Immagini della pagina


KNUCKLES. Pickpockets who attend the avenues to public places to steal pocket-books, watches, &c. a superior kind of pickpockets. To knuckle to, to submit.

To KNUCKLE ONE'S WIPE. To steal his handkerchief.


KONOBLIN RIG. Stealing large pieces of coal from coalsheds.


LACED MUTTON. A prostitute.

LACING. Beating. I'll lace your jacket handsomely.
LADDER. To go up the ladder to rest; to be hanged.
LADY. A crooked or hump-backed woman.

LADY OF EASY VIRTUE. A woman of the town, an impure, a prostitute.

LADYBIRDS. Light or lewd women.


LAG. A man transported. The cove was lagged for a drag. The man was transported for stealing something out of a waggon.


A term of ridicule applied to men who being under sentence of transportation, pretend illness, to avoid being sent from gaol to the hulks.

To LAG. To drop behind, to keep back. Lag last; the last of a company.

LAGE. Water. Cant.

LAGE OF DUDS. A buck of linen.

LAID ON THE SHELF, OF LAID UP IN LAVENDER. Pawned. TO LAMB, or LAMBASTE. To beat. Lamb pye; a beating: from lambo.

LAMB'S WOOL. Apples roasted and put into strong ale. LAMBSKIN MEN. The judges: from their robes lined and bordered with ermine.


An eye. The cove has a queer lamp. The man has a blind or squinting eye. LAND. How lies the land? How stands the reckoning? Who has any land in Appleby? a question asked the man at whose door the glass stands long, or who does not eirculate it in due time.

LAND LOPERS, or LAND LUBBERS. Vagabonds lurking about the country who subsist by pilfering. LAND PIRATES. Highwaymen.

LANK SLEEVE. The empty sleeve of a one armed man. A fellow with a lank sleeve; a man who has lost an arm.


LANSPRISADO. One who has only two-pence in his pocket.. Also a lance, or deputy corporal; that is, one doing the duty without the pay of a corporal. Formerly a lancier, or horseman, who being dismounted by the death of his horse, served in the foot, by the title of lansprisado, or lancepesato, a broken lance. LANTHORN-JAWED. Thin-visaged from their cheeks being almost transparent. Or else, lenten jawed; i. e. having the jaws of one emaciated by a too rigid observation of Lent. Dark lanthorn; a servant or agent at court, who receives a bribe for his principal or master.

LAP. Butter-milk or whey. Cant.

LARK. A boat.


LARK. A piece of merriment. People playing together jocosely.

LARRY DUGAN'S EYE WATER. Blacking: Larry Dugan was a famous shoe-black at Dublin.

LATCH. Let in.

LATHY. Thin, slender. A lathy wench; a girl almost as slender as a lath.

LATITAT. A nick-name for an attorney; from the name of a writ.

LAVENDER. Laid up in lavender; pawned.

LAUGH. To laugh on the wrong side of the mouth; to cry. I'll make him laugh on the wrong (or t'other) side of his mouth.

LAUNCH. The delivery, or labour, of a pregnant woman; a crying out or groaning.

LAW. To give law to a hare; a sporting term, signifying to give the animal a chance of escaping, by not setting on the dogs till the hare is at some distance; it is also more figuratively used for giving any one a chance of succeeding in a scheme or project. LAWFUL BLANKET.

A wife.


LAY. Enterprize, 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.

LAYSTALL. A dunghill about London, on which the soil brought from necessary houses is emptied; or, in more technical terms, where the old gold collected at weddings by the Tom t-d man, is stored.

LAZY. As lazy as Ludman's dog, who leaned against the wall to bark. As lazy as the tinker, who laid down his budget to f--t.

LAZY MAN'S LOAD. Lazy people frequently take up more than they can safely carry, to save the trouble of coming a second time.


LAZY BONES. An instrument like a pair of tongs, for old or very fat people to take any thing from the ground without stooping.

LEAF. To go off with the fall of the leaf; to be hanged: criminals in Dublin being turned off from the outside of the prison by the falling of a board, propped up, and moving on a hinge, like the leaf of a table. Irish term.

[blocks in formation]

LEAKY. Apt to blab; one who cannot keep a secret is said to be leaky.

LEAPING OVER THE SWORD. An ancient ceremonial said to constitute a military marriage. A sword being laid down on the ground, the parties to be married joined hands, when the corporal or serjeant of the company repeated these words:

Leap rogue, and jump whore,

And then you are married for evermore.

Whereupon the happy couple jumped hand in hand over the sword, the drum beating a ruffle; and the parties were ever after considered as man and wife.

LEAST IN SIGHT. To play least in sight; to hide, keep out of the way, or make one's self scarce.

LEATHER. To lose leather; to be galled with riding on horseback, or, as the Scotch express it, to be saddle sick. To leather also meant to beat, perhaps originally with a strap: I'll leather you to your heart's content. Leatherheaded; stupid. Leathern conveniency; term used by quakers for a stage-coach.

LEERY. On one's guard. See PEERY.

LEFT-HANDED WIFE. A concubine; an allusion to an ancient German custom, according to which, when a man married his concubine, or a woman greatly his inferior, he gave her his left hand.

LEG. To make a leg; to bow. To give leg-bail and land security; to run away. To fight at the leg; to take unfair advantages: it being held unfair by back-sword players to strike at the leg. To break a leg; a woman who has had a bastard, is said to have broken a leg.

LEGGERS. Sham leggers; cheats who pretend to sell smuggled goods, but in reality only deal in old shop-keepers or damaged goods.

LENTEN FARE. Spare diet.

LETCH. A whim of the amorous kind, out of the common

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

LIBBEN. A private dwelling-house. Cant.
LIBKEN. A house to lie in.


To LICK. To beat; also to wash, or to paint slightly over. I'll give you a good lick o' the chops; I'll give you a good stroke or blow on the face. Jack tumbled into a cow t--d, and nastied his best clothes, for which his father stept up, and licked him neatly.-I'll lick you! the dovetail to which is, Ifyou lick me all over, you won't miss LICK SPITTLE. A parasite, or talebearer. LIFT. To give one a lift; to assist.

A good hand at a dead lift; a good hand upon an emergency.

To lift

one's hand to one's head; to drink to excess, or to drink drams. To lift or raise one's elbow; the same. LIFT. See SHOPLIFTER, &c.

LIFTER. A crutch.

LIG. A bed. See LIB.

LIGHT BOB. A soldier of the light infantry company.
LIGHT-FINGERED. Thievish, apt to pilfer.

LIGHT-HEELED. Swift in running. A light-heeled wench; one who is apt, by the flying up of her heels, to fall flat on her back, a willing wench.

LIGHT HOUSE. A man with a red fiery nose.

LIGHT TROOPS. Lice; the light troops are in full march; the lice are crawling about.

LIGHTMANS. The day. Cant.

LIGHTNING. Gin. A flash of lightning; a glass of gin. LIKENESS. A phrase used by thieves when the officers or turnkeys are examining their countenance. As the traps are taking our likeness; the officers are attentively observing us.


A diminutive man or woman: from Gulliver's Travels, written by Dean Swift, where an imaginary kingdom of dwarfs of that name is described,

LILY WHITE. A chimney-sweeper.

LILY SHALLOW. Whip slang) A white driving hat.

LIMBS. Duke of limbs; a tall awkward fellow.

LIMB OF THE LAW. An inferior or pettyfogging attorney.

LIMBO. A prison, confinement.

TO LINE. A term for the act of coition between dog and bitch.

LINE OF THE OLD AUTHOR. A dram of brandy.

LINE. To get a man into a line, i. e. to divert his atten'tion by a ridiculous or absurd story. To humbug. LINGO. Language. An outlandish lingo; a foreign tongue. The parlezvous lingo; the French language.


[blocks in formation]

LION. To tip the lion; to squeeze the nose of the party tipped, flat to his face with the thumb. To shew the lions and tombs; to point out the particular curiosities of any place, to act the ciceroni : an allusion to Westminster Abbey, and the Tower, where the tombs and lions are shewn. A lion is also a name given by the gownsmen of Oxford to an inhabitant or visitor. It is a standing joke among the city wits to send boys and country folks, on the first of April, to the Tower-ditch, to see the lions washed.

LIQUOR. To liquor one's boots; to drink before a journey: among Roman Catholics, to administer the extreme unction.


LITTLE BREECHES. A familiar appellation used to a little boy.

LITTLE CLERGYMAN. A young chimney-sweeper.

LITTLE EASE. A small dark cell in Guildhall, London, where disorderly apprentices are confined by the city chamberlain: it is called Little Ease from its being so low that a lad cannot stand upright in it.

LITTLE SNAKESMAN. A little boy who gets into a house through the sink-hole, and then opens the door for his accomplices: he is so called, from writhing and twisting like a snake, in order to work himself through the narrow passage.

LIVE LUMBER. A term used by sailors, to signify all landsmen on board their ships.

LIVE STOCK. Lice or fleas.

LOAF. To be in bad loaf, to be in a disagreeable situation, or in trouble.

LOB. A till in a tradesman's shop. To frisk a lob; to rob a till. See FLASH PANNEY.

LOB. Going on the lob; going into a shop to get change for gold, and secreting some of the change.

LOB'S POUND. A prison. Dr. Grey, in his notes on Hudibras, explains it to allude to one Doctor Lob, a dissenting preacher, who used to hold forth when conventicles were prohibited, and had made himself a retreat by means of a trap door at the bottom of his pulpit. Once being pursu ed by the officers of justice, they followed him through divers subterraneous passages, till they got into a dark cell, from whence they could not find their way out, but calling to some of their companions, swore they had got into Lob's Pound.

LOBCOCK. A large relaxed penis: also a dull inanimate



« IndietroContinua »