Immagini della pagina

script psalter: this saving them from the gallows, was termed their neck verse: it was the first verse of the fiftyfirst psalm, Miserere mei, &c.


NEEDLE POINT. A sharper.

NEGLIGEE. A woman's undressed gown, vulgarly termed a neggledigee.

NEGROE. A black-a-moor: figuratively used for a slave. I'll be no man's negro; I will be no man's slave. NEGROE'S HEADS. Brown loavès delivered to the ships in ordinary.

NESCIO. He sports a Nescio; he pretends not to understand any thing. After the senate house examination for degrees, the students proceed to the schools, to be questioned by the proctor. According to custom immemorial the answers must be Nescio. The following is a translated specimen :

Ques. What is your name ?—Ans. I do not know. Ques. What is the name of this university ?-Ans. I do not know.

Ques. Who was your father?-Ans. I do not know.

This last is probably the only true answer of the three! NETTLED. Teized, provoked, out of temper. He or she has pissed on a nettle; said of one who is peevish or out of temper.

NEW COLLEGE STUDENTS. Golden scholars, silver bachelors, and leaden masters.

NEW DROP. The scaffold used at Newgate for hanging criminals; which dropping down, leaves them suspended, By this improvement, the use of that vulgar vehicle, a cart, is entirely left off.

NEW LIGHT. One of the new light; a methodist. NEWGATE BIRD. A thief or sharper, frequently caged in Newgate.

NEWGATE SOLICITOR. A petty fogging and roguish attor ney, who attends the gaols to assist villains in evading justice.

NEWMAN'S LIFT. The gallows.



TO NICK. To win at dice, to hit the mark just in the nick of time, or at the critical moment,

NICK. Old nick; the Devil,

NICK NAME, A name given in ridicule or contempt from the French nom de nique. Nique is a movement of the head to mark a contempt for any person or thing. NICK NINNY, A simpleton,



NICKIN, NIKEY or NIZEY. A soft simple fellow; also a diminutive of Isaac.

NICKNACKS. Toys, baubles, or curiosities.

NICKUMPOOP, or NINCUMPOOP. A foolish fellow; also
one who never saw his wife's ****

NIG. The clippings of money. Nigging; clipping. Nigler, a clipper. Cant.

NIGGLING. Cutting awkwardly, trifling; also accompa nying with a woman.


NIGHTINGALE. A soldier who, as the term is, sings out at the halberts. It is a point of honour in some regiments, among the grenadiers, never to cry out, or become nightingales, whilst under the discipline of the cat of nine tails; to avoid which, they chew a bullet.

NIGHTMAN. One whose business it is to empty necessary houses in London, which is always done in the night; the operation is called a wedding. See WEDDING. NIGMENOG. A very silly fellow.

To NIM. To steal or pilfer: from the German nemen, to take. Nim a togeman; steal a cloak.

NIMGIMMER, A physician or surgeon, particularly those who cure the venereal disease.

NINE LIVES. Cats are said to have nine lives, and women ten cats lives.


NIP. A cheat. Bung nipper; a cutpurse.

NIP CHEESE. A nick name for the purser of a ship: from those gentlemen being supposed sometimes to uip, or diminish, the allowance of the seamen, in that and every other article. It is also applied to stingy persons in general.

NIPPERKIN. A small measure.

NIFTS. The sheers used in clipping money,

NIT SQUEEGER, i. e. SQUEEZER. A hair-dresser.

NIX. Nothing.

NO CATCHY NO HAVY. If I am not caught, I cannot be hurt. Negro saying.

No. A king. A man of rank.

NOB. The head.

NOB THATCHER. A peruke-maker.

Nock. The breech; from nock, a notch.

NOCKY BOY. A dull simple fellow.

NOD. He is gone to the land of nod; he is asleep.
NODDLE, The head,



NODDY. A simpleton or fool. Also a kind of low cart, with a seat before it for the driver, used in and about Dublin, in the manner of a hackney coach: the fare is just half that of a coach, for the same distance; so that for sixpence one may have a set down, as it is called, of a mile and half, and frequently a tumble down into the bargain: it is called a noddy from the nutation of its head. Knave noddy; the old-fashioned name for the knave of trumps. NOISY DOG RACKET. Stealing brass knockers from doors. NOKES. A ninny, or fool. John-a-Nokes and Tom-a-Stiles; two honest peaceable gentlemen, repeatedly set together by the ears by lawyers of different denominations: two fictitious names formerly used in law proceedings, but now very seldom, having for several years past been supplanted by two other honest peaceable gentlemen, namely, John Doe and Richard Roe.

NOLL. Old Noll; Oliver Cromwell.

NON-CON. A nonconformist, presbyterian, or any other dissenter.

NONE-SUCH. One that is unequalled: frequently applied ironically.

NONSENSE. Melting butter in a wig.

NOOZED. Married, hanged.

NOPE. A blow: as, I took him a nope on the costard.
NORFOLK CAPON. A red herring.

NORFOLK DUMPLING. A nick name, or term of jocular reproach to a Norfolk man; dumplings being a favourite food in that county.

NORTH ALLERTONS. Spurs; that place, like Rippon, being famous for making them.

NORTHUMBERLAND. Lord Northumberland's arms; a black eye: so called in the last century.

NORWAY NECKCLOTH. The pillory, usually made of Norway fir.

NOSE. As plain as the nose on your face; evidently to be seen. He is led by the nose; he is governed. To follow one's nose; to go strait forward. To put one's nose out of joint; to rival one in the favour of any person. To make a bridge of any one's nose; to pass by him in drinking. To nose a stink; to smell it. He cut off his nose to be revenged of his face; said of one who, to be revenged on his neighbour, has materially injured himself. NOSE. A man who informs or turns king's evidence. To NOSE. To give evidence. To inform. His pall nosed and he was twisted for a crack; his confederate turned king's evidence, and he was hanged for burglary.

To NOSE. To bully.



NOSE BAG. A bag fastened to the horse's head, in which the soldiers of the cavalry put the oats given to their horses whence the saying, I see the nose bag in his face; i. e. he has been a private man, or rode private.



NOSTRUM. A medicine prepared by particular persons only, a quack medicine.

NOTCH. The private parts of a woman.

NOTE. He changed his note; he told another sort of a story. Nous-Box. The head.

NOZZLE. The nose of a man or woman.

NUB. The neck; also coition.

NUBBING. Hanging. Nubbing cheat: the gallows. Nubbing cove; the hangman. Nubbing ken; the sessions house.

NUG. An endearing word: as, My dear nug; my dear love. NUGGING DRESS. An out-of-the-way old-fashioned dress, or rather a loose kind of dress, denoting a courtesan. NUGGING HOUSE. A brothel.

TO NULL. To beat : as, He nulled him heartily.

NUMBERS. To consult the book of numbers: a term used
in the House of Commons, when, instead of answering or
confuting a pressing argument, the minister calls for a
division, i. e. puts the matter to the vote.
NUMBSCULL. A stupid fellow.

NUMMS. A sham collar, to be worn over a dirty shirt.
NUNNERY. A bawdy house.

TO NURSE. To cheat: as, they nursed him out of it. An estate in the hands of trustees, for the payment of debts, is said to be at nurse.

Nurs. It was nuts for them; i. e. it was very agreeable to them.

NUTS. Fond; pleased. She's nuts upon her cull; she's pleased with her cully. The cove's nutting the blowen; the man is trying to please the girl.

NUTCRACKERS. The pillory: as, The cull peeped through the nutcrackers.

NUTMEGS. Testicles.

NYP, or NIP. A half pint, a nip of ale: whence the nipperkin, a small vessel.

NYP SHOP. The Peacock in Gray's Inn Lane, where Burton ale is sold in nyps.

NYPPER. A cut-purse so called by one Wotton, who in the year 1585 kept an academy for the education and perfection of pickpockets and cut-purses: his school was near Billingsgate, London. As in the dress of ancient


times many people wore their purses at their girdles, cutting them was a branch of the light-fingered art, which is now lost, though the name remains. Maitland, from Stow, gives the following account of this Wotton: This man was a gentleman born, and sometime a merchant of good credit, but fallen by time into decay: he kept an alehouse near Smart's Key, near Billingsgate, afterwards for some misdemeanor put down. He reared up a new trade of life, and in the same house he procured all the cut-purses about the city, to repair to his house; there was a school-house set up to learn young boys to cut purses two devices were hung up; one was a pocket, and another was a purse; the pocket had in it certain counters, and was hung about with hawks bells, and over the top did hang a little sacring bell. The purse had silver in it; and he that could take out a counter, without noise of any of the bells, was adjudged a judicial nypper: according to their terms of art, a foyster was a pick-pocket ; a nypper was a pick purse, or cut-purse.

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


BE JOYFUL. I'll make you sing O be joyful on the other side of your mouth; a threat, implying the party threatened will be made to cry. To sing O becasy; to appear contented when one has cause to complain, and

dare not.

Oar. A silly fellow.

OAFISH. Simple.


A rich man, a man of good substance and credit. To sport oak; to shut the outward door of a student's room at college. An oaken towel; a oaken cudgel. To rub a man down with an oaken towel; to beat him. OATS. He has sowed his wild oats; he is staid, or sober, having left off his wild tricks.

OATRS. The favourite oaths of the day are," God strike me blind!" may drop out if it is not true!" " Bloody end to me!"



thieves of the present wish my bloody eyes So help

me God!"

OAR. To put in one's oar; to intermeddle, or give au opinion unasked: as, To be sure, you must put in your


OBSTROPULOUS. Vulgar misnomer of obstieperous: as, I


« IndietroContinua »