1. a spirituous liquor, e.g. gin, rum, i.e. a shilling’s (5p) worth.
|Humours of the Fleet quoted inFleet 286: H’ had strain’d his credit for a dram of bob .|
|York Herald 17 Mar. 2/4: He then said he would give her 13s. if she would be [sic] a Bob (a shilling’s worth of Rum) to come in .|
|Dundee Courier (Scot.) 25 Mar, 7/5: Who’s going to stand bobs round?|
2. a shilling (5p).
|Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 279: That, says the fighting jade, I’ll do, / Tho’ it should prove a bob or two.|
|Proc. Old Bailey 2 Dec. 33/1: I asked him what sort [of coins] he made; I believe I termed them bobs and half-bulls, (that is shillings and half-crowns), that is the flash-name of them.|
|Vocab. of the Flash Lang.|
|‘Hackney Coachman’ in James Catnach (1878) 197: For every sich job charged two bob and a kick.|
|Oliver Twist (1966) 101: I’m at low-water mark myself — only one bob and a magpie.|
|‘Wanted A Woman!’ in Nobby Songster 26: My friends are me advising / To spend a bob or two / In the way of advertising.|
|Satirist & Sporting Chron. (Sydney) 11 Feb. 1/2: Old Pooll must forward his six bob [...] Subscribers only are allowed to scribble for our pages.|
|Adventures of Mr Verdant Green (1982) II 143: Find the value of a ‘bob’, a ‘tanner’, a ‘joey’ and a ‘tizzy’.|
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor I 468/1: I cries eight a bob when I sees people as I thinks is likely to like slang; to others I cries eight a shilling.|
|Five Years’ Penal Servitude 237: He would palm upon him [...] a tanner, a bob, or half a bull, according to what coin he gave to be changed.|
|‘Blooming Aesthetic’ in Rag 30 Sept. n.p.: On-the-kerb-come-a-cropper, / Run-in-by-a-copper, / ‘Fined-forty-bob’.|
|Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday 10 May11/1: My humble bob and tanner.|
|‘Squatter, Three Cornstalks, and the Well’ in Roderick (1967–9) I 72: And so they started willing-lee / At five-and-twenty bob a day.|
|Man of Straw 9: The wife of one of your kind gave me a shilling – what you call in your full-blooded way ‘the nimble bob!’.|
|[perf. Kate Carney] The Absent-Minded Bounder [lyrics] ’E took me bloomin’ last bob - but ’e never took the King’s .|
|Pitcher in Paradise 119: The last time we were out together I lent the beggar five bob!|
|[perf. Marie Lloyd] You’re a thing of the past, old dear [lyrics] Yus, and in between my sobs, I goes searching for the bobs.|
|Lonely Plough (1931) 71: Two bob entrance, grub provided.|
|Final Count 811: If you’d like to ’ave five bob or ’alf a Bradbury on a’orse [...] ’e can arrange it for yer.|
|Night and the City 36: Was he wearing a little-tiny ruby-and-diamond tiepin, worth, maybe, fifteen bob.|
|An Indiscreet Guide to Soho 30: I got a room in Frith Street. Fifteen bob a week.|
|(con. 1940s) Borstal Boy 148: Shoving a bleedin’ messenger boy’s bicycle about [...] for ten bob a week.|
|Absolute Beginners 50: I just can’t bear paying more than a bob or two to landlords.|
|Guntz 6: I had bought a packet on the train coming up with two bob.|
|Sun. Times Mag. 12 Oct. 32: There’d be a couple of bob short in me wages.|
|Songlines 275: You can usually bum a bob off a Bishop.|
|Secret World of the Irish Male (1995) 43: I had spent every last bob on purchasing a large gin and tonic.|
|Indep. Rev. 25 Jan. 5: That vast outlay – ten bob – bought me a brand-new copy.|
3. (UK und.) a counterfeit shilling.
|York Herald 17 Mar. 2/4: Witnes then asked her if she had any Bobs or Shans; she said yes [...] and returned with four parcels of bad money.|
4. money in general; esp. as a few bob.
|‘Love in a Watch Box’ in Fal-Lal Songster in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) III 11: They met with a Charley, ‘Old boy, here’s bob / If in your box you’ll let’s do a job’.|
|Biglow Papers (1880) xxix: To delay attaching the bobs until the second attempt at flying the kite would indicate but a slender experience of that useful art.|
|N.Y. Times 2 Aug. 3/8: The ‘boss,’ or madam looks on smilingly as the bar is patronized, or the ‘bob’ handed up by the male dancer.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 22 Jan. 5/3: All my ‘sugar’ was done, and they offered me 2 to 1 in thousands. I took £500 to £200, being my last ‘bob,’ and looked upon it as finding the money.|
|Fowlers End (2001) 21: If ’e was short a few bob, all ’e did was write out a chit for torchlight batteries.|
|Saved Scene vi: Drop ’er a few bob.|
|Observer Mag. 14 May 13: He and a few of the lads had won themselves a few bob.|
|Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 126: I earned a few bob less.West in|
|Vinnie Got Blown Away 36: Made a few bob on the Mars though.|
|Indep. on Sun. Real Life 16 Jan. 3: He’s not short of a bob or two.|
|Life 109: We’ve got enough to live on, a few bob in case of emergencies.|
5. (US) $1.
|Runyon on Broadway (1954) 48: The minute she gets a few bobs together she likes to go out and enjoy a little recreation.‘Dream Street Rose’ in|
|‘Saint in Silver’ in Goulart (1967) 61: A few bobs to raise before Pat Regan came snorting around.|
|All Sports Aug. [Internet] I am a sappo for not risking a bob or two, as I can use some extra spinach.‘Hart Failure’ in|
|Captain is Out to Lunch (1998) 65: Terrible day at the track, not so much in money lost, I may even have won a bob, but the feeling out there was horrible.in|
(UK und.) counterfeit.
|Illus. Police News 3 Apr. 14/1: Mr. Armstrong: Did you ever give him any bobby notes [...] The Magistrate: What are bobby notes? . Mr. Armstrong: The witness knows, sir snide notes. Your late respected colleague, Mr. Montagu Williams, used to have slang dictionary [...] I procured one, and found it very useful. A bobby note is a Bank of Engraving note.|
(N.Z.) a dance.
|Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 17/1: bob hop community dance pre-WWII, entrance a ‘bob’ or shilling.|
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].|
1. the payment of a shilling (5p) into a common pot, esp. as used for buying drinks; also attrib.
|Stories of N.Z. Life 5: From tricks at cards, the fun changed to ‘a bob in’ the winner shouting.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 21 Dec. 13/3: The ‘shouting’ custom calls for limitation – yet its total abolition, and the consequent sad spectacle of everybody paying for his own liquor and ‘drinking with the flies’ in a lonesome and speechless fashion is not wholly desirable either. If legislation could provide that when a certain number of friends meet, it shall be illegal for them all to shout, but that a ‘bob in’ shall be permissible, it might perhaps meet the case.|
|Smith’s Weekly (Sydney) 15 Mar. 14/3: Forty of them gathered him up and made for the bar. ‘A bob in’ was suggested [...] After paying for the shout he salvaged a whole quid [AND].|
|Smith’s Weekly (Sydney) 21 Jan. 17/4: Blinks rang me to apologise for his non-attendance at the Bob-in school [AND].|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 28 June 36/3: What say we rig a few bob-ins for the poor cow?|
|Coast to Coast 1948 104: ‘Have this with me.’ Buzzer and Tiger had it with Blue; then there was a bob-in; then they had one with Chrissie who’d been pulling beer at the Exchange since they were kids [AND].|
|Vision Splendid 117: Being in it meant gin slings before breakfast [...] bridge or poker at night with ‘wet’ two-bob-ins after every couple of hands.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 15 Feb. 7/1: A ‘bob-in’ testimonial opened by the ‘Couder-Mail’ [...] raised a total of over £500.|
|Full Cycle 232: Then there was a bob-in; then they had one with Chrissie who’d been pulling beer at the Exchange since they were kids.|
2. (Aus.) a dicing game in which all players contribute a shilling (5p); the winner then buys the round of drinks.
|Argus (Melbourne) 12 July 4/6: A dozen youths engaged in the absorbing game of a ‘bob in,’ the highest thrower (of tho dice) to win the pool .|
|Northam Advertiser (WA) 17 Mar. 2/7: He could not say how much money he spent in drinks. He may have made one in a game of ‘a bob in the hat,’ but did not recollect the game at all.|
|Dly News (Perth) 4 Apr. 5/1: The re-licensing of the hotel at Nedlands will bring about one result for sure. Certain well-known forms of salutation between the residents will return to every day use [...] the innocuous game of ‘bob in’ will doubtless be revived.|
(N.Z.) a collection of money (nominally a shilling per head), e.g. to pay for drinks.
|N.Z. Observer and Free Lance (Auckland) 20 Mar. 23/1: That Tradesmen’s Athletic meeting was a regular dry hash [...] but the members made up for that by having a ‘bob in’ after.|
one shilling each person, used when estimating the cost of meals, outings, tickets etc; also attrib., with sesne of second-rate (see cite 1894).
|Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc.|
|Staffs. Advertiser 12 Apr. 3/3: Thousands, who at a price of five bob a nob (readily forked out) took their station [...] in order to have their share of the pleasures of the mill.|
|Bell’s Life in London 14 Feb. 3/4: The fight took place on Tuesday [...] where an inner and outer ring were formed [...] at two ‘bob’ a ‘nob’ for admission.|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 1 Feb 2/6: Two bob a nob to Sydney and no mistake .|
|Bell’s Life in London 15 Feb. 2/1: [advert] Sumptuous Masquerade and Carnival [...] Only 1s each — only a bob a nob.|
|Yokel’s Preceptor 8: The Swiss Giantess [...] is the same doxy who was exhibited at a bob-a-nob in Leicester Square.|
|Liverpool Dly Press 11 Apr. 5/6: Other gentlemen are allowed to jump at a bob a nob.|
|Birmingham Dly Gaz. 1 Dec. 8/3: Of pedestrians who paid their ‘bob a nob’ for admission there must have been thousands.|
|Savage London 39: The newly-married pair dined sumptuously in a booth at ‘a bob a nob’.|
|Sporting Times 1 Feb. 6/3: Yesterday the Press were invited to see the celebrated picture, ‘The Two Pearls,’ which a syndicate starts exhibiting to the Great British Public at a ‘bob a nob’ this very day.|
|London Eve. Standard 7 Sept. 3/3: The public launch, filled with what I have heard called ‘A bob-a-nob mob’ is [...] a disgrace to the river.|
|A Pink ’Un and a Pelican 19: You’ll see scores of shandrydans carry passengers at two-bob-a-nob.|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 4 Nov. 4/7: We paid a bob a nob to listen to him.|
|Sporting Times 141: The said little Jew boy and his chocolate engulfing little friend were genuine dramatic critics at a bob a nob.|
(Aus.) a general phr. of approval.
|Albury Banner (NSW) 19 Oct. 25/1: The gloves you sent me were just the ‘shiny shilling’.|
|Western Champion (Barcaldine) 26 Feb. 9/2: Here, however, in a paddock abutting the lane, which ran up to railway gates, was a patch of good barley grass of some six acres in extent, and in the fence a slip-panel leading out of the lane into it. ‘Just the shiny bob’, remarked the loquacious Bardy .|
|Brisbane Courier 29 May 6/3: ‘Just the glassy marble’ [...] ‘Just the glassy alley,’ ‘Just the juicy chop,’ ‘Just the blob,’ ‘Just the shiny shilling,’ ‘Just the plonk’ are only a few of its offshoots.|
|Sydney Wool & Stock Jrnl 6 May 13/4: [advert] The ‘1909 MODEL’ Monkey Jack arrived all right, and does all that is claimed for him. We pulled up a large stump, and pushed down four trees, the largest 2ft. 6in. through, in hour and [a] half. ‘Just the shiny Bob.’ (Signed) R. SIM, Junr .|
|Aussie (Sydney) Nov. 23/2: The real and compleat Cobber is very rare, like most good things, but he is ‘just the shiny’ when you’ve got him.|
|Sport (Adelaide) 19 June 11/5: ‘How’s the good old ‘Sport’ this fine and large morning? Just the shiny bob?’.|
see few bob short of the pound under ...short of... adj.
|‘Geneva’ in Tovey Brit. & Foreign Spirits (1864) 68: Well from thee may it assume The glorious modern name of Royal Bob .|
|Poetical Works (1864) 333: Alas! it was a person whose twang is very well known, when she is awake, but who had drunk so much royal-bob [...] that she was now singing herself asleep .|