Regency Romance Era Thieves and Sporting Slang N

A Very Merry Chase Regency Romance Era Lexicon Of Relevant Terms


NABOB. A man who makes a vast fortune trading overseas. Usually in India.

NAB. To seize, or catch unawares.


NACK. To have a nack; to be ready at any thing, to have a turn-for it.

NACKY. Ingenious.

NAILED. Secured, fixed.

NANKEEN. A yellow or buff cloth.

NANNY HOUSE. A brothel.

NAP. To cheat at dice by securing one chance.

NAPPING. To take any one napping; i.e. to come upon him unexpectedly, to find him asleep.

NAPPER. The head.

NAPPY ALE. Strong ale.

NATTY LADS. Young thieves or pickpockets.

NATURAL. A natural son or daughter; a love child, a child born out of wedlock.

NAZY. Drunken. Nazy cove or mort; a drunken rogue or harlot. Nazy nabs; drunken coxcombs.

NEB, or NIB. The bill of a bird, and the slit of a pen. Figuratively, the face and mouth of a woman; as, She holds up her neb: she holds up her mouth to be kissed.

NECK WEED. Hemp. Marijuana.

NEGLIGEE. A woman’s dressing or sleeping gown.

NETTLED. Teased, provoked, out of temper.

NEWGATE BIRD. A prisoner, or former prisoner of Newgate prison.

NEWGATE SOLICITOR. A petty fogging and roguish attorney, who attends the gaols to assist villains in evading justice.

NEWMAN’S LIFT. The gallows.



NICK. To win at dice, to hit the mark just in the nick of time, or at the critical moment.

NICK. Old Nick; the Devil.

NICK NINNY. A simpleton.

NICKIN, NIKEY or NIZEY. A soft simple fellow; also a diminutive of Isaac.

NICKNACKS. Toys, baubles, or curiosities.


NINCOMPOOP. A foolish fellow.



NIGHTMAN. One whose business it is to empty necessary houses in London, which is always done in the night.

NIGMENOG. A very silly fellow.

NIM. To steal or pilfer

NIMGIMMER. A physician or surgeon, particularly those who cure the venereal disease.

NINNY, or NINNYHAMMER. A simpleton.

NIP. A cheat, a cutpurse.

NIP CHEESE. A stingy person.

NIP FARTHING. A stingy person.

NIPPERKIN. A small measure.

NIX. Nothing.

NOB. A king. A man of rank.

NOB. The head.

NOBTHATCHER. A peruke-maker.

NOCKY BOY. A dull simple fellow.

NOD. He is gone to the land of nod; he is asleep.

NODDLE. The head.

NODDY. A simpleton or fool.

NOISY DOG RACKET. Stealing brass knockers from doors.

NOKES. A ninny, or fool.

NONE-SUCH. One that is unequalled: frequently applied ironically.

NOOZED. Married, hanged.

NORTH ALLERTONS. Spurs; that place, like Rippon, being famous for making them.

NORWAY NECKCLOTH. The pillory, usually made of Norway fir.

NOSE. A man who informs or turns king’s evidence. Also, to give evidence. To inform.

NOSTRUM. A medicine prepared by particular persons only, a quack medicine.

NOTE. He changed his note; he told another sort of a story.

NOZZLE. The nose of a man or woman.

NUB. Neck.

NUBBING. Hanging.

NUBBING CHEAT. The gallows.

NUBBING COVE. The hangman.

NUG. An endearing word: as, My dear nug; my dear love.

NUGGING DRESS. An out-of-the-way old-fashioned dress, or rather a loose kind of dress, denoting a courtesan.


NULL. To beat.

NUMBSKULL. A stupid fellow.

NUMMS. A sham collar, to be worn over a dirty shirt.

NUNNERY. A bawdy house.

NURSE. To cheat: as, they nursed him out of it. An estate in the hands of trustees, for the payment of bad debts, is said to be at nurse.

NYP, or NIP. A half pint, a nip of ale: whence the nipperkin, a small vessel.

NYPPER. A cut-purse. In the dress of ancient times many people wore their purses at their girdles, cutting them was a branch of the light-fingered art.

Do you love old-fashioned Regency Romance novels?

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