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Cant and Slang are universal and world-wide. By their means is often said in a sentence what would otherwise take an hour to express. Nearly every nation on the face of the globe, polite and barbarous, has its divisions and subdivisions of various ranks of society. These are necessarily of many kinds, stationary and wandering, civilized and uncivilized, respectable and disreputable,—those who have fixed abodes and avail themselves of the refinements of civilization, and those who go from place to place picking up a precarious livelihood by petty sales, begging, or theft. This peculiarity is to be observed amongst the heathen tribes of the southern hemisphere, as well as in the oldest and most refined countries of Europe.

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Cuta, a gold coin. There is little doubt, though, that the pronunciations were always as they are now, so far at least as these two instances are concerned. Romee, a woman. The museum offers docent-led tours which highlight the historical ificance of the narrow gauge railroad to Nevada County and enlighten with stories of the engines and rolling stock that are on display.

Luckily for respectable persons, however, vagabonds, both at home [2] and abroad, generally show certain outward peculiarities which distinguish them from yatd great mass of law-abiding people on whom they subsist. And the crowds of lazy beggars that infest the streets of Naples and Rome, as well as the brigands of Pompeii, use a secret language termed Gergo.

In South Africa, the naked and miserable Hottentots are pestered by the still more abject Sonquas; and it may be some satisfaction for us to know that our ,ocal enemies at the Cape, the Kaffirs, are troubled with a tribe of rascals called Fingoes,—the former term, we are informed by travellers, ifying beggars, and the latter wanderers and outcasts. In England, as we all know, it is called Cant—often improperly Slang.

Another word, bamboozle, has been a sore difficulty with lexicographers.

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Lowre, money. In Finland, the fellows who steal seal-skins, pick the pockets of bear-skin overcoats, and talk cant, are termed Lappes.

The secret jargon, or rude speech, of the vagabonds who hang upon the Hottentots is termed Cuze-cat. Slang represents that evanescent language, ever changing with loval and taste, which has principally come into vogue during the last seventy or eighty years, spoken by persons in every grade of life, rich and poor, honest and dishonest.

Gipsy and Persian. Cur, a mean or dishonest man. Had the Gipsy tongue been analysed and committed to writing three centuries ago, there is every probability that many scores of words now in common use could be at once traced to its source, having been adopted as our language has developed towards its present shape through many varied paths. On the Continent they received better attention at the hands of learned men.

Danubian Zluts. The popular sale features a variety of treasures including power tools, hand tools, model trains, housewares, furniture, locao, toys and books. Rumy, a good woman or girl. Other parallel instances, with but slight variations from the old Gipsy meanings, might be mentioned; but sufficient examples have been adduced to show that Marsden, a great Oriental scholar in the last century, when he declared before the Society of Antiquaries that the Cant of English thieves and beggars had nothing to do with the language spoken by the despised Gipsies, was in error.

Mort, a free woman,—one for common use amongst the male Gipsies, so appointed by Gipsy custom. To the Gipsies, beggars and thieves are in great measure indebted for their Cant language.

Couter, a sovereign, twenty shillings. The Gipsies naturally found a similar difficulty with the English language. And many other words, as will be seen in the Dictionary, still retain their ancient meaning.

This peculiarity zales to be observed amongst the heathen tribes of the southern hemisphere, as well as in the oldest and most refined countries of Europe. Our standard dictionaries give, of course, none but conjectural etymologies. The formation of these secret tongues varies, of course, with the circumstances surrounding the speakers. As before mentioned, it was the work of one Thomas Harman, who lived in the days of Queen Elizabeth.

Cant, apart from religious hypocrisy, refers to the old secret language of Gipsies, thieves, tramps, and beggars. Gipsy and Coptic. Gad, or Gi, a wife.

Dad, in Welsh, also ifies a father. Harman, inlical a singular, not to say droll, book, entitled, A Caveat for commen Cvrsetors, vulgarly called Vagabones, newly augmented and inlarged, wherein the history and various descriptions of rogues and vagabonds are given, together with their canting tongue. Not a few of tard ancient and modern Cant and Slang terms are Wallachian and Greek words, picked up by these wanderers from the East, and added to their common stock.


Most of the modern Gipsies know the old Cant words as well as their own tongue—or rather what remains of it. Romany, the Gipsy language. Bamboozle, to delude, cheat, or make a fool of any one. Baudye baskets bee women who goe with baskets and capcases on their armes, wherein they have laces, pinnes, nedles, whyte inkel, and round sylke gyrdels of all colours.