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Title: 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue


Author: Captain Grose et al.

Release Date: April, 2004 [EBook #5402]
[Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on July 6, 2002]

Edition: 10


Language: English


Character set encoding: ASCII




Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team 1811 DICTIONARY OF THE VULGAR TONGUE.



















The merit of Captain Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue has been long and universally acknowledged. But its circulation was confined almost exclusively to the lower orders of society: he was not aware, at the time of its compilation, that our young men of fashion would at no very distant period be as distinguished for the vulgarity of their jargon as the inhabitants of Newgate; and he therefore conceived it superfluous to incorporate with his work the few examples of fashionable slang that might occur to his observation.

But our Jehus of rank have a phraseology not less peculiar to themselves, than the disciples of Barrington: for the uninitiated to understand their modes of expression, is as impossible as for a Buxton to construe the Greek Testament. To sport an Upper Benjamin, and to swear with a good grace, are qualifications easily attainable by their cockney imitators; but without the aid of our additional definitions, neither the cits of Fish-street, nor the boors of Brentford would be able to attain the language of whippism. We trust, therefore, that the whole tribe of second- rate Bang Ups, will feel grateful for our endeavour to render this part of the work as complete as possible. By an occasional reference to our pages, they may be initiated into all the peculiarities of language by which the man of spirit is distinguished from the man of worth. They may now talk bawdy before their papas, without the fear of detection, and abuse their less spirited companions, who prefer a good dinner at home to a glorious UP-SHOT in the highway, without the hazard of a cudgelling.

But we claim not merely the praise of gratifying curiosity, or affording assistance to the ambitious; we are very sure that the moral influence of the Lexicon Balatronicum will be more certain and extensive than that of any methodist sermon that has ever been delivered within the bills of mortality. We need not descant on the dangerous impressions that are made on the female mind, by the remarks that fall incidentally from the lips of the brothers or servants of a family; and we have before observed, that improper topics can with our assistance be discussed, even before the ladies, without raising a blush on the cheek of modesty. It is impossible that a female should understand the meaning of TWIDDLE DIDDLES, or rise from table at the mention of BUCKINGER'S BOOT. Besides, Pope assures us, that "VICE TO BE HATED NEEDS BUT TO BE SEEN;" in this volume it cannot be denied, that she is seen very plainly; and a love of virtue is, therefore, the necessary result of perusing it.

The propriety of introducing the UNIVERSITY SLANG will be readily admitted; it is not less curious than that of the College in the Old
Bailey, and is less generally understood. When the number and accuracy of our additions are compared with the price of the volume, we have no doubt that its editors will meet with the encouragement that is due to learning, modesty, and virtue.



ABBESS, or LADY ABBESS, A bawd, the mistress of a brothel.

ABEL-WACKETS. Blows given on the palm of the hand with a twisted handkerchief, instead of a ferula; a jocular punishment among seamen, who sometimes play at cards for wackets, the loser suffering as many strokes as he has lost games.

ABIGAIL. A lady's waiting-maid.




ABRAM COVE. A cant word among thieves, signifying a naked or poor man; also a lusty, strong rogue.


ABRAM MEN. Pretended mad men.


TO SHAM ABRAM. To pretend sickness.

ACADEMY, or PUSHING SCHOOL. A brothel. The Floating Academy; the lighters on board of which those persons are confined, who by a late regulation are condemned to hard labour, instead of transportation.--Campbell's Academy; the same, from a gentleman of that name, who had the contract for victualling the hulks or lighters.



ACCOUNTS. To cast up one's accounts; to vomit.

ACORN. You will ride a horse foaled by an acorn, i.e. the gallows, called also the Wooden and Three-legged Mare. You will be hanged.--See THREE-LEGGED MARE.

ACT OF PARLIAMENT. A military term for small beer, five pints of which, by an act of parliament, a landlord was formerly obliged to give to each soldier gratis.

ACTEON. A cuckold, from the horns planted on the head of Acteon by Diana.




ADAM'S ALE. Water.


ADAM TILER. A pickpocket's associate, who receives the stolen goods, and runs off with them. CANT.


ADDLE PATE. An inconsiderate foolish fellow.


ADDLE PLOT. A spoil-sport, a mar-all.

ADMIRAL OF THE BLUE, who carries his flag on the main-mast. A landlord or publican wearing a blue apron, as
was formerly the custom among gentlemen of that vocation.

ADMIRAL OF THE NARROW SEAS. One who from drunkenness vomits into the lap of the person sitting opposite to him. SEA PHRASE.

ADRIFT. Loose, turned adrift, discharged. SEA PHRASE.

AEGROTAT, (CAMBRIDGE), A certificate from the apothecary that you are INDISPOSED, (i. e.) to go to chapel. He sports an Aegrotat, he is sick, and unable to attend Chapel. or Hall. It does not follow, however, but that he can STRUM A PIECE, or sport a pair of oars.

AFFIDAVIT MEN. Knights of the post, or false witnesses, said to attend Westminster Hall, and other courts of justice, ready to swear any thing for hire.

AFTER-CLAP. A demand after the first given in has been discharged; a charge for pretended omissions; in short, any thing disagreeable happening after all consequences of the cause have been thought at an end.

AGAINST THE GRAIN. Unwilling. It went much against the grain with him, i.e. it was much against his inclination, or against his pluck.

AGOG, ALL-A-GOG. Anxious, eager, impatient: from the Italian AGOGARE, to desire eagerly.


AGROUND. Stuck fast, stopped, at a loss, ruined; like a boat or vessel aground.

AIR AND EXERCISE. He has had air and exercise, i.e. he has been whipped at the cart's tail; or, as it is generally, though more vulgarly, expressed, at the cart's a-se.

ALDERMAN. A roasted turkey garnished with sausages; the latter are supposed to represent the gold chain worn by those magistrates.

ALDGATE. A draught on the pump at Aldgate; a bad bill of exchange, drawn on persons who have no effects of the drawer.

ALE DRAPER. An alehouse keeper.


ALE POST. A may-pole.


ALL-A-MORT. Struck dumb, confounded. What, sweet one, all-a-mort? SHAKESPEARE.

ALL HOLIDAY. It is all holiday at Peckham, or it is all holiday with him; a saying signifying that it is all over
with the business or person spoken of or alluded to.

ALL HOLLOW. He was beat all hollow, i.e. he had no chance of conquering: it was all hollow, or a hollow thing, it was a decided thing from the beginning. See HOLLOW.

ALL NATIONS. A composition of all the different spirits sold in a dram-shop, collected in a vessel into which the drainings of the bottles and quartern pots are emptied.

ALLS. The five alls is a country sign, representing five human figures, each having a motto under him. The first is a king in his regalia; his motto, I govern all: the second, a bishop in pontificals; motto, I pray for all: third, a lawyer in his gown; motto, I plead for all: fourth: a soldier in his regimentals, fully accoutred; motto, I fight for all: fifth, a poor countryman with his scythe and rake; motto, I pay for all.

ALTAMEL. A verbal or lump account, without particulars, such as is commonly produced at bawdy-houses, spunging-houses, &c. Vide DUTCH RECKONING.

ALTITUDES. The man is in his altitudes, i.e. he is drunk.

AMBASSADOR. A trick to duck some ignorant fellow or landsman, frequently played on board ships in the warm latitudes. It is thus managed: A large tub is filled with water, and two stools placed on each side of it. Over the whole is thrown a tarpaulin, or old sail: this is
kept tight by two persons, who are to represent the king and queen of a foreign country, and are seated on the stools. The person intended to be ducked plays the Ambassador, and after repeating a ridiculous speech dictated
to him, is led in great form up to the throne, and seated between the king and queen, who rising suddenly as soon as he is seated, he falls backwards into the tub of water.

AMBASSADOR OF MOROCCO. A Shoemaker. (See Mrs. Clarke's Examination.)

AMBIDEXTER. A lawyer who takes fees from both plaintiff and defendant, or that goes snacks with both parties in gaming.

AMEN CURLER. A parish clerk.


AMEN. He said Yes and Amen to every thing; he agreed to every thing.


AMINADAB. A jeering name for a Quaker.


AMES ACE. Within ames ace; nearly, very near.

TO AMUSE. To fling dust or snuff in the eyes of the person intended to be robbed; also to invent some plausible tale, to delude shop-keepers and others, thereby to put them off their guard. CANT.

AMUSERS. Rogues who carried snuff or dust in their pockets, which they threw into the eyes of any person they intended to rob; and running away, their accomplices (pretending to assist and pity the half-blinded person) took that opportunity of plundering him.

ANABAPTIST. A pickpocket caught in the fact, and punished with the discipline of the pump or horse-pond.

ANCHOR. Bring your a-se to an anchor, i.e. sit down. To let go an anchor to the windward of the law; to keep within the letter of the law. SEA WIT.

ANGLERS. Pilferers, or petty thieves, who, with a stick having a hook at the end, steal goods out of shop-windows, grates, &c.; also those who draw in or entice unwary persons to prick at the belt, or such like devices.

ANGLING FOR FARTHINGS. Begging out of a prison window with a cap, or box, let down at the end of a long string.

ANKLE. A girl who is got with child, is said to have sprained her ankle.



ANTHONY or TANTONY PIG. The favourite or smallest pig in the litter.--To follow like a tantony pig, i.e. St. Anthony's pig; to follow close at one's heels. St. Anthony the hermit was a swineherd, and is always represented with a swine's bell and a pig. Some derive this saying from a privilege enjoyed by the friars of certain convents in England and France (sons of St. Anthony), whose swine were permitted to feed in the streets. These swine would follow any one having greens or other provisions, till they obtained some of them; and it was in those days considered an act of charity and religion to feed them.

TO KNOCK ANTHONY. Said of an in-kneed person, or one whose knees knock together; to cuff Jonas. See JONAS.

APE LEADER. An old maid; their punishment after death, for neglecting increase and multiply, will be, it is said, leading apes in hell.

APOSTLES. To manoeuvre the apostles, i.e. rob Peter to pay Paul; that is, to borrow money of one man to pay another.

APOSTLES. (CAMBRIDGE.) Men who are plucked, refused their degree.

APOTHECARY. To talk like an apothecary; to use hard or gallipot words: from the assumed gravity and affectation of knowledge generally put on by the gentlemen of this profession, who are commonly as superficial in their learning as they are pedantic in their language.



APOTHECARY'S, or LAW LATIN. Barbarous Latin, vulgarly called Dog Latin, in Ireland Bog Latin.


APPLE CART. Down with his apple-cart; knock or throw him down.


APPLE DUMPLIN SHOP. A woman's bosom.

APPLE-PYE BED. A bed made apple-pye fashion, like what is called a turnover apple-pye, where the sheets are so doubled as to prevent any one from getting at his length between them: a common trick played by frolicsome country lasses on their sweethearts, male relations, or visitors.

APRIL FOOL. Any one imposed on, or sent on a bootless errand, on the first of April; which day it is the custom among the lower people, children, and servants, by dropping empty papers carefully doubled up, sending persons on absurd messages, and such like contrivances, to impose on every one they can, and then to salute them with the title of April Fool. This is also practised in
Scotland under the title of Hunting the Gowke.

APRON STRING HOLD. An estate held by a man during his wife's life.




ARCH DUKE. A comical or eccentric fellow.


ARCH ROGUE, DIMBER DAMBER UPRIGHT MAN. The chief of a gang of thieves or gypsies.


ARCH DELL, or ARCH DOXY, signifies the same in rank among the female canters or gypsies.




ARMOUR. In his armour, pot valiant: to fight in armour; to make use of Mrs. Philips's ware. See C--D--M.


ARK. A boat or wherry. Let us take an ark and winns, let us take a sculler. CANT.

ARK RUFFIANS. Rogues who, in conjunction with watermen, robbed, and sometimes murdered, on the water, by picking a quarrel with the passengers in a boat, boarding it, plundering, stripping, and throwing them overboard, &c. A species of badger. CANT.

ARRAH NOW. An unmeaning expletive, frequently used by the vulgar Irish.


ARS MUSICA. A bum fiddlle.

ARSE. To hang an arse; to hang back, to be afraid to advance. He would lend his a-e and sh-te through his ribs; a saying of any one who lends his money inconsiderately. He would lose his a-e if it was loose; said of a careless person. A-e about; turn round.

ARSY YARSEY. To fall arsy varsey, i.e. head over heels.

ARTHUR, KING ARTHUR, A game used at sea, when near the line, or in a hot latitude. It is performed thus: A man who is to represent king Arthur, ridiculously dressed, having a large wig made out of oakum, or some old swabs, is seated on the side, or over a large vessel of water. Every person in his turn is to be ceremoniously introduced to him, and to pour a bucket of water over him, crying, hail, king Arthur! if during this ceremony the person introduced laughs or smiles (to which his majesty endeavours to excite him, by all sorts of ridiculous gesticulations), he changes place with, and then becomes, king Arthur, till relieved by some brother tar, who has as little command over his muscles as himself.

ARTICLES. Breeches; coat, waistcoat, and articles.

ARTICLE. A wench. A prime article. A handsome girl. She's a prime article (WHIP SLANG), she's a devilish good piece, a hell of a GOER.

ASK, or AX MY A-E. A common reply to any question; still deemed wit at sea, and formerly at court, under the denomination of selling bargains. See BARGAIN.

ASSIG. An assignation.


ATHANASIAN WENCH, or QUICUNQUE VULT. A forward girl, ready to oblige every man that shall ask her.

AUNT. Mine aunt; a bawd or procuress: a title of eminence for the senior dells, who serve for instructresses, midwives, &c. for the dells. CANT. See DELLS.

AVOIR DU POIS LAY. Stealing brass weights off the counters of shops. CANT.


AUTEM. A church.




AUTEM CACKLERS, AUTEM PRICKEARS. Dissenters of every denomination. CANT.


AUTEM CACKLETUB. A conventicle or meeting-house for dissenters. CANT.




AUTEM DIVERS. Pickpockets who practice in churches; also churchwardens and overseers of the poor. CANT.


AUTEM GOGLERS. Pretended French prophets. CANT.

AUTEM MORT. A married woman; also a female beggar with several children hired or borrowed to excite charity. CANT.



AUTEM QUAVER TUB. A Quakers' meeting-house. CANT.

AWAKE. Acquainted with, knowing the business. Stow the books, the culls are awake; hide the cards, the fellows know what we intended to do.

BABES IN THE WOOD. Criminals in the stocks, or pillory.


BABBLE. Confused, unintelligible talk, such as was used at the building the tower of Babel.

BACK BITER. One who slanders another behind his back, i.e. in his absence. His bosom friends are become his back biters, said of a lousy man.

BACKED. Dead. He wishes to have the senior, or old square-toes, backed; he longs to have his father on six men's shoulders; that is, carrying to the grave.

BACK UP. His back is up, i.e. he is offended or angry; an expression or idea taken from a cat; that animal, when angry, always raising its back. An allusion also sometimes used to jeer a crooked man; as, So, Sir, I see somebody has offended you, for your back is up.

BACON. He has saved his bacon; he has escaped. He has a good voice to beg bacon; a saying in ridicule of a bad voice.


BACON-FACED. Full-faced.


BACON FED. Fat, greasy.






BAD BARGAIN. One of his majesty's bad bargains; a worthless soldier, a malingeror. See MALINGEROR.

BADGE. A term used for one burned in the hand. He has got his badge, and piked; he was burned in the hand, and is at liberty. Cant.

BADGE-COVES. Parish Pensioners. Cant.

BADGERS. A crew of desperate villains who robbed near rivers, into which they threw the bodies of those they murdered. Cant.

BAG. He gave them the bag, i.e. left them.

BAG OF NAILS. He squints like a bag of nails; i. e. his eyes are directed as many ways as the points of a bag of nails. The old BAG OF NAILS at Pimlico; originally the BACCHANALS.

BAGGAGE. Heavy baggage; women and children. Also a familiar epithet for a woman; as, cunning baggage, wanton baggage, &c.

BAKERS DOZEN. Fourteen; that number of rolls being allowed to the purchasers of a dozen.


BAKER-KNEE'D. One whose knees knock together in walking, as if kneading dough.


BALDERDASH. Adulterated wine.

BALLOCKS. The testicles of a man or beast; also a vulgar nick name for a parson. His brains are in his ballocks, a cant saying to designate a fool.

BALUM RANCUM. A hop or dance, where the women are all prostitutes. N. B. The company dance in their birthday suits.

BALSAM. Money.


BAM. A jocular imposition, the same as a humbug. See HUMBUG.


TO BAM. To impose on any one by a falsity; also to jeer or make fun of any one.


TO BAMBOOZLE. To make a fool of any one, to humbug or impose on him.

BANAGHAN. He beats Banaghan; an Irish saying of one who tells wonderful stories. Perhaps Banaghan was a minstrel famous for dealing in the marvellous.

BANDBOX. Mine a-se on a bandbox; an answer to the offer of any thing inadequate to the purpose for which it is proffered, like offering a bandbox for a seat.

BANBURY STORY OF A COCK AND A BULL. A roundabout, nonsensical story.


BANDOG. A bailiff or his follower; also a very fierce mastiff: likewise, a bandbox. CANT.

BANG UP. (WHIP.) Quite the thing, hellish fine. Well done. Compleat. Dashing. In a handsome stile. A bang up cove; a dashing fellow who spends his money freely. To bang up prime: to bring your horses up in a dashing or fine style: as the swell's rattler and prads are bang up prime; the gentleman sports an elegant carriage and fine horses.

TO BANG. To beat.


BANGING. Great; a fine banging boy.


BANG STRAW. A nick name for a thresher, but applied to all the servants of a farmer.

BANKRUPT CART. A one-horse chaise, said to be so called by a Lord Chief Justice, from their being so frequently used on Sunday jaunts by extravagant shop-keepers and tradesmen.

BANKS'S HORSE. A horse famous for playing tricks, the property of one Banks. It is mentioned in Sir Walter Raleigh's Hist. of the World, p. 178; also by Sir Kenelm Digby and Ben Jonson.

BANTLING. A young child.

BANYAN DAY. A sea term for those days on which no meat is allowed to the sailors: the term is borrowed from the Banyans in the East Indies, a cast that eat nothing that had life.

BAPTIZED, OR CHRISTENED. Rum, brandy, or any other spirits, that have been lowered with water.


BARBER'S CHAIR. She is as common as a barber's chair, in which a whole parish sit to be trimmed; said of a prostitute.


BARBER'S SIGN. A standing pole and two wash balls.

BARGAIN. To sell a bargain; a species of wit, much in vogue about the latter end of the reign of Queen Anne, and frequently alluded to by Dean Swift, who says the maids of honour often amused themselves with it. It consisted in the seller naming his or her hinder parts, in answer to the question, What? which the buyer was artfully led to ask. As a specimen, take the following instance: A lady would come into a room full of company, apparently in a fright, crying out, It is white, and follows me! On any of the company asking, What? she sold him the bargain, by saying, Mine a-e.
BARGEES. (CAMBRIDGE.) Barge-men on the river.

BARKER. The shopman of a bow-wow shop, or dealer in second hand clothes, particularly about Monmouth-Street, who walks before his master's door, and deafens every passenger with his cries of--Clothes, coats, or gowns--what d'ye want, gemmen?--what d'ye buy? See BOW-WOW SHOP.

BARKSHIRE. A member or candidate for Barkshire, said of one troubled with a cough, vulgarly styled barking.


BARKING IRONS. Pistols, from their explosion resembling the bow-wow or barking of a dog. IRISH.

BARN. A parson's barn; never so full but there is still room, for more. Bit by a barn mouse, tipsey, probably from an allusion to barley.

BARNABY. An old dance to a quick movement. See Cotton, in his Virgil Travesti; where, speaking of Eolus he has these lines,

Bounce cry the port-holes, out they fly, And make the world dance Barnaby.

BARNACLE. A good job, or snack easily got: also shellfish growing at the bottoms of ships; a bird of the goose kind; an instrument like a pair of pincers, to fix on the noses of vicious horses whilst shoeing; a nick name for spectacles, and also for the gratuity given to grooms by the buyers and sellers of horses.

BARREL FEVER. He died of the barrel fever; he killed himself by drinking.

BARROW MAN. A man under sentence of transportation; alluding to the convicts at Woolwich, who are principally employed in wheeling barrows full of brick or dirt.

BARTHOLOMEW BABY. A person dressed up in a tawdry manner, like the dolls or babies sold at Bartholomew fair.

BASKET. An exclamation frequently made use of in cock-pits, at cock-fightings, where persons refusing or unable to pay their losings, are adjudged by that respectable assembly to be put into a basket suspended over the pit, there to remain during that day's diversion: on the least demur to pay a bet, Basket is vociferated in terrorem. He grins like a basket of chips: a saying of one who is on the broad grin.

BASKET-MAKING. The good old trade of basket-making; copulation, or making feet for children's stockings.


BASTARD. The child of an unmarried woman.


BASTARDLY GULLION. A bastard's bastard.


TO BASTE. To beat. I'll give him his bastings, I'll beat him heartily.


BASTING. A beating.


BASTONADING. Beating any one with a stick; from baton, a stick, formerly spelt baston.


BAT. A low whore: so called from moving out like bats in the dusk of the evening.

BATCH. We had a pretty batch of it last night; we had a hearty dose of liquor. Batch originally means the whole quantity of bread baked at one time in an oven.

BATTNER. An ox: beef being apt to batten or fatten those that eat it. The cove has hushed the battner; i.e. has killed the ox.

BATCHELOR'S FARE. Bread and cheese and kisses.



BATTLE-ROYAL. A battle or bout at cudgels or fisty-cuffs, wherein more than two persons are engaged: perhaps from its resemblance, in that particular, to more serious engagements fought to settle royal disputes.

BAWBEE. A halfpenny. Scotch.


BAWBELS, or BAWBLES. Trinkets; a man's testicles.


BAWD. A female procuress.

BAWDY BASKET. The twenty-third rank of canters, who carry pins, tape, ballads, and obscene books to sell, but live mostly by stealing. Cant.

BAWDY-HOUSE BOTTLE. A very small bottle; short measure being among the many means used by the keepers of those houses, to gain what they call an honest livelihood: indeed this is one of the least reprehensible; the less they give a man of their infernal beverages for his money, the kinder they behave to him.

BAY FEVER. A term of ridicule applied to convicts, who sham illness, to avoid being sent to Botany Bay.


BAYARD OF TEN TOES. To ride bayard of ten toes, is to walk on foot. Bayard was a horse famous in old romances,

BEAK. A justice of-peace, or magistrate. Also a judge or chairman who presides in court. I clapp'd my peepers full of tears, and so the old beak set me free; I began to weep, and the judge set me free.

BEAN. A guinea. Half bean; half a guinea.

BEAR. One who contracts to deliver a certain quantity of sum of stock in the public funds, on a future day, and at stated price; or, in other words, sells what he has not got, like the huntsman in the fable, who sold the bear's skin before the bear was killed. As the bear sells the stock he is not possessed of, so the bull purchases what he has not money to pay for; but in case of any alteration in the price agreed on, either party pays or receives the difference. Exchange Alley.

BEAR-GARDEN JAW or DISCOURSE. Rude, vulgar language, such as was used at the bear-gardens.


BEAR LEADER. A travelling tutor.


BEARD SPLITTER. A man much given to wenching.


BEARINGS. I'll bring him to his bearings; I'll bring him to reason. Sea term.


BEAST. To drink like a beast, i.e. only when thirsty.


BEAST WITH TWO BACKS. A man and woman in the act of copulation. Shakespeare in Othello.


BEATER CASES. Boots. Cant.


BEAU-NASTY. A slovenly fop; one finely dressed, but dirty.

BEAU TRAP. A loose stone in a pavement, under which water lodges, and on being trod upon, squirts it up, to the great damage of white stockings; also a sharper neatly dressed, lying in wait for raw country squires, or ignorant fops.

BECALMED. A piece of sea wit, sported in hot weather. I am becalmed, the sail sticks to the mast; that is, my shirt sticks to my back. His prad is becalmed; his horse knocked up.


BED. Put to bed with a mattock, and tucked up with a spade; said of one that is dead and buried. You will go up a ladder to bed, i.e. you will be hanged. In many country places, persons hanged are made to mount up a ladder, which is afterwards turned round or taken away, whence the term, "Turned off."

BEDFORDSHIRE. I am for Bedfordshire, i.e. for going to bed.


BEDIZENED. Dressed out, over-dressed, or awkwardly ornamented.

BED-MAKER. Women employed at Cambridge to attend on the Students, sweep his room, &c. They will put their hands to any thing, and are generally blest with a pretty family of daughters: who unmake the beds, as fast as they are made by their mothers.

BEEF. To cry beef; to give the alarm. They have cried beef on us. Cant.--To be in a man's beef; to wound him with a sword. To be in a woman's beef; to have carnal knowledge of her. Say you bought your beef of me, a jocular request from a butcher to a fat man. implying that he credits the butcher who serves him.

BEEF EATER. A yeoman of the guards, instituted by Henry VII. Their office was to stand near the bouffet, or cupboard, thence called Bouffetiers, since corrupted to Beef Eaters. Others suppose they obtained this name from the size of their persons, and the easiness of their duty, as having scarce more to do than to eat the king's beef.

BEETLE-BROWED. One having thick projecting eyebrows.


BEETLE-HEADED. Dull, stupid.


BEGGAR MAKER. A publican, or ale-house keeper.


BEGGAR'S BULLETS. Stones. The beggar's bullets began to fly, i.e. they began to throw stones.

BEILBY'S BALL. He will dance at Beilby's ball, where the sheriff pays the music; he will be hanged. Who Mr. Beilby was, or why that ceremony was so called, remains with the quadrature of the circle, the discovery of the philosopher's stone, and divers other desiderata yet undiscovered.

BELCH. All sorts of beer; that liquor being apt to cause eructation.

BELCHER. A red silk handkerchief, intermixed with yellow and a little black. The kiddey flashes his belcher; the young fellow wears a silk handkerchief round his neck.

BELL, BOOK, AND CANDLE. They cursed him with bell, book, and candle; an allusion to the popish form of excommunicating and anathematizing persons who had offended the church.

TO BEAR THE BELL. To excel or surpass all competitors, to be the principal in a body or society; an allusion to the fore horse or leader of a team, whose harness is commonly ornamented with a bell or bells. Some suppose it a term borrowed from an ancient tournament, where the victorious knights bore away the BELLE or FAIR LADY. Others derive it from a horse-race, or other rural contentions, where bells were frequently given as prizes.

BELLOWS. The lungs.


BELLOWER. The town crier.


BELLOWSER. Transportation for life: i.e. as long.

BELLY. His eye was bigger than his belly; a saying of a person at a table, who takes more on his plate than he can eat.

BELLYFULL. A hearty beating, sufficient to make a man yield or give out. A woman with child is also said to have got her belly full.

BELLY CHEAT. An apron.

BELLY PLEA. The plea of pregnancy, generally adduced by female felons capitally convicted, which they take care to provide for, previous to their trials; every gaol having, as the Beggar's Opera informs us, one or more child getters, who qualify the ladies for that expedient to procure a respite.

BELLY TIMBER. Food of all sorts.

BELL SWAGGER. A noisy bullying fellow. BELLWETHER. The chief or leader of a mob; an idea taken from a flock of sheep, where the wether has a bell about his neck.

BENE. Good--BENAR. Better. Cant.


BENE BOWSE. Good beer, or other strong liquor. Cant.


BENE COVE. A good fellow. Cant.


BENE DARKMANS. Goodnight. Cant.


BENE FEARERS. Counterfeiters of bills. Cant.


BENE FEAKERS OF GYBES. Counterfeiters of passes. Cant.


BENESHIPLY. Worshipfully. Cant.


BEN. A fool. Cant.


BENISH. Foolish.


BENISON. The beggar's benison: May your ***** and purse never fail you.

BERMUDAS. A cant name for certain places in London, privileged against arrests, like the Mint in Southwark, Ben. Jonson. These privileges are abolished.

BESS, or BETTY. A small instrument used by house-breakers to force open doors. Bring bess and glym; bring the instrument to force the door, and the dark lantern. Small flasks, like those for Florence wine, are also called betties.



BEST. To the best in Christendom: i.e. the best **** in Christendom; a health formerly much in vogue.


BET. A wager.--TO BET. To lay a wager.


BETTY MARTIN. That's my eye, Betty Martin; an answer to any one that attempts to impose or humbug.


BETWATTLED. Surprised, confounded, out of one's senses; also bewrayed.


BEVER. An afternoon's luncheon; also a fine hat; beaver's fur making the best hats,


BEVERAGE. Garnish money, or money for drink, demanded of any one having a new suit of clothes.


BIBLE. A boatswain's great axe. Sea term.

BIBLE OATH. Supposed by the vulgar to be more binding than an oath taken on the Testament only, as being the bigger book, and generally containing both the Old and New Testament.

BIDDY, or CHICK-A-BIDDY. A chicken, and figuratively a young wench.

BIDET, commonly pronounced BIDDY. A kind of tub, contrived for ladies to wash themselves, for which purpose they bestride it like a French poney, or post-horse, called in French bidets.

BIENLY. Excellently. She wheedled so bienly; she coaxed or flattered so cleverly. French.


BILL AT SIGHT. To pay a bill at sight; to be ready at all times for the venereal act.

BILBOA. A sword. Bilboa in Spain was once famous for well-tempered blades: these are quoted by Falstaff, where he describes the manner in which he lay in the buck-basket. Bilboes, the stock; prison. Cant.

TO BILK. To cheat. Let us bilk the rattling cove; let us cheat the hackney coachman of his fare. Cant. Bilking a coachman, a box-keeper, and a poor whore, were formerly, among men of the town, thought gallant actions.

BILL OF SALE. A widow's weeds. See HOUSE TO LET.

BILLINGSGATE LANGUAGE. Foul language, or abuse. Billingsgate is the market where the fishwomen assemble to
purchase fish; and where, in their dealings and disputes, they are somewhat apt to leave decency and good manners a little on the left hand.

BING. To go. Cant. Bing avast; get you gone. Binged avast in a darkmans; stole away in the night. Bing we to Rumeville: shall we go to London?

BINGO. Brandy or other spirituous liquor. Cant.


BINGO BOY. A dram drinker. Cant. BINGO MORT. A female dram drinker. Cant.


BINNACLE WORD. A fine or affected word, which sailors jeeringly offer to chalk up on the binnacle.


BIRD AND BABY. The sign of the eagle and child.


BIRD-WITTED. Inconsiderate, thoughtless, easily imposed on.


BIRDS OF A FEATHER. Rogues of the same gang.


BIRTH-DAY SUIT. He was in his birth-day suit, that is, stark naked.

BISHOP. A mixture of wine and water, into which is put a roasted orange. Also one of the largest of Mrs. Philips's purses, used to contain the others.

BISHOPED, or TO BISHOP. A term used among horse-dealers, for burning the mark into a horse's tooth, after he has
lost it by age; by bishoping, a horse is made to appear younger than he is. It is a common saying of milk that is burnt too, that the bishop has set his foot in it. Formerly, when a bishop passed through a village, all the inhabitants ran out of their houses to solicit his blessing, even leaving their milk, &c. on the fire, to take its chance: which, went burnt to, was said to be bishoped.

TO BISHOP the balls, a term used among printers, to water them.

BIT. Money. He grappled the cull's bit; he seized the man's money. A bit is also the smallest coin in Jamaica, equal to about sixpence sterling.

BITCH. A she dog, or doggess; the most offensive appellation that can be given to an English woman, even more provoking than that of whore, as may he gathered from the regular Billinsgate or St. Giles's answer--"I may be a whore, but can't be a bitch."

TO BITCH. To yield, or give up an attempt through fear. To stand bitch; to make tea, or do the honours of the tea- table, performing a female part: bitch there standing for woman, species for genius.

BITCH BOOBY. A country wench. Military term. BITE. A cheat; also a woman's privities. The cull wapt the mort's bite; the fellow enjoyed the wench heartily. Cant.

TO BITE. To over-reach, or impose; also to steal.--Cant.
--Biting was once esteemed a kind of wit, similar to the humbug. An instance of it is given in the Spectator: A man under sentence of death having sold his body to a surgeon rather below the market price, on receiving the money, cried, A bite! I am to be hanged in chains.--To bite
the roger; to steal a portmanteau. To bite the wiper, to steal a handkerchief. To bite on the bridle; to be pinched or reduced to difficulties. Hark ye, friend, whether do they bite in the collar or the cod-piece? Water wit to anglers.

BITER. A wench whose **** is ready to bite her a-se; a lascivious, rampant wench.


BLAB. A tell-tale, or one incapable of keeping a secret


BLACK AND WHITE. In writing. I have it in black and white; I have written evidence.


BLACK ART. The art of picking a lock. Cant.


BLACK A-SE. A copper or kettle. The pot calls the kettle black a-se. Cant.

BLACK BOOK. He is down in the black book, i.e. has a stain in his character. A black book is keep in most regiments, wherein the names of all persons sentenced to punishment are recorded.

BLACK BOX. A lawyer. Cant.

BLACK EYE. We gave the bottle a black eye, i.e. drank it almost up. He cannot say black is the white of my eye; he cannot point out a blot in my character.

BLACK FLY. The greatest drawback on the farmer is the black fly, i.e. the parson who takes tithe of the harvest.

BLACK GUARD. A shabby, mean fellow; a term said to be derived from a number of dirty, tattered roguish boys, who attended at the Horse Guards, and Parade in St. James's Park, to black the boots and shoes of the soldiers, or to do any other dirty offices. These, from their constant attendance about the time of guard mounting, were nick-named the black-guards.

BLACK JACK. A nick name given to the Recorder by the Thieves.


BLACK JACK. A jug to drink out of, made of jacked leather.

BLACK JOKE. A popular tune to a song, having for the burden, "Her black joke and belly so white:" figuratively the black joke signifies the monosyllable. See MONOSYLLABLE.

BLACK INDIES. Newcastle upon Tyne, whose rich coal mines prove an Indies to the proprietors.

BLACKLEGS. A gambler or sharper on the turf or in the cockpit: so called, perhaps, from their appearing generally in boots; or else from game-cocks whose legs are always black.

BLACK MONDAY. The first Monday after the school-boys holidays, or breaking up, when they are to go to school, and produce or repeat the tasks set them.

BLACK PSALM. To sing the black psalm; to cry: a saying used to children.


BLACK SPICE RACKET. To rob chimney sweepers of their soot, bag and soot.


BLACK SPY. The Devil.

BLACK STRAP. Bene Carlo wine; also port. A task of labour imposed on soldiers at Gibraltar, as a punishment for small offences.

BLANK. To look blank; to appear disappointed or confounded.


BLANKET HORNPIPE. The amorous congress.

BLARNEY. He has licked the blarney stone; he deals in the wonderful, or tips us the traveller. The blarney stone is a triangular stone on the very top of an ancient castle of that name in the county of Cork in Ireland, extremely difficult of access; so that to have ascended to it, was considered as a proof of perseverance, courage, and agility, whereof many are supposed to claim the honour, who never atchieved the adventure: and to tip the blarney, is figuratively used telling a marvellous story, or falsity; and also sometimes to express flattery. Irish.

A BLASTED FELLOW or BRIMSTONE. An abandoned rogue or prostitute. Cant.


To BLAST. To curse.


BLATER. A calf. Cant.


BLEACHED MORT. A fair-complexioned wench.


BLEATERS. Those cheated by Jack in a box. CANT.--See JACK IN A BOX.


BLEATING CHEAT. A sheep. Cant.


BLEATING RIG. Sheep stealing. Cant.


BLEEDERS. Spurs. He clapped his bleeders to his prad; be put spurs to his horse.


BLEEDING CULLY. One who parts easily with his money, or bleeds freely.


BLEEDING NEW. A metaphor borrowed from fish, which will not bleed when stale.

BLESSING. A small quantity over and above the measure, usually given by hucksters dealing in peas, beans, and other vegetables.

BLIND. A feint, pretence, or shift.


BLIND CHEEKS. The breech. Buss blind cheeks; kiss mine a-se.

BLIND EXCUSE. A poor or insufficient excuse. A blind ale-house, lane, or alley; an obscure, or little known or frequented ale-house, lane, or alley.

BLIND HARPERS. Beggars counterfeiting blindness, playing on fiddles, &c.

BLINDMAN'S BUFF. A play used by children, where one being blinded by a handkerchief bound over his eyes, attempts to seize any one of the company, who all endeavour to avoid him; the person caught, must be blinded in his stead.

BLIND CUPID. The backside.


BLINDMAN'S HOLIDAY. Night, darkness.


BLOCK HOUSES. Prisons, houses of correction, &c. BLOCKED AT BOTH ENDS. Finished. The game is blocked at both ends; the game is ended.


BLOOD. A riotous disorderly fellow.

BLOOD FOR BLOOD. A term used by tradesmen for bartering the different commodities in which they deal. Thus a hatter furnishing a hosier with a hat, and taking payment in stockings, is said to deal blood for blood.

BLOOD MONEY. The reward given by the legislature on the conviction of highwaymen, burglars, &c.


BLOODY BACK. A jeering appellation for a soldier, alluding to his scarlet coat.


BLOODY. A favourite word used by the thieves in swearing, as bloody eyes, bloody rascal.


BLOSS or BLOWEN. The pretended wife of a bully, or shoplifter. Cant.


TO BLOT THE SKRIP AND JAR IT. To stand engaged or bound for any one. Cant.


BLOW. He has bit the blow, i.e. he has stolen the goods. Cant.

BLOWEN. A mistress or whore of a gentleman of the scamp. The blowen kidded the swell into a snoozing ken, and shook him of his dummee and thimble; the girl inveigled the gentleman into a brothel and robbed him of his pocket book and watch.

BLOWER. A pipe. How the swell funks his blower and lushes red tape; what a smoke the gentleman makes with his pipe, and drinks brandy.

TO BLOW THE GROUNSILS. To lie with a woman on the floor. Cant.


TO BLOW THE GAB. To confess, or impeach a confederate. Cant.


BLOW-UP. A discovery, or the confusion occasioned by one.


A BLOWSE, or BLOWSABELLA. A woman whose hair is dishevelled, and hanging about her face; a slattern.

BLUBBER. The mouth.--I have stopped the cull's blubber; I have stopped the fellow's mouth, meant either by gagging or murdering him.



TO SPORT BLUBBER. Said of a large coarse woman, who exposes her bosom.


BLUBBER CHEEKS. Large flaccid cheeks, hanging like the fat or blubber of a whale.


BLUE, To look blue; to be confounded, terrified, or disappointed. Blue as a razor; perhaps, blue as azure.


BLUE BOAR. A venereal bubo.


BLUE DEVILS. Low spirits.

BLUE FLAG. He has hoisted the blue flag; he has commenced publican, or taken a public house, an allusion to the blue aprons worn by publicans. See ADMIRAL OF THE BLUE.

BLUE PIGEONS. Thieves who steal lead off houses and churches. Cant. To fly a blue pigeon; to steal lead off houses or churches.

BLUE PLUMB. A bullet.--Surfeited with a blue plumb; wounded with a bullet. A sortment of George R--'s blue plumbs; a volley of ball, shot from soldiers' firelocks.

BLUE SKIN. A person begotten on a black woman by a white man. One of the blue squadron; any one having a cross of the black breed, or, as it is termed, a lick of the tar brush.



BLUE RUIN. Gin. Blue ribband; gin.


BLUFF. Fierce, surly. He looked as bluff as bull beef.


BLUFFER. An inn-keeper. Cant.


BLUNDERBUSS. A short gun, with a wide bore, for carrying slugs; also a stupid, blundering fellow.


BLUNT. Money. Cant. TO BLUSTER. To talk big, to hector or bully.


BOARDING SCHOOL. Bridewell, Newgate, or any other prison, or house of correction.


BOB. A shoplifter's assistant, or one that receives and carries off stolen goods. All is bob; all is safe. Cant.


BOB. A shilling.


BOBBED. Cheated, tricked, disappointed.


BOBBISH. Smart, clever, spruce.


BOB STAY. A rope which holds the bowsprit to the stem or cutwater. Figuratively, the frenum of a man's yard.

BOB TAIL. A lewd woman, or one that plays with her tail; also an impotent man, or an eunuch. Tag, rag, and bobtail; a mob of all sorts of low people. To shift one's bob; to move off, or go away. To bear a bob; to join in chorus with any singers. Also a term used by the sellers of game, for a partridge.

BODY SNATCHERS. Bum bailiffs.



BOG LANDER. An Irishman; Ireland being famous for its large bogs, which furnish the chief fuel in many parts of that kingdom.

BOG TROTTER. The same.


BOG HOUSE. The necessary house. To go to bog; to go to stool.


BOG LATIN. Barbarous Latin. Irish.--See DOG LATIN, and APOTHECARIES LATIN.


BOGY. Ask bogy, i.e. ask mine a-se. Sea wit.

BOH. Said to be the name of a Danish general, who so terrified his opponent Foh, that he caused him to bewray
himself. Whence, when we smell a stink, it is custom to exclaim, Foh! i.e. I smell general Foh. He cannot say Boh to a goose; i.e. he is a cowardly or sheepish fellow. There is a story related of the celebrated Ben Jonson, who always dressed very plain; that being introduced to the presence of a nobleman, the peer, struck by his homely appearance and awkward manner, exclaimed, as if in doubt, "you Ben Johnson! why you look as if you could not say Boh to a goose!" "Boh!" replied the wit.

BOLD. Bold as a miller's shirt, which every day takes a rogue by the collar.


BOLT. A blunt arrow.


BOLT UPRIGHT. As erect, or straight up, as an arrow set on its end.

TO BOLT. To run suddenly out of one's house, or hiding place, through fear; a term borrowed from a rabbit-warren, where the rabbits are made to bolt, by sending
ferrets into their burrows: we set the house on fire, and made him bolt. To bolt, also means to swallow meat without chewing: the farmer's servants in Kent are famous for bolting large quantities of pickled pork.

BONES. Dice.


BONE BOX. The mouth. Shut your bone box; shut your mouth.


BONE PICKER. A footman.


BONED. Seized. apprehended, taken up by a constable. CANT.


BOLUS. A nick name for an apothecary.


BONESETTER. A hard-trotting horse.

BOOBY, or DOG BOOBY. An awkward lout, clodhopper, or country fellow. See CLODHOPPER and LOUT. A bitch booby; a country wench.

BOOBY HUTCH. A one-horse chaise, noddy, buggy, or leathern bottle.


BOOKS. Cards to play with. To plant the books; to place the cards in the pack in an unfair manner.

BOOK-KEEPER. One who never returns borrowed books. Out of one's books; out of one's fevor. Out of his books; out of debt.

BOOT CATCHER. The servant at an inn whose business it is to clean the boots of the guest.

BOOTS. The youngest officer in a regimental mess, whose duty it is to skink, that is, to stir the fire, snuff the candles, and ring the bell. See SKINK.--To ride in any one's old boots; to marry or keep his cast-off mistress.

BOOTY. To play booty; cheating play, where the player purposely avoids winning.

BO-PEEP. One who sometimes hides himself, and sometimes appears publicly abroad, is said to-play at bo-peep. Also one who lies perdue, or on the watch.

BORACHIO. A skin for holding wine, commonly a goat's; also a nick name for a drunkard.


BORDE. A shilling. A half borde; a sixpence.


BORDELLO. A bawdy house.

BORE. A tedious, troublesome man or woman, one who bores the ears of his hearers with an uninteresting tale; a term much in fashion about the years 1780 and 1781.

Said of any person remarkably unsuccessful in his attempts or profession.

BOTCH. A nick name for a taylor.

BOTHERED or BOTH-EARED. Talked to at both ears by different persons at the same time, confounded, confused. IRISH PHRASE.

BOTHERAMS. A convivial society.


BOTTLE-HEADED. Void of wit.

BOTTOM. A polite term for the posteriors. Also, in the sporting sense, strength and spirits to support fatigue; as a bottomed horse. Among bruisers it is used to express a hardy fellow, who will bear a good beating.

BOTTOMLESS PIT. The monosyllable.


BOUGHS. Wide in the boughs; with large hips and posteriors.


BOUGHS. He is up in the boughs; he is in a passion.

TO BOUNCE. To brag or hector; also to tell an improbable story. To bully a man out of any thing. The kiddey bounced the swell of the blowen; the lad bullied the gentleman out of the girl.

BOUNCER. A large man or woman; also a great lie.


BOUNCING CHEAT. A bottle; from the explosion in drawing the cork. CANT.


BOUNG. A purse. CANT.


BOUNG NIPPER. A cut purse. CANT.--Formerly purses were worn at the girdle, from whence they were cut.


BOOSE, or BOUSE. Drink.


BOOSEY. Drunk.


BOWSING KEN. An ale-house or gin-shop.


BOWSPRIT. The nose, from its being the most projecting part of the human face, as the bowsprit is of a ship.


BOW-WOW. The childish name for a dog; also a jeering appellation for a man born at Boston in America.


BOW-WOW MUTTON. Dog's flesh.

BOW-WOW SHOP. A salesman's shop in Monmouth-street; so called because the servant barks, and the master bites. See BARKER.

BOWYER. One that draws a long bow, a dealer in the marvellous, a teller of improbable stories, a liar: perhaps from
the wonderful shots frequently boasted of by archers.

TO BOX THE COMPASS. To say or repeat the mariner's compass, not only backwards or forwards, but also to be able to answer any and all questions respecting its divisions. SEA TERM.

TO BOX THE JESUIT, AND GET COCK ROACHES. A sea term for masturbation; a crime, it is said, much practised by the reverend fathers of that society.

BRACE. The Brace tavern; a room in the S.E. corner of the King's Bench, where, for the convenience of prisoners residing thereabouts, beer purchased at the tap-house was retailed at a halfpenny per pot advance. It was kept by two brothers of the name of Partridge, and thence called the Brace.

BRACKET-FACED. Ugly, hard-featured.


BRAGGET. Mead and ale sweetened with honey.


BRAGGADOCIA. vain-glorious fellow, a boaster.

BRAINS. If you had as much brains as guts, what a clever fellow you would be! a saying to a stupid fat fellow. To have some guts in his brains; to know something.

BRAN-FACED. Freckled. He was christened by a baker, he carries the bran in his face.


BRANDY-FACED. Red-faced, as if from drinking brandy.

BRANDY. Brandy is Latin for a goose; a memento to prevent the animal from rising in the stomach by a glass of the good creature.

BRAT. A child or infant.

BRAY. A vicar of Bray; one who frequently changes his principles, always siding with the strongest party: an allusion to a vicar of Bray, in Berkshire, commemorated in a well-known ballad for the pliability of his conscience.

BRAZEN-FACED. Bold-faced, shameless, impudent.

BREAD AND BUTTER FASHION. One slice upon the other. John and his maid were caught lying bread and butter fashion.--To quarrel with one's bread and butter; to act contrary to one's interest. To know on which side one's bread is buttered; to know one's interest, or what is best for one. It is no bread and butter of mine; I have no business with it; or rather, I won't intermeddle, because I shall get nothing by it.

BREAK-TEETH WORDS. Hard words, difficult to pronounce.

BREAKING SHINS. Borrowing money; perhaps from the figurative operation being, like the real one, extremely disagreeable to the patient.

BREAD. Employment. Out of bread; out of employment. In bad bread; in a disagreeable scrape, or situation.


BREAD BASKET. The stomach; a term used by boxers. I took him a punch in his bread basket; i.e. I gave him a blow in the stomach.

BREAST FLEET. He or she belongs to the breast fleet; i.e. is a Roman catholic; an appellation derived from their custom of beating their breasts in the confession of their sins.

BREECHED. Money in the pocket: the swell is well breeched, let's draw him; the gentleman has plenty of money in his pocket, let us rob him.

BREECHES. To wear the breeches; a woman who governs her husband is said to wear the breeches.

BREECHES BIBLE. An edition of the Bible printed in 1598, wherein it is said that Adam and Eve sewed figleaves together, and made themselves breeches.

BREEZE. To raise a breeze; to kick up a dust or breed a disturbance.

BRIDGE. To make a bridge of any one's nose; to push the bottle past him, so as to deprive him of his turn of filling his glass; to pass one over. Also to play booty, or purposely to avoid winning.

BRIM. (Abbreviation of Brimstone.) An abandoned woman; perhaps originally only a passionate or irascible woman, compared to brimstone for its inflammability.



BRISTOL MILK. A Spanish wine called sherry, much drunk at that place, particularly in the morning.


BRISTOL MAN. The son of an Irish thief and a Welch whore.




BROGANIER. One who has a strong Irish pronunciation or accent.

BROGUE. A particular kind of shoe without a heel, worn in Ireland, and figuratively used to signify the Irish accent.

BUNG. A brewer
QUILL. An author. STRING. A fiddler. WHIP. A coachman.

BROTHER STARLING. One who lies with the same woman, that is, builds in the same nest.


BROUGHTONIAN. A boxer: a disciple of Broughton, who was a beef-eater, and once the best boxer of his day.


BROWN BESS. A soldier's firelock. To hug brown Bess; to carry a firelock, or serve as a private soldier.


BROWN GEORGE. An ammunition loaf, A wig without powder; similar to the undress wig worn by his majesty.


BROWN MADAM, or MISS BROWN. The monosyllable.


BROWN STUDY. Said of one absent, in a reverie, or thoughtful.


BRUISER. A boxer; one skilled in the ar of boxing also an inferior workman among chasers.


BREWES, or BROWES. The fat scum from the pot in which salted beef is boiled.

TO BRUSH. To run away. Let us buy a brush and lope; let us go away or off. To have a brush with a woman; to lie with her. To have a brush with a man; to fight with him. The cove cracked the peter and bought a brush; the fellow broke open the trunk, and then ran away.

BRUSHER. A bumper, a full glass. See BUMPER.


BUB. Strong beer.


BUBBER. A drinking bowl; also a great drinker; a thief that steals plate from public houses. CANT.

THE BUBBLE. The party cheated, perhaps from his being like an air bubble, filled with words, which are only wind, instead of real property.

TO BUBBLE. To cheat.

TO BAR THE BUBBLE. To except against the general rule, that he who lays the odds must always be adjudged the loser: this is restricted to betts laid for liquor. BUBBLY JOCK. A turkey cock. SCOTCH.

BUBBLE AND SQUEAK. Beef and cabbage fried together. It is so called from its bubbling up and squeaking whilst over the fire.

BUBE. The venereal disease.


BUCK. A blind horse; also a gay debauchee.


TO RUN A BUCK. To poll a bad vote at an election.--IRISH TERM.


BUCK BAIL. Bail given by a sharper for one of the gang.

A BUCK OF THE FIRST HEAD. One who in debauchery surpasses the rest of his companions, a blood or choice spirit. There are in London divers lodges or societies of Bucks, formed in imitation of the Free Masons: one was held at the Rose, in Monkwell-street, about the year 1705. The president is styled the Grand Buck. A buck sometimes signifies a cuckold.

BUCK'S FACE. A cuckold.


BUCK FITCH. A lecherous old fellow.




BUCKET. To kick the bucket; to die.

BUCKINGER'S BOOT. The monosyllable. Matthew
Buckinger was born without hands and legs; notwithstanding which he drew coats of arms very neatly, and
could write the Lord's Prayer within the compass of a shilling; he was married to a tall handsome woman, and traversed the country, shewing himself for money.

BUCKLES. Fetters.

BUDGE, or SNEAKING BUDGE. One that slips into houses in the dark, to steal cloaks or other clothes. Also lambs' fur formerly used for doctors' robes, whence they were called budge doctors. Standing budge; a thief's scout or spy.

TO BUDGE. To move, or quit one's station. Don't budge from hence; i.e. don't move from hence, stay here.

BUDGET. A wallet. To open the budget; a term used to signify the notification of the taxes required by the minister for the expences of the ensuing year; as To-morrow the minister will go to the house, and open the

BUFE. A dog. Bufe's nob; a dog's head. CANT.


BUFE NABBER. A dog stealer. CANT.


BUFF. All in buff; stript to the skin, stark naked.

BUFF. To stand buff; to stand the brunt. To swear as a witness. He buffed it home; and I was served; he swore hard against me, and I was found guilty.

BUFFER. One that steals and kills horses and dogs for their skins; also an inn-keeper: in Ireland it signifies a boxer.

BUFFER. A man who takes an oath: generally applied to Jew bail.


BUFFLE-HEADED. Confused, stupid.

BUG. A nick name given by the Irish to Englishmen; bugs having, as it is said, been introduced into Ireland by the English.

TO BUG. A cant word among journeymen hatters, signifying the exchanging some of the dearest materials of
which a hat is made for others of less value. Hats are composed of the furs and wool of divers animals among which is a small portion of beavers' fur. Bugging, is stealing the beaver, and substituting in lieu thereof an equal weight of some cheaper ingredient.--Bailiffs who take money to postpone or refrain the serving of a writ, are said to bug the writ.

BUG-HUNTER. An upholsterer.


BUGABOE. A scare-babe, or bully-beggar.


BUGAROCH. Comely, handsome. IRISH.


BUGGY. A one-horse chaise.


BUGGER. A blackguard, a rascal, a term of reproach. Mill the bloody bugger; beat the damned rascal.


BULK AND FILE. Two pickpockets; the bulk jostles the party to be robbed, and the file does the business.


BULKER. One who lodges all night on a bulk or projection before old-fashioned shop windows.

BULL. An Exchange Alley term for one who buys stock on speculation for time, i.e. agrees with the seller, called a Bear, to take a certain sum of stock at a future day, at a stated price: if at that day stock fetches more than the price agreed on, he receives the difference; if it falls or is cheaper, he either pays it, or becomes a lame duck, and waddles out of the Alley. See LAME DUCK and BEAR.

BULL. A blunder; from one Obadiah Bull, a blundering lawyer of London, who lived in the reign of Henery VII. by a bull is now always meant a blunder made by an Irishman. A bull was also the name of false hair formerly
much worn by women. To look like bull beef, or as bluff as bull beef; to look fierce or surly. Town bull, a great whore-master.

BULL. A crown piece. A half bull; half a crown.

BULL BEGGAR, or BULLY BEGGAR. An imaginary being with which children are threatened by servants and nurses, like raw head and bloody bones.

BULL CALF. A great hulkey or clumsy fellow. See HULKEY.


BULL CHIN. A fat chubby child.


BULL DOGS. Pistols.


BULL HANKERS. Persons who over-drive bulls, or frequent bull baits.


BULL'S EYE. A crown-piece.


BULL'S FEATHER. A horn: he wears the bull's feather; he is a cuckold.


TO BULLOCK. To hector, bounce, or bully.


BULLY. A cowardly fellow, who gives himself airs of great bravery. A bully huff cap; a hector. See HECTOR.

BULLY BACK. A bully to a bawdy-house; one who is kept in pay, to oblige the frequenters of the house to submit to the impositions of the mother abbess, or bawd; and who also sometimes pretends to be the husband of one of the ladies, and under that pretence extorts money from greenhorns, or ignorant young men, whom he finds with her. See GREENHORN.

BULLY COCK. One who foments quarrels in order to rob the persons quarrelling.


BULLY RUFFIANS. Highwaymen who attack passengers with paths and imprecations.


BULLY TRAP. A brave man with a mild or effeminate appearance, by whom bullies are frequently taken in.


BUM. the breech, or backside.

TO BUM. To arrest a debtor. The gill bummed the swell for a thimble; the tradesman arrested the gentleman for a watch.

BUM TRAP. A sheriff's officer who arrests debtors. Ware hawke! the bum traps are fly to our panney; keep a good look out, the bailiffs know where our house is situated.

BUM BAILIFF. A sheriff's officer, who arrests debtors; so called perhaps from following his prey, and being at their bums, or, as the vulgar phrase is, hard at their a-ses. Blackstone says, it is a corruption of bound bailiff, from their being obliged to give bond for their good behaviour.

BUM BRUSHER. A schoolmaster.

BUM BOAT. A boat attending ships to retail greens, drams, &c. commonly rowed by a woman; a kind of floating chandler's shop,

BUM FODDER. Soft paper for the necessary house or torchecul.


BUMFIDDLE. The backside, the breech. See ARS MUSICA.


BUMBO. Brandy, water, and sugar; also the negro name for the private parts of a woman.


BUMKIN. A raw country fellow.


BUMMED. Arrested.

BUMPER. A full glass; in all likelihood from its convexity or bump at the top: some derive it from a full glass formerly drunk to the health of the pope--AU BON PERE.

BUMPING. A ceremony performed on boys perambulating the bounds of the parish on Whit-monday, when they have their posteriors bumped against the stones marking the boundaries, in order to fix them in their memory.

BUN. A common name for a rabbit, also for the monosyllable. To touch bun for luck; a practice observed among sailors going on a cruize.

BUNDLING. A man and woman sleeping in the same bed, he with his small clothes, and she with her petticoats on; an expedient practised in America on a scarcity of beds, where, on such an occasion, husbands and parents frequently permitted travellers to bundle with their wives and daughters. This custom is now abolished. See Duke of Rochefoucalt's Travels in America,

BUNG UPWARDS. Said of a person lying on his face.


BUNG YOUR EYE. Drink a dram; strictly speaking, to drink till one's eye is bunged up or closed.


BUNT. An apron.


BUNTER. A low dirty prostitute, half whore and half beggar.


BUNTLINGS. Petticoats. CANT.


BURN CRUST. A jocular name for a baker.


BURN THE KEN. Strollers living in an alehouse without paying their quarters, are said to burn the ken. CANT.


BURNING SHAME. A lighted candle stuck into the parts of a woman, certainly not intended by nature for a candlestick.


BURNER. A clap. The blowen tipped the swell a burner; the girl gave the gentleman a clap.

BURNER. He is no burner of navigable rivers; i.e. he is no conjuror, or man of extraordinary abilities; or rather, he is, but a simple fellow. See THAMES.

BURNT. Poxed or clapped. He was sent out a sacrifice, and came home a burnt offering; a saying of seamen who have caught the venereal disease abroad. He has burnt his fingers; he has suffered by meddling.

BURR. A hanger on, or dependant; an allusion to the field burrs, which are not easily got rid of. Also the Northumbrian pronunciation: the people of that country, but
chiefly about Newcastle and Morpeth, are said to have a burr in their throats, particularly called the Newcastle burr.

BUSHEL BUBBY. A full breasted woman.

BUSK. A piece of whalebone or ivory, formerly worn by women, to stiffen the forepart of their stays: hence the toast--Both ends of the busk.

BUSS BEGGAR. An old superannuated fumbler, whom none but beggars will suffer to kiss them.


BUS-NAPPER. A constable. CANT.




BUSY. As busy is the devil in a high wind; as busy as a hen with one chick.

BUTCHER'S DOG. To be like a butcher's dog, i.e. lie by the beef without touching it; a simile often applicable to married men.

BUTCHER'S HORSE. That must have been a butcher's horse, by his carrying a calf so well; a vulgar joke on an awkward rider.

BUTT. A dependant, poor relation, or simpleton, on whom all kinds of practical jokes are played off; and who serves as a butt for all the shafts of wit and ridicule.

BUTTER BOX. A Dutchman, from the great quantity of butter eaten by the people of that country.


BUTTERED BUN. One lying with a woman that has just lain with another man, is said to have a buttered bun.

BUTTER AND EGGS TROT. A kind of short jogg trot, such as is used by women going to market, with butter and eggs.--he looks as if butter would not melt in her mouth, yet I warrant you cheese would not choak her; a saying of a demure looking woman, of suspected character. Don't make butter dear; a gird at the patient angler.

BUTTOCK. A whore. CANT. BUTTOCK BROKER. A bawd, or match-maker. CANT.


BUTTOCK BALL. The amorous congress. CANT.


BUTTOCK AND FILE. A common whore and a pick-pocket. Cant.


BUTTOCK AND TWANG, or DOWN BUTTOCK AND SHAM FILE. A common whore, but no pickpocket.


BUTTOCK AND TONGUE. A scolding wife.




BUTTON. A bad shilling, among coiners. His a-se makes buttons; he is ready to bewray himself through fear. CANT.


BUZMAN. A pickpocket. CANT.


BUZZARD. A simple fellow. A blind buzzard: a pur-blind man or woman.


BYE BLOW. A bastard.

CABBAGE. Cloth, stuff, or silkpurloined by laylors from their employers, which they deposit in a place called HELL, or their EYE: from the first, when taxed, with their knavery, they equivocally swear, that if they have taken any, they wish they may find it in HELL; or, alluding to the second, protest, that what they have over and above is not more than they could put in their EYE.--When the scrotum is relaxed or whiffled, it is said they will not cabbage.

CAB. A brothel. Mother: how many tails have you in your cab? how many girls have you in your bawdy house?


CACAFEOGO. A sh-te-fire, a furious braggadocio or bully huff.


CACKLE. To blab, or discover secrets. The cull is leaky, and cackles; the rogue tells all. CANT. See LEAKY.




CACKLER'S KEN. A hen roost. CANT.




CACKLING FARTS. Eggs. CANT. CADDEE. A helper. An under-strapper.


CADGE. To beg. Cadge the swells; beg of the gentlemen.



CAGG. To cagg; a military term used by the private soldiers, signifying a solemn vow or resolution not to get drunk for a certain time; or, as the term is, till their cagg is out: which vow is commonly observed with the strictest exactness. Ex. I have cagg'd myself for six months. Excuse me this time, and I will cagg myself for a year. This term is also used in the same sense among the common people of Scotland, where it is performed with divers ceremonies.

CAG. To be cagged. To be sulky or out of humour. The cove carries the cag; the man is vexed or sullen.


CAG MAGG. Bits and scraps of provisions. Bad meat.

CAGG MAGGS. Old Lincolnshire geese, which having been plucked ten or twelve years, are sent up to London to feast the cockneys.

CAKE, or CAKEY. A foolish fellow.

CALF-SKIN FIDDLE. A drum. To smack calf's skin; to kiss the book in taking an oath. It is held by the St. Giles's casuists, that by kissing one's thumb instead of smacking calf's skin, the guilt of taking a false oath is avoided.

CALVES. His calves are gone to grass; a saying of a man with slender legs without calves. Veal will be cheap, calves fall; said of a man whose calves fall away.

CALVES HEAD CLUB. A club instituted by the Independents and Presbyterians, to commemorate the decapitation of King Charles I. Their chief fare was calves heads; and they drank their wine and ale out of calves skulls.

CALIBOGUS. Rum and spruce beer, American beverage.


CALLE. A cloak or gown. CANT.


CAMBRIDGE FORTUNE. A wind-mill and a water-mill, used to signify a woman without any but personal endowments. CAMBRIDGE OAK. A willow.

CAMBRADE. A chamber fellow; a Spanish military term. Soldiers were in that country divided into chambers, five men making a chamber, whence it was generally used to signify companion.

CAMESA. A shirt or shift. CANT. SPANISH.


CAMP CANDLESTICK. A bottle, or soldier's bayonet.

CAMPBELL'S ACADEMY. The hulks or lighters, on board of which felons are condemned to hard labour. Mr. Campbell was the first director of them. See ACADEMY and FLOATING ACADEMY.

CANARY BIRD. A jail bird, a person used to be kept in a cage; also, in the canting sense, guineas.


CANDLESTICKS. Bad, small, or untunable bells. Hark! how the candlesticks rattle.




CANE. To lay Cane upon Abel; to beat any one with a cane or stick.


CANK. Dumb.


CANNISTER. The head. To mill his cannister; to break his head.


CANNIKIN. A small can: also, in the canting sense, the plague.


CANT. An hypocrite, a double-tongue palavering fellow. See PALAVER.


CANT. To cant; to toss or throw: as, Cant a slug into your bread room; drink a dram. SEA WIT.


CANTICLE. A parish clerk.

CANTING. Preaching with a whining, affected tone, perhaps a corruption of chaunting; some derive it from Andrew Cant, a famous Scotch preacher, who used that whining manner of expression. Also a kind of gibberish used by thieves and gypsies, called likewise pedlar's French, the slang, &c. &c.

CANTERS, or THE CANTING CREW. Thieves, beggars, and gypsies, or any others using the canting lingo. See LINGO.


CANTERBURY STORY. A long roundabout tale.


TO CAP. To take one's oath. I will cap downright; I will swear home. CANT.

TO CAP. To take off one's hat or cap. To cap the quadrangle; a lesson of humility, or rather servility, taught
undergraduates at the university, where they are obliged to cross the area of the college cap in hand, in reverence to the fellows who sometimes walk there. The same ceremony is observed on coming on the quarter deck of ships of war, although no officer should be on it.

TO CAP. To support another's assertion or tale. To assist a man in cheating. The file kidded the joskin with sham books, and his pall capped; the deep one cheated the countryman with false cards, and his confederate assisted in the fraud.

CAP ACQUAINTANCE. Persons slightly acquainted, or only so far as mutually to salute with the hat on meeting. A woman who endeavours to attract the notice of any particular man, is said to set her cap at him.

CAPER MERCHANT. A dancing master, or hop mercbant; marchand des capriolles. FRENCH TERM.--To cut papers; to leap or jump in dancing. See HOP MERCHANT.

CAPPING VERSES. Repeating Latin Verses in turn, beginning with the letter with which the last speaker left off.


CAPON. A castrated cock, also an eunuch.


CAPRICORNIFIED. Cuckolded, hornified.

CAPSIZE. To overturn or reverse. He took his broth till he capsized; he drank till he fell out of his chair. SEA TERM.

CAPTAIN. Led captain; an humble dependant in a great family, who for a precarious subsistence, and distant hopes of preferment, suffers every kind of indignity, and is the butt of every species of joke or ill-humour. The small provision made for officers of the army and navy in time of peace, obliges many in both services to occupy this wretched station. The idea of the appellation is taken from a led horse, many of which for magnificence appear in the retinues of great personages on solemn occasions, such as processions, &c.

CAPTAIN COPPERTHORNE'S CREW. All officers; a saying of a company where everyone strives to rule.

CAPTAIN LIEUTENANT. Meat between veal and beef, the flesh of an old calf; a military simile, drawn from the officer of that denomination, who has only the pay of a lieutenant, with the rank of captain; and so is not entirely one or the other, but between both.

CAPTAIN PODD. A celebrated master of a puppet-shew, in Ben Johnson's time, whose name became a common one to signify any of that fraternity.

CAPTAIN QUEERNABS. A shabby ill-dressed fellow.

CAPTAIN SHARP. A cheating bully, or one in a set of gamblers, whose office is to bully any pigeon, who, suspecting roguery, refuses to pay what he has lost. CANT.

CAPTAIN TOM. The leader of a mob; also the mob itself.


CARAVAN. A large sum of money; also, a person cheated of such sum. CANT.


CARBUNCLE FACE. A red face, full of pimples.


CARDINAL. A cloak in fashion about the year 1760.


To CAROUSE. To drink freely or deep: from the German word expressing ALL OUT.

CARRIERS. A set of rogues who are employed to look out and watch upon the roads, at inns, &c. in order to carry information to their respective gangs, of a booty in prospect.

CARRIERS. Pigeons which carry expresses.

CARRION HUNTER. An undertaker; called also a cold cook, and death hunter. See COLD COOK and DEATH HUNTER.

CARROTS. Red hair.


CARROTTY-PATED. Ginger-hackled, red-haired. See GINGER-HACKLED.


CARRY WITCHET. A sort of conundrum, puzzlewit, or riddle.

CART. To put the cart before the horse; to mention the last part of a story first. To be flogged at the cart's a-se or tail; persons guilty of petty larceny are frequently sentenced to be tied to the tail of a cart, and whipped by the common executioner, for a certain distance: the degree of severity in the execution is left to the discretion of the executioner, who, it is said, has cats of nine tails of all prices.

CARTING. The punishment formerly inflicted on bawds, who were placed in a tumbrel or cart, and led through a town, that their persons might be known.

CARVEL'S RING. The private parts of a woman. Ham Carvel, a jealous old doctor, being in bed with his wife, dreamed that the Devil gave him a ring, which, so long as he had it on his finger, would prevent his being made a cuckold: waking he found he had got his finger the Lord knows where. See Rabelais, and Prior's versification of the story.

TO CASCADE. To vomit.

CASE. A house; perhaps from the Italian CASA. In the canting lingo it meant store or ware house, as well as a dwelling house. Tout that case; mark or observe that house. It is all bob, now let's dub the gig of the case; now the coast is clear, let us break open the door of the house.

CASE VROW. A prostitute attached to a particular bawdy house.




CASTER. A cloak. CANT.


CASTOR. A hat. To prig a castor; to steal a hat.




CAT. A common prostitute. An old cat; a cross old woman.


CAT-HEADS. A Woman's breasts. SEA PHRASE.


TO CAT, or SHOOT THE CAT. To vomit from drunkenness.

CAT AND BAGPIPEAN SOCIETY. A society which met at their office in the great western road: in their summons, published in the daily papers, it was added, that the kittens might come with the old cats without being scratched.

CAT CALL. A kind of whistle, chiefly used at theatres, to interrupt the actors, and damn a new piece. It derives its name from one of its sounds, which greatly resembles the modulation of an intriguing boar cat.

CAT HARPING FASHION. Drinking cross-ways, and not, as usual, over the left thumb. SEA TERM.

CAT IN PAN. To turn cat in pan, to change sides or
parties; supposed originally to have been to turn CATE or CAKE in pan.

CAT'S FOOT. To live under the cat's foot; to be under the dominion of a wife hen-pecked. To live like dog and cat; spoken of married persons who live unhappily together. As many lives as a cat; cats, according to vulgar naturalists, have nine lives, that is one less than a woman. No more chance than a cat in hell without claws; said of one who enters into a dispute or quarrel with one greatly above his match.

CAT LAP. Tea, called also scandal broth. See SCANDAL BROTH.


CAT MATCH. When a rook or cully is engaged amongst bad bowlers.


CAT OF NINE TAILS. A scourge composed of nine strings of whip-cord, each string having nine knots.

CAT'S PAW. To be made a cat's paw of; to be made a tool or instrument to accomplish the purpose of another: an allusion to the story of a monkey, who made use of a cat's paw to scratch a roasted chesnut out of the fire.

CAT'S SLEEP. Counterfeit sleep: cats often counterfeiting sleep, to decoy their prey near them, and then suddenly spring on them.

CAT STICKS. Thin legs, compared to sticks with which boys play at cat. See TRAPSTICKS.

CAT WHIPPING, or WHIPPING THE CAT. A trick often practised on ignorant country fellows, vain of their strength, by laying a wager with them that they may be pulled through a pond by a cat. The bet being made, a rope is fixed round the waist of the party to be catted, and the end thrown across the pond, to which the cat is also fastened by a packthread, and three or four sturdy fellows are appointed to lead and whip the cat; these on a signal given, seize the end of the cord, and pretending to whip the cat, haul the astonished booby through the water.
--To whip the cat, is also a term among tailors for working jobs at private houses, as practised in the country.

CATAMARAN. An old scraggy woman; from a kind of float made of spars and yards lashed together, for saving ship-wrecked persons.

CATCH CLUB. A member of the patch club; a bum bailiff.


CATCH FART. A footboy; so called from such servants commonly following close behind their master or mistress.


CATCH PENNY. Any temporary contrivance to raise a contribution on the public.


CATCH POLE. A bum bailiff, or sheriff's officer.

CATCHING HARVEST. A dangerous time for a robbery, when many persons are on the road, on account of a horse-race, fair, or some other public meeting.

CATER COUSINS. Good friends. He and I are not cater cousins, i.e. we are not even cousins in the fourth degree, or four times removed; that is, we have not the least friendly connexion.

CATERPILLAR. A nick name for a soldier. In the year 1745, a soldier quartered at a house near Derby, was desired by his landlord to call upon him, whenever he came that way; for, added he, soldiers are the pillars of the nation. The rebellion being finished, it happened the same regiment was quartered in Derbyshire, when the soldier resolved to accept of his landlord's invitation, and
accordingly obtained leave to go to him: but, on his arrival, he was greatly surprised to find a very cold reception; whereupon expostulating with his landlord, he reminded him of his invitation, and the circumstance of his having said, soldiers were the pillars of the nation. If I did, answered the host, I meant CATERpiliars.

CATERWAULING. Going out in the night in search of intrigues, like a cat in the gutters.


CATHEDRAL. Old-fashioned. An old cathedral-bedstead, chair, &c.


CATTLE. Sad cattle: whores or gypsies. Black cattle, bugs. CANT.




CAUDGE-PAWED. Left-handed.

CAULIFLOWER. A large white wig, such as is commonly worn by the dignified clergy, and was formerly by physicians. Also the private parts of a woman; the reason for which appellation is given in the following story: A woman, who was giving evidence in a cause wherein it was necessary to express those parts, made use of the term cauliflower; for which the judge on the bench, a peevish old fellow, reproved her, saying she might as well call it artichoke. Not so, my lord, replied she; for an artichoke has a bottom, but a **** and a cauliflower have none.

CAUTIONS. The four cautions: I. Beware of a woman before.--II. Beware of a horse behind.--III. Beware of a cart side-ways.--IV. Beware of a priest every way.

CAW-HANDED, or CAW-PAWED. Awkward, not dextrous, ready, or nimble.


CAXON. An old weather-beaten wig.


CENT PER CENT. An usurer.


CHAFED. Well beaten; from CHAUFFE, warmed.

CHALKERS. Men of wit, in Ireland, who in the night amuse themselves with cutting inoffensive passengers across the face with a knife. They are somewhat like those facetious gentlemen some time ago known in England by the title of Sweaters and Mohocks.

CHALKING. The amusement above described.


CHAP. A fellow; An odd chap; A strange fellow.


CHAPERON. The cicisbeo, or gentleman usher to a lady; from the French.


CHAPT. Dry or thirsty.


CHARACTERED, or LETTERED. Burnt in the hand. They have palmed the character upon him; they have burned him in the hand, CANT.--See LETTERED. CHARM. A picklock. CANT.

CHARREN. The smoke of Charren.--His eyes water from the smoke of Charren; a man of that place coming out of his house weeping, because his wife had beat him, told his neighbours the smoke had made his eyes water.

CHATTER BOX. One whose tongue runs twelve score to the dozen, a chattering man or woman.



CHATTS. Lice: perhaps an abbreviation of chattels, lice being the chief live stock of chattels of beggars, gypsies, and the rest of the canting crew. CANT.--Also, according to the canting academy, the gallows.

CHATES. The gallows. CANT.


CHAUNTER CULLS. Grub-street writers, who compose songs, carrols, &c. for ballad-singers. CANT.


CHAUNT. A song.

TO CHAUNT. To sing. To publish an account in the newspapers. The kiddey was chaunted for a toby; his examination concerning a highway robbery was published in
the papers.

CHAW BACON. A countryman. A stupid fellow.


CHEAPSIDE. He came at it by way of Cheapside; he gave little or nothing for it, he bought it cheap.


CHEATS. Sham sleeves to put over a dirty shift or shirt. See SHAMS.


CHEEK BY JOWL. Side by side, hand to fist.

CHEEKS. Ask cheeks near cunnyborough; the repartee of a St. Gilse's fair one, who bids you ask her backside, anglice her a-se. A like answer is current in France: any one asking the road or distance to Macon, a city near Lyons, would be answered by a French lady of easy virtue, 'Mettez votre nez dans mon cul, & vous serrez dans les Fauxbourgs.'

CHEESE-TOASTER. A sword. CHEESE IT; Be silent, be quiet, don't do it. Cheese it, the coves are fly; be silent, the people understand our discourse.


CHEESER. A strong smelling fart.

CHELSEA. A village near London, famous for the military hospital. To get Chelsea; to obtain the benefit of that hospital. Dead Chelsea, by G-d! an exclamation uttered by a grenadier at Fontenoy, on having his leg carried away by a cannon-ball.

CHEST OF TOOLS. A shoe-black's brush and wig, &c. Irish.


CHERRY-COLOURED CAT. A black cat, there being black cherries as well as red.


CHERUBIMS. Peevish children, becausecherubimsand seraphims continually do cry.


CHESHIRE CAT. He grins like a Cheshire cat; said of anyone who shews his teeth and gums in laughing.


CHICK-A-BIDDY. A chicken, so called to and by little children.


CHICKEN-BREASTED. Said of a woman with scarce any breasts.




CHICKEN-HAMMED. Persons whose legs and thighs are bent or archward outwards.


CHICKEN-HEARTED. Fearful, cowardly.

CHICKEN NABOB. One returned from the East Indies with but a moderate fortune of fifty or sixty thousand pounds, a diminutive nabob: a term borrowed from the chicken turtle.

CHILD. To eat a child; to partake of a treat given to the parish officers, in part of commutation for a bastard child the common price was formerly ten pounds and a greasy chiu. See GREASY CHIN.

CHIMNEY CHOPS. An abusive appellation for a negro.


CHINK. Money.


CHIP. A child. A chip of the old block; a child who either in person or sentiments resembles its father or mother. CHIP. A brother chip; a person of the same trade or calling.


CHIPS, A nick name for a carpenter.

CHIMPING MERRY. Exhilarated with liquor. Chirping glass, a cheerful glass, that makes the company chirp like birds in spring.

CHIT. An infant or baby.


CHITTERLINS. The bowels. There is a rumpus among my bowels, i.e. I have the colic. The frill of a shirt.


CHITTY-FACED. Baby-faced; said of one who has a childish look.

CHIVE, or CHIFF. A knife, file: or saw. To chive the darbies; to file off the irons or fetters. To chive the bouhgs of the frows; to cut off women's pockets.

CHIVEY. I gave him a good chivey; I gave him, a hearty Scolding.

CHIVING LAY. Cutting the braces of coaches behind, on which the coachman quitting the box, an accomplice robs the boot; also, formerly, cutting the back of the coach to steal the fine large wigs then worn.

CHOAK. Choak away, the churchyard's near; a jocular saying to a person taken with a violent fit of coughing, or who has swallowed any thing, as it is called the wrong way; Choak, chicken, more are hatching: a like consolation.

CHOAK PEAR. Figuratively, an unanswerable objection: also a machine formerly used in Holland by robbers; it was of iron, shaped like a pear; this they forced into the mouths of persons from whom they intended to extort money; and on turning a key, certain interior springs thrust forth a number of points, in all directions, which so enlarged it, that it could not be taken out of the mouth: and the iron, being case-hardened, could not be filed: the only methods of getting rid of it, were either by cutting the mouth, or advertizing a reward for the key, These pears were also called pears of agony.

CHOAKING PYE, or COLD PYE, A punishment inflicted on any person sleeping in company: it consists in wrapping up cotton in a case or tube of paper, setting it on fire, and directing the smoke up the nostrils of the sleeper. See HOWELL'S COTGRAVE.

CHOCOLATE. To give chocolate without sugar; to reprove. MILITARY TERM.


CHOICE SPIRIT. A thoughtless, laughing, singing, drunken fellow.


CHOP. A blow. Boxing term.

TO CHOP AND CHANGE. To exchange backwards and forwards. To chop, in the canting sense, means making
dispatch, or hurrying over any business: ex. The AUTEM BAWLER will soon quit the HUMS, for he CHOPS UP the WHINERS; the parson will soon quit the pulpit, for he hurries over the prayers. See AUTEM BAWLER, HUMS, and WHINERS,

CHOP CHURCHES. Simoniacal dealers in livings, or other ecclesiastical preferments.


CHOPPING, LUSTY. A chopping boy or girl; a lusty child.

CHOPS. The mouth. I gave him a wherrit, or a souse, across the chops; I gave him a blow over the mouth, See WHERRIT.


CHOUDER. A sea-dish, composed of fresh fish, salt pork, herbs, and sea-biscuits, laid in different layers, and stewed together.

TO CHOUSE. To cheat or trick: he choused me out of it. Chouse is also the term for a game like chuck-farthing.

CHRIST-CROSS ROW. The alphabet in a horn-book: called Christ-cross Row, from having, as an Irishman observed, Christ's cross PREFIXED before and AFTER the twenty-four letters.

CHRISTENING. Erasing the name of the true maker from a stolen watch, and engraving a fictitious one in its place.




CHRISTIAN. A tradesman who has faith, i.e. will give credit.


CHRISTMAS COMPLIMENTS. A cough, kibed heels, and a snotty nose.


CHUB. He is a young chub, or a mere chub; i.e. a foolish fellow, easily imposed on: an illusion to a fish of that name, easily taken. CHUBBY. Round-faced, plump.


CHUCK. My chuck; a term of endearment.


CHUCK FARTHING. A parish clerk.


CHUCKLE-HEADED. Stupid, thick-headed.


CHUFFY. Round-faced, chubby.


CHUM. A chamber-fellow, particularly at the universities and in prison.

CHUMMAGE. Money paid by the richer sort of prisoners in the Fleet and King's Bench, to the poorer, for their share of a room. When prisons are very full, which is too often the case, particularly on the eve of an insolvent act, two or three persons are obliged to sleep in a room. A prisoner who can pay for being alone, chuses two poor chums, who for a stipulated price, called chummage, give up their share of the room, and sleep on the stairs, or, as the term is, ruff it.

CHUNK. Among printers, a journeyman who refuses to work for legal wages; the same as the flint among taylors. See FLINT.

CHURCH WARDEN. A Sussex name fora shag, or cormorant, probably from its voracity.


CHURCH WORK. Said of any work that advances slowly.


CHURCHYARD COUGH. A cough that is likely to terminate in death.


CHURK. The udder.

CHURL. Originally, a labourer or husbandman: figuratively a rude, surly, boorish fellow. To put a churl upon a gentleman; to drink malt liquor immediately after having drunk wine.

CINDER GARBLER. A servant maid, from her business of sifting the ashes from the cinders. CUSTOM-HOUSE WIT.


CIRCUMBENDIBUS. A roundabout way, or story. He took such a circumbendibus; he took such a circuit.


CIT. A citizen of London. CITY COLLEGE. Newgate.


CIVILITY MONEY. A reward claimed by bailiffs for executing their office with civility.


CIVIL RECEPTION. A house of civil reception; a bawdy-house, or nanny-house. See NANNY-HOUSE.


CLACK. A tongue, chiefly applied to women; a simile drawn from the clack of a water-mill.


CLACK-LOFT. A pulpit, so called by orator Henley.


CLAMMED. Starved.

CLAN. A family's tribe or brotherhood; a word much used in Scotland. The head of the clan; the chief: an allusion to a story of a Scotchman, who, when a very large louse crept down his arm, put him back again, saying he was the head of the clan, and that, if injured, all the rest would resent it.

CLANK. A silver tankard. CANT.


CLANK NAPPER. A silver tankard stealer. See RUM BUBBER.


CLANKER. A great lie.

CLAP. A venereal taint. He went out by Had'em, and came round by Clapham home; i.e. he went out a wenching, and got a clap.

CLAP ON THE SHOULDER. An arrest for debt; whence a bum bailiff is called a shoulder-clapper.


CLAPPER. The tongue of a bell, and figuratively of a man or woman.


CLAPPER CLAW. To scold, to abuse, or claw off with the tongue.



CLARET. French red wine; figuratively, blood. I tapped his claret; I broke his head, and made the blood run. Claret-faced; red-faced.

CLAWED OFF. Severely beaten or whipped; also smartly poxed or clapped.


CLEAR. Very drunk. The cull is clear, let's bite him; the fellow is very drunk, let's cheat him. CANT.


CLEAVER. One that will cleave; used of a forward or wanton woman.

CLEAN. Expert; clever. Amongst the knuckling coves he is reckoned very clean; he is considered very expert as a pickpocket.

CLERKED. Soothed, funned, imposed on. The cull will not be clerked; i.e. the fellow will not be imposed on by fair words.

CLEYMES. Artificial sores, made by beggars to excite charity.


CLICK. A blow. A click in the muns; a blow or knock in the face. CANT.


TO CLICK. To snatch. To click a nab; to snatch a hat. CANT.


CLICKER. A salesman's servant; also, one who proportions out the different shares of the booty among thieves.

CLICKET. Copulation of foxes; and thence used, in a canting sense, for that of men and women: as, The cull and the mort are at clicket in the dyke; the man and woman are copulating in the ditch.

CLIMB. To climb the three trees with a ladder; to ascend the gallows.

CLINCH. A pun or quibble. To clinch, or to clinch the nail; to confirm an improbable story by another: as, A man swore he drove a tenpenny nail through the moon; a bystander said it was true, for he was on the other side and clinched it.

CLINK. A place in the Borough of Southwark, formerly privileged from arrests; and inhabited by lawless vagabonds of every denomination, called, from the place of
their residence, clinkers. Also a gaol, from the clinking of the prisoners' chains or fetters: he is gone to clink.

CLINKERS. A kind of small Dutch bricks; also irons worn by prisoners; a crafty fellow.

TO CLIP. To hug or embrace: to clip and cling. To clip the coin; to diminish the current coin. To clip the king's English; to be unable to speak plain through drunkenness.

CLOAK TWITCHERS. Rogues who lurk about the entrances into dark alleys, and bye-lanes, to snatch cloaks from the shoulders of passengers.

CLOD HOPPER. A country farmer, or ploughman.


CLOD PATE. A dull, heavy booby.


CLOD POLE. The same.


CLOSE. As close as God's curse to a whore's a-se: close as shirt and shitten a-se.


CLOSE-FISTED. Covetous or stingy.

CLOSH. A general name given by the mobility to Dutch seamen, being a corruption of CLAUS, the abbreviation of Nicholas, a name very common among the men of that nation.

CLOTH MARKET. He is just come from the cloth market, i.e. from between the sheets, he is just risen from bed.


CLOUD. Tobacco. Under a cloud; in adversity.


CLOVEN, CLEAVE, or CLEFT. A term used for a woman who passes for a maid, but is not one.

CLOVEN FOOT. To spy the cloven foot in any business; to discover some roguery or something bad in it: a saying that alludes to a piece of vulgar superstition, which is, that, let the Devil transform himself into what shape he will, he cannot hide his cloven foot

TO CHUCK. To shew a propensity for a man. The mors chucks; the wench wants to be doing.

CLOUT. A blow. I'll give you a clout on your jolly nob; I'll give you a blow on your head. It also means a handkerchief. CANT. Any pocket handkerchief except a silk one.

CLOUTED SHOON. Shoes tipped with iron.


CLOUTING LAY. Picking pockets of handkerchiefs. CLOVER. To be, or live, in clover; to live luxuriously. Clover is the most desirable food for cattle.


CLOWES. Rogues.


CLOY. To steal. To cloy the clout; to steal the handkerchief. To cloy the lour; to steal money. CANT.


CLOVES. Thieves, robbers, &c.


CLUB. A meeting or association, where each man is to spend an equal and stated sum, called his club.


CLUB LAW. Argumentum bacculinum, in which an oaken stick is a better plea than an act of parliament.


CLUMP. A lump. Clumpish; lumpish, stupid.


CLUNCH. An awkward clownish fellow.


TO CLUTCH THE FIST. To clench or shut the hand. Clutch fisted; covetous, stingy. See CLOSE-FISTED.


CLUTCHES. Hands, gripe, power.


CLUTTER. A stir, noise, or racket: what a confounded clutter here is!


CLY. Money; also a pocket. He has filed the cly; he has picked a pocket. CANT.


CLY THE JERK: To be whipped. CANT.


CLYSTER PIPE. A nick name for an apothecary.

COACH WHEEL. A half crown piece is a fore coach wheel, and a crown piece a hind coach wheel; the fore wheels of a coach being less than the hind ones.

TO COAX. To fondle, or wheedle. To coax a pair of stockings; to pull down the part soiled into the shoes, so as to give a dirty pair of stockings the appearance of clean ones. Coaxing is also used, instead of darning, to hide the holes about the ancles.

COB. A Spanish dollar.

COB, or COBBING. A punishment used by the seamen for petty offences, or irregularities, among themselves: it consists in bastonadoing the offender on the posteriors with a cobbing stick, or pipe staff; the number usually inflicted is a dozen. At the first stroke the executioner repeats the word WATCH, on which all persons present are to take off their hats, on pain of like punishment: the last stroke is always given as hard as possible, and is called THE PURSE. Ashore, among soldiers, where this punishment is sometimes adopted, WATCH and THE PURSE are not included in the number, but given over and above, or, in the vulgar phrase, free gratis for nothing. This piece of discipline is also inflicted in Ireland, by the school-boys, on persons coming into the school without taking off their hats; it is there called school butter.

COBBLE. A kind of boat.


TO COBBLE. To mend, or patch; likewise to do a thing in a bungling manner.




COBBLER. A mender of shoes, an improver of the understandings of his customers; a translator.


COBBLERS PUNCH. Treacle, vinegar, gin, and water.

COCK, or CHIEF COCK OF THE WALK. The leading man in any society or body; the best boxer in a village or district.

COCK ALE. A provocative drink.


COCK ALLEY or COCK LANE. The private parts of a woman.


COCK AND A BULL STORY. A roundabout story, without head or tail, i.e. beginning or ending.

COCK OF THE COMPANY. A weak man, who from the desire of being the head of the company associates with low
people, and pays all the reckoning.

COCK-A-WHOOP. Elevated, in high-spirits, transported with joy.


COCK BAWD. A male keeper of a bawdy-house.


COCK HOIST. A cross buttock.


COCKISH. Wanton, forward. A cockish wench; a forward coming girl.

COCKLES. To cry cockles; to be hanged: perhaps from the noise made whilst strangling. CANT.--This will rejoice the cockles of one's heart; a saying in praise of wine, ale, or spirituous liquors.

COCK PIMP. The supposed husband of a bawd.


COCK ROBIN. A soft, easy fellow.

COCK-SURE. Certain: a metaphor borrowed front the cock of a firelock, as being much more certain to fire than the match.

COCK YOUR EYE. Shut one eye: thus translated into apothecaries Latin.--Gallus tuus ego.


COCKER. One fond of the diversion of cock-fighting.

COCKNEY: A nick name given to the citizens of London, or persons born within the sound of Bow bell, derived from the following story: A citizen of London, being in the country, and hearing a horse neigh, exclaimed,
Lord! how that horse laughs! A by-stander telling him that noise was called NEIGHING, the next morning, when the cock crowed, the citizen to shew he had not forgot what was told him, cried out, Do you hear how the COCK NEIGHS? The king of the cockneys is mentioned among the regulations for the sports and shows formerly held in the Middle Temple on Childermas Day, where he had his officers, a marshal, constable, butler, &c. See DUGDALE'S ORIGINES JURIDICIALES, p. 247.--Ray says, the interpretation of the word Cockney, is, a young person coaxed or conquered, made wanton; or a nestle cock, delicately bred and brought up, so as, when arrived a man's estate, to be unable to bear the least hardship. Whatever may be the origin of this appellation, we learn from the following verses, attributed to Hugh Bigot, Earl of Norfolk, that it was in use. in the time of king Henry II.

Was I in my castle at Bungay,
Fast by the river Waveney,
I would not care for the king of Cockney;

i.e. the king of London.


COCKSHUT TIME. The evening, when fowls go to roost.


COD. A cod of money: a good sum of money.


CODDERS. Persons employed by the gardeners to gather peas.


CODGER. An old codger: an old fellow.

COD PIECE. The fore flap of a man's breeches. Do they bite, master? where, in the cod piece or collar?--a jocular attack on a patient angler by watermen, &c.

CODS. The scrotum. Also a nick name for a curate: a rude fellow meeting a curate, mistook him for the rector, and accosted him with the vulgar appellation of Bol--ks the rector, No, Sir, answered he; only Cods the curate, at your service.

COD'S HEAD. A stupid fellow.

COFFEE HOUSE. A necessary house. To make a coffee-house of a woman's ****; to go in and out and spend

COG. The money, or whatsoever the sweeteners drop to draw in a bubble.

COG. A tooth. A queer cog; a rotten tooth. How the cull flashes his queer cogs; how the fool shews his rotten teeth.

TO COG. To cheat with dice; also to coax or wheedle, To cog a die; to conceal or secure a die. To cog a dinner; to wheedle one out of a dinner.

COGUE. A dram of any spirituous liquor.


COKER. A lie.


COKES. The fool in the play of Bartholomew Fair: perhaps a contraction of the word COXCOMB.


COLCANNON. Potatoes and cabbage pounded together in a mortar, and then stewed with butter: an Irish dish.

COLD. You will catch cold at that; a vulgar threat or advice to desist from an attempt. He caught cold by lying in bed barefoot; a saying of any one extremely tender or careful of himself.

COLD BURNING. A punishment inflicted by private soldiers on their comrades for trifling offences, or breach of their mess laws; it is administered in the following manner: The prisoner is set against the wall, with the arm which is to be burned tied as high above his head as possible. The executioner then ascends a stool, and having a bottle of cold water, pours it slowly down the sleeve of the delinquent, patting him, and leading the water gently down his body, till it runs out at his breeches knees: this is repeated to the other arm, if he is sentenced to be burned in both.

COLD COOK. An undertaker of funerals, or carrion hunter. See CARRION HUNTER.


COLD IRON. A sword, or any other weapon for cutting or stabbing. I gave him two inches of cold iron into his beef.


COLD MEAT. A dead wife is the beat cold meat in a man's house.

COLD PIG. To give cold pig is a punishment inflicted on sluggards who lie too long in bed: it consists in pulling off all the bed clothes from them, and throwing cold water upon them.

COLD PUDDING. This is said to settle one's love.


COLE. Money. Post the cole: pay down the money.




COLLAR DAY. Execution day.

COLLEGE. Newgate or any other prison. New College: the Royal Exchange. King's College: the King's Bench prison. He has been educated at the steel, and took his last degree at college; he has received his education at the house of correction, and was hanged at Newgate.

COLLEGE COVE. The College cove has numbered him, and if he is knocked down he'll be twisted; the turnkey of Newgate has told the judge how many times the prisoner has been tried before and therefore if he is found guilty, he certainly will be hanged. It is said to be the custom of the Old Bailey for one of the turnkeys of Newgate to give information to the judge how many times an old offender has been tried, by holding up as many fingers as the number of times the prisoner has been before arraigned at that bar.

COLLEGIATES. Prisoners of the one, and shopkeepers of the other of those places.


COLLECTOR. A highwayman.


TO COLLOGUE. To wheedle or coax. COOK RUFFIAN, who roasted the devil in his feathers. A bad cook.


COOL CRAPE. A shroud.


COOLER. A woman.


COOLER. The backside. Kiss my cooler. Kiss my a-se. It is principally used to signify a woman's posteriors.


COOL LADY. A female follower of the camp, who sells brandy.




COOL TANKARD. Wine and water, with lemon, sugar, and burrage.


COLQUARRON. A man's neck. His colquarron is just about to be twisted; he is just going to be hanged. CANT.

COLT. One who lets horses to highwaymen; also a boy newly initiated into roguery; a grand or petty juryman on his first assize. CANT.

COLTAGE. A fine or beverage paid by colts on their first entering into their offices.


COLT BOWL. Laid short of the jack by a colt bowler, i.e. a person raw or unexperienced in the art of bowling.


COLT'S TOOTH. An old fellow who marries or keeps a young girl, is said to have a colt's tooth in his head.


COLT VEAL. Coarse red veal, more like the flesh of a colt than that of a calf.

COMB. To comb one's head; to clapperclaw, or scold any one: a woman who lectures her husband, is said to comb his head. She combed his head with a joint stool; she threw a stool at him.

COME. To come; to lend. Has he come it; has he lent it? To come over any one; to cheat or over reach him. Coming wench; a forward wench, also a breeding woman.

COMING! SO IS CHRISTMAS. Said of a person who has long been called, and at length answers, Coming!




COMMODE. A woman's head dress.


COMMODITY. A woman's commodity; the private parts of a modest woman, and the public parts of a prostitute.


COMMONS. The house of commons; the necessary house.


COMPANY. To see company; to enter into a course of prostitution.




COMUS'S COURT. A social meeting formerly held at the Half Moon tavern Cheapside.


CONFECT. Counterfeited.

CONGER. To conger; the agreement of a set or knot of booksellers of London, that whosoever of them shall buy a good copy, the rest shall take off such a particular number, in quires, at a stated price; also booksellers joining to buy either a considerable or dangerous copy.

CONGO. Will you lap your congo with me? will you drink tea with me?


CONNY WABBLE. Eggs and brandy beat up together. IRISH.


CONSCIENCE KEEPER. A superior, who by his influence makes his dependants act as he pleases.


CONTENT. The cull's content; the man is past complaining: a saying of a person murdered for resisting the robbers. CANT.


CONTENT. A thick liquor, in imitation of chocolate, made of milk and gingerbread.

CONTRA DANCE. A dance where the dancers of the different sexes stand opposite each other, instead of side by side, as in the minuet, rigadoon, louvre, &c. and now corruptly called a country dance.

CONUNDRUMS. Enigmatical conceits.




CONVENIENCY. A necessary. A leathern conveniency, a coach. COOPED UP. Imprisoned, confined like a fowl in a coop.


COQUET. A jilt.


CORINTH. A bawdy-house. CANT.

CORINTHIANS: Frequenters of brothels. Also an impudent, brazen-faced fellow, perhaps from the Corinthian brass.

CORK-BRAINED. Light-headed, foolish.


CORNED. Drunk.


CORNISH HUG. A particular lock in wrestling, peculiar to the people of that county.


CORNY-FACED. A very red pimpled face.

CORPORAL. To mount a corporal and four; to be guilty of onanism: the thumb is the corporal, the four fingers the privates.

CORPORATION. A large belly. He has a glorious corporation; he has a very prominent belly.

CORPORATION. The magistrates, &c. of a corporate town. Corpus sine ratione. Freemen of a corporation's work; neither strong nor handsome.

COSSET. A foundling. Cosset colt or lamb; a colt or lamb brought up by hand.


COSTARD. The head. I'll smite your costard; I'll give you a knock on the head.


COSTARD MONGER. A dealer in fruit, particularly apples.

COT, or QUOT. A man who meddles with women's household business, particularly in the kitchen. The punishment commonly inflicted on a quot, is pinning a greasy dishclout to the skirts of his coat.

COVE. A man, a fellow, a rogue. The cove was bit; the rogue was outwitted. The cove has bit the cole; the rogue has got the money. CANT.

COVENT, or CONVENT GARDEN, vulgarly called COMMON GARDEN. Anciently, the garden belonging to a dissolved monastery; now famous for being the chief market in London for fruit, flowers, and herbs. The theatres are situated near it. In its environs are many brothels, and not long ago, the lodgings of the second order of ladies of easy virtue were either there, or in the purlieus of Drury Lane.


COVENT GARDEN AGUE. The venereal disease. He broke his shins against Covent Garden rails; he caught the venereal disorder.

COVENT GARDEN NUN. A prostitute.

COVENTRY. To send one to Coventry; a punishment inflicted by officers of the army on such of their brethren as are testy, or have been guilty of improper behaviour, not worthy the cognizance of a court martial. The person sent to Coventry is considered as absent; no one must speak to or answer any question he asks, except relative to duty, under penalty of being also sent to the same place. On a proper submission, the penitent is recalled, and welcomed by the mess, as just returned from a journey to Coventry.

COVEY. A collection of whores. What a fine covey here is, if the Devil would but throw his net!


TO COUCH A HOGSHEAD. To lie down to sleep. CANT.


COUNTERFEIT CRANK. A general cheat, assuming all sorts of characters; one conterfeiting the falling sickness.




COUNTRY PUT. An ignorant country fellow.


COUNTY WORK. Said of any work that advances slowly.


COURT CARD. A gay fluttering coxcomb.


COURT HOLY WATER, COURT PROMISES. Fair speeches and promises, without performance.


COURT OF ASSISTANTS. A court often applied to by young women who marry old men.

COW. To sleep like a cow, with a **** at one's a-se; said of a married man; married men being supposed to sleep with their backs towards their wives, according to the following proclamation:

All you that in your beds do lie,
Turn to your wives, and occupy:
And when that you have done your best, Turn a-se to a-se, and take your rest.



COW'S BABY. A calf.


COW'S COURANT. Gallop and sh---e.


COW-HANDED. Awkward.




COW ITCH. The product of a sort of bean, which excites an insufferable itching, used chiefly for playing tricks.




COW'S THUMB. Done to a cow's thumb; done exactly.

COXCOMB. Anciently, a fool. Fools, in great families, wore a cap with bells, on the top of which was a piece of red cloth, in the shape of a cock's comb. At present, coxcomb signifies a fop, or vain self-conceited fellow.

CRAB. To catch a crab; to fall backwards by missing one's stroke in rowing.


CRAB LANTHORN. A peevish fellow.


CRAB LOUSE. A species of louse peculiar to the human body; the male is denominated a cock, the female a hen.




CRABS. A losing throw to the main at hazard.


CRABBED. Sour, ill-tempered, difficult.


CRACK. A whore.


TO CRACK. To boast or brag; also to break. I cracked his napper; I broke his head.


THE CRACK, or ALL THE CRACK. The fashionable theme, the go. The Crack Lay, of late is used, in the cant language, to signify the art and mystery of house-breaking. CRACKER. Crust, sea biscuit, or ammunition loaf; also the backside. Farting crackers; breeches.


CRACKISH. Whorish.


CRACKING TOOLS. Implements of house-breaking, such as a crow, a center bit, false keys, &c.

CRACKMANS. Hedges. The cull thought to have loped by breaking through the crackmans, but we fetched him back by a nope on the costard, which stopped his jaw; the man thought to have escaped by breaking through the hedge, but we brought him back by a great blow on the head, which laid him speechless.

CRACKSMAN. A house-breaker. The kiddy is a clever cracksman; the young fellow is a very expert house-breaker.


CRAG. The neck.


CRAMP RINGS. Bolts, shackles, or fetters. CANT.

CRAMP WORDS. Sentence of death passed on a criminal by a judge. He has just undergone the cramp word; sentence has just been passed on him. CANT.

CRANK. Gin and water; also, brisk, pert.


CRANK. The falling sickness. CANT.


TO CRASH. To kill. Crash that cull; kill that fellow. CANT.



CRAW THUMPERS. Roman catholics, so called from their beating their breasts in the confession of their sins. See BRISKET BEATER, and BREAST FLEET.

CREAM-POT LOVE. Such as young fellows pretend to dairymaids, to get cream and other good things from them.


TO CREEME. To slip or slide any thing into the hands of another. CANT.


CREEPERS. Gentlemen's companions, lice.


CREW. A knot or gang; also a boat or ship's company. The canting crew are thus divided into twenty-three orders, which see under the different words: MEN.

1 Rufflers
2 Upright Men
3 Hookers or Anglers
4 Rogues
5 Wild Rogues
6 Priggers of Prancers
7 Palliardes
8 Fraters
9 Jarkmen, or Patricoes
10 Fresh Water Mariners, or Whip Jackets
11 Drummerers
12 Drunken Tinkers
13 Swadders, or Pedlars
14 Abrams.


1 Demanders for Glimmer or Fire
2 Bawdy Baskets
3 Morts
4 Autem Morts
5 Walking Morts
6 Doxies
7 Delles
8 Kinching Morts
9 Kinching Coes

CRIB. A house. To crack a crib: to break open a house.


TO CRIB. To purloin, or appropriate to one's own use, part of any thing intrusted to one's care.


TO FIGHT A CRIB. To make a sham fight. BEAR GARDEN TERM.

CRIBBAGE-FACED. Marked with the small pox, the pits bearing a kind of resemblance to the holes in a cribbage-board.

CRIBBEYS, or CRIBBY ISLANDS. Blind alleys, courts, or bye-ways; perhaps from the houses built there being cribbed out of the common way or passage; and islands, from the similarity of sound to the Caribbee Islands.

CRIM. CON. MONEY. Damages directed by a jury to be paid by a convicted adulterer to the injured husband, for criminal conversation with his wife.

CRIMP. A broker or factor, as a coal crimp, who disposes of the cargoes of the Newcastle coal ships; also persons employed to trapan or kidnap recruits for the East Indian and African companies. To crimp, or play crimp; to play foul or booty: also a cruel manner of cutting up fish alive, practised by the London fishmongers, in order to make it eat firm; cod, and other crimped fish, being a favourite dish among voluptuaries and epicures.

CRINKUM CRANKUM. A woman's commodity. See SPECTATOR.


CRINKUMS. The foul or venereal disease.


CRIPPLE. Sixpence; that piece being commonly much bent and distorted.

CRISPIN. A shoemaker: from a romance, wherein a prince of that name is said to have exercised the art and mystery of a shoemaker, thence called the gentle craft: or rather from the saints Crispinus and Crispianus, who according to the legend, were brethren born at Rome, from whence they travelled to Soissons in France, about the year 303, to propagate the Christian religion; but, because they would not be chargeable to others for their maintenance, they exercised the trade of shoemakers: the governor of the town discovering them to be Christians, ordered them to be beheaded, about the year 303; from which time they have been the tutelar saints of the shoemakers.

CRISPIN'S HOLIDAY. Every Monday throughout the year, but most particularly the 25th of October, being the anniversary of Crispinus and Crispianus.


CROAKER. One who is always foretelling some accident or misfortune: an allusion to the croaking of a raven, supposed ominous.

CROAKUMSHIRE. Northumberland, from the particular croaking the pronunciation of the people of that county, especially about Newcastle and Morpeth, where they are said to be born with a burr in their throats, which prevents their pronouncing the letter r.

CROAKERS. Forestallers, called also Kidders and Tranters.

CROCODILE'S TEARS. The tears of a hypocrite. Crocodiles are fabulously reported to shed tears over their prey before they devour it.

CROCUS, or CROCUS METALLORUM. A nick name for a surgeon of the army and navy.


CROKER. A groat, or four pence.


CRONE. An old ewe whose teeth are worn out; figuratively, a toothless old beldam.


CRONY. An intimate companion, a comrade; also a confederate in a robbery.


CROOK. Sixpence.


CROOK BACK. Sixpence; for the reason of this name, see CRIPPLE.

CROOK YOUR ELBOW. To crook one's elbow, and wish it may never come straight, if the fact then affirmed is not true--according to the casuists of Bow-street and St. Giles's, adds great weight and efficacy to an oath.

CROOK SHANKS. A nickname for a man with bandy legs. He buys his boots in Crooked Lane, and his stockings in Bandy-legged Walk; his legs grew in the night, therefore could not see to grow straight; jeering sayings of men with crooked legs.

CROP. A nick name for a presbyterian: from their cropping their hair, which they trimmed close to a bowl-dish, placed as a guide on their heads; whence they were likewise called roundheads. See ROUNDHEADS.

CROP. To be knocked down for a crop; to be condemned to be hanged. Cropped, hanged.

CROPPING DRUMS. Drummers of the foot guards, or Chelsea hospital, who find out weddings, and beat a point of war to serenade the new married couple, and thereby obtain money.

CROPPEN. The tail. The croppen of the rotan; the tail of the cart. Croppen ken: the necessary-house. CANT.


CROPSICK. Sickness in the stomach, arising from drunkenness.


CROSS. To come home by weeping cross; to repent at the conclusion.


CROSS DISHONEST. A cross cove; any person who lives by stealing or in a dishonest manner.

CROSS BITE. One who combines with a sharper to draw in a friend; also, to counteract or disappoint. CANT.--This is peculiarly used to signify entrapping a man so as to obtain CRIM. COM. money, in which the wife, real or supposed, conspires with the husband.

CROSS BUTTOCK. A particular lock or fall in the Broughtonian art, which, as Mr. Fielding observes, conveyed more pleasant sensations to the spectators than the patient.

CROSS PATCH. A peevish boy or girl, or rather an unsocial ill-tempered man or woman.

TO CROW. To brag, boast, or triumph. To crow over any one; to keep him in subjection: an image drawn from a cock, who crows over a vanquished enemy. To pluck a crow; to reprove any one for a fault committed, to settle a dispute. To strut like a crow in a gutter; to walk proudly, or with an air of consequence.

CROWD. A fiddle: probably from CROOTH, the Welch name for that instrument.


CROWDERO. A fiddler.


CROWDY. Oatmeal and water, or milk; a mess much eaten in the north.


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

CROWN OFFICE. The head. I fired into her keel upwards; my eyes and limbs Jack, the crown office was full; I s--k-d a woman with her a-e upwards, she was so drunk, that her head lay on the ground.

CRUISERS. Beggars, or highway spies, who traverse the road, to give intelligence of a booty; also rogues ready to snap up any booty that may offer, like privateers or pirates on a cruise.

CRUMMY. Fat, fleshy. A fine crummy dame; a fat woman. He has picked up his crumbs finely of late; he has grown very fat, or rich, of late.

CRUMP. One who helps solicitors to affidavit men, or false witnesses.--'I wish you had, Mrs. Crump;' a Gloucestershire saying, in answer to a wish for any thing; implying, you must not expect any assistance from the speaker. It is said to have originated from the following incident: One Mrs. Crump, the wife of a substantial farmer, dining with the old Lady Coventry, who was extremely deaf, said to one of the footmen, waiting at table, 'I wish I had a draught of small beer,' her modesty not permitting her to desire so fine a gentleman to bring it: the fellow, conscious that his mistress could not hear either the request or answer, replied, without moving, 'I wish you had, Mrs. Crump.' These wishes being again repeated by both parties, Mrs. Crump got up from the table to fetch it herself; and being asked by my lady where she was going, related what had passed. The story being told abroad, the expression became proverbial.

CRUMP-BACKED. Hump-backed.


CRUSTY BEAU. One that uses paint and cosmetics, to obtain a fine complexion.


CRUSTY FELLOW. A surly fellow.

CUB. An unlicked cub; an unformed, ill-educated young man, a young nobleman or gentleman on his travels: an allusion to the story of the bear, said to bring its cub into form by licking. Also, a new gamester.

CUCKOLD. The husband of an incontinent wife: cuckolds, however, are Christians, as we learn by the following story: An old woman hearing a man call his dog Cuckold, reproved him sharply, saying, 'Sirrah, are not you ashamed to call a dog by a Christian's name ?' To cuckold the parson; to bed with one's wife before she has been churched.

CUCUMBERS. Taylors, who are jocularly said to subsist, during the summer, chiefly on cucumbers.

CUFF. An old cuff; an old man. To cuff Jonas; said of one who is knock-kneed, or who beats his sides to keep himself warm in frosty weather; called also Beating the

CUFFIN. A man.


CULL. A man, honest or otherwise. A bob cull; a good- natured, quiet fellow. CANT.


CULLABILITY. A disposition liable to be cheated, an unsuspecting nature, open to imposition.


CULLY. A fog or fool: also, a dupe to women: from the Italian word coglione, a blockhead.

CULP. A kick or blow: from the words mea culpa, being that part of the popish liturgy at which the people beat their breasts; or, as the vulgar term is, thump their craws.

CUNDUM. The dried gut of a sheep, worn by men in the act of coition, to prevent venereal infection; said to have been invented by one colonel Cundum. These machines were long prepared and sold by a matron of the name of Philips, at the Green Canister, in Half-moon-street, in the Strand. That good lady having acquired a fortune, retired from business; but learning that the town was not well served by her successors, she, out of a patriotic zeal for the public welfare, returned to her occupation; of which she gave notice by divers hand-bills, in circulation in the year 1776. Also a false scabbard over a sword, and the oil-skin case for holding the colours of a regiment.

CUNNINGHAM. A punning appellation for a simple fellow.

CUNNING MAN. A cheat, who pretends by his skill in astrology to assist persons in recovering stolen goods: and also to tell them their fortunes, and when, how often, and to whom they shall be married; likewise answers all lawful questions, both by sea and land. This profession is frequently occupied by ladies.

CUNNING SHAVER. A sharp fellow, one that trims close, i.e. cheats ingeniously.


CUNNY-THUMBED. To double one's fist with the thumb inwards, like a woman.


C**T. The chonnos of the Greek, and the cunnus of the Latin dictionaries; a nasty name for a nasty thing: un con Miege.


CUP OF THE CREATURE. A cup of good liquor.


CUP-SHOT. Drunk.

CUPBOARD LOVE. Pretended love to the cook, or any other person, for the sake of a meal. My guts cry cupboard; i.e. I am hungry

CUPID, BLIND CUPID. A jeering name for an ugly blind man: Cupid, the god of love, being frequently painted blind. See BLIND CUPID.

CUR. A cut or curtailed dog. According to the forest laws, a man who had no right to the privilege of the chase, was obliged to cut or law his dog: among other modes of disabling him from disturbing the game, one was by depriving him of his tail: a dog so cut was called a cut or
curtailed dog, and by contraction a cur. A cur is figuratively used to signify a surly fellow.

CURBING LAW. The act of hooking goods out of windows: the curber is the thief, the curb the hook. CANT.


CURE A-SE. A dyachilon plaister, applied to the parts galled by riding.


CURLE. Clippings of money, which curls up in the operation. CANT.


CURMUDGEON. A covetous old fellow, derived, according to some, from the French term coeur mechant.

CURRY. To curry favour; to obtain the favour of a person be coaxing or servility. To curry any one's hide; to beat him.

CURSE OF SCOTLAND. The nine of diamonds; diamonds, it is said, imply royalty, being ornaments to the imperial crown; and every ninth king of Scotland has been observed for many ages, to be a tyrant and a curse to that country. Others say it is from its similarity to the arms of Argyle; the Duke of Argyle having been very instrumental in bringing about the union, which, by some Scotch patriots, has been considered as detrimental to their country.

CURSE OF GOD. A cockade.


CURSITORS. Broken petty-fogging attornies, or Newgate solicitors. CANT.

CURTAILS. Thieves who cut off pieces of stuff hanging out of shop windows, the tails of women's gowns, &c.; also, thieves wearing short jackets.

CURTAIN LECTURE. A woman who scolds her husband when in bed, is said to read him a curtain lecture.


CURTEZAN. A prostitute.

CUSHION. He has deserved the cushion; a saying of one whose wife is brought to bed of a boy: implying, that having done his business effectually, he may now indulge or repose himself.

CUSHION THUMPER, or DUSTER. A parson; many of whom in the fury of their eloquence, heartily belabour their cushions.


CUSTARD CAP. The cap worn by the sword-bearer of the city of London, made hollow at the top like a custard.


CUSTOM-HOUSE GOODS. The stock in trade of a prostitute, because fairly entered.

CUT. Drunk. A little cut over the head; slightly intoxicated. To cut; to leave a person or company. To cut up well; to die rich.

TO CUT. (Cambridge.) To renounce acquaintance with any one is to CUT him. There are several species of the CUT. Such as the cut direct, the cut indirect, the cut sublime, the cut infernal, &c. The cut direct, is to start across the street, at the approach of the obnoxious person in order to avoid him. The cut indirect, is to look another way, and pass without appearing to observe him. The cut sublime, is to admire the top of King's College Chapel, or the beauty of the passing clouds, till he is out of sight. The cut infernal, is to analyze the arrangement of your shoe-strings, for the same purpose.

TO CUT BENE. To speak gently. To cut bene whiddes; to give good words. To cut queer whiddes; to give foul language. To cut a bosh, or a flash; to make a figure. CANT.

TO CUTTY-EYE. To look out of the corners of one's eyes, to leer, to look askance. The cull cutty-eyed at us; the fellow looked suspicious at us.

DAB. An adept; a dab at any feat or exercise. Dab, quoth Dawkins, when he hit his wife on the a-se with a pound of butter.

DACE. Two pence. Tip me a dace; lend me two pence. CANT.


DADDLES. Hands. Tip us your daddle; give me your hand. CANT.


DADDY. Father. Old daddy; a familiar address to an old man. To beat daddy mammy; the first rudiments of drum beating, being the elements of the roll. DAGGERS. They are at daggers drawing; i.e. at enmity, ready to fight.


DAIRY. A woman's breasts, particularly one that gives suck. She sported her dairy; she pulled out her breast.

DAISY CUTTER. A jockey term for a horse that does not lift up his legs sufficiently, or goes too near the ground, and is therefore apt to stumble.

DAISY KICKERS. Ostlers at great inns.

DAM. A small Indian coin, mentioned in the Gentoo code of laws: hence etymologists may, if they please, derive the common expression, I do not care a dam, i.e. I do not care half a farthing for it.

DAMBER. A rascal. See DIMBER.


DAMME BOY. A roaring, mad, blustering fellow, a scourer of the streets, or kicker up of a breeze.

DAMNED SOUL. A clerk in a counting house, whose sole business it is to clear or swear off merchandise at the custom-house; and who, it is said, guards against the crime of perjury, by taking a previous oath, never to swear truly on those occasions.