Regency Romance Era Thieves and Sporting Slang G

A Very Merry Chase Regency Romance Era Lexicon Of Relevant Terms


GAB. The mouth. Gift of the gab; nimble tongued eloquence.

GAB OR GOB STRING. A horse’s bridle.

GABBY. A foolish fellow.

GAD-SO. An exclamation said to be derived from the Italian word cazzo.

GAGE. A pipe of tobacco.

GAGGERS. Cheats or con artists, who use fantastic stories of personal sufferings to scam and cheat by imposing upon the credulity of well meaning people.

GALIMAUFREY. A hodgepodge made up of the remnants and scraps of the larder. i.e. A meal made of leftovers.

GALLIED. Hurried, vexed, over-fatigued, perhaps like a galley slave.


GALLIPOT. A nick name for an apothecary,

GALORE. Plenty.

GALLOPER. A blood horse. A hunter.

GALLOWS BIRD. A grief, or pickpocket; also one that associates with them.

GAME. Any mode of robbing. Also, Bubbles, flats, marks or pigeons drawn in to be cheated.

GAME ONE or GAME ‘UN. Courageous person.

GAMON. To humbug. To deceive, To tell lies.

GAOL. Jail.

GELDING. An eunuch.

GENTLEMAN’S MASTER. A highway robber, because he makes a gentleman obey his commands, i.e. stand and deliver.

GENTLEMAN OF THREE INS. In debt, in gaol, and in danger of remaining there for life: or, in gaol, indicted, and in danger of being hanged in chains.

GENTLEMAN OF THREE OUTS. That is, without money, without wit, and without manners: some add another out, i.e. without credit.

GENTRY COVE. A gentleman.

GENTRY COVE KEN. A gentleman’s house.

GENTRY MORT. A gentlewoman.

GET. One of his get; children or offspring.

GIB CAT. A male or tom cat, generally in search of a she cat for mating.

GIBBERISH. The cant language of thieves and gypsies.

Gibbet. Gallows. A place where a criminal was hung. Usually built of wood, but in a pinch, or a moment of passion a tree limb or roof beam would do.

GIBLETS. To join giblets; said of a man and woman who cohabit as husband and wife, without being married; also to copulate.

GIG. A light one-horse carriage, generally driven by a lady or used in the country.

GIGGER. A latch, or door. Dub the gigger; open the door.

GILFLURT. A proud minx, a vain, capricious woman,

GILL. The abbreviation of Gillian, figuratively used for woman. Every jack has his gill; i.e. every jack has his gillian, or female mate.

GILLS. The cheeks. To look rosy about the gills; to have a fresh complexion. To look merry about the gills: to appear cheerful.

GIMMEL RING. From the latin gemellus, meaning “twin.”  A puzzle ring made of interlocking rings that would often be made to separate into two pieces and be used as a wedding ring with the husband and wife each receiving one part. The Prince of Wales gave one to Maria Fitzherbert, the love of his life and illicit bride in 1785.

GIN SPINNER. A distiller.

GINGERLY. Softly, gently, tenderly. To attempt a thing gently, or cautiously.

GLAZIER. One who breaks windows and shew-glasses, to steal goods exposed for sale. GLIB. Smooth, slippery. Glib tongued; talkative.

GLIM. A candle, or dark lantern, used in housebreaking; also fire.


GLIMFLASHY. Angry, or in a passion.

GLIM JACK. A link-boy.


GLIMMERERS. Persons begging with sham licences, pretending losses by fire.


GLIMSTICK. A candlestick.

GLUEPOT. A parson: from joining men and women together in matrimony.

GNARLER. A little dog that by his barking alarms the family when any person is breaking into the house.

GO. The dash. The mode. Quite the go, prime, bang up, are all similar expressions.

GO SHOP. The Queen’s Head in Duke’s court, Bow street, Covent Garden; frequented by the under players: where gin and water was sold in three-halfpenny bowls, called Goes; the gin was called Arrack Gin.

GOAT. A lascivious person.

GOG. All-a-gog; impatient, anxious, or desirous of a thing.

GOLD DROPPERS. Sharpers who drop a piece of gold, which they pick up in the presence of some unexperienced person, for whom the trap is laid, this they pretend to have found, and, as he saw them pick it up, they invite him to a public house to partake of it: when there, two or three of their comrades drop in, as if by accident, and propose cards, or some other game, when they seldom fail of stripping their prey.

GOLDFINCH. One who has commonly a purse full of gold. Goldfinches; guineas.

GOLLUMPUS. A large, clumsy fellow.

GOOSECAP. A silly fellow or woman.

GRAFTED. Cuckolded, i.e. having horns grafted on his head.

GRASS WIDOW. A discarded mistress.

GREASE. To bribe. To grease a man in the fist; to bribe him.

GREATCOAT. A heavy overcoat often made with several short capes over the shoulders to keep rain from soaking in when riding.

GREEDY GUTS. A covetous or voracious person.

GREEKS. Cheaters.

GREEN. Young, inexperienced, unacquainted; ignorant.

GREENHORN. A novice on the town, an undebauched young fellow, just initiated into the society of bucks and bloods.

GREGORIAN TREE. The gallows.

GRETNA GREEN. A Scottish town just beyond the English border where eloping couples could legally wed just by declaring themselves man and wife in front of witnesses.

GREY MARE. The grey mare is the better horse; said of a woman who governs her husband.

GRIM. Old Mr. Grim; death.



GROG. Rum and water.

GRUB STREET. A street near Moorfields, formerly the supposed habitation of many persons who wrote for the booksellers: hence a Grub-street writer means a hackney author, who manufactures books for the booksellers.

GRUB STREET NEWS. Lying intelligence, or yellow journalism.

TO GRUBSHITE. To make foul or dirty.

GUDGEON. One easily imposed on. To gudgeon; to swallow the bait, or fall into a trap: from the fish of that name, which is easily taken.

GULL. A simple credulous fellow, easily cheated.

GULLED. Deceived, cheated, imposed on.

GULLGROPERS. Usurers who lend money to the gamesters.

GUMPTION, or RUM GUMPTION. Docility, comprehension, capacity.

GUTFOUNDERED. Exceeding hungry.

GUZZLE. Liquor. To guzzle; to drink greedily.

GUZZLE GUTS. One greedy of liquor.

GYPSIES. A tribe of vagrants, who are suffered to wander about the country. They pretend that they derive their origin from the ancient Egyptians, who were famous for their knowledge in astronomy and other sciences; and, under the pretence of fortune-telling, find means to rob or defraud the ignorant and superstitious. To colour their impostures, they artificially discolour their faces, and speak a kind of gibberish peculiar to themselves. They rove up and down the country in large companies, to the great terror of the farmers, from whose geese, turkeys, and fowls, they take very considerable contributions.


Do you love old-fashioned Regency Romance novels?

Will a genuinely old-fashioned Regency Romance that was actually written 35 years ago-but has only been recently published-that includes a wealthy, slightly older, not-so-helpless fine lady who curses (lightly), regularly insults the hero, knows how to ride, shoot, drink, throw a punch and darn well rescue herself when necessary, suffice?  If so, you might want to check out my Regency Romance novel A Very Merry Chase.  Is it great literature for the generations? Probably not-but it is a fun read in the tradition of the comedy of errors/manners vein that will, amuse and entertain. The first chapter is available online for free.

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