|UNCLE. Mine uncle’s; a necessary house. He is gone to visit his uncle;
saying of one who leaves his wife soon after marriage. It likewise means a
pawnbroker’s: goods pawned are frequently said to be at mine uncle’s, or
laid up in lavender.
UNDERSTRAPPER. An inferior in any office, or department.
UNDER DUBBER. A turnkey.
UNFORTUNATE GENTLEMEN. The horse guards, who thus named themselves in
Germany, where a general officer seeing them very awkward in bundling up
their forage, asked what the devil they were; to which some of them
answered, unfortunate gentlemen.
UNFORTUNATE WOMEN. Prostitutes: so termed by the virtuous and
compassionate of their own sex.
UNGRATEFUL MAN. A parson, who at least once a week abuses his best
benefactor, i.e. the devil.
UNGUENTUM AUREUM. A bribe.
UNICORN. A coach drawn by three horses.
UNLICKED CUB. A rude uncouth young fellow.
UNRIGGED. Undressed, or stripped. Unrig the drab; strip the wench.
UNTRUSS. To untruss a point; to let down one’s breeches in order to ease
one’s self. Breeches were formerly tied with points, which till lately
were distributed to the boys every Whit Monday by the churchwardens of
most of the parishes in London, under the denomination of tags: these tags
were worsteds of different colours twisted up to a size somewhat thicker
than packthread, and tagged at both ends with tin. Laces were at the same
given to the girls.
UNTWISTED. Undone, ruined, done up.
UNWASHED BAWDRY. Rank bawdry.
UP TO THEIR GOSSIP. To be a match for one who attempts to cheat or
deceive; to be on a footing, or in the secret. I’ll be up with him; I will
repay him in kind.
UPHILLS. False dice that run high.
UPPER BENJAMIN. A great coat. .
UPPER STORY, or GARRET. Figuratively used to signify the head. His upper
story or garrets are unfurnished; i.e. he is an empty or foolish fellow.
UPPING BLOCK. [Called in some counties a leaping stock, in others a
jossing block.] Steps for mounting a horse. He sits like a toad on a
jossing block; said of one who sits ungracefully on horseback.
UPPISH. Testy, apt to take offence.
UPRIGHT. Go upright; a word used by shoemakers, taylors and their
servants, when any money is given to make them drink, and signifies, Bring
it all out in liquor, though the donor intended less, and expects change,
or some of his money, to be returned. Three-penny upright.
See THREEPENNY UPRIGHT,
UPRIGHT MAN. An upright man signifies the chief or principal of a crew.
The vilest, stoutest rogue in the pack is generally chosen to this post,
and has the sole right to the first night’s lodging with the dells, who
afterwards are used in common among the whole fraternity. He carries a
short truncheon in his hand, which he calls his filchman, and has a larger
share than ordinary in whatsoever is gotten in the society. He often
travels in company with thirty or forty males and females, abram men, and
others, over whom he presides arbitrarily. Sometimes the women and
children who are unable to travel, or fatigued, are by turns carried in
panniers by an ass, or two, or by some poor jades procured for that
UPSTARTS. Persons lately raised to honours and riches from mean stations.
URCHIN. A child, a little fellow; also a hedgehog.
URINAL OF THE PLANETS. Ireland: so called from the frequent rains in that
USED UP. Killed: a military saying, originating from a message sent by the
late General Guise, on the expedition at Carthagena, where he desired the
commander in chief to order him some more grenadiers, for those he had
were all used up.
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