|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; . 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
ing 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
FALLALLS. Ornaments, chiefly women’s, such as ribands, necklaces, &c.
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
FAMS, or FAMBLES. Hands. Famble cheats; rings or gloves. .
TO FAMGRASP. To shake bands: figuratively, to agree or make up a
difference. Famgrasp the cove; shake hands with the fellow. .
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.
FART CATCHER. A valet or footman from his walking behind his master or
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. .
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. .
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. .
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
FERRET. A tradesman who sells goods to youug 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. .—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;
FIDDLESTICK’S END. Nothing; the end of the ancient fiddlesticks ending in
a point; hence metaphorically used to express a thing terminating in
FIDGETS. He has got the fidgets; said of one that cannot sit long in a
FIDLAM BEN. General thieves; called also St. Peter’s sons, having every
finger a fish-hook. .
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
FIGDEAN. To kill.
FIGGER. A little boy put in at a window to hand out goods to the diver.
FIGGING LAW. The art of picking pockets. .
FIGURE DANCER. One who alters figures on bank notes, converting tens to
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. .
FIN. An arm. A one finned fellow; a man who has lost an arm. .
FINE. Fine as five pence. Fine as a cow-t—d stuck with primroses.
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
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. .—The flag of defiance, or bloody flag is out; signifying
the man is drunk, and alluding to the redness of his face.
FLAM. A lie, or sham story: also a single stroke on a drum. To flam; to
hum, to amuse, to deceive. Flim flams; idle stories.
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 resort.
Next for his favourite MOT (Girl) the KIDDEY (Youth) looks about, And if
she’s in a FLASH PANNEY (Brothel) he swears he’ll have her out; 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
FLASH. A periwig. Rum flash; a fine long wig. Queer flash; a miserable
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. .
FLASH KEN. A house that harbours thieves.
FLASH LINGO. The ing 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.
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. .
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 the officer.
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
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.
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
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
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. .
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. .
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
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
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
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
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
FRENCHIFIED. Infected with the venereal disease. The mort is Frenchified:
the wench is infected.
FRESH MILK. 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 hanged. .
FUBSEY. Plump. A fubsey wench; a plump, healthy wench.
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. .
TO FUNK. To use an unfair motion of the hand in plumping at taw.
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
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 trifles.
FUSSOCK. A lazy fat woman. An old fussock; a frowsy old woman.
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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