A New and Comprehensive

Vocabulary of the Flash Language


a farthing
A word so variously used that I can only illustrate it by a few examples.
1 to fake any person or place
May signify to rob them.
2 to fake a person
May also imply to shoot, wound, or cut
3 to fake a man out and out
Is to kill him.
4 faked himself
A man who inflicts wounds upon or otherwise disfigures himself, for any sinister purpose, is said to have faked himself
5 fake an object
If a man's shoe happens to pinch, or gall his foot, from its being overtight, he will complain that his shoe fakes his foot sadly. It also describes the doing of any act, or the fabricating any thing, as in to fake your slangs, meaning to cut your irons in order to escape from custody.
6 to fake your pin
Is to create a sore leg or to cut it as if accidentally with an axe, etc, in hopes of obtaining a discharge from the army or navy, or to get into the doctor's list, etc.
7 to fake a screeve
Is to write a letter, or other paper.
8 to fake a screw
Is to shape out a skeleton or false key, for the purpose of screwing a particular place.
9 to fake a cly
Is to pick a pocket, etc, etc, etc.
fake away, there's no down
there is no sign of any alarm or detection
Meaning: Go on with your operations.
An intimation from a thief to his pall during the commission of a robbery or other act.
any act or thing alluded to in a fake
The ‘fakement’ or ‘fakeman‑charley’ means the act or thing alluded to in a ‘fake’ and on which your discourse turns.
Consequently any stranger unacquainted with your subject will not comprehend what is meant by the ‘fakement’.
For instance, having recently been concerned with another in some robbery and immediately separated, the latter taking the booty with him, on your next meeting you will inquire: What he has done with the fakement?
meaning the article stolen, whether it was a pocket-book, piece or linen, or what not.
Speaking of any stolen property which has a private mark, one will say, there is a fakeman-charley on it. A forgery which is well executed is said to be a prime fakement. In a word, anything is liable to be termed a fakement or a fakeman‑charley provided the person you address knows to what you allude.
1 the hand
2 to feel or handle
thieves , sharpers and all others who get their their living upon the cross
Are comprehended under the title of the family.
family-man ~ family-woman
any person known or recognised as belonging to the family
All such are termed family people.
any article universally admired for its beauty
Or which the owner sets particular store by, is termed a fancy article.
As in a fancy clout, a favourite handkerchief, etc.
So a woman who is the particular favourite of any man is termed his fancy woman, and vice versâ.
a finger-ring
fawnied ~ fawney-fam'd
having one or more rings on the finger


a spoon
a receiver of stolen goods
To fence any property is to sell it to a receiver or other person.
a stick
To fib is to beat with a stick, also to box.
a pugilist
a boxing match
an adept in the arts of fraud
A person who has had a long course of experience in the arts of fraud, so as to have become an adept, is termed an old file upon the town. So it is usual to say of a man who is extremely cunning, and not to be over‑reached, that he is a deep file.in the old version of cant it signified a pickpocket but the term is now obsolete.
a midwife
a clasp-knife


1 the cant language used by the family
To speak good flash is to be well versed in cant terms.
2 a person who affects any peculiar habit
Such as swearing, dressing in a particular manner, taking snuff, etc, merely to be taken notice of, is said to do it out of flash.
3 to understand or comprehend
Synonymous with being fly, down, or awake.
4 put someone on his guard
To put a person flash to any thing, is to explain or inform him of what he was before unacquainted with.
5 to shew or expose anything
As in I flash'd him a bean, meaning ‘I shewed him a guinea’.
Don't flash your sticks, meaning ‘Don't expose your pistols’, etc.
flash cove ~ flash covess
the landlord or landlady of a flash-ken
flash-crib ~ flash-ken ~ flash-panny
a public-house resorted to chiefly by family people
The master of which is commonly an old prig, and not unfrequently an old‑lag.
a favourite or fancy-man
Generally applied to those dissolute characters upon the town, who subsist upon the liberality of unfortunate women, who in return are generally at hand during their nocturnal perambulations to protect them should any brawl occur, or should they be detected in robbing those whom they have picked up.
a family-woman
a song interlarded with flash words
Generally relating to the exploits of the prigging fraternity in their various branches of depredation.
a shirt
1 an honest man
In a general sense, any honest man or square cove, in opposition to a sharp or cross-cove.
When used particularly it means the person whom you have a design to rob or defraud, who is termed the flat or the flatty-gory.
2 a man who does any foolish or imprudent act
Any person who is found an easy dupe to the designs of the family is said to be a prime flat.
3 a proverb among flash people
It's a good flat that's never down
Meaning that though a man may be repeatedly duped or taken in, he must in the end have his eyes opened to his folly.
any attempt or project that miscarries
Or any act of folly or mismanagement in human affairs.
a cant name for playing-cards
to shoot
to knock down anyone
Either for the purpose of robbery, or to effect your escape, is termed flooring him.
a person who is so drunk as to be incapable of standing
a chimney-sweeper
vigilant , suspicious , cunning
Not easily robbed or duped.A shopkeeper or person of this description is called a fly cove or a leary cove.On other occasions the word is synonymous with flash or leary as in:I'm fly to you or I was put flash to him, etc.
fly the mags
to gamble
By tossing up halfpence. similar to the game of two-up


a silk handkerchief
the two forefingers of the hand
To put your forks down is to pick a pocket.
foss ~ phos
a phosphorus bottle
Used by cracksmen to obtain a light.
1 to search
To frisk a cly is to empty a pocket of its contents.
To stand frisk is to stand search.
2 fun or mirth of any kind