Green’s Dictionary of Slang

chant n.

also chaunt
[all fig. uses of SE chant, to sing]
(UK Und.)

1. (also chantey, chantie) a song; thus throw off a rum chant, to sing a good song.

[UK]G. Parker ‘The Masqueraders’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 73: My chaunt I concludes, and shall now pad the hoof.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Apr. XVI 26/2: Sir John lipt us the favourite chaunt of poor Jerry Abershaw’s.
[UK]Caledonian Mercury 14 Oct. 4/2: Bob Gregson tipped his customers a rum chaunt about the late mill.
[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang.
[UK]‘An Amateur’ Real Life in London II 518: They enjoy the great advantages of hearing the prime chaunts, rum glees, and kiddy catches.
[UK] ‘The Youth of the Garden’ in Holloway & Black II (1979) 159: The lads they all run / To hear a rum chaunt who’s fame’s just begun.
[UK] ‘A Blow-Out Among The Blowen’ in Secret Songster 14: I’ll sing you an out-and-out chaunt, if you like.
[UK]Egan ‘Jack Flashman’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 142: My blades, before my chaunt I end, / Here the rag-sauce of a friend.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]J.A. Hardwick ‘The Man of Activity’ in Prince of Wales’ Own Song Book 72: My chaunt is – I’ve got lots of work to do-oo-oo.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 52/2: [He] had just struck up [...] a stave from his favorite chaunt.
[UK]Daily Tel. 19 Oct. 5/2: To troll his jovial chaunts [...] in a tavern parlour [M.] [F&H].
[UK]Henley & Stevenson Admiral Guinea I viii: Don’t you remember the old chantie?
[UK](con. 1835–40) P. Herring 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.
[US] in R. Butterfield 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.

[UK]J. Poulter Discoveries (1774) 43: We are all in the Chant; we are all in the News.
[UK]Whole Art of Thieving .
[UK]Vaux 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.

[US]H. Tufts Autobiog. (1930) 292: Chant signifies writing of any kind.
[UK]Egan 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.

[UK]Vaux 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.
[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 312: If your name had not been chaunted in it, it would have been dinged into the dunagan.
[UK]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.

[UK]Vaux 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.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[US]Ladies’ Repository (N.Y.) Oct. VIII:37 316/1: Chant, name, (for instance, ‘Tip your chant,’ means give your name).
[UK]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.

[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor I 227/1: The city was tidy for the patter, sir, or the chaunt.
[UK]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.

In compounds