Shadwell’s Glossary

As the online version is missing it, I present here the glossary that accompanied Shadwell’s The Squire Of Alsatia, comprising the cant terms used in that play. Taken from the 1688 text, and checked against the critical edition by J.C. Ross. In the public domain by reason of its age.

An Explanation of the Cant.

Alsatia. White-fryers.
Prig, Prigster. Pert Coxcombs.
Bubble, Caravan. The Cheated.
Sealer. One that gives Bonds and Judgments for Goods and Money.
A Putt. One who is easily wheadled and cheated.
Coale, Ready, Rhino, Darby. Ready money.
Rhinocerical. Full of money.
Megs. Guineas.
Smelts. Half-Guineas.
Decus. A Crown piece.
George. A Half-Crown.
Hog. Shilling.
Sice. Six-pence.
Scout. A Watch.
Tattler. An Alarm, or Striking Watch.
Famble. A Ring.
Porker, Tilter. A Sword.
A Rumm Nab. A good Beaver.
Rigging. Cloathes.
Blowing, Natural, Convenient, Tackle, Buttock, Pure, Purest pure. Several Names for a Mistress, or rather a Whore.
To Equip. To furnish one.
A Bolter of White-fryers. One that does but peep out of White-fryers, and retire again like a Rabbit out of his hole.
To lugg cut. To draw a Sword.
To Scamper, to rubb, to scowre. To run away.
Bowsy. Drunk.
Clear. Very Drunk.
Smoaky. Jealous.
Sharp. Subtle.
A Sharper. A Cheat.
A Tattmonger. A Cheat at Dice.
Tatts. False Dice.
The Doctor. A particular false Die, which will run but two or three Chances.
Prog. Meat.

One reply

  1. Lucy says:

    I have just discovered this website today after searching for a map of the Whitefriars precinct. I was at/in ‘Alsatia’ today, but not for the first time. I’ve long meant to look up more about it, so I’m glad that someone with a similar passion for London history has done something about it: thank you!

    Best wishes,

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