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

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IRISH TOYLES. Thieves who carry about pins, laces, and other pedlars wares, and under the pretence of offering their goods to sale, rob houses, or pilfer any thing they can lay hold of.

IRON. Money in general. To polish the king's iron with one's eyebrows; to look out of grated or prison windows, or, as the Irishman expresses them, the iron glass windows. Iron doublet; a prison. See STONE DOUBLET.

IRONMONGER'S SHOP. To keep an ironmonger's shop by the side of a common, where the sheriff sets one up; to be hanged in chains. Iron-bound; laced. An iron-bound hat; a silver-laced hat.

ISLAND. He drank out of the bottle till he saw the island; the island is the rising bottom of a wine bottle, which appears like an island in the centre, before the bottle is quite empty.

IVORIES. Teeth. How the swell flashed his ivories; how the gentleman shewed his teeth.






JUGGLER'S BOX. The engine for burning culprits in the hand. CANT.


JUKRUM. A licence.


JUMBLEGUT LANE. A rough road or lane.

JUMP. The jump, or dining-room jump; a species of robbery effected by ascending a ladder placed by a sham lamp- lighter, against the house intended to be robbed. It is so called, because, should the lamp-lighter be put to flight, the thief who ascended the ladder has no means of escaping but that of jumping down.

JUMPERS. Persons who rob houses by getting in at the windows. Also a set of Methodists established in South

JUNIPER LECTURE. A round scolding bout.

JURY LEG. A wooden leg: allusion to a jury mast, which is a temporary substitute for a mast carried away by a storm, or any other accident. SEA PHRASE.

JURY MAST. A JOURNIERE mast; i.e. a mast for the day or occasion.


JUST-ASS. A punning appellation for a justice.

IVY BUSH. Like an owl in an ivy bush; a simile for a meagre or weasel-faced man, with a large wig, or very bushy hair.

KATE. A picklock. 'Tis a rum kate; it is a clever picklock. CANT.


KEEL BULLIES. Men employed to load and unload the coal vessels.

KEELHAULING. A punishment in use among the Dutch seamen, in which, for certain offences, the delinquent is drawn once, or oftener, under the ship's keel: ludicrously defined, undergoing a great hard-ship.

TO KEEP. To inhabit. Lord, where do you keep? i.e. where are your rooms? ACADEMICAL PHRASE. Mother, your tit won't keep; your daughter will not preserve her virginity.

TO KEEP IT UP. To prolong a debauch. We kept it up finely last night; metaphor drawn from the game of shuttle- cock.

KEEPING CULLY. One who keeps a mistress, as he supposes, for his own use, but really for that of the public.




KELTER. Condition, order. Out of kelter; out of order.


KELTER. Money.

KEMP'S MORRIS. William Kemp, said to have been the original Dogberry in Much ado about Nothing, danced a morris from London to Norwich in nine days: of which he printed the account, A. D. 1600, intitled, Kemp's Nine Days Wonder, &c.

KEMP'S SHOES. Would I had Kemp's shoes to throw after you. BEN JONSON. Perhaps Kemp was a man remarkable for his good luck or fortune; throwing an old shoe, or shoes, after any one going on an important business, being by the vulgar deemed lucky.

KEN. A house. A bob ken, or a bowman ken; a well-furnished house, also a house that harbours thieves. Biting the ken; robbing the house. CANT.

KEN MILLER, or KEN CRACKER. A housebreaker. CANT.

KENT-STREET EJECTMENT. To take away the street door: a method practised by the landlords in Kent-street, Southwark, when their tenants are above a fortnight's rent in

KERRY SECURITY. Bond, pledge, oath, and keep the money.

KETCH. Jack Ketch; a general name for the finishers of the law, or hangmen, ever since the year 1682, when the office was filled by a famous practitioner of that name, of whom his wife said, that any bungler might put a man to death, but only her husband knew how to make a gentleman die sweetly. This officer is mentioned in Butler's Ghost, page 54, published about the year 1682, in the following lines:

Till Ketch observing he was chous'd, And in his profits much abus'd. In open hall the tribute dunn'd, To do his office, or refund.

Mr. Ketch had not long been elevated to his office, for the name of his predecessor Dun occurs in the former part of this poem, page 29:

For you yourself to act squire Dun, Such ignominy ne'er saw the sun.

The addition of 'squire,' with which Mr. Dun is here dignified, is a mark that he had beheaded some state criminal for high treason; an operation which, according to custom for time out of mind, has always entitled the operator to that distinction. The predecessor of Dun was Gregory Brandon, from whom the gallows was called the Gregorian tree, by which name it is mentioned in the prologue to Mercurius Pragmaticus, tragi-comedy acted at Paris, &c. 1641:

This trembles under the black rod, and he Doth fear his fate from the Gregorian tree.


Gregory Brandon succeeded Derrick. See DERRICK.


KETTLEDRUMS. Cupid's kettle drums; a woman's breasts, called by sailors chest and bedding.

KETTLE OF FISH. When a person has perplexed his affairs in general, or any particular business, he is said to have made a fine kettle of fish of it.

KICKS. Breeches. A high kick; the top of the fashion. It is all the kick; it is the present mode. Tip us your kicks, we'll have them as well as your lour; pull off your breeches, for we must have them as well as your money. A kick; sixpence. Two and a kick; half-a-crown. A kick in the guts; a dram of gin, or any other spirituous liquor. A kick up; a disturbance, also a hop or dance. An odd kick in one's gallop; a strange whim or peculiarity.

To KICK THE BUCKET. To die. He kicked the bucket one day: he died one day. To kick the clouds before the hotel door; i.e. to be hanged.



KICKSEYS. Breeches.


KICKSHAWS. French dishes: corruption of quelque chose.


KID. A little dapper fellow. A child. The blowen has napped the kid. The girl is with child.

TO KID. To coax or wheedle. To inveigle. To amuse a man or divert his attention while another robs him. The sneaksman kidded the cove of the ken, while his pall frisked the panney; the thief amused the master of the house, while his companion robbed the house.

KID LAY. Rogues who make it their business to defraud young apprentices, or errand-boys, of goods committed to their charge, by prevailing on them to execute some trifling message, pretending to take care of their parcels till they come back; these are, in cant terms, said to be on the kid lay.

KIDDER. A forestaller: see CROCKER. Kidders are also persons employed by the gardeners to gather peas.


KIDDEYS. Young thieves.

KIDDY NIPPERS. Taylors out of work, who cut off the waistcoat pockets of their brethren, when cross-legged on their board, thereby grabbling their bit. CANT.

KIDNAPPER. Originally one who stole or decoyed children or apprentices from their parents or masters, to send them to the colonies; called also spiriting: but now used for all recruiting crimps for the king's troops, or those of the East India company, and agents for indenting servants for the plantations, &c.

KIDNEY. Disposition, principles, humour. Of a strange kidney; of an odd or unaccountable humour. A man of a different kidney; a man of different principles. KILKENNY. An old frize coat.

KILL CARE CLUB. The members of this club, styled also the Sons of Sound Sense and Satisfaction, met at their fortress, the Castle-tavern, in Paternoster-row.

KILL DEVIL. New still-burnt rum.


KILL PRIEST. Port wine.

To KIMBAW. To trick, cheat or cozen; also to beat or to bully. Let's kimbaw the cull; let's bully the fellow. To set one's arms a-kimbaw, vulgarly pronounced a-kimbo, is to rest one's hands on the hips, keeping the elbows square, and sticking out from the body; an insolent bullying attitude. CANT.

KINCHIN. A little child. Kinchin coes; orphan beggar boys, educated in thieving. Kinchin morts; young girls under the like circumstances and training. Kinchin morts, or coes in slates; beggars' children carried at their mother's backs in sheets. Kinchin cove; a little man. CANT.

KING'S PLATE. Fetters.

KING'S WOOD LION. An Ass. Kingswood is famous for the great number of asses kept by the colliers who inhabit that place.

KING'S BAD BARGAIN. One of the king's bad bargains; a malingeror, or soldier who shirks his duty.




KING JOHN'S MEN. He is one of king John's men, eight score to the hundred: a saying of a little undersized man.

KING OF THE GYPSIES. The captain, chief, or ringleader of the gang of misrule: in the cant language called also the upright man.

KING'S PICTURES. Coin, money.


KINGDOM COME. He is gone to kingdom come, he is dead.


KIP. The skin of a large calf, in the language of the Excise-office.

KISS MINE A-SE. An offer, as Fielding observes, very frequently made, but never, as he could learn, literally accepted. A kiss mine a-se fellow; a sycophant.

KISSING CRUST. That part where the loaves have touched the oven.

KIT. A dancing-master, so called from his kit or cittern, a small fiddle, which dancing-masters always carry about with them, to play to their scholars. The kit is likewise the whole of a soldier's necessaries, the contents of his knapsack: and is used also to express the whole of different commodities: as, Here, take the whole kit; i.e. take all.

KIT-CAT CLUB. A society of gentlemen, eminent for wit and learning, who in the reign of queen Anne and George I. met at a house kept by one Christopher Cat. The portraits of most of the members of this society were painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller, of one size; thence still called the kit-cat size.

KITCHEN PHYSIC. Food, good meat roasted or boiled. A little kitchen physic will set him up; he has more need of a cook than a doctor.

KITTLE PITCHERING. A jocular method of hobbling or bothering a troublesome teller of long stories: this is done by contradicting some very immaterial circumstance at the beginning of the narration, the objections to which being settled, others are immediately started to some new particular of like consequence; thus impeding, or rather not suffering him to enter into, the main story. Kittle pitchering is often practised in confederacy, one relieving the other, by which the design is rendered less obvious.

KITTYS. Effects, furniture; stock in trade. To seize one's kittys; to take his sticks.


KNACK SHOP. A toy-shop, a nick-nack-atory.


KNAPPERS POLL. A sheep's head. CANT.

KNAVE IN GRAIN. A knave of the first rate: a phrase borrowed from the dyehouse, where certain colours are said to be in grain, to denote their superiority, as being dyed with cochineal, called grain. Knave in grain is likewise a pun applied to a cornfactor or miller.

KNIGHT OF THE BLADE. A bully. KNIGHT OF THE POST. A false evidence, one that is ready to swear any thing for hire.

KNIGHT OF THE RAINBOW. A footman: from the variety of colours in the liveries and trimming of gentlemen of that cloth.

KNIGHT OF THE ROAD. A highwayman.




KNIGHT OF THE THIMBLE, or NEEDLE. A taylor or stay-maker.






KNIGHT AND BARROW PIG, more hog than gentleman. A saying of any low pretender to precedency.


KNOB. The head. See NOB.

KNOCK. To knock a woman; to have carnal knowledge of her. To knock off; to conclude: phrase borrowed from the blacksmith. To knock under; to submit.

KNOCK ME DOWN. Strong ale or beer, stingo.

KNOT. A crew, gang, or fraternity. He has tied a knot with his tongue, that he cannot untie with his teeth: i.e. he is married.

KNOWING ONES. Sportsmen on the turf, who from
experience and an acquaintance with the jockies, are supposed to be in the secret, that is, to know the true merits or powers of each horse; notwithstanding which it often happens that the knowing ones are taken in.


KNUCKLES. Pickpockets who attend the avenues to public places to steal pocket-books, watches, &c. a superior kind of pickpockets. To knuckle to, to submit.

TO KNUCKLE ONE'S WIPE. To steal his handkerchief.




KONOBLIN RIG. Stealing large pieces of coal from coalsheds. LACED MUTTON. A prostitute.


LACING. Beating. I'll lace your jacket handsomely.


LADDER. To go up the ladder to rest; to be hanged.


LADY. A crooked or hump-backed woman.


LADY OF EASY VIRTUE. A woman of the town, an impure, a prostitute.


LADYBIRDS. Light or lewd women.



LAG. A man transported. The cove was lagged for a drag. The man was transported for stealing something out of a waggon.

LAG FEVER. A term of ridicule applied to men who being under sentence of transportation, pretend illness, to avoid being sent from gaol to the hulks.

TO LAG. To drop behind, to keep back. Lag last; the last of a company.


LAGE. Water. CANT.


LAGE OF DUDS. A buck of linen.




To LAMB, or LAMBASTE. To beat. Lamb pye; a beating: from lambo.


LAMB'S WOOL. Apples roasted and put into strong ale.


LAMBSKIN MEN. The judges: from their robes lined and bordered with ermine.


LAMP. An eye. The cove has a queer lamp. The man has a blind or squinting eye.

LAND. How lies the land? How stands the reckoning? Who has any land in Appleby? a question asked the man at whose door the glass stands long, or who does not ciculate it in due time.

LAND LOPERS, or LAND LUBBERS. Vagabonds lurking about the country who subsist by pilfering. LAND PIRATES. Highwaymen.


LANK SLEEVE. The empty sleeve of a one armed man. A fellow with a lank sleeve; a man who has lost an arm.

LANSPRISADO. One who has only two-pence in his pocket. Also a lance, or deputy corporal; that is, one doing the duty without the pay of a corporal. Formerly a lancier, or horseman, who being dismounted by the death of his horse, served in the foot, by the title of lansprisado, or lancepesato, a broken lance.

LANTHORN-JAWED. Thin-visaged: from their cheeksbeing almost transparent. Or else, lenten jawed; i.e. having
the jaws of one emaciated by a too rigid observation of Lent. Dark lanthorn; a servant or agent at court, who receives a bribe for his principal or master.

LAP. Butter-milk or whey. CANT.


LARK. A boat.


LARK. A piece of merriment. People playing together jocosely.


LARRY DUGAN'S EYE WATER. Blacking: Larry Dugan was a famous shoe-black at Dublin.


LATCH. Let in.


LATHY. Thin, slender. A lathy wench; a girl almost as slender as a lath.


LATITAT. A nick-name for an attorney; from the name of a writ.


LAVENDER. Laid up in lavender; pawned.

LAUGH. To laugh on the wrong side of the mouth; to cry. I'll make him laugh on the wrong (or t'other) side of his mouth.

LAUNCH. The delivery, or labour, of a pregnant woman; a crying out or groaning.

LAW. To give law to a hare; a sporting term, signifying to give the animal a chance of escaping, by not setting on the dogs till the hare is at some distance; it is also more figuratively used for giving any one a chance of succeeding in a scheme or project.

LAY. Enterprize, pursuit, or attempt: to be sick of the lay. It also means a hazard or chance: he stands a queer lay; i.e. he is in danger. CANT.

LAYSTALL. A dunghill about London, on which the soil brought from necessary houses is emptied; or, in more technical terms, where the old gold collected at weddings by the Tom t--d man, is stored.

LAZY. As lazy as Ludman's dog, who leaned against the wall to bark. As lazy as the tinker, who laid down his budget to f--t.

LAZY MAN'S LOAD. Lazy people frequently take up more than they can safely carry, to save the trouble of coming a second time.

LAZYBONES. An instrument like a pair of tongs, for old or very fat people to take any thing from the ground without stooping.

LEAF. To go off with the fall of the leaf; to be hanged: criminals in Dublin being turned off from the outside of the prison by the falling of a board, propped up, and moving on a hinge, like the leaf of a table. IRISH TERM.

TO LEAK. To make water.


LEAKY. Apt to blab; one who cannot keep a secret is said to be leaky.

LEAPING OVER THE SWORD. An ancient ceremonial said to constitute a military marriage. A sword being laid down on the ground, the parties to be married joined hands, when the corporal or serjeant of the, company repeated these words:

Leap rogue, and jump whore,


And then you are married for evermore.

Whereupon the happy couple jumped hand in hand over the sword, the drum beating a ruffle; and the parties were ever after considered as man and wife.

LEAST IN SIGHT. To play least in sight; to hide, keep out of the way, or make one's self scarce.

LEATHER. To lose leather; to be galled with riding on horseback, or, as the Scotch express it, to be saddle sick. To leather also meant to beat, perhaps originally with a strap: I'll leather you to your heart's content. Leather- headed; stupid. Leathern conveniency; term used by quakers for a stage-coach.

LEERY. On one's guard. See PEERY.

LEFT-HANDED WIFE. A concubine; an allusion to an ancient German custom, according to which, when a man married his concubine, or a woman greatly his inferior, he gave her his left hand.

LEG. To make a leg; to bow. To give leg-bail and land security; to run away. To fight at the leg; to take unfair advantages: it being held unfair by back-sword players to strike at the leg. To break a leg; a woman who has had a bastard, is said to have broken a leg.

LEGGERS. Sham leggers; cheats who pretend to sell smuggled goods, but in reality only deal in old shop-keepers or damaged goods.

LENTEN FARE. Spare diet.


LETCH. A whim of the amorous kind, out of the common way.


LEVITE. A priest or parson.


TO LIB. To lie together. CANT.




LIBBEN. A private dwelling-house. CANT.


LIBKEN. A house to lie in. CANT.

TO LICK. To beat; also to wash, or to paint slightly over. I'll give you a good lick o' the chops; I'll give you a good stroke or blow on the face. Jack tumbled into a cow t--d, and nastied his best clothes, for which his father stept up, and licked him neatly.--I'll lick you! the dovetail to which is, If you lick me all over, you won't miss--.

LICKSPITTLE. A parasite, or talebearer.

LIFT. To give one a lift; to assist. A good hand at a dead lift; a good hand upon an emergency. To lift one's hand to one's head; to drink to excess, or to drink drams. To lift or raise one's elbow; the same.



LIFTER. A crutch.


LIG. A bed. See LIB.


LIGHT BOB. A soldier of the light infantry company.


LIGHT-FINGERED. Thievish, apt to pilfer.

LIGHT-HEELED. Swift in running. A light-heeled wench; one who is apt, by the flying up of her heels, to fall flat on her back, a willing wench.

LIGHT HOUSE. A man with a red fiery nose.


LIGHT TROOPS. Lice; the light troops are in full march; the lice are crawling about.




LIGHTNING. Gin. A flash of lightning; a glass of gin.

LIKENESS. A phrase used by thieves when the officers or turnkeys are examining their countenance. As the traps are taking our likeness; the officers are attentively observing us.

LILIPUTIAN. A diminutive man or woman: from Gulliver's Travels, written by Dean Swift, where an imaginary kingdom of dwarfs of that name is described.

LILY WHITE. A chimney-sweeper.


LILY SHALLOW. (WHIP SLANG) A white driving hat.


LIMBS. Duke of limbs; a tall awkward fellow.


LIMB OF THE LAW. An inferior or pettyfogging attorney.


LIMBO. A prison, confinement.


To LINE. A term for the act of coition between dog and bitch.


LINE OF THE OLD AUTHOR. A dram of brandy. LINE. To get a man into a line, i.e. to divert his attention by a ridiculous or absurd story. To humbug.


LINGO. Language. An outlandish lingo; a foreign tongue. The parlezvous lingo; the French language.



LION. To tip the lion; to squeeze the nose of the party tipped, flat to his face with the thumb. To shew the lions and tombs; to point out the particular curiosities of any place, to act the ciceroni: an allusion to Westminster Abbey, and the Tower, where the tombs and lions are shewn. A lion is also a name given by the gownsmen of Oxford to an inhabitant or visitor. It is a standing joke among the city wits to send boys and country folks, on the first of April, to the Tower-ditch, to see the lions washed.

LIQUOR. To liquor one's boots; to drink before a journey: among Roman Catholics, to administer the extreme unction.




LITTLE BREECHES. A familiar appellation used to a little boy.


LITTLE CLERGYMAN. A young chimney-sweeper.

LITTLE EASE. A small dark cell in Guildhall, London, where disorderly apprentices are confined by the city chamberlain: it is called Little Ease from its being so low that a lad cannot stand upright in it.

LITTLE SNAKESMAN. A little boy who gets into a house through the sink-hole, and then opens the door for his accomplices: he is so called, from writhing and twisting like a snake, in order to work himself through the narrow passage.

LIVE LUMBER. A term used by sailors, to signify all landsmen on board their ships.


LIVE STOCK. Lice or fleas.


LOAF. To be in bad loaf, to be in a disagreeable situation, or in trouble.


LOB. A till in a tradesman's shop. To frisk a lob; to rob a till. See FLASH PANNEY.


LOB. Going on the lob; going into a shop to get change for gold, and secreting some of the change.

LOB'S POUND. A prison. Dr. Grey, in his notes on Hudibras, explains it to allude to one Doctor Lob, a dissenting preacher, who used to hold forth when conventicles were prohibited, and had made himself a retreat by means of a trap door at the bottom of his pulpit. Once being pursued by the officers of justice, they followed him through divers subterraneous passages, till they got into a dark cell, from whence they could not find their way out, but calling to some of their companions, swore they had got into Lob's Pound.

LOBCOCK. A large relaxed penis: also a dull inanimate fellow.


LOBKIN. A house to lie in: also a lodging.

LOBLOLLEY BOY. A nick name for the surgeon's servant on board a man of war, sometimes for the surgeon himself: from the water gruel prescribed to the sick, which is called loblolley.

LOBONIAN SOCIETY. A society which met at Lob Hall, at the King and Queen, Norton Falgate, by order of Lob the great.

LOBSCOUSE. A dish much eaten at sea, composed of salt beef, biscuit and onions, well peppered, and stewed together.

LOBSTER. A nick name for a soldier, from the colour of his clothes. To boil one's lobster, for a churchman to become a soldier: lobsters, which are of a bluish black, being made red by boiling. I will not make a lobster kettle of my ****, a reply frequently made by the nymphs of the Point at Portsmouth, when requested by a soldier to grant him a favour.

LOCK. A scheme, a mode. I must fight that lock; I must try that scheme.

LOCK. Character. He stood a queer lock; he bore but an indifferent character. A lock is also a buyer of stolen goods, as well as the receptacle for them.

LOCK HOSPITAL. An hospital for venereal patients. LOCK UP HOUSE. A spunging house; a public house kept by sheriff's officers, to which they convey the persons they have arrested, where they practise every species of imposition and extortion with impunity. Also houses kept by agents or crimps, who enlist, or rather trepan, men to serve the East India or African company as soldiers.

LOCKERAM-JAWED. Thin-faced, or lanthorn-jawed. See LANTHORN JAWED.



LOGGERHEAD. A blockhead, or stupid fellow. We three loggerheads be: a sentence frequently written under two heads, and the reader by repeating it makes himself the third. A loggerhead is also a double-headed, or bar shot of iron. To go to loggerheads; to fall to fighting.

LOLL. Mother's loll; a favourite child, the mother's darling,


LOLL TONGUE. He has been playing a game at loll tongue; he has been salivated.


LOLLIPOPS. Sweet lozenges purchased by children.


TO LOLLOP. To lean with one's elbows on a table.


LOLLPOOP. A lazy, idle drone.


LOMBARD FEVER. Sick of the lombard fever; i.e. of the idles.


LONG ONE. A hare; a term used by poachers.


LONG. Great. A long price; a great price.


LONG GALLERY. Throwing, or rather trundling, the dice the whole length of the board.


LONG MEG. A jeering name for a very tall woman: from one famous in story, called Long Meg of Westminster.


LONG SHANKS. A long-legged person.


LONG STOMACH. A voracious appetite.

LONG TONGUED. Loquacious, not able to keep a secret. He is as long-tongued as Granny: Granny was an idiot who could lick her own eye. See GRANNY.

LONG-WINDED. A long-winded parson; one who preached long, tedious sermons. A long-winded paymaster; one who takes long credit.

LOO. For the good of the loo; for the benefit of the company or community.


LOOBY. An awkward, ignorant fellow.


LOOKING AS IF ONE COULD NOT HELP IT. Looking like a simpleton, or as if one could not say boh! to a goose.


LOOKING-GLASS. A chamber pot, jordan, or member mug.


LOON, or LOUT. A country bumkin, or clown.


LOONSLATE. Thirteen pence halfpenny.

LOOPHOLE. An opening, or means of escape. To find a loophole in an act of parliament; i.e. a method of evading it,

LOP-SIDED. Uneven, having one side larger or heavier than the other: boys' paper kites are often said to be lop-sided.


TO LOPE. To leap, to run away. He loped down the dancers; he ran down stairs.

LORD. A crooked or hump-backed man. These unhappy people afford great scope for vulgar raillery; such as, 'Did you come straight from home? if so, you have got confoundedly bent by the way.' 'Don't abuse the gemman,'
adds a by-stander, 'he has been grossly insulted already; don't you see his back's up?' Or someone asks him if the show is behind; 'because I see,' adds he, 'you have the drum at your back.' Another piece of vulgar wit is let loose on a deformed person: If met by a party of soldiers on their march, one of them observes that that gentleman is on his march too, for he has got his knapsack at his back. It is said in the British Apollo, that the title of lord was first given to deformed persons in the reign of Richard III. from several persons labouring under that misfortune being created peers by him; but it is more probably derived from the Greek word [GREEK: lordos], crooked.

LOUSE. A gentleman's companion. He will never louse a grey head of his own; he will never live to be old.


LOVE BEGOTTEN CHILD. A bastard. LOUNGE. A loitering place, or gossiping shop.


LOUSE BAG. A black bag worn to the hair or wig.


LOUSE HOUSE. The round house, cage, or any other place of confinement.


LOUSE LADDER. A stitch fallen in a stocking.


LOUSE LAND. Scotland.


LOUSE TRAP. A small toothed comb.


LOUT. A clumsy stupid fellow.


LOWING RIG. Stealing oxen or cows.


LOW PAD. A footpad.


LOW TIDE, or LOW WATER. When there is no money in a man's pocket.


LOWRE. Money. Cant.


LUBBER. An awkward fellow: a name given by sailors to landsmen.

LUCK, or GOOD LUCK. To tread in a surreverence, to be bewrayed: an allusion to the proverb, Sh-tt-n luck is good luck.

LUD'S BULWARK. Ludgate prison.


LUGS. Ears or wattles. See WATTLES.


LULLABY CHEAT. An infant. Cant.


LULLIES. Wet linen. Cant.


LULLY TRIGGERS. Thieves who steal wet linen. Cant.


LUMB. Too much.


LUMBER. Live lumber; soldiers or passengers on board a ship are so called by the sailors.


LUMBER TROOP. A club or society of citizens of London.


LUMBER HOUSE. A house appropriated by thieves for the reception of their stolen property.


To LUMP. To beat; also to include a number of articles under one head.


To LUMP THE LIGHTER. To be transported.

LUMPERS. Persons who contract to unload ships; also thieves who lurk about wharfs to pilfer goods from ships, lighters, &c.

LUMPING. Great. A lumping penny worth; a great quantity for the money, a bargain. He has'got a lumping penny-worth; frequently said of a man who marries a fat woman.

LUN. Harlequin.


LURCH. To be left in the lurch; to be abandoned by one's confederates or party, to be left in a scrape.


LURCHED. Those who lose a game of whist, without scoring five, are said to be lurched.


LURCHER. A lurcher of the law; a bum bailiff, or his setter.


LURRIES. Money, watches, rings, or other moveablcs.


LUSH. Strong beer.


TO LUSH. To drink.

LUSHEY. Drunk. The rolling kiddeys hud a spree, and got bloody lushey; the dashing lads went on a party of pleasure, and got very drunk.

LYE. Chamber lye; urine.

MACCARONI. An Italian paste made of flour and eggs. Also a fop: which name arose from a club, called the Maccaroni Club, instituted by some of the most dressy travelled gentlemen about town, who led the fashions; whence a man foppishly dressed, was supposed a member of that club, and by contraction styled a Maccaroni.

MACE COVE. A swindler, a sharper, a cheat. On the mace; to live by swindling.


MACHINES. Mrs. Phillips's ware. See CUNDUM.


MACKEREL. A bawd: from the French maquerel. Mackerel- backed; long-backed.


MAD TOM, or TOM OF BEDLAM, otherwise an Abram Man. A rogue that counterfeits madness. CANT.


MADAM. A kept madam; a kept mistress.




MADE. Stolen. CANT.


MADGE. The private parts of a woman.




MAGG. A halfpenny.


MAGGOT BOILER. A tallow-chandler.


MAGGOTTY. Whimsical, capricious.


MAGNUM BONUM. A bottle containing two quarts of wine. See SCOTCH PINT.


MAHOMETAN GRUEL. Coffee: because formerly used chiefly by the Turks.


MAIDEN SESSIONS. A sessions where none of the prisoners are capitally convicted.


MAKE. A halfpenny. CANT.


MAKE WEIGHT. A small candle: a term applied to a little slender man.


MALINGEROR. A military term for one who, under pretence of sickness, evades his duty.

MALKIN, or MAULKIN. A general name for a cat; also a parcel of rags fastened to the end of a stick, to clean an oven; also a figure set up in a garden to scare the birds; likewise an awkward woman. The cove's so scaly, he'd spice a malkin of his jazey: the fellow is so mean, that he would rob a scare-crow of his old wig.

MALKINTRASH. One in a dismal garb.


MALMSEY NOSE. A red pimpled snout, rich in carbuncles and rubies.


MAN OF THE TOWN. A rake, a debauchee. MAN OF THE TURF. A horse racer, or jockey.


MANOEUVRING THE APOSTLES. Robbing Peter to pay Paul, i.e. borrowing of one man to pay another.


MAN TRAP. A woman's commodity.


MAN OF THE WORLD. A knowing man.


MAN, (CAMBRIDGE.) Any undergraduate from fifteen to thirty. As a man of Emanuel--a young member of Emanuel.


MANUFACTURE. Liquors prepared from materials of English growth.

MARE'S NEST. He has found a mare's nest, and is laughing at the eggs; said of one who laughs without any apparent cause.



MARINE OFFICER. An empty bottle: marine officers being held useless by the seamen. SEA WIT.


MARPLOT. A spoil sport.


MARRIAGE MUSIC. The squalling and crying of children.

MARRIED. Persons chained or handcuffed together, in order to be conveyed to gaol, or on board the lighters for transportation, are in the cant language said to be married together.

MARROWBONES. The knees. To bring any one down on his marrow bones; to make him beg pardon on his knees: some derive this from Mary's bones, i.e. the bones bent in honour of the Virgin Mary; but this seems rather far- fetched. Marrow bones and cleavers; principal instruments in the band of rough music: these are generally performed on by butchers, on marriages, elections, riding skimmington, and other public or joyous occasions.

MARTINET. A military term for a strict disciplinarian: from the name of a French general, famous for restoring military discipline to the French army. He first disciplined the French infantry, and regulated their method of encampment: he was killed at the siege of Doesbourg in the year 1672.

MASON'S MAUND. A sham sore above the elbow, to counterfeit a broken arm by a fall from a scaffold.






MASTER OF THE WARDROBE. One who pawns his clothes to purchase liquor.


MATRIMONIAL PEACE-MAKER. The sugar-stick, or arbor vitae.

MAUDLIN DRUNK. Crying drunk: perhaps from Mary Magdalene, called Maudlin, who is always painted in tears.

MAULED. Extremely drunk, or soundly beaten.




MAUNDING. Asking or begging. CANT:


MAWKES. A vulgar slattern.


MAWLEY. A hand. Tip us your mawley; shake hands. with me. Fam the mawley; shake hands.


MAW-WALLOP. A filthy composition, sufficient to provoke vomiting.


MAX. Gin.


MAY BEES. May bees don't fly all the year long; an answer to any one who prefaces a proposition with, It may be.


MEALY-MOUTHED. Over-modest or backward in speech.

MEDLAR. A fruit, vulgarly called an open a-se; of which it is more truly than delicately said, that it is never ripe till it is as rotten as a t--d, and then it is not worth a f--t.

MELLOW. Almost drunk.


MELTING MOMENTS. A fat man and woman in the amorous congress.

TO MELT. To spend. Will you melt a borde? will you spend a shilling? The cull melted a couple of decusses upon us; the gentleman spent a couple of crowns upon us. CANT.

MEMBER MUG. A chamber pot.


MEN OF STRAW. Hired bail, so called from having straw stuck in their shoes to distinguish them.

MEN OF KENT. Men born east of the river Medway, who are said to have met the Conqueror in a body, each carrying a green bough in his hand, the whole appearing like a moving wood; and thereby obtaining a confirmation of their ancient privileges. The inhabitants of Kent are divided into Kentish men and men of Kent. Also a society held at the Fountain Tavern, Bartholomew Lane, A.D. 1743.

MERKIN. Counterfeit hair for women's privy parts. See BAILEY'S DICT.

MERRY ANDREW, or MR. MERRYMAN. The jack pudding, jester, or zany of a mountebank, usually dressed in a party-coloured coat.





MAN OF THE WORLD. A knowing man.


MESS JOHN. A Scotch presbyterian teacher or parson.


MESSMATE. One who eats at the same mess, companion or comrade.


METTLE. The semen. To fetch mettle; the act of self pollution. Mettle is also figuratively used for courage.


METTLESOME. Bold, courageous.


MICHAEL. Hip, Michael, your head's on fire. See HYP.


MIDSHIPMAN'S WATCH AND CHAIN. A sheep's heart and pluck.

MILCH COW. One who is easily tricked out of his property; a term used by gaolers, for prisoners who have money and bleed freely.

MILK AND WATER. Both ends of the busk.


TO MILK THE PIGEON. To endeavour at impossibilities. MILLING COVE. A boxer. How the milling cove served the cull out; how the boxer beat the fellow.


MILL. A chisel.

To MILL. To rob; also to break, beat out, or kill. I'll mill your glaze; I'll beat out your eye. To mill a bleating cheat; to kill a sheep. To mill a ken; to rob a house. To mill doll; to beat hemp in bridewell. CANT.

MILL LAY. To force open the doors of houses in order to rob them.


MILLER. A murderer.

MINE A-SE ON A BANDBOX. An answer to the offer of any thing inadequate to the purpose for which it is wanted, just as a bandbox would be if used for a seat.

MINE UNCLE'S. A pawnbroker's shop; also a necessary house. Carried to my uncle's; pawned. New-married men are also said to go to their uncle's, when they leave their wives soon after the honey moon.

MINIKIN. A little man or woman: also the smallest sort of pin.


MINOR CLERGY. Young chimney sweepers.


MINT. Gold. A mint of money; common phrase for a large sum.


MISCHIEF. A man loaded with mischief, i.e. a man with his wife on his back.


MISH. A shirt, smock, or sheet. CANT.


MISH TOPPER. A coat, or petticoat.


MISS. A miss or kept mistress; a harlot.


MISS LAYCOCK. The monosyllable.


MITE. A nick name for a cheesemonger: from the small insect of that name found in cheese.


MIX METAL. A silversmith.


MOABITES. Bailiffs, or Philistines. MOB; or MAB. A wench, or harlot.


MOBILITY. The mob: a sort of opposite to nobility.

MOHAIR. A man in the civil line, a townsman, or tradesman: a military term, from the mohair buttons worn by persons of those descriptions, or any others not in the army, the buttons of military men being always of metal: this is generally used as a term of contempt, meaning a bourgeois, tradesman, or mechanic.

MOIETY. Half, but vulgarly used to signify a share or portion: as, He will come in for a small moiety.


MOLL. A whore.


MOLL PEATLY'S GIG. A rogering bout.


MOLL THOMPSON'S MARK. M. T. i.e. empty: as, Take away this bottle, it has Moll Thompson's mark upon it.


MOLLY. A Miss Molly; an effeminate fellow, a sodomite.


MONDAY. Saint Monday. See SAINT.

MONEY. A girl's private parts, commonly applied to little children: as, Take care, Miss, or you will shew your money.

MONEY DROPPERS. Cheats who drop money, which they pretend to find just before some country lad; and by way of giving him a share of their good luck, entice him into a public house, where they and their confederates cheat or rob him of what money he has about him.

MONGREL. A hanger on among cheats, a spunger; also a child whose father and mother are of different countries.

MONKS AND FRIARS. Terms used by printers: monks are sheets where the letters are blotted, or printed too black; friars, those letters where the ink has failed touching the type, which are therefore white or faint.

MONKEY. To suck the monkey; to suck or draw wine, or any other liquor, privately out of a cask, by means of a straw, or small tube. Monkey's allowance; more kicks than halfpence. Who put that monkey on horseback without tying his legs? vulgar wit on a bad horseman.
MONOSYLLABLE. A woman's commodity.

MOONCURSER. A link-boy: link-boys are said to curse the moon, because it renders their assistance unnecessary; these gentry frequently, under colour of lighting passengers over kennels, or through dark passages, assist in robbing them. Cant.

MOON-EYED HEN. A squinting wench.


MOON MEN. Gypsies.

MOON RAKERS. Wiltshire men: because it is said that some men of that county, seeing the reflection of the moon in a pond, endeavoured to pull it out with a rake.

MOONSHINE. A matter or mouthful of moonshine; a trifle, nothing. The white brandy smuggled on the coasts of Kent and Sussex, and the gin in the north of Yorkshire, are also called moonshine.

MOP. A kind of annual fair in the west of England, where farmers usually hire their servants.


To MOP UP. To drink up. To empty a glass or pot.


MOPED. Stupid, melancholy for want of society.


MOPSEY. A dowdy, or homely woman.


MOPSQUEEZER. A maid servant, particularly a housemaid.



MORGLAG. A brown bill, or kind of halbert, formerly carried by watchmen; corruption of MORE, great or broad, and GLAVE, blade.

MORNING DROP. The gallows. He napped the king's pardon and escaped the morning drop; he was pardoned, and was not hanged.

MORRIS. Come, morris off; dance off, or get you gone. allusion to morris, i.e. MORISCO, or Moorish dancing.

MORT. A woman or wench; also a yeoman's daughter. To be taken all-a mort; to be confounded, surprised, or motionless through fear.

MOSES. To stand Moses: a man is said to stand Moses when he has another man's bastard child fathered upon him, and he is obliged by the parish to maintain it.

MOSS. A cant term for lead, because both are found on the tops of buildings.


MOSSY FACE. The mother of all saints.


MOT. A girl, or wench. See MORT.

MOTHER, or THE MOTHER. A bawd. Mother abbess: the same. Mother midnight; a midwife. Mother in law's bit; a small piece, mothers in law being supposed not apt to overload the stomachs of their husband's children.

MOTHER OF ALL SAINTS. The Monosyllable.








MOUCHETS. Small patches worn by ladies: from the French word mouches.


MOVEABLES. Rings, watches, or any toys of value.


MOUSE. To speak like a mouse in a cheese; i.e. faintly or indistinctly.


MOUSETRAP. The parson's mousetrap; the state of matrimony.

MOUTH. A noisy fellow. Mouth half cocked; one gaping and staring at every thing he sees. To make any one laugh on the wrong, or t'other side of his mouth; to make him cry or grieve.

MOUTH. A silly fellow. A dupe. To stand mouth; i.e. to be duped.


To MOW. A Scotch word for the act of copulation.


MOW HEATER. A drover: from their frequent sleeping on hay mows. CANT.


MOWER. A cow.


MUCK. Money; also dung. MUCKWORM. A miser.


MUCKINDER. A child's handkerchief tied to the side.

MUD. A fool, or thick-sculled fellow; also, among printers the same as dung among journeymen taylors. See DUNG.

MUD LARK. A fellow who goes about by the water side picking up coals, nails, or other articles in the mud. Also a duck.

MUFF. The private parts of a woman. To the well wearing of your muff, mort; to the happy consummation of your marriage, girl; a health.



MUGGLETONIANS. The sect or disciples of Lodowick Muggleton.


MULLIGRUBS. Sick of the mulligrubs with eating chopped hay: low-spirited, having an imaginary sickness.

MUM. An interjection directing silence. Mum for that; I shall be silent as to that. As mute as Mumchance, who was hanged for saying nothing; a friendly reproach to any one who seems low-spirited and silent.

MUMCHANCE. An ancient game like hazard, played with dice: probably so named from the silence observed in playing at it.

MUM GLASS. The monument erected on Fish-street Hill, London, in memory of the great fire in 1666.

MUMBLE A SPARROW. A cruel sport practised at wakes and fairs, in the following manner: A cock sparrow whose wings are clipped, is put into the crown of a hat; a man having his arms tied behind him, attempts to bite off the sparrow's head, but is generally obliged to desist, by the many pecks and pinches he receives from the enraged bird.

MUMMER. The mouth.


MUMPERS. Originally beggars of the genteel kind, but since used for beggars in general.

MUMPERS HALL. An alehouse where beggars are harboured. MUNDUNGUS. Bad or rank tobacco: from mondongo, a Spanish word signifying tripes, or the uncleaned entrails of a beast, full of filth.

MUNG. To beg.


MUNS. The face, or rather the mouth: from the German word MUND, the mouth. Toute his muns; look at his face.



MUNSTER HEIFER. An Irish woman. A woman with thick legs is said to be like a Munster heifer; i.e. beef to the heels.

MURDER. He looked like God's revenge against murder; he looked angrily.


MURPHIES. Potatoes.

MUSHROOM. A person or family suddenly raised to riches and eminence: an allusion to that fungus, which starts up in a night.

MUSIC. The watch-word among highwaymen, signifying the person is a friend, and must pass unmolested. Music is also an Irish term, in tossing up, to express the harp side, or reverse, of a farthing or halfpenny, opposed to the head.

MUTE. An undertaker's servant, who stands at the door of a person lying in state: so named from being supposed mute with grief.



MUTTON MONGER. A man addicted to wenching.


MUTTON. In her mutton, i.e. having carnal knowledge of a woman.


MUZZLE. A beard.

MUZZLER. A violent blow on the mouth. The milling cove tipped the cull a muzzler; the boxer gave the fellow a blow on the mouth.



MYRMIDONS. The constable's assistants, watchmen, &c. NAB, or NAB CHEAT. A hat. Penthouse nab; a large hat.

To NAB. To seize, or catch unawares. To nab the teaze; to be privately whipped. To nab the stoop; to stand in the pillory. To nab the rust; a jockey term for a horse that becomes restive. To nab the snow: to steal linen left out to bleach or dry. CANT.



NACK. To have a nack; to be ready at any thing, to have a turn-for it.


NACKY. Ingenious.

NAILED. Secured, fixed. He offered me a decus, and I nailed him; he offered me a crown, and I struck or fixed him.

NANNY HOUSE. A brothel.

TO NAP. To cheat at dice by securing one chance. Also to catch the venereal disease. You've napt it; you are infected.

NAPPING. To take any one napping; i.e. to come upon him unexpectedly, to find him asleep: as, He caught him napping, as Morse caught his mare.

NAPPER. The head; also a cheat or thief.


NAPPER OF NAPS. A sheep stealer. CANT.


NAPPY ALE. Strong ale.

NASK, or NASKIN. A prison or bridewell. The new nask; Clerkenwell bridewell. Tothil-fields nask; the bridewell at Tothil-fields. CANT.

NATION. An abbreviation of damnation: a vulgar term used in Kent, Sussex, and the adjacent counties, for very. Nation good; very good. A nation long way; a very long way.

NATTY LADS. Young thieves or pickpockets. CANT.


NATURAL. A mistress, a child; also an idiot. A natural son or daughter; a love or merry-begotten child, a bastard. NAVY OFFICE. The Fleet prison. Commander of the Fleet; the warden of the Fleet prison.


NAY WORD. A bye-word, proverb.

NAZAKENE FORETOP. The foretop of a wig made in imi- tation of Christ's head of hair, as represented by the
painters and sculptors.

NAZY. Drunken. Nazy cove or mort; a drunken rogue or harlot. Nazy nabs; drunken coxcombs.

NEB, or NIB. The bill of a bird, and the slit of a pen. Figuratively, the face and mouth of a woman; as, She holds up her neb: she holds up her mouth to be kissed.

NECK STAMPER. The boy who collects the pots belonging to an alehouse, sent out with beer to private houses.

NECK VERSE. Formerly the persons claiming the benefit of clergy were obliged to read a verse in a Latin
manuscript psalter: this saving them from the gallows, was termed their neck verse: it was the first verse of the fiftyfirst psalm, Miserere mei,&c.



NEEDLE POINT. A sharper.


NEGLIGEE. A woman's undressed gown, Vulgarly termed a neggledigee.


NEGROE. A black-a-moor: figuratively used for a slave. I'll be no man's negro; I will be no man's slave.


NEGROE'S HEADS. Brown leaves delivered to the ships in ordinary.

NESCIO. He sports a Nescio; he pretends not to understand any thing. After the senate house examination for degrees, the students proceed to the schools, to be questioned by the proctor. According to custom immemorial the answers MUST be Nescio. The following is a translated specimen:

Ques. What is your name?--Ans. I do not know.

Ques. What is the name of this university?--Ans. I do not know.
Ques. Who was your father?-Ans. I do not know. This last is probably the only true answer of the three!

NETTLED. Teized, provoked, out of temper. He or she has pissed on a nettle; said of one who is peevish or out of temper.

NEW COLLEGE STUDENTS. Golden scholars, silver bachelors, and leaden masters.

NEW DROP. The scaffold used at Newgate for hanging of criminals; which dropping down, leaves them suspended. By this improvement, the use of that vulgar vehicle, a cart, is entirely left off.

NEW LIGHT. One of the new light; a methodist.


NEWGATE BIRD. A thief or sharper, frequently caged in Newgate.


NEWGATE SOLICITOR. A petty fogging and roguish attorney, who attends the gaols to assist villains in evading justice.


NEWMAN'S LIFT. The gallows.






To NICK. To win at dice, to hit the mark just in the nick of time, or at the critical moment.


NICK. Old nick; the Devil.

NICKNAME. A name given in ridicule or contempt: from the French nom de niqne. Niqne is a movement of the head to mark a contempt for any person or thing.

NICK NINNY. A simpleton.


NICKIN, NIKEY or NIZEY. A soft simple fellow; also a diminutive of Isaac.


NICKNACKS. Toys, baubles, or curiosities.




NICKUMPOOP, or NINCUMPOOP. A foolish fellow; also one who never saw his wife's ****.




NIG. The clippings of money. Nigging; clipping. Nigler, a clipper. Cant.


NIGGLING. Cutting awkwardly, trifling; also accompanying with a woman.



NIGHTINGALE. A soldier who, as the term is, sings out at the halberts. It is a point of honour in some regiments, among the grenadiers, never to cry out, become nightingales, whilst under the discipline of the cat of nine tails; to avoid which, they chew a bullet.

NIGHTMAN. One whose business it is to empty necessary houses in London, which is always done in the night; the operation is called a wedding. See WEDDING.

NIGMENOG. A very silly fellow.


TO NIM. To steal or pilfer: from the German nemen, to take. Nim a togeman; steal a cloak.


NIMGIMMER. A physician or surgeon, particularly those who cure the venereal disease.


NINE LIVES. Cats are said to have nine lives, and women ten cats lives.


NINNY, or NINNYHAMMER. A simpleton.


NIP. A cheat. Bung nipper; a cutpurse.

NIP CHEESE. A nick name for the purser of a ship: from those gentlemen being supposed sometimes to nip, or diminish, the allowance of the seamen, in that and every other article. It is also applied to stingy persons in general.

NIPPERKIN. A small measure.


NIPPS. The sheers used in clipping money.


NIT SQUEEGER, i.e. SQUEEZER. A hair-dresser.


NIX. Nothing.


NO CATCHY NO HAVY. If I am not caught, I cannot be hurt. Negro saying.


NOB. A king. A man of rank.


NOB. The head.


NOBTHATCHER. A peruke-maker.


NOCK. The breech; from NOCK, a notch.


NOCKY BOY. A dull simple fellow.


NOD. He is gone to the land of nod; he is asleep.


NODDLE. The head.

NODDY. A simpleton or fool. Also a kind of low cart, with a seat before it for the driver, used in and about Dublin, in the manner of a hackney coach: the fare is just half that of a coach, for the same distance; so that for sixpence one may have a set down, as it is called, of a mile and half, and frequently a tumble down into the bargain: it is called a noddy from the nutation of its head. Knave noddy; the old-fashioned name for the knave of trumps.

NOISY DOG RACKET. Stealing brass knockers from doors.

NOKES. A ninny, or fool. John-a-Nokes and Tom-a-Stiles; two honest peaceable gentlemen, repeatedly set together by the ears by lawyers of different denominations: two fictitious names formerly used in law proceedings, but now very seldom, having for several years past been supplanted by two other honest peaceable gentlemen, namely, John Doe and Richard Roe.

NOLL. Old Noll; Oliver Cromwell.


NON-CON. A nonconformist, presbyterian, or any other dissenter.


NONE-SUCH. One that is unequalled: frequently applied ironically.


NONSENSE. Melting butter in a wig.


NOOZED. Married, hanged.


NOPE. A blow: as, I took him a nope on the costard. NORFOLK CAPON. A red herring.

NORFOLK DUMPLING. A nick name, or term of jocular reproach to a Norfolk man; dumplings being a favourite food in that county.

NORTH ALLERTONS. Spurs; that place, like Rippon, being famous for making them.


NORTHUMBERLAND. Lord Northumberland's arms; a black eye: so called in the last century.


NORWAY NECKCLOTH. The pillory, usually made of Norway fir.

NOSE. As plain as the nose on your face; evidently to be seen. He is led by the nose; he is governed. To follow one's nose; to go strait forward. To put one's nose out of joint; to rival one in the favour of any person. To make a bridge of any one's nose; to pass by him in drinking. To nose a stink; to smell it. He cut off his nose to be revenged of his face; said of one who, to be revenged on his neighbour, has materially injured himself.

NOSE. A man who informs or turns king's evidence.

TO NOSE. To give evidence. To inform. His pall nosed and he was twisted for a crack; his confederate turned king's evidence, and he was hanged for burglary.

TO NOSE. To bully.

NOSE BAG. A bag fastened to the horse's head, in which the soldiers of the cavalry put the oats given to their horses: whence the saying, I see the hose bag in his face; i.e. he has been a private man, or rode private.



NOSTRUM. A medicine prepared by particular persons only, a quack medicine.


NOTCH. The private parts of awoman.


NOTE. He changed his note; he told another sort of a story.


NOUS-BOX. The head. NOZZLE. The nose of a man or woman.


NUB. The neck; also coition.

NUBBING. Hanging. Nubbing cheat: the gallows. Nubbing cove; the hangman. Nubbing ken; the sessions house.

NUG. An endearing word: as, My dear nug; my dear love.


NUGGING DRESS. An out-of-the-way old-fashioned dress, or rather a loose kind of dress, denoting a courtesan.




TO NULL. To beat: as, He nulled him heartily.

NUMBERS. To consult the book of numbers: a term used in the House of Commons, when, instead of answering or confuting a pressing argument, the minister calls for a division, i.e. puts the matter to the vote.

NUMBSCULL. A stupid fellow.


NUMMS. A sham collar, to be worn over a dirty shirt.


NUNNERY. A bawdy house.

TO NURSE. To cheat: as, they nursed him out of it. An estate in the hands of trustees, for the payment of bdebts, is said to be at nurse.

NUTS. It was nuts for them; i.e. it was very agreeable to them.

NUTS. Fond; pleased. She's nuts upon her cull; she's pleased with her cully. The cove's nutting the blowen; the man is trying to please the girl.

NUTCRACKERS. The pillory: as, The cull peeped through the nutcrackers.


NUTMEGS. Testicles.


NYP, or NIP. A half pint, a nip of ale: whence the nipperkin, a small vessel.


NYP SHOP. The Peacock in Gray's Inn Lane, where Burton ale is sold in nyps.

NYPPER. A cut-purse: so called by one Wotton, who in the year 1585 kept an academy for the education and perfection of pickpockets and cut-purses: his school was near Billingsgate, London. As in the dress of ancient times many people wore their purses at their girdles, cutting them was a branch of the light-fingered art, which is now lost, though the name remains. Maitland, from Stow, gives the following account of this Wotton: This man was a gentleman born, and sometime a merchant of good credit, but fallen by time into decay: he kept an alehouse near Smart's Key, near Billingsgate, afterwards for some misdemeanor put down. He reared up a new trade of life, and in the same house he procured all the cut-purses about the city, to repair to his house; there was a school-house set up to learn young boys to cut purses: two devices were hung up; one was a pocket, and another was a purse; the pocket had in it certain counters, and was hung about with hawks bells, and over the top did hang a little sacring bell. The purse had silver in it; and he that could take out a counter, without noise of any of the bells, was adjudged a judicial NYPPER: according to their terms of art, a FOYSTER was a pick-pocket; a NYPPER was a pick purse, or cut-purse.

O BE JOYFUL. I'll make you sing O be joyful on the other side of your mouth; a threat, implying the party threatened will be made to cry. To sing O be easy; to appear contented when one has cause to complain, and dare not.

OAF. A silly fellow.


OAFISH. Simple.

OAK. A rich maa, a man of good substance and credit. To sport oak; to shut the outward door of a student's room at college. An oaken towel; an oaken cudgel. To rub a man down with an oaken towel; to beat him.

OATS. He has sowed his wild oats; he is staid, or sober, having left off his wild tricks.

OATHS. The favourite oaths of the thieves of the present day are, "God strike me blind!" "I wish my bloody eyes may drop out if it is not true!" "So help me God!" "Bloody end to me!"

OAR. To put in one's oar; to intermeddle, or give an opinion unasked: as, To be sure, you must put in your oar!

OBSTROPULOUS. Vulgar misnomer of OBSTREPEROUS: as, I was going my rounds, and found this here gemman very obstropulous, whereof I comprehended him as an auspicious parson.

OCCUPY. To occupy a woman; to have carnal knowledge of her.

ODDFELLOWS. A convivial society; the introduction to the most noble grand, arrayed in royal robes, is well worth seeing at the price of becoming a member.

ODDS PLUT AND HER NAILS. A Welch oath, frequently mentioned in a jocular manner by persons, it is hoped, ignorant of its meaning; which is, By God's blood, and the nails with which he was nailed to the cross.

ODD-COME-SHORTLYS. I'll do it one of these odd-come-shortly's; I will do it some time or another.


OFFICE. To give the office; to give information, or make signs to the officers to take a thief.


OGLES. Eyes. Rum ogles; fine eyes.




OIL OF GLADNESS. I will anoint you with the oil of gladness; ironically spoken for, I will beat you.


OIL OF STIRRUP. A dose the cobler gives his wife whenever she is obstropulous.

OI POAAOI (Proofreaders Note: Greek Letters).
(CAMBRIDGE.) The many; the multitude;
who take degrees without being entitled for an honor. All that is REQUIRED, are three books of Euclid, and as far as Quadratic Equation's in Algebra. See PLUCKED.

OLD. Ugly. CANT.


OLD DOG AT IT. Expert, accustomed.


OLD HAND. Knowing or expert in any business.


OLD HARRY. A composition used by vintners to adulterate their wines; also the nick-name for the devil.




OLD MR. GORY. A piece of gold.


OLD NICK. The Devil: from NEKEN, the evil spirit of the north.


OLD ONE. The Devil. Likewise an expression of quizzical familiarity, as "how d'ye do, OLD ONE?"


OLD PEGG. Poor Yorkshire cheese, made of skimmed milk.


OLD POGER. The Devil.


OLD STAGER. One accustomed to business, one who knows mankind.


OLD TOAST. A brisk old fellow. CANT.


OLD DOSS. Bridewell.


OLIVER'S SCULL. A chamber pot.


OLLI COMPOLLI. The name of one of the principal rogues of the canting crew. CANT.


OMNIUM GATHERUM. The whole together: jocular imitation of law Latin.


ONE IN TEN. A parson: an allusion to his tithes.


ONE OF US, or ONE OF MY COUSINS. A woman of the town, a harlot.

ONION. A seal. Onion hunters, a class of young thieves who are on the look out for gentlemen who wear their seals suspended on a ribbon, which they cut, and thus secure the seals or other trinkets suspended to the watch.

OPEN ARSE. A medlar. See MEDLAR.

OPTIME. The senior and junior optimes are the second and last classes of Cambridge honors conferred on taking a degree. That of wranglers is the first. The last junior optime is called the Wooden Spoon.

ORGAN. A pipe. Will you cock your organ? will you smoke your pipe?

ORTHODOXY AND HETERODOXY. Somebody explained these terms by saying, the first was a man who had a doxy of his own, the second a person who made use of the doxy of another man.

OSCHIVES. Bone-handled knives. CANT.


OSTLER. Oatstealer.


OTTOMY. The vulgar word for a skeleton.

OTTOMISED. To be ottomised; to be dissected. You'll be scragged, ottomised, and grin in a glass case: you'll be hanged, anatomised, and your skeleton kept in a glass case at Surgeons' Hall.

OVEN. A great mouth; the old woman would never have looked for her daughter in the oven, had she not been there herself.

OVERSEER. A man standing in the pillory, is, from his elevated situation, said to be made an overseer.


OUT AT HEELS, OR OUT AT ELBOWS. In declining circumstances.


OUTRUN THE CONSTABLE. A man who has lived above his means, or income, is said to have outrun the constable.


OUTS. A gentleman of three outs. See GENTLEMAN.

OWL. To catch the; a trick practised upon ignorant country boobies, who are decoyed into a barn under pretence of catching an owl, where, after divers preliminaries, the joke ends in their having a pail of water poured upon their heads.

OWL IN AN IVY BUSH. He looks like an owl in an ivy bush; frequently said of a person with a large frizzled wig, or a woman whose hair is dressed a-la-blowze.

OWLERS. Those who smuggle wool over to France.


OX HOUSE. He must go through the ox house to bed; a saying of an old fellow who marries a young girl.


OYES. Corruption of oyez, proclaimed by the crier of all courts of justice.


OYSTER. A gob of thick phlegm, spit by a consumptive man; in law Latin, UNUM VIRIDUM GOBBUM P'S. To mind one's P's and Q's; to be attentive to the main chance.

P.P.C. An inscription on the visiting cards of our modern fine gentleman, signifying that they have called POUR PRENDRE CONGE, i.e. 'to take leave,' This has of late been ridiculed by cards inscribed D.I.O. i.e. 'Damme, I'm off.'

PACKET. A false report.


PACKTHREAD. To talk packthread; to use indecent language well wrapt up.

PAD. The highway, or a robber thereon; also a bed. Footpads; foot robbers. To go out upon the pad; to go out
in order to commit a robbery.

PAD BORROWERS. Horse stealers.



PADDINGTON FAIR DAY. An execution day, Tyburn being in the parish or neighbourhood of Paddington. To dance the Paddington frisk; to be hanged.

PADDY. The general name for an Irishman: being the abbreviation of Patrick, the name of the tutelar saint of that island.

PAINTER. I'll cut your painter for you; I'll send you off; the painter being the ropfe that holds the boat fast to the ship. SEA TERM.



TO PALAVER. To flatter: originally an African word for a treaty, talk, or conference.

PALLIARDS. Those whose fathers were clapperdogens, or beggars born, and who themselves follow the same trade: the female sort beg with a number of children, borrowing them, if they have not a sufficient number of their own, and making them cry by pinching in order to excite charity; the males make artificial sores on different parts of their bodies, to move compassion.

PALL. A companion. One who generally accompanies another, or who commit robberies together. PAM. The knave of clubs.


PANNAM. Bread.

PANNIER MAN. A servant belonging to the Temple and Gray's Inn, whose office is to announce the dinner. This in the Temple, is done by blowing a horn; and in Gray's Inn proclaiming the word Manger, Manger, Manger, in each of the three courts.

PANNY. A house. To do a panny: to rob a house. See the Sessions Papers. Probably, panny originally meant the butler's pantry, where the knives and forks, spoons, &c. are usually kept The pigs frisked my panney, and nailed my screws; the officers searched my house, and seized my picklock keys. CANT.

PANTER. A hart: that animal is, in the Psalms, said to pant after the fresh water-brooks. Also the human heart, which frequently pants in time of danger. CANT.

PANTILE SHOP. A presbyterian, or other dissenting meeting house, frequently covered with pantiles: called also a cock-pit.

PANTLER. A butler.


PAP. Bread sauce; also the food of infants. His mouth is full of pap; he is still a baby.


PAPER SCULL. A thin-scull'd foolish fellow.


PAPLER. Milk pottage.

PARELL. Whites of eggs, bay salt, milk, and pump water, beat together, and poured into a vessel of wine to prevent its fretting.

PARENTHESIS. To put a man's nose into a parenthesis: to pull it, the fingers and thumb answering the hooks or crochets. A wooden parenthesis; the pillory. An iron parenthesis; a prison.

PARINGS. The chippings of money. CANT.


PARISH BULL. A parson.


PARISH. His stockings are of two parishes; i.e. they are not fellows.

PARISH SOLDIER. A jeering name for a militiaman: from substitutes being frequently hired by the parish from which one of its inhabitants is drawn.


PARSON. A guide post, hand or finger post by the road side for directing travellers: compared to a parson, because, like him, it sets people in the right way. See GUIDE POST. He that would have luck in horse-flesh, must kiss a parson's wife.


PARSON PALMER. A jocular name, or term of reproach, to one who stops the circulation of the glass by preaching over his liquor; as it is said was done by a parson of that name whose cellar was under his pulpit.

PARTIAL. Inclining more to one side than the other, crooked, all o' one hugh.

PASS BANK. The place for playing at passage, cut into the ground almost like a cock-pit. Also the stock or fund.

PASSAGE. A camp game with three dice: doublets, making up ten or more, to pass or win; any other chances lose.

PAT. Apposite, or to the purpose.


PATE. The head. Carroty-pated; red-haired.

PATRICO, or PATER-COVE. The fifteenth rank of the canting tribe; strolling priests that marry people under a hedge, without gospel or common prayer book: the couple standing on each side of a dead beast, are bid to live together till death them does part; so shaking hands, the wedding is ended. Also any minister or parson.

PATTERING. The maundering or pert replies of servants; also talk or palaver in order to amuse one intended to be cheated. Pattering of prayers; the confused sound of a number of persons praying together.

TO PATTER. To talk. To patter flash; to speak flash, or the language used by thieves. How the blowen lushes jackey, and patters flash; how the wench drinks gin, and talks flash.

TO PAUM. To conceal in the hand. To paum a die: to hide a die in the palm of the hand. He paums; he cheats. Don't pretend to paum that upon me.

PAUNCH. The belly. Some think paunch was the original name of that facetious prince of puppets, now called Mr. Punch, as he is always represented with a very prominent belly: though the common opinion is, that both the name and character were taken from a celebrated Italian comedian, called Polichenello.

PAW. A hand or foot; look at his dirty paws. Fore paw; the hand. Hind paw; the foot. To paw; to touch or handle clumsily.

PAW PAW TRICKS. Naughty tricks: an expression used by nurses, &c. to children.

TO PAY. To smear over. To pay the bottom of a ship or boat; to smear it over with pitch: The devil to pay, and no pitch hot or ready. SEA TERM.--Also to beat: as, I will pay you as Paul paid the Ephesians, over the face and eyes, and all your d---d jaws. To pay away; to fight manfully, also to eat voraciously. To pay through the nose: to pay an extravagant price.

To PEACH. To impeach: called also to blow the gab, squeak, or turn stag.


PEAK. Any kind of lace.


PEAL. To ring a peal in a man's ears; to scold at him: his wife rang him such a peal!

PEAR MAKING. Taking bounties from several regiments and immediately deserting. The cove was fined in the steel for pear making; the fellow was imprisoned in the house of correction for taking bounties from different regiments.

PECCAVI. To cry peccavi; to acknowledge one's self in an error, to own a fault: from the Latin PECCAVI, I have sinned.


PECK. Victuals. Peck and booze; victuals and drink.


PECKISH. Hungry. PECULIAR. A mistress.


PED. A basket. CANT.


PEDLAR'S FRENCH. The cant language. Pedlar's pony; a walking-stick.


To PEEL. To strip: allusion to the taking off the coat or rind of an orange or apple.

PEEPER. A spying glass; also a looking-glass. Track up the dancers, and pike with the peeper; whip up stairs, and run off with the looking-glass. CANT.

PEEPERS. Eyes. Single peeper, a one-eyed man.

PEEPING TOM. A nick name for a curious prying fellow; derived from an old legendary tale, told of a taylor of Coventry, who, when Godiva countess of Chester rode at noon quite naked through that town, in order to procure certain immunities for the inhabitants, (notwithstanding the rest of the people shut up their houses) shly peeped out of his window, for which he was miraculously struck blind. His figure, peeping out of a window, is still kept up in remembrance of the transaction.

PEEPY. Drowsy.


To PEER. To look about, to be circumspect.

PEERY. Inquisitive, suspicious. The cull's peery; that fellow suspects something. There's a peery, tis snitch we are observed, there's nothing to be done.

PEG. Old Peg; poor hard Suffolk or Yorkshire cheese. A peg is also a blow with a straightarm: a term used by the professors of gymnastic arts. A peg in the day-light, the victualling office, or the haltering-place; a blow in the eye, stomach, or under the ear.

PEG TRANTUM'S. Gone to Peg Trantum's; dead.


PEGO. The penis of man or beast.


PELL-MELL. Tumultuously, helter skelter, jumbled together.


PELT. A heat, chafe, or passion; as, What a pelt he was in! Pelt is also the skin of several beasts.


PENANCE BOARD. The pillory. PENNY-WISE AND POUND FOOLISH. Saving in small matters, and extravagant in great.


PENNYWORTH. An equivalent. A good pennyworth; cheap bargain.


PENTHOUSE NAB. A broad brimmed hat.


PEPPERED. Infected with the venereal disease.


PEPPERY. Warm, passionate.


PERKIN. Water cyder.



PERSUADERS. Spurs. The kiddey clapped his persuaders to his prad but the traps boned him; the highwayman spurred his horse hard, but the officers seized him.

PET. In a pet; in a passion or miff.

PETER. A portmanteau or cloke-bag. Biter of peters; one that makes it a trade to steal boxes and trunks from behind stage coaches or out of waggons. To rob Peter to pay Paul; to borrow of one man to pay another: styled also manoeuvring the apostles.

PETER GUNNER, will kill all the birds that died last summer. A piece of wit commonly thrown out at a person
walking through a street or village near London, with a gun in his hand.

PETER LAY. The department of stealing portmanteaus, trunks, &c.


PETER LUG. Who is Peter Lug? who lets the glass stand at his door, or before him.


PETTICOAT HOLD. One who has an estate during his wife's life, called the apron-string hold.


PETTICOAT PENSIONER. One kept by a woman forsecret services.


PETTISH. Passionate.


PETTY FOGGER. A little dirty attorney, ready to undertake any litigious or bad cause: it is derived from the French words petit vogue, of small credit, or little reputation. PHARAOH. Strong malt liquor.


PHILISTINES. Bailiffs, or officers of justice; also drunkards.

PHOENIX-MEN. Firemen belonging to an insurance office, which gave a badge charged with a phoenix: these men were called likewise firedrakes.

PHOS BOTTLE. A. bottle of phosphorus: used by housebreakers to light their lanthorns. Ding the phos; throw
away the bottle of phosphorus.

PHRASE OF PAPER. Half a quarter of a sheet. See VESSEL, PHYSOG.


PHYSOG. The face. A vulgar abbreviation of physiognomy.


PHYZ. The face. Rum phyz; an odd face or countenance.


PICAROON. A pirate; also a sharper.


PICKANINY. A young child, an infant. NEGRO TERM.


PICKING. Pilfering, petty larceny.

PICKLE. An arch waggish fellow. In pickle, or in the pickling tub; in a salivation. There are rods in brine, or pickle, for him; a punishment awaits him, or is prepared for him. Pickle herring; the zany or merry andrew of a mountebank. See JACK PUDDING.

PICKT HATCH. To go to the manor of pickt hatch, a cant name for some part of the town noted for bawdy houses in Shakespeare's time, and used by him in that sense.

PICKTHANK. A tale-bearer or mischief maker.


PICTURE FRAME. The sheriff's picture frame; the gallows or pillory.

To PIDDLE. To make water: a childish expression; as, Mammy, I want to piddle. Piddling also means trifling, or doing any thing in a small degree: perhaps from peddling.

PIECE. A wench. A damned good or bad piece; a girl who is more or less active and skilful in the amorous congress. Hence the (CAMBRIDGE) toast, May we never have a PIECE (peace) that will injure the constitution. Piece likewise means at Cambridge a close or spot of ground adjacent to any of the colleges, as Clare-hall Piece, &c. The spot of ground before King's College formerly belonged to Clare-hall. While Clare Piece belonged to King's, the master of Clare-hall proposed a swop, which being refused by the provost of King's, he erected before their gates a temple of CLOACINA. It will be unnecessary to say that his arguments were soon acceded to.

PIG. A police officer. A China street pig; a Bow-street officer. Floor the pig and bolt; knock down the officer and run away.

PIG. Sixpence, a sow's baby. Pig-widgeon; a simpleton. To pig together; to lie or sleep together, two or more in a bed. Cold pig; a jocular punishment inflicted by the maid seryants, or other females of the house, on persons lying over long in bed: it consists in pulling off all the bed clothes, and leaving them to pig or lie in the cold. To buy a pig in a poke; to purchase any thing without seeing. Pig's eyes; small eyes. Pigsnyes; the same: a vulgar term of endearment to a woman. He can have boiled pig at home; a mark of being master of his own house: an allusion to a well known poem and story. Brandy is Latin for pig and goose; an apology for drinking a dram after either.

PIG-HEADED. Obstinate.

PIG RUNNING. A piece of game frequently practised at fairs, wakes, &c. A large pig, whose tail is cut short, and both soaped and greased, being turned out, is hunted by the young men and boys, and becomes the property of him who can catch and hold him by the tail, abpve the height of his head.

PIGEON. A weak silly fellow easily imposed on. To pigeon; to cheat. To milk the pigeon; to attempt impossibilities, to be put to shifts for want of money. To
fly a blue pigeon; to steal lead off a church.

PIGEONS. Sharpers, who, during the drawing of the lottery, wait ready mounted near Guildhall, and, as soon as the first two or three numbers are drawn, which they receive from a confederate on a card, ride with them full speed to some distant insurance office, before fixed on, where there is another of the gang, commonly a decent looking woman, who takes care to be at the office before the hour of drawing: to her he secretly gives the number, which she insures for a considerable sum: thus biting the biter.

PIGEON'S MILK. Boys and novices are frequently sent on the first of April to buy pigeons milk.


To PIKE. To run away. Pike off; run away.


PILGRIM'S SALVE. A sirreverence, human excrement.

PILL, or PEELE GARLICK. Said originally to mean one whose skin or hair had fallen off from some disease, chiefly the venereal one; but now commonly used by persons speaking of themselves: as, there stood poor pill garlick: i.e. there stood I.

PILLALOO. The Irish cry or howl at funerals.

PIMP. A male procurer, or cock bawd; also a small faggot used about London for lighting fires, named from introducing the fire to the coals.

PIMP WHISKIN. A top trader in pimping.


PIMPLE. The head.

PIN. In or to a merry pin; almost drunk: an allusion to a sort of tankard, formerly used in the north, having silver pegs or pins set at equal distances from the top to the bottom: by the rules of good fellowship, every person drinking out of one of these tankards, was to swallow the quantity contained between two pins; if he drank more or less, he was to continue drinking till he ended at a pin: by this means persons unaccustomed to measure their draughts were obliged to drink the whole tankard. Hence when a person was a little elevated with liquor, he was said to have drunk to a merry pin.

PIN BASKET. The youngest child.


PIN MONEY. An allowance settled on a married woman for her pocket expences.


PINCH. At a pinch; on an exigency.

PINCH. To go into a tradesman's shop under the pretence of purchasing rings or other light articles, and while examining them to shift some up the sleeve of the coat. Also to ask for change for a guinea, and when the silver is received, to change some of the good shillings for bad ones; then suddenly pretending to recollect that you had sufficient silver to pay the bill, ask for the guinea again, and return the change, by which means several bad shillings are passed.

To PINCH ON THE PARSON'S SIDE. To defraud the parson of his tithe.

PINCHERS. Rogues who, in changing money, by dexterity of hand frequently secrete two or three shillings out of the change of a guinea. This species of roguery is called the pinch, or pinching lay.

To PINK. To stab or wound with a small sword: probably derived from the holes formerly cut in both men and women's clothes, called pinking. Pink of the fashion; the
top of the mode. To pink and wink; frequently winking the eyes through a weakness in them.

PINKING-DINDEE. A sweater or mohawk. IRISH.


PINS. Legs. Queer pins; ill shapen legs.


PIPER. A broken winded horse.


PISCINARIANS. A club or brotherhood, A.D. 1743.

PISS. He will piss when he can't whistle; he will be hanged. He shall not piss my money against the wall; he shall not have my money to spend in liquor.

He who once a good name gets, May piss a bed, and say he sweats.


PISS-BURNED. Discoloured: commonly applied to a discoloured grey wig.


PISS MAKER. A great drinker, one much given to liquor.

PISS POT HALL. A house at Clapton, near Hackney, built by a potter chiefly out of the profits of chamber pots, in the bottom of which the portrait of Dr. Sacheverel was depicted.

PISS PROPHET. A physician who judges of the diseases of his patients solely by the inspection of their urine.

PISS-PROUD. Having a false erection. That old fellow thought he had an erection, but his--was only piss- proud; said of any old fellow who marries a young wife.

PISSING DOWN ANY ONE'S BACK. Flattering him. PISSING PINS AND NEEDLES. To have a gonorrhea.

PIT. A watch fob. He drew a rare thimble from the swell's pit. He took a handsome watch from the gentleman's fob.

PIT. To lay pit and boxes into one; an operation in midwifery or copulation, whereby the division between the anus and vagina is cut through, broken, and demolished: a simile borrowed from the playhouse, when, for the benefit of some favourite player, the pit and boxes are laid together. The pit is also the hole under the gallows, where poor rogues unable to pay the fees are buried.

PITT'S PICTURE. A window stopt up on the inside, to save the tax imposed in that gentleman's administration. PARTY WIT


PIT-A-PAT. The palpitation of the heart: as, my heart went pit-a-pat. Pintledy-pantledy; the same.


PITCH-KETTLED. Stuck fast, confounded.

PITCHER. The miraculous pitcher, that holds water with the mouth downwards: a woman's commodity. She has crack'd her pitcher or pipkin; she has lost her maidenhead.

PIZZY CLUB. A society held, A. D, 1744, at the sign of the Tower, on Tower Hill: president, Don Pizzaro.


PLAISTER OF WARM GUTS. One warm belly'dapped to another; a receipt frequently prescribed for different disorders.


PLANT. The place in the house of the fence where stolen goods are secreted. Any place where stolen goods are concealed.

To PLANT. To lay, place, or hide. Plant your wids and stow them; be careful what you say, or let slip. Also to bury, as, he was planted by the parson.

PLATE. Money, silver, prize. He is in for the plate; he has won the KEAT, i.e. is infected with the venereal disorder: a simile drawn from hofse-racing. When the plate fleet comes in; when money comes to hand.

PLATTER-FACED. Broad-faced.

PLAY. To play booty; to play with an intention to lose. To play the whole game; to cheat. To play least in sight; to hide, or keep out of the way. To play the devil; to be guilty of some great irregularity or mismanagement.

PLUCK. Courage. He wants pluck: he is a coward.
Against the pluck; against the inclination. Pluck the Ribbon; ring the bell. To pluck a crow with one; to
settle a dispute, to reprove one for some past transgression. To pluck a rose; an expression said to be used by women for going to the necessary house, which in the country usually stands in the garden. To pluck also signifies to deny a degree to a candidate at one of the universities, on account of insufficiency. The three first books of Euclid, and as far as Quadratic Equations in Algebra, will save a man from being plucked. These unfortunate fellows are designated by many opprobrious appellations, such as the twelve
apostles, the legion of honor, wise men of the East, &c.

PLUG TAIL. A man's penis.


PLUMB. An hundred thousand pounds.


PLUMMY. It is all plummy; i.e. all is right, or as it ought to be.

PLUMP. Fat, full, fleshy. Plump in the pocket; full in the pocket. To plump; to strike, or shoot. I'll give you a plump in the bread basket, or the victualling office: I'll give you a blow in the stomach. Plump his peepers, or day-lights; give him a blow in the eyes. He pulled out his pops and plumped him; he drew out his pistols and shot him. A plumper; a single vote at an election. Plump also means directly, or exactly; as, it fell plump upon him: it fell directly upon him.

PLUMP CURRANT. I am not plump currant; I am out of sorts.


PLUMPERS. Contrivances said to be formerly worn by old maids, for filling out a pair of shrivelled cheeks.


PLYER. A crutch; also a trader.


POGY. Drunk.

POINT. To stretch a point; to exceed some usual limit, to take a great stride. Breeches were usually tied up with points, a kind of short laces, formerly given away by the churchwardens at Whitsuntide, under the denomination of tags: by taking a great stride these were stretched.

POISONED. Big with child: that wench is poisoned, see how her belly is swelled. Poison-pated: red-haired.

POKE. A blow with the fist: I'll lend you a poke. A poke likewise means a sack: whence, to buy a pig in a poke, i.e. to buy any thing without seeing or properly examining it.

POKER. A sword. Fore pokers; aces and kings at cards. To burn your poker; to catch the venereal disease.


POLE. He is like a rope-dancer's polo, lead at both ends; a saying of a stupid sluggish fellow.

POLISH. To polish the king's iron with one's eyebrows; to be in gaol, and look through the iron grated windows. To polish a bone; to eat a meal. Come and polish a bone with me; come and eat a dinner or supper with me.

POLL. The head, jolly nob, napper, or knowledge box; also a wig.


POLT. A blow. Lend him a polt in the muns; give him a knock in the face.

TO POMMEL. To beat: originally confined to beating with the hilt of a sword, the knob being, from its similarity to a small apple, called pomelle; in Spanish it is still called the apple of the sword. As the clenched fist likewise somewhat resembles an apple, perhaps that might occasion the term pommelling to be applied to fisty-cuffs.

POMP. To save one's pomp at whist, is to score five before the adversaries are up, or win the game: originally derived from pimp, which is Welsh for five; and should be, I have saved my pimp.

POMPAGINIS. Aqua pompaginis; pump water. See AQUA.

POMPKIN. A man or woman of Boston in America: from, the number of pompkins raised and eaten by the people of that country. Pompkinshire; Boston and its dependencies.

PONEY. Money. Post the poney; lay down the money.

PONTIUS PILATE. A pawnbroker. Pontius Pilate's guards, the first regiment of foot, or Royal Scots: so intitled from their supposed great antiquity. Pontius Pilate's counsellor; one who like him can say, Non invenio causam, I can find no cause. Also (Cambridge) a Mr. Shepherd of Trinity College; who disputing with a brother parson on the comparative rapidity with which they read the liturgy, offered to give him as far as Pontius Pilate in the Belief.

POPE. A figure burned annually every fifth of November, in memory of the gunpowder plot, which is said to have been carried on by the papists.

POPE'S NOSE. The rump of a turkey.

POPS. Pistols. Popshop: a pawnbroker's shop. To pop; to pawn: also to shoot. I popped my tatler; I pawned my watch. I popt the cull; I shot the man. His means are two pops and a galloper; that is, he is a highwayman.


PORK. To cry pork; to give intelligence to the undertaker of a funeral; metaphor borrowed from the raven, whose note sounds like the word pork. Ravens are said to smell carrion at a distance.

PORKER. A hog: also a Jew.


PORRIDGE. Keep your breath to cool your porridge; i. e. held your tongue.

PORRIDGE ISLAND. An alley leading from St. Martin's church-yard to Round-court, chiefly inhabited by cooks, who cut off ready-dressed meat of all sorts, and also sell soup.

POSEY, or POESY. A nosegay. I shall see you ride backwards up Holborn-hill, with a book in one hand, and a posey in t'other; i.e. I shall see you go to be hanged. Malefactors who piqued themselves on being properly equipped for that occasion, had always a nosegay to smell to, and a prayer book, although they could not read.



POST MASTER GENERAL. The prime minister, who has the patronage of all posts and places.

POST NOINTER. A house painter, who occasionally paints or anoints posts. Knight of the post; a false evidence, one ready to swear any thing for hire. From post to pillar; backwards and forwards.

POSTILION OF THE GOSPEL. A parson who hurries over the service.


POT. The pot calls the kettle black a-se; one rogue exclaims against another.


POT. On the pot; i.e. at stool.


POT CONVERTS. Proselytes to the Romish church, made by the distribution of victuals and money.

POT HUNTER. One who hunts more tor the sake of the prey than the sport. Pot valiant; courageous from drink. Potwallopers: persons entitled to vote in certain boroughs by having boiled a pot there.

POTATOE TRAP. The mouth. Shut your potatoe trap and give your tongue a holiday; i.e. be silent. IRISH WIT.


POTHOOKS AND HANGEKS. A scrawl, bad writing.

POT-WABBLERS. Persons entitled to vote for members of parliament in certain boroughs, from having boiled their pots therein. These boroughs are called pot-wabbling boroughs.


POULTERER. A person that guts letters; i.e. opens them and secretes the money. The kiddey was topped for the poultry rig; the young fellow was hanged for secreting a letter and taking out the contents.

POUND. To beat. How the milling cove pounded the cull for being nuts on his blowen; how the boxer beat the fellow for taking liberties with his mistress.

POUND. A prison. See LOB'S POUND. Pounded; imprisoned. Shut up in the parson's pound; married. POWDER


POWDER MONKEY. A boy on board a ship of war, whose business is to fetch powder from the magazine.


POWDERING TUB. The same as pickling tub. See PICKLING TUB.


PRAD LAY. Cutting bags from behind horses. CANT.


PRAD. A horse. The swell flashes a rum prad: the e gentleman sports a fine horse.

PRANCER. A horse. Prancer's nab.; a horse's head, used as a seal to a counterfeit pass. At the sign of the prancer's poll, i.e. the nag's head.

PRATE ROAST. A talkative boy.


PRATING CHEAT. The tongue.


PRATTS. Buttocks; also a tinder box. CANT.




PRATTLING BOX. The pulpit.

PRAY. She prays with her knees upwards; said of a woman much given to gallantry and intrigue. At her last prayers; saying of an old maid.

PREADAMITE QUACABITES. This great and laudable society (as they termed themselves) held their grand chapter at the Coal-hole.

P---K. The virile member.

PRICK-EARED. A prick-eared fellow; one whose ears are longer than his hair: an appellation frequently given to puritans, who considered long hair as the mark of the whore of Babylon.



PRIEST-CRAFT. The art of awing the laity, managing their consciences, and diving into their pockets.




PRIEST-RIDDEN. Governed by a priest, or priests.


PRIG. A thief, a cheat: also a conceited coxcomical fellow.


PRIG NAPPER. A thief taker.

PRIGGERS. Thieves in general. Priggers of prancers; horse stealers. Priggers of cacklers: robbers of hen- roosts.

PRIGGING. Riding; also lying with a woman.

PRIGSTAR. A rival in love. PRIME. Bang up. Quite the thing. Excellent. Well done. She's a prime piece; she is very skilful in the venereal act. Prime post. She's a prime article.

PRIMINAKY. I had like to be brought into a priminary; i.e. into trouble; from PREMUNIRE.


PRINCE PRIG. A king of the gypsies; also the head thief or receiver general.

PRINCES. When the majesty of the people was a favourite terra in the House of Commons, a celebrated wit, seeing chimney sweepers dancing on a May-day, styled them the young princes.

PRINCOD. A pincushion. SCOTCH--Also a round plump man or woman.


PRINCOX. A pert, lively, forward fellow.


PRINCUM PRANCUM. Mrs. Princum Prancum; a nice, precise, formal madam.

PRINKING. Dressing over nicely: prinked up as if he came out of a bandbox, or fit to sit upon a cupboard's head.

PRINT. All in print, quite neat or exact, set, screwed up. Quite in print; set in a formal manner.

PRISCIAN. To break Priscian's head; to write or speak false grammar. Priscian was a famous grammarian, who flourished at Constantinople in the year 525; and who was so devoted to his favourite study, that to speak false Latin in his company, was as disagreeable to him as to break his head.

PRITTLE PRATTLE. Insignificant talk: generally applied to women and children.

PROG. Provision. Rum prog; choice provision. To prog; to be on the hunt for provision: called in the military term to forage.

PROPS. Crutches.

PROPERTY. To make a property of any one; to make him a conveniency, tool, or cat's paw; to use him as one's own.

PROUD. Desirous of copulation. A proud bitch; a bitch at heat, or desirous of a dog.


PROVENDER. He from whom any money is taken on the highway: perhaps provider, or provider. CANT.

PROPHET. The prophet; the Cock at Temple Bar: so called, in 1788, by the bucks of the town of the inferior order.

PRUNELLA. Mr. Prunella; a parson: parson's gowns being frequently made of prunella.

To PRY. To examine minutely into a matter or business. A prying fellow; a man of impertinent curiosity, apt to peep and inquire into other men's secrets.

PUBLIC MAN. A bankrupt.


PUBLIC LEDGER. A prostitute: because, like that paper, she is open to all parties.


PUCKER. All in a pucker; in a dishabille. Also in a fright; as, she was in a terrible pucker.

PUCKER WATER. Water impregnated with alum, or other astringents, used by old experienced traders to counterfeit virginity.

PUDDINGS. The guts: I'll let out your puddings.


PUDDING-HEADED FELLOW. A stupid fellow, one whose brains are all in confusion.



PUDDING TIME. In good time, or at the beginning of a meal: pudding formerly making the first dish. To give the crows a pudding; to die. You must eat some cold pudding, to settle your love.

PUFF, or PUFFER. One who bids at auctions, not with an intent to buy, but only to raise the price of the lot; for which purpose many are hired by the proprietor of the goods on sale.

PUFF GUTS. A fat man.

PUFFING. Bidding at an auction, as above; also praising any thing above its merits, from interested motives. The art of puffing is at present greatly practised, and essentially necessary in all trades, professions, and callings. To puff and blow; to be out of breath.

PUG. A Dutch pug; a kind of lap-dog, formerly much in vogue; also a general name for a monkey.


PUG CARPENTETER. An inferior carpenter, one employed only in small jobs.


PUG DRINK. Watered cyder.


PUGNOSED, or PUGIFIED. A person with a snub or turned up nose.


PULLY HAWLY. To have a game at pully hawly; to romp with women.

PULL. To be pulled; to be arrested by a police officer. To have a pull is to have an advantage; generally where a person has some superiority at a game of chance or skill.

PUMP. A thin shoe. To pump; to endeavour to draw a secret from any one without his perceiving it. Your pump is good, but your sucker is dry; said by one to a person who is attempting to pump him. Pumping was also a punishment for bailiffs who attempted to act in privileged places, such as the Mint, Temple, &c. It is also a piece of discipline administered to a pickpocket caught in the fact, when there is no pond at hand. To pump ship; to make water, and sometimes to vomit. SEA PHRASE.

PUMP WATER. He was christened in pump water; commonly said of a person that has a red face.

PUNCH. A liquor called by foreigners Contradiction, from its being composed of spirits to make it strong, water to make it weak, lemon juice to make it sour, and sugar to make it sweet. Punch is also the name of the prince of puppets, the chief wit and support of a puppet-show. To punch it, is a cant term for running away. Punchable; old passable money, anno 1695. A girl that is ripe for man is called a punchable wench. Cobler's Punch. Urine with a cinder in it.

PUNK. A whore; also a soldier's trull. See TRULL.

PUNY. Weak. A puny child; a weak little child. A puny stomach; a weak stomach. Puny, or puisne judge; the last made judge.

PUPIL MONGERS. Persons at the universities who make it their business to instruct and superintend a number of pupils.

PUPPY. An affected or conceited coxcomb.


PURBLIND. Dim-sighted.


PURL. Ale in which wormwood has been infused, or ale and bitters drunk warm.


PURL ROYAL. Canary wine; with a dash of tincture of wormwood.


PURSE PROUD. One that is vain of his riches.


PURSENETS. Goods taken up at thrice their value, by young spendthrifts, upon trust.


PURSER'S PUMP. A bassoon: from its likeness to a syphon, called a purser's pump.


PURSY, or PURSIVE. Short-breathed, or foggy, from being over fat.


PUSHING SCHOOL. A fencing school; also a brothel.

PUT. A country put; an ignorant awkward clown. To put upon any one; to attempt to impose on him, or to make him the but of the company.

PUZZLE-CAUSE. A lawyer who has a confused understanding.


PUZZLE-TEXT. An ignorant blundering parson.


QUACK. An ungraduated ignorant pretender to skill in physic, a vender of nostrums.


QUACK-SALVER. A mountebank: a seller of salves.




QUAG. Abbreviation of quagmire; marshy moorish around.

QUAIL-PIPE. A woman's tongue; also a device to take birds of that name by imitating their call. Quail pipe boots; boots resembling a quail pipe, from the number of plaits; they were much worn in the reign of Charles II.

QUAKERS. A religious sect so called from their agitations in preaching.


QUAKING CHEAT. A calf or sheep.

QUANDARY. To be in a quandary: to be puzzled. Also one so over-gorged, as to be doubtful which he should do first, sh--e or spew. Some derive the term quandary from the French phrase qu'en dirai je? what shall I say of it? others from an Italian word signifying a conjuror's circle.

QUARREL-PICKER. A glazier: from the small squares in casements, called CARREUX, vulgarly quarrels.



QUARTERED. Divided into four parts; to be hanged, drawn, and quartered, is the sentence on traitors and rebels. Persons receiving part of the salary of an office from the holder of it, by virtue of an agreement with the donor, are said to be quartered on him. Soldiers billetted on a publican are likewise said to be quartered on him.

TO QUASH. To suppress, annul or overthrow; vulgarly pronounced squash: they squashed the indictment.


QUEAN. A slut, or worthless woman, a strumpet.

QUEEN DICK. To the tune of the life and death of Queen Dick. That happened in the reign of Queen Dick; i.e., never.

QUEEN STREET. A mart governed by his wife, is said to live in Queen street, or at the sign of the Queen's Head.


QUEER, or QUIRE. Base, roguish, bad, naught or worthless. How queerly the cull touts; how roguishly the fellow looks. It also means odd, uncommon. CANT.


QUEER AS DICK'S HATBAND. Out of order, without knowing one's disease.

TO QUEER. To puzzle or confound. I have queered the old full bottom; i.e. I have puzzled the judge. To queer one's ogles among bruisers; to darken one's day lights.

QUEER WEDGES. Large buckles. QUEER BAIL. Insolvent sharpers, who make a profession of bailing persons arrested: they are generally styled Jew bail, from that branch of business being chiefly carried on by the sons of Judah. The lowest sort of these, who borrow or hire clothes to appear in, are called Mounters, from their mounting particular dresses suitable to the occasion. CANT.

QUEER BIRDS. Rogues relieved from prison, and returned to their old trade.




QUEER BITCH. An odd, out-of-the-way fellow.

QUEER BLUFFER. The master of a public-house the resort of rogues and sharpers, a cut-throat inn or alehouse keeper.

QUEER BUNG. An empty purse.

QUEER CHECKERS. Among strolling players, door-keepers who defraud the company, by falsely checking the number of people in the house.

QUEER COLE FENCER. A putter off, or utterer, of bad money.


QUEER COLE MAKER. A maker of bad money.




QUEER CUFFIN. A justice of the peace; also a churl.


QUEER DEGEN. An ordinary sword, brass or iron hilted.


QUEER KEN. A prison. CANT.


QUEER KICKS. A bad pair of breeches.


QUEER MORT. A diseased strumpet. CANT.


QUEER NAB. A felt hat, or other bad hat.

QUEER PLUNGERS. Cheats who throw themselves into the water, in order that they may be taken up by their accomplices, who carry them to one of the houses appointed
by the Humane Society for the recovery of drowned persons, where they are rewarded by the society with a guinea each; and the supposed drowned persons, pretending he was driven to that extremity by great necessity, also frequently sent away with a contribution in his pocket.

QUEER PRANCER. A bad, worn-out, foundered horse; also a cowardly or faint-hearted horse-stealer.

QUEER ROOSTER. An informer that pretends to be sleeping, and thereby overhears the conversation of thieves in night cellars.

QUEER STREET. Wrong. Improper. Contrary to one's wish. It is queer street, a cant phrase, to signify that it is wrong or different to our wish.

QUITAM. Aquitam horse; one that will both carry and draw. LAW WIT.


TO QUIBBLE. To make subtle distinctions; also to play upon words.

QUICK AND NIMBLE. More like a bear than a squirrel. Jeeringly said to any one moving sluggishly on a business or errand that requires dispatch.

QUID. The quantity of tobacco put into the mouth at one time. To quid tobacco; to chew tobacco. Quid est hoc? hoc est quid; a guinea. Half a quid; half a guinea. The swell tipped me fifty quid for the prad; the gentleman gave fifty pounds for the horse.

QUIDS. Cash, money. Can you tip me any quids? can you lend me some money?




QUIDNUNC. A politician: from a character of that name in the farce of the Upholsterer.


QUILL DRIVER. A clerk, scribe, or hackney writer.


QUIM. The private parts of a woman: perhaps from the Spanish quemar, to burn. (CAMBRIDGE) A piece's furbelow.


QUINSEY. Choked by a hempen quinsey; hanged.


QUIPPS. Girds, taunts, jests.


QUIRE, or CHOIR BIRD. A complete rogue, one that has sung in different choirs or cages, i.e. gaols. CANT. QUIRKS AND QUILLETS. Tricks and devices. Quirks in law; subtle distinctions and evasions.


QUIZ. A strange-looking fellow, an odd dog. OXFORD.


QUOD. Newgate, or any other prison. The dab's in quod; the poor rogue is in prison.

QUOTA. Snack, share, part, proportion, or dividend. Tip me my quota; give me part of the winnings, booty, or plunder. CANT.

RABBIT. A Welch rabbit; bread and cheese toasted, i.e. a Welch rare bit. Rabbits were also a sort of wooden canns to drink out of, now out of use.



RABBIT SUCKERS. Young spendthrifts taking up goods on trust at great prices.


RACK RENT. Rent strained to the utmost value. To lie at rack and manger; to be in great disorder.




RAFFS. An appellation given by the gownsmen of the university of Oxford to the inhabitants of that place.


RAG. Bank notes. Money in general. The cove has no rag; the fellow has no money.


RAG. A farthing.

TO RAG. To abuse, and tear to rags the characters of the persons abused. She gave him a good ragging, or ragged him off heartily.

RAG CARRIER. An ensign.

RAG FAIR. An inspection of the linen and necessaries of a company of soldiers, commonly made by their officers on Mondays or Saturdays.

RAG WATER. Gin, or any other common dram: these liquors seldom failing to reduce those that drink them to rags.

RAGAMUFFIN. A ragged fellow, one all in tatters, a tatterdemallion.


RAILS. See HEAD RAILS. A dish of rails; a lecture, jobation, or scolding from a married woman to her husband.

RAINBOW. Knight of the rainbow; a footman: from being commonly clothed in garments of different colours. A meeting of gentlemen, styled of the most ancient order of the rainbow, was advertised to be held at the Foppington's Head, Moorfields.

RAINY DAY. To lay up something for a rainy day; to provide against a time of necessity or distress.


RAKE, RAKEHELL, or RAKESHAME. A lewd, debauched fellow.




RAM CAT. A he cat.


RAMMISH. Rank. Rammish woman; a sturdy virago.


RAMMER. The arm. The busnapper's kenchin seized my rammer; i.e. the watchman laid hold of my arm. CANT.


TO RAMP. To snatch, or tear any thing forcibly from the person.


RAMSHACKLED. Out of repair. A ramshackled house; perhaps a corruption of RANSACKED, i.e. plundered.

RANDLE. A set of nonsensical verses, repeated in Ireland by schoolboys, and young people, who have been guilty of breaking wind backwards before any of their compa- nions; if they neglect this apology, they are liable to certain kicks, pinches, and fillips, which are accompanied with divers admonitory couplets.

RANDY. Obstreperous, unruly, rampant.


RANGLING. Intriguing with a variety of women.

RANK. Stinking, rammish, ill-flavoured; also strong, great. A rank knave; a rank coward: perhaps the latter may allude to an ill savour caused by fear.

RANK RIDER. A highwayman.

RANTALLION. One whose scrotum is so relaxed as to be longer than his penis, i.e. whose shot pouch is longer that the barrel of his piece.

RANTIPOLE. A rude romping boy or girl; also a gadabout dissipated woman. To ride rantipole; the same as riding St. George. See ST. GEORGE.

RANTUM SCANTUM. Playing at rantum scantum; making the beast with two backs.

To RAP To take a false oath; also to curse. He rapped out a volley; i.e. he swore a whole volley of oaths. To rap, means also to exchange or barter: a rap is likewise an Irish halfpenny. Rap on the knuckles; a reprimand.

RAPPAREES. Irish robbers, or outlaws, who in the time of Oliver Cromwell were armed with short weapons, called in Irish RAPIERS, used for ripping persons up.

RAPPER. A swinging great lie.


RAREE SHEW MEN. Poor Savoyards, who subsist by shewing the magic lantern and marmots about London.

RASCAL. A rogue or villain: a term borrowed from the chase; a rascal originally meaning a lean shabby deer, at the time of changing his horns, penis, &c. whence, in the vulgar acceptation, rascal is conceived to signify a man without genitals: the regular vulgar answer to this reproach, if uttered by a woman, is the offer of an ocular demonstration of the virility of the party so defamed. Some derive it from RASCAGLIONE, an Italian word signifying a man. without testicles, or an eunuch.

RAT. A drunken man or woman taken up by the watch, and confined in the, watch-house. CANT. To smell a rat; to suspect some intended trick, or unfair design.

RATS. Of these there are the following kinds: a black rat and a grey rat, a py-rat and a cu-rat.

RATTLE. A dice-box. To rattle; to talk without consideration, also to move off or go away. To rattle one off;
to rate or scold him.

RATTLE-PATE. A volatile, unsteady, or whimsical man or woman.


RATTLE-TRAPS. A contemptuous name for any curious portable piece of machinery, or philosophical apparatus. RATTLER. A coach. Rattle and prad; a coach and horses.




RATTLING MUMPERS. Beggars who ply coaches. CANT.


RAWHEAD AND BLOODY BONES. A bull beggar, or scarechild, with which foolish nurses terrify crying brats.


READER. A pocket-book. CANT.

READER MERCHANTS. Pickpockets, chiefly young Jews, who ply about the Bank to steal the pocket-books of persons who have just received their dividends there.

READY. The ready rhino; money. CANT.

REBUS. A riddle or pun on a man's name, expressed in sculpture or painting, thus: a bolt or arrow, and a tun, for Bolton; death's head, and a ton, for Morton.


RECKON. To reckon with one's host; to make an erroneous judgment in one's own favour. To cast-up one's reckoning or accounts; to vomit.

TO RECRUIT. To get a fresh supply of money.


RECRUITING SERVICE. Robbing on the highway.


RED FUSTIAN. Port wine.


RED LANE. The throat. Gone down the red lane; swallowed.




RED LATTICE. A public house.

RED LETTER DAY. A saint's day or holiday, marked in the calendars with red letters. Red letter men; Roman Catholics: from their observation of the saint days marked in red letters.

RED RAG. The tongue. Shut your potatoe trap, and give your red rag a holiday; i.e. shut your mouth, and let your tongue rest. Too much of the red rag (too much tongue).

RED SAIL-YARD DOCKERS. Buyers of stores stolen out of the royal yards and docks.


RED SHANK. A Scotch Highlander.

REGULARS. Share of the booty. The coves cracked the swell's crib, fenced the swag, and each cracksman napped his regular; some fellows broke open a gentleman's house, and after selling the property which they had stolen, they divided the money between them.

RELIGIOUS HORSE. One much given to prayer, or apt to be down upon his knees.

RELIGIOUS PAINTER. One who does not break the commandment which prohibits the making of the likeness of
any thing in heaven or earth, or in the waters under the earth.

THE RELISH. The sign of the Cheshire cheese.


RELISH. Carnal connection with a woman.


REMEDY CRITCH. A chamber pot, or member mug.


REMEMBER PARSON MELHAM. Drink about: a Norfolk phrase.

RENDEZVOUS. A place of meeting. The rendezvous of the beggars were, about the year 1638, according to the Bellman, St, Quinton's, the Three Crowns in the Vintry, St. Tybs, and at Knapsbury: there were four barns within a mile of London. In Middlesex were four other harbours, called Draw the Pudding out of the Fire, the Cross Keys in Craneford parish, St. Julian's in Isleworth parish, and the house of Pettie in Northall parish. In Kent, the King's Barn near Dartford, and Ketbrooke near Blackheath.

REP. A woman of reputation.

REPOSITORY. A lock-up or spunging-house, a gaol. Also livery stables where horses and carriages are sold by auction.

RESCOUNTERS. The time of settlement between the bulls and bears of Exchange-alley, when the losers must pay their differences, or become lame ducks, and waddle out of the Alley.

RESURRECTION MEN. Persons employed by the students in anatomy to steal dead bodies out of church-yards.

REVERENCE. An ancient custom, which obliges any person easing himself near the highway or foot-path, on the word REVERENCE being given him by a passenger, to take off his hat with his teeth, and without moving from his station to throw it over his head, by which it frequently falls into the excrement; this was considered as a punishment for the breach of delicacy, A person refusing to obey this law, might be pushed backwards. Hence, perhaps, the term, SIR-REVERENCE.

REVERSED. A man set by bullies on his head, that his money may fall out of his breeches, which they afterwards by accident pick up. See HOISTING.

REVIEW OF THE BLACK CUIRASSIERS. A visitation of the clergy. See CROW FAIR.



RIB. A wife: an allusion to our common mother Eve, made out of Adam's rib. A crooked rib: a cross-grained wife.

RIBALDRY. Vulgar abusive language, such as was spoken by ribalds. Ribalds were originally mercenary soldiers who travelled about, serving any master far pay, but afterwards degenerated into a mere banditti.

RIBBIN. Money. The ribbin runs thick; i.e. there is plenty of money. CANT. Blue ribbin. Gin. The cull lushes the blue ribbin; the silly fellow drinks common gin.

To RIBROAST. To beat: I'll ribroast him to his heart's content.


RICH FACE, or NOSE. A red pimpled, face.

RICHAUD SNARY. A dictionary. A country lad, having been reproved for calling persons by their christian names, being sent by his master to borrow a dictionary, thought to shew his breeding by asking for a Richard Snary.

RIDER. A person who receives part of the salary of a place or appointment from the ostensible occupier, by virtue of an agreement with the donor, or great man appointing. The rider is said to be quartered upon the possessor, who often has one or more persons thus riding behind him. See QUARTERED.

RIDGE. A guinea. Ridge cully; a goldsmith. CANT.

RIDING ST. GEORGE. The woman uppermost in the amorous congress, that is, the dragon upon St. George. This is said to be the way to get a bishop.

RIDING SKIMMINGTON. A ludicrous cavalcade, in ridicule of a man beaten by his wife. It consists of a man riding behind a woman, with his face to the horse's tail, holding a distaff in his hand, at which he seems to work, the woman all the while beating him with a ladle; a smock displayed on a staff is carried before them as an emblematical standard, denoting female superiority: they are accompanied
by what is called the ROUGH MUSIC, that is, frying-pans, bulls horns, marrow-bones and cleavers, &c. A procession of this kind is admirably described by Butler in his Hudibras. He rode private, i.e. was a private trooper.

RIFF RAFF. Low vulgar persons, mob, tag-rag and bob-tail.

RIG. Fun, game, diversion, or trick. To run one's rig upon any particular person; to make him a butt. l am up to your rig; I am a match for your tricks.

RIGGING. Clothing. I'll unrig the bloss; I'll strip the wench. Rum Rigging; fine clothes. The cull has rum rigging, let's ding him and mill him, and pike; the fellow has good clothes, let's knock him down, rob him, and scour off, i.e. run away.

RIGHT. All right! A favourite expression among thieves, to signify that all is as they wish, or proper for their purpose. All right, hand down the jemmy; every thing is in proper order, give me the crow.

RIGMAROLE. Roundabout, nonsensical. He told a long rigmarole story.

RING. Money procured by begging: beggars so called it from its ringing when thrown to them. Also a circle formed for boxers, wrestlers, and cudgel-players, by a man styled Vinegar; who, with his hat before his eyes, goes round the circle, striking at random with his whip to prevent the populace from crowding in.

TO RING A PEAL. To scold; chiefly applied to women. His wife rung him a fine peal!

RING THE CHANGES. When a person receives silver in change to shift some good shillings and put bad ones in their place. The person who gave the change is then requested to give good shillings for these bad ones.

RIP. A miserable rip; a poor, lean, worn-out horse. A shabby mean fellow.


RIPPONS. Spurs: Rippon is famous for a manufactory of spurs both for men and fighting cocks.


ROARATORIOS AND UPROARS. Oratorios and operas.


ROARING BOY. A noisy, riotous fellow.


ROARER. A broken-winded horse.


ROARING TRADE. A quick trade.

TO ROAST. To arrest. I'll roast the dab; I'll arrest the rascal.--Also to jeer, ridicule, or banter. He stood the roast; he was the butt.--Roast meat clothes; Sunday or holiday-clothes. To cry roast meat; to boast of one's situation. To rule the roast; to be master or paramount.

ROAST AND BOILED. A nick name for the Life Guards, who are mostly substantial house-keepers; and eat daily of roast and boiled.

ROBERT'S MEN. The third old rank of the canting crew, mighty thieves, like Robin Hood.


ROBY DOUGLASS, with one eye and a stinking breath. The breech.


ROCHESTER PORTION. Two torn smocks, and what nature gave.

ROCKED. He was rocked in a stone kitchen; a saying meant to convey the idea that the person spoken of is a fool, his brains having been disordered by the jumbling of his cradle.

ROGER. A portmanteau; also a man's yard. Cant.


ROGER, or TIB OF THE BUTTERY. A goose. Cant. Jolly Roger; a flag hoisted by pirates.


TO ROGER. To bull, or lie with a woman; from the name of Roger being frequently given to a bull.

ROGUES. The fourth order of canters. A rogue in grain; a great rogue, also a corn chandler. A rogue in spirit; a distiller or brandy merchant.

ROGUM POGUM, or DRAGRUM POGRAM. Goat's beard, eaten for asparagus; so called by the ladies who gather cresses, &c. who also deal in this plant.

ROMBOYLES. Watch and ward. Romboyled; sought after with a warrant.


ROME MORT. A queen.


ROMEVILLE. London. Cant.

ROMP. A forward wanton girl, a tomrig. Grey, in his notes to Shakespeare, derives it from arompo, an animal found in South Guinea, that is a man eater. See HOYDEN.

ROOK. A cheat: probably from the thievish disposition of the birds of that name. Also the cant name for a crow used in house-breaking. To rook; to cheat, particularly at play.

ROOM. She lets out her fore room and lies backwards: saying of a woman suspected of prostitution.


ROOST LAY. Stealing poultry.


ROPES. Upon the high ropes; elated, in high spirits, cock-a-hoop.

ROSE. Under the rose: privately or secretly. The rose was, it is said, sacred to Harpocrates, the God of silence, and therefore frequently placed in the ceilings of rooms destined for the receiving of guests; implying, that whatever was transacted there, should not be made public.

ROSY GILLS. One with a sanguine or fresh-coloured countenance.


ROTAN. A coach, cart, or other wheeled carriage.


ROT GUT. Small beer; called beer-a-bumble--will burst one's guts before it will make one tumble.


ROVERS. Pirates, vagabonds.

ROUGH. To lie rough; to lie all night in one's clothes: called also roughing it. Likewise to sleep on the bare deck of a ship, when the person is commonly advised to chuse the softest plank.

ROUGH MUSIC. Saucepans, frying-paps, poker and tongs, marrow-bones and cleavers, bulls horns, &c. beaten upon and sounded in ludicrous processions.

ROULEAU. A number of guineas, from twenty to fifty or more, wrapped up in paper, for the more ready circulation at gaming-tables: sometimes they are inclosed in ivory boxes, made to hold exactly 20, 50, or 100 guineas.

ROUND DEALING. Plain, honest dealing.

ROUNDHEADS. A term of reproach to the puritans and partizans of Oliver Cromwell, and the Rump Parliament, who it is said made use of a bowl as a guide to trim their hair.

ROUND ROBIN. A mode of signing remonstrances practised by sailors on board the king's ships, wherein their names are written in a circle, so that it cannot be discovered who first signed it, or was, in other words, the ringleader.

ROUND SUM. A considerable sum.

ROUND ABOUT. An instrument used in housebreaking. This instrument has not been long in use. It will cut a round piece about five inches in diameter out of a shutter or door.

ROUND MOUTH. The fundament. Brother round mouth, speaks; he has let a fart.

ROUT. A modern card meeting at a private house; also an order from the Secretary at War, directing the march and quartering of soldiers.

ROW. A disturbance; a term used by the students at Cambridge.


ROW. To row in the same boat; to be embarked in the same scheme.

ROWLAND. To give a Rowland for an Oliver; to give an equivalent. Rowland and Oliver were two knights famous in romance: the wonderful achievements of the one could only be equalled by those of the other.

ROYAL SCAMPS. Highwaymen who never rob any but rich persons, and that without ill treating them. See SCAMP.