Wednesday 23 September 2009

I'll corpse you!


One of many charming phrases to be found in Arthur Morrison's slum-lit classic, A Child of the Jago, 1896. Here's the appendix containing a list of most of the slang:

Balmy: barmy, stupid
Bang-up: very fine
Barney: lark, spree, quarrel
Benjamin: coat
Benjy: waistcoat
Break: collection made for someone recently out of prison
Boat, in the: sentenced to penal servitude
Broads: playing cards
Buster: burglar
Chancery, in: in an awkward situation
Chat, to screw a: to break into a house
Chiv(e): (v) to cut, stab (n) knife
Claim: to steal
Click: robbery, theft
Clock, red: gold watch
Cop: to steal
Croak: to die
Daisies: boots (rhyming slang—daisy roots)
Davy: affidavit
Dipper: pick-pocket
Fag: pick-pocket
Fall: to be arrested
Fence: receiver of stolen goods
Flimp: to rob
Friendly lead: subscription by whip-round usually held in a pub
Fully: to commit a person for trial
Gilt: money
Gonoph: thief esp. skilled pick-pocket
Go out: to follow the profession of thieving
Hook: pick-pocket
Ikey: Jew esp. receiver of stolen goods
James (jemmy): iron crow-bar
Kicksies: trousers
Lag: to sentence to penal servitude
Lagging dues: liable to be sentenced to penal servitude
Lob-crawling: till-robbing
Lucky, to cut one's: to make a getaway
Mace: (n) swindler (v)
To work the Mace: to swindle by obtaining goods on false pretences
Mag, on the: engaged in swindling esp. as confidence trickster
Magsman: swell confidence trickster
Mazzard: head, face Milling: boxing
Moke: donkey
Nark: (v) to inform (n) informer
Narking dues: arrested because of information provided by a nark
Neddy: loaded bludgeon or stick
Nick: to steal
Nobby: smart, stylish
Oof: money
Pecker, to keep one's pecker up: to remain cheerful
Peter: bag, box, trunk
Pogue: purse
Prop: tie-pin, brooch
Quid: pound
Quod: (v) to serve time (n) prison
Rorty: dashing, lively
Rum: odd
Screw: to break into
Slang: watch chain
Smug: to arrest
Sneak: to steal, pilfer
: counterfeit
Snidesman: coiner of counterfeit
Sparks: diamonds
Split: (v) to inform (n) 1. informer, 2. detective
Stall-farming: prob. helping pick-pockets
Stir: prison
Stramash: rough-and-tumble
Stretch: one year esp. prison sentence
Swag: stolen goods
Toke: bread
Topper: something of outstanding quality
Toy: watch
Toy getter: watch stealer
Toy and tackle: watch and chain
Turn over: to search/rob someone
Twirl: skeleton key
Uxter: money
Weed: to take, steal
Welsh: to inform
Welsher: informer
Yannups: money

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