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From: "Gordon Brain" <gobrain@netcomuk.co.uk>
Subject: (whorl) Brain back
Date: Sun, 9 May 1999 22:35:52 +0100

Here's another one for the Canting Crew, i.e. anyone else who's been baffled
but fascinated by the patter of the Vironese criminal classes.

Having come across a new dictionary, I thought I'd have another look at
Mantis's booklet LS-2, Languages Of The Short Sun Whorl, to see if could
plug a few of the remaining gaps.

Here's what I came up with, mostly courtesy of: The Cassell Dictionary Of
Slang, by Jonathan Green, 1998 (abbreviated JG below).

Brick - "a reliable, kind, selfless person, mid-19C+" (JG)

Buy him rope - sense: provide enough evidence to convict or condemn (c.f.
the old saying: 'give him enough rope and he'll hang himself')

Candy - "of a job, easy, undemanding, 'soft' 1930s+" (JG)

Card in a cart - sense of: I can afford to be generous, the cost will be
relatively low compared to our overall takings (as Orchid ups her offer,
mistaking Silk's shocked speechlessness for him expecting   more).
From: Card as in Whorl currency
Cart as in "Cart-Load - many, a great quantity, esp. of a desirable
commodity, late 16C-late 18C" (JG)
(c.f. "in for a penny, in for a pound")

Dog's Right - two possibilities?:
rhyming slang for "a night"
or it may be related to "Dog's Rig - sexual intercourse taken to exhaustion,
followed by mutual disinterest, late 18C" (JG)

Flipper - "the hand or arm, mid-19C+" (JG)

Flue - "the anus, 20C" (JG)

Hanger - not slang, this is Standard English for a "short sword, orig. hung
from belt" (OED)

Hornboys - related to "Horn-child - the offspring of an adulterous
relationship 20C, WI" (JG) ?

Liftin' (seals) -from "Lift - to steal, late 16C+" (JG)

Quill - "Pure Quill - something that is excellent or flawless, 1950s+" (JG)
from "Quill - first rate whisky, the genuine thing as opposed to the
'bathtub' or 'rotgut' versions produced during Prohibition, 1920s-30s" (JG)

Rags and tags - from "Rag, tag and bobtail - the whole lot, early 19C" (JG)
(i.e. Paca was good for all sorts of criminal activities)

Scut - not cant, Standard English for "short tail, esp. of hare, rabbit or
deer" (OED)

Shook: "what shook last night" - what was stolen last night, from "Shook -
robbed, lost by robbery, 19C" (JG)
c.f. "What shakes? - what chance is there of stealing something?, mid-19C"

Smoke up - from "Smoke - to cheat, to deceive [one blows smoke in the victim
's eyes], late 17C-18C" (JG)
Smokin' - same meaning as in 'Smoke Up' above.

Swop: "lose swop" = lose the exchange, from "Swop = swap = an act of
exchange, mid 19C+" (JG)

Hope this is of use Mantis, too late for LS-2 but maybe to feed into Gate Of

And here's hoping there'll be plenty of new cant to get our teeth into, when
the Book Of The Short Sun arrives.


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