A New and Comprehensive

Vocabulary of the Flash Language


a house
to beg
The cadge is the game or profession of begging.
cadge cloak
a beggar
cant of dobbin
a roll of riband
a concealment , pretext , or pretence
Synonymous with bonnet
a lady's cloak
carry the keg
one who is easily vexed
A man who is put out of humour by any joke passed upon him, and cannot conceal his chagrin, is said to carry the keg, or is compared to a walking distiller.
a hat
cat and kitten rig
the petty game of stealing pewter quart and pint pots from public-houses


As good as caz, is a phrase signifying that any projected fraud or robbery may be easily and certainly accomplished.
Any person who is the object of such attempt and is known to be an easy dupe, is declared to be as good as caz, meaning that success is certain.
a chandler's shop
1 a person's name , address , or designation
2 a cipher , initials , or mark of any kind on a piece of plate , linen , or other article
Any thing so marked is said to be chanted.
3 an advertisement in a newspaper or hand-bill
Also a paragraph in the newspaper describing any robbery or other recent event; any lost or stolen property, for the recovery of which, or a thief, etc., for whose apprehension a reward is held out by advertisement, are said to be chanted.
a watchman
a watch box
chaunt a song
to sing
To throw off a rum chaunt is to sing a good song.
cheese it
stow it
See stow it for more information.
china street
a cant name for bow street
Located in Covent Garden, London.
a knife
To chiv a person is to stab or cut him with a knife.
obliterating identifying marks on stolen goods
Obliterating the name and number on the movement on a stolen watch.Or the crest, cipher, etc, on articles of plate, and getting others engraved, so as to prevent their being identified, is termed having them bishop'd or christen'd.
a fellow prisoner in a jail , hulk , etc
So there are new chums and old chums, as they happen to have been a short or a long time in confinement.
a knife


cleaned out
said of a gambler who has lost his last stake at play
Also of a flat who has been stript of all his money by a coalition of sharps.
a handkerchief of any kind
Hence clouting, the practice of picking pockets exclusively of handkerchiefs
a pocket
cly faker
a pickpocket


a dollar or crown piece
come ∼ to come
an item which may be easily purloined
A thief observing any article in a shop, or other situation, which he conceives may be easily purloined, will say to his accomplice:
I think there is so and so to come.
come ∼ come it
to divulge a secret
To tell any thing of one party to another.They say of a thief who has turned evidence against his accomplices that he is coming all he knows, or that he comes it as strong as a horse.
come to the heath
to pay or give money
Synonymous with tipping, from which word it takes its rise, there being a place called Tiptree Heath, I believe, in the county of Essex.
come to the mark
1 to abide strictly by any contract previously made
2 to perform your part manfully in any exploit or enterprise you engage in
3 to offer a fair price for any article in question
a cant word meaning involved
The lovers of flash, by way of variation, adopt this term, for an illustration of which, see bolt-in-tun , Alderman Lushington , Mr. Palmer , etc.
1 the nose
2 a thief who impeaches his accomplices
3 a spy , informer , or tell-tale
See nose, and wear it for more.
the master of a house or shop
On other occasions, when joined to particular words, as a cross-cove, a flash cove, a leary-cove, etc, it simply implies a man of these several descriptions.
Sometimes, in speaking of any third person, whose name you are either ignorant of, or don't wish to mention, the word is adopted by way of emphasis, as may be seen under the word awake
to obscure the view of by-standers
To stand in such a situation as to obscure your pall, who is committing a robbery, from the view of by standers or persons passing, is called covering him.
Anybody whose dress or stature renders him particularly eligible for this purpose is said to be a good cover.
the mistress of a house or shop
Used on other occasions in the same manner as cove when applied to a man.


to prevent the perfection or execution of any intended matter or business
Saying anything offensive or unpleasant is called crabbing it or throwing a crab.To crab a person is to use offensive language or behaviour as will highly displease or put him in an ill humour.
affronted , out of humour
Sometimes called being in crab-street.
to break open
The crack is the game of house-breaking, whilst a crack is a breaking any house or building for the purpose of plunder.
a house-breaker
crack a whid
to speak or utter
As in He crack'd some queer whids meaning ‘ He dropt some bad or ugly expressions’.
Crack a whid for me meaning ‘ Intercede’ or ‘ Put in a word for me’.
a small loaf
Served to prisoners in jails for their daily subsistence.
the gallows
a house
Sometimes applied to shops, as in:A thimble-crib is a watch-maker's shop, a stocking-crib is a hosier's, etc.
to die
a sixpence
illegal or dishonest practices in general
In opposition to the square.
Any article which has been irregularly obtained is said to have been
got upon the cross and is emphatically termed a cross article.
cross cove ~ cross mollisher
a man or woman who lives upon the cross
cross crib
a house inhabited , or kept by family people
See square crib.
to pick a pocket
By crossing your arms in a particular position.


the mace
Also known as the billiard-slum. Sometimes called going upon the Q or the letter Q.
cut the line
see line
cut the string
see string
cut the yarn
see yarn
cutting gloak
a knife in a quarrel
A man famous for drawing a knife, and cutting any person he quarrels with