1. (also chantey, chantie) a song; thus throw off a rum chant, to sing a good song.
|Musa Pedestris (1896) 73: My chaunt I concludes, and shall now pad the hoof.‘The Masqueraders’ in Farmer|
|Sporting Mag. Apr. XVI 26/2: Sir John lipt us the favourite chaunt of poor Jerry Abershaw’s.|
|Caledonian Mercury 14 Oct. 4/2: Bob Gregson tipped his customers a rum chaunt about the late mill.|
|Vocab. of the Flash Lang.|
|Real Life in London II 518: They enjoy the great advantages of hearing the prime chaunts, rum glees, and kiddy catches.|
|‘The Youth of the Garden’ inII (1979) 159: The lads they all run / To hear a rum chaunt who’s fame’s just begun.|
|‘A Blow-Out Among The Blowen’ in Secret Songster 14: I’ll sing you an out-and-out chaunt, if you like.|
|Musa Pedestris (1896) 142: My blades, before my chaunt I end, / Here the rag-sauce of a friend.‘Jack Flashman’ in Farmer|
|Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.|
|Prince of Wales’ Own Song Book 72: My chaunt is – I’ve got lots of work to do-oo-oo.‘The Man of Activity’ in|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 52/2: [He] had just struck up [...] a stave from his favorite chaunt.|
|Daily Tel. 19 Oct. 5/2: To troll his jovial chaunts [...] in a tavern parlour [M.] [F&H].|
|Admiral Guinea I viii: Don’t you remember the old chantie?|
|(con. 1835–40) Bold Bendigo 9: ‘Lives of all the milling coves,’ he cried. ‘Tom and Jerry, or Flash Life in London,’ with all the chaunts and pictures.|
|in Sat. Eve. Post Treasury (1954) 14 Jan. 399: He raised his voice in a rollicking blue-water chantey.|
2. a newspaper advertisement; an account of a robbery.
|Discoveries (1774) 43: We are all in the Chant; we are all in the News.|
|Whole Art of Thieving .|
|Vocab. of the Flash Lang. in McLachlan (1964) 232: chant: an advertisement in a newspaper or hand-bill; also a paragraph in the newspaper describing any robbery or other recent event; any lost or stolen property, for the recovery of which, or a thief, &C., for whose apprehension a reward is held out by advertisement, are said to be chanted.|
3. any form of writing.
|Autobiog. (1930) 292: Chant signifies writing of any kind.|
|Finish to the Adventures of Tom and Jerry (1889) 104: I’ll bet the New Receiver of Scrives against the Editor’s Box of a Monkery Chaunt.|
4. any form of marking, on silver, linen etc; thus chanted, marked.
|Vocab. of the Flash Lang. in McLachlan (1964) 231: chant: a cipher, initials, or mark of any kind, on a piece of plate, linen, or other article; any thing so marked is said to be chanted.|
|Life in London (1869) 312: If your name had not been chaunted in it, it would have been dinged into the dunagan.|
|Compl. Hist. Murder Mr Weare 258: ‘We may as well look and see if there is any chaunt about the money’ – and they examined the four notes, but there were no marks upon them [M.] [F&H].|
5. one’s name (and address); thus tip someone a queer chant, to give a false name, esp. to a tradesman one wishes to defraud.
|Vocab. of the Flash Lang. in McLachlan (1964) 231: chant: a person’s name, address, or designation; thus, a thief who assumes a feigned name on his apprehension to avoid being known, or a swindler who gives a false address to a tradesman, is said to tip them a queer chant.|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Ladies’ Repository (N.Y.) Oct. VIII:37 316/1: Chant, name, (for instance, ‘Tip your chant,’ means give your name).|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 92/2: A ‘sheeny wire’ who went by the ‘chant’ of Sammy the Jew-boy.|
6. sheet music, a printed ballad with its lyrics.
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor I 227/1: The city was tidy for the patter, sir, or the chaunt.|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 108/1: ’Twas [i.e. a stolen item] converted into ‘posh,’ furnishing little Bill (Curly) with a ‘duke’ full of ‘chaunts,’ which he hawked from door to door.|
(US Und.) a newspaper reporter.
|Sl. Dict. (1890).|