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Devonshire February March 17

Devon's Countryside, Wildlife, History and Events

Helping you stay mobile

Helping you stay mobile at home and outdoors Sport model Lightweight mobility scooters Exclusively available at Cavendish Made to measure recliner chairs Available at: Babbacombe Business Park, Babbacombe Rd TQ1 3UP LARGE SHOWROOMS, HUGE RANGE, AMPLE & EASY FREE PARKING CAVENDISH HEALTHCARE & MOBILITY S U P E R S T O R E 96 Countryside, History, Walks, the Arts, Events & all things Devon at: DEVONSHIRE

DEVONSHIRE magazine’s Abridged Guide to the Cant Language PLENTY OF INTEREST FROM READERS since our last issue on the subject of Bamfylde-Moore Carew, (or see on-line at Devon’s so-called King of the Gypsies and more particularly about the CANT LANGUAGE, spoken amongst ‘Egyptian’ Gypsies and other ne’er-do-wells in Georgian England. Some of these odd code words and phrases survive in Devon to this day. If you find yourself watching the carving of the roast next Sunday to make sure you are getting your fair whack, you are talking CANT. Getting all togged up for a night out? You’re talking CANT again. And if that panto you took the kids to see happened to be Babes in the Wood, you just used the CANT code for any of their number held fast in the stocks! Here are a few more, below: Abram - naked, without clothes Adam tiler - a pickpocket’s accomplice Amen curler - a parish clerk Autumn jet - a parson Autumn bawler - a preacher Babes in the wood - criminals in the stocks Back’d - dead Balsam - money Bandog - a bailiff Baptised - any spirit cut with water Barking irons - pistols Bawbee - a halfpenny Beater cases - boots Belly cheat - an apron Bing - to go Blackfly - the parson Blackbox - a lawyer Black Indies - Newcastle Bob - a shoplifter’s assistant (‘Bob’s your uncle!’) Booby hatch - a one-horse chaise Bum brusher - a school master Cank - dumb Cap - to swear Case - a shop, house or warehouse a target for thievery - ‘case’ the joint) Calfskin fiddle - a drum Charm - a picklock Chates - the gallows Chafe - a knife (Image courtesy Russell-Coates Museum & Art gallery) Chosen tells - highwaymen working in pairs Chuck farthing - parish clerk Clickman toad - a West Country man Closes - rogues Cloy - a rogue, a robber Coach wheel - half a crown Collar day - execution Cooler - a woman Crew - knot or gang Crook - sixpence Cucumbers - tailors Cussin - a man Darby ready - money Dag - a gun Dancers - stairs Dash - a tavern drawer Diddle - gin Timber dater - the top rogue Dobing rig - stealing ribbons Doctors - loaded dice Dunker - a stealer of cows Riffs newly - initiated rogues Eternity box - coffin Families - rings Fammes - hands Fastener - a warrant Fawnet - a ring Feeder - a spoon Ferret - a pawnbroker Flick - sly Flyers - shoes or boots Froglanders - the Dutch Frummagemmed - choked, strangled, hanged Gaberlunsie - a beggar Gem - a fire Gibberish - the Cant language Bigger - a door Gaoler's coach - a hurdle Green bag - a lawyer Gropers - a blind man Gutter-lane - the throat Hammer - a great lie Hams - breeches Henfright - hen-pecked husbands Hums - church goers King’s pictures - money of any kind Lantern - a bribable court official Lifter - a crutch Little Barbary - Wapping Lushy cover - drunk Mill clapper - a scolding tongue Moon-curser - a link-boy Muck - money Ne’er a face but his own Not a penny in his pocket Nub - a head Nubbing - cheat the gallows Nut-crackers - a pillory Ogles - eyes Pad-the-hoof - journeying on foot Pantler - a butler Peeper - a mirror Penance boards - a pillory Porker - a sword Royster - a rude, roaring fellow Ruffin - the devil Rumba - a prison Sharper - a cheat Shove the tumbler - whipped at the cart’s tail Spanish money - forwards Spoil pudding - long-winded parson Swag - a shop Tip - to give or lend Toggery - clothes Twig - to break off Wattles - ears Whack - share Whitewall - silver money Wooden ruff - the stocks Yam - to eat heartily Yarum - milk Yellow George - a guinea Yelper - town crier Znees - frost or frozen Zneesy - frosty weather Re-searched (and Spellchecked) - by John Fisher hubcast .co.u k 97

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