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 F
FACE-MAKING. Begetting children. To face it out; to persist in a falsity. No face but his own: a saying of one who has no money in his pocket or no court cards in his hand.
FACER. A bumper, a glass filled so full as to leave no room for the lip. Also a violent blow on the face.
FADGE. It won't fadge; it won't do. A farthing.
TO FAG. To beat. Fag the bloss; beat the wench; Cant.
A fag also means a boy of an inferior form or class, who
acts as a servant to one of a superior, who is said to fag him,
he is my fag; whence, perhaps, fagged out, for jaded or tired.
To stand a good fag; not to be soon tired.
FAGGER. A little boy put in at a window to rob the house.
FAGGOT. A man hired at a muster to appear as a soldier. To faggot in the canting sense, means to bind: an allusion to the faggots made up by the woodmen, which are all bound. Faggot the culls; bind the men.
FAITHFUL. One of the faithful; a taylor who gives long credit. His faith has made him unwhole; i.e. trusting too much, broke him.
FAIR. A set of subterraneous rooms in the Fleet Prison.
FAKEMENT. A counterfeit signature. A forgery. Tell the macers to mind their fakements; desire the swindlers to be careful not to forge another person's signature.
FALLALLS. Ornaments, chiefly women's, such as ribands,
FALLEN AWAY FROM A HORSE LOAD TO A CART LOAD.
A saying on one grown fat.
FAMILY MAN. A thief or receiver of stolen goods.
FAM LAY. Going into a goldsmith's shop, under pretence of buying a wedding ring, and palming one or two, by daubing the hand with some viscous matter.
FAMS, or FAMBLES. Hands. Famble cheats; rings or gloves. CANT.
TO FAMGRASP. To shake bands: figuratively, to agree or make up a difference. Famgrasp the cove; shake hands with the fellow. CANT.
FAMILY OF LOVE. Lewd women; also, a religious sect.
FANCY MAN. A man kept by a lady for secret services.
TO FAN. To beat any one. I fanned him sweetly; I beat him heartily.
FANTASTICALLY DRESSED, with more rags than ribands.
FART. He has let a brewer's fart, grains and all; said of
one who has bewrayed his breeches.
Piss and fart.
Sound at heart.
Mingere cum bumbis,
Res saluberrima est lumbis.
I dare not trust my a-se with a fart: said by a person troubled
with a looseness.
FART CATCHER. A valet or footman from his walking
behind his master or mistress.
FARTING CRACKERS. Breeches.
FARTLEBERRIES. Excrement hanging about the anus.
FASTNER. A warrant.
FAT. The last landed, inned, or stowed, of any sort of merchandise: so called by the water-side porters, carmen, &c. All the fat is in the fire; that is, it is all over with us: a saying used in case of any miscarriage or disappointment in an undertaking; an allusion to overturning the frying pan into the fire. Fat, among printers, means void spaces.
AS FAT AS A HEN IN THE FOREHEAD. A saying of a meagre person.
FAT CULL. A rich fellow.
FAT HEADED. Stupid.
FAULKNER. A tumbler, juggler, or shewer of tricks; perhaps because they lure the people, as a faulconer does his hawks. CANT.
FAYTORS, or FATORS. Fortune tellers.
FAWNEY RIG. A common fraud, thus practised: A fellow drops a brass ring, double gilt, which he picks up before the party meant to be cheated, and to whom he disposes of it for less than its supposed, and ten times more than its real, value. See MONEY DROPPER.
FAWNEY. A ring.
FEAGUE. To feague a horse; to put ginger up a horse's fundament, and formerly, as it is said, a live eel, to make him lively and carry his tail well; it is said, a forfeit is incurred by any horse-dealer's servant, who shall shew a horse without first feaguing him. Feague is used, figuratively, for encouraging or spiriting one up.
FEAK. The fundament.
To FEATHER ONE'S NEST. To enrich one's self.
FEATHER-BED LANE. A rough or stony lane.
FEE, FAW, FUM. Nonsensical words, supposed in childish story-books to be spoken by giants. I am not to be frighted by fee, faw, fum; I am not to be scared by nonsense.
FEEDER. A spoon. To nab the feeder; to steal a spoon.
FEET. To make feet for children's stockings; to beget children. An officer of feet; a jocular title for an officer of infantry.
FEINT. A sham attack on one part, when a real one is meant at another.
FELLOW COMMONER. An empty bottle: so called at the university of Cambridge, where fellow commoners are not in general considered as over full of learning. At Oxford an empty bottle is called a gentleman commoner for the same reason. They pay at Cambridge 250 l. a year for the privilege of wearing a gold or silver tassel to their caps. The younger branches of the nobility have the privilege of wearing a hat, and from thence are denominated HAT FELLOW COMMONERS.
FEN. A bawd, or common prostitute. CANT.
TO FENCE. To pawn or sell to a receiver of stolen goods. The kiddey fenced his thimble for three quids; the young fellow pawned his watch for three guineas. To fence invariably means to pawn or sell goods to a receiver.
FENCING KEN. The magazine, or warehouse, where stolen goods are secreted.
FERME. A hole. CANT.
FERMERDY BEGGARS. All those who have not the sham sores or clymes.
FERRARA. Andrea Ferrara; the name of a famous sword-cutler:
most of the Highland broad-swords are marked
with his name; whence an Andrea Ferrara has become
the common name for the glaymore or Highland
broad-sword. See CLAYMORE.
FERRET. A tradesman who sells goods to young unthrift
heirs, at excessive rates, and then continually duns them
for the debt. To ferret; to search out or expel any one
from his hiding-place, as a ferret drives out rabbits; also
to cheat. Ferret-eyed; red-eyed: ferrets have red eyes.
FETCH. A trick, wheedle, or invention to deceive.
FEUTERER. A dog-keeper: from the French vautrier, or vaultrier, one that leads a lime hound for the chase.
TO FIB. To beat. Fib the cove's quarron in the rumpad
for the lour in his bung; beat the fellow in the highway
for the money in his purse. CANT.—A fib is also a tiny lie.
FICE, or FOYSE. A small windy escape backwards, more
obvious to the nose than ears; frequently by old ladies
charged on their lap-dogs. See FIZZLE.
FID OF TOBACCO. A quid, from the small pieces of tow
with which the vent or touch hole of a cannon is stopped.
FIDDLE FADDLE. Trifling discourse, nonsense. A mere
fiddle faddle fellow; a trifier.
FIDDLESTICK'S END. Nothing; the end of the ancient
fiddlesticks ending in a point; hence metaphorically used
to express a thing terminating in nothing.
FIDGETS. He has got the fidgets; said of one that cannot
sit long in a place.
FIDLAM BEN. General thieves; called also St. Peter's sons,
having every finger a fish-hook. CANT.
FIDDLERS MONEY. All sixpences: sixpence being the
usual sum paid by each couple, for music at country
wakes and hops. Fiddler's fare; meat, drink, and money.
Fiddler's pay; thanks and wine.
FIELD LANE DUCK. A baked sheep's head.
FIERI FACIAS. A red-faced man is said to have been served with a writ of fieri facias.
FIGDEAN. To kill.
FIGGER. A little boy put in at a window to hand out goods to the diver. See DIVER.
FIGGING LAW. The art of picking pockets. CANT.
FIGURE DANCER. One who alters figures on bank notes, converting tens to hundreds.
FILCH, or FILEL. A beggar's staff, with an iron hook at the end, to pluck clothes from an hedge, or any thing out of a casement. Filcher; the same as angler. Filching cove; a man thief. Filching mort; a woman thief.
FILE, FILE CLOY, or BUNGNIPPER. A pick pocket. To file; to rob or cheat. The file, or bungnipper, goes generally in company with two assistants, the adam tiler, and another called the bulk or bulker, Whose business it is to jostle the person they intend to rob, and push him against the wall, while the file picks his pocket, and gives'the booty to the adam tiler, who scours off with it. CANT.
FIN. An arm. A one finned fellow; a man who has lost
an arm. SEA PHRASE.
FINE. Fine as five pence. Fine as a cow-t—d stuck with
FINE. A man imprisoned for any offence. A fine of eighty-four
months; a transportation for seven years.
FINGER IN EYE. To put finger in eye; to weep: commonly applied to women. The more you cry the less you'll p-ss; a consolatory speech used by sailors to their doxies. It is as great a pity to see a woman cry, as to see a goose walk barefoot; another of the same kind.
FINGER POST. A parson: so called, because he points out
a way to others which he never goes himself. Like the
finger post, he points out a way he has never been, and
probably will never go, i.e. the way to heaven.
FINISH. The finish; a small coffee-house in Coven Garden,
market, opposite Russel-street, open very early in the
morning, and therefore resorted to by debauchees shut out
of every other house: it is also called Carpenter's coffee-house.
FIRING A GUN. Introducing a story by head and shoulders.
A man wanting to tell a particular story, said to the
company, Hark! did you not hear a gun?—but now we are
talking of a gun, I will tell you the story of one.
TO FIRE A SLUG. To drink a dram.
FIRE PRIGGERS. Villains who rob at fires under pretence of assisting in removing the goods.
FIRE SHIP. A wench who has the venereal disease.
FIRE SHOVEL. He or she when young, was fed with a fire shovel; a saying of persons with wide mouths.
FISH. A seaman. A scaly fish; a rough, blunt tar. To have other fish to fry; to have other matters to mind, something else to do.
FIT. Suitable. It won't fit; It will not suit or do.
FIVE SHILLINGS. The sign of five shillings, i.e. the crown.
Fifteen shillings; the sign of the three crowns.
FIZZLE. An escape backward,
FLABBY. Relaxed, flaccid, not firm or solid.
FLAG. A groat. CANT.—The flag of defiance, or bloody flag
is out; signifying the man is drunk, and alluding to the
redness of his face. SEA PHRASE.
FLAM. A lie, or sham story: also a single stroke on a drum.
To flam; to hum, to amuse, to deceive. Flim flams; idle
FLAP DRAGON. A clap, or pox.
To FLARE. To blaze, shine or glare.
FLASH. Knowing. Understanding another's meaning. The swell was flash, so I could not draw his fogle. The gentleman saw what I was about, and therefore I could not pick his pocket of his silk handkerchief. To patter flash, to speak the slang language. See PATTER.
FLASH PANNEYS. Houses to which thieves and prostitutes
Next for his favourite MOT (Girl) the KIDDEY (Youth) looks
And if she's in a FLASH PANNEY (Brothel) he swears he'll have
So he FENCES (Pawns) all his TOGS (Cloathes) to buy her DUDS,
(Wearing Apparel) and then
He FRISKS (Robs) his master's LOB (Till) to take her from the
bawdy KEN (House).
FLASH. A periwig. Rum flash; a fine long wig. Queer flash; a miserable weather-beaten caxon.
To FLASH. To shew ostentatiously. To flash one's ivory; to laugh and shew one's teeth. Don't flash your ivory, but shut your potatoe trap, and keep your guts warm; the Devil loves hot tripes.
To FLASH THE HASH. To vomit. CANT.
FLASH KEN. A house that harbours thieves.
FLASH LINGO. The canting or slang language.
FLASH MAN. A bully to a bawdy house. A whore's bully.
FLAT. A bubble, gull, or silly fellow.
FLAT COCK. A female.
FLAYBOTTOMIST. A bum-brusher, or schoolmaster.
To FLAY, or FLEA, THE FOX. To vomit.
FLEA BITE. A trifling injury. To send any one away with a flea in his ear; to give any one a hearty scolding.
To FLEECE. To rob, cheat, or plunder.
FLEMISH ACCOUNT. A losing, or bad account.
FLESH BROKER. A match-maker, a bawd.
FLICKER. A drinking glass. CANT.
FLICKERING. Grinning or laughing in a man's face.
FLICKING. Cutting. Flick me some panam and caffan; cut me some bread and cheese. Flick the peter; cut off the cloak-bag, or portmanteau.
To FLING. To trick or cheat. He flung me fairly out of it: he cheated me out of it.
FLINTS. Journeymen taylors, who on a late occasion refused to work for the wages settled by law. Those who submitted, were by the mutineers styled dungs, i.e. dunghills.
FLIP. Small beer, brandy, and sugar: this mixture, with the addition of a lemon, was by sailors, formerly called Sir Cloudsly, in memory of Sir Cloudsly Shovel, who used frequently to regale himself with it.
FLOATING ACADEMY. See CAMPBELL'S ACADEMY.
FLOATING HELL. The hulks.
TO FLOG. To whip.
FLOGGER. A horsewhip. CANT.
FLOGGING CULLY. A debilitated lecher, commonly an old one.
FLOGGING COVE. The beadle, or whipper, in Bridewell.
FLOGGING STAKE. The whipping-post.
TO FLOOR. To knock down. Floor the pig; knock down
FLOURISH. To take a flourish; to enjoy a woman in a hasty
manner, to take a flyer. See FLYER.
TO FLOUT. To jeer, to ridicule.
FLUMMERY. Oatmeal and water boiled to a jelly; also
compliments, neither of which are over-nourishing.
FLUSH IN THE POCKET. Full of money. The cull is
flush in the fob. The fellow is full of money.
FLUTE. The recorder of a corporation; a recorder was an
antient musical instrument.
TO FLUX. To cheat, cozen, or over-reach; also to salivate.
To flux a wig; to put it up in curl, and bake it.
FLY. Knowing. Acquainted with another's meaning or
proceeding. The rattling cove is fly; the coachman
knows what we are about.
FLY. A waggon. CANT.
FLY-BY-NIGHT. You old fly-by-night; an ancient term of reproach to an old woman, signifying that she was a witch, and alluding to the nocturnal excursions attributed to witches, who were supposed to fly abroad to their meetings, mounted on brooms.
FLY SLICERS. Life-guard men, from their sitting on horseback, under an arch, where they are frequently observed to drive away flies with their swords.
FLYER. To take a flyer; to enjoy a woman with her clothes on, or without going to bed.
FLY-FLAPPED. Whipt in the stocks, or at the cart's tail.
FLYING CAMPS. Beggars plying in a body at funerals.
FLYING GIGGERS. Turnpike gates.
FLYING HOUSE. A lock in wrestling, by which he who
uses it throws his adversary over his head.
FLYING PASTY. Sirreverence wrapped in paper and
thrown over a neighbour's wall.
FLYING PORTERS. Cheats who obtain money by pretending to persons who have been lately robbed, that they may come from a place or party where, and from whom, they may receive information respecting the goods stolen from them, and demand payment as porters.
FLYING STATIONERS. Ballad-singers and hawkers of penny histories.
FLYMSEY. A bank note.
FOB. A cheat, trick, or contrivance, I will not be fobbed off so; I will not be thus deceived with false pretences. The fob is also a small breeches pocket for holding a watch.
FOG. Smoke. CANT.
FOGEY. Old Fogey. A nickname for an invalid soldier: derived from the French word fougeux, fierce or fiery.
FOGLE. A silk handkerchief,
FOGRAM. An old fogram; a fusty old fellow.
FOGUS. Tobacco. Tip me a gage of fogus; give me a
pipe of tobacco. CANT.
FOOL. A fool at the end of a stick; a fool at one end, and
a maggot at the other; gibes on an angler.
FOOL FINDER. A bailiff.
FOOLISH. An expression among impures, signifying the cully who pays, in opposition to a flash man. Is he foolish or flash?
FOOT PADS, or LOW PADS. Rogues who rob on foot.
FOOT WABBLER. A contemptuous appellation for a foot soldier, commonly used by the cavalry.
FOOTMAN'S MAWND. An artificial sore made with unslaked lime, soap, and the rust of old iron, on the back of a beggar's hand, as if hurt by the bite or kick of a horse.
FOOTY DESPICABLE. A footy fellow, a despicable fellow; from the French foutue.
FOREFOOT, or PAW. Give us your fore foot; give us your hand.
FOREMAN OF THE JURY. One who engrosses all the talk to himself, or speaks for the rest of the company.
FORK. A pickpocket. Let us fork him; let us pick his pocket.—'The newest and most dexterous way, which is, to thrust the fingers strait, stiff, open, and very quick, into the pocket, and so closing them, hook what can be held between them.' N.B. This was taken from a book written many years ago: doubtless the art of picking pockets, like all others, must have been much improved since that time.
FORLORN HOPE. A gamester's last stake.
FORTUNE HUNTERS. Indigent men, seeking to enrich themselves by marrying a woman of fortune.
FORTUNE TELLER, or CUNNING MAN. A judge, who tells every prisoner his fortune, lot or doom. To go before the fortune teller, lambskin men, or conjuror; to be tried at an assize. See LAMBSKIN MEN.
FOUL. To foul a plate with a man, to take a dinner with him.
FOUNDLING. A child dropped in the streets, and found, and
educated at the parish expence.
FOUSIL. The name of a public house, where the
Eccentrics assemble in May's Buildings, St. Martin's Lane.
Fox. A sharp, cunning fellow. Also an old term for a sword, probably a rusty one, or else from its being dyed red with blood; some say this name alluded to certain swords of remarkable good temper, or metal, marked with the figure of a fox, probably the sign, or rebus, of the maker.
FOX'S PAW. The vulgar pronunciation of the French words faux pas. He made a confounded fox's paw.
FOXEY. Rank. Stinking.
FOXING A BOOT. Mending the foot by capping it.
FOYST. A pickpocket, cheat, or rogue. See WOTTON'S GANG.
TO FOYST. To pick a pocket.
FOYSTED IN. Words or passages surreptitiously interpolated
or inserted into a book or writing.
FRATERS. Vagabonds who beg with sham patents, or briefs,
for hospitals, fires, inundations, &c.
FREE. Free of fumblers hall; a saying of one who cannot
get his wife with child.
FREE AND EASY JOHNS. A society which meet at the Hole
in the Wall, Fleet-street, to tipple porter, and sing bawdry.
FREE BOOTERS. Lawless robbers and plunderers: originally
soldiers who served without pay, for the privilege of
plundering the enemy.
FREEHOLDER. He whose wife accompanies him to the alehouse.
FREEMAN'S QUAY. Free of expence. To lush at Freeman's
Quay; to drink at another's cost.
FREEZE. A thin, small, hard cider, much used by vintners and coopers in parting their wines, to lower the price of them, and to advance their gain. A freezing vintner; a vintner who balderdashes his wine.
FRENCH CREAM. Brandy; so called by the old tabbies and dowagers when drank in their tea.
FRENCH DISEASE. The venereal disease, said to have been imported from France. French gout; the same. He suffered by a blow over the snout with a French faggot-stick; i.e. he lost his nose by the pox.
FRENCH LEAVE. To take French leave; to go off without taking leave of the company: a saying frequently applied to persons who have run away from their creditors.
FRENCHIFIED. Infected with the venereal disease. The mort is Frenchified: the wench is infected.
FRESH MILK. Cambridge new comers to the university.
FRESHMAN. One just entered a member of the university.
FRIBBLE. An effeminate fop; a name borrowed from a
celebrated character of that kind, in the farce of Miss in her
Teens, written by Mr. Garrick.
FRIDAY-FACE. A dismal countenance. Before, and even
long after the Reformation, Friday was a day of abstinence,
or jour maigre. Immediately after the restoration of king
Charles II. a proclamation was issued, prohibiting all
publicans from dressing any suppers on a Friday.
TO FRIG. Figuratively used for trifling.
FRIG PIG. A trifling, fiddle-faddle fellow.
FRIGATE. A well-rigged frigate; a well-dressed wench.
FRISK. To dance the Paddington frisk; to be hanged.
TO FRISK. Used by thieves to signify searching a person whom they have robbed. Blast his eyes! frisk him.
FROE, or VROE, A woman, wife, or mistress. Brush to your froe, or bloss, and wheedle for crop; run to your mistress, and sooth and coax her out of some money. DUTCH.
FROGLANDER. A Dutchman.
FROSTY FACE. One pitted with the small pox.
FROG'S WINE. Gin.
FRUITFUL VINE. A woman's private parts, i.e. that has
FLOWERS every month, and bears fruit in nine months.
FRUMMAGEMMED. Choaked, strangled, suffocated, or
FUBSEY. Plump. A fubsey wench; a plump, healthy
FUDDLE. Drunk. This is rum fuddle; this is excellent
tipple, or drink. Fuddle; drunk. Fuddle cap; a drunkard.
FULHAMS. Loaded dice are called high and lowmen, or high and low fulhams, by Ben Jonson and other writers of his time; either because they were made at Fulham, or from that place being the resort of sharpers.
FULL OF EMPTINESS. Jocular term for empty.
FULL MARCH. The Scotch greys are in full march by the crown office; the lice are crawling down his head.
FUMBLER. An old or impotent man. To fumble, also means to go awkwardly about any work, or manual operation.
FUN. A cheat, or trick. Do you think to fun me out of it? Do you think to cheat me?—Also the breech, perhaps from being the abbreviation of fundament. I'll kick your fun. CANT.
TO FUNK. To use an unfair motion of the hand in plumping at taw. SCHOOLBOY'S TERM.
FUNK. To smoke; figuratively, to smoke or stink through fear. I was in a cursed funk. To funk the cobler; a schoolboy's trick, performed with assafoettida and cotton, which are stuffed into a pipe: the cotton being lighted, and the bowl of the pipe covered with a coarse handkerchief, the smoke is blown out at the small end, through the crannies of a cobler's stall.
FURMITY, or FROMENTY. Wheat boiled up to a jelly. To simper like a furmity kettle: to smile, or look merry about the gills.
FUSS. A confusion, a hurry, an unnecessary to do about
FUSSOCK. A lazy fat woman. An old fussock; a frowsy
FUSTIAN. Bombast language. Red fustian; port wine.
FUSTY LUGGS. A beastly, sluttish woman.
TO FUZZ. To shuffle cards minutely: also, to change the pack.
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