Canting Dictionary


Dictionary definitions from Nathan Bailey’s Canting Dictionary [thieving slang], 1736:

A Collection of the Canting Words and Terms, both ancient and modern, used by Beggars, Gypsies, Cheats, House-Breakers, Shop-Lifters, Foot-Pads, Highway-Men, &c;

Page images are here; for the text of the dictionary see the text of the slang dictionary.

Some of the words defined are also used in Three Centuries of Canting Songs and Slang Rhymes edited by J. Farmer.

[picture: Front Cover, 1737 English Dictionary (includes thieving slang)]

Front Cover, 1737 English Dictionary (includes thieving slang)

The front cover is actually detached, and was when the book was so kindly given to me by Hugh Anson-Cartwright. [$]

[picture: Title page, 1737 English Dictionary]

Title page, 1737 English Dictionary

The Canting Dictionary doesn’t seem to be mentioned on the title page particularly. [$]

[picture: Page image, blockhouses--byblow.]

Page image, blockhouses – byblow.

A page image of the double-page spread of definitions from blockhouses to byblow. [more...] [$]

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