Green’s Dictionary of Slang

prigging n.2

[prig v.2 (1)]

1. horse-stealing; thus prigging law, horse-stealing as a criminal profession.

[UK]Greene Second Part of Conny-Catching in Grosart (1881–3) X 75: To the effecting of this base villany of prigging, or horse stealing, there must of necessity be two at the least, and that is the Prigger and the Martar.
[UK]Dekker Belman of London G1: The Prigging Law, whose grounds are the Cleanly and cunning stealing of horses.
[UK]Head Eng. Rogue IV 152: Which Arts are divided into that of High-Padding, Low-Padding, Cloy-Filing, Bung-Nipping, Prancers Prigging, Duds-Lifting, Rhum-Napping, Cove-Cuffing, Mort-Trapping, Stamp-Flashing, Ken-Milling, Jerk the Naskin.

2. (also prigging lay, ...rig) pilfering, small-time thieving [lay n.3 (1)/rig n.2 (1)].

[UK]Sporting Mag. Apr. XVI 26/2: Three boys brought in for prigging of wipes.
[UK]Vaux Memoirs in McLachlan (1964) 77: Our society was increased by several new chums before the sessions, and as these persons were some degrees above the common class of thieves, I found much satisfaction in their conversation. There were indeed among them some of the first characters upon the town, leading men in the various branches of prigging they professed; both toby-gills, buz-gloaks, cracksmen, &c., but from their good address and respectable appearance, nobody would suspect their real vocation.
[UK]‘An Amateur’ Real Life in London I 125: The system of prigging will be acted on sometimes by the very party you are speaking to.
[UK] ‘Pickpocket’s Chaunt’ (trans.) ‘En roulant de vergne en vergne’ in Vidocq (1829) IV 259: As from ken to ken I was going, / Doing a bit on the prigging lay.
[UK] ‘The Fine Young Common Prostitute’ in Cuckold’s Nest 41: She and her bully big / Would oft go out together, / He upon the prigging rig, / And she to sell her leather.
Flash (NY) 3 July n.p.: Notwithstanding his branch of prigging was of the lowest order, he had always a few ‘bob’ on hand.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Hillingdon Hall I 275: [note] This is part of Mr. Jorrocks’s prigging. It will be found nearly word for word in one of Nimrod’s agricultural articles.
[UK]G.A. Sala Twice Round the Clock 215: Seven years I got for priggin’.
[UK] ‘Ladies Don’t go Thieving’ in Henderson Victorian Street Ballads (1937) 46: This lady in her rigging / Went out so grand, you understand, / To have a turn at prigging.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 16 Nov. 2/2: A ‘gun’ who had been ‘jugged’ for ‘prigging’ at the polls.
[UK]J. Greenwood Dick Temple II 263: Prigging ain’t so good a game.
[UK]Clarkson & Richardson Police! 344: It is a rough and ready method of ‘prigging’.