|MACCARONI. An Italian paste made of flour and eggs. Also a fop: which
name arose from a club, called the Maccaroni Club, instituted by some of
the most dressy travelled gentlemen about town, who led the fashions;
whence a man foppishly dressed, was supposed a member of that club, and by
contraction styled a Maccaroni.
MACE COVE. A swindler, a sharper, a cheat. On the mace; to live by
MACHINES. Mrs. Phillips’s ware.
MACKEREL. A bawd: from the French maquerel. Mackerel-backed; long-backed.
MAD TOM, or TOM OF BEDLAM, otherwise an Abram Man. A rogue that
counterfeits madness. .
MADAM. A kept madam; a kept mistress.
MADAM RAN. A whore.
MADGE. The private parts of a woman.
MADGE CULLS. Sodomites.
MAGG. A halfpenny.
MAGGOT BOILER. A tallow-chandler.
MAGGOTTY. Whimsical, capricious.
MAGNUM BONUM. A bottle containing two quarts of wine.
MAHOMETAN GRUEL. Coffee: because formerly used chiefly by the Turks.
MAIDEN SESSIONS. A sessions where none of the prisoners are capitally
MAKE. A halfpenny.
MAKE WEIGHT. A small candle: a term applied to a little slender man.
MALINGEROR. A military term for one who, under pretence of sickness,
evades his duty.
MALKIN, or MAULKIN. A general name for a cat; also a parcel of rags
fastened to the end of a stick, to clean an oven; also a figure set up in
a garden to scare the birds; likewise an awkward woman. The cove’s so
scaly, he’d spice a malkin of his jazey: the fellow is so mean, that he
would rob a scare-crow of his old wig.
MALKINTRASH. One in a dismal garb.
MALMSEY NOSE. A red pimpled snout, rich in carbuncles and rubies.
MAN OF THE TOWN. A rake, a debauchee.
MAN OF THE TURF. A horse racer, or jockey.
MANOEUVRING THE APOSTLES. Robbing Peter to pay Paul, i.e. borrowing of one
man to pay another.
MAN TRAP. A woman’s commodity.
MAN OF THE WORLD. A knowing man.
MAN, (CAMBRIDGE.) Any undergraduate from fifteen to thirty.
As a man of Emanuel—a young member of Emanuel.
MANUFACTURE. Liquors prepared from materials of English growth.
MARE’S NEST. He has found a mare’s nest, and is laughing at the eggs; said
of one who laughs without any apparent cause.
MARGERY PRATER. A hen. .
MARINE OFFICER. An empty bottle
MARPLOT. A spoil sport.
MARRIAGE MUSIC. The squalling and crying of children.
MARRIED. Persons chained or handcuffed together, in order to be conveyed
to gaol, or on board the lighters for transportation, are in the language
said to be married together.
MARROWBONES. The knees. To bring any one down on his marrow bones; to make
him beg pardon on his knees: some derive this from Mary’s bones, i.e. the
bones bent in honour of the Virgin Mary; but this seems rather
far-fetched. Marrow bones and cleavers; principal instruments in the band
of rough music: these are generally performed on by butchers, on
marriages, elections, riding skimmington, and other public or joyous
MARTINET. A military term for a strict disciplinarian:
MASON’S MAUND. A sham sore above the elbow, to counterfeit a broken arm by
a fall from a scaffold.
MASTER OF THE MINT. A gardener.
MASTER OF THE ROLLS. A baker.
MASTER OF THE WARDROBE. One who pawns his clothes to purchase liquor.
MATRIMONIAL PEACE-MAKER. The sugar-stick, or arbor vitae.
MAUDLIN DRUNK. Crying drunk: perhaps from Mary Magdalene, called Maudlin,
who is always painted in tears.
MAULED. Extremely drunk, or soundly beaten.
MAUNDERING BROTH. Scolding.
MAUNDING. Asking or begging. :
MAWKES. A vulgar slattern.
MAWLEY. A hand. Tip us your mawley; shake hands. with me. Fam the mawley;
MAW-WALLOP. A filthy composition, sufficient to provoke vomiting.
MAY BEES. May bees don’t fly all the year long; an answer to any one who
prefaces a proposition with, It may be.
MEALY-MOUTHED. Over-modest or backward in speech.
MEDLAR. A fruit
MELLOW. Almost drunk.
MELTING MOMENTS. A fat man and woman in the amorous congress.
TO MELT. To spend. Will you melt a borde? will you spend a shilling? The
cull melted a couple of decusses upon us; the gentleman spent a couple of
crowns upon us.
MEMBER MUG. A chamber pot.
MEN OF STRAW. Hired bail, so called from having straw stuck in their shoes
to distinguish them.
MEN OF KENT. Men born east of the river Medway, who are said to have met
the Conqueror in a body, each carrying a green bough in his hand, the
whole appearing like a moving wood; and thereby obtaining a confirmation
of their ancient privileges. The inhabitants of Kent are divided into
Kentish men and men of Kent. Also a society held at the Fountain Tavern
MERKIN. Counterfeit hair for women’s privy parts. See BAILEY’S DICT.
MERRY ANDREW, or MR. MERRYMAN. The jack pudding, jester, or zany of a
mountebank, usually dressed in a party-coloured coat.
MERRY A-SE CHRISTIAN. A whore.
MERRY-BEGOTTEN. A bastard.
MAN OF THE WORLD. A knowing man.
MESS JOHN. A Scotch presbyterian teacher or parson.
MESSMATE. One who eats at the same mess, companion or comrade.
METTLE. The semen. To fetch mettle; the act of self pollution. Mettle is
also figuratively used for courage.
METTLESOME. Bold, courageous.
MICHAEL. Hip, Michael, your head’s on fire. See HYP.
MIDSHIPMAN’S WATCH AND CHAIN. A sheep’s heart and pluck.
MILCH COW. One who is easily tricked out of his property; a term used by
gaolers, for prisoners who have money and bleed freely.
MILK AND WATER. Both ends of the busk.
TO MILK THE PIGEON. To endeavour at impossibilities.
MILLING COVE. A boxer. How the milling cove served the cull out; how the
boxer beat the fellow.
MILL. A chisel.
To MILL. To rob; also to break, beat out, or kill. I’ll mill your glaze;
I’ll beat out your eye. To mill a bleating cheat; to kill a sheep. To mill
a ken; to rob a house. To mill doll; to beat hemp in bridewell. .
MILL LAY. To force open the doors of houses in order to rob them.
MILLER. A murderer.
MINE A-SE ON A BANDBOX. An answer to the offer of any thing inadequate to
the purpose for which it is wanted, just as a bandbox would be if used for
MINE UNCLE’S. A pawnbroker’s shop; also a necessary house. Carried to my
uncle’s; pawned. New-married men are also said to go to their uncle’s,
when they leave their wives soon after the honey moon.
MINIKIN. A little man or woman: also the smallest sort of pin.
MINOR CLERGY. Young chimney sweepers.
MINT. Gold. A mint of money; common phrase for a large sum.
MISCHIEF. A man loaded with mischief, i.e. a man with his wife on his
MISH. A shirt, smock, or sheet. .
MISH TOPPER. A coat, or petticoat.
MISS. A miss or kept mistress; a harlot.
MISS LAYCOCK. The monosyllable.
MITE. A nick name for a cheesemonger: from the small insect of that name
found in cheese.
MIX METAL. A silversmith.
MOABITES. Bailiffs, or Philistines.
MOB; or MAB. A wench, or harlot.
MOBILITY. The mob: a sort of opposite to nobility.
MOHAIR. A man in the civil line, a townsman, or tradesman:
a military term, from the mohair buttons worn by persons of those
descriptions, or any others not in the army, the buttons of military men
being always of metal: this is generally used as a term of contempt,
meaning a bourgeois, tradesman, or mechanic.
MOIETY. Half, but vulgarly used to signify a share or portion:
as, He will come in for a small moiety.
MOLL. A whore.
MOLL PEATLY’S GIG. A rogering bout.
MOLL THOMPSON’S MARK. M. T. i.e. empty: as, Take away this bottle, it has
Moll Thompson’s mark upon it.
MOLLY. A Miss Molly; an effeminate fellow, a sodomite.
MONDAY. Saint Monday. See SAINT.
MONEY. A girl’s private parts, commonly applied to little children: as,
Take care, Miss, or you will shew your money.
MONEY DROPPERS. Cheats who drop money, which they pretend to find just
before some country lad; and by way of giving him a share of their good
luck, entice him into a public house, where they and their confederates
cheat or rob him of what money he has about him.
MONGREL. A hanger on among cheats, a spunger; also a child whose father
and mother are of different countries.
MONKS AND FRIARS. Terms used by printers: monks are sheets where the
letters are blotted, or printed too black; friars, those letters where the
ink has failed touching the type, which are therefore white or faint.
MONKEY. To suck the monkey; to suck or draw wine, or any other liquor,
privately out of a cask, by means of a straw, or small tube. Monkey’s
allowance; more kicks than halfpence. Who put that monkey on horseback
without tying his legs? vulgar wit on a bad horseman.
MONOSYLLABLE. A woman’s commodity.
MOONCURSER. A link-boy: link-boys are said to curse the moon, because it
renders their assistance unnecessary; these gentry frequently, under
colour of lighting passengers over kennels, or through dark passages,
assist in robbing them. .
MOON-EYED HEN. A squinting wench.
MOON MEN. Gypsies.
MOON RAKERS. Wiltshire men: because it is said that some men of that
county, seeing the reflection of the moon in a pond, endeavoured to pull
it out with a rake.
MOONSHINE. A matter or mouthful of moonshine; a trifle, nothing. The white
brandy smuggled on the coasts of Kent and Sussex, and the gin in the north
of Yorkshire, are also called moonshine.
MOP. A kind of annual fair in the west of England, where farmers usually
hire their servants.
To MOP UP. To drink up. To empty a glass or pot.
MOPED. Stupid, melancholy for want of society.
MOPSEY. A dowdy, or homely woman.
MOPSQUEEZER. A maid servant, particularly a housemaid.
MORGLAG. A brown bill, or kind of halbert, formerly carried by watchmen;
corruption of MORE, great or broad, and GLAVE, blade.
MORNING DROP. The gallows. He napped the king’s pardon and escaped the
morning drop; he was pardoned, and was not hanged.
MORRIS. Come, morris off; dance off, or get you gone. allusion to morris,
i.e. MORISCO, or Moorish dancing.
MORT. A woman or wench; also a yeoman’s daughter. To be taken all-a mort;
to be confounded, surprised, or motionless through fear.
MOSES. To stand Moses: a man is said to stand Moses when he has another
man’s bastard child fathered upon him, and he is obliged by the parish to
MOSS. A term for lead, because both are found on the tops of buildings.
MOSSY FACE. The mother of all saints.
MOT. A girl, or wench. See MORT.
MOTHER, or THE MOTHER. A bawd. Mother abbess:
the same. Mother midnight; a midwife. Mother in law’s bit; a small piece,
mothers in law being supposed not apt to overload the stomachs of their
MOTHER OF ALL SAINTS. The Monosyllable.
MOTHER OF ALL SOULS. The same. IRISH.
MOTHER OF ST. PATRICK. The same. IRISH.
MOTHER OF THE MAIDS. A bawd.
MOUCHETS. Small patches worn by ladies: from the French word mouches.
MOVEABLES. Rings, watches, or any toys of value.
MOUSE. To speak like a mouse in a cheese; i.e. faintly or indistinctly.
MOUSETRAP. The parson’s mousetrap; the state of matrimony.
MOUTH. A noisy fellow. Mouth half cocked; one gaping and staring at every
thing he sees. To make any one laugh on the wrong, or t’other side of his
mouth; to make him cry or grieve.
MOUTH. A silly fellow. A dupe. To stand mouth; i.e. to be duped.
To MOW. A Scotch word for the act of copulation.
MOW HEATER. A drover: from their frequent sleeping on hay mows.
MOWER. A cow.
MUCK. Money; also dung.
MUCKWORM. A miser.
MUCKINDER. A child’s handkerchief tied to the side.
MUD. A fool, or thick-sculled fellow; also, among printers the same as
dung among journeymen taylors. See DUNG.
MUD LARK. A fellow who goes about by the water side picking up coals,
nails, or other articles in the mud. Also a duck.
MUFF. The private parts of a woman. To the well wearing of your muff,
mort; to the happy consummation of your marriage, girl; a health.
MUFFLING CHEAT. A napkin.
MUGGLETONIANS. The sect or disciples of Lodowick Muggleton.
MULLIGRUBS. Sick of the mulligrubs with eating chopped hay: low-spirited,
having an imaginary sickness.
MUM. An interjection directing silence. Mum for that; I shall be silent as
to that. As mute as Mumchance, who was hanged for saying nothing; a
friendly reproach to any one who seems low-spirited and silent.
MUMCHANCE. An ancient game like hazard, played with dice: probably so
named from the silence observed in playing at it.
MUM GLASS. The monument erected on Fish-street Hill, London, in memory of
the great fire in 1666.
MUMBLE A 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.
MUMMER. The mouth.
MUMPERS. Originally beggars of the genteel kind, but since used for
beggars in general.
MUMPERS HALL. An alehouse where beggars are harboured.
MUNDUNGUS. Bad or rank tobacco: from mondongo, a Spanish word signifying
tripes, or the uncleaned entrails of a beast, full of filth.
MUNG. To beg.
MUNS. The face, or rather the mouth: from the German word MUND, the mouth.
Toute his muns; look at his face.
MUNSTER PLUMS. Potatoes. IRISH.
MUNSTER HEIFER. An Irish woman. A woman with thick legs is said to be like
a Munster heifer; i.e. beef to the heels.
MURDER. He looked like God’s revenge against murder; he looked angrily.
MUSHROOM. A person or family suddenly raised to riches and eminence: an
allusion to that fungus, which starts up in a night.
MUSIC. The watch-word among highwaymen, signifying the person is a friend,
and must pass unmolested. Music is also an Irish term, in tossing up, to
express the harp side, or reverse, of a farthing or halfpenny, opposed to
MUTE. An undertaker’s servant, who stands at the door of a person lying in
state: so named from being supposed mute with grief.
MUTTON MONGER. A man addicted to wenching.
MUTTON. In her mutton, i.e. having carnal knowledge of a woman.
MUZZLE. A beard.
MUZZLER. A violent blow on the mouth. The milling cove tipped the cull a
muzzler; the boxer gave the fellow a blow on the mouth.
MYNT. See MINT.
MYRMIDONS. The constable’s assistants, watchmen, &c.
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