Slang of Victorian England

Notes:
c  = Cant
cb = (Cockney) Back-slang
cr = (Cockney) Rhyming slang
wc = Working class slang
sh = Shelta, or Tinker
r  = Romany (n.b., not true Rom, but linguistically descended from it)
b  = Boxing
 
Abbess:  Female brothel keeper. A Madame.
Abbot: The husband, or preferred man of an Abbess.
Adam (& Eve): Believe (cr)
Admiral of the Red: A person whose very red face evinces a fondness for strong potations.
Alderman: Half-Crown
Airs (& graces): Faces (cr)
Alleiluia lass: Salvation Army girl (wc)
All-overish: Neither sick nor well; the premonitory symptoms of illness. Also the feeling which comes over a man at a critical moment, say just when he is about to “pop the question.” Sometimes this is called, “feeling all-over alike, and touching nowhere.”
Anointing: A good beating. A case for the application of salve.
Apples (& pears): Stairs (cr)
Area: The below-ground servant's entrance in the front of many London town-houses. (Not underworld slang)
Area Diving: A method of theft that necessitates sneaking down area steps, and stealing from the lower rooms of houses.
Artful dodger: Lodger (cr)
Away: In prison (c)
Awful: Offal (CK)

Babbling brook: (a) Cook (cr)
Bacca-pipes
: Whiskers curled in small, close ringlets.
Ball of Chalk: Walk (cr)
Balmy: barmy, stupid
Band of Hope: Soap (cr)
Bang-up: very fine
Barkers (Barking Irons): Guns. Pistols, esp. Revolvers. Term used by footpads and thieves generally.
Barnet (fair): Hair (cr; Barnet is a village near London)
Barney: lark, spree, quarrel
Beak: Magistrate
Beak-hunting: Poultry stealing
Beano: rowdy entertainment, festivities, fun
Bearer up: Person that robs men who have been decoyed by a woman accomplice.
Beef: (1) (v) Raise hue-and-cry.  (2) (n) Thief. (cr) = Hot Beef! = Stop Thief!
Bellows: The lungs. Bellowser, a blow in the ” wind,” or pit of the stomach, taking one’s breath away.
Bellows to Mend: A person out of breath; especially a pugilist is said to be “bellows to mend” when winded.
Bend: Waistcoat, vest
Benjamin: coat
Benjy: waistcoat
Betty: A type of lock pick
Billy: Handkerchief (often silk)
Bird: Woman (wc)
(Do) bird: Spend time in prison
Bit Faker: A coiner.  A counterfeiter of coins.
Black: Blackmail (c)
Blackleg: A person who will work, contrary to a strike.  In the Colonies they are called Scabs.
Blag: To steal or snatch, usually a theft, often by smash-and-grab
Bleeding, Bloody: Used to add intensity, e.g. "He's bleeding run off." Generally regarded as offensive.
Blind Monkeys: An imaginary collection at the Zoological Gardens, which are supposed to receive care and attention from persons fitted by nature for such office and for little else. An idle and useless person is often told that he is only fit to lead the Blind Monkeys to evacuate. Another form this elegant conversation takes, is for one man to tell another that he knows of a suitable situation for him. “How much a week? and what to do?” are natural questions, and then comes the scathing and sarcastic reply, “Five bob a week at the doctor’s— you’re to stand behind the door and make the patients sick. They won’t want no physic when they sees your mug.”
Blinker: A blackened eye. Also a hard blow in the eye.
Blister: Sister (cr; from "Skin and blister")
Blob, on the (Blab): Begging by telling hard luck stories.
Bloke: Man
Bonce: Head (CK)
Blooming, Bloody (Blasted, etc.):  are forms of profanity not heard in polite company.
Blow: Inform.
Blower: Informer.  Also a disrespectful term for a girl.
Bludger:  A violent criminal; one who is apt to use a bludgeon.
Blue Bottle: A policeman
Boat, get the (Boated): To be sentenced to transportation (prison)(obs.). To receive a particularly harsh sentence.
Bobby: Policeman (very mild term; derives from the name of Robert Peel, who founded London's police force.  See Peeler)
Boko: nose
Bone, Bene: (Pronounced Bone and Benneh?)  Good or profitable.
Bone Box: The mouth. Shut your bone box; shut your mouth.
Bonnet: A covert assistant to a Sharp
Boozer: Public house
Boracic (lint): Skint (broke; cr)
Bottle (and glass): Arse (cr)
Bottle (of water): Daughter (cr)
Brass: money
Bread and butter: Gutter (cr)
Bread and jam: Txram (cr)
Break: collection made for someone recently out of prison
Broad Arrow: The arrow-like markings on a prison convict's uniform.  "Wearing the broad arrow" = In prison.
Broads: Playing cards. Ex. "Spreading the broads" = playing a game of cards)
Broading: Cheating at cards
Broadsman: A card Sharper
Bruiser: A Boxer (b)
Bubble and squeak: Speak (cr)
Buck Cabbie: A dishonest cab driver
Bucket and pail: Jail (cr)
Bug hunting: Robbing, or cheating drunks.  Esp. at night.
Bull: Five shillings
Bull and cow: Row (argument; cr)
Bull-dog with six teeth: gun
Bully Trap: A brave man with a mild or effeminate appearance, by whom the bullies are frequently taken in.
Bunch Of Fives: The fist. Pugilistic.
Bung: A landlord
Buor: A woman
Buster: A burglar
Butcher's (hook): Look (cr)
Buttoner: A sharper's assistant who entices dupes.
Buzzing: Stealing, esp. Picking Pockets.

Candle to the devil, To hold a: To be evil
Can: barman
Cant: A present; a free meal or quantity of some article.  Also the creole and jargon spoken by thieves and the “surplus population”.
Cant of togs:  A gift of clothing.
Caper: A criminal act, dodge or device.
Cash Carrier: A pimp, ponce or whore's minder.
Cat-heads: A woman’s breasts. Sea phrase.
Chancery, in: in an awkward situation
Chapel, the: White-chapel.
Chat:  a Louse (a singular of Lice).
Chat, to screw a: to break into a house
Chaunting: Singing; also informing
Chaunting lay: Street singing (hopefully for money)
Chavy:  Child
Chink:  Money
Chiv, shiv:(v) to cut, stab (n) Knife, razor or sharpened stick (r)
Chivvy: face
Choker: Clergyman.  "Gull a choker"
Christen: To remove identifying marks from, to make like new  again.  "Christen a watch."
Church: To remove identifying marks from, to make like new again.  "Church a watch."
Claim: To steal
Class, to be; doing something class: being or doing something impressive, admirable amongst criminals
Click: robbery, theft
Clock, red: gold watch
Cly faking: To pick a pocket, especially of its handkerchief (for which there was a ready market)
Cockchafer: An especially build treadmill in the 'Steel
Cocker:  mate, pal
Coiner:  A coin counterfeiter
Cokum (n & adj): Opportunity, advantage, shrewd, cunning.
Cold Coffee: Misfortune ; sometimes varied to COLD Gruel. An unpleasant return for a proffered kindness is sometimes called COLD Coffee.—Sea.
Colt’s Tooth: Elderly persons of juvenile tastes are said to have a Colt’s Tooth, i.e., a desire to shed their teeth once more, to live life over again.
Cool: Look, look at this/it. (cb)
Coopered: Worn-out, useless
Coopered Ken: A bad place for a stick up.
Cop, Copper:  A policeman, though initially the term cop was to steal.
Couter:  Pound (money)
Cove:  A man
Crab: To prevent the perfection or execution of any intended matter of business, by saying any thing offensive or unpleasant, is called crabbing it, or throwing a crab; to crab a person, is to use such offensive language or behaviour as will highly displease, or put him in an ill humour.
Crabshells: Shoes
Cracksman: A burglar, a safe cracker.  One who cracks or breaks locks.  A whole genre of thief.
Crack a crib: burglary
Crapped:  hung, hanged.
Crib: A building, house or lodging.  The location of a gaol.
Crimping shop: A waterfron lodging house, esp. one associated with the forcable impressment of seamen.
Croak: to die
Crooked cross, to play the:  To betray, swindle or cheat.
Crow:  A lookout.  A doctor.
Crusher:  A policeman
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.
Cut: 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, etc. 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 cut of sight. The cut infernal is to analyze the arrangement of your shoe-strings, for the same purpose.

Dab: bed (cb).  "To dab it up with_____" = to engage in carnal acts with ___.
Dabbed about: thrown about
Dabeno: Bad (cb)
Daffy:  A small measure, esp. of spirituous liqueurs.
Daisies: boots (rhyming slang—daisy roots) (cr)
Dash-fire: Vigor, manliness.
Davy: affidavit
Deadlurk: Empty premises.
Deaner: A shilling. (Etymologically descended from the Dinarious, or ancient silver penny of Britain...)
Deb: Bed (cb)
Demander:  One who gains monies through menace.
Derbies: (Pronounced Darbies).  Handcuffed
Device:  Tuppence
Deuce Hog (Duce Hog): 2 shillings
Devil's claws: The broad arrows on a convict's prison uniform.
Dewskitch:  A beating
Dial: face
Didikko:  Gypsies; half breed gypsies (r). (From Didikai, a  Rom contraction of Dik akai, or "look here")
Dillo: Old (cb)
Dimmick:  A base coin, counterfeit
Ding: (v & n) Throw away, pass on.  Any object that has been so treated. Ex. "Knap the ding" or to take something that has been thrown out.
Dipper:  Pickpocket
Dispatches:  Loaded dice
Do a scoot: flee; do a runner
Dobbin: Ribbon
Dollymop: A prostitute, often an amateur or a part-time street girl; a midinette.
Dollyshop:  A low, unlicensed loan shop or pawn shop.
Don: A distinguished/expert/clever person; a leader
Dookin: Palmistry
Down:  Suspicion.  "To put down on someone" means to inform on that  person's plans.  While "To take the down of a ticker"  means to Christen a watch.
Do Down: To beat someone badly, punishing them with your fists. (b)
Downer:  Sixpence.
Downy:  Cunning, false.
Drag: (1) A three month gaol sentence.  (2)  A street
Dragsman:  A thief who steals from carriages.
Draw the Long Bow: To tell extravagant stories, to exaggerate overmuch; same as “throw the hatchet.” From the extremely wonderful stories which used to be told of the Norman archers, and more subsequently of Indians’ skill with the tomahawk.
Drum:  A building, house or lodging; the location of a gaol.
Drumsticks: Legs. Drumstick cases-pants
Dub: (1) Bad (cb); (2) Key, lock pick
Duce:  Tuppence
Duckett: A street hawker or vendor's license.
Duffer:  A seller of supposedly stolen goods.  Also a Cheating Vendor or hawker.
Dumplin:  A swindling game played with skittles
Dumps:  Buttons and other Hawkers small wares.
Dunnage:  Clothes

E.O.:  A fairground gambling game
Earth Bath: A grave.
Eternity Box: A coffin
Escop (Esclop, Eslop): Policeman (cb)

Fadge: Farthing
Fag: pick-pocket
Fakement:  a Device or pretense (especially a notice or certificate to facilitate begging).
Fall: to be arrested
Family, the: The criminal Underworld, also Family People.
Fan:  To delicately feel someone's clothing, while it is still being worn, to search for valuables.
Fancy, the:  The brethren of the boxing ring.
Fanlight jumping: burglary by breaking in through fanlight.
Fart Catcher: A valet or footman, from his walking behind his master or mistress.
Fawney: Ring
Fawney-dropping: A ruse whereby the villain pretends to find a ring (which is actually worthless) and sells it as a Possibly valuable article at alow price.
Fence: receiver of stolen goods.
Fimble-Famble: A lame, prevaricating excuse.
Fine wirer:  A highly skilled pickpocket
Finny: Five pound note
Firing A Gun: Introducing a story by head and shoulders. A man, wanting to tell a particular story, said to the company, “Hark; did you not hear a gun?—but now we are talking of a gun, I will tell you the story of one.”
Fizzing: First-rate, very good, excellent; synonymous with “stunning.”
Flag: An apron.
Flag of Distress: Any overt sign of poverty; the end of a person’s shirt when it protrudes through his trousers.
Flam:  A lie
Flash (v & adj):  Show, Showy (as in "Show-off," or "Flashy"); smart; something special.
Flash house:  A public house patronized by criminals.
Flash notes:  Paper that looks, at a glance, like bank-notes
Flat:  A person who is flat is easily deceived.
Flatch:  Ha'penny
Flats:  Playing cards, syn. Broads.
Flimp:  A snatch pickpocket.  Snatch stealing in a crowd.
Floorer: A blow sufficiently strong to knock a man down, or bring him to the floor. Often used in reference to sudden and unpleasant news.
Flue Faker: Chimney sweep.
Flummut: Dangerous
Fly, on the:  Something done quickly.
Flying the Blue Pidgeon: Stealing roof lead.
Flying the Mags: The game of "Pitch and Toss."
Flying Mess: “To be in Flying Mess ” is a soldier’s phrase for being hungry and having to mess where he can.
Fogle: A silk handkerchief.
Follow-me-lads: Curls hanging over a lady’s shoulder.
Friendly lead: subscription by whip-round usually held in a pub
Full up to the knocker:  thoroughly drunk
Fully: to commit a person for trial
Fushme: Five shillings

Gaff: Show, exhibition, fair "Penny Gaff" - Low, or vulgar theater.
Gallies: Boots
Gammon: Deceive
Gammy: False, undependable, hostile
Gargler: throat
Garret:  Fob pocket in a waistcoat
Garrote: (v & n) A misplaced piano wire, and how it was misplaced.
Gatter:  Beer
Gattering: A public house
Gegor: Beggar (cr)
Gen:  Shilling
Gentleman of Four Outs: When a vulgar, blustering fellow asserts that he is a gentleman, the retort generally is, ” Yes, a Gentleman Of Four Outs”—that is, without wit, without money, without credit, and without manners.
Gilt: money
Glim:  (1) Light normally candle or fire.  (2) Begging by depicting oneself as having been burnt out of one's home.  (3) Venereal Disease.
Glock: Half-wit
Glocky: Half-witted
Gonoph:  A minor thief, or small time criminal
Go By The Ground: A little short person, man or woman.
Go out: to follow the profession of thieving
Granny:  Understand or recognize
Gravney:  A Ring
Grey, Gray:  A coin with two identical faces.
Griddling: Begging, peddling, or scrounging.
Growler:  A four wheeled cab.
Gullyfluff: The waste—coagulated dust, crumbs, and hair—which accumulates imperceptibly in the pockets of schoolboys.
Gulpy: Gullible, easily duped.
Gunpowder: An old woman.

Half inch: Steal (From pinch) (cr)
Half-mourning: To have a black eye from a blow. As distinguished from ” whole-mourning,” two black eyes.
Hammered for life: Married
Hard up: Tobacco
Haybag: Woman
Haymarket Hector: Pimp, ponce or whore's minder; especially around the areas of Haymarket and Leicester Squares.
Heavy Wet: Malt liquor—because the more a man drinks of it, the heavier and more stupid he becomes.
His number’s up: he’s finished.
Hobbadehoy: A youth who has ceased to regard himself as a boy, and is not yet regarded as a man.
Hogmagundy: The process by which the population is increased.
Hoisting:  Shoplifting.
Holy Water: He loves him as the Devil likes holy water; i.e. hates him mortally.
Holywater sprinkler: A cudgel spiked with nails.
Honor Bright: An asseveration which means literally, “by my honour, which is bright and unsullied.” It is often still further curtailed to “honor!” only.
Hook: pick-pocket.
Hooks: hands.
How’s Your Poor Feet!: An idiotic street cry with no meaning, much in vogue a few years back.
Huey, Hughey: A town or village.
Hugger-mugger: Underhand, sneaking. Also, “in a state of Hugger- Mugger” means to be muddled.
Huntley,  to take the: Syn. To take the Cake or to take the Biscuit.  Also to be most excellent, as in Huntley and Palmer's biscuits.
Hykey:  Pride.

Ikey: Jew esp. receiver of stolen goods
Irons: Guns esp. Pistols or revolvers.

Jack:  Detective
James (jemmy): iron crow-bar
Jemmy: (1) Smart.  (2) of Superior class.  (3) an housebreaker's tool (see James).
Jerry:  A Watch
Jerryshop:  Pawnbrokers.
Job’s Turkey: “As poor as Job’s Turkey,” as thin and as badly fed as that ill-conditioned and imaginary bird.
Joey: A fourpence piece
Jolly: Disturbance or Fracas
Judy: A woman, specifically a prostitute
Jug loops: Locks of hair brought over the temples and curled (a hairstyle that thankfully died out later in the period).
Julking: Singing (as of caged songbirds)
Jump: A ground floor window, or a burglary committed through  such a window.

Kanurd: Drunk (cb)
Kecks: Trousers.
Keep a Pig: An Oxford University phrase, which means to have a lodger. A man whose rooms contain two bedchambers has sometimes, when his college is full, to allow the use of one of them to a Freshman, who is called under these circumstances a PIG. The original occupier is then said to Keep A Pig.
Ken:  House or other place, esp. a lodging or public house.
Kennetseeno:  Bad, stinking, putrid -- Malodorous. (r)
Kennuck:  Penny
Kicksies: trousers
Kidsman:  An organizer of child thieves
Kife: Bed
Kinchen-lay (Kynchen-lay):  Stealing from children
Kingsman:  A colored or black handkerchief.
Kip: somewhere to sleep
Knap: To steal, take or receive
Knapped: Pregnant
Knob:  "Over and under" a fairground game used for swindling.
Know life, to: To be knowledgeable in criminal ways

Lackin, Lakin: Wife.
Ladder: “Can’t see a hole in a Ladder,” said of any one who is intoxicated. It was once said that a man was never properly drunk until he could not lie down without holding, could not see a hole through a Ladder, or went to the pump to light his pipe.
Ladybird: A Prostitute
Lag: A convict or Ticket-of-leave man; To be sentenced to transportation or penal servitude.
Lagged: imprisoned
Lagging dues: liable to be sentenced to penal servitude
Lam: beat up, thrash
Lamps:  Eyes.
Lay down the knife and fork: To die. Compare Pegging-out, Hopping The Twig, and similar flippancies.
Laycock, Miss (or Lady): Female sexual organs
Lavender, in:  (1) To be hidden from the police, (2) to be pawned, (3) to be put away, (4) to be dead.
Lay:  A method, system or plan
Leg :  A dishonest person, a sporting cheat or tout.
Lever: lever-watch
Lill: Pocketbook
Lob-crawling: till-robbing
London Particular: Thick London "Pea Soup" fog
Long-Tailed:  A banknote worth more than 5 pounds is said to be "long tailed"
Lucky, to cut one's: to make a getaway
Luggers: Ear rings
Lumber: (1) Unused, or second-hand furniture.  (2) To pawn.  (3) To go into seclusion.  (4) To be in lumber is to be in gaol.
Lump Hotel:  Work House
Lurk: (1) A place of resorting to or concealment in.  (2) A scheme or method
Lurker:  A criminal of all work, esp. a begger, or someone who uses a beggar's disguise.
Lush:  An alcoholic drink.
Lushery:  A place where a lush may be had.  A low public house or drinking den.
Lushing Ken:  See Lushery
Lushington:  A drunkard

Macer:  A cheat
Mace: (n) swindler (v)To work the Mace: to swindle by obtaining goods on false pretences
Mag: Ha'pence
Mag, on the: engaged in swindling esp. as confidence trickster
Magsman: swell confidence trickster
Magflying: Pitch and toss
Magsman:  An inferior cheat
Maltooler: A pickpocket who steals while riding an omnibus, esp. from women.
Mandrake:  a Homosexual
Mark: The victim
Mary Blaine: Railway Train (cr); to meet a train or to travel via railway.
Mazzard: head, face Milling: boxing
Mauley:  Handwriting, signature
Mecks:  Wine or spirits
Milltag: Shirt
Miltonian: Policeman
Min:  Steal
Mitting:  Shirt
Mizzle: Quit, Steal, or Vanish
Mobsman:  A swindler or pickpocket, usually well-dressed.  Originally one of the "Swell Mob"
Moke: donkey
Mollisher: A woman, often a villain's mistress
Monkery:  the Country.
Monkey with a Long Tail: A mortgage.
Monniker: Signature.
Month of Sundays: An indefinite period, a long time.
Mot:   Woman, esp. the proprietress of a lodging or public house
Moucher, Moocher:  A rural vagrant.  A gentleman of the road.
Mouth: (1) Blabber.  (2) A Fool
Mug-hunter: A street robber or footpad.   Hence the modern "Mugger"
Mumper:  Begger or scrounger
Mutcher:  A thief who steals from drunks
Muck Snipe:  A person who is "down and out".
Muckender: A pocket handkerchief, snottinger.
Mug: idiot

Nail:  Steal
Nancy: Buttocks
Napper: head
Nark: (v) to inform (n) informer
Narking dues: arrested because of information provided by a nark
Nebuchadnezzar: Male sexual organs; "to put Nebuchadnezzar out to grass" means to engage in sexual intercourse.
Neddy: Loaded bludgeon or stick, Cosh
Nemmo: Woman (cb)
Nethers:  Lodging charges, rent
Newgate Knockers:  Heavily greased side whiskers curling back to, or over the ears
Netherskens: Low lodging houses, flophouses
Nibbed: Arrested
Nick: to steal
Nickey: Simple in the head
Nipper: child
Nobble:  The inflicting of grievious bodily harm
Nobbler: (1) One who inflicts grevious bodily harm.  (2) A sharper's confederate
Nommus!:  Get away! Quick! (cb)
Nose:  Informer or Spy.
Nose-ender: A straight blow delivered full on the nasal promontory.
Nose in the Manger: To put one’s nose in the manger, to sit down to eat. To “put on the nose-bag” is to eat hurriedly, or to eat while continuing at work.
Nubbiken:  A sessions courthouse
Nobby: smart, stylish

O’clock: “Like One O’clock,” a favorite comparison with the lower orders, implying briskness; otherwise “like winkin’.” “To know what’s O’clock” is to be wide-awake, sharp, and experienced.
Off One’s Chump: To be crazy is to be Off One’s Chump ; this is varied by the word CHUMPY. A mild kind of lunatic is also said to be “off his head,” which means of course exactly the same as the first phrase.
Off the Horn: A term used in reference to very hard steak, which is fancifully said to be Off The Horn.
Off your rocker: mad
On the fly:  While in motion or quickly
Onion:  A watch seal
Oof: money
Out of Print: Slang made use of by booksellers. In speaking of any person that is dead, they observe, ‘”he is out of print.”Out of twig: Unrecognized or in disquise
Outsider:  An instrument, resembling needle nosed pliers, used for turning a key in a lock from the wrong side.

Pack:A night's lodging for the very poor
Paddingken: A tramp's lodging house
Pall: Detect
Palmer: Shoplifter
Patterer: Someone who earns by recitation or hawker's sales talk, esp. by hawking newspapers
Pecker, to keep one's pecker up: to remain cheerful
Peeler: Policeman. From Robert Peel
Peter: A box, trunk or safe.
Perpendicular: A lunch taken standing-up at a tavern bar. It is usual to call it lunch, often as the Perpendicular may take the place of dinner.
Pidgeon: A victim
Pig: A policeman, usually a detective
Pit: Inside front coat pocket
Plant:A victim.
Pocket: To put up with. A man who does not resent an affront is said to Pocket it.
Pogue: A purse or prize.
Pot-hunter: A man who gives his time up to rowing or punting, or any sort of match in order to win the “pewters” which are given as prizes. The term is now much used in aquatic and athletic circles; and is applied, in a derogatory sense, to men of good quality who enter themselves in small races they are almost sure to win, and thus deprive the juniors of small trophies which should be above the attention of champions, though valuable to beginners. Also an unwelcome guest, who manages to be just in time for dinner.
Prad: Horse
Prater:A bogus itinerate preacher
Prig: (1) A thief.(2) To steal
Prop: tie-pin, brooch
Puckering: Speaking in a manner that is incomprehensible to spectators
Punishers:Superior nobblers.Men employed to give severe beatings
Push:Money
Put someone’s lights out: kill them

Quid: 1 pound note
Quiff: dodge, trick, ploy
Quod: (v) to serve time (n) prison

Racket: Illicit occupation or tricks.
Rain Napper: Umbrella.
Rampsman or Ramper: A tearaway or hoodlum
Randy, on the:On the Spree or otherwise looking for companionship
Rasher-wagon: Frying pan
Ray: 1/6 (one and six-pence)
Raws: bare fists
Razzo: nose, esp. a red nose
Reader: Pocketbook or wallet
Ready: ready money, money
Ream: Superior, real, genuine, good.
Ream Flash Pull: A significant heist
Ream Swag: Highly valuable stolen articles
Reeb: Beer (cb).
Rib: A wife.
Roller: A thief who robs drunks or a prostitute who steals fromher clientele.
Rook: A type of jemmy
Rookery: Slum or ghetto
Rorty: dashing, lively
Rothschild, to come to the: To brag and pretend to be rich.
Row: A fight
Rozzers: Policemen
Ruffles: Handcuffs
Rum: Odd.
Rumbumptious: Haughty, pugilistic.
Rusty Guts: A blunt, rough, old fellow.

Saddle: Loaf
St. Peter's Needle: Severe discipline
Salt Box: The Condemned Cell.
Saucebox: A pert young person, in low life also signifies the mouth.
Sawney: Bacon.
Saw Your Timber: “Be off!” equivalent to “cut your stick.” Occasionally varied, with mock refinement, to “amputate your mahogany.”
Scaldrum dodge: Begging by means of feigned, or self-inflicted wounds.
Scandal-water: Tea; from old maids’ tea-parties being generally a focus for scandal.
Scran: Food
Scratch an itch: (cr) Bitch
Screever:A writer of fake testimonials; a forger
Screw: Skeleton Key. To break into
Screwing:A sub-genre of Cracking; burglary by means of skeletonkeys, waxing keys, or picking locks.
Screwsman:A burglar versed in screwing
Scroby: Flogging in gaol
Scurf:An exploitive employer or gang-leader
Servant's lurk: A lodging or public house used by shady or dismissed servants.
Shake lurk: Begging under the pretense of being a shipwrecked seaman.
Shake the Elbow: To shake the elbow, a roundabout expression for dice-playing. To “crook the Elbow” is an Americanism for ” to drink.”
Shallow, work the: Begging while half naked.
Shant: A pot or tumbler
Sharp: A (card) swindler
Shevis: A shift, a type of garment.
Shinscraper: The Treadmill
Shirkster: A layabout.
Sit-upons: Trousers.
Shiver and shake: A cake (cr)
Shivering Jemmy: A half naked beggar
Shoful: (1) Bad or counterfeit.(2) An hansom cab
Shofulman: A coiner or passer of bad money.
Shut your head!: shut up
Skipper: One who sleeps in hedges and outhouses
Skyrocket: (cr) Pocket (rarely used)
Slang: watch chain
Slang cove: A showman
Slap-Bang Job: A night cellar (pub) frequented by thieves, and where no credit is given.
Slavey: (female) servant, maid of all work
Slop - policeman
Slum: (1) False, sham, a faked document, etc.(2) To cheat. (3) To pass bad money.
Smasher: Someone who passes bad money.
Smatter Hauling: Stealing Handkerchiefs.
Smeller: The nose; “a blow on the Smeller” is often to be found in pugilistic records.
Smug: to arrest
Snakesman: A slightly built (boy) criminal used in burglary and housebreaking.
Sneak: to steal, pilfer.
Sneeze-lurker: A thief who throws snuff in a person’s face, and then robs him.
Sneezer: A pocket handkerchief.
Snells: A hawker's wares
Snide: Counterfeit; counterfeit coins or jewels.
Snide pinching: Passing bad money
Snoozer: A thief that specializes in robbing hotel rooms with sleeping guests.
Snooze-case: Pillow case.
Snowing: Stealing linen, clothes, etc, that have been hung out to dry.
Soft: Paper money (i.e., "to do some soft" means to pass bad paper money.)
Snide: counterfeit
Snide coin: counterfeit; planting snide coin
Snidesman: coiner of counterfeit.
Snotter, or Wipe-hauler: A pickpocket whose chief fancy is for gentlemen’s pocket-handkerchiefs.
Snuff (someone): kill, harm.
Sober-water: A jocular allusion to the uses of soda-water.
Sparks: diamonds
Speeler: Cheat or a gambler
Spike: Workhouse
Split: (v) to inform (n) 1. informer, 2. detective
Sprat: Six pence
Spreading the Broads: Three card monte.
Square rigged: Soberly and respectfully dressed.
Stall-farming: prob. helping pick-pockets
Step short: hurry up
Sticker: knife
Stir: prison
Stramash: rough-and-tumble
Stretch: one year esp. prison sentence
Swag: stolen goods
Swank: behave ostentatiously, swagger
Swell: An elegantly, or stylishly dressed gentleman.

Tail: Prostitute.
Tail Down: “To get the Tail Down,” generally means to lose courage. When a professional at any game loses heart in a match he is said to get his Tail Down. ” His Tail was quite DOWN, and it was all over.” The origin is obvious.
Tatts: Dice, False Dice
Tea-leafing: petty opportune theft (cr)
Terrier Crop: Short, bristly haircut (denoting a recent stay in a prison or a workhouse)
Teviss: Shilling
Thicker: A Sovereign or a Pound
Thick 'Un: A Sovereign
Throttle: throat
Ticker: watch
Tightener: A meal.  "To do a Tightener," to take a Meal.
Titfer/Titfertat: Hat (cr)
Toff: An elegantly, or stylishly dressed gentleman.
Toffer: A superior whore.
Toffken: A house containing well-to-do occupants.
Toke: Bread
Tol: Lot (cb), a Share.
Toolers: Pickpockets
Tooling: Skilled Pickpocket
Toper: Road
Topper: something of outstanding quality
Topped: Hung
Topping: A hanging
Toy: watch
Toy getter: watch stealer
Toy and tackle: watch and chain
Translators: Secondhand apparel, especially Boots.
Trotter cases: boots
Trasseno: An evil person.
Tune the Old Cow Died of: An epithet for any ill-played or discordant piece of music.
Tuppeny  (Tuppeny Loaf): Head (cr. from Loaf of Bread)
Turn over: to search/rob someone
Twirls: Keys, esp skeleton keys.
Twist (Twist  and Twirl): Girl (cr)

Uxter: money
Under and Over: A fairground game that's easy to swindle people with.

Vamp: To Steal or Pawn.  "In for a vamp" to be jailed for stealing
Voker:  Speak (r).    "Voker Romeny?"  (Pardon me, but do you speak Thieve's Cant?)

Weed: to take, steal
Weeping Willow: Pillow (cr)
Welsh: to inform
Welsher: informer
Wet: beer/drink
Whistle and Flute: Suit (cr)
Wobbler: egg
Work Capitol: Commit a crime punishable by death.

Yannups: money
Yack:  A watch
Yennap:  A Penny. (cb)


Sources:
  • Grose’s Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1823.
  • The Slang Dictionary, 1874.
  • Slang and Its Analogues Past and Present.
  • Dictionary of Americanisms, 1877.
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