LIFE IN LONDON - A SLANG DICTIONARY

Taken from Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1823 edition, edited by Pierce Egan,
here are a few of the prime terms from Life in London so that you too can patter the flash like a true Corinthian!

Abigail

a lady's waiting maid.

Bang up

quite the thing. Well done. Complete. Dashing.

Blunt

money

Bosky

in the cant of the Oxonians, being tipsy.

Bottom

a polite term for the posteriors. Also, in the sporting sense, strength and spirits to support fatigue.

Bunter

a low dirty prostitute, half whore, half beggar.

Chaffer

tongue.

Chaffing

to talk aloud.

Charley

a watchman.

Conk

the nose. Also a thief who impeaches his colleagues.

Corinthian Path

Regent Street.

Crib

a house. To crack a crib: to break open a house.

Cyprian

a prostitute. From Venus, the Cyprus-born goddess.

Daffy

gin. Also known as blue ruin, Old Tom, max, flash of lightning, jackey.

Dipper

a pickpocket.

Duce

two-pence.

Dunagen

a privy.

Dustman

to let the dustman get hold of you: to fall asleep.

Fancy

one of the Fancy means a sporting character that is either attached to pigeons, dog-fighting, boxing etc.

Flash

knowing.

Flat

an honest man.

Fly

knowing. Acquainted with another's meaning or proceeding.

Fogle

a handkerchief.

Glim

a candle.

Heavy wet

beer.

Holy Land 

the well-known region of St Giles parish, London .

Isle of Bishop

port wine and roasted oranges and lemons.

Ivories

teeth. How the swell flashed his ivories; how the gentleman showed his teeth. To sluice the ivories; to drink.

Knight of the Thimble

a tailor.

Knowledge box

the head.

Macaroni

an Italian paste of flour and water. Also, a fop.

Mauleys

boxing gloves.

Miller

a boxer.

Nob

the head.

Ogles

the eyes.

Panny

a house. The prigs frisked my panny and nailed my screws; the officers searched my house and seized my picklock keys.

Phiz

the face.

Prad

a horse. The swell flashes a rum prad; the gentleman sports a fine horse.

Rattler

a coach.

Scran

food.

Slavey

a servant of either sex.

Spoony

foolish, half-witted, nonsensical.

Swell - termed a swell.

a gentleman, but any well-dressed person is emphatically.

Tonic

a halfpenny.

Uncle

a pawnbroker.

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© Michael Grant - CERAV

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