Victorian Era Slang Words used in English

Here are some slang words during Victorian era with the meaning

Abbess: Female brothel keeper. A Madame.

Abbot: The husband, or preferred man of an Abbess.

Alderman: Half-Crown

Area: The below-ground servant’s entrance in the front of many London town-houses.

Beak-hunting: Poultry stealing

Bearer up: Person that robs men who have been decoyed by a woman accomplice.

Beef: (1) (v) Raise hue-and-cry. (2) (n) Thief. (cr) = Hot Beef! = Stop Thief!

Bend: Waistcoat, vest

Betty: A type of lockpick

Billy: Handkerchief (often silk)

Chapel, the: Whitechapel.

Chat: a Louse (a singular of Lice).

Chaunting: Singing; also informing

Chaunting lay: Street singing (hopefully for money)

Chavy: Child

Chink: Money

Chiv, shiv: Knife, razor or sharpened stick (r)

Roostered drunk. “Looks like those cowboys are in there gettin’ all roostered up.”

See the elephant originally meant to see combat for the first time, later came to mean going to town, where all the action was.

Scoop in trick, entice, inveigle. “He got scooped into a poker game and lost his shirt.”

Scuttlebutt rumors.

Shave tail a green, inexperienced person.

Shin out run away.

Deadlurk: Empty Premises.

Deaner: A shilling. (Etymologially descended from the Dinarious, or ancient silver penny of Britain…)

Deb: Bed (cb)

Demander: One who gains monies through menace.

Derbies: (Pronounced Darbies). Handcuffed

Device: Tuppence

Deuce Hog (Duce Hog): 2 shillings

Devil’s claws: The broad arrows on a convict’s prison uniform.

Dewskitch: A beating

PLASTRON: A piece of cloth, usually shield-shaped, worn on the front of a coat or shirt, often of a facing color.

PLUME: A feather, horsehair, or worsted, standing decoration worn from the top and front of a hat or cap, sometimes called a pompom.

POLKA: A form of jacket skirt slit on both sides and around descending some six inches below the waist-line, usually cut with a slight flare.

PONCHO: A blanket or rubberized blanket made with a slit in the middle so as to be worn as a cape.

PROLONGE: A stout rope with a hook at one end and a toggle at the other, with two intermediate rings into which the hook and toggle are fastened to shorten the distance between a limber and a cannon carriage, sometimes used to connect the lunette of a carriage with a limber when the piece was fired.

ROUNDABOUT: A waist-length jacket.

SENNIT HAT: A broad-brimmed hat usually made of woven straw, which could be waterproofed black when worn by seamen in foul weather.

SHAKO: A tall stiff cap, usually worn with a pompom or plume, a visor and a cap badge on the front.

SHELL: Sometimes “shell jacket,” a waist-length jacket.

SHODDY: Old woolen rags passed through a machine that reduced them to wool, then saturated with oil or milk, mixed with new wool, and then run into large shallow pans, partially dried, and then pressed between cylinders to make new cloth. The result looked good but lasted only a short time in the field. Many 1861 Union uniforms were made of shoddy.

SHOULDER-STRAPS: Rectangular stripes edged in gold embroidery worn on each shoulder over a ground of a facing color with officers rank badges embroidered inside.

SHOULDER-TAB: A piece of cloth sewn into the shoulder seam and buttoning near the collar. Sometimes called epaulette.

SICILIAN CAP: A cap without a visor and with a bag ending with a tassel, worn by many Southern volunteers in 1861.

STANDARD: The flag carried by a mounted command

Finny: Five pound note

Flag: An apron

Flam: A lie

Flash (v & adj): Show, Showy (as in “Show-off,” or “Flashy”); smart; something special.

Flash house: A public house patronized by criminals.

Flash notes: Paper that looks, at a glance, like bank-notes

Gammy: False, undependable, hostile

Garret: Fob pocket in a waistcoat

Garrote: (v & n) A misplaced piano wire, and how it was misplaced.

Gatter: Beer

Gattering: A public house

Gegor: Begger

Gen: Shilling

Kecks: Trousers

Ken: House or other place, esp. a lodging or public house.

Kennetseeno: Bad, stinking, putrid — Malodorous. (r)

Kennuck: Penny

Kidsman: An organizer of child thieves

Kife: Bed

Kinchen-lay (Kynchen-lay): Stealing from children

Magflying: Pitch and toss

Magsman: An inferior cheat

Maltooler: A pickpocket who steals while riding an omnibus, esp. from women.

Mandrake: a Homosexual

Mark: The victim

Mary Blaine: Railway Train (cr); to meet a train or to travel via railway.

Mauley: Handwriting, signature

Mecks: Wine or spirits

Milltag: Shirt

Miltonian: Policemans

VERMONT BRIGADE: In the Army of the Potomac, the 2nd to 6th Vermont Volunteer Infantry regiments, joined in May 1864 by the 1st Vermont Heavy Artillery regiment and the 2nd New Jersey regiment from October 1862 to June 1863.

VOLLEY: The simultaneous discharge of a number of firearms.

WELLINGTONS: Ankle-high boots made without laces in front.

WHIPPLE HAT: Known as the “Excelsior hat” by Confederates, it was made from light-blue felt with a brim running two-thirds around the hat’s perimeter with a leather visor in front. Made by the Seamless Clothing Mfg. Co. in 1861, it was patented by J.F. Whipple of New York on 16 July 1861 and was worn by troops from New York and New Hampshire as well as by the US Sharpshooters.

WHITWORTH GUN: An English-made breech-loading cannon that saw Confederate service. Whitworth rifles, using the same boring procedures, were also issued to sharpshooters.

ZIGZAG: Defiladed trenches run out from parallels of attack so as to form a covered rad by which the attackers could approach the enemy’s lines

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