1811 Dictionary in the Vulgar Tongue, by Francis Grose is part of HackerNoon’s Book Blog Post series. You can jump to any chapter in this book here: [LINK TO TABLE OF LINK]. Section D
DAB. An adept; a dab at any feat or exercise. Dab,
quoth Dawkins, when he hit his wife on the a-se with a
pound of butter.
DACE. Two pence. Tip me a dace; lend me two pence.
DADDLES. Hands. Tip us your daddle; give me your hand.
DADDY. Father. Old daddy; a familiar address to an old
man. To beat daddy mammy; the first rudiments of
drum beating, being the elements of the roll.
DAGGERS. They are at daggers drawing; i.e. at enmity,
ready to fight.
DAIRY. A woman's breasts, particularly one that gives
suck. She sported her dairy; she pulled out her breast.
DAISY CUTTER. A jockey term for a horse that does not
lift up his legs sufficiently, or goes too near the ground,
and is therefore apt to stumble.
DAISY KICKERS. Ostlers at great inns.
DAM. A small Indian coin, mentioned in the Gentoo code of laws: hence etymologists may, if they please, derive the common expression, I do not care a dam, i.e. I do not care half a farthing for it.
DAMBER. A rascal. See DIMBER.
DAMME BOY. A roaring, mad, blustering fellow, a scourer of the streets, or kicker up of a breeze.
DAMNED SOUL. A clerk in a counting house, whose sole business it is to clear or swear off merchandise at the custom-house; and who, it is said, guards against the crime of perjury, by taking a previous oath, never to swear truly on those occasions.
DAMPER. A luncheon, or snap before dinner: so called from its damping, or allaying, the appetite; eating and drinking, being, as the proverb wisely observes, apt to take away the appetite.
DANCE UPON NOTHING. To be hanged.
DANDY. That's the dandy; i.e. the ton, the clever thing;
an expression of similar import to "That's the barber."
DANDY GREY RUSSET. A dirty brown. His coat's dandy
grey russet, the colour of the Devil's nutting bag.
DANDY PRAT. An insignificant or trifling fellow.
To DANGLE. To follow a woman without asking the question. Also, to be hanged: I shall see you dangle in the sheriff's picture frame; I shall see you hanging on the gallows.
DANGLER. One who follows women in general, without any particular attachment
DAPPER FELLOW. A smart, well-made, little man.
DARBIES. Fetters. CANT.
DARBY. Ready money. CANT.
DARK CULLY. A married man that keeps a mistress, whom he visits only at night, for fear of discovery.
DARKEE. A dark lanthorn used by housebreakers. Stow the darkee, and bolt, the cove of the crib is fly; hide the dark lanthorn, and run away, the master of the house knows that we are here.
DARKMANS. The night. CANT.
DARKMAN'S BUDGE. One that slides into a house in the dark of the evening, and hides himself, in order to let some of the gang in at night to rob it.
DART. A straight-armed blow in boxing.
DASH. A tavern drawer. To cut a dash: to make a figure.
DAVID JONES. The devil, the spirit of the sea: called
Necken in the north countries, such as Norway, Denmark,
DAVID JONES'S LOCKER. The sea.
DAVID'S SOW. As drunk as David's sow; a common saying, which took its rise from the following circumstance: One David Lloyd, a Welchman, who kept an alehouse at Hereford, had a living sow with six legs, which was greatly resorted to by the curious; he had also a wife much addicted to drunkenness, for which he used sometimes to give her due correction. One day David's wife having taken a cup too much, and being fearful of the consequences, turned out the sow, and lay down to sleep herself sober in the stye. A company coming in to see the sow, David ushered them into the stye, exclaiming, there is a sow for you! did any of you ever see such another? all the while supposing the sow had really been there; to which some of the company, seeing the state the woman was in, replied, it was the drunkenest sow they had ever beheld; whence the woman was ever after called David's sow.
DAVY. I'll take my davy of it; vulgar abbreviation of affidavit.
TO DAWB. To bribe. The cull was scragged because he could not dawb; the rogue was hanged because he could not bribe. All bedawbed with lace; all over lace.
DAY LIGHTS. Eyes. To darken his day lights, or sow up
his sees; to close up a man's eyes in boxing.
DEAD CARGO. A term used by thieves, when they are
disappointed in the value of their booty.
DEAD HORSE. To work for the dead horse; to work for
wages already paid.
DEAD-LOUSE. Vulgar pronunciation of the Dedalus ship of
DEAD MEN. A cant word among journeymen bakers, for
loaves falsely charged to their masters' customers; also
DEADLY NEVERGREEN, that bears fruit all the year round.
The gallows, or three-legged mare. See THREE-LEGGED
DEAR JOYS. Irishmen: from their frequently making use
of that expression.
DEATH HUNTER. An undertaker, one who furnishes the
necessary articles for funerals. See CARRION HUNTER.
DEATH'S HEAD UPON A MOP-STICK. A poor miserable,
emaciated fellow; one quite an otomy. See OTOMY.—He
looked as pleasant as the pains of death.
DEEP-ONE. A thorough-paced rogue, a sly designing
fellow: in opposition to a shallow or foolish one.
DEFT FELLOW. A neat little man.
DEGEN, or DAGEN. A sword. Nim the degen; steal the sword. Dagen is Dutch for a sword. CANT.
DELLS. Young buxom wenches, ripe and prone to venery, but who have not lost their virginity, which the UPRIGHT MAN claims by virtue of his prerogative; after which they become free for any of the fraternity. Also a common strumpet. CANT.
DEMURE. As demure as an old whore at a christening.
DEMY-REP. An abbreviation of demy-reputation; a woman of doubtful character.
DERBY. To come down with the derbies; to pay the money.
DERRICK. The name of the finisher of the law, or hangman about the year 1608.—'For he rides his circuit with the Devil, and Derrick must be his host, and Tiburne the inne at which he will lighte.' Vide Bellman of London, in art. PRIGGIN LAW.—'At the gallows, where I leave them, as to the haven at which they must all cast anchor, if Derrick's cables do but hold.' Ibid.
DEVIL. A printer's errand-boy. Also a small thread in the king's ropes and cables, whereby they may be distinguished from all others. The Devil himself; a small streak of blue thread in the king's sails. The Devil may dance in his pocket; i.e. he has no money: the cross on our ancient coins being jocularly supposed to prevent him from visiting that place, for fear, as it is said, of breaking his shins against it. To hold a candle to the Devil; to be civil to any one out of fear: in allusion to the story of the old woman, who set a wax taper before the image of St. Michael, and another before the Devil, whom that saint is commonly represented as trampling under his feet: being reproved for paying such honour to Satan, she answered, as it was uncertain which place she should go to, heaven or hell, she chose to secure a friend in both places. That will be when the Devil is blind, and he has not got sore eyes yet; said of any thing unlikely to happen. It rains whilst the sun shines, the Devil is beating his wife with a shoulder of mutton: this phenomenon is also said to denote that cuckolds are going to heaven; on being informed of this, a loving wife cried out with great vehemence, 'Run, husband, run!'
The Devil was sick, the Devil a monk would be;
The Devil was well, the Devil a monk was he.
a proverb signifying that we are apt to forget promises made in time of distress. To pull the Devil by the tail, to be reduced to one's shifts. The Devil go with you and sixpence, and then you will have both money and company.
DEVIL. The gizzard of a turkey or fowl, scored, peppered, salted and broiled: it derives its appellation from being hot in the mouth.
DEVIL'S BOOKS. Cards.
DEVIL CATCHER, or DEVIL DRIVER. A parson. See
DEVIL'S DAUGHTER. It is said of one who has a termagant
for his wife, that he has married the Devil's daughter, and
lives with the old folks.
DEVIL'S DAUGHTER'S PORTION:
Deal, Dover, and Harwich,
The Devil gave with his daughter in marriage;
And, by a codicil to his will,
He added Helvoet and the Brill;
a saying occasioned by the shameful impositions practised by the inhabitants of those places, on sailors and travellers.
DEVIL DRAWER. A miserable painter.
DEVIL'S DUNG. Assafoetida.
DEVIL'S GUTS. A surveyor's chain: so called by farmers, who do not like their land should be measured by their landlords.
DEVILISH. Very: an epithet which in the English vulgar language is made to agree with every quality or thing; as, devilish bad, devilish good; devilish sick, devilish well; devilish sweet, devilish sour; devilish hot, devilish cold, &c. &c.
DEUSEA VILLE. The country. Cant.
DEUSEA VILLE STAMPERS. Country carriers. Cant.
DEW BEATERS. Feet. Cant.
DEWS WINS, or DEUX WINS. Two-pence. Cant.
DEWITTED. Torn to pieces by a mob, as that great statesman
John de Wit was in Holland, anno 1672.
DIAL PLATE. The face. To alter his dial plate; to
disfigure his face.
DICE. The names of false dice:
A bale of bard cinque deuces
A bale of flat cinque deuces
A bale of flat sice aces
A bale of bard cater traes
A bale of flat cater traes
A bale of fulhams
A bale of light graniers
A bale of langrets contrary to the ventage
A bale of gordes, with as many highmen as lowmen,
A bale of demies
A bale of long dice for even and odd
A bale of bristles
A bale of direct contraries.
DICK. That happened in the reign of queen Dick, i. e.
never: said of any absurd old story. I am as queer as
Dick's hatband; that is, out of spirits, or don't know what
DICKY. A woman's under-petticoat. It's all Dicky with
him; i.e. it's all over with him.
DICKED IN THE NOB. Silly. Crazed.
DICKEY. A sham shirt.
DICKEY. An ass. Roll your dickey; drive your ass. Also
a seat for servants to sit behind a carriage, when their
TO DIDDLE. To cheat. To defraud. The cull diddled
me out of my dearee; the fellow robbed me of my sweetheart.
See Jeremy Diddler In Raising The Wind.
DIDDEYS. A woman's breasts or bubbies.
DIGGERS. Spurs. Cant.
DILBERRIES. Small pieces of excrement adhering to the hairs near the fundament.
DILBERRY MAKER. The fundament.
DILDO. [From the Italian DILETTO, q. d. a woman's delight;
or from our word DALLY, q. d. a thing to play withal.]
Penis-succedaneus, called in Lombardy Passo Tempo. Bailey.
DILIGENT. Double diligent, like the Devil's apothecary;
said of one affectedly diligent.
DILLY. (An abbreviation of the word DILIGENCE.) A public voiture or stage, commonly a post chaise, carrying three persons; the name is taken from the public stage vehicles in France and Flanders. The dillies first began to run in England about the year 1779.
DIMBER. Pretty. A dimber cove; a pretty fellow. Dimber mort; a pretty wench. CANT.
DIMBER DAMBER. A top man, or prince, among the canting crew: also the chief rogue of the gang, or the completest cheat. CANT.
DING. To knock down. To ding it in one's ears; to reproach or tell one something one is not desirous of hearing. Also to throw away or hide: thus a highwayman who throws away or hides any thing with which he robbed, to prevent being known or detected, is, in the canting lingo, styled a Dinger.
DING BOY. A rogue, a hector, a bully, or sharper. CANT.
DING DONG. Helter skelter, in a hasty disorderly manner.
DINGEY CHRISTIAN. A mulatto; or any one who has, as the
West-Indian term is, a lick of the tar-brush, that is, some
negro blood in him.
DINING ROOM POST. A mode of stealing in houses that let lodgings, by rogues pretending to be postmen, who send up sham letters to the lodgers, and, whilst waiting in the entry for the postage, go into the first room they see open, and rob it.
DIP. To dip for a wig. Formerly, in Middle Row, Holborn, wigs of different sorts were, it is said, put into a close-stool box, into which, for three-pence, any one might dip, or thrust in his hand, and take out the first wig he laid hold of; if he was dissatisfied with his prize, he might, on paying three halfpence, return it and dip again.
THE DIP. A cook's shop, under Furnival's Inn, where many attornies clerks, and other inferior limbs of the law, take out the wrinkles from their bellies. DIP is also a punning name for a tallow-chandler.
DIPT. Pawned or mortgaged.
DIRTY PUZZLE. A nasty slut.
DISGRUNTLED. Offended, disobliged.
DISHED UP. He is completely dished up; he is totally ruined.
To throw a thing in one's dish; to reproach or twit one with
any particular matter.
DISHCLOUT. A dirty, greasy woman. He has made a napkin of his dishclout; a saying of one who has married his cook maid. To pin a dishclout to a man's tail; a punishment often threatened by the female servants in a kitchen, to a man who pries too minutely into the secrets of that place.
DISMAL DITTY. The psalm sung by the felons at the gallows,
just before they are turned off.
DISPATCHES. A mittimus, or justice of the peace's warrant,
for the commitment of a rogue.
DITTO. A suit of ditto; coat, waistcoat, and breeches, all
of one colour.
DISPATCHERS. Loaded or false dice.
DISTRACTED DIVISION. Husband and wife fighting.
DIVE. To dive; to pick a pocket. To dive for a dinner; to go down into a cellar to dinner. A dive, is a thief who stands ready to receive goods thrown out to him by a little boy put in at a window. Cant.
DIVER. A pickpocket; also one who lives in a cellar.
DIVIDE. To divide the house with one's wife; to give her the outside, and to keep all the inside to one's self, i.e. to turn her into the street.
DO. To do any one; to rob and cheat him. I have done him; I have robbed him. Also to overcome in a boxing match: witness those laconic lines written on the field of battle, by Humphreys to his patron.—'Sir, I have done the Jew.'
TO DO OVER. Carries the same meaning, but is not so briefly expressed: the former having received the polish of the present times.
DOASH. A cloak. Cant.
DOBIN RIG. Stealing ribbands from haberdashers early in the morning or late at night; generally practised by women in the disguise of maid servants.
TO DOCK. To lie with a woman. The cull docked the dell all the darkmans; the fellow laid with the wench all night. Docked smack smooth; one who has suffered an amputation of his penis from a venereal complaint. He must go into dock; a sea phrase, signifying that the person spoken of must undergo a salivation. Docking is also a punishment inflicted by sailors on the prostitutes who have infected them with the venereal disease; it consists in cutting off all their clothes, petticoats, shift and all, close to their stays, and then turning them into the street.
DOCTOR. Milk and water, with a little rum, and some nutmeg; also the name of a composition used by distillers, to make spirits appear stronger than they really are, or, in their phrase, better proof.
DOCTORS. Loaded dice, that will run but two or three chances. They put the doctors upon him; they cheated him with loaded dice.
DODSEY. A woman: perhaps a corruption of Doxey. CANT.
DOG BUFFERS. Dog stealers, who kill those dogs not
advertised for, sell their skins, and feed the remaining dogs
with their flesh.
DOG IN A DOUBLET. A daring, resolute fellow. In
Germany and Flanders the boldest dogs used to hunt the boar,
having a kind of buff doublet buttoned on their bodies,
Rubens has represented several so equipped, so has Sneyders.
DOG. An old dog at it; expert or accustomed to any thing. Dog in a manger; one who would prevent another from enjoying what he himself does not want: an allusion to the well-known fable. The dogs have not dined; a common saying to any one whose shirt hangs out behind. To dog, or dodge; to follow at a distance. To blush like a blue dog, i.e. not at all. To walk the black dog on any one; a punishment inflicted in the night on a fresh prisoner, by his comrades, in case of his refusal to pay the usual footing or garnish.
DOG LATIN. Barbarous Latin, such as was formerly used by the lawyers in their pleadings.
DOG'S PORTION. A lick and a smell. He comes in for only a dog's portion; a saying of one who is a distant admirer or dangler after women. See DANGLER.
DOG'S RIG. To copulate till you are tired, and then turn tail to it.
DOG'S SOUP. Rain water.
DOG VANE. A cockade. SEA TERM.
DOGGESS, DOG'S WIFE or LADY, PUPPY'S MAMMA.
Jocular ways of calling a woman a bitch.
DOLL. Bartholomew doll; a tawdry, over-drest woman,
like one of the children's dolls at Bartholomew fair. To
mill doll; to beat hemp at Bridewell, or any other house
DOLLY. A Yorkshire dolly; a contrivance for washing, by
means of a kind of wheel fixed in a tub, which being turned
about, agitates and cleanses the linen put into it, with
soap and water.
DOMINE DO LITTLE. An impotent old fellow.
DOMINEER. To reprove or command in an insolent or
haughty manner. Don't think as how you shall domineer
DOMMERER. A beggar pretending that his tongue has been
cutout by the Algerines, or cruel and blood-thirsty Turks,
or else that he yas born deaf and dumb. Cant.
DONE, or DONE OVER. Robbed: also, convicted or hanged.
DONE UP. Ruined by gaming and extravagances. Modern
DONKEY, DONKEY DICK. A he, or jack ass: called donkey,
perhaps, from the Spanish or don-like gravity of
that animal, intitled also the king of Spain's trumpeter.
DOODLE. A silly fellow, or noodle: see NOODLE. Also a child's penis. Doodle doo, or Cock a doodle doo; a childish appellation for a cock, in imitation of its note when crowing.
DOODLE SACK. A bagpipe. Dutch.—Also the private parts of a woman.
DOPEY. A beggar's trull.
DOT AND GO ONE. To waddle: generally applied to persons who have one leg shorter than the other, and who, as the sea phrase is, go upon an uneven keel. Also a jeering appellation for an inferior writing-master, or teacher of arithmetic.
DOUBLE. To tip any one the double; to run away in his or her debt.
DOUBLE JUGG. A man's backside. Cotton's Virgil.
DOVE-TAIL. A species of regular answer, which fits into the subject, like the contrivance whence it takes its name: Ex. Who owns this? The dovetail is, Not you by your asking.
DOUGLAS. Roby Douglas, with one eye and a stinking breath; the breech. Sea wit.
DOWDY. A coarse, vulgar-looking woman.
DOWN HILLS. Dice that run low.
DOWN. Aware of a thing. Knowing it. There is NO DOWN. A cant phrase used by house-breakers to signify that the persons belonging to any house are not on their guard, or that they are fast asleep, and have not heard any noise to alarm them.
TO DOWSE. To take down: as, Dowse the pendant. Dowse your dog vane; take the cockade out of your hat. Dowse the glim; put out the candle.
DOWSE ON THE CHOPS. A blow in the face.
DOWSER. Vulgar pronunciation of DOUCEUR.
DOXIES. She beggars, wenches, whores.
DRAB. A nasty, sluttish whore.
DRAG. To go on the drag; to follow a cart or waggon, in order to rob it. CANT.
DRAG LAY. Waiting in the streets to rob carts or waggons.
DRAGGLETAIL or DAGGLETAIL. One whose garments are bespattered with dag or dew: generally applied to the female sex, to signify a slattern.
DRAGOONING IT. A man who occupies two branches of one profession, is said to dragoon it; because, like the soldier of that denomination, he serves in a double capacity. Such is a physician who furnishes the medicines, and compounds his own prescriptions.
DRAIN. Gin: so called from the diuretic qualities imputed to that liquor.
DRAM. A glass or small measure of any spirituous liquors, which, being originally sold by apothecaries, were estimated by drams, ounces, &c. Dog's dram; to spit in his mouth, and clap his back.
DRAM-A-TICK. A dram served upon credit.
DRAPER. An ale draper; an alehouse keeper.
DRAUGHT, or BILL, ON THE PUMP AT ALDGATE. A bad
or false bill of exchange. See ALDGATE.
DRAW LATCHES. Robbers of houses whose doors are
only fastened with latches. CANT.
TO DRAW. To take any thing from a pocket. To draw a
swell of a clout. To pick a gentleman's pocket of a
handkerchief. To draw the long bow; to tell lies.
DRAWERS. Stockings. CANT.
DRAWING THE KING'S PICTURE. Coining. CANT.
TO DRESS. To beat. I'll dress his hide neatly; I'll beat him soundly.
DRIBBLE. A method of pouring out, as it were, the dice from the box, gently, by which an old practitioner is enabled to cog one of them with his fore-finger.
DRIPPER. A gleet.
DROMEDARY. A heavy, bungling thief or rogue. A purple
dromedary; a bungler in the art and mystery of thieving.
DROMMERARS. See DOMMERER.
DROP. The new drop; a contrivance for executing felons at
Newgate, by means of a platform, which drops from
under them: this is also called the last drop. See LEAF.
See MORNING DROP.
DROP A COG. To let fall, with design, a piece of gold or
silver, in order to draw in and cheat the person who sees
it picked up; the piece so dropped is called a dropt cog.
DROP IN THE EYE. Almost drunk.
DROPPING MEMBER. A man's yard with a gonorrhoea.
DROP COVES. Persons who practice the fraud of dropping a ring or other article, and picking it up before the person intended to be defrauded, they pretend that the thing is very valuable to induce their gull to lend them money, or to purchase the article. See FAWNY RIG, and MONEY DROPPERS.
TO DROP DOWN. To be dispirited. This expression is used by thieves to signify that their companion did not die game, as the kiddy dropped down when he went to be twisted; the young fellow was very low spirited when he walked out to be hanged.
TO DRUB. To beat any one with a stick, or rope's end: perhaps a contraction of DRY RUB. It is also used to signify a good beating with any instrument.
DRUMMER. A jockey term for a horse that throws about his fore legs irregularly: the idea is taken from a kettle drummer, who in beating makes many flourishes with his drumsticks.
DRUNK. Drunk as a wheel-barrow. Drunk as David's sow. See DAVID'S SOW.
DRURY LANE AGUE. The venereal disorder.
DRURY LANE VESTAL. A woman of the town, or prostitute;
Drury-lane and its environs were formerly the residence
of many of those ladies.
DRY BOB. A smart repartee: also copulation without
emission; in law Latin, siccus robertulus.
DRY BOOTS. A sly humorous fellow.
DUB. A picklock, or master-key. CANT.
DUB LAY. Robbing houses by picking the locks.
DUB THE JIGGER. Open the door. CANT.
DUB O' TH' HICK. A lick on the head.
DUBBER. A picker of locks. CANT.
DUCK. A lame duck; an Exchange-alley phrase for a
stock-jobber, who either cannot or will not pay his losses,
or, differences, in which case he is said to WADDLE OUT OF
THE ALLEY, as he cannot appear there again till his debts
are settled and paid; should he attempt it, he would be
hustled out by the fraternity.
DUCKS AND DRAKES. To make ducks and drakes: a
school-boy's amusement, practised with pieces of tile,
oyster-shells, or flattish stones, which being skimmed
along the surface of a pond, or still river, rebound many
times. To make ducks and drakes of one's money; to
throw it idly away.
DUCK F-CK-R. The man who has the care of the poultry
on board a ship of war.
DUCK LEGS. Short legs.
DUDDERS, or WHISPERING DUDDERS. Cheats who travel the country, pretending to sell smuggled goods: they accost their intended dupes in a whisper. The goods they have for sale are old shop-keepers, or damaged; purchased by them of large manufactories. See DUFFER.
DUDDERING RAKE. A thundering rake, a buck of the first head, one extremely lewd.
DUFFERS. Cheats who ply in different parts of the town, particularly about Water-lane, opposite St. Clement's church, in the Strand, and pretend to deal in smuggled goods, stopping all country people, or such as they think they can impose on; which they frequently do, by selling them Spital-fields goods at double their current price.
DUGS. A woman's breasts,
DUKE, or RUM DUKE. A queer unaccountable fellow.
DUKE OF LIMBS. A tall, awkward, ill-made fellow.
DUKE HUMPHREY. To dine with Duke Humphrey; to fast. In old St. Paul's church was an aisle called Duke Humphrey's walk (from a tomb vulgarly called his, but in reality belonging to John of Gaunt), and persons who walked there, while others were at dinner, were said to dine with Duke Humphrey.
DULL SWIFT. A stupid, sluggish fellow, one long going on an errand.
DUMB ARM. A lame arm.
DUMB-FOUNDED. Silenced, also soundly beaten.
DUMB GLUTTON. A woman's privities.
DUMB WATCH. A venereal bubo in the groin.
DUMMEE. A pocket book. A dummee hunter. A pick-pocket, who lurks about to steal pocket books out of gentlemen's pockets. Frisk the dummee of the screens; take all the bank notes out of the pocket book, ding the dummee, and bolt, they sing out beef. Throw away the pocket book, and run off, as they call out "stop thief."
DUMPLIN. A short thick man or woman. Norfolk dumplin; a jeering appellation of a Norfolk man, dumplins being a favourite kind of food in that county.
DUMPS. Down in the dumps; low-spirited, melancholy: jocularly said to be derived from Dumpos, a king of Egypt, who died of melancholy. Dumps are also small pieces of lead, cast by schoolboys in the shape of money.
DUN. An importunate creditor. Dunny, in the provincial dialect of several counties, signifies DEAF; to dun, then, perhaps may mean to deafen with importunate demands: some derive it from the word DONNEZ, which signifies GIVE. But the true original meaning of the word, owes its birth to one Joe Dun, a famous bailiff of the town of Lincoln, so extremely active, and so dexterous in his business, that it became a proverb, when a man refused to pay, Why do not you DUN him? that is, Why do not you set Dun to attest him? Hence it became a cant word, and is now as old as since the days of Henry VII. Dun was also the general name for the hangman, before that of Jack Ketch.
And presently a halter got,
Made of the best strong hempen teer,
And ere a cat could lick her ear,
Had tied it up with as much art,
As DUN himself could do for's heart.
Cotton's Virgil Trav. book iv.
DUNAKER. A stealer of cows and calves.
DUNEGAN. A privy. A water closet.
DUNGHILL. A coward: a cockpit phrase, all but gamecocks being styled dunghills. To die dunghill; to repent, or shew any signs of contrition at the gallows. Moving dunghill; a dirty, filthy man or woman. Dung, an abbreviation of dunghill, also means a journeyman taylor who submits to the law for regulating journeymen taylors' wages, therefore deemed by the flints a coward. See FLINTS.
DUNNOCK. A cow. CUNT.
TO DUP. To open a door: a contraction of DO OPE or OPEN.
DURHAM MAN. Knocker kneed, he grinds mustard with
his knees: Durham is famous for its mustard.
DUST. Money. Down with your dust; deposit the money.
To raise or kick up a dust; to make a disturbance or riot:
see BREEZE. Dust it away; drink about.
DUSTMAN. A dead man: your father is a dustman.
DUTCH COMFORT. Thank God it is no worse.
DUTCH CONCERT. Where every one plays or signs a
DUTCH FEAST. Where the entertainer gets drunk before
DUTCH RECKONING, or ALLE-MAL. A verbal or lump
account, without particulars, as brought at spungiug or
DUTCHESS. A woman enjoyed with her pattens on, or by a
man-in boots, is said to be made a dutchess.
DIE HARD, or GAME. To die hard, is to shew no signs of
fear or contrition at the gallows; not to whiddle or squeak.
This advice is frequently given to felons going to suffer the
law, by their old comrades, anxious for the honour of the
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Grose, Francis. 2004. 1881 Dictionary in the Vulgar Tongue. Urbana, Illinois: Project Gutenberg. Retrieved April 2022 from https://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/5402/pg5402.html
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