CHAPMAN, retail dealer.
CHARM, subdue with magic, lay a spell on, silence.
CHARMING, exercising magic power.
CHEAP, bargain, market.
CHEAR, CHEER, comfort, encouragement; food, entertainment.
CHECK AT, aim reproof at.
CHEQUIN, gold Italian coin.
CHEVRIL, from kidskin, which is elastic and pliable.
CHIAUS, Turkish envoy; used for a cheat, swindler.
CHILDERMASS DAY, Innocents' Day.
CHOKE-BAIL, action which does not allow of bail.
CHRYSOSPERM, ways of producing gold.
CIBATION, adding fresh substances to supply the waste
CIOPPINI, chopine, lady's high shoe.
CIRCLING BOY, "a species of roarer; one who in some way
drew a man into a snare, to cheat or rob him" (Nares).
CIRCUMSTANCE, circumlocution, beating about the bush;
ceremony, everything pertaining to a certain condition;
CITRONISE, turn citron colour.
CITTERN, kind of guitar.
CITY-WIRES, woman of fashion, who made use of wires
for hair and dress.
CLAP, clack, chatter.
CLAPPER-DUDGEON, downright beggar.
CLAPS HIS DISH, a clap, or clack, dish (dish with a
movable lid) was carried by beggars and lepers to show
that the vessel was empty, and to give sound of their
CLARIDIANA, heroine of an old romance.
CLARISSIMO, Venetian noble.
CLIM O' THE CLOUGHS, etc., wordy heroes of romance.
CLOSE, secret, private; secretive.
CLOTH, arras, hangings.
CLOUT, mark shot at, bull's eye.
CLOWN, countryman, clodhopper.
COACH-LEAVES, folding blinds.
COALS, "bear no--," submit to no affront.
COAT-ARMOUR, coat of arms.
COB-HERRING, HERRING-COB, a young herring.
COB-SWAN, male swan.
COCK-A-HOOP, denoting unstinted jollity; thought to
be derived from turning on the tap that all might
drink to the full of the flowing liquor.
COCKATRICE, reptile supposed to be produced from a
cock's egg and to kill by its eye--used as a term
of reproach for a woman.
COCK-BRAINED, giddy, wild.
COCKSCOMB, fool's cap.
COCKSTONE, stone said to be found in a cock's
gizzard, and to possess particular virtues.
CODLING, softening by boiling.
COFFIN, raised crust of a pie.
COG, cheat, wheedle.
COIL, turmoil, confusion, ado.
COKELY, master of a puppet-show (Whalley).
COKES, fool, gull.
COLD-CONCEITED, having cold opinion of, coldly
COLE-HARBOUR, a retreat for people of all sorts.
COLLECTION, composure; deduction.
COLLOP, small slice, piece of flesh.
COLOURS, "fear no--," no enemy (quibble).
COLSTAFF, cowlstaff, pole for carrying a cowl=tub.
COME ABOUT, charge, turn round.
COMFORTABLE BREAD, spiced gingerbread.
COMING, forward, ready to respond, complaisant.
COMMENT, commentary; "sometime it is taken for a lie
or fayned tale" (Bullokar, 1616).
COMMODITY, "current for--," allusion to practice of
money-lenders, who forced the borrower to take part of
the loan in the shape of worthless goods on which the
latter had to make money if he could.
COMPASS, "in--," within the range, sphere.
COMPLEMENT, completion, completement; anything
required for the perfecting or carrying out of
a person or affair; accomplishment.
COMPLEXION, natural disposition, constitution.
COMPLIMENT, See Complement.
COMPLIMENTARIES, masters of accomplishments.
COMPOSITION, constitution; agreement, contract.
COMPTER, COUNTER, debtors' prison.
CONCEALMENT, a certain amount of church property
had been retained at the dissolution of the monasteries;
Elizabeth sent commissioners to search it out, and the
possessed of intelligence, witty, ingenious (hence well
conceited, etc.); disposed to joke; of opinion, possessed
of an idea.
CONCENT, harmony, agreement.
CONCLUDE, infer, prove.
CONCOCT, assimilate, digest.
CONDEN'T, probably conducted.
CONDUCT, escort, conductor.
CONNIVE, give a look, wink, of secret intelligence.
CONSORT, company, concert.
CONSTANCY, fidelity, ardour, persistence.
CONSTANT, confirmed, persistent, faithful.
CONSTANTLY, firmly, persistently.
CONTINENT, holding together.
CONTROL (the point), bear or beat down.
CONVENT, assembly, meeting.
CONVERT, turn (oneself).
CONVEY, transmit from one to another.
CONVINCE, evince, prove; overcome, overpower; convict.
COP, head, top; tuft on head of birds; "a cop" may
have reference to one or other meaning; Gifford and
others interpret as "conical, terminating in a point."
COPY (Lat. copia), abundance, copiousness.
CORN ("powder--"), grain.
COROLLARY, finishing part or touch.
CORTINE, curtain, (arch.) wall between two towers, etc.
CORYAT, famous for his travels, published as "Coryat's
COSSET, pet lamb, pet.
COSTARD-MONGER, apple-seller, coster-monger.
COTHURNAL, from "cothurnus," a particular boot worn by
actors in Greek tragedy.
COUNTENANCE, means necessary for support; credit, standing.
COUNTER. See Compter.
COUNTER, pieces of metal or ivory for calculating at play.
COUNTER, "hunt--," follow scent in reverse direction.
COUNTERFEIT, false coin.
COUNTERPANE, one part or counterpart of a deed or indenture.
COUNTERPOINT, opposite, contrary point.
COURT-DISH, a kind of drinking-cup (Halliwell); N.E.D.
quotes from Bp. Goodman's "Court of James I.": "The
king...caused his carver to cut him out a court-dish,
that is, something of every dish, which he sent him as
part of his reversion," but this does not sound like
short allowance or small receptacle.
COURTEAU, curtal, small horse with docked tail.
COWSHARD, cow dung.
COXCOMB, fool's cap, fool.
COY, shrink; disdain.
COYSTREL, low varlet.
CRACK, lively young rogue, wag.
CRACK, crack up, boast; come to grief.
CRAMBE, game of crambo, in which the players find
rhymes for a given word.
CRANION, spider-like; also fairy appellation for a
fly (Gifford, who refers to lines in Drayton's
CRIMP, game at cards.
CRINCLE, draw back, turn aside.
CRISPED, with curled or waved hair.
CROP, gather, reap.
CROPSHIRE, a kind of herring. (See N.E.D.)
CROSS, any piece of money, many coins being stamped
with a cross.
CROSS AND PILE, heads and tails.
CRUDITIES, undigested matter.
CRUMP, curl up.
CRUSADO, Portuguese gold coin, marked with a cross.
CRY ("he that cried Italian"), "speak in a musical
cadence," intone, or declaim (?); cry up.
CUCKING-STOOL, used for the ducking of scolds, etc.
CUCURBITE, a gourd-shaped vessel used for distillation.
CUERPO, "in--," in undress.
CULLION, base fellow, coward.
CULLISEN, badge worn on their arm by servants.
CULVERIN, kind of cannon.
CURE, care for.
CURIOUS(LY), scrupulous, particular; elaborate,
elegant(ly), dainty(ly) (hence "in curious").
CURST, shrewish, mischievous.
CURTAL, dog with docked tail, of inferior sort.
CUSTARD, "quaking--," "--politic," reference to
a large custard which formed part of a city feast
and afforded huge entertainment, for the fool jumped
into it, and other like tricks were played. (See
"All's Well, etc." ii. 5, 40.)
CUTWORK, embroidery, open-work.
CYPRES (CYPRUS) (quibble), cypress (or cyprus) being
a transparent material, and when black used for mourning.
DAGGER ("--frumety"), name of tavern.
DARGISON, apparently some person known in ballad or tale.
DAUPHIN MY BOY, refrain of old comic song.
DEAD LIFT, desperate emergency.
DEAR, applied to that which in any way touches us nearly.
DECLINE, turn off from; turn away, aside.
DEFALK, deduct, abate.
DEMI-CULVERIN, cannon carrying a ball of about ten pounds.
DENIER, the smallest possible coin, being the twelfth
part of a sou.
DEPART, part with.
DEPENDANCE, ground of quarrel in duello language.
DESPERATE, rash, reckless.
DETECT, allow to be detected, betray, inform against.
DETRACT, draw back, refuse.
DEVICE, masque, show; a thing moved by wires,
DEVISE, exact in every particular.
DIAPASM, powdered aromatic herbs, made into balls
of perfumed paste. (See Pomander.)
DIBBLE, (?) moustache (N.E.D.); (?) dagger (Cunningham).
DIFFUSED, disordered, scattered, irregular.
DILDO, refrain of popular songs; vague term of low meaning.
DIMBLE, dingle, ravine.
DIMENSUM, stated allowance.
DISCERN, distinguish, show a difference between.
DISCHARGE, settle for.
DISCIPLINE, reformation; ecclesiastical system.
DISCLAIM, renounce all part in.
DISCOURSE, process of reasoning, reasoning faculty.
DISCOVER, betray, reveal; display.
DISPARAGEMENT, legal term applied to the unfitness
in any way of a marriage arranged for in the case
DISPENSE WITH, grant dispensation for.
DIS'PLE, discipline, teach by the whip.
DISPOSED, inclined to merriment.
DISPUNCT, not punctilious.
DISSOLVED, enervated by grief.
DISTANCE, (?) proper measure.
DISTASTE, offence, cause of offence.
DISTASTE, render distasteful.
DISTEMPERED, upset, out of humour.
DIVISION (mus.), variation, modulation.
DOG-BOLT, term of contempt.
DOLE, given in dole, charity.
DOLE OF FACES, distribution of grimaces.
DOOM, verdict, sentence.
DOP, dip, low bow.
DOR, beetle, buzzing insect, drone, idler.
DOR, (?) buzz; "give the--," make a fool of.
DOSSER, pannier, basket.
DOTES, endowments, qualities.
DOTTEREL, plover; gull, fool.
DOUBLE, behave deceitfully.
DOXY, wench, mistress.
DRACHM, Greek silver coin.
DRESS, groom, curry.
DRYFOOT, track by mere scent of foot.
DUCKING, punishment for minor offences.
DUMPS, melancholy, originally a mournful melody.
DURINDANA, Orlando's sword.
DWINDLE, shrink away, be overawed.
EAN, yean, bring forth young.
EGREGIOUS, eminently excellent.
EKE, also, moreover.
E-LA, highest note in the scale.
EGGS ON THE SPIT, important business on hand.
ELF-LOCK, tangled hair, supposed to be the work of elves.
ENGHLE. See Ingle.
ENGHLE, cajole; fondle.
ENGIN(E), device, contrivance; agent; ingenuity, wit.
ENGINER, engineer, deviser, plotter.
ENGINOUS, crafty, full of devices; witty, ingenious.
ENS, an existing thing, a substance.
ENSIGNS, tokens, wounds.
ENTERTAIN, take into service.
ENTRY, place where a deer has lately passed.
ENVOY, denouement, conclusion.
ENVY, spite, calumny, dislike, odium.
EQUAL, just, impartial.
ERECTION, elevation in esteem.
ERINGO, candied root of the sea-holly, formerly
used as a sweetmeat and aphrodisiac.
ESSENTIATE, become assimilated.
EURIPUS, flux and reflux.
EVEN, just equable.
EVENT, fate, issue.
EXAMPLESS, without example or parallel.
EXCALIBUR, King Arthur's sword.
EXEMPLIFY, make an example of.
EXEMPT, separate, exclude.
EXHALE, drag out.
EXHIBITION, allowance for keep, pocket-money.
EXORBITANT, exceeding limits of propriety or law,
EXPLICATE, explain, unfold.
EXTEMPORAL, extempore, unpremeditated.
EXTRAORDINARY, employed for a special or temporary purpose.
EYE, "in--," in view.
EYEBRIGHT, (?) a malt liquor in which the herb of
this name was infused, or a person who sold the same
EYE-TINGE, least shade or gleam.
FACES ABOUT, military word of command.
FACINOROUS, extremely wicked.
FACT, deed, act, crime.
FACTIOUS, seditious, belonging to a party, given to party feeling.
FAGIOLI, French beans.
FAIN, forced, necessitated.
FALL, ruff or band turned back on the shoulders; or, veil.
FALSIFY, feign (fencing term).
FAMILIAR, attendant spirit.
FANTASTICAL, capricious, whimsical.
FAR-FET. See Fet.
FARTHINGAL, hooped petticoat.
FAULT, lack; loss, break in line of scent; "for--," in default of.
FAYLES, old table game similar to backgammon.
FEAT, activity, operation; deed, action.
FEAT, elegant, trim.
FEE, "in--" by feudal obligation.
FEIZE, beat, belabour.
FELLOW, term of contempt.
FENNEL, emblem of flattery.
FERE, companion, fellow.
FERN-SEED, supposed to have power of rendering invisible.
FEUTERER (Fr. vautrier), dog-keeper.
FIGGUM, (?) jugglery.
FIGMENT, fiction, invention.
FIRK, frisk, move suddenly, or in jerks; "--up,"
stir up, rouse; "firks mad," suddenly behaves like
FIT, pay one out, punish.
FITTON (FITTEN), lie, invention.
FIVE-AND-FIFTY, "highest number to stand on at
FLAG, to fly low and waveringly.
FLAGON CHAIN, for hanging a smelling-bottle (Fr.
flacon) round the neck (?). (See N.E.D.).
FLAP-DRAGON, game similar to snap-dragon.
FLASKET, some kind of basket.
FLAW, sudden gust or squall of wind.
FLEA, catch fleas.
FLEER, sneer, laugh derisively.
FLESH, feed a hawk or dog with flesh to incite
it to the chase; initiate in blood-shed; satiate.
FLIGHT, light arrow.
FLOUT, mock, speak and act contemptuously.
FLOWERS, pulverised substance.
FLY, familiar spirit.
FOIL, weapon used in fencing; that which
sets anything off to advantage.
FOIST, cut-purse, sharper.
FOOT-CLOTH, housings of ornamental cloth which
hung down on either side a horse to the ground.
FOOTING, foothold; footstep; dancing.
FOR, "--failing," for fear of failing.
FORBEAR, bear with; abstain from.
FORCE, "hunt at--," run the game down with dogs.
FOREHEAD, modesty; face, assurance, effrontery.
FORESPEAK, bewitch; foretell.
FORETOP, front lock of hair which fashion
required to be worn upright.
FORM, state formally.
FORMAL, shapely; normal; conventional.
FORTHCOMING, produced when required.
FOUNDER, disable with over-riding.
FOURM, form, lair.
FRAIL, rush basket in which figs or raisins
FRAMPULL, peevish, sour-tempered.
FRAPLER, blusterer, wrangler.
FRAYING, "a stag is said to fray his head when he
rubs it against a tree to...cause the outward coat
of the new horns to fall off" (Gifford).
FREIGHT (of the gazetti), burden (of the newspapers).
FRICATRICE, woman of low character.
FRIPPERY, old clothes shop.
FROLICS, (?) humorous verses circulated at a feast
FRUMETY, hulled wheat boiled in milk and spiced.
FRUMP, flout, sneer.
FUGEAND, (?) figent: fidgety, restless (N.E.D.).
FULLAM, false dice.
FULSOME, foul, offensive.
FURIBUND, raging, furious.
GALLEY-FOIST, city-barge, used on Lord Mayor's Day,
when he was sworn into his office at Westminster
GALLIARD, lively dance in triple time.
GAPE, be eager after.
GARAGANTUA, Rabelais' giant.
GARB, sheaf (Fr. gerbe); manner, fashion, behaviour.
GARD, guard, trimming, gold or silver lace, or other
GARDED, faced or trimmed.
GAVEL-KIND, name of a land-tenure existing chiefly in
Kent; from 16th century often used to denote custom
of dividing a deceased man's property equally among
his sons (N.E.D.).
GAZETTE, small Venetian coin worth about three-farthings.
GEANCE, jaunt, errand.
GEAR (GEER), stuff, matter, affair.
GEMONIES, steps from which the bodies of criminals
were thrown into the river.
GENERAL, free, affable.
GENIUS, attendant spirit.
GENTRY, gentlemen; manners characteristic of gentry,
GIGANTOMACHIZE, start a giants' war.
GLASS ("taking in of shadows, etc."), crystal or beryl.
GLEEK, card game played by three; party of three, trio;
GLICK (GLEEK), jest, gibe.
GLORIOUSLY, of vain glory.
GODWIT, bird of the snipe family.
GOLD-END-MAN, a buyer of broken gold and silver.
GONFALIONIER, standard-bearer, chief magistrate, etc.
GOOD, sound in credit.
GOOD-YEAR, good luck.
GOOSE-TURD, colour of. (See Turd).
GORCROW, carrion crow.
GORGET, neck armour.
GOWKED, from "gowk," to stand staring and gaping like
GRASS, (?) grease, fat.
GRATEFUL, agreeable, welcome.
GRATIFY, give thanks to.
GRATULATE, welcome, congratulate.
GRIPE, vulture, griffin.
GRIPE'S EGG, vessel in shape of.
GROGRAN, coarse stuff made of silk and mohair, or of
GROOM-PORTER, officer in the royal household.
GROPE, handle, probe.
GROUND, pit (hence "grounded judgments").
GUARD, caution, heed.
GUARDANT, heraldic term: turning the head only.
GUILDER, Dutch coin worth about 4d.
GULES, gullet, throat; heraldic term for red.
GULL, simpleton, dupe.
HAB NAB, by, on, chance.
HABERGEON, coat of mail.
HAGGARD, wild female hawk; hence coy, wild.
HALBERD, combination of lance and battle-axe.
HALL, "a--!" a cry to clear the room for the dancers.
HANDSEL, first money taken.
HANGER, loop or strap on a sword-belt from which the
sword was suspended.
HAP, fortune, luck.
HAPPINESS, appropriateness, fitness.
HARBOUR, track, trace (an animal) to its shelter.
HARPOCRATES, Horus the child, son of Osiris, figured
with a finger pointing to his mouth, indicative of
HARRINGTON, a patent was granted to Lord H. for the
coinage of tokens (q.v.).
HARRY NICHOLAS, founder of a community called the
"Family of Love."
HAY, net for catching rabbits, etc.
HAY! (Ital. hai!), you have it (a fencing term).
HAY IN HIS HORN, ill-tempered person.
HAZARD, game at dice; that which is staked.
HEAD, "first--," young deer with antlers first
sprouting; fig. a newly-ennobled man.
HEARKEN AFTER, inquire; "hearken out," find, search out.
HEAVEN AND HELL ("Alchemist"), names of taverns.
HEDGE IN, include.
HELM, upper part of a retort.
HER'NSEW, hernshaw, heron.
HIERONIMO (JERONIMO), hero of Kyd's "Spanish Tragedy."
HOBBY-HORSE, imitation horse of some light material,
fastened round the waist of the morrice-dancer, who
imitated the movements of a skittish horse.
HOIDEN, hoyden, formerly applied to both sexes (ancient
term for leveret? Gifford).
HOLLAND, name of two famous chemists.
HONE AND HONERO, wailing expressions of lament or discontent.
HORN-MAD, stark mad (quibble).
HORN-THUMB, cut-purses were in the habit of wearing a horn
shield on the thumb.
HORSE-BREAD-EATING, horses were often fed on coarse bread.
HOSPITAL, Christ's Hospital.
HOWLEGLAS, Eulenspiegel, the hero of a popular German
tale which relates his buffooneries and knavish tricks.
HUFF, hectoring, arrogance.
HUFF IT, swagger.
HUISHER (Fr. huissier), usher.
HUM, beer and spirits mixed together.
HUMANITIAN, humanist, scholar.
HUMOROUS, capricious, moody, out of humour; moist.
HUMOUR, a word used in and out of season in the time
of Shakespeare and Ben Jonson, and ridiculed by both.
HUMPHREY, DUKE, those who were dinnerless spent the
dinner-hour in a part of St. Paul's where stood a
monument said to be that of the duke's; hence "dine