Cache-Control: public, max-age=1024000 Cant terms for Crime
18th Century Thieves Cant
Crime : Burglary
CRACKto break open; the crack is the game of house-breaking; a crack is a breaking any house or building for the purpose of plunder.1819
DOSEBurglary, a breaking open a House, Lock, Door, etc. as, He is cast for Felon and Dose; i. e. found Guilty of Felony and Burglary.1737
DUB LAYRobbing houses by picking the locks.1811
DUB THE GIGGERopen the Door. Well strike it upon the Dub, We will rob that Place.1737
DUB THE JIGGEROpen the door. CANT.1811
GOING UPON THE DUBBreaking a House with Picklocks.1737
GOING UPON THE DUBGoing out to break open, or pick the locks of, houses.1811
GOODa place or person, which promises to be easily robbed, is said to be good, as, that house is good upon the crack ; this shop is good upon the star ; the swell is good for his mantra; &c. A man who declares himself good for any favour or thing, means, that he has sufficient influence, or possesses the certain means to obtain it; good as bread, or good as cheese, are merely emphatical phrases to the same effect. See Caz.1819
GUTTING AN HOUSErifling it, clearing it.1737
HEAVE A COUGHto rob a House.1737
JUMPThe jump, or dining-room jump; a species of robbery effected by ascending a ladder placed by a sham lamp- lighter, against the house intended to be robbed. It is so called, because, should the lamp-lighter be put to flight, the thief who ascended the ladder has no means of escaping but that of jumping down.1811
JUMPa game, or species of robbery effected by getting into a house through any of the lower windows. To jump a place, is to rob it upon the jump. A man convicted for this offence, is said to be done for a jump.1819
KNAPPING A JACOB FROM A DANNA-DRAGThis is a curious species of robbery, or rather borrowing without leave, for the purpose of robbery ; it signifies taking away the short ladder from a nightman's cart, while the men are gone into a house, the privy of which they are employed emptying, in order to effect an ascent to a one-pair-of-stairs window, to scale a garden-wall, &c, after which the ladder, of course, is left to rejoin its master as it1819
MILL A GLAZEto break a window.1819
MILL a KENto rob a House. Milling the Gig with a Betty, Breaking open the Door with an Iron Crow.1737
MILL LAYTo force open the doors of houses in order to rob them.1811
MILL THE GLAZEbreak open the Window.1737
MORNING-SNEAKgoing out early to rob private houses or shops by slipping in at the door unperceived, while the servant or shopman is employed in cleaning the steps, windows, &c.1819
SHUTTER-RACKETthe practice of robbing houses, or shops, by boring a hole in the window shutter, and taking out a pane of glass.1819
SNEAKThe sneak is the practice of robbing houses or shops, by slipping in unperceived, and taking whatever may lay most convenient; this is commonly the first branch of thieving, in which young boys are initiated, who, from their size and activity, appear well adapted for it. To sneak a place, is to rob it upon the sneak. A sneak is a robbery effected in the above manner. One or more prisoners having escaped from their confinement by stealth, without using any violence, or alarming their keepers, are said to have sneak'd 'em, or given it to 'em upon the sneak. See Rush.1819
STARThe star is a game chiefly practised by young boys, often under ten years of age, although the offence is capital. It consists of cutting a pane of glass in a shop-window, by a peculiar operation called starring the glaze, which is performed very effectually by a common penknife; the depredators then take out such articles of value as lie within reach of their arm, which if they are not interrupted, sometimes includes half the contents of the window. A person convicted of this offence is said to have been done for a star.1819
STAR LAGBreaking shop-windows, and stealing some article thereout.1811
STRIPto rob or gut a House, to unrig any Body; or to bite them of their Money.1737
STRIP THE KENTo gut the House.1737
Crime : Cheats and Tricks
BILKto cheat or deceive. Bilk the Rattling Cove; Sharp the Coachman of his Hire.1737
BITRobbed, Cheated or Out-Witted. Also Drunk, as He has bit his Grannum; He is very Drunk. Bit the Blow, performed the Theft, played the Cheat, You have bit a great Blow; You have robbed somebody of or to a considerable Value.1737
BLEATERSThose cheated by Jack in a box. CANT.--See JACK IN A BOX.1811
BLEATERSthey that are cheated by Jack in a Box.1737
BOBBEDCheated, tricked, disappointed.1811
BOBBEDcheated, tricked, baulked.1737
BUBBLETo cheat or decieve. A Bubble, an easy soft Fellow, one that is fit to be imposed on, deluded, or cheated.1737
BUCKETTo bucket a person is synonymous with putting him in the well. See Well. Such treatment is said to be a bucketting concern.1819
BUTTERsignifies also, to cheat or defraud in a smooth or plausible Manner; as, Hell not be Battered; Hes aware of your Design, Hes upon his Guard, etc.1737
CHOUSEto cheat or trick.1737
COGThe money, or whatsoever the sweeteners drop to draw in a bubble.1811
DROPthe game of ring-dropping is called the drop.1819
DROPto give or present a person with money, as, he dropp'd me a quid, he gave me a guinea. A kid who delivers his bundle to a sharper without hesitation, or shopkeeper who is easily duped of his goods by means of a forged order or false pretence, is said to drop the swag in good twig, meaning, to part with it freely.1819
DROP A COGTo let fall, with design, a piece of gold or silver, in order to draw in and cheat the person who sees it picked up; the piece so dropped is called a dropt cog.1811
DROP A COGto let fall (with Design to draw in and cheat) a Piece of Gold; also the Piece itself.1737
FAM LAYGoing into a goldsmiths shop, under pretence of buying a wedding ring, and palming one or two, by daubing the hand with some viscous matter.1811
FAWNEY RIGA common fraud, thus practised: A fellow drops a brass ring, double gilt, which he picks up before the party meant to be cheated, and to whom he disposes of it for less than its supposed, and ten times more than its real, value. See MONEY DROPPER.1811
FOBA cheat, trick, or contrivance, I will not be fobbed off so; I will not be thus deceived with false pretences. The fob is also a small breeches pocket for holding a watch.1811
FOBa Cheat, or Trick.1737
FOB offto cheat or deceive.1737
FUNA cheat, or trick. Do you think to fun me out of it? Do you think to cheat me?--Also the breech, perhaps from being the abbreviation of fundament. Ill kick your fun. CANT.1811
FUNa Cheat, or slippery Trick; What do you fun me? Do you think to sharp or trick me? He put the fun upon the Cull, he sharped the Fellow.1737
GAMEBubbles or pigeons drawn in to be cheated. Also, at bawdy-houses, lewd women. Mother have you any game; mother, have you any girls? To die game; to suffer at the gallows without shewing any signs of fear or repentance. Game pullet; a young whore, or forward girl in the way of becoming one.1811
GAMEBubbles drawn in to be cheated; also at a Bawdy house, lewd Women. Have ye any Game Mother? Have ye any Whores, Mistress bawd.1737
GARDENto put a person in the garden, in the hole, in the bucket, or in the well, are synonymous phrases, signifying to defraud him of his due share of the booty by embezzling a part of the property, or the money, it is, fenced for; this phrase also applies generally to defrauding any one with whom you are confidentially connected of what is justly his due.1819
GULLEDcheated, rooked, sharped.1737
HOLESee Garden.1819
HOOKTover reached, snapt, trikt.1737
JASONS FLEECEA citizen cheated of his gold.1811
JASONs FLEECEa Citizen cheated of his Gold.1737
KIMBAWto Trick, Sharp, or Cheat; also to Beat severely, or to Bully. Lets Kimbaw the Cull, Lets beat that Fellow, and get his Money (by huffing and bullying) from him.1737
LIFEby this term is meant the various cheats and deceptions practised by the designing part of mankind ; a person well versed in this kind of knowledge, is said to be one that knows life; in other words, that knows the world. This is what Goldsmith defines to be a knowledge of human nature on the wrong side.1819
PALMING-RACKETsecreting money in the palm of the hand, a game at which some are very expert.1819
PLAY A-CROSSWhat is commonly termed playing booty, that is, purposely losing the game, or match, in order to take in the fiats who have backed you, (see Bridge) while the sharps divide the spoil, in which you have a share. This sort of treachery extends to boxing, racing, and every other species of sport, on which bets are laid; sometimes a sham match is made for the purpose of inducing strangers to bet, which is decided in such a manner that the latter will inevitably lose. A-cross signifies generally any collusion or unfair dealing between several parties.1819
RINGING or RINGING-INto ring is to exchange; ringing the changes, is a fraud practised by smashers, who when they receive good money in change of a guinea, &c., ring-in one or more pieces of base with great dexterity, and then request the party to change them.1819
SHARPINGswindling and cheating in all their various forms, including the arts of fraud at play.1819
SLANGto defraud a person of any part of his due, is called slanging him ; also to cheat by false weights or measures, or other unfair means.1819
SLANG WEIGHTS or MEASURESunjust, or defective ones.1819
SMITHFIELD BARGAINA 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.1811
SPRING a Partridgeto draw a Person in to be bit. To spring Partridges; to raise a Crowd in order to rob or pick Pockets.1737
STINGto rob or defraud a person or place is called stinging them, as, that cove is too fly ; he has been stung before; meaning that man is upon his guard ; he has already been trick'd.1819
TRIMMINGcheating People of their Money.1737
TRIMMINGCheating, changing side, or beating. Ill trim his jacket; Ill thresh him. To be trimmed; to be shaved; Ill just step and get trimmed.1811
WELLto well your accomplice, or put him in the well, is explained under the word Garden, which see.1819
Crime : Other Crimes
AREA SNEAK or AREA SLUMthe practice of slipping unperceived down the areas of private houses, and robbing the lower apartments of plate or other articles.1819
BETTER-RACKETgoing about to respectable houses with a letter or statement, detailing some case of extreme distress, as shipwreck, sufferings by fire, &c. by which many benevolent, but credulous, persons, are induced to relieve the fictitious wants of the impostors, who are generally men, or women, of genteel address, and unfold a plausible tale of affliction.1819
BILLIARD SLUMThe mace is sometimes called giving it to 'em on the billiard slum. See Mace.1819
BIT-FAKINGcoining base money.1819
BLACK ARTThe art of picking a lock. Cant.1811
BLUE-PIGEON FLYINGthe practice of stealing lead from houses, churches, or other buildings, very prevalent in London and its vicinity.1819
BODY-SNATCHERa stealer of dead bodies from churchyards; which are sold to the surgeons and students in anatomy.1819
BUGGINGtaking Money by Bailiffs and Serjeants of the Defendant not to arrest him.1737
BURN THE KENis when Strollers leave an Alehouse, without paying their Quarters.1737
BURN THE KENStrollers living in an alehouse without paying their quarters, are said to burn the ken. CANT.1811
BUZto buz a person is to pick his pocket. The buz is the game of picking pockets in general.1819
CAT and KITTEN RIGthe petty game of stealing pewter quart and pint pots from public-houses.1819
CLOUTINGthe practice of picking pockets exclusively of handkerchiefs.1819
CLOUTING LAYPicking pockets of handkerchiefs.1811
CROSS-FAMto cross-fam a person, is to pick his pocket, by crossing your arms in a particular position.1819
CUESee Letter Q.1819
DANNA-DRAGcommonly pronounced dunnickdrag. See Knap A Jacob, &c.1819
DIVEto pick a Pocket1737
DIVETo dive; to pick a pocket. To dive for a dinner; to go down into a cellar to dinner. A dive, is a thief who stands ready to receive goods thrown out to him by a little boy put in at a window. Cant.1811
DOBIN RIGStealing ribbands from haberdashers early in the morning or late at night; generally practised by women in the disguise of maid servants.1811
DRAWto dram a person, is to pick his pocket, and the act of so stealing a pocket-book, or handkerchief, is called drawing a reader, or clout. To obtain money or goods of a person by a false or plausible story, is called drawing him of so and so. To draws. kid, is to obtain his swag from him. See KID-RIG.1819
FEINTINGan Attempt on one part of a House, or Road, etc. when their cheif Stress or Attempt lies in another1737
HIGH-TOBYthe game of highway robbery, that is, exclusively on horseback.1819
HOISTthe game of shop-lifting is called the hoist ; a person expert at this practice is said to be a good hoist.1819
KNUCKLEto pick pockets, but chiefly applied to the more refined branch of that art, namely, extracting notes, loose cash, &c., from the waistcoat or breeches pockets, whereas buzzing is used in a more general sense. See Buz.1819
LAGGING MATTERany species of crime for which a person is liable on conviction to be transported.1819
LETTER Qthe mace, or billiard-slum, is sometimes called going upon the Q, or the letter Q, alluding to an instrument used in playing billiards.1819
LOBGoing on the lob; going into a shop to get change for gold, and secreting some of the change.1811
LODGING-SLUMthe practice of hiring ready-furnished lodgings, and stripping them of the plate, linen, and other valuables.1819
MACEto mace a shopkeeper, or give it to him upon the mace, is to obtain goods on credit, which you never mean to pay for ; to run up a score with the same intention, or to spunge upon your acquaintance, by continually begging or borrowing from them, is termed maceing, or striking the mace.1819
MOUNTto swear, or give evidence falsely for the sake of a gratuity. To mount for a person is also synonymous with bonnetting for him.1819
ORDER-RACKETobtaining goods from a shopkeeper, by means of a forged order or false pretence.1819
PEAR MAKINGTaking bounties from several regiments and immediately deserting. The cove was fined in the steel for pear making; the fellow was imprisoned in the house of correction for taking bounties from different regiments.1811
PEAR-MAKINGinlisting in various regiments, taking the bounty, and then deserting.1819
PRAD LAYCutting bags from behind horses. CANT.1811
PRIGTo steal; to go out a-prigging, is to go a-thieving.1819
QSee Letter Q.1819
RACKETsome particular kinds of fraud and robbery are so termed, when called by their flash titles, and others Rig; as, the Letter-racket, the Order-racket; the Kid-rig ; the Cat and Kitten-rig, &c., but all these terms depend upon the fancy of the speaker. In fact, any game may be termed a rig, racket, suit, slum, &c., by prefixing thereto the particular branch of depredation or fraud in question, many examples of which occur in this work.1819
RAMPto rob any person or place by open violence or suddenly snatching at something and running off with it, as, I ramp'd him of his montra; why did you not ramp his castor ? &c. A man convicted of this offence, is said to have been done for a ramp. This audacious game, is called by prigs, the ramp, and is nearly similar to the Rush, which see.1819
RIGSee Racket.1819
RUSHthe rush, is nearly synonymous with the ramp ; but the latter often applies to snatching at a single article, as a silk cloak, for instance, from a milliner's shop-door ; whereas a rush may signify a forcible entry by several men into a detached dwelling-house for the purpose of robbing its owners of their money, &c. A sudden and violent effort to get into any place, or vice versa to effect your exit, as from a place of confinement, &c., is called rushing them, or giving it to 'em upon the rush.1819
SCAMPthe game of highway robbery is called the scamp. To scamp a person is to rob him on the highway. Done for a scamp signifies convicted of a highway robbery.1819
SERVEto serve a person, or place, is to rob them ; as, I serv'd him for his thimble, I rob'd him of his watch ; that crib has been served before, that shop has been already robbed, &c. To serve a man, also sometimes signifies to maim, wound, or do him some bodily hurt; and to serve him out and out, is to kill him.1819
SLUMSee Racket and Lodging-slum.1819
SMASHINGuttering counterfeit money; masking of queer screens, signifies uttering forged bank notes. To smash a guinea, note, or other money, is, in a common sense, to procure, or give, change for it.1819
SNUFFINGgoing into a shop on some pretence, watching an opportunity to throw a handful of snuff in the eyes of the shop-keeper, and then running off with any valuable article you can lay hands on; this is called snuffing him, or giving it to him upon the snuff racket.1819
SPANKto spank a glaze, is to break a pane of glass in a shop window, and make a sudden snatch at some article of value within your reach, having previously tied the shop-door with a strong cord on the outside, so as to prevent the shopman from getting out, till you have had full time to escape with your booty; to spank a place, is to rob it upon the spank ; a spank is a robbery effected by the above means.1819
SPICETo rob. Spice the swell; rob the gentleman.1811
SPICEthe spice is the game of footpad robbery ; describing an exploit of this nature ; a rogue will say, I spiced a swell of so much, naming the booty obtained. A spice is a footpad robbery.1819
SWEATINGA 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.1811
SWORD RACKETTo enlist in different regiments, and on receiving the bounty to desert immediately.1811
TO FOYSTTo pick a pocket.1811
TOBYto toby a man, is to rob him on the highway ; a person convicted of this offence, is said to be done for a toby. The toby applies exclusively to robbing on horseback; the practice of footpad robbery being properly called the spice, though it is common to distinguish the former by the title of high-toby, and the latter of low-toby. 1819
TOBY LAYThe highway. High toby man; a highway-man. Low toby man; a footpad.1811
TOLLIBAN RIGA species of cheat carried on by a woman, assuming the character of a dumb and deaf conjuror.1811
TOW or TOWLINESee Line. To tow a person out; that is, from his premises, or post: is to decoy him there from by some fictitious story, or other artifice, while your pall seizes the opportunity of his absence, to rob the place he has imprudently quitted.1819
WALKING THE PLANKA mode of destroying devoted persons or officers in a mutiny or ship-board, by blindfolding them, and obliging them to walk on a plank laid over the ships side; by this means, as the mutineers suppose, avoiding the penalty of murder.1811
WATER-SNEAKrobbing ships or vessels on a navigable river, or canal, by getting on board unperceived, generally in the night. The water-sneak, is lately made a capital offence.1819
Crime : Places
FENCING KENThe magazine, or warehouse, where stolen goods are secreted.1811
FENCING-KENa Warehouse, where Stollen Goods are secured.1737
FLASH KENA house that harbours thieves.1811
FLASH PANNEYSHouses to which thieves and prostitutes resort.1811
FLASH-CRIB; FLASH-KEN or FLASH-PANNYa public-house resorted to chiefly by family people, the master of which is commonly an old prig, and not unfrequently an old-lag.1819
FLASH-KENa House were Thieves use, and are connived at.1737
LOCKthe Warehouse whither the Thieves carry stollen Goods. Also an Hospital for pocky Folks in Southwark etc.1737
SPIRIT-AWAYthe same as Kidnap.1737
STALLING KENA brokers shop, or that of a receiver of stolen goods.1811
STALLNG-KENa Brokers Shop, or any House that receives stollen Goods.1737
STOP HOLE ABBEYThe nick name of the chief rendzvous of the canting crew of beggars, gypsies, cheats, thieves, &c. &c.1811
STOP-HOLE ABBEYthe Nick-name of the chief Rendezvous of the Canting Crew of Gypsies, Cheats, Thieves, etc.1737
STULING-KENthe same as Stalling Ken. Which see.1737
Crime : Related Terms
ARM-PITSTo work under the arm-pits, is to practise only such kinds of depredation, as will amount, upon conviction, to what the law terms single, or petty larceny ; the extent of punishment for which is transportation for seven years. By following this system, a thief avoids the halter, which certainly is applied above the arm-pits.1819
BEEFTo cry beef; to give the alarm. They have cried beef on us. Cant.--To be in a mans beef; to wound him with a sword. To be in a womans 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.1811
BEEFstop thief! to beef a person, is to raise a hue and cry after him, in order to get him stopped. 1819
BESTto get your money at the best, signifies to live by dishonest or fraudulent practices, without labour or industry, according to the general acceptation of the latter word; but, certainly, no persons have more occasion to be industrious, and in a state of perpetual action than cross-cores; and experience has proved, when too late, to many of them, that honesty is the best policy; and consequently, that the above phrase is by no means a-propos.1819
BISHOPSee Christen.1819
BONNETa concealment, pretext, or pretence; an ostensible manner of accounting for what you really mean to conceal; as a man who actually lives by depredation, will still outwardly follow some honest employment, as a clerk, porter, newsman, &c. By this system of policy, he is said to have a good bonnet if he happens to get boned; and, in a doubtful case, is commonly discharged on the score of having a good character. To bonnet for a person, is to corroborate any assertion he has made, or to relate facts in the most favourable light, in order to extricate him from a dilemma, or to further any object he has in view.1819
BOWMANas a Bowman-Prigg, an eminent Thief or Villain; a dextrous Cheat, or House-breaker.1737
BRACE UPto dispose of stolen goods by pledging them for the utmost you can get at a pawnbroker's, is termed bracing them up.1819
CAPsynonymous with Bonnet, which see.1819
CAPTAINLed 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 a1811
CATCHING HARVESTA dangerous time for a robbery, when many persons are on the road, on account of a horse-race, fair, or some other public meeting.1811
CATCHING-HARVESTa precarious Time for Robbery; when many People are out upon the Road, by means of any adjacent Fair, Horse-race, etc.1737
CHANTan advertisement in a newspaper or handbill; also a paragraph in the newspaper describing any robbery or other recent event; any lost or stolen property, for the recovery of which, or a thief, &c., for whose apprehension a reward is held out by advertisement, are said to be chanted.1819
CHRISTENobliterating the name and number on the movement of a stolen watch ; or the crest, cipher, &c., on articles of plate, and getting others engraved, so as to prevent their being identified, is termed having them bishop'd or christen'd.1819
COMEA thief observing any article in a shop, or other situation, which he conceives may be easily purloined, will say to his accomplice, I think there is so and so to come.1819
COME ITto divulge a secret; to tell any thing of one party to another; they say of a thief who has turned evidence against his accomplices, that he is coming all he knows, or that he comes it as strong as a horse.1819
CONFECTconterfeit, feigned.1737
COVERto stand in such a situation as to obscure your Pall, who is committing a robbery, from the view of by-standers or persons passing, is called covering him. Any body whose dress or stature renders him particularly eligible for this purpose, is said to be a good cover.1819
CREWa Knot or Gang; as, A Crew of Rogues, etc.1737
CREWA 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:
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
CRONYa Comerade [in a Canting Sense.] Two or Three Rogues, who agree to beg or rob in Partnership, call one another Crony; as, Such a one is my Crony; as much as to say, He and I go Snacks.1737
CRONYAn intimate companion, a comrade; also a confederate in a robbery.1811
CROSSillegal or dishonest practices in general are called the cross, in opposition to the square. See Square. Any article which has been irregularly obtained, is said to have been got upon the cross, and is emphatically termed a cross article.1819
CROSS-CRIBa house inhabited, or kept by family people. See Square Crib.1819
CUT THE LINESee Line.1819
CUT THE STRINGSee String. 1819
DABexpert, well versd in Roguery. A Rum Dab, a very dextrous Fellow at Thieving, Cheating, Sharping, etc.1737
DEAD CARGOa Term used by Rogues, when they are disappointed in the Value of their Booty.1737
DEAD CARGOA term used by thieves, when they are disappointed in the value of their booty.1811
DOa term used by smashers ; to do a queer half-quid, or a queer screen, is to utter a counterfeit half-guinea, or a forged bank-note.1819
DO IT AWAYto fence or dispose of a stolen article beyond the reach of probable detection.1819
DO THE TRICKto accomplish any robbery, or other business successfully ; a thief who has been fortunate enough to acquire an independence, and prudent enough to tie it up in time, is said by his former associates to have done the trick ; on the other "hand, a man who has imprudently involved himself in some great misfortune, from which there is little hope of his extrication is declared by his friends, with an air of commiseration, to have done the trick for himself; that is, his ruin or downfall is nearly certain. 1819
DOWNAware of a thing. Knowing it. There is NO DOWN. A cant phrase used by house-breakers to signify that the persons belonging to any house are not on their guard, or that they are fast asleep, and have not heard any noise to alarm them.1811
DOWNsometimes synonymous with awake, as, when the party you are about to rob, sees or suspects your intention, it is then said that the cove is down. A down is a suspicion, alarm, or discovery, which taking place, obliges yourself and palls to give up or desist from the business or depredation you were engaged in; to put a down upon a man, is to give information of any robbery or fraud he is about to perpetrate, so as to cause his failure or detection; to drop down to a person is to discover or be aware of his character or designs ; to put a person down to any thing, is to apprize him of, elucidate, or explain it to him ; to put a swell down, signifies to alarm or put a gentleman on his guard, when in the attempt to pick his pocket, you fail to effect it at once, and by having touched him a little too roughly, you cause him to suspect your design, and to use precautions accordingly ; or perhaps, in the act of sounding him, by being too precipitate or incautious, his suspicions may have been excited, and it is then said that you have put him put him down, or spoiled him. See Spoil It. To drop down upon yourself, is to become melancholy, or feel symptoms of remorse or compunction, on being committed to jail, cast for death, &c. To sink under misfortunes of any kind. A man who gives way to this weakness, is said to be down upon himself.1819
DROP DOWNSee Down.1819
DUNNICK or DANNA-DRAGSee Knap A Jacob.1819
FAKE AWAY; THERE'S NO DOWNan intimation from a thief to his pall, during the commission of a robbery, or other act, meaning, go on with your operations, there is no sign of any alarm or detection.1819
FOULTo foul a plate with a man, to take a dinner with him.1811
FRISKto search; to frisk a cly, is to empty a pocket of its contents; to stand frisk, is to stand search.1819
GAMEevery particular branch of depredation practised by the family, is called a game; as, what game do you go upon ? One species of robbery or fraud is said to be a good game, another a queer game, &c.1819
GANGan ill Knot or Crew of Thieves, Pick-pockets or Miscreants.1737
GANGA company of men, a body of sailors, a knot of thieves, pickpockets, &c. A gang of sheep trotters; the four feet of a sheep.1811
HANKa spell or cessation from any work or duty, on the score of indisposition, or some other pretence.1819
IN ITto let another partake of any benefit or acquisition you have acquired by robbery or otherwise, is called patting him in it: a family-man who is accidentally witness to a robbery, &c., effected by one or more others, will say to the latter, Mind, I'm in it; which is generally acceded to, being the established custom; but there seems more of courtesy than right in this practice. 1819
JACKETto jacket a person, or clap a jacket on him, is nearly synonymous with bridging him. See Bridge. But this term is more properly applied to removing a man by underhand and vile means from any birth or situation he enjoys, commonly with a view to supplant him ; therefore, when a person, is supposed to have fallen a victim to such infamous machinations, it is said to have been a jacketting concern.1819
JOBany concerted robbery, which is to be executed at a certain time, is spoken of by the parties as the job, or having a job to do at such a place ; and in this case as regular preparations are made, and as great debates held, as about any legal business undertaken by the industrious part of the community.1819
JUSTICEIll do Justice, Child; I will Peach, or rather Impeach, or discover the whole Gang, and so save my own Bacon.1737
KNOTa Crew of Gang of Villains.1737
KNOTA crew, gang, or fraternity. He has tied a knot with his tongue, that he cannot untie with his teeth: i.e. he is married.1811
LAYan Enterprize, or Attempt; To be sick of the Lay, to be tird in waiting for an Opportunity to effect their Purposes. Also an Hazard or Chance; as, He stands a quuer Lay; he stands an odd Chance, or is in great Danger.1737
LAYEnterprize, pursuit, or attempt: to be sick of the lay. It also means a hazard or chance: he stands a queer lay; i.e. he is in danger. CANT.1811
LIGHTto inform of any robbery, &c., which has been some time executed and concealed, is termed bringing the affair to light; to produce any thing to view, or to give up any stolen property for the sake of a reward, to quash a prosecution, is also called bringing it to light. A thief, urging his associates to a division of any booty they have lately made, will desire them to bring the wag to light.1819
LINEto get a person in a line, or in a string, it to engage them in a conversation, while your confederate is robbing their person or premises ; to banter or jest with a man by amusing him with false assurances or professions, is also termed stringing him, or getting him in tow; to keep any body in suspense on any subject without coming to a decision, is called ketping him in tow, in a string, or in a tow-line. To cut the line, or the string, is to put an end to the suspense in which you have kept any one, by telling him the plain truth, coming to a final decision, &c. A person, who has been telling another a long story, until he is tired, or conceives his auditor has been all the while secretly laughing at him, will say at last, I 've just dropped down, you've had me in a fine string, I think it's time to cut it. On the other hand, the auditor, having the same opinion on his part, would say, Come, I believe you want to string me all night, I wish you'd cut it; meaning, conclude the story at once.1819
LOOK AT A PLACEwhen a plan is laid for robbing a house, &c., upon the crack, or the screw, the parties will go a short time before the execution, to examine the premises, and make any necessary observations ; this is called looking at the place.1819
MILCH-KINEa Term used by Goalers, when their Prisoners will bleed freely to have some Favour, or to be at large.1737
MONGRELa Hanger-on among the Cheats, a Spunger.1737
MUSICThe watch-word among highwaymen, signifying the person is a friend, and must pass unmolested. Music is also an Irish term, in tossing up, to express the harp side, or reverse, of a farthing or halfpenny, opposed to the head.1811
MUSICKthe Watch-word among High-way-men, to let the Company they were to rob, alone, in return to some Courtesy from some Gentleman among them.1737
NIBBLEto pilfer trifling articles, not having spirit to touch any thing of consequence.1819
NO DOWNSee Fake Away, &c.1819
OUT OF TWIGto put yourself out of twig, is to disguise your dress and appearance, to avoid being recognised, on some particular account; a man reduced by poverty to wear a shabby dress is said by his acquaintance to be out of twig; to put any article out of twig, as a stolen coat, cloak, &c, is to alter it in such a way that it cannot be identified.1819
PALLA companion. One who generally accompanies another, or who commit robberies together.1811
PALLa partner; companion; associate; or accomplice.1819
PLANTTo hide, or conceal any person or thing, is termed planting him, or it; and any thing hid is called, the plant, when alluded to in conversation ; such article is said to be in plant; the place of concealment is sometimes called the plant, as, I know of a fine plant; that is, a secure hiding-place. To spring a plant, is to find any thing that has been concealed by another. To rise the plant, is to take up and remove any thing that has been hid, whether by yourself or another. A person's money, or valuables, secreted about his house, or person, is called his plant. To plant upon a man, is to set somebody to watch his motions; also to place any thing purposely inhis way, that he may steal it and be immediately detected.1819
PUT DOWNSee Down.1819
PUT UPto suggest to another, the means of committing a depredation, or effecting any other busiuess, is termed, putting him up to it.1819
PUT UP AFFAIRany preconcerted plan or scheme to effect a robbery, &c., undertaken at the suggestion of another person, who possessing a knowledge of the premises, is competent to advise the principal how best to proceed.1819
QUEERE-BIRDSsuch as having got loose, return to their old Trade of roguing and thieving.1737
REIGNthe length or continuance of a man's career in a system of wickedness, which when he is ultimately bowled out, is said to have been a long, or a short reign, according to its duration.1819
RISE THE PLANTSee Plant.1819
ROWTo row in the same boat; to be embarked in the same scheme.1811
ROW IN THE BOATto go snacks, or have a share in the benefit arising from any transaction to which you are privy. To let a person row with you, is to admit him to a share.1819
SCRAPs Design, a purposd Villainy, a vile Intention; also a perpetrated Roguery: He whiddles the whole Scrap: He discovers all he knows.1737
SCRAPA villainous scheme or plan. He whiddles the whole scrap; he discovers the whole plan or scheme.1811
SELLto sell a man is to betray him, by giving information against him, or otherwise to injure him clandestinely for the sake of interest, nearly the same as bridging him. (See Bridge.) A man who falls a victim to any treachery of this kind, is said to have been sold like a bullock in Smithfield.1819
SENDTo drive or break in. Hand down the Jemmy and send it in; apply the crow to the door, and drive it in.1811
SHIFTERan alarm, or intimation, given by. a thief to his pall, signifying that there is a down, or that some one is approaching, and that he had, therefore, better desist from what he is about.1819
SINGLE-HANDEDrobbery by yourself, without a pall.1819
SLYAny business transacted, or intimation given, privately, or under the rose, is said to be done upon the sly.1819
SNAPTtaken, caught.1737
SNAPTTaken, caught.1811
SNITCHTo turn snitch, or snitcher; to turn informer.1811
SNITCHto impeach, or betray your accomplices, is termed snitching upon them. A person who becomes king's evidence on such an occasion, is said to have turned snitch; an informer, or tale-bearer, in general, is called a snitch, or a snitching rascal, in which sense snitching is synonymous with nosing, or earning it.1819
SNUGAlls snug; Alls quiet, used by Villains, when every thing is silent and they hear no body stir to oppose their intended Rogueries.1737
SNUGAlls snug; alls quiet.1811
SOLDSee Sell.1819
SOUNDto sound a person, means generally to draw from him, in an artful manner, any particulars you want to be acquainted with ; as, to sound a kid, porter, &c., is to pump out of him the purport of his errand, the contents of his bundle, or load, &c., that your pall may know how to accost him, in order to draw the swag. See Draw and Kid-rig. To sound a cly, is to touch a person's pocket gently on the outside, in order to ascertain the nature of its contents.1819
SPEAKAny thing stolen. He has made a good speak; he has stolen something considerable.1811
SPEAKcommitting any robbery, is called making a speak; and if it has been productive, you are said to have made a rum speak.1819
SPEAK TOto speak to a person or place is to rob them, and to speak to any article, is to steal it; as, I spoke to the cove for his montra; I robb'd the gentleman of his watch. I spoke to that crib for all the wedge; I robb'd that house of all the plate. I spoke to a chest of slop ; I stole a chest of tea. A thief will say to his pall who has been attempting any robbery, " Well, did you speak? or, have you spoke.'" meaning, did you get any thing?1819
SPOIL ITto throw some obstacle in the way of any project or undertaking, so as to cause its failure, is termed spoiling it. In like manner, to prevent another person from succeeding in his object, either by a wilful obstruction, or by some act of imprudence on your part, subjects you to the charge of having spoiled him. Speaking of some particular species of fraud or robbery, which after a long series of success, is now become stale or impracticable from the public being guarded against it, the family will say, that game is spoiled at last. So having attempted the robbery of any particular house or shop, and by miscarrying caused such an alarm as to render a second attempt dangerous or impolitic, they will say, that place is spoil'd, it is useless to try it on any more.1819
SPOKE TOalluding to any person or place that has been already robbed, they say, that place, or person, has been spoke to before. A. family man on discovering that he has been robbed, will exclaim, I have been spoke to; and perhaps will add,for such a thing, naming what he has lost Spoke to upon the screw, crack, sneak, hoist, buz, &c. &c., means robbed upon either of those particular suits or games. Upon any great misfortune befalling a man, as being apprehended on a very serious charge, receiving a wound supposed to be mortal, &c., his friends will say, Poor fellow, I believe he 's spoke to, meaning it is all over with him.1819
STAGTo turn stag; to impeach ones confederates: from a herd of deer, who are said to turn their horns against any of their number who is hunted.1811
STAGto turn stag was formerly synonymous with turning nose, or snitching, but the phrase is now exploded.1819
STALLa violent pressure in a crowd, made by pickpockets for the more easily effecting their depredatory purposes ; this is called making a rum stall in the push.1819
STALL UPTo stall a person up, (a term used by pickpockets,) is to surround him in a crowd, or violent pressure, and even sometimes in the open street, while walking along, and by violence force his arms up, and keep them in that position while others of the gang rifle his pockets at pleasure, the cove being unable to help or defend himself; this is what the newspapers denominate hustling, and is universally practised at the doors of public theatres, at boxing matches, ship-launches, and other places where the general anxiety of all ranks, either to push forward, or to obtain a view of the scene before them, forms a pretext for jostling, and every other advantage which the strength or numbers of one party gives them over a weaker one, or a single person. It is not unusual for the buz-coves, on particular occasions, to procure a formidable squad of stout fellows of the lower class, who, though not expert at knuckling, render essential service by violently pushing and squeezing in the crowd, and, in the confusion excited by this conduct, the unconcerned prigs reap a plentiful harvest, and the stallers up are gratified with such part of the gains acquired, as the liberality of the knuckling gentlemen may prompt them to bestow. This coup de guerre is termed making a regular stall at such a place, naming the scene of their operations. See Stall.1819
STINKWhen any robbery of moment has been committed, which causes much alarm, or of which much is said in the daily papers, the family people will say, there is a great stink about it. See Wanted.1819
STRINGSee Line.1819
SUITin general synonymous with game; as, what suit did you give it to 'em upon ? in what manner did you rob them, or upon what pretence, &c., did you defraud them ? One species of imposition is said to be a prime suit, another a queer suit: a man describing the pretext he used to obtain money from another, would say, I draw'd him of a quid upon the suit of so and so, naming the ground of his application. See Draw. A person having engaged with another on very advantageous terms to serve or work for him, will declare that he is upon a good suit. To use great submission and respect in asking any favour of another, is called giving it to him upon the humble suit.1819
SUNDAY MANOne who goes abroad on that day only, for fear of arrests.1811
THROUGH IT or THROUGH THE PIECEgetting acquitted on an indictment, or surmounting any other trouble, or difficulty, is called getting through it, or thro' the piece ; so, to get a man through it, &c., is to extricate him by virtue of your counsel and friendly assistance ; sometimes called pulling him through it1819
TO SHAM ABRAMTo pretend sickness.1811
TRICKSee Do The Trick. 1819
TRIGa bit of stick, paper, &c., placed by thieves in the keyhole of, or elsewhere about, the door of a house, which they suspect to be uninhabited; if the trig remains unmoved the following day, it is a proof that no person sleeps in the house, on which the gang enter it the ensuing night upon the screw, and frequently meet with a good booty, such as beds, carpets, &c., the family being probably out of town. This operation is called trigging the jigger.1819
TRY ONTo endeavour. To live by thieving. Coves who try it on; professed thieves.1811
TYE IT UPto tye up any particular custom, practice, or habit, is synonymous with knifeing, stowing, turning it up, or stashing it. To tye it up is a phrase, which, used emphatically, is generally understood to mean quitting a course of depredation and wickedness. See Square, and Do The Trick.1819
UNPALLEDa thief whose associates are all apprehended, or taken from him by other means, is said to be unpalled, and he is then obliged to work single-handehanded.1819
UP TO THEIR GOSSIPTo be a match for one who attempts to cheat or deceive; to be on a footing, or in the secret. Ill be up with him; I will repay him in kind.1811
UPON THE CROSSSee Cross.1819
UPON THE SUIT&c. See Suit.1819
WANTEDwhen any of the traps or runners have a private information against a family person, and are using means to apprehend the party, they say, such a one one is wanted; and it becomes the latter, on receiving such intimation to keep out of the way, until the stink is over, or until he or she can find means to stash the business through the medium of Mr. Palmer, or by some other means.1819
WEEDto pilferer purloin a small portion from a large quantity of any thing; often done by young or timid depredators, in the hope of escaping detection, as, an apprentice or shopman will weed his master's lob, that is, take small sums out of the till when opportunity offers, which sort of peculation may be carried on with impunity for a length of time ; but experienced thieves sometimes think it good judgment to weed a place, in order that it may be good again, perperhaps for a considerable length of time, as in the instance of a warehouse, or other depot for goods, to which they may possess the means of access by means of a false key ; in this case, by taking too great a swag, at first, the proprietors would discover the deficiency, and take measures to prevent future depredation. To weed the swag is to embezzle part of the booty, unknown to your palls, before a division takes place, a temptation against which very few of the family are proof, if they can find an opportunity. A flash-cove, on discovering a deficiency in his purse or property, which he cannot account for, will declare that he, (or it, naming the article,) has been wedded [weeded?] to the ruffian.1819
WEIGH FORTYterm used by the police, who are as well versed in flash as the thieves themselves. It is often customary with the traps, to wink at depredations of a petty nature, and for which no reward would attach, and to let a thief reign unmolested till he commits a capital crime. They then grab him, and, on conviction, share (in many cases) a reward of 40l., or upwards; therefore these gentry will say, Let him alone at present, we don't want him till he weighs his weight, meaning, of course, forty pounds.1819
WHIDDLEto enter into a Parley, to compound with, or take off by a Bribe; as, Did you Whiddle with the Cull? Did you bribe or compound with the Evidence? Also to impeach, or discover; as, He Whiddles; He Peaches. He Whiddles the whole Scrap; He discovers all he knows. The Cull has whiddled, because we would not tip him a Snack; The Dog has discovered because we did not give him a Share. They Whiddle-Thief, and we must Brush; They cry out Thieves, and we must fly.1737
WHIDDLERa Peacher (or rather Impeacher) of his Gang.1737
WHIDDLERAn informer, or one that betrays the secrets of the gang.1811
WINNINGSPlunder, goods, or money acquired by theft.1811
WORKTo work upon any particular game, is to practise generally, that species of fraud or depredation, as, He works upon the crack, he follows housebreaking, &c. An offender having been detected in the very fact, particularly in cases of coining, colouring base-metal, &c., is emphatically said to have been grab'd at work, meaning to imply, that the proof against him being so plain, he has no ground of defence to set up.1819
Crime : Thieving in General
CLOYto Steal. Cloy the Clout; steal the Money.1737
CLOYTo steal. To cloy the clout; to steal the handkerchief. To cloy the lour; to steal money. CANT.1811
CLOYINGStealing, Thieving, Robbing.1737
FILCHto Steal.1737
FILEto Rob, or Cheat.1737
FLEECEto Rob, Plunder or Strip.1737
GIVE IT TOto rob or defraud any place or person, as, I gave it to him for his reader, I robb'd him of his pocket-book. What suit did you give it them upon? In what manner, or by what means, did you effect your purpose ? Also, to impose upon a person's credulity by telling him a string of falsehoods ; or to take any unfair advantage of another's inadvertence or unsuspecting temper, on any occasion ; in either case, the party at last dropping down, that is, detecting your imposition, will say, I believe you have been giving it to me nicely all this while.1819
GO OUTto follow the profession of thieving; two or more persons who usually rob in company, are said to go out together.1819
HEAVEto rob.1737
KNAPto steal; take ; receive ; accept; according to the sense it is used in ; as, to knap a clout, is to steal a pocket-handkerchief; to knap the swag from your pall, is to take from him the property he has just stolen, for the purpose of carrying it; to knap seven or fourteen pen'worth, is to receive sentence of transportation for seven or fourteen years ; to knap the glim, is to catch the venereal disease ; in making a bargain, to knap the sum offered you, is to accept it; speaking of a woman supposed to be pregnant, it is common to say, I believe Mr. Knap is concerned, meaning that she has knap'd.1819
Ma KNAPSee Knap.1819
MADEstolen. I made this Knife at a Heat, I stole it cleverly.1737
MADEStolen. CANT.1811
MAKEto steal; seize; to run away with.1737
MILLto steal, rob, or kill. Mill the Gig with a Dub, open the Door with a Pick-lock, or false Key.1737
NAILto nail a person, is to over-reach, or take advantage of him in the course of trade or traffic ; also, to rob, or steal ; as, I nail'd him for (or of) his reader, I robbed him of his pocket-book ; I nail'd the swell's montra in the push, I picked the gentleman's pocket of his watch in the crowd, &c. A person of an overreaching, imposing disposition, is called a nail, a dead nail, a nailing rascal, a rank needle, or a needle pointer.1819
NEEDLE(see Nail) to needle a person, is to haggle with him in making a bargain, and, if possible, take advantage of him, though in the most trifling article.1819
NIMto steal.1737
NIMor whip off or away any thing; To Num a Togeman, to steal a Cloack. To Nim a Cloak, to cut off the Buttons in a Crowd, to whip it off a Mans Shoulders.1737
NIPto pinch or sharp any thing. Nip a Bung, to cut a Purse.1737
NOISY DOG RACKETStealing brass knockers from doors.1811
PICKINGlittle Stealing, Pilfering Petty Larceny.1737
PICKINGPilfering, petty larceny.1811
PINCHto steal or convey slily any Thing away. To pinch on the Parsons side; to sharp him of his Tithes. At a Pinch, upon a Push or Exigence.1737
PINCHTo go into a tradesmans shop under the pretence of purchasing rings or other light articles, and while examining them to shift some up the sleeve of the coat. Also to ask for change for a guinea, and when the silver is received, to change some of the good shillings for bad ones; then suddenly pretending to recollect that you had sufficient silver to pay the bill, ask for the guinea again, and return the change, by which means several bad shillings are passed.1811
PINCHto purloin small articles of value in the shops of jewellers, &c.., while pretending to purchase or bespeak some trinket. This game is called the pinch - I pinch'd him for a fawney, signifies I purloined a ring from him ; Did you pinch any thing in that crib ? did you succeed in secreting any thing in that shop ? This game is a branch of shoplifting; but when the hoist is spoken of, it commonly applies to stealing articles of a larger, though less valuable, kind, as pieces of muslin, or silk handkerchiefs, printed cotton, &c. See Hoist.1819
RUNNING SMOBBLESnatching goods off a counter, and throwing them to an accomplice, who brushes off with them.1811
SHAKEto steal, or rob; as, I shook a chest of slop, I stole a chest of tea ; I've been shook of my skin, I have been robbed of my purse. A thief, whose pott has been into any place for the purpose of robbery, will »ay on his coming outt Well, is it all right, have you shook ? meaning, did you succeed in getting any thing? When two persons rob in company, it is generally the province, or part, of one to-shake, (that is, obtain she twagg), and the other to carry, (that is, bear it to a place of safety.1819
SNABBLEto rifle, to strip, or plunder. To Snabble a Poll, to run away with a Peruke or Head-dress.1737
SNAFFLEto steal, to rob, to purloin. A snaffler of Prancers; a Horse-Stealer. Snuffle, is also a Highwayman that has got a Booty.1737
SPEAK WITHto steal.1737
STRIKEto beg or rob; also to borrow Money. Strike all the Cheats; Rob all that you meet. Strike the Cull; Beg of that Gentleman. Strike the Cloy; Get the Fellows Money from him. He has struck the Quidds; He has got the Money from him. He strikes every Body; He borrows Money every where; he runs in every ones Debt.1737
TO BITETo 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.1811
WHIP OFFto steal, to drink cleverly, to snatch and to run away. Whipt through the Lungs; Run through the Body with a Sword. Whipt in at the Glaze; Got in at the Window.1737
WINa Penny. To win; To steal. Won; Stollen. The Cull has won a Couple of rum Glimsticks; The Rogue has stole a pair of Silver Candlesticks.1737