A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (Google eBook)

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S. Hooper, 1785 - English language - 182 pages
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Page 112 - SPARROW. A cruel sport practised at wakes and fairs, in the following manner: A cock sparrow whose wings are clipped, is put into the crown of a hat; a man having his arms tied behind him, attempts to bite off the sparrow's head, but is generally obliged to desist, by the many pecks and pinches he receives from the enraged bird.
Page 58 - 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...
Page 29 - WHIPPING THE CAT, a trick often practised on ignorant country fellows, vain of their strength ; by laying a wager with them, that they may be pulled through a pond by a cat ; the bet being made, a rope is fixed round the waist of the party to be catted. and the end thrown across the pond, to which the cat is also fastened by a packthread, and three or four sturdy fellows are appointed to lead and whip the cat, these on a signal given, seize the end of the cord, and pretending to whip the cat, haul...
Page 117 - Purse without Noise of any of the Bells, was adjudged a judicial Nypper, according to their Terms of Art. A Foyster was a Pickpocket, a Nypper was a Pickpurse or Cutpurse.
Page 74 - 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.
Page 74 - 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.
Page 97 - KETCH. Jack Ketch; a general name for the finishers of the law, or hangmen, ever since the year 1682, when the office was filled by a famous practitioner of that name, of whom his wife said, that any bungler might put a man to death, but only her husband knew how to make a gentleman die sweetly.
Page 88 - It consists of a riotous mob, who after a printed summons dispersed through the adjacent towns, meet at Cuckold's Point, near Deptford, and march from thence in procession, through that town and Greenwich, to Charlton, with horns of different kinds upon their heads; and at the fair there are sold rams...
Page 118 - 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.
Page 79 - 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 Aidant Tiler: see ADAM TILER.

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