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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. BARGEES. (Cambridge.) Barge-men on the river. BARKER. The shopman of a bow-wow shop, or dealer in second hand clothes, particularly about Monmouth-Street, who walks before his master's door, and deafens every passenger with his cries of---Clothes, coats, or gowns---what d'ye want, gemmen ?---what d'ye buy? See Bow-wow SHOP. BARKSHIRE. A member or candidate for Barkshire, said of one troubled with a cough, vulgarly styled barking. BARKING IRONS. Pistols, from their explosion resembling the bow-wow or barking of a dog. Irish.
BARN. A parson's barn; never so full but there is still room for more. Bit by a barn mouse, tipsey, probably from an allusion to barley.
BARNABY. An old dance to a quick movement. See Cotton, in his Virgil Travesti; where, speaking of Eolus he has these lines,
Bounce cry the port-holes, out they fly,
BARNACLE. A good job, or snack easily got: also shellfish growing at the bottoms of ships; a bird of the goose kind; an instrument like a pair of pincers, to fix on the noses of vicious horses whilst shoeing; a nick name for spectacles, and also for the gratuity given to grooms by the buyers and sellers of horses.
BARREL FEVER. He died of the barrel fever; he killed himself by drinking.
BARROW MAN. A man under sentence of transportation; alluding to the convicts at Woolwich, who are principally employed in wheeling barrows full of brick or dirt. BARTHOLOMEW BABY. A person dressed up in a tawdry manner, like the dolls or babies sold at Bartholomew fair. BASKET. An exclamation frequently made use of in cockpits, at cock-fightings, where persons refusing or unable to pay their losings, are adjudged by that respectable
sembly to be put into a basket suspended over the pit,there to remain during that day's diversion: on the least demur to pay a bet, Basket is vociferated in terrorem. He grins like a basket of chips: a saying of one who is on the broad grin.
BASKET-MAKING. The good old trade of basket-making; copulation, or making feet for children's stockings. BASTARD. The child of an unmarried woman.
BASTARDLY GULLION. A bastard's bastard.
TO BASTE. To beat. I'll give him his bastings, I'll beat him heartily.
BASTING. A beating.
BASTONADING. Beating any one with a stick; from baton, a stick, formerly spelt baston.
BAT. A low whore: so called from moving out like bats in the dusk of the evening.
BATCH. We had a pretty batch of it last night; we had a hearty dose of liquor. Batch originally means the whole quantity of bread baked at one time in an oven.
BATTNER. An ox: beef being apt to batten or fatten those that eat it. The cove has hushed the battner; i. e. has killed the ox. BATCHELOR'S FARE.
Bread and cheese and kisses.
BATTLE-ROYAL. A battle or bout at cudgels or fisty-cuffs, wherein more than two persons are engaged: perhaps from its resemblance, in that particular, to more serious engagements fought to settle royal disputes.
BAWBEE. A halfpenny. Scotch.
BAWEELS, or BAWBLES. Trinkets; a man's testicles.
BAWDY BASKET. The twenty-third rank of canters, who carry pins, tape, ballads, and obscene books to sell,but live mostly by stealing. Cant.
BAWDY-HOUSE BOTTLE. A very small bottle; short measure being among the many means used by the keepers of those houses, to gain what they call an honest livelihood: indeed this is one of the least reprehensible; the less they give a man of their infernal beverages for his money, the kinder they behave to him.
BAY FEVER. A term of ridicule applied to convicts, who sham illness, to avoid being sent to Botany Bay.
BAYARD OF TEN TOES. To ride bayard of ten toes, is to walk on foot. Bayard was a horse famous in old romances. BEAK. A justice of peace, or magistrate. Also a judge or chairman who presides in court. I clapp'd my peepers full of tears, and so the old beak set me free; I began to weep, and the judge setme free.
BEAN. A guinea. Half bean; half a guinea. BEAR. One who contracts to deliver a certain quantity or sum of stock in the public funds, on a future day, and at stated price; or, in other words, sells what he has not got, like the huntsman in the fable, who sold the bear's skin before the bear was killed. As the bear sells the stock he is not possessed of, so the bull purchases what he has not money to pay for; but in case of any alteration in the price agreed on, either party pays or receives the difference. Exchange Alley.
BEAR-GARDEN JAW or DISCOURSE. Rude, vulgarlanguage, such as was used at the bear-gardens. BEAR LEADER. A travelling tutor.
BEARD SPLITTER. A man much given to wenching. BEARINGS. I'll bring him to his bearings; I'll bring him to reason. Sea term.
BEAST. To drink like a beast, i. e. only when thirsty.
BEAST WITH TWO BACKS. A man and woman in the act of copulation. Shakespeare in Othello.
BEAU-NASTY. A slovenly fop; one finely dressed, but dirty. BEAU TRAP. A loose stone in a pavement, under which water lodges, and on being trod upon, squirts it up, to the great damage of white stockings; also a sharper neatly dressed, lying in wait for raw country squires, or ignorant fops.
BECALMED. A Piece of sea wit, sported in hot weather. I am becalmed, the sail sticks to the mast; that is, my shirt sticks to my back. His prad is becalmed; hishorse knock
ed up. BECK. A beadle.
BED. Put to bed with a mattock, and tucked up with a spade; said of one that is dead and buried. You will go up a ladder to bed, i. e. you will be hanged. In many country places, persons hanged are made to mount up a ladder, which is afterwards turned round or taken away,whence the term, "Turned off."
BEDFORDSHIRE. I am for Bedfordshire, i.e. for going to bed. BEDIZENED. Dressed out, over-dressed, or awkwardly ornamented. BED-MAKER. Women employed at Cambridge to attend on the Students, sweep his room, &c. They will put their hands to any thing, and are generally blest with a pretty family of daughters who unmake the beds, as fast as they are made by their mothers.
BEEF. To cry beef; to give the alarm. They have cried beef Cant,To be in a man's beef; to wound him with a sword.
a sword. To be in a woman's 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.
BEEF EATER. A yeoman of the guards,instituted by Henry VII. Their office was to stand near the bouffet, or cupboard, thence called Bouffetiers, since corrupted to Beef Eaters. Others suppose they obtained this name from the size of their persons,and the easiness of their duty, as having scarce more to do than to eat the king's beef. BEETLE-BROWED. One having thick projecting eyebrows. BEETLE-HEADED. Dull, stupid.
BEGGAR MAKER. A publican, or ale-house keeper. BEGGAR'S BULLETS. Stones. The beggar's bullets began to fly, i. e. they began to throw stones.
BEILBY'S BALL. He will dance at Beilby's ball, where the sheriff pays the music; he will be hanged. Who Mr. Beilby was, or why that ceremony was so called, remains with the quadrature of the circle,the discovery of the philosopher's stone, and divers other desiderata yet undiscovered.
BELCH. All sorts of beer; that liquor being apt to cause eructation.
BELCHER. A red silk handkerchief, intermixed with yellow and a little black. The kiddey flashes his belcher ;the young fellow wears a silk handkerchief round his neck. BELL, BOOK, AND CANDLE. They cursed him with bell, book, and candle; an allusion to the popish form of excommunicating and anathematizing persons who had offended the church.
TO BEAR THE BELL. To excel or surpass all competitors, to be the principal in a body or society; an allusion to the fore horse or leader of a team, whose harness is commonly ornamented with a bell or bells. Some suppose it a term borrowed from an ancient tournament, where the victorious knights bore away the belle or fair lady. Others derive it from a horse-race, or other rural contentions, where bells were frequently given as prizes.
BELLOWS. The lungs.
BELLOWER. The town crier.
BELLOWSER. Transportation for life: i. e. as long.
BELLY. His eye was bigger than his belly; a saying of a person at a table, who takes more on his plate than he
BELLYFULL. A hearty beating, sufficient to make a man yield or give out. A woman with child is also said to have got her belly full.
BELLY CHEAT. An apron.
BELLY PLEA. The plea of pregnancy, generally adduced by female felons capitally convicted, which they take care to provide for, previous to their trials; every gaol having, as the Beggar's Opera informs us, one or more child getters, who qualify the ladies for that expedient to procure a respite.
BELLY TIMBER. Food of all sorts.
BELL SWAGGER. A noisy bullying fellow.
BELL WETHER. The chief or leader of a mob; an idea taken from a flock of sheep, where the wether has a bell about his neck.
BENE. Good-BENAR. Better. Cant.
BENE BOWSE. Good beer, or other strong liquor. Cant.
BENE DARKMANS. Good night. Cant.
BENE FEAKERS. Counterfeiters of bills. Cant.
BENE FEAKERS OF GYBES. Counterfeiters of passes. Cant. BENESHIPLY. Worshipfully. Cant.
BEN. A fool. Cant.
BENISON. The beggar's benison: May your
purse never fail you.
BERMUDAS. A cant name for certain places in London, privileged against arrests, like the Mint in Southwark. Ben. Jonson. These privileges are abolished.
BESS, OF BETTY. A small instrument used by house-breakers to force open doors. Bring bess and glym; bring the instrument to force the door, and the dark lantern. Small flasks, like those for Florence wine, are also called betties. BESS. See BROWN BESS.
BEST. To the best in Christendom: i. e. the best **** in Christendom; a health formerly much in vogue.
BET. A wager.-TO BET. To lay a wager.
BETTY MARTIN. That's my eye, Betty Martin; an answer to any one that attempts to impose or humbug.
BETWATTLED. Surprised, confounded, out of one's senses; also bewrayed.
An afternoon's luncheon; also a fine hat; beaver's
fur making the best hats.
BEVERAGE. Garnish money,or money for drink, demanded of any one having a new suit of clothes.
BIBLE. A boatswain's great axe. Sea term.
BIBLE OATH. Supposed by the vulgar to be more binding than an oath taken on the Testament only, as being the bigger book, and generally containing both the Old and New Testament.