American Slang

14 terms


a farmer: “faking a bosman  on the main toby,” robbing a farmer on the highway. Boss , a master.—American. Both terms from the Dutchbosch-man , one who lives in the woods; otherwise Boschjeman, or Bushman.


a noisy dance, almost violent enough to break the floor down; a jovial, social gathering, a “flare up;” in Ireland, a wedding—American  so far as the dance is concerned.


or cave in , to submit, shut up.—American. Metaphor taken from the sinking of an abandoned mining shaft.


abbreviation of racoon.—American. A gone coon ditto, one in an awful fix, past praying for. This expression is said to have originated in the first American war with a spy, who dressed himself in a racoon skin, and ensconced himself in a tree. An English rifleman taking him for a veritable coon, levelled his piece at him, upon which he exclaimed, “Don't shoot, I'll come down of myself, I know I'm a gone coon.” The Yankees say the Britisher was so “flummuxed,” that he flung down his rifle and “made tracks” for home. The phrase is pretty general in England. [There is one difficulty about this story—How big was the man who dressed himself in a racoon skin?]


vulgar corruption of damn.—American.


showy, affected, tinselled, affecting certain pompous or fashionable airs, stuck up; “come, none of yer highfalutin ' games,” i.e., you must not show off or imitate the swell here.—American  slang, now common in Liverpool and the East-end of London. From the Dutchverlooten. Used generally now in the sense of fustian, high-sounding, unmeaning eloquence, bombast.


To liquor one's boots; to drink before a journey: among Roman Catholics, to administer the extreme unction.
or liquor up , to drink drams.—Americanism. In liquor , tipsy, or drunk.
liquor. Solution of a nonvolatile substance.

l. acidi chromici. Used, well diluted, as a wash in bromidrosis.

l. alumini acetatis  (Burows' solution). For external use as an astringent and antiseptic.

l. antisepticus. A mouthwash.

l. bromi. Antiseptic.

l. Burowii. Astringent and antiseptic (See l. alum. acet.)

l. caoutchouc. For rubber skin.

l. cresolis compositus. Antiseptic and disinfectant where vesicles form.

l. ferri persulphatis. Styptic.

l. ferrisub sulphatis. Monsel's solution. Styptic.

l. hydrargyri nitratis. Caustic application.

l. iodi carbolatus. Antiseptic counterirritant.

l. plumbi subacetatis. For bruises and sprains.

l. sodii boratis compositus. Dobell's solution. An alkaline antiseptic preparation.

l. sodii ethylatis. Employed externally as a caustic.

l. sodii silicatis. Used in surgery for applying splints.

l. zinci chlorodi. Disinfectant and deodorant.


oblivious of distinction between right and wrong.—American.


to go or run away.—American.


a bundle, or valise. Also, a cash-box.
a partridge.—Poacher's term.
to run short, or give out.—American.
A portmanteau or cloke-bag. Biter of peters; one that makes it a trade to steal boxes and trunks from behind stage coaches or out of waggons. To rob Peter to pay Paul; to borrow of one man to pay another: styled also manoeuvring the apostles.