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 G
GAB, or GOB. The mouth. Gift of the gab; a facility of speech, nimble tongued eloquence. To blow the gab; to confess, or peach.
GAB, or GOB, STRING. A bridle.
GABBY. A foolish fellow.
GAD-SO. An exclamation said to be derived from the
Italian word cazzo.
GAFF. A fair. The drop coves maced the joskins at the
gaff; the ring-droppers cheated the countryman at the fair.
TO GAFF. To game by tossing up halfpence.
GAG. An instrument used chiefly by housebreakers and thieves, for propping open the mouth of a person robbed, thereby to prevent his calling out for assistance.
GAGE. A quart pot, or a pint; also a pipe. CANT.
GAGE, or FOGUS. A pipe of tobacco.
GAGGERS. High and Low. Cheats, who by sham pretences, and wonderful stories of their sufferings, impose on the credulity of well meaning people. See RUM GAGGER.
GALIMAUFREY. A hodgepodge made up of the remnants
and scraps of the larder.
GALL. His gall is not yet broken; a saying used in prisons
of a man just brought in, who appears dejected.
GALLEY. Building the galley; a game formerly used at sea, in order to put a trick upon a landsman, or fresh-water sailor. It being agreed to play at that game, one sailor personates the builder, and another the merchant or contractor: the builder first begins by laying the keel, which consists of a number of men laid all along on their backs, one after another, that is, head to foot; he next puts in the ribs or knees, by making a number of men sit feet to feet, at right angles to, and on each side of, the keel: he now fixing on the person intended to be the object of the joke, observes he is a fierce-looking fellow, and fit for the lion; he accordingly places him at the head, his arms being held or locked in by the two persons next to him, representing the ribs. After several other dispositions, the builder delivers over the galley to the contractor as complete: but he, among other faults and objections, observes the lion is not gilt, on which the builder or one of his assistants, runs to the head, and dipping a mop in the excrement, thrusts it into the face of the lion.
GALLEY FOIST. A city barge, used formerly on the lord
mayor's day, when he was sworn in at Westminster.
GALLIED. Hurried, vexed, over-fatigued, perhaps like a
GALLIPOT. A nick namefor an apothecary,
GALLORE, or GOLORE. Plenty.
GALLOPER. A blood horse. A hunter. The toby gill clapped his bleeders to his galloper and tipped the straps the double. The highwayman spurred his horse and got away from the officers.
GALLOWS BIRD. A grief, or pickpocket; also one that
associates with them.
GAMES. Thin, ill-shapped legs: a corruption of the French
word jambes. Fancy gambs; sore or swelled legs.
GAMBADOES. Leathern cases of stiff leather, used in
Devonshire instead of boots; they are fastened to the saddle,
and admit the leg, shoe and all: the name was at first
GAMBLER. A sharper, of tricking, gamester.
GAME. Any mode of robbing. The toby is now a queer game; to rob on the highway is now a bad mode of acting. This observation is frequently made by thieves; the roads being now so well guarded by the horse patrole; and gentlemen travel with little cash in their pockets.
GAME. Bubbles or pigeons drawn in to be cheated. Also, at bawdy-houses, lewd women. Mother have you any game; mother, have you any girls? To die game; to suffer at the gallows without shewing any signs of fear or repentance. Game pullet; a young whore, or forward girl in the way of becoming one.
GAMON. To humbug. To deceive, To tell lies. What
rum gamon the old file pitched to the flat; how finely the
knowing old fellow humbugged the fool.
GAMON AND PATTER. Common place talk of any
profession; as the gamon and patter of a horse-dealer, sailor,
GAN. The mouth or lips. Cant.
GANDER MONTH. That month in which a man's wife-lies
in: wherefore, during that time, husbands plead a sort of
indulgence in matters of gallantry.
GANG. A company of men, a body of sailors, a knot of
thieves, pickpockets, &c. A gang of sheep trotters; the
four feet of a sheep.
GAOLER'S COACH. A hurdle: traitors being usually
conveyed from the gaol, to the place of execution, on a
hurdle or sledge.
GAP STOPPER. A whoremaster.
GAPESEED. Sights; any thing to feed the eye. I am come
abroad for a little gapeseed.
GARNISH. An entrance fee demanded by the old prisoners
of one just committed to gaol.
GARRET, or UPPER STORY. The head. His garret, or
upper story, is empty, or unfurnished; i.e. he has no
brains, he is a fool.
GARRET ELECTION. A ludicrous ceremony, practised every new parliament: it consists of a mock election of two members to represent the borough of Garret (a few straggling cottages near Wandsworth in Surry); the qualification of a voter is, having enjoyed a woman in the open air within that district: the candidates are commonly fellows of low humour, who dress themselves up in a ridiculous manner. As this brings a prodigious concourse of people to Wandsworth, the publicans of that place jointly contribute to the expence, which is sometimes considerable.
GAWKEY. A tall, thin, awkward young man or woman.
GAYING INSTRUMENT. The penis.
GAZEBO. An elevated observatory or summer-house.
GEE. It won't gee; it won't hit or do, it does not suit or fit.
GELDING. An eunuch.
GELT. Money, GERMAN.—Also, castrated.
GENTLE CRAFT. The art of shoemaking. One of the gentle
craft: a shoemaker: so called because once practised
by St. Crispin.
GENTLEMAN COMMONER. An empty bottle; an university
joke, gentlemen commoners not being deemed over full
GENTLEMAN'S COMPANION. A louse.
GENTLEMAN'S MASTER. A highway robber, because he makes a gentleman obey his commands, i.e. stand and deliver.
GENTLEMAN OF THREE INS. In debt, in gaol, and in danger
of remaining there for life: or, in gaol, indicted, and
in danger of being hanged in chains.
GENTLEMAN OF THREE OUTS. That is, without money,
without wit, and without manners: some add another
out, i.e. without credit.
GENTRY COVE. A gentleman. CANT.
GENTRY COVE KEN. A gentleman's house. CANT.
GENTRY MORT. A gentlewoman.
GEORGE. Yellow George; a guinea. Brown George: an ammunition loaf.
GERMAN DUCK. Haifa sheep's head boiled with onions.
GET. One of his get; one of his offspring, or begetting.
GIB CAT. A northern name for a he cat, there commonly called Gilbert. As melancholy as a gib cat; as melancholy as a he cat who has been caterwauling, whence they always return scratched, hungry, and out of spirits. Aristotle says, Omne animal post coitum est triste; to which an anonymous author has given the following exception, preter gallum gallinaceum, et sucerdotem gratis fornicantem.
GIBBERISH. The cant language of thieves and gypsies, called Pedlars' French, and St. Giles's Greek: see ST. GILES'S GREEK. Also the mystic language of Geber, used by chymists. Gibberish likewise means a sort of disguised language, formed by inserting any consonant between each syllable of an English word; in which case it is called the gibberish of the letter inserted: if F, it is the F gibberish; if G, the G gibberish; as in the sentence How do you do? Howg dog youg dog.
GIBBE. A horse that shrinks from the collar and will not draw.
GIBLETS. To join giblets; said of a man and woman who cohabit as husband and wife, without being married; also to copulate.
GIBSON, or SIR JOHN GIBBON, A two-legged stool, used to support the body of a coach whilst finishing.
GIFTS. Small white specks under the finger nails, said to portend gifts or presents. A stingy man is said to be as full of gifts as a brazen horse of his farts.
GIFT OF THE GAB. A facility of speech.
GIGG. A nose. Snitchel his gigg; fillip his nose. Grunter's gigg; a hog's snout. Gigg is also a high one-horse chaise, and a woman's privities. To gigg a Smithfield hank; to hamstring an over-drove ox, vulgarly called a mad bullock.
GIGGER. A latch, or door. Dub the gigger; open the door. Gigger dubber; the turnkey of a jaol.
To GIGGLE. To suppress a laugh. Gigglers; wanton women.
GILES'S or ST. GILES'S BREED. Fat, ragged, and saucy;
Newton and Dyot streets, the grand head-quarters-of most
of the thieves and pickpockets about London, are in St. Giles's
Giles's parish. St. Giles's Greek; the cant language,
called also Slang, Pedlars' French, and Flash.
GILFLURT. A proud minks, a vain capricious woman,
GILL. The abbreviation of Gillian, figuratively used for
woman. Every jack has his gill; i.e. every jack has his
gillian, or female mate.
GILLS. The cheeks. To look rosy about the gills; to have
a fresh complexion. To look merry about the gills: to
GILLY GAUPUS. A Scotch term for a tall awkward
GILT, or RUM DUBBER. A thief who picks locks, so called from the gilt or picklock key: many of them are so expert, that, from the lock of a church door to that of the smallest cabinet, they will find means to open it; these go into reputable public houses, where, pretending business, they contrive to get into private rooms, up stairs, where they open any bureaus or trunks they happen to find there.
GIMBLET-EYED. Squinting, either in man or woman.
GIMCRACK, or JIMCRACK. A spruce wench; a gimcrack also means a person who has a turn for mechanical contrivances.
GIN SPINNER. A distiller.
GINGAMBOBS. Toys, bawbles; also a man's privities. See
GINGER-PATED, or GINGER-HACKLED. Red haired: a
term borrowed from the cockpit, where red cocks are
GINGERBREAD. A cake made of treacle, flour, and grated
ginger; also money. He has the gingerbread; he is
GINGERBREAD WORK. Gilding and carving: these terms
are particularly applied by seamen on board Newcastle
colliers, to the decorations of the sterns and quarters of
West-Indiamen, which they have the greatest joy in defacing.
GINGERLY. Softly, gently, tenderly. To go gingerly to
work: to attempt a thing gently, or cautiously.
GINNY. An instrument to lift up a great, in order to steal
what is in the window. CANT.
GIP from gups a WOLF. A servant at college.
GIRDS. Quips, taunts, severe or biting reflections.
GIZZARD. To grumble in the gizzard; to be secretly displeased.
GLASS EYES. A nick name for one wearing spectacles.
GLAYMORE. A Highland broad-sword; from the Erse
GLAY, or GLAIVE, a sword; and MORE, great.
GLAZE. A window.
GLAZIER. One who breaks windows and shew-glasses, to steal goods exposed for sale. Glaziers; eyes. CANT.—Is your father a glazier; a question asked of a lad or young man, who stands between the speaker and the candle, or fire. If it is answered in the negative, the rejoinder is—I wish he was, that he might make a window through your body, to enable us to see the fire or light.
GLIB. Smooth, slippery. Glib tongued; talkative.
GLIM. A candle, or dark lantern, used in housebreaking; also fire. To glim; to burn in the hand. CANT.
GLIMFENDERS. Andirons. CANT.
GLIMFLASHY. Angry, or in a passion. CANT.
GLIM JACK. A link-boy. CANT.
GLIMMER. Fire. CANT.
GLIMMERERS. Persons begging with sham licences, pretending losses by fire.
GLIMSTICK. A candlestick. CANT.
GLOBE. Pewter. CANT.
GLOVES. To give any one a pair of gloves; to make them a present or bribe. To win a pair of gloves; to kiss a man whilst he sleeps: for this a pair of gloves is due to any lady who will thus earn them.
GLUEPOT. A parson: from joining men and women together in matrimony.
GLUTTON. A term used by bruisers to signify a man who
will bear a great deal of beating.
GNARLER. A little dog that by his barking alarms the
family when any person is breaking into the house.
GO, THE. The dash. The mode. He is quite the go, he
is quite varment, he is prime, he is bang up, are
GLYBE. A writing. CANT.
GO BETWEEN. A pimp or bawd.
GO BY THE GROUND. A little short person, man or woman.
GO SHOP. The Queen's Head in Duke's court, Bow street,
Covent Garden; frequented by the under players: where
gin and water was sold in three-halfpenny bowls, called
Goes; the gin was called Arrack. The go, the fashion;
as, large hats are all the go.
GOADS. Those who wheedle in chapmen for horse-dealers.
GOAT. A lascivious person. Goats jigg; making the beast
with two backs, copulation.
GOB. The mouth; also a bit or morsel: whence gobbets.
Gift of the gob; wide-mouthed, or one who speaks fluently,
or sings well.
GOB STRING. A bridle.
GOBBLER. A turkey cock.
GODFATHER. He who pays the reckoning, or answers for the rest of the company: as, Will you stand godfather, and we will take care of the brat; i.e. repay you another time. Jurymen are also called godfathers, because they name the crime the prisoner before them has been guilty of, whether felony, petit larceny, &c.
GOG. All-a-gog; impatient, anxious, or desirous of a thing.
GOG AND MAGOG. Two giants, whose effigies stand on each side of the clock in Guildhall, London; of whom there is a tradition, that, when they hear the clock strike one, on the first of April, they will walk down from their places.
GOGGLES. Eyes: see OGLES. Goggle eyes; large prominent eyes. To
goggle; to stare.
GOING UPON THE DUB. Going out to break open, or pick
the locks of, houses.
GOLD DROPPERS. Sharpers who drop a piece of gold, which they pick up in the presence of some unexperienced person, for whom the trap is laid, this they pretend to have found, and, as he saw them pick it up, they invite him to a public house to partake of it: when there, two or three of their comrades drop in, as if by accident, and propose cards, or some other game, when they seldom fail of stripping their prey.
GOLD FINDER. One whose employment is to empty necessary houses; called also a tom-turd-man, and night-man: the latter, from that business being always performed in the night.
GOLDFINCH. One who has commonly a purse full of gold.
GOLGOTHA OR THE PLACE OF SCULLS. Part of the Theatre
at Oxford, where the heads of houses sit; those
gentlemen being by the wits of the university called sculls.
GOLLUMPUS. A large, clumsy fellow.
GOLOSHES, i.e. Goliah's shoes. Large leathern clogs, worn by invalids over their ordinary shoes.
GOOD MAN. A word of various imports, according to the place where it is spoken: in the city it means a rich man; at Hockley in the Hole, or St. Giles's, an expert boxer; at a bagnio in Covent Garden, a vigorous fornicator; at an alehouse or tavern, one who loves his pot or bottle; and sometimes, though but rarely, a virtuous man
GOOD WOMAN. A nondescript, represented on a famous sign in St. Giles's, in the form of a common woman, but without a head.
GOODYER'S PIG. Like Goodyer's pig; never well but when in mischief.
GOOSE. A taylor's goose; a smoothing iron used to press
down the seams, for which purpose it must be heated:
hence it is a jocular saying, that a taylor, be he ever so
poor, is always sure to have a goose at his fire. He cannot
say boh to a goose; a saying of a bashful or sheepish
GOOSE RIDING. A goose, whose neck is greased, being suspended
by the legs to a cord tied to two trees or high posts,
a number of men on horseback, riding full speed, attempt
to pull off the head: which if they effect, the goose is
their prize. This has been practised in Derbyshire within
the memory of persons now living.
GOOSEBERRY. He played up old gooseberry among them;
said of a person who, by force or threats, suddenly puts an
end to a riot or disturbance.
GOOSEBERRY-EYED. One with dull grey eyes, like boiled
GOOSEBERRY WIG. A large frizzled wig: perhaps from a
supposed likeness to a gooseberry bush.
GOOSECAP. A silly fellow or woman.
GORGER. A gentleman. A well dressed man. Mung kiddey. Mung the gorger; beg child beg, of the gentleman.
GOSPEL SHOP. A church.
GOREE. Money, chiefly gold: perhaps from the traffic
carried on at that place, which is chiefly for gold dust.
GORMAGON. A monster with six eyes, three mouths, four arms, eight legs, live on one side and three on the other, three arses, two tarses, and a *** upon its back; a man on horseback, with a woman behind him.
GOTCH-GUTTED. Pot bellied: a gotch in Norfolk signifying
a pitcher, or large round jug.
TO GOUGE. To squeeze out a man's eye with the thumb:
a cruel practice used by the Bostonians in America.
To GRABBLE. To seize. To grabble the bit; to seize any
one's money. CANT.
GRAFTED. Cuckolded, i.e. having horns grafted on his
To GRAB. To seize a man. The pigs grabbed the kiddey
for a crack: the officers, seized the youth for a burglary.
GRANNUM'S GOLD. Hoarded money: supposed to have belonged to the grandmother of the possessor.
GRANNY. An abbreviation of grandmother; also the name of an idiot, famous for licking, her eye, who died Nov. 14, 1719. Go teach your granny to suck eggs; said to such as would instruct any one in a matter he knows better than themselves.
GRAPPLE THE RAILS. A cant name used in Ireland for whiskey.
GRAPPLING IRONS. Handcuffs.
GRAVE DIGGER. Like a grave digger; up to the a-se in
business, and don't know which way to turn.
GRAVY-EYED. Blear-eyed, one whose eyes have a running
TO GREASE. To bribe. To grease a man in the fist; to bribe him. To grease a fat sow in the a-se; to give to a rich man. Greasy chin; a treat given to parish officers in part of commutation for a bastard: called also, Eating a child.
GREAT INTIMATE. As great as shirt and shitten a-se.
GREAT JOSEPH. A surtout. CANT.
GREEDY GUTS. A covetous or voracious person.
GREEK. St. Giles's Greek; the slang lingo, cant, or gibberish.
GREEN. Doctor Green; i.e. grass: a physician, or rather medicine, found very successful in curing most disorders to which horses are liable. My horse is not well, I shall send him to Doctor Green.
GREEN. Young, inexperienced, unacquainted; ignorant. How
green the cull was not to stag how the old file planted the
books. How ignorant the booby was not to perceive
how the old sharper placed the cards in such a manner
as to insure the game.
GREEN BAG. An attorney: those gentlemen carry their
clients' deeds in a green bag; and, it is said, when they
have no deeds to carry, frequently fill them with an old
pair of breeches, or any other trumpery, to give themselves
the appearance of business.
GREEN GOWN. To give a girl a green gown; to tumble her
on the grass.
GREEN SICKNESS. The disease of maids occasioned by celibacy.
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 sandbanks.
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.
GREY 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
GRIG. A farthing. A merry grig; a fellow as merry as a
grig: an allusion to the apparent 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 murder: 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 a-se.
TO GRIND. To have carnal knowledge of a woman.
GROATS. To save his groats; to come off handsomely: at the universities, nine 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 rum, or spirits. Groggy, or groggified; drunk.
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 supposed habitation of many persons who wrote for the booksellers: hence a Grub-street writer means a hackney author, who manufactures booss for the booksellers.
GRUB STREET NEWS. Lying intelligence.
TO GRUBSHITE. To make foul or dirty.
GRUMBLE. To grumble in the gizzard; to murmur or repine.
He grumbled like a bear with a sore head.
GRUMBLETONIAN. A discontented person; one who is always
railing at the times or ministry.
GRUNTER. A hog; to grunt; to groan, or complain of sickness.
GRUNTER'S GIG. A smoaked hog's face.
GRUNTING PECK. Pork, bacon, or any kind of hog's flesh.
GUDGEON. One easily imposed on. To gudgeon; to swallow 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
GUMMY. Clumsy: particularly applied to the ancles of
men or women, and the legs of horses.
GUMPTION, or RUM GUMPTION. Docility, comprehension,
GUN. He is in the gun; he is drunk: perhaps from an allusion
to a vessel called a gun, used for ale in the universities.
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 my little ones; my guts begin to think my throat's cut; my guts curse my teeth: all expressions signifying the party is extremely hungry.
GUTS AND GARBAGE. A very fat man or woman. 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
GUZZLE. Liquor. To guzzle; to drink greedily.
GUZZLE GUTS. One greedy of liquor.
GYBE, or JYBE. 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 ignorant 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 considerable 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 him 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 fraternity:
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 my brethren.
I will never leave nor forsake the company, but observe and 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 ruffmans, but will preserve it for the use of the company. Lastly, I will cleave to my doxy wap stiffly, and will bring her duds, marjery praters, goblers, grunting cheats, or tibs of the buttery, or any thing else I can come at, as winnings 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 derivation 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 children: and this general interest ties them more firmly together 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.
They stroll up and down all summer-time in droves, and Dexterously pick pockets, while they are telling of fortunes; and the money, rings, silver thirribles, &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 impossible 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.
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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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