Immagini della pagina

GREEN SICKNESS. The disease of maids occasioned by ce

libacy. GREENHEAD. An inexperienced young man. GREENHORN. A novice on the town, an undebauched young

fellow, just initiated into the society of bucks and bloods. GREENWICH BARBERS, Retailers of sand from the pits at

and about Greenwich, in Kent; perhaps they are styled

barbers, from their constant shaving the sand-banks. GREENWICH Goose. A pensioner of Greenwich Hospital. GREGORIAN TREE. The gallows : so named from Gregory

Brandon, a famous finisher of the law ; to whom Sir William Segar, garter king of arms (being imposed on by

Brooke, a herald), granted a coat of arms. GkEY BEARD. Earthen jugs formerly used in public house

for drawing ale : they had the figure of a man with a large beard stamped on them; whence probably they took the name: see Ben Jonson's Plays, Bartholomew Fair, &c. &c. Dutch earthen jugs, used for smuggling gin on the coasts of Essex and Suffolk, are at this time called

grey beards. GREY Mare. The grey mare is the better horse ; said of

a woman who governs her husband. GREY PARsoN. A farmer who rents the tithes of the rector

or vicar. GRIG. A farthing. A merry grig; a fellow as merry as a

grig: an allusion to the apparenț liveliness of a grig, or GRIM. Old Mr. Grim; death, GRIMALKIN: A cat; mawkin signifies a hare in Scotland. GRIN. To grin in a glass case; to be anatomized for mur

der: the skeletons of many criminals are preserved in glass

cases, at Surgeons' hall. GRINAGOG, THE Cat's UNCLE, A foolish grinning fellow,

one who grins without reason. GRINDERS, Teeth. Gooseberry grinder; the breech. Ask

bogey, the gooseberry grinder; ask mine n-se, To GRIND. To have carnal knowledge of a woman. GROATs. To save his groats; to come off handsomely: at

the universities, niue groats are deposited in the hands of an academic officer, by every person standing for a degree; which if the depositor obtains with honour, the groats are

returned to him. GROG. Rum and water, Grog was first introduced into the

navy about the year 1740, by Admiral Vernon, to prevent the sailors intoxicating themselves with their allowance of sum or spirits. Groggy, or groggified; drunk,


young eel.

GU T GROG-BLOSSOM. A carbuncle, or pimple in the face, caused

by drinking. GROGGED. A grogged horse; a foundered horse. GROGHAM. A horse. Cant. GROPERS. Blind men; also midwives. GROUND SWEAT. A grave. GROUND SQUIRREL. A hog, or pig. Sea term. Grub. Victuals. To grub; to dine. GRUB STREET. A street near Moorfields, formerly the sup

posed habitation of many persons who wrote for the booksellers: hence a Grub-street writer means a hackney au

thor, who manufactures books for the booksellers. GRUB STREET News. Lying intelligencc. To GRUBSHITE. To make foul or'dirty. GRUMBLE. To grumble in the gizzard; to murmur or re

pine. He grumbled like a bear with a sore head. GRUMBLETONIAN. A discontented person; one who is al

ways railing at the times or ministry. GRUNTER. A hog; to grunt; to groan, or complain of sick

ness. GRUNTER'S Gig. A smoaked hog's face. GRUNTING PECK. Pork, bacon, or any kind of hog's flesh. GRUts. Tea. Gudgeon. One easily imposed on. To gudgeon; to swal

low the bait, or fall into a trap: from the fish of that name,

which is easily taken. GULL. A simple credulous fellow, easily cheated. GULLED. Deceived, cheated, imposed on. GULLGROPERS. Usurers who lend money to the gamesters. GUM. Abusive language. Come, let us have no more of

your gum. GUMMY. Clumsy: particularly applied to the .ancles of

men or women, and the legs of horses. GUMPTION, or Rum GUMPTION, Docility, comprehen

sion, capacity. Gun. He is in the gun; he is drunk: perhaps from an al

lusion to a vessel called a gun, used for alė in the universi

ties. GUNDIGUTS. A fat, pursy fellow. GUNNER'S DAUGHTER. To kiss the gunner's daughter; to

be tied to a gun and flogged on the posteriors : a mode of

punishing boys on board a ship of war. GUNPOWDER. An old woman. Cant. Guts. My great guts are ready to eat iny little ones; my

guts begin to think my throat's cut; my guts curse my teeth: all expressions sigvifying the party is extremely hungry.


GUTS AND GARBAGE. A very fat man or womnan. More

guts than brains; a silly fellow. He has plenty of guts, but

no bowels : said of a hard, merciless, unfeeling person. . GUTFOUNDERED. Exceeding hungry. Gut Scraper, or TORMENTOR of CATGUT. A. fiddler. Gutter LANE. The throat, the swallow, the red lane.

See Red LANE. GUTTING A QUART Pot. Taking out the lining of it: i. e.

drinking it off. Gutting an oyster; eating it. Gutting a

house; clearing it of its furniture. See POULTERER. Guy. A dark lanthorn: an allusion to Guy Faux, the principal

actor in the gunpowder plot. Stow the guy: conceal the

lanthorn. Guzzle. Liquor. To guzzle; to drink greedily. Guzzle Guts. One greedy of liquor. GYBE, or JY BE. Any writing or pass with a seal. GYBING. Jeering or ridiculing. GYLES, or GILES. Hopping Giles; a nick name for a lame

person : St. Giles was the tutelar saint of cripples. Gyp. A college runner or errand-boy at Cambridge, called

at Oxford a scout. See SCOUT. GYPSIES. A set of vagrants, who, to the great disgrace of

our police, are suffered to wander about the country. . They pretend that they derive their origin from the ancient Egyptians, who were famous for their knowledge in astronomy and other sciences; and, under the pretence of fortune-telling, find means to rob or defraud the igno- rant and superstitious. To colour their impostures, they artificially discolour their faces, and speak a kind of gibberish peculiar to themselves. They rove up and down the country in large companies, to the great terror of the farmers, from whose geese, turkeys, and fowls, they take very

cousiderable contributions. When a fresh recruit is admitted into the fraternity, he is to

take the following oath, administered by the principal maunder, after going through the annexed forms : First, a new name is given himn by which he is ever after to

be called; then standing up in the middle of the assembly, and directing his face to the dimber damber, or principal man of the gang, he repeats the following oath, which is dictated to him by some experienced member of the fra

ternity: I, Crank Cuffin, do swear to be a true brother, and that I will

in all things obey the commands of the great tawney prince, and keep his counsel and not divulge the secrets of G Y P I will never leave nor forsake the company, but observe and

my brethren.

keep all the times of appointment, either by day or by

night, in every place whatever. I will not teach any one to cant, nor will I disclose any of

our mysteries to them. I will take my prince's part against all that shall oppose him,

or any of us, according to the utmost of my ability ; nor will I suffer him, or any one belongiug to us, to be abused by any strange abrams, rufflers, hookers, pailliards, swaddlers, Irish toyles, swigmen, whip jacks, jarkmen, bawdy baskets, dommerars, clapper dogeons, patricoes, or curtals; but will defend him, or them, as much as I can, against all other outliers whatever. I will not conceal aught I win out of libkins or from the ruftmans, but will preserve it for the use of the company. Lastly, I will cleave to my doxy wap stiftly, and will bring her duds, marjery praters, goblers, grunting cheats, or tiba of the buttery, or any thing else I can come at, as win

nings for her weppings. The canters have, it seems, a tradition, that from the three

first articles of this oath, the first founders of a certain boastful, worshipful fraternity (who pretend to derive their origin from the earliest times) borrowed both the hint and form of their establishment ; and that their pretended de rivation from the first Adam is a forgery, it being only from the first Adam Tiler: see ADAM TILER. At the admission of a new brother, a general stock is raised for booze, or drink, to make themselves merry on the occasion. As for peckage or eatables, they can procure without

money; for while some are sent to break the ruffmans, or woods and bushes, for firing, others are detached to filch geese, chickens, hens, ducks (or mallards), and pigs. Their morts are their butchers, who presently make bloody work with what living things are brought them; and having made holes in the ground under some remote hedge in an obscure place, they make a fire and boil or broil their food; and when it is enough, fall to work tooth and nail : and having eaten more like beasts than men, they drink more like swine than human creatures, entertaining one

another all the time with songs in the canting dialect. As they live, so they lie, together promiscuously, and know

not how to claim a property either in their goods or chil. dren : and this general interest ties them more firmly toge. ther than if all their rags were twisted into ropes, to bind them indissolubly from a separation; which detestable union is farther consolidated by the above oath.


[ocr errors]

They stroll up and down all summer-time in droves,and dex.

terously pick pockets, while they are telling of fortunes ; and the money, rings, silver thimbles, &c. which they get, are instantly conveyed from one hand to another. till the remotest person of the gang (who is not suspected because they come not near the person robbed) gets possession of it; so that, in the strictest search, it is impos. sible to recover it; while the wretches with imprecations,

oaths, and protestations, disclaim the thievery. That by which they are said to get the most money, is,

when young gentlewomen of good families and reputation have happened to be with child before marriage, a round sum is often bestowed among the gypsies, for some one mort to take the child; and as that is never heard of more by the true mother and family, so the disgrace is kept concealed from the world; and, if the child lives, it never knows its parents.


usher. HACKNEY WRITER. One who writes for attornies or

booksellers. HACKUM. Captain Hackum; a bravo, a slasher. HAD’Em. He has been at Had'em, and came home by Clap

ham ; said of one who has caught the venereal disease. HAIR SPLITTER. A man's yard. HALBERT. A weapon carried by a serjeant of foot. To get

a halbert; to he appointed a serjeant. To be brought to the halberts; to be flugged à la militaire ; soldiers of the infantry, when flogged, being commonly tied to three hale berts, set up in a triangle, with a fourth fastened across them. He carries the halbert in his face; a saying of one

promoted from a serjeant to a commission officer. HALF A Hog. Sixpence. HALF SEAS OVER. Almost drunk. HAMLET. A high constable. Cant. HAMS, or HAMCASES. Breeches. HAND A sailor. We lost a hand; we lost a sailon Bear a

hand; make haste, Hand to fist; opposite: the same as

tête-à-tête, or cheek by joul. HAND AND POCKET Shop. An eating house, where ready money is paid for what is called for.


« IndietroContinua »