Stunning

first-rate, very good, really, astonishing. Costermongers call anything extra good, stunning. Sometimes amplified to stunning Joe Banks ! when the expression is supposed to be in its most intense form. Joe Banks was a noted character in the last generation. He was the proprietor of a public-house in Dyott Street, Seven Dials, and afterwards, on the demolition of the Rookery, of another in Cranbourn Alley. His houses became well-known from their being the resort of the worst characters, while at the same time the strictest decorum was always maintained in them. Joe Banks also acquired a remarkable notoriety by acting as a medium betwixt thieves and their victims. Upon the proper payment to Joe, a watch or a snuff-box would at any time be restored to its lawful owner—“no questions in any case being asked.” The most daring depredators in London placed the fullest confidence in Joe, and it is believed (although the Biographie Universelle  is quiet upon this point) that he never, in any instance, “sold” them. He was of the middle height, stout, and strongly made, and was always noted for a showy pin and a remarkably stunning  neck-tie. It was this peculiarity in the costume of Mr. Banks, coupled with those true and tried qualities as a friend for which he was famous, that led his customers to proclaim him as stunningJoe Banks ! The Marquis of Douro, Colonel Chatterley, and men of their stamp, were accustomed to resort to a private-room at his house, when too late (or too early) to gain admittance to the clubs or more aristocratic establishments.