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 O
O 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 be easy; to appear contented when one has cause to complain, and dare not.
OAF. A silly fellow.
OAK. A rich maa, 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; an 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.
OATHS. The favourite oaths of the thieves of the present day are, "God strike me blind!" "I wish my bloody eyes may drop out if it is not true!" "So help me God!" "Bloody end to me!"
OAR. To put in one's oar; to intermeddle, or give an opinion unasked: as, To be sure, you must put in your oar!
OBSTROPULOUS. Vulgar misnomer of OBSTREPEROUS: as, I was going my rounds, and found this here gemman very obstropulous, whereof I comprehended him as an auspicious parson.
OCCUPY. To occupy a woman; to have carnal knowledge of her.
ODDFELLOWS. A convivial society; the introduction to the most noble grand, arrayed in royal robes, is well worth seeing at the price of becoming a member.
ODDS PLUT AND HER NAILS. A Welch oath, frequently mentioned in a jocular manner by persons, it is hoped, ignorant of its meaning; which is, By God's blood, and the nails with which he was nailed to the cross.
ODD-COME-SHORTLYS. I'll do it one of these odd-come-shortly's;
I will do it some time or another.
OFFICE. To give the office; to give information, or make
signs to the officers to take a thief.
OGLES. Eyes. Rum ogles; fine eyes.
OIL OF BARLEY, or BARLEY BROTH. Strong beer.
OIL OF GLADNESS. I will anoint you with the oil of gladness;
ironically spoken for, I will beat you.
OIL OF STIRRUP. A dose the cobler gives his wife whenever
she is obstropulous.
OI POAAOI (Proofreaders Note: Greek Letters).
(CAMBRIDGE.) The many; the multitude;
who take degrees without being entitled for an honor.
All that is REQUIRED, are three books of Euclid, and as far
as Quadratic Equation's in Algebra. See PLUCKED.
OLD. Ugly. CANT.
OLD DOG AT IT. Expert, accustomed.
OLD HAND. Knowing or expert in any business.
OLD HARRY. A composition used by vintners to adulterate their wines; also the nick-name for the devil.
OLD DING. See OLD HAT.
OLD MR. GORY. A piece of gold.
OLD NICK. The Devil: from NEKEN, the evil spirit of the
OLD ONE. The Devil. Likewise an expression of quizzical
familiarity, as "how d'ye do, OLD ONE?"
OLD PEGG. Poor Yorkshire cheese, made of skimmed
OLD POGER. The Devil.
OLD STAGER. One accustomed to business, one who knows mankind.
OLD TOAST. A brisk old fellow. CANT.
OLD DOSS. Bridewell.
OLIVER'S SCULL. A chamber pot.
OLLI COMPOLLI. The name of one of the principal rogues
of the canting crew. CANT.
OMNIUM GATHERUM. The whole together: jocular imitation
of law Latin.
ONE IN TEN. A parson: an allusion to his tithes.
ONE OF US, or ONE OF MY COUSINS. A woman of the town, a harlot.
ONION. A seal. Onion hunters, a class of young thieves who are on the look out for gentlemen who wear their seals suspended on a ribbon, which they cut, and thus secure the seals or other trinkets suspended to the watch.
OPEN ARSE. A medlar. See MEDLAR.
OPTIME. The senior and junior optimes are the second and last classes of Cambridge honors conferred on taking a degree. That of wranglers is the first. The last junior optime is called the Wooden Spoon.
ORGAN. A pipe. Will you cock your organ? will you smoke your pipe?
ORTHODOXY AND HETERODOXY. Somebody explained these terms by saying, the first was a man who had a doxy of his own, the second a person who made use of the doxy of another man.
OSCHIVES. Bone-handled knives. CANT.
OTTOMY. The vulgar word for a skeleton.
OTTOMISED. To be ottomised; to be dissected. You'll be scragged, ottomised, and grin in a glass case: you'll be hanged, anatomised, and your skeleton kept in a glass case at Surgeons' Hall.
OVEN. A great mouth; the old woman would never have looked for her daughter in the oven, had she not been there herself.
OVERSEER. A man standing in the pillory, is, from his elevated situation, said to be made an overseer.
OUT AT HEELS, OR OUT AT ELBOWS. In declining circumstances.
OUTRUN THE CONSTABLE. A man who has lived above his means, or income, is said to have outrun the constable.
OUTS. A gentleman of three outs. See GENTLEMAN.
OWL. To catch the; a trick practised upon ignorant country boobies, who are decoyed into a barn under pretence of catching an owl, where, after divers preliminaries, the joke ends in their having a pail of water poured upon their heads.
OWL IN AN IVY BUSH. He looks like an owl in an ivy bush; frequently said of a person with a large frizzled wig, or a woman whose hair is dressed a-la-blowze.
OWLERS. Those who smuggle wool over to France.
OX HOUSE. He must go through the ox house to bed; a saying
of an old fellow who marries a young girl.
OYES. Corruption of oyez, proclaimed by the crier of all
courts of justice.
OYSTER. A gob of thick phlegm, spit by a consumptive
man; in law Latin, UNUM VIRIDUM GOBBUM
P'S. To mind one's P's and Q's; to be attentive to the
P.P.C. An inscription on the visiting cards of our modern
fine gentleman, signifying that they have called POUR
PRENDRE CONGE, i.e. 'to take leave,' This has of late been
ridiculed by cards inscribed D.I.O. i.e. 'Damme, I'm off.'
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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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