical words used by jugglers, previous to their deceptions, as a kind of charm, or incantation. A celebrated writer supposes it to be a ludicrous corruption of the words hoc est corpus, used by the popish priests m consecrating the host. Also Hell Hocus is used to express drunkenness: as, he is quite hocus; he is quite drunk.

HOD. Brother Hod; a familiar name for a bricklayer's labourer: from the hod which is used for carrying bricks and mortar.

HODDY DODDY, ALL A-SE AND NO BODY. A short clumsy person, either male or female.


HODGE. An abbreviation of Roger: a general name for a country booby.


HODGE PODGE. An irregular mixture of numerous things.


HODMANDODS. Snails in their shells.

HOG. A shilling. To drive one's hogs; to snore: the noise made by some persons in snoring, being not much unlike the notes of that animal. He has brought his hogs to a fine market; a saying of any one who has been remarkably successful in his affairs, and is spoken ironically to signify the contrary. A hog in armour; an awkward or mean looking man or woman, finely dressed, is said to look like a hog in armour. To hog a horse's mane; to cut it short, so that the ends of the hair stick up like hog's bristles. Jonian hogs; an appellation given to the members of St. John's College, Cambridge.

HOG GRUBBER. A mean stingy fellow.


HOGGISH. Rude, unmannerly, filthy.

HOGO. Corruption of haut goust, high taste, or flavour; commonly said of flesh somewhat tainted. It has a confounded hogo; it stinks confoundedly.

HOIST. To go upon the hoist; to get into windows accidentally left open: this is done by the assistance of a confederate, called the hoist, who leans his head against the wall, making his back a kind of step or ascent.

HOISTING. A ludicrous ceremony formerly performed on every soldier, the first time he appeared in the field after being married; it was thus managed: As soon as the regiment, or company, had grounded their arms to rest a while, three or four men of the same company to which the bridegroom belonged, seized upon him, and putting a couple of bayonets out of the two corners of his hat, to represent horns, it was placed on his head, the back part foremost. He was then hoisted on the shoulders of two strong fellows, and carried round the arms, a drum and fife beating and playing the pioneers call, named Round Heads and Cuckolds, but on this occasion styled the Cuckold's March; in passing the colours, he was to take off his hat: this, in some regiments, was practised by the officers on their brethren, Hoisting, among pickpockets, is, setting a man on his head, that his money, watch, &c. may fall out of his pockets; these they pick up, and hold to be no robbery. See REVERSED.

HOITY-TOITY. A hoity-toity wench; a giddy, thoughtless, romping girl.

HOLBORN HILL. To ride backwards up Holborn hill; to go to the gallows: the way to Tyburn, the place of execution for criminals condemned in London, was up that hill. Criminals going to suffer, always ride backwards, as some conceive to increase the ignominy, but more probably to prevent them being shocked with a distant view of the gallows; as, in amputations, surgeons conceal the instruments with which they are going to operate. The last execution at Tyburn, and consequently of this procession, was in the year 1784, since which the criminals have been executed near Newgate

HOLIDAY. A holiday bowler; a bad bowler. Blind man's holiday; darkness, night. A holiday is any part of a ship's bottom, left uncovered in paying it. SEA TERM. It is all holiday; See ALL HOLIDAY.

HOLY FATHER. A butcher's boy of St. Patrick's Market, Dublin, or other Irish blackguard; among whom the exclamation, or oath, by the Holy Father (meaning the Pope), is common.

HOLY LAMB. A thorough-paced villain. IRISH.

HOLY WATER. He loves him as the Devil loves holy water, i.e. hates him mortally. Holy water, according to the Roman Catholics, having the virtue to chase away the Devil and his imps.

HOLLOW. It was quiet a hollow thing; i.e. a certainty, or decided business.

HONEST MAN. A term frequently used by superiors to inferiors. As honest a man as any in the cards when all the kings are out; i.e. a knave. I dare not call thee rogue for fear of the law, said a quaker to an attorney; but I wil give thee five pounds, if thou canst find any creditable person who wilt say thou art an honest man.

HONEST WOMAN. To marry a woman with whom one has cohabitated as a mistress, is termed, making an honest woman of her.

HONEY MOON. The first month after marriage. A poor honey; a harmless, foolish, goodnatured fellow. It is all honey or a t--d with them; said of persons who are either in the extremity of friendship or enmity, either kissing or fighting.

HOOD-WINKED. Blindfolded by a handkerchief, or other ligature, bound over the eyes.

HOOF. To beat the hoof; to travel on foot. He hoofed it or beat the hoof, every step of the way from Chester to London.

HOOK AND SNIVEY, WITH NIX THE BUFFER. This rig consists in feeding a man and a dog for nothing, and is carried on thus: Three men, one of who pretends to be sick and unable to eat, go to a public house: the two well men make a bargain with the landlord for their dinner, and when he is out of sight, feed their pretended sick companion and dog gratis.

HOOKEE WALKER. An expression signifying that the story is not true, or that the thing will not occour.


HOOKED. Over-reached, tricked, caught: a simile taken from fishing. **** hooks; fingers.



HOOP. To run the hoop; an ancient marine custom. Four or more boys having their left hands tied fast to an iron hoop, and each of them a rope, called a nettle, in their right, being naked to the waist, wait the signal to begin: this being made by a stroke with a cat of nine tails, given by the boatswain to one of the boys, he strikes the boy before him, and every one does the same: at first the blows are but gently administered; but each irritated by the strokes from the boy behind him, at length lays it on in earnest. This was anciently practised when a ship was wind-bound.

TO HOOP. To beat. I'll well hoop his or her barrel, I'll beat him or her soundly.


TO HOP THE TWIG. To run away. CANT.



HOP-O-MY-THUMB. A diminutive person, man or woman. She was such a-hop-o-my thumb, that a pigeon, sitting on her shoulder, might pick a pea out of her a-se.

HOPKINS. Mr. Hopkins; a ludicrous address to a lame or limping man, being a pun on the word hop.

HOPPING GILES. A jeering appellation given to any person who limps, or is lame; St. Giles was the patron of cripples, lepers, &c. Churches dedicated to that saint commonly stand out of town, many of them having been chapels to hospitals. See GYLES.

HOPPER-ARSED. Having large projecting buttocks: from their resemblance to a small basket, called a hopper or hoppet, worn by husbandmen for containing seed corn, when they sow the land.

HORNS. To draw in one's horns; to retract an assertion through fear: metaphor borrowed from a snail, who on the apprehension of danger, draws in his horns, and retires to his shell.

HORN COLIC. A temporary priapism.

HORN FAIR. An annual fair held at Charlton, in Kent, on St. Luke's day, the 18th of October. It consists of a riotous mob, who after a printed summons dispersed through the adjacent towns, meet at Cuckold's Point, near Deptford, and march from thence in procession, through that town and Greenwich, to Charlton, with horns of different kinds upon their heads; and at the fair there are sold rams horns, and every sort of toy made of horn; even the gingerbread figures have horns, The vulgar tradition gives the
following history of the origin of this fair; King John, or some other of our ancient kings, being at the palace of Eltham, in this neighbourhood, and having been out a hunting one day, rambled from his company to this place, then a mean hamlet; when entering a cottage to inquire his way, he was struck with the beauty of the mistress, whom he found alone; and having prevailed over her modesty, the husband returning suddenly, surprised them together; and threatening to kill them both, the king was obliged to discover himself, and to compound for his safety by a purse of gold, and a grant of the land from this place to Cuckold's Point, besides making the husband master of the hamlet. It is added that, in memory of this grant, and the occasion of it, this fair was established, for the sale of horns, and all sorts of goods made with that material. A sermon is preached at Charlton church on the fair day.

HORN MAD. A person extremely jealous of his wife, is said to be horn mad. Also a cuckold, who does not cut or breed his horns easily.

HORN WORK. Cuckold-making.


HORNIFIED. Cuckolded.


HORSE BUSS. A kiss with a loud smack; also a bite.

HORSE COSER. A dealer in horses: vulgarly and corruptly pronounced HORSE COURSER. The verb TO COSE was used by the Scots, in the sense of bartering or exchanging.

HORSE GODMOTHER. A large masculine woman, a gentlemanlike kind of a lady.

HORSE LADDER. A piece of Wiltshire wit, which consists in sending some raw lad, or simpleton, to a neighbouring farm house, to borrow a horse ladder, in order to get up the horses, to finish a hay-mow.

HORSE'S MEAL. A meal without drinking.

HOSTELER, i.e. oat stealer. Hosteler was originally the name for an inn-keeper; inns being in old English styled hostels, from the French signifying the same.

HOT POT. Ale and brandy made hot.

HOT STOMACH. He has so hot a stomach, that he burns all the clothes off his back; said of one who pawns his clothes to purchase liquor.

HOUSE, or TENEMENT, TO LET. A widow's weeds; also an atchievement marking the death of a husband, set up on the outside of a mansion: both supposed to indicate that the dolorous widow wants a male comforter.

HOYDON. A romping girl.

HUBBLE-BUBBLE. Confusion. A hubble-bubble fellow; a man of confused ideas, or one thick of speech, whose words sound like water bubbling out of a bottle. Also an instrument used for smoaking through water in the East Indies, called likewise a caloon, and hooker.

HUBBLE DE SHUFF. Confusedly. To fire hubble de shuff, to fire quick and irregularly. OLD MILITARY TERM.


HUBBUB. A noise, riot, or disturbance.


HUCKLE MY BUFF. Beer, egg, and brandy, made hot.


HUCKSTERS. Itinerant retailers of provisions. He is in hucksters hands; he is in a bad way.


TO HUE. To lash. The cove was hued in the naskin; the rogue was soundly lashed in bridewell. CANT.

TO HUFF. To reprove, or scold at any one; also to bluster, bounce, ding, or swagger. A captain huff; a noted bully. To stand the huff; to be answerable for the reckoning in a public house.

HUG. To hug brown bess; to carry a firelock, or serve as a private soldier. He hugs it as the Devil hugs a witch: said of one who holds any thing as if he was afraid of losing it.

HUGGER MUGGER. By stealth, privately, without making an appearance. They spent their money in a hugger mugger way.

HUGOTONTHEONBIQUIFFINARIANS. A society existing in 1748.


HULKY, or HULKING. A great hulky fellow; an over-grown clumsy lout, or fellow.

HULVER-HEADED. Having a hard impenetrable head; hulver, in the Norfolk dialect, signifying holly, a hard and solid wood.

TO HUM, or HUMBUG. To deceive, or impose on one by some story or device. A humbug; a jocular imposition, or deception. To hum and haw; to hesitate in speech, also to delay, or be with difficulty brought to consent to any matter or business,

HUMS. Persons at church. There is a great number of hums in the autem; there is a great congregation in the church.


HUM BOX. A pulpit.


HUM CAP. Very old and strong beer, called also stingo. See STINGO.

HUM DRUM. A hum drum fellow; a dull tedious narrator, a bore; also a set of gentlemen, who (Bailey says) used to meet near the Charter House, or at the King's Head in St. John's-street, who had more of pleasantry, and less of mystery, than the free masons.

HUM DURGEON. An imaginary illness. He has got the humdurgeon, the thickest part of his thigh is nearest his a-se; i.e. nothing ails him except low spirits.

HUMBUGS. The brethren of the venerable society of humbugs was held at brother Hallam's, in Goodman's Fields.


HUMMER. A great lye, a rapper. See RAPPER.


HUMMING LIQUOR. Double ale, stout pharaoh. See PHARAOH.


HUMMUMS. A bagnio, or bathing house.

HUM TRUM. A musical instrument made of a mopstick, a bladder, and some packthread, thence also called a bladder and string, and hurdy gurdy; it is played on like a violin, which is sometimes ludicrously called a humstrum; sometimes, instead of a bladder, a tin canister is used.

HUMP. To hump; once a fashionable word for copulation.

HUMPTY DUMPTY. A little humpty dumpty man or woman; a short clumsy person of either sex: also ale boiled with brandy.

TO HUNCH. To jostle, or thrust.


HUNCH-BACKED. Hump-backed.

HUNG BEEF. A dried bull's pizzle. How the dubber served the cull with hung beef; how the turnkey beat the fellow with a bull's pizzle.

HUNKS. A covetous miserable fellow, a miser; also the name of a famous bear mentioned by Ben Jonson.

HUNT'S DOG. He is like Hunt's dog, will neither go to church nor stay at home. One Hunt, a labouring man at a small town in Shropshire, kept a mastiff, who on being shut up on Sundays, whilst his master went to church, howled so terribly as to disturb the whole village; wherefore his master resolved to take him to church with him: but when he came to the church door, the dog having perhaps formerly been whipped out by the sexton, refused to enter; whereupon Hunt exclaimed loudly against his dog's obstinacy, who would neither go to church nor stay at home. This shortly became a bye-word for discontented and whimsical persons.

HUNTING. Drawing in unwary persons to play or game. CANT.

HUNTING THE SQUIRREL. An amusement practised by postboys and stage-coachmen, which consists in following a one-horse chaise, anddriving it before them, passing close to it, so as to brush the wheel, and by other means terrifying any woman or person that may be in it. A man whose turn comes for him to drink, before he has emptied his former glass, is said to be hunted.

HUNTSUP. The reveillier of huntsmen, sounded on the French horn, or other instrument.


HURDY GURDY. A kind of fiddle, originally made perhaps out of a gourd. See HUMSTRUM.


HURLY BURLY. A rout, riot, bustle or confusion.


HUSH. Hush the cull; murder the fellow.

HUSH MONEY. Money given to hush up or conceal a robbery, theft, or any other offence, or to take off the evidence
from appearing against a criminal.

HUSKYLOUR. A guinea, or job. Cant.

HUSSY. An abbreviation of housewife, but now always used as a term of reproach; as, How now, hussy? or She is a light hussy.

HUZZA. Said to have been originally the cry of the huzzars or Hungarian light horse; but now the national shout of the English, both civil and military, in the sea phrase termed a cheer; to give three cheers being to huzza thrice.

HYP, or HIP. A mode of calling to one passing by. Hip, Michael, your head's on fire; a piece of vulgar wit to a red haired man.

HYP. The hypochondriac: low spirits. He is hypped; he has got the blue devils, &c.

JABBER. To talk thick and fast, as great praters usually do, to chatter like a magpye; also to speak a foreign language. He jabbered to rne in his damned outlandish parlez vous, but I could not understand him; he chattered to me in French, or some other foreign language, but I could not understand him.

JACK. A farthing, a small bowl serving as the mark for bowlers. An instrument for pulling off boots.


JACK ADAMS. A fool. Jack Adams's parish; Clerkenwell.


JACK AT A PINCH, A poor hackney parson.


JACK IN A BOX, A sharper, or cheat. A child in the mother's womb.


JACK IN AN OFFICE, An insolent fellow in authority.


JACK KETCH. The hangman; vide DERRICK and KETCH.


JACK NASTY FACE. A sea term, signifying a common sailor.

JACK OF LEGS. A tall long-legged man; also a giant, said to be buried in Weston church, near Baldock, in Hertfordshire, where there are two stones fourteen feet distant,
said to be the head and feet stones of his grave. This giant, says Salmon, as fame goes, lived in a wood here, and was a great robber, but a generous one; for he plundered the rich to feed the poor: he frequently took bread for this purpose from the Baldock bakers, who catching him at an advantage, put out his eyes, and afterwards hanged him upon a knoll in Baldock field. At his death he made one request, which was, that he might have his bow and arrow put into his hand, and on shooting it off, where the arrow fell, they would bury him; which being granted, the arrow fell in Weston churchyard. Above seventy years ago, a very large thigh bone was taken out of the church chest, where it had lain many years for a show, and was sold by the clerk to Sir John Tradescant, who, it is said, put it among the rarities of Oxford.

JACK PUDDING. The merry andrew, zany, or jester to a mountebank.

JACK ROBINSON. Before one could say Jack Robinson; a saying to express a very short time, originating from a very volatile gentleman of that appellation, who would call on his neighbours, and be gone before his name could be announced.

JACK SPRAT. A dwarf, or diminutive fellow.


JACK TAR. A sailor.


JACK WEIGHT. A fat man.


JACK WHORE. A large masculine overgrown wench.


JACKANAPES. An ape; a pert, ugly, little fellow.


JACKED. Spavined. A jacked horse.






JACOB. A soft fellow. A fool.

JACOB. A ladder: perhaps from Jacob's dream. CANT. Also the common name for a jay, jays being usually taught to say, Poor Jacob! a cup of sack for Jacob.

JACOBITES. Sham or collar shirts. Also partizans for the Stuart family: from the name of the abdicated king, i.e. James or Jacobus. It is said by the whigs, that God changed Jacob's name to Israel, lest the descendants of that patriarch should be called Jacobites.

JADE. A term of reproach to women.


JAGUE. A ditch: perhaps from jakes.


JAIL BIRDS. Prisoners.


JAKES. A house of office, a cacatorium.




JANIZARIES. The mob, sometimes so called; also bailiffs, their setters, and followers.

JAPANNED. Ordained. To be japanned; to enter into holy orders, to become a clergyman, to put on the black cloth: from the colour of the japan ware, which is black.

JARK. A seal.


JARKMEN. Those, who fabricate counterfeit passes, licences, and certificates for beggars.


JARVIS. A hackney coachman.


JASON'S FLEECE. A citizen cheated of his gold.

JAW. Speech, discourse. Give us none of your jaw; let us have none of your discourse. A jaw-me-dead; a talkative fellow. Jaw work; a cry used in fairs by the sellers of nuts.

JAZEY. A bob wig.


IDEA POT. The knowledge box, the head. See KNOWLEDGE BOX.


JEFFY. It will be done in a jeffy; it will be done in a short space of time, in an instant.

JEHU. To drive jehu-like; to drive furiously: from a king of Israel of that name, who was a famous charioteer, and mentioned as such in the Bible.
JEM. A gold ring. CANT.

JEMMY FELLOW. A smart spruce fellow.


JEMMY. A crow. This instrument is much used by housebreakers. Sometimes called Jemmy Rook.


JENNY. An instrument for lifting up the grate or top of a show-glass, in order to rob it. CANT.


JERRYCUMMUMBLE. To shake, towzle, or tumble about.

JERRY SNEAK. A henpecked husband: from a celebrated character in one of Mr. Foote's plays, representing a man governed by his wife.

JESSAMY. A smart jemmy fellow, a fopling.




JESUITICAL. Sly, evasive, equivocal. A jesuitical answer; an equivocal answer.


JET. A lawyer. Autem jet; a parson.

JEW. An over-reaching dealer, or hard, sharp fellow; an extortioner: the brokers formerly behind St. Clement's church in the Strand were called Jews by their brethren the taylors.

JEW. A tradesman who has no faith, i.e. will not give credit.

JEW BAIL. Insufficient bail: commonly Jews, who for a sum of money will bail any action whatsoever, and justify, that is, swear to their sufficiency; but, when called on, are not to be found.

JEW'S EYE. That's worth a Jew's eye; a pleasant or agreeable sight: a saying taken from Shakespeare.

JIBBER THE KIBBER. A method of deceiving seamen, by fixing a candle and lanthorn round the neck of a horse, one of whose fore feet is tied up; this at night has the appearance of a ship's light. Ships bearing towards it, run on shore, and being wrecked, are plundered by the inhabitants. This diabolical device is, it is said, practised by the inhabitants of our western coasts.

JIG. A trick. A pleasant jig; a witty arch trick. Also a lock or door. The feather-bed jig; copulation. JIGGER. A whipping-post. CANT.


JILT. A tricking woman, who encourages the addresses of a man whom she means to deceive and abandon.


JILTED. Rejected by a woman who has encouraged one's advances.

JINGLE BOXES. Leathern jacks tipped with silver, and hung with bells, formerly in use among fuddle caps. CANT.

JINGLE BRAINS. A wild, thoughtless, rattling fellow.


JINGLERS. Horse cosers, frequenting country fairs.


IMPOST TAKERS. Usurers who attend the gaming-tables, and lend money at great premiums.


IMPUDENT STEALING. Cutting out the backs of coaches, and robbing the seats.


IMPURE. A modern term for a lady of easy virtue.


INCHING. Encroaching.


INDIES. Black Indies; Newcastle.


INDIA WIPE. A silk handkerchief.

INDORSER. A sodomite. To indorse with a cudgel; to drub or beat a man over the back with a stick, to lay CANE upon Abel.


INKLE WEAVERS. Supposed to be a very brotherly set of people; 'as great as two inkle weavers' being a proverbial saying.

INLAID. Well inlaid; in easy circumstances, rich or well to pass.


INNOCENTS. One of the innocents; a weak or simple person, man or woman.


INSIDE AND OUTSIDE. The inside of a **** and the outside of a gaol.


JOB. A guinea.


JOB'S COMFORT. Reproof instead of consolation.


JOB'S COMFORTER. One who brings news of some additional misfortune.

JOB'S DOCK. He is laid up in Job's dock; i.e. in a salivation. The apartments for the foul or venereal patients in St. Bartholomew's hospital, are called Job's ward.

JOBATION. A reproof.




TO JOB. To reprove or reprehend. CAMBRIDGE TERM.


JOB. Any robbery. To do a job; to commit some kind of robbery.

JOCK, or CROWDY-HEADED JOCK. A jeering appellation for a north country seaman, particularly a collier; Jock being a common name, and crowdy the chief food, of the lower order of the people in Northumberland.

TO JOCK, or JOCKUM CLOY. To enjoy a woman.


JOCKUM GAGE. A chamber-pot, jordan, looking-glass, or member-mug. CANT.


JOGG-TROT. To keep on a jogg-trot; to get on with a slow but regular pace.

JOHNNY BUM. A he or jack ass: so called by a lady that affected to be extremely polite and modest, who would not say Jack because it was vulgar, nor ass because it was indecent.

JOINT. To hit a joint in carving, the operator must think of a cuckold. To put one's nose out of joint; to rival one in the favour of a patron or mistress.

JOLLY, or JOLLY NOB. The head. I'll lump your jolly nob for you; I'll give you a knock on the head.

JOLLY DOG. A merry facetious fellow; a BON VIVANT, who never flinches from his glass, nor cries to go home to bed.

JOLTER HEAD. A large head; metaphorically a stupid fellow. JORDAIN. A great blow, or staff. I'll tip him a jordain if I transnear; i.e. I'll give him a blow with my staff, if I

come near him. CANT.


JORDAN. A chamber-pot.


JORUM. A jugg, or large pitcher.

JOSEPH. A woman's great coat. Also, a sheepish bashful young fellow: an allusion to Joseph who fled from Potiphar's wife. You are Josephus rex; you are jo-king, i. e. joking.

JOSKIN. A countryman. The dropcove maced the Joskin of twenty quid; The ring dropper cheated the countryman of twenty guineas.

JOWL. The cheek. Cheek by jowl; close together, or cheek to cheek. My eyes how the cull sucked the blowen's jowl; he kissed the wench handsomely.

IRISH APRICOTS. Potatoes. It is a common joke against the Irish vessels, to say they are loaded with fruit and timber, that is, potatoes and broomsticks. Irish assurance; a bold forward behaviour: as being dipt in the river Styx was formerly supposed to render persons invulnerable, so it is said that a dipping in the river Shannon totally annihilates bashfulness; whence arises the saying of an impudent Irishman, that he has been dipt in the Shannon.

IRISH BEAUTY. A woman with two black eyes.


IRISH EVIDENCE. A false witness.

IRISH LEGS. Thick legs, jocularly styled the Irish arms. It is said of the Irish women, that they have a dispensation from the pope to wear the thick end of their legs downwards.