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- 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue - 3/73 -


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 BAWLER. A parson. CANT.

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

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

AUTEM DIPPERS. Anabaptists. 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 QUAVERS. Quakers.

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.

BACK GAMMON PLAYER. A sodomite.

BACK DOOR (USHER, or GENTLEMAN OF THE). The same.

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.


1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue - 3/73

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