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SACHEVEREL. The iron door, or blower, to the mouth of a stove: from a divine of that name, who made himself famous for blowing the coals of dissension in the latter end of the reign of queen Ann.
SACK. A pocket. To buy the sack: to get drunk. To dive into the sack; to pick a pocket. To break a bottle in an empty sack; a bubble bet, a sack with a bottle in it not being an empty sack.
SAD DOG. A wicked debauched fellow; one of the ancient family of the sad dogs. Swift translates it into Latin by the words TRISTIS CANIS.
SADDLE. To saddle the spit; to give a dinner or supper. To saddle one’s nose; to wear spectacles. To saddle a place or pension; to oblige the holder to pay a certain portion of his income to some one nominated by the donor. Saddle sick: galled with riding, having lost leather.
SAINT. A piece of spoilt timber in a coach-maker’s shop, like a saint, devoted to the flames.
SAINT GEOFFREY’S DAY. Never, there being no saint of that name: tomorrow-come-never, when two Sundays come together.
SAINT LUKE’S BIRD. An ox; that Evangelist being always represented with an ox.
SAINT MONDAY. A holiday most religiously observed by journeymen shoemakers, and other inferior mechanics. a profanation of that day, by working, is punishable by a line, particularly among the gentle craft. An Irishman observed, that this saint’s anniversary happened every week.
SAL. An abbreviation of SALIVATION. In a high sal; in the pickling tub, or under a salivation.
SALMON-GUNDY. Apples, onions, veal or chicken, and pickled herrings, minced fine, and eaten with oil and vinegar; some derive the name of this mess from the French words SELON MON GOUST, because the proportions of the different ingredients are regulated by the palate of the maker; others say it bears the name of the inventor, who was a rich Dutch merchant; but the general and most probable opinion is, that it was invented by the countess of Salmagondi, one of the ladies of Mary de Medicis, wife of King Henry IV. of France, and by her brought into France.
SALMON or SALAMON. The beggars’sacrament or oath.
SALT. Lecherous. A salt bitch: a bitch at heat, or proud bitch. Salt eel; a rope’s end, used to correct boys, &c. at sea: you shall have a salt eel for supper.
SAMMY. Foolish. Silly.
SANDWICH. Ham, dried tongue, or some other salted meat, cut thin and put between two slices of bread and butter: said to be a favourite morsel with the Earl of Sandwich.
SANDY PATE. A red haired man or woman.
SANGAREE. Rack punch was formerly so called in bagnios.
SANK, SANKY, or CENTIPEE’S. A taylor employed by clothiers in making soldier’s clothing.
SAPSCULL. A simple fellow. Sappy; foolish.
SATYR. A libidinous fellow: those imaginary things are by poets reported to be extremely salacious.
SAUCE BOX. A term of familiar raillery, signifying a bold or forward person.
SAVE-ALL. A kind of candlestick used by our frugal forefathers, to burn snuffs and ends of candles. Figuratively, boys running about gentlemen’s houses in Ireland, who are fed on broken meats that would otherwise be wasted, also a miser.
SAUNTERER. An idle, lounging fellow; by some derived from SANS TERRE; applied to persons, who, having no lands or home, lingered and loitered about. Some derive it from persons devoted to the Holy Land, SAINT TERRE, who loitered about, as waiting for company.
SAW. An old saw; an ancient proverbial saying.
SAWNY or SANDY. A general nick-name for a Scotchman, as Paddy is for an Irishman, or Taffy for a Welchman;
Sawny or Sandy being the familiar abbreviation or diminution of Alexander, a very favourite name among the Scottish nation.
SCAB. A worthless man or woman.
SCALD MISERABLES. A set of mock masons, who, A.D. 1744, made a ludicrous procession in ridicule of the Free Masons.
SCALDER. A clap. The cull has napped a scalder; the fellow has got a clap.
SCALY. Mean. Sordid. How scaly the cove is; how mean the fellow is.
SCALY FISH. An honest, rough, blunt sailor.
SCAMP. A highwayman. Royal scamp: a highwayman who robs civilly. Royal foot scamp; a footpad who behaves in like manner.
TO SCAMPER. To run away hastily.
SCANDAL PROOF. One who has eaten shame and drank after it, or would blush at being ashamed.
SCAPEGALLOWS. One who deserves and has narrowly escaped the gallows, a slip-gibbet, one for whom the gallows is said to groan.
SCAPEGRACE. A wild dissolute fellow.
SCARCE. To make one’s self scarce; to steal away.
SCARLET HORSE. A high red, hired or hack horse: a pun on the word HIRED.
SCAVEY. Sense, knowledge. “Massa, me no scavey;” master, I don’t know (NEGRO LANGUAGE) perhaps from the French SCAVOIR.
SCHEME. A party of pleasure.
SCHISM MONGER. A dissenting teacher.
SCHISM SHOP. A dissenting meeting house.
A SCOLD’S CURE. A coffin. The blowen has napped the scold’s cure; the bitch is in her coffin.
SCHOOL OF VENUS. A bawdy-house.
SCHOOL BUTTER. Cobbing, whipping.
SCONCE. The head, probably as being the fort and citadel of a man: from SCONCE, an old name for a fort, derived from a Dutch word of the same signification; To build a sconce: a military term for bilking one’s quarters. To sconce or skonce; to impose a fine. ACADEMICAL PHRASE.
SCOT. A young bull.
SCOTCH GREYS. Lice. The headquarters of the Scotch greys: the head of a man full of large lice.
SCOTCH PINT. A bottle containing two quarts.
SCOTCH BAIT. A halt and a resting on a stick, as practised by pedlars.
SCOTCH CHOCOLATE. Brimstone and milk.
SCOTCH MIST. A sober soaking rain; a Scotch mist will wet an Englishman to the skin.
SCOTCH WARMING PAN. A wench; also a fart.
SCOUNDREL. A man void of every principle of honour.
SCOUR. To scour or score off; to run away: perhaps from SCORE; i.e. full speed, or as fast as legs would carry one. Also to wear: chiefly applied to irons, fetters, or handcuffs, because wearing scours them. He will scour the darbies; he will be in fetters. To scour the cramp ring; to wear bolts or fetters, from which, as well as from coffin hinges, rings supposed to prevent the cramp are made.
SCOURERS. Riotous bucks, who amuse themselves with breaking windows, beating the watch, and assaulting every person they meet: called scouring the streets.
SCOUT. A college errand-boy at Oxford, called a gyp at Cambridge. Also a watchman or a watch. .
SCRAGGY. Lean, bony.
SCRAGG’EM FAIR. A public execution.
SCRAP. A villainous scheme or plan. He whiddles the whole scrap; he discovers the whole plan or scheme.
SCRAPE. To get into a scrape; to be involved in a disagreeable business.
SCRAPER. A fiddler; also one who scrapes plates for mezzotinto prints.
SCRAPING. A mode of expressing dislike to a person, or sermon, practised at Oxford by the students, in scraping their feet against the ground during the preachment; frequently done to testify their disapprobation of a proctor who has been, as they think, too rigorous.
SCRATCH. Old Scratch; the Devil: probably from the long and sharp claws with which he is frequently delineated.
SCRATCH PLATTER, or TAYLOR’S RAGOUT. Bread sopt in the oil and vinegar in which cucumbers have been sliced.
SCREEN. A bank note. Queer screens; forged bank notes. The cove was twisted for smashing queer screens; the fellow was hanged for uttering forged bank notes.
SCREW. A skeleton key used by housebreakers to open a lock. To stand on the screw signifies that a door is not bolted, but merely locked.
TO SCREW. To copulate. A female screw; a common prostitute. To screw one up; to exact upon one in a bargain or reckoning.
SCREW JAWS. A wry-mouthed man or woman.
SCRIP. A scrap or slip of paper. The cully freely blotted the scrip, and tipt me forty hogs; the man freely signed the bond, and gave me forty shillings.—Scrip is also a Change Alley phrase for the last loan or subscription. What does scrip go at for the next rescounters? what does scrip sell for delivered at the next day of settling?
SCROBY. To be tipt the scroby; to be whipt before the justices.
SCROPE. A farthing. .
SCRUB. A low mean fellow, employed in all sorts of dirty work.
SCRUBBADO. The itch.
SCULL. A head of a house, or master of a college, at the universities.
SCULL, or SCULLER. A boat rowed by one man with a light kind of oar, called a scull; also a one-horse chaise or buggy.
SCULL THATCHER. A peruke-maker.
SCUM. The riff-raff, tag-rag, and bob-tail, or lowest order of people.
SCUT. The tail of a hare or rabbit; also that of a woman.
SCUTTLE. To scuttle off; to run away. To scuttle a ship; to make a hole in her bottom in order to sink her.
SEA CRAB. A sailor.
SEA LAWYER. A shark.
SEALER, or SQUEEZE WAX. One ready to give bond and judgment for goods or money.
SECRET. He has been let into the secret: he has been cheated at gaming or horse-racing. He or she is in the grand secret, i.e. dead.
SEEDY. Poor, pennyless, stiver-cramped, exhausted.
SEES. The eyes. See DAYLIGHTS.
SERVED. Found guilty. Convicted. Ordered to be punished or transported. To serve a cull out; to beat a man soundly.
SERAGLIO. A bawdy-house; the name of that part of the Great Turk’s palace where the women are kept.
SEND. To drive or break in. Hand down the Jemmy and send it in; apply the crow to the door, and drive it in.
SET. A dead set: a concerted scheme to defraud a person by gaming.
SETTER. A bailiff’s follower, who, like a setting dog follows and points the game for his master. Also sometimes an exciseman.
TO SETTLE. To knock down or stun any one. We settled the cull by a stroke on his nob; we stunned the fellow by a blow on the head.
SEVEN-SIDED ANIMAL. A one-eyed man or woman, each having a right side and a left side, a fore side and a back side, an outside, an inside, and a blind side.
SHABBAROON. An ill-dressed shabby fellow; also a mean-spirited person.
SHAFTSBURY. A gallon pot full of wine, with a cock.
To SHAG. To copulate. He is but bad shag; he is no able woman’s man.
SHAG-BAG, or SHAKE-BAG. A poor sneaking fellow; a man of no spirit: a term borrowed from the cock-pit.
SHAKE. To shake one’s elbow; to game with dice. To shake a cloth in the wind; to be hanged in chains.
SHAKE. To draw any thing from the pocket. He shook the swell of his fogle; he robbed the gentleman of his silk handkerchief.
SHALLOW PATE. A simple fellow.
SHALLOW. A WHIP hat, so called from the want of depth in the crown. LILLY SHALLOW, a WHITE Whip hat.
SHAM. A cheat, or trick. To cut a sham; to cheat or deceive. Shams; false sleeves to put on over a dirty shirt, or false sleeves with ruffles to put over a plain one. To sham Abram; to counterfeit sickness.
TO SHAMBLE. To walk awkwardly. Shamble-legged:
one that walks wide, and shuffles about his feet.
SHANKER. A venereal wart.
SHANKS. Legs, or gams.
SHANKS NAGGY. To ride shanks naggy: to travel on foot.
SHANNON. A river in Ireland: persons dipped in that river are perfectly and for ever cured of bashfulness.
SHAPES. To shew one’s shapes; to be stript, or made peel, at the whipping-post.
SHAPPO, or SHAP. A hat: corruption of CHAPEAU. .
SHARK. A sharper: perhaps from his preying upon any one he can lay hold of. Also a custom-house officer, or tide-waiter. Sharks; the first order of pickpockets. BOW-STREET TERM, A.D. 1785.
SHARP. Subtle, acute, quick-witted; also a sharper or cheat, in opposition to a flat, dupe, or gull. Sharp’s the word and quick’s the motion with him; said of any one very attentive to his own interest, and apt to take all advantages. Sharp set; hungry.
SHARPER. A cheat, one that lives by his wits. Sharpers tools; a fool and false dice.
SHAVER. A cunning shaver; a subtle fellow, one who trims close, an acute cheat. A young shaver; a boy.
SHAVINGS. The clippings of money.
SHE HOUSE. A house where the wife rules, or, as the term is, wears the breeches.
SHE LION. A shilling.
SHE NAPPER. A woman thief-catcher; also a bawd or pimp.
SHEEP’S HEAD. Like a sheep’s head, all jaw; saying of a talkative man or woman.
SHEEPISH. Bashful. A sheepish fellow; a bashful or shamefaced fellow. To cast a sheep’s eye at any thing; to look wishfully at it.
SHELF. On the shelf, i.e. pawned.
SHERIFF’S BALL. An execution. To dance at the sheriff’s ball, and loll out one’s tongue at the company; to be hanged, or go to rest in a horse’s night-cap, i.e. a halter.
TO SHERK. To evade or disappoint: to sherk one’s duty.
TO SHERRY. To run away: sherry off.
SHIFTING. Shuffling. Tricking. Shifting cove; i.e. a person who lives by tricking.
SHIFTING BALLAST. A term used by sailors, to signify soldiers, passengers, or any landsmen on board.
SHILLALEY. An oaken sapling, or cudgel: from a wood of that name famous for its oaks. IRISH.
SHILLY-SHALLY. Irresolute. To stand shilly-shally; to hesitate, or stand in doubt.
SHINDY. A dance. .
SHINE. It shines like a shitten barn door.
SHIP SHAPE. Proper, as it ought to be. ,
SH-T SACK. A dastardly fellow: also a non-conformist. This appellation is said to have originated from the following story:--After the restoration, the laws against the non-conformists were extremely severe. They sometimes met in very obscure places: and there is a tradition that one of their congregations were assembled in a barn, the rendezvous of beggars and other vagrants, where the preacher, for want of a ladder or tub, was suspended in a sack fixed to the beam. His discourse that day being on the last judgment, he particularly attempted to describe the terrors of the wicked at the sounding of the trumpet, on which a trumpeter to a puppet-show, who had taken refuge in that barn, and lay hid under the straw, sounded a charge. The congregation, struck with the utmost consternation, fled in an instant from the place, leaving their affrighted teacher to shift for himself. The effects of his terror are said to have appeared at the bottom of the sack, and to have occasioned that opprobrious appellation by which the non-conformists were vulgarly distinguished.
SH-T-NG THROUGH THE TEETH. Vomiting. Hark ye, friend, have you got a padlock on your a-se, that you sh-te through your teeth? Vulgar address to one vomiting.
SHOD ALL ROUND. A parson who attends a funeral is said to be shod all round, when he receives a hat-band, gloves, and scarf: many shoeings being only partial.
SHOEMAKER’S STOCKS. New, or strait shoes. I was in the shoemaker’s stocks; i.e. had on a new pair of shoes that were too small for me.
TO SHOOLE. To go skulking about.
TO SHOOT THE CAT. To vomit from excess of liquor; called also catting.
SHOP. A prison. Shopped; confined, imprisoned.
SHOPLIFTER. One that steals whilst pretending to purchase goods in a shop.
SHORT-HEELED WENCH. A girl apt to fall on her back.
SHOT. To pay one’s shot; to pay one’s share of a reckoning.
Shot betwixt wind and water; poxed or clapped.
SHOTTEN HERRING. A thin meagre fellow.
To SHOVE THE TUMBLER. To be whipped at the cart’s tail.
SHOVEL. To be put to bed with a shovel; to be buried. He or she was fed with a fire-shovel; a saying of a person with a large mouth.
SHOULDER FEAST. A dinner given after a funeral, to those who have carried the corpse.
SHOULDER CLAPPER. A bailiff, or member of the catch club. Shoulder-clapped; arrested.
SHOULDER SHAM. A partner to a file. See FILE.
SHRED. A taylor.
SHRIMP. A little diminutive person.
TO SHUFFLE. To make use of false pretences, or unfair shifts. A shuffling fellow; a slippery shifting fellow.
SHY COCK. One who keeps within doors for fear of bailiffs.
SICE. Sixpence.
SICK AS A HORSE. Horses are said to be extremely sick at their stomachs, from being unable to relieve themselves by vomiting. Bracken, indeed, in his Farriery, gives an instance of that evacuation being procured, but by a means which he says would make the Devil vomit. Such as may have occasion to administer an emetic either to the animal or the fiend, may consult his book for the recipe.
SIDE POCKET. He has as much need of a wife as a dog of a side pocket; said of a weak old debilitated man. He wants it as much as a dog does a side pocket; a simile used for one who desires any thing by no means necessary.
SIGN OF A HOUSE TO LET. A widow’s weeds.
TEN SHILLINGS. The two crowns.
FIFTEEN SHILLINGS. The three crowns.
SILENCE. To silence a man; to knock him down, or stun him. Silence in the court, the cat is pissing; a gird upon any one requiring silence unnecessarily.
SILK SNATCHERS. Thieves who snatch hoods or bonnets from persons walking in the streets.
SILVER LACED. Replete with lice. The cove’s kickseys are silver laced: the fellow’s breeches are covered with lice.
SIMEONITES, (at Cambridge,) the followers of the Rev. Charles Simeon, fellow of King’s College, author of Skeletons of Sermons, and preacher at Trinity church; they are in fact rank methodists.
SIMKIN. A foolish fellow.
SIMON. Sixpence. Simple Simon: a natural, a silly fellow;
Simon Suck-egg, sold his wife for an addle duck-egg.
TO SIMPER. To smile: to simper like a firmity kettle.
SIMPLETON. Abbreviation of simple Tony or Anthony, a foolish fellow.
SIMPLES. Physical herbs; also follies. He must go to Battersea, to be cut for the simples—Battersea is a place famous for its garden grounds, some of which were formerly appropriated to the growing of simples for apothecaries, who at a certain season used to go down to select their stock for the ensuing year, at which time the gardeners were said to cut their simples; whence it became a popular joke to advise young people to go to Battersea, at that time, to have their simples cut, or to be cut for the simples.
TO SING. To call out; the coves sing out beef; they call out stop thief.
TO SING SMALL. To be humbled, confounded, or abashed, to have little or nothing to say for one’s-self.
SINGLE PEEPER. A person having but one eye.
SINGLETON. A very foolish fellow; also a particular kind of nails.
SINGLETON. A corkscrew, made by a famous cutler of that name, who lived in a place called Hell, in Dublin; his screws are remarkable for their excellent temper.
SIR JOHN. The old title for a country parson: as Sir John of Wrotham, mentioned by Shakespeare.
SIR LOIN. The sur, or upper loin.
SIR REVERENCE. Human excrement, a t—d.
SIR TIMOTHY. One who, from a desire of being the head of the company, pays the reckoning, or, as the term is, stands squire. See SQUIRE.
SITTING BREECHES. One who stays late in company, is said to have his sitting breeches on, or that he will sit longer than a hen.
SIX AND EIGHT-PENCE. An attorney, whose fee on several occasions is fixed at that sum.
SIX AND TIPS. Whisky and small beer. IRISH.
SIXES AND SEVENS. Left at sixes and sevens: i.e. in confusion; commonly said of a room where the furniture, &c. is scattered about; or of a business left unsettled.
SIZE OF ALE. Half a pint. Size of bread and cheese; a certain quantity. Sizings: Cambridge term for the college allowance from the buttery, called at Oxford battles.
To SIZE. (CAMBRIDGE) To sup at one’s own expence. If a MAN asks you to SUP, he treats you; if to SIZE, you pay for what you eat—liquors ONLY being provided by the inviter.
SIZAR (Cambridge). Formerly students who came to the University for purposes of study and emolument. But at present they are just as gay and dissipated as their fellow collegians. About fifty years ago they were on a footing with the servitors at Oxford, but by the exertions of the present Bishop of Llandaff, who was himself a sizar, they were absolved from all marks of inferiority or of degradation. The chief difference at present between them and the pensioners, consists in the less amount of their college fees. The saving thus made induces many extravagant fellows to become sizars, that they may have more money to lavish on their dogs, pieces, &c.
SKEW. A cup, or beggar’s wooden dish.
SKEWVOW, or ALL ASKEW. Crooked, inclining to one side.
SKIN. In a bad skin; out of temper, in an ill humour.
Thin-skinned: touchy, peevish.
SKIN. A purse. Frisk the skin of the stephen; empty the money out of the purse. Queer skin; an empty purse.
SKIN FLINT. An avaricious man or woman,
SKINK. To skink, is to wait on the company, ring the bell, stir the fire, and snuff the candles; the duty of the youngest officer in the military mess. See BOOTS.
SKINS. A tanner.
SKIP JACKS. Youngsters that ride horses on sale, horse-dealers boys. Also a plaything made for children with the breast bone of a goose.
SKIP KENNEL. A footman.
SKIPPER. A barn. .—Also the captain of a Dutch vessel.
TO SKIT. To wheedle. .
SKIT. A joke. A satirical hint.
SKULKER. A soldier who by feigned sickness, or other pretences, evades his duty; a sailor who keeps below in time of danger; in the civil line, one who keeps out of the way, when any work is to be done. To skulk; to hide one’s self, to avoid labour or duty.
SKY FARMERS. Cheats who pretend they were farmers in the isle of Sky, or some other remote place, and were ruined by a flood, hurricane, or some such public calamity: or else called sky farmers from their farms being IN NUBIBUS, ‘in the clouds.’
SKY PARLOUR. The garret, or upper story.
SLABBERING BIB. A parson or lawyer’s band.
SLAG. A slack-mettled fellow, one not ready to resent an affront.
SLAM. A trick; also a game at whist lost without scoring one. To slam to a door; to shut it with violence.
SLAMKIN. A female sloven, one whose clothes seem hung on with a pitch-fork, a careless trapes.
SLANG. A fetter. Double slanged; double ironed. Now double slanged into the cells for a crop he is knocked down; he is double ironed in the condemned cells, and ordered to be hanged.
SLANG. language.
SLAP-BANG SHOP. A petty cook’s shop, where there is no credit given, but what is had must be paid DOWN WITH THE READY SLAP-BANG, i.e. immediately. This is a common appellation for a night cellar frequented by thieves, and sometimes for a stage coach or caravan.
SLAPDASH. Immediately, instantly, suddenly.
SLASHER. A bullying, riotous fellow. IRISH.
SLAT. Half a crown. .
SLATE. A sheet. .
SLATER’S PAN. The gaol at Kingston in Jamaica: Slater is the deputy Provost-marshal.
SLATTERN. A woman sluttishly negligent in her dress.
SLEEPING PARTNER. A partner in a trade, or shop, who lends his name and money, for which he receives a share of the profit, without doing any part of the business.
SLEEPY. Much worn: the cloth of your coat must be extremely sleepy, for it has not had a nap this long time.
SLEEVELESS ERRAND. A fool’s errand, in search of what it is impossible to find.
SLICE. To take a slice; to intrigue, particularly with a married woman, because a slice off a cut loaf is not missed.
SLIPPERY CHAP. One on whom there can be no dependance, a shuffling fellow.
SLIPSLOPS. Tea, water-gruel, or any innocent beverage taken medicinally.
SLIPSLOPPING. Misnaming and misapplying any hard word; from the character of Mrs. Slipslop, in Fielding’s Joseph Andrews.
SLOP. Tea. How the blowens lush the slop. How the wenches drink tea!
SLOPS. Wearing apparel and bedding used by seamen.
SLOP SELLER. A dealer in those articles, who keeps a slop shop.
SLOUCH. A stooping gait, a negligent slovenly fellow.
To slouch; to hang down one’s head. A slouched hat:
a hat whose brims are let down.
SLUBBER DE GULLION. A dirty nasty fellow.
SLUG. A piece of lead of any shape, to be fired from a blunderbuss. To fire a slug; to drink a dram.
SLUG-A-BED. A drone, one that cannot rise in the morning.
SLUICE YOUR GOB. Take a hearty drink.
SLUR. To slur, is a method of cheating at dice: also to cast a reflection on any one’s character, to scandalize.
SLUSH. Greasy dish-water, or the skimmings of a pot where fat meat has been boiled.
SLUSH BUCKET. A foul feeder, one that eats much greasy food.
SLY BOOTS. A cunning fellow, under the mask of simplicity.
SMABBLED, or SNABBLED. Killed in battle.
TO SMACK. To kiss. I had a smack at her muns: I kissed her mouth. To smack calves skin; to kiss the book, i.e. to take an oath. The queer cuffin bid me smack calves skin, but I only bussed my thumb; the justice bid me kiss the book, but I only kissed my thumb.
SMACKSMOOTH. Level with the surface, every thing cut away.
SMACKING COVE. A coachman.
SMALL CLOTHES. Breeches: a gird at the affected delicacy of the present age; a suit being called coat, waistcoat, and articles, or small clothes.
SMART. Spruce, fine: as smart as a carrot new scraped.
SMART MONEY. Money allowed to soldiers or sailors for the loss of a limb, or other hurt received in the service.
SMASHER. A person who lives by passing base coin. The cove was fined in the steel for smashing; the fellow was ordered to be imprisoned in the house of correction for uttering base coin.
SMASH. Leg of mutton and smash: a leg of mutton and mashed turnips. SEA TERM.
TO SMASH. To break; also to kick down stairs.
To smash. To pass counterfeit money.
SMEAR. A plasterer.
SMELLER. A nose. Smellers: a cat’s whiskers.
SMELLING CHEAT. An orchard, or garden; also a nosegay.
SMELTS. Half guineas.
SMICKET. A smock, or woman’s shift.
SMIRK. A finical spruce fellow. To smirk; to smile, or look pleasantly.
SMITER. An arm. To smite one’s tutor; to get money from him. ACADEMIC TERM.
SMITHFIELD BARGAIN. A bargain whereby the purchaser is taken in. This is likewise frequently used to express matches or marriages contracted solely on the score of interest, on one or both sides, where the fair sex are bought and sold like cattle in Smithfield.
SMOCK-FACED. Fair faced.
TO SMOKE. To observe, to suspect.
SMOKER. A tobacconist.
SMOKY. Curious, suspicious, inquisitive.
SMOUCH. Dried leaves of the ash tree, used by the smugglers for adulterating the black or bohea teas.
SMOUS. A German Jew.
SMUG. A nick name for a blacksmith; also neat and spruce.
SMUG LAY. Persons who pretend to be smugglers of lace and valuable articles; these men borrow money of publicans by depositing these goods in their hands; they shortly decamp, and the publican discovers too late that he has been duped; and on opening the pretended treasure, he finds trifling articles of no value.
SMUGGLING KEN. A bawdy-house.
TO SMUSH. To snatch, or seize suddenly.
SMUT. Bawdy. Smutty story; an indecent story.
SMUT. A copper. A grate. Old iron. The cove was lagged for a smut: the fellow was transported for stealing a copper.
SNACK. A share. To go snacks; to be partners.
TO SNABBLE. To rifle or plunder; also to kill.
SNAFFLER. A highwayman. Snaffler of prances; a horse stealer.
TO SNAFFLE. To steal. To snaffle any ones poll; to steal his wig.
SNAGGS. Large teeth; also snails.
SNAP DRAGON. A Christmas gambol: raisins and almonds being put into a bowl of brandy, and the candles extinguished, the spirit is set on fire, and the company scramble for the raisins.
TO SNAP THE GLAZE. To break shop windows or show glasses.
SNAPPERS. Pistols.
SNAPT. Taken, caught.
SNATCH CLY. A thief who snatches women’s pockets.
SNEAK. A pilferer. Morning sneak; one who pilfers early in the morning, before it is light. Evening sneak; an evening pilferer. Upright sneak: one who steals pewter pots from the alehouse boys employed to collect them. To go upon the sneak; to steal into houses whose doors are carelessly left open. .
SNEAKER. A small bowl.
SNEAKING BUDGE. One that robs alone.
SNEAKSBY. A mean-spirited fellow, a sneaking cur.
SNEERING. Jeering, flickering, laughing in scorn.
SNICKER. A glandered horse.
TO SNICKER, or SNIGGER. To laugh privately, or in one’s sleeve.
TO SNILCH. To eye, or look at any thing attentively: the cull snilches. .
SNIP. A taylor.
SNITCH. To turn snitch, or snitcher; to turn informer.
TO SNITE. To wipe, or slap. Snite his snitch; wipe his nose, i.e. give him a good knock.
TO SNIVEL. To cry, to throw the snot or snivel about. Snivelling; crying. A snivelling fellow; one that whines or complains.
TO SNOACH. To speak through the nose, to snuffle.
SNOB. A nick name for a shoemaker.
TO SNOOZE, or SNOODGE. To sleep. To snooze with a mort; to sleep with a wench. .
SNOOZING KEN. A brothel. The swell was spiced in a snoozing ken of his screens; the gentleman was robbed of his bank notes in a brothel.
SNOW. Linen hung out to dry or bleach. Spice the snow; to steal the linen.
SNOUT. A hogshead. .
SNOWBALL. A jeering appellation for a negro.
TO SNUB. To check, or rebuke.
SNUB DEVIL. A parson.
SNUB NOSE. A short nose turned up at the end.
SNUDGE. A thief who hides himself under a bed, in Order to rob the house.
SNUFF. To take snuff; to be offended.
TO SNUFFLE. To speak through the nose.
SNUFFLES. A cold in the head, attended with a running at the nose.
SNUG. All’s snug; all’s quiet.
TO SOAK. To drink. An old soaker; a drunkard, one that moistens his clay to make it stick together.
SOCKET MONEY. A whore’s fee, or hire: also money paid for a treat, by a married man caught in an intrigue.
SOLDIER’S BOTTLE. A large one.
SOLDIER’S MAWND. A pretended soldier, begging with a counterfeit wound, which he pretends to have received at some famous siege or battle.
SOLDIER’S POMATUM. A piece of tallow candle.
SOLDIER. A red herring.
SOLFA. A parish clerk.
SOLO PLAYER. A miserable performer on any instrument, who always plays alone, because no one will stay in the room to hear him.
SOLOMON. The mass. .
SONG. He changed his song; he altered his account or evidence. It was bought for an old song, i.e. very cheap. His morning and his evening song do not agree; he tells a different story.
SOOTERKIN. A joke upon the Dutch women, supposing that, by their constant use of stoves, which they place under their petticoats, they breed a kind of small animal in their bodies, called a sooterkin, of the size of a mouse, which when mature slips out.
SOP. A bribe. A sop for Cerberus; a bribe for a porter, turnkey, or gaoler.
SOPH. (Cambridge) An undergraduate in his second year.
SORREL. A yellowish red. Sorrel pate; one having red hair.
SORROW SHALL BE HIS SOPS. He shall repent this. Sorrow go by me; a common expletive used by presbyterians in Ireland.
SORRY. Vile, mean, worthless. A sorry fellow, or hussy; a worthless man or woman.
SOT WEED. Tobacco.
SOUL CASE. The body. He made a hole in his soul case; he wounded him.
SOUNDERS. A herd of swine.
SOUSE. Not a souse; not a penny. FRENCH.
SOW. A fat woman. He has got the wrong sow by the ear, he mistakes his man. Drunk as David’s sow; see DAVID’S SOW.
SOW’S BABY. A sucking pig.
SOW CHILD. A female child.
SPANGLE. A seven shilling piece.
SPANK. (WHIP) To run neatly along, beteeen a trot and gallop. The tits spanked it to town; the horses went merrily along all the way to town.
SPANISH. The spanish; ready money.
SPANISH COIN. Fair words and compliments.
SPANISH PADLOCK. A kind of girdle contrived by jealous husbands of that nation, to secure the chastity of their wives.
SPANISH, or KING OF SPAIN’S TRUMPETER. An ass when braying.
SPANISH WORM. A nail: so called by carpenters when they meet with one in a board they are sawing.
SPANKS, or SPANKERS. Money; also blows with the open hand.
SPARK. A spruce, trim, or smart fellow. A man that is always thirsty, is said to have a spark in his throat.
SPARKISH. Fine, gay.
SPARKING BLOWS. Blows given by cocks before they close, or, as the term is, mouth it: used figuratively for words previous to a quarrel.
SPARROW. Mumbling a sparrow; a cruel sport frequently practised at wakes and fairs: for a small premium, a booby having his hands tied behind him, has the wing of a cock sparrow put into his mouth: with this hold, without any other assistance than the motion of his lips, he is to get the sparrow’s head into his mouth: on attempting to do it, the bird defends itself surprisingly, frequently pecking the mumbler till his lips are covered with blood, and he is obliged to desist: to prevent the bird from getting away, he is fastened by a string to a button of the booby’s coat.
SPARROW-MOUTHED. Wide-mouthed, like the mouth of a sparrow: it is said of such persons, that they do not hold their mouths by lease, but have it from year to year; i.e. from ear to ear. One whose mouth cannot be enlarged without removing their ears, and who when they yawn have their heads half off.
SPATCH COCK. [Abbreviation of DISPATCH COCK.] A hen just killed from the roost, or yard, and immediately skinned, split, and broiled: an Irish dish upon any sudden occasion.
TO SPEAK WITH. To rob. I spoke with the cull on the cherry-coloured prancer; I robbed the man on the black horse. .
SPEAK. Any thing stolen. He has made a good speak; he has stolen something considerable.
SPECKED WHIPER. A coloured hankerchief. .
SPICE. To rob. Spice the swell; rob the gentleman.
SPICE ISLANDS. A privy. Stink-hole bay or dilberry creek.
The fundament.
SPIDER-SHANKED. Thin-legged.
TO SPIFLICATE. To confound, silence, or dumbfound.
SPILT. A small reward or gift.
SPILT. Thrown from a horse, or overturned in a carriage; pray, coachee, don’t spill us.
SPINDLE SHANKS. Slender legs.
TO SPIRIT AWAY. To kidnap, or inveigle away.
SPIT. He is as like his father as if he was spit out of his mouth; said of a child much resembling his father.
SPIT. A sword.
SPIT FIRE. A violent, pettish, or passionate person.
SPLICED. Married: an allusion to joining two ropes ends by splicing. SEA TERM.
SPLIT CROW. The sign of the spread eagle, which being represented with two heads on one neck, gives it somewhat the appearance of being split.
SPLIT CAUSE. A lawyer.
SPLIT FIG. A grocer.
SPLIT IRON. The nick-name for a smith.
SPOONEY. (WHIP) Thin, haggard, like the shank of a spoon; also delicate, craving for something, longing for sweets. Avaricious. That tit is damned spooney. She’s a spooney piece of goods. He’s a spooney old fellow.
SPOIL PUDDING. A parson who preaches long sermons, keeping his congregation in church till the puddings are overdone.
TO SPORT. To exhibit: as, Jack Jehu sported a new gig yesterday: I shall sport a new suit next week. To sport or flash one’s ivory; to shew one’s teeth. To sport timber; to keep one’s outside door shut; this term is used in the inns of court to signify denying one’s self. N.B. The word SPORT was in great vogue ann. 1783 and 1784.
SPUNGE. A thirsty fellow, a great drinker. To spunge; to eat and drink at another’s cost. Spunging-house: a bailiff’s lock-up-house, or repository, to which persons arrested are taken, till they find bail, or have spent all their money: a house where every species of fraud and extortion is practised under the protection of the law.
SPUNK. Rotten touchwood, or a kind of fungus prepared for tinder; figuratively, spirit, courage.
SPOON HAND. The right hand.
TO SPOUT. To rehearse theatrically.
SPOUTING CLUB. A meeting of apprentices and mechanics to rehearse different characters in plays: thus forming recruits for the strolling companies.
SPOUTING. Theatrical declamation.
SPOUTED. Pawned.
SPREAD. Butter.
SPREAD EAGLE. A soldier tied to the halberts in order to be whipped; his attitude bearing some likeness to that figure, as painted on signs.
SPREE. A frolic. Fun. A drinking bout. A party of pleasure.
SPRING-ANKLE WAREHOUSE. Newgate, or any other gaol: IRISH.
SQUAB. A fat man or woman: from their likeness to a well-stuffed couch, called also a squab. A new-hatched chicken.
SQUARE. Honest, not roguish. A square cove, i.e. a man who does not steal, or get his living by dishonest means.
SQUARE TOES. An old man: square toed shoes were anciently worn in common, and long retained by old men.
SQUEAK. A narrow escape, a chance: he had a squeak for his life. To squeak; to confess, peach, or turn stag. They squeak beef upon us; they cry out thieves after us. .
SQUEAKER. A bar-boy; also a bastard or any other child. To stifle the squeaker; to murder a bastard, or throw It into the necessary house.—Organ pipes are likewise called squeakers. The squeakers are meltable; the small pipes are silver. .
SQUEEZE CRAB. A sour-looking, shrivelled, diminutive fellow.
SQUEEZE WAX. A good-natured foolish fellow, ready to become security for another, under hand and seal.
SQUELCH. A fall. Formerly a bailiff caught in a barrack-yard in Ireland, was liable by custom to have three tosses in a blanket, and a squelch; the squelch was given by letting go the corners of the blanket, and suffering him to fall to the ground. Squelch-gutted; fat, having a prominent belly.
SQUIB. A small satirical or political temporary jeu d’esprit, which, like the firework of that denomination, sparkles, bounces, stinks, and vanishes.
SQUINT-A-PIPES. A squinting man or woman; said to be born in the middle of the week, and looking both ways for Sunday; or born in a hackney coach, and looking out of both windows; fit for a cook, one eye in the pot, and the other up the chimney; looking nine ways at once.
SQUIRE OF ALSATIA. A weak profligate spendthrift, the squire of the company; one who pays the whole reckoning, or treats the company, called standing squire.
SQUIRISH. Foolish.
SQUIRREL. A prostitute
STAG. To turn stag; to impeach one’s confederates: from a herd of deer, who are said to turn their horns against any of their number who is hunted.
TO STAG. To find, discover, or observe.
STAGGERING BOB, WITH HIS YELLOW PUMPS. A calf just dropped, and unable to stand, killed for veal in Scotland: the hoofs of a young calf are yellow.
STALL WHIMPER. A bastard. .
STALLING. Making or ordaining. Stalling to the rogue; an ancient ceremony of instituting a candidate into the society of rogues, somewhat similar to the creation of a herald at arms. It is thus described by Harman: the upright man taking a gage of bowse, i.e. a pot of strong drink, pours it on the head of the rogue to be admitted
STALLING KEN. A broker’s shop, or that of a receiver of stolen goods.
STALLION. A man kept by an old lady for secret services.
STAMMEL, or STRAMMEL. A coarse brawny wench.
STAMP. A particular manner of throwing the dice out of the box, by striking it with violence against the table.
STAND-STILL. He was run to a stand-still; i.e. till he could no longer move.
STAR GAZER. A horse who throws up his head; also a hedge whore.
TO STAR THE GLAZE. To break and rob a jeweller’s show glass.
STARCHED. Stiff, prim, formal, affected.
START, or THE OLD START. Newgate: he is gone to the start, or the old start. .
STARTER. One who leaves a jolly company, a milksop; he is no starter, he will sit longer than a hen.
STARVE’EM, ROB’EM, AND CHEAT’EM. Stroud, Rochester, and Chatham; so called by soldiers and sailors, and not without good reason.
STAR LAG. Breaking shop-windows, and stealing some article thereout.
STASH. To stop. To finish. To end. The cove tipped the prosecutor fifty quid to stash the business; he gave the prosecutor fifty guineas to stop the prosecution.
STATE. To lie in state; to be in bed with three harlots.
STAY. A cuckold.
STAYTAPE. A taylor; from that article, and its coadjutor buckram, which make no small figure in the bills of those knights of the needle.
STEAMER. A pipe. A swell steamer; a long pipe, such as is used by gentlemen to smoke.
STEEL. The house of correction.
STEEL BAR. A needle. A steel bar flinger; a taylor, stay-maker, or any other person using a needle.
STEENKIRK. A muslin neckcloth carelessly put on, from the manner in which the French officers wore their cravats when they returned from the battle of Steenkirk.
STEEPLE HOUSE. A name given to the church by Dissenters.
STEPHEN. Money. Stephen’s at home; i.e. has money.
STEPNEY. A decoction of raisins of the sun and lemons in conduit water, sweetened with sugar, and bottled up.
STEWED QUAKER. Burnt rum, with a piece of butter: an American remedy for a cold.
STICKS. Household furniture.
STICKS. Pops or pistols. Stow your sticks; hide your pistols. See POPS.
STICK FLAMS. A pair of gloves.
STIFF-RUMPED. Proud, stately.
STINGRUM. A niggard.
STINGO. Strong beer, or other liquor.
STIRRUP CUP. A parting cup or glass, drank on horseback by the person taking leave.
STITCH. A nick name for a taylor: also a term for lying with a woman.
STITCHBACK. Strong ale.
STIVER-CRAMPED. Needy, wanting money. A stiver is a Dutch coin, worth somewhat more than a penny sterling.
STOCK. A good stock; i.e. of impudence. Stock and block; the whole: he has lost stock and block.
STOCK JOBBERS. Persons who gamble in Exchange Alley, by pretending to buy and sell the public funds, but in reality only betting that they will be at a certain price, at a particular time; possessing neither the stock pretended to be sold, nor money sufficient to make good the payments for which they contract: these gentlemen are known under the different appellations of bulls, bears, and lame ducks.
STOMACH WORM. The stomach worm gnaws; I am hungry.
STONE. Two stone under weight, or wanting; an eunuch.
Stone doublet; a prison. Stone dead; dead as a stone.
STONE JUG. Newgate, or any other prison.
STOOP-NAPPERS, or OVERSEERS OF THE NEW PAVEMENT. Persons set in the pillory.
STOOP. The pillory. The cull was served for macing and napp’d the stoop; he was convicted of swindling, and put in the pillory.
STOP HOLE ABBEY. The nick name of the chief rendzvous of the ing crew of beggars, gypsies, cheats, thieves, &c. &c.
STOTER. A great blow. Tip him a stoter in the haltering place; give him a blow under the left ear.
STOUP. A vessel to hold liquor: a vessel containing a size or half a pint, is so called at Cambridge.
STOW. Stow you; be silent, or hold your peace. Stow your whidds and plant’em, for the cove of the ken can ’em; you have said enough, the man of the house understands you.
STRAIT-LACED. Precise, over nice, puritanical.
STRAIT WAISTCOAT. A tight waistcoat, with long sleeves coming over the hand, having strings for binding them behind the back of the wearer: these waistcoats are used in madhouses for the management of lunatics when outrageous.
STRANGER. A guinea.
STRANGLE GOOSE. A poulterer.
To STRAP. To work. The kiddy would not strap, so he went on the scamp: the lad would not work, and therefore robbed on the highway.
STRAPPER. A large man or woman.
STRAPPING. Lying with a woman. .
STRAW. A good woman in the straw; a lying-in woman. His eyes draw straw; his eyes are almost shut, or he is almost asleep: one eye draws straw, and t’other serves the thatcher.
STRETCH. A yard. The cove was lagged for prigging a peter with several stretch of dobbin from a drag; the fellow was transported for stealing a trunk, containing several yards of ribband, from a waggon.
STRETCHING. Hanging. He’ll stretch for it; he will be hanged for it. Also telling a great lie: he stretched stoutly.
STRIKE. Twenty shillings. .
STROKE. To take a stroke: to take a bout with a woman.
STROLLERS. Itinerants of different kinds. Strolling morts; beggars or pedlars pretending to be widows.
STROMMEL. Straw. .
STRONG MAN. To play the part of the strong man, i.e. to push the cart and horses too; to be whipt at the cart’s tail.
STRUM. A perriwig. Rum strum: a fine large wig.
To STRUM. To have carnal knowledge of a woman; also to play badly on the harpsichord; or any other stringed instrument. A strummer of wire, a player on any instrument strung with wire.
STRUMPET. A harlot.
STUB-FACED. Pitted with the smallpox: the devil ran over his face with horse stabs (horse nails) in his shoes.
STUBBLE IT. Hold your tongue.
STUM. The flower of fermenting wine, used by vintners to adulterate their wines.
STUMPS. Legs. To stir one’s stumps; to walk fast.
STURDY BEGGARS. The fifth and last of the most ancient order of ers, beggars that rather demand than ask .
SUCCESSFULLY. Used by the vulgar for SUCCESSIVELY: as three or four landlords of this house have been ruined successfully by the number of soldiers quartered on them.
SUCH A REASON PIST MY GOOSE, or MY GOOSE PIST. Said when any one offers an absurd reason.
SUCK. Strong liquor of any sort. To suck the monkey; see MONKEY. Sucky; drunk.
To SUCK. To pump. To draw from a man all be knows. The file sucked the noodle’s brains: the deep one drew out of the fool all he knew.
SUCKING CHICKEN. A young chicken.
SUDS. In the suds; in trouble, in a disagreeable situation, or involved in some difficulty.
SUGAR STICK. The virile member.
SUGAR SOPS. Toasted bread soked in ale, sweetened with sugar, and grated nutmeg: it is eaten with cheese.
SULKY. A one-horse chaise or carriage, capable of holding but one person: called by the French a DESOBLIGEANT.
SUN. To have been in the sun; said of one that is drunk.
SUNBURNT. Clapped; also haying many male children.
SUNDAY MAN. One who goes abroad on that day only, for fear of arrests.
SUNNY BANK. A good fire in winter.
SUNSHINE. Prosperity.
SUPERNACOLUM. Good liquor, of which there is not even a drop left sufficient to wet one’s nail.
SUPOUCH. A landlady of an inn, or hostess.
SURVEYOR OF THE HIGHWAYS. One reeling drunk.
SURVEYOR OF THE PAVEMENT. One standing in the pillory.
SUS PER COLL. Hanged: persons who have been hanged are thus entered into the jailor’s books.
SUSPENCE. One in a deadly suspence; a man just turned off at the gallows.
SUTRER. A camp publican: also one that pilfers gloves, tobacco boxes, and such small moveables.
SWABBERS. The ace of hearts, knave of clubs, ace and duce of trumps, at whist: also the lubberly seamen, put to swab, and clean the ship.
SWAD, or SWADKIN. A soldier. .
To SWADDLE. To beat with a stick.
SWADDLERS. The tenth order of the ing tribe, who not only rob, but beat, and often murder passenges. . Swaddlers is also the Irish name for methodist.
SWAG. A shop. Any quantity of goods. As, plant the swag; conceal the goods. Rum swag; a shop full of rich goods.
SWAGGER. To bully, brag, or boast, also to strut.
SWANNERY. He keeps a swannery; i.e. all his geese are swans.
SWEATING. A mode of diminishing the gold coin, practiced chiefly by the Jews, who corrode it with aqua regia. Sweating was also a diversion practised by the bloods of the last century, who styled themselves Mohocks: these gentlemen lay in wait to surprise some person late in the night, when surrouding him, they with their swords pricked him in the posteriors, which obliged him to be constantly turning round; this they continued till they thought him sufficiently sweated.
SWEET. Easy to be imposed on, or taken in; also expert, dexterous clever. Sweet’s your hand; said of one dexterous at stealing.
SWEET HEART. A term applicable to either the masculine or feminine gender, signifying a girl’s lover, or a man’s mistress: derived from a sweet cake in the shape of a heart.
SWEETNESS. Guinea droppers, cheats, sharpers. To sweeten to decoy, or draw in. To be sweet upon; to coax, wheedle, court, or allure. He seemed sweet upon that wench; he seemed to court that girl.
SWELL. A gentleman. A well-dressed map. The flashman bounced the swell of all his blunt; the girl’s bully frightened the gentleman out of all his money.
SWELLED HEAD. A disorder to which horses are extremely liable, particularly those of the subalterns of the army. This disorder is generally occasioned by remaining too long in one livery-stable or inn, and often arises to that height that it prevents their coming out at the stable door.
SWIG. A hearty draught of liquor.
SWIGMEN. Thieves who travel the country under colour of buying old shoes, old clothes, &c. or selling brooms, mops, &c. .
TO SWILL. To drink greedily.
SWILL TUB. A drunkard, a sot.
SWIMMER. A counterfeit old coin.
SWIMMER. A ship. I shall have a swimmer; a phrase used by thieves to signify that they will be sent on board the tender.
TO SWING. To be hanged. He will swing for it; he will be hanged for it.
TO SWINGE. To beat stoutly.
SWINGING. A great swinging fellow; a great stout fellow.
A swinging lie; a lusty lie.
SWINDLER. One who obtains goods on credit by false pretences, and sells them for ready money at any price, in order to make up a purse. This name is derived from the German word SCHWINDLIN, to totter, to be ready to fall; these arts being generally practised by persons on the totter, or just ready to break. The term SWINDLER has since been used to signify cheats of every kind.
SWIPES. Purser’s swipes; small beer: so termed on board the king’s ships, where it is furnished by the purser.
SWISH TAIL. A pheasant; so called by the persons who sell game for the poachers.
TO SWIVE. To copulate.
SWIVEL-EYED. Squinting.
SWIZZLE. Drink, or any brisk or windy liquor. In North America, a mixture of spruce beer, rum, and sugar, was so called. The 17th regiment had a society called the Swizzle Club, at Ticonderoga, A. D. 1760.
SWORD RACKET. To enlist in different regiments, and on receiving the bounty to desert immediately.
SWOP. An exchange.
SYEBUCK. Sixpence.
SYNTAX. A schoolmaster.





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