Abbess, or lady abbess, A bawd, the mistress
Abel-wackets. Blows given on the palm
of the hand
with a twisted handkerchief, instead of a ferula; a jocular
punishment among seamen, who sometimes play at cards
for wackets, the loser suffering as many strokes as he has
Abigail. A lady’s waiting-maid.
Abram. Naked. Cant.
Abram cove. A cant word among thieves,
naked or poor man; also a lusty, strong rogue.
Abram men. Pretended mad men.
To sham abram. To pretend sickness.
Academy, or pushing school. A
brothel. The Floating
Academy; the lighters on board of which those persons
are confined, who by a late regulation are condemned to
hard labour, instead of transportation.—Campbell’s
Academy; the same, from a gentleman of that name, who had
the contract for victualling the hulks or lighters.
Ace of Spades. A widow.
Accounts. To cast up one’s accounts; to vomit.
Acorn. You will ride a horse foaled by an
acorn, i.e. the
gallows, called also the Wooden and Three-legged Mare.
You will be hanged.—See three-legged mare.
Act of parliament. A military
term for small beer, five
pints of which, by an act of parliament, a landlord was
formerly obliged to give to each soldier gratis.
Acteon. A cuckold, from the horns planted
on the head
of Acteon by Diana.
Active citizen. A louse.
Adam’s ale. Water.
Adam tiler. A pickpocket’s associate,
who receives the
stolen goods, and runs off with them. Cant.
Addle pate. An inconsiderate foolish fellow.
Addle plot. A spoil-sport, a mar-all.
Admiral of the blue, who carries
his flag on the main-mast.
A landlord or publican wearing a blue apron, as
was formerly the custom among gentlemen of that vocation.
Admiral of the narrow seas.
One who from drunkenness
vomits into the lap of the person sitting opposite to
him. Sea phrase.
Adrift. Loose, turned adrift, discharged. Sea phrase.
Aegrotat, (Cambridge), A certificate from
that you are indisposed, (i. e.) to go to chapel. He
sports an Aegrotat, he is sick, and unable to attend Chapel.
or Hall. It does not follow, however, but that he can strum
A piece, or sport a pair of oars.