|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
OAF. A silly fellow.
OAK. A rich man, 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
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
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
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. .
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 north.
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 milk.
OLD POGER. The Devil.
OLD STAGER. One accustomed to business, one who knows mankind.
OLD TOAST. A brisk old fellow. .
OLD DOSS. Bridewell.
OLIVER’S SCULL. A chamber pot.
OLLI COMPOLLI. The name of one of the principal rogues of the ing crew. .
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. .
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
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
OYSTER. A gob of thick phlegm, spit by a consumptive
man; in law Latin, UNUM VIRIDUM GOBBUM
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