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VICTORIAN WORDS & PHRASES
 
A short list of cockney and back slang words and phrases that appear in the songs of this era. Several of them are still in popular use today.
 
TL TR
Airy The area, at basement level, at the bottom of the steps from the street, a feature of many London houses. More commonly called the 'area'.
A giry door The basement door from the 'airy' into the house.
Allus Always
Ballet Front row (ballet toe?)
Bank Holiday Fight or row
Barcelona Head (Barcelona Nut?)
Batting beating down, arguing
Beak Magistrate
Bluchers A strong leather half-boot
Blue Bottle Policeman
Boco Nut or Head (Cocoa nut)
Boke Nose
Bosh Nonsense
Bubble and squeak Private parts
Bull's Eye Torch or lantern
Carsey (karzee) W.C. - bathroom
Carmine Red or crimson pigment
China Mate (china plate)
Chivvy chase Face
Choused Cheated or defrauded
Cigarette Lamplighters pole
Chavy Child
Cove A man
Cram A lie
Crusher Policeman
Crust Head (crust of bread)
Crutch and Toothpick A crutch was a handled walking stick and the toothpick is refering to a gold toothpick that fops used to wear as a form of jewelry, so the tight trousered, crutch sticks and gold toothpick characters were dubbed the 'Crutch and Toothpick' brigade.
D. Detective
Darby Kelly Belly
Deuce The Devil
Die A card (die hard) (i.e. an odd or amusing person)
Doing a Mike Skiving
Donah Girlfriend
Done a guy Run away or moonlight flit
Dooks Fists
Drabble Drink
Drum Building, lodgings
Facings Left, right, about turn, in military drill
Fagged Tired
Filibeg Little fold (Gaelic) like a loin cloth
Flimsies Paper money
Flowery Prison Cell (Flowery Dell)
Galipot Earthenware pot
Gamp Umbrella
Getting the spike Becoming irrritable
Gowan A plant with white/yellow flowers
Graft Work
Grashes Something you shoot on the moors
Grasshopper Copper (ie. policeman)
Gyeing Flirting
Hearts of Oak Stoney broke
Hedge To dodge or leave a way open to retreat
Hobble Skirt that also ties at the ankles
Hokey Pokey Ice cream
Hooky Truant
Ipecacuanha Dried root used as an emetic or purgative.
Jagged Cut with tailors scissors
Jay Sucker
Jarvies Horse-driven cab driver
Jehu A horse driven bus driver or cabby
Johnny Fellow
Josser Originally it meant simple or stupid
Jerusalem Donkey - Jerusalem Artichoke = moke
Kinchin' lay The practice of stealing money from children sent on errands.
Kivver Clothed /covered
Knock Horse
Little Mary Stomach
Masher A fop of affected manners/ladies man
Merry as a grig An extravagantly lively person (a grig is a species of eel)
Mivvy Could be face, or mouth, or bottom
Moil To drudge
Moke Donkey
Morf Chill
Mortal coil Life
Napper Head
Nut A swell or dandy
Off my chump Crazy
On the cop On the look out
Oof Money
Pansy Bodypart someone is likely to kick you
Pard Chum (partner)
Pelf Riches
Pie A good thing
Pinnies Garments that were pinned (Pinafore)
Pobs Bread soaked in hot milk with sugar sprinkled on top
Polony Partly cooked sausage
Primp To gaze (as into a shop window)
Rap A counterfeit coin supposed to be worth about a farthing.
Rhino Money
Sell Con artist
Seraglio Restricted area  (from area in harem)
Shanty Shiner or black-eye
Shooting the moon A moonlight flit
Six months hard Six months hard labour as a punishment.
Skilly Watery porridge
Sky Pocket (sky rocket)
Slop Police (back slang)
Sold Caught out
Snobbing Shoe repairing
Spoof Humbug
Spoon To court in romantic or silly way
Spot Drop of liquor
Spout Put in pawn
Stepping Time in prison
Story Crook (Story book?)
Sticks Furniture
Stooks Belongings
Strap Credit
Strict QT In confidence
Swell Stylish - good social standing
T.T. Tee-total
Take your hook Scarper, run away
Tenner Ten years (only later ten quid)
Ticket-of-leaf man Someone back from having being transported.
Tiddly drink (Tiddly wink)
Tile Hat
Tin Money
Twig Understand
Two eyed steak Bloater (the fish)
Tyke Mongrel dog or small child.
Uncle Pawn broker
Up the stick In trouble
Up the spout To put into pawn or pregnant.
Wilets Violets
Wide Smart, clever
Wired in An expression meaning that you were in the know about the latest fads and fashions.
Yob Boy (back slang - word reversed)
Young guns Pickpockets
BL BR
 
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