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 P
PACKET. A false report.
PACKTHREAD. To talk packthread; to use indecent language well wrapt up.
PAD. The highway, or a robber thereon; also a bed. Footpads; foot robbers. To go out upon the pad; to go out in order to commit a robbery.
PAD BORROWERS. Horse stealers.
TO PAD THE HOOF. See To BEAT THE HOOF.
PADDINGTON FAIR DAY. An execution day, Tyburn being
in the parish or neighbourhood of Paddington. To dance
the Paddington frisk; to be hanged.
PADDY. The general name for an Irishman: being the
abbreviation of Patrick, the name of the tutelar saint of that
PAINTER. I'll cut your painter for you; I'll send you off;
the painter being the ropfe that holds the boat fast to the
ship. SEA TERM.
PAIR OF WINGS. Oars. CANT.
TO PALAVER. To flatter: originally an African word for a treaty, talk, or conference.
PALLIARDS. Those whose fathers were clapperdogens, or beggars born, and who themselves follow the same trade: the female sort beg with a number of children, borrowing them, if they have not a sufficient number of their own, and making them cry by pinching in order to excite charity; the males make artificial sores on different parts of their bodies, to move compassion.
PALL. A companion. One who generally accompanies another, or who commit robberies together.
PAM. The knave of clubs.
PANNIER MAN. A servant belonging to the Temple and
Gray's Inn, whose office is to announce the dinner. This
in the Temple, is done by blowing a horn; and in Gray's
Inn proclaiming the word Manger, Manger, Manger, in
each of the three courts.
PANNY. A house. To do a panny: to rob a house. See the Sessions Papers. Probably, panny originally meant the butler's pantry, where the knives and forks, spoons, &c. are usually kept The pigs frisked my panney, and nailed my screws; the officers searched my house, and seized my picklock keys. CANT.
PANTER. A hart: that animal is, in the Psalms, said to
pant after the fresh water-brooks. Also the human
heart, which frequently pants in time of danger. CANT.
PANTILE SHOP. A presbyterian, or other dissenting meeting
house, frequently covered with pantiles: called also
PANTLER. A butler.
PAP. Bread sauce; also the food of infants. His mouth is full of pap; he is still a baby.
PAPER SCULL. A thin-scull'd foolish fellow.
PAPLER. Milk pottage.
PARELL. Whites of eggs, bay salt, milk, and pump water, beat together, and poured into a vessel of wine to prevent its fretting.
PARENTHESIS. To put a man's nose into a parenthesis: to pull it, the fingers and thumb answering the hooks or crochets. A wooden parenthesis; the pillory. An iron parenthesis; a prison.
PARINGS. The chippings of money. CANT.
PARISH BULL. A parson.
PARISH. His stockings are of two parishes; i.e. they are not fellows.
PARISH SOLDIER. A jeering name for a militiaman: from substitutes being frequently hired by the parish from which one of its inhabitants is drawn.
PARK PAILING. Teeth.
PARSON. A guide post, hand or finger post by the road side for directing travellers: compared to a parson, because, like him, it sets people in the right way. See GUIDE POST. He that would have luck in horse-flesh, must kiss a parson's wife.
PARSON'S JOURNEYMAN. A curate.
PARSON PALMER. A jocular name, or term of reproach, to one who stops the circulation of the glass by preaching over his liquor; as it is said was done by a parson of that name whose cellar was under his pulpit.
PARTIAL. Inclining more to one side than the other, crooked, all o' one hugh.
PASS BANK. The place for playing at passage, cut into
the ground almost like a cock-pit. Also the stock or
PASSAGE. A camp game with three dice: doublets, making
up ten or more, to pass or win; any other chances
PAT. Apposite, or to the purpose.
PATE. The head. Carroty-pated; red-haired.
PATRICO, or PATER-COVE. The fifteenth rank of the canting tribe; strolling priests that marry people under a hedge, without gospel or common prayer book: the couple standing on each side of a dead beast, are bid to live together till death them does part; so shaking hands, the wedding is ended. Also any minister or parson.
PATTERING. The maundering or pert replies of servants;
also talk or palaver in order to amuse one intended to be
cheated. Pattering of prayers; the confused sound of a
number of persons praying together.
TO PATTER. To talk. To patter flash; to speak flash, or
the language used by thieves. How the blowen lushes
jackey, and patters flash; how the wench drinks gin, and
PAVIOUR'S WORKSHOP. The street.
TO PAUM. To conceal in the hand. To paum a die: to
hide a die in the palm of the hand. He paums; he cheats.
Don't pretend to paum that upon me.
PAUNCH. The belly. Some think paunch was the original name of that facetious prince of puppets, now called Mr. Punch, as he is always represented with a very prominent belly: though the common opinion is, that both the name and character were taken from a celebrated Italian comedian, called Polichenello.
PAW. A hand or foot; look at his dirty paws. Fore paw; the hand. Hind paw; the foot. To paw; to touch or handle clumsily.
PAW PAW TRICKS. Naughty tricks: an expression used by nurses, &c. to children.
TO PAY. To smear over. To pay the bottom of a ship or boat; to smear it over with pitch: The devil to pay, and no pitch hot or ready. SEA TERM.—Also to beat: as, I will pay you as Paul paid the Ephesians, over the face and eyes, and all your d—-d jaws. To pay away; to fight manfully, also to eat voraciously. To pay through the nose: to pay an extravagant price.
To PEACH. To impeach: called also to blow the gab, squeak, or turn stag.
PEAK. Any kind of lace.
PEAL. To ring a peal in a man's ears; to scold at him: his wife rang him such a peal!
PEAR MAKING. Taking bounties from several regiments and immediately deserting. The cove was fined in the steel for pear making; the fellow was imprisoned in the house of correction for taking bounties from different regiments.
PECCAVI. To cry peccavi; to acknowledge one's self in an error, to own a fault: from the Latin PECCAVI, I have sinned.
PECK. Victuals. Peck and booze; victuals and drink.
PECULIAR. A mistress.
PED. A basket. CANT.
PEDLAR'S FRENCH. The cant language. Pedlar's pony;
To PEEL. To strip: allusion to the taking off the coat or
rind of an orange or apple.
PEEPER. A spying glass; also a looking-glass. Track up
the dancers, and pike with the peeper; whip up stairs,
and run off with the looking-glass. CANT.
PEEPERS. Eyes. Single peeper, a one-eyed man.
PEEPING TOM. A nick name for a curious prying fellow; derived from an old legendary tale, told of a taylor of Coventry, who, when Godiva countess of Chester rode at noon quite naked through that town, in order to procure certain immunities for the inhabitants, (notwithstanding the rest of the people shut up their houses) shly peeped out of his window, for which he was miraculously struck blind. His figure, peeping out of a window, is still kept up in remembrance of the transaction.
To PEER. To look about, to be circumspect.
PEERY. Inquisitive, suspicious. The cull's peery; that fellow suspects something. There's a peery, tis snitch we are observed, there's nothing to be done.
PEG. Old Peg; poor hard Suffolk or Yorkshire cheese. A peg is also a blow with a straightarm: a term used by the professors of gymnastic arts. A peg in the day-light, the victualling office, or the haltering-place; a blow in the eye, stomach, or under the ear.
PEG TRANTUM'S. Gone to Peg Trantum's; dead.
PEGO. The penis of man or beast.
PELL-MELL. Tumultuously, helter skelter, jumbled together.
PELT. A heat, chafe, or passion; as, What a pelt he was in! Pelt is also the skin of several beasts.
PENANCE BOARD. The pillory.
PENNY-WISE AND POUND FOOLISH. Saving in small matters,
and extravagant in great.
PENNYWORTH. An equivalent. A good pennyworth;
PENTHOUSE NAB. A broad brimmed hat.
PEPPERED. Infected with the venereal disease.
PEPPERY. Warm, passionate.
PERKIN. Water cyder.
PERRIWINKLE. A wig.
PERSUADERS. Spurs. The kiddey clapped his persuaders to his prad but the traps boned him; the highwayman spurred his horse hard, but the officers seized him.
PET. In a pet; in a passion or miff.
PETER. A portmanteau or cloke-bag. Biter of peters; one that makes it a trade to steal boxes and trunks from behind stage coaches or out of waggons. To rob Peter to pay Paul; to borrow of one man to pay another: styled also manoeuvring the apostles.
PETER GUNNER, will kill all the birds that died last summer. A piece of wit commonly thrown out at a person walking through a street or village near London, with a gun in his hand.
PETER LAY. The department of stealing portmanteaus,
PETER LUG. Who is Peter Lug? who lets the glass stand
at his door, or before him.
PETTICOAT HOLD. One who has an estate during his wife's
life, called the apron-string hold.
PETTICOAT PENSIONER. One kept by a woman for secret
PETTY FOGGER. A little dirty attorney, ready to undertake any litigious or bad cause: it is derived from the French words petit vogue, of small credit, or little reputation.
PHARAOH. Strong malt liquor.
PHILISTINES. Bailiffs, or officers of justice; also drunkards.
PHOENIX-MEN. Firemen belonging to an insurance office,
which gave a badge charged with a phoenix: these men
were called likewise firedrakes.
PHOS BOTTLE. A. bottle of phosphorus: used by housebreakers
to light their lanthorns. Ding the phos; throw
away the bottle of phosphorus.
PHRASE OF PAPER. Half a quarter of a sheet. See VESSEL, PHYSOG.
PHYSOG. The face. A vulgar abbreviation of physiognomy.
PHYZ. The face. Rum phyz; an odd face or countenance.
PICAROON. A pirate; also a sharper.
PICKANINY. A young child, an infant. NEGRO TERM.
PICKING. Pilfering, petty larceny.
PICKLE. An arch waggish fellow. In pickle, or in the pickling tub; in a salivation. There are rods in brine, or pickle, for him; a punishment awaits him, or is prepared for him. Pickle herring; the zany or merry andrew of a mountebank. See JACK PUDDING.
PICKT HATCH. To go to the manor of pickt hatch, a cant name for some part of the town noted for bawdy houses in Shakespeare's time, and used by him in that sense.
PICKTHANK. A tale-bearer or mischief maker.
PICTURE FRAME. The sheriff's picture frame; the gallows
To PIDDLE. To make water: a childish expression; as,
Mammy, I want to piddle. Piddling also means trifling,
or doing any thing in a small degree: perhaps from peddling.
PIECE. A wench. A damned good or bad piece; a girl who is more or less active and skilful in the amorous congress. Hence the (CAMBRIDGE) toast, May we never have a PIECE (peace) that will injure the constitution. Piece likewise means at Cambridge a close or spot of ground adjacent to any of the colleges, as Clare-hall Piece, &c. The spot of ground before King's College formerly belonged to Clare-hall. While Clare Piece belonged to King's, the master of Clare-hall proposed a swop, which being refused by the provost of King's, he erected before their gates a temple of CLOACINA. It will be unnecessary to say that his arguments were soon acceded to.
PIG. A police officer. A China street pig; a Bow-street officer. Floor the pig and bolt; knock down the officer and run away.
PIG. Sixpence, a sow's baby. Pig-widgeon; a simpleton. To pig together; to lie or sleep together, two or more in a bed. Cold pig; a jocular punishment inflicted by the maid seryants, or other females of the house, on persons lying over long in bed: it consists in pulling off all the bed clothes, and leaving them to pig or lie in the cold. To buy a pig in a poke; to purchase any thing without seeing. Pig's eyes; small eyes. Pigsnyes; the same: a vulgar term of endearment to a woman. He can have boiled pig at home; a mark of being master of his own house: an allusion to a well known poem and story. Brandy is Latin for pig and goose; an apology for drinking a dram after either.
PIG RUNNING. A piece of game frequently practised at fairs, wakes, &c. A large pig, whose tail is cut short, and both soaped and greased, being turned out, is hunted by the young men and boys, and becomes the property of him who can catch and hold him by the tail, above the height of his head.
PIGEON. A weak silly fellow easily imposed on. To pigeon; to cheat. To milk the pigeon; to attempt impossibilities, to be put to shifts for want of money. To fly a blue pigeon; to steal lead off a church.
PIGEONS. Sharpers, who, during the drawing of the lottery, wait ready mounted near Guildhall, and, as soon as the first two or three numbers are drawn, which they receive from a confederate on a card, ride with them full speed to some distant insurance office, before fixed on, where there is another of the gang, commonly a decent looking woman, who takes care to be at the office before the hour of drawing: to her he secretly gives the number, which she insures for a considerable sum: thus biting the biter.
PIGEON'S MILK. Boys and novices are frequently sent on the first of April to buy pigeons milk.
To PIKE. To run away. Pike off; run away.
PILGRIM'S SALVE. A sirreverence, human excrement.
PILL, or PEELE GARLICK. Said originally to mean one whose skin or hair had fallen off from some disease, chiefly the venereal one; but now commonly used by persons speaking of themselves: as, there stood poor pill garlick: i.e. there stood I.
PILLALOO. The Irish cry or howl at funerals.
PIMP. A male procurer, or cock bawd; also a small faggot used about London for lighting fires, named from introducing the fire to the coals.
PIMP WHISKIN. A top trader in pimping.
PIMPLE. The head.
PIN. In or to a merry pin; almost drunk: an allusion to a sort of tankard, formerly used in the north, having silver pegs or pins set at equal distances from the top to the bottom: by the rules of good fellowship, every person drinking out of one of these tankards, was to swallow the quantity contained between two pins; if he drank more or less, he was to continue drinking till he ended at a pin: by this means persons unaccustomed to measure their draughts were obliged to drink the whole tankard. Hence when a person was a little elevated with liquor, he was said to have drunk to a merry pin.
PIN BASKET. The youngest child.
PIN MONEY. An allowance settled on a married woman for her pocket expences.
PINCH. At a pinch; on an exigency.
PINCH. To go into a tradesman's shop under the pretence of purchasing rings or other light articles, and while examining them to shift some up the sleeve of the coat. Also to ask for change for a guinea, and when the silver is received, to change some of the good shillings for bad ones; then suddenly pretending to recollect that you had sufficient silver to pay the bill, ask for the guinea again, and return the change, by which means several bad shillings are passed.
To PINCH ON THE PARSON'S SIDE. To defraud the parson of his tithe.
PINCHERS. Rogues who, in changing money, by dexterity of hand frequently secrete two or three shillings out of the change of a guinea. This species of roguery is called the pinch, or pinching lay.
To PINK. To stab or wound with a small sword: probably derived from the holes formerly cut in both men and women's clothes, called pinking. Pink of the fashion; the top of the mode. To pink and wink; frequently winking the eyes through a weakness in them.
PINKING-DINDEE. A sweater or mohawk. IRISH.
PINS. Legs. Queer pins; ill shapen legs.
PIPER. A broken winded horse.
PISCINARIANS. A club or brotherhood, A.D. 1743.
PISS. He will piss when he can't whistle; he will be hanged.
He shall not piss my money against the wall; he shall not
have my money to spend in liquor.
He who once a good name gets,
May piss a bed, and say he sweats.
PISS-BURNED. Discoloured: commonly applied to a discoloured
PISS MAKER. A great drinker, one much given to liquor.
PISS POT HALL. A house at Clapton, near Hackney, built by a potter chiefly out of the profits of chamber pots, in the bottom of which the portrait of Dr. Sacheverel was depicted.
PISS PROPHET. A physician who judges of the diseases of his patients solely by the inspection of their urine.
PISS-PROUD. Having a false erection. That old fellow thought he had an erection, but his—was only piss-proud; said of any old fellow who marries a young wife.
PISSING DOWN ANY ONE'S BACK. Flattering him.
PISSING PINS AND NEEDLES. To have a gonorrhea.
PIT. A watch fob. He drew a rare thimble from the swell's pit. He took a handsome watch from the gentleman's fob.
PIT. To lay pit and boxes into one; an operation in midwifery or copulation, whereby the division between the anus and vagina is cut through, broken, and demolished: a simile borrowed from the playhouse, when, for the benefit of some favourite player, the pit and boxes are laid together. The pit is also the hole under the gallows, where poor rogues unable to pay the fees are buried.
PITT'S PICTURE. A window stopt up on the inside, to save
the tax imposed in that gentleman's administration. PARTY WIT
PIT-A-PAT. The palpitation of the heart: as, my heart
went pit-a-pat. Pintledy-pantledy; the same.
PITCH-KETTLED. Stuck fast, confounded.
PITCHER. The miraculous pitcher, that holds water with the mouth downwards: a woman's commodity. She has crack'd her pitcher or pipkin; she has lost her maidenhead.
PIZZY CLUB. A society held, A. D, 1744, at the sign of
the Tower, on Tower Hill: president, Don Pizzaro.
PLAISTER OF WARM GUTS. One warm belly'dapped to another;
a receipt frequently prescribed for different disorders.
PLANT. The place in the house of the fence where stolen
goods are secreted. Any place where stolen goods are concealed.
To PLANT. To lay, place, or hide. Plant your wids and
stow them; be careful what you say, or let slip. Also to
bury, as, he was planted by the parson.
PLATE. Money, silver, prize. He is in for the plate; he has won the KEAT, i.e. is infected with the venereal disorder: a simile drawn from horse-racing. When the plate fleet comes in; when money comes to hand.
PLAY. To play booty; to play with an intention to lose. To play the whole game; to cheat. To play least in sight; to hide, or keep out of the way. To play the devil; to be guilty of some great irregularity or mismanagement.
PLUCK. Courage. He wants pluck: he is a coward. Against the pluck; against the inclination. Pluck the Ribbon; ring the bell. To pluck a crow with one; to settle a dispute, to reprove one for some past transgression. To pluck a rose; an expression said to be used by women for going to the necessary house, which in the country usually stands in the garden. To pluck also signifies to deny a degree to a candidate at one of the universities, on account of insufficiency. The three first books of Euclid, and as far as Quadratic Equations in Algebra, will save a man from being plucked. These unfortunate fellows are designated by many opprobrious appellations, such as the twelve apostles, the legion of honor, wise men of the East, &c.
PLUG TAIL. A man's penis.
PLUMB. An hundred thousand pounds.
PLUMMY. It is all plummy; i.e. all is right, or as it ought to be.
PLUMP. Fat, full, fleshy. Plump in the pocket; full in the pocket. To plump; to strike, or shoot. I'll give you a plump in the bread basket, or the victualling office: I'll give you a blow in the stomach. Plump his peepers, or day-lights; give him a blow in the eyes. He pulled out his pops and plumped him; he drew out his pistols and shot him. A plumper; a single vote at an election. Plump also means directly, or exactly; as, it fell plump upon him: it fell directly upon him.
PLUMP CURRANT. I am not plump currant; I am out of
PLUMPERS. Contrivances said to be formerly worn by old
maids, for filling out a pair of shrivelled cheeks.
PLYER. A crutch; also a trader.
POINT. To stretch a point; to exceed some usual limit, to take a great stride. Breeches were usually tied up with points, a kind of short laces, formerly given away by the churchwardens at Whitsuntide, under the denomination of tags: by taking a great stride these were stretched.
POISONED. Big with child: that wench is poisoned, see how her belly is swelled. Poison-pated: red-haired.
POKE. A blow with the fist: I'll lend you a poke. A poke
likewise means a sack: whence, to buy a pig in a poke,
i.e. to buy any thing without seeing or properly examining it.
POKER. A sword. Fore pokers; aces and kings at cards.
To burn your poker; to catch the venereal disease.
POLE. He is like a rope-dancer's polo, lead at both ends;
a saying of a stupid sluggish fellow.
POLISH. To polish the king's iron with one's eyebrows; to be in gaol, and look through the iron grated windows. To polish a bone; to eat a meal. Come and polish a bone with me; come and eat a dinner or supper with me.
POLL. The head, jolly nob, napper, or knowledge box;
also a wig.
POLT. A blow. Lend him a polt in the muns; give him a
knock in the face.
TO POMMEL. To beat: originally confined to beating with the hilt of a sword, the knob being, from its similarity to a small apple, called pomelle; in Spanish it is still called the apple of the sword. As the clenched fist likewise somewhat resembles an apple, perhaps that might occasion the term pommelling to be applied to fisty-cuffs.
POMP. To save one's pomp at whist, is to score five before the adversaries are up, or win the game: originally derived from pimp, which is Welsh for five; and should be, I have saved my pimp.
POMPAGINIS. Aqua pompaginis; pump water. See
POMPKIN. A man or woman of Boston in America: from,
the number of pompkins raised and eaten by the people
of that country. Pompkinshire; Boston and its dependencies.
PONEY. Money. Post the poney; lay down the money.
PONTIUS PILATE. A pawnbroker. Pontius Pilate's guards, the first regiment of foot, or Royal Scots: so intitled from their supposed great antiquity. Pontius Pilate's counsellor; one who like him can say, Non invenio causam, I can find no cause. Also (Cambridge) a Mr. Shepherd of Trinity College; who disputing with a brother parson on the comparative rapidity with which they read the liturgy, offered to give him as far as Pontius Pilate in the Belief.
POPE. A figure burned annually every fifth of November, in memory of the gunpowder plot, which is said to have been carried on by the papists.
POPE'S NOSE. The rump of a turkey.
POPS. Pistols. Popshop: a pawnbroker's shop. To pop; to pawn: also to shoot. I popped my tatler; I pawned my watch. I popt the cull; I shot the man. His means are two pops and a galloper; that is, he is a highwayman.
POPLERS. Pottage. CANT.
PORK. To cry pork; to give intelligence to the undertaker of a funeral; metaphor borrowed from the raven, whose note sounds like the word pork. Ravens are said to smell carrion at a distance.
PORKER. A hog: also a Jew.
PORRIDGE. Keep your breath to cool your porridge; i. e. held your tongue.
PORRIDGE ISLAND. An alley leading from St. Martin's church-yard to Round-court, chiefly inhabited by cooks, who cut off ready-dressed meat of all sorts, and also sell soup.
POSEY, or POESY. A nosegay. I shall see you ride backwards up Holborn-hill, with a book in one hand, and a posey in t'other; i.e. I shall see you go to be hanged. Malefactors who piqued themselves on being properly equipped for that occasion, had always a nosegay to smell to, and a prayer book, although they could not read.
POSSE MOBILITATIS. The mob.
POST MASTER GENERAL. The prime minister, who has the patronage of all posts and places.
POST NOINTER. A house painter, who occasionally paints or anoints posts. Knight of the post; a false evidence, one ready to swear any thing for hire. From post to pillar; backwards and forwards.
POSTILION OF THE GOSPEL. A parson who hurries over the
POT. The pot calls the kettle black a-se; one rogue
exclaims against another.
POT. On the pot; i.e. at stool.
POT CONVERTS. Proselytes to the Romish church, made by the distribution of victuals and money.
POT HUNTER. One who hunts more tor the sake of the prey than the sport. Pot valiant; courageous from drink. Potwallopers: persons entitled to vote in certain boroughs by having boiled a pot there.
POTATOE TRAP. The mouth. Shut your potatoe trap and give your tongue a holiday; i.e. be silent. IRISH WIT.
POTHOOKS AND HANGEKS. A scrawl, bad writing.
POT-WABBLERS. Persons entitled to vote for members of parliament in certain boroughs, from having boiled their pots therein. These boroughs are called pot-wabbling boroughs.
POULAIN. A bubo. FRENCH.
POULTERER. A person that guts letters; i.e. opens them and secretes the money. The kiddey was topped for the poultry rig; the young fellow was hanged for secreting a letter and taking out the contents.
POUND. To beat. How the milling cove pounded the cull
for being nuts on his blowen; how the boxer beat the fellow
for taking liberties with his mistress.
POUND. A prison. See LOB'S POUND. Pounded; imprisoned.
Shut up in the parson's pound; married. POWDER
POWDER MONKEY. A boy on board a ship of war, whose
business is to fetch powder from the magazine.
POWDERING TUB. The same as pickling tub. See
PRAD LAY. Cutting bags from behind horses. CANT.
PRAD. A horse. The swell flashes a rum prad: the e gentleman sports a fine horse.
PRANCER. A horse. Prancer's nab.; a horse's head, used as a seal to a counterfeit pass. At the sign of the prancer's poll, i.e. the nag's head.
PRATE ROAST. A talkative boy.
PRATING CHEAT. The tongue.
PRATTS. Buttocks; also a tinder box. CANT.
PRATTLE BROTH. Tea. See CHATTER BROTH, SCANDAL
PRATTLING BOX. The pulpit.
PRAY. She prays with her knees upwards; said of a woman
much given to gallantry and intrigue. At her last prayers;
saying of an old maid.
PREADAMITE QUACABITES. This great and laudable society
(as they termed themselves) held their grand chapter
at the Coal-hole.
P—-K. The virile member.
PRICK-EARED. A prick-eared fellow; one whose ears are longer than his hair: an appellation frequently given to puritans, who considered long hair as the mark of the whore of Babylon.
PRICKLOUSE. A taylor.
PRIEST-CRAFT. The art of awing the laity, managing their consciences, and diving into their pockets.
PRIEST-RIDDEN. Governed by a priest, or priests.
PRIG. A thief, a cheat: also a conceited coxcomical fellow.
PRIG NAPPER. A thief taker.
PRIGGERS. Thieves in general. Priggers of prancers; horse stealers. Priggers of cacklers: robbers of hen-roosts.
PRIGGING. Riding; also lying with a woman.
PRIGSTAR. A rival in love.
PRIME. Bang up. Quite the thing. Excellent. Well done. She's a prime piece; she is very skilful in the venereal act. Prime post. She's a prime article.
PRIMINAKY. I had like to be brought into a priminary;
i.e. into trouble; from PREMUNIRE.
PRINCE PRIG. A king of the gypsies; also the head thief
or receiver general.
PRINCES. When the majesty of the people was a favourite terra in the House of Commons, a celebrated wit, seeing chimney sweepers dancing on a May-day, styled them the young princes.
PRINCOD. A pincushion. SCOTCH—Also a round plump man or woman.
PRINCOX. A pert, lively, forward fellow.
PRINCUM PRANCUM. Mrs. Princum Prancum; a nice, precise, formal madam.
PRINKING. Dressing over nicely: prinked up as if he
came out of a bandbox, or fit to sit upon a cupboard's
PRINT. All in print, quite neat or exact, set, screwed up.
Quite in print; set in a formal manner.
PRISCIAN. To break Priscian's head; to write or speak false grammar. Priscian was a famous grammarian, who flourished at Constantinople in the year 525; and who was so devoted to his favourite study, that to speak false Latin in his company, was as disagreeable to him as to break his head.
PRITTLE PRATTLE. Insignificant talk: generally applied to women and children.
PROG. Provision. Rum prog; choice provision. To prog; to be on the hunt for provision: called in the military term to forage.
PROPERTY. To make a property of any one; to make him a conveniency, tool, or cat's paw; to use him as one's own.
PROUD. Desirous of copulation. A proud bitch; a bitch
at heat, or desirous of a dog.
PROVENDER. He from whom any money is taken on the
highway: perhaps provider, or provider. CANT.
PROPHET. The prophet; the Cock at Temple Bar: so
called, in 1788, by the bucks of the town of the inferior
PRUNELLA. Mr. Prunella; a parson: parson's gowns being
frequently made of prunella.
To PRY. To examine minutely into a matter or business.
A prying fellow; a man of impertinent curiosity, apt to
peep and inquire into other men's secrets.
PUBLIC MAN. A bankrupt.
PUBLIC LEDGER. A prostitute: because, like that paper,
she is open to all parties.
PUCKER. All in a pucker; in a dishabille. Also in a
fright; as, she was in a terrible pucker.
PUCKER WATER. Water impregnated with alum, or other
astringents, used by old experienced traders to
PUDDINGS. The guts: I'll let out your puddings.
PUDDING-HEADED FELLOW. A stupid fellow, one whose brains are all in confusion.
PUDDING SLEEVES. A parson.
PUDDING TIME. In good time, or at the beginning of a
meal: pudding formerly making the first dish. To give
the crows a pudding; to die. You must eat some cold
pudding, to settle your love.
PUFF, or PUFFER. One who bids at auctions, not with an
intent to buy, but only to raise the price of the lot; for
which purpose many are hired by the proprietor of the
goods on sale.
PUFF GUTS. A fat man.
PUFFING. Bidding at an auction, as above; also praising any thing above its merits, from interested motives. The art of puffing is at present greatly practised, and essentially necessary in all trades, professions, and callings. To puff and blow; to be out of breath.
PUG. A Dutch pug; a kind of lap-dog, formerly much in
vogue; also a general name for a monkey.
PUG CARPENTETER. An inferior carpenter, one employed
only in small jobs.
PUG DRINK. Watered cyder.
PUGNOSED, or PUGIFIED. A person with a snub or turned
PULLY HAWLY. To have a game at pully hawly; to romp with women.
PULL. To be pulled; to be arrested by a police officer. To have a pull is to have an advantage; generally where a person has some superiority at a game of chance or skill.
PUMP. A thin shoe. To pump; to endeavour to draw a secret from any one without his perceiving it. Your pump is good, but your sucker is dry; said by one to a person who is attempting to pump him. Pumping was also a punishment for bailiffs who attempted to act in privileged places, such as the Mint, Temple, &c. It is also a piece of discipline administered to a pickpocket caught in the fact, when there is no pond at hand. To pump ship; to make water, and sometimes to vomit. SEA PHRASE.
PUMP WATER. He was christened in pump water; commonly said of a person that has a red face.
PUNCH. A liquor called by foreigners Contradiction, from its being composed of spirits to make it strong, water to make it weak, lemon juice to make it sour, and sugar to make it sweet. Punch is also the name of the prince of puppets, the chief wit and support of a puppet-show. To punch it, is a cant term for running away. Punchable; old passable money, anno 1695. A girl that is ripe for man is called a punchable wench. Cobler's Punch. Urine with a cinder in it.
PUNK. A whore; also a soldier's trull. See TRULL.
PUNY. Weak. A puny child; a weak little child. A
puny stomach; a weak stomach. Puny, or puisne judge;
the last made judge.
PUPIL MONGERS. Persons at the universities who make it
their business to instruct and superintend a number of
PUPPY. An affected or conceited coxcomb.
PURL. Ale in which wormwood has been infused, or ale
and bitters drunk warm.
PURL ROYAL. Canary wine; with a dash of tincture of
PURSE PROUD. One that is vain of his riches.
PURSENETS. Goods taken up at thrice their value, by young
spendthrifts, upon trust.
PURSER'S PUMP. A bassoon: from its likeness to a syphon,
called a purser's pump.
PURSY, or PURSIVE. Short-breathed, or foggy, from being
PUSHING SCHOOL. A fencing school; also a brothel.
PUT. A country put; an ignorant awkward clown. To put upon any one; to attempt to impose on him, or to make him the but of the company.
PUZZLE-CAUSE. A lawyer who has a confused understanding.
PUZZLE-TEXT. An ignorant blundering parson.
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