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Regency Research

For well over twenty years since I first started my infatuation with the Regency Era, I have maintained a lexicon to help me decipher Georgette Heyer (follow the link to Frederica, my favorite of her books), and others. Then as I began to write in the genre in the years 2000, I put more emphasis on it.

I have seen a few others on the web, but I have not seen any as complete as the one maintained at Regency Assembly Press that I have contributed to.

Today is the letter U. Did you know that an Ungrateful Man is a Parson? Or exactly who is an Upright Man?

With the emphasis that has been placed recently on Research RegencyResearch-2012-07-24-08-42.jpg there, with not only the Lexicon, but the Timelines, lives of the Prime Ministers, Dance Instruction and Regency Era Money, it is a growing resource for all Regency readers and writers. I urge everyone to have a look as it continues to grow.

I also provide here the next letter of the alphabet to entice you to visit that page. Or even bookmark it for when you need to look up a particular Regency term.

  • Uncle–Mine uncle’s; a necessary house. He is gone to visit his uncle; saying of one who leaves his wife soon after marriage. It likewise means a pawnbroker’s: goods pawned are frequently said to be at mine uncle’s, or laid up in lavender.
  • Understrapper–An inferior in any office, or department.
  • Under Dubber–A turnkey.
  • Under The Hatches–Without funds; in debt.
  • Unfortunate Gentlemen–The horse guards, who thus named themselves in Germany, where a general officer seeing them very awkward in bundling up their forage, asked what the devil they were; to which some of them answered, unfortunate gentlemen.
  • Unfortunate Women–Prostitutes: so termed by the virtuous and compassionate of their own sex.
  • Ungrateful Man–A parson, who at least once a week abuses his best benefactor, i.e. the devil.
  • Unguentum Aureum–A bribe.
  • Unicorn–A coach drawn by three horses. Driving Term, drive a vehicle with 3 horses, 1 in front of 2 others.
  • Unlicked Cub–A rude uncouth young fellow.
  • Unrigged–Undressed, or stripped. Unrig the drab; strip the wench.
  • Untruss–To untruss a point; to let down one’s breeches in order to ease one’s self. Breeches were formerly tied with points, which till lately were distributed to the boys every Whit Monday by the churchwardens of most of the parishes in London, under the denomination of tags: these tags were worsteds of different colours twisted up to a size somewhat thicker than packthread, and tagged at both ends with tin. Laces were at the same given to the girls.
  • Untwisted–Undone, ruined, done up.
  • Unwashed Bawdry–Rank bawdry.
  • Up To Their Gossip–To be a match for one who attempts to cheat or deceive; to be on a footing, or in the secret. I’ll be up with him; I will repay him in kind.
  • Uphills–False dice that run high. Loaded dice the roll high numbers.
  • Upper Benjamin–A great coat. (Cant)
  • Upper Orders–The highest level of society.
  • Upper Story, or Garret–Figuratively used to signify the head. His upper story or garrets are unfurnished; i.e. he is an empty or foolish fellow.
  • Upping Block–[Called in some counties a leaping stock, in others a jossing block.] Steps for mounting a horse. He sits like a toad on a jossing block; said of one who sits ungracefully on horseback.
  • Uppish–Testy, apt to take offence.
  • Upright–Go upright; a word used by shoemakers, taylors and their servants, when any money is given to make them drink, and signifies, Bring it all out in liquor, though the donor intended less, and expects change, or some of his money, to be returned. Three-penny upright. See Threepenny Upright,
  • Upright Man–An upright man signifies the chief or principal of a crew. The vilest, stoutest rogue in the pack is generally chosen to this post, and has the sole right to the first night’s lodging with the dells, who afterwards are used in common among the whole fraternity. He carries a short truncheon in his hand, which he calls his filchman, and has a larger share than ordinary in whatsoever is gotten in the society. He often travels in company with thirty or forty males and females, abram men, and others, over whom he presides arbitrarily. Sometimes the women and children who are unable to travel, or fatigued, are by turns carried in panniers by an ass, or two, or by some poor jades procured for that purpose.
  • Upstarts–Persons lately raised to honours and riches from mean stations.
  • Urchin–A child, a little fellow; also a hedgehog.
  • Urinal of the Planets–Ireland: so called from the frequent rains in that island.
  • Used Up–Killed: a military saying, originating from a message sent by the late General Guise, on the expedition at Carthagena, where he desired the commander in chief to order him some more grenadiers, for those he had were all used up.
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Regency Research

For well over twenty years since I first started my infatuation with the Regency Era, I have maintained a lexicon to help me decipher Georgette Heyer (follow the link to Frederica, my favorite of her books), and others. Then as I began to write in the genre in the years 2000, I put more emphasis on it.

I have seen a few others on the web, but I have not seen any as complete as the one maintained at Regency Assembly Press that I have contributed to.

Today is the letter T. I have so many relations that can be described as a Trifling Disguised, (The farthest the family tree goes back is to the legendary Shier the Shiker…) but did you know about Tying your Garter in Public?

With the emphasis that has been placed recently on Research RegencyResearch-2012-07-23-07-43.jpg there, with not only the Lexicon, but the Timelines, lives of the Prime Ministers, Dance Instruction and Regency Era Money, it is a growing resource for all Regency readers and writers. I urge everyone to have a look as it continues to grow.

I also provide here the next letter of the alphabet to entice you to visit that page. Or even bookmark it for when you need to look up a particular Regency term.

  • Tabby–An old maid; either from Tabitha, a formal antiquated name; or else from a tabby cat, old maids being often compared to cats. To drive Tab; to go out on a party of pleasure with a wife and family.
  • Tace–Silence, hold your tongue. Tace is Latin for a candle; a jocular admonition to be silent on any subject.
  • Tackle–A mistress; also good clothes. The cull has tipt his tackle Rum gigging; the fellow has given his mistress good clothes. A man’s tackle: the genitals.
  • Taffy–i.e. Davy. A general name for a Welchman, St. David being the tutelar saint of Wales. Taffy’s day; the first of March, St. David’s day.
  • Tag-Rag and Bobtail–An expression meaning an assemblage of low people, the mobility of all sorts. To tag after one like a tantony pig: to follow one wherever one goes, just as St. Anthony is followed by his pig.
  • Tail–A prostitute. Also, a sword.
  • Take–A lady who did not “take” during her Season did not win any admirers or suitors.
  • Taken In–Imposed on, cheated.
  • Tale Tellers–Persons said to have been formerly hired to tell wonderful stories of giants and fairies, to lull their hearers to sleep. Talesman; the author of a story or report: I’ll tell you my tale, and my talesman. Tale bearers; mischief makers, incendiaries in families.
  • Tall Boy–A bottle, or two-quart pot.
  • Tally Men–Brokers that let out clothes to the women of the town. See Rabbit Suckers.
  • Tallywags, or Tarrywags–A man’s testicles.
  • Tame–To run tame about a house; to live familiarly in a family with which one is upon a visit. Tame army; the city trained bands.
  • Tandem–A two-wheeled chaise, buggy or noddy, drawn by two horses. One before the other, that is, At Length.
  • Tangier–A room in Newgate, where debtors were confined, hence called Tangerines.
  • Tanner–A sixpence. (approx $50). The kiddey tipped the rattling cove a tanner for luck; the lad gave the coachman sixpence for drink.
  • Tantadlin Tart–A sirreverence, human excrement.
  • Tantrums–Pet, or passion: madam was in her tantrums.
  • Tantwivy–Away they went tantwivy; away they went full speed. Tantwivy was the sound of the hunting horn in full cry, or that of a post horn.
  • Tap–A gentle blow. A tap on the shoulder;-an-arrest. To tap a girl; to be the first seducer: in allusion to a beer barrel. To tap a guinea; to get it changed.
  • Tappers–Shoulder tappers: bailiffs.
  • Tape–Red tape; brandy. Blue or white tape; gin.
  • Tap-Hackled–Drunk.
  • Taplash–Thick and bad beer.
  • Tar–Don’t lose a sheep for a halfpennyworth of tar: tar is used to mark sheep. A jack tar; a sailor.
  • Taradiddle–A fib, or falsity, falsehood or lie.
  • Tare An’ Hounds–Exclamation.
  • Tarpawlin–A coarse cloth tarred over: also, figuratively, a sailor.
  • Tarring and Feathering–A punishment lately inflicted by the good people of Boston on any person convicted, or suspected, of loyalty: such delinquents being “stripped naked”, were daubed all over with tar, and afterwards put into a hogshead of feathers.
  • Tart–Sour, sharp, quick, pert.
  • Tartar–To catch a Tartar; to attack one of superior strength or abilities. This saying originated from a story of an Irish-soldier in the Imperial service, who, in a battle against the Turks, called out to his comrade that he had caught a Tartar. ‘Bring him along then,’ said he. ‘He won’t come,’ answered Paddy. ‘Then come along yourself,’ replied his comrade. ‘Arrah,’ cried he, ‘but he won’t let me.’—A Tartar is also an adept at any feat, or game: he is quite a Tartar at cricket, or billiards.
  • Tartar–Slang Term for an officer, such as a ship’s captain, that is a harsh disciplinarian.
  • Tat–Tit for tat; an equivalent.
  • Tats–False dice.
  • Tatler–A watch. To flash a tatler: to wear a watch.
  • Tat Monger–One that uses false dice.
  • Tatterdemalion–A ragged fellow, whose clothes hang all in tatters.
  • Tattersall’s–A popular horse market in London.
  • Tattoo–A beat of the drum, of signal for soldiers to go to their quarters, and a direction to the sutlers to close the tap, anddtew nomore liquor for them; it is generally beat at nine in summer and eight in winter. The devil’s tattoo; beating with one’s foot against the ground, as done by persons in low spirits.
  • Taw–A schoolboy’s game, played with small round balls made of stone dust, catted marbles. I’ll be one upon your taw presently; a species of threat.
  • Tawdry–Garish, gawdy, with lace or staring and discordant colors: a term said to be derived from the shrine and altar of St. Audrey (Isle of Ely saintess), which for finery exceeded all others thereabouts, so as to become proverbial; whence any fine dressed man or woman said to be all St Audrey, and by contraction, all tawdry.
  • Tawed–Beaten,
  • Tayle–See Tail.
  • Tayle Drawers–Thieves who snatch gentlemens swords from their sides. He drew the cull’s tayle rumly; he snatched away the gentleman’s sword cleverly.
  • Taylor–Nine taylors make a man; an ancient and common saying, originating from the effeminacy of their employment; or, as some have it, from nine taylors having been robbed by one man; according to others, from the speech of a woollendraper, meaning that the custom of nine, taylors would make or enrich one man—A London taylor, rated to furnish half a man to the Trained Bands, asking how that could possibly be done? was answered, By sending four, journeymen and and apprentice.—Puta taylor, a weaver, and a miller into a sack, shake them well, And the first that, puts out his head is certainly a thief.—A taylor is frequently styled pricklouse, assaults on those vermin with their needles.
  • Taylors Goose–An iron with which, when heated, press down the seams of clothes.
  • Tea Voider–A chamber pot.
  • Tea Gueland–Ireland. Teaguelanders; Irishmen.
  • Tears of the Tankard–The drippings of liquor on a man’s waistcoat.
  • Teddy My Godson–An address to a supposed simple fellow, or nysey,
  • Teize–To-nap the teize; to receive a whipping. (Cant)
  • Temple Pickling–Pumping a bailiff; a punishment formerly administered to any of that fraternity caught exercising their functions within the limits of Temple.
  • Tempting Armful–Attractive female.
  • Ten Toes–See Bayard of Ten Toes.
  • Ten in the Hundred–An usurer; more than five in the hundred being deemed usurious interest.
  • Tenant at Will–One whose wife usually fetches him from the alehouse.
  • Tenant for Life–A married man; i.e. possessed of a woman for life.
  • Tendré–Or to have a Tendré is to have fallen in love with a person.
  • Tender Parnell–A tender creature, fearful of the least puff of wind or drop of rain. As tender as Parnell, who broke her finger in a posset drink.
  • Termagant–An outrageous scold from Termagantes, a cruel Pagan, formerly represented in diners shows and entertainments, where being dressed a la Turque, in long clothes, he was mistaken for a furious woman.
  • Terra Firma–An estate in land.
  • Tester–A sixpence: from Teston, a coin with a head on it.
  • Tetbury Portion–A **** and a clap.
  • Thames–He will not find out a way to set the Thames on fire; he will not make any wonderful discoveries, he is no conjuror.
  • Thatch-Gallows–A rogue, or man of bad character.
  • The City–The area of London where the Bank of England, the Royal Exchange and other financial institutions are located–It is bordered on the south by the Thames and extends east to the Tower and west to the Temple Bar, covering one square mile–Historically, it is the site of the original Roman settlement of Londinium.
  • The Devil To Pay–Trouble.
  • Thick–Intimate. They are as thick as two inkle-weavers.
  • Theif–You are a thief and a murderer, you have killed a baboon and stole his face; vulgar abuse.
  • Theif in a Candle–Part of the wick or snuff, which falling on the tallow, burns and melts it, and causing it to gutter, thus steals it away.
  • Theif Takers–Fellows who associate with all kinds of villains, in order to betray them, when they have committed any of those crimes which entitle the persons taking them to a handsome reward, called blood money. It is the business of these thief takers to furnish subjects for a handsome execution, at the end of every sessions.
  • Thimble–A watch. The swell flashes a Rum thimble; the gentleman sports a fine watch.
  • Thingstable–Mr. Thingstable; Mr. Constable: a ludicrous affectation of delicacy in avoiding the pronunciation of the first syllable in the title of that officer, which in sound has some similarity to an indecent monosyllable.
  • Thingumbob–Mr. Thingumbob; a vulgar address or nomination to any person whose name is unknown, the same as Mr. What-d’ye-cal’em. Thingumbobs; testicles.
  • Thirding–A custom practised at the universities, where two thirds of the original price is allowed by the upholsterers to the students for household goods returned to them within the year.
  • Thirteener–A shilling in Ireland, which there passes for thirteen pence.
  • Thomond–Like Lord Thomond’s cocks, all on one side. Lord Thomond’s cock-feeder, an Irishman, being entrusted with some cocks which were matched for a considerable sum, the night before the battle shut them all together in one room, concluding that as they were all on the same side, they would not disagree: the consequence was, they were most of them either killed or lamed before the morning.
  • Thomas–Man Thomas; a man’s penis.
  • Thorns–To be or sit upon thorns; to be uneasy, impatient, anxious for an event.
  • Thornback–An old maid.
  • Thorough Churchman–A person who goes in at one door of a church, and out at the other, without stopping.
  • Thorough-Good-Natured Wench–One who being asked to sit down, will lie down.
  • Thorough Go Nimble–A looseness, a violent purging.
  • Thorough Cough–Coughing and breaking wind backwards at the same time.
  • Thorough Stitch–To go thorough stitch; to stick at nothing; over shoes, over boots.
  • Thought–What did thought do? lay’in bed and beshat himself, and thought he was up; reproof to any one who excuses himself for any breach of positive orders, by pleading that he thought to the contrary.
  • Three To One–He is playing three to one, though sure to lose; said of one engaged in the amorous congress.
  • Three-Penny Upright–A retailer of love, who for the sum mentioned, gives her favors standing against a wall.
  • Three-Legged Mare, or Stool–The gallows, formerly consisting of three posts, over which were laid three transverse beams. This clumsy machine has lately given place to an elegant contrivance, called the New Drop, by which the use of that vulgar vehicle a cart, or mechanical instrument a ladder, is also avoided; the patients being left suspended by the dropping down of that part of the floor on which they stand. This invention was first made use of for a peer. See Drop.
  • Three Threads–Half common ale, mixed with stale and double beer.
  • Threps–Thruppence. Threepence
  • To Throttle–To strangle.
  • Throttle–The throat, or gullet.
  • Throwing A Rub–In the way spoiling the plans.
  • Thruppence–3 pence, (approx $25)
  • To Thrum–To play on any instrument sttfnged with wire. A thrummer of wire; a player on the spinet, harpsichord, of guitar.
  • Thrums–Thruppence. Threepence.
  • Thumbe–By rule of thumb: to do any thing by dint of practice. To kiss one’s thumb instead of the book; a vulgar expedient to avoid perjury in taking a false oath.
  • Thummikins–An instrument formerly used in Scotland, like a vice, to pinch the thumbs of persons accused of different crimes, in order to extort confession.
  • Thump–A blow. This is better than a thump on the back with a stone; said on giving any one a drink of good liquor on a cold morning. Thatch, thistle, thunder, and thump; words to the Irish, like the Shibboleth of the Hebrews.
  • Thumping–Great! a thumping boy.
  • Thunder An’ Turf–Exclamation.
  • Thwack–A great blow with a stick across the shoulders.
  • Tib–A young lass
  • Tibby–A cat.
  • Tib of the Buttery–A goose. (Cant) Saint Tibb’s evening; the evening of the last day, or day of judgment: he will pay you on St. Tibb’s eve. Irish.
  • Tick–To run o’tick; take up goods upon trust, to run in debt. Tick; a watch. See Sessions Papers.
  • Tickle Text–A parson.
  • Tickle Pitckeb–A thirsty fellow, a sot.
  • Tickle Tail–A rod, or schoolmaster. A man’s penis.
  • Tickrum–A licence.
  • Tidy–Neat.
  • Tie One’s Garter In Public–Do something extremely shocking.
  • Tiffing–Eating or drinking out of meal time, disputing or falling out; also lying with a wench, A tiff of punch, a small bowl of punch.
  • Tiger–A liveried groom, generally small, generally young–An owner-driven curricle or phaeton typically had a groom’s seat between the springs on which the tiger sat.
  • Tilbuky–Sixpence; so called from its formerly being the fare for Crossing over from Gravesend to Tilbury Fort.
  • Tilt–To tilt; to fight with a sword. To run full tilt against one; allusion to the ancient tilling with the lance.
  • Tilter–A sword.
  • Tim Whisky–A light one—horse chaise without a head.
  • Timber Toe–A man with a wooden leg.
  • Tiny–Little.
  • To Tip–To give or lend. Tip me your daddle; give me your hand. Tip me a hog; give me a shilling. To tip the lion; to flatten a man’s nose with the thumb, and, at the same time to extend his mouth, with the fingers, thereby giving him a sort of lion-like countenauce. To tip the velvet; tonguing woman. To tip all nine; to knock down all the nine pins at once, at the game of bows or skittles: tipping, at these gaines, is slightly touching the tops of the pins with the bowl. Tip; a draught; don’t spoil his tip.
  • Tip-Top–The best: perhaps from fruit, that growing at the top of the tree being generally the best, as partaking most of the sun. A tip-top workman; the best, or most excellent Workman.
  • Tipperary Fortune–Two town lands, stream’s town, and ballinocack; said of Irish women without fortune.
  • Tippet–An abbreviated cape–Similar to what might today be called a stole or a boa.
  • Tipple–Liquor.
  • Tipplers–Sots who are continually sipping.
  • Tipsey–Almost drunk.
  • Tiring–Dressing: perhaps abbreviation of Attiring. Tiring women, or tire women: women that used to cut ladies hair, and dress them.
  • Tit–A horse; a pretty little tit; a smart little girl. a *** or tid bit; a delicate morsel. Tommy tit; a smart lively little fellow.
  • Tit for Tat–An equivalent.
  • To Titter–To suppress a laugh.
  • Titter Tatter–One reeling, and ready to fall at the least touch; also the childish amusement of riding upon the two ends of a plank, poised upon the prop underneath its centre, called also see-saw. Perhaps tatter is a rustic pronunciation of totter.
  • Titles–The British peerage, in order of precedence is duke/duchess, marquess/marchioness, earl/countess, viscount/viscountess, baron/baroness–The next two ranks, baronet and knight, are not peers.
  • Tittle-Tattle–Idle discourse, scandal, women’s talk, or small talk.
  • Tittup–A gentle hand gallop, or canter.
  • Tizzy–Sixpence.
  • Toad–Toad in a hole; meat baked or boiled in pye-crust. He or she sits like a toad on a chopping-block; a saying of any who sits ill on horseback. As much need of it as a toad of a side-pocket; said of a person who desires any thing for which he has no real occasion. As full of money as a toad is of feathers.
  • Toad Eater–A sycophant or flatterer; a toady–Either from the Spanish “todita,” meaning factotum, or from the practice of charlatans who would have their assistants eat toads in order to “cure” them of poison.
  • Toad Eater–A poor female relation, and humble companion, or reduced gentlewoman, in a great family, the standing butt, on whom all kinds of practical jokes are played off, and all ill humours vented. This appellation is derived from a mountebank’s servant, on whom all experiments used to be made in public by the doctor, his master; among which was the eating of toads, formerly supposed poisonous. Swallowing toads is here figuratively meant for swallowing or putting up with insults, as disagreeable to a person of feeling as toads to the stomach.
  • Toad-Eaten–Flattered and made up to.
  • Toast–A health; also a beautiful woman whose health is often drank by men. The origin of this term (as it is said) was this: a beautiful lady bathing in a cold bath, one of her admirers out of gallantry drank some of the water: whereupon another of her lovers observed, he never drank in the morning, but he would kiss the toast, and immediately saluted the lady.
  • Toasting Iron, or Cheese Toaster–A sword.
  • To Be In The Basket–Be in lots of trouble.
  • Toby Lay–The highway. High toby man; a highway-man. Low toby man; a footpad.
  • Tobacco–A plant, once in great estimation as a medicine:
  • Tobacco hic Will make you well if you be sick.
  • Tobacco hic If you be well will make you sick.
  • Toddy–Originally the juice of the cocoa tree, and afterwards rum, water, sugar, and nutmeg.
  • Toddle–To walk away. The cove was touting, but stagging the traps he toddled; be was looking out, and feeing the officers he walked away.
  • Todge–Beat all to a todge: said of anything beat to mash.
  • Toge–A coat. (Cant)
  • Togemans–The same. (Cant)
  • Togs–Clothes. The swell is rum-togged. The gentleman is handsomely dressed.
  • Toilette–Outfit.
  • Token–The plague: also the venereal disease. She tipped him the token; she gave him a clap or pox.
  • Tol, or Toledo–A sword: from Spanish swords made at Toledo, which place was famous for sword blades of an extraordinary temper.
  • Tolliban Rig–A species of cheat carried on by a woman, assuming the character of a dumb and deaf conjuror.
  • Tom Turdman–A night man, one who empties necessary houses.
  • Tomboy–A romping girl, who prefers the amusement used by boys to those of her own sex.
  • Tom of Bedlam–The same as Abram man.
  • Tom Cony–A simple fellow.
  • Tom Long–A tiresome story teller. It is coming by Tom Long, the carrier; said of any thing that has been long expected.
  • Tom Thumb–A dwarf, a little hop-o’my-thumb.
  • Tommy–Soft Tommy, or white Tommy; bread is so called by sailors, to distinguish it from biscuit. Brown Tommy: ammunition bread for soldiers; or brown bread given to convicts at the hulks.
  • To-Morrow Come Never–When two Sundays come together; never.
  • Ton–The ton was the high society of the Regency period–It is pronounced like “tone,” and it comes from the French word ton meaning “tone, style.” A person or action described as good ton was accepted by Society–A person or action described as bad ton violated the unwritten rules of Society and was deemed unacceptable.
  • Ton–A designation for 100 pounds, (approx $200,000).
  • Tongue–Tongue enough for two sets of teeth: said of a talkative person. As old as my tongue, and a little older than my teeth; a dovetail in answer to the question, How old are you? Tongue pad; a scold, or nimble-tongued person.
  • Tonic–A half penny.
  • Tony–A silly fellow, or ninny. A mere tony: a simpleton.
  • Too Ripe And Ready By Half–Always up to something.
  • Too Smoky By Half–Very suspicious.
  • Tools–The private parts of a man.
  • Tool–The instrument of any person or faction, a cat’s paw. See Cats Paw.
  • Tooth–Music. Chewing.
  • Tooth-Pick–A large stick. An ironical expression.
  • Topper–A violent blow on the head.
  • To Top–To cheat, or trick: also to insult: he thought to have topped upon me. Top; the signal among taylors for snuffing the candles: he who last pronounces that word word, is obliged to get up and perform the operation.—to be topped; to be hanged. The cove was topped for smashing queerscreens; he was hanged for uttering forged bank notes.
  • Top Diver–A lover of women. An old top diver; one who has loved old hat in his time.
  • Top-Hackled–Drunk.
  • Top-Heavy–Drunk.
  • Top Lights–The eyes. Blast your top lights. See Curse.
  • Top-Of-The Trees–Someone/thing of high esteem.
  • Top Ropes–To sway away on all top ropes; to live riotously or extravagantly.
  • Top Sail–He paid his debts at Portsmouth with the topsail; i.e. he went to sea and left them unpaid. SCT soldiers are said to pay off their scores with the drum; that is, by marching away.
  • Top Sawyer–One who excels at driving horses.
  • Toper–One that loves his bottle, a soaker. See To Soak.
  • Topping Fellow–One at the top or head of his profession.
  • Topping Cheat–The gallows. (Cant)
  • Topping Cover–The hangman. (Cant)
  • Topping Man–A rich man.
  • Topsy-Turvy–The top side the other way; i.e. the wrong side upwards; some explain it, the top side turf ways, turf being always laid the wrong side upwards.
  • Torchecul–Bumfodder.
  • Tormenter of Sheep Skin–A drummer.
  • Tormenter of Catgut–A fiddler.
  • Tory–An advocate for absolute monarchy and church power; also an Irish vagabond, robber, Or rapparee.
  • Tory–The party of the monarchy–The conservatives–The party of Wiliam Pitt the Younger, and the government during most of the Regency.
  • Toss Pot–A drunkard.
  • Toss Off–Manual pollution.
  • Totty-Headed–Giddy, hare-brained.
  • Touch–To touch; to get money from any one; also to arrest. Touched in the wind; broken winded. Touched in the head; insane, crazy. To touch up a woman; to have carnal knowledge of her. Touch bone and whistle; any one having broken wind backwards, according to the vulgar law, may be pinched by any of the company till he has touched bone (i.e. his teeth) and whistled.
  • Touch Bun For Luck–See Bun.
  • Touched In The Upper Works–Crazy.
  • Tout–A look-out house, or eminence.
  • Tout–In sporting phraseology a tout signifies an agent in the training districts, on the look-out for information as to the condition and capabilities of those horses entering for a coming race. Touts often get into trouble through entering private training-grounds. They, however, are very highly paid, some making 40 a week during the season, Now frequently called horse-watchers.
  • Touting–(From Tueri, to look about) Publicans fore-stalling guests, or meeting them on the road, and begging their custom; also thieves or smugglers looking out to see that the coast is clear. Touting ken; the bar of a public house.
  • Tow Row–A grenadier. The tow row club; a club or society of the grenadier officers of the line.
  • Towel–An oaken towel, a cudgel. To rub one down with an oaken towel; to beat or cudgel him.
  • Tower–Clipped money: they have been round the tower with it. (Cant)
  • To Tower–To overlook, to rise aloft as in a high tower.
  • Tower Hill Play–A slap on the face, and a kick on the breech.
  • Town–A woman of the town; a prostitute. To be on the town: to live by prostitution.
  • Town–With a capital T, this always refers to London.
  • Town Bronze–Polish or style. 
  • Town Bull–A common whoremaster. To roar like a town bull; to cry or bellow aloud.
  • To Track–To go. Track up the dancers; go up stairs. (Cant)
  • Trading Justices–Broken mechanics, discharged footmen, and other low fellows, smuggled into the commission of the peace, who subsist by fomenting disputes, granting warrants, and otherwise retailing justice; to the honour of the present times, these nuisances are by no means, so common as formerly.
  • Tradesmen–Thieves. Clever tradesmen; good thieves.
  • Translators–Sellers of old mended shoes and boots, between coblers and shoemakers.
  • To Transmography, or Transmigrify–To patch up vamp, or alter.
  • To Transnear–To come up with any body.
  • Tranter–See Crocker.
  • Trap–To understand trap; to know one’s own interest.
  • Trap Sticks–Thin legs, gambs: from the sticks with which boys play at trap-ball.
  • Traps–Constables and thief-takers. (Cant)
  • To Trapan–To inveigle, or ensnare.
  • Trapes–A slatternly woman, a careless sluttish woman.
  • Traveller–To tip the traveller; to tell wonderful stories, to romance.
  • Travelling Piquet–A mode of amusing themselves, practiced by two persons riding in a carriage, each reckoning towards his game the persons or animals that pass by on the side next them, according to the following estimation:
  • A parson riding a grey horse, witholue furniture;
  • game. An old woman under a hedge;
  • ditto. A cat looking out of a window;
  • 60. A man, woman, and child, in a buggy;
  • 40. A man with a woman behind him;
  • 30. A flock of sheep;
  • 20. A flock of geese;
  • 10. A post chaise;
  • 5. A horseman;
  • 2. A man or woman walking;
  • 1.
  • Tray Trip–An ancient game like Scotch hop, played on a pavement marked out with chalk into different compartments.
  • Trencher Cap–The square cap worn by the collegians. at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
  • Trencher Man–A stout trencher man; one who has a good appetite, or, plays a good knife and fork.
  • Treswins–Threepence.
  • Trib–A prison: perhaps from tribulation.
  • Trickum Legis–A quirk or quibble in the law.
  • A Trifle Disguised–Slightly drunk.
  • Trig–The point at which schoolboys stand to shoot their marbles at taw; also the spot whence bowlers deliver the bowl.
  • To Trig It–To play truant. To lay a man trigging; to knock him down.
  • Trigrymate–An idle female companion.
  • Trim–State, dress. In a sad trim; dirty.—Also spruce or fine: a trim fellow.
  • Trim Tram–Like master, like man.
  • Trimming–Cheating, changing side, or beating. I’ll trim his jacket; I’ll thresh him. To be trimmed; to be shaved; I’ll just step and get trimmed.
  • Trine–To hang; also Tyburn.
  • Tringum Trangum–A whim, or maggot.
  • Trining–Hanging.
  • Trinkets–Toys, bawbles, or nicknacks.
  • Trip–A short voyage or journey, a false step or stumble, an error in the tongue, a bastard. She has made a trip; she has had a bastard.
  • Tripe–The belly, or guts. Mr. Double Tripe; a fat man. Tripes and trullibubs; the entrails: also a jeering appellation for a fat man.
  • To Troll–To loiter or saunter about.
  • Trolly Lolly–Coarse lace once much in fashion.
  • Trollops–Women of easy virtue. A lusty coarse sluttish woman.
  • Trooper–You will die the death of a trooper’s horse, that is, with your shoes-on; a jocular method of telling any one he will be hanged.
  • Trot–An old trot; a decrepit old woman. A dog trot; a gentle pace.
  • Trotters–Feet. To shake one’s trotters at Bilby’s ball, where the sheriff pays the fiddlers; perhaps the Bilboes ball, i.e. the ball of fetters: fetters and stocks were anciently called the bilboes.
  • Trotting Too Hard–Doing too much, exhausting yourself.
  • To Trounce–To punish by course of law.
  • Truck–To exchange, swop, or barter; also a wheel such as ship’s guns are placed upon.
  • Trull–A soldier or a tinker’s trull; a soldier or tinker’s female companion.—Guteli, or trulli, are spirits like women, which shew great kindness to men, and hereof it is that we call light women trulls. Randle Holm’s Academy of Armory.
  • Trumpery–An old whore, or goods of no value; rubbish.
  • Trumpet–To sound one’s own trumpet; to praise one’s self.
  • Trumpeter–The king of Spain’s trumpeter; a braying ass. His trumpeter is dead, he is therefore forced to sound his own trumpet. He would make an excellent trumpeter, for he has a strong breath; said of one having a foetid breath.
  • Trumps–To be put to one’s trumps: to be in difficulties, or put to one’s shifts. Something may turn up trumps; something lucky may happen. All his cards are trumps: he is extremely fortunate.
  • Trundlers–Peas.
  • Trunk–A nose. How fares your old trunk? does your nose still stand fast? an allusion to the proboscis or trunk of an elephant. To shove a trunk: to introduce one’s self unasked into any place or company. Trunk-maker like; more noise than work.
  • Trusty Trojan, or Trusty Trout–A true friend.
  • Try On–To endeavour. To live by thieving. Coves who try it on; professed thieves.
  • Try To Break Someone’s Shins–Borrow money.
  • Tryning–See Trining.
  • Tu Quoque–The mother of all saints.
  • Tub Thumper–A presbyterian parson.
  • Tucked Up–Hanged. A tucker up to an old bachelor or widower; a supposed mistress.
  • Tuft Hunter–A it anniversary parasite, one who courts the acquaintance of nobility, whose caps are adorned with a gold tuft.
  • Tumbler–A cart; also a sharper employed to draw in pigeons to game; likewise a posture-master, or rope-dancer. To shove the tumbler, or perhaps tumbril; to-be whipt at the cart’s tail.
  • To Tune–To beat: his father tuned him delightfully: perhaps from fetching a tune out of the person beaten, or from a comparison with the disagreeable sounds of instruments when tuning.
  • To Tup–To have carnal knowledge of a woman.
  • Tup–A ram: figuratively, a cuckold.
  • Tuppence–2 pennie, 2 pence
  • Tup Running–A rural sport practiced at wakes and fairs in Derbyshire; a ram, whose tail is well soaped and greased, is turned out to the multitude; any one that can take him by the tail, and hold him fast, is to have him for his own.
  • Turd–There were four t—ds for dinner: stir t—d, hold t—d, tread t—d, and mus-t—d: to wit, a hog’s face, feet and chitterlings, with mustard. He will never sh—e a seaman’s t—d; i.e. he will never make a good seaman.
  • Turf–On the turf; persons who keep running horses, or attend and bet at horse-races, are said to be on the turf.
  • Turk–A cruel, hard-hearted man. Turkish treatment; barbarous usage. Turkish shore; Lambeth, Southwark, and Rotherhithe side of the Thames.
  • Turkey Merchant–A poulterer.
  • Turncoat–One who has changed his party from interested motives.
  • Turned Up–Acquitted; discharged.
  • Turnip-Pated–White or fair-haired.
  • Turnpike Man–A parson; because the clergy collect their tolls at our entrance into and exit from the world.
  • Turn Someone Up Sweet–Ingratiate self with by lying.
  • Tuzzy-Muzzy–The monosyllable.
  • Twaddle–Perplexity, confusion, or any thing else: a fashionable term that for a while succeeded that of Bore. See Bore.
  • Twangey, or Stangey–A north country name for a taylor.
  • Tweague–In a great tweague: in a great passion. Tweaguey; peevish, passionate.
  • To Tweak–To pull: to tweak any one’s nose.
  • Twelver–A shilling.
  • Twiddle-Diddles–Testicles.
  • Twiddle Poop–An effeminate looking fellow.
  • In Twig–Handsome; stilish. The cove is togged in twig; the fellow is dressed in the fashion.
  • To Twig–To observe. Twig the cull, he is peery; observe the fellow, he is watching us. Also to disengage, snap asunder, or break off. To twig the darbies; to knock off the irons.
  • Twiss–(Irish) A Jordan, or pot de chambre. A Mr. Richard Twiss having in his “Travels” given a very unfavourable description of the Irish character, the inhabitants of Dublin, byway of revenge, thought proper to christen this utensil by his name—suffice it to say that the baptismal rites were not wanting at the ceremony. On a nephew of this gentleman the following epigram was made by a friend of ouis:
  • Perish the country, yet my name
  • Shall ne’er in STORY be forgot,
  • But still the more increase in fame,
  • The more the country Goes to Pot.
  • Twist–A mixture of half tea and half coffee; likewise brandy, beer, and eggs. A good twist; a good appetite. To twist it down apace; to eat heartily.
  • Twisted–Executed, hanged.
  • To Twit–To reproach a person, or remind him of favours conferred.
  • Twitter–All in a twitter; in a fright. Twittering is also the note of some small birds, such as the robin, &c.
  • Twittoc–Two. (Cant)
  • Two and a kick–2 1/2 shillings, A hind coachwheel, a half-bull, (approx $250).
  • Two Handed Put–The amorous congress.
  • Two Thieves Beating a Rogue–A man beating his hands against his sides to warm himself in cold weather; called also beating the booby, and cuffing Jonas.
  • Two To One Shop–A pawnbroker’s: alluding to the three blue balls, the sign of that trade: or perhaps to its being two to one that the goods pledged are never redeemed.
  • Two-Handed–Great. A two-handed fellow or wench; a great strapping man orwoman,
  • Tye–A neckcloth.
  • Tyburn Blossom–A young thief or pickpocket, who in time will ripen into fruit borne by the deadly never-green.
  • Tyburn Tippet–A halter; see Latimer’s sermon before. Edward VI. AD. 1549.
  • Tyburn Top, or Foretop–A wig with the foretop combed over the eyes in a knowing style; such being much worn by the gentlemen pads, scamps, divers, and other knowing hands.
  • Tyke–A dog, also a clown; a Yorkshire tyke.
  • Tyney–See Tiney.

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